Saturday, March 26, 2011

11 Week 13 - Which Response Would You Prefer?

Would like to share with you something I learned from class about communication skills. Below is a case study and some questions for you to think.

Imagine that you're at work. Your employer asks you to do an extra job for him. He wants it ready by the end of the day. You mean to take care of it immediately, but because of series of emergnecies that come up, you completely forget. Things are so hectic, you barely have time for your own lunch.

As you and a few co-workers are getting ready to go home, your boss comes over to you and asks for the finished piece of work. Quickly you try to explain how unusually busy you were today.

He interrups you. In a loud, angry voice he shouts, "I'm not interested in your excuses!" What the hell do you think I'm paying you for - to sit around all day on yout butt?" As you open your mouth to speak, he says "Save it," and walks off to the elevator.

Your co-workers pretend not to have heard. You finish gathering your things and leave the office. On the way home you meet a friend. You're still so upset that you find yourself telling him or her what had just taken place.

There are eight different ways that your friend may respond to you. How would you feel and respond to each response? Which response might make you feel better? Which are counterproductive?

1. There's no reason to be so upset. It's foolish to feel that way. You're probably just tired and blowing the whole thing out of proportion. It can't be as bad as you make it out to be. Come on, smile... you look so nice when you smile.

2. Look, life is like that. Things don't always turn out we want. You have to learn to take things in stride. In this world nothing is perfect.

3. You know what I think you should do? Tomorrow morning go straight to your boss's office and say, "Look, I was wrong." Then sit right down and finish that piece of work you neglected today. Don't get trapped by those emergencies that come up. And if you're smart and you want to keep that job of yours, you'll make sure nothing like that ever happens again.

4. What exactly were those emergencies you had that would cause you to forget a special request from your boss? Didn't you realize he'd be angry if you didn't get to it immediately? Has it ever happened before? Why didn't you follow him when he left the room and try to explain again?"

5. I can understand your boss's reaction. He's probably under terrible pressure. You're lucky he didn't lose his temper more often.

6. Oh you poor thing. That is terrible! I feel so sorry for you, I could just cry.

7. That sounds like a rough experience. To be subjected to an attack like that in front of other people, especially after having been under so much pressure, must have been pretty hard to take!

8. Has it ever occured to you that the real reason you're so upset by this is because your employer represents a father figure in your life? As a child you probably worried about displeasing your father, and when your boss scolded you, it brought back your early fears of rejection. Isn't that true?

Lastly, which kind of responses do you often use in response to your friends' issue? What are the possible outcomes of your usual response? Is it possible to give a better response?

I find this exercise helps me to reexamine the way I respond to people. Sometimes I'm so tempted to voice anything that comes across my mind when people come to me, thinking that I'm doing the best thing for them, overlooking that sometimes people expect nothing but empathetic response.

Note: The case study and the eight responses are directly quoted from Faber, A. & Mazlish, E. (1999). How to talk so kids will listen & listen so kids will talk (pp. 5-8). New York: Avon Books.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

3 Idiots

People have been so excited recommending me this movie since beginning of last year. I read reviews, I watched trailers, and even made decision to watch it when it was showing on cinema, just that I ended up passing such a GREAT film! It was a regret when I was reminded by Mia about this movie recently, even she also watched already, and she was so enthusiatic to tell people around.

Anyway, I was so grateful that I have eventually watched it. It was understandable that people were so excited to see this film. This comedy is lively thought-provoking, challanging our (I supposed especially Asians') traditional view and expectation of education. Deep down inside our heart we all desire the ideology of pure learning rather than memorizing, striving for excellence rather than entertaining the rigid educational system, and sincere friendships rather than competitions. What turns students into a competitive and insensitive study machine? What shifts the attitude of learning? What kills our dream?

The three main characters are "idiots" in their education system and reality, because they are rebellious toward their educational system. But wait a minute, aren't those following and struggling blindly in the system are idiots as well? They are not enjoying their life, it is pathetic that their life has nothing but "success." Sometimes, it is hard to overlook the poverty factor in shaping the students' learning attitude. Knowledge is mainly seen as a tool to change the fate of lower status, rather than a pathway toward excitement of discovery, rather than a tool to serve the society. The attitude itself might not be encouragable, nonetheless it is understandable where does it come from.

After watching the movie, I again was just so grateful that I had a chance to choose my own path. I am doing what I want, being who I want to be. That time, I was unaware of my courage, I simply took a step without any fear.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

11 Week 12 - It's Student's Post

这个sem有两个midterm,上个星期考过一个,这个星期一个。已经超过一年没有考试,考试的感觉很亲切,也有一点压力。上个星期的那个考试,其实已经早一个星期收到一份题目的list,不知道会出哪一题也不知道出多少题。大家决定把题目分了,一人做几题,然后考试前一天讨论。大部分的题目很难,我准备三题也花了大半天才把答案准备好,其他人花了更长的时间,因为题目比我的难多了。我从来没有想过psychosexual theory可以用来和attachment theory还有piaget theory来比较,难得他们想得出答案。早早得到题目也不是什么好事。我们在一间公寓楼上的open space围坐在沙发上讨论答案,也叫了McD作午餐。那是Alvin住的公寓,看起来很高级,有一大副落地窗,窗外可以俯瞰大路,晚上一定很好看。这就是我们准备那一个考试的方法。

可是准备得再周全还是得看临场表现。我们有两个小时,有四个题目(每题再分几个子题目),每个子题目都可以写一篇很长的答案。我没戴手表,差不多快写完第一题就问时间,发现我竟然已经用了一个小时!其余的三题怎么办?我没办法,只好赶着写,其余的题目都尽量用short answer回答。才刚写完,时间也差不多了。只不过后来我发现我漏了一个子题目没回答,我自己也不知道为什么会skip掉那个题目。

我们的bible——DSM-IV-TR终于到手了。我和JengMun翻到sexual dysfunction那一部分时,JengMun想试下用华语练习问symptoms。那一个diagnosis好像是Male Erectile Disorder,第一个symptom是"Persistent or recurrent inability to..."她就这样直接翻译:“请问你有没有一个很长的⋯⋯很长的⋯⋯”然后她stuck住这里。我和Chiao Thong听见她一直stuck在“很长的⋯⋯很长的⋯⋯”已经笑得东倒西歪,我叫她不要把问题停在那里,然后她才突然想到:“时间⋯⋯”

Saturday, March 12, 2011

11 Week 11 - UFO in Kushiro


我带着断了线的自己去和朋友吃晚餐。晚餐一切都好,可是我还是隐隐在意着什么,那个我无法触碰的部分正在发出什么信息,我无法得知。接着去MPH,我买了村上春树的After the Quake。平时有那么多机会买,我总舍不得,但这一次好像有了什么充分的原因,毫不犹豫就可以买下。

看了第一个故事"UFO in Kushiro",我想我渐渐明白了我内心的想法和感受了。那是无法用语言表达的感受。让我有insight achieved的感觉的是这一段文(Murakami, 2003, p.19):
"Hmm. Now I feel as if I've come a very long way," Komura answered honestly.
Shimao traced a complicated design on Komura's chest with her fingertip, as if casting a magic spell.
"But really," she said, "you're just at the beginning."

Murakami, H. (2003). After the quake. London: Vintage.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Little Man Tate

这部戏大概是我班上公认最好看的一部assignment movie。他们说终于有一部好看的戏了。其实我个人觉得之前的几部戏挺有意思,除了那部1959年的黑白法国电影"400 Blows",因为结局真是太让我摸不着头脑。"Little Man Tate"是我目前最喜欢的,是关于一个很有自闭倾向的天才儿童Fred的故事。看这部电影,我有几幕被触动到,尤其在Fred觉得孤独和害怕的那几场戏,我完全可以理解,因为我以前也曾经那么孤独,也曾经担心过他担心的事。我想,我觉得这部戏好看的其中一个原因,是因为我隐约看见了以前的自己的影子。


Sunday, March 6, 2011

11 Week 10 - 熬夜是大学生的必经过程?


第二天睡到自然醒,十一点左右才开始做assignment。我估计大概晚上九点多就可以做好,怎知道我这一做,竟然做到隔天的凌晨三点多才做完!时间过了十二点的时候,别提我有多后悔前一晚把时间拿来看电视剧。凌晨三点多做完了一份大assignment,事情还没完,因为几个钟头前听说要多交两份小的assignments(not graded),所以我又立刻接着做那两份小的assignments。真正完成当天的功课时,已经是凌晨四点多了。第二天,我八点起床,差不多晚上十二点才回到家,真的很累很累。