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December 07, 2019, 09:59:01 pm

Author Topic: Bri's Ask Me Anything  (Read 1076 times)

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Bri MT

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Bri's Ask Me Anything
« on: November 20, 2019, 10:52:27 am »
+10
Bri's Ask Me Anything!

Heyo, I'm Bri. At our free QCE lecture series in September I was your science lecturer & I'm an avid user of the atar notes forums. I've been fortunate enough to be very supported by this community along the way and have received the Bengali_Lok Annual Award and was awarded Vic MVP last year. This year, I've been focusing on taking my experience with the ATAR system in Vic and using it to help Qld students - especially in science.

Looking back into my year 12: I have a tendency to over burden myself with extra curricular activities; In year 12 I was Youth Mayor of the local Youth Representative Council, part of the senior school band (played saxophone), vice school captain, & (in the start of the year) chairman of the local venturer scout unit. I'm also from a single parent family & since mum worked full time I rarely had a parent around to give me a lift to these things. Additionally, I'm vego, and since the rest of my family isn't I was cooking almost every night. Suffice to say, I learnt a bit about time management. 



Here's some of the reasons you may want to hear from me:

🔥 Was the dux of all of my subjects (biology, psychology, chemistry, physics, methods & my English)
🔥 Achieved a 98.30 ATAR - and did this at a school that hadn't seen a 90+ ATAR in years
🔥 Currently studying Bachelor of Science Advanced - Global Challenges (Honours) which is all about using science to make a difference in the world
🔥 President of the Monash Advanced Science and Science Scholar Society
🔥 Plethora of leadership & extra curricular experience before, during, and after highschool
🔥 Truly passionate about how amazing science is & having all students be able to learn about it



We've been asked this before on other AMAs so YES you can ask ANY question - so long as it abides by our community rules (which basically come down to being respectful and keeping the community a nice place for everyone)

This might include things like:
- How do sea turtles navigate? (seriously I read scientific articles on this for fun)
- What's the best thing you did in year 12?
- How does high school science differ from uni science?
- Why did you become so invested in atarnotes?


IMPORTANT: In order to ask a question, you will have to click here and make an ATAR Notes account.

2018-2021: Science Advanced - Global Challenges (Honours) @ Monash

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Ionic Doc

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Re: Bri's Ask Me Anything
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2019, 11:03:22 am »
+3
Hello Bri!
Were you always vegetarian and if not, what prompted you to become a vegetarian?

also another question

At the end of year 12 did you think you would get the ATAR you got or did it come as a surprise when you saw your results? Asking this as you mentioned your school hadn't seen a 90+ in years.
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Re: Bri's Ask Me Anything
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2019, 11:12:04 am »
+3
How can I get to be as awesome as you when I grow up?

Also what's your favourite species other than turtles? (because I know you'll say turtles otherwise)
2019: B Environment and Sustainability/B Science @ ANU

Bri MT

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Re: Bri's Ask Me Anything
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2019, 11:24:29 am »
+6
Hello Bri!
Were you always vegetarian and if not, what prompted you to become a vegetarian?

also another question

At the end of year 12 did you think you would get the ATAR you got or did it come as a surprise when you saw your results? Asking this as you mentioned your school hadn't seen a 90+ in years.

Hey Ionic Doc!

Haven't always been vegetarian. The first prompt towards it was when studying philosophy through DECV in year 7. We had an excursion were we were talking about the rights of animals & I said that given we can't communicate with animals and we know they feel suffering, emotions etc. we should treat them as we would want to be treated. Teacher asked if I was vegan, I said no, and they thought I should adjust my belief to be consistent with my actions. I, on the other hand, thought I should adjust my actions to be consistent with my belief. Went home, asked mum if I could be vegetarian she said no it's unhealthy and that was the end of it for a bit.   Few years later we watched a doco in outdoor ed about the impacts of animal agriculture on the environment (neither of the teachers were vegetarian or vegan) and in that I learnt that being vegetarian or vegan can be healthy. Since my career plan was marine biology I thought that if I'm going to be asking people/organisations/companies to adjust their actions to benefit marine life then I better be willing to do the same and voila I haven't eaten meat since. A year later I became vegan but that was more related to animal cruelty concerns whereas my vegetarianism was primarily from an environment perspective.

I know this can be a contentious topic for some; I'm happy to debate anyone who disagrees with my views in the rants/debates section :)

also another question

At the end of year 12 did you think you would get the ATAR you got or did it come as a surprise when you saw your results? Asking this as you mentioned your school hadn't seen a 90+ in years.

I had a pretty strong idea I'd be 90+ and I really wanted 98+ but I certainly wasn't confident I'd get that. Throughout year 12 people had been punching projections of my study scores into atar calc and telling me the outcome so I certainly knew it was a possibility but there was plenty of doubting and stressing along the way.

How can I get to be as awesome as you when I grow up?


You're such a gem already....

I'm torn between a few different responses here:
1. Reminding you how amazing you are
2. Describing a bit about how I came to be who I am
3. Giving advice for anyone interested in self improvement

I'm going to try going with a hybrid of these:
Your innate value isn't going to change as a result of what happens to or with you. It's always there, and I've communicated my recognition of you and who you are at your core before and I'll do it again: you're an incredible person who has been dedicating yourself to make the world better socially & environmentally. You've helped an absolutely gigantic amount of students and you keep working on yourself and pushing forward. Your forward sometimes has, and sometimes will, take you somewhere different than my forward but please don't mistake that as your journeys or destinations being less valuable than mine.

My journey has been significantly influenced by me doing a lot of introspection on how I can be a "good person" and trying to improve that a lot but I can tell you that the times when I was at my worst and struggling the most that introspection was a lot more maladaptive & harmful. I focus myself on my two core values: empathy (to tell me what direction to go in) and determination (to make sure I keep going) and a large part of my personal development has been learning to include self-empathy in determination & protecting my ability to invest in future when I consider how hard to push my determination (hence my quote "invest in your wellbeing so it can invest in you"). Overall, my advice to anyone wanting to focus on their personal development is to focus on progress rather than perfection.
Also what's your favourite species other than turtles? (because I know you'll say turtles otherwise)

Turtles are multiple species so since you don't already have the exact answer for what species is my favourite:
- My favourite turtle species are Dermochelys coriacea the leatherback sea turtle, Chelonia mydas the green sea turtle, and Chelodina longicollis the eastern long neck turtle
- I'd have to go with tortoises for my favourite non-turtle species (you can tell they aren't my favourite because I haven't got the scientific names of any tortoises memorised).
- Assuming you wanted a non-testudine answer.... I'm not sure. I have a soft spot for snow leopards since they're mum's favourite but there are so many amazing organisms and I'd have to think before answering. it might be a plant species - probably a tree of some sort.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2019, 12:03:50 pm by Bri MT »
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K888

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Re: Bri's Ask Me Anything
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2019, 11:41:38 am »
+5
For someone trying to consume less meat, what are some of your favourite vego recipes?

Do you have any ideas about what you want to pursue after you finish your degree?

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r1ckworthy

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Re: Bri's Ask Me Anything
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2019, 11:45:40 am »
+4
Whatís it like to be president of the Monash Advanced Science and Science Scholar Society? And what was your path to this position?
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Re: Bri's Ask Me Anything
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2019, 12:11:02 pm »
+2
What made you go into science at VCE and uni?

Was there something that triggered off your passion for it? Or were you always interested in the topics?
.                                                                                                         |2019| Biology.
                                                                          |2020| English, Maths Methods, Food Studies, Chemistry.
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Bri MT

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Re: Bri's Ask Me Anything
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2019, 12:36:12 pm »
+7
For someone trying to consume less meat, what are some of your favourite vego recipes?

Do you have any ideas about what you want to pursue after you finish your degree?



I usually cook very impromptu and there are so many product on the market now that I haven't tried them all but here are some things:

When I'm cooking for myself I tend to make stuff like:
- chickpea curries w/ w/e vaguely suitable veggies I have on hand
- stir fries. I don't eat much tofu but if you want to try tofu and aren't experienced with it here's my advice: pick a preflavoured packet (e.g. malaysian satay is v nice). If you get more into the world of tofu keep in mind different firmnesses for different purposes & you can get different textures based on both cooking and prep (e.g. pressing to remove water, freezing etc.)
- There's usually some brand of veggie burgers on special at a given time and I like to cook up a veggie burger, cut it into strips and put it onto a salad

When I was cooking vegan for my brother who "wants to be vego but likes taste/convenience too much":
- lasagna with mock mince
- fry's protein strips in souvlakis
- veggie burgers but actually in burgers
- some entertainer pack things of spring rolls etc. are vego and there are some very convincing vego sausage rolls (& some less so)

Note on mock products:
- quorn is generally very convincing as fake meat.
- Only heard great things about the taste of Gardein but I spend less than $30/week on food shopping so it's outside my budget
- Herb and Sons "Chicken Kiev" (or however they spell it to indicate it's mock) is generally on a good special since it's only vegetarian not vegan and thus not many are buying it - heard good things about that
- Apparently rebel/impossible/beyond burgers are very difficult to distinguish from beef burgers

Do you have any ideas about what you want to pursue after you finish your degree?

I want to do postgrad marine bio (not in Vic, probably in Tas or Qld) at some stage but my plan is to work after my undergrad and not go straight into more years of uni straight away
2018-2021: Science Advanced - Global Challenges (Honours) @ Monash

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Bri MT

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Re: Bri's Ask Me Anything
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2019, 12:51:32 pm »
+3
What’s it like to be president of the Monash Advanced Science and Science Scholar Society? And what was your path to this position?

 I'm the first president of mass^3 (the shortened version of our name) to be from the Global Challenges rather than the Research degree and that's shaping my presidency a fair bit. So far there's been a few stressful bureaucratic hurdles (technically we don't have a treasurer or a secretary) but I've also got a great committee that makes managing those easier. Since elections happen towards the end of semester 2 we haven't organised many activities yet but I'm very excited to see what we can achieve in the future & how we can integrate GC and Research more.

I started off as the first year representative for global challenges, then became events co-ordinator and am now president. It's unusual that I am president without having had an executive role before (president, vice president, treasurer or secretary) and my vice president also hasn't had an exec role before (they're in their first year of uni). Fortunately, my vice helped the previous vice and pres a fair bit and has experience with responsibilities that would usually fall under executive roles (e.g. minute taking).

A big driver for me in taking on these roles is that I almost picked research instead of GC as my first preference and believe that people in the two courses should be more connected to each other. When I first started I was the only GC-er on the committee and no GC students turned up to events. Now the committee is 50/50 GC/research and a lot more GC students are turning up to events :)
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r1ckworthy

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Re: Bri's Ask Me Anything
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2019, 12:57:34 pm »
+5
i just thought of another question, hope you donít mind ;D

If lab meat ever gets commercialised, would you make the switch? You donít have to answer if you donít want to ;D
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Re: Bri's Ask Me Anything
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2019, 01:08:43 pm »
+3
What made you go into science at VCE and uni?

Was there something that triggered off your passion for it? Or were you always interested in the topics?

When I was 6(?) I read one of my ocean books and saw the word marine biologist - from then on, that was my career goal with the exception of a period of doubt from late year 11 to year 12. Due to this, I knew I wanted to study bio and chem in VCE early on. Originally I didn't plan on physics or psych but there were timetable clashes and all else being equal I decided I'd rather pick a science than a non-science.

My plan for VCE I had in year 10:
- Biology (year early)
- Outdoor ed (year early - I fought so hard to be able to do 2 subjects a year early)
- Japanese
- Methods
- Chemistry
- Literature
* I wanted to do spec but my school didn't offer it and didn't allow us to study it by distance ed

From studying science at a VCE level I learnt to appreciate science for being science rather than just 'science tells me cool things' which is definitely something I've carried into uni. When I had my period of doubt about marine bio (years of 'you won't get a job as a marine biologist' and 'you should be a doctor') I ended up deciding that biomedical engineering would be a good alternative whereas my pre-VCE self would've been unlikely to see a branch of engineering as particularly appealing.

I am SO SO SO glad that I've stuck with following science rather than listening to others and being pushed off into med. Med's a great area for some people but I'm much happier learning about ecosystems and systems change than I would be pushing myself into med or a med-related field.

Does this answer your question?
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Bri MT

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Re: Bri's Ask Me Anything
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2019, 01:14:10 pm »
+6
i just thought of another question, hope you don’t mind ;D

If lab meat ever gets commercialised, would you make the switch? You don’t have to answer if you don’t want to ;D

Probably not.

I can't imagine lab meat being more eco-friendly and addressing my environmental concerns more than what I already do (e.g. lab meat does still necessitate tissues being taken from an animal to start off the culture and when I last researched it, was more energy and resource intensive than plant-based agriculture).There's also an aspect of - at this stage - the idea of eating animal products would make me uncomfortable.


However, if lab meat had been widely adopted and commercialised before I went vego I might not have gone vego in the first place.
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Calebark

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Re: Bri's Ask Me Anything
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2019, 01:24:37 pm »
+5
My serious question: what did your name your very first turtle toy?

My silly question: what have been the biggest challenges in your path as you've helped bring ATAR Notes to the QCE? In terms of lectures, the forums, and all the little bits between them.
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Re: Bri's Ask Me Anything
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2019, 01:30:42 pm »
+2
What is your favourite season, and why is it your favourite? :)

Bri MT

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Re: Bri's Ask Me Anything
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2019, 01:46:13 pm »
+7
My serious question: what did your name your very first turtle toy?
Leo, as in Leonardo the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle

My silly question: what have been the biggest challenges in your path as you've helped bring ATAR Notes to the QCE? In terms of lectures, the forums, and all the little bits between them.

For me personally: All of the other things that have taken time and energy from me. I love my course but I'm very much looking forward to only having 3 units next semester and that my units from now on will be more focused on my strengths. I'm also looking forward to having a less stressful life in aspects outside of uni :)

The ambiguity with how QCE has been implemented in schools and students not knowing who we are has also been a challenge. The most poignant moment of this is when I was giving the chem lecture having based my preparation on schools having followed the syllabus for units 1&2 which I learnt from my audience often wasn't the case. It's not only the students who are struggling and stressed with a new system but teachers too and that's not something I had initially considered very much (obviously there's a spectrum in how teachers have responded, it seems like some are responding amazingly too).
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