Wednesday, February 14, 2018

LDR

Happy Valentine's Day, readers! Yeah, it is such a coincidence that I'm writing this article about love on Valentine's Day, which is aptly (although not necessarily) represented by couples giving chocolates, candies, and the like, expressing this important and immortal quality of humanity. Before we go further, let me do a real quick check: do you know what 'LDR' stands for?


Although it might sound like the name of an organization (think of IBM, WHO, or BBC), 'LDR' is actually the abbreviation of 'long-distance relationship', in contrast to 'SDR', which is the short form of 'short-distance relationship' (honestly, I don't know whether the term 'SDR' legitimately exists or not and I am too lazy to do research by googling it *LOL*. I'm going to use it throughout the article as it sounds harmonic with its 'sibling'. *grinning*). As for the meaning, I don't think I'd have to expound it to you, as it is crystal-clear that 'LDR' refers to a relationship in which the lovers live far away, separated by long distances (well, that's a bonus for you). I believe that not many people have this kind of relationship, but some do. And, I am one of them. However, this article will not be focusing on my relationship with my overseas girlfriend, but rather it contains insights into an LDR, partly derived from my experience as a 'performer' of this life choice. Let's get started.

Most people in an LDR, by the very fact that they live thousands of miles from their loved ones, cannot frequently meet. And this is I think what most people would agree is the greatest challenge of living in an LDR. The feeling of missing between the lovers must be, to a great degree, deeper than that felt by SDRers, and it can literally bring them to the point of being extremely emotional. Tears rolling down the cheeks could be a common sight among LDRers. While SDRers can be in close proximity to their loves whenever they want (it is not necessarily true, but I'd say most of them would meet their partners at least once a week, typically on the weekend), long-distance 'fighters' have to have a huge supply of patience as they need to wait for ages before hugging and kissing their babies. Hugging and kissing. Right. Unlike SDRers, the encounters had by LDR couples typically do not outnumber (half of) your hand fingers, and it is plausible to think that this results in them doing the two affectionate acts many more at one time that their short-distance counterparts. However, as with other types of relationships, the primary recipe for success in an LDR is communication. The quality and quantity have to be maintained in such a way that the passion between the couple keeps on burning. Thanks to technology, now it is super easy to reach your beloved one, say, who is 1,000 miles away. Two of the apps that I recommend LDRers use for video calls are WhatsApp and Messenger. Although you can't really touch your partners via this kind of program, they are really helpful when it comes to having an LDR.

A friend of mine (a former colleague, if I'm not mistaken) once suggested that it would be economical to have an LDR since the couple meet much more rarely than SDRers. I would say that this might or might not be the case, depending on certain factors. LDRers may need to save up a lot for flight tickets; these could cost hundreds of dollars (I myself would need to pay approximately 110 USD for a round-trip flight ticket at a minimum). In addition, they might need to "make up for" what they would have done as an SDR couple: having fun at tourist attractions, having dinner, buying couple clothes, etc. I also heard this sort of notion that LDRers are prone to unfaithfulness, or that it is wiser not to be in an LDR as there is the insecure feeling that your partner will cheat on you. Well, I'd argue that SDRers also cannot escape the fact that there are also numerous opportunities for them to date another man or woman and break their romantic promise. I believe it is all rooted in commitment; it goes back to their very own heart. One won't be swayed into another's arm if they genuinely love their partner, whatever the situation is.

The last comment I would like to make is about the status of an LDR itself. I have the conviction that LDRs cannot go forever: ultimately, they need to transform into SDRs. So we might see an LDR as a stepping-stone into a more 'perfect' state of relationship, where a man or woman can be in full intimacy with their beloved one. As this is a very important matter, an LDR couple ought to discuss it seriously and decisively.

LDRs are not for the faint-hearted. It demands courage, perseverance, resilience, and, last but not least, commitment.

Are you in an LDR? Or do you know someone who is in an LDR? Please share your thoughts and/or experiences in the comments below!
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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Quote #36

"Nothing should be immune to criticism, even the seemingly grandest, deeply established, and widely & highly respected ideas. Everything can be criticized, and should be criticized when necessary." - Klinsman Hinjaya
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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Quote #35

"Bigotry, in all its forms, is to be condemned and uprooted to its very essence." - Klinsman Hinjaya
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Monday, February 5, 2018

Are We a Perfect Being?

The statement that we, humans (I believe no other organisms are capable of reading and understand this line), are a sort of creation that is impeccable, flawless, and the most majestic of all is ubiquitous. But do we really live up to the grandeur reputation that is passionately voiced in many, or even all, corners of the world?


The answer is "unfortunately" no. Let's probe into why this is the case.

Humans are living beings, just like other animals (I say "other" because we are animals), such as fish, iguanas, cats, dogs, and dinosaurs (birds included), as well as plants, which comprise those flowery stuctures making up your beautiful garden, if you do have one. All living things, including our little friends and foes bacteria, undergo a morphing process called evolution, that is gradual change in response to their environment for the sake of survival. In this harsh world, as we know and realize, sh*t happens, so not all individuals make it. Those who do not manage to continue their odysseys in this world are extinct, leaving the others with their "successful", selected traits. This phenomenon is known as natural selection, which, along with the theory of evolution, was proposed by British naturalist Charles Darwin in his 1859 seminal book On the Origin of Species.

Intermezzo: It is a real shame that the theory of evolution is still denied by many people, claiming that it is "just a theory." One must comprehend that scientists use the term differently from the hoi polloi, and we do have such an abundant amount of evidence pointing to the truth of evolution that it is unarguably, in everyday language, a fact.

Evolution has been going on ever since the first organisms appeared on Earth and the unfathomably deep passage of time that has passed by has resulted in the wondrous world we inhabit today, with the evolution-shaped, extraordinarily rich diversity of life spread all around it. It can be said that we are hyperlucky since we are some of the last remnants of life (shouldn't we be grateful?), those that represent the leaves on the tree of life or, in scientific terminology, phylogenetic tree.

All the individuals of the current life on this planet are "champions" in that we are the last bits of myriad unbroken chains that lead to the first ancestors of all living beings that have ever existed in the world, implying survival of mind-bogglingly immense magnitude. And all of us come with features that were left by our predecessors as a legacy. Modern humans have super complex brains and definitely are the most intelligent species on the globe. However, if you carefully examine the human body, many of the organs are not as "perfect" as people generally might think. Take the eye as an example. While it is true that our eyes are magnificent, they are not as remarkable as those of eagles, which can see four or five times farther than humans. Nevertheless, it doesn't mean eagles' eyes are "better" or "more perfect" than humans'; eagles' eyes evolved in that way because they are required for hunting prey, while humans do not need such visual acuity for their survival. Returning to the fabulosity of the human brain, our intelligence hallmark exists merely as a result of adaptation to our surroundings. This is also to say that we, including our brains, are still constantly evolving towards new trends as necessary – there is no such word or expression as "peak" or "end point" in the dictionary of evolution. In his best-selling book The God Delusion, British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins also enlighteningly points out that humans do possess infirmities caused by things such as lower back pain and prolapsed uteruses, owing to our upright stance after being in the quadrupedal mode for a vast swath of time.

Nevertheless, it must be admitted that Homo sapiens is a very successful species, and with our brain and, especially, I think, our social bonds and skills (among all the "strengths" we possess), we can make up for our "weaknesses". It would have been difficult for a single human to kill a mammoth alone, so he or she worked together to take it down. We couldn't swim like fish, so we came up with ships, scuba-diving apparatus, and the like. We couldn't fly as birds do, so we invented the airplane and similar things intended for navigating through the air. We even remain the only group of living beings capable of exploring the space. Humans, in a sense, are definitely a barrier-breaking species.

To add another argument against our "perfectness", it is useful to think that a number of members of our own species are born with diseases or abnormalities. Think of those cancer-suffering or limbless newborns, for example. Clearly, pathologies can occur at any point in our lives and this is, in fact, natural, as we ourselves are part of the natural world. Additionally, needless to say, we all eventually will come to a point called death.

So are we a perfect being? Well, as they say, nobody's perfect. ;)
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Friday, January 26, 2018

Quote #34

"Never beg people to be beside you, because if they do so due to your plea and obstinacy, they will eventually leave you." - Klinsman Hinjaya
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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Quote #33

"A society is at its lowest level when there is persecution of those who proclaim and advocate the truth." - Klinsman Hinjaya
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Friday, January 5, 2018

Quick Tips on the IELTS Test


Many people in the world would like to pursue their dreams by continuing their studies in their favorite universities or working in top global companies. If the organizations are located in English-speaking countries, it is very likely that one of the requirements is in the form of a test or exam such as TOEFL or IELTS. In this article, I am going to give you quick tips for achieving a good (or even great) band score on the IELTS test.

One of the Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” This is just true in the case of IELTS taking. Before you face the real test, make sure you devote a sufficient amount of time to getting prepared for it.

The very first thing you should do is to familiarize yourself with the test format and band score criteria. You have to be able to answer questions such as How many and what types of questions are there in the Listening part?, How many texts are there in the Reading component and how long does it last?, What is the minimum number of words do test-takers have to write in the IELTS Writing? In addition, keep in mind what you have to do so as to achieve your desired band score. For instance, to reach a band score of 8 in the IELTS Speaking, you must “use paraphrase effectively as required”, and to attain a 7 in Writing Task 1, you have to “use a variety of complex structures”. Knowing these will be of great mental advantage to you in tackling the exam, with good time management being one of the results.

Possessing that knowledge alone is not enough. In order to succeed in the IELTS, you also need to do a substantial amount of practice. It is highly advisable that you do many practice tests. Make sure you practice carrying out the various possible task types; for example, in the IELTS Reading there are multiple choice, identifying information, identifying the writer’s views/claims, matching information, matching headings, and so on. What is more, put a lot of effort into honing the skills that are required to get your target band score – these might include paraphrasing and using complex structures (see above). Learning with an IELTS tutor can be very helpful too as they can monitor your progress and give you feedback based on your performance – what is already good and what still needs to be improved on.

Last but not least (and perhaps one that is often forgotten or missed by IELTS participants), ensure that you are physically fit and remain calm during the test. Nourish your body with plenty of nutrients and, while practicing can take a lot of energy, remember to always have enough rest and sleep. Taking an exam can also be especially stressful, with students sweating being a common sight in examination rooms. Getting nervous can lead to your mind going blank and it definitely reduces your chance of performing to the best of your abilities on the IELTS test. Test-takers might find the effect even stronger in the Speaking section, where they need to give responses to an examiner face-to-face. Therefore, relax and enjoy the “show” – relishing your favorite beverage before the test begins might help. Wish you the best of luck with the IELTS test!

Information about IELTS can be accessed at https://www.ielts.org.
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