What?! I Am Posted To TPJC?!

Posting results are out and the local blogosphere is bustling with comments and reactions by fellow bloggers. Some are ecstatic with the result while the others seem dispirited by the news. We manage to get a scoop of the reaction by bloggers who are posted to Tampines Junior College. Take a look at some of the funny, hysterical and yet depressing moments here...

When i checked my inbox i've got like 4 messages.
I opened the weird numbers, 74688, first.
It's kinda expected that i'll end up in TPJC.
[I always ended up in my 3rd choice..]
So i didnt feel happy or sad when i read it.
I just didnt quite like the last part.
Pl report to JC/MI on 2 Feb 09 at 7.30am.
So fast so fast.
And whats up with the caps for the name man.
Makes it so scary.
Thank God i didnt receive something like this...
MOE: TAN QIAN NING, you have nowhere to go to. Pls continue sleeping.
Omg, i think i will faint.


I did not sleep for the whole night not because I emo but because i can't sleep. And today, after getting the result, i slept for a good 9 hours. Fine, so be it. Tpjc isn't bad either. I was considering the idea of appealing. But ya, what Gillian said make sense. "If they didn't accept you at the first place, what makes you think they will aceept you this time round?"
Well, what's done cannot be undone. I only hope that I don't have to go into the same class as people I dislike. I am now trying very hard to like my future school and I believe that I'm coping well. Let me think of some good points.... At least now I do not have to worry about myself failing GP and get retained by the school and I think my converse shoe match with the tpjc school U better. OH YEA, then I don't have to dye my hair black. HEHHEHHEHEEE. Actually tpjc also not bad la:,> small and cozy!!
Congratulations to Joel Toh and CK && Marissa {Meridian}
and Shien{TPJC.YAY YOU CAN WALK TO SCHOOL.-.-? but you have to meet me at jc busstop still, as usual ;>}


got my posting and stuffs..
got into TPJC..
was sort of expected..
but still dun quite like the idea of going to TPJC..

wad to do..?
was kind of upset coz i need to wear a green uniform..

looks like i m going to wear a green uniform..
but it is not tt bad lar..
it is just tt..
all my friends going there is taking science..
instead of arts..
so sianz lor..


AAAHHHHH! I put my first choice as TPJC Arts and 2nd choice as TPJC Science.

In the end I got the Science stream!!!!! Like What the????

Then i went to the website and found out the cut-off for Arts this year is 12 and Science 13…. Actually quite happy that even though I put Science as 2nd choice I still could get into TPJC. But like wth??? Arts stream cut-off lower then Science? Biggest joke of the century man! Plus my chem like got C6 and BIO got B3 -.-


I got into.....tpjc

Now, i have to make stressful decisions again
Should i appeal?
If I do, will i be able to handle it?
People have been telling me, "Its not about the sch, its about yourself..."
It's true, cause east spring sec also produced brilliant students right?
But.. then again a lot people say tpjc damn slack
MJ is stressful bt quite confirm all will pass their Alvls.
If tpjc slack, then project work how?


SHOULD I APPEAL????????????????


i grab my towel, got up to go to the toilet.
and then.......
i ran back to my bed where my phone is,re-read one message.
''OMG. TPJC!!!!''
i literally did jump up and down at that time.
and then big momma got all excited because, the usual 5 awesome pple alsp got into TPJC!!
im sooooo happy.
because hanan,husni,BM and my dear boyfriend also got into the same school.
cool laaaa.
and then hanan and husni called me to tell that they're on their way to go buy the uniform.
at serangoon or something.
funny sia. so semangat for what.
we're supposed to report with old sch uniform.
and despite being on the phone, hanan still can't stop irritating me.
well i guess, now we'll have more opportunity to kill one another okay hanan.


Foreign Talents In Singapore

While in hospital for five days, I realized the existence of a huge pool of foreign talents present in our health industry. Our local press have not been kind towards foreign workers raising an income in Singapore. Many alternative local blogs have mercilessly criticized their overwhelming presence here. Most of the naysayers accused them of creating a huge opportunity cost for Singaporean workers - our jobs are snatched away by them due to lower labour costs. Others blame that they may erode our social fabric - use of the English language (which is important in a multi-racial community) seems to be undermined, etc.

Singaporeans need to wake up and start recognizing the efforts and hard work of our foreign workers. I was admitted in Changi General Hospital on Chinese New Year eve. As expected and true enough, they were not many local nurses on duty. They were all replaced by Philippines nurses. Believe it or not, I was taken care of by almost five different Philippines nurses on duty during their various shifts. They were really nice and soft-spoken. Although they have a slightly odd accent (they pronounced 'back' as 'bark'), they were really efficient and caring.

I do comprehend that in the construction industry, almost 80% of the workers are non-Singaporeans. Most of them come from Thailand, China and Bangladesh. In fact, fifty thousand new foreign workers are expected over the next few years to join the local job market as new major construction projects are initiated. The importation of the huge amount of foreign labour is crucial so as to keep costs low and stay competitive. In short, they help keep the industry and economy going.

So should we be worried that they are 'stealing' our jobs? No, not at all. I believe the government is trying to do its best to promote a business-friendly reputation for the country. And to do so the government needs to consistently keep costs low so as to attract foreign direct investments (a bit of Economics here). Singapore is an small yet open economy which needs to step up its level of competitiveness in order to survive in the global market.

One of variable costs that companies look forward to cut during a bad turn in the economy is none other than labour costs. Companies here often seek an easy way out to the problem by employing foreign workers. For example, China workers are definitely way cheaper than Singaporean workers. Therefore, instead of wasting our time lamenting about the influx of foreign workers in Singapore, why not enroll yourself in a skill development workshop to double your productivity level?

I am not going to dwell on the skills development part. Instead, lets move on to another common issue raised by many Singaporeans, that is if foreign talents are disintegrating our social fabric. The first problem highlighted is regarding the language issue. Foreign workers from China are often put into the spotlight when it comes to this issue. And I have to agree with the critics. I am rather amazed that the service industry actually has the guts to employ them despite the fact that they know most of them are not proficient in their use of English language. There should be a English literacy test for foreign workers hoping for a place in the service industry. For goodness sake, you are dealing with Malay, Indian, Eurasian and possibly English-speaking Chinese Singaporean customers here!

Foreign Artistic Talent Scheme
This Scheme is jointly administered by the Singapore Immigration and the National Arts Council (NAC). This scheme aims to assist foreign artistic talents in art, photography, dance, music, theatre, literature and film to apply for Singapore Permanent Resident Status.

The next more worrying problem is the xenophobic mindset that some Singaporeans carry. The best example to explain the trend is the recent outburst by more than six hundred residents of Serangoon Gardens over a construction of a dormitory for foreign workers in their neighbourhood. The complaints fell to deaf ears and the proposal was granted at the end of the day. Singaporeans need to learn to live with foreign workers or risk living under constant distrust and discomfort with them. Quit imagining that foreign workers here are from a lower strata in the society and start thinking of the wonders we get to enjoy if we start acknowledging each other.

Singapore as an emerging economy combating with a dwindling population dilemma needs foreign workers for the country's future progress. In the health industry, the country is still struggling to meet the demands of the increasingly ageing population. It is no wonder I see Philippines nurses taking care of the patients most of the time. I had a pleasant stay there.

STOMP And Citizen Journalism In Singapore

Written by Wee Xue Wen Shawn (07S28).

'The question is no longer about the article. It is about the credibility of STOMP in the future. It is about the future citizen journalism here in Singapore.'

I would like to comment on the quality of the articles on the citizen journalism outlet, STOMP. Though I am not a regular STOMPER, I do read articles recommended by friends. Recently, I learnt from my Alma Mater's intranet about the article about two of our students from TPJC acting intimately at the back of a bus in their school uniform. This article and certain subsequent articles I read have brought to my attention the poor credibility and immaturity shown by some citizen journalists.

Without going into a discussion about whether the students' actions should be condoned, I would like to highlight that STOMP is on its way to become an entertainment outlet than one for citizen journalism. While there are proper articles regarding issues we would like to highlight of our society with the aim of trying to improve it, there are quite a number of articles submitted for the sake of attention itself and they show no significant relation to any issue. We see many 'caught in the act' articles, more often than not of couples in public, in or out of uniform. There are quite a handful of flame articles, meant to shame a certain person or a group of people for acting in an undesirable way. Some recent articles include: 'This rude bus driver cut my lane, confronted me and took my picture' and ‘Girl comes from good school, but what foul language she uses’.

Firstly, the credibility of certain articles, such as the one regarding TPJCians, can be highly questionable. It is amazing how a person can snap a picture of a situation and turn it into something else with the right captions and descriptions. To use this article as an example, the picture merely showed two students in close physical contact. However, the picture was exaggerated by the title "TPJC couple petting in bus back seat: 'Girl moaned and screamed at times'" and statements such as "The girl was even lying down at times" and "the guy looked like he was really enjoying it". It is appalling how STOMPERS spin stories just to sensationalize the story to higher the chances of an article being published. The title which was used: "TPJC couple petting in bus back seat: 'Girl moaned and screamed at times'" is bound to capture more attention than "Girl and boy sitting very close together at the back of the bus". For all we know, the boy could have been simply consoling the girl with a hug and what not, which is completely different and definitely a lot less serious than the description used for the picture. Many agreed that better evidence of this would come in a video, and not an uninformative picture.

Secondly, I would like to comment that many Singaporeans view public shaming as the best solution to a problem. This attitude has translated itself into “flame-fests” on STOMP, whereby a person is judged in an unjust manner and the article is basically a rant from the STOMPER because he or she did not find himself or herself in a favourable situation. While I recognize that there is a thin line between a personal bluster and highlighting certain issues within our society, I believe that the line is clear. While it is of utmost importance to highlight to our society to learn proper manners and social grace, we should refrain from making submissions that are too personal and using portals like STOMP to vent our very biased frustrations.

While I do believe portals like STOMP do help in the introduction of freedom of speech, I do hope it does not become a portal made for the middle-class paparazzi, where people go to simply for juicy news involving non-celebrity Singaporeans. In order to achieve this, STOMP should introduce or improve the quality control on articles submitted.

Tattoo: An Art Form?

The 1st Singapore Tattoo Show at the Singapore Expo has inevitably raised a few eyebrows, most notably resulting in an editorial in The Sunday Times questioning tattoo. Tattoo enthusiasts sometimes refer to tattooists as 'artists'. But are these people truly creating art, or merely scarring the human body in a permanent way?

Tattoos have many different connotations and uses in different traditions around the world. In places like Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand, the yantra tattoo is used for protection against evil and to increase luck. Most traditional tattooing in the Philippines is related to the wearer's accomplishments in life or their rank in the tribe. Henna, a temporary form of tattooing, is among the many rituals in most Indian weddings.

On the other hand, tattoos for non-traditional purposes have become more prevalent throughout the world, in North America in particular. Pop culture portrays tattooing as an art form through popular television shows like LA Ink and Miami Ink. Well-known celebrities with tattoos include Angelina Jolie, Colin Farrell, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, 50 Cent and Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson. The 1st Singapore Tattoo Show in particular shows that tattoos are gaining a slow acceptance into our society.

Colin Farrell and his tattoos
Or does it?

An earlier blog post mentioned how when we think about the bad in our society, one of the things we think of are tattoos. Tattoos have an almost unavoidable association with criminals. This probably stems from gang and criminal practices of using distinctive tattoos to identify themselves. In Japan, for instance, full body tattoos done the traditional Japanese way are associated with the yakuza, Japanese organized crime groups. As such, certain public bathhouses and gymnasiums even go as far as to openly ban people sporting such tattoos, in attempts to prevent the yakuza from entering.

a Japanese Yakuza tattoo

In my opinion, these negative criminal associations with tattoos play a significant role in preventing the complete acceptance of tattoos into society. In fact, those sporting tattoos do face some degree of discrimination and find it harder to find jobs.

Yes, tattoo artists now have training in technical and fine arts. Yes, advancements in tattoo pigments and the ongoing refinement of tattooing equipment has made significant improvements in the quality of tattooing. Yes, tattoos are slowly growing more popular in pop culture.

But the fact remains that these tattoos are permanent, and do carry negative connotations. Just like how racial prejudice is hard to get rid of, the prejudices that people hold about tattoos and those sporting them will be hard to eradicate. Complete acceptance of tattoos in our society is hard, but perhaps not impossible.

But if you ask me, tattoos are indeed an art form on their own.

TPJC In STOMP: The Review

Two days ago, STOMP decided to post a story. It was submitted by one of its members, STOMPer EnG, which somehow made it through its editorial board. The story claimed many things. Of course, to attract as much attention as it possibly can, the story had to carry a scandalous title. And so they went with "TPJC couple petting in bus back seat: 'Girl moaned and screamed at times'", as expected with inverted commas accompanying it (an easy way out).

Oh, and that is not all. Having an interesting title is just not enough, isn't it? We need the oomph! factor. So why not post a photo or video of them in action and then go on to elaborate on the story? It is all right, you do not have to actually take a video or series of photo of them petting in the bus back seat. All you need to do is to take a single photo of them together to prove that they are indeed there, seating in the bus back seat. The rest is up to you and your creativity (which sometimes backfires, terribly).
Yeah, it is all right to tell a story solely based on a picture. I mean, we are taught to do it in Primary School.

After all that is done, do remember to check your work for mistakes. (Don't let Ms Tan spot any errors...) Failure to do so may send a torpedo right at all your hard work and possibly a smack right at the centre of your self-esteem (when you receive the paper back with remarks).

We all know a story out of point is just worthy of a F grade. To start with one thing and then end with another is the greatest mistake any author would want to end up with. To say
'I don't know what were they doing...' and then going on to speculate that they were petting is the most outrageous thing to do.

The STOMPer who submitted the photo is trying too hard to make a sensationalized story come to life. Oops, the SHOCKED STOMPer I mean (that bold word is important). There is just no evidence to support the claims as mentioned by the SHOCKED STOMPer.

The article posted in STOMP is just not conclusive enough at all. We are now questioning the reliability of the user-generated news website. There seems to be a huge flaw. It is too easy for anyone to bring down the reputation of a person or institution or company he or she doesn't like. All you need to do is to wait for them to make a 'mistake'.

Two friends sitting in a park. They were sharing their problems with one another. And then, the girl burst into tears. The boy decided to console the girl and whispered to her ears.


Front page photo with a title 'Romeo and Juliet caught kissing in public!'. It is that easy.

The Bad In Our Society: Why And How?

When someone wants you to name the bad in your society, the people that automatically comes into your mind are the mats, minahs, ah lians and ah bengs. When the same person then asks you to describe how they look like, the pictures that flash in your mind are tattoos, smoking, sex with multiple partners, theft, truancy and the many other things associated with crime. However, when a final question is thrown at you seeking an answer to why the group of people you first mentioned are bad, you hesitate.

You hold back your words not because you do not the answer. The truth is you do know the answer - mixing with the wrong company, a broken family and negative influence from the mass media. Nonetheless, you are still stuck. And you are in that condition because you realize that the answers do not make sense.

Why would they harm themselves by smoking profusely throughout their lives when they know it would harm them and probably their families? Why would they continue to lead a highly sexually active lifestyle when they know it would do nothing to fix a broken marriage? Why are they committing crimes when they know their lives can be chained up with a prison sentence?

In my opinion, they are lost.

I remembered having a friend in Secondary School who used to share with me her first sex experience with her boyfriend. She was only twelve back then and the intercourse took place on a staircase. My friends and I would constantly advise her to stop practising the unhealthy lifestyle and teach her about the possible effects of pre-marital sex (such as an unplanned pregnancy). She remained adamant and would always hit back at us with the usual reply, "Yeah, I knew that!".

Anyone who receives such replies would think that they all do not make sense. I mean, using an analogy, why will anyone step on a pile shit when they know it stinks and would dirty their shoes?! No one will do that. No one unless the whole scenario happens amid darkness and you are lost and you can't see anything around you.

Starting to get the picture? Now lets move on...

In life, we must always be attached to something. It can be your religion, racial traditions or even the values taught in your school and family. In my opinion, these are the things that we depend on before making a decision. For example, the reason why some of us do not lie is because we are taught by our parents and during religious classes that lying is morally wrong and can taint your level of integrity. In short, the things mentioned above shine the light in our lives.

However, not all of us are privileged or lucky enough to be living under the light; some of us are lost in total darkness. Yes, they were taught in school about the negative consequences of pre-marital sex. Yes, they were warned by their parents about the importance of good education. Yes, they were reminded by the mass media about the dangers of smoking.

Nonetheless, at the same time, they are living under the same roof with a father who smokes heavily. At the same time, the mass media proudly showcases how cool and fun a sexually active life is. And at the same time, they witnessed first-hand how their less attentive friends in class achieve top grades in their examinations.

And so they are confused. As the confusion grows, so does the level of distress. In the end, the mind blanks out. They are now lost. They left behind rationality and do things randomly, fuelled by curiosity. In total darkness, most of the times they trip. This is when they contract a sexually-transmitted diseases, suffer lung cancer, get an unplanned pregnancy and so on.

Every decision is made without much thought. They have nothing to rely on when they switched their minds off - no values or whatever. Furthermore, at times they do bump into people in the total darkness. People who are like them. And so the blind leads the blind. This is how a bad dark company is formed.

The mats, minahs, ah bengs, ah lians or anyone related to the bad in society are not really that bad. They are just very lost. Broken families, negative influence from the mass media and joining the wrong company are just mere excuses. It is fundamental to understand and take note that all the social problems do happen in close families, amidst strong censorship of the mass media by the government and by befriending capable and honest individuals.

In various religious teachings, one concept that is constantly and consistently taught is about leading people in the correct path. We all know that when there is a correct path, there must also be an incorrect one. Most of us will choose the correct path as it is straight and safe. We naturally avoid the incorrect one as it is long-winded and treacherous. However, why would anyone in this world still choose the incorrect path? It is because they are not able to differentiate them both. They are just lost in total darkness. The paths look similar.

So how do we help our lost teenagers? How do we lead them back to the correct path?

We must reach out towards them, and not them reaching out to us. If we really want to solve our social mess, then it is vital for us to put in more effort going out and helping them. Concerts or (dance) competitions to promote awareness for specific anti- campaigns are too old-fashioned. Teenagers are most likely to skip the message of the campaign and instead focus on the entertainment value.

The lost souls needs hands to grab them and guide them to the light at the end of the dark space. They do not give much attention to campaigns no more. They have this thing called the Internet whereby more interesting materials are available.

It is about time we reach out to the 'bad' in our society with direct education.

The Singapore Blogosphere: Screwed Up?

Perhaps, and all thanks to its readers. Ever since advertising companies started to arrive in the shores of our local blogosphere, everything has changed. Some bloggers were intrigued by the idea of earning money just by sharing their thoughts online. Then, they began to learn how everything works and before you knew it, began posting articles about -you guessed it- sex, scandals and controversies.

No, it is unfair to put the blame on advertising companies. They will most willingly want to clinch a deal with top sponsors for high quality blogs discussing on topics such as technology, science and even politics. However, things work differently here in Singapore. The majority of the readers are hungry for more sexually explicit content, highly controversial articles and exaggerated artiste scandals.

The commercialization of the blogosphere has made bloggers themselves slaves to their readers. Readers are like consumers and bloggers are compelled to feed them with almost-junk content. The money-making equation is simple: the more readers or subscribers you have, the more moolah you are likely to bank in.

If there is one evidence needed to prove this problem, then it will be none other than our very own community meta blog for Singapore bloggers, known as Ping.sg. On average, almost half of the top ten most popular entries contain sex-related content with striking blog titles everyday. Again, you can't really blame Ping.sg for the overflow of sex-related blog posts. Ultimately, the people who decides which blogs get to the top ten spots are its readers.

I remembered asking a few of my not-so-Internet-savvy friends about the local blogosphere. And surprisingly, all of them uttered the same name, XiaXue. They went further and commented on how she represented our 'complain culture' pretty well. Somehow, XiaXue seems to be a representative of the entire local blogosphere. Unfortunately, all her constant ramblings and vulgarities that inundated her blog makes her bad one. Nonetheless, local readers still flock to read her blog as if it provides a new learning experience for them each day.

Now comes the difficult question: why are our readers more interested with sex, scandals and controversies?

Before answering the question, we must first acknowledge that sex, scandals and controversies sell everywhere and not just in Singapore. However, in other countries such as America, they are many highly reputable blogs writing articles on topics such as the science and technology. TechCrunch, Telegraph and Wired Science are some examples to name a few. The reason why these blogs are so successful is because they manage to garner a huge readership base.

By contrast, in Singapore, I believe most of our (intellectual) citizens are not connected to our local blogosphere well enough. Our small online market makes it even difficult for our local niche blogs to survive. In school, students are constantly reminded to be wary about information available in the Internet. They are encouraged to read print media, especially our very own The Straits Times. Reliability is often emphasized and in favour of print media.

The other root cause of the problem is none other than the nature of our education system itself. I don't think I need to elaborate further on how it works (basically its all about grades) but it definitely has a part to play to how and why most of our local netizens behave in a way they are now. Everything is provided for us and there is little need for us to research on the subjects tested. Little did they know that there are really good local niche blogs here in Singapore such as The Online Citizen and The Wise Curve. These local blogs need more support from netizens. They reflect well of how much our blogosphere has matured.

Hence, this has left our netizens with only two reasons to visit the Internet: to read on the latest sex news, scandals and controversies and to socialize with friends via games or social networking websites. It is as if they are habituated to the reasons stated above.

Nah, the Singapore blogosphere isn't exactly screwed up; its readers are...

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