Monday, September 10, 2012

Yu Xiang's replies:

Day 10

This picture seemingly depicts a scene of two young people guide a group of elderly people on some hand exercises. Thus, I presume that the location of the image is most probably an elderly care centre. The purpose of the two young people guiding the elderly on some exercises might be to le t the elderly have an active and healthier lifestyle.

In our current times, Singapore is becoming a greying population, as the people from the 30s or 40s are getting old, and due to the current hectic working lifestyles, it is nearly not possible for these elderly people's children to take care of them daily, as they will most rabble have to work to support their elderly parents, thus the need for services such as elderly care centres to help take care of them.

However, sometimes, the lifestyle's of the elderly might not be very active in these care centres, mostly due to the lack of resources to dedicate to all these different requirements, thus, there is a need and a challenge for the care centres to provide these services, resulting in hiring of people to conduct such activities.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Exploding the moment - Group 1

         The alarm blared loud in my ears for the second time this morning and dread welled up inside me. I let out a long, frustrated groan, turning over in my bed and reached out for the blasted thing. I rubbed the sleep from my eyes and glanced groggily at the time displayed on the digital screen and to my horror, I was late! Again... Reluctantly, I scrambled up from the cozy warmth of my bed and rushed to my closet and dug through the pile of clothes that littered the ground. I wrinkled my nose, wincing at the repulsive pungent odor that drifted from the clothes. All of the clothes were either unwashed or stained, just plain disgusting. I threw on the cleanest article of clothing I could find; the one that smelt the least of unwashed socks. Running a comb through my hair, I dragged my half dead body down the stairs, trying my best to hurry and keep from tripping in my still drowsy state. I stumbled to the kitchen and opened the refrigerator. The cool air, faintly smelling of rotten eggs, wafted out of the fridge and assaulted my nose. At the sight of the near to empty fridge, a feeling of annoyance and dread filled me. I had forgotten to stock the fridge during the weekend and now there was nothing but a carton of expired milk and some two day old slices of pizza left. As the hungry orc in my stomache groaned for mercy, I slammed the fridge door close and stomped out of the house, deciding to skip breakfast altogether.

Done by: Michelle, Naveena, Benjamin, YuChong

Exploding the moment, Group 2

The road was no longer visible, in its steed were metal mechanics that constantly spurt out carbon emissions, polluting the air. I glanced frantically at my watch. It was half past eight. 'If I do not get to my office within the next half-hour...' I shivered, remembering the look on my boss’s face the last time I was late. Desperately, my eyes scanned the roads for gaps, big or small, where I could cut in. ‘There!’ My damp hands gripped the steering wheel as I stepped on the accelerator. At that moment, traffic started moving. Seizing the opportunity, I turned the wheel, directing the car into the gap. Though traffic was slow, at least vehicles were on the move again. To me, this was the perfect opportunity. Those sleepy drivers who did not notice the change provided me with the gaps I needed to speed up my progress. For the next ten minutes I weaved in and out of lanes as fast as the situation allowed. As I did so, I noticed other cars mimicking my movements. They were not my concern, the only one I have was to get to work on time. As I weaved my car into another lane, a red Mercedes from the lane next to it turned in suddenly, setting itself on collision course with me. I let out a scream as I tried to turn my car back into the original lane. Honks filled the early morning air as cars swerved away my still one. To others, they were a curse. To me, they were a blessing. I could hear, I was alive.

Done by: Gwendolyn, Hardy, Si Yuan, Johanan

Exploding a Moment (Group 6)

I took up my heavy files and books, slowly packing the stationary on my large office desk. They felt cold in my hands, the coldness that overwhelmed me. 10 years of office loyalty, a decade of hard work, all washed down the drain. Holding the remaining boxes of documents in my hand, I took a last look at my room and switched off the lights and air-con in the room. Closing the door to my room, I know that my last and final hope for survival is gone. Stepping out of the exquisitely decorated lift, I lugged my heavy belongings out of the revolving doors and made my last greetings with the security officer. I made my way towards the car-park. Piling my things high into my Nissan’s car-boot, I hesitated for a moment, thinking about the joyful times I’ve had had with my fellow colleagues for the past 10 years, before remembering the boss who made it all worthless. Cursing and swearing, I entered the car and revved the engine, vowing never to return. Having mixed feelings in my mind, I drove out of the car park and into the drive-way.

Preston, Min Suk, Jonan, See To

Exploding the moment- Group 3

My office building looked surprisingly daunting today as I swaggered through the massive doors of the majestic skyscraper and into the lift. With a ‘ping’, it begun its ascend up towards the 19th floor. As I walked with exuding confidence with my head held high, along the plush carpeting of the office, greeting my colleagues one by one, as I neared my minuscule desk situated in the dark corner of the office block. How dare the management give me such a desk with my kind of talent that lies in the potent brain that I possess I thought.  My desk was exactly how I left it the night before, pens scattered across the table, my left over coffee on the coaster. Though something else caught my eye, it was a yellow taunting post-it that stuck itself at the edge of my desk. The note was written in cursive handwriting with a “See me as soon as possible” written in bold and was signed off by my boss. Oblivious as I was, I did not know what lay ahead of me. I strolled towards my boss’s office, grasp the brass handle of the doorknob and pulled open the door. There stood my tiny midget boss that greeted me with a solemn look. He cut through the small talk and hit me with the big news. My palms turned clammy when that little irritating bossy pointed his small pointed finger to me like he was Donand Trump and said like a boss, “You are fired.”

Done by: Niklaus, Stacey, Cherin

Exploding a Moment

Imploded version:
4) I waited outside her office for a while before she called me in. I couldn't figure out why she wanted to see me.

Exploded version:
I remained stationary with my legs straightened, with butterflies within me. I was unable to find a logical reason for why she called for me. It could not be a promotion, stocks were going down. But it could not possible be a retrenchment, after all my contributions. I stared at the wooden door, focusing on a single wooden grain, trying to calm myself down. Hearing paper rustling from the office door, an icy cold feeling started spreading over my sweaty palms, my heart began to palpate, my head was getting heavy, the world seemed to spin and goosebumps ran up and down my spine, literally going crazy. I paced up and down, occasionally stumbling a bit. I heard the voice,”Come in!”. My heart skipped a beat. It was hard to breathe, I felt as if my lungs were crushed by a giant thousand pound press. I gulped. Then clenched my fist, ready to knock on the door and expect the worst…

By: Christopher, Victor, Rayner, Jun Wei

Group 5 - Explosion

Every step was filled with trepidation as I walked towards the office. As soon as I stepped into the room, the atmosphere seemed darker than a stormy night. I sank onto the purple velvet chair in front of a busy desk piled with tremendous amount of paperwork. I panned my view across the room and took a quick glance at my boss‘ freckled face. A picture speaks a thousand words; in that split second, a flood of emotions were on her grim face. Her wrinkled fingers left an enclosed envelope with my name on it in front of me. Her lips parted and calmly said “Good afternoon, Bim. How are you?” I felt my stomach flutter as she said my name. “I’m alright.” That was obviously a lie. She responded with remorse “I’m sorry, Bim, but your services here are no longer required. I would really like to thank you for your contributions to the company for the past dozen of years.” In my head, I thought, “What did I do to deserve this? Why only me?”

Thursday, September 29, 2011

EL Paper 1 Practice Questions

Please spend Friday's session planning your answers to the questions in part 1 of Paper 1. When I get back next week, I will go through possible answers with you, and go through the generic features of each of the genres and answer any queries.

Write in continuous prose of 350-500 words on one of the following:

1.     The most memorable time in SST.
2.     Concentration.
3.     What advise can you give to Secondary One students in their preparation for their end of year GCP trips?
4.     In your opinion, how can teenagers avoid the pressure of trying or doing something that they are not comfortable with or something they know is not good for them?
5.     Write a story starting with ‘It was a recipe for disaster when Jasmine walked into the room and saw…’

Suggestion: Decide the genre of writing each question represents.


2. You came across an article written by a professor who strongly believes that every school’s main goal is to guarantee each student’s academic progress. As a student yourself, you have your own views about what school is about. Write a letter to the editor of the newspaper, expressing your views about what you think school stands for. Your letter, which should be about 350-450 words, must be written in an appropriate persuasive tone.

Use the following few lines to start your letter.

Dear Sir

I refer to the article written by Mr Joseph Tan entitled ‘Schools must focus on the academics’ in which he wrote about the crucial role schools play in ensuring academic success. Although there are some logic to his thinking, I am however disturbed by his myopic perspective of what a school is...

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Intensive Reading 03 - Jonan Ling

Influence is a sketchy thing to define. What is influence? Is it the measure of impact a person has on others? Or is it just how willing the person in question is to follow the influencer? In the end is doesn't matter, only that it is the people who you know the best who have the greatest influence upon you. A parent will influence how a child grows up and treats others, but a friend would also influence how the person in question interacts with other people. Obviously I have no choice but to disagree with the point of view of this passage.

Though a parent might not have the greatest influence upon a person, a parent has great influence upon their offspring's behaviors to their own children when they have a family. If a child is left alone for a majority of the time, he/she grows up thinking that since they turned out alright, their own children will be able to cope. Other children however do the opposite to what they experience when they were young!

Social behavior is influenced by a person's friends. Who he/she interacts with, gangsters or friendly people, defines how they interact with others. Parents often don't influence a child greatly in this area. Sure, maybe your parent speaks politely to everyone they meet, but you talk like you words came out from the trash! Obviously the way you interact with people heavily depends upon personal peference and possibly, future occupation.

A person is influenced by whom they want to be influenced. It doesn't matter how long you spend with a person, or how much you know a person. In the end, it is how open a person is to others that determines how they are influenced.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Intensive reading 03 - Christopher (11)

A teenager’s main source of influence does not always have to be their parents. Many children have patient, loving parents who spend nearly all their waking hours taking care and fussing over their children. However, a considerably large group of children spend most of their time away from their parents . Some children might have parents who are too busy to even care about them. There are some teenagers who instead of being influenced their parents, model the people whom him or she spends the most time with. Finally, there is a group of teenagers whom prefer to model after their peers because of a variety of reasons.

Some parents spend most of their time away from their children. This is because some parents live in different countries from their children or they might be working from early morning to late at night. Some parents work hard from morning to night to earn some money to feed their family while other parents work too hard to buy better housing, better food, better vehicles, better sound systems, and brief, intense vacations from all that hard work. There are even some parents who have all the money they need but they simply do not know how to interact with their children thus, they try to keep away from their children.

Nowadays, teenagers spend more time in school with friends every week than with their parents. Peers influence our life, even if we don't realize it, just by spending time with us. we learn from them, and they learn from us. It's only human nature to listen to and learn from other people in our age group. Making decisions on one’s own is hard enough, but when other people get involved and try to pressure us, one way or another it can be even harder. People who are of similar age, like classmates, will try to influence how we act and this is called peer pressure.

Some teenagers prefer to follow their peers as they believe that their peers understand them better than their parents. This is caused because of a large generation gap. Our parents came from the time when the human mind thinks faster than computers. During that time, our parents do not have smartphones, tablets or fast computers. When our parents were the same age as us, they only had computers which took so long to start up that they could make themselves a cup of coffee and start drinking it even before the computer reached the desktop. As such, our generation and their generation has many differences thus, our parents do think differently from us.

People whom we spend most of our time with influences us mostly thus, we cannot say that a teenager’s main source of influence always have to be their parents.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Intensive Reading 03 - Tim (23)

All people have their own individual opinion on certain matters. For me,I disagree with the last statement the author made: “When one person believes in you, anything is possible.” I feel that the confidence and trust of a single person in you is insufficient to make all tasks within your grasp to achieve.

First of all, there are certain physical activities that simply cannot be accomplished by human motivation. The word ‘anything’ which the author uses is very ambiguous can mean a wide variety of things, but in this case, I will simply assume it means a task of any kind, whether physical or mental. Here, we are dealing with the physical. If you were doing very lousily in science, and yet you had aspirations to be a brilliant engineer, you would be reasonably discouraged and disappointed. Then a good friend comes along and encourages you to pursue your dreams. So, you may get some surge of enthusiasm and suddenly score much better in your science test than you did before. But, that does not ensure that in the future, you can design a flying machine that can travel at the speed of light. Such feats are undoubtedly impossible, even with the greatest motivation. Basically, there are fixed limitations to which we are restricted to. Hence, we cannot do just ‘anything’ in the physical aspect.

Second, there are certain mental feats simply cannot be accomplished by human motivation. In this case, let us take for example, a scenario where you feel extremely sad over the tragic loss of a previous best friend that had been caused in a most cruel and unfair way, making you angry, sad and hopeless. Another pal within your inner circle of good friends comforts you to the best of his ability. Of course, eventually, he will calm you down and help you get back to ‘normal life’. But, he still would not be able to perpetually etch out the terrible memories you have of how you had lost your friend. Like physical feats, there is a firm boundary that ends due to limitations that simply cannot be passed. Hence, we cannot do just ‘anything’ in the mental aspect.

Third, confidence and trust alone cannot bring yourself to the capability of achieving a task within the limitations. Confidence and trust may place in you some sort of burning desire to do something which will resolve the problems which you are now facing. However, just because you have a great passion, it does not mean that you will accomplish it. Besides having the confidence and trust from someone else, you need to be wise, patient, etc. and also remove old habits which will prevent you from achieving your desire. It is certain that without these other virtues and changes, you will never succeed.

Thus, I conclude that the confidence and trust of a single person in you is insufficient to make all tasks within your grasp to achieve. The author should have made his/her statement more clear, realistic and practical.

Intensive Reading 03 - Hardy(14)

I disagree with the author' who stated, "Like it or not, it’s our parents, not our friends, who have the biggest impact on who we are as teens and who we become as adults." I think that, through her point of view, she assumes that every little thing teens do had been cultivated through the influence of their parents. I do not agree with that assumption. I believe that a child, when growing up to the teen, would be greatly influenced not by their parents specifically, but rather the people who he or she looks up to, or spends the most time with. 

Firstly, it would not be right to say that teens are fully influenced by their parents as it is arguable from this perspective. By right, teens actually spend more time in school with peers per week than with their parents. Thus, one could argue with the author that teens could also have gotten more influence from peers rather than parents. Despite the fact that their parents always try to model the way for teens, teens might also get more influence from peers through peer pressure or sheer liking of their peers.

Secondly, the majority of a teen's peers are of the same age as him or her. On the other hand, teens' and their parents' age are usually far apart. So, most teens might have the mentality that their peers would understand them better than their parents. Thus, they would probably look up to their peers more and tend to be more influenced by their peers, regardless whether their actions are good or bad.

In conclusion, I disagree with the author's assumption. Our parents are not the only people in the world influencing us and certainly also not the biggest influences for us in the world.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Intensive Reading Chapter 3 - Rayner Tan(21)

If you were asked to disagree with the point of view of this passage, what would you say? What are the assumption(s) made that you may not agree with?
Remember to give a thesis statement, & give supporting evidence and examples to support your answer.

I agree with the author to a certain extent. Although it is true that the people who live with us impact much of our lives, the people whom we meet everyday, like our friends or teachers, also have huge impact in our lives.

Our parents do indeed influence our thinking, our habits and our actions. Sometimes, our ambitions and dreams might even be influenced by our parents. For example, I was influenced by my father to aim for working in a engineering line, be it in a company making software, or in a factory assembling hardware. You can simply say my love for computers came from my father. But bad habits also come from parents. Simple things such as not washing used plates immediately, or piling up piles of paper or other things and only tidying things once in awhile can come from parents. If a parent is untidy, chances are that the child is untidy as they have no one to model the way and start the cleaning habit. But not all things come from parents, sometimes they come from your friends.

We spend most of our day in school, not at home. The people whom we regularly meet outside such as friends or teachers, impact our lives in many ways. Peer pressure from friends is one of the many impacts. You may be asked by your friends to do something, like a dare to draw on the wall, or something more serious like getting addicted to smoking. They come to you in groups and often do not let you go off until you agreed. So friends do affect you, via peer pressure. But it is not always negative impact. Sometimes it's positive. Example, when a you are in trouble, your friend with good morale values comes along. He/she will often give you good advice, that will also improve your character. Example when you get into a conflict with an annoying classmate, you start hating him and plan to do things to him that is wrong. Your friend knows about it and advices you to forgive and forget. So friends can impact you in many ways, both positive and negative. Just like 

Teachers also impact your thinking, they teach you about respect and other morale values, they help to resolve conflicts among your fellow classmates. Especially your form teacher, who takes time to get to know everyone of you to give each of you advice that fits only you.

As you can see form the above 3 points, parents or people who you live with are not the only source of influence. What makes you, you, is your environment. You parents, friends, and teachers all impact how you think, how you behave, and what you believe in. You are a mixture of all those people.

- Rayner

Intensive reading Chapter 3 - Stacey Yip (5)

I disagree with the author’s statement ‘Like it or not, it’s our parents, not our friends, who have the biggest impact on who we are as teens and who we become as adults.’. I believe that it is our friends that influenced us to becoming what we are now.

The amount of time we spent in school with our friends is considerably more compared to staying at home and spending time with our parents. The time spent with our friends affect us as we want to be inclusive within a certain group. This group of friends that we have would have diverse backgrounds and the influence they bring with them is inevitable. Hanging in groups will also cause peer pressure and this will be what will form and mould us into what will be our future self. The assumption that after our parents “modeled” for us, we would continue being that way until adulthood is invalid. Even though the “seed” of morale might have already be planted, it can still change if introduced to other influences.

The friends we have are close to our age group and thus teens would know each other better then with our parents. Between us and our parents, there is a generation gap and this might pose a problem as the problems our parents faced then might be different with what the child is experiencing now. This would ultimately let the child feel closer to their friends as they feel that these people can understand them better than their parents. Earlier on, I stated that change is possible during the “maturing years”. Other parents might not have “modeled” for their child better and would result of a child that is unsociable and uncertain. However, if they have the right friends, they can change for the better.

Friends spend much time with us. They eat, study and play with us during our maturing period and would most probably influence us, either for the better or worse.

Intensive Reading Chapter 3 - Michelle Dapito

I disagree with the author when she/he said that our parents are the ones who shape our personalities and everything else. However, I feel that not only parents do this, others too, which is friends, parents and of course, yourself.

½ of the day you see your friends at school, eat with them, work with them and everything else. Some people even spend more time with their friends rather than their parents. Therefore, people tend to feel closer to their friends instead and listen to them more, follow what they do. Good influence friends help you, guide you while you grow. They make you feel welcome and do not want anything from you in return. They make you a better person in the present and the future. However, this world does not only have good people. Bad influence friends can bring you to do things that you do not want to do, due to peer pressure, example, smoking, drinking alcoholic drinks, etc. People our age usually give in to the peer pressure due to fear of losing their “friends”. They want to fit-in, and rather do the bad things and be famous with lots of friends, rather than being alone. Therefore, friends can shape how you grow as a person. They partially determine whether you go to the right path or head down the wrong path.

Parents are our guides since the day we were born. They fed us, sent us to school, paid for all our needs. Maybe our personalities when we were young was shaped by our parents. However, at this point of our lives, being a teenager, it is not fully our parents shaping us anymore. Parents are our role model. They have taught us what is right and what is wrong, and this has helped us until we grow old. Parents have done everything they could to make their child be a good person. Parents teach us everything they can, hoping we will follow them. Parents are the ones who have taught us to have moral values. Therefore, parents also partially shape you and your behaviour.

Your parents can guide you and help you in everything, your friends can influence you in a good or bad way, however, it is all up to you whether you listen to them. Your friends can ask you to smoke or take drugs, yes, it is partially their fault, however, it is your choice whether you would take that cigar or drug. It is you to determine your future. It is you to decide whether what you are doing is right or wrong. Your parents can scold you for taking the cigar or the drug, however, it is still up to you whether you would change, or just take another wrong step. You shape your own behaviour, you shape your own personality. At the end of the day, it is still up to you whether you want to do this or that. The choice is always yours.

Intensive Reading Chapter 3 - Jun Hong

1. I disagree with the author’s notes in page 88, 89 of the book “Chicken Soup for Teenagers”. The biggest impact on us is NOT our parents but its actually our society that have the largest impact on our morale. Why I said that our society has the greatest impact on us? Society can be grouped into 3 categories: Friends, Teachers and Other People.

Friends have great impact on you and they have great persuasion skills to make you do what they want through influence. If refused, they will forced you through peer pressure and you will submit to it, if your mental strength is not strong enough to resist the temptation of trying out something new. One example could be smoking. Most smokers smoke for the first time at college or university. Why? Massive peer pressure and stress and the fact that smoking is popular among young adults.

Teachers could have influence on your morale too. They usually say that respect oneself and others. Be polite. Don’t be greedy. They develop your morale. The worst mistake a teacher could make is to defy whatever they have said that they assumed it was right. One example is greed. Some teachers could be power-hungry, wanting a higher position in society. When a student sees that, they would follow, if their moral foundation is not strong.

Other people in the society could have influence over you too. The littlest things that the society does to show their first impression on us. As you know, our society is at a downfall. People criticizes much more sarcastically (not constructively). When someone has a bad first impression of you, they criticize harshly. A person with not much moral strength would not be able to stand the embarrassment or the torture of being the odd one out. He/she would want to change his/her looks. The person has low self-esteem and no self-love. Trends in society could also influence us too. For example, the newest trend coming soon: iPhone 5. Everyone would jump for it and those without it would be left behind feeling sorry about themselves, that is what most people will do.

2. Family disappointment is very tough to handle with. I want to comment on the suggestions that were given to cope for the disappointment is on page 79 of the book “Chicken Soup for Teenagers” :

  • Take it easy on yourself, especially if you’re feeling down. Do something that makes you feel good about yourself.
  • No matter what the situation, try and find some sort of positive way to look at it.
  • Know that everyone goes through disappointment, and the feelings that go along with it won’t last forever.
  • Find a healthy way to express your emotions: Write in your journal, do something creative, go for a walk, talk to someone.
  • Try to keep things in perspective. One way to do this is to take the time to write down one thing every day that you are thankful for. It can be something as big as an important person in your life to something as small as the Oreo cookie you had for dessert.

I agree with the first suggestion. It is practical and most probably the most effective “therapy” for disappointment. When you do something that you like, it boosts your self-esteem. Confidence will be built up this way. Its slow but steady work.

I agree with the second suggestion. But there are some constraints. Some people may not have the imagination to picture the positive aspect of it. But I know I can. Some people cannot do it because they are raised in a negative environment.

I disagree with the third suggestion. I know that everyone goes through disappointment but the feeling of disappointment could really last forever depending on how severe the disappointment is or the attitude of the person.

I disagree with the fourth suggestion. I don’t like writing journals, finding something creative to do, go for a walk or talk about something very personal to someone you are not comfortable talking about. Usually, my way of expressing emotions is to lie in bed and be reminiscing about the good times I had. But it is making me feel more worthless about myself.

I disagree with the last suggestion. I don’t want to write down what I am thankful for because I cannot remember the trivial things that I have done in my life. So far there is not a thing that I have not listed in my head I am thankful for.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Emotional basket case

Loneliness is an issue of heart feeling without any, depression is a psychological problem that the world is in its end, heartbreaks are purely setbacks which time will cure. We have to firstly want to admit and acknowledge ourselves that we are who we are and changing our perspective would help us definitely. Finding help is not weakness yet strength, the depressed,lonely and heartbroken must see the sunshine in the mist of the dark time and seek help from friends, family and teachers.

Putting up a front is just to hide yourself not from your friends but yourself. It is oneself who is afraid of yourself. We can show our real characters to our closest friends and tell them of these and ask them to be understanding.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Extensive Reading (Chapter 1) - Niklaus Teo

What are your thoughts and feelings about being depression, loneliness, heartbreaks, being different from your peers, and having to put up a front? How do/would you deal with some of these issues.

I feel that depression, loneliness, heartbreaks, being different from your peers, and having to put up a front Is something that not everyone can understand. When you do actually feel it, it causes you to focus on whatever feelings that you feel. It makes you think about it and think of what to do next. 
Some emotions like depression and loneliness are very extreme emotions that causes people to actually have a dramatic alter in their behaviour and sometimes having deadly consequences. Ultimately its all down to two things. The  outside factors and the inside factors. 

 The inner factors basically lies in the person in question. Some people feel certain types of emotions more easily than others. It is wrong to say they cannot feel that way, because ultimately everyone is different. It is who we are, but what can be done is to be self aware about oneself. Reflect on what you have been doing and try to find the cause of your feelings. After that you'll need to be able to have the mental strength to get back on your feets and move on. Having friends that care would definitely be of help, but if you yourself choose not to believe in yourself. Chances are you will either be in that state of emotion for a long time or you will easily revert back to it. Perceptions is another thing I think will cause you to think in a negative manner. Sometimes the solutions to problems could be the change in perceptions of your thinking, because everything isnt as it seems. 

The outside factors referring to the general surroundings that the people face. Sometimes there are people who bully and tease others. Or there could be a general hate for certain characteristics or believes. All of these actions contributes to the outside environment. I think that we can do our part in helping others whenever they are in need of help. We shouldn't be the ones acting negatively or in a hurting manner on purpose. 

Just as I said in the first paragraph, certain people may not understand certain emotions. Just because you havent experienced negative emotions in your life doesnt mean you will never experience it. It can hit you right smack in the face anytime. These emotions are not created by someone or something but rather by yourself. It is up to you to choose how you want to feel and what you want to do, because the solution will always lie in you. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Extensive reading - Benjamin Fheng

Question: What are your thoughts and feelings about being depression, loneliness, heartbreaks, being different from your peers, and having to put up a front? How do/would you deal with some of these issues.

Depression: Depression occurs when someone is feeling very down and just feels very sad. This may be caused by anything from studies to family problems. There are two types of depression: Strong but short or Long term. Strong but short depression is caused by a sudden turn of events at a particular time and the person feels helpless, but after a certain amount of time, manage to recover. Long term depression maybe caused by an unforgettable event that occurred in this person's life. It may be divorces or death of a loved one.

Loneliness: Loneliness is the lack of the feeling of care. Loneliness can also cause serious depression. Even though loneliness is depressing, it is pretty easy to get over it. You just have to find some friends or someone to talk to. It is easier than it actually seems to be. It just depends on whether the person has confidence is his or herself

Heartbreaks: Heartbreak is the number one cause of depression. A heartbreak is when someone's love does not get accepted by another person they love. This causes severe depression and loneliness at the same time. It strikes a feeling of extreme sadness that the person will not be able to be with another.

Being different: Being different is also a big cause of depression. Although, one good solution is being around friends that accept you for who you are and you are comfortable being with. Making friends is not really that hard.

Having to put up a front: Putting up a front is very common these days. You can put up a front in school, in front of parents, teachers, friends and everyone, just to cover up what you are feeling inside and not make people worried about you. Everyone has put up a front before. It may not necessarily be hiding depression but may be hiding disinterest as well. Example you think the lecturer's talk was boring but you say it's is very interesting when others ask you about it.

I usually deal with these issues by listening to music or talking to a best friend about it. I also write in blogs or explore cool things on tumblr. Gaming is also a way to relieve stress. Watching comedies and having a good laugh is a good solution as well. Although I think talking to someone is a good solution.

Extensive Reading (Chapter 1) - Tim Yap

Question: What are your thoughts and feelings about being depression, loneliness, heartbreaks, being different from your peers, and having to put up a front? How do/would you deal with some of these issues.

I feel that depression is a constant unhappiness that stays firm in someone's heart, and more often than not accumulates over a period of time.

Loneliness is specifically the result of experiencing, or feeling, no friends or people that care for you, whether there are people or not, which is a form of mild depression.

Heartbreaks can occur either when an extremely high accumulation of depression finally bursts out of control, or when a sudden tragic event occurs with a powerful blow to the heart.

Being different from peers can be defined as any significant difference between him/her and the general features of the people around. Such differences may be physical defects or disabilities, which dramatically affect the mobility, senses and appearance of the person, or mental problems, which makes the person look inferior, lacking the average sane and sound mind, or simply an unusually special personality, including special personal interests or eccentric daily-life habits.

Having to put up a front means that the person is undergoing some state of depression, but does not wish to exhibit his/her emotions to the people around him/her and thus deceives people by behaving as if all is well and normal. This prevents people from detecting the trouble or problems he/she is currently facing. However, this cannot continue long before experiencing a heartbreak.

Up to now, I have not experienced any type of depression, which only allows me to give suggestions as to how depressions can be dealt with. I would tackle the depression, whatever it may be, head on, as depressions, having such a stubborn and destructive nature, linger in one's soul like a leech attaches itself to a dog. I would question within my heart what really is the problem, going down to the roots of the weed, rather than to the obstinate leaves. Once the problem is located, it can be done away with easily. It must be questioned whether this depression is merely a act of self-pity. For that case, the person must rid himself/herself of his/her pride.

In the matter of loneliness, it is a truth that I feel somewhat disconnected from other people. I am the sort that tends to keep to myself, this causing an unwanted hindrance to making friends. Of course, the obvious solution to this is very simply to be more confident and less reserved to one's self, though this requires certain courage and effort to achieve. That is my situation. However, if the people around the person continuously and relentlessly display a negative attitude towards him/her, he/she will have to consult an understanding adult, his/her parents or teachers, or anyone who he/she can confide his/her troubles in.

As for heartbreaks, I have not experienced any, and certainly desire not to experience any in the future. In this case, the person, in his/her state of deep sorrow and grief, temporarily rendered helpless to comforting himself/herself, requires someone to comfort him/her, and continue to support him/her until he/she makes a complete psychological recovery.

For being different from peers, this is all up the decision of the person. I fall in the 3rd category which I had made, on the shallowest, mildest level. The thing about me is that I am fascinated in a topic in which nearly all the people I meet everyday do not take an interest in. Understandably, everyone has unique traits. But I feel exceptionally different as others have a greater overlapping of interests, and they thus find it much easier to converse with each other. I, lacking this overlapping, have a greater difficulty in making friends, especially with my habit of keeping to myself. For others who have physical or mental defects or differences, have no choice but to overcome these problem as they are permanent and cannot be taken away from them.

I have not put up a front and seriously discourage it. You are literally denying yourself the chance of letting other people know of your plight and come to your emotional rescue. For those who put up a front, I propose that he/she would stop immediately and get help from someone.

This is my perception of these emotional troubles and how one should deal with them.

Extensive reading (chapter 1) - Gwendolyn

Depression, loneliness, heartbreaks, being different from your peers and having to put up a front are common sights in todays' society. People often make compromises for what they think is beautiful and able to help them to fit in with the 'in' crowd. All of those problems are interconnected and all of them stems from being different. Though there are people who will support you regardless of anything, there are also people who look down on these people who are different from them. You just have to look at American middle and high schools. Those that stands out the most are usually those that bully others and those that get bullied. And when you look carefully, you would notice that the difference between these two are the largest. Those that bully might be rich, beautiful and popular, having a large and active social circle while, in contrast, those that get bullied are poor, ugly and unpopular with little to no social life and the same amount of friends. To avoid being in the latter class of people, most of them would put up a front. Buying the same brand of products, doing what they do, liking what they like. They would change their entire being to make sure they are the 'same' as the popular people. However, this would mean that most of their friends are also faking who they really are and cannot be counted as true friends. They will begin to feel lonely and sometimes this could lead to depression. As you can see, the root of all of these problems is being different. As society change, the things that is causing the rift between the two classes mentioned, like skin color, financial status and sexual orientation, would not shorten but instead lengthen. Who knows, maybe in the future, the 'in' crowd would be defined as having outrageous hair styles, little to no nose and non-existing lips (Think Lord Voldemot with rainbow hair)? How would we know for sure that it would not happen?

Extensive Reading (Chapter 1) - Naveena Menon

What are your thoughts and feelings about depression, loneliness, heartbreaks, being different from your peers, and having to put up a front? How do/would you deal with some of these issues.

Being depressed, lonely, heartbroken, being different from your peers, and having to put up a front seem to be very common nowadays.

Heartbreaks are caused by broken bonds and relationships. When you are heartbroken, it can be hard to cheer up and you feel like just giving up and shutting off from the rest of the world but by doing that, you are not allowing yourself to move on and be happy. You have to just let go of the past and move on, cherish the memories but don't let the past prevent you from experiencing the future.  

In my opinion, the rest of the emotions are caused by people not being able to accept themselves or others for who they really are. Society has clearly evolved over time and the current society’s idea of perfection, of beauty, of success and of achieving happiness is clearly quite different from what they were before. For example, some people think that being beautiful means starving yourself so that you can be stick thin and applying truckloads of makeup such that you hardly resemble yourself anymore. And how could they not start to think that way when most of the advertisements around us are featuring stuff like whitening creams or weight loss supplements or fashion magazines featuring stick-like models who look like they would be blown away by the slightest breeze. There are some people who are easily influenced and try to immolate the models or actors/ actresses they see and those who don’t are left feeling different from their peers, sometimes even treated like outcasts. Another example would be gays, lesbians and bisexuals who are sometimes discriminated by others. These people are treated differently because of their sexual preference.

Thus, some of these people try so hard to be what they are not, put up a front, just so they are accepted. Some even become depressed and this can lead to more serious outcomes such as self harm or worst case scenario, suicide. Some are left feeling lonely, because they are treated like outcasts just because they are different. But people have to realize that there is so much more to others around them then what brands they wear, how thin they are, who they choose to get into a relationship with or how much money they have. People have to stop prejudging others before they even getting to know them. People have to start accepting themselves as well as others for who they are and not try to be someone else. Everyone is unique and special in their own way. Why would you want to be a carbon copy of someone else when you can be you?

Extensive Reading (Chapter 1) - Stacey Yip

What are your thoughts and feelings about depression, loneliness, heartbreaks, being different from your peers, and having to put up a front? How do/would you deal with some of these issues.

I feel these "illnesses" occurs because the person allows other people to affect him/her. These "illnesses" are inter-related, such as when you are experiencing a heartbreak, loneliness, depression, etc. might be what you will feel afterwards. Teenagers are experiencing these feelings at such a young age and they might not know how to cope with them. I feel that they are trying to hard to grow up and are not living their childhood as they should have. However, this does not mean they should always remain playful and such, but they should make the change gradually. Long term solitude has proven to be bad for human beings as they are social animals. So it is best to confide into people about your problems and not put up a social barrier around others.

Relationships include: friendships, family ties, public ties etc. Learning how to deal with bad relationships will prevent a mental blockages in future relationships. Some say friendships can be as strong as blood ties. Meeting new people is a way of life but finding the true friends might be be tough. True friends do not judge you, they accept it and will stand by you through your hardships.

People who puts up a front are concealing what they are really like underneath. They created this facade as they think people would not accept the "real" them (that they are different and are misfits) and they feel the urge to prove others about themselves. However, they do not know that these little differences is what makes people unique and they must learn how to embrace these first before expecting others to do the same. Acting true to yourself, and others will see you for who you are and accept it. Living under a facade would be very tiring and you might break under pressure.

In my opinion, these feelings are stupid and redundant as there is no need to let something affect your life for so long. You just need to move on, make other friends, live your life with no regrets, and not brooding about unhappy stuff. There will be people who will accept you for who you are and if you make a mistake, learn from it, make it a life experience.

Extensive Reading (Chapter 1) - Jonan Ling

Question: What are your thoughts and feelings about depression, loneliness, heartbreak, being different from
your peers and having to put up a front? How do/would you deal with some of these issues?

Being depressed must feel terrible for a person. To feel like the world is better off without you, or questioning
your usefulness or your continued existence must be terrible for a person's self-esteem. To be lonely is bad too.
Every person needs someone to talk to, or to be around them in times of need. Not having such support
sometimes makes people harden themselves towards others, making them cold, unfeeling and anti-social.
Heartbreak is sometimes a cause of loneliness and depression. Say a loved one departs. First sets in heartbreak,
then the feeling of loneliness and afterwards depression, where you question your own continued presence.
Everyone is different from everyone else. To feel different is normal and isn't an issue. Having to put up a front
is a pointless effort. Eventually the masquerade will collapse and your true self will be revealed, if not now, soon.

I wouldn't know how to deal with these issues except for heartbreak. Be strong, accept what has happened and
move on. Its the only way.

Extensive Reading (Chapter 1) - Choi Min Suk

I feel that depression, loneliness, heartbreaks, being different from your peers, and having to put up a front and very common these days, especially among teens. There are many reasons leading to these, but there are the more common ones.

Depression is when a person is in extreme sadness. Usually when in depression, you want other people to know the pain that is going through you yet you do not want to tell them. You are embarrassed to tell them, as they may make fun of you or something. Sometimes, to solve this you h have to force yourself to consult someone about the matter or you may never get out of that state.
Loneliness is when you feel that no one is there for you and you have no friends. This usually occurs when there is a break up in friendship and the friendship is betrayed. The person who got 'betrayed' will tend to distant themselves from other, fearing that the same thing might happen again. Sometimes, just forgetting about and moving on with life is the best. You cannot let such a small matter stop you from progressing on in life.
Heartbreaks usually occur when a love relationship is broken, or if the person who has a crush on the other finds out that he or she is with another person. This should not be the case for youngsters, but there of course is some cases. A girl has a crush on a boy, then the girl realize the boy likes another girl, then the girl's heart breaks and the end. Sounds like a sad ending fairy tale but it is a very serious case as it may affect their studies. In fact, a BGR should not even occur during school age and they should just concentrate on their studies.
Being different from other occurs for people who have special things about their body, like handicap or needing a special device to support them. People may look down on them and make fun of them, not thinking from the different people's perspective. There is not much of a way but to ignore these people. There should be other people who are kind and thoughtful whom can be made friends with.
Putting up a front happens when you are either of them above but you do want to show it. Usually when you put up a front people do not know the reason, or sometimes they do not even know that you are suffering inside. You will be happy in front of others but will show your true colors somewhere where you are alone like in your room. You should confront a trusted person and not suffer alone.

Extensive Reading (Chapter 1) - Michelle Dapito

Question: What are your thoughts and feelings about being depression, loneliness, heartbreaks, being different from your peers, and having to put up a front? How do/would you deal with some of these issues.

I feel that depression, loneliness, heartbreaks, being different from your peers, and having to put up a front is very common nowadays especially with younger teens and teenagers nowadays. I also feel that one of the reasons this is getting more common around teens nowadays is technology. With the advancement of technology nowadays, it is easier for the people to find out about things that causes these negative feelings. Example, facebook causes news to get around at a really fast rate. Therefore, things like secrets and everything get around really fast which causes the victim to feel depressed and be isolated from everyone else.

However, I also feel that if a person aged between 9 and 17 is feelings heartbreaks, there is definitely something wrong. People in this age group are too young to be in relationships and to wear makeup to feel pretty and to fit in. People in this age group should concentrate on their studies to go into good universities and have a good future rather than concentrating on these unnecessary relationships and causing heartbreaks, which distracts them from the studies and affect their future, not only academically, but also socially. These people who belong in this age group might be too heartbroken after a break-up, and might not be too scared to try to love again in the future, which leaves them lonely. I feel that people of the ages 18 and above might be a suitable age for getting into BGR relationships as they might be already mature and are able to cope in the future when they experience heartbreaks.

I feel that people who put up a front just to fit in and not let people worry about them are people who are self-conscious. They should be more open and try to overcome their self-consciousness and try to be themselves. Real friends and family will accept them for who they are and not accept them because of their looks, height, weight, etc. As long as their character is good and they are decent people, they will be accepted for who they are. People with good character but not that good looking are much better than people who look extremely good looking but with absolutely bad attitude.

Overall, people should just learn how to accept themselves for others to accept them. They should face the music and instead of hiding from it forever.

For me, if I were to encounter any of these unfortunate incidents and feelings, I would consult an adult or a counsellor to help me overcome these problems. I would learn how to accept myself for who I am, and if my friends cannot do the same, I would be better off without them. I would find friends who would accept me, and not judge me in anyway. Those are true friends.

Extensive Reading Chapter 1 - Lee YuChong

What are your thoughts and feelings about being depression, loneliness, heartbreaks, being different from your peers, and having to put up a front? How do/would you deal with some of these issues.

I feel that all of these negativity about thoughts and feelings can be avoided easily. Even though I have not really experienced such feelings before, I find that many people have been giving themselves unnecessary negative feelings by thinking in a certain way. For example, some people are just sad and yet, everywhere, whether online or offline, they call it "depressed". If there is a sadness scale or some sort, depression is at the far end of the scale and is something I find that even counselors need help in trying to solve. It is the same thing with suicide. Those who jump off buildings have a tendency not to tell anyone and behave normally in front of others, before committing suicide the next day. Whereas, those who openly declare that they are so stressed and "depressed" are just people who exaggerate and of course, are never at that stage. Depressed has become a term in which its severity is underestimated.

I feel that the reason why people are feeling depressed, lonely, being different or having heartbreaks is mainly due to societal pressure that causes people to snap. For example, being different from peers is something that cannot be decided by the person himself, since the person was born a certain way. I for one believe that others should accept the people around them for who they are, regardless of sexual orientation, whether gay straight or bi, or for their personality. Discriminating against these people will only lead to them feeling sad, which leads to real depression.

All in all, it is all about accepting the people around you for who they are, not who you want them to be. Even if you do not like someone's personality, treating the person badly is no way to understand the person, and when no one takes the step, someone is going to snap.

For me, even though I strongly believe a person should not change just for a group of people, I long realised the concept of societal demands. Either you change your ways to be more polite or courteous, if not, you will lose out. Society does not change for us, we change for the greater good of society. Sure, it may be putting up a front and hiding your true self, but what I normally do to deal with this sort of stress is letting my hair down whenever I do not meet society face to face, and instead meet people who do not mind the other side of me.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Extensive Reading (Chapter 1) - Lee Si Yuan

Question: What are your thoughts and feelings about being depression, loneliness, heartbreaks, being different from your peers, and having to put up a front? How do/would you deal with some of these issues.

Personally, I feel that depression, feeling lonely, experiencing heartbreaks and being different from one's peers is something very common. Anyone can easily fall into these traps in society even without knowing themselves. In this modern society, there are countless problems that people face in their everyday lives and many of us do not know how to deal with them.

Everyone have problems and difficulties and it is all about knowing how to face it. For example, 2 person of similar statuses gets fired from a company and they are given the same amount of "pay" when they leave, but one of them manages to live life like how it is while the other falls into depression. The reason of this is that one of them manages to accept the fact that he/she is fired and does not moan over such issues, but rather spend the time to get another job and live life the way it was. While on the other hand, the other person does not accept the fact that he/she was fired and grieve over the issue. From here you can tell that obviously, when one does not forgive and forget, he/she can never live life the way it was.

These issues may seem very saddening to anyone and hard to deal with, but almost everyone working adult had experience it and the best way to due with these issues is to face them. When you encounter a problem, it is certain that you would feel miserable and depressed. However, you should face your problems and move on with life. Problems are just like hurdles in life. They are meant for us to challenge it, jump over it and move on. There is no use grieving with issues that happened in the past but rather you should just face the problem, find a solution and live on with life.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Extensive Reading (Chapter 1) - Johanan

Question: What are your thoughts and feelings about being depression, loneliness, heartbreaks, being different from your peers, and having to put up a front? How do/would you deal with some of these issues.

I feel that having a depression, feeling lonely, experiencing heartbreaks and being different from one's peers can be a common thing. Someone can easily fail into these traps in society without knowing and can experience these problems. In this modern society, there are countless of problems that people face in their everyday lives. When we encounter with these problems, the only thing to do is to deal with it and conquer it.

Everyone have problems and difficulties in their lifetime and it is all about how people face these problems. For example, a person can have a similar heartbreak as another person, but only one of them falls into a terrible depression. This is due to how each person faces the problem he/she encounters.

These problems may seem very saddening to one and hard to deal with. However, the best way to due with these problems is to face them. When someone encounters a problem, it is certain that the person would feel miserable and depressed. In my opinion, the person should face his/her problems and move on in life. Problems are just like hurdles in life. They are meant for us to challenge it, jump over it and move on. There is no use bottling up your feelings and feeling depressed for a long period of time. Rather, one should face the problem like a hurdle and find a solution to conquer it.

Extensive Reading Questions (Christopher John)

What are your thoughts and feelings about being depression, loneliness, heartbreaks, being different from your peers, and having to put up a front? How do/would you deal with some of these issues.

In my opinion, these issues are very real and important because many people suffer from these problems. All of these problems come from the way you act, from the words you speak and more importantly, from the mind.

Your actions will result in the way that people will treat you. Take for example, if you are aloof, proud and stubborn, do not expect people to come near you. The words you speak can hurt people or help people. If you are someone who spreads bad rumours, speaks bad things about other people, people tend to avoid you.

When people keep away from a person, the person will feel lonely, different from his/ her peers and will often put up a front so as to be accepted. Depression often comes after this.

Our mind can give us problems or it can give us solutions. Most people when they encounter problems, they use the tactic of “sweeping the problem under the carpet”. This will cause alot of problems as it will come out in the future as a bigger problem. It can cause mental blocks, irrational fear etc.

Many people in their young age suffer from slight depression. Most of them just “sweep” them into a secluded corner of their mind where they will forget about their depression temporarily. This depression will come back with a vengeance after some time, depending on how difficult the person’s life is. This is when depression comes to a critical level and people will need to seek help immediately. However, some people continue to push their depression to secluded corners of their mind. This cycle of pushing their depression into hidden corners of their minds will continue on and on until one day, this depression which had started out being very small is so large and strong that it will overcome the person’s reasoning and will eventually lead to insanity or attempted suicide.

In my opinion, whenever we face a problem, we should talk it out to someone. We can talk it out to our parents, to our teachers, to our friends and even to our pets! I know it may seem like a joke but it actually works! If you really do not have anyone to talk to, write down your problems on paper and after 10 minutes or so, read the problem that you have written down and look at it in the third person. It helps.