Diwa Mitchell

This is where the tagline goes, right?

Photo Essay


5 Senses on PhotoPeach

Da Lat Field Trip–Day 1


Best. Field. Trip. Ever.

I am aware of how trite that phrase is and how it has been used to death, but this field trip is worthy of it. No field trip I’ve had before even comes close to achieving that level of pure, all-aroud awesomeness. It has set the bar hiiiiiiiiigh for future field trips. My only complaint is that it only lasted four days. This is the first in a trilogy of blog posts about the field trip, because cramming it all into one post would cause my computer to coagulate, explode, etc.

On the first day, we departed at 7:00 AM a sat through a lenghthy (8 hours) but enjoyable bus trip to Dalat. Once there, we met our guide, Jake (a representative from Embers Asia, the company which organized this trip), who gave us time to gather in our predetermined groups and choose a team name. The team leaders were Weyshin, Weyshan, Tracy, and yours truly. Weyshin’s team was named The Great White Sharks; Weyshan’s was named The Tigers; Tracy’s was named The Four Leaf Clovers; and my team, comprised of Keith, Khanh, Kayla, Nicholas, and myself, chose the name Team Awesome. We then took a boat to our campsite. For the entire duration of the ride, I observed the scenic lake and verdant greenery, really taking time to appreciate its beauty. Once at the campsite, we checked into our tents; then, the teams were faced with their first challenge. The members of my team had to assemble a tent, blindfolded, with yours truly taking on the role as their “eyes.” We came in second place. After this, we did a trust building activity in which everybody partnered up with a buddy similar in size to them (mine was Weyshan). One member on each team was blindolded, then led around camp by the other. Then, we switched roles. I enjoyed leading more than being led, not because I had any qualms about Weyshan’s direction (she was awesome), but because I like feeling trusted. We did one more activity, then had dinner.

After dinner, we lulled about the campsite for an hour or so before gathering at the center of the camp and watching as our guides lit a bonfire. The bonfire roared as we formed a circle around it and sang some songs–“Bingo” and “Kookaburra,” to name a few. Afterwards, I ate the first two smores I’ve ever had in my life (to date, I’ve had four). Delectable. Europhia-inducing. My life is now complete.

Sleep that night was strange. I definitely slept, but I felt as though I was conscientous of my surroundings the entire time–know what I mean? Making the switch from a bed to the ground was a challenge, but by the next day I’d pulled it together.

This is the end of part 1. Stay tuned for the sequel!

The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss


The Sneetches is a parable of racism, prejudice, discrimination, and consumerism. It is a story by Dr. Seuss about a population of yellow, vaguely avian creatures who live on a beach. Some have an innate green star on their bellies, while others do not. The ones who do are part of the “in crowd,” while the ones who do not are ostracized and shunned. The Sneetches with stars on their bellies have an air of haughtiness about them; they have superiority complexes and are prejudiced towards the plain yellow Sneetches. The starless Sneetches seem perpetually sad. This is where character named Sylvester McMonkey McBean comes in, a strange machine called the Star-On Machine in tow. He offers the starless Sneetches the chance to have stars by using the machine, for three dollars apiece. They gladly do so, but the original star-bellied Sneetches hear of it and panic for fear of losing their positions at the top of their social pyramid. Sylvester McMonkey McBean tells them that he is in possession of another machine, namely the Star-Off Machine, which will remove their stars for ten dollars a head. The original star-bellied Sneetches gladly pay up, desperate to remain special. McBean, who does not harbor the same prejudices that the Sneetches do and whose primary objective is to make a quick buck, does not monitor which Sneetches enter which machine. Frenzied chaos ensues:

“until neither the Plain nor the Star-Bellies knew
whether this one was that one… or that one was this one
or which one was what one… or what one was who.”

The pandemonium continues until the Sneetches are rendered penniless and Mr. McBean is filthy rich. He leaves the Sneetches, chuckling to himself about their foolishness. The Sneetches realize the errors of their ways and become friends.

Had the Sneetches not altered their errant beliefs, there likely would have been widespread mayhem and violence on Sneetch Beach. As the consensus of what was socially acceptable or “hip” changed at so rapid a rate, there would also be confusion, panic and frustration. It would be a cornucopia of negativity.

A society as a whole can benefit greatly from the participation of those who have been excluded because this increases a society’s sense of togetherness. Humans, by nature, need company, in the same way we try to avoid pain, and dislike boredom. When members of a society or community fight amongst themselves, their defenses against enemies are weakened. As the saying goes, “United we stand. Divided we fall.”

I Nominate…


This is in response to Challenge 9, Activity 4 of the Student BLogging Challenge.

Best Student Blog
This was tough, because this year’s Student Blogging Challenge spawned some really great blogs. But in the end, I settled on Marshall, the Insane Squirrel (d4station.edublogs.org) because of his blog’s uniqueness, quirkiness, and all-around awesomeness.

Best Class Blog

I nominate Sally Rollefstad’s class (http://rollefstadap.edublogs.org/) for best class blog because their contained a lot of trivia about evolution and animals–it had me at “hello.” Ms. Roffelstad’s class is located in the USA and is comprised of students aged 15-17.

Good luck to Marshall and Ms. Rollefstad!

Readers? I Know You’re Out There *echo* *cricket noises*


This is in response to Challenge 9, Activity 2 of the Student Blogging Challenge.

Q: If you didn’t get many visitors to your blog (other than your classmates), what do you think you need to do to get them to visit? Write a post about this.

A: My blog has received a total of 250 visits, or, blogging lingo, “hits.” A nice, psychologically satisfying number. However, there is always room for improvement. For this reason, I will list several ways I can attract more visitors in the future.

  • Write more interesting posts
  • Interact more with the blogging community (by leaving comments on their blogs, making more posts that draw the readers in and prompt them to participate, etc.)
  • Make my blog more visually exciting (creating more photo/video-centric posts, polls, etc.)
  • Write engaging first sentences and snappy titles with keywords
  • Link to other blogs in your blogroll
  • Write more lists
  • Post more regularly and consistently

As always, I am open to constructive criticism; do any of you guys have suggestions for ways I can improve my blog?

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To Blog or Not to Blog?


This is in response to the Challenge 9, Activity 1.

Will you continue blogging over your summer holidays?

Why not? It’s an excellent opportunity to keep my writing skills up to par whilst not feeling as though my brains are being boiled into mush having fun. Too many times, I’ve found that, over the summer, my writing–and, come to think of it, math–skills grow rusty, and I take several weeks to get back into the intellectual groove once summer is over (by the way, do any of you find yourselves caught in that vicious cycle where, during school months, you anticipate summer so much it hurts, and then summer arrives, but then after a while, it gets boring and you start to miss your friends and school, and so on…?). On the other hand, I’d like to take a hiatus from anything academic-related (wouldn’t we all?). Haha. Forgive the ambiguity of my response, but suffice is to say: Maybe. You know, I used to be indecisive but now I’m not sure.

Peer Audit


A friend of mine, Weyshan Yung , skimmed through my blog. This is a follow-up mini-interview with her on her thoughts about my blog. :

Q: What were your first impressions of my blog?

A: It was neat and you have a very creative way of writing.

Q: What captured your attention?

A: The pictures in the “Awkward Moments” post, and the leong “Persuasive Essay” post.

Q: What distracted you on the blog?

A: The Trivia widget on the right.

Q: What suggestions can you give me to improve my blog?

A: You could improve your blog by adding more pictures.

Let’s See How Far We’ve Come!


This is Challenge 9 of the student blogging challenge. It is the penultimate one (DUN DUN DUN DUN!), and is an audit of my blog.

1. How many posts did you write?

At the time of writing, a grand total of 27 (not counting this one).

2. How many were school based, your own interests or set by the challenge?
23 were set by the challenge, 4 were written on my own time.

3. How many comments did you receive from classmates, teachers or overseas students?
I received a total of 35 comments, 5 of which were from me. 9 were from people from my school (both classmates and teachers), and 21 were from people from overseas.

4. Which post received the most comments? Why do you think that happened?
The post which received the most comments (5, haha) was “What, Exactly, Will This Blog Bring to the Vast Blogosphere? 3 Reasons You Should Read My Blog.” This was my third post, and the one that gave readers an outline of my blog. I think it received the most comments because it was luniquely formatted.

5. Which post did you enjoy writing the most and why?
That Awkward Moment When…:A Compliation of Life’s Awkward Little Moments” was my favorite post because so much of it applies to me! Haha. Also, it was the only post with a .gif image in it.

6. Did you change blog themes at all and why?
I switched from “Quentin” to “Notebook” because the latter was more pleasing to the eye and emulated my personality better than the latter.

7. How many widgets do you have? Do you think this is too many or not enough?

I have two widgets (ClustrMaps and the Karooba Trivia Widget). While some may say this is too litle, I think it is just right, for the following reasons: I don’t want my blog’s widgets to detract from my posts;  and the Notebook theme is eye-catching in itself–I didn’t want to make my blog appear too busy by OD’ing on widgets.

8. How many overseas students do you have on your blogroll?

I have  3.

That Awkward Moment When…:A Compliation of Life’s Awkward Little Moments


…you say goodbye to someone and then you start walking the same way.
…you yell out the wrong answer in class with confidence.
…you attempt to toss a wad of paper into a bin, miss, and must do the “walk of shame.”
…you’re walking down the street, a hallway, etc. and and you both “dance” to the left/right and then continue to “dance” for 5 seconds before you finally pick a side.
…you have to actually tell someone you’re being sarcastic.
…someone waves in your direction and you wave back, only to find that they were waving at the person behind you.
…you realize you’re wrong in the middle of an argument.
…you make a joke, and you’re the only one who laughs.
…you respond “Not much” when someone asks “How are you?”
…your parents tell you to stay in the line when you’re shopping, and when you’re almost near the cashier, they’re not even back yet.
…you realize that your friends are friends with people you don’t like.
…you put a dish into the sink as someone’s washing it.
…you step into your closet and you don’t go to Narnia.


Story of my life.

Video (must be 13+ to watch): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nPeTfeFALk

Original image:  "Umm..."
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My family is nomadic; we are constantly moving from place. And I like it that way. It’s how I’m programmed to function–heck, the first time I boarded a plane, I was a wee fetus in my mother’s womb! I’d die from sheer boredom if I remained in the same country for more than a couple of years, let alone a lifetime (not bashing anybody who has). I was born in Bangkok, Thailand, where my family and I lived for three years. Then, we moved to Vietnam, where we lived for four years. Next on the agenda was Myanmar (also known as Burma), where we resided for three more blissful years. What stands out in my mind the most about Myanmar was the people, who were were as warm as can be. We then moved back to Vietnam, where I have lived ever since. Thailand, Myanmar, and Vietnam are the only countries I’ve resided in, but I have visited more: the US of A, Philippines, and Cambodia. 5 countries (and counting) in 14 years. Not bad, if I do say so myself 🙂

I wonder where or next move will take us!


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