Leaning in

Just picked up “Lean In” from Sheryl Sandberg and skimmed through the introduction part, I’ve found that it is very inspirationally different from the other ‘feminist’ messages that have been going on for years.

The difference that I find in this book is that, it’s all about looking at different perspectives and exercising the rights flexibly. Ms. Sandberg does clearly accept that “Not all women want careers. Not all women want children. Not all women want both”. This statement reminds me to the premise put forth by the movie “Iron Jawed Angels”, which have presented the case of extreme feminists who so aggressively demand the rights for women and demand that all women should stand up to fight.

That should not be the case as Ms Sandberg states in her intro. To me, fighting for equality really should be to fight for the availability of possibility for women in order to develop themselves as they want to be – being a great businesswoman, great leader in whatever fields that previously are reserved just for men, or even just to be a great housewife – without having to suffer discrimination or harassment or belittling. It should be like creating chances and empowering women and making them aware of their own chances – it would depend on each woman to choose the suitable option for herself.

Now I’ll be ‘leaning in’ to the main content of this book, expecting more greatness and deeper insights with the issue.

The other side of not having your friends in the group…

[This is going to be a rant about working in group]

The good thing about working in group with different people is you have the chance to know new people, and the chance to experience the working ethics of them.

And…that’s also exactly the bad thing about it, especially when the person who didn’t do any of the work – because he’s been too busy working for events outside and school’s works just aren’t good enough to build up his CV – talked like he had to bear the responsibility for the whole group! 

I just hate people like that. I am not against people that prioritize working outside to studying in school – maybe they’re aiming to be the next Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates or so they think that student’s life must  – but when it affects other people (me, in specific), it’s not acceptable. The least he could do is to politely inform me and the rest of the group of this “mishap” and then tell everyone to help him. Instead, he went silent the entire time not even bother commenting on the task allocation, and then last minute popped up to appear to have “serious” discussion only to post a status on his own timeline complaining about every single person in the group.

When I discovered this, I was kind of angry and felt contemptuous at the same time: Angry, because of such a person who left such a burden to others while trying to appear so superior. Contemptuous, because that this person he may just think so big and so selfishly of himself, even after he had had experienced working with so many events outside and probably had been in the same situation yet still behaved so childishly; and again, I don’t quite regard highly those people who don’t discuss their matter directly with the group members, but posting on their timeline giving names to the members to blame them blatantly. During my time in uni, I’ve met two, both are of the same type: put working outside at the expense of their group members in school and eventually jeopardized not just themselves but dragging with them the results of others.

[Movie] It’s been nearly 10 years… the Devil wears Prada

It is such a long time! The very first time I watched it, not very much came to mind but all the glittering fashion, luxurious lifestyle and an innocent girl got pressurized by her evil boss! Now? After a sudden discussion brought up with my friend, it’s been looked in new light about making choices in life – which I didn’t quite grasp it at first – tackling obstacles and moving up and away from the status quo.

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Indeed, the moment where Andrea steps into that interview with Miranda the ruthless boss, she’s made that one important choice in the movie. But for me, the MOMENT where she refuses to quit her job – after quite a bit of scare of not being able to cope with the mounting pressures – that would be the one most important choice she’s made in this entire movie, one that changes both her career and her personal life too.

And I admire Andrea’s work ethics and her attitude towards hardship too: pushing herself to strive for completion of tasks beyond the expectations of the strict Miranda; always trying very hard to fulfill the tasks given at hand – even those seemingly impossible ones, though this seems also to stress the importance of having wide networks of connection: these people are so crucial to your job at perilous time like those.

But what’s most interesting that my friend and I have quite a ‘discussion’ on would be the different perspectives that one may look at the transformation of main character from a simple girl to such sophisticated and witty – and ever busy – lady in the fashion industry. She dresses à-la-mode-ly, wears more make-up and branded shoes and bags and doesn’t have time for friends or her boyfriend. Her best friend Lily says to not be able to recognize her anymore, that Andy has kind of lost herself in the process of transformation. But we couldn’t agree much to that viewpoint; my friend and I both think that she’s actually becoming better! In a way, she seems to be the only one “moving” – all her friends including the boyfriend have been staying in just one place, and all doing just one job, perhaps their ‘dream’ jobs too. It’s just probably that she’s moving so fast that friends couldn’t catch up with her – too afraid to face the unfamiliar truth that perhaps their friend’s received better opportunity than they are. Although when Lily got angry catching Andy being quite intimate with that stranger and bursted out with anger and ranting, I quite understand that she felt quite cheated with her bestfriend cheated on bf as such but with that may also came some implying deep-down kind of jealousy as well. But then I also think that they should spend more time to understand her situation as well – she has to put up with all those pressures and hardship to do her best; she doesn’t submit to difficulties or any obstacle and always have in her optimism in all situations even though tiring as she might be – instead of just hanging around as that, especially her bf (maybe the movie just doesn’t have much screentime to do that!)

To sum up this, my friend has said quite apt: “that’s one think I think it’s personal choice (talking about Andrea’s rise in position as compared to her friends’) – to choose to remain in the same place or to push your limit”! 

A lesson to self, maybe?

Cornet denied a sister clash in WTA Dubai championship!

What a performance by Alize Cornet in this semi final match! Though I didn’t watch the first set of this match, the final set was pretty exciting! And it’s always refreshing for me to see someone of an underdog-consideration rises to the challenge – though I do have much respect for Serena Williams’ wonderful game – and takes the victory, in straight set.

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Photo retrieved from SantaBanta.com

After the results of the quarterfinals – no, actually just by seeing the name of Serena Williams at the beginning of the tournament – I had been pretty sure that she would take it again, easily. But then, it is women’s tennis again – many delightful surprises to expect! Nevertheless, the win from Cornet today I wouldn’t really much consider it as any shocking news – I think she’s been playing really well early on this beginning of 2014, having won the Hopman Cup and reaching the semi-final of both Paris and this tournament, even though she fell short at the Australian Grand Slam. Today shows just more evidence that she’s been improving – frustrated the world no.1 while ensuring her service games with powerful strokes and determination in returning the balls. I could feel that Ms. Williams could not keep herself calm today – seemed quite upset and disappointed in herself, perhaps she was wondering how to stay focus and hit the balls precisely! But towards the end of the second set, she looked defeated with slumped shoulders and burdened sight with disbelief and some sense of inability to turn the tide – seen that look in her defeat by Ana Ivanovic during the AO last 16. 

Well, with progress as such, I’d hope Cornet may move far and beyond in her rankings and the next Grand Slam – it’s her home tournament as well, better do well!

Post-valentine’s thought… still great to be single!

I cannot understand why many friends around me made such a fuss about that day! Except for those who are attached, the singles (and apparently labelled themselves as F.A aka Forever Alone) complained in desperation of not having any one to celebrate with. And I couldn’t comprehend that thought: why must we let such distress hinder the enjoyment of some alone time?

Many of my friends here still find getting attached to someone or being in attention of a random person a big deal to enjoy and a must-thing to have in university’s time – guys and girls alike. People seems desperate to be attached. Why couldn’t they find being single leave them to have all the time and opportunity to do just about anything that they enjoy, without being hindered by anyone (except for finding another soul with the same liking to us – but I suppose we may discover this one person while doing things to our hearts’ content!) For myself, I used to loathe this day; but I didn’t feel much difference now. Being single is actually quite liberating: while other couples are scrambling on the crowded street these days, I could relax at home and enjoy a good book accompanying with a cup of my favorite drink while playing with my dog too.

Talking about being attached, I guess the most ideal thing to do for me if I ever get together with a guy would be spending some quality at home with some good cooked food and completed with cuddling; going out should be reserved for any other day than these occasions. 

 

 

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Flappy Bird, great but it should have “landed” on different land

Flappy Bird, great but it should have “landed” on different land

Even with the removal of the game on the App store across the many platforms, the game Flappy Bird still attracts plenty of attention from the media all around the world, all mystified by the strange decision by the author to take off his popular game while it’s still at its peak. Each one of them trying to investigate and explain the reasons beside all these bizarre activities surrounding this hot retro game.

To me, Flappy Bird and its creator, Dong Nguyen, may just happen to not be in the right place to flourish. As I’ve read in most newspapers and seen my friends in the tech and start-up industry here in Vietnam, these people have been pretty “lonely” in finding their own success in the market. The economic scene is, though having much progress in recent years, still much a foul place to grow indeed. 

As mentioned from the writer in the article, especially the last two points, those who want to rise to the top of their class would have to be prepared to face with the merciless critics from the public – educated and uneducated few who largely occupy the cyber space. Even though it is that “haters are gonna hate”, the intensity and frequency of this phenomenon are just worrying, and annoying sometimes as “hate-materials” like such are not much constructive in nature, but truly thoughtless and too impulsively emotional piece thrown out by the people. Even the mainstream newspapers are not very much helping as they only touch the surface – by mentioning – of this phenomenon brought about by the game, not in-depth analysis of its success.

Nonetheless, if only there are just opposing crowds, things may seem still easy to breath, but as I’ve mentioned, these people are actually very “lonely” – and in this sense, it doesn’t mean they don’t have group or friends, but the higher support from gov, supporting organizations, and the like authorities. No, the environment here is still pretty much vile to grow from. One reason, there is not much of a policy to support such a rising trend like start-up company, or in cases like Dong Nguyen, there’s no follow-up support for the man but instead he received much stress and negativity. Mainly, as I’ve observed, these start-up companies only have support from their own community – a truly very eager and active one!… and mindful start-up ventures or those business corporations that originated from the similar background! and from the officials? very little indeed.

With that one issue stemmed from the sudden success and early demise of Flappy Bird – not after a brouhaha from the public – I still feel it’s a long way for start-up in Vietnam to actually rise and have any real sustainable success not just in the country but the region and eventually international scene, unless the supportive path is cleared first!

 

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[Sochi 2014] An inspiring performance from Russian dolly dancer Yulia Lipnitskaya!

The quality of that video wouldn’t do this girl justice, since she danced beautifully – yes danced, not just skated on the ice brink!

Her every smooth actions, those jumps and rotations and the spins, were just breath-taking! Thought not having a good understanding at the sport of skating, I could still feel that the performance she gave was one of the top.

At just 15 years of age, her performance has given me much inspiration to want to learn proper skating – as I was quite fond of figure skating for a long time, with all the flows of actions and the impeccable techniques by the skaters. And once again, bravo to the russian girl, and may she achieve so much more success with such a talent that is, to borrow from a gamer’s term, quite beyond godlike as that.