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Posts Tagged ‘university

Apprenticeship, fatherhood and expensive college education

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Today, a salesperson approached me on my way back to home.
The friendly salesperson was promoting a union membership.
However, I just signed up online for the membership last month.
His son was sitting nearby, playing a toy car by himself.
The salesman sadly said (while looking at his son), "Nobody takes care of him, so I have to bring him here."
The weather was not that hot when I met this salesperson, but I imagined it would be tiring to sit under the hot sun if he had to do his work since this morning or even afternoon.

One may feel sorry for the boy, however if we try to reframe our perspective positively, the boy is actually doing "apprenticeship."

The father is also enjoying both an opportunity to work (hence earn an income) and to accompany his son.

I wish I could help this salesperson to earn a commission, but I can only offer my prayer quietly in my heart. I pray that he will earn sufficient to raise his family, that his son will grow up appreciating his father’s hard work.


J was sharing with me that in the near future when she is going out to be a salesperson, she is going to bring her toddler.
Her toddler has a talent to make people happy through his charming smile.
J said, "this is not a child labor, this is nurturing her child to prepare for the future competitive world".

J was concerned that her child would grow up to be a spoil brat so she wants her son to respect and value hard work (and of course smart work) and everyday people who do hard work, through apprenticeship under her.

Not every child is the same.
Indeed, every human being is unique.
Yes, you are unique.
So are your progenies.
Today education system has been inspired from the Industrial Revolution,
when efficient and relatively submissive trainees are desirable.
However, our world is evolving;
our learning and education systems must evolve too.
I strongly agree with J on 因材施教^.

^ 因材施教 means to educate someone (a learner / a student / a child) according to his / her personality, aptitude and merits.

Moreover, the constantly increasing cost of college education is worrying and driving us to find alternative avenues to develop the knowledge and skills required for employment or self-employment.
To quote Hannah Seligson of The New York Times, some employers complain that many colleges don’t teach the kinds of technical skills they want in entry-level hires.

Is it worth for parents to sacrifice their retirement funds after they worked all their sweats, tears, and even blood, to fund for their children’s education?
This was what going on in the mind of Steve Job when he quit colleges,
but how many adult children do think like him?
Sadly, there are cases where children do not care about their parents after being funded for college education.

Although apprenticeships has been offered as alternative to college, my personal belief (as of this summer of 2013) includes:

1. it is essential for our trainee / progeny / children / protege to attend colleges where they can interact, network, build long-lasting relationships with their peer and lectures.
Completing a college education has been strong social economic enablers for many people with previously disadvantage backgrounds.

2. it is also essential for our trainee to undertake apprenticeships and to train under a master, if possible the best master.
There are things that one cannot learn merely by reading, one must experience the real world.

3. It is also essential for our trainee to undertake online courses / MOOC such as Coursera, edX, Udacity. This initiative is geared toward developing one into an independent learner and thinker.
As Stephen Covey mentioned, only those who are independent (not the dependent) can be co-dependent / cooperate / collaborate to perform complex tasks / projects.

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Written by blueroselady

June 12, 2013 at 1:01 pm

What are interesting activities to engage children? 12 ideas for children living in Singapore

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1. Walk the green / NATURE ***** : Bukit Timah Hill, MacRitchie Reservoir, Botanic Garden.
2. love the audio / printed BOOKs : libraries ***** , book shops.
3. visit diverse places of FAITH ***** / religious sites : churches , mosques , temples. Teach our children to respect different religions (including free thinkers), to believe in God.
4. learn from TERTIARY EDUCATION **** : e.g. NUS, NTU, SMU. Instill in their mind, since 0 year old the importance of education, the art of learning.
5. MUSIC *** to litte ears : pack mats, picnics & attend free concerts, take PHOTOs **** at Fort Canning Park, Botanic Gardens, The Esplanade.
6. Inspire their creativity through visits to MUSEUMs *** : Singapore History Museum, Asian Civilization Museum, Singapore Art Museum.
Note : though these museums have no free daily admission like my favorite museums in London,
do check out for open days which means FREE entrance.
7. visit FARMs ***, Singapore Zoo, Jurong Bird Park, Hay Diaries, Dian Hu Fish Farm.
8. Fish for fun : Bedok Jetty.
9. visit FINANCIAL institutes * e.g. banks (& teach them the value of money, how to manage their finance).
10. visit MARKETs , SUPERMARKETs : teach them how to shop frugally, compare prices, the most effective & efficient ways to shop.
11. Easy Breezy : fly kite at Marina Barrage.
12. chill with the WATER : swimming pool, beach (safety precaution is highly recommended).

* refers to highly recommended activities by Blueroselady

1. Most activities are FREE (you only have to spend on transport & food), or relatively cheap.
2. The ideas are inspired from personal survival experience, the first stroll with my first son to his potential first school (an infant care).

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Written by blueroselady

March 15, 2013 at 5:04 pm

Bluerosesolady will not pay for her children's college costs

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Tamar Lewin of The New York Times wrote that "the more college money parents provided – whether in a absolute terms or as a share of total costs — the lower the children’s college grades."

Lesson 1:
"Everybody has always assumed that the more you give, the better your child does."
Blueroselady thinks that everything popular is not always right.

Lesson 2:
Do not give a blank cheque to your children.
Professor Laura Hamilton (UC Merced) suggested that "students who get a blank cheque from their parents may not take their education as seriously as others."
Blueroselady: Children are the ones who should write a blank cheque for their parents.

Lesson 3:
Both capital / cash and connections matter. Education alone is insufficient, especially if one’s grades are mediocre.
"Affluent families are not hurt most by the lower grades, because they had the connections to get their child a job."
Blueroselady personally hearts those middle-class parents who had worked hard, scrimped and saved, borrowed from family members, taken out loans, used up their retirement funds.

Lesson 4:
Parents, never use your retirement funds for your children’s college costs.
If they really desire to learn and go to college, they have to fight their own battles.

Lesson 5:
Setting goals is highly important.
Professor Laura Hamilton shared that she planned to pay for her children only after they talk about how much it costs and what grades she expect her children to achieve.
Blueroselady: It is important to set goals from early age, perhaps babyhood.

For more info:
More is More or More is Less?
Professor Laura Hamilton, UC Merced.

Written by blueroselady

January 17, 2013 at 1:38 am

Dream while sleeping, dream while being awake

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Sometimes I got nightmare that I wish to forget.
Sometimes I have beautiful dreams.

February 18th, 2011: scuba diving!

February 19th, 2011: Panda and I are studying together (perhaps we are collaborating on a project recently), we are looking for a site to study. There are so many students and our undergraduate university are expanding. I need to ask people while looking for a restroom. Indeed, I have never been back to my undergraduate university and she has grown so much, she dreams (or perhaps whoever manages her) to be a world-class one. All best!

February 23rd, 2011: Saw the colorful close-up photos of my friend Y, and her wheelchair is smartly invisible. She looks so happy, when she is happy, I am also happy.

What are my dreams while I am not sleeping?
Big-hearted, Beautiful, Brainy blueroselady.
Happy family with a doting husband + kids + dog (like the one who greeted me warmly when I returned from library at 10 or 11 pm), where God and Mother Mary always love and protect us.
Successful entrepreneur (innovation, commitment, inspiration).
Grand plan with Panda.
education fund for needy and hardworking children.
Travel the world with my soul mate (appreciate diverse arts, culture, and people from many corners of the world).

Below are bonuses, I appreciate if I achieve them:
Intern / work at a Fortune 500 company.
My own guest house like Nice Home Sweet Home.
A property in a foreign land (perhaps China near Shanghai).

Please pray for me!
Wish me lucks and blessings.
I love to share my blessings too.

Written by blueroselady

December 30, 2011 at 12:13 am

Travel destination: universities

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When one travels to a place s(he) has never been before, besides the natural beauties, one loves to visit the markets (traditional, financial, modern shopping complexes), the religious sites (churches, temples, mosques), the power center (palaces, parliament houses, and of course the learning sites, especially the universities.

Once a country bumpkin as my mentor referred me, I aspire to learn and share as much as possible knowledge and wisdom.

Universities where I have visited (as a tourist or a student) or learned from:
Tsinghua U
Peking U
Shanghai Jiao Tong U
Cambridge U
Oxford U
York U
Imperial College
School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), London
ETH Zurich
U of St Gallen
Charles U in Prague
U of Bergen
U of Copenhagen
Harvard U
Salve Regina U
U of British Columbia
Simon Fraser U
U of Toronto
… and this list will grow!

God, thank you so much for inspiring me. I want you to be inspired to. Everyone deserves to attend university at least once in a lifetime. No financial hardship should deter one from pursuing knowledge. Amen!

Now, it is time collect a list of admirable start-ups, companies, and institutions. It is time to learn from the real-world, instead of merely the ivory towers.

Written by blueroselady

December 1, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Posted in sciences, study, travel

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The world’s most prestigious universities

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Spring 2009

This is a writing by Cyd Madsen.

The most prestigious university in the world is the one you attend, and what you make of the experience. Universities gain their reputations through the achievements of their students, not by simply standing on a patch of land. Take away the student, and the most commonly thought of “prestigious” universities, such as Harvard, Yale, Cornell, UC Berkley, Cambridge, Oxford, USC, Stanford, and the smaller, more esoteric universities such as Rice, are nothing but buildings. Beautiful building in lovely surroundings, but they have no prestigious standing in academics. That comes from the student and what they make of their time and place.

Attempting to gain entrance into a university of prestige does not make for the most successful or well-rounded graduate. It makes for a very nice network of people who have made it into these institutions and graduated, which can be very helpful, but it is not always the best start of a distinguished career. Entrance into these schools requires a lot of sacrifice long before the college years are reached, and often the burden put on both the aspiring student and their families does not lead to an end result that fosters a focused, determined, and innovative member of the business and social worlds after graduation. Often their families are financially strained, and the students themselves exit their higher education with more debt than they can pay off before they’re in their mid-thirties. Students create the prestige of an academic institution. Do graduates deeply in debt constitute prestige? Do students who settle for jobs with higher pay but less opportunity for their potential to unfold constitute prestige? This writer would argue that they do not.

It’s ironic that some of the most accomplished individuals with the greatest impact on our culture never graduated college. Bill Gates didn’t finished college. Frank Lloyd Wright was certainly a man of stature, accomplishment and prestige, but he never finished college. Joseph Campbell, who has probably done more to shape the human mind in the latter part of the 20th Century, claimed that acquiring a graduate degree was a sign of cowardice, a fear of thinking for one’s own self, and a closing down of the mind by the rigid rules and regulations of university programs within higher education. Mark Twain said that we should never let our education get in the way of our learning. None of these people who helped shape our minds and culture graced the halls of a so-called prestigious university, other than the university of their own minds and the hallowed halls of their passion, drive, ambition, and intense focus on what they learned through the self-imposed discipline, which could be said to be the foundation of prestige.

Harvard could be called one of the most prestigious universities in the world. It is also one of the oldest, with a rich history. Ralph Waldo Emerson is one of the founders of the American mind and character, and it was his speech to the graduating Divinity class of Harvard that perhaps best sums up the prestige of an education. He stood before the graduates and told them, much to the near swooning of administration, that they should forget everything they had learned during their time at Harvard and go out and experience the world. If anything they had been taught was true, they’d discover it for themselves.

Every student in every university has the same opportunity to go out and discover the truth of their education, and therein lies the prestige of a university-the independent graduate with a mind and social structure that allows for innovation and accomplishment. The more unencumbered by debt and crushing social, academic, and political dictates they are when they graduate, the greater their chances of becoming distinguished members of society and reflecting back on their university, whatever it was, wherever it was, and casting the light of prestige on the building they once doggedly walked through day after day, with their feet firmly planted on their own path.

Reflections of Blueroselady:
@~@ Students create the prestige of an academic institution. My students create the prestige of me as a teacher and motivator.
@~@ When I meet a school drop-out, I could quote Bill Gate and Frank Lloyd Wright to motivate him.
@~@ “It’s ironic that some of the most accomplished individuals with the greatest impact on our culture never graduated college.” Many great individuals have received outstanding education, and many drop-outs face face difficulties in advancing their lives. Please do not get me wrong, a degree from a prestigious university is not a passport to success. If you do not have an opportunity to attend a prestigious university, that is not the end of the world.
@~@ I think I have really attended prestigious U, but do I feel proud? Weird, I am feel even more humbled, most time I meet who are much better than me in one way or another, and many of them did not have an education opportunity like me. I must be grateful, must be more willing to share.

Written by blueroselady

December 1, 2011 at 1:46 am

Posted in study

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Miscellaneous 2011

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avoid rain water, can spread rat urine infected with leptospirosis, especially in crowded and developing cities.

Most back and shoulder aches stem from poor posture as most people spend most of their lives in front of a desk.
We need to get up and stretch ONCE EVERY HOUR to loosen the muscles and decompress our lower back.
Walk, not jog, at least 2x a week.
To keep stress, anger, and unforgiveness is worse than having a physical teacher.
Ref: a pilate teacher Alvin Giam

What to do when your hand is scalded?
Instead of putting ice or toothpaste (which will contract the skin and worsen the blister), dip into a cup of room temperature water.

How to treat acid reflux ?
make lifestyle changes
over-the-counter medication

Common symptoms of acid reflux:
burping, belching
sour / bitter taste in mouth
feel a burning sensation in throat / chest (heartburn)
cough at night
dry / sore throat
hoarseness in morning
worsening of asthma

Consequences of Long-Term acid reflux : oesophagitis, sricture, barrett’s oesophagus.

Certain food may worsen reflux, please avoid:
chocolates, sweet deserts, high fat / spicy foods, curry, citrus fruits, garlic, onion, tomatoes, tomato-based products.
beverages e.g. citrus juices (orange, lemon), alcohol, coffee, tea.

eat regular meals, small portions each time.
avoid eating 2-3 hours before sleep
lose weight if you are overweight
stop smoking
elevate head of your bed by 6-8 inches.
avoid stres
Ref: Andrea Rajnakova

Finance trends

Michael Hasenstab
fund manager. Templeton Global Bond Fund.
PhD in economics at Australian National University, Canberra.
honeymoon climbing Mt Kilimanjaro with wife Mary Ann
focus on sovereigns and forex, many other global funds buy gov, corporate, and supranational debt.

To Hasenstab, most developed markets are overly indebted and overleveraged, and they offer far more risk than return potential from their paltry interest rates.

In 2007, before the credit crisis, 70% of his portfolio was in mature markets. But then he realised the US financial crisis would spread globally. Solution? he shorted the euro, while buying currencies with current-account surpluses, including CHF and JPY. He boosted holdings in countries where he expected sizable rate cuts, among them Australia, NZ, Chile, South Korea, Mexico. Anticipating the flight to USD, he hedged most of his emerging-market currency exposure.

In finance, short selling (also known as shorting or going short) is the practice of selling assets, usually securities, that have been borrowed from a third party (usually a broker) with the intention of buying identical assets back at a later date to return to the lender. It is a form of reverse trading. The short seller hopes to profit from a decline in the price of the assets between the sale and the repurchase, as the seller will pay less to buy the assets than the seller received on selling them. Conversely, the short seller will incur a loss if the price of the assets rises.
Those who short, expect price to decrease.

Hasenstab believes that over the next few years, US rates will rise and JPY will fall.

Women beware!
If a couple takes taxi in Arab countries, guys go up 1st. Ladies come out 1st. Why? My mentor told me got cases where the ladies were kidnapped.

I love to read and learn from others.

From: 5 Life Lessons I Learned From Prawning (Prawning Tips Included)
1) Fat opportunities don’t come to you. You have to go to them.
2) People help those they like; therefore, be likeable.
3) Be willing to make changes, however unpleasant.
4) Observe what others are doing and MODEL them as best you can.

the risk of being run over by garbage trcuks / buried under the trash
health risks like tetanus
Let us remember the parable of the Good Samaritan

Summer 2011: I have never heard of U Mannheim (the Harvard of Germany), until I learned about CF, probably as young as my sister. See you soon.

Summer 2011: to be competititive, one needs to prepare visume (video resume).

Summer 2011: I had a writing course in a very cold room. Tips: you can use the heat of laptop to warm your hands.

Employer: Our company place cleanliness as the highest value. Do you clean your shoes against the mat when you came in?
Job applicant: Yes, Sir.
Employer: Actually, there is no mat.
Moral of the story: honesty is the best policy

Written by blueroselady

August 1, 2011 at 4:13 pm