Monday, April 17, 2017

Mid April

Can you believe it’s mid-April? Where did time went?
It’s also Easter. Happy Easter Holidays!
Today marks the end of spring break, a 2-week break after last days of classes. I mostly spent my time learning Arduino, a microcontroller for the SensUs competition, which is scheduled in September in Eindhoven. A team of university students developing a Biosensor seems like a tall order, considering not everyone is putting in 100%, be it due to constraint and limitation of time, commitment or ability. I sometimes wonder if the hours spent in the lab at Rankine Level 8 is well-spent. 
I attended a 3-day workshop on Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) organised by Adam Smith Business School last week. It’s a Western scientific skill to influence and network. I feel that most of the elements are practiced in the East, but not as quantified. 
I would call it realistic psychology-networking skills. There are a few takeaway points:
-          - Deliverying powerful presentation
-          - Reading social situations
-          - Building rapport (mutual trust)

The first skill is to ‘match’ your counterpart. You could act and speak alike, following the pace, mimicking her/him. Humans are with energy, and you need to send and reflect it. We have 3 brains: The cognitive mind (divided into conscious and unconscious mind) and the sematic (our stomach brain / instinct). It is important to communicate with our counterpart’s 3 brains.
We will also have to understand a counterpart’s sensing preference, which is divided into audio, visual and kinesthetic. Most people are visual and/or kinesthetic.  
And there is a point on managing challenging people. Actually, the challenging thing is the inability of me to build rapport. It was interesting to meet students from around the world. A few friends concurred that NLP was at times unrealistic, and that at times, you need to fight fire with fire. I feel there’s some Buddhism and Confucius in NLD.  
Key NLP Principles are:
-          - You choose and control your own attitude. No one could make me angry. I make myself angry.
-          - Take responsibility of your results.
-          - There is no failure, just feedback.

In a nutshell, I think NLP encourages us to always be positive, or to always look for positives in a challenging situation, and to leave things in good terms. Make more friends, rather than enemies, because you never know what the future holds.
Overall, David Potter gave us a wonderful 3 day workshop.

Although I slipped off on Day 2 to catch Liverpool’s home game against Bournemouth.
I had to come, because I have never sat at the Kop End - Didn't manage to seat anyway
Only seating down during Half-time Break 
Still a fantastic but tiring experience at the Kop

During the week, Hiew was in town for a day-trip from Dundee. And I had the pleasure to for a free-ride. It was good to catch up with old friends. He’s also a friend I met through IET, 10 years ago, when we were still undergrads. How time has passed, but friends still remain. I remember the days we went over to UCSI for Transmitter Hunts and they came to Uniten for BBQ Night Out. 
It reminds me that nothing beats having sincerity and pleasant relationships with people around us. 
Vincent Van Gogh's at Kelvingrove Museum
That's my uni
George's Square
The statue in front of the Museum of Modern Art - The traffic cones wouldn't disappear! 
I admit I wasn’t productive for the past 2 weeks. Some pitiful revision on Power Systems 4 doesn’t look promising. I had just downloaded Past Year Exams for Energy Storage and Energy from Waste. And I have just realised the challenge of engineering exams! It's always a tall order, and I would need to start doing the hard work now.
End of May, my family is coming to town! As of now, I have completed all accommodation and logistics booking. We will have a road trip to Isle of Skye, tour around Belfast, Edinburgh and Glasgow in 12 days. Hopefully the folks back home will enjoy.