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AC Games 2018

By Joshua Kok (1SA5) AC Games, an annual affair in ACJC akin to an inter-class sports day, which was organised with the purpose of letting J1s, unw...

Baccalaureate Service 2018

By Joshua Kok 1SA5 On October 9th 2017, the graduating Class of 2018 sat through their final morning assembly. The Baccalaureate Service is held an...

Reflections from JEP 2018

Joelle Tan 1SB6 – NUH 4th June to 12th June 2018 I was attached to the NUH speech therapy department. I realised that the job scope of a speech the...

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...

AC Games 2018

By Joshua Kok (1SA5)

AC Games, an annual affair in ACJC akin to an inter-class sports day, which was organised with the purpose of letting J1s, unwind and relax after completing the promotional examinations. This year, it was meticulously planned out and successfully executed by the 43rd Students’ Council. This year’s theme was Time Travel, the games organized aimed to transported students to different time periods in history.

Day One of AC Games saw classes competing in games such as Frisbee, Captain’s ball and Dodgeball. Students also got the opportunity to participate in more creative games such as Human Chess, Math Dog and Bone and Chair SPS (scissor-paper-stone). This was carried out in a round robin fashion for all the J1s to be given the opportunity to put their intellectual and atheletic gifts to good use.

Frisbee

Captain’s ball

Human Chess

Math Dog and Bone

Chair SPS

The Science and Mathematics Council also organised a game of their own, where students were challenged to build and launch a ‘rocket’ of their very own.

SMC members preparing their game

 

Despite the erratic weather on Day 1, the J1s had an exciting time either playing against their fellow schoolmates or, cheering for their classmates who were competing to win points for their respective classes.

The second day had a drier weather, a big difference from the unpredictable weather on the first day. Games played on Day Two were less intense and shorter, a welcoming fact for many who were exhausted from the previous day’s activities. Games included the Mass Games titled: Mission 2018, Freeze and Melt and What’s the Time Mr Wolf.

  

 

Scenes from the mass games

The two days of fun and games ended with an enthusiastic school cheer session, which brought back Orientation memories for many of the J1s. There was also a souvenir distribution for all students and prize presentation where 1SB3 come out on top and clinched the top spot.

1SB3 class rep collecting the 1st place prize from Dr Chee

Student councillors leading the J1s in school cheers

Overall, AC Games provided the Class of 2019 with the chance to build class spirit and bond as a cohort. Although the two days are over, the relationships and team spirit fostered is something to be treasured. We would also like to thank the Science and Math Council, Photographic Society, the First Aiders, Media Resource Crew and last but not least the 43rd Students’ Council, for making this event possible.

Image credits: Photographic Society (Caleb Thein 1MD2, Jerrell Foo 1SB3, Tee Si Ting 1SC9, Candace Tan 1SA4, Mei Di 1SC10)

Baccalaureate Service 2018

By Joshua Kok 1SA5

On October 9th 2017, the graduating Class of 2018 sat through their final morning assembly. The Baccalaureate Service is held annually to mark the end of the academic year of JC2s and to send them off to the last lap of preparation for the A Levels.

Before the service started, recipients of the Principal’s Honour Roll were presented to the school. The awardees comprised various students, who have not only done well in their academic pursuits, but have represented the college values in their CCA. Besides these awardees, other awards such as the ECHA, AC BFFs (presented by the 42nd Students’ Council) and Enthu awards were also given to deserving awardees, who have displayed care and concern to their peers.

Recipients of Enthu awards

The service opened with a Call to Worship that was delivered by Mr Aaron Ho followed by the Praise and Worship session led by Teachers and JC2 Worship Band.

Teachers and JC2 Worship Band leading the College in song

Dr Shirleen Chee’s then delivered the baccalaureate message to the Class of 2018. She recalled how the batch had been able to continue to continually display excellence, especially during the CCA season this year despite JC2  being a more rigorous year academically. After the brief message by Dr Chee, the President of the 43rd Students’ Council, Ryan Lim, led the school in prayer for the seniors. Keliza Toh the President of the 42nd Students’ Council then led the seniors to pray for the juniors and their year ahead in ACJC.

Ms Lye Kit Wan from the Humanities Department also shared with the graduating batch to remember what is important in life and to face the challenges life will throw at them in the future. Mr Bryan Lee delivered the second sharing where he shared about his time in the army. His sharing reminded the Class of 2018 that everything in life is a training ground for something greater. Lastly, Keliza, as the Valedictorian of the Class of 2018 gave a closing speech which encouraged the graduating batch to not only remember the JC days as a journey towards the A Levels but also as well-treasured memories, because of the friendships that have been forged with peers and teachers.

Mr Bryan Lee’s sharing

A video of words of encouragement by the Form Teachers and members of the College was played at the end of the sharing. It summed up perfectly the sincere support the school has been extending to the Class of 2018 as their prepare for their A Levels.

Before the Benediction was given, CCA leaders came up on stage to sing the song ‘Find Us Faithful’, leading the college in a thanksgiving for the year and all that has passed, and prayer for the continuation of God’s providence over the school. The ACS Anthem was then sung for one last time by the now-alumni of the College, together as a cohort.

Benediction by Pastor Anthony Phua

The service was definitely something that was special and meaningful to all JC2s as they remember their time in ACJC and the experience they had.

Image credits: Photographic Society (Caleb Thein 1MD2, Zachary Sng 1SA4, Jerrell 1SB3)

Reflections from JEP 2018

Joelle Tan 1SB6 – NUH 4th June to 12th June 2018

I was attached to the NUH speech therapy department. I realised that the job scope of a speech therapist is not only helping the patients who suffer from stroke or Parkinson’s disease to speak better but there are many different areas in the speech department itself.

Some observations about the qualities that I have learnt and I think are required of speech therapists are first, definitely sincerity. All of them are so sincere in the way they interact with their patients and genuinely have the heart to help them improve in any way they can. I remember one of the therapists encountering some issues with a patient but she still wholeheartedly assisted him. Secondly, compassion where they have to work with patients and family that have been through a difficult situation. Having empathy help creates a special and trusting relationship with the therapist, the family and the patient. Lastly, is the quality of patience. It is very important as the patients that the speech therapists work with all have  a different level or recovery/learning and the might not be able to recover to or reach the standard that the speech therapist want for them. It might take a long time or not progress at all. Hence, a speech therapist must be ale to persevere alongside the journey with the patient.

This JEP experience was definitely one that had opened my perspective on being a speech therapist and how a speech therapist work. It has also helped me to be much clearer on my higher education and career plans.

Lim Ji Xuan 2SC1 – Orthopaedic ‘A’ Care Service Centre 28th May to 2nd June 2018

The Job Experience Program at Orthopaedic “A” Care Service Centre was truly an eye-opening and meaningful experience for me. The week spent there provided me with much needed insight into the job and has also better equipped me with certain skills and values that would certainly be beneficial in the future. The JEP has helped me in 3 main areas: Firstly, it provided me with a better understanding of the job and a potential career. Secondly, it taught me important skills that are required in the workplace and lastly, it has given me a new found motivation to work hard and persevere for my future.

Over the course of the program, i was able to experience and observe many aspects of the medical industry firsthand, providing me with a much clearer and deeper understanding of what the jobs in the healthcare industry entail. This unique opportunity served as a means for me to clarifying my doubts with the professionals (such as the doctors and nurses) and also by observing the different aspects of the job up close. Furthermore, while the experiences I had were diverse, spanning from seemingly simple things such as the settling of administrative matters in the clinic to observing the complex intricacies of surgical procedures up close, they served a common purpose of showing me a side of the medical industry and work that definitely cannot be experienced any other way. The doctor and staff I was attached to also shared insights on issues faced by the industry and has undoubtedly provided me with a clear understanding of a potential career in this industry. This takeaway is definitely beneficial to me.

Secondly, this JEP has been able to equip me with skills and values that are important in the workplace. My job scope there required me to be clear and organised when settling important administrative work such as filing of patient information to noting of various accounts and details. From this, i understand the importance of being meticulous to ensure every detail is accounted for (a mistake could lead to serious consequences on the patients).

Furthermore, i also learnt to be open minded and respectful when facing patients of vastly different backgrounds everyday. I also learnt how essential socio-emotional competencies (such as empathy towards patients) and effective communication skills are in the role of a doctor & nurse in communicating with patients to understand their situations so that the right aid can be rendered. These skills and values will undoubtedly better equip me for the work place in the near future and in fact can even help me better prepare for upcoming challenges such as the major A Level exams.

Although the experience was only a short one week, the insights, values and lessons taken away from it has motivated me to work hard in pursuit of medicine as a viable career. I have learnt that the job is not only meaningful, it is also enriching through connecting with patients and even saving lives. This new found drive will definitely allow me to work towards a goal to do well for my upcoming exams and in the future.

Image credits: Higher Education and Career Guidance (HECG) Committee

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.

Racial Harmony Day 2018

By Isabella Ong (1SA4)

In Singapore, Racial Harmony Day (RHD) is an event known and loved by many. Occurring annually on 21 July, it commemorates the 1964 racial riots and is a celebration of how far Singapore has come as a country and a multi-racial and -religious society. This year is no exception, and, as always, ACJC has given its all to celebrate this important event.

 

At the start of the week, boards on racial and religious harmony were put up outside the General Office. These boards contained information on racial and religious harmony in Singapore as well as globally and talked of the past as well as present situations concerning these issues. Enlightening and informative, many enjoyed reading the boards.

 

 

Of course, we must feed our stomachs as well as our minds. In the week leading up to RHD, traditional foods such as chapatti were served in the canteen. This enriched not just our brains, but also our tongues and noses. Long queues could be seen at Makan Bagus and Bollywood Delights all week as students waited for a taste of the delicious food. Additionally, a separate stall was set up selling Muah Chee, Ting Ting candy, and Dragon Beard candy. Students and staff alike consumed the treats with gusto and could be seen munching on them happily.

 

On RHD itself, one could see a rainbow of colour streaming in through the school gates as students and staff dressed up in authentic ethnic costumes in celebration. From kimonos to saris, the school hall was filled with colour and cheer during assembly as many admired the various outfits donned by their peers and teachers.  Whether it was their own costumes or borrowed from their peers, everyone had great fun examining and showing off the different ethnic costumes, truly representing the great diversity and many ethnicities in Singapore.

 

 

In view of the costumes worn by the students and their efforts in dressing up, the Photography Society also set up a Photobooth to commemorate this day and ensure there are lasting, physical memories made. Many had a joyous time taking snapshots with their friends and making memories.

 

All in all, it was a truly enjoyable day, and week, that reflected how far Singapore has come in terms of its racial and religious harmony. Our nation has come far in ensuring peace and prosperity, and RHD is a good event that recognizes the past as well as looks forward to the future. Indeed, to God be the glory, the best is yet to be!

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