Another rejection letter came in today. I applied for a research assistant post in the University of Adelaide, South Australia. The project is in giant cuttlefish. Haizz! I know I have no luck this year but at least I tried my best.
I feel bitterly disappointed in myself and my job. I’m thinking of taking a turn for the better of my life. It seems I’m getting old and I feel something dramatic has started with me. At young age, everything went smoothly and I sometimes feel bored that I was too lucky. Probably, luckiness has left me and this year is of my zodiac animal, everything is going to be worse. Friends at my age have encountered unlucky things. Is it time for me to take turns?
In February, I applied for the master course in Biomedical Imaging in an university in Finland. I thought I could get an offer from the university because my background and my English are qualified for taking the course. In the rejection letter, they said that they didn’t choose me because there were too many applicants and they only can take in 30 students. I think in comparison with others my age might be a problem although they don’t restrict the age of applicants. Some countries like Germany don’t allow who are over 36 to take a master course. I’m 36 this July, I’m too old for them to teach, I think. However, they still invite me to apply for next year. In term of tuition fee, it’s free for all even international students. That’s great of Finland education system. Why shouldn’t I benefit from that by taking another chance?
Life is always hard as everyone would know but like many, I am not going to give up. I’m preparing for other chances. This disappointment will be gone. I think I am good at dealing with negativity. At least, it’s a good time for me to look into myself in order to write letters of motivation.
I’ve finished the pronunciation class. After three month, I’m confident that at least I can read English in a right way, word by word. However, my purpose isn’t reading but speaking. With the background I got, I know I need to practice more so I can speak English properly.
I enrolled a online course from Duke University about writing. It’s provided by Coursera and totally free. I’ve read the syllabus and the learning objectives and found out it’s for writers to achieve expertise. I’m not sure I can do it but I’ll try (I won’t be expelled or such). I’m reading materials for the first week, the first chapter of The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle. I’ve just read some pages and I was hooked. Here is the paragraph I noted about deep practice: “There’s an optimal gap between what you know and what you’re trying to do. When you find that sweet spot, learning take off.”* * Good advertising operates by the same principles of deep practice, increasing learning by placing viewers in the sweet spot at the edge of their capacities. This is why many successful ads involve some degrees of cognitive work, such as the whiskey ad that featured the tag line “…ingle ells, …ingle ells … The holidays aren’t the same without J&B.”
It’s not new but it really encourages me. People aren’t born with talent, they have to practice and learn from the mistakes. I wanna speak English rightly and fluently so I must start with first steps of reading slowly and wrongly. But I can recognize where I was wrong and I think I have enough effort to start again and again. I’ve recently mumbled this sentence “I can’t drink more than three bottles of beer.” How difficult to control our lips, tongue and jaws!
Another news which gave me a nice surprise, after I got the Daily Deviation stamp, someone bought a print of my fractal and I got $USD 6. Interesting!
I rewrite and translate this from an article on a local paper.
My friends who had lived over sea for long enough have a common comment that foreigners are not their own when coming to Vietnam. Sweet grapes might become sour when they are planted in another area. On one side of La Manche, you drive a car on the left but you have to switch that when you’re on the other side of the channel. Vietnamese girls usually dye their hair yellowish when marrying to Korean men. The environment, of course has changed people. Vietnamese people when living in Vietnam may be very lazy, prepossessing and love to smile but they become hard working and smileless when they live in other countries. It can be explained that they need to be survived in an unfamiliar and difficult environment so they have to try their best. Immigrants from poor countries find everything hard and expensive. However, it might be different for foreigners who come to live in Vietnam, everything becomes very cheap and easy for them.
Middle classed parents have enough money for their children to study in “international” schools with “western” teachers. Those who might be young tourists with a little money and a back bag just wanna travel the world. They’re obviously lack of pedagogy so that their four or five year old students can’t understand the lessons even their curses.
Choosing to live here, you at least can earn enough for food and renting. You can easily find a girl whom you’ve met for some hours can whisper into your ears that “I love you, I wanna go with you!” It would be wonderful if you can sing. Remember to practice singing karaoke and learning by heart some Vietnamese songs. For the “noble” level, you should choose Trinh’s music (World Peace Music Awardee). I’m sure that you’re gonna be on our national television one day. From there on, you’re gonna have fans, chances and privileges that you’ve might never dreamt of when living in your own country. I’m so happy for you. A flat world is wonderful, isn’t it? It opens opportunities for those who are bored with standing behind cashier counter or something like that.
It’s more wonderful if you know Vietnamese, even just a little, you can have a bowl of Pho with the local price and you can make waitresses laugh out loud. If you’re confident enough, you become an intellectual, you can be a columnist of a magazine which has more pictures than words. People will never mind what major you were taught. Together with leading intellectuals here, they also never mind in which category they are expert, you can deliberate where people should spray perfume or the trend of using Vietnamese in young people. What a fantastic symbiosis! Once again we should thank that the world was flat.
In your own country, you might never dare to violate traffic laws but in Hanoi or Saigon streets, you can easily see teenagers riding motorbike without helmet because there is another helmet to protect them which is ” being Westerner!”. I don’t know whether in your country people adore the lovely babble or everything introduced from Westerners even Singaporean, Korean or Taiwanese Westerners. I’m also curious how local people think about immigrants. OMG, they might think that black hair and double eyelid men are good at martial art like Bruce Lee.
Therefor, there are many levels to understand people, our attitude towards them whether high or low can upside the value of entire systems. Anyway, it’s joyful to meet people who are different from us. It might be interesting in the mess of a traffic jam and we hear something like “Work (walk) what the tile (style), I (eyes) or not?”.
On the first day of March, I got the Daily Deviation stamp for one of my fractals from Deviantart community. This is such an honor for an amateur like me although this is not an award. The recognition of such a large community gives every featured art work a marketable chance. My page has got so busy since yesterday with many comments and Favorites. I don’t think I can sell anything but the happiness from this encourages me to continue the journey. As Julia Child once said “Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it”. I once answered a question about three things make me happy that making fractals (together with practicing Yoga and being alone) was one of them. I’ve only got to know fractal for about a year from a wonderful man, Tom Allen. He gave me the first lesson of making fractals by J-Wildfire via Skype (I remember that I said about him on previous posts). He also suggested my art work to the judges. I’m glad that I finally made him proud of his student. However, I feel a bit guilty that I’m spending more time making fractal animations by Mandelbulb 3D than creating 2D flames with J-Wildfire. Anyway, here is the one make me happy and I know I’m gonna continue doing what makes me happy.