Year: 2014

The case for depriving your child (or even yourself) of a smartphone

For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. (Mark 4:25) Smartphone technology is a double-edged sword; it is neither completely evil nor completely beneficial. More and more, I see around me the evidence of a growing inequality — […]

The Talented Mr Seah is on iTunes and Spotify as “Kevin Ghosty”

Mr Seah is proud to announce… his first album on iTunes and Spotify! And Bandcamp, for those who wanna download the thing for free — but you can also leave me a small (or large) tip there 🙂 I’ll admit, it feels just a little strange, announcing a musical project on my website that I use […]

Life is tough. So learn how to play the guitar, you’ll be better for it!

(Watch the video first, it’s relevant to my post) Reading all the articles about the tuition industry in the past few days, it has become ever clearer to me that Singaporean parents view life here as an intensely competitive thing (“$1 billion spent on tuition in one year”; “Tuition no enough”). The strange thing is, […]

Malaysia’s command of the English language is stronger than Singapore’s?! What can we do about it?

Singapore has lost to Malaysia, in an academic contest! It is time for outrage and panic, remorse and shame! Why? Because Malaysia has attained a whopping rank of #12 — the highest in Asia — according to the EF English Proficiency Index (EF EPI). Singapore, meanwhile, has come in at #13. I like The Rambler’s take on this: […]

Learning how to play the guitar (Describe an unforgettable event or experience in your life. Why does it mean so much to you?)

(The essay below is written as if I were 16 years old. You don’t have to be an old geezer to have memorable experiences!) Things to notice: The use of sensory details (i.e. things that engage the five senses) The attempt to entertain and edify the reader The evidence of planning (a clear introduction, paragraphs that […]

Honour (Singapore) and the absence of understanding

[tl;dr] Honour (Singapore) has taken flak for its efforts so far, perhaps unfairly. Being Christian or rich does not immediately equate with dishonesty or malice. Perhaps we should take Honour (Singapore) at their word — that they want to strengthen the nation based on the value of honour.   The tone that local media has taken […]

Doing away with a Singaporean accent (Improving your pronunciation and enunciation for oral examinations)

Short answer: Use the Oxford Dictionaries‘ pronunciation guide. Select “English (UK)” if you want to sound more British, and “English (US)” for the American version. Keep your Singaporean accent, but develop a new one if you need to. Long answer: I’m an English Literature graduate, and I entered NUS with a very, very heavy Singaporean accent. […]

The joy of doing nothing.

Do nothing. Don’t look at your phone, drop the video games, deliver yourself from panicked overwork. Sit, and enjoy being alive. Stand, and enjoy breathing. No, not even that. Do nothing. Your mind is overworked, over-entertained, oversaturated with the pap of the online age. Stop. Turn off your devices. Turn off your cravings. Do nothing. […]

Pictures vs Words: a response to gptuitionsg’s views

See another powerful response to this question at Mr Steven Ooi’s blog here. (Confession: I could only write this essay because I was able to bounce my ideas off his essay first. This should be a clear message to all students reading this. Read more, it helps.) ‘A picture is always more powerful than mere […]

NLB book withdrawals/destruction: my response in three stories.

Preamble: I’ve been finding it very hard to articulate my views on the NLB book withdrawal/destruction. I’m not a fantastic storyteller, so this has to do for now. Both sides of this war have to understand each other’s pain. That’s the starting point. Then we can talk about democracy and how we want to move forward […]

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