Wednesday, 8.45am: My View

I just realized about an hour ago that TPJC has implemented a new rule which allows students to report to school by 8.45am on Wednesdays. This means that school will begin about an hour late on that day. I came across a forum thread entitled "Wednesday 8:45am. whats your view?" which discusses on the pros and cons of the new rule.

A lot of TPJCians lamented that starting the school late on Wednesdays will not have much of a positive impact on them. Most of them complaint that they may have trouble boarding the bus due to the morning peak hours. Others grumbled that the new system may affect their CCA practice schedules.

Nonetheless, a few TPJCians are delighted by the new rule as they are given more time to sleep and rest. Some decided to give the new system a try before throwing a knife at it while the rest thought that it can never please everyone in the first place.

In my opinion, I think TPJCians should let the new system go through a trial period first. I believe students should still come to school early and use the extra time to take a quick nap before morning assembly begins. The buses and trains are often crowded with working adults during the morning peak hours, especially after 7.30am.

That said, if the new rule proves to be a failure after going through the trial period (of about a month), I have a suggestion that may benefit the students. Why not start school even later on Wednesdays? Some schools start at around 11am every Wednesday. CCAs are shifted and held in the morning on that day. I believe this is a more long-term approach to help students study and rest better. During test or examination periods, CCAs are often stopped and students step up their revision and will usually study till late at night. They can have more time to rest and not suffer from fatigue during lessons the next day. Furthermore, they can also easily avoid the early morning peak hour and take the 10am bus to school.

So Who Is The Real TPJC Hater?

An anonymous netizen is on the loose planting his hate messages against the college on our blog. The hater is allegedly impersonating other students to cover his malicious act. One of the most prominent victims is Felicia, a JC1 student from Meridian Junior College. She had written a post to deny that the comments made in our blog was published by her. The culprit may be using the opportunity to further fire up the rivalry between the two junior colleges.

Below is a blog post written by Felicia:

This blog post is for those who are interested in the TPJC scandal,
here is what I have to say.
firstly it was Temasek Poly then now Tampines Junior Collage.
Honestly, I have no grudges against either
Temasek Polytechnic or Tampines Junior College.
Like, why would I go and offend them,
and openly put my name and bloglink and everything there?
to make sure people see my malicious comment,
and come to my blog and flame me?
how absurd.

I'm really quite put off by the fact that
someone impersonated me.
And I really don't know who the person is.
I'm really sorry to the people who were offended by
"Felicia''s comment and I feel as indignant
as you all would to the impersonator .

I don't take such events lightly because
I hate it when I get accused of things that I did not do.

To whoever who impersonated me, I really hope that you will stop it, really.
If you don't like me you can come find me
and we can talk it all out.

your immature act is really getting on my nerves
and I would also like to really find out why you don't like me D:

The original comments made by the alleged TPJC hater and impersonator can be found HERE.

24th Student Council Elections

Apologies for the late post. I had trouble getting into the TPJCian blogging account.

On Thursday, during Civics and Moral Education Assembly for the J1s, we were treated to speeches by the J1 students who are running for Student Council Elections as an Independent Candidate. Ready with a camera and a notepad, I expected speeches that would inspire and instil confidence in us, as regular TPJCians, that these people were capable potential leaders of the college.

All of them had past experience in leading. Ko Ming Jun served in the Boys Brigade and Stephanie Goh has experience in organizing Talentime as she was an assistant head prefect and a CCA president. I have no doubt that these people have the capability and the capacity to join the Council. But when they presented themselves up for voting, many of them fell short.

Most, if not all, of the independent candidates drew inspiration from Mr Barack Obama and talked about this new buzzword “Change.” They stood up there at the microphone onstage and promised each and every J1 TPJCian change in the college. I was left scratching my head. What’s wrong with this college? Why do we need to change it? The candidates mention change, yes. But they did not specify WHAT kind of changes they were going to make.

Some did. One example that sticks out in my mind is Poh Ju Zhong and his want to change the relationship between the school and its non-teaching staff. He stated that he wanted to have social cohesion between the two, because having an grateful student cohort will make the staff feel appreciated and hence will work harder to keep the school in tip-top shape. Koe Sin Ying wanted to promote a conducive environment for academic excellence by installing fans near study areas and encourage cleanliness. All the changes put forward were sensible, and more importantly, feasible.

Some changes proposed, however, just didn’t make sense. Payal had jaws on the floor when she proposed a J1 Prom night. She believes that the role of council is to make things more fun around the school. Voting for her, apparently, was a vote for a new level of fun. Roodra also promised change, saying that it is her “responsibility to make sure what we want in TPJC would be there.” She was a prime example of someone who promised us change, but didn’t specify exactly what kind of change it was.

There were two people who made me sit up and go, hey! I’m giving my vote to this candidate. These candidates were none other than Gabriel Koh and Joseph Lim. Gabriel Koh delivered a very well-planned, well thought out speech that didn’t just try to sell to us who he was. Rather, he stared off with saying that he was “humbled as a candidate” to be standing before us. That single sentence captured my vote, because it really portrayed him as someone who can stand alongside us and lead, rather than someone who just takes it by the leash and runs. His speech included references to Gotham’s vigilante and Barack Obama, which was very different from all of the “I want to serve and change” speeches that followed. He did mention change, but as a process that is long and ardous, which needed a combination of conviction, determination and a healthy dose of college values.

He even had a slogan! Vote Courage. He came off as someone who thought through his speech and selected the proper arguments to win votes, which probably reflected his character as well. He seemed like someone, if he becomes a student leader, who would think through everything that he does before actually acting on it, a trait desired in every leader. Gabriel, I’m voting Courage this year.

Secondly, Joseph Lim had me enthralled from the beginning. He had a pleasant, charismatic voice that was gently persuasive. He also managed to inject some humour, drawing analogies between his characteristics, and schoolwork. My favourite line was the one where he said that he could balance his work and his co-curricular activities because his “clockwise moments equal to his anti-clockwise moments,” and therefore, was in a state of equilibrium. Joseph Lim’s speech was informative and interesting, which made him stand out from all the “I WANT TO BRING CHANGE!!!! \(^O^)/ “ speeches. He was outstanding.

There were some that didn’t really have me convinced. Stephanie gave commendable effort by writing a poem, but it didn’t really tell me anything other than “Change is Stephanie,” and that she liked baked potato and iced tea. Wong Cyndia wanted to run for Council to understand her fears. Not very convincing as well.

Hence, these are my picks for Council Elections.

Joseph Lim
Gabriel Koh
Shermaine Tan
Poh Ju Zhong
Koe Sin Ying
Ko Ming Jun
Alina Choong

Please vote on TPJC.net anytime from NOW till MONDAY 13TH APRIL!

Interview With TPJC's TOP A-Level Science Student

Written by Sheryl (09S03).
Edited by Hamid (09A06).

Leonard was previously from Dunman Secondary School and he moved on to TPJC after his O-levels. He shares with Sheryl of 09S03 his path leading to his success at the A-levels, where he emerged as TPJC’s top science student for 2008.

Sheryl: Let’s start with some background info. What subjects did you do in TPJC, and which CCA are you in?

Leonard: The standard GP, PW, Chinese, H1 Economics, H2 Computing, H2 Physics, H2 Math and H3 Math (NTU numbers and matrices).

My CCA was Film and Photography society but since it merged with AV last year I guess my CCA is now the Infocomm Club.

Sheryl: What an interesting combination. Was it hard to cope with all those subjects and commitments?

Leonard: An NTU professor conducted the lectures, so it was pretty manageable for me. I totally neglected the H3 for a period of time though, and did last minute studying for the final exam.

Sheryl: Hmm so what were your results like?

Leonard: Oh well, Merit for H3 Math. They classify the grades under Distinction, Merit, Pass and Ungraded.

Sheryl: So I assume Merit is a rather satisfactory grade? How about the other subjects then?

Leonard: Well I aced the rest of the subjects, except for Chinese because the minimum grade for university admission is an S.

Sheryl: That’s a total of six A’s right?

Leonard: Yes. Actually, I didn’t really expect to get A’s for my Economics and General Paper. It was really surprising for me because throughout my JC life I’ve been getting Bs and Cs for both subjects.

Sheryl: I see. So what was your motivation to do well then? Were you guided by a dream?

Leonard: Motivation? Lots of things I would say; my teachers, my friends. All of them were working really hard, and so I decided that I should work hard too. I’m also motivated by personal reasons as well.

Sheryl: Are you comfortable with sharing some of them?

Leonard: I’ll share one – my grandma. She passed away when I was Sec 3. She was a really nice person; always rewarding me whenever I did well for exams. After she passed away, I decided that I should do well for her sake. That was my motivation for both my 'O' and 'A' levels.

Sheryl: I see. I’m sure if she’s still alive she’d be happy to see that you’ve been working hard for your exams and feel so proud of you for being the top student of TPJC.

Leonard: Haha I would guess so.

Sheryl: Tell me about life in TPJC. Did you experience any set backs, and if so how did you overcome them?

Leonard: Setbacks?

Sheryl: Man is no stranger to setbacks! I’m sure you’ve had some.

Leonard: Well, I did take combined physics when I was in secondary school. When I went to JC, I took H2 Physics. That was a really huge jump in terms of content and depth.

Sheryl: It must have been tough.

Leonard: Yes definitely. I remember failing my physics continuously when I was in J1. Then after a period of time, I realized that the only way to do well is to practice, practice, and practice. So 1 month before Promos, I was doing TYS (Ten Year Series) every single day.

Sheryl: The Ten-Year Series is certainly our best friend. How about sharing your studying style? Did you ask your tutors loads of questions? Am I right to say that for your subject combination, your main studying technique would be to practice?

Leonard: Yup that is very true. In addition to practice, I always try to make sure that I understand anything that I learn and relate it to real life. If I can’t, then I use my imagination. My imagination can get rather extreme.

Sheryl: But I’m sure it helped in your studying!

Leonard: Definitely.

Sheryl: A lot of people say that going to JC equates to having no life. Do you agree with that?

Leonard: Definitely not. My class had a lot of class activities together, and most of that happened when we were supposed to be studying for our exams. You know, I believe the most important thing in JC life is to have fun. Working hard is important, but if you don’t have fun, sooner or later you’ll definitely lose all motivation to study.

Sheryl: Right. Do you have any comments about the TPJC culture?

Leonard: There are hardworking students and teachers, but of course there’s room for improvement.

Sheryl: What are the improvements that you feel should be made?

Leonard: TPJC should improve on its study environment. I think you already know, we’re known for our slack culture. For starters, I think upgrades to the school library are needed. I’ve visited many other colleges before, and I realize that our library is the smallest. And the libraries in other colleges are cosier than the rest; I guess this is more conducive for studying.

Sheryl: I see. Do you have any ‘secret success formula’ to share with our fellow TPJCians?

Leonard: Study smart, keep fit, stay happy, stay motivated and have loads of rest everyday.

It’s not enough to work hard, really. If you do a thousand tutorials but don’t understand what you’re doing, then in the end, you don’t benefit at all. Studying smart is the best way. How do you do that? There are many ways.

Like what I said, you have to relate what you learnt to real life or your imagination. Or you could do mind maps. It all depends on the individual’s creativity.

But before we can utilize your creativity to such an extent, you should understand yourself first.

For example, for myself, I love anime and cartoons. And so I relate my learning to these things. I’m also a very visual person, so I make use of diagrams to understand stuff.

Sheryl: How about the rest of the things you mentioned?

Leonard: Well, staying happy? Those who know me will know that I’m a happy-go-lucky person. And that really helps. JC life is already so stressful; why make it worse by putting on a sad or stressed up look?

Bottom line is, in tough times, always stay happy and positive.

Next up is keeping fit. It’s scientifically proven that exercise helps your mind function a lot better. So those who hate PE lessons, start liking them now because they have a direct impact on your studies.

The PE department is so going to like me for that statement!

Sheryl: I have a love-hate relationship with PE lessons. What do you consider to be healthy sleeping hours?

Leonard: Sleeping at 10pm, and then waking up at 6am. For those who can only study at night, this wouldn’t apply to you.

Sheryl: Tell me 3 things you miss about TPJC.

Leonard: My friends, the stress and…

Sheryl: Wait, the stress?! I’m about to die from the stress and you’re telling me you miss it?

Leonard: Trust me, after you’ve had you’re A-Levels you will slack so much that you’ll miss working hard. Oh and third thing, my hardworking teachers.

Sheryl: Any encouraging words for your juniors?

Leonard: Jiayou! Work hard, study smart. Believe that you will do well and you will definitely do well.

Sheryl: Alright. What are your future plans then?

Leonard: After my National Service, I plan to study psychology in University. Depending on the scholarship I get, I’ll either be studying overseas or in a local university.

Sheryl: I see. Finally, do you want to thank anyone especially for helping you attain such good results?

Leonard: Ah, lots of people such as my class 07S28, my other friends who were there for me and my hardworking teachers. Especially Ms Lim Yih, my civics tutor who has done so much for me for the past 2 years. Lastly, my Info comm juniors! I wish them all the best for their A levels.

Interview With TPJC's TOP A-Level Arts Student

Written by Sheryl (09S03).

Some background information: Choy Wai Wan from 07A06 emerged as the top ‘A’ Level Arts student from TPJC this year. Despite having a challenging subject combination and three CCAs, he had good time management and did commendably well. The following is an interview done by Sheryl of TPJCian magazine on 17th March 2009. The interview had been slightly edited for brevity and clarity. Some extraneous material had been omitted.

Sheryl: Let's start with some background info… What subjects did you do in TPJC, and which CCA were you in?

Wai Wan: I was in the school's Drama Club, the 22nd Student Council, and also the school Volleyball team. My H2s were Theatre Studies and Drama, Knowledge and Inquiry, Economics and English Literature. My H1s were Mathematics, Project Work and Chinese....

Sheryl: Okay, that's quite an insane combination of subjects and CCAs. Was it tough to cope?

Wai Wan: I would be lying if I said it wasn't. Personally, I felt it was hardest to deal with both KI and TSD as they required a large amount of individual work, since both of them have an individual component that is assessed. CCAs are, well, CCAs, so they only happened on, at worst, three days a week.

Sheryl: Doesn't Student Council involve much commitment?

Wai Wan: Yes, it does. Especially during periods in which the Student Council is planning school events such as Teachers' Day, Promenade Night, etc.

Sheryl: If my memory doesn't fail me, you scored six distinctions despite your high levels of commitment in various areas and emerged as TPJC's top Arts student. That is really commendable! What was your motivation to do well?

Wai Wan: It was five, actually. Well I've always dreamed of doing Theatre after I'm done with my studies. It kind of started in my Secondary School days after quite a few school performances and also after taking part in an SYF competition for Drama. I guess that was what propelled me forward in my JC life, and was the main reason I took up TSD as a subject in the first place. I guess I was lucky in the sense that I already knew where I wanted to go, and everything I tried to do, or did, from that point on stemmed from that one reason, and so I never allowed any issue, or problem I have get in my way for too long.

Sheryl: Oops, sorry for the error. My memory DID fail me then, haha! Anyway, it sounds like much motivation comes from yourself and you were clear-headed about what you want to do. Tell me about your life in TPJC; be it set backs or victories. How did you overcome your set-backs?

Wai Wan: To be totally honest, I don't really know. I mean, I have had quite a few set-backs - though I won't say that I've had the worst of them all, but the thing about set-backs, for me, is that I never really forget them. And so they constantly form this nagging feeling of failure, or depression, at the back of my head. What I tried to do, of course, was to ignore them, completely shut them aside, but they just won't go away. So I kind of told myself that it wouldn't work out. I couldn't possibly (I'm speaking figuratively here) study with multiple emotions and feelings all jumbled up in my head.

What I did, then, was to put things into perspective. I wrote down every single negative thought that flashed by my head, word-for-word, on a piece of paper, a blog, whatever-have-you. And then, I would look at those things I written, think for a few seconds about what is making me feel that bad, and then think about how I can make it better. Sometimes, just writing it out helps already, because you look back at those statements and wonder how silly you were at thinking so negatively in the first place.

Of course, all this is personal, so I don't know if it would work for everyone.

Sheryl: That works for me too, to a certain extent… How about any memorable personal victories, whether big or small scale?

Wai Wan: Personal victories... For me, I've always really enjoyed the whole group spirit kind of thing, so I guess I would rank Orientations up there. There was a particular moment during Orientation which really moved me. I was Family Head of one of the Families, and I was desperately trying to get a group of people to learn the cheers. I could understand that they weren't really in the mood, especially since they were treated to a marathon of subject talks and lectures prior to that. What really touched me was when one of the group members requested her peers to start cheering and not keep quiet, especially when all the OGLs were losing their voices. At that moment, I realized that all it takes, sometimes, is a little bit of courage and guts to get things going.

I will never forget that moment; because our Family went on to win the "Fiercest" family award - which literally meant our cheers were the loudest. And the credit wasn't mine; it was those who got the ball rolling.

Sheryl: Hmm.... and which house would that be?

Wai Wan: Zeus! Haha... Back then our Orientation was not split up into Houses like it is right now.

Sheryl: I see. Alright... moving on… A commonly held notion by Singaporean JC students is that being in a Junior College (JC) equates to having 'no life'. What is your opinion on that?

Wai Wan: There's such a notion? Haha... I never knew... But, as far as I know, it's not true. I mean, in your JC life, you do all sorts of enjoyable things like have CCAs, hang out with your CCA friends, play sports, etc. But, moving beyond just normal school life, there is definitely room for some fun and games beyond curriculum. I mean, for one, we have Orientation. We have Friendship weeks as well as Songfest, Dancefest, Runway.

All these school events are there simply because JC students are not just mere students who study all day long. I mean, I shared my schedule not too long ago to many students, but I did mention that though it did seem tight, it was also flexible. That means, if I manage to finish the day, or week's, tasks early, I can CHOOSE to take the extra time off for, say, a movie.

I think another thing people fail to realize as well is that interacting with your friends in school also constitutes a form of social life - unless someone claims everyone around him in his JC is a zombie and doesn't offer much interaction. So, obviously, I don't agree with the statement that we have no "life". It's a groundless statement.

Sheryl: JC life has definitely been made more fun with the events mentioned above! Orientation was truly enjoyable for me. You never knew [about the notion]? Before I came to JC I was bombarded with warnings such as 'YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE NO LIFE FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS'. Haha!

Wai Wan: It really depends on the definition of what they mean by having "a life". I mean, if they mean that you have to be going out everyday, watch a movie literally every week, then it obviously won't work that way for JC students.

But I don't think the "life" of a person is defined by the amount of outings he has, or the amount of time he spends outside of school. If you compared a person bumming around everyday, and a JC student who studies till 4pm and then goes out for a dinner date and maybe an hour of shopping before heading back home, I doubt you can say that the JC kid has "lesser life". It's about the quality of the time spent outside of school, really.

Sheryl: Yup! How about sharing with our fellow TPJCians your studying style? Did you ask your tutors loads of questions?

Wai Wan: Oh, yeah, I did. Particularly in my second year of JC life, after all that foundational things have been built, so-to-speak. Because most of the subjects I took at the "A"-levels weren't examinable at the "O"s, they were pretty new to me as well. For me, I learn best during discussion, and it was something I realized while studying for my "O"s as well, because I realized I managed to retain most of the knowledge of so-called content-heavy subjects such as Geography and History after discussions with my peers. Because of that, I found myself constantly asking teachers questions, clarifying doubts, making sure that what I've been writing, or have been thinking, is clear and accurate.

When I discuss, I try to take note of my phrasing and not fall under the classic workarounds such as "yeah... you know what I mean". What I felt I needed to do while studying was to make sure I was very clear of what I'm learning about, how to phrase it when I talk or write about it, because in an examination, you can never write "Yeah… you know what I mean" and expect the examiner to understand.

So, for me, my studying style is centered upon inquiry. Whenever I get a piece of work, I like to ask what I can do with it, what I should try to do with it. For example, if I realized that in my previous essay a teacher wrote "good!" at a particular paragraph; I would try to see how I can apply that "good paragraph" to this new assignment. It was all about asking questions. How can I do this better, what can be adapted, why didn't I get this right, when should I use a particular phrasing, etc.

Sheryl: If we could write 'Yeah you know what I mean' for exams, I'm sure my paper will be full of them!

Wai Wan: Everyone's would be. Then again, that would make Cambridge want to slaughter Singaporean students; they'll write letters to us saying "NO, we don't know what you mean!"

Sheryl: Heh heh. Just for curiosity sake, which secondary school were you from?

Wai Wan: Hmm... To quote the school song, "Victoria... the school that watch'd us grow"… Haha!

Sheryl: Haha! So you're from Victoria School.

Wai Wan: Yeps...

Sheryl: Do you have any 'Secret Success Formula' to share with TPJCians?

Wai Wan: Secret Success Formula...If I had one I would have shared it already. But to be honest, sometimes this "secret" formula is right in front of us, but we just don't notice it. Going back to studying style, different people work better in different conditions. I guess the right formula is knowing the ratio in which you need to discuss, study quietly, and go for consultations. You need a balance or ratio that suits your mind and body the best. If you don't tire out your body and mind, but yet maximize your learning and training of critical skills, that would be the best case scenario.

Oh. My secret formula was lots of coffee! But that's because I study well with the smell of coffee.. I guess you can say it triggers a "studying state of mind" since I studied for all my major examinations since Secondary 2 with coffee, or near people who drink coffee.

Sheryl: Ooh, fellow caffeine addict!

Wai Wan: Yeah, but that doesn't mean we should like come up with silly excuses like "Oh, I study well with an hour of computer gaming after every hour of studying"... It doesn't work that way. Haha!

Sheryl: Hahaha. Of course it doesn't. For the J1s, an avalanche of tests is coming up and for J2s, the SA1. Any encouraging words for them?

Wai Wan: Nah, not really. I'm sure you'll do fine. The most important thing is not to worry to the point where you can't think straight, and not to be so relaxed to the point you're not even thinking. Other than that, Gambatte! Jiayou! Work hard! And... I've exhausted my repertoire of languages.

Sheryl: Thank you (: Comment about our TPJC culture?

Wai Wan: I think it’s not fair to say that TPJC has an undesirable culture. We've only been around for, what, around 20 plus years? With that said, culture and tradition doesn't occur without any reason. It is up to the students to create a culture of understanding, a tradition of excellence, and also a respect for both within themselves and the school. "We must be the change we wish to see in the world".

However, I do feel that TPJC has a certain vibrancy to it, if one bothers to take a look instead of glossing over. I mean, if you were at Dancefest, you'd realize that some students dance really well. And I've been wowed at all the TPJC choir concerts I've been to so far. Definitely, our students are interesting, and some of the things done can be pushed further to create an even greater sense of identity and unity within the college.

Sheryl: Thank you for the compliment about TPJC choir!

Wai Wan: Haha…I take it you're from the choir.

Sheryl: Yup! I feel that 'It is up to the students to create a culture of understanding, a tradition of excellence, and also a respect for both within themselves and the school' is very applicable. I realise that we as TPJCians sometimes think of ourselves as second class students compared to those from other better JCs.

Wai Wan: Yes! We should never think like that, we're just letting the other JCs have their way!

Sheryl: Tell me 3 things you miss about TPJC?

Wai Wan: Hmm…the people, teachers, the campus.

Sheryl: Hmm... Where do you intend to continue your studies then?

Wai Wan: Either NUS or overseas.

Sheryl: I see. Would it be a course to do with Drama?

Wai Wan: Yeap, definitely!

Sheryl: Okay final question; do you have any special thank-yous you want to say to anyone in relation to your success at the A levels?

Wai Wan: Hmm... Too many to thank, really... I mean, I would really love to thank all my tutors, classmates, friends, CCA friends from drama, council, volleyball boys and girls team...All of them gave me an once-in-a-lifetime JC experience and life that I will carry with me wherever I go.

Sheryl: All right. That concludes our interview! Thank you so much for you time; I'm sure TPJCians reading this will be inspired and motivated!

Stay tuned for the second interview with TPJC's Top 'A' Level Science student :)


Latest news report from the Junior College blogosphere.

"TPJC was really invaded by Saints. XD Sat and watched the match which IMO was really exciting! There were moments where you really held your breath and wondered if the opponent or SA will score. It poured halfway and we had to go back to the shelter to watch which wasn't half as exciting cause we couldnt see the other side of the field. >=(

And then, SA scored! Super nice shot! Hehehe. And I still remember hearing the guy say ' Wah I watch EPL got instant replay one leh!' ROFL. XD

Hahaha, so the match ended 1-nil and we just slacked around waiting for Guangfu who was taking like a thousand or a million years to be done." - SOURCE

"tpjc vs sajc
saw cheryl n jake
n shawn lim who was in mjc but came to tpjc dunno for wad
sadly tpjc lost 1-0 to sajc.... =(
but its ok!
TPJC go go go for the next match!
the rain also kinda affected the mood" - SOURCE

TPJCian Magazine Welcomes New Writers

Written by azhar.

I am proud to announce the new set of writers for TPJCian Magazine. They will run this blog while I am away for about two weeks in camp.


Nurliyana Omar 09S03
She will be covering on this year's Sports Day.

Siti Sarah Bte Daud 09A02
Her task is to blog about the 24th Student Council election process.

Abdul Hamid B Roslan 09A06

He will take over as the temporary editor.

Sheryl Yeo Hui Cheng 09S03
She had two online interviews with TPJC's top students this year. Her posts are scheduled to be published real soon.

I hope all of you continue to give them your support. Thank you. =)

TPJCian Magazine Appears On International Newspaper

We did a blog search today and were pleasantly shocked that we were mentioned in an international newspaper 'The Republic' for our cyber-bullying articles. Check it out here:

[Click image to enlarge]

Hundreds Of Bloggers Protest Outside Ping.sg Headquarters

Our local bloggers are getting impatient with the administrators of Ping.sg, a website which aggregates their blog posts. About two hundred of them congregated outside the Ping.sg headquarters, located in Kallang. Many raised their disappointment over the lack of improvements made to counter the problem of sex-related posts dominating the 'most popular' list. Some when further and demanded the termination of cheat profiles. This is the latest and so far the most extreme call by Singapore bloggers to clean up their online reputations.


Bloggers protesting outside the Ping.sg headquarters.


A group of bloggers holding their banner.


Chaos erupts when a blogger demands for more freedom to express his criticisms against the website online.


Even the children decided to take part in the protest to show how they were affected by the content shown on the website.

PS: This is just an April Fools' Day joke. The speech bubbles were inspired by the blog posts written by several Pingsters. Of course, the protest never took place (duh). Please do not take this post seriously, yeah? =)

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!

[EXCLUSIVE] Singapore's Top 10 Worst Consumer Behaviour

Written by azhar.

Working as a cashier in a huge supermarket for the past two months has opened my eyes to the various silly antics of Singapore customers. Most of the behaviour mentioned here may seem shameless and risible but they explicitly mirror the greedy, arrogant and thoughtless characteristics that some local customers possess. The list includes foolish manners by consumers which you may not have known before.

The tabulation below compiles the behaviour of middle-aged to old Singapore customers only. It covers both the antics portrayed by Singaporean citizens as well as the foreign expatriates living and working in the island too. In this blog post, I intend to highlight the dirty habits of local consumers in the hope that the rest of the society will not follow them.

(in random order)

1) Huh? Err? Hmm? *gone*
I do not have a problem with the influx of foreign talents into Singapore, but I definitely have a problem with foreign workers who expect us to communicate in a language that they use widely in their homeland. I have encountered many situations whereby customers showed poor attitude and rushed off when I could not understand the language they are using.

One of the similar experiences that is still vivid in my mind is when a young Chinese-speaking female customer (most probably from China) snatched her goods away from me and stormed off the store grumpily after failing to converse with me properly. It is as if I was expected to know and learn the language that she uses in her homeland. Can't she just be patient and wait while I get a colleague to translate what she was trying to say? What a bummer....

2) The Newspaper Browser
There is a rule stated clearly above the magazine and newspaper shelf that customers are not allowed to browse through the reading materials available. Well, apparently some customers have found a way to circumvent the rule. This is what they do:

First, they choose the newspaper that they wish to read. Next, they join a long queue and start browsing through the articles in the newspaper. They probably use the first few minutes to finish reading on the cover story. Finally, once they reach the counter, they look at the cashier and say, "Oh, I don't want the newspaper."

Amazing isn't it? (lots of sarcasm here)

3) Greedy Liars
The retail company that I am working for upholds the policy that if buyers are unhappy with the goods that they bought from its stores, a full refund will be given to them. As expected, a few greedy customers are trying to exploit the policy by attempting to lie all the way till they get their moolah back. Let me share with you two stories as told by one of my female colleagues who works under the Delicatessen section:

A few weeks ago, a customer came into the outlet, strolled to the Delicatessen section and before you knew it, began throwing insulting remarks at her. The customer bought cooked chicken prepared by her two days ago. Now, he was claiming that the chicken was uncooked. When asked to hand over the chicken for investigation, the customer refused to cooperate and instead gave a loud rude reply, "I gave the uncooked chicken to my dog!" She could not give the refund as there was no proof that the chicken was not well-cooked. The customer could be cooking up a story to earn the cash he did not deserve to get. In the end, the customer went straight to one of my duty managers who decided to give a full refund after checking the receipt. Till now, my colleague believes that decision was a poor one.

Nonetheless, the customer in the story below was not as lucky as the one above.

The customer in this story used the very same tactic as the one above, except for one key difference - the anomaly on the receipt. He was aggressive and hurled insults at my colleague. He then tried to fool my Store Manager while appealing for the refund. The outlet I am working for is located in Sengkang. However, the receipt showed that the chicken was brought from an outlet in Hougang! It was a completely failed attempt to get a cash refund and the abashed customer went home empty-handed, leaving behind his ego.

4) The Money Changers
This particular behaviour is actually quite funny when I look at it in retrospect but nevertheless, it sure annoys the other customers in the queue. I, for one, have a personal experience with people who love to change their big notes. I love to call them the 'money changers' and I enjoy sharing their antics with my friends, such as this one:

A female customer handed over the good she wanted to buy to me so that I could scan it. My screen revealed that it was a small sanitary pad which costs around $4 (can't remember the exact amount). She whips out her wallet, took out a note and passed it over to me. Guess what? It was a $1000 note!

I had no choice but to rush to the Cashiers' Room and change the $1000 note into smaller denominations. This usually takes quite some time, especially when the Chief Cashier is out at the washroom! OHGAWD! Next time if you want to change big notes into smaller ones, please do so in a place called a BANK!

5) Anti- Bring Your Own Bag Day
If you think that all Singapore consumers are in favour of the weekly 'Bring Your Own Bag Day' campaign, then you are wrong. There were buyers who questioned me where the money collected by the weekly donations are heading to. When I gave the reply that the donations will be channeled to the Singapore Environment Council, they were unimpressed. One of them even said, "Money go straight to gahmen! What's the point?!"

Other more experienced colleagues also shared their pitiful experiences with me. Most of them agree that the campaign is still relatively unpopular and unknown among local consumers. My colleagues added that at times, they were scolded after informing their customers that they were supposed to bring their own bags. Somehow, the buyers felt that the campaign was just causing too much trouble for them.

It takes time for local consumers to get used to the weekly campaign I guess...

6) Plastic Notes Only
I have customers who after receiving their changes, request for the paper notes to be swapped with plastic ones. This habit is especially prevalent among senior citizens. So what makes this particular habit bad, you ask?

Well, it turns bad when they insist on having the plastic notes at ALL COSTS. There are times whereby we cashiers have run out of plastic notes in our cash box. This leaves us with no choice but to act like beggars and visit the other counters searching for available plastic notes. Mind you, the other cashiers are also serving a line of customers. Lots of time is lost just to meet the strict requirements of the old lady.

Till now, I still don't get why senior citizens (not all of course) only accept plastic notes because sooner or later, the notes will be used! (for goodness sake)

7) The (Queue) Jumper
"Aiyah...I have only one item to purchase...let me go first lah," said the old woman as she forced her way to the front end of the queue.

This is one of the most common bad behaviour that I have witnessed so far. Queue jumpers are very annoying. I mean seriously, they are really really annoying. They may get away with it the first time, but one day someone may just teach them the lesson.

One of my colleagues once shared with me a story whereby she nearly quit her job because of a queue jumper. So what happened? The annoying human being jumped queue and when my colleague tried to stop her and refused to scan her items first, she retaliated and criticized her loudly. My colleague was so embarrassed by the incident that she ran straight to our Section Leader and wanted to resign. I told you they are annoying...

8) I Want That Free Gift!!!
Promotions are available all year round in participating supermarkets. One of the most popular promotions is the free gift. A very good example is the Sunshine Bakeries' free gift marketing campaign. Some of you may know by now that Sunshine Bakeries is running a promotion whereby a free packet of Hot dog Buns are given upon purchase of their selected types of breads. The thing is that the free gift are only available while stocks lasts.

Some customers just don't get it. They would request for a full refund if the free packet of Hot dog Buns were not given. Some would even accuse us for being misleading. There is no way we can remove the advertising brochure from the bread shelf the moment we run out of the free gifts. Oh and by the way, the brochure also clearly indicates that the free gifts are available while stocks last. I rest my case...

9) Where Did The Herbs Go To?
Thieves are everywhere and one of their favourite spots is the supermarket. Of course, they are not stupid enough to smuggle the whole unpaid product out of the store; so what did they do? Here you go, using a bottle of herbs as an example:

First, he chooses the bottle of herbs that he wants. Next, he opens the lid, pours all the content into the pocket before inserting shreds of paper into the now-empty bottle. Finally, he walked out the store a free man.

Not convinced that the strategy worked? Well, it happened last month! One of the Sales Assistants found the bottle filled with shreds of paper. And herbs are not the only favourite goods stolen; batteries are another easy target. Their small size makes it easy for the thieves to smuggle them out unnoticed.

10) Littering!
What do you do after you have checked your receipt?
a) Keep it in the plastic bag and dispose of it at home
b) Heck. Just leave it in the basket!

Rubbish bins are available at all counters. Customers usually check their receipts near the entrance. And once done, believe it or not, some of them chose to throw them in the baskets stacked up there. How do I know? I was given the duty to clear the baskets collected at the cashiers and re-stack them up at the entrance once. Well, you guessed it, I had to spend quite some time to clear all the receipts and rubbish left behind in the baskets. Sometimes there is liquid spilled all over the baskets. Ewww...

There you go, Singapore's top ten worst consumer behaviour! Do share with me what you think of the antics mentioned above!

What I Really Think Of TPJC...

Written by Siti Sarah Bte Daud (09A02).

Tampines Junior College was my dream destination after the 'O' Levels ended, ever since I have made up my mind over the age-old debate of Poly vs JC. Why? I don't really know. I'm not a stellar student. My grades are perfectly average. I'm not good enough for the higher end JCs but not that bad either. Besides, TPJC has a pretty good Arts Course, and the Theatre Studies and Drama subject were a part of the attraction.

As of now, I have been in the school for a good two weeks or so and there are a couple of things that have already made an impression on me.

Firstly, what is up with the school's perfect symmetry? Block B and Block E are both painted yellow. They have the exact same architecture. They both have patches of grass right in the centre of the building, surrounded by brown benches. There is nothing to tell them apart from each other.

I felt like a headless chicken half the time I spent in school in the first week. I remembered once, when I had to leave halfway due to a TSD audition during a History lecture in LT2. I ran across the school campus to get to the Black Box, got completely lost, and ended up back outside LT2. When I finally found the Black Box, heavily panting and disoriented, the TSD teacher asked if I was this flustered all the time. I told her that it was due to the school having completely identical blocks and that I couldn't find my way around all the time. The resounding chorus of agreement from the TSD J2s was, if anything, comforting. At least I wasn't the only one losing my head over the layout of the $18.2 million* school.

However, this becomes a minor blip in my existence as a TPJCian because there are a lot of other things about TPJC that I really love. One example is none other than the college song. After a disastrous attempt to teach a less than enthusiastic cohort of J1s the TPJC school song, I went online and Youtube-d the College Video to learn the song by myself. Before long, I found myself suffering from major earworms for the next week or so. I don't know – there is something about the melody and the lyrics that made the song stuck in my head for a really long time. Ask my friends; they heard nothing from me except the school song for quite some time.

Plus, the first eleven words (which is only what most TPJCians can remember of the school song), 'Proud are we to be a part of Tampines Junior College...' struck a chord in me because that particular moment really reminded me that I was actually here, as a part of TPJC.

However, the thing I love the most about the school is the people. From what I've noticed, the regular TPJCian is heady, lively and a little offbeat. A lot of the TPJCians that I have met are very friendly. One good instance is the first two people I met when I stepped into TPJC. In the first week of our orientation, I recalled with fondness my OGLs, Jie Ying and Shahrin (OGLs for OG 18), and their lively antics in attempts to make us feel more comfortable in and familiar with TPJC. They brought us around the school, shared inside secrets and dished the dirt on canteen food. Furthermore, they weren't friendly only during the orientation period. I still do encounter them in the hallways and they always have a smile, a wave, or a piece of friendly advice to share.

But why do I say TPJCians are a little offbeat, you ask? Well, check out this video:

All in all, I feel really blessed to be here and be part of the TPJC family and I'm looking forward to my two years here! (:

Now if only, they printed pocket maps for all new J1s..

*according to Wikipedia

TPJC Orientation Camp '09: The Review

Written by Abdul Hamid B Roslan (09A06).

I’ll be upfront about the whole event and start by saying that Tampines Junior College was not my first choice. Walking into the school everyday, by lunchtime I’d find myself feeling really left out and disoriented because everyone seemed to be settling in quite easily. Secretly, I’d hoped to be able to adapt as quickly as they could, and from there I started to look at this year’s orientation camp as something to look forward to; it presented a chance for me to bond with my classmates and find a sense of belonging with the school.


Lets skip back to a few days before, when camp was in full swing. It was Day One. We were told to create our Civics Group flag – symbolizing whatever it was that we wanted to embody. I got a chance to see how my class worked together for the first time. Everything went along fine and slowly, we got to know what each person could contribute to the entire group as a single unit.


The games organized by the councillors was stellar. I think it was the games and the whole “Early Bird Contest” (whoever was at the venues first was awarded bonus house points) that really pushed everyone to work together. The games helped us let loose a little and it gave us a chance to have fun together as a class while at the same time working under pressure. From becoming the figures of a game of football to vigorously scrubbing our hair at another station to get suds to fill a bucket, or using any means necessary to transfer water from a bucket to bottles of different sizes, we all learnt something new about one another (e.g. In times of distress, the mighty shoe can act as a bucket to fill things with), and that subsequently brought us closer.


Another thing that really stood out for me was the fact that we were always encouraged to cheer. This, I think, helped to create a sense of familiarity that we can associate with the school. Cheering was fun; being able to scream your hearts out and proudly proclaim yourself as a member of one of the six houses forged a sense of identity with the school as well as with your class.

Anyone who has kept up with this blog would have read about the issues surrounding the way the dance was choreographed. Some commented that it was not suitable for guys while others thought that it was too hard to learn all three dance items at the same time.

I will have to agree with them, but only to an extent. Learning the mass dance was not easy, especially when being taught by someone who cannot possibly check and see if everyone’s following the moves to the letter. At the beginning it was frustrating to see that repetition doesn’t count for perfection when you just can’t land the moves right. Furthermore, we were not given much time to really practise hard. It was like a mass dance crash course, though with great enthusiasm and the want to learn.

For me, I think the two main things about the camp that really helped everyone become closer to one another were the games and the cheering. Everyone was really enthusiastic about cheering for his or her own respective houses.

Another good thing to mention was the morning exercise on the second day. We were told to run around the school field while singing the school song. This was particularly hilarious because it seemed like as if most of the J1s then did not know the second verse of the song. So whenever we came to that bit of the song, all of us would just ad-lib with either “la la la” or some other inaudible sound. Eventually we managed to pick up the rest of the song, and by the time we were running around the track one last time, everyone was singing so loudly that it caught the attention of a few of the J2s who rushed to the railings at the study cafĂ© to look at us.

That aside, I’m not the type of person who’d like to sugarcoat things and tell you that the camp went off without any hitches. Sometimes I felt like the reflections after each event was a little rushed and halfhearted. I don’t really think it’s feasible for people to set a certain time frame of which at the end of the whole thing, you’re supposed to learn something new. Let’s be honest here – no one is going to receive an epiphany if you time him or her and apply some good ole peer pressure. Everyone is going to need his or her own time to come to conclusions about the things they have done. Own time, own target right?

In preparation for Soul Night, each house was instructed to come up with a skit to advertise a product or thing. Being adolescents, you can guess as to the silly things we were told to pitch for. In spite of the odd product placements (come on, advertising hair?), all the houses still did their best to come up with something original. I think this helped us in terms of learning about teamwork, and being able to accept other people’s ideas and slowly come to something that everyone can agree on. I think I’ll count myself thankful when I say there wasn’t any creative friction whenever our Civics Group or the House was called upon to work together and brainstorm.

On the final day, everyone was really tired but some of us didn’t really want the whole thing to end. It had been such an amazing and memorable experience – we had learned so much and had so much fun at the same time – and the thought that all good things must come to an end began to emerge as the last day of camp arrived. We took part in a few more cheer-offs, watched a compilation of videos and pictures of what we had done for the past three days, and the next thing I knew I was already on the bus back home.

It is strange how the things you started out hating always turn into something you can truly be proud to be a part of. This year’s orientation camp, like any other, was organized with the intention to foster stronger bonds between classmates and with the college as a whole.

Well, I think it worked like a charm.

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