Written by Sean Foo Yong Don (08S26).
Excitement and joy were clearly visible as I hung up the phone call from Ms Angela Quek (of the GP department) that day. A trip organized to Japan had sprung out of the blue and had given the applicants very little time to consider about it. It was a tough decision to make since there weren’t any familiar faces signing up but I still went ahead with the trip.
Meetings and briefings were plentiful before the trip began. Our group, which was made up of 26 students, were divided into a presentation team and five other research paper teams. Most of us still did not know each other well even at the final stages of the briefings itself. A sense of awkwardness still lingered as students sat silently in their seats and were very quiet. However, this changed rapidly during the course of the trip.
We went on with what seemed to be an activity-packed journey complete with a very detailed itinerary that ranged from museum visits, cultural experiences and even a bit of shopping. We covered places such as Nagoya, Takayama, Hamamatsu, Hakone and of course the capital of Nippon itself, Tokyo. Being in the land of the rising sun during winter was simply beautiful as it was the time when the leaves were falling and the temperature turned nippy. Imagine how fast the temperature dropped from 15 degrees Celsius to a negative 10 degrees in just a matter of days? We were blessed to be able to enjoy the snowfall as well as a nice cold sunny day.
Being in Japan, naturally the culture there and Singapore would be very different. For example, Mcdonalds is not pronounced as how we would in Singapore; instead it is pronounced as Ma-ku-do-na-ru-do! They wouldn’t know what are you referring to if you pronounced the restaurant as it is in English. It was instances like this that made us discover the unique yet intriguing Japanese culture. The meals we had in Japan were fantastic. Over the course of the whole trip, we had probably tried almost every type of Japanese cuisine that you could name, from shabu shabu to chicken sashimi to Japanese soft serve ice cream and many more. It was indeed an eye opener to how wondrous Japanese cuisine can truly be beyond the well-known sashimi and sushi.
Accommodation was quite fun as there were times when we bunked in rooms of four, rooms of two and there were even a couple of nights when each of us had our own hotel room and bathroom! We were able to experience both western and Japanese accommodation as well throughout the entire trip. Onsens are also an essential part of any ryokan (Japanese inn). They are hot springs that simply relaxes the body and remove any tension that builds up in it. And oh, we had to go in naked - that was why it was divided into different gender baths.
Twenty-six students came together for a nine-day trip and we have all become good friends with one another as we shared our inside jokes and had great fun together. Even though we were strangers to one another at first, we managed to undergo a truly enriching experience both culturally and in terms of friendships as a team. The late nights and snow fights might be great, but the greatest things that we took away from the trip were the photos, souvenirs, fond memories and of course friendships. The latter two made the whole experience priceless.
Written by Sean Foo Yong Don (08S26).
Written by Koh Han Jie (07S22).
TPJC.NET is the most visited website in my browser, 2nd only to google.com which happens to be my homepage.
TPJC.NET is the best online school's portal I have ever seen. There, you can share your pictures by uploading them in PhotoShare. You can try all means to push your picture into the Hottest list, consisting of the top 20 most viewed pictures ranked by the number of views in the past 7 days. Who knows if you are lucky, your pictures may end up in the All-time Popular list!
There is an online messaging system where you can send online messages (in a similar fashion to e-mails) to other students, ex-students or tutors from the college. Students can also attach files in their online messages. For convenience, you can also create groups (such as one for your CCA) so that you can skip all the hard work trying to select your intended recipients from all the classes listed.
And then you have the Forum. You can air your views on any topic by simply creating a thread. It's classified according to various categories such as Leisure, Academic and Co-Curricular (one warning I can give to you is that, please post relevantly as sometimes your post may get 'reported' if it is deemed irrelevant by other forum users. As a consequence, the post may not be shown.). The Forum also allows the various clubs and societies to share news and updates as well as passing down important information to its members via their threads. There is also private class forums where only users from the civics group can access.
There is a section called Ask a Question where you can post your queries on any subject and the relevant tutors (or sometimes even students) will take the time to answer your queries, be it academic or non-academic. The service is similar to Yahoo! Answers, except that it is only open to TPJCians.
There are also selected articles posted to encourage the students to read up on the current affairs. These articles end up in the Recommended Story section. The articles are usually taken from useful sources such as TIME and BBC. Each article is cleverly selected so that students can use them in their assignments, particularly when it comes to General Paper.
There is of course the Announcement section where you can see all the announcements for the various areas such as subjects and CCAs. Nevertheless, you can choose to block announcements from the various areas by using the filter function available. With this nifty function, only the announcements that are relevant to you are made visible once you sign in.
There are also various study resources like the popular Physics' Keep In Touch. A Hall of Fame application is even installed to rank the students by the scores they accumulated from completing the questions, which are divided into 3 levels of difficulties for students targeting different grades.
Boring? Don't fret. There is a Premier League Challenge game where users are each given 100 points to bet on the matches. No money involved as the total points earned or lost is recorded as your score. It is described as a game of mathematics and judgment, risk vs reward, learning and fun.
Tutors also used to upload past lecture slides and tutorial answers as well as past preliminary examination papers from schools all over Singapore with an aim to provide the JC2 students with ample practice papers before their 'A' level examinations. Nonetheless, all of them had been moved to another recognized yet user-unfriendly learning portal, known as AskNLearn. The move caused a huge outburst in the student body as most of us still preferred TPJC.NET as it is more user-friendly and has a better interface. It was widely debated in the forums with many students expressing their anger and disappointment on the school administration about the move. To many the incident is still fresh in their minds(including myself).
Tips And Tricks
Here are some really fun tips and tricks that you can try with TPJC.NET:
1) I like to move it, move it! We like to...MOVE IT!
Select the entire URL and replace it with this code:
2) Make it work in FireFox!
One of the critical problems with our student portal is its inability to work with a a FireFox browser. Some of the features such as the Ask A Question service is compatible only with Internet Explorer. This has left some users unhappy, especially those who have installed the cool features that FireFox has to offer.
Well, good news for you! There is a add-on which embeds Internet Explorer in tabs of FireFox. You may click HERE for more details. Now we can maximize our usage of TPJC.NET while enjoying the other features installed in our FireFox browser!
Last but not least, the great thing about TPJC.NET is that ex-students, like myself, are still allowed and able to access all areas of the portal. For example the Forum, PhotoShare and the online messaging system, enable us to keep updated with the happenings of our Alma Mater and keep in touch with our old classmates, years or even decades after our graduation.
As 2008 draws to an end, we look back at the top ten most viewed college-related YouTube videos of the year. This post is specially written to honour the Tpjcians behind the great video productions. Videos of performances in sold-out events such as DanceFest, SongFest and Manifestasi dominated the list, proving the college's richness in its arts and culture. So seat back, relax and enjoy the moments that shaped our college experience this year!
1) TPJC Mass Dance 2008 - MYBG Instructions!
Total number of views: 3,266
Event Produced by: 22nd Student Council
2) Manifestasi 2008 - Satria Kirana (Juara)
Total number of views: 2,293
Event produced by: Malay Cultural Society
3) TPJC Dancefest 2008 - Sylvester's Dance
Total number of views: 2,175
Event produced by: Modern Dance Club
4) TPJC Mass Dance 2008 - TAMALE Instructions!
Total number of views: 2,007
Event produced by: 22nd Student Council
5) DYNN KUDA KEPANG
Total number of views: 1,425
Event produced by: Malay Cultural Society
6) Home Video - Handshaker Encounter
Total number of views: 1,382
Event produced by: Crappy Films
7) Singing Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis (TPJC Songfest '08)
Total number of views: 1,179
Event produced by: 22nd Student Council
8) TPJC Dancefest 2008 (Project Crunk)
Total number of views: 1,024
Event produced by: Modern Dance Club
9) Ready Set Zap! TPJC Songfest 08 Tisbury Lane
Total number of views: 992
Event produced by: 22nd Student Council
10) Manifestasi 2008 - Satria Kirana (Gimmick)
Total number of views: 973
Event produced by: Malay Cultural Society
Written by Muhamad Shahrin Izhar (08S12).
The whole entry is taken from HERE. Nah, we decided not to edit 90% of the original blog post.
Hey guys, it’s been quite a while. I’ve been in Bintan for 4 days, and it was a truly awesome experience. All you suckers who thought that it was gonna be a bullshit trip, you were wrong. The instructors were awesome, the teachers were awesome, Mr & Mrs Law were awesome, and the TPJC peeps who went were awesome.
I’m gonna break the entry about the trip into 4 parts - each part covering one day that I spent in Bintan. That way, I won’t be cramming shitloads of pictures and words into one entry which could cause catastrophic damage to your poor computer (and mine too).
Right, let’s get things going.
Day one: The departure, the happy faces, and the mosquitoes.
Finally, the day which I had been looking forward to arrived. I thought that I would have had a hard time falling asleep the day before but surprisingly, I fell asleep pretty fast. I woke up early, made sure that I had everything in my bag, got ready to leave, and I left home feeling excited.
I guess I’ll skip the bus ride and what I did when I got to school. I’m sure you guys wouldn’t wanna know all that. Haha.
Right, just before we left, Ms Tay confirmed our groupings and who we were going to sleep with for the three nights. There were five groups:
Kingfisher (my group) a.k.a The Kinkies.
Mangrove a.k.a Man-garok. (according to Hanis)
Mudskipper a.k.a The Mats.
Horseshoe Crab a.k.a Horse-hoe Crabs.
After settling some stuff, we boarded the bus, and embarked on an amazing journey - to the ferry terminal. Haha.
There, we settled more admin stuff, and when it was time to board the ferry, all of us were excited like little kids in the circus. Whooopeeee. But the bastard passport-scanning-machine didn’t accept my passport. Damnnnnnn youuu machineeeee!
Well, nothing much happened on the ferry cause I was asleep with Zach next to me and Tzehaw in front. We slept. And slept. And slept. Then we reached Bintan. This is where the adventure starts. Yeah man!
Oh yeah, one funny thing was, I was enjoying myself in the Bintan toilet at the ferry terminal when suddenly Zach barged in and he was like, “Shah, where’s the box?!” And there I was, with the most amazing “OMG” face ever.
You see, I was carrying this box filled with toys and shizz which will be given to the kids at the local schools. We spent hours planning, and painting, and playing with those things, and if we lost it, well.. we’d be screwed. So Zach and I ran to the ferry and the box was gone. I was like “Oh man I’m so dead, I’m so dead” but we found out later that the ferry crew had already brought it down for us. Whew, those dudes saved my ass.
We met our instructors for the trip: Afiq and Bhai. They were funny, and cool. I’ll describe them more in Part 4. I’m gonna describe everyone in Part 4.
We then headed to the first school which we will be visiting during the trip. Pretty long drive, but Afiq made it fun cause we were all singing songs and all on the bus. Not those lame-ass campfire songs, we sang our favourite songs. I found out that Afiq listens to Chinese songs. Whoa.
We reached the school in about an hour. It was at some rural village and it was really cool cause the people at the village can just ride motorbikes without a license. So we saw like 8 year old kids riding motorbikes to school and all. Pretty darn cool, I must say.
I was pretty nervous cause I was doubting my capabilities to communicate with the kids. The thing is, the kids don’t really speak English so each group had one Malay TPJCian who had to take up the role as the translator. I was the one who had to do the talking for my group. Hell, I might have gotten an A for Malay for the promos, but I still think that I speak Malay pretty weird-ly. Blame the Cheena secondary school.
We received a warm welcome by the Principal, the teachers and the kids. Especially the kids. They all seemed so excited to see us. Some were already waiting at the corridors. Some were peeking through the windows. I guess they don’t really get visitors.
The Principal of the school.
One thought I had when I was the school was, “This place seriously reminds me of a Military School.” Why? Cause of the way the teachers dressed. They all wore the same uniform as the principal, and I think that it looks pretty Military-style. The way the teachers controlled the students were also very military. The kids stood in neatly-aligned groups. They carried out basic drills and I was pretty surprised by that.
After an opening speech, we got started. It was time to play! Yay.
My group initially planned to just let the kids play soccer, but due to lack of space, we had to split up and help the other groups with their own respective games. I helped out in Hanis’ group and boy, it was a very tiring job.
The objective of the game was somewhat similar to bowling. They had to knock down bottles. But the twist was that each bottle had a certain number, and that number represents the points the group will get when they knock it down. Simple enough right? That was cause it was in English! I found it hard to explain the game in Malay so I dumped all the explanatory work onto Hanis. :D
I was standing behind the bottles, picking them up whenever they fall. I was also there stopping the ball from going into the drain behind me. I was constantly moving, and before long, I was sweating pretty badly. But it was fun, cause the kids had fun. That’s all that matters. Poor Steffi had to count the number of points. Honestly, I think it’s harder to keep score than to pick up the bottles.
When it was time to leave, Hanis had to give the closing speech, and also to hand over the game-stuff to the principal. I was laughing at her about it, but I guess what goes around comes around, you’ll find out why in Part 2 or 3. She did a good job, I was pretty impressed by her Malay.
Finally it was time to leave, but before that. We gave some biscuits and stuff to the kids. When the kids saw them, they all rushed forward to grab some. It was something that made me think a little bit. I mean, those kids, rarely get to eat stuff like that. So when they get some biscuits, they really cherish them. Compare that, to our lives here in Singapore. When we get biscuits to eat, some of us might go, “What?! Biscuits only? Wahlao…” Some of us might just chuck them aside. I think that we don’t realise exactly how lucky we are, until we witness first-hand the lives of those who are less fortunate.
The kids also prepared a performance for us. They played the Kompangs, which are like traditional percussion instruments. It seemed pretty unrehearsed, but I appreciated it a lot. I just didn’t know when they would stop, so I was like clapping pretty much at the wrong times. Haha.
When we were about to board the bus, Bhai was telling us to collect coconut husks behind the school. We were all like “What? Okay….” but after a while we found out that when we burn the coconut husks, it drives away sandflies and mosquitoes and other flying-biting-annoying insects. So we grabbed more and more.
We had our packed lunch in some sheltered place which had chairs, and rooms. Shuhua thought that it was the “chalet” which we would be sleeping in for the 2nd and 3rd night. She was really bummed out about it. It was funny. Turns out, it was just a place where we could rest. Haha.
Food in my mouth.
Some of us couldn’t finish our lunch so Ms Tay fed them to the stray dogs which were roaming the area. At least we didn’t waste any food. Those dogs were really skinny too. They seemed like they needed the food more than us.
We then moved on to play team-building games. My group was called “Imba”. Basically because we were awesome. Yes. Awesome.
This game hurt like hell. My shoulders were about to be ripped off my body. Haha. Fuad suffered more though.
This, was the Bhai clap. Why? Afiq told us it was cause at night, we can’t see Bhai. We can only see his teeth. Super racist, but it was all for fun.
After all that, we packed our daypacks, and put on the life-vests in preparation for our long walk to Pulau Sumpat.
On the way there, we came across some Mangrove saplings which had fallen, so we all had to re-plant them so that they will stand upright!
End of the day! We went to our tents to sleep. I had a hard time sleeping cause it was bumpy, and I kept rolling around. Wenwei started sleep-talking. It started raining. Mosquitoes started biting. I got cold. But it was an experience that I would gladly re-live.
Oh, you guys wanna see the “toilet” at the campsite? Here it is:
Awesome! Hahahaha. Seriously, it was fun! Hahaha. Well unless you had to take a crap (or if you’re a girl), then it would be pretty uncomfortable. Haha. The campsite also had a nearby well where we washed our utensils and stuff. It got pretty dark at night, at the well, so it was pretty creepy.
Okay, I’ve been here writing for over an hour. Time for me to get some rest. I knew it was a good decision to break up the entry into 4 parts. Look how long this part was. Hahaha. If I were to write it all into one entry… wow. Good luck to all of us. Haha. :D
Interesting facts that happened in Day 1:
* I lost my spoon at night.
* Fuad pronounced “mosquitoes” as “moss-kiss-toes”.
* I ate dragon fruit for the first time in my life.
You can read Part 2 HERE and Part 3 HERE.
Written by Nur Nadiah Bte Zailani (08S08).
This year’s OCIP trip had definitely been an eye-opening experience for me. Most of my fellow teammates would agree that we had gained more than we gave. Besides learning new life skills such as carpentry and wall-painting, there was also a list of life learning lessons that we obtained, such as understanding how to be more appreciative, initiative and patient.
The children there are one of the strongest and toughest group of people we had ever seen or known, both mentally and physically. We were awed to witness both the boys and girls pulling hairs and pushing each other to the ground as if it was a form of a game before bouncing back up and laugh instead of crying. At one moment, a boy even pulled and stretched a dead bat, of which I assumed was treated like his toy!
They were not only enthusiastic about learning; they provided help as we did our arduous tasks of digging the soil without us asking for it. Despite the language barrier, they were patient with us as we struggle to make them comprehend the daily lessons prepared for them. I could not help but feel envious on how such small children could be so well behaved when the time demanded for it. I dare to say that some of them acted more matured than some of us. Furthermore, we could also witness some of the elder children taking care of their younger siblings with full responsibility in school.
One stark contrast between their school and ours' is that they have a small class consisting of 40 to 50 students at any one time. Three to four students will share a row of table and a bench that was built in a jointed manner, and there was not even a single fan in any of the classes. Imagine class during a hot day! Most of them had little or no stationery available during classes for them to take down notes, and some who were more worse off did not have extra clothes. Hence, they had no choice but to keep using the same clothes for the whole of the ten days with us. Despite the huge amount of students that we had to teach in one class, there were little difficulties faced as cooperation was given most of the time.
As we donated the items during our home-visits, we realized that some of the houses they live in were built in a very simple manner - some are even standing for 45 years and now function as a shelter to more than ten people. Most of the houses there do not have toilets as they clear their bowels in the wild. Their parents, of whom are mostly farmers harvesting rice, only earn their income when their fields are ready for harvesting (equivalent to only earning income of one term per year). Despite all the difficulties that they faced, they were still happy with what they have. They rarely complained or sighed at the state that they were in. Instead, they faced every adversity with a smile on their faces, full of determination thus erasing any signs of frustration or anger.
Although at certain times I felt confused and hopeless as I could not help them live a comfortable life like the one I have in Singapore, more importantly it had made me realize how appreciative and happy they were at the state they were in. It had opened my eyes into discovering that they are different interpretations of living in comfort. Nonetheless, as a team, we had opened a window of opportunity for them to access some information that we know of about the world. These information never reached the Cambodia citizens in the past due to the wars that they had to constantly face, such as the Khmer Rouge and Pot Pol.
What we had left there were a newly painted school, a nicely evened out compound for the children to run around, donations such as toys and books and a new library for them. During our final days there, I felt delighted to see them and even some of their parents eagerly opening up the pages of the new books and playing with the toys standing on the newly-constructed shelves against the brightly painted walls.
Even though most of my teammates would agree that we could have done so much more given the ample time that we we had, we were glad to have provided them with the tools that could possibly improve their lives in the future. In addition to that, I think complaining would not make a difference, as we have left the place with cherished memories and we learn to appreciate life and its wonders. Moreover, it opened our hearts towards helping others more in the future. How I wish we could stay longer!
Written by Lee Xinyu (08S07).
I learnt to appreciate what I have from my trip to India. People, and even babies could be found sleeping on the streets. In fact, it was so common that I would be surprised not to see any homeless people within a 5 metres distance.
The children of India. [Source]
We went to a 'Feed the Poor' project organized by interact members there. I noticed that the kids there were contented with just having a small serving of curry and naan. I believe that if we were in their shoes, we would definitely be complaining and demanding for more. I was amazed that the children there were still happy even though they were penniless. They have proven that money does not bring us happiness.
Besides that, we also helped out at Shanti Dan, a home for the mentally challenged women. The women were basically adults having the mentality of a young child. I was very touched by the way they greeted us; they were smiling and hugging. They were ecstatic when we visited them. We helped tidy their beds, wash their clothes, shave their hair, paint their nails and even sang and dance with them.
The mentally challenged women. [Source]
The patients there were all very disciplined and obedient. Each of them had their own chores to do - some had to fold clothes while others had to hold the door open for us and they did their jobs very well. Despite being mentally challenged, they could sing quite well and were very caring. There was this particular patient who chased away a cat because she knew my friend has a phobia about cats. In the past, I tended to avoid mental patients. However, after this trip, I learnt that they are actually no different from the normal people and we should not evade them (except for those who are aggressive).
After that, we visited a home for the destitute and dying. A funereal atmosphere greeted us the moment we stepped into the building. Most of the patients were just sitting on their beds and seemed preoccupied all the time. It was as if they were waiting for their souls to be forced out of the body. It was really scary to see them in that state. Then, one of the patients opened out her hands to us. I approached her and held her wrinkled hands. When she gripped my hands tightly and looked into my eyes, I could really feel her sorrow and helplessness. I felt as if she was trying to say "I am going to die soon. I am going to die soon. But I don't want to die."
As I await death. [Source]
As the surreal experience evaporated, I learnt that some of the patients had Tuberculosis . I trust God will protect all of us who entered the home. From this visit, I understood that we have no control over our lives, such as when or how we are going to die. However, I was also saddened by the fact that there was almost nothing that we could do for the patients who are resting on their deathbeds. We must appreciate our ability to be able to wake up every morning and live life to the fullest.
Money can buy us a house, but not a family.
Money can buy us a watch, but not time.
Money can buy us medical care, but not health.
Money can buy us the fashion and status, but not happiness.
During my OBS (Outward Bound Singapore) camp trip in Pulau Ubin late last year, I was assigned to a group made up of students from various Junior Colleges all over Singapore. I could still vividly remember how my teammates were impressed by our college culture. Most of them claimed that in their respective colleges, the students preferred to keep the knowledge to themselves. In other words, they are selfish when it comes to sharing information with their peers.
Things are different here in TPJC. Our library tables are arranged in pairs so that students can revise their work in groups of four. Posters are placed everywhere along the corridors encouraging students to share their knowledge with their friends. In fact, there is even an initiative which appoints students to coach their weaker schoolmates for free. Our TPJC culture is friendly, open and definitely vibrant. We breed leaders who not only cares for themselves, but also for the others around them.
Thus when I came across this blog post, I was really amazed at how much our culture has shaped the people who had experienced it before - our graduates - and how it stayed with them for years after they left college. You may read about it below:
Attended a really really old friend’s wedding last week. I classify this friend as my "TPJC friend" though that’s not really accurate. I was in TPJC during the first 3 months of my JC 1st year. This friend, NSG, was in TJC during the first 3 months. After the ‘O’ level results were out, I transferred to TJC while NSG transferred to TPJC. Coincidentally, NSG was placed in the same class as my ex-TPJC classmates and I also got to know his TJC classmates after I went to TJC. So through these common friends, we became friends too.
I haven’t spoken much to NSG in recent years but I regard him as a very special, old friend. During our JC years, I used to borrow his scanner to scan photos for my personal homepage. Years later, when I was in real estate, he also introduced me to his uncle’s company, of which I closed 1 (or 2) deals with the company. I was touched that he helped made that introduction ‘cos we drifted apart when he was doing his national service and I was in NTU.
In that sense, I really treasure the people I got to know in TPJC. I feel that they are less selfish than some of my classmates in TJC and their sincerity makes me trust them completely. There’s another friend I made during the 3 months in TPJC… though we never met again after we both left TPJC, he knew I was in real estate when I spammed my handphone address book to market my services. 3 years later, though I had left real estate by then, this friend nonetheless contacted me and wanted to buy a flat through me. I was truly touched.
Anyway, I saw 4 TPJC friends I knew during NSG’s wedding last week and we promptly exchanged handphone numbers and facebook contacts. Though I haven’t seen them in the last decade, conversation flowed easily and I was totally at ease with them. It was like I could laugh with all my heart and not have to guard against anything or anyone. It was great.
There you go...=)
2008 was a year of changes for TPJC. Staff and students saw quite a number of new additions to the school: the turnstiles, the plasma TVs, the new security guards...As a student taking her A Levels this year, here are my thoughts on the changes we witnessed.
1. The turnstiles
The turnstiles caused quite a bit of commotion in the early stages of its implementation. Forum threads, in particular the one created by Zizie Zuzantie of 07A07, were rife with complaints, suggestions and even pleas to do away with the turnstiles. Photoshare was, for a while, dominated by photos of the long queues caused by the turnstiles after remedials in the late afternoon. Apart from the turnstiles accomodating only one person at a time, another problem with the turnstile was that once you went out, you had to walk all the way to the main gate to come inside again. Yes, the turnstiles seemed like the worst possible thing.
On the other side, I feel like the turnstiles were a blessing for students who stayed back late to study. Before their arrival, students were chased out of school as early as 7 or 8 pm, and could not study later than that. As the turnstiles were open until 9 pm, students were given another hour to study. After a while, students either became accustomed to the turnstiles, or became more concerned with their studying.
2. Plasma TV sets in time for the Beijing Olympics
The plasma TV sets caused another round of unhappiness: students complained about how "The school [has] the money to install plasma TV and turnstiles but no money to replace the mirror in the [boy]'s toliet next to LT1 or change batteries in clocks". Nonetheless, the Beijing Olympics saw clusters of students (and even teachers!) gathered around the TVs, in the student cafe or the foyer, necks craned to catch the action on screen. Admit it: we all love the plasma TVs.
3. Security guards
A forum thread on students' experiences with the security guards revealed that many students found them unnecessarily unreasonable and sometimes even rude. In a case of students' voices being heard, however, there was a change in their behaviour: they were kinder and friendlier to students. This, I believe, improved the students' mood, because with friendlier security guards one has no reason to be annoyed. My own experiences with them reinforced again how even security guards are people too. A simple 'good morning, uncle' brought a smile on their faces, and a smile on mine as well as they returned the greeting.
So these are some of the changes that TPJCians saw in 2008. Whatever changes 2009 will bring, I have to admit that I wish I could be there for it. All the best for the coming year!
As a casual blogger, Yong Wei was never shy or embarrassed to post his photos in his online personal diary. Being sixteen years old does not hinder him from expressing his critical views about his daily eccentricities and life experiences, such as regarding his visits to restaurants or food courts (check out his review on Botak Jones here).
Yong Wei now weighs 125 kilograms and he claims to be contented with it. He describes his favourite food as anything that is eatable but is repelled by processed food. Music provides him the serenity in life; it is used to express his emotions and feelings. He occasionally uploads his very own composed songs in his blog and dreams to be a famous musician one day. His readers are his fans.
Yong Wei has proven that being overweight does not mean that one has to hide under a shell in fear of discrimination by the society. He has showed that what is more important is our passion and commitment to do what we love most (in his case are blogging and music). He hopes to use his growing online popularity to inspire fat people like him by posting articles and reviews of his diet plans.
Yong Wei has definitely defied a popular belief that to be a successful blogger, one needs to possess an attractive and slim figure. His finalist position in the Singapore Blog Awards, organized by Omy.sg, was definitely the breakthrough in his blogging 'career'. In this interview, he reveals to us about his weight issues, blogging and how our society responds to people like him.
The following are details of an interview by TPJCian magazine, conducted via e-mail. Some of the questions have been edited for brevity and clarity, and extraneous material omitted.
1) How long have you been blogging? Why did you start blogging?
13 months ago, I was thinking of blogging about how much I've cycled around Singapore but end up doing more than that. And blogging about cycling is pretty lame I guess. I have to stop every once in a while just to snap some photos of my surroundings. You know, I'm kinda a photo guy, I'd rather blog with pictures mostly.
2) Do you blog for fun or do you consider yourself as a professional blogger, writing to earn money?
I think I'm a wannabe.
3) What do you think of the notion that to be a successful blogger, one needs to be good-looking?
Of course, I'm pretty good looking:
I find myself pretty cute and attractive.
4) Have you ever felt embarrassed to post your pictures in your blog?
You mean this?
If it entertains, I would post it I guess; not really sure what people think of me.
5) Have you ever come across nasty comments by your readers taunting your weight issue?
Hmmmmmm, are you one of them?
6) Have you ever experienced weight discrimination in our society, let it be in school or any other public places in Singapore?
I remember once or rather....many times, people called me this in class "Eh you know ah, when Yong Wei takes a shower, his leg is dry one". And I would shout it out across the classroom "Oi, talk bad things about me ah! You watch out! Later I call TAF club people chase you". And there goes the bursts of laughter. Yeah, I do, not sure how other fat people think of themselves, but I think I'm great the way I am. Of course, I would want to slim down.
7) I am not fat, I am big boned...Is that the true or are you trying to conceal the truth?
Dude, you should totally find out who Eric Cartman is (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Cartman). It's actually joke. Of course, I'm fat, but I like to keep it that way, makes me look humorous, and people say I'm living in denial.
8) Do you feel a need to lose your weight now so as to inspire your readers who may be suffering the same problem as you too?
Geez, people can be fat all they want, but I'm of course trying to lose some weight, Fruits, Oldenlandia water, more meat less rice. Trust me, I cycle a lot sometimes, I play basketball, and jog sometimes before I had a ankle injury. Yeah but I still cycle like, probably once every week at least?
9) You mentioned that people can be fat all they want. Don’t you think that mentality can be harmful to their health?
Wow, this is a hard question to answer. Mentally, if you don't decide to do anything about your weight, you won't. Scare tatics and all have been used, what else can we do for them? It's really up to oneself to get oneself up.
10) I understand you are really passionate about music. Do you intend to start a career in the music industry or is it just for fun? If not, what do you dream to be in the future?
I enjoy music, so that's fun. And of course, I try to be as professional as I can be, maybe soon I'll release a album next year and hold a gig, who knows? I would rather live my dreams, than to had never even tried.
11) Have your schoolmates or any members of the public ever criticized you for widely exposing yourself in our local community as attention-seeker? If so, how do you react?
I have read many forums and all talking about me - some love me, some hate me. Come on, Edison also a lot people like and hate him right? I'm kinda like him, just without those nude photos...
12) Are you happy with who you are and have now? (As in your weight now and your achievements as a blogger)
I'm kinda like 125kg right now, and of course I should be happy, like what Robbin William said, " Laughter is the best medicine". And I am happy, but I'll be happier to be slimmer
and I have friends who like me, and I like them too. I'm not that douchebag who goes around changing friends all the time.
13) What cultivates your compulsive eating habit? Is it stress or were you pampered with food since young?
Hmmmmm, I guess I'm greedy sometimes, but I've been changing my habit for the past few months; seems to look better in photos. In fact, I have been doing a photo-a-day project for the past 200 days, and believe me, my chin looks smaller than the first few days of my photos.
14) Are you embarrassed to approach a girl because of your size?
If it's a girl I've never met before, I would be shy till someone introduces her to me. I do have girl-friends.
15) Does your parents know about your famous blog? If yes, what did they think about it?
I'm famous? You might wanna ask my parents. I keep everything secret you see; not sure if they do know.
16) Do you think Singapore lacks bloggers who serve as good role models for the youngsters?
Nah, with me around there's no lacking. Everyone should follow me as a role model.
17) If you are given a chance to meet someone now, who would it be and why?
SR Nathan! Because I've never met him in real life!
Our very own band team, together with our friends from Chong Boon Secondary School, Maris Stella High School and St Anthony Canossians School, staged a concert on 18th December. The event was held in our college auditorium at 7.30pm. Quite a number of bloggers (from TPJC and beyond) had written positive reviews of the festival. We are delighted and would like to congratulate them for the amazing night. Well done guys!
In fact, we actually decided to want to go to Orchard to look for a bag but change of plans since I wanted to go for the TPJC concert held yesterday. Surprisingly, TPJC band wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. They played rather well. The timpani player had attitude when playing it. You could see how professional she was. Other than the host performing, there were 3 other bands performing too. If i am not mistaken, they were SAC,MSH and HB. It was okay. NCO people were nice. Especially Kelly. Hehe. Her high pitch laugh. Haha.
YippEE! I went for the Band fest of TPJC. It was a collaboration of Maris Stella, St Anthony and Chong Boon. Wow I was impressed by the performance. I felt that the cheesy style of playng like how my school band used to play doesn't buy me over anymore...It was a feeling full of admiration for the professionalism. Well, I guess I just couldn't stand the new conductor whose standard of playing wasn't even considered good. AHAHA =P
It was only TPJC's conductor that made me feel like that :)
Tpjc band fest was a BLAST!
Super high can, when the tpjc performed, clap screamed shouted like some insane person sia.
hmm..went to meet sherie they all at TM around 5 plus for dinner before we all headed to TPJC for the band performance.
didnt noe that there were actually oso 3 other secondary school bands performing there sia..omg?..and i think 5 dollars for 4 schools performing is damn cheap la..they shld have raised the ticket price..lol..kk..understand that they dont performing just to earn the money la huh..hah..sry sry..
the 3 secondary schools were Chong Boon,Maris Stella and St Anthony's Canossian Secondary School.
TPJC band performing their last encore piece!..a list of christmas medley!hah..if u noticed,they were actually wearing the christmas hats!..and there were even bubbles!..lol..
the performances by the different schools were great man..my fave schools are TPJC and Maris Stella..and i like the piece named 'sea of wisdom' performed by TPJC..hah..
Went for TPJC concert yesterday. Was great. I liked 'Sea of wisdom' best, for some reason. Had to return home by myself cause I didn't want to longbang Lina's friend's dad's car. Also realised how close TPJC is to Kaki Bukit... Didn't even know that before-..-
Mr Chiang: You guys were simply great yesterday! :) Big thanks to the exco, especially Ikhsan and Idy. WELL DONE everyone!
The Arts students have finally got their revenge. A most recent study published by Sexual Health noted that Science students were more likely to be virgins than Arts students. Researches in Australia conducted a survey with 185 men and women, aged between 16 to 25, at the University of Sydney on their sexual history and STD knowledge. The result showed that Arts students were younger and more likely to be sexually active.
Assuming the above-mentioned survey has a 99% probability of being true (a 'brave' assumption I must say), then what could be the most likely reason for Science students to be more likely to remain as virgins as compared to their Arts counterparts? I often hear rumours that Science students do not go out as frequent as the Arts students as they are often consumed in their piles of homework. The rumours often claim that Science subjects (such as Chemistry, Biology and Physics) are more time-consuming than Arts subjects (such as Geography, History and Literature) as the former requires students to take more time practising their application skills as compared to the latter (which are believed to be only about memorizing, memorizing and more memorizing).
I don't think that is the reason though; Arts subjects can also be as time-consuming as the Science subjects. I believe Science students are more likely to end up as virgins due to the fact that they know too much about (in this case) procreation. This is especially true for Biology students I supposed. They may be very cautious about engaging in a sexual intercourse in fear of the possible viruses (taught during Biology lessons) that they may contract from their partners. On the other hand, this may seem contradictory but I also do believe that Biology students should be curious about how our sexual reproductive organs work in real life (reminds me of the practical lessons joke).
A Red, Red Rose
Robert Burns. 1759–1796
O MY Luve 's like a red, red rose
That 's newly sprung in June:
O my Luve 's like the melodie
That's sweetly play'd in tune!
As fair art thou, my bonnie lass, 5
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry:
Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun; 10
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.
And fare thee weel, my only Luve,
And fare thee weel a while!
And I will come again, my Luve, 15
Tho' it were ten thousand mile.
Another reason I believe could support the survey findings is the dose of emotions injected in Arts subjects (especially Literature). Perhaps Arts students are more matured when it comes to understanding about love and romance. Of course, Literature is not all about sex but the constant immersion in the feelings and emotions as written by poets may have helped developed the level of maturity in them. As a result, they are able to connect well with the opposite sex and the rest jut happens naturally.
In Singapore, whenever a new story is published in STOMP showing a teenage couple from a prestigious school fondling with each other in public, the first thing that often comes to our minds is that they are too stressed and had to resort to that to relieve the pressure. If our theory is proven true, then if a similar study is conducted in Singapore, the findings will definitely be the direct opposite.
After the torment known to us as the A Levels, we are faced with another form of torture: the agonizing wait till Results Day, and then another agonizing wait to be accepted into a university. That leaves us with roughly 6 months to do...nothing. So here are 5 ways to make the most of your holidays, and spend your days doing something other than wandering around the house!
1. Meet up with friends.
Organize outings with your friends: reunions, class/CCA gatherings, and so on. Watch movies, rent a chalet, have a potluck picnic at the beach, shop, play games or WHATEVER! Crash at someone's house. It's funner when you don't have to spend much, so get your friends to bring their own games/movies/food!
2. Catch up on movies/TV shows.
Rent movies or TV shows that you've always wanted to watch but never had the time to. Now that there's no school, you've got all the time in the world! Some of my personal favourites include: The Outsiders, The Queen of the Damned, The Phantom of the Opera, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Juno, and 50 First Dates. (But please, try and steer away from Twilight.)
3. Get a job.
Not only do you get more spending cash, but if your job is related to the course you want to do in university, it bumps up your application, giving you an edge over the other 100+ students clamouring for the same course as you. Start off by looking in the Classifieds, or find jobs online. Websites like st701.com or jobsdb.com are good, but they may appear daunting to first-time job applicants, as 'Employment History' is one of the compulsory fields to fill in. And if all else fails, convince your working parent that every day for the next few months is Take-Your-Kid-To-Work Day!
4. Start your own blogshop.
Blogshops are fairly easy to create. If you've got a hobby like knitting, sewing, baking or anything at all, then why not put it to use: sell these items! Have fun making them and have fun selling them! Better yet, grab a few friends and pool your resources and your contacts together and start up the best blogshop ever!
5. Learn a new skill, or brush up an old one.
Community centres offer plenty of courses in a range of fields: music, dance, yoga, pilates, cooking...If your wallet doesn't allow for that, ransack your nearest library for every book they have on a new thing you're interested in. Now is an especially good time to do so, as regular library card holders can borrow up to 8 books, and premium card holders, 16.
There are plenty of things that you can do in the holidays. So get off the computer and start enjoying your holidays!
The writer is not paid for endorsing any of the above-mentioned companies. The writer is merely sharing information, and wishes she would get paid for mentioning them.
Microblogging is not something new to our college bloggers, especially those who have been utilizing Twitter or Plurk for a long period of time. For those who are unfamiliar with the thirteen-word term, it is simply a form of blogging that allows users to send short text updates.
TPJC.net's microblogging service is known as 'Say What You Want'. Yes, you read it right...you can say whatever you want (at least for now). Students are also able subscribe to the feeds of other users by clicking on their avatars. It follows a similar format with that of Twitter, which -in this case- enables users to follow other members. Students can also view their subscriptions and subscribers (who are either their friends or stalkers) on the right hand panel of its main page.
I have yet to use the service but I was definitely entertained by some of the messages published. Initially, students were confused by the whole thing. Nonetheless, they soon figured everything out and can now be seen using the service expertly. In fact, I think the service has managed to earn its first few regular users already.
Although the idea is great, I am still struggling to figure out the objective behind it. TPJC.net already has an active online forum and a useful 'Ask A Question' platform (which is similar to Yahoo! answers). Somehow it seems like our student portal is becoming more like a venue for students to socialize. Perhaps that is the whole purpose of TPJC.net since we also have the AsknLearn platform (the not-so-popular educational workspace for students).
It is good to innovate new features but I fear our beloved student portal may look terribly messy at the end of the day.
The Singapore Google Zeitgeist 2008 page had been released, highlighting the most searched items (via Google of course) in Singapore. The name 'Edison Chen' came on top as the fastest rising searched item in this island. This means it experienced the biggest rise in searches in 2008 compared the previous year. The Edison Chen scandal exploded in the local virtual space after photos of his sex photos were leaked online. This eventually led to the 'pornification' of our online community - in our blogosphere and beyond.
Lets put that aside and turn our attention to the top three Google News local searches. The keywords 'singapore olympics' and 'singapore table tennis' topped the table in this category. This proves two things. Firstly, Singaporeans are indeed supportive of their athletes. This is evident since a lot of citizens follow the progress of their athletes online. Secondly, it can also mean that more Singaporeans are utilizing the Internet to get the latest in sports news. Of course, the controversies might have helped...
Now lets proceed to the next category, and that is the Most Popular search items of the year. Out of all the ten items listed in the table, four of them have roots with the soft social media. We are talking about Youtube, Wiki, Facebook and of course blogging. This proves that more Singaporeans are seeking entertainment, gathering information and staying connected with family and friends by using the Internet.
Globally, Sarah Palin became the most searched person in Google. She beat the likes of Heath Ledger, whose death was widely publicized, and President-elect Barack Obama. Social networking websites dominate the table with four finalists including Facebook (English), Wer Kennt Wen (German), Tuenti (Spanish) and Nasza Klasa (Polish).
We are making a few changes. Some of our series will be taken down. We have 'lost interest' in publishing them.
Series to be excluded from the online magazine with effect from today:
1) New Blogger
2) Dear Diary
Tpjcbitchh07 was a short-lived blog that became famous by -you guessed it- bitching about other students in college. The blog specifically targetted a group of Tpjcians who -you guessed it again- fired it back every time a new issue was published.
I received news about the existence of the online tabloid magazine through my sources. They also gave me information about the victims who were criticized heavily in the blog, notably Alicia and Xiao Tian. Tpjcbitchh07 did not catch my attention at first as all the matters raised by its anonymous writer were none of my business.
However, when news broke out that the blog closed down abruptly, I began to wonder what happened to it and who was the person behind it. I received many rumours from various sources on what really happened to the author of the blog that forced him or her to close it.
One source alerted me that the writer was finally discovered and subsequently coerced to shut the blog down. The source also notified me that the author was actually a friend of the victims since he knew a lot about them. Another source told me that the writer decided to close the blog when he realized that the blog was gaining too much popularity. The source added that in one of the blog posts, the writer did mention that his blog was experiencing a surge in traffic.
Which version is true, I do not know. Whatever it is, Tpjcbitchh07 definitely created chaos among its targetted victims. Most importantly, it showed how fast gossips can travel around now, thanks to the birth of the Internet. Blogs are easily accessible - anyone can read it anywhere and anytime he wants.
As for Tpjcbitchh07, everything about it still remains a mystery...
Many college students in the United States are incurring huge debts as a result of their hefty student loans. The debts when added up could prevent the student from continuing his or her higher education in college. Realizing this problem, student entrepreneur Michael Kopko decided to establish a new website dedicated to help needy students secure sponsorships so as to alleviate their debts.
Known as GradeFund, the community-based system promises a platform whereby families, friends, philanthropists, corporations and other organizations can come together with the mission to reward top-performing students in college. Students will have to set up an account first before being able to send out invitations asking for sponsors to pledge any amount they are willing to give for each 'A' grade that the student obtains.
GradeFund has a total of around 5,042 members currently. Checks are issued to the respective students once a total of $100 is raised. A transaction fee will be deducted from the total amount of money raised. GradeFund will donate money for every sponsored 'A' grade a student receives to the 'One Laptop Per Child' cause.
ZooToo, a website catering to pet enthusiasts, is GradeFund's first corporate sponsor, pledging $15 to the first 100 students each semester who submit proof that they have earned an 'A' grade in veterinary medicine.
I really like the idea. However, I think there are disadvantages linked to the system. Firstly, students may rely too heavily on it. They may totally lose the motivation to study once the number of pledged sponsors dries up. Secondly, it may also increase the incentive to cheat. The system will be directly rewarding students who obtained an 'A' grade by cheating, thus sending a wrong message to them.
Who would ever thought that the construction of two turnstiles in our campus would stir such a huge debate?! The turnstile saga remains in my college diary as the most controversial-yet-funny experience I had to go through during my stay in TPJC. It was crazy!
It all started when one of the students, Zizie Zuzantie, decided to set up a fresh forum thread for Tpjcians to share their views on the new turnstiles and suggestions to improve them. What started out to be a noble cause turned awry when students began to (mercilessly) attack the college administration for implementing the new security system. Our student councillors were not spared at all - a few students questioned if the student councillors are taking their suggestions seriously. Most of them lamented about the inconvenience caused by the turnstiles. One teacher even joined the discussion to evaluate the suggestions provided by the students.
Well, that was not the worst that was yet to happen. On 15th July 2008 at exactly 10.09pm, a young man by the name of Ong Ding Yi suddenly threw a grenade in the Photoshare claiming the lives of more than eight students (virtually). Like a
hero villain who emerged from nowhere, he began firing at the college administration and attendants for errr...everything related to the turnstiles. Several students such as Visakan, Mohamad Rizwan, Chua Wei Qing and Muhammad Khairy tried to save our dear aunties but Ding Yi's sharp and fiery words murdered them instantly. Of course, the man with the biggest ego 'won'.
Below is one of the missiles that hit Visakan:
Ong Ding Yi (07S32) Fri 18 Jul 2008 4:47 pm
"This was taken after GP remedial. Wonder where are the "responsible" (as usual) aunties to help us open e gates"
notice that this was the original comment made. so where have ill-treated and disrespected come into the picture? hello?
Yes i may hav used "responsible", but i did not direct it to ALL and said that at ALL times they are. But its a fact that usually they are.
Two simple questions. WHERE are they. and WHAT can they do to alleviate this situation. I din say stuff like. WTF aunties are #$^!#@% jus bcos they nv open the gate for us. And if u even bother to notice properly. When i mentioned problem abt the artificial field, i am not targetting them FYI. I jus meant maybe they had to go help the cleaners. Which comes to another problem of the pros and cons of the artificial field, where does the benefits rly outweigh the losses, or the future cost and side effects. But again, thats another issue.
Secondly, it is an UNDISPUTED FACT, that there are ppl like these amongst our attendants. So you mean by EARNING LOW WAGES, you can show attitude? cmon. live with it.
So you do acknowledge the fact that they treat us badly. This picture is posted so that the school admin or to whom it may concern can actually do something about this. No policy or implementation is perfect, there are definitely weak links, and by installing the turnstile, this is one of them. Also, if there is a need to treat them badly in return, do u even think i need to post on photoshare?
cmon la, there are like 10000001 ways to treat them badly through everyday life. So whats the point of "treating them badly" here (if it is to u) when it doesn even have any impact.
notice, I repeat again. This picture is posted so that the school admin or to whom it may concern can actually do something about this. and that NO policy or implementation is perfect.
Lastly, if u noticed. I only stated MM Lee as an example to show that it DOESNT mean that if u think u can do a job better than ppl, u shld take over the job, and not as a way to show that i forgive him, or i do not forgive our attendants, or wadsoever. And that it is nonsensical to actually link MM Lee to forgiving. cuz you're totally missing the point.
As months went by, the intensity of the debate began to subside. It was clearly just a case of how long we would get used to the new system. The turnstiles saga was so widely debated - in TPJC.net as well as personal blogs by Tpjcians - that our vice-Principal, Mr Tan, decided to clarify the matter to the whole student population during one of the morning assemblies.
What a saga...
Residents of Southeast Minahasa (Indonesia), especially in Desa Watuliney, Kecamatan Belang, were alerted on the birth of a pig which owns a human-like face. The abnormal pig was born early this year and weighed around 1.5kg. According to Harian Komentar, the newborn piglet possessed the voice of a monkey.
The animal was removed from its pigsty and transferred into its owner's house so that visitors could view it more easily. Several local citizens commented that the birth of the piglet was a sign that the doomsday was approaching real soon.
I believe the pig is suffering from a rare form of birth defect. I am not sure if it can be classified as cyclopia though as the newborn has two eyes, not one. After reviewing the pictures below, I think the nose and mouth of the piglet failed to form normally resulting in the distorted facial features. It is most probably just a mild form of developmental disorder.
You can read more about cyclopia HERE.
A recent report published by Common Sense Media entitled Media and Child and Adolescent Health: A Systematic Review revealed that there is strong correlation between media exposure and long-term harmful effects to children. The report reviewed 173 of the best studies from the last thirty years which examined the connection between the two variables.
[Photo taken from SOURCE.]
The strongest connection was found between the amount of time spent watching the television and childhood obesity. 86% of these studies found a statistically significant relationship between increased media exposure and a rise in childhood obesity. 82% of studies concluded that longer hours of media predicted increased weight over time. A longitudinal study involving 5,493 children revealed that those who spent more than eight hours watching the television per week at age three were significantly more likely to be obese at age seven.
“Media is increasingly pervasive in the lives of children and adolescents. Parents and educators must consider the effects of media when they’re trying to address issues with their child’s health. This report makes it clear that we need a bold new agenda on media and technology use. We hope this report will create a new sense of urgency in that regard.”- James P. Steyer, CEO and founder of Common Sense Media
The report also showed that the average modern child spends almost 45 hours a week totally immersed in the television, movies, magazines, music, the Internet, cellphones and video games. According to the study, this is well above the amount of time spent by children with their parents (17 hours a week) as well as in school (30 hours a week).
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- Ten Days In Cambodia
- Living In India
- Blogger Praises TPJC Friends
- A Year In Review: TPJC
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- TPJC Band Festival '08: The Bloggers' Review
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- How To Make The Most Of Your Holidays
- Microblogging Has Reached TPJC.net
- Ahhh...Edison Chen Emerged As The Fastest Rising S...
- Spring Cleaning!
- A Year In Review: Tpjcbitchh07? What? Who?
- Now You Can Get Paid For That 'A' Grade
- A Year In Review: The Turnstiles Saga
- Piglet Born With A Human-Like Head
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