Last Ten Minutes of Recess

When you find a table, you are happy.  You are so happy that after searching for untold ages you have finally found somewhere to sit.  But you are also sad.  This is because you see many horrible things on the table.  Yellow noodles curl like rats’ tails beside brown puddles of milo mixed with the cold drippy water from melted ice and rice grains dot the plastic surface rubbing shoulders with drops of dark red chilli.  In the corner, an errant plastic bag flutters, weighed down by an unpleasant piece of half-finished sandwich lolling indolently in its own grease.  Dismayed, you look about you, and you see once again to your upset that the canteen is as full as it was a minute ago.  You turn back to the display of spilled food before you, and then at the benches beside, which are the only ones unoccupied in this crowded, noisy jungle with the atmosphere of a riot and you sigh.  You sigh because your bowl of noodles- your beautiful bowl of noodles, which you had purchased for a dollar and twenty cents- have to be eaten in ten minutes.  It pains you to do such injustice to such a gorgeous bowl of noodles (which obviously deserves so much more care and attention), and even more so to sit at such an unsavoury table, but as well as time and tide Biology lesson also waits for no man.

So you sit down (happy, at least, to do so at last), avoid placing your elbow in the milo spill, and begin to eat.


Tang Sze Kay – 3L


The National Library Board book controversy

The National Library Board’s (NLB) decision to remove three children’s titles that did not promote the traditional notions of family has sparked controversy. A #FreeMyLibrary social media campaign and at least two petitions have been launched in opposition to the move.
The books removed are “And Tango Makes Three”, “The White Swan Express: A Story about Adoption” and “Who is in my Family?” .
The move has generated quite a bit of buzz and the members of the public had mixed views about the decision. “I think that (the books) should be pulled out, because it’s not the kind of values which we want to impart to our future generation,” said one. Another felt that “if the books are needed somehow for education purposes, I think can put a caution there, something like PG16.”
Some others have decided to make their views known in other ways. Novelist and playwright Ovidia Yu announced her resignation from the Singapore Writers’ Festival Steering Committee, citing programme partner NLB as the reason. A group of writers have also decided to boycott a panel discussion they were supposed to have at the National Library.
Not only that, but three judges of this year’s Singapore Literature Prize have also resigned in protest over the NLB’s move. In a statement, Mr T Sasitharan, head of the Intercultural Theatre Institute, author Romen Bose and Yale-NUS professor Robin Hemley “condemned in the strongest terms” the decision to remove and destroy the books.
Some netizens have organised a reading event, where copies of “And Tango Makes Three” and “Who’s in My Family?” were made available for sharing.
Despite the protest, there was also an online letter supporting the NLB’s decision. It garnered more than 25,000 signatures, before the call for signatures ended at 12 midnight. The organisers, who are behind a Facebook group called Singaporeans United for Family, said it was sending the letter to ministers from the Ministry of Communications and Information, Ministry of Social and Family Development and the Ministry of Education.
The withdrawal of the three titles has been the subject of controversy in the past few weeks, drawing both protest and support from the public. A poll by REACH found that those who have been following the debate had divided opinions, with 45% supporting NLB’s move, 28% disagreeing, and 23% staying neutral. The poll also found out that 52% of Singaporeans agree that books promoting values that are not in line with traditional family values should not be made available in the children’s section of public libraries. Of the remainder, 21% disagreed and 23% were neutral.
Members of Parliament (MPs) have called on the NLB to put in place a more transparent and robust review process for its books.
“A more transparent review process would not only stand up better to scrutiny, but allow it to “defend (its) position”, said MP Baey Yam Keng, deputy chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Communications and Information.
Mr Baey also suggested having a steering committee to advise the library on acquiring materials for its collection. This could be made up of people from a diverse section of society, such as experts from libraries in other countries, parents and book enthusiasts.
Nominated MP Janice Koh agreed that a broad panel of assessors should review requests to withdraw books and the decisions should be made transparent to the public. She said the NLB’s “hasty” decision-making was “perplexing” and added that she was “concerned that NLB has chosen to listen to complaints from a small group of people … while ignoring others, including many parents, who want the right to choose.”
The NLB has since announced that it will reinstate two of the withdrawn children’s titles in the adult’s section.

-Germaine Lee (1T)

2048 the hit game

Does the number seem familiar to you? It’s the latest popular game that hit the top charts in the Samsung and Apple app store!
This game is about joining the same numbers together, on a 4 by 4 game board. The numbers include certain even square numbers like 2, 4, 8, 16, the numbers double themselves and go on. When you reach “2048” you officially win. That’s how the game’s name came about.
Just after a week of 2048’s debut, I spotted people playing the game everywhere. In school, in shopping malls, on buses and trains. Some even with their eyes totally fixated on the screen like walking zombies.
News spread quickly, and that was how I found out about that game.
Why is the game so interesting? Well, it simple to understand, with only colour shades like yellow, orange and white so the screen is not hectic like some other games. This entertaining game offers you a relaxing getaway into a world of numbers and strategy. Free of charge, with clear graphics, downloadable, usable without internet connection, 2048 engages you and occupies your time. What a great chance to challenge and beat your friends! And showing off your personal high scores on social platforms like Facebook and Instagram!
A classmate of mine even managed to make it to 4096. Amazing!!
For those new to this game, you will find yourself getting addicted quickly.
For those getting tired playing it, did you know there are many imitations of the game online? Using colours, images and words instead of the same number tiles. Fans of Taylor Swift and Exo should seriously try playing with the celebrities’ faces.
A website on Google Chrome even enables you to create your own 2048 version with your own pictures and letters.
A simple game 2048 has turned out to be a great hit, probably the most popular game in the year, sparking inspiration in gaming individuals. Another similar game, Isotopic 256 has been created, who knows how many more will be too………

-Genevieve Sim(1P)

Bath and Body Works


Bath and Body Works, is a favourite fragrance destination for everyone. The Bath and Body Works PocketBac hand sanitizer is now a recent growing trend. In fact, some of us (including myself) are also guilty of lugging back bags of Bath & Body Works products home every time we come back from the United States.
The PocketBac hand santizer, is, as you can tell from the name, pocket-sized. It is useful and sweet-smelling as well. It can be used before and after eating and also after playing with pets and toys to cleanse your hands.

I, too, got influenced by a friend and begged my father, who was on a business trip in the United States, to buy me two bottles of each type at the store there as Bath and Body Works outlet had yet to open in Singapore. Also, it is cheaper to buy it in America compared to buying it in Singapore as one bottle in America costs half the price.

There are also other popular products at Bath and Body Works, they also sell body lotions, body wash and shower gel, scented candles, wallflowers and many more. For now, you can buy Bath and Body Works products online if you would like any, but, when the new Bath and Body Works outlet opens at Marina Bay Sands, people from all over Singapore will be flocking over to buy it there instead.
The outlet that’s planning to open at Marina Bay is 3,000 square feet will carry a huge range of products from hand and body care, to perfumes and home fragrance collections.
However, let us hope that, although the location of the outlet is at Marina Bay Sands, the items will not be overpriced in Singapore. If it is overpriced, I think I might as well order online or just buy some more when I travel to America or when my father is on a business trip again.

Laura Zheng~1L