Mother’s embrace

Mother's embrace

A warm hand covers the forehead,

Bare and pale.

A warm smile

Lightens up the room

And speaks more than words can express,

The love for a helpless lamb .


The kid learns to walk,

Held afloat by the invisible strings of patience

And the helping hands of anticipation.

But as life takes its turn,

The teenager walks away from the hand that

Fed it.


The Mother still awaits,

Anticipating his return though the signs point to

“Maybe not”,

Like his replies every reunion invitation.

“I’ve got my own kids now,”

He said as an excuse (with hope of understanding).


And the Mother does understand,

Without a shred of complaint,

She lets her son carry on on his

Journey of life.

For she realised that you don’t learn to walk

Just to stay in the same place.


And when the son realised he needed

To feel his Mother’s warm embrace

Once again,

His mother’s arms were already open




Jaime Ng (3 Truth)

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5 Hacks for the day before an exam

It is the day before your exams and too much is at risk. The possibility of being held back or having to return during the holidays to retake your failed subjects have you on edge and you find yourself desperately trying to cram whatever you can. Here are 5 revision hacks that will hopefully help you in your last minute revision.

1. Times New Roman is the easiest font to read

School hacks 1
That’s right! If you are in a rush to go through all the notes you have on your computer, it is a good time to change fonts to Times New Roman before you start!

Multiple studies have proven that Times New Roman is the best font for speed reading due to its simple letters. The font is also both easy on the eyes and familiar to the mind. This is also the reason why nearly all prints use Times New Roman. It’s popularly accepted that, in print, fonts like Times New Romans are easier to read, the idea being that the font actually make the letters flow together and consequently easier on the eyes. If you’re aiming for efficiency during your last minute cramming session, this simple but useful hack might be the key to acing your exams!

2. Study for 50 minutes, rest for 10.
School hacks 2
It might sound like a complete waste of time but trust me, occasional breaks are incredibly important. It may be the day before an exam but taking care of your body and mind is much more important than that extra 10 minutes.

Taking breaks not only refreshes your mind for the next 50 minutes but also helps you to fully digest what you have revised in the previous 50 minutes, allowing a more productive study session. Organising your schedule this way will also force you to study harder for the 50 minutes, instead of half-heartedly studying all the time, in order to truly enjoy your 10 minutes break without guilt.

3. Be confident and study out loud.
School hacks 3
When reading notes or studying materials out loud, we form auditory links in our memory pathways which helps us to memorise or remember the facts and information better. It will also help us to remember the contents we had revised during the actual exam as we can remember ourselves reading those content out loud.

Reading out loud is definitely no easy task, not just because it would take you a longer time to read a text, but also because it is an extremely awkward thing to do if you are studying in a public area or have your family members looking at you. Nevertheless, desperate times calls for desperate measures. This is a very effective strategy for last minute cramming and the results it promises is worth the risk of ruining your image?

4. Be in control of your devices
School hacks 4
Face it, you probably have less than 24 hours until you have to sit for the dreaded exam and the last thing you should do is spend the remaining time you have on social media. Scrolling through the pages of your favourite idols and close friends may be a good way to relieve stress but the risk of getting distracted and wasting too much time on your phone is too high.

That is precisely the reason why applications like Self Control (for MacBook) Cold Turkey (for PC) and Freedom on the App Store exists. These applications helps you to block certain sites from your browsers or phones for a certain period of time, helping you get rid of the distractions. Most of the software available are difficult to unlock once the timer has started and thus would help reduce the temptation of wasting your time on social media.

5. Sleeping
School hacks 5
Your teachers have reminded you, so have your parents and now I shall remind you once again.

Sufficient sleep is important!
Different studies have repeatedly come to the conclusion that having sufficient sleep the night before will benefit one’s exam results more than spending the extra hours with a cup of coffee, staring at notes that will never sink in.

Along the way sleep had became something students could do without for the sake of the extra hours but sleeping is a crucial process for the brain works to heal the body by producing hormones beneficial for repair and growth. Sleeping also provides the brain with an opportunity to consolidate memories of what was studied and learnt that day.

Hopefully, the revision hacks above have been of help, and all the best for your examinations!

Ang Yen Chi

3 Unity

Jokes and Pick Up Lines

It has been a busy term for many of us as we adapt to new environments and learn new concepts. Let us relax and take a step back to enjoy the following jokes.

Joke 1:

I dreamt I was forced to eat a giant marshmallow. When I woke up, my pillow was gone.


Joke 2:

  1. Why do the French like to eat snails so much?
  2. They can’t stand fast food.


Joke 3:

A boy breaks on old vase at a rich uncle‘s house. The uncle gets extremely angry and yells: “Do you even know how old the vase was? It was from the 17th century!” The boy sagged in relief: “Oh, good that it wasn’t new.”


Joke 4:

A man hired a lawyer when he got sued by his company for embezzlement of many millions. At the beginning of the process, the lawyer kindly reassured him: “Don’t worry, you’ll never go to jail with that amount of money”.

And the lawyer was right. When the man did go to jail eventually, he didn’t have a penny anymore.


Joke 5:

While he was visiting, my father asked for the password to our Wi-Fi.

“It’s taped under the modem,” 
I told him.

After three failed attempts to log on, he asked, “Am I spelling this right? T-A-P-E-D-U-N-D-E-R-T-H-E-M-O-D-E-M?”


Pick Up Line 1:

“Are you a parking ticket? Because you’ve got FINE written all over you.”


Pick Up Line 2:

Is your father a thief? ‘Cause he stole the sparkle from the stars and put it in your eyes.


Pick Up Line 3:

I wish I was one of your tears, so I could be born in your eye, run down your cheek, and die on your lips.


Pick Up Line 4:

Are you a 90 degree angle? ‘Cause you’re looking right!


Pick Up Line 5:

How is it that I know so many digits of Pi, yet I know 0 digits of your phone number?


Remember to relax when needed and enjoy the rest of the year!


Yeo Hui Min Mandy

2 Unity







A Cruel Twist of Fate


It smelt like stale air-conditioning and underground metals, just like how trains always do. Today, I smelt like antiseptic and bad news.


The ring tone of my phone screamed in my ears. The screen showed: Ah Boy. Clenched eyes resigned, I picked up the phone.


“Hey mother… I…have something… to tell you…! I…was given a scholarship…to CAMBRIDGE!!! My dreams…had finally came through. I am…ecstatic!” my son exclaimed in jubilation, tears choking him.


A small smile played on my lips. I knew how much Ah Boy wanted to go to Cambridge. As a mother, I was really proud of him. I thought of the radiant smile on his face. As I was deep in my thoughts, a thought jerked me back to reality. How long could I share this happiness with my son if my life was as barren as dirty yards?


Looking at the medical report clenched tightly in my fist, all the smoldering emotions swelled in me burst – my third stage of cancer, the costly medicals fees and the hopeless life ahead. All these feelings combined in one great impulse towards destruction. The purpose of my life had faded. What was I going to do? What about the hefty medical fees? When was I going to die? What will happen to Ah Boy? And the question that was inevitable: Should I tell my husband and Ah Boy?


I recalled the times when my husband and I used to date. All these memories. All the time spent. All the efforts. I also recalled the very first time I embraced Ah Boy in my arms. I had held onto his hands, seeing those minuscule hands grow into brawny ones. These were symbols of love. However, love had no chance with death.


If I were to tell my husband about this, I knew he would be despondent. He would definitely, and obviously tell Ah Boy. And that Ah Boy would give up his scholarship and take care of me. What must I do?


Frazzled, I let the tears in my eyes roll down my cheeks, unto the medical report.

Lynn Tan (1F)

Music Favourites: Know-It-All by Alessia Cara

Judging from the title, you might think this album might have to do with being a ‘know-it-all’ or doing well in class. In fact, it is the complete opposite. If you listen to the lyrics closely, it could also be a lot deeper than you think.

‘Know-It-All’ is an album made by Canadian singer-songwriter, Alessia Cara. She first rose to fame in 2013 when she started posting covers of songs to the popular American video sharing website, YouTube. Eventually, a few years later, she was noticed by someone from Republic Records and signed with them.


‘Know-It-All’ has been immensely successful, having sold over 500,00 copies. Its first single, Here, was released on April 30, 2015 and was in the top 5 of the Billboard top 100. The album especially reaches out to teenagers, some songs talking about celebrating youth and treasuring your years as a teenager. Its pop and R&B style also has some soulfulness and also some kick to it and it definitely tells me that different generations can enjoy it together. The first song, Seventeen, tells people to hold onto your youth as it will fly by very fast.


Most of the songs on that album are amazing. My favourite one has to be ‘Scars To Your Beautiful’. When you first listen to it, it has a catchy beat to it. As you listen to it closely, what you hear is so meaningful. It talks about inner beauty and how we should never be affected by how people see you, but how you see yourself.

In an interview, Alessia Cara also stated:

It’s just a song about these things that certain women go through on a daily basis in order to feel loved or in order to love themselves. I think that’s such a thing that goes on in today’s world. These weird things are instilled in us. You know? That tell us that we’re not good enough or that there’s only one kind of beauty.”-Interview with Idolator’s Mike Wass

My favourite lyric is: “There’s a hope that’s waiting for you in the dark, you should know you’re beautiful just the way you are”. It really touches people’s hearts and shows them that it doesn’t matter what’s on the outside and it doesn’t matter what people see. Everyone is beautiful in their own way.

I do recommend that people listen to this album, especially ‘Scars To Your Beautiful’. You could really feel inspired by this song and by listening, it could affect so many people.


Link to ‘Scars To Your Beautiful’ music video:


Rachel Lie (1P)

Music Favourites

Cause I’m hopeful, yes I am

Hopeful for todayhpe.png

Take this music and use it

Let it take you away

And be hopeful, hopeful

And He’ll make a way

I know it ain’t easy but that’s okay

Just be hopeful

These lyrics may sound familiar to you as they are from the song Hopeful. Bars and Melody first performed the song when they auditioned for the eighth series of Britain’s Got Talent in February 2014. They received judge Simon Cowell’s golden buzzer and went straight through to the live shows.On 7 June, the duo finished in third place during the live final. On 15 June, it was announced that Bars and Melody had signed to Cowell’s record label Synco Music. It was later revealed that they would release their version of “Hope” (retitled “Hopeful”) as their debut single on 27 July.

13-year-old Leondre has told how the lyrics were inspired by a difficult past, which saw him tormented by bullies for two years.“I used to get jumped on by a group of boys who would wait for me, then trip me up and punch and kick me,” he told The Sun.Leondre says he explained his bruises away as being from football, but eventually had to speak out when it got too much to take.“In the end I had to tell someone because I got really depressed. When I told my dad I just broke down in tears and cried and cried.” The lyrics to this song are filled with sadness when we hear how he was bullied, the lyrics also told us how depressed, and hopeless he felt, also asking the bully what he did to get this treatment. So if you are feeling down, I highly suggest you listen this to liften up your spirits. Just be hopeful and don’t give up!

Ashley Tung




Les Misérables


“Do you hear the people sing

Lost in the valley of the night?

It is the music of a people

Who are climbing to the light.

For the wretched of the earth

There is a flame that never dies.

Even the darkest night will end

And the sun will rise.”

Written by Victor Hugo, Les Misérables (literally meaning “the miserable ones” in French and pronounced as “Lay Mee-say-harbl”) is a French historical novel that is known as one of the greatest novels in the 19th century. Beginning in 1815 and culminating in the 1832 June Rebellion in Paris, the novel examines the nature of law and grace, elaborating upon the history of France and its politics, moral philosophy, justice, religion, and the types and nature of romantic and familial love.

The novel, which consists of five volumes, each divided into several books, and further subdivided into chapters, follows the lives and interactions of several characters, particularly the struggles of ex-convict Jean Valjean, who becomes a force for good in the world through his experience of redemption, but cannot escape his criminal past.

In Les Misérables, readers will be taken deep into the Parisian underworld, and carried onto the barricades during the uprising of 1832, where they will be immersed in a battle between good and evil. Within this dramatic story by Victor Hugo are themes that capture the intellect and the emotions: crime and punishment, the relentless persecution of repeat offender Valjean by local policeman Inspector Javert, the desperation of a prostitute named Fantine, the amorality of the rogue Thénardier, as well as the universal desire to escape the prisons of our own minds. Another theme is that of love, especially about the love triangle caught between Cosette, Éponine, and Marius. This book is a must-read for people craving some historical action and excitement, so if you are one of them, do remember to look out for the translated version of Les Misérables during your next trip to the library!


Germaine Lee (3T)

Lost stars, trying to light up the dark?


Lost stars, the song that got everyone hitting the repeat button, is a new original song that was performed by famous band, Maroon 5 for the movie Begin Again. The song proved to be a great hit, which flaunted lead singer, Adam Levine’s powerhouse vocals and the stirring accompaniment, wavering hearts of many, with its heart wrenching lyrics and Levine’s soulful vocals. Although, it may seem overrated, I personally feel that the song brings about a deep meaning, as it talks about how many struggle to stay alive in this day and age, where the need to fit into the system is very pressurizing. However, the soft touches to some lyrics, such as ‘yesterday, I saw a lion kiss a deer’, can also convey the message that, we can still find hope in society, as it is rare for a predator to not think of its prey as food, but as its friend, showcasing the innocence that is still possible in society.

As a huge fan of Adam Levine, I admire him for how he incorporates so many emotions into his songs and I would definitely say that he has indeed done it again. The incredible song is not only an appealing and beautiful masterpiece, it is also one that showcases how our current society works as a whole and how people are sadly unable to embrace it. In response, we should find ways to reach out to these lost stars, who need help to become part of our galaxy and make a change to help them light up the dark.

Lost Stars (Adam Levine) –

Rachel Pang (4H)

Zika Mosquitoes’ Habitats May Foil US Elimination Efforts



All of us would have definitely heard about the Zika virus, a fast-spreading virus which is the mastermind of many cases of microcephaly severe birth defects and unusual permanent head damages, mostly happening in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Unfortunately, the virus is going to spread faster than many of us might imagine. It has been predicted by health experts that as the country gets progressively hotter over the months, it would make it easier for the Zika virus to spread to the United States. Many officials and experts are working hard to eradicate the virus through means such as fogging, however, since the Aedes aegypti mosquito is able to hide in our daily appliances such as our beds and closets, fogging might not be effective in preventing the spread of the mosquitos and pesticides would have to be sprayed at the hiding places of the mosquitos.

The Zika virus outbreak has already affected over 25 countries and territories. Thus, travellers who have travelled to affected countries and been stung by the mosquitos, would actually carry the virus back and there might be the possibility of transmission. There has been one reported case of transmission within the United States, but as many more travellers return to the country, the numbers would soar much higher than what it is now, at around 30. The virus could even affect up to 4 million people in the United States of America, mostly in coastal areas such as Texas

Although the situation seems grim, the United States is still going to try to prevent the outbreak from knocking at their doorstep. The mosquitos carrying the virus feed in the day and mostly breed in impoverished areas such as garbage-filled dumps, water filled areas. Therefore, even though it may not be possible to totally remove these mosquitos from the world, officials and health experts are still trying to limit it to keep infection small when it does happen. Some other measures which they have come up with would be removing of potential breeding habitats, but without the help of everyone in the community, it would be less possible for it to be effective in the eradication of the mosquitos which also carry other diseases such as dengue and chikungunya. Better options for solutions would have to be further identified, with the adapting mosquitos.

Hence, never let your guard down, even if it is a small mosquito bite!

Renee Ong (2J)

A Nightmare


Ming Ting

I ran and ran. Cold sweat ran down my face, soaking my shirt. Whatever that thing was, one thing for sure. It was coming for me. My feet pounded against the stone gravels and the cold wind slapped my face as I ran. I was panting very hard but I knew I had to pick up my pace before it catches up to me. I could feel its hot breath against my back.

My energy was slowly draining and the road in front of me seems endless. My will to keep going had slowly become weaker. Every fibre in my body was screaming at me to stop but my mind told me to persevere on. I finally picked up pace and sprinted ahead. I started to see stars and I could feel my legs starting to give way.

I turned around and saw it charging straight at me, never once losing its pace. Its determination to get me was stronger than I thought. Should I give out now? It seemed that clearly from the start it was always a neck to neck race between me and it. I could never have stood a chance at outrunning it, seeing how strong it was.

I could hear someone calling my name faintly. Suddenly, my legs became weak and buckled underneath me. I went sprawling onto the ground, landing right in the way of it. It took a few steps towards me and stared down at me with those menacing eyes. I could see it now. He was not an it. He was Dracula. A supernatural with a heart as black as coal. He leaned towards me with that malicious smile of his. Oh no. Here comes…

“Rebecca! Rebecca! Wake up! “I felt someone gently shaking me. My mind cleared as I slowly opened my eyes. “You were screaming while you were sleeping. Having one of those nightmares again, darling? I told you not to watch horror movies before you sleep, didn’t I?” My mum comforted me while hugging me close in an embrace. I could still picture the scenes just now and that smile of his gave me goose bumps. From afar, his laughter still rang loud and clear. My heart keeps telling me it was all just a nightmare.

Oh, so it was all just a nightmare.

Or, was it?

Tan Ming Ting (2L)