Saturday, July 30

My Millennial Trains Project: Organisations I'll Be Learning From

This week, I will embark on a soul-seeking journey across the US with the Millennial Trains Project.
   
From July 31 to August 7, I will be away on a transcontinental train journey across the US together with the most amazing individuals from around the world.

During my journey, I will:
1) Learn about efforts to bridge educational disparities in undeserved communities (low income, minority, refugee, immigrant, etc). I will visit individual/s, school/s or organisation/s, learn the what, why, & how of their program/s, & share everything I've learned online so that my fellow educators around the world can benefit too.

2) Propose a Youth Video Exchange Project between students in the US & Malaysia. I want to be able to give back to the cities that I'm visiting. Something that will be useful to them. Therefore, I will invite the teachers in those cities to mentor a team of their students in this video exchange project.

Here is the list of organisations that I am scheduled to meet for my project:

Monday, July 25

Pokémon GO: The Easiest Way To Get Pokécoins (Legally)!

This method is legal too! =D
Very important because you don't want to be blocked from the game from using one of those hacks. Also, you don't know what those hackers will do with your login information.
     
If you have read some of the guides online like this one, you would have been mislead. Because they probably cut & paste each other without having played the game & understanding how the Gym Reward system actually works. I read all of them & was mislead for a very long time until I was enlightened by a trainer untainted with such misinformation.

In this blog post, I share a way for even a low-level trainer with low-CP pokémon to get free pokécoins legally.

Friday, July 22

The Millennial Trains Project: A Transcontinental Conference On Tracks

from millennialtrain.co
Whoever designed this cabin is a genius!
     
I am very honored to announce that I will be one of the 50 millennials accepted into the very selective Millennial Trains Project (MTP). This year, there are 2 journeys with 25 participants each: Change & Unity.

Basically, the MTP is a whole new way to conference. Participants take part in talks & workshops from distinguished mentors inside a metallic retro train slowly moving across the US. We'll be able to pick the best minds in the US. Furthermore, the train will also make several stops along the way where participants will get the chance to learn from local leaders/organisations as well as run a personal project during those stopovers.

My project involves going to PittsburghChicagoAlbuquerqueKansas City, & Los Angeles:
1) Learn about efforts to bridge disparities in education with at-risk communities (low income, minority, refugee, immigrant, etc). I will visit individual/s, school/s or organisation/s, learn the what, why, & how of their program/s, & share everything I've learned online so that my fellow educators around the world can learn too.

If you know of an individual, school, or organisation in PittsburghChicagoAlbuquerqueKansas City, or Los Angeles who are doing great things for their local communities, PLEASE CONNECT US! I would love to learn from them & share their great work with the world!

2) Propose a Youth Video Exchange Program between students in the US & Malaysia. It's not fair if all I did was take from the cities that I'm visiting. I want to leave them with something that will be useful to them. Therefore, I will be extending a video exchange project invitation to the school students/teachers in those cities.

If you know a school teacher who might be interested in being a mentor to a team of their students & see the students develop into Global Citizens with Multicultural Literacy & an International Perspective, PLEASE CONNECT US! I would love to invite them to sign their students up for the Youth Video Exchange Program.

This is my profile on the MTP website.
      
In this blog post, I write about the MTP application process & how I made my application. Hopefully, this will be helpful to you as you draft a successful application.

Tuesday, July 19

Pokémon GO: How To Level Up (Your Trainer) Like A Pro

         
Early in the game, pretty much anything you do will result in a level up. You'll probably get up to level 15 before you start to feel that the game get draggy.

I pretty much stumbled my way onto level 15 pretty quickly just by exploring the game & the pokémon available nearby. Then, I started to feel the game drag. It was a long time before I leveled up again. Think about it: Every pokémon you catch only provides 100 experience points (XP). In order to collect the 20,000 XP required to level up, I'll have to catch 200 pokémon! Needless to say, it was a real pain! So, I formed a strategy which helped me to advance through the levels pretty quickly.

Here, I share the strategy. This is something I wish I knew when I first started playing. I hope that this will help you to level up faster than I did!

Friday, July 15

The Youth Video Exchange Project Between The United States & Malaysia

I really need your help to spread the word. If you think that this project will be beneficial to the youth in either country, please share. Let's make this viral.
REGISTRATION CLOSED

Once upon a time, a handwritten parchment was a cherished means of bringing people together. It is still low-cost & easily accessible so, for many years, I used it for a meaningful writing project which connected the beautiful children at my secluded school deep in the jungles of Borneo with those in other parts of Malaysia. I've seen first-hand how both sides benefited from the exchange & gained so much from each other even though the exchange was merely intra-national.

Despite coming to the US as a Fulbright scholar, my heart has always been with the children in Malaysia: What can I do to help them develop into wholesome global citizens? Also, as a guest to the United States, I've also been wondering what I could offer to this country that has so graciously hosted me at a top university as well as exposed me to their greatest minds & ideas. I have been truly blessed & I want to pay it forward.

With the rise of social media & the increasing popularity of short videos, a video exchange project between youths in the US & Malaysia is timely & relevant to a new generation of social natives. As they engage in the project, they will develop leadership skills, speaking skills, presentation skills, technical skills, an international perspective & an understanding of cultures other than their own, much of which can never be taught in a traditional classroom setting. These skills will be invaluable to them in an ever globalizing world suffering from depressed economies. Video exchanges are already happening & will continue to happen in ever increasing numbers. Why don't we use it for educational purposes & to promote cultural exchange?

Tuesday, July 12

International Fulbright Panel - Writer's Workshop for High School Students @ Sarah Lawrence College

On July 7 2016, an invited panel of current & alumni Fulbrighters spoke at the Writer's Workshop for High School Students
by Sarah Lawrence College, Yonkers Public Schools, & Fulbright NY.
Panelists: Mariam Farooqi (Pakistan), Mir Hassan (Pakistan), Tony Spanakos (US Fulbright Alumnus to Brazil/Venezuela), Jarod Yong (Malaysia), & Josephine Dorado (President of Fulbright NY).
       
For more than 15 years, Sarah Lawrence College (SLC) has held this 5-day Writer's Workshop for High School Students. This program aims to provide a safe environment for participants to experience writing in a non-competitive, & non-judgmental environment while encouraging risk, exploration, and adventure in the creative process. Every day, participants take part in writing & theater workshops led by performance artists, writers, & poets.

The third day of the workshop is International day. This is when participants are encouraged to take on a global perspective & explore writing/theater from across the globe. This is also when a panel of Fulbrighters are invited to speak to these brilliant young minds who are potentially future US Fulbrighters who will contribute to international cultural & educational exchange.

Prior to my participation in the panel, I wanted to read up about it so that I could prepare myself accordingly. However, I couldn't find any details on the internet as I only knew this workshop as the "Youth Mentoring Initiative". In this blog post, I'll share my observations as well as what happened during the day for the benefit of Fulbrighters who are invited to be part of future panels.

Monday, July 11

Pokémon GO: How To Start With A Pikachu As Your First Pokémon

Who can say no to this face?
Pikachu is excited to join you too!
       
I started playing Pokémon Go last night & nabbed Pikachu as my first pokémon!
How did I do it? It's very simple. ANYONE can do it! Also, it might just be the most important thing to do first in the game!

Wednesday, July 6

An International Student's Guide To Renting In New York

To tell you the truth, it was a real pain in the beehind.
*ouch*
If you're an international student, let me save you A TON of trouble by telling you to STAY IN CAMPUS HOUSING at least for your first year while you familiarize yourself with different areas of the city & the legal requirements of renting. If you think that campus housing is too expensive, compare it to the median rent chart here & Craigslist listings in the area.

As international students, we don't meet 2 fundamental qualifying criteria:
1. a good credit score
2. an income of at least 40x monthly rent

Tenants in New York have many laws protecting their rights. Therefore, landlords are wary of bad tenants and have imposed strict requirements to protect themselves. Also, in New York, there is more demand than supply, so it's a landlord's market. Believe me, there are plenty of people desperate enough to sign a lease for a horrible apartment. Also, there will be many unreasonable landlords & many apartments in horrible conditions (with bugs, rats, leakages, no gas, no heating, etc).

I've heard too many horror stories about renting in New York. It's a great topic for conversations & you'll find instant rapport trading horror stories with other New Yorkers. Thankfully, I'm telling the stories instead of living one. Yes, despite the barriers, it is possible for international students to lease an apartment, & yes, we can avoid being the main character in a horror story.

In this blog post, I will share the insights I've gained while looking for an apartment in New York as an international student. Hopefully, it will save you a lot of trouble & help you make a more informed decision on your home away from home.

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