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How to Quit Instagram

by Lydia 2MD5 All Posts There's a good chance we are all addicted to social media, just in various degrees. I still remember a life without all the...

Lunch with My Dad

by Lydia 2MD5 Recently, due to the prelim study break, I was able to do something I've never done before: have lunch with my dad, on a school weekd...

Finding Solace in Solitude

Vaishnavi RN, 1MD2 “Do you like being alone?” - a question once posed to me by a friend when she was struggling to find a close group of friend...

A Candlelit Night

By Joshua Kok 1SA5 What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a Candlelit Night? Maybe you associate it with romantic dinners or ...

How to Quit Instagram

by Lydia 2MD5 All Posts

There’s a good chance we are all addicted to social media, just in various degrees. I still remember a life without all the colorful social media apps plaguing my phone, back when I was in primary school without a phone to speak of, but even then I was a huge fan of the email and used it nearly every single day to talk to my friends whom I also saw every single day. Now, we just do the same thing, except with more pictures and less words.

But sometimes, enough is enough. If you are like me and have figured out that social media is sucking up all your time and energy that can be better used elsewhere, here are some tips for how to go on a clean break, from a (former) Instagram addict.

  1.  Actually delete the app off your phone. Simply having it physically NOT there on your phone screen helps more than you might think. Out of sight, out of mind. I found that not seeing the app drastically reduced how much I thought about it, and whenever I swiped to unlock I would not automatically be reminded to open it and check for new posts.
  2. Don’t keep redownloading it. Duh, you say, but it is hard, and I can 100% empathize. For those with great willpower this is a trifle. But for the rest of us with less than ideal discipline, refer to my cheat code (next point).
  3. Decrease your usage in doses. I found it hard to quit cold turkey right off the bat, so for the first few days (up to 2 weeks) I would instead go on the Instaweb site. But this is the catch: only allow yourself to go on it 1-2 times a day, and for no more than 5 minutes. This isn’t to let you completely catch up on everything you’ve ‘missed out’ on, but just to allow for a small hit of social media, at a glance. I found that it let me use it in a more meaningful way too, as opposed to mindless scrolling: I’d deliberately see the stories or posts from only my favorite accounts, and that was enough to keep me happy.  (Another ironic upside to using Instaweb is that the interface really, really sucks compared to the app. The scrolling is funny, stories refresh everytime you finish viewing one, and you can’t check your DMs. You may just be turned off from going on it at all.)
  4.  Have another outlet. One of the biggest drawbacks to quitting Instagram is that you might suddenly find that you have a lot of stray thoughts and pictures that have nowhere to go. We’re used to dumping them all in our own communal sharing space. Find another space that’s best for you- it can be very personal, like starting a small journal, or it can be a designated best friend that you message whatever little (but significant) updates you have that you can’t keep silent about. Or a Tumblr account just to have somewhere to put the photos you’ve taken. It’ll keep you from having to post something on Instagram specifically.
  5. Download other apps that are more meaningful / educational / fulfilling. Quitting Instagram doesn’t mean you have to stop going on your phone at all. I’m of the opinion that even just doing something on your phone that can in some way improve your life is better than being an addicted viewer. Again, this doesn’t equate to unlimited time on your phone. Do it in moderation and as a coping tool for staying off Insta. Especially during idle moments, like when travelling or in between classes etc. For me, this translated into using the e-books app, language app, and my personal favourite: podcasts, you’re guaranteed to find a topic that you’re interested in listening to. And it’s free!
  6. In the meantime, get your dose of social interaction in real life. Just because you’re off a social media platform doesn’t mean you suddenly become a couch potato hermit who quakes when she sees real people. Arrange to meet the friends you haven’t seen in a long while, talk to your classmates over lunch- since they don’t have updates from you online!- or go old school: make a call to someone and have a conversation to catch up.

Here are some extra tips from friends who are experts at quitting social media:

  • Recognize a good reason to quit and stay focused on that reason
  • Quitting takes time, but after a while you will get used to not having it around
  • Realize that it doesn’t make a big difference whether you see your friends’ posts or not

After all this, will I go back on Instagram? Of course. But at least I know that I’m fully capable of living without it whenever life calls for it. Give it a go yourself, and maybe you will find that it’s the same for you.

Lunch with My Dad

by Lydia 2MD5

Recently, due to the prelim study break, I was able to do something I’ve never done before: have lunch with my dad, on a school weekday, just the two of us.

In fact, we’ve almost never done anything ‘just the two of us’. Some of you may be more close to your father, but the my reality was that growing up, I didn’t actually see him around very much. Most often he was overseas for work, which meant long stretches without his presence in the house. When he came back, it was only for a few days or so, and then it was off to the airport again. Weeks like this stretched into months, then years, for as long as I can remember.

It’s not as dramatic as I make it sound- we’re not estranged or anything, and it was a fun family when he was able to be back at home and relax with my sisters and mom too. But the circumstances didn’t allow us to have very much quality time, and I didn’t try to have any heart to hearts with him especially after it became too awkward, as a teenager.

But for the last couple of months he’s not with the job that made him live overseas anymore, separate from us. Now, he’s still working, but at least it’s in the same country, in an office somewhere near Suntec, not too far away from home. So when he suggested that I come have lunch with him during his lunch break since I was free, I sort of hesitated because it felt weird, but then: why not?

It turned out to be pretty nice. We ate some Mexican food (which he ended up disliking, but braved it through the meal), and talked a little bit about my university plans (thinking still, at this point), and his theory on what are the factors for good food. My dad has a lot of opinions. After that, we walked around and found a neat cafe where I could study. For once, not your generic Coffee Bean or Starbucks outlet bursting with stressed out students and caffeine addicts. And he did something that my mom, a more frugal person, would definitely disapprove: bought us a cake and coffee set to share. Passionfruit raspberry by the way- pink and absolutely delicious.

It was a small thing, but it touched me a lot, and it made me realize how different my two parents are, and how I have only got to know one side of my history this whole time. I think it gets way easier to kind of forget how much our parents have done for us particularly as life goes on and there seem to be mounting preoccupations. My mum has been a constant since day 1 because she was the one that was there. My dad you could say got the shorter end of the stick, having to be almost invisible, to bring the bacon home.

So that was it. He left, after drinking all the coffee (I suppose he needs it more), and kissed me goodbye. And I was left alone with my pile of Chemistry, as well as a mounting conviction to not forget him as we both grow older. To somehow, make up for all the time we have lost.

Finding Solace in Solitude

Vaishnavi RN, 1MD2

“Do you like being alone?” – a question once posed to me by a friend when she was struggling to find a close group of friends in school. Seemingly the question appeared to be one so elementary, yet it was so challenging to give her a definite answer as there were just too many intricacies to it. Personally, though I’ve never been a fan of isolation and solitude is something I don’t prefer, it’s a manner that everyone should grow to appreciate. Allow me to elaborate further.

As an extrovert, I do find joy in surrounding myself with people and indulging in constant conversations. Extroverts never face lonely situations you may ask, but trust me: there are bound to be inevitable times where you’re stuck somewhere all alone. How then do we find comfort in solitude? Here’s my take: There’s nothing wrong with being alone if you don’t feel lonely. Sounds confusing, but it is an essential distinction for all to grasp – there’s a fine line between being alone and feeling lonely. Appreciating situations and opportunities when you’re alone battles the feeling of loneliness and allows you to find bliss in solitude. On the other hand, yearning for company and neglecting the beauty and benefits of actually being alone leads you to be uncomfortable in solitude.

For a start, solitude reveals to you who you are and fosters self-discovery. When you’re alone, you’re forced to confront and converse with your thoughts. You face your authentic self, your opinions become primary to you and you have no need to conform to any sort of social expectations or behaviour. Often we grow so accustomed to always having someone by our side and in turn forget how essential it is to actually enjoy the company of our own. Tapping on your inner introverted thoughts will help you reflect on what’s going on in your life – the hills, the valleys, the good, the ugly. It helps you to know yourself better and grow as a person. Solitude enables you to disconnect, take a step back from the hustle of life and then re-enter the world with fresh energy and insight.

Solitude is the foundation of confidence and independence. Being in need of company all the time leaves you dependant on others making you insecure and anxious when you’re alone. Being comfortable with yourself instils confidence that empowers you to face any situation with a positive outlook because you believe in your knowledge and your ideas more. Moreover, solitude opens up an array of opportunities – to explore and to take control. For instance, take travelling on your own, it gives you sufficient autonomy to find your own rhythm: to do only what you like, to have absolute control over decisions and most importantly to learn more about yourself as you travel on uncharted waters.

However, all this is certainly easier said than done but finding solace in solitude is an intangible art that all of us who are uncomfortable with it have to slowly master. So I appeal to all you who are reading this to mindfully start taking time off the whirl of the world and to start treasuring your own company.

(photo credit: Pixabay)

A Candlelit Night

By Joshua Kok 1SA5

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a Candlelit Night? Maybe you associate it with romantic dinners or possibly relaxing massages or even intense meditation. This post is about none of that, rather I am about to share with you about the time when a J1 overcame his fear to find light in the darkness that engulfed him.

16 May 2018 was just like any other Wednesday, I was being chased by my very familiar foe: the dreaded tutorial. After I had ploughed through most of my homework, I decided to reward myself with a break. During my break, I wondered to myself if I could have avoided doing my work without being blamed, maybe I could have come up with an excuse: my dog ate my homework (however I didn’t own any pets) or my CCA extended till late at night (but my tutor was my CCA teacher). Just as I had finished that thought as though thru divine intervention or a Deus Ex Machina moment the electricity went out in my home. Was this the answer to all my woes?

Well not exactly. You see my brother was not exactly the most studious type. He often spent time going out with friends rather than hitting the books thus on the most recent test he had just barely failed and had to prepare for a makeup test the next day. Being like the typical Asian parents mine were, they had warned my brother of the dangers of not trying his best for his test, namely no more gadget time. It also just so happened my parents were out late that night, working.

Now back to the story, my brother quickly ran out of his room and shouted, “Gē (哥)!”.

I quickly responded, “What ah?”

He panically exclaimed, “How ah, [I] cannot study like this!”

Reluctantly I asked, “What do you want me to do?”

Without wasting a moment he answered, “Restore the light!”

Tasked with my mission, I set out to think of ways to get rid of the darkness that was every so pervasive. The answer seemed obvious: use the phone torchlight. I quickly grabbed my phone, towered over my brother and acted like a human lamp. Problem solved you might be thinking to yourself. However, as Murphy’s law states “whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.” Five minutes into my position as a walking and talking light source my phone dropped to 7%. Quickly I told my brother: “I think we better find another light source. Any suggestions?” He suggested, “How about finding a candle and lighting it in the living room?” Having pyrophobia, I slowly contemplated whether to embark on my journey to find the candle. After considering the fact that if my brother did not succeed the next day, he would have to suffer for the next few days, I reluctantly accepted the task. Then, I quickly rushed to the living room to locate the candles and rushed to the kitchen to find a match.

I swiftly arranged the candles on the dining table. Then the moment of truth arrived. To say that I was petrified would be a gross understatement. I quickly recalled what my chemistry lecturer taught us about how to light a matchstick. I felt a sense of accomplishment after this experience. Both of us then went to the table and started studying.

A ‘burnt out’ Joshua

Looking back on the experience, I feel that it was definitely unique and I am thankful that this occurrence has helped me get over my fear of fire.

Image credits: Writer’s own

The last P.E (and all the ones before that)

by Lydia 2MD5

On Friday this week concluded my last ever official physical education lesson, after 12 long years of being made to exercise at any hour of the day. You would think I would be rejoicing at “escaping” such a predicament but to my surprise, I felt only a kind of sad happiness, and nostalgia, for what had transpired unknowingly throughout all these hours of sweat and fun sessions

Being a J2, you’ll find that there are increasingly more ‘lasts’ than ‘firsts’- the last Mother Tongue Oral (said in relief) that one I merrily bade goodbye and will not look back with an ounce of longing), the last CCA swansong, the last Racial Harmony Day celebrated in such a familiar setting. And it was so with PE. It came suddenly to me that little bits of my formal tertiary education are being stripped away, as if warning me that something else will take its place. I mean A levels, and university, of course.

I’ve frankly never been very good at sports or games, so after the idyllic kiddish-ness of those strictly for fun P1 and P2 games faded away, I found myself floundering a lot in PE sessions. The only thing I wasn’t so bad at was swimming, but most other things were quickly eclipsed by girls who were faster, stronger, taller than me. Somehow even being in an active CCA like cheer or dance did not help in terms of keeping up with the budding sportspeople in my classes. I’m sure I’m not alone in this- unless you are one of those faster and stronger and physically advantaged people who always got the ball in playtime.

That’s one thing I won’t miss, for sure: huffing along red faced behind my friends and never being able to truly relax because of embarrassment that you might just drop something, or fall, and let the whole team down.

Luckily, this changed a little bit as I grew older. Maybe it’s a maturity factor, but I stopped trying to pretend I didn’t care about PE, and started trying to be more active, actually participate in the game, instead of standing to the side and waving my hands gormlessly. (It was sort of the cool thing to be uninterested then, right?) And the funny thing is that somehow, it worked.

I didn’t suddenly become amazing at sports, but PE- and life- was way more fun when you’re in the thick of things. People don’t care as much as you think if you accidentally toss a netball the wrong way, or hit someone in a weird place, as long as you’ve tried to make yourself a useful member of the team in the first place. At least, the nice ones don’t.

By JC I’d learnt to thoroughly enjoy myself in PE. Of course not all of them were perfect days of fun. 40 minute sessions were a killer, especially if you’re in the red group (try keeping pace running a 2.4 with the canoeists and netballers and softballers of AC), not to mention all those ‘conditioning’ exercises afterward. But the soft morning sunshine, camaraderie of your classmates all suffering the same fate as you, made it better.

And I lived for long period PE where, if the class actually showed up, we would have an amazing time running amok and in my case, screaming and laughing simultaneously. Maybe it’s also the MD-class Syndrome, where PE / GP is the only period you can ever see your whole class together. It becomes something you have to cherish.

The last PE of my life was spent in mid-afternoon blazing hot sun, where we somewhat half-heartedly played floorball, which I incidentally like a lot. But it was still great. Mr. Choo donned his sunglasses for our picture, which commemorated this capstone of my PE journey, andalso in some ways my journey as a student. It’s definitely seen me through the seasons.

Bye, PE- I might just miss you, a little bit.

Overcoming FOMO

Vaishnavi RN, 1MD2

FOMO
noun
origin 21st century: abbreviation of fear of missing out
The anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on social media.

Unceasingly checking social media for updates, feeling pangs of jealousy when seeing friends doing something more happening than you, struggling to turn down invites – these are just some symptoms of FOMO. FOMO is beyond a term that youths casually slip into their conversations –  it is much more pressing than we deem it to be.

FOMO stems from unhappiness: an insatiable and unreachable need for one to be included and be at the centre of everything. FOMO is unhealthy, subliminally driving individuals to check their phones immediately after they wake up, before going to bed or even refresh their feeds again and again till they’re convinced that they are updated and kept in the loop. These people on the receiving end respond to this by updating their social media accounts when they are at an event to prove that they too are happening. As such, this vicious cycle perpetuates till their innate anxiety is somewhat alleviated.

Personally, I too am a victim of FOMO and often find myself checking Instagram to see what my friends are up to and who they’re out with. This came to an end when I realised that it is merely a construct that is not worth wasting time on and that’s when I tried to overcome it (still trying, actually). Let me share some of my methods with you.

1. Understand that what you see on social media is not an actual representation of one’s life.

People have autonomy over what they post on social media. People post what they want others to see in them and think of them. Hence, each post undergoes massive amounts of filtering and editing before it’s posted. People do not willingly document the greatest disappointments they go through in life, yet it’s second nature for one to post their biggest achievements. Yes, these posts are real but none of them are real life. There’s more to one’s life than what’s seen on their social media.

2. Know what your identity is solidified in.

Finding your identity in how others perceive of you leads to FOMO and the need to portray yourself in a particular light online and even offline. You need to root yourself in defines us the most – your personality and character. Often or not this is undermined and compromised by FOMO and that shouldn’t be the case. People won’t remember you by which party you went to or who you’re friends with, but rather who you are as a person and what makes you, you. So don’t let FOMO shape or change who you are.

3. Practicing gratitude

FOMO leads you to walk down a path of worry and disappointment causing you to forget all that you have around you. Everyone is immensely blessed in many ways, so count your blessings and immediately your attention will be on the brighter and happier things in life! Here’s a simple activity that someone once shared with me: close your eyes and imagine losing all that you have with you (your family, your home etc), how would you feel/be? So look around and give thanks for the things you may have taken for granted.

All in all, FOMO is a prevalent issue that is so real to everyone of this age. No matter how hard we try to stray away from FOMO, it’s inevitable and we all do fall short. Yet, what matters is that you know what your identity is grounded in, celebrate the blessings you have in life and slowly you’ll be able to get past FOMO. All the best buddy, know that there are several people overcoming FOMO alongside you!

(image credit: Pixabay and The Blue Room)

The Positions of Aesthetics and Intent (edited)

By Caleb Thien (1MD2)

There is frequent confusion between the priorities of aesthetic and intent, which begs the question: how do I judge a photograph? What makes a photograph good?

The position of aesthetic

Now we must treat photography as art, and we must remember that all of art is just a means to an end, and the ‘end’ is the voicing and reflection of human nature, or a social issue, and the remembrance of it. By extension, this includes the techniques and expertise that embodies the different fields of art. Aesthetic is therefore, ultimately, a mere vehicle to a higher destination; it serves an intention.

Now I hear hobbyist photographers complaining — they ask if they are ‘wrong’ to shoot with aesthetics alone in mind. The answer is no. No one can condemn photographer who prizes aesthetic above all as a second class photographer, especially if he is a hobbyist photographer. There is, after all, no right or wrong in art. There is only the idea of extent – how useful, how important is this piece of art.

The position of intent

Now that we have clarified the position of aesthetics, we can closer examine the position of intent. Think back to Robert Frank’s The Americans. Ask yourself, did he travel around America to compile this collection, just for fun? He did not. He wanted to unite America by showing the Americans what they looked like from different states. If we are to improve our prowess at photography, make no mistake, the answer does not lie in improving our techniques, but in advancing our intent. As a modern photographer, even in the midst of all the digital noise and information explosion, we must keep our individualism and keep asking ourselves: what do we want to say? What is our position or stance in this world? And then, how do we want to say it through our photographs? By this rule, you will create better photographs beyond the levels of aesthetics, and find practical reasons to keep shooting. Remember, aesthetic alone is empty.

Grooming intention

This is the part that’s going to sting: let me tell you that there is no way to groom intention. We can observe the world, ask ourselves ‘what do I want to say’ as aforementioned, do lots of research, but there is no way one may convince someone else of their viewpoint if one lacks maturity. That’s right, the hall mark of a capable and directed photographer is one with maturity. The naive perspective seeks to befuddle the viewer into thinking his photographers are aesthetically wonderful, but the mature artist has something to say; he does all he can to show it, and he does not not blow smoke in people’s eyes. Although there is no way to teach maturity, luckily for all of us, it comes with age and experience.

Conclusion

The interplay of aesthetic and intent comes down to the level of maturity you have. Aesthetic on its own is stale. The idea of creating art pivots around the fact that there is something to say, something to show. In order to bring ourselves to the higher levels of artistic endeavour, we must be able to make the distinction between aesthetics and intent.

Life as a scholar series (Part 1)

By jofer

The scholars in ACJC have never failed to amaze me. More than the seemingly easy way in which they excel in their studies, it is their ability to leave their family, friends, (food) and country in pursuit of quality education that amazes me. Also, most of our scholars have come to live in Singapore at a young age of 16. They have spent their formative years in a foreign country and that is indeed no easy feat. This is my friend Si Xiang and while she might seem quiet and reserved at first, she is actually a vibrant, funny and expressive girl with numerous talents. She is a skillful musician who has beautiful handwriting and she is undeniably hardworking.

 

My friend Zhou Si Xiang from 2MD2

 

J: Which part of China are you from

Hunan province

J: What did you find very strange or Interesting when you first came to Singapore?

S: People actually like to eat chicken rice

J: Fave place in sg:

S: Sentosa beach

J: What helped you ease into Singapore

S: The Hostel staff

J: What do you miss most about home?

S: Local Fooooood!

J: How do you manage Cca and studies?

S: For studies, I try to pay close attention in class so I can spend less time revising the contents. For ccas, I just chose something that I really enjoy.

J: What advice would you give to your classmates as they gear up for the June hols/revision hols

S: Do more practice papers and rest well!

 

Images credits:

Alison

Photographic society

 

My JC Life in a Playlist

It’s the June holidays — time for rest, relaxation and not forgetting, revision. Other than the 3 R’s, the June break also signals to the J2s in particular that our time in ACJC is almost up. In fact, we only have less than a quarter of our journey towards A Levels to go.

 

I’ve never been someone who could easily express my emotions with words, what more the rollercoaster ride that has been my JC life thus far? Hence, I’ve decided to compile this short playlist instead, in hopes of it being a much better interpretation of my experience here in AC thus far.

1. Dive In by KYKO

I get what I get, but not what I find exciting
I know there’s something better, but am I going out to find it?

This song perfectly describes the excitement and trepidation that I felt as an incoming J1. As someone who can’t swim that well, diving into water is definitely just as scary as entering a whole new environment and meeting new people.

2. Sing by Pentatonix

Sing, sing, sing, sing
Sing it out as hard as you can
Make ’em hear you from LA to Japan
Don’t let ’em bring you down

Of course, the song that we danced to as a cohort during orientation would be included. I still remember me awkwardly fumbling my way through the dance sessions during orientation and wondering how on earth I was going to learn the dance in just a few days. I guess that doesn’t really matter in the end because all I remember is me laughing along with my OG mates as we tried to keep up with everyone else during the mass dance.

3. Sleep On The Floor by The Lumineers

The lyrics don’t really have much meaning to me in the context of my JC life but I had to include this to block people out when I want to take a short nap during breaks.

4. Time Machine by Johnny Stimson

I don’t wanna miss my chance
I just wanna do it all over again
Come and step into my time machine

Me, a week before the Term Exams, when I realised that I wasted my June holidays lying in bed and watching Korean dramas.

5. Little Too Much by Shawn Mendes

Sometimes, it all gets a little too much
But you gotta realize that soon the fog will clear up

I definitely remember how stressed I was during the weeks leading up to the Promotional Exams. I had to juggle revising, PW and my various CCA commitments. M

6. Blessed by Daniel Caesar

And yes, I’m a mess but I’m blessed
To be stuck with you

To all the friends that I’ve made and accompanied me on this crazy journey.

7. The Greatest Show by The Greatest Showman Ensemble

Where it’s covered in all the colored lights
Where the runaways are running the night
Impossible comes true, it’s taking over you
Oh, this is the greatest show

I don’t think I’ll ever forget how everyone in the hall was singing their hearts out to this song during Orientation Night 2018. As an OGL, it was so fulfilling to see the J1s come together as a cohort after 4 days of orientation. Just like how The Greatest Show could be interpreted as the product of the hard work of each member of P.T. Barnum’s circus, Orientation 2018 was the product of months of planning and preparation by the Student Council and the OGLs.

8. The Lazy Song by Bruno Mars

Today I don’t feel like doing anything
I just wanna lay in my bed

Me. Every. Single. Day.

That’s all for now. Hopefully this playlist gets longer during these last few months of my life as a JC student.

Image credits: unsplash.com

An Evening with Friends 2018

By Joshua Kok 1SA5

On 27 May, ACJC’s very own choir held their annual concert at the Esplanade Concert Hall. This year, the performance was particularly special as the ACJC choir celebrated its 30th anniversary. If there was a word to describe the performance, it would have to be: Spectacular! Throughout the 22 songs they sang, the choir was pitch-perfect, hitting all the right notes and with great intonation.

Mr Mori Toshiyuki introducing the Choir

The evening’s set list consisted of an interesting mix of classics like the song Sing Joyful and Underneath the Stars to more unfamiliar pieces such as Pasigin, a Cebuano (a language native to the Philippines) song which portrays a cheerful scene of a young girl fishing and ended off with my personal favourite, Shaker Dance, this piece was particularly entertaining as the choir got to dance while singing the song.

This performance was particularly unique as the audience got the privilege and opportunity to sing along with the choir for the piece He’s Got the Whole World. Although, I have to admit that I was singing out of tune, nevertheless it was definitely an amusing experience to have the chance to sing with the choir. The choir also commemorated the ACJC String Ensemble’s 20th anniversary through performing the songs Sacred Heart (Ubi Caritas III) and Fecit Potentiam with the Ensemble.

The ACJC Combined Choir and ACJC String Ensemble performing Sacred Heart (Ubi Caritas III)

During the encore song, the choir invited Mrs Tan on stage in order to honour her countless years of service to the ACJC choir with the classic Mandarin Song月亮代表我的心. The song was a nod to how much she cared and sacrificed for the choir over the years and how she would be dearly missed as she leaves the ACJC choir this year.

The encore song月亮代表我的心 honouring Mrs Tan

An Evening with Friends 2018 was truly an engaging and unforgettable experience. This performance really showed how committed the ACJC choir has been over the last 30 years, here’s to another 30 years.

Image credits: Writer’s own and ACJC Choir

Muse 2018

By Joshua Kok 1SA5

Muse is ACJC annual band concert. MUSE 2018 took place at the Esplanade Concert Hall, on the 5th of June. The performance to put it simply was impressive as the band played a large myriad of songs from the East to the West.

The lead up to the performance was very unique as the ACJC band hosted a ‘16 questions with ACJC Concert Band’ segment on their Facebook page to give a behind the scenes look to their preparation for Muse. They also conducted a ticket giveaway on their Instagram page, which was very interesting.

The band started off their performance with “Sinfonia Nobilissima”, which was a very emotional piece that was composed by award-winning composer Robert Jager. The overture is in three sections. It begins and concludes quickly, with a measured, more emotional middle part. The first hour passed by rather quickly. During the intermission, many rushed out of the hall to find their friends to take pictures in the esplanade.

I felt that the second hour was when the band really stood up and there were more catchy and memorable songs. I particularly enjoyed the song Poor Monty from the musical “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” as ACSian theatre sang the vocals to the song while the band got played the music. This harmony between the two performing arts is something that was really remarkable as I would imagine that it must have taken hours of practices to synch up the tempo of the music with that of the singing.

The band in action

I believe that everyone, teachers, parents and students alike, enjoyed themselves that evening. Thank you to all the performers who have made that night one to remember.

 

Image credits: Writer’s own and ACJC Concert Band

International Friendship Day Concert 2018

Lee Yin Yi, 1SC7

ACJC commemorated International Friendship Day (IFD) on the morning of 15 May with an exciting and vibrant concert which served as a celebration of the friendships formed in spite of our various differences such as language, ethnicity and nationality. This year, the IFD concert featured performances by various CCAs and our international scholars.

The IFD concert started off with a wonderful performance by our Chinese Orchestra

The concert kicked off with the college’s Chinese Orchestra which played a sweet tune for all to hear. Next up, with bright and colourful costumes, ACSian Theatre took over the stage with ‘This is Me’, a song from the popular movie, ‘The Greatest Showman’.

A spectacular performance by ACSian Theatre

The Malay Cultural Society then showcased a short skit, presenting different traditional games that were played by children in the past. The skit brought back memories of the fun and delightful games played with our friends when we were younger.

Various traditional games were showcased in the Malay Cultural Society’s short skit

Lastly, our international students of different nationalities and ethnicities sang and performed catchy and upbeat songs, with the lyrics projected on the screen on stage allowing students to join in and sing along.

Our international students performing a medley of songs

Alongside all these performances were short questions posed to the audience regarding all sorts of different countries all around the world. Students were seen actively participating in the quiz, with those answering correctly winning vouchers.

The IFD concert was certainly an entertaining and enjoyable occasion, allowing for the celebration of friendship and diversity in Singapore!

 Photo credits: Jerrell Foo (1SB3), Xuan Ming (2MD4)

What about the environment

Ethel Ho 2MD1

We all tend to be incognizant of our how many unnecessary plastic bags we take every day that go into the dump and stay on earth longer than we do.

ACJC witnessed its first eco fair on 24th April 2018 which seeks to raise awareness of our unmindful oblivious attitude towards the things we take daily, and cultivate an environmentally-conscious culture.

The fair was organised by a group of passionate students from 2MD1 who are fervent about making a change in the way we treat our thrash.

 

Decorated with an incongruous net that carried a week’s worth of plastic thrash found in ACJC, the booth stood out in the candeck, attracting the attention of students passing by to stop and find out more. At the booth, Kahoot quizzes tapped on the knowledge of students on waste disposal.

 

Metal straws (forked out by Timothy Tan, the initiator of ecofest 2018) were given to each winner at the end of the quiz in order to encourage the winners to go #plasticstrawfree.

They also created a pledge making station where students who pledge to not use disposals for a week, place a disposal in the basket.

Throughout the week, after the quizzes, videos that highlighted the odious pile of waste in our oceans and our land as well it’s detrimental effects on earth, were screened, gave a pleasant insight.

To end off ecofest 2018, ‘thebamboostrawgirl’ also know as Mel, came down on an invitation. Mel gave an inspiring speech as she shared why she started her own shop selling a variety of green products and how she went waste-free by using bamboo straws, swapping commercial soaps for soap bars to cut down waste from its packaging to making her own deodorant to avoid using aerosol deodorant which harms the fragile environment.   

 

 

 

At the end of her talk, she sold the green products she mentioned using, to the students, intrigued to go green too.

As Jane Goodall once said, “ the greatest danger is apathy.” We don’t have to make big changes, but as long as we don’t remain apathetic towards the fragile environment, we don’t remain oblivious to the waste we generate, and as Long as we become more mindful of the items we use, we will make an effort to make a positive change to the environment regardless of how large the impact it has.

Images are the author’s own

Service-Learning Fair 2018

By Joshua Kok (1SA5)

On 11th April 2018, an unprecedented 37 service organisations spanning from the healthcare to family services to youth projects gathered in the Hub and lobby of ACJC for this year’s Service-Learning Fair.

ACSians exploring the various service booths at the hub

This year, we are extremely thankful that the various organisations gathered at ACJC, allowing students to be informed of meaningful ways to help various communities from the elderly to the young, from local to global. The fair presented students with many opportunities to engage with organisations with purposes that are truly meaningful to them.

Learning session conducted by Habitats for Humanity Singapore

This year, some students were given the privilege and opportunity to find out in greater detail about some of these service organisations in learning sessions in the classrooms. They got to learn even more about specific organisations such as World Vision and Habitat for Humanity Singapore. For example, those who got to attend the Harvest Care Centre talk got a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the Centre and the past efforts of students who partnered with the Centre. We would also like to give a special mention to Timothy Tan from 2MD1 for his passionate sharing about environment conservation during one of the learning sessions.

Timothy Tan from 2MD1 sharing about environment conservation

This event serves a reminder to everyone in the ACJC community that there are numerous avenues to serve others and give back to the community. It also serves as a form of inspiration for the classes who are conducting Project Cheer this year by giving them many ideas on which partner organisations to work with.

We thank the organisers of the Service-Learning Fair for their tireless efforts in encouraging students to be the positive agents of change in our community as well as the organisations who took time to come down and share more about their various causes with the students.

Image credits: Mr Mervyn Sek