Khmer Rouge Exploration

As a youth of Cambodia, I should know about the history and what happened to my country. Not just learning about the good ones, but also learning about the painful ones that contain those hidden perspective and understanding.  In this exploration, I can learn all briefly and deeply at the same time about the information from each era as well as how it transitions into the new ones. On the other hand, we mostly focus mainly on Khmer rouge genocide. That time it was a really dark and painful thing that ever happen to Cambodia. Instead of feeling sorrowful over this, we do something different. From my perspective, it also gives a good lesson for this new generation. We can clearly see how cruel and unhappy it was, so we as a new generation must not repeat in the same footsteps. Be happy with who we are today and keep developing our country. Be proud of what country had deveelop. 40 years after this genocide, I want other country to feel proud and impress for our country, that we can stand strong and don’t give up.

With all of those thoughts, we come up with different creative base ideas that we want to show it to everyone during our sharation. Our theme was to show different perspectives, so we form smaller groups for different projects. Those are, Poem, drawing, painting, song, dance, short stories and leader evaluation. I participated in Drawing, song and dance. 

In the dance team, we choose contemporary dance, because we want to tell a story in the dance. I suggested some songs, and we pick it together. After I edited all of those songs, we create the story line together and I choreograph about 90% of the dance. In the dance we choose two characters as sisters and then we showcase their lives before Khmer rouge, during and after the Khmer rouge as well. The audience will see the transition from each era based on the way we dress up and the mood of the music.I love doing this, because it’s my passion. Even Though there are some challenges, but I am fine with it (practice with everyone in while they are doing multi task, teaching the moves, prepare the stage, change the outfit fast enough for each transition). I bleed my feet and got some bruises on my leg, but I’m happy for it, because all of the audience feedback makes me happy and their reactions make me feel even stronger.

I also join the song team, which we choose the Khmer rouge anthem song and keep the lyrics, but we create the new melody for it. We make it sound modernize and happy. I also translate the lyrics into English version, so that the foreienger audience can understand the meaning as well. We ask our senior (B chhoue) to help us produce the music. 

The last project I joined is Portrait team. We pick leader or victims from s-21 ( A khmer rouge prison) to draw and show different perspectives. We drew the exact copy of the picture for the first drawing and then the second drawing will be modernized. Some students change their hair style, hair, clothes or even their sad face to look happy. We do this to imagine how would those people look like if they were in our present days. 

So far, this was such an amazing experience for me. I can learn about my history and make new commitment to  change Cambodia. Doing what I love (art base) will always turns out acceptable and make my day brighter.

Algebra [Linear Equation]

This round, we learn about linear equations. We normally learn the lesson half of the class and then take advantage of the time that are left to practice in Khan Academy. Our facilitator does not like to give homework, so there aren’t any daily assessment. However, we need to do a weekly homework in Khan academy. Basically, we finish the exercise in the Algebra 1 [linear equation] and then show our facilitator the level that we got throughout the week. If there is any question about the problems we did, students should send the screenshot to our math facilitator and he will clarify and review it the next time we’re in class. Although I’m not so good at math, I still get help from my classmate which help motivate me to keep doing math. Sometimes, I felt complicated, but I’m glad that I can at least understand the concept of the lesson. I believe I did pay good attention in class by taking notes and ask questions. 

Literacy: About Refugee Poem

Below is the poem That I wrote as a perspective of a Girl who was a refugee from Kurdistan; 

Little do you know 


Everyday is considered black

Floating, and colorless.


No specific destiny

No chance to stand up

My life is irregular.


Under one sky

Two taste;

Spicy and bitter,

NO water. 


The sun shine too bright

On my uniself after my parents

I can’t be cold

Else it’s too much


I love talking 

As much as I love eating,

But who cares?

everything about me

All covered by umbrellas.


They don’t even know my name

Yara Awira

Which’s a stupid name

No one would want that

I swear.


My name Iz 


I admire butterflies

Because they are me

In kurdish little butterfly is Yara


I guilt to tell what Awira means

Doesn’t little butterfly sounds nice?

Well, I doubt.


Refugee is what it meant


“Little butterfly, refugee” 


My parents are awesome genius 


I don’t really care 

About other people’s reaction,

About its meaning,

It’s impact and whatsoever

As long as they don’t judge me, 

It’s enough. 


Where am I?


Standing on thorn

Now I’m stand on stone

I’m not a bird

I can’t fly.


From one day to another

This tiny, shaky, frail legs 

Work all day for the body to move 



I want to taste food 

The food that I love

But the only thing I can do

Is to stare at the sky

The one with stars that are too far away.  


The sky is mixed with 

Green, white, red

never been clear 

But extreme boiled.


What happen today?

The sky is now 

Black and white and red

Turning cold and frozen. 


Little butterfly is seeking

Dashing for life in Iraq


It’s too sudden for someone

Who defined as new teen. 


Something is wrong 


They called me robots

Which makes sense

Because I am strong!

I thought so….


They told me 

“it’s because you follow every 

Detail from your parents”

Makes me curious 

They don’t listen to their parents? 


“Lezbiyenï” they called me,

I know that i’m not

I don’t bother to listen to that fake term   

So, It does not hurt me. 


Bookish friends

I need them to acknowledge

I know they’ll teared one day

It’s auto write

Ever word that popped are sharp

Poke me unintentionally. 


The storm seems to follow me.

All the lightning

Wind, bees, flood,

Filling up my patience. 



I want to crawl out

Out the crowde, 

I want to open my own world. 


“No!” roared dad

In this cold weather, 

Chaos is bigger than ocean. 

I respect whatever he said

Even Though it’s hurt to lock my own ambition.


I want to change the sky color Once again

But it’s hard

I broke my respect 

Step out my zone

Hoping I can stand up afterward. 


The Snapshot 

I see Small sparkling eyes,

White skin

The scent of sakura perfumes.  


A girl with long shiny black hair

Small eyes and lighted makeup 

She Approached me.


Anyoeng haseyo

Looking left and then right, 

I smiled back.  


They took me to place

Where flowers bloom

Reminding me of nothing 

At hometown.


The sky without stars

Plant without seeds

Books without page

All the definition of me

Carelessly Left my heart at Iraq

Household Garden


Image may contain: plant, tree, outdoor and nature
“cherry tomato at the greenhouse”
Image may contain: 3 people, plant and outdoor
“learning about pollen in bitter melon” P.S: we’ve learn a lot of vegetable names!

The main purpose of our exploration is to see the possibility of household garden in Cambodia. Since our country has not produce the need of vegetable per day, it’s a really big deal for the economy,health and habits. We also want to compare the chemical usage with organic and then make an assumption about why they keep using inorganic way. 

From going to the trip, we’ve learned about making fertilizer, how to grow each vegetable that we choose, and so many more! In addition, one of the trip that I really reflex on is the trip to S’ang district, Kandal. My expectation and reality are very different!

I didn’t expect “some” farmer to use any organic fertilizer or cow dung, because I’ve heard that sa’ang is a chemical district. I also thought that they would grow something like, fruit type and root type. Interestingly, they actually grow rapid lettuce, including a lot of leafy types! Another thing is that,I was quite surprised to know that farmers don’t really care about the changes of land. They just keep using chemical, hoping that chemical will give enough nutrients to their vegetables. There is a tremendous amount of chemical that is being used during the farming process. Seeds, weeds, stem, leaves, insects,and disease are all required chemicals. Not just that, they even spray the chemical before harvesting! The fact that the rumor about increasing the size of vegetable overnight by using a specific type of chemical is ridiculous. Imagine, people eat vegetables everyday, but everything is made up of chemical compounds. Vitamins are useless to handle those already. Farmer knew that chemical surely harm living organisms, but they keep using it. They have to win the competition of growing vegetables. I mean, they do everything just for their vegetable to grow better than others. One of the farmers said “we eat the vegetables that we grow in front of our house, because it’s organic. The rest that we grow at the farm ( with chemicals), we export it to PP market including local market”. What is the point of having themself safe without thinking about others? There is even a greenhouse that the organization made for them, but they didn’t focus on it. Well, I guess it’s because greenhouse grow slower.  

if people keep doing that, we won’t live for long! I’m serious. This exploration have a big impact for social and the future. It’s not too late to start spreading our knowledge to farmer out there who does not know much about organic ways of growing. Imagine, if we can encourage everyone to have household garden in there house, it would be really valuable. Our country will produce enough vegetables for each year, stable economy and healthy citizens bring the best human resources. Wow, pure logic. To fulfill this expectation/dream, we need to start now. I need to start now. I believe, it should be a MUST for other students too!


I’m Possible for Change

Life is very meaningful to me. It gives me thoughts, challenges, and experience through projects and my ambitions. I am one of those people who are crazy enough to dedicate herself  to changing her own countries. Since I am interested in many different subjects, i’ll designate myself to use my own passion to change the country. By doing this, it will help to fulfill my dream.

I used to be one of those who are more likely to be an introvert and do not like to be involved in any new activities. However, in the past few years, I’ve been really interested in music, art and some new activity that I discovered some interesting facts. I really want to share it, so anyone can learn and understand more about those listed below: 

The first priority is surely an experience that I’ve done throughout the year. It is a daunting task  to remember all of the little information from the project, but I believe I can do it. As some of you might know, there aren’t a lot of  STEM ( science, Technology, Engineering, Math) involved in any school projects around Cambodia. That’s why I really want to emphasize STEM engineering and spread it around Cambodia. The current exploration that I’ve been involved, is a good way to get Cambodian’s hand on making different Engineering products. Students can be creative and learn to have good collaboration from doing this. On the other hand,  you might have been curious why STEM engineering is good for education. From my understanding, it is very significant to have it, since we can build or create a new invention. Moreover, engineering is a type of subject for us to find a problem and solve it using STEM, so if there are a lot of participants/contestant joining us, problems that are exist could be a small deal in the future. 

One project is not enough for changing  such a big area. After so many thoughts, I’ve decided to dig into photography and videography as my second plan to change. It is really a pleasure to film a really good movie that everyone around the world can take a look.  We can always play around with filming, like the editing and transitioning. This is the reason why I could have the students give some of their ingenuity and put their passion into it. There is another project called, travelling theatre. I can provide the filming through it and when It  travel, it will give the audience delighted emotion after their show. Can’t you imagine how joyful the audience are? 

Actually, if we were meant to travel, how about we do another project at the same time? I also believe in a project that has many advantages at once, which is called: 

LMRT!! ( Liger Marine Research Team)

Well, it does not sound that overwhelming. Even if I just joined the project for a short time, but I am convinced to use it for changing  my country. Eventually, this will help to save the marine life and many ocean related. We can go and do conservation in many different places as we travel! Besides that, we also have trash picking too! If we do it often, it will polish the whole beach. After all the long process of protecting, cleaning, and planning, what’s the benefit? Actually, what I meant is it will become a good tourist attraction region. Our tourism will grow more and more each year!

As one of my other ambitions not passion is music and arts. Even if it is really common is real life already, but do not underestimate it. I might make something DIFFERENT. On the other hand, this subject is really arduous to complete. Sometimes i am really obnoxious for learning to dance and sing including organize my group’s project 

( music project), but guess what? I will never give up. School works are all around and it is the first priority, I’m confident that it will not be affected by my ambitions. I’ll use both of them for CHANGE!

*in order to give myself motivation, I often use this affirmation that I’ve created. You can use it too, if you want:

Today is an unsurpassable day, 

I believe in myself;

even if my back hurts in order to let my wings sprout.

If i can’t fly, I’ll run.

If i can’t run, I’ll walk.

If I can’t walk, i’ll crawl, but I will not give up. 

today i must survive.

I still believe, even though it’s unbelievable:

today, I’ll focus, motivate, love, appreciate others and​

I’ll never trapped in someone else’s dream

Because, I Have The Power To Change

Acting or Videography

Well, I love both! I love acting since I was young and I love taking pictures or videos since I started my secondary school.  I thought these two subjects have a very good combination. That’s why I choose to learn both. Now, it is my chance to learn and dig deep into it. We only got 7 weeks to learn both of the subjects, but it’s every meaningful to me. It’s like the most valuable course in my life. I emphasize this as much as I do to myself. Alright, let’s get back to the topic.

We got some tips for acting, such as:

  • Warm up activities
  • How to memorize the script
  • Breaking the fourth wall ( interacting with audience)
  • Acting method
  • Handle the mistakes on stage
  • How to be professional on stage
  • Last but not least, face expression!!

Those sounds easy to me at first, but when it comes to real learning process, it quite hard. I got to work with an actress from Hollywood, which is even more amazing. I love how she interact with us and how she guide us through the whole weeks too. I felt confident in acting in front a lot of people now, so I guess I’ll be fine in the next show.

On the other hand, i learn a lot of stuff from Aviv Rubinstien. He taught me about editing video professionally on premiere pro, writing screenplay on fade in, shooting video in different camera angle, lighting for shooting, production design and more. After he taught everything, he assign some works to do. I did photo Roman ( like below). I wrote a screenplay, that i selected to be the top 3 in class, but unfortunately, voted for top one, I did not make it. But it’s okay! I am happy, because I do my best.

For the screenplay that was selected, we all got 1 week to shoot the film and edit it. It was tough, because we have a short time to finish. I am the main character, so I spent the whole three days just for shooting, which is very tired, but fun at the same time. Everything went gracefully. We have the cinematographer, producer, director, actors, production designer, asst 1, asst 2, camera asst, sound people, editor, and slat holder! It was such an amazing experience. I feel like I am actually working with real professional film maker. They are doing their great job! Me too, i guess….

*i’ll put the link once it’s posted

Acting Begin! CR: Kuychan You
Behind the scene CR: Kuychan You
the last scene CR: Kuychan You
our crews CR: Kuychan You

Newton’s Law, Fluid force and Simple Machine

This is finally our last round! As we switch the course with STEM and Technology every week, We also have 3-4 weeks together. There are also trips happening in every single moth, we consider this round as a very short and busy term.  I felt very relax this round, since I could go to every single in each week ( last round, I go to Technovation instead so I missed 50% of the class hour ). classes meant a lot to me. I do not want to miss any class, but at the same time, the other project also important. Anyway, I am 100% in the class now!!. We learned about Newton’s law of motion, fluid force and simple machine. It was a little bit frustrated at first, because there any so many types of Newton law ( well, three is a lot to me…). However, guess what? We did it. In order to understand the lesson, we also did some experiment as well. As always, we would go into groups and discuss what we want to show the other classmates to understand more about what we just learn. Even Though it is hard, but in the last week of the round, we learn about simple machine. I love simple machine. Both lesson and the topic itself. I don’t why I love them, but the thing I know is I’m obsessed with it. Maybe because it helps human to work easier? Many it is useful and creative? Well, in any reason I still like it. We also did some product for showcasing how would simple machine work. So, I did something with the Pulley. There are the steps that we did:

  • Find a grave wheel
  • Three long sticks
  • 2 meters of string
  • Connect the stick with the wheel, making sure it still can rotate and good for hanging somewhere
  • Put the string on the wheel.  
  • And… there you go!

If you are interested in STEM projects, you can read more about my another project that I’ve been working on this year here:

Stem engineering

Khmer Is My Language & Culture

In the beginning of the round, I felt really fresh since we got to learn a new lesson which I’ve never learn before. The lesson is writing Essay in Khmer. It takes a very long time to write. However, under our facilitator motivation and and inspiring words, I push myself hard to accomplish it. The essay is basically about different famous quotes in Khmer that are really useful and meaningful towards Cambodian.

In the next few weeks, we started to organize an event called, Khmer literature festival. We started give each one of the students some role to do. Some are the presenter, organizer, MC, audiences, debating members, performers, dancer and models. I personally really impressed towards the achievements. It is tough and first, but we can come to a successful point because of our 6 core values. Even I was not there on the event day, because of another trip, I feel i’m actually participating. Why? Well, cause I’ve done something to help!

In the event, we showcasing our Literature that are the mementos from our ancestors and how beautiful is our culture.check out some of the activities that we’ve done:

“these are some of our cloth model from one of the era called, Kingdom of Cambodia”
“one of our stage design”
“our student, Ena in her French colonize Era’s outfit” Credit: Kuychan You & Ena Im

“US embassy “
“student dressing up in Khmer traditional dance uniform and dance to Khmer traditional songs “
“student from different Places in the capital city to join out event”
“we also have students talking a MCs”
“our director with our Cohort 1 dressing up in Traditional cloth from Angkor Empire”
“all of the students dressed up in many different cloth to show our culture”
“our facilitator giving speeches to open the ceremony”
” this is an idea of how they line up “
“this is one of the beautiful pose in the dance”

Result of involving Algebra


This year is different from last year, because it is much more challenging. Most of your lesson are focusing on algebra. From the beginning of the year, I thought i am going to have nightmare whenever i hear the word “algebra”. It was very complicated and messy to me. However, after one year have past, I felt more confident at solving the problem as well as celebration of knowledge ( math test ).  Besides doing algebra, we also go deep into a greater level of geometry, fractions, statistics and probability, ratio and proportion. We usually make our plan every Monday. Which means, we know what are our Homeworks, checking our homework from last week and what lesson we are going to learn. I really the way it sounds and how it process. I thought this is the greatest way i could learn math or else i wouldn’t understand. Well, since I am not that intelligence with math. Anyways, here is what we usually do every week.

Monday: check our homework partners or groups, learn new lesson, not down the HW that we need to do this week.

Tuesday:  get in a group, do practice in the workbook or textbook/ continue the lesson. Offline practice

Thursday: do a group project/ practice on books and Khan Academy

Friday: present our work, more practice/ Kahoot and quizzes

These above at not permanently count as our schedule, it can change depends on our trips, facilitators and events. Another activity I love is break out! We sometimes have a online break out, which we can use our critical thinking skills includes with math. If we do not have break out, we might have a group project instead, where we can do research, work and create math problems and data together. Isn’t all of these sounds fun? Even if i don’t like math, but now i do!! I a lot of who are reading this, feel the same way too.




This time, it is a little bit different. We got just a few weeks together, so Cindy said to let us manage the time to learn something that we want to know more about, or want to improve on. Since I like drawing on paper and coloring, I decided to try digital drawing. Illustrator is the software that I choose in order to help me. Speaking of that, the only thing I remembered about Illustrator was logging in into the software. Once I was logged in, I saw that the tools were a little bit complicated. So in order to achieve what I want, I spent a few days learning from different resources. I looked up for tutorial on YouTube, websites and asked my friends that have experience. I’ve learn so many things. I started with 5% of knowledge and I think I know 70% now! After the project ended, I am more confident in drawing and using different brushes in the software. I know how to use the art board and path finder. Layers are always hard for me to understand and to use it the right way, because it was a little bit confusing at first, but I managed to follow the instructions from YouTube videos. I also tried to use my own style of drawing to have it done, so it might not come out as perfect as I want. Moreover, I thought this project is really helpful, because it gives me opportunity to learn more about something I always wanted to do in free time. I also learn how to be an independent learner and have responsibility on my work. I can see myself working hard on having it done on time. I even use my free time to do it, so I think this is one of my new awareness. Due to time limitation, I didn’t have time to learn how to paint the product, so I just focused on drawing. I will try to learn more about it in the future. Check out my progress

“the first picture that I tried to draw” *see how the pen is in the same size pic: Jisoo kim
“the second try, is a little bit better, since I try to learn how to draw the eyebrow and I decode to design some of the part by myself”
“the third try, i got the brush tricks. I try different brushes and see the one that fits the best” Pic: Bam Bam got7




“this is my fourth try, but it is also my first try on drawing male’s close up photo. I discover that it harder to draw than the female one, because i am not familiar with face shape and hair style” Pic: BTS V
    “this is my last try through out my project, so try to put different brushes and size as well. I also include some different opacity that makes the photo look more a alike” Pic: Jisoo kim       Leave me a though about the photo! How do I improve it?