About Author

JEFFREY B. JOHNSTON
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I like to say that my life has been one of constant motion. I have grown up in many different neighborhoods, schools, and with people from all sorts of backgrounds. Consequently, my environments have created much of who I am today. Through all of the changes in my life, or perhaps because of them, I have maintained and acquired a unique personality and values.
I lived in Greenville, South Carolina for twelve years. Greenville was a mix of everything- a rural, urban and suburban atmosphere all at once, perfect for my desire to explore. I would avidly adventure with my friends to the outskirts of town and back with an unsurpassed feeling of independence. I knew the place like I knew the back of my hand- better, in fact. In all aspects, Greenville epitomized friendliness and a strong sense of community. I was in a safe little bubble where everything and everyone was familiar to me, making me a very easy-going, laid-back person. Even when I moved around schools, I was always able to freely talk to others and adjust. So far, I had yet to encounter as much diversity as I would later in life. I was exposed to plenty of people, but it was a fairly homogenous group, both in mind and culture-which I was comfortable with. Moving out of my comfort zone was a tricky but important transition I had to make.
My family moved to the suburbs of Alpharetta, Georgia when I was twelve years old. I had a skeptical first impression of the cookie-cutter neighborhoods, all with their neatly trimmed yards, pastel colored houses and pricey cars. As the years passed, I came to appreciate the city’s opportunities and interesting lifestyle. Alpharetta was definitely not the affectionate, relaxing environment I had grown up in, but I feel that the biggest gift this move gave me was a much-needed dose of reality and an open mind.
I had a bit of culture shock for a while, especially at school. I was quite unsure of how to approach my new peers, who were vibrantly diverse in ethnicities, personalities and interests. I was intimidated by their ambitious attitudes, and it was with a little difficulty that I finally embraced the atmosphere and an open-minded nature. Looking back, I am really grateful that their persistent and charismatic natures rubbed off on me and helped me succeed. The tight knit group of people I was used to being with had vastly expanded. I gained a melting pot of friends who were happy to accept me into their different lifestyles. I also came to understand my own culture from interacting with the local Indian community. Celebrating functions like Diwali with friends gave me a sense of pride in my background that I had never before experienced. It was exciting to be a part of so many worlds coming together.
Yet consistency was a major problem for me. I moved to three different schools in my first three years of living in Alpharetta. It was agonizing to grow attached to people, which was my inherent tendency, only to be snatched away and be put in some other surroundings without my awareness. I had been used to moving before, but now I seemed unable to cope with my constantly changing situations. I eventually took from this an ability to realize the age-old paradox- that change is the only thing constant in this world, and that I should enjoy the moments I could.
The one idea my entire community seemed to agree on was that success must be achieved at all costs. I was amazed by the fiery competition among children and adults. I was used to being labeled “the smart one,” and had instilled in myself a sense of reassurance of that, but was proved otherwise. All of the students seemed to be the best and brightest, and I finally came to see myself as “average”, a level that was unacceptable to the new standards I was supposed to hold myself. My neighborhood and the traditions it upheld promoted this overachieving mindset indefinitely. I felt at first that the environment was a bit harsh, but had it been otherwise, I would not be as determined and vehement to succeed as I am. In a way, I was given a sample of the challenges of the real world. My community provided me with excellent role models to be beacons of light for me to look up to. I found help at every corner, whether it was from peers, teachers or other adults, who all led me to realize my full potential.
I have gone through a few bumpy roads growing up, because it took me a long time to understand what my communities had to offer. Both the environments I have lived in are equally important to my personality, contributing invaluable characteristics. At the core, I am both the open, adventurous Greenville and the ambitious, mature Alpharetta. I had to take the initiative to change my attitude towards life and make the best of my situations. Change has become a part of me, and I have learned to adapt myself extensively to keep up with its speed. I am confident that the process of finding my personality has given me strong preparation to face the rest of my life.

Most of my friends would say that I am honest, caring, intelligent, hardworking, and ambitious self-made, semi-work alcoholic but a down to earth person. I have a great sense of humor and enjoy good laughs. I like to balance professional & personal life. Professional life gives you exposure, confidence & sense of achievement. I believe the fulfillment one gets from one’s work is very important for wellbeing. I also like to participate in friendly get-togethers, functions, parties, etc. My favorite pastime is watching movies, searching for my next big adventure online & photography.

I graduated from Hillsborough High School (Class of 1991) in Central New Jersey with a Diploma in General Studies .

After graduating from high school, I was enlisted into the US Army (Delayed Entry Program 1990). To complete my Advanced Training for the Military Occupation Specialty of Military Police from July-September 1991. I was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for mathematics presented by Her Majesty the Queen (photo, video clip-330kb, vidoe clip-2.3Mb, radio clip) at a ceremony at Victoria College on 25 May 89.

 

 

I lived in Cambridge, England from October 1988 to January 1997; I studied at Trinity College, Cambridge University to read Electrical and Information Science at the Department of Engineering. I obtained a BA (Hon.) degree in 1991 and MA in 1994. Soon after I graduated in 1991, I worked till Aug 93 as a system development engineer at a Cambridge based company called CEDAR Audio Ltd. It specializes in restoring degraded audio signal, the company has a close relationship with the dept. of engineering (CEDAR stands for Computer Enhanced Digital Audio Restoration). I started my Ph.D. studies in October 1993 with the Signal Processing and Communications Lab., Department of Engineering, Cambridge University,, under the supervision of Prof. Peter Rayner, the funding was kindly provided by the Croucher Foundation. My main research interest was Blind Signal Separation, which involves separating signals from mixed observed data only, for examples, separating voices from speakers who are speaking simultaneously. I had been an active member of the Cambridge University Chinese society (CUCS), I was elected as the president of CUCS for 1990-1991. I used to teach at the Cambridge Chinese Community School every Sunday.

I have always wanted to learn to speak more languages, during Jan-Apr 2006, Irene and I decided to do a 3-month full time French language course in France, spending 6 weeks in Antibes, South of France and 6 weeks in Paris. In Apr-May 2007, we spent 2 weeks in Lyon to further out French.

We studied a total of 6 weeks during Sep-Nov 2009 at a Japanese language school called Yamasa Institute in Okazaki, Japan.

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$22.50

Tales from Asia:
Land of the Rising Sun

by Jeffrey B. Johnston

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UPCOMING EVENTS

10 March 2017

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“Stone restaurant”
15 Yellow Av. New York

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17 May 2017

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“Fire restaurant”
28 Spring Av. New York

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23 October 2017

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“Chilli bar”
145 Red Av. Los Angeles

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