we should never feel hopeless because difficult times lead to better days.

Every cloud has a silver lining; we should never feel hopeless because difficult times lead to better days.

– Rachel Goh (4U)

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The Man Behind the Chicken: Colonel Sanders

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He’s more commonly known as the bearded, broadly-smiling man in Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC)’s official logo, or the man who set about the ‘revolutionary’ change in the crowd’s gastronomical appetite that no other could-Yes, that’s right; he’s none other than Colonel Sanders, the founder of the KFC restaurant chain. And of course, the mastermind behind the plate of crisp, steaming hot chicken that sends people flocking over for more.
Then cooking for customers at a service station, Colonel’s local popularity grew and he later perfected his secret blend of 11 herbs and spices which has lasted through the years till today. He later visited potential franchisees and afterwards sold the KFC Corporation for $2 million to a partnership of Kentucky businessmen. He remained a public spokesman for the company, until his death in 1980.
To date KFC is one of the most popular fast food restaurants around the globe, and it undoubtedly owes its success to a 65 year-old man who climbed his way from humble beginnings to emerge as a well-reputed figure in the food industry.
Beyond the plate of chicken, Colonel Sanders is a man with much entrepreneurial spirit, and was full of confidence in his strengths. Fueled with determination to expand his business from a meager service station to a well-known restaurant chain, he sought countless ways and methods, devoting his time and energy into perfecting his recipe. Even after the reduction of his restaurant’s customer traffic due to the building of interstate 75, he did not give up and persevered further, selling his recipe to other restaurants. Even then, when he suffered a second bout of failure after being rejected 1,009 times, he continued looking for new opportunities eagerly, and his efforts were finally paid off when his idea was finally accepted.
He immediately put his idea into action, and with proper planning and consistency, moved on to greater heights. His creativity in perfecting the recipe and innovation enabled him to retain the originality of the chicken recipe, as well as the success of the KFC Corporation.
As a student, after reading the life story of Colonel Sanders, I have indeed gained a few invaluable lessons of life, those that require more than simply teachings and lectures to understand. Even when we have little resources or find it impossibly hard to gain footing from a humble starting position, shouldn’t we think about Colonel Sander’s example, and understand that this man transformed his small service to one of the most popular fast food restaurants by not just his cooking skills and creativity, but also years of hard work, improvisation and relentless determination? Wasn’t he once a part of the faceless thousands of the crowd, but now has turned to be one of the most famous figures in the food and business industry? Such is the perfect epitome of great belief in oneself, and perhaps of how creativity and consistent hard work can go hand-in-hand to create a successful product. This is one of life’s most precious lessons that Colonel Sander’s success can offer us.
So the next time you visit a KFC restaurant, just take the first taste of tantalizingly delicious chicken and remember Colonel Sanders, the man who started it all with a single stroke of creativity and perseverance. Perhaps, besides a plate of chicken you can also earn yourself one of life’s valuable lessons.
Now, who’s hungry for more ‘so good’ chicken?

– Calista Io (1U)

Sergeant Ong of Ah boys to Men

In the recent Jack Neo film, Ah boys to men, that took Singaporeans off their feet has brought their starring actors to fame. In particular, the all-time famous YouTuber Tosh Zhang, starring as the fierce yet humorous Sergeant Ong. Tosh has captured the hearts of many girls with his great personality and looks. His humorous ‘rants’ on YouTube about issues in Singapore that include his personal opinions often ends with words of advice to his viewers. Despite the fame he receives, he connects with fans on Twitter, always trying his best to reply to their tweets. Follow him on Twitter @toshrock or subscribe to him on YouTube at SupaflyTV.
Here’s a photo of him!

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– Vanessa and Erica (2C)

Local Delight – Char Kway Teow

Char Kway Teow
A popular dish in Singapore and various Asian countries

This dish is always attracting customers to eat. Customers are willing to queue and wait as long as possible just to eat this. What is this special dish? Make a guess! It’s obviously the famous fried Char Kway Teow that can be found in Singapore.

It tastes like fried rice noodles with enticing sweet and smoky fragrant flavours, typically served with juicy morsels of seafood and meat. An all-time Singaporean delight with a huge following! Here’s a picture of it!

Char Kway Teow, literally “stir-fried rice cake strips”, is a popular noodle dish in Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and Singapore. It is traditional and delicious yet affordable. Well, personally, I love this dish, although it is a bit spicy. As the dish has become increasingly popular, many cooks have come up with their own interpretations of the same basic main ingredient of rice cake strips/flat rice noodles fried with anything from eggs (chicken or duck), onions, garlic, prawns, cockles, Chinese sausage, chives, etc.

Also, we should not eat too much of it as it is quite unhealthy. Char Kway Teow has a reputation of being unhealthy due to its high saturated fat content. However, when the dish was first invented, it was mainly served to labourers. The high fat content and low cost of the dish made it attractive to these people as it was a cheap source of energy and nutrients. When the dish was first served, it was often sold by fishermen, farmers and cockle-gatherers who doubled as Char Kway Teow hawkers in the evening to supplement their income.

Here are some of the best Char Kway Teow found in Singapore!

Hill Street Char Kway Teow

Bedok South Road Market & Food Centre #01-187

Blk 16 Bedok South Road S(460016)

Zion Road Fried Kway Teow

Zion Riverside Food Centre Stall 17

70 Zion Road S(247792)

Lao Fu Zi Fried Kway Teow

Old Airport Road Food Centre #01-12

51 Old Airport Road S(390051)

These stalls were recommended by many whom have tasted the Char Kway Teow there. If I find the time to, I might want to go and try the Char Kway Teow there! You all should go and try them too!

-Chevonne Law (1H)

Book Review: Life of Pi

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About the Book: Life of Pi is a fantasy adventure novel by Yann Martel.

Synopsis: The story starts out with Piscine Molitor Patel (or ‘Pi’ Patel for short), being interviewed by the author. In the interview, Pi tells of how he was on a boat to migrate to Canada. However, there was a storm and the ship sank. The only survivors from the wreck was a sixteen year-old boy named Pi, a hyena, a zebra, an orang-utan and a Royal Bengal tiger, named Richard Parker. Pi recounts his experience of survival, then finally on the 227th day, he washed onto the coast of Mexico and returned to safety. Two Japanese officials later interviewed Pi in hospital, where Pi told them his story with the animals. However, they did not believe him so he told them a story where the animals were represented by the Cook, a Japanese sailor and Pi’s own mother.

Feelings about this book: The book is actually very thought-provoking as Pi gives two versions of his story to tell the officials that it is up to them to believe in whichever story they want. He also tells the readers, or the officials, that it is ‘up to them to see which story they prefer’. This is also implied in Pi’s view of life, for example his openness to different religions. This can teach us to be more open to trying different things, especially if you have never done them before.
My favourite character in this book is Pi, as he was very resourceful during the days in which he survived in the ocean. He is also very positive towards his life, for example when he came back to civilization; he never lamented about losing his whole family, but turned to practicing his religions and even started a family. I liked the part in the book when Pi was describing how he was caught in a school of flying fish jumping over the boat. Some landed inside the boat, and Pi caught one. He didn’t want to kill the fish, but because of his hunger he did, and wept over doing so. He used the fish as bait, and caught a dorado. Pi became less afraid of killing fish for food, and was describing how ‘astonished that in such a short period of time I could go from weeping over the muffled killing of a flying fish to gleefully bludgeoning to death a dorado’.

– Soh Wen shuen (1W)

Helen Adams Keller

Imagine that you couldn’t see these words or hear them spoken. But you could still write, read and make friends. Imagine a life without the ability to express yourself through your voice, unable to convey your sorrows and delight that you can’t keep to yourself. But you could still receive education from a prestigious university, write nearly a dozen books and meet 12 US presidents. If you have the same sentiments as the overwhelming majority who think that it’s impossible, think again because Helen Keller will prove you wrong.
Helen Keller was less than 2 years old when she suddenly came down with a mysterious fever. It struck dramatically and left her unconscious. Although the fever went down just as suddenly, it mercilessly blinded her and robbed her of her valuable sense of hearing.
In 1886, her mother, inspired by the Charles Dickens’ American Notes of the successful education of another deaf and blind woman, dispatched young Helen to seek out an eye and ear specialist who eventually referred her to Anne Sullivan, a visually impaired herself, who would become her tutor. Sullivan helped Helen make tremendous progress in her ability to communicate. However, success took a lot of grit and determination as Helen would throw tantrums as a measure of her frustration and was even uncooperative with Sullivan who was devoting all her effort into teaching her all the while. Thanks to both parties’ diligence, Helen finally managed to communicate with others effectively.
For many, Helen’s story ends with the image of a young deafblind girl and her teacher Anne Sullivan at a water pump. However, that transforming moment for Helen signified only the beginning of her new life—a life dedicated to tireless advocacy and fearless activism that opened wide the doors of possibility for people with disabilities.
A woman outspoken in her principles, Helen Keller inspired changes in public attitudes towards the capabilities of people with visual impairments. As she pushed for revolutionary changes in the law, people with disabilities were able to transition into mainstream education and employment. Helen Keller inspired future generations of people with disabilities to live life to the fullest.
I admire Helen Keller for her courage to accept her disability and pick herself up. It’s true that she was once frustrated with herself, but it is also true that she eventually overcame her restrictions with the help of Anne Sullivan. I also take my hat off to her for contributing to the society and making a difference in this world despite her own handicap. If someone like Helen Keller is able to do this, why can’t we, able-bodied people, make contributions to the society too? Let us all take a leaf out of Helen’s book and live our lives with the knowledge that we have the power to make a difference.

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– Trina Chong (1U)

Lonely

I am a raindrop.
Falling, falling, falling.
The red ball of fiery gas shines on us, making us seem luminous yet radiant with the seven colours of the rainbow. My siblings around me chuckle with joy and happiness, having experienced freedom the first time in their lives. Their bubbly laughter makes me want to smile, too. Yet, I will not. I cannot.
I am lonely.
The sky, calm as ever, is a brilliant blue, embracing the earth with its fatherly warmth. It seems kind and concerned, the perfect father whom every child wishes for. However, there is a frightening wrath that is lurking beneath. I glare at the sky which was once my father, with eyes filled with hatred and betrayal.
I am a raindrop and I am lonely. My own father emptied its pockets of me and left me to evaporate on a muddy ground.
The trees, magnificent with their towering heights and dotted with emerald-coloured leaves, seem to welcome us with their arms bent. They smile warmly as if we are guests and they themselves luxurious hotel rooms with a great amount of services available. I yearn to curl up comfortably in front of the fireplace, which is lit with a fire that radiates warmth. I wish to hold a mug of hot chocolate in my cold, cold hands. I hope for a great many things as I stare at the trees and their inviting homes. However, none of that happens.
Oh, I am so lonely.
The sounds of laughter are everywhere. Girls giggling, boys chasing one another and toddlers tripping over their own feet at a playground. Adults chat among themselves, grinning and nodding, while keeping a watchful eye on their kids. Family. That alone brings tears to my eyes as I watch the children having the time of their lives. I try to remember the times my parents and siblings had such a fun time together. There was none.
I remember being scolded for every single thing that I had done wrong. I remember the fights my parents had every single night. I remember my siblings forced to stay in their own rooms, unable to come out and play. I remember… I remember… None of them were joyful nor pleasant.
I live in a world where there is no love, no friendship, no joy and most importantly, no family.
At the sight of the humans having such an enjoyable time in each other’s company, my lips twitch into a smile. My heart soars and seems lighter as if the sad, miserable things that I am carrying around so much have disappeared. I was no longer breaking apart inside.
I am a raindrop.
I am not alone anymore.

Plop*
by Claire Hsieh(1 Wisdom)

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