January 10, 2020

Think about my Thinking

Book front cover
Title:
GRASP The Solution: How to find the best answers to everyday challenges
Rating:
4 out of 5 stars

I am far more thrilled to learn this Model from Paul today because it sovles my root cause of procrastination.

I told him that I feel difficult to start my writing work until I got a killer idea. But the thing is there are always two people fighting in my mind when I was generating and organising my thoughts at an early stage, because I try to critically think and judge my ideas at that moment, which is definitely WRONG!

Let's how it goes.

grasp_the_solution_to_combat_procrastination.png


January 09, 2020

Meeting Meeting Meeting

I was quite impressed by the Hotel meeting we had in CBE. It seems like 'Meeting' is a life-long topic in every business or management course. To be honest, I don't hate meeting.

There are a few things I would like to remind myself in the future. By the way, it is wise to start a clock at the very beginning of a meeting.


1. As a leader, clarify the Task/Aim/Expected Result at the very beginning. Make sure everyone are on the same page before talking talking talking...


2. Appoint some important roles, timekeeper, recorder or something else

Timekeeper: help the leader to facilitate the process of a meeting so that we can reach a result on time.

Recorder: summarise the main ideas and make work go smoothly after the meeting


3. Set time limit to each speaker

It is quite interesting to find that the person didn't speak much may contribute most to the result. Leaders might be misled by how much or how well one expresses his or her suggestions, rather than the value of the point.


4. Leader mindset

I am 100% agree that everyone could be a leader but is it suitable to hold this mindset when we are in practice.

I think we should focus on our own appointed work rather than having 7 leaders in one team.


5. Task-oriented VS people-oriented

It is supposed to balance these types of leadership according to different situation.


6. Use Tools to organise the flow of a meeting or people's thoughts

I have found that Six Colour Hat has been used in a meeting to help a leader to control the meeting.

1. Make sure that each time everyone wear the same colour hat.

2. Leader are responsible to arrange the sequence of different hats in order to maximum the results.


Template of giving feedback

Based on my previous experience of dealing with compliants between different sectors within an organisation, I have made an simple template for giving feedback to the person you observed.

The purpose of giving feedback is to help people improve their performance from different perspectives, instead of imposing suggestions on them. In the light of that, this template is designed for observers to structure their words so that it can be used effectively by those people who were observed.

1. The part Facts takes up half of the page which encourages observers to write down as many facts as possible, which is of great importance for the observee to do self-reflection.

2. I combine the Opinions and Suggestions part together because I find out that people usually make them in one sentence.

3. Brief and warm Tips make it easier for people to pick out the pearls and keep them in mind.

The key point is never ever mix the objective facts with subjective personal opinions, because it makes difficult for us to respond to the feedback rationally, not to mention making the best use of it.


template_for_giving_feedback.docx


January 08, 2020

Reflection after the 2nd PMA PIUSS

I have used the cause-and-effect analysis to find out the root cause of my procrastination, or rather poor self-control. I don’t think I am lazy or just killing time. I have a desire to make the most of every minute. Moreover, it seems like this thought makes me feel more stressful and put off the work until I have an ‘excellent’ idea to approach the question. Quoted from the author of The Willpower Instinct, “Stress is the enemy of willpower. The biology of stress and the biology of self-control are simply incompatible.”

The point is it does take me some time to get inspiration, surprisingly, usually they pop up when I was walking, cooking, or doing anything else except sitting in front of the desk staring at the screen. But I know I cannot just wait for the arrival of an inspiration, and it looks like waiting for a present from the Santa.

The other thing I’d like to mention is about the wellbeing. Some students may find that papers, exams, dissertation have a large impact on their happiness or wellbeing, including me sometimes. I have been learning to control my willpower for a few years, like controlling what I pay attention to, what I think about, even how I feel. It is a life journey to learn and practice. Possibly, the most effective solution is getting your body on board. As one of my friends put it, treat your body as a temple and respect it. Eat healthily, do work out and look for small steps before a giant leap.

Recently, in the L&E class, Paul also mentioned that “Nothing could change our Wellbeing since it is something that comes from within ourselves. It is not the particular thing/person (external environment) annoyed you, rather, it is your THOUGHTS and then you give these thoughts power to become FEELINGS whether negative or positive. But all the thoughts and feelings are temporary as the clouds block out the sky whilst the sun is always there to shine.


December 26, 2019

Writing could be fun & Powerful

Book front cover
Title:
Writing your dissertation in fifteen minutes a day
Rating:
Not rated

Recently I am reading a book Writing your dissertation in fifteen minutes a day that is quite informative and inspiring, which is borrowed from my tutor Paul before Christmas(seems to be a wonderful Christmas gift).

Usually I spend fifteen minutes reading before hitting the pillow and use some sticky notes to jot down and tab any points that insterests me. To be honest, I am not a big fan of writing because I've got little positive feedback or recognition of my writing work since primary school. Writing tasks have always been hard for me so that I am struggling to meet the deadline with procrastination. But I am fed up with this situation and I have made up my mind to learn writing from scratch so as not to burn my candle at both ends for a dissertation.

It is much easier for me to express my thoughts verbally rather than writing a formal, well-written and well-articulated passage. However, I was quite schocked when the author showed that writing is a process of improving one's thinking, inquiring the questions, and getting closer to the truth of a subjet because I thought it is just an interpretion of my research result. In the same vein, Jordan B Peterson has emphsised the power of writing as a powerful weapon to help people to think critically, make great presentations and lay out proposals, which could be one's deadly wand.

I am working on find my own process that works best for me.


December 24, 2019

A few task words puzzled me


Analyse: Break an issue down into its component parts, discuss them and show relationships between the component parts and how they are related and why they are important. 剖析各部分的关联与影响

Identify: Point out the key features or ideas of something that are related to your research.

Define: Explain the precise meaning of a concept, giving sufficient details as to allow it to be distinguished from similar things. If the definition is a contested one then make sure to mention this. How do other scholars define the subject? Why is its meaning contested and why to use one meaning instead of the other if this is the case? 具体化某物使之突显强调

Discuss: Essentially this is a written debate where you are using your skill at reasoning, backed up by carefully selected evidence to make a case for and against an argument, or point out the advantages and disadvantages of a given context. Remember to arrive at a brief conclusion.就像一场辩论赛

ReviewLook thoroughly into a topic, with the emphasis on critical assessment rather than descriptive. Provide a well reasoned account describing the whole situation and
looking critically at the important points. 从多角度,多行业去看待一个问题

Critical: It often used in conjunction with other directive words, such as critically evaluate, or critically analyse. It is not equal to criticise. It is supposed to give a balanced answer that indicate limitations or weaknesses and any favourable aspects of the subject. Of course, any argument must be strongly supported with evidence from reliable sources.

Interpret: Demonstrate one's understanding of an issue or topic. This can be the use of particular terminology by an author, or what the findings from a piece of research suggest to readers. In the latter instance, comment on any significant patterns and causal relationships.

Justify: Providing evidence to support one's ideas and points of view. In order to present a balanced argument, consider opinions which may run contrary to your own before stating your conclusion. 增加counter-arguments 会让自己更具说服力

Examine: To investigate a topic thoroughly and closely. Look in close detail and establish the key facts and important issues surrounding a topic. This should be a critical evaluation and should try and offer reasons as to why the facts and issues have been identified are the most important, as well as explain the different ways they could be construed.

Explore: Adopt a questioning approach and consider a variety of different viewpoints. Where possible reconcile opposing views by presenting a final line of argument.

Summarise:
Provide a brief statement covering the most important points without any details and more importantly in your own words. Outline 也是总结概括关键点,但不一定要paraphrase; paraphrase也是用自己的话,但可能不止是关键点,还有details.

Assumption:Something which is accepted as being true for the purpose of an argument.

Hypothesis: Suggest the reasons for some phenomenon or situation and the processes by which it occurred. A hypothesis is a theory regarding particular occurrences. You confirm hypotheses through testing. So the hypothesis you come up with has to be
testable.

Objectives:Things one need to do and achieve in order to answer the assignment.

Issue:An important topic for discussion; something worth thinking and raising questions about.

MethodologyA system of methods and principles for doing something. Often used to explain methods for carrying out research.

Assess & Evaluate
Although some literature and dictionaries shows that Evaluate and Assess have almost the same meaning, there is slight difference can be found in the nouns.

When it comes to education, Assessment is defined as a process of appraising something or someone, namely the act of gauging the quality, value or importance, which pays attention to learning and teaching process. As against, evaluation focuses on making a judgment about values, numbers or performance of someone or something, such as the given grades showed on papers.

In a word, assess is preferable to measure a process or the level of performance whereas evaluate is performed to determine the degree to which goals are attained that is more suitable to measure a specific outcome or product.





Reference:

https://austudent.elevateeducation.com/media/blog/what-are-command-words-and-why-do-they-matter

http://www2.port.ac.uk/media/contacts-and-departments/student-support-services/ask/downloads/Essays---task-words.pdf

https://www.oxbridgeessays.com/blog/analyse-explain-evaluate-answer-essay-question-words/

http://www.swracademy.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Brainometer-_use_alongside_r.e._level_descripters.pdf

https://student.unsw.edu.au/glossary-task-words

https://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/ld/resources/writing/writing-resources/essay-terms

https://www.oxbridgeessays.com/blog/analyse-explain-evaluate-answer-essay-question-words/

https://www.student.uwa.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/1929685/List_of_common_task_words.pdf

https://www.westernsydney.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/1082476/Common_Task_Words.pdf

https://investigatingsciencehsc.files.wordpress.com/2018/07/writing_taskwordglossary.pdf

November 20, 2019

Another Support for Legibility

>>> import this
The Zen of Python, by Tim Peters

Beautiful is better than ugly.
Explicit is better than implicit.
Simple is better than complex.
Complex is better than complicated.
Flat is better than nested.
Sparse is better than dense.
Readability counts.
Special cases aren't special enough to break the rules.
Although practicality beats purity.
Errors should never pass silently.
Unless explicitly silenced.
In the face of ambiguity, refuse the temptation to guess.
There should be one-- and preferably only one --obvious way to do it.
Although that way may not be obvious at first unless you're Dutch.
Now is better than never.
Although never is often better than *right* now.
If the implementation is hard to explain, it's a bad idea.
If the implementation is easy to explain, it may be a good idea.
Namespaces are one honking great idea -- let's do more of those!
>>>


Further information: https://www.python.org/dev/peps/pep-0008/


November 19, 2019

Helvetica

After searching and reading piles of papers for the PMA the other days, my eyes still hurts. The font of some are just ridiculous, making it too hard to read. It enables me to realise that how important a typeface could be. Helvetica is generated in 1957, yet now it is still everywhere, “like air, like gravity.” If you ask me what is classic? Just like Helvetica. I have been learning and practicing Chinese calligraphy for years. When I was in primary school, it was just a burden for me since it took up much time from cartoons or radio games. But then, I really appreciate those who have a nice handwriting so I just pick it up again. When it comes signature, I used to quite proud my signature that I designed for myself when I was in junior high. However, now I think it is not readable at all, I had better redesign it based on Helvetica. Good night~

What I have learned from my first PMA


Don’t care about the result, but do the best at every step.


Time Management

  • Week 1: Review -> Reflecting -> Reading -> Planning -> Writing

  • Review the Notes -> Summarise & Share in OneNote

  • Reflecting: Analyse the PMA Question -> Making a Question List

  • Reading for Using == Skimming -> Close it -> Paraphrasing

  • Week 2: Break

  • Week 3: Read aloud & Review & Revise ; Proofreading

  • Week 4: Submit

Reference Management

  • Make sure if it really worth downloading

  • Abstract -> Introduction(#1 sentences) -> Conclusion

  • EndNote

  • Rename rename rename(tips)

  • File: 01/02/03-#/@-xxx-Date.type

      - #== Important
      - @== Reading now
          
  • Sync with Webfile MyFiles

  • Nvivo/Everything

Content Management

  • Font: Helvetica

  • Add rather than rewrite


November 04, 2019

Every day counts

I attended a session called How to have it all: Stories of success from women in Science. We can never have it all, but we can do our best to keep a work/life balance. Everyone should be welcomed and encouraged into STEM but it surprised me there are few female workers(less than five probably I saw) at the National Automotive Innovation Centre where I visited in the Lord Bhattacharyya Building last week. I've known and benefited a lot from some female role models, so I know the importance of these positive role models to the next generation.

Apart from these brilliant women on stage, there is a young mother and her baby girl sitting on my right at the conference. The baby was put on the table, having fun with her toys and mumbling, or laughing from time to time. She was speaking her own language that is a luxury for us adults. But what surprised me was that her mom didn't ask her to hush her voice and to be quiet. She was just looking at her little angel and smiling. What a beautiful scene and I hope I could be as that patient and kind as she is to my baby one day.

Oh, another surprise is the view on the way to Gibbet Hill campus is fantastic, especially in Autumn! It's totally beyond description by words. I was lucky that I went to the medical school on foot this morning rather than by shuttle, otherwise, I feel like missing the best thing life could offer: Serendipity.

At noon, I had a typical British lunch there, which includes sandwiches, drinks and crisp. Sorry, my stomach just cannot enjoy the cold food. Then, I have walked to another workshop about defining a research question. I'm glad I didn't skip it because I met an inspiring new friend there. He is good at time management and he has even been to Tsinghua University with a scholarship. Oh my gosh. Yeah, I can tell that he is a hard-working, well-organised and ambitious student through the small talks on class.

Well, there're so many people and things here, every day, I can learn from to make a difference to my life.

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