Saturday, December 22, 2007

School Teacher sentenced to Death

Two school teachers have been sentenced to death in China for forcing more than 20 young girls - including some of their own pupils - into prostitution.
Zhao Qingmei and her husband, Chi Yao, were convicted of running a child-sex ring in the southern Guizhou province.
The girls, aged between 11 and 17, were taken to local hostels and reportedly told that their families would be poisoned if they refused to have sex. At least 12 other people convicted of involvement received jail sentences. They included two other teachers and the owners of hostels where the girls were taken. The official Xinhua news agency described Zhao and Chi, from the town of Xinfa, as China's most-wanted couple.
After the sex ring was uncovered, they fled to neighbouring Sichuan province, but were arrested in August after the authorities offered a 100,000 yuan (£6,700; $13,500) reward. Bijie Intermediate Court handed down the death sentences last Friday after hearing how the couple forced 23 girls into prostitution between March and June 2006. Six of the victims were under the age of 14. The court was told that the child-sex ring made 32,350 yuan. Chi's sentence was suspended for two years, and is likely to be commuted to life imprisonment.The couple have until 24 December to appeal against the sentences. (BBC News)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Study motivation

Skipping seminars to stay in bed? Here's how to avoid sleepwalking through your course, and get motivated.

Slackness explained
If you're hoping to give yourself a kick up the backside, begin by understanding why you've lost momentum in the first place. Only you can decide what's behind your work-shy attitude, but here are some of the main offenders:

Lack of focus - any long-term goals, like graduating, don't register;
Lack of interest - your coursework leaves you cold;
Lack of drive - you're not good at working under your own steam.
Other factors can include stress, depression, the break-up of a relationship, or problems with drink or drugs. The key is to highlight what's holding you back, in order to take steps to overcome the situation.

Share the problem
There's no shame in admitting you've been slacking. In many ways, it takes courage to admit the only time you get your head down is when it hits the pillow. What's more, people will want to help. Whether it's a good friend, a course tutor or your student welfare officer, they can help you get back on track. But first, of course, you have to want to help yourself.

Prepare to change
So you've worked out what's gone wrong, and taken steps to sort any underlying issues. With nothing to hold you back, you need to look at ways of firing your enthusiasm. There are several strategies, outlined below, but first establish the willpower to make them work for you. That you've identified a problem with knuckling down is an important first step. It shows you want to make a change. The key now is to build on it.

Motivation made easy
Get the work done properly, and you can kick back with a clear conscience. Here are the only four steps you need to achieve it:

1. Create the space
Wherever you live, from a hall of residence to shared accommodation, establish an area for you to work. Even if you don't have a desk, restricting a small area for you to open your books will help to create boundaries between work and play.

2. Ditch the distraction
Consider your working environment, and cut out anything that tempts you from the task at hand, such as the telly or even music. If you just can't work in silence, go for tunes without vocals or anything so complex you feel compelled to shut your eyes and listen. Review the state of your social life too. Instead of going out late through the week, consider staying in until the weekend, when you're free to party with a clear conscience.

3. Establish a work schedule
Often a fear of the workload ahead is enough to tempt many into work-dodging habits. The run up to exams is a case in point, and at no other time is it more crucial for you to get a grip. The way forward is to break up the slog into more manageable sessions. So, if you're faced with six hours worth of work, for example, why not split it into three two-hour sessions? You'll feel like you've achieved something faster, which is a buzz that'll keep you going.

4. Create regular breaks and rewards
There's nothing like the prospect of a treat to keep you focused, so be sure to pepper your sessions with them. Five minutes free time every hour, for example, will help to maintain that spark and drive. Use the opportunity to leave your working environment, get some fresh air, or do something that is rewarding to you. Also think on a long-term basis, and line up something really special for getting through your exams or academic year. As for the moment that you graduate, if you can say you've worked your hardest then you'll be guaranteed to enjoy the rest and relaxation that follows.(

How to study

While we know it can be dull, studying is part and parcel of being a student, so why not make it as easy as possible?

Before you start:
Buy a diary and use it. Put in deadlines for work, tutorials and exam dates and tick off the things you have done. Stick a copy of your timetable inside too, so you always know where you should be. This is a good habit to keep so don't let it die off.

Stock up on folders, dividers, paper and an assortment of pens. Try to keep things organised from the beginning. Even if you can't be bothered with many of these tips, putting your lecture notes in order as you go along will help.

Get to know your campus. Where are the computer rooms? Does you department have its own facilities (computers, printers, photocopying, research papers archive)? Where is the library? How does their catalogue system work?

OK so we know they're not compulsory but do try to go to them, and if your hangover is really too bad or the bar's too inviting to make it, at least get the notes off someone else. Get a copy of your syllabus, reading list and past exam papers as early on as possible and keep them with your notes. Tick off sections as you go along. If you feel your lecturer is making no sense, ask them to explain better, and if this fails mention the problem to your tutor.

Taking notes
Don't worry about making them neat as you can write them up properly afterwards. Don't take down every word they say, instead write down names, dates and key words, and listen to them. You can fill in the gaps afterwards, but only if you get the vital bits down. If you are a slow note-taker use a dictaphone and make full notes later.

Write them up
It may sound duller than dull but you'll be glad you bothered come revision time. Use your own words when writing notes and keep them brief, it will be easier to understand when you read them through again later. Set out your notes in a way that is easy to relate to the syllabus and use key words, that way you won't spend time searching for one fact among a mountain of pages.

Tutorials and seminars
These are where small groups of people on your course meet to discuss, debate, ask questions and get feedback on the course content. Seminars tend to involve more people and occur less often, while tutorials are slightly more intimate and often involve presentations.

It is important to go to most of your seminars and tutorials, as they will help facilitate your understanding of the topics, and prepare you for writing your essays. You are usually set work to prepare for each session too, some of which may count towards your final year assessment.

Finding study time
You usually find that lectures and tutorials take up very little time, leaving you many hours of each week free (especially for arts students). It can be easy to fill this free time doing very little, but if you want to stay ahead and have an active social life, set aside some time each week (say before or after a lecture) to study. You can use this time to rewrite notes, research essays and catch up on your reading. Find somewhere that you won't be interrupted, like the library, your room, or the local park.

Active study
Set reading is often dull, rather than reading pages and taking nothing in try taking the odd note as you go along to keep you focused.

Don't spend all your time studying, uni life has much more to offer, the idea of good study technique is to free you from stress and cramming so you can go and enjoy it, and that's not so dull now, is it?(

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


There once was an oyster whose story I tell,
Who found that some sand had got into his shell.
It was only a grain, but it gave him great pain
For oysters have feelings although they are so plain.

Now, did he berate the harsh workings of fate
That brought him to such a deplorable state?
Did he curse at the government, cry for election,
And claim that the sea should have given him protection?

No, he said to himself as he lay on a shell,
Since I cannot remove it I shall try to improve it.
Now the years have rolled around, as the years always do.
And he came to his ultimate destiny:stew

And the small grain of sand that had bothered him so
Was a beautiful pearl all richly aglow.
Now the tale has a moral, for isn’t it grand
What an oyster can do with a morsel of sand?

What couldn’t we do if we’d only begin
With some of the things that get under our skin.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Education for world

Education rules the world. Hence, education is essential. To share something, this is my attempt.