Friday, 5 May 2017

Public Lecture: Neuropsychology of Dementia by Dr Luke Smith

Today, I went to Swinburne University, Hawthorn campus to attend a public lecture on the neuropsychology of dementia, mainly because I got interested in ageing, mental health in older adults and diseases that are common in older adults from my psychopathology lecture on cerebral disorders this week. It was my first time visiting Swinburne University, so it was definitely a good thing that I arrived at the uni 15 minutes early to locate the venue of the lecture.

So, this is just a brief overview of what topics were covered in the public lecture. It is by no means complete with all the notes in the slides, but it will be a summary of the main points that I manage to jot down during the lecture.

This public lecture is part of a series of seminars on ageing which runs every year for more than 6 years already. So basically, this lecture is the continuation of previous lectures on related topics in ageing. Dr Luke Smith is a Clinical Neuropsychologist and he conducts neuropsychological testing with older adults who were often brought in by their concerned family members to examine if the individual has illnesses that can cause dementia.
1. Cognitive Domains
Dr Smith started the lecture by talking about the cognitive domains that are tested in a neuropsychological assessment for dementia. They are information processing (a fancy scientific work for how fast you can think), attention and concentration (divided into attention span, sustained attention and attention to detail), working memory (ability to hold information and manipulate them simultaneously), visuo-perceptual processing (how a person construct, integrate and organisation visual information), and finally language (which includes semantic processing [word finding], verbal fluency [naming as many words as possible starting with the letter F] and repeating sentences. When a neuropsychologist assess an individual, he will usually use "thinking and learning" instead of cognition to describe what tests he will be administering to the patient. This is because not many people understand what cognition means, therefore using phrases that people can understand will be essential for effective communication. Testing will also require 3-4 hours, including approximately 1 hour of history taking, which comprises interview with the client's family and friends, asking about premorbid functioning, social, occupational, educational history and so on.

-Learning and Memory
A special mention on learning and memory here is because the general public (or us) often think that memory problem is the early sign of dementia, however Dr Smith explained that this is not the case. Learning is usually the aspect that becomes impacted first. It starts with learning problem, where the person is not able to take in much information from his/her surroundings, and also may never encode the information. Hence, the memory problems that are observed by caregivers are because the information was never learned / encoded in the first place.

Other aspects that are assessed are free-recall memory (ability to recall something without prompts), and recognition memory (ability to recognise if a word was on a list or not).

-Executive Functioning
I remember learning this in my capstone subject at my university, although I still don't really know what executive functioning means. So, Dr Smith describes executive functioning as top-down processing. It involves ability to generate ideas, divide attention, inhibit attention, reason and problem solve, planning and organising, and finally having insight.

Often, individuals presenting with symptoms and signs of dementia are refered by carers or other people as being in denial. However, there is a crucial difference between being in denial versus having no insight. When one has no insight, there is no awareness of the problem to begin with, whereas being in denial is when the individual knows that there is a problem, but does not want to acknowledge it or is actively ignoring it.

2. Behavioural Changes
Secondly, a neuropsychologist assesses a client's behavioural changes by interviewing family and friends of this individual. A clinician / diagnostician needs to be mindful of the possibility of an observed behaviour to be just eccentricities of the individual which may be present for all of the client's life. The behaviour of interest has to be a change from a person's pre-morbid presentation. Examples of these include: being disinhibited and impulsive, irritable, agitated, aggressive, being rigid and inflexible, being repetitive (i.e., repeating same things over and over), being hyper-oral (i.e., having a sweet tooth), and apathy (i.e., not caring about things they used to care about or anything at all).

3. Social Cognition
Third aspect that is assessed in a client to determine if the client may have dementia is social cognition. Social cognition is our ability to judge and interpret others' emotions. This ability is crucial for us to understand what others are feeling. It allows us the capacity to empathise and is essential for communication. Generally, we have more difficulty judging negative emotions such as disgust and confusion compared to positive emotions such happiness and excitement. The participants of this lecture (me included) completed an activity on social cognition, where we had to identify another person's emotions based on what they express on their faces. In dementia presentation, the individual will generally have difficulty expressing emotions, and the way they express emotions may changes as well. This is called affective expression. They may also have difficulty judging the emotional tone of another person's voice. As a participant brought up the issue of the appropriate action when the client being in a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) background compared to an Australian born and raised clinician, Dr Smith explained that he usually cuts out all forms of sarcasm and tones, and just being very formal and neutral when conducting the assessment. This cuts down the chance that the client misinterpreting what was said.

4. Disease Syndromes
Fourth aspect which will be examined in a neuropsychological assessment is which of the syndromes does the client's presentation fit in, Alzheimer's disease, Dementia with Lewy Bodies, Vascular Dementia, Frontal-Temporal Dementia, or others.

For Alzheimer's Disease (AD), a common form of neuropsychological disorder in older adults, patients often present with naming (word finding) difficulties, visuo-construction problems (unable to copy a drawing of a house), and rapid forgetting where prompting no longer helps. Interestingly, in initial stages of AD, patients often do not present much executive and behavioural changes. A neuropsychologist can also administer a test called Block-Design test where the patient is required to recreate a design using colour blocks as shown.

Vascular dementia was also discussed. But unfortunately I didn't jot a lot of information down. I did include a link so that you can have a read if you like.

Next was dementia with Lewy bodies. This forms of dementia have presentation including visuo-perceptual problems, hallucinations (often nocturnal, meaning at night time), problems with executive functioning, attention problems, and REM sleep behaviour disorder (which means patients act out their dreams). A point was also highlighted about the importance for clinicians to be able to constant differentiate the presentation of the client and ruling out what may not likely be the diagnosis.

Furthermore, we have frontal-temporal dementia. This is when the person can show language changes (i.e., repeating sentences), and carers may report the patient has sexual disinhibition (i.e., cheating on their spouse when they never would have before developing dementia).

Dr Smith also highlighted the relationship between movement disorders such as Parkinson's Disorder, Huntington's Disease and Motor-Neurone Disorder with progression towards development of dementia. In particular, almost 100% of people with Huntington's disease will develop dementia later in life.

5. Decision Making Capacity
Decision making involves ability to do four things: Understand, retain, communicate and weigh up information. The assessment of this capacity will involve corroborating information from the patient's family and friends, followed by a structured capacity interview and finally a comprehensive cognitive and behavioural assessment. The point is to assess if the patient has the cognitive capacity to make well-reasoned decisions in their daily life.

6. Behaviour management
Contrary to what we usually think is the main problem with dementia, such as memory, it is in fact behaviours of the patient that cause most distress to his/her family and friends, and also health professionals. Behavioural management is now considered first-line therapy for patients diagnosed with dementia. It is based on models of behavioural change and includes evidence-based strategies. Anyone can learn methods of managing behaviour of patients with dementia. Connecting with the person's long-term memories is also important to build rapport with the individual, as the person's short-term memory is often impaired.

Finally, although at present there is no cure for dementia, getting an individual to seek help from a multidisciplinary team, involving geriatric specialists, neuropsychologist, dietician, speech pathologist, occupational therapist, nurse and social worker is likely to help the individual in the most comprehensive way possible.

I hope you enjoyed my summary. Please share with others who you think this information might be helpful for.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Life update mid-2017: Studies, Visa, and Australia

Hello everyone!

It's been a while (more than 1 year) since I wrote a blog post, and many things have been happening. So I thought I would do a posting just to update.

I have always wanted to volunteer for some mental health organisations and non-profits. This year, I finally achieved this goal. I got accepted into three mental health organisations in Melbourne for volunteering. So far, I have been volunteering for them for about 3 months, and the experiences have been great. I met wonderful people, many older and much wiser than me, and I am glad I learned a lot from each of them.

I am currently in my final semester of my undergraduate studies! My goodness, I can't believe I am actually graduate in 3 months time. By August this year, I hope to get a Post-Study Work Visa  so that I can stay in Australia for a longer period of time to study and maybe find a part-time job (haven't figure that out yet).

Perhaps because I am graduating soon, I have been enjoying more of my psychology studies recently compared to previous years. I thought I would post a series of posts about what I study in uni, which maybe can help some students, whether they are Melbourne University students or from other universities, to understand their lecture material better.

Also, I plan to visit some surrounding suburbs for the next few weeks, take some photos and share my experience here as well.

That's all for now. Will post some new updates soon!

Friday, 4 November 2016

100 Ideas for Self Care!

Recently, I have compiled a long list of ideas for my own self-care during Uni exams period (which is now really). I will share them with you today, some of them have been modified to suit most people. 

1. Take a few deep breaths
2. Take a 10 minute walk
3. Make yourself a cup of hot drink 
4. Practise gratitude
5. Be compassionate / kind towards yourself
6. Take a break
7. When stressed out, brainstorm alternative ways to solve the problem
8. Accept uncertainty as part of life
9. Allow yourself to feel your emotions, don't shut them out. 
10. Love all parts of yourself: the good, bad and the ugly
11. Focus on just one thing that you have to do for the day.
12. Talk to someone you trust
13. Write a letter to yourself
14. Embrace surprises, unexpected turns and failures in life
15. Go to the beach and the ocean
16. Tell yourself: "It's hard, but I can do this"
17. Go back to the basics: Nutrition, Rest, Sleep, Leisure, Water, Cut down on sugars and caffeine
18. Be present in the moment
19. Practise meditation exercises
20. Listen to some relaxing music
21. Look for the positives in every situation (especially during adversities)
22. Don't compare yourself with others. There are 7.5 billion people in this world, you can't top them all. 
23. Hit the gym or run around your residential area
24. Smile to someone else
25. Help someone else
26. Avoid catastrophising (i.e., making things bigger or more serious than they actually are)
27. Have some comfort food
28. Recall happy times with friends and family
29. Call or text a friend to catch up
30. Open up
31. Read a book
32. Watch a movie you like
33. Hugs
34. Colour
35. Journal
36. Volunteer 
37. Visit a local exhibition / museum / or some other artsy stuff
38. Cry
39. Do yoga 
40. Hyperfocus on something
41. Laugh about problems
42. Accept what you can't change, and change those that you can. 
43. Learn a new language / craft / recipe / whatever you like
44. Surround yourself with nature for a day
45. Practise being. 
46. Do nothing, literally. 
47. Solve a puzzle
48. Visit a bookstore 
49. Go to an art gallery
50. Paint
51. Take a mental health day, or schedule it into your week.
52. Spend time with people who empower you
53. Avoid toxic people
54. Remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing, this keeps you motivated. 
55. Appreciate the beauty of this world
56. Play video games / iOS / Android games
57. Put on makeup, or put on a suit
58. Join social events
59. Share your knowledge with others
60. Work limited hours
61. Set boundaries by saying "no" to things
62. Be brave and do something you are fearful of
63. Go shopping
64. Accept your painful / unpleasant emotions.
65. Go for a massage
66. Try aromatherapy / essential oils
67. Eat healthily
68. Sleep at appropriate times
69. Set a positive intention at the start of your day
70. Don't let petty things get to you. Ask yourself: Would this matter in 5 or 10 years time?
71. Try a new hobby
72. People watching
73. Get a pet or many pets
74. Eat ice-cream
75. Pamper yourself
76. Create a list of 10 things you like about yourself
77. Fail, but fail happily, because you can learn something each time you fail
78. Go to your favourite cafe
79. Party with friends
80. Lose yourself momentarily in a good book or movie
81. Go on an adventure
82. Create a bucket list
83. Read inspirational quotes
84. Spend quality time with your significant other
85. Smile even when you feel horrible
86. Creative expression
87. Go to a garden, watch the flowers, the trees, the grass
88. Watch funny videos
89. Attend a musical or theatre performance
90. Go for a buffet
91. Take naps
92. Look at yourself in the mirror and say "I love you"
93. Experience life as it comes, as it is. 
94. Go on a roadtrip
95. Sleep in for that day
96. Educate yourself on wellbeing and self-improvement
97. Travel
98. Help someone who is less fortunate than you.
99. Meet new people
100. Learn to forgive yourself and others

How did you find this list? Did any of them helped you? If you have any tips that are not listed here. Please share them in the comments below. 

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Flourishing in the 21st Century: Learnings from Dr Alan Wallace's Public Lecture

Photo from Pinterest 

Guys, apologies here. I meant to publish this post more than a month ago, but my perfectionistic tendencies hindered me from finishing what I started. I am working on it! So, here it is.

I went to a public lecture at Melbourne University on the 27th August. It was a talk by Dr Alan Wallace titled, "Flourishing in the 21st Century: The Rise of Contemplative Science", presented by the Center of Positive Psychology at the Graduate School of Education at the university. The talk inspired not just me, but many among the audience as well, to think more deeply about what is it that we are pursuing in life, are we actually flourishing, and how do we get there to where we want to be?

I aim to provide some key nuggets of wisdom I think everyone to have a think about at this very moment of your life. Are you happy? Do you think that you will be happy after you have achieved some goal, like work achievement, or marriage, or obtaining wealth and prestige? Dr Wallace invites us to really rethink our pursuit in life.

I have typed detailed notes on my computer during the lecture, but I wish to present several essential points. I will start with the definition of happiness.

Two types of happiness

The first type of happiness is the hedonic pleasure. This type of pleasure is characterised by seeking pleasant stimuli and avoiding unpleasant stimuli. In other words, if we are having hedonic pleasure, what we mainly do is seeking pleasure and avoiding pain on a daily basis. This is also called the hunter-gatherer approach.

The second type of happiness is genuine wellbeing. This is defined as "wellbeing derived from an ethical way of life, mental balance and wisdom." Genuine wellbeing is also called the "cultivator approach".

Disadvantages of pursuing hedonic pleasure
- Constantly flourishing = something wrong 
Dr Wallace explains that the by the nature of us pursuing hedonic pleasure, such as the chasing for status, wealth, prestige, we are competing with others. Because we are trying to constantly seek pleasure and avoid pain, we may want to constantly flourish. And if we see people who seem to be constantly flourishing, there may be something really wrong going on there. Think about it, is it possible that our lives be always filled with joy, happiness, excitement etc, and not even a brief moment of negative emotions, such as fear, disgust, sadness, grief, frustration?

Also, flourishing does not come from a technique, like mindfulness or meditation. Only people in the West enjoy going to retreats for meditation when meditation in and of itself can be incorporated in our day-to-day lives.

- Hedonism leads to exhaustion of the Earth's resources
If everyone in the world is focused on hedonic pleasure, we will all exhaust the planet, i.e., digging all the mines, using up every resource we can to generate wealth, inventing more nuclear weapons etc. These all do damage to the environment. There may be no more efforts invested in conservation for the environment, because everyone is so obsessed with increasing wealth, improving "Quality of Life" by earning more and more, even though they may have more than sufficient amount of money to get by. The rich become richer, the poor become poorer. What good does this bring?

The ethical way of life
The ethical way of life, Dr Wallace explains, is rooted in non-violence, and this form of life does not stem from self-centeredness for "no wars have been fought on the basis of non-violence". The flip side of violence is benevolence. When we practise benevolence, we give ourselves more opportunity to bring something good to the world.

Displeasure - Genuine unhappiness

Genuine unhappiness is when we are unhappy within ourselves, and when we get out there in the world, we bring to the world unhappiness as well. It is my personal view that sometimes this is not very much controllable for many who are less aware or reflective of their inner world, that they may be unable to see the unhappiness they are bringing to the world.

Dimensions of human flourishing 

Now, from the realm of unhappiness, we will move to the three dimensions of human flourishing. They are ethics, mental balance, and wisdom. I will discuss each of them in detail.

1. Ethics (social, environmental flourishing)

Ethics is divided into social and environmental flourishing. If we summarise the concept into one word, it's harmony - harmony within one's own communities, family, country and internationally; with the environment (or ecosphere), maintaining a sustainable economy, without environment destruction.

2. Mental Balance (psychological flourishing)

Psychological flourishing or mental balance is "a sense of wellbeing not contingent on external or internal stimuli, and is qualified by serenity, joy, and contentment, rather than excitement and arousal". It is a state of conative balance. We can of course stimulate ourselves in many ways, such as excitement, food, movies, relationships etc, but it's still hedonic. And the problem about hedonic pleasure is that when we stop doing it, or stop having those stimuli, the wellbeing vanishes. This is the core issue of all addictions. I would venture to say it's a never-ending cycle for those addicted unless they find something healthy to replace the excitement or dopamine surge that their addicted substance (beyond drugs) are giving them.

Dr Wallace points out that the notion that happiness must relate to excitement, arousal and stimulation is essentially a Western concept. He gives an example of how young people in Western cultures these days equate doing fun things as being happy. It's equating exciting activities as happiness. On the flipside, Eastern perspectives will say otherwise. More often than not, the eastern world also value things like serenity and solitude, meaning that excitement is not necessary for one to be happy or feel a sense of wellbeing.

Mental balance has four components: conative, attentional, cognitive, and emotional. It is when these four components are somewhat imbalance in an individual that problems start to occur.

1. Conative Imbalances
Conative Intelligence: "Do you have the intelligence of not eating the third dessert?" if you are wanting to keep fit. This form of intelligence guides us in adopting goals and desires which cultivates wellbeing.
-Conative deficit: A state where we are have an apathetic loss of desire for happiness (Too little desire). When we experience conative deficit, it's when we say to ourselves, "I don't know". There is no vision in our lives. This signifies lack of mental health.
-Conative hyperactivity: A state where we have an obsessive desire that causes the reality of the present to be blurred (Too much desire). When we experience conative hyperactivity, it is not an indication of mental balance according to Dr Wallace. It's a state where we are obsessive, fixated or addicted to something. Anything.
-Conative dysfunction: A state where our desire for something is not conducive (or helpful) for our own and others' wellbeing. An example of this is when we are addicted to something.

Resolving conative imbalances - Use the Fourfold Vision Quest

Upon explaining what conative imbalances are, Dr Wallace challenged us (the audience) to ask ourselves these four questions:

  • What would make you truly happy? 
  • What would you love to receive from the world to help you find such well-being? 
  • How would you love to transform and mature inwardly in order to realize such well-being? 
  • In order to lead the most meaningful life possible, what would you love to offer to the world? 

He also shared that we can't really do anything entirely alone. We need people in our lives. As death is the natural endpoint, perhaps it's important to reflect from time to time that as time passes, do answers to these questions change or flatline?

2. Attentional Imbalances
-Attentional deficit (Laxity): This is when we lose clarity and the vividness of our attention. In other words, distracted.
-Attentional hyperactivity (Excitation): This is when we are involuntarily agitated and distracted by compulsive desire. We could use an example of drinking alcohol. If you are reaching for a bottle everytime you feel stressed out and unable to stop yourself and focus on what's most important, then you could be suffering from attentional imbalance. ADHD is also an example.
-Attentional dysfunction: This is when we attend to things in a dysfunctional way.

Resolving attentional imbalances - Use two faculties to refine your attention

-Mindfulness: The buzz word nowadays in psychology. "This is the faculty of our mind to sustain voluntary attention continuously on a familiar object, without forgetfulness or distraction." Being mindful about what we are doing when we are doing it can reduce our tendency to mind-wander.
-Introspection: This is the faculty of monitoring the mind, recognizing the occurrence of excitation and laxity.

The result: Relaxation, stability, and vividness of attention.

How do we then cultivate this? Dr Wallace suggested that we attend intelligently to everything we are currently doing. Being present is key. How often do we attend to human beings and human beings? Not as preys or something to be beaten down? It's learning how we can change from "I x It" --> "I x You"

3. Cognitive Imbalances
-Cognitive deficit: This is when we fail to perceive what is present in the six fields of experience. For example, Dr Wallace used an example of women voting and the idea that women cannot vote because if they do they are going to vote the same candidate as their husbands anyway, so what's the point?
-Cognitive hyperactivity: A conflation of conceptual projections with perceptual experience. Hyperactivity in cognition results in what we think we see with the reality. 
This happens in paranoia (being too concerned about others having malicious intent), schizophrenia (having hallucinations and delusions), bipolar (swinging between extremes of mania and depression).
In all these conditions, people are too absorbed in a local reality.-Cognitive dysfunction: This is when one have distorted perceptual and conceptual experience of reality.

4. Emotional Imbalances
-Emotional deficit: This is when one feel dead within and have a cold indifference to other people and events.
-Emotional hyperactivity: Examples of this is Elation - Depression, Hope - Fear, Adultation - Contempt, and Attachment - Anger. This is when we experience too much of an emotion and do not have balance within ourselves.
-Emotional dysfunction: This is when one have inappropriate responses to situations.

The materialistic worldview, Dr Wallace added, is that "only matter exists, and we are only matter, and we have really no control over things". If one is materialistic, how will one get more eudaimonia? This materialistic worldview, hedonic way of life is very destructive and it is making mental health worse. There is lesser kindness, more hatred.

Remedying emotional imbalances - Four ways 
-Hedonism: Learn to use loving-kindness.
-Aloof indifference: Be compassionate.
-Depression: Empathetic joy
-Self-centered attachment (fixation on "I, me, mine") and aversion: Use equanimity (i.e., composure).

3. Wisdom (spiritual flourishing)

Finally, is wisdom or spiritual flourishing. This is a quality of wellbeing that carries one through all the ups and downs of life and till death. When we flourish spiritually, whatever way you prefer, whether through meditation, yoga, mindfulness, religions, philosophies, we find that we can make it through.

As a close, genuine happiness is cultivated by way of ethics, mental balance and wisdom. Mental health is cultivated by having conative, attentional, cognitive and affective (emotional) balance. And finally, exceptional mental balance is the basis of knowing reality as it is. Not wanting more in the moment, or wishing more, but accepting the current reality as it is.

Disclaimer: 99% of the content here are notes I have taken from Dr Alan Wallace's talk, except for my brief comments here and there. I am just summarising them to benefit those that didn't manage to go to the talk and for public learning. 

Monday, 1 August 2016

Update: Semester 2 Starts and My Next Postings

I am finally back on this blog again!

As I have started the semester in Uni, I thought it would be better to set a schedule for my blog postings. For the next half a year, I hope to publish a post by every Saturday night. If I can I will publish more during the week, but it depends on how busy I am during the week.

Just a sneak peek on what I have planned for the next few weeks!

- Semester 1, 2016 Subject Reviews
- My Trip to Central Australia
- My much delayed AIESEC trip experience
- Maybe a Pokemon Go Review?
- Food reviews
- Book reviews (Hint: I will be reviewing a fiction book and some self help books)

This semester will be a tough one, as I am taking three third-year subjects all at once. I have managed to get a reduced load this semester, so hopefully that will give me more time to work on my assignments.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Food Review #5: Mork Chocolate Brew House

My sister stumbled on a video from INSIDER Food Facebook page which showcased Mörk Chocolate Brew House’s Campfire Chocolate dessert. Since it’s holidays for me, and she could use a sweet break from her exam revision, we decided to pay a visit.

Mörk Chocolate Brew House (simply Mörk) is on Errol street, a specialty café for chocolates, cakes, and hot chocolate drinks.

Even before I stepped into the store, the minimalist logo on the side door / letter box caught my eye.

Overview of the store
Upon entering the store, I was quite surprised because the store is quite small. Four tables, three small tables which can fit 2 to 4 people, and a rectangular table which can fit about 10 people. Just doing the math, it means that the maximum number of people they can cater is 19 – 20.

 Minimalist, gives an artistic kind of feel and design.

Look closer… I can’t help but to admire the fantastic font that they used. As you can see from the Menu, their chocolates have different concentration or cocoa, 50%, 65%, 70% and 85%.

In the left corner of the store are their merchandises. The majority of them are cocoa (all of the concentration listed above), and they also sell ceramic mugs and cups that are locally made, titanium-plated milk jugs, and amber-coloured bottles on the top rack.

Both of us ordered a Campfire Chocolate (AUD8), she ordered an extra Chocolate Ganache and Burnt Caramel cake (AUD7).

For the Campfire Chocolate that I ordered, it comes with four things and you can prepare the drink yourself! There a glass placed upside down as it has beechwood smoke in it; then on the right there is the ceramic mini-jug with hot chocolate; between those two things, there are the small sprinkles of chocolate salt and a toasted marshmallow.
The waitress explained how to prepare it when she served them to us. First, you will turn the glass filled with smoke upright, then you pour the hot chocolate into it. I suggest you do it slowly so you can smell the smoke, it gives you the atmosphere of being beside a campfire, hence the name. After pouring you can take the chocolate sprinkles and put it into the hot chocolate. Finally, you dip your toasted marshmallow into it. Voilà! 

What I like about this hot chocolate is mainly the fun of the customer being able to do something hands-on with their drink. Another plus point of the smoke is that the hot chocolate has an added smoky flavour to it, not the usual AUD3 hot chocolate you get in other places of Melbourne.

The Verdict
Taste: 4.5/5
Originality: 5/5
Would I recommend it: Definitely

For the Chocolate Ganache and Burnt Caramel cake, I tasted a little bit but I thought it would be good to get my sister’s opinion on it. It’s a dark chocolate cake with salted caramel cake. It was really good quality chocolate, but one downside to it was that it’s not very special compared to the other choices in the Menu.  

The Verdict
Taste: 4.7/5
Originality: 3/5
Would I recommend it: Nah…

Who should definitely visit Mörk?
-People who would like a break from usual food and try something different in a really fantastic, minimalist atmosphere.
-People who have a sweet tooth and some spare cash to spend on pure chocolate dessert.
-People who want to try something kinda-new in town!

A video you might wanna check out that teaches you how to make Mork chocolate 

Mörk Chocolate Brew House
Opening Hours: Monday – Closed; Tuesday to Sunday 9am – 5pm
Address: 150 Errol St, North Melbourne VIC 3051.

Tel No: +61 (03) 9328 1386    


Thursday, 19 May 2016


Have you ever thought about proofreading your essay to improve your structure, argument, and quality?

Today I will be reviewing that examines your essay, analyses it, and provide feedback on it.

I have used their website and found it helpful for my assignment. I will review their service in a few sections: 1. Layout of the website, 2. Review of "Analyze My Paper" service, and 3. Recommendations for users

1. Layout

 As you can see above, the layout of the website is very clear and free of distractions. The tabs at the top of the website make it really easy to navigate.

Let's look further scrolling down the website.

This analysis provided in this website includes:
1. Grammar
2. Organization
3. Style
4. Content 
5. Research

These aspects are essential to an excellent piece of essay, no matter the year level, whether one is in primary, secondary or tertiary education. 

You can also look at their testimonials section to see what other customers have to say. 

2. Review of "Analyze My Paper" service

What really attracted me to consider using the service was its cheap pricing. Where can you get $1 / page? The market price is usually much higher, do a Google search and you will find out. Another plus point of is that they provide different levels of service: Grade My Paper and Analyze My Paper while other sites often only have one option. This gives users the option of trying out Grade My Paper first before deciding to go for Analyze My Paper. 

I decided to submit my Cultural Studies subject assignment for their service.

The above picture is the feedback given by Jaquelyn. 

As you can see, for a 1000 words essay, it's only 10 dollars. For the comments, I have counted that they gave at least 2-3 comments every paragraph and in total I had at least 15 comments in my paper.

As I needed to submit my assignment by the 15 April, I requested for my paper to be proofread by the same day I submitted my paper to this site. Despite it being a Friday, and they had a policy of 48 hours, my marker was still able to help me finish the proofreading by the time I needed them. 

That, to me, was a 5-stars plus point. 

So, how did my assignment go? I managed to get a H2A, 78/100 for this assignment. This shows that with some quality feedback, one can boost their marks which might possibly improve a grade. 

3. Recommendations for users

Definitely, try this service because of its cheap pricing. You can just save on a meal and you will be able to afford proofreading a 1000-word paper. It's that affordable! 

Head over to the website, and read more about it and judge for yourself. I gave an overview of their site here just to get you started if you are interested. 

Let me know what you think about me doing reviews like this. I might possibly make more reviews about things I use, books I read, cafes I go to, among other things. 

If you like this review or would want to know more, drop me a comment! 


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