Thursday, September 4, 2014

Mongolia Brief September 2, 2014 Part IV

Habits of successful university students
September 2 (UB Post) University is officially starting, and that means endless hours of studying, dealing with your academic and social life, and trying your best to get a good grade point average (GPA).
A lot of students think that their GPA doesn’t matter when it comes to finding a job. But many companies see GPA as a threshold to manage their recruitment. According to a survey of more than 200 employers conducted in 2013 by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 67 percent of companies said they screened candidates by their GPA. The director of recruiting at Ernst & Young, Dan Black said, “Grades certainly do matter when we’re recruiting students. It’s really one of the only indications we have of a student’s technical ability or competence to do the job.” Not only is GPA a stepping stone to employment, it’s also an essential to get accepted at graduate schools such as Harvard Medical School (3.8), Yale Law (3.9) or Stanford Business School (3.6)
Your college GPA is a combination of several factors. And how you achieve higher GPA is strongly related to your daily habits, and the way you approach academic studies. Straight As will not pay your rent, and isn’t the best indicator of how you’ll perform in the working world. Even the smartest students can fail in class because of their constant absence in school. Certain habits can drag a lot of students down, and causes them not to do as well as they could. However, positive day-to-day actions, and treating school as they would a high-paying job can make a lot of difference. The following habits will help you to be “professional” in school:
Be healthy. It is common for students to eat junk food, stay up late at night to surf the internet or play videogames, and end up not taking care of themselves. So, as a result, they fall asleep in class, or don’t pay attention to lectures. If you’re tired, stressed, and sleepy, how are you going to deal with everything, let alone concentrate in class? A semester is like a long marathon run to get through. Some students start out with great energy, and halfway through the semester, they start to fall like they are staggering and struggling to make it to the finish line. In order for you to have the same amount of energy in the last weeks of a semester that you had at the beginning, you have to take care of yourself physically and emotionally. If you eat a well-balanced diet, exercise, get appropriate amounts of sleep, and deal with stress in positive ways, you will have the concentration needed to make it through each class session, and the stamina needed to make it through the ups and downs of a semester successfully.
Go to class. Although it’s fun for you to sleep till the afternoon, watch TV, and eat some ramen; push yourself and attend class, except if a true emergency arises. “True emergency” absences might include personal illness, family emergencies, legal obligations, or unexpected transportation issues. Usually, students who have very good attendance, on average, almost always end up with higher grades than people who miss class a lot. If you end up missing class, make sure you do three things.  This will help you to not fall too far behind and improve your chance of doing well on upcoming tests and assignments:
•        Call the teacher as soon as you know you’ll miss class in order to find out what will be done during that lecture and anything needs to be done before the next session.
•        Arrange to pick up copies of any important class papers, such as handouts and assignments from the teacher before the next lecture.
•        Make sure to arrive at least ten minutes early for the next class meeting so you can find and copy someone else’s notes completely, BEFORE that class begins.
Be prepared. When someone in your class forgets their study materials, it’s like a treasure hunt. They’ll ask, “Do you have an extra pen?” and distract you from the lecture. Not only is it unprofessional behavior for a student, it will also distract other students and teachers.
Be punctual. Hundreds of people get fired from their jobs because they’re late a lot. Come to class on time, or even a little early, so you can be prepared for the class. Being on time is a sign of respect for the instructor and class, it demonstrates that school is important to you, and it’s an important personal habit to apply to all of life’s situations.
Avoid distractions. Avoid doing anything that will be distracting to others in the room. Even though it’s fun for you to sit in the back of the class, goof off with your friends, fall asleep, and text your friends, it’s really distracting for others and you’ll end up missing important information. If you’re tempted, sit in the front of the class because the professor will be standing right in front of you. It forces you to listen to lectures and absorb what is going on in class. Also, turn your phone completely off during class. You won’t die if you can’t text for two hours.
Fight temptation. Every student is faced with the problem of balancing their social and academic life. For example, you have to study for finals all day. Your best friends call you and invite you to watch your favorite movies at the cinema, and they tempt you to study later that night, even if you have to face the dilemma of study till dawn or fall asleep. It’s hard for some people not to cave into the pressure and do other “fun activities.” Deal with peer pressure as best as you can, because doing well in school is very important. Also, know what environment works best for you, either it’s your school’s library or somewhere else you can concentrate on the work in front of you. Find your zone, and stick to that.
Organize your study time. Are you the busiest student in the world? Do you feel like 24 hours a day isn’t enough for you? To determine how you spend a day, you’re going to a little math. Everybody does these five basic activities: sleeping, eating, travelling (to school, work, and home), errands, and hygiene (shower, make-up etc.) In an average day how many hours do you spend doing all five of these? For example, a person spends seven hours for sleep, two hours for cooking, eating and cleaning up, an hour for travel, an hour for errands, and another hour for hygiene. Therefore, the total equals 12 hours, meaning that this person spends half a day for basic activities. If you calculate your total numbers, and its over half the day, you don’t have much time for everything you need to do or like to do.
Next, write down the number of units that you’re taking this semester, and multiply it by two. The multiplied number would be your study hours, meaning that for every hour you spend in class, you should plan to study two hours outside of class, so you can be successful and reach all the goals you have in college. Finally if you’re working, add the work hours. After you have your three numbers, add them together. For instance, an average number would be 56. It means that this person’s school and work activities equal to the working hours of a person who is working eight hours every day. When people try to stack up too much work, at the end of a semester either they’ve gotten good grades but their whole life has fallen apart, or their life is in great shape but they’ve gotten Ds and Fs.
However, a part-time job or internship a is great way to gain work experience. The National Center for Education Statistics found that students working 115 hours weekly have a significantly higher GPA than both students working 16 or more hours and students who don’t work at all. So before you plan to study 21 units and find a full time job, consider the study hours and basic activities you need to do. Sometimes you have to give two to gain three.
Study smart. In order to make the best out of your classes, study during your best time of the day. If you’re a morning person, study in the morning, or else, if you end up studying at midnight it will be a waste of time and energy. If you have classes or work during your best time of the day, study during your second best time. Some subjects might seem boring or challenging for you. So devote your best time to study that subject as much as you can.
Also, consider spending breaks sparingly. Spending 30 minutes, at the most, reviewing the notes that you took that day, looking over the chapter in the textbook that was covered, and even starting homework that was given will hold the new information in your brain, and stick to your long-term memory. After that, taking a break is essential. Even what you eat during break is important. Don’t eat anything that causes you to shut down and fall asleep halfway through the next class. Finally, the last hour should be spent previewing you next lectures. It will help you get your brain working and warmed up.
Stacking one class after another is not the best way to set up your schedule unless you have to. If you plan your schedule with breaks in between classes, not only will you have time to do these things that were mentioned below, you can also have fewer things to do at home.
Stop procrastinating. Once you hit your upper division units, a lot of professors assign big projects or exams that will determine your grades. Some projects can seem daunting and overwhelming. Make to-do lists either on your phone or planner, and schedule the deadlines of your tasks. An application called My Study Guide can also help you to manage and organize your studies. It is free and available on all devices. Dividing an assignment into small parts will help you break down huge work you need to accomplish. If you don’t trust yourself to keep up with the schedule, think of someone you know that is reliable or responsible. And ask them to call and check if you had done studying at the deadline. This simple task will keep you disciplined and hit all your deadlines because somebody else is checking on you.
Improve your notes. Unless you’re the fastest writer in the world, you’re going to miss some points and information that the teacher has made. So improving your note taking skill is important for every student. Using abbreviations, and leaving out unimportant words is helpful but using a good note taking method is valuable. One of the best note taking methods is the Cornell note taking system.  It incorporates the principles of learning by using the left brain functions while recording and reducing. The right brain functions are engaged while reviewing and reflecting.
Before a lecture begins, prepare several pages in your notebook to look like the sample in the picture. During the lecture, write as many valuable facts and ideas as concisely as you can on the right side of the page. As soon as the lecture is over, write down key words or phrases on the left side of your paper. And use it as a guideline to recall, in your own words, what you have recorded. Also, writing a short summary of the important facts, in your own words, will help you to organize the information. Most importantly, spend a short period of time every other day in a quick review of the material. Take a blank sheet of paper or your hand and cover up the entire page except for the left column. Read the key words out loud, and test yourself if you have really understood the subject. Keep testing yourself till you know it all, also it will help you to avoid cramming just before a test.
Be assertive. Not all university professors are super villains. Do not be afraid to ask the teacher to repeat or clarify instructions during or after class. If you’re confused about a particular subject, always double-check. Professors will see your effort to understand lectures and take school projects seriously. After all, they are here to instruct and help you to become a successful person.
Some professors may ignore your efforts, or their teaching method is lacking in some area. If your professor is constantly absent from school or just assigned you to copy some books, study independently. Go to your school library, or surf the internet. Learn as much as you can while you’re in college.
Swallow your mistakes. Learn from your mistakes and admit them. Treat disappointments, such as low grades, as a motivational tool for doing better on future tests and assignments, rather than giving up or getting discouraged easily. Talk to your professors in such cases so you can improve your performance as the semester goes on. An academic career is a work in progress. You learn and improve as you move forward.
Adopting good habits alone will not improve your grades; these will make your university experience much more effective.  Reflect on your bad habits, and make a specific plan to improve in those areas. For instance, “I’ll try to cut down on junk food and go to bed earlier,” or “This semester I’ll always make sure to turn off my cell phone before class begins.” If you develop these habits early on, such as time management and writing skills, it will be the main factor for you to succeed later on.
Although the Mongolian education system is lacking in some areas, such as bureaucracy, collapsing university buildings, unqualified professors, partnership and valuable education, we as students are enrolling in universities for our own sake. Rather than complaining about your teacher, turn your complaints into productive actions. Demand and be active about what you learn. We have come to the age, where knowledge and experience are power. To be a successful person in this era, besides good grades, you need to have responsibility, writing and presentation skills, and higher education. All of which you acquire in university. Everybody can become great at all of these habits, regardless of any circumstances. University is what you make it. You can study at Harvard and learn nothing because you don’t want to learn anything. As Albert Einstein said, “Never regard study as a duty, but as the enviable opportunity to learn to know the liberating influence of beauty in the realm of the spirit for your own personal joy and to the profit of the community to which your later work belongs.”

G.Boldbaatar: Hard work pays off
September 2 (UB Post) Athlete of Erdenet Mining Corporation’s Khangarid Sports Committee and International Sports Master G.Boldbaatar triumphed at the World Judo Championship by seized Mongolia’s first men’s 60 kg world champion title in Chelyabinsk, Russia last week.
Below is an interview with G.Boldbaatar, who was able show his capability at the international championship and fulfill his dreams after 14 years of training.
Congratulations on winning the world champion title. How are you feeling?
I’m very happy for becoming a world champion. Last year, I came in fifth place. I’m feeling over the moon as I have advanced my previous achievements and even became the world champion.
This is your third time competing at the World Championships and you became the third Mongolian Judo Champion. The number three seems to be your lucky number?
Indeed. I felt very disappointed when I couldn’t reach my desired achievements after competing in two championships. This year, I set higher goals and trained intensely. An athlete begins training for his next competition immediately after finishing a competition. As soon as the world championship of last year ended, I started focusing on this championship. I feel as if a heavy load was taken off of my shoulders now that I got what I wanted. Many new challenges await for me in the future. I will strive to defend my achievements and intensify my training.
You’re ranked third in the world as a judoka in your division. Does leading a group give you more motivation to win?
For the men’s 60 kg, a Japanese athlete is ranked first, followed by a Georgian athlete. Athletes who are qualified in the first eight have to lead a group. I led “D” group and according to the 64 athletes, athletes ranked in the first three spots had to fight head on, on the first round. There are many strong opponents in the men’s 60 kg category. It will not be easy to fight any one of them. This year, 61 athletes entered in this category. Majority of them were the world best athletes. No matter how great your opponent is, you have to strive yourself with everything you’ve got.
Your latest success was from the Paris Gland Slam, right?
Yes. I had a lot of confidence that I would win. Athletes always prepare a trick for their opponents. I was cautious when fighting in order not to get caught up by his trick. I was able to fight according to how I imagined and prepared myself.
You looked very calm during the match. Were you confident of your success?
Generally, I fight without any fears. I listened well to my instructors and senior athletes in our team. This might have influenced me.
Prior to the first round, Avarga O.Baljinyam said that you’ve rested well for some time. What does this mean?
I was very calm for this year’s world championship. I had a lot of time before the final match so I rested well without thinking of anything.
Olympic champion N.Tuvshinbayar was giving you some advice. What did he say?
Tuvshinbayar told me to use all of my resources accurately and said that this sort of opportunity hardly comes to an athlete. His words influenced me a lot on my motivation and my confidence was boosted.
Can you share your thoughts on famous Russian athlete and two-time European champion Beslan Mudranov?
I didn’t want to put pressure on myself. I only thought of fighting until I reached my goal.
The Mongolian team’s instructor O.Baljinnyam constantly reminded you to avoid penalties and you were able to follow his instructions well.
It’s obvious that both Mudranov and I fought prudently and cautiously. That’s because we faced each other before this championship. Just as instructors and seniors advised, I fought well and completed the match. Since the championship was held at his home country, the probability of judges giving penalties is high. My instructor said to fight clean and to score penalties. I also used all of my opportunities to succeed.
Did your friends come to support? Was their support helpful?
Russia is Mongolia’s neighboring country. Many Mongolians came to support. I heard Mongolians’ cheers loud and clear from the thousands of supporters at the stadium. I felt as if I won a golden medal at a Mongolian national stadium.
When you won the match and stepped out of the tatami, how did you feel?
My heart was racing and felt emotion that can’t be expressed through words.
You are indeed the pride of Mongolia. You’re responsibilities will become heavier with this.
A world champion can’t be interpreted as just a title. I think it’s a huge responsibility. As I was listening to the Mongolian national anthem, I realized that much more responsibilities were awaiting me. I will work hard to keep the confidence and trust my fellow colleagues and seniors entrusted onto me.
The first Olympic champion of Mongolia was from Bulgan Province, your birthplace, right?
Bulgan Province folks are very kind people. When senior athlete Tuvshinbayar became an Olympic champion in 2008, everyone in the national team realized that they have a chance to succeed. His success became an inspiration and gave a lot of support for consistent training and being persistent.
You are a native of Khangal soum, which is renown for its mountains and rare animals. Is it true that you used to horse race when you were little?
I finished my first four years in middle school in my hometown and completed my studies at 5th High School of Erdenet. From an early age, I herded livestock and rode racing horses. I started participating in Naadam Festival’s horse racing competitions at the age of eight and raced for almost five years.
People say that attaining success and living with contentment depends on one’s parents. Do you agree?
My parents encouraged me to become a wrestler. It may be because our hometown was situated in the countryside but there were many children who loved to wrestle. If it weren’t for my parents, I wouldn’t know what to do. This success is also possibly thanks to them.
Can you tell us how a jockey turned into a world judo champion?
When I transferred to Erdenet high school, there was a boy named Tuvshintugs who enjoyed wrestling. I followed him to Erdenet Mining Corporation’s Khangarid Sports Committee and learned the basics from Bat-Orshikh instructor. I was very happy to inform him that I’d become a judo champion. He praised me and told me to keep up my good work.
Is it true that you succeeded as soon as you started your career in judo?
Yes. I won a bronze medal on my first competition, at D.Narmandakh’s Atlanta Olympics.  Later, I compete in Khurelbaatar’s Judo Competition and got a silver medal. It was a huge encouragement for a young boy who just started in judo. I remember being very pleased with myself at the time.
At the beginning of your career, didn’t you become the Asian Youth Champion?
That was my first big achievement. On the following year, I participated in the State Adult’s Championship and gained the state champion title. In 2007, I was qualified to the national team and started training.
Two years later, I won the State Judo Championship and competed in the Asian Championship and Adult’s World Championship. Looking back, there were ups and downs in competitions but it became a nudge to this success. So some 14 years of hard work has paid off and is valued now.
A role model for inspiration is necessary for many years of training and success. From the national team, who’s your biggest role model that gives you the strength to carry on?
Our team is very supportive of one another. When one stumbles, everyone lends a helping hand and continues together. Our seniors focus on every aspect of new young athletes, including their training. I’ve been getting plenty of advice and consultation from Olympic champion N.Tuvshinbayar. He’s been my all-time inspiration and role model.
Can you share some of the hardships you faced as an athlete?
Everyone has their good and bad times. The best gateway is to immediately fix your mistakes, not get discouraged and carry on. I’ve stumbled  many hardships. At these times, I carefully assess my mistakes and intensify my training to fix them.
When Tuvshinbayar won a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, did your dream become clearer?
Definitely. Not only me but every Mongolian was thrilled. The number of people training in judo increased considerably and my dream became bigger and clearer. Champion Tuvshinbayar made me understand that if a person works hard, they’ll reach success.
The 2016 Olympics is right around the corner. You are only few steps away from realizing your dreams, don’t you think?
Only about half a year is left until the Olympics. There are several competitions before it. Regardless of how big the competition is, I will focus and try my best to achieve success.

Mongolian mental sports team wins Indian Open contest
September 2 (UB Post) The Mongolian mental sports team, headed by director of the Mongolian Intellectual Academy and international second-class intellectual judge Kh.Khatanbaatar, won first place in an open memory championship, which took place on August 31 in Mumbai, India.
Some 80 mental sports athletes from Mongolia, India, Sweden, the US and Indonesia competed in ten categories of visual and hearing memory tests. The Mongolian team included Z.Tsetsegzul, 14, E.Enkhmunkh, 16, T.Enkhjin, 16, and Kh.Khatanbaatar as a coach.
Mongolia won nine medals out of 30 medals, and ranked first in the team result. Mongolian athletes set two new world records during the event.
International champion E.Enkh­munkh, 16, won two gold, two silver and one bronze medals, ranking second among 80 athletes, and won first place in the medium age category. He broke a record by memorizing a pack of cards in sequence within 33 seconds.
Z.Tsetsegzul, 14, won two bronze medals and won second place in the medium age category.
T.Enkhjin, 16, champion of previous tournament in Manila, Philippines in June, won silver and bronze medals. He set a new world record in the binary count category by memorizing 750 ciphers within five minutes.
Ten athletes of the Mongolian Intellectual Academy will take part in an international tournament that will take place in Hong Kong on September 13 and 14.

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