ISSN NO. 0218-7310
INSIDE Language barrier New language electives Latin and Swedish draw polar reactions from students this semester
NEWS | Page 3
Dare to break the mould Passion is key for three students who are exploring unconventional career paths
NTU president Subra Suresh believes that the “Smart Campus” vision will add value to the NTU experience.
LIFESTYLE | Page 6-7
此届南大职业展 历年来最大规模 职业展上的参与公司高达280 间，由通讯科技，数据分析 与商品业为主，让毕业生的 就业机会琳琅满目
新闻| Page 16-17
Rise of eSports in universities Professional gaming is picking up steam in universities, but eSports players are still finding it hard for others to take them seriously
SPORTS| Page 22-23
PHOTO: LEE YI HONG
NTU president: We expect our students to change the world NTU president Subra Suresh believes that an education at NTU should culminate in more than just a paper degree Adrien Chee Freda Peh STUDENTS should be challenged and inspired for them to achieve their best for the service of the country and the world, said NTU’s new president Subra Suresh on his vision for the university. “We have to inspire them to a greater calling than just getting a degree and getting a job. It must be bigger than this,” he said. “It could be creating jobs, starting a company, going into public service; it could be just solving a mathematical theorem that nobody else can solve, because that pushes the boundaries of human intellect.” Professor Suresh took over the role as NTU president from Professor Bertil Andersson last December, and is now helming the university’s direction towards long-term scientific research and advances in technology. He believes that the “Smart Campus” vision, which involves transforming the university into one that harnesses technology for ease of learning and living, will add value to NTU students and their global competitiveness.
Recent technological advancements, such as flipped classrooms in the style of The Hive, are intended to help students learn better. Flipped classrooms offer students access to teaching content on their own, and FaceTime functions with professors to facilitate teambased learning. NTU alumni will be given credits to take post-graduation classes, allowing them to continually improve their skills and learn new ones, said Prof Suresh. Citing the Lee Kong Chian Medical School’s use of Virtual Reality (VR) to teach anatomy as an example, he said that the combination of voice, data, 3D slicing and rotation makes technology beneficial for learning. Some students, while lauding the benefits of such technology, have also encountered limitations while using them. Having taken a “Virtual and Augmented Reality” elective in her school, Chiew Yee Xin, a final-year student at the School of Computer Science and Engineering agrees with the positive impact of such technology. However, she raised concerns about its limitations, particularly the lack of first-hand experience for students. “There was no VR equipment provided and the 3D scenes in the lessons were only rendered on computers,” she said.
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NTU to be test-pad for smart initiatives NTU is looking to solidify its status as Singapore’s largest smart campus to maintain global competitiveness through cutting-edge research. The university will push to incorporate advanced technology in the daily experience of students and faculty. Students can expect greater automation of everyday services on campus such as dining, hall living, public transportation, health services and banking. NTU president Subra Suresh said that while the university is doing well in the number of strong high-end publications per faculty, the space to “try out and see what works and equally, what doesn’t work” will allow NTU to play “a very powerful part” in leading Singapore’s technological advancement. As Singapore’s largest campus spanning across 200 hectares, NTU is in a unique position to lead the “Smart Nation” initiative helmed by the government through testing of advanced technology before rolling them out on a larger scale, he added.
The NTU Blue Solutions Flash Shuttle currently travels between the North Hill Hall cluster and JTC CleanTech One.
NTU president: Faculty should accept challenge to inspire students Continued from Page 1
“Information like the types, applications and issues of VR (were) hard to grasp. It was only after I played a VR game that I learnt about its potential,” the 24-yearold said. Similarly, Daniel Kong, a second-year student from the School of Humanities, agreed that new technologies will only be helpful if they can be integrated well into existing systems. “If NTU wants to push this initiative further, it needs to design accessible systems that people feel confident tackling rather than being overwhelmed by something that is too complex to use,” the 22-year-old said. Prof Suresh said the faculty and the University should take up the challenge to inspire students to achieve their best. “You come to NTU and you get a degree, we expect you to change the world and improve the human condition. “The purpose of an NTU degree is not to get a job but be a productive leader of the local community and global community. Our alumni are expected to be leaders.”
Paving the roads of tomorrow A first-of-its-kind electric shuttle is NTU’s latest move to spearhead improvements in transport technology Sherlyn Seah CHARGING a public bus is now faster than charging your mobile phone, thanks to NTU’s recent development in public transport. In a collaboration with electric car-sharing service BlueSG, NTU has launched Singapore’s first flash-charge electric shuttle — it takes only 20 seconds to recharge between stations. A typical electric vehicle takes four to eight hours to fully charge. This is just one of the several projects headed by the university in its bid to herald a new age of public transportation. With NTU leading research in new transport technologies, there has been much buzz about these developments, especially on campus.
A brand-new campus blue NTU launched its 22-seater electric shuttle, the NTU Blue Solutions Flash Shuttle, last month. It is currently running a test route between the North Hill Hall cluster and
JTC CleanTech One in the Jurong Innovation District. Special charging stations allow for quick charging while passengers board and alight. The shuttle travels two kilometres on a single charge with backup power providing for an additional 30 kilometres, according to a press release by NTU. “The vehicle aims to be as efficient as tram systems along with fast-charge and an emission-free continuous operation,” said Marie Bollore, managing director of Blue Solutions, the parent company of BlueSG. But unlike trams, this electric shuttle operates continuously without termination of its service to recharge. Scientists from NTU’s Energy Research Institute (ERIAN) will study the actual on-road performance of the flash shuttle, including the user behaviour of passengers. This research partnership with BlueSG will run for two years, supported by the Economic Development Board. As part of the trials, NTU students would soon be able to ride the shuttle from the second half of 2018, exciting many who have seen the bus around. One of them is Hall of Residence
11 resident Ang Rui Li. “I’m excited to try the minibus after hearing about the project,” said the second-year student from the School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences.
“If these buses can operate continuously with the fastcharging, there will hopefully be more buses on the road.” Ang Rui Li, 20 Resident Hall of Residence 11
Ang, 20, also hopes that the future implementation of electric buses will shorten her travelling time. “If these buses can operate continuously with the fast-charging, there will hopefully be more buses on the road.” However, there are still some who are sceptical about these electric shuttles.
“Electric-powered devices seem to be susceptible to power failures, as compared to fuel as a tangible resource. If the electricity fails, that might just make existing bus problems worse,” said secondyear student Rachel Won from the Nanyang Business School. But according to NTU, the buses have batteries that power them internally and will not be prone to power interruptions.
Hello, tomorrow With new projects all centered around the use of electric buses, there is a shift away from traditional vehicles in NTU that rely on fuel. “This will greatly benefit the environment,” said Prof Wong Yiik Diew from the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He regularly takes the campus shuttle buses and the electric shuttle on weekends. Electric buses also provide better travel journeys as they are quieter and run more smoothly, said the associate professor, who specialises in transportation engineering and planning. Petrol-run buses are bumpier and noisier due to their engines. “While these initiatives are costly, it is a good investment for NTU and Singapore,” said Prof Wong.
New joint course between SCSE and SPMS to groom AI talent With modules in computer science, mathematics and programming, the undergraduate course will prepare students for careers as data scientists and AI specialists Shabana Begum COME August, 20 to 30 students will begin classes in a new bachelor’s programme in data science and artificial intelligence (DSAI), designed to meet growing demand for such expertise in Singapore. The undergraduate course will offer existing modules from both the Computer Science and Mathematical Sciences disciplines. New modules such as Data Visualisation and Data Applications in Natural Sciences have also been designed for the four-year programme. The current course content on the SCSE website may be subject to further changes. During their course of study, DSAI students will learn computing, mathematics and essentials in software and product development, among others.
The DSAI programme will train students to analyse data and use artificial intelligence knowledge to solve real-life problems in areas ranging from science and to environmental sustainability. Students will also get to apply their knowledge in industries such as finance, healthcare and biotechnology through applied research projects and a professional internship. The new programme was announced by NTU president Subra Suresh on 10 Jan when he shared his vision of a Smart Campus at a town hall session. Information about the new course curriculum was released on the University’s website on 17 Jan. The Career and Attachment Office’s (CAO) career consultant in Information and Communication Technology, See Wai Yen, said the demand for data scientists and AI professionals is currently higher than the supply of experts available. “Employers from various industries, from e-commerce to oil and gas, have told CAO that they would like to hire graduates who are proficient in data analysis or are knowledgeable in AI,” said Ms See. “We have had to inform them that NTU offers modules pertaining
to data and data engineering, but we don’t have a degree programme on these fields yet.” Identifying the shortage for talent at the national level, AI Singapore (AI.SG) was launched last year by a host of statutory boards such as the National Research Foundation to enhance AI capabilities in Singapore and build on the country’s Smart Nation vision. For instance, AI.SG hopes to use AI to address healthcare challenges that will come with an ageing population and make investments to catch the next wave of scientific innovation. Under its AI Apprenticeship Programme, 200 candidates proficient in programming, big data technologies and cloud computing will undergo intensive training while being mentored by industry professionals. Singaporean professionals within their first three years of graduation from university are eligible to apply for the programme. Acknowledging that data science and AI are promising disciplines, SPMS and SCSE students welcomed the new programme. “In today’s big data era, there is an insane demand for qualified data scientists in almost every
field,” said Alvin Heng, 22, a second-year student from SPMS. Tay Han Yi, a second-year student from SCSE, said she would enroll for the DSAI course if given the chance as her Computer Science major does not offer extensive training in mathematics and data analysis.
“They should join the AI community by contributing to various open source projects as developers or leaders.” Mr Laurence Liew, 50 Director, AI Industry Innovations AI.SG “In the data science field, you’d need more knowledge in mathematics and the Computer Science programme offers only three mathematics modules.
“The DSAI curriculum seems to offer a more in-depth understanding of data science,” she said. Currently, Computer Science students who are interested in data science can take up to six upperlevel modules from the data science elective focus area. Speaking to the Nanyang Chronicle, Mr Laurence Liew, director for AI Industry Innovations at AI.SG, also welcomed the new DSAI course at NTU. He said the organisation is looking forward to hiring incoming DSAI undergraduates for internships and projects if students possess the skills they are looking for. But Mr Liew also stressed that for the students to remain employable, they should not only focus on academics. “They should also join the AI community by contributing to various open source projects as developers or leaders,” he said. Open source projects refer to collaborative projects where the source code — a code that controls how a software works — is available to the public for modification, free of charge. “This is the only way to make yourself stand out.”
New Latin and Swedish electives face complications Lack of Latin teachers and low enrolment for Swedish classes have derailed plans for these courses at NTU Shirley Tay ONE is a dead language no longer spoken by anyone. The other is the native tongue of over 10 million people worldwide. But students are fighting to take classes in Latin, while low student enrolment has seen level two Swedish classes grind to a halt. Both classes were introduced by the Centre for Modern Languages (CML) last August, making NTU the first university in Singapore to offer them as language electives.
Strong demand for Latin When Latin was first offered, only 24 students were allocated spaces in the class. Fifty remained on the waitlist. This semester, 22 out of the 64 students who applied were able to snag a spot in the class. “It was a surprise because we didn’t expect anyone to want to learn a dead language,” said Dr Francesco Perono Cacciafoco, the 37-year-old Latin language coordinator. Akshay Mamidi, 24, a final-year
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering student, said, “In the past, Latin was the language of science. Being an engineer and scientist, I was attracted to the notion of learning Latin in order to read old scientific papers as they were intended to be written.” He was one of those who successfully registered for the class this semester. Despite the high student interest, the chairperson of publicity for CML, Patricia Lorenz, said more classes for Latin are not in the works. “We are unable to open new classes due to the lack of qualified Latin teachers in Singapore, and recruitment has been difficult,” she said. In the meantime, CML is still on the lookout for more qualified Latin teachers, Ms Lorenz, 50, added. Niki Eu, a third-year Linguistics and Multilingual Studies student who had taken up level one Latin last semester, was disappointed when she found out she would not be able to take a level two class. “I wanted to take Latin as another way of getting in touch with English, because many English words have Latin roots. Now that I can’t take this course, I’m afraid I might regress, especially because Latin is a language that you don’t get to use every day,”
Swedish language coordinator Mr Måns Hedberg, 51, was surprised PHOTO: SHIRLEY TAY by the low enrolment number for the Swedish level two class.
said 23-year-old Eu.
Enrolment issues for Swedish The number of students who enrolled for the Swedish level two class was not what CML expected, either. The level two class was shut down after only seven students enrolled. At least 10 to 12 students are required to keep the class open, said Ms Lorenz. “Both groups of students I taught last semester were keen on continuing on to level two. This num-
ber was lower than what we expected,” said Mr Måns Hedberg, 51, the Swedish language coordinator. Mr Hedberg added that he had received positive feedback from over 95 per cent of his students who had taken the class last semester. The Swedish level two class was scheduled to be from 12.30 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which was actually a good time slot, said Ms Lorenz. “The reason for low enrolment might not be timetable clashes, but
that there were too few level one classes to provide enough students for level two,” said Ms Lorenz. Usually, three full level one classes are required to provide enough students to fill one level two class. There are only two level one classes ongoing at the moment. Megan Ng, a first-year student from the School of Social Sciences, was keen on learning Swedish to communicate with her Swedish cousins. Ng was born and raised in Singapore and did not have any background in Swedish. “When I found out the class was closed, I texted my Swedish friends and family and started ranting to them. I didn’t want to miss out on all the inside jokes and the long Facebook posts by my Swedish relatives,” said 19-year-old Ng. CML strongly encourages students to continue beyond the introductory class to fully reap the benefits of learning a language. Two of Ms Lorenz’s German level four students were shortlisted for a grant from the Goethe-Institut, which would fully fund an immersion programme in Germany. Said Ms Lorenz: “These opportunities will only open up when you progress to a higher level in the language.”
Lifestyle One voice, different sounds Jazz, choir and a cappella. All vastly different styles of music, but Toh Xun Qiang discovers their use of similar vocal techniques that help to elevate the singing and protect the voice experience in choral singing and is now a member of Harmonix. She agreed that the mastery of basic singing techniques is crucial in becoming a versatile singer. The second-year School of Social Sciences student said that her choir experience gave her a leg up when she picked up a cappella.
“It’s about the fundamentals. I apply the same techniques for choir with a cappella. We use breathing support in the choir, and we engage our diaphragm just like for a cappella.” Illustration of a choral singer, an a cappella singer and a saxophonist.
FAMOUS singers like Adele and Sam Smith have been in the news lately for undergoing surgeries due to vocal breakdown caused by improper singing techniques. Their vocal injuries had resulted in the cancellation of their concerts. An article reported by the Straits Times last year revealed that the rise in vocal injuries is linked to the change in what is considered as good singing — the louder one’s voice, the better it is. This has led to many singers straining their vocal cords in order to achieve a more powerful sound. To protect one’s voice, the use of proper vocal techniques is essential and once mastered, can be adapted to suit different genres of singing.
Bathroom singer to tenor When Albert Yeo first joined the NTU Cultural Activities Club (CAC) Choir four years ago, he was a veteran singer — with the bathroom as his stage. “I only sang in the shower,” said the final-year School of Materials Science and Engineering student. However, Yeo’s interest in sing-
ing compelled him to join the choir in university as he wanted to learn proper singing techniques. Now, the 21-year-old sings tenor — the highest singing voice of the adult male range — in the choir, as well as in Harmonix, the University’s a cappella group.
“I only sang in the shower.” Albert Yeo, 21 Final-year student School of Materials Science and Engineering
Despite the differences between choral and a cappella singing, Yeo found that it was not difficult to switch his singing style. Choirs emphasise unified singing and the enunciation of lyrics. In a choir, female singers tend to sing with their head voice — which refers to the vibration in the head when singing in higher pitches — in
GRAPHIC: CASSANDRA LIM
order to reach higher notes. On the other hand, a cappella, or singing without any accompaniment, is performed by a group of five to eight members. A cappella music is aligned with pop music, and singers slur the words as part of their singing style, unlike in choir. However, for Yeo, the key to singing well in both styles of music lies in the basics. “It’s about the fundamentals,” he said. “I apply the same techniques for choir with a cappella. We use breathing support in the choir, and we engage our diaphragm just like for a cappella.” Breathing support refers to the inhaling and exhaling of air in a controlled manner. It is usually done through diaphragmatic breathing, where air is inhaled into the lower lungs. This causes the abdominal wall near the waistline to visibly expand and prevents singers from tiring out while singing.
Road to transitioning Cheryl Koh, 20, has four years of
“It was easy picking up a cappella because in choir, I learned how to blend my voice with others to sound like one. It’s the same for a cappella, except you have fewer people to blend with,” Koh said, adding that her transition from choral to a cappella singing was smooth. However, Wee Xuan Yi, 23, who started out as a jazz singer four years ago, had difficulty adapting to choral singing when he first joined NTU CAC Choir a few months ago. The first-year Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information student is currently a vocalist in the NTU CAC Jazz & Blues Club, and a baritone — a range lower than the tenor — in the choir. While the repertoire of songs performed in choir mostly consists of classical music, jazz, an American musical style that originated in the late 19th century, is characterised by rhythmic beats, deliberate alteration of tones and unique improvisations of songs. Having joined the choir with the
intention of learning new vocal techniques to improve his singing, Wee said that the biggest challenge he faced was trying to blend his voice with the other singers, something that his seniors often called him out for. This was different from his experience with jazz singing, where he normally sang the vocal parts on his own and had the freedom to change up the notes and rhythm according to the accompaniment of the instruments. Still, the vocal exercises that he learned in the choir and Jazz & Blues are interchangeable. Wee improves his voice for both choral and jazz singing with an extensive set of exercises that includes light full-body stretches, diaphragmatic breathing exercises, pitch glides, raspberries vocal warm-up and articulation exercises.
“It was easy picking up a cappella because in choir, I learned how to blend my voice with others to sound like one.” Cheryl Koh, 20 Second-year student School of Social Sciences
Pitch glide refers to singers enunciating a word to its highest pitch possible, while raspberries vocal warm-up, as its name suggests, involves shaping one’s mouth as if one is blowing through a raspberry while making a tone at various pitches. Wee has since been better able to blend his voice with the rest of the choir and said that the key lies in listening out to others when singing and lots of practice. He added: “While the different forms of singing sound vastly different from one another, the vocal techniques applied are a shared vocabulary that one can expand and use according to your needs.”
Sleep is for the smart Though seldom prioritised by students, having enough sleep is crucial to one’s health and well-being. Kames Narayanan finds out why and explores how students can maximise their sleep AT THE start of the semester, students are flooded with back-toschool activities organised by their faculties and halls, supper outings with friends, or mahjong and drinking sessions that last into the wee hours of the morning. And as the semester draws to a close, they burn the midnight oil to prepare for their final examinations. Unsurprisingly, many students tend to compromise on their sleeping hours. Based on a study conducted by the Duke-NUS Medical School last year, only about 20 per cent of university students in Singapore achieve the recommended amount of seven to nine hours of sleep every day. However, a lack of sleep is detrimental to one’s health and the consequences will follow through into the later years of one’s life. Harvard Medical School experts have said that people who get less than five hours of sleep a day are 15 per cent more likely to die than their peers, regardless of their age.
Sleep less, suffer more
A 2014 study conducted by the University of Michigan’s neurology department revealed that sleep-deprived students are more likely to perform poorer academically. Not only do they suffer from mental exhaustion, their attention span and information retention ability are also affected negatively. In the later years of their lives, they are also more susceptible to health problems such as hypertension, obesity, diabetes, heart attacks and strokes. “Sleep plays a major role in memory consolidation and learning. "If you don’t sleep (after learning new information during the day), it is like building a sandcastle and having the tide take it out,” said Professor Michael Chee, director of Duke-NUS Medical School’s Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience. A survey conducted last year on 209 NTU students aged 18 to 24 years old found that a majority of respondents did not get enough sleep every day. According to the four students from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information who conducted the survey, respondents attributed their lack of sleep to several factors. This includes the use of electronic gadgets close to bedtime, unconducive sleep environments, having to meet the demands of a heavy workload, and poor dietary habits. In response to their findings, the students initiated a health campaign, Get 8nough Sleep, in December last year. Through the campaign, they
Students who use their mobile phones in bed should switch on the blue light filter. Blue light from electronic screens can affect the body's ability to fall asleep. PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: NICHOLAS KOO
have reached out to more than one thousand university students in Singapore to increase awareness of the importance of healthy sleep. The group's survey also found that 89.3 per cent of their respondents used electronic devices in bed, with 35.4 per cent indicating usage for more than an hour.
“If you don’t sleep (after learning new information during the day), it is like building a sandcastle and having the tide take it out.” Professor Michael Chee Director Duke-NUS Medical School, Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience
Technology usage has been identified to greatly disrupt sleep. According to Prof Chee, the use of devices such as mobile phones causes one’s mind to become active, as one gets caught up with the activity on social media. “Even after you have turned off your e-device, you might be thinking about messages that were exchanged earlier,” said Prof Chee. This leads to an interference with the winding down process, which is the amount of time one takes to fall asleep. As the winding down process is lengthened, one's sleeping hours are reduced.
Ways to maximise sleep
To maximise sleep, it would be best if one can eliminate device usage for an hour before bedtime. Sleep quality can also be improved by activating the blue light filter on one’s devices. Exposure to blue light emitted from electronic screens has been scientifically proven to disrupt the body’s ability to produce melatonin, the hormone produced by the body to help one fall asleep. Thus, minimising the amount of blue light will help one fall asleep with more ease. A conducive sleeping environment is also needed for restful sleep. Bedrooms should be kept cool and free from any noise or light. This will calm the body and
ease the mind into sleep. Additions such as a blackout curtain, sleeping eye mask, ear plugs and humidifiers can promote better sleep and overall well-being too. Understanding the body’s sleep cycle is also crucial in improving the quality of sleep. According to American sleep specialist Michael J. Breus, who is a fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the average person has five sleep cycles per night. Each sleep cycle lasts approximately 90 minutes, adding up to about seven and a half hours of sleep daily. Even if one is unable to get the full seven and a half hours of sleep, sleep quality can still be maximised by taking sleep cycles into consid-
eration. For example, bedtime can be scheduled so that one wakes up at the end of a 90-minute cycle, which is when the body is in a lighter state of sleep. This allows one to feel refreshed upon waking up in the morning. Lastly, going to bed and waking up at the same time throughout the week helps the body regulate its sleeping hours. This gives the body at least one hour to prepare for waking, which can help to reduce early-morning grogginess. While it may be a challenge to get long hours of sleep every day, knowing how to make the most out of one’s sleeping hours is key to improving one's overall health and well-being.
THE STUDENTS' SAY “Usually I sleep an average of about five to six hours on normal school days but when it’s about two weeks before finals, my day becomes night and night becomes day. I’d study till 7am and wake up at about 12pm, continue to study, and the cycle repeats.” Vanessa Teo, 21, School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences “Typically I get about four to five hours of sleep every night. I go to bed at 3am and wake up at 7am for breakfast. Sometimes, I’ll go back to sleep after that and wake up at lunchtime.” Darryl Tan, 22, School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering “To juggle all my commitments, the only thing I can sacrifice is my sleep. I clock an average of about three to four hours of sleep per night, with some nights of hibernation when I have no school and some sleepless nights. I usually allow myself to fall asleep only around 5am, then wake up at 8am to rush for class.” Joey Chan, 21, School of Art, Design and Media “I normally go to sleep at around 2am and wake up at 9am. Though I get about six to seven hours of sleep daily, I still find myself feeling tired in the mornings.” Nadhira Putri, 20, School of Humanities
Turning passion into potential careers
While most students would take up a job related to their university degree, there are some who are exploring career paths that are vastly different from what they are studying. Xener Gill finds out why YOU are sitting in a lecture theatre, staring at the clock and counting each second that passes, wondering what your life might have been like if you had pursued your dreams instead. If you weren’t chasing a paper qualification and could do what you truly loved, perhaps you could have been a DJ, or a painter, or an emcee by now. These are the lives of three NTU students who are making those dreams their reality.
Engineering music What started out as a simple pastime has now become 23-year-old Chawit Tangsucharitvichit’s potential career. Better known as DJ CAITH, Chawit started exploring the music scene at the age of 17 when he took interest in DJ-ing. “Seeing DJs perform and watching them make the crowd go wild — I wanted to do that too,” he said. Then in junior college, he learnt the basics by watching videos of DJs and used a free desktop application to practice his DJ skills. He also picked up beat-matching — the synchronising of tempos in two different recordings — by imitating DJs he watched online. Despite not having the financial means to attend classes, he was able to get professional feedback on his music by reaching out to individuals in the industry who were willing to help. His parents were initially unwilling to support him financially as they were concerned that it might be a passing fancy. However, a year later, Chawit’s
interest in DJ-ing still showed no signs of waning. Persuaded, his parents then bought him his first DJ console. When he was 19, prominent local DJ TINC took him under her wing at DJ management company This Beat Is Sick after he emailed her for DJ-ing classes.
“Seeing DJs perform and watching them make the crowd go wild — I wanted to do that too.” Chawit Tangsucharitvichit, 23 Second-year student School of Materials Science and Engineering
Though he used to spin fortnightly for the company at Cherry Discotheque in Orchard, Chawit spins less frequently now as he is focusing on music production. He said: “DJ-ing is about playing songs made by other people, but production allows you to be more creative.” Despite his keen interest in music, Chawit is currently a secondyear School of Materials Science and Engineering student. “When I applied for university, my grades weren’t good enough to enter the School of Art, Design and Media (ADM). Since I was in the
science stream in JC, I decided to continue,” he said. While he does not mind studying engineering, he said that given a choice, he would have preferred to pursue music instead. To balance out the engineering modules that he takes in school, Chawit often takes music-related electives in ADM such as Sound Art, which provides an understanding of sound as an artistic medium. While he is actively developing his music production career, he would not mind settling for a job in engineering. “I’m open to possibilities but music is still ultimately my dream,” he said.
The art prodigy 21-year-old Dawn Kwan started painting at the age of five, has had eight solo art exhibitions to her name, and has raised almost $500,000 for charity through art auctions and donations. The second-year Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information student said: “My parents started me young to develop in me a strong sense of compassion for the disadvantaged through art.” Kwan draws inspiration for her art from human bodies, dance, nature, bold colors and other artists. Besides painting, she also dabbles in ceramics — during her latest exhibition, which was held last August at the Ion Art Gallery, all her ceramic pieces were sold out. However, it was not always easy to pursue her passion. “There were times that I felt like giving up, as it was very difficult
for my parents to support this talent,” she said. Painting is an expensive hobby to fund due to the costly materials required, and artworks are timeconsuming to create. “Many times, my artworks were sold at much less than what I felt the painting was worth, due to the time and effort that I spent on it.” She decided to take up a communications degree, as her parents wanted her to pursue a degree that would ensure her financial stability in the future. “A communications degree is probably the closest academic degree to art, so I chose to pursue it and to specialise in advertising,” said Kwan.
that I have to fulfill a client’s requirements and opinions.”
“My parents started me young to develop in me a strong sense of compassion for the disadvantaged through art.” Dawn Kwan, 21 Second-year student Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information
In school, Kwan puts her artistic skills to use by taking design modules such as Print and Digital Publication, which covers the fundamentals of newspaper and magazine design. However, she regards her degree as a safety net and intends on pursuing art as a career in the future. She hopes to set up her own studio in the next five years where she can practice and teach art. “To me, success involves recognising, creating and sharing art and beauty. “I think I will be able to achieve this best through pursuing art.”
She added: “Advertising and fine art both involve processes of ideation and execution of ideas through artistic skills, but I think advertising limits me because of the fact
Miss Angelene Singh graduated from the School of Chemistry and Biological Chemistry last semester. However, unlike her peers who
“Many times, my artworks were sold at much less than what I felt the paining was worth, due to the time and effort that I spent on it.” Dawn Kwan
Chemist with a flair for speaking
CHRONICLE 07 took up jobs in the science industry, she is now working as a freelance emcee. “I was never really the shy type so I didn’t struggle with speaking or presenting in front of an audience,” said the 24-year-old, whose first time emceeing was for an awards ceremony when she was in Primary Six. She continued emceeing for school events in secondary school, then began taking on emcee jobs when she was in polytechnic. With five years of experience under her belt, Miss Singh has had the chance to emcee for international events like the 28th SEA Games, and has rubbed shoulders with prominent people like Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
“I was never really the shy type so I didn’t struggle with speaking or presenting in front of an audience.” Angelene Singh, 24 Fresh graduate School of Chemistry and Biological Sciences
However, Miss Singh was never formally trained as an emcee. Instead, most of her schooling years were spent in the laboratory. “My parents were not supportive of me pursuing a communications diploma, so I studied Chemical
and Pharmaceutical Technology instead,” she said. She continued studying Chemistry in university for the same reason. While Miss Singh is not discounting the possibility of a science career, she is focusing on developing her career in the media industry. Though she enjoys the creativity that chemistry allows in areas such as forensic science and food science, there are high risks if mistakes are made. On the other hand, she enjoys the spontaneity of being an emcee, as she can express herself freely without such high stakes. Miss Singh intends to continue freelance emceeing, but hopes to eventually transition to TV or radio presenting. She said: “It is very rewarding when people from the audience stop you to say that you’re doing a good job and that they are enjoying themselves because of you.”
5 1. Chawit is currently experimenting with creating original songs with his vocalist friends. While he has no plans to release those songs now, he is considering doing so in the near future. PHOTO: @clarenceljy (Instagram) 2. Chawit’s favourite genres to mix are electro-future and trap. He recently released an unofficial remix for Jasmine Sokko, a singer-producer in the electronic music industry, on his SoundCloud. PHOTO: @maxwongstudio (Instagram) 3. As an emcee, Miss Singh enjoys putting on different personas to suit different events. PHOTO: PLAYMAKER 4. Miss Singh started emceeing when she was 12 years old and has since had the opportunity to host prestigious events such as the 28th SEA games. PHOTO: ANGELENE SINGH 5. Kwan’s paintings from her latest exhibition, held in August last year, cost between $6,000 to $15,000. She has sold a total of four paintings thus far, and intends to donate 20 per cent of her art proceeds to charity. PHOTO: CHAWIT TANGSUCHARITVICHIT
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Photo Editor Nicholas Koo uncovers three full-time heroes who go the extra mile in their service
EVERY day, Mr Philip Chong rises at 6 a.m. for breakfast. Since his work shift at the KFC outlet in NTU only begins at noon, Mr Chong spends the rest of the morning writing notes for his customers. He writes about 60 notes each day, filled with words of encouragement and smiley faces for students and staff at NTU. Mr Chong, 64, known affectionately by students as “Uncle Philip”, started this habit of writing for students when he began working in NTU two years ago. “The students often look very glum — like they had just come out of a battle,” he said. Besides attracting more customers to KFC with his acts of goodwill, Mr Chong also receives letters from students wanting to show their appreciation for his efforts. He hopes that through his words, the students will spread the kindness to others and give back to society. One student who received the note was Darren Tan, a second-year student from the Asian School of the Environment. Tan felt that the words boosted his morale. “I was having a really terrible day, but the letter gave me hope. Encouragement from the most unexpected person really comes as a pleasant surprise,” said the 23-year-old. After heading home for dinner and a nap, Mr Chong continues his note writing until 2 a.m. before his day starts anew. Mr Chong is not the only person caring for NTU students. Mr Chew Teck Kuan cleans the corridors of Crescent Hall and also arranges the shoes of the students living there. Tidiness is something Mr Chew picked up from home. In Mandarin, he said: “You wouldn’t leave your shoes lying around everywhere at home, would you?” The 60-year-old says that he treats the students like his children and the hall as
heroes his home. Eunice Chia, a second-year-student from Nanyang Business School, said she has never seen a cleaner who does his job so diligently. “I appreciate that he goes out of his way to make us a little happier by letting us return to a neat corridor,” said the 21-year-old. Fortunately, his efforts have not gone to waste. Mr Chew says that some students pick up the habit after a while and continue arranging their own shoes. “Hopefully, through this, they can learn to look after themselves in the future.” Deeper within the NTU complex, students staying at Halls of Residence 10 and 11 now have the luxury of getting supper from their shared canteen after hours, without needing to head out of school to coffee shops nearby. This is because the canteen’s waffles stall opens late for hungry students, introducing a
“night special” menu – which changes every night – offering delicacies from carrot cake to curry chicken with rice. Madam Lilis, the owner of the stall, puts service before self. She opens her store until 11.30 p.m. when most stores in NTU close after dinner time. Natasha Lowe, a 21-year-old student from the School of Social Sciences, looks forward to her interactions with Mdm Lilis when buying snacks from her. “She’s such a warm person. I can feel love just by buying food from her and seeing her around hall,” she said. The 42-year-old tries to keep her prices low and rarely turns away students, even when she is tidying up for the day. “If Auntie can make for you, Auntie will make for you. Let you all enjoy first, don’t go to sleep hungry.”
1. Mr Chew Teck Guan begins his janitorial duties at Crescent Hall early every morning. 2. Mr Chew makes sure that the shoes outside the students’ dorm rooms are neatly arranged, believing that tidiness is a virtue. 3. Mr Chew, at age 60, has worked at NTU for six months. Mr Chew hopes that the residents will take care of their living spaces as they would their home. 4. Mr Philip Chong, or “Uncle Philip”, gives out handwritten notes to his customers every day. 5. “You must have passion for what you do, or you will not be consistent (in your efforts),” said Mr Chong. He never fails to give out handwritten notes to customers every day. 6. Mdm Lilis runs the waffles stall at Hall of Residence 11 way past dinner time to cater to hungry students. She is helped by her nine-year-old son Filbert, who is her “pillar of support”. PHOTOS: NICHOLAS KOO
A study sheds light on why we put our trust in some strangers and not others Loh Pui Ying Cara Wong WHEN undergraduate Denise Tan walked into an event organised by the Chinese Studies department, she saw many unfamiliar faces. After scanning them, the freshman struck up a conversation with senior Phyllis Wong. Pressed for why she made that choice, Tan said Wong resembled a secondary school friend. Tan admits she feels a connection with strangers who remind her of friends, particularly those from her secondary school, CHIJ Toa Payoh. “It’s a sense of familiarity. I feel they would be good people and I can trust them,” she said. She is not alone. A study published this month showed people are more likely to trust strangers if they look like someone they already know and trust. Similarly, people stay clear of those who resemble someone who has done them a bad turn. The US study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, got participants to play a money game
PHOTO: RANJA ANDRIANTSOA/NATURE
Mutant ninja crayfish
GRAPHIC: TAN XIN JIE
involving three men shown to them in photographs. After some 45 rounds, the participants learnt who among the three could be trusted. The participants then had to select partners for a new game from photographs. What they did not know was some of the images were doctored Humanity Star A man-made ball orbiting Earth every 94 mins. 279km from Earth at its closest point
to resemble the man who proved to be untrustworthy. Consistently, the participants chose strangers who looked like the man who could be trusted, and avoided ones who resembled the less trustworthy man. Monitoring brain activity as the choices were made, the researchers found the part of the brain that
perceives threats was actively recording features of the man that could not be trusted among the photographs. This shows there is likely to be a mechanism in the brain that draws on prior learning to help us make decisions to trust or distrust strangers, the researchers concluded.
A 1909 penny On Curiosity, the rover exploring Mars
A 10-legged mutant capable of cloning itself and taking over native species has been found in the form of a marbled crayfish — descended from a single female. The freshwater marbled crayfish clones itself rapidly and can be found in waters around Europe, Africa and Japan, where it aggressively competes with its marine counterparts. German scientists first identified the species in an aquarium in 1995, where it had been bred accidentally. In three months, one crayfish cloned itself to form an army of 300.
Clyde Tombaugh’s remains On board New Horizons 6,200 million km away from Earth, leaving our solar system
Ng Yi Shu ON FEB 6, space became the final frontier for Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster, the latest of strange things humanity has sent into the void. Blaring songs such as Space Oddity, Starman and Life On Mars, the car was carried into orbit by SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy — touted as the world’s most powerful rocket. Just two weeks earlier, New Zealand startup Rocket Lab launched a 65-sided giant disco ball, the Humanity Star, to be the brightest object in the night sky for nine months when it will re-enter the atmosphere. Scientists have condemned the object as mere space graffiti.
Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster Orbits the Sun every 19 months. 147 million km from the Sun at its closest point
Lego figurines of Jupiter, Galileo and Juno Orbits Jupiter every 53 days. 4,200 km from Jupiter at its closest point
SOURCES: NASA, FLORIDA CENTER FOR INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNOLOGY, JOHN OLSEN, THE TELEGRAPH
But strange objects have been sent to the heavens for many years now. In 2011 Curiosity was sent to explore the Red Planet; its cargo included a 1909 US penny — a homage to the practice of using
pennies to measure objects by geologists, according to NASA. The same year, NASA launched the probe Juno to orbit Jupiter, carrying three Lego figurines: the Roman god Jupiter, his wife Juno, and the first observer of the planet’s
moons, Galileo Galilei. Unlike Lego’s other plastic figurines, these are made out of aluminium to withstand the harshness of space. Farther away, attached to New Horizons, are the remains of Clyde Tombaugh, an American
astronomer who was the first to discover Pluto. His remains are on the probe currently making its way out of the Solar System. Other notable people who have been buried in space include Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry.
TO CHANGE THE WORLD, START SMALL IT WAS 1976. A young Bangladeshi professor had discovered that with just US$27, he was able to help 42 villagers who were too poor to qualify for bank loans with their businesses. He decided to expand on this new idea of microcredit, which is a concept of lending small amounts of money to the poor to support their entrepreneurship and help them create a sustainable way of life. The man is Muhammad Yunus, the founder of Grameen Bank and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. Retired at the age of 72, Mr Yunus’ spark of an idea has helped millions of impoverished Bangladeshis finance their own businesses. The concept is applied worldwide today, extending to even the poorest communities in Arkansas, US. With his compassion, foresight, and US$27 to start, Mr Yunus changed the world. NTU president Subra Suresh’s urge for students to change the world might be daunting. It does seem like a tall order for students who are just beginning to navigate through their twenties. But the key to making a big impact is to realise that we can start small. And this is achievable by everyone.
A Singaporean engineer’s wish to give his flight attendant girlfriend a hug, wherever she was, led to the creation of a jacket that can remotely “hug” people. The special vest, created by Dr James Teh, now helps to comfort children with special needs, and is being exported to 12 countries around the world. Simple ideas designed with empathy in mind can eventually lead to stunning outcomes. Instead of burdening yourself with the expectations of making huge waves of impact, start by being aware of your surroundings. Think of ways to improve situations for the people around you. Start small. An impactful change happens in a series of steps, and initial steps might simply involve expanding one’s worldview, or discovering new ways to improve one’s weaknesses. It could mean learning a new language to build connections, understanding one’s heritage to strengthen identity, or embarking on exciting career paths beyond one’s degree. And when in doubt, draw inspiration from this quote out of the autobiography of former US President Theodore Roosevelt: “Do what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are.”
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We are not saviours Sherlyn Seah OVERSEAS volunteer work is altruistic at heart. But often, these Overseas Community Involvement Programme (OCIP) trips are too short for participants to witness the fruits of their labour. Right after constructing buildings, teaching kids English or providing proper sanitation to a village, the trip is over and everyone returns home. Participants cannot witness the impact they have made. On the other hand, they receive tangible and intangible gifts from the locals, be it in the form of food and shelter, or through the eyeopening experiences. This disparity sometimes leaves volunteers wondering if they could have done more, because the actual “value” of their contributions is so hard to ascertain. Perhaps a mindset change is needed for overseas volunteers to feel more positively about their contributions overseas — by focusing more on the quality of their exchanges with the local community, rather than just the outcome of their efforts.
Finding purpose I returned recently from Laos feeling conflicted about what overseas volunteerism meant. My team travelled to the village of Nuang Long in the Vientiane province for our trip. We replaced the local school building by constructing one out of concrete, and taught the children dance, sports, and arts and craft. Over our two weeks’ stay, we received so much warmth from the
locals. We were even invited by a local family who cooked and hosted us. I learnt a lot about spreading compassion and being contented with what I have. While we provided a sturdier school facade for them, I came back feeling heavy-hearted — partly from the emptiness of bidding goodbye to the children, but mostly from the guilt of receiving so much from that community. Looking for answers, I consulted Mr Sahari Ani, director of Singapore Red Cross Youth, for his take on the overseas volunteerism scene. “It is too ambitious to go overseas with the mentality that we can change lives in a few days. For change to really happen, you need consistent involvement for an extended time period,” he said. Mr Sahari also reinforced the importance of setting clear objectives. “For such short OCIP trips, rather than helping people per se, we should go overseas to support the people there and try to contribute to their welfare.” Rather than a mission to change lives, these trips can serve as more of a learning journey, with the hope that we can leave behind some sort of positive impact along the way.
On equal ground We should not see ourselves as saviours to the less fortunate, but learn to empathise with them and put ourselves in their position. “The mindset Singaporeans should have when going for these overseas trips should be one that is ready to learn about the local culture. Not seeing them as more infe-
rior than us, but simply different,” said undergraduate Nicole Tan, who studies social work at the Singapore Institute of Management. “By remaining humble in this way, we will be able to be more open to interact and find out more about these people.” While we provide resources, build infrastructure, and introduce the locals to our culture as volunteers, we attain life skills and broaden our own perspectives.
Beyond just experience As participants, we know how we have been personally impacted. We have learned, experienced, and gained. These learning journeys are beneficial for us to mature as global citizens. Casimir Lim, the co-chair of Hall of Residence 1’s OCIP, Project Ohana, said: “OCIP is for self-exploration and to learn how to serve a new community.” Lim went to Laos last year, and will lead another group to Thailand this year. He recognises that OCIP is as much for personal development as it is for service. Volunteering abroad shows recognition that a world exists beyond our own country’s borders. It demonstrates a willingness to become part of a global community. It encourages us to be more interconnected and allow us to embrace differences and positive changes. When we no longer see ourselves as saviours who can change the world, but as individuals keen to broaden our perspectives, we can stand to gain new skills and make the most out of the OCIP journey.
GRAPHIC: CASSANDRA LIM
Fandom not only makes up a part of a fan's identity, it also becomes a sanctuary for them to learn, exchange and grow Ariel Pang BLOOD is thicker than water, the proverb goes. But author-historian Albert Jack, who studies the origins of common English phrases, says that the proverb actually refers to “blood pacts” between friends being stronger than connections made in the “water of the womb”. These two ideas are direct opposites of each other. Yet, I would argue that both familial bonds and bonds forged out of friendship have important and unique roles in shaping our identity. I believe that the bonds formed within fandoms are no less important than those in an actual family. Fandoms are communities brought together through common interests, ranging from comics to music bands to sports. They can theorise about the next twist (read: death) in Game of Thrones, engage in online debates over whether Severus Snape was a hero or villain, or rally to support a scandal-hit idol. To fans who share similar passions for an idol or a fictional universe, a fandom can transform an individualistic interest into a com-
munal one that becomes part of their everyday life.
Somewhere to belong All of us have a group of friends that we view as a second family. It might be a secondary school clique, or a sports team, or an orchestra. There are experiences we share in these groups that we do not share with anyone else — vacations, tournaments, or performances. Similarly, fans look to likeminded people for emotional support and growth. In fandom, “one is oneself, but also one is part of a larger group”, writes DePaul University communications professor Paul Booth.
If my family has taught me values and expectations of the world, then fandom has taught me to challenge them and consider new ones. Having a common interest allows fans to strike up friendships with each other quickly. After prolonged interaction, their relationships can move beyond the online sphere to become a support system that has very real impacts on their lives. In late December last year, Korean singer Jonghyun committed
suicide, taking many by shock and sparking an outpouring of grief from fans worldwide. Online, fans banded together to mourn him and provide emotional support for each other. In Singapore, fans organised a memorial service for him at Hong Lim Park that saw a turnout of over 1,000 mourners. Much like a family in mourning, they found solace in each other as they understood and appreciated the significance of their shared loss.
The hidden self But why not turn to one’s own family to seek understanding? There is a certain level of shame associated with being part of a fandom, University of New South Wales senior lecturer Rebecca Williams writes. Fans are conscious that their interests might be seen as a waste of time by others. Stereotypes surrounding fandoms do not help either. As an anime fan, I often hesitate to reveal my interests due to the otaku stereotype, which has connotations of being obsessive and socially inept. Other activities such as figurine collecting or creating fan art can also be seen as an improper use of time that could be better spent on other things like schoolwork. Hence, many fans do not share their interests with their families, and they take care to remove all associations between their online pseudonyms and their real identity, according to the editors of the academic journal Transformative
Works and Cultures. In turn, the fan’s family and friends find themselves alienated when it comes to fandom. Some are bemused at the fan’s behaviour, and others are disapproving. Fans then find themselves drawn closer to their second family for solace.
We fight, we make up As expected, conflict is everpresent in fandom. But just like in real families, conflicts can bring fans closer together. It can also help to expose them to new viewpoints. Conflicts commonly arise as fans with strong opinions clash over issues within the fandom. One common cause of conflict would be the romantic pairing of two characters in a story, also known as “shipping”. Differing opinions over these relationships can result in heated debates in fandoms, with some fans writing long essays to argue their case. The researchers behind the paper How a Conflict Changes the Way How (sic) People Behave on Fandoms say this is because “(the fan’s) shipping choice becomes part of their identity, (and) it becomes important to defend it”. Fan disputes are not easily resolved or set aside, if ever, University of Wisconsin-Madison media studies professor Derek Johnson says. Instead, the fans learn to accept differing opinions, though the tension is never really resolved. Despite this, such tensions can push fans to consider other per-
spectives and refine their own arguments. This constant exchange opens up new windows for learning from each other, especially when fans hail from a wide variety of backgrounds. In an entry on fandom news site Hypable, writer Danielle Zimmerman said: “I didn’t grow up in a box or an isolated environment, but until participating in fandom discourse, I never really knew the sheer scope of human experiences that exists.” This sentiment resonates deeply with me. Debates within fandoms have taught me many perspectives beyond my formal education or my immediate social circle, such as issues revolving around themes such as gender identity, mental illnesses, and politics. Even events such as the Orlando nightclub shootings in June 2016 hit closer to home, as a fandom friend of mine was in close proximity to the tragedy. If my family has taught me values and expectations of the world, then fandom has taught me to challenge them and consider new ones. Indeed, fandom is where likeminded individuals come together for each other, a sanctuary where they can be free to embrace their passions, and a place for them to learn from one another. No fandom is perfect. Fan members will always have their conflicts and disagreements. But then again, no family is. My fandom is my family, and I’m proud to call it home.
Witch-hunting in the digital age
Instead of persecuting wrongdoers online, let us fuel the Internet with compassion and empathy Kimberly Ng WITCH-HUNTING has evolved from the persecution of wrongdoers in the 18th century to the online flaming of individuals in modern times. The motivation remains the same. People want to see justice being delivered. More often than not, they rely on their own understanding of the story, formed through information from various sources. These include word of mouth, social media posts and newspaper articles. By forming interpretations of a story, people reach different opinions, with room for revision if new information is obtained. While there is nothing wrong with having opinions and expressing them online, people asserting their opinions as the truth may be problematic. That becomes a form of judgement. In this age where we can connect our thoughts and emotions to millions around the world with the click of a button, exchanging opinions give us the opportunity to learn and mature. But when we hastily assert our judgments, we may ignore the ideas of others and shut down any possible lines of communication. This can result in conflicts online,
which may translate to consequences offline.
Hope charity event. The request was granted, on the account that the girls would wear wigs when they returned to school. Three of the girls did not fulfill their promises and were made to buy wigs before attending class. Word spread and people criticised Mrs Tan online, posting comments such as “incompetent bigot” and “ugly old-fashioned hag”. The issue caught the attention of mainstream media outlets. Because of the backlash, thenMinister of Education Heng Swee Keat had to speak with Mrs Tan and post an explanation of the incident on his Facebook page. Mrs Tan also made an apology to the school during morning assembly. In this instance, the online space was able to facilitate discussions on empathy towards cancer patients, the importance of keeping promises, and the rigidness of school rules. Such talking points can help to create a more mature society. However, comments that propagate hate and make personal attacks on individuals will breed narrow-mindedness and are likely to have the opposite effect.
Havoc online and offline American YouTuber Logan Paul found the body of a suicide victim in the Aokigahara forest in Japan and posted a reaction video, capturing the body on film and blurring the face of the deceased. Posted in late December 2017, the video chalked up over six million views before it was taken down, amid backlash from the online community. Many criticised the video for being disrespectful and insensitive to the struggles and pain of the many people who had committed suicide in the forest. However, there were those who took things a step further. People condemned Paul with death threats, and petitions filed to shut down his YouTube channel garnered over 660,000 signatures. Fearing for his safety, Paul hired a security team to monitor his home in Los Angeles. Eventually, YouTube removed his account from their Google Preferred system and suspended all advertisements on his videos. It is natural for us to put blame on wrongdoers. The person should repent and take corrective measures. But when the mob goes beyond that and threatens the lives and livelihood of the people involved, then witch hunting has taken things too far.
The aftermath When witch hunting occurs online,
GRAPHIC: BRENDAN TAN
we are often too quick to jump to conclusions and assert our claims. We forget that our words have tangible consequences. In 2013, five students from St Margaret’s Secondary School sought the permission of their then-principal, Mrs Marion Tan, to take part in the annual Hair for
Misinformation The danger of online discussions is that information often represents only part of the story. Netizens might also only seek out information that aligns with their own pre-existing attitudes. Hence, the public may make misinformed judgements in the name of justice. In 2017, an account of a road dispute between drivers of a BMW
and Chevrolet was shared on social media. A dashcam video clip was uploaded by the BMW driver first, and he received backlash as the public accused him for not giving way to the Chevrolet. When the Chevrolet driver posted his video, public criticism was directed at him instead. It was deemed that he had overtaken the BMW dangerously. This incident shows how quickly public opinion can be swayed. Associate Prof Tan Ern Ser, a sociologist from the National University of Singapore, said: “The vigilantes and their audiences may be too quick to judge without knowing the full facts, given a tendency to act on the basis of partial information and an inclination towards self-righteousness, manifested as ‘righteous’ anger.” Netizens need to be careful not to make a spectacle out of the misfortune of others. Making judgements can be thrilling, but as NTU sociology professor Sam Han said: “To treat (people) and their suffering or misfortune as entertainment speaks quite poorly of our capacity for empathy and compassion.” At the core, online witch hunting seeks to right a wrong. But there are other ways to fight for worthwhile causes. For instance, the empowering #metoo and #timesup movements saw people banding together worldwide on social media to stand up and speak out against sexual harassment. Rather than spiraling down a tunnel of hate, let us work towards a more empathetic society.
The clothes make the student Dress better, feel better — more than just an old adage, it has been proven that our choice of clothes can help us improve our productivity and relationships Kames Narayanan IT IS a common sight for students to turn up at lecture halls in T-shirts, singlets and shorts they could have very well slept in the night before. Disgruntled with students attending classes in “nightclothes”, a citizen wrote in to The Straits Times in December 2017, suggesting that dress codes should be implemented in tertiary institutions. He said this will be able to “demonstrate to the world that we are a disciplined society”. The letter quickly generated debate online, as netizens questioned if clothes made the student or not.
While the association between being disciplined and being welldressed may be a bit of a stretch, I believe that a student’s dressing does matter.
Dressing up the mind Over the years, I have noticed the clothes I don seemed to affect my level of productivity and alertness. When days are particularly dreary, I find myself taking greater care of my image. Somehow, dressing better is able to lift my mood. Initially, I dismissed this connection as I thought my performance should be attributed to my state of mind instead of my clothes. However, Dr. Adam D. Galinsky, speaking to The New York Times in April 2012, stated that clothes have an effect on our cognitive processes. He added that people think not only with their brains but also with their bodies, and that extends to the clothes they choose to wear. Hence, chances are that when one is dressed shabbily, one’s at-
titude will reflect nonchalance whereas a smartly dressed individual will be driven by a sense of importance and productivity.
way of dressing is apparent. However, this point seems to have been lost amongst our generation of tertiary students.
A sign of respect
First impressions count
While there are no dress codes or uniforms in Singapore universities, I have always felt the need to dress for the occasion, as a display of respect for both the institution and its lecturers. This idea has been ingrained in me from a young age. Growing up, my mother paid more attention to the way I dressed than even I did. Even for tuition classes just a couple of blocks away, my mother’s orders were clear — I was to dress smart casual. Shorts, in particular, were forbidden. “You are going to study, there’s no need to expose so much of your body. Be respectful!” were the words from her every time she deemed my outfit inappropriate. To someone brought up in a markedly conservative society, the association between respect and
First impressions count, and have been proven to last longer than the initial meeting. A test conducted by a team of researchers at Cornell University to determine the longevity of first impressions suggest that they can linger for up to six months and affect the way people feel about a particular person. Participants were instructed to look at photographs of four women. After that, they were asked to evaluate them for likeability and also the probability for participants to form friendships with the women in the photographs. Within one to six months, participants were tasked to interact with the women and evaluate them again for their likeability and personality traits. Results showed a strong con-
sistency between the participants’ evaluations of the photographs and their offline interactions. Termed as the self-fulfilling prophecy, researchers stated that people tend to carry positive impressions through offline conversations and interactions. One of the researchers who is a psychology professor at Cornell University, Vivian Zayas, said that participants were more friendly with the women in the photographs they liked. “They respond in kind. And it’s reinforcing: The participant likes that person more,” she said. Naturally then, in university where first impressions are often made when we meet new professors and students, it pays to forge healthy relationships from the beginning rather than have to work at undoing an initial bad impression. Leave the sloppy FBT shorts and camp T-shirts to the confines of the bedroom and give the casual day dress or dressy shorts a chance. Let your clothes make you, for once.
牺 牲 自 我 回 馈 社 会 南 大 学 生 散 播 爱 心
南大商科女生 为自闭弟弟成立义工团 黄璟蕙● 报道
新加坡西部的一间公寓 里，姐姐艺宁和她患有 自闭症的弟弟屹锐正在家里的 活动室里玩乐。当地上的的手 机响了，屹锐伸手想把手机捡 起来。21岁的徐艺宁却轻轻阻 止，问到：“手机响了，你要 帮忙接，你是不是要先问一问 手机的主人？” 姐弟两正在家中进行教学活 动，让患有自闭症的屹锐学习 如何与人交流。
远赴美国参加训练 徐艺宁是一名南洋商学院的二 年级生。与众不同的是，她在 初级学院毕业后，与家人远赴 美国学习自闭症的治疗计划， 然后回国为患有自闭症的弟弟 屹锐组织一个义工治疗团,召集 义工。除了让弟弟学习与人交 流，义工们也同时能学习到如 何与患有自闭症的人沟通。 艺宁与家人经办的治疗活 动是根据美国自闭症治疗中 心（Autism Treatment Centre of
America）所创立的“ Son-Rise Program”设计的。“ Son-Rise Program”是一个居家活动，让
父母通过模仿和接受自闭症孩 童的言行举止，让孩子学习与 父母和他人交流。 艺宁表示，活动是由母亲于 2015年开始的。当时的屹锐还 在普通的学校上学，只能用周 末的时间来进行治疗。可是， 家人觉得学校和治疗计划所注 重的方向不一样，所以决定让 屹锐全面专心治疗。 她受访时说：“学校注重课 业，而我们的活动比较注重社 交技巧。母亲让屹锐在2017年 退了学，让他全天在家中学习 和别人交流。我们觉得，他在 学会和其他人相处后可以重新 回到学校读书。”
为了活动休学一年 当艺宁与家人决定让屹锐退学 时，艺宁也同时休学，协同母 亲维持这个活动。 她说：“我们开始活动时， 我知道要做的事情很多，比如 照顾屹锐，召集义工，为义工
们安排面试和训练。所以在那时 候，我就决定休学一个学期。可 是后来就因为需要更多的时间发 展活动，所以休了一个学年。” 母亲品女士表示，艺宁愿意 为了弟弟暂停学业，让她感到非 常欣慰。 她说：“我当时觉得，她花 时间帮助弟弟会比花时间读书更 有意义。她平时并不是一个很果 断的人，所以当她告诉我她愿意 休学的时候，我真的很开心，也 很欣慰。” 屹锐的家人决定把这个治疗 活动扩展，让有意帮助自闭症儿 童的义工参与。艺宁制作了宣传 海报，召集想了解自闭症儿童 的南大学生。义工们每个星期会 到艺宁的家中利用两个小时的 时间，和十岁的屹锐在游戏室 交流。活动包括教导屹锐基本礼 貌，如何与人交谈。义工们有时 也会与屹锐出游，到新加坡各地 游玩。 艺宁说：“我们的活动没有 特定的结构，但是我们会鼓励义 工准备一些活动。之后，我们会 给义工一些建议。“
义工们与屹锐的活动包括为 图片涂上颜色，拼图。义工们 也会选择与他讨论一个特定的 话题，如农历新年。义工们的 活动会随着屹锐的进展改变。
活动义工感触良多 而参与活动的义工们也从乐在 其中，社会科学院的学生卓毅 杰（25岁）从去年二月开始参 与义工团的工作。 这名三年级生说：“我参加 这个活动，感到开心事是一定 的。但是除了开心以外，我在 看到屹锐成长进步的时候感到 非常窝心。除此之外，我也觉 得这个治疗法和我学到对抗自 闭症的普通治疗法相比，是一 个比较温和，人性的方法。所 以这份活动同时也启发了我。” 同样来自社会科学学院的Siti Syazana Binti Abdul Halim（22 岁）则表示，这项活动让她觉 得她能够帮到屹锐。 她说：“我在考完A水准后， 在忆恩学校（The Eden School） 当过实习生。虽然这个活动 的模式与我在实习时的活动不 同，但是我觉得通过这个活动 让我可以进入屹锐的世界。就 算我在做义工之前来不及计划 前一个小时的活动，但是在活 动之后，我依然感到很充实。” 艺宁表示，自己和母亲对于
活动没有特定的长期计划，而 是希望能根据屹锐的进展一步 一步帮助他。 她说：“我认为‘ Son-Rise 计划’非常尊重患有自闭症的 人，而最重要的是：计划相信 自闭儿能够康复。与普通的治 疗方式不一样的是，屹锐与别 人交流获得的奖赏是我们，不 是玩具。”
News in brief To ensure that her autistic brother, Yi Rui, receives better care, second-year Nanyang Business School student Cher Yi Ning underwent training at the Autism Treatment Centre of America and returned to Singapore to start a volunteer programme for him. The volunteers, recruited from NTU, are guided by Cher and her mother to help Yi Rui improve his social skills through activities based on the Son-Rise Program. Compared to school curriculum, the programme focuses more on social skills instead of academics.
析网购客户的大数据、 制造人工智能机器、管 理资源公司的供应链 —— 这些 就是南大毕业生即将闯入的新 职场。 南 洋理工大学在2月1、6及9 日举行了一年一度的职业展览 会。今年的展览会打破前例纪 录，参与的公司从去年的230多 名增加到数280家，其中有数90 家公司第一次参与。展览会提 供了为数4000个就业与实习机 会，预料每天将吸引9000多名 学生前来求职。
通讯科技领域迅速发展 新 参与的公司大多来自咨询通 讯科技（Infocomm Technology） 领域，反映了职场科技化 最新的时代趋势。 南大教务长兼副校长（学 术）林杉教授在展览会开幕致 词，表示：第四波工业革命继
续在世界各地掀起。这新的工 业模式，“工业4.0”集中了 人工智能、纳米技术、三维印 刷、物联网等领域的相互作 用，能够创新未知的现实。 工 业革命背后的推动力是转 换的商业模式。就业与实习指 导处（Career and Attachment Office）主任卢沛华先生指出, 消 费主义驱使了科技化的进程。 随着网购的迅速扩张，区块链 技术（Blockchain Technology） 的增长，许多供应商也纷纷参 与科技化进程。这为许多毕业 生创造新求职机会。 他 说：“求职学生需要懂得 分析数据中的趋势，以便为公 司进行各方面的数据分析。” 首 次参与职业展览会的NTT Data Business Solutions就更给予 学生这种就业机会。NTT Data 正招聘技术分析师（ technical analyst ），以便为各公司收集 大数据，从新整理并提取有关 的资料再进行分析，从数据提
出商业解决方案与商机。 TT Data的咨询总监邓福汶 N 说，科技分析能提供有依据的 见解，各公司可用新见解促进 生意发展。 NTT Data从早上就见连绵不 断的人潮，可见许多学生围绕 展位向工作人员查询。但即使 技术分析师工作非常受欢迎， 邓先生坦诚实际的工作并没那 么有“魅力”。 他 说：“刚收集的原始数据 通常很杂乱，我们需要花很多 时间整理、清除和填写数据， 才可以真正开始分析。” 计算机科学与工程学院四年 级生吴淑婷（24岁）对数据分 析感到十分兴趣，并在职业展 览会上参观了NTT Data, Ecquaria及其他关于科技技术的公司。 她说：“我是个很容易就觉 得闷的人，而这些领域有很多 新颖的科技，没有那么枯燥。 比起传统的软件工程，我能从 这领域中学习很多新资讯。”
除了大数据分析，学生也可 以建设应用程序。软件公司Pleodata在展览会上招聘软件工程 师，为公司制作人工智能聊天 软件（chatbots）以及云技术应 用程序（cloud apps）。 Pleodata总经理宋亦玫表示， 未来的人工智能聊天软件将会 超载现有的应用程序。经聊天 软件如Whatsapp的崛起，人越 来越习惯通过简讯方式接入服 务或购买东西。 宋女士说：“目前科技界的 大公司Facebook, Google, Amazon, Microsoft占据了世界经济的 70%，所以进入这市场是对的 方向。”
科技化扩展至各行业 科 技化趋势不只限科技领域。 就业与实习指导处副主任吴美 云表示，许多职工领域也进行 科技化，提高公司工作水平。 目前，金融领域采用了金融科 技 (FinTech), 而规管公司转用
规管技术 (RegTech）执行公司 事务。 食品饮料包装工程公司 Tetra Pak也开始依赖大数据改善客户 经验。人力资源主管陈耀敏表 示，公司通过分析销售数据以 及客户背景，可以根据客户的 不同需求提供更好的服务。 此外, 公司也正在探究虚拟 化（Virtual Reality）发展。在 展览会，Tetra Pak也设置一台虚 拟现实机器，学生戴上后可“ 游览”Tetra Pak的工厂。 南 洋 商 学 院 一 年 级 生 郑 泽 铨（22岁）参观展览后，对未 来职业的计划产生了不同的看 法。他发现，传统的商业工作 如财政和审计其实围绕着科技 公司，科技公司的新进程才是 驱动市场的真正动力。 他 说 ： “ 今 天 的 展 览 会 让 我想到，我是不是选修了错的 科目？我还是会留在商业界， 但是我发现到如果不懂科技的 话，工作进程也有限。”
职场新趋向 坡创新机构（SGInnovate）在首 次的展览中邀请学生加入公司 的人才库，根据新企的需要进 行配对，指派学生到适合的新 企发展。SGInnovate投资本地精 深科技（deep tech）公司，协助 公司的起步发展。数据分析员 林燕媚表示，新企职员要不断 从新视角看待问题，为新企的 工作流程添值。 计算机科学与工程学院四年 级生刘玥（24岁）在展览会主 要查询有关软件工程的工作。 她也有望参与新企，在SGInnovate的展览加入了人才名单。 她说：“科技新企业的变化 会比较大；现在是新企，可能 过两年就会成长为一个很有知 名度的企业。” 网 购公司 Shopee 首次参与职 业展览会，因扩展速度甚快而 开放许多商业管理、软件工程 师、行销等职位。 Shopee 的人力资源联系王俪 璇说，虽然Shopee是主公司SEA 旗下的企业，不像普通的新创 企业，但工作环境仍然有“新 创企业文化”。 她说：“我们的工作步伐很 快，环境也非常开畅，同事之 间不注重工作阶级。”
商品业再备受关注 商品业（Commodity industry） 也逐渐受关注。职业展览会首 次设立商品业展位（Commodity Pavilion）, 鼓励学生多了解这 鲜为人知的行业。 商 品业公司主要负责自然资 源贸易，如石油、天然气、铅 等材料。新职员可负责资源运 营以及优化现有的供应链。 商品贸易公司BP Supply and Trading 首次参与南大职工展览 会。人才培养顾问林婷表示， 商品业深受学生欢迎。她说这 个行业虽然不太新颖，却仍
然“长青”，跟进时代改变。 林女士说：“学生参与运营 资源的时候能够亲眼看见供应 链的运作，目睹工作实际的过 程，非常喜欢这种参与感。” 她透露，在商品业工作的每 一天都截然不同：资源价格有 涨有跌，价格没有定位，职员 需要根据每天的新市场走势进 行贸易。 每天的新情况代表着新的挑 战。商品资源公司South32的财 政小组领导许慧冰说，商品业 不是铁饭碗工作;当资源价格 下跌，业界往往会先减少人力
维持开销。然而，这是把双刃 剑：价格未知数让工作环境有 活力，工作 “从来不会闷”。
探索崛起新创企业 职 场走向也包括了新创企业， 反映了本地创新企业家（Entrepreneur ）的崛起。就业与实习 指导处副主任吴美云表示，政 府正投入许多资金支持新创企 业，环境适宜创业。她说，新 创企业的环境不像大公司那么 结构化，适合勇于冒险和探索 新事物的学生。 为科技新企提供资金的新加
职业展览会也包括其他特殊的 工作。为自闭症学生设立的 特别学校 Pathlight School以及 Eden School正招聘教师，开放 给任何系的毕业生申请。学生 无需前经验，学校将提供所需 的特别教学训练。 这非传统职业仍受南大生的 青睐 - Pathlight School的人力资 源管理人黄慧琴透露，学生从 早到晚不停到展位询问，也已 有几届南大生在学校实习。 数理科学院三年级生林弘轩 （23岁）是询问的学生之一。 他在展览会主要寻找有关自己 专业的工作，但出于兴趣也向 Pathlight School查询。他认识系 里的一位自闭症同学，与同学 的互动引起了他的好奇心。 他 说：“这位同学的言行举 止与众不同，我想要多了解他 的经历，所以对这领域有些兴 趣。” 吴女士说自己曾遇过许多向 前寻职业帮助的学生，想要在 梦寐以求的企业工作，却不清 楚自己到底要从事什么行业。 她鼓励学生不要约束自己到一 种特定的行业，要放眼世界， 继续探索。
男子疑未经授权 收集学生资料 一名男子怀疑被发现在 南大职业展览会上未经 授权，随意索取学生个 人资料。事件发生在展 览会的第三天（2月9 日）下午。一名穿着得 体的男子跑下楼梯，后 面有人喊停。男子立刻 被路过的学生拦阻，被 带到一旁讯问。 就业与实习指导处的 执行员说，男子并不是 南大的教职员，因此没 有授权索取学生个人资 料。这些个人资料日后 可能卖给不同商家，可 能导致学生收到垃圾邮 件和电话。 据了解，有关人员已 吩咐男子删除收集的个 人资料。校方提醒学生 在职业展览会要加以警 惕，给予个人资料前必 须要求对方拿出教职员 卡（staff pass），并且认 证身份。
News in brief This year’s Career Fair was NTU’s biggest yet, with some 280 participating organisations, an increase from 230 last year. New job trends have emerged: the infocomm technology sector is looking to hire graduates for jobs in big data analytics and artificial intelligence, while commodity trading firms and new start-ups in fields such as e-commerce and deep tech showed up in larger numbers than before. The special education sector also garnered substantial student attention at the fair.
CHRONICLE 07 生活
牺 牲 个人为社会好榜样 平
日课业本就忙碌的南大 生，一到周末或闲暇时 间，就想舒解紧绷的心情。因 此，大部分学生不是选择出门 娱乐，就是在家休息。 然而，南大有一群学生却 愿意奉献出他们宝贵的时间， 以服务大众，做义工、志工等 活动回馈社会，为公益出一份 力，散播爱心。 身体力行 传递爱的能量 本着做好事，让爱心散播出去 的信念是计算机科学与工程学 院四年级生，颜明德（24岁） 当初加入慈青团体的初衷。慈 青团体全名为“慈济大专青年 联谊会”，原创于台湾花莲， 宗旨是以慈悲喜舍之心，发扬 起苦救难之行。 参加慈青已经有四年的他解 释说：“我们的慈青团体是一 群自愿走入人群、付出自我的 年轻人。”每个周末，慈青团 体会进行不同的志工服务，比 如到安老院陪伴长者、到社区 进行环保活动、到义诊中心陪 伴病友、打理南大芳草园。 颜明德表示，平时除了做 好学生的本分外，每个星期都 会抽出课余的时间参加志工活 动，不让时间虚度。 他说：“用心付出的当下， 还能身体力行与的伙伴把爱的 能力传递给身边所需的人，是 件令人非常愉悦的事。而且，
还能够与伙伴互相学习”。 参与志工服务的过程中，他 不仅体会到年轻人就应该利用 健康、精神敏锐的时期，用心 学习和付出，也受到了不少启 发。他说：“其中一个启发就 是可以见苦知福，从社会上的 许多黑暗面，反观出自己其实 过得很幸福”。 四年的志工服务让他获益匪 浅，而令他留下深刻记忆则是 大二时和慈青志工们在南大中 文学会主办的中秋园游会帮忙 做环保资源分类，喜见活动的 垃圾量减到最低。 他说：“之所以难忘是因 为身为南大学生，能够亲自为 校园付出，以爱护地球的方式 回馈校园。同时，也能够制造 善的涟漪，借此引起同学的共 鸣，进而携手为我们的社会进 一份力。” 周末不休 带小孩 “走马看花”
每逢星期六下午，黄金辉传播 与信息学院二年级王嬿玲（21 岁）就会到加利谷的一间马场 —— 不是去看马儿，而是帮助 孩童强壮体魄。 她在Riding for the Disabled Association of Singapore（RDA Singapore）当一位陪伴者（Side Walker），与残疾或有成长障碍 的孩童互动。王嬿玲首先会带 领小孩做简单的热身运动，然 后陪伴小孩骑马。骑马时，她
负责照顾孩童的安全，确保孩 童在马背上坐稳。 RDA Singapore是间为残疾孩 童与成年人时提供马辅助治疗 （hippotherapy）的慈善机构。 王嬿玲解释，骑马能够增强孩 童身体的中心肌肉，增加平衡 能力。同时，自闭症的孩子接 触陪伴者或教练时会更习惯与 人互动，从此也会更有自信。 因为自己热爱小孩，有非 常宠爱动物，王嬿玲从初级学 院第一年就与朋友寻找做义工 的机会。她们上网搜索就找到 RDA，从此就开始当义工。今年 将是她在RDA的第四年。 义工的经历不容易；王嬿玲 在这四年里遇到许多不同背景 的孩童，有时不懂得如何应付 他们的需要。有一次，一名患 有发育迟缓（Global Developmental Delay）的孩子骑马时不 停打着王嬿玲的脸，也摘掉她 的眼镜。当时，她不知所措， 还好有另一位义工前来帮忙， 两个人结合起来陪伴孩子。 经过12个星期的训练后，这 孩子冷静了许多，不会那么容 易发脾气。训练结束后，孩子 还与妈妈亲手烘培杯子蛋糕送 给王嬿玲，令她非常感动。 她说：“虽然小孩只在 RDA 度过短暂的时间，但这种小小 的突破是值得庆祝的。这些点 滴励我继续当义工。” 王嬿玲也鼓励学生积极当义
工，不要小看自己的付出。她 建议学生找自己有兴趣的义工 领域，因为唯有热忱才能激励 学生继续长期服侍。最终，这 些付出都会是值得的。 她说：“能看见这些孩子渐 渐进步，我每个星期花的这几 个钟头又算什么？” 修读双学位 仍抽空教学 许多大学生在外教补习赚外 快，但对商学与计算机科学学 院的黄佳艺（21岁）而言，教 学能够长期改变孩子的生命。 住在裕廊西的她每个星期六下 午会特地到红山的华社自助理 事会（ CDAC）教导低收入家庭 孩子。 CDAC 的监督功课小组（ Supervised Homework Group）特别 帮助来自低收入家庭且考试成 绩欠佳的孩子。孩子们每个星 期会带着学校的功课，黄佳艺 就会为孩子讲解难题，或者给 补充练习，增强孩子的能力。 补习后， CDAC也设置一小时的 自由活动时间，黄佳艺与其他 义工们也会策划不同的活动与 游戏与孩子互动。 她从A水准会考后就开始当 义工，现在已经是义工生涯的 第二年。每个星期需要抽出时 间教书，修读双学位的她却认 为并不难应付。她说，知道自 己星期六半天将需要花时间补 习，反而让她在完成作业时更
有推动力。 每位义工负责照顾一到两 名同学，从小五带到小六的会 考。这长期的接触让黄佳艺与 孩子的关系亲密；她不仅是补 习老师，也成为孩子的朋友。 在困难时刻，孩子也选择转向 她。她教导的其中一位孩子小 婉（化名）在五年级时，母亲 不幸过逝，身为姐姐的小婉需 要照顾年幼的弟妹。小小年纪 却身负重任，小婉需要开导时 也想到黄佳艺。 小六会考成绩出炉时，黄佳 艺受到小婉的简讯，说成绩不 是很理想，问她应该就读那一 所学校。小婉从来没有主动向 她寻求帮忙，所以收到这简讯 时，她非常欣慰。 她说：“我们之间形成了信 任，关系也更亲密。这真的增 强了我的信心，让我感到非常 有满足感。” 黄佳艺看见小孩子扛着那么 大的重任，不禁心疼。目前， 她正与其他的义工安排社工照 顾小婉的家庭。 义工的经历也让她变得更有 耐心。她坦言，这些学生有时 候需要更多时间了解概念，进 展没有那么快，有时候需要严 厉一些才可以激励学生读书。 但她说：“虽然教学方法可以 严厉，但不能不耐烦，更不能 在孩子身上发泄情绪。” 她深信每一位孩子都有潜 能。她说：“虽然有时候孩子 们会很顽皮，但我相信他们的 心本是好的。” （文/陈昱嘉／杨量而）
News in brief Three NTU students are going the extra mile to give back to community. Gan Ming De, a fourth-year student from the School of Computer Science and Engineering, volunteers regularly with Tzu Chi Collegiate Youth Association, accompanying the elderly and spearheading community recycling efforts. Audrey Heng Yen Ling, a second-year student from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, volunteers with the Riding for the Disabled Association of Singapore to teach horse-riding to children with special needs. Ng Jia Yi, a second-year student from the Nanyang Business School with a double degree in Computer Science, has been giving free tuition to children from low-income families for the past two years and helping them through difficult times.
实,我们也不怎么通晓方 言。 对我们来说，方言只不过是 与长辈沟通的一种语言之一。 平日里，我们几乎没有使用方 言的习惯和机会，更不用说是 学习方言了。 当方言没有了其使用的价 值，自然而然的，学习的动机 也随之消失，方言也就渐渐地 被我们社会所忽略了。而我 们也以为，生活中少了一种语 言，并不会对我们的生活有多 大的影响。 直到一天，当我用着生涩的 福建话与长辈沟通时，才赫然 发现通晓方言并不只是为了和 家中的长辈沟通这么简单。方 言是新加坡历史的重要遗产。 记得初级学院的一节文学 课，因为老师要讲解考卷，就 安排整个班级在下课后留下一 个小时。那时，我望着手中红 字斑斑的考卷发呆，想着自己 放学后要吃什么。 突然，老师柔和的讲解声被 敲门的声音打断。门开了，一 位年纪比较大的清洁奶奶走了 进来，看了看我们全班。 她迟疑了一下，然后用了流 利的福建话问到：“你们现在 在读书啊？你们会读到几点？” 那一刹那，我们全都呆掉 了。因为老师不会说华语，同 学们面面相觑, 而我又坐得最靠 近那位奶奶，我便鼓起勇气，
用非常不标准的福建话说： “对，到四点半。” 奶奶听了，便用福建话回答 到：“好，谢谢。”，便走出 了课室。 那天晚上，看着父母一边吃 饭，一边用福建话讲述着当天 工作的趣事，我不禁回想起白 天的那位奶奶。心里想着若是 自己像父母一样通晓方言，或 许还能向她道谢，告诉她我们 用课室用得久了一点，不好意 思麻烦了她。 回首着白天的经历，我忽 然感到悚然：新加坡方言的文 化，是否就在我这一代渐渐地 走上消失的道路了？ 2 01 5 年 的 综 合 家 庭 调 查 显 示：在家中使用方言的人为人
口的12.2%。相比下，虽然所有 的母语使用率都减少了，但是 方言的跌幅最大。这无疑反映 着方言在社会中的衰弱情况。 而在成立 “讲华语运动”39 年后的今天，会讲方言的人已 经越来越少了。每每与朋友谈 到这个话题时，他们大部分都 觉得，虽然学习方言可以与长 辈沟通，但是日常生活中并没 有机会可以讲方言。所以，学 不学方言对他们来说其实并不 重要，也没有任何影响。 况且，身边会讲方言的人也 不多，就只有年长一辈的公公 婆婆。朋友之间的交流用语， 不是英语就是华语，方言是极 少使用到的语言。在家里，爸 爸妈妈也很少用方言和我们沟
通。所以，要学会讲方言实在 不是一件容易的事。 其实，精通方言除了和长辈 们沟通之外，就没有其他的用 处了吗? 文学院的郭根维教授认为, 方 言其实与一个人对自己身份的 认知扮演着重要的角色。 郭教授说：“如果你认为方 言在今天的社会中没有经济价 值，我会同意你的说法。但是 如果你想要更了解你的过去， 那方言是非常重要的。方言能 让你了解你的过去，了解你先 辈的经验。一个人在了解自己 的身份后才会对未来有方向， 不然只会随波逐流。” 对于方言承载着的本土华 人文化，郭教授说道：“其实 本地方言里的文化是非常珍贵 的。因为中国在文革的时候 已经失去了很多早前的文化习 俗，可是新加坡华人却还保留 着一部分，所以方言本身还是 有重要的文化价值。” “讲华语运动”的推动造就 了如今能与中国进行文化贸易 交流的新加坡。虽然精通华语 固然是个重要的技能，但在享 受着其带来的经济优势时，我 们是否也应该注意到方言消失 后所会带来的文化流失？ 本地不同的方言族群拥有不 同的独特习俗，就如潮州人十 五岁的成人礼（“出花园”） ，广东人结婚婚礼时喊的“饮
先”，福建人新年初九用甘蔗 拜天公，这些是我们并不能从 华文课本中学到的。 这些习俗，都是需要通过对 应的方言交流和沟通一代代传 下来的。 现今社会里，许多人对方言 还带有刻板印象，把英文和华 文看得比方言更重要。但是， 每个籍贯的方言都有着其自身 的文法、表达方式和文化。能 够通晓方言，本该是与精通中 英文一样光荣的。然而，在物 欲横流的今天，保留方言、传 承其蕴含着的浓浓文化价值， 难道就不比为了求经济增长的 英文和华文来的重要？ 是时候重视方言了！毕竟， 我们自己不保留方言，是不会 有人会替我们保留的。 （文/黄璟蕙/杨量而）
News in brief Traditions passed down through the generations risk becoming lost. When young Singaporeans are unable to speak their dialects, they lose a part of their culture. This opinion piece details why we need to master our dialects to preserve our cultural identities.
果我们不追究责任，那么 谁会呢？ 在这个“假新闻”泛滥的年 代，好莱坞大导演史提芬·司 匹堡 （Steven Spielberg） 的最 新 作 品 《 邮 报 · 密 战 》 （ The Post）提醒我们，新闻自由是为
了服务百姓而不是为了保护政 府官员。 《邮报·密战》描述着1971 年美国政府挑战新闻自由的史 实。虽然故事描述的是70年代的 时间，但观众一看就会联想起 今日社会，和美国总统特朗普 （Donald Trump）如何透过社群 媒体与新媒体对立，使得「真 相」的定义更加模糊。 由 巨 星 梅 莉 史 翠 普 （ Meryl Streep ） 和 汤 姆 汉 克 斯 （ Tom Hanks）主演的《邮报·密战》 述 说 着 当 年 华 盛 顿 邮 报 （ The Washington Post） 如何揭发五角 大楼文件（Pentagon Papers）。 文件中描述着白宫如何瞒着美 国人民，虽然明知会打败仗， 为了保护强国的尊严而坚持打 越南战争。 梅莉史翠普饰演的凯瑟琳·
格雷厄姆（Katherine Graham） 是华盛顿邮报的继承者与发行 人。邮报是有她父亲所创立， 并由凯瑟琳的丈夫所接任丈夫 过世后，邮报就由凯瑟琳接手。 常常举办派对的凯瑟琳似 乎比较适合应酬上流社会的高 官们，而对邮报的管理不太了 解。身为唯一的女性，凯瑟琳 在面临男性占据董事会时难免 无法当家作主。 汤姆汉克斯所饰演的本· 布莱德利（Ben Bradlee）是华 盛顿邮报的主编，是位无畏的 记者。他从工作中找到乐趣与 存在感，同时也照顾着他的团 队。当他收到五角大楼文件 时，是无比的兴奋，恨不得马 上翻阅所有文件，把真相报道 出来。 虽然他之前也有与高管们来
往，但他日后发觉自己的职业 与高官的行政发生矛盾，决定 与高官断绝关系，保持专业。 两 位资深的演员同台演出真 是令人刮目相看，角色之间的 对立，更使两人擦出火花。在 本初次与凯瑟琳见面时，导演 故意减少剪辑，让两位演员在 不受镜头剪辑的干扰下不断好 戏上演。 另外,史提芬·司匹堡导演 也把焦点放在传统印刷业的作 业情况。 当镜头在刻字机上盘 旋，我们看到了当年的报章头 条是如何一个一个字刻印出来 的。当报纸成功印刷出来，被 分配到全省各地市，观众不禁 感到一丝感动，为华盛顿邮报 感到自豪。 《邮报·密战》不仅述说着 新闻自由历史性的一刻，还结
合了当代时事，让观众反省真 相的重要性。 （文/罗恺盈）
News in brief Steven Spielberg's latest production, The Post, depicts the 1971 revelation of the Pentagon Papers by The Washington Post. Starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, the movie follows the Post's heiress, Katherine Graham, and editor, Ben Bradlee, in their pursuit of reporting what the White House had been keeping hidden for years. Although based on a historical event, this movie is a timely reminder about the importance of a free press and the duty to report the truth.
Sports like motorcycling and wakeboarding are activities rarely picked up by students. However, these seemingly high-risk and high-cost sports are not as daunting as they seem Kimberly Ng DESPITE being set up more than 12 years ago and having some 80 members in its Whatsapp chat group, NTU’s motorcycling club, the Riders Club, only has about 10 to 15 members actively involved in its activities. Similarly, the NTU Wakeboarding Club, which was established in 2001, only has one first-year member. The rest are second to final-year students, who are about to graduate or go on exchange and internships. These clubs are long past their infancy, but they still face difficulties in recruiting new members due to misconceptions about the sports and the high costs needed to take part in them.
Off the beaten track A note scribbled on the back of a bingsu cafe receipt, left on his parked motorcycle at Hall of Residence 5. That was how second-year School of Humanities student Xavier Chua, 23, first heard about the NTU Riders Club late last year. The note was left by one of the vice-presidents of the club, Jeremy Lian, who also stays in Hall 5. He had noticed Chua and his bike around hall, and decided to try his luck in recruiting him. “They left me a link to the club’s massive group chat asking me to join it in the note, but I have yet to go for any of their meetups or events this year because I couldn’t make it,” said Chua. If not for the note, he would not have known about the existence of the club at all, he added. The Riders Club, which caters to both experienced and aspiring motorcyclists, was established in 2005 and was the first motorcycling club to be set up in a local university. The club does not hold formal training sessions, since not all their members have their own motorcycles. However, opportunities for members to interact arise during
1 annual events organised by the club, such as charity washes and bikers’ challenges, the latter being a series of The Amazing Race style activities that are open to members of the public. The members also get their chance to go riding together during weekly petrol and supper runs to Malaysia on Thursday nights. Petrol in Malaysia costs about $30 on average, a third of the price in Singapore. “These regular short trips allow us to destress after a week of school and build camaraderie as we look out for one another on the road,” said Koh Ji Sheng, president of the Riders Club. However, riding can be a costly activity. Apart from spending money on petrol, members with their own motorcycles have to spend a significant amount of money on monthly maintenance. According to 23-year-old Koh, the average cost of maintaining a starter bike ranges from $200 to
$300 a month, while larger bikes can cost up to $400 to maintain.
“These regular short trips allow us to destress after a week of school and build camaraderie as we look out for one another on the road.” Koh Ji Sheng, 23 President NTU Riders Club
Those who ride cross-country regularly can spend up to $700 a month, because the long distances wear the bike out more.
One of the biggest obstacles in attracting new and active members is the misconception that the club is a “biker gang”, said co-vice president Lian, a second-year School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences student. “Many student riders in my hall (Hall 5) are afraid to participate in our events because they think we are a gang that likes to ride fast, but we actually promote safe riding,” said the 22-year-old, who added that throughout his two years of being in the club, none of the members have been involved in major accidents while on the road. To promote safe riding, the club organises a yearly bike fest, where the traffic police and the Bukit Batok Driving Centre are invited to hold road safety talks for members of the club and the general public. Another common misconception that students have is that the club requires members to have a motorcycle license. But the club also accepts students who have had no
prior experience in motorcycling. These students participate in the riding trips as pillion riders. “I was very nervous when I first joined the club and went for the orientation ride without a license, because I expected everyone in the club to have experience with riding, but I was proven wrong,” said 24-year-old Chia Shi Yang, who started off as a pillion rider and is now an active member of the club. Chia, who has since received his riding license, said that riding is not difficult. But it is not suitable for everyone — as motorcycles have fewer safety features than cars, riders are more exposed to their surroundings and thus are not as wellprotected on the road. Despite the risks, the final-year School of Civil and Environmental Engineering student, who also has a driver’s license, prefers motorcycling to driving. “The feeling of riding and driving is very different,” said Chia. “When you ride, you can really
the waves immerse yourself in your surroundings and see and feel a lot more, because you are closer to your surroundings and can actually feel the elements around you, like the wind and the rain.”
Taking the plunge Kenneth Teo has tried his hand at surfing, flowriding, wakeboarding and many more water sports. But of all these, he enjoys wakeboarding the most. The second-year school of Electrical and Electronic Engineering student joined the NTU Wakeboarding Club last semester, and is currently the club’s treasurer. “I fell in love with surfing and water sports ever since my family took me to Melbourne to try out surfing when I was young,” said Teo, 27. Unlike most other sports clubs in NTU, the Wakeboarding Club does not hold regular training sessions, as most of the members wakeboard
recreationally. Training sessions are organised whenever members want to wakeboard together as a group. “While many other sports clubs in school require a high level of commitment in terms of attending trainings regularly, wakeboarding is relatively free and easy,” said Leima Chue, 24, president of the Wakeboarding Club. The third-year School of Civil and Environmental Engineering added that prior experience is not required to join the club. Despite the flexible schedule, the main factor that discourages students from joining the club is the cost of each session. Members have to pay $45 for each training session at Punggol Marina Country Club’s wakeboarding facility Edge Wakeboarding. Each session lasts 20 to 30 minutes. The fee covers basic wakeboarding gear and access to the club, and is already the cheapest available in Singapore. For example, a
2 session with Wake Time, another wakeboarding centre at the Marina Country Club, costs $130 an hour. Due to the high cost of the sessions and the long travelling time from NTU to the country club, the wakeboarding club currently only has five members who train regularly, with a handful who have attended only a couple of sessions.
“I fell in love with surfing and water sports ever since my family took me to Melbourne to try out surfing when I was young.” Kenneth Teo, 27 Second-year student School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
But even with the small number of regular members, Chue said that the club tries to compete in the Institute-Varsity-Polytechnic Games (IVP) every year, and trains at least twice a week in the months leading up to the competition. In the previous semester, the club
managed to clinch the second and sixth placing out of over 50 competitors across six teams in the male category. In that season alone, the club spent close to $7000 to train and purchase new gear. Despite the high level of financial commitment required from the members in the club, the few of them who train competitively said that their passion for wakeboarding makes it worth every dollar that
they have invested in the sport. One of these members is thirdyear Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information student Lucas Kang, 24, who picked up wakeboarding before matriculating into university. “Yes, the sport is very costly, but nothing beats being out at sea and being able to do what you love on a hot, sunny day, especially when you see yourself getting better at the sport,” he said.
1. NTU Riders Club holds their annual charity wash in partnership with the Singapore Association for the Deaf. Members of the NUS Motorcycle Club form an alliance with the Riders Club for this occasion. PHOTO: BRENDAN TAN 2. Members of the NTU Wakeboarding Club receive a subsidised fee when training at Edge Wakeboarding’s facilities. The subsidy is also open to alumni of the club. PHOTO: NTU WAKEBOARDING CLUB 3. Koh Ji Sheng (left) and Jared Maurice Bateman (right) giving back to the community every year since joining the NTU Riders Club by taking part in car washes. Koh’s interest in motorcycling grew when he was in Secondary 2, and he got his licence when he turned 18. PHOTO: BRENDAN TAN 4. Mr Donavan Tan, president of the club from 2014-15, took part in the 2014 IVP Wakeboard championships and clinched the fifth position in the Men’s Intermediate category. PHOTO: NTU WAKEBOARDING CLUB
Game on for
eSports are gaining popularity in universities here, but gaming enthusiasts say social stigmas surrounding the activity remain an obstacle for the industry Rafidah Raffi Jovi Ho GAMING may be commonly regarded as a recreational activity in Singapore, but an increasing number of university students are turning it into a serious competitive sport. Local universities are gradually changing perceptions of gamers through competitions such as the Inter-Varsity Gaming Festival (IVGF), hosted by NTU’s Cyberwellness, Cybersports and Games Creation Society (C3), and inter-hall friendly tournaments. The IVGF has been held yearly since its inception in 2014. Participating universities include NTU, the National University of Singapore, the Singapore Management University, and the Singapore University of Technology and Design. Leroy Lim, chairman of C3, wants to build a community among gamers, in hopes of pioneering a generation of eSports enthusiasts.
“Even though it is true that there is no actual physical activity other than mouse movements, gamers will tell you that skill in a game comes only after intensive training, a hallmark of traditional sports.” Ong Kian Jie, 23 Second-year student National Institue of Education “This is one of the few opportunities for gamers to meet their peers from other universities,” said Lim, a final-year student from School of Computer Science and Engineering.
“I believe the best way to understand eSports is to experience it for yourself, just like how we are exposed to traditional sports when we are young,” he said. This year’s edition of the IVGF, held on 10 and 11 Feb, drew 165 players in the competitive matches of Dota 2, League of Legends, and Overwatch. Acknowledging the stigma towards gamers in Singapore, Lim hopes that the IVGF will dispel the negative connotations associated with eSports. “Some players are afraid of telling their peers that they are interested in eSports because most
parents do not perceive gaming as a viable career in Singapore. We hope that through events such as these, people are able to gain confidence in a career in eSports.” While competitive gaming is still short of being internationally recognised as a sport, many can attest to the rigorous practice that gamers put into perfecting their gameplay and strategy. Lim argues that competitive eSports players, like athletes, require immense focus during tournaments. “A professional player has to train constantly to maintain his skill level. He also needs to possess
the required stamina to play multiple games,” he said. Ong Kian Jie, a second-year student from the National Institute of Education, feels the same way about the skills required in an eSports athlete, having participated in inter-hall gaming tournaments in NTU. “Even though it is true that there is no actual physical activity other than mouse movements, gamers will tell you that skill in a game comes only after intensive training, a hallmark of traditional sports,” says Ong. NTU Sports Club president Tan Kian Meng feels that eSports “defi-
“Traditional sports require more physical training and athletes constantly push their bodies to the limit.” Tan Kian Meng, 22 President NTU Sports Club
eSports players 1. Gamers at the Inter-Varsity Gaming Festival (IVGF) play competitve matches of Dota 2, League of Legends and Overwatch. 2. Intense gaming action at the IVGF draws the crowds as teams from local institutions such as the National University of Singapore and the Singapore Management University compete in this annual event. 3. Members of the NTU team at this year’s IVGF win Razer accessories and other prizes after emerging victorious in matches against 160 gaming hopefuls. PHOTOS: YEO KAI YEAT, CHUA KAH YONG
“Most parents do not perceive gaming as a viable career in Singapore.” Leroy Lim, 25 Chairman NTU Cyberwellness, Cybersports and Games Creation Society (C3)
nitely deserves more coverage within NTU”. “It has been garnering lots of passionate individuals. Just like traditional sports, it brings people together,” said the second-year student from the School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. However, Tan stopped short of placing eSports and traditional sports in the same category, pointing out some differences between the two. “Traditional sports require more physical training and athletes constantly push their bodies to the limit. This risk of physical injury is not present in eSports.
“The environment is also a consideration. While eSports players are usually in a comfortable environment, most athletes are sweating it out under the sun,” said Tan. According to Newzoo, a leading game and eSports market research firm, 73 per cent of eSports fans are younger than 35 years old, showing its popularity among millennials. Mr Terence Ting, 27, decided to start his own eSports company after gaining some experience as a “cyber-athlete” in gaming competitions abroad. His company Team Flash manages the grooming and develop-
“Many opportunities in commentating, coaching and content creation have not (been) fully developed yet.” Mr Terence Ting, 27 Founder Team Flash
ment of selected eSports players in South East Asia to compete in tournaments worldwide. “Unlike traditional sporting franchises like the Barclays Premier League (BPL) and National Basketball Association (NBA), eSports mainly runs on a decentralised approach, where revenue comes from corporate sponsors and private prize pools,” said Mr Ting. For eSports to improve in the coming years, it needs to adopt a business model similar to professional sporting leagues like the BPL or NBA, so that viewership and revenue will be stable, added Mr Ting.
However, attitudes towards gaming in Singapore remain an obstacle to the growth of the industry here. Social stigmas that reflect immaturity towards gaming hinder the growth of local talent, said Mr Ting. To counter this, organisations such as the Singapore Cybersports and Online Gaming Association (SCOGA) are developing digital literacy programmes and organising festivals to boost the image of eSports locally. Initiatives such as these support the viability of eSports as a career among the youth, said Mr Ting. “The eSports industry is still expanding in terms of production value so there are many opportunities in commentating, coaching and content creation that have not fully developed yet,” he said. Even while it may take time for eSports to be recognised as a medal sport in the Olympic Games, young players like Ong are still hopeful that the field will become a respected one. “Our local culture is not for the idea of a risk-oriented career and it will take some time to transform mindsets about it, but I believe as eSports continues growing here, the stigmatisation will decrease,” he said.