July 19th, 2018 - Ziwen
I finally get a day off today, which means I have been flaked out. After feeling confused about if I lost my charm in outlooking, I went out with my mom. I still remember the last time when I went to a shopping mall for shopping was about a year ago. Finally I am running out of my clothes, which means one of my last two shirts is worn out.
July 11th, 2018 - Qintu
Homo Deus is the first book I read during this summer. One of my friends introduced the book with a subtitle called "Brief History of Tomorrow", and I think both of us are interested in it.
The book tends to impart people some rules or opinions which may contain a heap of seemingly boring explanation; nevertheless, the author does an excellent job in depicting his opinions in vivid ways. One of the aspect I really appreciate is the little stories he uses. Those stories not only successfully make the entire book engaging, but also make it easier for readers to comprehend the opinions.
The ideas displayed in the book are priceless, such as the concept that “human are all algorithms“, and “discrepancy between narrating self and experimenting self.” The most significant lesson I have learned from the numerous opinions is the importance of free will. Since organisms’ soul is indeed electrical signals and algorithms, which will probably be programmable in the future, the independency of individual’s will become precious. It is significant to think independently because people will not know when the AI is going to make decision for them. Although writing this journal is a consequence of a bunch of electrical signals and algorithms in my brain, nobody else makes this decision for me, and therefore I enjoy writing it.
The book views future in an innovative angle, but most of its argument is based on past experiment or can be evidenced from past events. As a result, the content in the book becomes convincible. Though my brain is working at full speed when reading it to try to comprehend some content, I feel great and relaxed after comprehending the ideas without knowing why I feel so. Probably it is the magic of this book.
July 8th, 2018 - Ziwen
I went to learn fighting skills today. Just as I thought, it was very painful. I failed once when we were learning how to dodge straight punches. The cost was that I cancelled the date with my sister tomorrow.
Anyway I still enjoyed today, with peaceful morning and a somehow joyful noon. I left my key at home this noon. After standing in front of the door and feeding the mosquitoes for a while, I rode my two-wheel skateboard for 3 kilometers to find my mom and get the keys.
May 20th, 2018 - Tiffany
Today the weather is nice. My homestay asked me if I wanted to go and have a nice walk in Garry point with her dog named Xixi. It is such a sunny day, I can feel the warm sunshine just by looking at it. It sounded like a good choice, so why not? We drove about 10 minutes to the ocean near us. Because of the weather, many families decided to go out fly kites with their children and BBQ, which is my favourite thing to do in the park. We took off the dog’s leash and enjoyed the sunshine. If you had went there, you wouldn’t say “oh I feel like I wore too much clothes, because how much you wear is not enough when you go there. Overall, today is my first day of the long weekend, I wish there could be two more days like this!
May 19th, 2018 - Qintu
Gathering my belongings with my ruined fingers after the 3-hour guitar lesson, I was going to leave for home. All of sudden, Maria came in and announced an emergency and appealed to us to volunteer. The car of one of my peer’s family was experiencing a flat tire. No need for conclusions, hypothesis, analysis or reasons, I thought. This time I will follow my first reaction —— rush out of the door and see what I can do.
I, together with other peers and the family, wanted to lift up the car in order to change the flat tire. Our first step was to lift the car up, which we managed to do; however, we failed to unscrew the nails on the flat tire after a few attempts. If I decided to help without thinking, this time I will turn my logic on. The reason that we failed to unscrew the nails was that we lack proper knowledge, therefore I pulled out my phone immediately and started googling. Although I did not find the solution, I noticed that all the cars in the video tutorials which I was watching had tires with same nails, while the car we tried to fix had a tire with one nail shaped distinctly from the others. Then I realized that there must be some kind of tools that we didn’t find but can address this issue, otherwise we would be the first customers who reported this design failure of not having proper tools for Honda.
After a few more futile attempts, we most of the volunteers were asked to go home. I insisted on staying, but eventually I left reluctantly. I walked a hundred meters away. The sun cast its powerless light toward my back and created a long shadow. I stared at it, and I was contemplating with all my blood running toward my brain. I questioned myself; is it the right thing to just go away? Obviously there was nothing wrong if I left because I might not do much help at that point; however, I will feel bad if I left. I volunteered myself to do help, so I must help till I have no way to do so. This is my rule and theory, and this is the way I tackle problems. I thought this is a thing which is associated with my attitude and principle. I will feel like a puppet if I just walk away. It was the same as doing a Math test, I won’t give up even though the last question might be way harder than I can afford to solve. The long and slim shadow evoked my memory. I used to be a boy who could not keep my own principles. I had made enough decisions which made me regret. I was determined to establish a set of rules which I can carry out and persevere after I came to Canada two years ago. After thinking about this, I turned around and went back to the group. Now the sunshine fell on my face and I could no longer see my shadows. Nevertheless, the decision was not the end of the consideration because making ruthless decisions sometimes could be fatal. Therefore, I reassured that I could go back home before it was too late and I was able to have a dinner somewhere before I joined the remainders.
Had I not made that decision, I would not have been able to see the amazing things happen —— we found the tools we need to unlock the wheel lock. Nevertheless, things never turned out to be as easy as we have expected. There was one moment the front wheel no longer had the power to stabilize the entire car. The lifter shifted and the remaining wheels rolled backwards. It would be a catastrophe if someone had put his or her hand underneath the car. Fortunately, nobody got injured. Though it was a small accident, it could reflect the importance of safety. We should be aware of potential hazards and remember that safety is always the priority.
After half an hour’s work, the alternative tire was eventually installed on the car. Hunger, thirst and exhaust filled up my body; however, my mind was overwhelmed by excitement and joy. This was what made an ordinary day special, as well as what made a typical life meaningful.
May 19th, 2018 - Tiffany
Helping others is a nice thing to do during the vacation, not only can you solve a question by yourself, it was also nice memory! Today after school, my friend Elina’s mom experience a flat tire. When Maira came in and called us out to help change the tire, I was one of the first students who ran out to help. At that time Maria only said the boys should go when she saw me going out! “Who cares if I’m a girl or a boy, as long as I can help,” I murmured. When I went out, Elina’s mom was standing alone outside. She opened her car’s trunk, trying to find her jack and other tools to help out. Qintu was already holding the jack, trying to put the jack underneath the car to lift the car!
It would not be easy to change the car tire if you did not have enough experience before. I had watched my parents helped other people change the tire, so I tried to pull out my memory about how to change a tire. Qintu was trying so hard to unscrew the tire by using a special tool. A couple of minutes passed, he still couldn’t unscrew it. I decided to use my feet to help him. When I kicked the tools, the tire’s screws became loose, so I repeated. A couple of times later, we finished unscrewing the tire. At the same time, Elina’s mom tried her best to use to the jack to lift up the car. After we unscrewed all the screws, we took down the tire and put on the new one, which was found in the trunk! It was a nice job to do. It was unbelievable that we only spent 30 minutes to change a tire. I hope I can use the tips I have learned from this experience to help others out!
I was forced to go to the BMO marathon for the second time. BMO marathon happens every year on the first Sunday in May, and thousands of people participated on that day. I did as well.
It was about 8 a.m. when I arrived at downtown with the teachers and peers I know at IWE. We played games such as Chinese rope weaving when we were waiting at the starting line. I recalled I picked up a key when I ran last year, and I still keep it until today, which I don't really know why I do that. Then it was the time to start the marathon, and my shoelace got loose 5 times during the first minute because I was running. So I stopped running after 10 minutes (my shoelaces kept falling off and I really hated it).
I walked for almost the rest of the route. It's a little more than an hour and I was getting tired, and my feet were painful. I was thinking about a lot of things when I passed through all the people and the trees. I thought about all the things I did with my friends recently, what I should do after the run. As I went through all kinds of people during the marathon, I was thinking why they came here. Walking around the Stanley Park makes me recall a lot of things I forgot a long time ago.
At the end, I ran about an hour and fifteen mins which is better than I expected, but my feet felt like someone hit a nail into it. I guess the next few days will be torturous for me.
Today I went to run BMO Vancouver Marathon with other students from IWE study center. We selected 8 KM Running. I think that is the best choice for us. As teenagers, we don’t have enough energy to support us to run half of the marathon. 8 KM is kind of a challenge, but it also will not be really hard for us to complete it.
We all get together at Stanley Park at around 8:30 am. We take a picture of all of us first as a good memory. Then we started to warm up a little bit. Then, Andy and I went to the washroom, but when we came back we can’t find our team. So we just ran together without the team. It’s really easy for the first 2 KM, but after that I felt thirsty. The good thing is that there was the Water supply station for us at 3 Km. Also, they invited a band to play those encouraging music for us. I think that was a really good support for me. It actually helped me to feel a little bit easy. Then Andy told me that he saw a really beautiful girl.
When I am running from 3 Km to 4 Km, I saw that girl who is probably in University right now. I left Andy to follow her behind. Just when I was thinking whether I should go to say hi to her, she just started to talk to another man beside her. That’s probably her friend. I just gave up and went back beside Andy. After about 2 mins, I saw Qintu. I went to ran with Qintu, but I lost him at 5 km. That’s because I went to the Water supply station, but Qintu just passed the Water supply station and went forward.
After that, I was all on my own until the finish line. I stopped for a while to take my hoodie off, because it’s actually too hot. After I passed finish line, I saw Andy. He hurt his ankle. I guess he ran too fast at the end. So I helped him to the Medical Camp. Then I just left, but I forgot to get my medal. It took me so long to go back to get it. That’s a pretty good exercise. I would like to do it again next year.
It was a warm summer day, with an appealing sunshine casted all over Vancouver. I took part in the 8 km marathon at downtown. There are a heap of people, all exhilarated and excited.
I went there with a group of peers at IWE, together with the teachers. We practised some unprofessional warm up exercises, including various games which have names I could not point out clearly. I doubt about the efficiency of those warm up exercises in terms of relaxing muscles; however, the joy my peers provided was definitely a warm up for my heart.
The runners started to rush out group by group at around 9:40am at the starting line. Alone the route, there were a large number of enthusiastic crews, bands, volunteers and spectators. Those people waved, shouted and smiled, which actually provided an invisible power that lead people to go forward. At this time, I realized that this kind of encouragement not only was a philosophical theory, but also could practically inspire people. What was also astonishing was the capability to plan such a smooth event of the organizer. I thought it might include a lot of detailed work, communication, leadership and calculation.
One of the advantages of running with a group of people is that there will always be a runner that I can particularly look at who is slightly faster than I . It is unnecessary to pass my target, but such attention will actually help me propel myself. I found a guy as my target at the marathon. I passed him several times, but he was eventually ahead of me for he passed me just a few hundred of meters before the finishing line. It was exciting to run with him.
Apart from these, the most engaging aspect of running was that it was a way to achieve harmony. It might sound fantasy, but the feeling of peace existed indeed when I was running. Early before I started, I made myself clear that I was not going to think about anything except running towards the finish line. I love the feeling when I focus on one single task, and running precisely fits my appetite. On the other hand, I knew I was not going to stop either. I didn’t consider the results as one of the goals, whereas I regarded the attitude as a goal -- I desired to prove my attitude to myself through behaviour. With those two factors, I was able to focus my mind on just running for most of the time. I usually thought way more things than necessary in daily life, so it was such a jubilance for me to have so pure mind. As a result, I gained the invaluable harmony during the event.
I was too tired after rushing with a result of 44”43’, so I went into a sweet dream when I got home.
Mar 27th, 2018 - Mina
On March 19, 2018, I registered for the course of Water Safety Instructor Prep. This is my third level in order to get the certificate for becoming a Lifeguard. The course requires three days participation, from 9 am to 6 pm, extremely intensive.
On the first day, because physical fitness was not my strength, my self-confidence was weak at that point. There were twenty teenagers in my class; each one of them looked exceedingly robust and confident. I felt a little nervous and inferior at that point. Our instructor has a sense of humour, but he is pretty strict on giving us marks as a professional. His humour helped me relax in the beginning, but later I became much more stressed when he suddenly changed his attitude while evaluating us. We started on the land to learn the theory and course introduction first. In the afternoon, he did the evaluations on our dives and strokes. All of my strokes had big problems on that day, and above all, side stroke is the most dysfunctional one of mine. What’s even worse, I lost my glasses on that day. Life has taught me a lesson in a tough way that I need to pay more attention to what I am doing. I felt grieved. Why would anyone want to take a pair of glasses with my prescription？Undergoing a suffering day, not only physically but also mentally, I had to complete a lot of paperwork as homework for the course until midnight.
On next day, we were in the water all day, except for lunch. We started to help out the younger kids classes, which was entertaining. My favourite class was the preschool group. The only thing we did was playing around with them, and we were in the warmer pool while teaching. Unexpectedly, one of the kids made my day like a beam of sunshine. The cute girl refused to go home after class. “I will miss you,” she said, embracing my waist with both her arms. “Am I going to see you again?” Her sweet voice touched my heart like a gentle breeze. However, harsh training still comes according to the schedule. When we didn’t have classes, we could help out each other, working on the strokes. Our instructor assigned our groups, so I had two partners. They were tolerant at first but started to ignore me when they realized that I was weaker on my skills. I was humiliated by their reaction, but I refrained and kept on improving myself.
On the last day, we repeated the same task as on the second day, but in the afternoon, there was a girl who felt sick and went home. As a result, her partner must find another person to match with. The instructor asked our group to choose a person as his partner. One of my partners volunteered, but after she realized that she would be partnered with a boy, she retreated. Out of expectation, she told the instructor that I could be that boy’s partner, even without asking me. Even though changing partner was not my decision and obviously she bullied me, the outcome turned out not bad. Every cloud has its silver lining. My new partner was a warm-hearted guy, and his afternoon schedule was shorter than that of my previous group, so I got more time to practise my strokes. After my partner passed his strokes, he still continuously helped me with my strokes with great patience. He corrected most of the mistakes that I made. I felt such a relief when my instructor said that I improved a lot. Because my strokes were not passed at all on the first day, and all passed on the last day. I was very grateful how helpful my new partner was.
These three days were one of the most exhausting periods in my life. I was proud that I survived. From the experiences in this course, I learned three lessons. First, pay more attention to and care more about the surroundings all the time. Second, improving myself is the only way to earn others’ respect. Third, the harder I work, the luckier I will be.