Monday, January 26, 2015

The MetroDBITan student series : Issue #040 - Zhu Lifen

Welcome to the first issue of MetroDBITan for the year 2015!

In the blink of an eye.. we are into issue #040 already, meaning that we have featured exactly 39 DBIT students over the last two years and today, we finally cross the 40 mark! :)

Since this month is January, I have picked a January baby to feature this time!  An interesting fact I found out as I was sieving through our list of DBIT students who are born in this month - there are very few of them, just nineteen students out of about our current cohort of 400 Year 1 to Year 3s!

Year 1 student, Zhu Lifen is one of them!
Lifen is a student I have taught since she first joined SP  in April last year, so I was really glad that we are featuring her this month as it gives me a chance to know more about her.

And indeed, it was an enjoyable discovery for me as I interviewed her.  Join me in to understand more about Lifen below! :)

Lifen, a Happy Belated Birthday to you!  Please tell us more about yourself and how you celebrated your birthday this year.

I was born on 10 January 1997. I was told by my parents and friends, that because I was born in the early part of the year before the Lunar New Year, my Chinese zodiac is the sign of the Rat instead of the sign of the Ox, which is what most of my friends have.

This year I had a slightly special birthday. This was the first time when so many friends came together for my 18th birthday, as we only knew each other for less than a year! I was awfully welcomed with a plate of whipped cream right when I stepped out of the classroom. I had a really tough time cleaning myself and eventually I had no choice but to walk around with my oily hair for the next few hours. We also went to have dinner at a restaurant. It was the same case when my secondary school friends came together to celebrate my birthday but the only difference was, the cream is from the cake itself!

For the past years, birthdays have always been like normal days to me, but I have great friends around always putting in effort, spending money and setting aside time just for me. So I am really grateful for each and every one of them.

Something I realized is that I have been bashed by cake, flour and whipped cream. I guess it has become a tradition and I am always ready to face it, if there is more to come.

Lifen, ou are a January baby, also a Capricorn. Read the description at this link and this link and share with us which parts of the profile describe you accurately, and which do not.

Capricorn by Ripnel Patricia
I find that many parts of the Capricorn’s profile describes me especially the Sun, and Moon in Capricorn.

“Capricorns can sometimes be rather lonely people, although they rarely let it show. They are often a little reserved—even standoffish. This is generally because they value all things practical, and they'll seldom wear their emotions on their sleeves, unless they have a particularly flamboyant Moon sign.”

I think this perfectly expresses my inner self and feelings as I tend to keep my feelings to myself and feel vulnerable if I give away too much of them.

“This position of the Moon suggests a desire for clear boundaries and realistic goals. Not much for taking risks in life, Lunar Capricorns look for safety and security in most everything they do. Most of them respect authority and tradition, and many are planning well ahead of the rest of us. You likely won't have to remind them to protect their interests, plan for old age, or keep fall-back money in their bank accounts. These things come naturally to them.”

This is accurate in describing me as my siblings commented many times that I tend to have an ‘old-fashioned and traditional’ mindset. This actually makes me appear to be more mature compared to my age. It probably explains why my parents trusted me more compared to my siblings.

Do a Myer-Briggs personality test at this link. After you get your results, read the analysis at this link and share whether you agree or disagree with the analysis of yourself

My personality result shows that I am an ISTJ, 89% towards the introvert side.

Some qualities posted on the ISTJs are honest and direct, calm and practical, judgemental, and always by the book which I agree to.

I tend to be very honest with my friends as I would give my feedback as truthfully as possible whether it is good or bad. Although it may be a good thing, it actually makes me more boring and dull to hang out with as a person as I gave sharp and honest response to jokes sometimes.

Most of the time, I appear very calm on the outside. In fact, I look so 'cool' that people think I have a ‘black face’ or ‘expressionless’ and some of my friends even think I am sad all the time! Many people tend to misunderstand as I do not express much emotions or feelings. To tell the truth, not many things actually excite me to give excited responses.

Share stories and photos about your baby / childhood days

I cannot really remember my childhood days as I have a really bad memory.

But one of the most vivid memories of those days when I was young is that I was so tall and big-sized back then, and other kids were so small standing beside me. People got scared of me, and I barely had any friends until I was in Primary 4 when the others grew a little taller and I seemed less intimidating. I was 132cm and 33kg in Primary one!!

Share stories and photos about your school days in primary school

I was from a neighbourhood school, White Sands Primary School. When I refer to it as “neighbourhood”,  I actually meant a school which is a 5 minutes walk from my house.

I have always been very enthusiastic when it comes to Chinese lessons as I find that the Chinese language is something that I can closely relate to, with understanding and appreciation. Also, I have also obtained good results to my assessments related to Chinese, so it makes me enjoy Chinese lessons more ever since primary school!

Share stories and photos about your school days in secondary school

Just like my younger days, I also attended a neighbourhood secondary school which is very near to my house. A 10 minute walk from my place this time.

I guess my parents are not the kind who consider prestigious schools to be the best choice, and I thank them for not putting pressure on me when I did not score well. They tend to not interfere with me and my sibling’s studies as they think that we should be the one responsible and take control of it.

I was in Media Resource Library in secondary school. Though I originally wanted to join the school’s badminton team, I realised that it was only open for boys! When I found out, I became so disappointed. None of the other CCAs captured my liking, thus I settled for a less burdensome one.

To be honest, none of the subjects in secondary school caught my interest except Chinese. Hence, I always found it to be a breather for me to take a good break between classes.

Some pictures of me and my secondary school friends are appended below:

Share your likes and dislikes

Two of my all-time favourite things to do are to watch good movies and to eat good food!

I tend to seek movies and food as a source to de-stress whenever I encounter problems and unhappy things or feel stressed out. One benefit from watching movies is that I can actually pick up some knowledge and learn why some people actually behave this way and also improve my language skills.

I have watched countless of movies thus whenever someone asks for my recommendation, I can't think of any as there are so many good ones around. But if I was to choose one that left a deep impression, it would be the ‘War of the Worlds’ in which Tom Cruise starred as the main character. Some other movies would be these :

And here's the photos of the food I like alot!

Share an event which is memorable to you
A really scary moment up to date was when I first entered Singapore Polytechnic.

It was the biggest decision I have ever made all by myself as my parents believe that they could not decide my future for me. When most of my friends decided to enroll in Temasek Polytechnic, I swayed a little. As I have been an introvert most of my life, I have always been afraid to be in a crowd. What’s more they are all strangers whom I've never met! But as I considered my future carefully, I thought that this school will give me more opportunity to grow and learn.

Eventually, I decided that I have to be brave and make the right decision for myself, and seek for better opportunity in a completely new environment.

What's your dress-style like?

Basically, my main color for outfits has always been black or other basic colors like white or grey.

Black is a color where I feel safe and hidden in it. It makes me feels comfortable although many of my friends think that black is a really ’emo’ and sad color.

Me in Black

Me in White

Three people that you want to thank or shout out to?

I would like to give a shout out to one of my best friends who has always been there for me for the past 8 years, accepting me and making me who I am today.

Me, Celeste and Celine
After that, it would be to two great people I've met this year, Celine Tan and Celeste Tan! They are among the most sincere people I've met although it has only been 9 months since I first know them. I was really afraid that I wouldn't be able to find real friends to talk to as I heard from my older sibling talking about her poly life. But they have proven it otherwise.

Have you travelled anywhere before? If so, which countries have you been? Which country do you like most?

I have travelled to China and Malaysia.

Although both my parents came from China and then settled in Singapore, me and my siblings had only managed to visit China for the first time last year, 2014. We met our cousins for the first time ever since we were born, so we felt a little awkward as we had a gap in communication as their Chinese was so ‘cheem’.

Though we only stayed for a week, it was really good to be there as the whole family consisting nearly 15 of them welcomed us and brought us around to eat good food.

China’s culture felt so different from Singapore. For example, when you sit in their caf├ęs, you can be dragging tables around and making A LOT of noise, with everyone shouting across, and nobody actually cares.

Why did you choose DBIT course?

I chose DBIT course because I have always thought that if I were to pick up a skill or two like having to code my own website, or learning how to make use of technology to improve life, it would be really cool and useful.

But apart from the technology aspect, I also felt that learning how a business works and its industry is necessary, thus I chose DBIT course which offers these.

Another reason is that I do not think I have such a strong passion for IT thus I did not go all out for DIT course.

What do you like about DBIT course so far?

What I like about DBIT course is that the IT skills I have learnt are very useful in application to business. Like how we could create our own websites if we want to set up a small online shop. Also, we are given the chance to learn as much in both industries and widen our knowledge.

What do you plan to do after graduation from SP?

After graduation from SP, I will want to enrol in a university. If my circumstances allow, I would most probably go for further studies immediately. But if my results does not qualify, I would work and gain some experience in the industry and save up for further studies after a year or two.

What are your favourite modules in SP? 

So far, my favourite modules in SP is Social Media Marketing. It had left a deep impression on me when we first heard that we had to go out and look for a company to work with as our very first project as a year one student!

Although it sounds intimidating and I felt helpless at first, I had a really great time working on that project especially when I have a really good team. Social Media Marketing module gave us a chance to discover what we are actually capable of and it helped me to grow throughout.

If I were to compare myself before and after SMM module, I would say I have changed. I managed to overcome my fear of giving presentation and also much braver in trying out things. Though I am still learning, SMM module is definitely the biggest helping hand to my learning.

Where do you hope to see yourself in 10 years time?

In ten years time, I would probably find myself going for a regular 9-5 job every day. Whether is it in Business or IT industry, I am not sure either…

Please share some pictures of your past projects / assignments

Here's the website design I created for the modules I took last semester.

Are you currently attached with a partner? 

I do not have a partner at the moment. I am the type who would not go out and seek for romance but rather prefers it to happen naturally.

It would be nice if the guy is taller than me and probably have a really nice character which could handle mine.

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