Greece and Rome Influence our Modern World

In literacy class this term, we studied ancient civilization because in order to develop a society, we should look back at the societies in our history. One big thing we investigated is how there are many aspects of today’s world that derived from Greece and Rome. Below is an excerpt of my DBQ essay I wrote regarding the influence Greece and Rome have on the modern society.

Modern society is encompassed with entertainment and procedures that contribute to the convenience of everyday lives, but where did the ideas for the creation of modern society emerge from? In fact, the inspiration for modern society is rooted from Ancient Greek and Roman society. Many aspects that were practiced by ancient Greeks and Romans are something that’s practiced by modern citizens. The two main ancient societies had greatly influenced the development of current politics, entertainment, and medicine that are indispensable for a society.

Greece and Rome are well known for their government system and how they’re influential to that of today. Often, the politics of Western nations remind us of the democratic system, democracy, of ancient Greece and Rome. Based on Document 5, Greek society was the first to implement democracy into their government, and Rome took this political system to the next level. Athenian democracy allowed their citizens (only males) to shape their government, including voting. According to National Geographic News, election procedures and the justice system of America were influenced by ancient Greece. Additionally, Rome developed democracy to form a better government structure: they sparked the idea of “elected officials.” These people had the equivalent role a president or a king has in a country nowadays. They had control on defense and consider any dilemmas for the countries. Another fact is that Rome emphasized the value of citizen participation in the government and we can see that in Document 1: Pericles said, “we do not say that a man who takes no interest in politics is a man who minds his own business; we say that he has no business here at all.” This fact could remind us of many modern countries that mandate their citizens to serve in the military field. Here, one can see that the archaic Greek and Roman civilizations bring forth the legislation and authority that is still practiced in America and many other countries in present days.


Trip to WHO (Malaria and Dengue Fever)

On the 9th of April, as part of my Exploration, we went to World Health Organization (WHO) office in Phnom Penh to meet Dr. Luciano Tuseo, head of the malaria programme at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Cambodia. Our goal was to learn more deeply about Malaria and Dengue fever and what has been done about this problem in Cambodia.

Participating in the presentation

There are 36000 diseases in Cambodia, and this doesn’t include any minor diseases. Two of those diseases are Malaria and dengue fever. What these diseases have in common is that they’re mosquito-borne diseases. We’ve learned from Dr. Luciano that in Cambodia, “Malaria is the past and dengue fever is the future.” This simply means that the number of malaria case has decreased, while the number dengue fever cases are drastically increasing. The main question was why. The answer is: scientifically, dengue mosquitoes (Aedes) pass on dengue fever virus to their offsprings, while malaria mosquitoes (Anopheles ) don’t.  

People in the urban are more vulnerable to dengue fever. Aedes likes to breed in small and clean water sources such as flower vase, and other containers. These materials are vastly available wherever there’s a large population. This is why it is recommended to remove any source of water around your home. 

As a developing country, the access to drugs and vaccine is the main health problem in Cambodia. In order to help with that, WHO had drug distribution campaigns.  Lack of Education is also a factor of public health problem in Cambodia. This is why we’re hoping to work with WHO or other organization to bring resources to those in need. 


How Ant Man Still Has His Super Strength When He’s Small

In physics class, we had a fun and challenging project, which we researched the physics behind a superhero of our choice. So, learn why Ant-Man still has his super strength when he’s small with my writing below!

Dr. Hank Pym invented a suit that allows someone to shift size: to the size of an ant. He did so by using the Pym particle to create the “reducing serum.” The suit is made out of “unstable molecules and steel mesh.” Ant-Man gains his size-shifting superpower from this remarkable suit. This super suit is capable of reducing size, while remaining typical human strength. But there are something about it that’s far from reality.

Square/Cube Law

Galileo created this law, which states “When an object undergoes a proportional increase in size, its new volume is proportional to the cube of the multiplier and its new surface area is proportional to the square of the multiplier.” In simpler words, if an object increases its size by two times, the volume would be eight times greater and the surface would be four times greater. This works the same way when an object shrinks: the volume would be eight times smaller and the surface would decrease by four times. This law also tells us that the strength associated with area and the mass associated with volume.

So if Ant-Man becomes the size of an ant, his area and volume would decrease accordingly. This would mean his strength and mass would diminish drastically! Since force link with mass, where did Ant-Man get his force to punch someone that’s greatly bigger than him when he’s the size of an ant? That’s quite far from reality. But if he breaks the Square/Cube Law and had his human-size mass, he would be able to maintain the force. That brings us to another problem. If Ant-Man has the same mass with a smaller volume, all the atoms would be compressed in a small size. He would be so dense that he would sink to Earth.

Then, how would that be possible?

Higgs Field and Pym Field

Higgs field is the reason objects in the universe have mass. If an object experiences a harder time going through Higgs field, it has more mass and less difficult means less mass. If we can change that difficulty (changing the strength between the object and the field), we can change the mass.

On the other hand, we are able to change the strength between an atom and Pym field (discovered by Pym Hank in the Marvel comic), therefore, change the size of an object. But It’s difficult to shift size because we can’t easily remove or add atoms. We don’t know where would those atoms come from or go to, and how would we ensure that it will come back together when we want to get back to the original size.

The comic recommends that those atoms can be stored in the Kosmos dimension. Another suggestion would be to modify the constant that controls the size of an atom. For example, Planck’s constant, which determines the radius of the atoms, can become 10 times smaller, making the radius of the atom 100 times small. The radius is only one dimension of an atom; if all dimensions become smaller, the size would become millions of time smaller, according to the Square/cube law. However, the mass would remain the same, making Ant Man’s body really dense.

So, what would make it possible?

Cross-interaction between Higgs field and Pym field

In order to make that happen, Higgs field and Pym field needs to work together to reduce the mass and size, respectively. So if the mass decreases, the size would also decrease to remain at the same density, but that would cause less strength. So when he needs to use his force, for instance when punching, Higgs and Pym field would have to disconnect. This means he could momentarily gain his original weight, and therefore, exert the same amount of force as he was his normal size. How Ant-Man can connect and disconnect between the two fields might have to connect with Kosmos dimension and Quantum Realm, where atoms can be stored.


LMRT Trip April 5th – 8th

We didn’t need to wait too long to see the impact made by our artificial reef! We went back to Koh Seh to check on our block and couldn’t believe what we saw. In just a month, the structure restored numerous species and more fish abundance. On average, the number of species increased from 6 to 17 species. For many of those species, the abundance increased dramatically. In particular, catfish didn’t appear in our baseline survey but during the first survey we did on this trip, we saw 50 catfish! We also brought down some rocks to put along our transect line; this is because the more things we put down there, the more chance coral will grow there. In addition to doing surveys, we also made a cluster. This time it’s bigger and took more effort from more people.

My highlight of the trip was seeing a really big trevally or jack! I’ve never seen a fish that big in real life before and I will never forget that moment.

LMRT Trip March 8th – 13th

There were so many exciting things happened during this trip. First of all, this was one of our longest trips, so we accomplished a lot this time. 

One of the activities the team did was making concrete blocks that will be used as anti-trawling artificial reefs. These blocks are there to destroy any trawling nets, and to act as marine organism habitats. MCC will eventually deploy 47 artificial reefs as part of the Marine Fishery Management Area (MFMA). This is a conservation project proposed by MCC that’s recently signed by the government. 

MFMA map (click on the image to know more about MFMA)


Image may contain: 5 people, people sitting, child and outdoor
Pouring cement into the mold to create blocks
Carving in our names after the blocks are a little bit dry

Another accomplishment was completing a cluster. That is a triangular bamboo shelter with ropes dangling into the water. This object is an alternative to the plastic buoys that are used to mark the location of the artificial reefs, while also providing a nursery for fish. In order to make this, we learned to tie some special knots and use strengths to ensure that those knots are secured. 

Tying the bamboo as part of the triangular cluster
A finished knot
The finished cluster

Every time we went to the island, we always do beach cleaning. This time we did a few beach cleans, and we figured out a way to make it more fun! We separated the waste into categories and one of those was “pretty things.” We took those things to create art projects. So not only we made the beach looks more pleasant, but we also make the island looks more beautiful with art pieces. An example of projects was decorating stairs with colorful bottle caps using cement.

Bottle cap stairs

We did those activities when we are free from doing our baseline survey. The baseline survey is what we’re going to compare our future data with. The survey site is the site for one of the 47 artificial reef structure. We did three replicates for the three survey: fish, invertebrates, and substrate.  I did the fish surveys. There weren’t that many organisms to record in the baseline survey. In the future, we would see more organisms as the artificial blocks do their job as habitat. We recorded that data we collected each night after each survey. 

Logging the data into the computer

The most exciting thing: deploy the first artificial reef structure of the MFMA! The team from MCC assisted us in this process. We took their big boat to our site and they worked with passion both on the surface and underwater to put the blocks together. This is the reef that LMRT will monitor for the rest of our project. Now, there are not a lot of life in the area and it would be amazing to see the impact these blocks will make in the future. 

MCC men dropping the blocks into the water
Excited for the blocks to be deployed!
Jumping into the water to see how they set up the blocks

This is weekend on the Island made me realize it takes more than knowing how to dive and conduct surveys to accomplish our goal. It takes a whole group of passionate and persistent people to share with each other the knowledge we have and work together to accomplish small things that build up to a big change.

Debriefing after a long weekend




Women in STEM | Rachel Carson

Women in the STEM fields are usually ignored, and it is very important that we acknowledge them as we approach gender equity. As we heavily studied gender equity this term, in physics class, each of us researched about a woman in STEM of our choice. I chose to research about the influential Rachel Carson. Find out more about her with my writing below!

Silent Spring, the environmental science book about the negative effects of pesticide, was published on 27 September 1962. Rachel Louise Carson was the author of this book, and many other famous ones including The Sea Around , The Edge of the Sea, and Under the Sea Wind.

Carson was meant to be a writer; she started writing at a young age and won her first prize when she wrote her story for the St. Nicholas Magazine at the age of 11. As a teenager, she attended the Parnassus High School, and proceeded to Pennsylvania College for Women (Chatham University). With full scholarship, she shifted her major from English to Biology.

After succeeding University, Carson began her teaching career. In 1930, She taught zoology at Johns Hopkins Summer School. Later on in 1931 to 1932, she taught at the Dental and Pharmacy School, University of Maryland. She aimed to pursue PhD at Hopkins Marine Biology, but due to lack of finance during the Great Depression, she abandoned school.

To earn financial support for her family, Carson wrote 52 radio programs for the series “Romance Under the Waters.” In 1936. She was employed by the Bureau of Fisheries in the Department of Commerce as a junior aquatic biologist. At the same time, she started freelance writing and earn minor income.

Between mid 1930 to early 1940s, Carson has written articles and a book. In September 1937, she published her article “Undersea” in Atlantic Monthly. In between 1938 to 1939, she worked on her book Under the Sea-Wind. In the following years, Carson had written many papers and articles to many publishers, some of which are turned down.

In 1958, she started her book Silent Spring. This particular book was inspired by her friends from Duxbury, Massachusetts. This friend wrote a letter to The Boston Herald regarding the concern of bird dying because of pesticide spraying. She sent a copy of the letter to Carson.

Silent Spring took four years to complete. It included examples of adverse effects of DDT on the environment. Rachel Carson criticized the United States Department of Agriculture for spraying pesticide to kill fire ants. She stated they didn’t consider the negative effects it has on the environment. This book is a big accomplishment for her as well as the environment of the US. The government banned DDT because of her book. In addition, the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency was because of Silent Spring. On August 1962, this book was recognized by President John F Kennedy in his speech.

At the age of 57, Rachel Louise Carson passed away due to breast cancer.



A Tour at the Traumatic S-21


A high school, where education sparked, had been turned into a brutal place that killed 14,000 thousand intellectuals. 

Toul Svay Prey was the name of the high school. In 1976, the Khmer Rouge mad it the prison S-21. People from many backgrounds, such as doctors, artists, lawyers and even foreigners, entered this harsh site, and only seven survived. Those innocent citizens were punished by the worst mediums we can think of. Their wrists were locked in place and they were beaten until the young soldiers got the answers they want during interrogations. 

I’ve learned about the Khmer Rouge genocide and have heard many tragic stories, and going to the S-21 genocide museum was a very powerful experience that compliments my knowledge about the event. 

I toured the museum with a quality audio device, which made the experience even more memorable.  The buildings looked like typical Cambodia high school buildings, but the tools and the voice of the man in Khmer painted a picture of cruelty and tragic that the victims went through. Besides the sound, the museum had worked so hard to collect documents and photographs to display. 

In my opinion, and I believe many other’s, S-21 should be a place that every Cambodian student should visit. It’s a place that taught us about an event about devastating even of our history, and we should learn about it to avoid the trauma from occurring again. 

A classroom that’s turned into the victims torturing bedroom
The classroom had been divided into cells for the victims


In the middle of the museum, there’s a memorial place where all the victims’ names are written down on the marble tops



Gender Summit 2018

I believe that change can start with a small action, such as conversation. 

On the 27th and 28th of January, my team of 12 hosted an event called Gender Summit for about 100 high school students from both international schools and local schools. The goal was to encourage dialogues regarding gender issues. Our team realized that gender is not a common topic that Cambodian people talk about, so the first step of change is to enforce more dialogues about the issue. 

The event encompassed four main sessions: power, culture, language, and economics. I was a session leader in the latter session. In that section, I introduced the idea of how advertisement influences our thought about gender roles in the society. Companies advertise their products for female and male separately with a few differences, mainly the color along with a description that describes femininity and masculinity. We should take control of ourselves and buy products that we need and like, regardless of who can use it according to the advertisements.

A fun activity that was part of my session was called Atomic Circle. The goal of this activity was sharing with each other about personal ideas on certain statements. An example of a statement is, “all women are naturally better caretakers than men.” Many people agreed that this idea is true because that’s what they’ve seen in the society. What they didn’t realize was that most people have taught girls to be more caring than boys and it seems like this is natural, but it’s not. 

It wasn’t easy preparing a lesson for other people. It wasn’t easy to get them to talk or generate ideas. There are also times when they said something that didn’t seem right to me, even though there are no specific right or wrong ideas on this topic. Sometimes, it’s hard to stop the conversation when people say something that we don’t agree with. What I’ve learned is that if we want to change how people perceive something, we should enforce questions for them to answer (Socratic method), so that they will think about the idea in a different angle. 

Everyone who attend the event on the 27th




Paññāsāstra University Gender Course

My Gender Equity Exploration got a chance to discuss with university students about a topic that’s not common for Cambodians, gender equity. 

The workshop went very well. It was a great opportunity for us to open our mind to look at others’ perspective outside of Liger. It surprised me that university students who are studying gender still have some gender stereotype in their mindset. For instance, some of them view crying as a weak and feminine characteristic. This just shows how much work needs to be done in order to shape people’s view of gender, particularly Cambodians’ view. This just made me think how successful our summit will be in term of raising awareness to Cambodians about those stereotypes.


What Does a REAL Man Mean to You?

In literacy class, we had a project to write an article about any topic ralating to gender equity. My article include different perspectives of female on what a real man should be like.

When we think of a man, we often think of masculinity. But are all men masculine? Or do they need to be masculine?

That’s the way many men think about how they should be. This is not necessarily what girls and women think.

I asked a question to several females I know, ranging from Asians to Westerns, and from 15-year-old teenagers to a 30-year-old woman. The question is “What does a real man mean to you?”

Very little of the responses claimed a man needs to be strong! In fact, many think a real man is much more than just their appearance.

“If a person identifies himself as a man, he’s a real man,” Vornsar Ses, my close friend, mentioned. Similarly, Samantha Cody, a learning facilitator at Liger wrote to me, “I would say, my idea of a ‘real man’ is: a person who wants to be called a man. Pretty simple, but that’s about my only standard–you’re a “real man” if you identify as a man, nothing more required or expected of you.” The same idea is said by Cara Shelton, another learning facilitator, “… a real man must want to identify as a man.”

Some said to be a real man, you just need to exist!

“He should physically exist!” Sreynith Sam, another friend of mine, briefly said.

Despite those simple requirements, there are some characteristics an ideal man should have. Cara genuinely expressed, “there is not much more ‘real’ a man needs other than existing. However, I would be lying if I said I didn’t have certain ideas of an ideal man or “real man” in the colloquial sense.” She continued, “he sees and treats women as equals and acknowledges that the expectations and roles we all participate in are socially created and not natural because of our sex. He applies the traditions or practices of being a “gentleman” to all people and all manners of his life.”

Alice Dimitroulis, a teenage girl from Australia, indicated, “for me, a real man doesn’t necessarily have to do with physical appearance. I understand the term itself is sometimes used to challenge a man’s confidence, for example ‘you’re not a real man if you can’t lift those heavy weights.’” She went on to say that a real man should be honest with himself, doesn’t fall into peer pressure, doesn’t worry about being the best and doesn’t take offense when others say he’s not a real man. Likewise, Cara remarked, “A real man is not threatened by successful, powerful women.”

A Korean teenager, Soyeon Lee, responded that there are a few aspects of an ideal man, “for me, ‘real man’ is [someone] who is good at his own area such as debate, sports or math(ability), a warm hearted man(personality), and can be looked nice at least to me(appearance).” Comparably, one of my friends feels that a real man is someone that “people can depend on, learns from his mistakes, does what is necessary, could make people around him smile [and] respectful”

Respect and appreciation are also essential ingredients for a real man. Many said they should admire others around them, especially women. Sreynith believes a real man is “a man who respects women and does not humiliate them.” Another friend of mine commented, “He’s grown up and respectful. He should be a feminist, not going against anyone. He should be a wise man to be a real man.” Cara made a few other points about different aspects of appreciation, “a real man is not homophobic. A real man tries to avoid language that is offensive and stereotyped. A real man can appreciate and admire female beauty while also controlling himself and remaining loyal (if this has been decided in a relationship).”

I’ve been communicating other women’s perspective of men, but I haven’t revealed anything about my idea of a real man. An ideal man to me is all of the above. I know that a man can’t be all those things, so to me, the most important characteristic is that a real man is able to show his emotion when necessary. Even though many people consider this expression as weak, it’s not in my opinion. I clearly remember a statement and fell in love with it ever since. The statement was made by Arn Chorn pond, the founder of Cambodian Living Arts, and he said, “it takes a real man to cry.”

I’m clearly aware that different people have different views of what a real man is like. Our opinions on a real man might be different from those of our best friends, or parents and grandparents. There is no one definition of a real man. Everyone of us needs to acknowledge this fact and encourage men to be whoever they want, regardless if they fit in your definition of a real man.