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The Idea of Creative Boredom

By Caleb Thien (1MD2)

Creative boredom is a phase that every creative will go through. No matter what we try to do to get back on track in making meaningful work, we will inevitably fail, eventually giving in to the lack of inspiration.

To resolve this issue, we must define what creative boredom is. In my opinion, creative boredom is the loss of motivation to work due to a lack of feasible ideals. What we can do, we have done to our utmost, and what we can’t do, we have accepted that we will remain unable to achieve. As a result, we lose our motivation to carry on in any known direction.

But that’s the very trick – to combat and overcome boredom, we must go in the unknown direction!

The solution is to limit our creative freedom and try out something new. Challenge yourself! If you have been tackling an aesthetic dilemma in the same direction, try taking up another perspective. If you have been in the same hobby for months, take up a new hobby! The idea is that there is no end to the things we can’t do and the things we have never mastered. Once we remind ourselves that there are new frontiers to experience and explore, and that creative boredom does not lead to the death of creativity, we may even get so caught up in the newness of things that the boredom we so despise may well just slip away unnoticed.

Art is ephemeral. It may serve a universal and humanistic purpose, but there is so much bad art in the world that discarding some of your work just doesn’t matter that much. Even if you took on a contrarian direction and gave up your art form forever, who cares? As long as your spirit of creating is still intact, the world remains your canvas.

(photo credit: writer’s own)

Science Week 2018

By Joshua Kok 1SA5

From the 2nd to the 6th of April, ACJC’s various science departments came together for Science Week 2018.

Science or art?

Science Week is an annual event in ACJC dedicated towards fostering a curious passion for science and to provide students with a view of science beyond the classroom. Throughout Science Week, students were given the opportunity to carry out fun and exciting experiments that highlighted the application of science in real life.

To enrich students and extend their knowledge of science, the Chemistry, Physics and Biology Departments invited guest speakers to speak on interesting discoveries and the future of science. For instance, the Chemistry students were given the opportunity to learn more about the new advancements in imaging software that has helped scientist understand the structure of atoms better through a guest lecturer’s sharing.

A guest lecturer’s sharing.

Besides the lectures delivered, the students also had the opportunity to see real-world applications of the science they learn in classrooms through practical laboratory sessions. Chemistry students were presented with the chance to make paper marbling, sparklers as well as slime, while the Biology students made test tube terrariums and keychains with DNA inside of them. The Physics department had the students make DIY fans and Brush Bots.

Definitely not a typical chemistry practical!

A Biology student’s test tube terrarium.

A Brush Bot!

In essence, Science Week truly embodied the fascinating nature of science by allowing the students to explore science beyond the classroom and nurture a sense of appreciation for science. The Science Departments has definitely made Science Week 2018 a truly exciting and unique experience for everyone.

Image credits: ACJC Photography Society

Fun-O-Rama XXIV: A Day to Remember Fondly by all who came….

A collaboration between Ashrael, Riti and Valerie (1AA1) and Joshua Kok (1SA5)

Fun-o-Rama is a familiar experience for any ACJC student, past or present. In the days leading up to the famous biannual event, which is dear to the hearts of the ACS family, we have seen our students and staff go through an entire spectrum of emotions and experiences: from panic and mayhem to joy and laughter.

But amongst the chaos and anticipation, 24th March, the day of the 24th Fun-O-Rama finally came!

At last, the day many had been looking forward to had arrived!

It was a mad rush in the morning, as students were seen lugging soft toys, and decorations to school. Parents could be spotted trying to help out as well. It was heartwarming to see students putting their best foot forward in order to make this Fun-O-Rama memorable!

And now it has officially begun! Fun-O-Rama XXIV is underway!

Performances by our very own ACSian Theatre!

Loud music, from current chart-topping pop singles to the nostalgic melodies of our childhood could be heard all around, between cheers and laughter as old friends reunited and families built new memories together. Truly, it was a day of nostalgia and reminiscence as ACJC alumni came back to the very compound that once had them oversee their own making of the Fun-o-Rama.

Students eager for the event to begin!

A funfair cannot go without a water-dunking experience!

Students went all out! Fun-O-Rama XXIV was bursting with colours and costumes!

Stalls featured a variety food and games allowing each and everyone to find something they enjoy. Each stall was carefully decorated, in order to grab the attention of the mingling crowd. A resounding theme could be found in every stall!

Youths and children of all ages coming together to enjoy a classic game of Laser Tag!

Soulful music by our own ACSians accompanied the lively atmosphere of the fair.

Parent volunteers could be seen helping out!

An inclusive event! Fun-O-Rama involved people from all walks of life.

Games like the Bubble Soccer could also be seen!

Students were also not afraid when it came to doing work!

Attractive sign boards handmade by our students!

ACSian theatre offering their very own face-painting business.

One of their first customers!

Each class put in a lot of effort to come up with eye-catching banners for their stalls!

There were also some interesting stall names…

The games were catered not only for adults but for young children as well!

Alas, rain midway in the afternoon! But even so, Fun-O-Rama continued and people were reluctant to leave.

Unexpectedly, there was a shower of rain midway through the event, sending crowds hurrying indoors for shelter. Even though their clothes might have been dampened, the same cannot be said for their spirits! During the rain, many were seen flocking to the stalls in the shelter to grab some grub. As a student, it was heartening to see people retain their optimism and cheer despite the weather. The instant the skies cleared, stalls outside resumed business as usual, to the delight of many. 

Many were munching on the delicious food provided by our students!

Despite the busyness, students remembered to enjoy themselves and have fun!

Dr Shirleen Chee in high spirits…

Even as the day drew close to its end, the energy remained high.

“After wearing a suit of a mascot, I have gained a new found respect for anyone who has to dress up in such a suit”                                                                      – The man behind the mascot

As the sky began to darken, and the end of Fun-O-Rama drew near, people could still be seen singing at the top of their lungs to their favourite hits, or crowding alongside the food stalls to have one last taste of their favourite foods.

A day of reunion! Fun-O-Rama was a time for old ACSians to reunite with their teachers and a time for current ACSians to meet their friends and family as well!

From planning to preparation to execution, Fun-O-Rama has certainly been an exhilarating experience for many. To be able to witness people from all walks of life embrace their inner child in joyous reconnection is one of the few experiences that will stay with a person for a long time. Even though Fun-O-Rama XXIV has already come to a close, let it be known to the world that THE BEST IS YET TO BE! Onward to Fun-O-Rama XXV!

Photo credits: Caleb Thein (1MD2), Adam Choo (1MD5), Xuan Ming (2MD4)

Disconnect to Reconnect

Lee Yin Yi, 1SC7

How many of you wake up in the morning, and the first thing you do is to check your phone for new messages or notifications from your various social media accounts? I’m sure majority of us are guilty of constantly checking our phones, be it in the company of others, or when we have many other important tasks to do.

Phone addiction has become an increasingly prevalent problem, and though we might not want to admit it, many of of us probably cannot go a day without our phones. I’m not saying that phones, per se, are bad; the multiple functions available in these portable devices are useful and beneficial in many situations. Many may also argue that phones have made it easier and increased our ability to interact with others — but can we truly call this interacting?

Additionally, social media may have a detrimental effect on our mental health. We spend so much time choosing the best photo, editing it to perfection, and coming up with a witty caption just to post it at the ‘peak period’ to obtain the most amount of ‘likes’ possible. The amount of ‘likes’ we receive has come to define our self-worth, and we start to become insecure when a certain post receives less ‘likes’ than previous posts. We tend to unfavourably compare our own lives to others, becoming jealous of their seemingly fun-filled, exciting life.

I challenge you take a break from using social media for a while, be it for a day, a week, or as long as you possibly can. Simply delete those apps from your phone, or maybe even leave your phone at home for a day. If you want to start out small, try out this game during a meal with friends: have everyone place their phones in a stack in the middle of the table and the first person to touch their phone has to treat everyone to the meal! Another way to start small is to turn off the notifications from all your social media apps. (I can’t guarantee the last method will work for everyone but it has personally worked for me)

By going on a social media detox, you might notice some positive changes in your life such as increased productivity, more meaningful conversations, or being more aware of things happening around you. So, I encourage all of you to try disconnecting from social media, and hopefully you are able to reconnect more with the people around you and your surroundings.

Balance

CAITLIN LOH 2SC6

Balance.

What you thought of when you read that, will likely differ another. Different people may associate this word with different things. Stability, assurance, comfort. Regardless of what one’s personal meaning of balance is, it is something that everyone strives to achieve — and I’m no exception.

Striking the perfect balance is especially hard with the hectic nature of JC life. With tutorials to keep up with and finish, countless tests and exams, balancing school with other aspects like family, friends, along with making time for oneself — the immense difficulty that one faces when trying to keep this balance, or even find it, may make it seem impossible. Everything seems overwhelming, and the idea of losing ones footing even for a second is daunting. It seems as though in that one instance of which we lose focus, we miss everything, which just adds on to the stress we feel. We bustle around trying to complete everything all at once, not realising that we let certain seemingly minute tasks fall through the cracks. Perhaps we neglect time spent with our families as we dedicate more and more time to our academics. Maybe majority of our time is spent preparing for season, with trainings growing in intensity, making one increasingly more tired, dragging over into a neglect of studies. Or perhaps the struggle to keep up will cause something that most will identify with regardless of situation, sacrifice of sleep.

Balancing all these things will seem challenging, is challenging and may always be challenging. As more stressful times dawn upon us and the crunch of JC life starts to escalate, stress levels will rise and perhaps we will feel as though we are spiralling out of control. I (and probably everyone else) know that time management will always be an important factor in trying to achieve balance, and even just a smidgen of balance requires time management. This is definitely something that is once again difficult to get, and many other factors add to the notion of time management, like that of prioritising, organization and planning. Prioritising is indeed of grave importance; taking care of the things that are urgent and important, over those that are trivial in comparison. Keeping a list of things to do or a planner is a great help in order to keep a schedule, keeping organized and planning. I’m definitely not the best person to preach about these things, though well aware that they are of great importance. Trying my best to be the most organized, and balancing school with both family and friends, though admittedly, I could be doing a much better job.

I wish I could say that I’ve found this balance, but I have yet to. It’s most definitely a journey to discover it, and I believe the way in which one person strikes this balance will differ from the way another will. Perhaps this is something we must find by ourselves, or perhaps along with the aid of others. But ultimately, I believe we will all find balance within ourselves — eventually.

 

Lectures

By Joshua Kok 1SA5

Have you ever wondered why we have lectures in JC? Recently, this thought crossed my mind and I decided to find out more about lectures.

This is what I found:

The word “lecture” actually comes from the Latin word lectus, from the 14th century, which translates to “to read.” The term lecture, then, in Latin, means “that which is read.” It wasn’t until the 16th century that the term was used to describe oral presentations given by an instructor in front of an audience of students.

Knowing this, why do educational institutes in Singapore adopt this approach? According to most universities from all over the world it is generally because:

  • This system can cover a wide topic within a short period of time
  • A teacher can teach a large group at the same time
  • There is uniformity of facts given to the students

So why exactly do JCs adopt this style of teaching?

The short answer – there is a shortage of manpower in JCs to cope with the number of students and the variety of subjects they take. Love it or hate it, the lecture system is something that all of us have to get used to because eventually in university they will continue to use the lecture system to disseminate information to all of us.

So how, then, can one successfully navigate the seemingly endless lectures without being left behind or falling prey to the Z monster?

  • Reading your notes in advance so that you can get the gist of what is going on
  • Drink coffee or eat sweets during breaks in order to stay awake
  • Consult the lecturer or your friends if you don’t understand

 

Image credits: unsplash.com

Energy’s High for Fun-O-Rama Preparation

Ashreal Low 1AA1

Excitement filled the corridors of ACJC as the days led up to Fun-O-Rama XXIV. Fuelling the exhilaration were waves of musical Fun-O-Rama announcements for coupon collections and shameless stall promotions (most of which prompted roars of laughter from the school). Beautifully painted banners for stalls covered the sunken gallery in a sea of vibrant colours.

1AA1’s AC Boleh banner

Finally. The eve of Fun-O-Rama, where the fun began! Each class busied themselves by tirelessly working from morning until noon to make sure each stall would be picture-perfect the next morning.

2SB4’s Water Pong

Each class made last minute additions to their stalls, adding a touch of colour or simply creating publicity boards, like the students in the photographs below!

The preparation of delicious food also began. An air of enthusiasm hung around the whole of friday, a strong reminder of the school value of passion. Each student worked as part of a team to make Fun-O-Rama an absolute success.

Tasty Kimbap in the making!

All around the school, as the day rode on, wide smiles could be seen and laughter heard. Even if it wasn’t yet Fun-O-Rama, the day of preparation was an unforgettable one of its own making!

Say cheese and hang in there because Fun-O-Rama begins soon!

Inviting prizes decked the games stalls, a sight that would send any kid, or soft-toy fanatic into an absolute frenzy.  

Likewise, heaps of soft toys were no match for the mountains of food piled up at some of the food stalls, including 2SC3’s massive stack of Indomee.  

As the preparation day drew to a close, everyone was reminded of how teamwork would make the dreamwork.

“The best is yet to be”

As one of our ex-principals once said, “The past we inherit, the present we create, but for those who HOPE, WORK, and PLAY, the best is yet to be”, let us be reminded that as one school we can strive for, as clearly displayed during Fun-O-Rama, school unity as we work hard and play hard as one ACJC.

Behind the Scenes

Joelynn Tan 2AA1

Behind the scenes of our daily assemblies is a team of students coming to school at 6:30 am to ensure that no the technical issues will crop up during the assembly and that it will be carried out smoothly.

Behind the scenes of a simple announcement made by a student are minutes, or even hours of brainstorming, practising and hoping that the audience will react positively.

Behind the scenes of a 1-minute assembly video are hours of preparation for filming, followed by hours spent on filming and hours spent on editing the video.

Behind the scenes of a 60 minute rugby match, are hours and hours of relentless training, leaving school after everyone had left, and having dinner only at 9 pm.

Behind the scenes of a 2-hour concert are months of practising, rehearsing and ensuring that all the costumes and musical instruments are ready for performance.

Behind the scenes of the fun and memorable orientation are a group of students going to school for day camps during the holidays to prepare and staying back every day during orientation, after everyone has left, for debriefs and missing days of lessons and hours of precious sleep.

Behind the scenes of a one-day carnival are days, weeks and months of brainstorming, preparation, fundraising, and even more preparation to ensure that all visitors have a great time.

It is time to appreciate the people who sweat behind the scenes to make things available for us. 

 

Founder’s Day 2018

By Lydia Gan (2MD5)

1 March, 2018, saw many students of AC- past and present- gather into the hall to celebrate the 41st year of Anglo-Chinese Junior College’s (ACJC) establishment, as well as recognize the achievements of the class of 2017 and 2018.

To kickstart Founder’s Day Service, a video was played recollecting AC’s rich history. Showcasing a montage of the old school premises, it allowed students to appreciate the changes from past to present and the vast strides ACJC has taken since its inception. Teachers interviewed for the video shared about how the college feels like a second home, highlighting the pervasive ‘AC family’ spirit that keeps them motivated and encouraged.

The Anglo-Chinese Old Boys’ Association representative stressed on the strong bonds formed in ACJC, noting how those who have attended the college find themselves part of a network that is robust and full of vitality, with graduates in diverse industries reaching out to help other fellow graduates or current students in their endeavours — a great example being the ACS OBA career forum which will allow younger ACSians to interact with alumni working in a variety of industries.

Dr. Shirleen Chee, the college’s recently instated principle, talked about ACJC’s all rounded excellence in both the academic and community-involvement fields. Drawing attention to the recent stellar  GCEA Level results, she shared about several students that had done exceedingly well, such as Cai Yutong, who has taken an A*STAR National Science Scholarship in Molecular Biology, up to PhD level. Another example included Desmond Kim, recipient of the ACS OBA President’s award for sports, having displayed outstanding performance in his CCA, golf. Not only that, ACJC has also done the community proud by accomplishing many well-appreciated initiatives in the local scene — such as the ongoing collaboration with the Tan Chin Tuan Foundation, ‘Project Cheer’, which serves underprivileged children as well as promoting intergenerational interaction. This initiative has even gained the attention of the Ministry Of Education, as the recent 2017 Project Cheer saw MOE Character and Citizenship Education Advisor, Ms Helen Choo attending the Project Cheer Briefing to gain an understanding about this collaboration.

Internally, Dr Chee brought up the caring spirit of the school, demonstrated by the annual Project Care in which parent volunteers provide food for students staying back at night to study during the hectic exam period. Meanwhile, the recently renovated Grace Heritage Gallery creates a vision for the future while allowing us to look back on fond memories of the past.

Overall, the tenacity, passion, and excellence of ACsians were strongly displayed through Dr. Chee’s words.

Celebrate the present, but look forward to the future: Kelvyna Chan, the Guest of Honor for ACJC’s 2018 Founder’s Day Service, venerated this point in her speech to the students. The divisional director of curriculum planning and development in the Ministry Of Education stressed on the future of our careers in the face of technology, advising ACsians to have courage when the game is changing, and to regularly update our knowledge to suit the transforming circumstances and demands. Most importantly, however, is the desire to keep learning — a thirst for knowledge that distinguishes an extraordinary student from an ordinary one.

Lastly, we witnessed the achievements of our peers as students of the 2017 and 2018 cohort went up on stage to collect their prizes for academic excellence in the past year. It was a heartening experience to see many of my friends celebrate the fruit of their hard work and certainly inspires me to keep striving.

The service was interspersed with hymns and prayers led by our Reverends, Raymond Fong and See Swee Fang. These reminded us that for all of the college’s exceeding results, it would not be without the mercy and grace of God — to God be the Glory, the best is yet to be!

Photo credits: Photography Society

Cheers, Congratulations and Celebrations: Joseph Low (2SA2)

A familiar face to many of the J2s, Joseph Low served as the President of the ACJC 41st Students’ Council. Lydia Gan and Joshua Kok from maniAC had the privilege to interview this excellent individual of exceptional character and poise. Joseph has managed to balance the heavy responsibilities of a student leader and yet he managed to have a long list of achievements to his name. Beyond all the accolades, the humble leader had also proved to be a walking testimony of the true blue ACSian spirit, embodying real values of integrity, tenacity and passion.

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Cheers, Congratulations and Celebrations: Ayyadarshan Kasivishvanaath (2SC3)

An extroverted and resilient individual, Ayyadarshan Kasivishvanaath is a disciplined footballer who excelled both in his academics and CCA. Embodying self-belief, Darshan uses it to motivate himself and possesses an ever-present desire to be the best, particularly as seen in his passion, interests and vigour for sport. Struck by an injury in the National A Divison Championship that rendered him unable to play for the rest of his last season, he remained tenacious and used this as an opportunity to unify his team as he turned up at every subsequent game in a wheelchair to spur his fellow teammates to victory. Realistic in his ambitions, Darshan has set clear goals and aims to pursue his interest in medicine. Kai Sheng, Jovita, and Ray from maniAC interviewed him to find out more about his aspirations and inspirations.

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Cheers, Congratulations and Celebrations: Vincent Ribli (2SA1)

Vincent is admired by his peers as an exemplary student who had an active and busy and yet enriching college life. He was consistently the top student in his cohort for all major examinations over two years. As the President of the Science and Mathematics Council, also known as SMC, his contributions were commendable.  He is a winner of multiple awards at the Singapore Mathematics & Physics Olympiads and a Gold Award at the Beijing Youth Science Creation Competition. Besides organising high-scale student-run national and international quizzes for a field of more than 700 participants per event, he also has outstanding community service as he led his team on the Vietnam Educational Programme, conducted workshops for young children in local orphanages as well being a champion stalwart of SMC’s Peer Tutoring programme.

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Cheers, Congratulations and Celebrations: Class of 2017: An interview with maniAC EXCO 2017

Asa was the President of maniAC in 2017 while Sarah was our editor. As gifted writers, they shared valuable insights of life with some posts even going viral. Jovita and Ray had the opportunity to interview them and this is what they had to say about their experience in ACJC’s maniAC.

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Cheers, Congratulations and Celebrations: Muhammad Danish (2SC4)

Danish is a witty, calm and intelligent young man who did exceptionally well in his A levels despite the many obstacles that came his way. Karsten Louie had the opportunity to interview Danish about his time in ACJC and here is what he has to say:


1. What was the most memorable event that you participated in during your time in ACJC?

As far as memorable events ago, I think it would be unfair not to mention VEP 2016 (Vietnam Educational Programme). Organised by the Science and Maths Council (SMC), VEP is an overseas service-learning programme which sees ACJC students conducting science workshops for students in Vietnamese schools. It is really nice to see the relevance of what we learn in real life. For example, we used redox chemistry (colour change of KMnO4) to measure sugar level in drinks. I was also given the chance to be a science workshop presenter and got the chance to learn H2 Physics concepts like linear motion (even though I did not take Physics at the O-Levels) in order to teach a workshop on the physics behind trebuchets. It was also genuinely moving to see the students thank you after the workshop and even till today, I still keep in contact with some of my Vietnamese friends made from the VEP trip.

2. What motivated you to study the subjects that you took?

My decision to take BCME (4H2) was driven by passion and pragmatism. I took BCM because I thought (in J1) I’d pursue a STEM-related field. I chose Economics because I honestly felt quite intimidated by the H2 History syllabus; I thought Economics would be an easier— and perhaps more relevant— subject to study. The decision to offer all the subjects at an H2 level was to meet the requirements for some of the more competitive scholarships available to JC students.

3. How did you prepare for the A-levels?

I studied smart. I had seen my friends studying for weeks before tests and major exams, yet their results did not reflect their effort. I think it is important to study smart i.e. ensuring remembering content during revision. I personally have a short attention span, so using the Pomodoro study technique really helped me refresh my mind while studying. For content-based subjects like Biology, I often study the content with the syllabus beside me and ensure that I am able to meet the learning outcomes as per the syllabus after each study session.

4. What is the greatest hurdle when planning and spearheading all the different initiatives? Have you had setbacks?

Gaining the trust of my committee members and trust of the beneficiaries is perhaps the most challenging thing besides juggling between volunteer work and school demands. Trust is perhaps the most important commodity when doing volunteer work. As a newbie in the field of volunteering,  it was hard to gain the trust of my teammates who thought I did not have the experience nor the time to help spearhead Project HOPE. It was also difficult to gain the trust of my classmates as an assistant leader when helping to organise our class VIA project, Project Cheer, especially since I was overshadowed by my leader, Jerrica, who was a veteran of volunteering and the Interact President. But at the end of the day, I realise that instead of convincing them of my worth through talk, I decided just to do my job properly; action does speak louder than words, after all.

5. How did you manage your time with so many commitments?

Do things efficiently, I suppose. While on the bus home? Finish working on the VIA proposal and read some essays. You get the idea.

6. What do you intend to pursue?

Perhaps Medicine. Maybe Law. Possibly even Public Policy. I am really interested in a stimulating career which allows me to make a positive impact on society; I’m fine with studying anything to allow me to pursue such a career.

 

7. How did you feel this morning as you came to school to collect your results?

Nervous. Measured my heart rate with my phone in 2-hr intervals. It peaked at 111bpm, 2 hours before the release of results. I could have died.

 

Image credits: Mr Mark Ng