Going against our natural instinct can be very challenging yet very beneficial at times. A time where I had experienced a non-complementary situation was around a month ago when I was arguing with my brother. Our argument began escalating and getting heated until I consciously became aware of the fact that yelling won’t improve my argument or get my brother to listen since we both just felt as if we were attacking each other. So, I initiated the action of lowering my voice and speaking to him calmly, and to my surprise he did too since he didn’t feel attacked anymore. At the end of the day, we found a common ground during our dispute and found a way to settle since we took the opportunity to listen to one another. I can definitely say that going against my natural instinct really worked in my favour.
During the month of April, I participated in an online cross-cultural education program called Soliya that took place once a week for 2 hours. Soliya was an interesting concept for me but I felt that it required more work. From the first two weeks of Soliya, I had only attended the second week because I didn’t have access to internet for the first week. And from that one time that I had attended, I already knew that I wasn’t a big fan. Firstly, I felt as if the sessions were too long. It would have been more reasonable if they were one hour instead of two. This is because through time, a lot of silences arose between everyone from the lack of words, and when someone would speak it was just to fill up the silences. In addition, I didn’t feel as if I gained any knowledge regarding the different cultures of each student that was participating in this program. I realised that most of our discussions revolved around more opinionated topics, and since no one was passionate or that interested in the discussion, they would only give the bare-minimum of an answer in order to answer the question. There were also cases where people had some technical issues or where everything would lag, yet surprisingly it wasn’t as bad as I imagined it to be in the session that I had attended. Overall, the experience was definitely not bad but I didn’t gain as much as I would have liked from the experience.
Through the years, I’ve found a couple places in which have brought me comfort and peace. These are the types of places that I find myself truly appreciating, as it puts me in my best state of mind. Some of these places were one-time visits, while others are places that I can still consider home. These places include my home and compound in Saudi Arabia, the beautiful scenery of my trip to Iceland, and the boardwalk where I spent most of my childhood in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
ARAMCO compound in Saudi Arabia (top left), Iceland (top right), my street in Saudi Arabia (bottom left), boardwalk in Canada (bottom right)
I decided to participate in a web assignment called “Google Draw Something” which consisted of me playing a game online. In this game I was given 6 different items that I had to draw in under 20 seconds each, while doing this, Google tried to guess what I was drawing. surprisingly, Google was able to guess all of my drawings even though they were horribly drawn! What I found interesting was that afterwards the website showed me Google’s techniques and steps that it went through in order to guess my drawings. Here, take a look yourself: