When Blogging Is Unhealthy

Written by azhar.

Sometimes, I do consider blogging as a form of therapy to help relax my mind. Have you ever noticed that whenever you finished blogging, you just felt a lot lighter? It could have been because you finally threw the heavy guilt away by confessing in your blog or it could have been because you have managed to release your strong feelings and opinions that used to bother your mind for quite some time.

Blogging also provides a space for us to develop our personalities. When we blog to share our thoughts, feelings and experiences, whatever we write becomes a subject of our readers' perspectives. People comment on what we blog about and present feedback to us. This process helps us understand, evaluate and improve our personalities.

Another positive impact that blogging offers is that it can help prolong our friendships. It acts as a medium for us to stay in touch with our friends as we keep our friends updated on our lives through our blog posts. Sometimes, it allows us to relive the sentimental (or funny) moments we had together as friends in the past. All these play a role in prolonging and perhaps strengthening our friendships.

Nonetheless, blogging can be unhealthy when we are addicted to it. Addiction comes when we rely too much on something for our normal functioning. In the case for blogging, the addiction sets in when we start to compulsively blog in order to satisfy ourselves. Where the satisfaction comes varies - it can be from earning huge advertisement revenues, attracting a consistently high traffic of readers or even a steady inflow of comments.

There are three reasons why addiction to blogging is unhealthy for us. First and foremost, it isolates us from the real life. It draws us further and further away from our family and friends. We are too engrossed in finding new materials to blog about and are too excited to figure out how our blog readers will react to it. We tend to spend too much time perfecting our upcoming blog posts so that standard of the blog remains at its peak. We check on our blog once every hour in anticipation of any sympathy or congratulatory comments by our online peers. We begin to lose our attachment to the real life.

Secondly, it can cause a withdrawal to us. A withdrawal is a symptom that occurs when we decide to reduce or discontinue our addiction. Anxiety can emerge once we make an abrupt decision to stop blogging. For example, when we are forced to go on an overseas trip, we may become anxious to know how the blog will progress. We worry that the traffic will plunge significantly when we stop blogging temporarily. In some cases, we may even be anxious to search for things to blog about regarding the overseas trip when we return home. Thus, we are unable to fully enjoy our lives, or in this case the trip.

Finally, the addiction may turn us into greedy individuals. And when greed begins to whisper in our minds, we tend to leave our character behind and blog recklessly. For example, we are not satisfied with the present volume of traffic and want to attract more readers. The fastest way to do so is to post controversial remarks or insensitive articles so as create a tidal wave (which carries our names with it) in the blogosphere.

Blogging can be recreational or therapeutic or both. It is an epicurean activity whereby we share our daily experiences and life journeys with our friends. It is also a quick-fix remedy for stress and depression. Nonetheless, excessive blogging can be unhealthy when we depend too much on it. When blogging becomes an addiction, it drags us away from reality and may poison our minds with greed.

Contact us: tpjcian@gmail.com

Sexting And The Accidental Porn Stars

Written by azhar.

I first learned about sexting while reading an article about a tragic incident that happened to an eighteen-year-old girl known as Jesse Logan. She used to sent nude pictures of herself to her boyfriend using her mobile phone. When the couple broke up, her boyfriend forward her naked photos to his friends (what an irresponsible person he is) who in turn shared them with the others. Jesse's private communication with her boyfriend turned public as her sexually explicit photos quickly spread around her school and beyond. That was the beginning of a period of public humiliation and embarrassment for her; one that eventually ended her life.

She became an accidental porn star and was continuously harassed by the students via virtual social networks such as MySpace and Facebook where abusive remarks were dropped on her profile page. The relentless online torment became known to her family when she finally decided to confide in her mother, Cynthia Logan. Like any other victims of cyber-bullying, Jesse only revealed a small piece of the ordeal she was going through. Her self-esteem had already plummeted and she had lost the trust with the people around her.

Jesse's cheerful life ended gloomily as her mother found her body hanging by the neck from the clothing rod in her closet. The tragic incident has shone light to the dangers and consequences of sexting and the cyber-bullying that comes with it. It further raises questions on how we can prevent the same experience from happening to other teenage girls out there.

Sexting is often described when girls voluntarily snap nude pictures of themselves while performing real or simulated sexual acts and sharing them with the others (usually their boyfriends). I believe sexting is now commonly used as a way for girls to prove their loyalty and trust to their partners. Unfortunately, their private photos are usually exposed by their boyfriends when the relationship fails to last.

This could inevitably lead to the girls becoming accidental porn stars and thus possibly destroying their future. In this new era whereby employers and principals use the Internet to research on the backgrounds of their potential workers and students, one can imagine how the victims will find it difficult to get a job or enrol in a college. Worse, since the photos will most probably remain in the Internet forever, the girls may have to live with their dark reputations for the rest of their lives.

Nonetheless in the short term, what comes directly when the sexting is exposed (to the world beyond the supposedly private communication) is none other than cyber-bullying. The victims will have to face public humiliation as other students start to associate them with the sluttish behaviour and even prostitutes. Since sex sells (and mind you, it sells fast), the victims may even attract unwanted attention from online predators seeking for any form of sexual services from them. All these will eventually kill the victim's self-esteem and they may consider suicide to escape the online harassment. When sexting meets cyber-bullying, the consequences are often deadly.

According to cyberlawyer Parry Aftab, about 20% of the teenage girls polled by Wiredsafety.org said they had taken a nude or sexually explicit cell phone picture or web cam shot of themselves and shared it with others (who are mostly their boyfriends). 14% of the boys share these 'private' images with others when they break up with their girlfriends. And 44% of the boys polled admitted to have seen at least one of these sexual images of a classmate.

The numbers are alarming and most importantly it clearly shows the pervasiveness of the sexting phenomenon among our teenagers. Although there are laws to protect them, once the damage is done, it could leave a black mark in the victims lives forever.

That said, I believe the best way to handle sexting and prevent innocent young girls from becoming accidental porn stars is to effectively educate teenagers regarding the risks and dangers that comes with it. I am suggesting we set up a Facebook and MySpace group whereby users can be informed of the issue. Instead of blaming those online social networking websites, why not we fully utilize them to fight for our causes.

What do you think?

Contact us: tpjcian@gmail.com

Secret Revealed: How To Edit A Post In TPJC.net

Written by azhar.

All right, I have to confess: I kind of intentionally sensationalized this post (a bit) with a catchy title. It is not really a secret.

Anyway, it has come to my attention that some of the JC1 forum regulars are complaining that they are unable to edit or delete their posts.

One particular incident is regarding Nurshahiylia Erdina Bte Sidin from 09A02 who wrote 'Also, you may also be thinking: Why this girl ah, just never edit her first post instead of posting in her own thread all the time?And that's because there is no edit button. So this is the only way I can tell people about which books are taken and whatnot...' in her forum thread which she used to sell her romance novels.

And just recently, Jonathan Wong Weng Keat from 09S29 wrote 'I think that the forum, no matter is school or class forum. We should have a edit and delete functions. There are some threads in my class that has been dead for ages and it kinda waste space and confuse people, so it would be better to have the edit and delete functions for all fourms in tpjc.net...' in another forum thread known as 'How can the college improve itself? Your views.'.

After reading the posts above, I feel that it is my responsibility (chey...like real) to share with you guys how to edit and delete your forum posts.

So what is the secret?


(ok yeah, so how in the world do I change my skin, azhar?)

On the top right corner of the screen, select the function 'ChangeSkin'.

(uh uh, then?)

Then you are done. Now you can edit and delete your posts any time!

(hmmm...can I see how it looks like?)

There you go!

Student Suspended For Farting In Class

Yes yes, you read the title correctly.

A 15-year-old student, Jonathon Locked Jr., has been suspended from school as he was believed to be expelling gas intentionally in class. School officials explained that the student's actions were violating the school district rule against disruptive behaviour. They added that the student repeatedly passed gas to cause the other children to laugh. They also claimed that the smell made breathing difficult.

Most of you should be laughing and shouting 'WHAT A JOKE!' silently in your minds right now. Some of you may start to question the severity of the punishment with respect to the offence made. Being suspended from school just because you farted in class seems absurd. It is a universal belief that expelling gas from our body is natural. Although we usually control the process so as not to expose it most of the times, it is inevitable that others around us may still notice it. That may be the case for the poor student.

Nonetheless, if the student had repeatedly farted intentionally, then he totally deserved the penalty. For all we know perhaps he was previously reprimanded a couple of times before and that the suspension was the final resort to teach him a lesson. The fact is that passing gas repeatedly and loudly is disrupting the class (unless of course he has a medical condition). Some will laugh and the others will be forced to pinch their noses instead of paying attention to whatever that is shown on the screen.

What do you think?

Video Of The Month (March)

A truly touching video reflecting the powerful connection between a father and his disabled son.

For more information regarding Team Hoyt, please click HERE and HERE.

How TPJC.net Can Help The College Save Costs

Written by azhar.

I have read a lot of students lamenting about the lack of funds that the college has. Most of them cited the problem as the answer to why more CCAs here are closing down. I believe the college administration is trying all it can to preserve the CCAs longer but the high costs of maintaining them is forcing them to act otherwise.

The most practical way to help boost up the CCA funds is to reduce the operating costs of the college. I am referring to the electricity and water bills. Every student plays a part in trimming the costs. However, they need to be aware of the problem before volunteering in it. TPJCians should be informed of the monthly electricity and water consumption. This is the first step to a collective effort to reduce the operating costs of their school.

This is where TPJC.net can come in handy. I suggest that it display monthly statistics of the college's electricity and water bills. When students finally realize that the number is too high or shooting up, they will begin to understand where all the funds are going too. From there, students may start changing their poor wasteful habits in college, thus saving costs in the long run. The statistics can also be used to educate students on the environmental disasters associated with, lets say, the over-consumption of electricity.

Since TPJC.net is the official student portal visited by hundreds of TPJCians each day, the suggestion may just be the answer to help the college retain its CCAs in the long run, at the same time being green.

What do you think of it?

Real Life, Hands On Economics

Written by azhar.

For those of you taking Economics, this post may be an insightful one for you. It has been three months since I took up the job as a cashier in the oldest supermarket chain in Singapore, Cold Storage. I have gained a lot of knowledge there, up to the point that I wished I had known all that I learnt before taking up Economics two years ago. The hands on approach to learning Economics helps me to understand the concepts better. Most importantly, it provides me with an opportunity to witness first-hand, in real life, how huge companies utilize the strategies and policies taught in college to maximize their profits and stay competitive.

I have decided to make this post more interesting with real examples and hope it can aid your understanding in some Economic theories. The topic for this post will be on non-price competition.

Non-price competition
In college, I remembered how my tutor would explain the idea of non-price competition. Advertising, excellent service and sales promotions were the three things that she would usually touch on. Well, I am here to share with you how supermarket giants use non-price competition to compete with each other... out of the textbook!

The Self-Pack Rule
This is a relatively new rule introduced by NTUC Fairprice. Customers will have to pack the goods they bought themselves after making payment. My mother, who is a regular NTUC Fairprice customer, had tried it before and told me that the rule actually helped clean up the queue faster. I believe this innovative rule can help improve the quality of service of the supermarket giant.

Full Refund Given
This is what Cold Storage is known for. The supermarket chain emphasizes a lot on quality and freshness of its goods and items. As a cashier, I have witnessed how strict the conditions that the vegetables and fruits have to meet before being displayed on the shelves. Apples which are not yet rotten but are about to, are thrown away or sold to staff members at a discounted price. The company incurs extra costs of training its staff of the latest food safety techniques. Expiry checks are conducted occasionally. The expiry date of the items, especially for canned goods, must be at least two months ahead of the expiry check. We are human beings and sometimes slightly rotten fruits or expired products are overlooked. If customers happen to purchase and discover them after payment, a full refund will be given.

This is how Cold Storage compete with NTUC Fairprice. Although the items sold by the former hold more expensive price tags, there are customers who still buy them. The reason being is because of the quality ensured of the (mostly) imported products. Step inside a Cold Storage store and you should be able to view banners here and there guaranteeing customers of the finest quality in its items and showcasing the full refund policy.

Spend $30 And Receive One Stamp
This is a very popular non-price competition strategy used by supermarket giants such as NTUC Fairprice and Cold Storage. The idea is that for every $30 spent in a single transaction, customers will be given a stamp. They need to collect a minimum amount of stamps to redeem a free frying pan (or any other gifts). Cold Storage is currently holding this promotion whereby customers can redeem a free Wedgwood kitchenware.

Product Differentiation
As a cashier, I have scanned thousands of products from hundreds of brands every single day. It is really interesting how companies within the same industry are competing with each other to claim a bigger market share. A very good example is the toothpaste/toothbrush oligopoly industry, dominated by Darlie, Colgate and Kodomo Lion. Colgate designs toothbrushes with pictures of popular cartoon figures such as Spongebob Squarepants. Kodomo Lion, on the other hand, competes by mass producing toothpastes with fruity flavours!

Outlet Design
A few months, the Cold Storage outlet I was working for underwent a renovation. Guess what was the renovation all about? The management had decided to reserve a portion of the outlet for Singapore Pools despite the extra costs for hiring and training of new staff! This is their plan:

1) We all know how popular Singapore Pools is, right?

2) So why not obtain a license and open one in the store...

3) Customers can then drop by and purchase items from Cold Storage...

4) More sales!

Wa-la! It worked like a charm. And believe it or not, a NTUC Fairprice outlet located just opposite my house had just included a small Singapore Pools booth in its store recently.

That's about it for today. =)

New Rule For Comments

With effect from today (12th March 2009), comments posted below every new update in our official TPJCian Magazine (2009) forum thread will be copy pasted in the blog. Your name and class will also be published alongside the comments.

The objective of the new rule is not only to make sure that this blog does not look abandoned, but to also ensure that readers write comments responsibly. Please let us know what you think of it.

TPJC A-Level '08 Results: The Outcome

Written by azhar.

By now, most of you should have received the news that our college did significantly better this year than before for the A-Level examinations. Our Principal, Ms Helen Choo, was clearly elated by the outcome, adding that the 2007 batch was the turning point in the college's A-Level results record. Teachers lauded the amazing achievements as they highlighted students who performed extremely well and those who overcame all odds to attain their truly deserved As.

The top Science student this year was Lim Jun Yang Leonard from 07S28. Meanwhile, Choy Wai Wan from 07A06 emerged as the top Arts student this year. Despite his heavy workload as a Student Councillor and Theatre Studies student, he still managed to impress his teachers and schoolmates around him with the wonderful feat. Miss Norzian, Wai Wan's civics tutor, even mentioned that she was very proud to have such a brilliant student in her class.

In her speech, Ms Choo also highlighted the subjects which did very well for the college in last year's A-Level examinations, particularly English Literature. She explained how the subject committee was short of staff when two teachers resigned to pursue their other dreams. The college then had to recruit new teachers who had minimal teaching experience. Nonetheless, the teachers' hard work and dedication, coupled with the cooperation given by the English Literature students, managed to produce fantastic results.

Finally, after about an hour of talking and clapping and talking and clapping, our beloved civics tutors were finally authorized to hand out the result slips to us individually. Some of us screamed with joy while others only had tears rolling down their cheeks. I saw students hugging their teachers and thanking them for their guidance. It was a pleasant sight and I hope the next batch will get to experience the same thing, except perhaps even better.

The Most Outrageous Joke In TPJC.net

Written by azhar.

I wonder what was on Joshua's mind when he decided to submit this joke:

"What is the difference between lectures and tutorials?

During lectures, the teachers lecture (scold) you.

During tutorials, the teachers tutor you.

So feel free to skip lectures, but attend all tutorials."

He literally - yes LITERALLY - suggested students to skip lectures. Thirty students (and counting) have given the so-called joke a thumb down. I hope Bangar Rachit will not defend him and reply by informing us to respect his opinions this time. What do you think? Do you consider whatever that is written above a joke?

[SHOWCASE] The Greatest Mum

Written by azhar.

I just received this video from a close relative of mine via email. It is a touching story about a mother who takes care of her disabled child. I hope the video teaches you the important lesson that we must never give up no matter how difficult or complicated the obstacles in life are.

TPJC Mass Dance '09: Poll Results

Below are the results of the web poll we had a few weeks ago. You can read the original article HERE. A total of 86 readers voted in the online poll and we would like to thank them for participating in it.

(Click to enlarge)

TPJC Road Run '09: My Journal

Written by Nurliyana Omar (09S03).

I did not start off the day with the most brilliant of moods. I had this fear of losing my life that day. I was not being melodramatic. There had been recent news about healthy young youths dropping dead during and after completing a run or a vigorous activity. Blame my paranoia...

Fortunately for me, the day began well despite the silent fear in my heart. I was not late. It did not rain. I did not have a morning stomach-ache. Everything was going pretty smoothly. Even the traffic to East Coast Park was smooth! My friend, Tanya, and I emerged groggily from my Dad's car and proceeded to the beach. I found that a bit off-putting as in my previous school, everyone would gather at the field for Cross Country. It did not make sense to me that everyone was supposed to gather in a small compound when there was a huge and vast place nearby. Despite the early hour, there were already many TPJCians gathered at the beach. There were also a few unhappy park users who seemed peeved at the obstacles they had to overcome as they weaved and dodged the TPJCians that were obliviously standing in the middle of the pathway. Honestly, some people can be very self-absorbed.

The buzz of activity started to escalate as more TPJCians continue to pour into the beach. Suddenly, I felt claustrophobic and so Tanya and I went to the toilet to freshen up. Although it is nothing new that a toilet at a beach smells funky, I still could not help scrunching up my face as the foul smell accosted my senses. What a way to wake up! I stifled a yawn. At the same time, I did not want to breathe in toxic fumes of urine.

I was momentarily confused when I stepped out of the toilet. There were some TPJCians with bicycles and skateboards all around me and that got me doubting about what exactly TPJC College Road Run was actually all about. I felt a tiny rumbling sensation in my stomach as I realized I actually had to run 3km with my own two feet. I should have inconspicuously "borrowed" one of those skateboards and hightail my way out of there. I did made a futile attempt to escape by nonchalantly walking backwards as I talked with another friend of mine. My ingenious plan was foiled since we were kept being pushed forward by oncoming TPJCians. Darn!

Now, before the respected reader starts branding me as a spoil sport, I would just like to say that I am not a morning person. So a thousand apologies if I do sound like an unenthusiastic brat. Do not worry. It gets better!

Anyway, soon everyone was told to gather in their Civics Group. There was a lot of commotion as people craned their necks above the crowd to view the placards which identify the rows for the respective classes to congregate at. It was actually very frustrating to see the classes being mixed up and not in order. I felt like a lost child who could not understand why people just love to walk and suddenly stop in the middle of the pathway thereby obstructing other people's way. I guess the Courtesy Campaign did not work after all...

Then, like a light at the end of the tunnel, I saw my class placard in all its orange and laminated glory. I was already perspiring. More waiting had to be done for reasons I did not know.

My classmate, Syab, was stretching enthusiastically. She was out to win it. I could have sworn I heard the Rocky theme song "Eye Of The Tiger" playing in the background. Anyway, Syab's enthusiasm soon rubbed off on me as I whooped with joy when it was announced that the JC2 Boys event was commencing soon. Or it could be the relief of not having to wait any longer.

I eagerly moved to an area near the finish line. One short stretch of pathway was cordoned off to allow the runners to finish the race unobstructed. I placed myself somewhere I could have a good view of the runners. Suddenly, someone announced that the first guy was approaching. My group of friends and I were totally shocked. Didn't the siren go off just a minute ago? Right then, my heart started thumping faster in anticipation.

There was an incident that happened that totally had me stupefied:

There was a guy who had just entered the little pathway. He thought that the pathway was the finish line and started to slow down. However, to his horror, and to the glee of the dude behind him, he still had the last short stretch to go. He was too late as the dude behind him grabbed the golden opportunity to give one more burst of speed to reach the finish line. The two guys battled along that stretch and it was pretty vicious. The poor soul was knocked down and practically did a forward roll on the hard cemented ground. I stood stunned after witnessing such raw action. I mean, it was not as if it was a national competition. Yet, I saw how competitive the runners were. I guess it could be the fact that it was their last Road Run and they wanted to have an awesome memory of the event.

Luckily, the good mood did not subside as everyone continued cheering for the oncoming runners. I felt happy in a sadistic way, watching all those guys huffing and puffing towards the finish line. I cheered pretty loudly.

Soon, it was time for me to get ready for the J1 Girls run that was about to begin. I positioned myself near the starting line but later on, moved to the back. It seemed like a good idea at first. I thought I was a genius for wanting to avoid the eventual stampede. But regrettably enough, I probably wasted more energy overtaking people as I made my way to the front of the stampede.

The run, for me, consisted of many short-term goals.
"Ok, my goal is to overtake her"
"Now, her"
"Then, her"
"Another one"
"Jeez. Even there weren't these many girls in TKG"

I was gaining speed at an alarming rate. I knew I was going to reach my maximum velocity soon and prayed I would not have an attack of cramps. Along the way, I still managed to sacrifice some of the precious air in my lungs to wheeze out a few words of encouragement to my fellow TPJCians. Everyone was giving it their best shot- it did not matter if they were walking just as long as they completed the run.

Road Run taught me that there will always be more goals to aim for and achieve (Ms Helen Choo should see me now!). When there are goals, there will be progress. With progress, comes self-satisfaction which leads to a very, very good spirit indeed. In fact, funnily enough I felt energized after completing the run. Oh and by the way, the Milo from the Milo van was superb!

The prize-giving ceremony, later on, ended with much gusto, especially for Falcon house who was overall house champion.
Credit was given to where credit was due and the top runners were given their moments of glory. There weren't any sore feelings at all I guess since everyone cheered heartily for one another. Endorphins are amazing!

All in all, I thought the Wednesday was definitely well-spent. You can't go wrong with music, cheers, a run and of course Milo!

'A' Level Results: Nervous Yet?

Written by azhar.

The Ministry Of Education had just made a press release on the date of issue for the 2008 GCE A-Level Examination Results. It is now confirmed that the judgement day will fall on 6th March 2009, which is this coming Friday. We can obtain our results from college starting from 2.30pm onwards.

I believe these coming five days will be a nerve-racking experience for us. Some of us may be experiencing sleepless nights, while others like me may undergo lapses of concentration now and then as we are left counting the number of days left before the moment of truth arrives.

This reminds me of the day when our O-Level results were released three years ago, except in this case it is much more daunting. We all know the importance of getting a good A-Level certificate. Most importantly, we all understand the consequences of getting a poor A-Level results slip. I, of course, hope that we can all achieve great results but at the same time pray that the rest who did not do as well will have the courage and strength to accept the bitter truth, move on and possibly try again this year.

Till then, see you there!

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