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Captain’s Ball was introduced as a mixed sport for the first time at this year’s NTU Street Challenge. Turn to Page 32 to find out more.
Five Peaks by 2015 NTU introduces Five Peaks of Excellence to be achieved by the school Agung S. Ongko
PHOTO | WU HAN
Beat the exam stress 9 products for you to recharge, rejuvenate and be refreshed.
ALL NTU’s students will take classes related to environmental sustainability, said Professor Bertil Andersson, the President Designate. With more than $830 million of research funding in sustainability technologies, NTU is at the forefront internationally. But Professor Andersson emphasised that he is also keen to take sustainability beyond laboratories and into classrooms. Environmental sustainability was one of the five Peaks of Exellence that took centre stage at a press conference that outlines the university’s path to becoming a great global university over the next five years. “This is going to be like a green thread all through the university,” he said. “I think that’s very important for the young people who are going to plan Singapore and the world for the future.” It included a glimpse of the JTC CleanTech Park, a hub of innovation in green technology that is being built next to NTU and is slated to open in 2012. “It is designed to interact with the campus seamlessly,” said Professor Ng Wun Jern, the Executive Director of the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute. The park will serve as a laboratory for the university, accommodating large-scale experiments on issues such as the impact of green buildings, water recycling processes, and onsite waste management. Professor Andersson added that the park promises to open a new economic sector for Singapore. “It is here that the business of tomorrow will be started, turning green into gold,” he said.
The Social Browser RockMelt, the meltingpot of social networking applications.
The university also announced four other Peaks of Excellence on top of environmental sustainability: healthcare; new media; exchange of ideas with countries along the new Silk Road like China and India, as well as innovation in Asia. NTU President Dr Su Guaning underlined that given the transdisciplinary nature of these Peaks of Excellence, no department will be left out. “Most problems today will be solved at the interface between disciplines,” he said. Such interactivity will be one of the central components of education at the university. Professor Andersson pointed out that the humanities and social sciences can play a very important role if they interact with engineering and technology. Acknowledging the need to stimulate such interaction, he said that new interdisciplinary modules will be rolled out in the next academic year. The university will provide the details of these new modules and classes in due time. At the postgraduate level, NTU will offer 800 more PhD places to drive research in the five Peaks of Excellence. This initiative is part of the university’s effort to encourage more Singaporeans to take up research. “It is important that more Singaporeans do graduate studies and PhD studies,” Professor Andersson said. “Today at NTU, it’s only between 15 and 20 per cent. That’s absolutely too little, because then Singaporeans will be dependent on foreigners forever.” Dr Su suggested that giving students a head start could well be the way to get there. “If they have experience doing research at the undergraduate level, they’ll be much more likely to take up PhD programmes, because they know what it is about, the rewards and the excitement,” he said. `
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Arts vs. Science War
渐渐步入历史终点 走访本地仅存不多的遗迹 24页
Is coexistence possible? Or is the divide too great to mend?
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NTU-Imperial College deal inked 18-year agreement will see the development of a joint medical college between the two universities Leonard How The Imperial College-Nanyang Technological University Medical School (ICNMS) will open its doors to its first batch of 50 students in 2013, eventually ramping up admissions to 150 a year. This is the agreement that NTU and Imperial College London formerly signed on October 29th to jointly develop and establish Singapore’s third medical school, which is to be Imperial College’s first overseas venture. The school is expected to share the load with the existing two medical schools in producing doctors to meet Singapore’s increasing healthcare needs. Students at the ICNMS will graduate with a joint Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree from both NTU and Imperial College. The fiveyear programme will be based on Imperial’s medical curriculum and will complement Singapore’s
existing healthcare system by utilising NTU’s strengths in engineering and business. NTU President Su Guaning said: “To effectively address Singapore’s increasing healthcare needs arising from a growing and ageing population, the new medical school must not only train highly-skilled doctors and healthcare experts, but also aim to make a deep impact on the innovation of medical devices and the healthcare system as a whole.” The ICNMS’ campus will be situated near Tan Tock Seng Hospital, which will itself serve as the school’s main clinical hospital. Undergraduate doctors will undergo lessons at both campuses, with main lessons being taught at NTU and practical skills taught at the medical campus. Hailing the programme as “nothing short of world-class”, Dr Su added that developing medical team leadership and the use of technology would be hallmarks of the school. The agreement was Imperial College London’s “most important initiative by far,” said Sir Keith O’Nions, Rector of Imperial. He endorsed the marrying of science and engineering with clinical practice. The goal, he said, is to develop doctors who understand
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FIVE PEAKS OF EXCELLENCE
burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi called for the release of all political prisoners in her countr y on November 18. An estimated 2,100 political prisoners are still in captivity under the junta’s rule over the country. A ne w m ot i o n -sen s in g device for the Xbox 360 was launched here on November 17. Known as the Kinect, it turns the player’s body into a controller and recognises the physical gestures of the players in it s games .
NEW PARTNERSHIP: NTU President Su Guaning (second from right) firms up the plan for Singapore's third medical school with Sir Keith O’Nions (second from left), Rector of Imperial College. PHOTO | NTU CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE
the scientific basis of medicine and have a commitment to the patient as the heart of the practice. The new school is expected to add diversity and choice to Singapore’s medical education landscape. It will provide Singaporeans with “new pathways to pursue a world-class medical education,” said Mr Lim Chuan Poh, appointed chairman of the Pro Tem Governing Board responsible for guiding the development of the ICNMS. The other leaders of the new
school are founding dean Stephen Smith, principal of Imperial’s Faculty of Medicine, and senior vicedean Martyn Partridge, Chair in Respiratory Medicine at Imperial. The signing ceremony was attended by luminaries in education and health from the UK and Singapore including Education Minister Ng Eng Hen and Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan, Lord Kerr of Kinlochard, Chairman of Imperial College London, and His Excellency Paul Madden, British High Commissioner to Singapore.
Incoming Nobel president
1. Sustainable Earth
2. Future Healthcare
- Commercially viable biodegradable stents for unblocking clogged blood vessels - The Imperial College London-Nanyang Technological University Medical School
3. New Media
- Virtual humans that demonstrate real biological and intellectual characteristics, for modelling surgery and other human-focused procedures
4. New Silk Road
- NTU Tianjin College to offer postgraduate courses, summer school, international immersion programme - Global Immersion Programme in India and Vietnam
5. Innovation Asia
- Joint hosting of World Entrepreneurship Forum 2011 between NTU and the Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE) - Research with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in the US on entrepreneurialism with Asian focus
A 5 9 -y e a r - o l d w o m a n in Hong Kong has contracted the H5N1 avian influenza, sparking fears of the return of the flu pandemic in 2003. The virus is a lot deadlier than the H1N1 bug of 2009, killing 302 people worldwide, according to the World Health Organisation. A Ministry of Education scholar studying in Britain has pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography videos. Jonathan Wong, 23, could be sentenced to more than a year in jail on December 13 and faces disciplinary action from the ministr y. US P r e s i d e n t B a r r a c k Obama’s plans for giving terrorist suspects a civilian trial were dealt a severe blow after a former Guantanamo Bay inmate was acquitted of all but one of 286 charges of terrorism. Anti-UN protests erupted in the Haitian capital of PortAu-Prince after its angry citizens asserted that the UN was responsible for the cholera outbreak that has claimed more than 1,100 lives. The first planet originating from out side the galax y has been discovered, according to astronomers in Chile. The new planet, called HIP 13044b, once belonged to a star system from a dwarf galaxy that was eventually abs orbed by the Milk y Way.
These are some of the research projects and initiatives under NTU's fiveyear strategy:
- Artificial leaf that mimics photosynthesis to generate clean fuels - Artificial membrane that uses proteins to filter water at low cost
GLORY GLORY: Provost hopes to share his glory with NTU.
Agung S. Ongko Provost Bertil Andersson has received the prestigious Wilhelm Exner Medal in Vienna, joining a list of previous winners that includes 15 Nobel laureates. The award is given in recognition of Provost Andersson’s research on photosynthesis and the creation of artificial leaves, as well as his contributions to promoting research in Europe and Austria. Provost Andersson said: “I hope this will shine glory not only on me, but also on NTU.” He wants people who engage in academic work here to also feel that they belong to the top tier of the international research landscape. Provost Andersson is a fa-
PHOTO | rachel loi
miliar name among the scientific community in Europe. Before coming to NTU, he served as the Chief Executive of the European Science Foundation and the Vice President of the European Research Advisory Board of the European Commission. “It’s important for the university’s faculty to be seen in the international arena in order to give the university some recognition,” Provost Andersson said. In his three years as the NTU Provost, he has played an important part in raising the university’s profile to attract world-renowned researchers. But with his recent appointment as the incoming President of NTU, Provost Andersson said he would also like to spend more time interacting with students.
T wo pre v iously undiscovered violin sonatas by composer Antonio Vivaldi have been found after lying hidden in a stack of manuscripts for about 270 years. Vivaldi, who wrote The Four Seasons, was thought to have created the compositions for amateur violinists. Billionaire Donald Trump, who stars in the American reality TV show ‘The Apprentice’, has said that he is considering running for the US presidency in 2012. In an interview with ABC News, the property tycoon said he would happily take on former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin.
correction “muslim society goes pink” (Vol 17 No 4, page 6) The day that NTU Muslim Society was celebrating is Pink Hijab Day, not Pink Hajib Day. We apologise for the above error.
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iPhone apps help students keep track of bus arrivals Teo Jion Chun The NTU community can now wave goodbye to the long waiting time for shuttle buses. Tr aver sit y, a f r ee i Phone application developed by computer science undergraduate Jeremy Foo, lets commuters know when the next bus will arrive. The application received more than 3000 downloads since hitting Apple's App Store in June. Its latest version, which Apple approved two weeks ago, now shows bus routes when viewing individual buses. Currently, an online version of the campus bus tracking service can be found at http://campusbus. ntu.edu.sg/ntubus. “I find NTU web version a little cumbersome. I think Traversity could benefit the other students as well,” said Foo. With his background in web development, he enhanced the c u r r ent ver sion a nd created Traversity in June this year. A frequent user of Traversity, Chong Jun Yuan, 21, said: “I love the Favourites feature, which allows quck access.” However, t he secondyear electrical and electronic engineer ing st udent said the application might be “largely inaccurate” at times.
Top academic papers by students featured online New online programme allows students to access outstanding works by students Sharifah Fadhilah Alshahab
NO MORE MISSED BUSES: Users can now use their iPhone to check the timing of the next NTU shuttle bus. PHOTO | LIM JIAHE
Not all new buses currently have the Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking devices fitted yet. Foo has notified the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teac h i ng ( C E LT ) about t h i s problem, which manages the GPS Shuttle Bus Tracking system. Traversity also has a competitor na me d “N T U Bu s” t hat wa s developed by three NTU students. Its official website states that app is “different by providing the real time locations of the buses on a map.”
Students inter viewed were mixed in their preference. “I prefer Traversity because NTU Bus requires the user to switch between tabs to check which bus is coming,” said Grace Lim, 21, a third-year biological science student. Samantha Quee, 21, thirdyea r com mu n icat ion st ud ies student, however thinks NTU Bus is easier to navigate. “Locations are categorised by routes and photos are shown,” she said.
T op f i ve r e s ea r c h pape r s , theses or final year projects (FYP) by NTU students will be made available online in an international programme called Outstanding Academic Papers by Students (OAPS). The papers can be filtered out by date, authors, titles or subjects for easy retrieval. T he OA PS P roje c t a i m s to promote good sc hola rly communication practice among students, raise the visibility of outstanding students' works and allow mutual access to high quality student papers. The project is a collaboration by some notable universit y libraries around the world, such as the University of Southern C a l i for n i a , S h a n g h a i J i ao Tong University, and Waseda University. NTU, who recently became a member, is currently working with the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI) in a pilot project launching the OAPS. M s We nd y O ng , S e n ior
Assistant Director of the Asian C om m u n i c a t i on R e s e a r c h Centre, said she hopes that the project will include research papers from other schools in the future. “We want to promote good papers by our students,” she said. T he academ ic paper s, selected by lecturers of the respective schools, will be made available to a global audience in the scholarly community. Students are keen to use the new datebase for their projects. Second-year literature major Sim Wenqi, 20, said the OAPS will be helpful when she writes her thesis papers. “I can use the outstanding academic papers as references,” she said. Second-year environmental e ng i ne e r i ng s t ude nt E l i sa Tiaras, 20, is eager to find out the highest standard that has been achieved and learn from them. “In addition, these FY Ps (final year projects) may help me with the brainstorming process for my own project,” she said. A lt houg h f i na l-yea r accountancy student Khairyn Adriana Malek does not need to do an FYP or a thesis, the 21-year-old still finds that it would be interesting to view some of the high quality works.
Electrical faults pose danger in older halls Pearl Lee A Falling fan and power failures are leaving residents of older residential halls in NTU worried about the safety of their dorm rooms. Cheong Ting Fong, a 22-yearold resident in Hall of Residence 5, had his room’s wall fan fall off in mid-October while he was studying. “It was very dangerous. If the fan had fallen on me, I would have been very seriously injured,” he said. The fan dangled in mid-air above his study table, supported loosely by a few wire cords. The second-year electrical and electronic engineering student subsequently contacted the hall office, which took about a week to install a new fan in his room. He added that being one of the older halls around, the facilities in Hall 5 are indeed old and not very well-maintained. Established in 1989, Hall 5 currently houses about 500 students. Previously, a number of halls were renovated as NTU prepared to host the 2010 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in August. However, Hall of Residences 1 to 7 were excluded in the renovation plan as most of these halls were
not used for YOG accommodation. Apar t from Cheong, residents from Hall of Residence 10, established in 1994, also experienced power failures and
“It was very dangerous. If the fan had fallen on me, I would have been very seriously injured.” Cheong Ting Fong, 22 Resident Hall of Residence 10
short circuits. Jeremy Tan, a four th-year computer engineering student repeatedly encountered shor t circuits in his unit for the first half of this semester, due to some wiring problems. “It usually happens when I’m using my laptop, which is connected to a main wall socket. The main lights and air-conditioner in my room remained unaffected though,” the 23-year-old said. T h i s i s s u e p e r s i s t e d for half a semester before the hall
management diagnosed the wires as being the cause of the problem in his room. Geraldine Chong, 20, a hall 10 resident, also experienced two power failures in a week in October. These power failures lasted for about 20 minutes each, with electr ical appliances such as laptops and fans switching off abruptly. “I was studying in my room when the lights went out. When I went out to check, I realised that the entire block was experiencing a blackout,” said the first-year biological sciences student. As the blackouts only lasted for a short while, residents were not particularly affected. However, Chong felt t hat if t he power failures had occurred during the examination period, it could affect students who were doing revision. Mr Fong Choon Yong, Hall Officer for Hall of Residence 10, which houses about 600 students, said such incidents could be caused by students overloading on the sockets or using faulty equipments. He explained that students might have used one multi-plug on top of another multi-plug, causing overloading that could easily lead to a short circuit. When this happens on the fan and lights of
LOOMING DANGER: The old fan at Hall of Residence 5 fell while Cheong Ting Fong was studying in mid-October. PHOTO | COURTESY
one unit, the entire row of units will be affected. Despite the occasional hiccups, the hall 10 dwellers did not find the hall facilities to be lacking. “Of course we cannot expect the facilities to be as good as the more expensive halls as we pay lesser hall fees,” said Tiffany Aw, 20, a first-year civil and environmental engineering student. Chong also felt that these power failures probably occurred
at random, and did not indicate that the hall’s facilities were inadequate. Mr Fong said that the hall’s facilities are maintained regularly and that the hall office will carry out investigations when students report about any defects. “Sometimes if we are unable to find out the root cause of the problem, we might even go room by room to troubleshoot and find out the cause,” he said.
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Attend talks or lose room in hall Maxie Aw Yeong news editor
Freshmen from Halls of Residence 3, 12 and 16 will have to attend at least one enrichment talk, or risk losing their accommodation. In an email sent to all freshmen in those halls, it was stated that “freshmen who do not attend at least one talk (without any good reason for any of the six available classes) will not be allowed to apply to any of the cluster Halls in their senior years”. The freshmen will also not be considered as a nominee in the Senior Hall Fellow’s Discretionary Admission List. Dean of Students Professor Lok Tat Seng said: “These talks are part of a pilot project that aims to develop a habit of continuing education among our students and building their character.” Topics focusing on achieving one’s potential, nutrition, and cyberspace challenges were presented to the hall residents on six different nights from October 25th to November 19th. According to Professor Lok, such Cluster Hall events are organised regularly to “enhance our
students’ residential experience and expand opportunities for interaction beyond individual halls.” The implementation of the new programme has upset some freshmen. “I felt a little threatened about the way this was implemented,” said Heng Yi Ling, 20, a firstyear information engineering and media student from Hall of Residence 12. Freshman Arie Putra Suhendro, 18, agreed. The Hall 16 resident from the School of Chemical and Bioengineering said: “It is a little unfair to us. I actually have assignments to complete but I had to come down for this talk." However, freshman Sabrina Khoo, 19, felt that such implementation was “just normal”. “Some people think that nonacademic issues are not important. But some topics are quite relevant to people staying in hall,” said the Hall 16 resident. Even though two timings were assigned to each of the three topics for the freshmen to choose from, some freshmen did not manage to go for the talk they thought would be most useful to them. For Hall 12 resident Lim Cen Hui, the talk she
LET'S HEAR YOUR VIEWS: First-year residents from Halls 3, 12 and 16 attend the talks so as to retain their rooms in the Halls of PHOTO | WAN ZHONG HAO Residence.
attended, “The ABC of Nutrition”, was not very useful for her since she is a vegetarian. “But I went for this talk because it is my most available day,” said the freshman from School of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Suhendro, who went for a talk about the social challenges of the Internet, however, found it “quite interesting and useful”. Issues such as privacy on the Internet, personal responsibility and accountability, and advocat-
ing against bad netizenship were covered during the talk. Manik Jain, 18, agreed. “There was interaction, and it was relevant, since we spend a lot of time on the Internet,” the Hall 12 resident said.
NTU offers new PhD programme in immunology
Parking goes virtual
New immunology programme in NTU set to groom future researchers in the area
“NBS Parking Craze”, the Facebook game that simulates a car park situated at Nanyang Business School (NBS), has attracted more than 4,000 users since it was introduced on October 22nd. Ms Loh Mei Ying, assistant manager of undergraduate programmes at NBS, said that the game was meant to liven up the Facebook page. “It was created with the students in mind. We thought that this will be a fun way to engage the students,” she said. T he game was created by Activate Interactive Ptd Ltd, an external vendor. It involves the simulation of a driver’s experience, complete with a steering wheel, headlights and even a car horn. Users will navigate their car into a narrow parking space
Lei Jiahui Students interested to pursue a higher education in immunology can now look to NTU as the university offers a new PhD research programme in this field of biomedical sciences. A joint initiative between NTU and the Agency for Science, Te c h n o lo g y a n d R e s e a r c h (A*STA R) , the Ph D training programme will focus on human immunology and immune regulation. Under this partnership, NTU’s School of Biological Sciences (SBS) and A*STAR consortium, Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN) will offer a comprehensive programme which hopes to enhance discoveries related to infectious and inflammatory diseases. Such diseases include malaria, tuberculosis and dengue fever. The research studies under this programme could also potentially lead to the development of new therapeutics in cancer and vaccines. The programme offers training and opportunities, such as being under the wings of an international faculty coming
from places such as Hong Kong, Finland and Italy, and going abroad for short stints, looks set to groom future immunology researchers. “Working with NTU, we will be able to develop a pipeline of talent in immunology and help to grow this relatively new and promising field of research in Singapore,” said Professor Paola Castagnoli, who is Scientific Director of SIgN.
“This provides me with the learning factor that I always wanted. There's always something to keep finding out about and that intrigues me." Cher Bon Piang Final-year student School of Biological Sciences
The first of its kind in NTU, the collaboration will also further contribute to the university’s research efforts. Associate Professor Ruedl
Christiane from SBS said this will help put NTU on the world map as it provides an outlet for the institution to contribute knowledge to the global research of immunology. “It is like putting one more brick in the wall. Ever ybody contributes a little bit with their own experiments,” said Professor Ruedl, the N T U professor in charge of the programme. The f ive-year programme will give students the freedom to choose their research topics. It will also allow interested students the opportunity to attend an international summer school. In addition, students will also be able to participate in intensive immunology conferences and workshops organised by SIgN. This will allow students to gain exposure and develop their research skills. This opportunity, which allows students to delve deeper into the study of immunology, drew Cher Bon Piang, 22, a final-year student from SBS, to apply for the programme. “This provides me with the learning factor that I always wanted. “There’s always something to keep finding out about and that intrigues me,” Cher said. The programme will admit its first intake of students in August 2011.
while avoiding obstacles along the way. The game has attracted students like third-year NBS student Angela Tan. It appeared on her Facebook news feed after her friends started playing it. She said: “I saw the name ‘NBS’ which was interesting, and since we don’t normally associate a Facebook game with a school, I got curious and tried it out.” The game also attracted students from other schools as it is accessible to all Facebook users. More games from NBS can be expected since the school said this is the first of a planned line-up of games, said Ms Loh. “We are also keen to work with the engineering or computer science students to create new games and are currently exploring the possibility of such collaborations,” she added.
PARKING ONLINE: Users can access the game from Facebook. PHOTO | GOH CHAY TENG
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NTU gets Institutional Review Board New ethics board includes biomedical, social science research Cassandra Yeap Researchers can now make use of NTU’s own Institutional Review Board (IRB) to ensure their research meets international stands and best practices. The NTU-IRB, which started operations in August, reviews research proposals by both students and faculty that involve the use of humans or biological material such as stem cells. The NTU-IRB ensures ethical research by the researches, and by extension, the university. Said Chairman of the IRB Professor Lee Sing Kong: “As NTU progresses to become a researchintensive university, especially over the last three years, it is timely that a university wide review board be set up to put in place a set of guidelines that can guide research across the university.” Previously, NTU’s only ethical review board was the Bioethics Review Committee, which reviewed only biomedical research involving human research participants, or human biological material like skin cells. However, with the introduction of the NTU-IRB, social science projects can also apply for approval. “Especially in the future when NTU sets up a new medical school, involvement of human subjects in research will be more extensive,” added Dr Lee. IRB approval is sought through the principal investigator (PI) of a research project, usually the faculty member in charge of the research project. PIs submit their proposals to the IRB for review, a process that can take up to one month or longer if the information provided is incomplete.
According to Dr Lee, the IRB facilitates research in three ways. The review and approval of proposals gives a clear signal that all ethical issues such as the control of young children, the rights of embryos and fetuses, and even the control of marginalised social groups, for example, are taken into consideration. Being IRB-approved will also permit researchers to meet the requirements of agencies funding research. While primarily intended for scholarly research leading to publication in academic journals, IRB review is also relevant for undergraduate final year projects, if they are research-based and involve human subjects. In such cases, the Head of the Division would decide whether there is a need for review and approval by the IRB. The standardisation of research protocol across the university was welcomed by researchers. Associate Professor Annabel Chen of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences’ Division of Psychology said: “In order for research to be recognised internationally, journals require research to have some sort of institutional or ethics review. In the past, how we dealt with this was we had to set up an ethics committee on our own because the university then didn’t provide such a board.” Undergraduates and young researchers would also benefit from the ethnical guideline feedback that IRB would provide, which they can use for their studies, added Dr Chen. Other researchers, such as Associate Professor William Chen of the School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering said that the IRB would bring clarity to research practices. “Sometimes we unintentionally cross the boundaries without getting the proper approval done. With the ethical guidelines in place, researchers will be more conscious of what they should not do,” he said.
BODY PARTS: An ovarian follicle of a female human under a microscope. Research on human subjects will now be reviewed by the IRB. PHOTO | INTERNET
Calling for art and heritage at NTU Assistant curator of NTU Art and Heritage Museum discusses the joy and sorrow of his work Candice Neo The job of a curator differs from day to day, and that is what the assistant curator of the NTU Art and Heritage Museum Dr Danny Tan enjoys about his job. “I like (being a curator) because every day is different,” he said. “Sometimes someone will discuss with you something you have never seen, or ideas for exhibition.” He has been with the museum since July 1st. One potential problem is that paintings may get damaged during storage, where there are water leakages in the storeroom. If such a problem occurs, Dr Tan would seek the help of professionals to restore the artworks. Another problem is that people may claim that the artworks are not real. In this case, he would seek professional advice from external art experts to verify the claims. Dr Tan helps in the day-today running of the museum and keeps track of all art donations. Occasionally, he also plans exhibitions like the showcase of paintings by Singaporean artist Lim Tze Peng, and the ongoing ‘Singapore Voices’, a display of Singapore’s native languages. Dr Tan is passionate about ar-
A PATH LESS TRAVELLED: Assistant currator of the NTU Art and Heritage Museum Dr Danny Tan gave up teaching to pursue archaelogy during his university days. PHOTO | WALLACE WOON
chaeology, a subject that is rarely heard of in Singapore. His passion grew when he was in University of Western Australia, and he chose archaeology out of pure curiosity. He likes the fact that archaeology is both artistic and scientific, and that the artistic aspect needs to be substantiated by scientific proof. The museum was officially launched in 2008 by Dr Su Guaning, but it has yet to have a physical home for permanent exhibitions. “Where the museum goes from here depends on many factors, such as the outcome of some of the major changes NTU will see in 2011,” Dr Tan said. Most of the museum’s artworks, mainly Chinese calligra-
phy and landscape paintings, are donations from NTU’s alumni and retired professors. Some donors even contributed their own paintings. The museum currently has less than 200 pieces of artwork in its collection, but Dr Tan said that more donations are coming in. He gets calls every few weeks regarding potential new donations. Dr Tan hopes that the exhibits will ignite more interest in art and heritage among the NTU community. “I think it’s important for science and engineering students to be knowledgeable in the arts, so that in conversations, they can come off as more well-rounded individuals," he said.
Do you have a radio voice? Radio programme director comes to NTU to speak to students Candice Neo Charisma, courage, and a good voice may make a good radio DJ, but it’s passion that turns good into great. “You need to have passion for it; it’s the one factor that keeps you in business,” said Power 98 FM Programme Director Harry Corro. Mr Corro was speaking at a talk organised by NTU’s Career and Attachment Office (CAO) on November 12th. Mr Corro had approached the university about giving a talk because he was keen to share his experiences in radio broadcasting with students. The CAO, in turn, welcomed the offer to allow NTU students to gain a better understanding of the increasingly complex profession. A CAO spokesperson said: “Today, radio broadcasting has grown to be more than just news presentation to include music and a variety of “infotainment” pro-
grammes that cater to different listeners’ tastes and preferences.” In his talk, Mr Corro explained that beyond producing and presenting programmes, a radio DJ also has to organise events, run publicity drives and even write commercials. This is why interested applicants to the local radio station are required to take voice and writing tests.
“You need to have passion for it; it's the one factor that keeps you in business." Mr Harry Corro Programme Director Power 98 FM
Glamorous as the job of a radio DJ may sound, Sin Jia Yi, 21, recognises that not everyone can do it. She said: “You need an important biological factor: your voice. If you don’t sound good, no one will tune in.” Sin herself is
unsure if her voice would qualify, but that would not deter her from joining the radio broadcasting industry. She is considering applying for a marketing position, which Mr Corro presented as another possible opportunity in the industry. Final-year communications student Jason Khor said that he had gained a deeper insight into the profession, especially into aspects that escape the public’s attention like the irregular working hours and the broad scope of the job. Khor is interested in the radio industry, and confessed to having some qualities that the radio producers may be looking for. “People have told me that I have a nice voice, and that I’m charismatic,” he said. Sin, meanwhile, would like to get a diversity of perspectives from other radio stations, such as Class 95 FM and YES 93.3 FM, a Chinese radio broadcast station. “We should have more options (to choose from),” she said. She felt that by hearing from a variety of radio stations, she would be able to make a decision on which is more suited for her.
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Revised campus dress code loosens up Loh Jun Wei Shorts and thong sandals are now allowed but flip-flops are still a no-no. Changes to the NTU dress code were announced in an email by the Student Affairs Office on October 29th. Students are now allowed to wear shorts on campus, according to a new dress code published on the NTU’s website. Many students, however, are unaware of the previous restrictions. Wong Chi Chin, 24, a thirdyear electrical and electronic engineering student said: “I’ve never heard of this before, but I don’t see why the school should control what the students should wear.” “We should be able to wear what we like as long as we are comfortable,” he added. Echoing his sentiment, Teng Yu Hui, 21, a second-year electrical and electronic engineering student said: “The weather is hot. Wearing jeans and shoes would be very uncomfortable, especially when I have a long day in school.”
However, Chan Shi Min, 22, a third-year biological sciences student believes that students should dress more appropriately as a form of respect for the lecturers. “Lecturers make an effort to dress professionally when they conduct their lessons,” she said. “We should also respect them by not dressing up sloppily in shorts and slippers.”
“We should be able to wear what we like as long as we are comfortable.” Wong Chi Chin, 24 Third-year student School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
The code states that the University reserves the right to take any disciplinary action against students who fail to comply with the guidelines. But the warning has not bothered students due to the apparent
lack of enforcement. “Look around and you see lots of students in shorts and slippers. I don’t think the school’s doing anything about it,” Chan said. A check with the Student Affairs Office (SAO) revealed that no students has ever been penalised for failing to adhere to the dress code. “So far, we have not received any complaints of inappropriate dressing. We have seen students make the effort to dress appropriately for different occasions,” said Mr. Lai Yew Chan, Senior Assistant Director of the SAO. He added: “We recognise that dressing is a form of self-expression for young people.” Some students believe that the official lifting of the ban on shorts shows that the University has been listening to their feedback. Wong said: “It makes us feel that we are heard. I’m just disappointed that they didn’t exclude slippers from it.” The new guidelines can be found on the SAO’s website. >> TURN TO PAGE 29 TO FIND OUT WHAT SOME STUDENTS THINK
WEATHER WOES: Some students still wear slippers to school, citing the hot weather as a PHOTO | WALLACE WOON reason for not adhering to NTU's new dress code.
New perspectives in film
Utilise NTU's diversity asset
Film Festival practicum now open to more faculties
Amelia Tan Students with an interest in cinema studies are going behind-the-scenes of a film festival this year in a practicum course previously reserved for communications studies students. The COM266 Film Festival Practicum allows students to organise a two-week film festival. This year’s festival is named Perspectives Film Festival, which shows films that break the boundaries of reality and story-telling. Now in its third year, the course opened its doors to students from the School of Humanities Studies (HSS), the Nanyang Business School (NBS), and the School of Art, Design and Media this semester. Teacher-mentor Ms Nikki Draper, explained that the move came about as the school was following the practice of other modules, which are not exclusive to students from Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Infor mation (WKWSCI). “The course is about managing an arts event, and having students from these other schools will gel nicely with their skill sets,” she said. Second-year HSS student Ronnie Yeo is chief of the editorial team, which is in charge of the programme booklet’s content, where they write blurbs, source for interviews, and invite film academics to write essays on the films. “Being in HSS, it’s helpful because we know some of the HSS English professors who are also film scholars. We actually approached one of them to write an article for us,” he said.
On the publicity team is third-year NBS student, Teo Swee Huang, who felt that being from different courses gave different perspectives. “We had a variety of opinions. As NBS students, we tend to think more from the company’s point of view rather than about the audience,” she said. “However, I believe that working out our differences is part of the experience,” she added. Echoing her views is the festival's co-director, Pedro Shiu, 23, a third-year student from WKWSCI. “With the inclusion of the other schools, we get a different perspective and healthier working dynamics,” he said. The team worked together to come up with this year’s theme. Shiu explained: “Usually, people assume that documentaries are related to reality. However, some films cannot be classified as such, such as Waltz with Bashir’. The Perspectives Film Festival will be held from November 25th to 28th, at The Arts House. Each screening costs $10 for adults and $8 for students, NSFs, and Passion Card members.
OPENING FILM: Waltz with Bashir, an animated documentary on the 1982 Lebanon War, is the opening film for the film festival. PHOTO | INTERNET
German student Sven Fich felt like he was dragged to Singapore in 2008 when his father was posted here for work. Two years later, the computer engineering student feels comfortable calling Singapore home. “It is such a big city. I have many things to do, I don’t get bored. It’s so easy to get to connect with people,” he said. The 22-year-old is president of the NTU German Society, which helps German students settle into school. The society also organises cultural events such as the annual Oktoberfest. Sven is one of the 11,000 internationals at NTU who enjoy and contribute to the diversity of the community, which is vital in enriching the experience of students and staff alike. “The more students embrace diversity, the more they will learn about the world and be prepared for the globalised world of today,” said Associate Professor Lok Tat Seng, Dean of Students. Charly Lo, 22, a French native now studying at the School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering, also had a memorable experience getting the residents of his apartment block to know each other better through a party. “We got permission from the management and put up a notice at the lift lobby, and around 20 people turned up,” he said. “They were from everywhere – most were exchange students, but there were some locals as well.” The diversity in NTU extends beyond nationalities. Membership in various language clubs has grown from previous years, pointing to greater interest in international cultures and languages among students. NTU’s French and Spanish Societies fre-
quently organise events that showcase their cultures, such as an annual sangria (a Spanish cocktail) party and a French cheese and winetasting session. The French Society also holds fortnightly screenings of French films. Other activities include the Korean Cultural Society’s food and music fairs and the Japanese Appreciation Club’s annual Cultural Festival, which features traditional Japanese games and activities such as “kingyo sukui", where players scoop goldfish from pools using paper scoopers. With the school supporting events that promote integration, it is up to students to take the first step towards integration.
“The more students embrace diversity, the more they will learn about the world and be prepared for the globalised world of today.” Associate Professor Lok Tat Seng Dean of Students
Fourth-year mechanical and aerospace engineering student Zack Wu feels that students need to be more proactive in reaching out to other groups of people. “It’s a cultural thing. I stayed in the hall for three years, but I didn’t know many people. But when I was an exchange student in Sweden, we lived in a floor and everyone knew everyone,” said the 25-year-old “NTU has great diversity, but it isn’t very unified. People should jump out of their comfort zones more.”
N OV E M B E R 2 2 , 2010
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Healthier options Libraries and reading rooms turned home on campus Due to lack of rooms and places to rest, some students have resorted to sleeping in libraries Heng Yih Fang Alex Zhang Dozing off in the library or tutorial rooms is common practice, but some students have taken it to the extreme, setting up temporary homes in study areas and doubling bookselves up as shoe racks. Liu Shun, a third-year student from the School of Material Science Engineering, has “moved in" to a desk in a reading room near LT 20. The desk houses his books, notes, food, clock, as well as a suitcase full of clothes. But the reading room is merely a day refuge. Come 9pm, after the room shuts for the day, Liu will migrate to an empty tutorial room to spend the night. Liu said he did not manage to get a hostel room this academic year. Staying off campus was too expensive so he chose to camp in school. He maintains that he is not in the way of users. “I do not take the tables beside power sockets (which are more popular) so it doesn’t really affect other people much.” However, Chong Hooi Kim, AN APPLE A DAY: The fruit and drinks are replenished every day. PHOTO | LAWRENCE LIAU
Agung S. Ongko Some students cannot live without coffee, at least during their morning lectures. But students at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI) can now choose to consume a caffeine-free alternative to perk themselves up. The fruit-dispensing machine at WKWSCI was introduced in mid-October by the school’s Staff Welfare Committee in collaboration with the Health Promotion Board. I n a n e-ma i l a n nou nci ng the machine’s installation, the Committee explained that the School hopes to nurture, among students and staff, the habit of eating sufficient fruits and vegetables as part of their diet. Another healthier option that has recently sprouted in Canteen 2 is yogurt. Yoshifu was set up by a group of friends who share a love of yogurt. One of them, Ms Jerine Hsu, 28, a graduate of Nanyang Business School, saw an opportunity to introduce healthy food to her alma mater. “For students, I think it is important to cultivate a very healthy dessert choice since they are in
their school days,” she said. This is why her stall offers not just frozen yogurt, but also lighter snacks like baked doughnuts and butter-free muffins with salad oil. “We try to bring in these lighter desserts as a choice for them, as something to indulge in, but not to that guilty level,” she added. But providing healthier food options is not without its challenges. Ms Hsu said that for healthy food businesses to be sustainable in the long run, the customers have to first get used to such food. Otherwise, the novelty will wear off after some time. Still, students seem to be looking forward to more healthy food options on campus. Sarina Chng, 20, a second-year linguistics and multilingual studies major, said that she would like to see more options like vegetarian laksa, rather than small vegetarian Chinese dishes served with rice. Eu Siyuan, 22, a second-year WKWSCI student also believes that providing healthy food options on campus does make a difference. “Before the fruit vending machine (was installed), I didn’t eat any fruits, unless I went home. Now, every week, I have at least about two to three servings of fruits,” he said.
19, a first-year student from Nanyang Business School, finds Liu’s behavior “unbelievably inconsiderate”. Teo Chun Huat, a year two student of the School of Biological Sciences, said, “We can actually remove his belongings anytime, because there’s the 45 minute rule.” The rule in the reading room states that users are not allowed to hog the tables, and other users can remove things on the occupied table. In the Business Library, another student was recently spotted snoozing on the floor in the Quiet Reading Zone in the Reference Section. He was covered with a checkered blanket and his shoes were neatly put on the bookshelf. According to the Deputy University Librarian, Isabella Trahn, library staff will take action against students who are “inconveniencing and endangering other users”. Though users rarely go to that part of the library, the spot is in plain view of surveillance cameras. Frequent visitors to the Business Library say that the student has been seen sleeping in the Reference Section on multiple occasions. When approached by The Nanyang Chronicle, the business library snoozer who did not want to identify himself merely said that it was “convenient” to
A queer film festival
A BOLD MOVE: Assistant Professor Bergen-Aurand wants to highlight the issues revolving the concept of queer. PHOTO | LEE WAI MENG
Trinh Hoang Ly An NTU assistant professor aims to change the general perception of queerness by organising a queer film festival in August 2011. Assistant Professor Brian “Hoca" Bergen-Aurand, who teaches courses on gender and sexuality in the English division in the School of Humanities and
Social Sciences will be co-organising the festival that will feature movies from as early as 1910. The usage of the term "queer" is controversial. Traditionally it meant odd or unusual, but today, it refers to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. The co-organiser of the film festival is Mr Jun ZubillagaPow, who was the curator of the
sleep in the library even though he has a hostel room. Other library users that the Chronicle spoke to, also say that the library is the place of choice when they want some shuteye. “The environment (of the library) is quiet and there is no one who will disturb you," said Wu Xiang Wei, 21, a first-year engineering student. As for Liu, he has already been caught once by a cleaning lady who threatened to report him to the authorities. “But I still do it because I have no choice,” he said.
A temporary home: Some students prefer sleeping in the library to Hall. PHOTO | COURTESY
recently concluded IndigNation Film Festival, that was on the topic of LGBT. Describing the film festival as “a little more complicated than an ordinary film festival”, Professor Bergen-Aurand said that queerness is much more than the notion of sexual identity. It also includes family, kinship and many other experiences such as race, class, gender, ethnicity and religion. The festival will highlight the complexity of queerness, not limited to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues. Professor Bergen-Aurand’s interest in the relationship between gender and sexuality started during his stint as a gender and sexuality editor for the Clamor magazine in Ohio, USA. This interest, coupled with a book that he is writing, titled The Historical Dictionary of Queer Cinema Cinematic Provocation, led him to organise the film festival. “I hope people like the films. And the best thing that could possibly happen is at the end of it, people walk out and say ‘Okay, that changed the way I thought about queer’,” he said. T he festival will last for three days in the second week of August 2011, and will be open to the public.
Lifestyle Resist gorging mindlessly at these buffet places - Page 12
A new way to get discounts for recreational activities is a few clicks away—grouping up to buy in bulk. Clement Quek shows you how to get more bang for your buck from Internet group buying websites
GRAPHIC | ALAN CHOONG, PHOTO | BEECONOMIC
Check your e-mail, Facebook or Twitter feeds for deals
THE idea of forking out $200 for a 30day gym pass did not appeal to Yang Yanyi, a final-year student from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information. Turning to a group buying website, instead, she received a massive discount and paid just $30 for a gym pass. The 22-year-old f itness enthusiast bought a 30-day trial to the California Fitness Gym from Deal.com.sg, through her friend’s recommendation. It is one of about 15 group buying websites that have sprouted up in Singapore here since May. Group buying websites offer good deals—discount vouchers, which usually range between 40 and 90 per cent—for restaurant meals, classes like yoga, pole dancing, and even holiday getaways. The catch of these bargains is that there has to be enough buyers for a deal to go through. Depending on the value of the deals, the consumer quota can range from 10 people for holiday packages to 999 people for movie ticket deals. The websites take a 20 to 50 per cent cut of the value of vouchers sold. After buying a voucher, the consumer can print it off the website and presents when buying. Some websites even mai l out t he physical copies of the vouchers. It is popular with young adults like Yang, who are eager to try out new experiences at a lower cost. Yang had never joined a gym and was
Share these deals with your friends online
Pay and print the voucher after the deal ends
unsure if it was worth paying hundreds of dollars for a one-year membership. “I didn’t want the usual one-week complimentary access because the time was too short to help me decide,” she said. At the end of her 30-day trial, she decided not to sign up for the membership. T he nu mbe r of vouc he r s sold i n Singapore has increased threefold to 18,600 in October, up from 6,400 in August, according to data provided by All Deals Asia, which tracks the performance of local group buying websites. Deal.com.sg, Beeconomic, and Big Deal are the three biggest players in the market, judging by the total number of vouchers sold. According to local website operators here, a majority of their customers are young adults aged between 18 and 34 years old. They tend to be tech-savvy, own credit cards or PayPal accounts, and are hungry for new experiences. Bank executive Peh Zhen Hao, 25, who had never played paintball, bought a $150 paintball session voucher for himself and five friends. The original price was $299. “If there was no discount, I wouldn’t have tried it because the usual price is too expensive,” he said. Co-founder of Big Deal, Ms Daphne Teo explained: “When it comes to buying or trying new things, a customer’s willingness to pay is lower.” Low prices aside, the attraction of Internet group buying is the thrill of do-
Bring the voucher and present it at the store. Enjoy.
ing something out-of-the-blue. “Consumers are out there basically looking for something to do,” said Mr Karl Chong, founder of Beeconomic. “What we offer them is a nudge in the right direction, giving them a discount that will encourage them and their friends to try something different in Singapore.” Some of the more popular deals include return ferry tickets to Bintan on Deal.com.sg (1,452 sold at 35 per cent off ), paintball sessions on Beeconomic (1,500 sold at 51 per cent off), Night Safari Halloween Horrors tickets on Big Deal (1,818 sold at 40 per cent off), and movie tickets on Liveoff Coupon (3,870 sold at 52 per cent off).
The catch to these bargains is that there has to be enough buyers for a deal to go through For Nursharini Arifin, 21, a final-year student from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Internet group buying is a way to stretch her budget. She has bought vouchers for a manicure-pedicure session, yoghurt, hairdressing services and a yoga class for less than a hundred dollars, from Deal.com. sg and VoucherWow.
“I also like food deals, but there are not a lot of halal choices available for me,” said Nursharini. Consumers can suggest to websites the deals they want. For example, Big Deal’s best-selling Night Safari Halloween Horror deal was suggested by a customer. While like-minded consumers is growing, most remain unaware of Internet group buying. “We are just starting to scratch the surface,” said All Deals Asia co-founder, Ms Goh Yiping. She estimates that cur rently only one per cent of Singaporeans know what Internet group buying is. Group buying websites here are mostly entrepreneurial ventures with limited marketing budget and mainly promote t he m se lve s t h r oug h wor d- of-mout h adver t ising, using socia l med ia li ke Facebook and Twitter. Still, some possible customers, such as civil servant Joyce Lim, 24 have reservations about online group buying. Lim signed up for an account with Deal.com.sg two months ago but has yet to buy anything. She prefers looking at the product physically before buying it. Group buying websites generally have a policy of checking the credibility of the merchant before offering a deal to their customers. A check with the Consumer Association of Singapore (CASE) indicated that no complaints have been lodged against such websites so far. But, the level of awareness towards online group buying is set to change. Groupon, the biggest group buying website in the United States, is expected to enter the market here by the end of this year, according to All Deals Asia. Groupon, which operates in more than 140 cities including parts of Asia and Europe, was the first to successfully use collective buying power to get discounts on activities, meals and goods for its customers. Loca l g roup buy i ng websites a r e touted as ‘Groupon Clones’ because their business model is a carbon copy of the Chicago-based giant. Mr Axel Tan, co-founder of Liveoff Coupon said: “While the ‘Groupon’ brand is known to few here, the company has the financial muscle to launch major marketing campaigns that will raise the general awareness of group buying websites.” His website was launched in October this year. But, there may be subtle differences between local consumers and their counterparts in the West, he added. Compared to the latter, local consumers have not really warmed up to e-commerce, he said.
N OV E M B E R 22 , 2010
T h e na n ya ng c h ron ic l e
It is that time of the year when stress levels soar. Lifestyle Editor Kenneth Goh scours for buys to help you relieve the tension while hitting the books for the examinations 1. Clean up the air
Study with a clearer mind with cleaner air. It does not hurt to have the calming scents of lavender floating around. This bowl-shaped air revitaliser removes dust and pollen lurking in the air. It also cleanses and lowers the humidity level in your room. Flavours can be added to the air through the 10ml bottle lavender essential oil blend. Simply fill the bowl with clean water and add four drops of lavender oil and the machine swirls the water and gives off a gentle aroma. Be patient as it will take more than 15 minutes for the surrounding air to smell different.
6. foot for thought Your hands may be aching from all the writing, but don’t neglect your feet. A foot massage helps improve blood circulation to perk your mind up. This portable massager allows you to have an invigorating massage under your desk. Simply plug in the power cable via a USB port for it to vibrate. The bone-shaped massager has three different surfaces to ease the tension in the feet. They are made up of pebble-like grooves and thin lines. Use your feet to manoeuvre the massager to expose your soles to different sides. For optimum effect, support your heel on the massager.
Guardian air revitaliser comes with a bottle of lavender oil and costs $19.90, from Guardian Pharmacy stores
The foot massager costs $24.90 from Action City outlets
2. bed buddy
7. Ideal for the eyes
Forget about counting sheep. This sleep-inducing package includes a bottle of pillow mist and eye pillow. Spray the lavender essential oil on the eye pillow before covering your eyes, and put the lavender-infused eye pillow near to your nose as you drift off. Lavender is known for calming the nerves and promotes natural sleeping patterns. Here’s to a smooth journey to slumberland.
Squeeze in a five-minute break from all the reading. The EyeSlices Biotonix eye gel is a jelly-like pad equipped with cryogel technology. The pads contain natural flower extracts that revitalise the skin around the eyes. Besides the instant cooling sensation, the eye gel is a fuss-free remedy for puffy eyes and dark circles. Each pocket-sized capsule stores two eye gels, and can be used up to 10 times. Keep those rubbery slices in the capsule, which can be sealed to keep them fresh. Best to store them in the refrigerator before using.
Guardian pillow mist and eye pillow costs $11.95 from Guardian Pharmacy stores
3. love your body This heart-shaped massager fits snugly into your palm. With flexible, finger-like grooves on the underside, it eases and kneads aching muscles and revitalises tired bodies. For an instant spa treatment, slather massage oil on your body and use the massager for an invigorating rub-down.
EyeSlices biotonix eye gel costs $18.50 for one capsule, from Guardian Pharmacy outlets
8. Soothing scrubs
After taking a de-stressing bath, slather your body with this body lotion. It contains grapeseed oil, cocoa butter and organic soya oil, which softens and hydrates the skin. It does not hurt when tension-relieving aroma comes from lavender essential oil and chamomile. The last two ingredients are found in the Divine Calm Relaxing Massage Oil, which also has sweet almond oil and sesame oil. The oil is crammed with Vitamins E to retain skin glow and is used in Ayurveda massages.
Love massager costs $26.90 from Trolley, 88 Club Street
4. dream cream
Let the calming scent of essential oils soothe those frazzled nerves before you sleep. The scent is reminiscent of an essential oil blend of lavender, rosewood, vanilla and chamomile. Made with shea butter and argan oil, this twoin-one night cream also nourishes your skin with vitamins A and E, which prevent premature wrinkles. Here’s to waking up with silky smooth rejuvenated skin.
The Body Shop Divine Calm Sublime Body Lotion and Divine Calm Relaxing Massage Oil cost $26.90 and $18.90 respectively, from The Body Shop stores
9. Burn aromatic midnight oil
Crabtree & Evelyn relaxing comforting body night cream costs $65 from Crabtree & Evelyn stores
5. light up Dim the lights, put some soothing music on replay and light some scented candles. Housed in glass jars, the candles come in three flavours, green tea, ocean spring and peppermint. The azure blue peppermint candle diffuses a fresh smell into the air, while green tea scent pales in comparison. Rounding off the trio is the ocean spring, which smells, well, just not as minty as the peppermint candle. Candles cost $9.90 each, from Egg3 Shop, 33 Erskine Road #01-10/11/12
Candle flames housed in oil burners can be quite the fire hazard. With the examinations approaching, the last thing you would want is to see your study notes in flames. This pearshaped aroma diffuser sends out whiffs of scents in a fire-friendly way. It is powered by batteries or connected to the computer via a USB port. There is also a small bottle of essential oil to pour on the dish, which is heated up by the LED-powered “candle”. To make the experience realistic, the built-in LED candlelight flickers. The best part? Blow the “flame” to switch off. Candle light aroma diffuser costs $14.90, from Action City outlets PHOTOS | EUNICE CHAN, THE BODY SHOP & CRABTREE & EVELYN
N OV E M B E R 2 2 , 2010
T h e na n ya ng c h ron ic l e
Make your nails pop! With the help of DIY nail design kits, nail enthusiasts can experiment with more personalised nail art. Mavis Ang shows some techniques to create statement nails. Argyle Mod
Step 1: Apply a thick layer of nail polish over the design on the image plate.
Step 2: Use the scraper to clean off the excess polish in one quick motion. Remember not to apply too much pressure when scraping off the polish as this will result in a faint imprint on the rubber stamp.
Step 3: Place the rubber stamp straight down on the design. Ensure that your image prints neatly onto the rubber stamp before transferring it to the nails.
Step 4: Aim well and apply medium pressure when stamping the nail. A good technique is to start from the side, and gently rock the stamp back and forth while working your way to the opposite side of the nail. With that, clean off your image plate, and repeat steps 1 to 4 for all fingers.
Step 5: With Konad's nail stamping kit, intricate designs like this can be done easily. A basic kit at konad.com.sg costs $23.90, and it consists of an image plate, a rubber stamp, a scraper and a 5ml special Konad polish.
Step 1: Before drawing on the nail, it is better to test out some drawings on a piece of paper to get yourself used to controlling the art pen. Then, with a steady hand, draw two diagonal lines across the nail.
Step 2: Add a yellow zig zag between the lines to add a pop of colour to your nail design. Repeat the steps for all fingers.
Step 3: Besides the stamping techniques, nail art pens that cost around $20 on eBay for 12 colours, provide a simple solution for adding oomph to your nails. With simple lines and dots, combine abstract designs with contrasting nail varnishes to get a funky look.
NAIL art has been around for years, with styles ranging from ghetto to cutesy. But recently, nail art supplies are increasingly affordable, sparking a new interest for DIY nail designs. Leading this re-emerging trend are artists such as Rihanna and Lady Gaga, as well as WAH nails (wah-nails.com), a nail salon based in London which has a large online following. With the the help of a stamping kit and art pens, students just need to take a half an hour break from studying to whip up a set of impressive nails.
PHOTOS | EUNICE CHAN
n ov e m b e r 22 , 2010
T h e na n ya ng c h ron ic l e
Belly-bursting buffets Loosen those belts and bid farewell to petite waistlines as you stuff yourselves full at buffet places. Alvin Chia and Ng Tze Min get spoilt for choice with all the options En Japanese Dining Bar @ Bukit Timah 557 Bukit Timah Rd Crown Centre, #01-14/16 Opening Hours: Mon to Thurs: 6pm - 11pm Fri – Sun & public holidays: 12pm - 3pm, 6pm - 10.30pm
SLICES OF HEAVEN: Dessert choices include vanilla raspberry cake and apple cheese tarts.
22 Scotts Road Goodwood Park Hotel Opening hours: Mon - Thurs: 2pm - 5.30pm Fri - Sun & public holidays: 12pm - 2.30pm (1st seating) 3pm - 5.30pm (2nd seating)
W ITH 30 years of experience in serving authentic traditional English high tea, this afternoon buffet at L’Espresso did not disappoint. Canapés, cakes and sandw ic hes a r e la id out a long a counter. A l l of it i s prepa red i nhouse, and while there may not be that much choice, it is all quality over quantity. The buffet costs $36 from Mondays to Thursdays and $38 on Fridays, the weekends and public holidays. The perennial favourite is the scone, which are served plain or with raisins or blueberries—to keep the Americans happy. A l s o s e r v e d a r e ja r s of s t r awbe r r y ja m a nd c lot te d c r e a m , wh ic h i s c u s tom a r y to slap on the scones. It adds sweetness and moisture to the crumbly, soft cake. The scones’ crusty surface belies a feather y soft texture inside, and the dough has a light butter y taste. T hey cr umble slightly in your mouth rather than when you slice them. Just one grouse though, the scones could be warmer. Among the enticing selection of savouries (which move
away from the usual English favourites), are fried prawn fritters, yam spring rolls and quails eggs, wrapped with bacon, and encased in crispy batter. Spr i ng y pork meat ba l l s come slathered with barbecue sauce; while the beef shepherd’s pie h a s a ca r p e t of c r ea m y mashed potatoes on rather salty minced beef. Finger sandw iches and a strange mix of canapés are arranged on a two tier stand, including an unexpected allusion to local favourite Kueh Pie Tee. In this east-meets-west invention, a diced mix of smoked chicken, apples and apr icots nestle inside a crackling shell. However, the zest y fr uit mix over whelmes the taste of the smoked chicken. For an interesting take on an open sandwich, try the parma ham with rockmelon. The sweetness of the rockmelon slices provides a clever yin to the saltiness of the paper-thin Parma ham. There were some misses in the buffet lineup, though. The goose liver canapé was not well received, judging from the many untouched pieces left at the end. For desserts, the signature bread and butter pudding manages not to be cloyingly sweet or sloppy and keeps the aroma of milk and butter. There is little question of the Royal chocolate crunchy hazelnut cake’s permanent position in the dessert section. Thin leaves of feuilletine (f lat leaves of cr ispy suga r) layer with luxurious bittersweet
PHOTOS | LEE WAI MENG & DEREK FOO
BITE-SIZED DELIGHTS: A plate of canapés (from top, clockwise) like prawn with Ebiko on Vol-au-vent and Parma ham sandwich.
cream to give an extra crispy dimension to the cake. Fresh fruits, mini tarts and layered cakes spill over onto a separate booth, elegantly arranged in cascading tiers. To d r i n k , t h e P r i nc e of Kandy is an invigorating blend of black tea leaves. It is not too sharp to the tastebuds, and is good on its own without adding any sugar. For a non-caffeine option, go for Rosehip and Hibiscus floral tea, which can be intensely potent and rich. L’Espresso is a great venue to lounge away an afternoon, while soothing evergreen tunes are played live by a pianist amid cheery chatter.
IT IS hard to resist the temptation to order every single item on the menu in this Japanese restaurant. It is a nice problem to have, and at En Japanese Dining Bar the à-la-carte dinner buffet ($48 for adults, $18 for children) allows you to order from a wide range of Japanese delicacies as many times as you want. The selection ranges from a over 50 varieties of hand-rolled sushi and skewered meats to s tea m i ng hot pot s a nd f r e sh sashimi. The tasteful beige and polished oak décor of the restaurant with its discreet lighting is a far cry from the boisterous settings of t y pica l popu la r Japa ne se c h a i n-r e s t au r a nt s fou nd i n heartland shopping malls. There are even private Tatami rooms for more privacy and used for intimate gatherings. The idea of free-flow of sashimi in an à la carte buffet can create doubts about freshness and portions. It was t hu s su r pr isi ng to feast on lusciously thick slices of salmon, yellowtail, tuna and swordfish. The sashimi, which is impeccably fresh, cold and sweet, dissolves on the tongue. As tempting as it may be to fill up on sashimi, it would be a shame to skip the other dishes. The Daikon salad is a pretty dish of shredded radish tossed in vinegar and soya sauce. The refreshing radish slices are complemented well by the
sweet and tangy dressing, and the scattering of crispy bacon bits gives the salad an addictive crunch. While the cold tofu topped with f ish roe is silky smooth and glides down the throat, the bland tofu did not excite the palate much. But the fish roe injects an interesting springy bite to an otherwise monotonous texture. The sushi is generally well made if the salmon and avocado Maki is to be used as a yardstick. The creamy avocado and succulent salmon are encased within vinegar y rice and expertly rolled. The beef carpaccio stands out on the appetiser menu, thinly sliced raw beef in a Miso-based marinade with both savoury and smoky notes. The beef melts in the mouth, with no hint of the gamey aftertaste that is associated with raw meat. The grilled fish from the grill selection came simply seasoned in salt, and in generous portions, though the tiny bones may be a barrier to real enjoyment of the fish. A hot pot is also provided for Shabu-Shabu, the Japanese version of steamboat. T he l ig ht , clea r Su k iya k i broth is subtly sweet and acts as an ideal base for the refillable plates of vegetables, mushrooms and beef slices. A modest selection of sweet treats rounds off the dessert section, from ice cream to Japanese mochi. The green tea ice cream is tinged with a strong bittersweet matcha taste, so the meal ends on a satisfying note. A word of caution though— while most dishes are enjoyable, some winners will entice multiple orders. It is advisable to go with a large group of friends or family, in order to be able to order a bit of everything.
SILKY SMOOTH: The cold tofu is topped with springy fish roe for exciting bites.
N OV E M B E R 2 2 , 2010
T h e na n ya ng c h ron ic l e
quiet is the new loud
the book café
Make studying a cozy affair as Ng Tze Min looks out for conducive places to mug for the upcoming exams Pacific Coffee Company Red Dot Museum 28 Maxwell Road #01-01 Red Dot Traffic Building Tel: 6887 5430 Opening Hours: Mom - Fri: 8am - 9pm Sat - Sun & PH: 9am - 7pm
QUIET REVISION: Usually empty with the exception of lunchtime crowds.
HIDDEN behind the crimson walls of the Red Dot Museum, it is easy to miss the Pacific Coffee Company. There are no signs on the outside indicating its presence within the museum. Inside, the café is split into three
sanctums, which resembles a long and narrow chamber. The counter takes up the most of the first room, while the second and third contain armchairs, couches and low tables, ideal for curling up in comfort while reading. Furnished with dark cherry oak panels, gilded mirrors and ornate lamps, this coffee joint will have you feeling ensconced the cozy basement of an English mansion. The café is well lit, illuminated by ceiling lights above and standing lamps by every cluster of chairs, so you do not have to strain your eyes to decipher small print. Although the air-conditioning may get slightly chilly after a while, it is nothing a sweater will not solve. Power points are few and hard to find, but there are a few computers for patrons to use free of charge. According to the manager Diana, they do not see many students, as it is tucked away in the Central Business District area. She does not mind people studying here “as long as they buy a drink." Besides cold and hot coffee drinks, there is a modest selection of muffins, cakes and sandwiches. Hidden away from the public eye, this particular outlet is like that precious set of examination notes that you selfishly keep a secret, to prevent it from becoming over-used. 2mm apartfrom
COZY COUCHES: Take a break from intense the intense revision here.
20 Martin Road #01-02 Seng Kee Building Tel: 6887 5430 Opening Hours: Sun - Thurs: 8.30am - 10.30pm Fri - Sat: 8.30am - 12am THE Book Café is a gem for students looking for places to study, with its own wireless network and a brand new multi-purpose copy machine that scans and prints in colour. “We get quite a number of undergraduates and young working adults who will spend the afternoon here working on their laptops,” said manager Alan Sum. “The machine will come as a big convenience to them,” he added. This serene nook tucked under Seng Kee Building on Martin Road is also well-equipped with power outlets, both indoors and outdoors. While whirring ceiling fans keep the outdoor seats from becoming too stifled, the air-conditioning inside keeps the temperature comfortable without a need for more than a thin cardigan. The airy café is split into two sec-
PHOTOS | WAN ZHONG HAO
tions; a smattering of tables and chairs occupies one side, while the other resembles a homely living room with books-lined shelves and comfy couches. If a study break is in order, students can settle down with a book or magazine from its wide selection. The café serves small nibbles such as pastries and potato wedges to heartier fare like sandwiches and fish ‘n’ chips, to keep you properly fueled for all that brainwork. The spot does not get heavy human traffic, save for a handful of expatriates quietly tending to their Macbooks, so it has a rare peace that is woefully lacking in most student-infested coffee chains.
STUDY TIDBITS: Munchies to keep you alert.
Kenneth Wee takes a closer look into the rationale behind students' dressing down in school FLIP-FLOPS, short-sleeved t-shirts and shorts may not be Eileen Ng’s outfit of choice when she heads to town. But this is what she wears to her lectures in school. She is among many students in NTU who have adopted an almost utilitarian approach to how they dress for school; comfort, convenience and practicality. But the second-year student at School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, wears a floral dress and cardigan with heels when she heads to town. As she carries a Longchamp tote bag, it is clear that these students present a different image off-campus. The common practice of dressing down for school is especially common among those staying in the halls of residence. Their only thought in the morning is catching the shuttle bus and getting to classes on time, so few will make an effort to dress up. Pan Yin Lan, 21, a third-year student from Nanyang Business School (NBS) said:
“There is no time to think about what to wear. I just throw on whatever I can find.” Fazillah Abdul Gaffa, 24, a stylist for Singapore Brides said that although Singaporeans are generally conveniencedriven dressers, there is no problem with wearing racerback tank tops and shorts—a typical Singaporean’s outfit. “Lots of women in New York, possibly the most stylish city in the world, call denim cut-off shorts their summer uniform and they look like they have jumped out of the pages of Nylon magazine,” said Fazillah. She added that it is a practical outfit here because of the high temperatures and humidity. Another stylist, Evon Chng, provided some tips on how to make such a look work. “No flip-flops, and girls should put on a cardigan if they really have to wear a spaghetti top,” said Chng, who has styled for various publications including The Straits Times’ Urban.
Fazillah agreed that flip-flops do not constitute as dressing up. She added: “Sometime it is appalling to see what people call dressing up.” Ng agreed and said that it feels and looks weird to wear slippers while walking down Orchard Road and that she would prefer to wear heels instead. Nevertheless, many students are spotted wearing slippers around school even in town. But Lim Junrong,23, a third-year student from Nanyang Business School (NBS), said that flip flops now come in many nice designs. But there are still students who dress up for school – much like Trixie Yap,21, third-year student at Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information. She said that there is no difference between dressing for a day in school and in town. “It is essential to look nice and presentable everywhere I go because people in Orchard will view me the same way as my schoolmates.”
GRAPHIC | ALAN CHOONG
n ov e m b e r 22 , 2010
T h e na n ya ng c h ron ic l e
THE SOCIAL BROWSER
HEAVY Facebook and Twitter users, watch out for this one. The latest addition to the web browser family is RockMelt, a Google Chromium-based browser. It is designed for web users who are ready users of social ineractive media. RockMelt makes browsing the web, staying up-to-date with information and keeping up with friends and news feeds much easier. All feeds update automatically and can be accessed on one integrated browser. RockMelt's interface is essentially Google Chrome, with some minor but key additions. The browser is framed with “Edges", on which you are able to link and add your Facebook, Twitter and RSS Feed accounts. Notifications will be updated and sent to the browser and you do not have to leave the website you are currently at. Once you open RockMelt, it asks for your Facebook information. It then integrates your Facebook information directly into the browser interface. This includes loading your Facebook friends list with small image thumbnails on the left “Edge". You will then be able to see which of your friends are online and available for a Facebook chat. Another addition to this multi-tasking browser is the improved search bar. Instead of opening a new tab or page to view re-
PHOTO | INTERNET
sults, a drop-down window will open, giving you a quick overview of the returned results.
This again allows you to select the result you want, without leaving your current page.
Users can also share the page they are viewing simply by hitting the “share" button next to the address bar. They can then share this on their Facebook walls, or send it as a message to Facebook friends. This is the social networker's dream. Everything is instantaneous and at your fingertips. The problem with RockMelt is that you might feel a constant need to click on icons on the “Edge" to check on the latest updates. With updates constantly in your line of vision on the browser, it can either be a distraction, or a useful solution to managing tasks. If you are someone who needs to be in touch with the goings-on of your entire address book, RockMelt allows you to do just that while using the web as you normally would. You can now save time, which previously would have been spent logging into the different domain sites. But if you are trying to stave off the social web while using the browser for serious school-related research, it is advisable to stay off this browser for now. The ease of getting distracted by the barrage of updates will keep you away from the task at hand. RockMelt is currently by-invitation only and has a Facebook-based invite scheme The scheme offers a simple sharing method for current users to distribute invites allocated to them among Twitter followers and Facebook friends. Those unable to get invites may request one from RockMelt.com.
Battle for supremacy Kenneth Wee THE battle for a share of the smartphone market is gaining momentum, as companies dish out updates to hungry consumers who have much to benefit from the intense competition. According to the latest press release by technology research specialist Gartner, Inc., Symbian holds its position as the most popular smartphone operating system (OS), but it is fast losing market share to runner-up Google which is locked in battle with third-placed Apple’s iOS. It is good news for the consumer. Google introduces new features with each version of Android, and the newest iteration Android 2.2, codenamed Froyo, kicks competition with Apple into high gear. The first treat Google introduced for Froyo was full Flash support, which Apple’s iOS users may never get to see because of Steve Job’s strict no-no stance. This means that not only is Flash video playback possible, it also has big gaming potential on the Android platform. Nevertheless, there is an iPhone app called Skyfire that allows for basic Flash video playback. Although the app is available for US$2.99 (S$3.90), the browser raked in $1 million within its first weekend since it hit the App Store, as reported on popular tech website TechCrunch. What the impressive sales figure showed was that iPhone users want Flash video capabilities. Due to popular demand, Skyfire pulled the app within five hours after its servers got overwhelmed. They resumed accepting purchases in batches as they strengthened its servers. Android 2.2’s second trump card is its ability to handle voice commands with Google Voice Action. Although
iPhone users already enjoyed voice control when it was implemented last year, the feature was problematic, with its lack of accuracy in carrying out verbal commands. With Google Voice Actions, users can interact with a wide variety of Android smartphone functions like setting alarms and navigating maps, without having to fumble with the virtual keyboard. On the other hand, the iPhone lets users call contacts or specific phone numbers by speaking into the phone. Also, the iPhone voice control is limited to operating the iPod music player or checking the time. Yet, Google’s claims for an “open” developmental platform is also its Achilles heel. Unlike Apple, the development of its OS and applications that run on it is not limited to a single controlling entity. This results in a constant improvement of the Android OS based on a much bigger pool of talent. But, this “openness” may backfire when manufacturers including Motorola and HTC install propriety user interface, and the user is left to figure out how to use them. By contrast, it is significantly less complicated on the iOS front, which maintains a familiar interface across all mobile devices. Speaking to The E-commerce Times, Michael Morgan, a senior analyst for mobile devices at ABI Research said there seems to be no stopping Android in its tracks. “Android and the smartphone are exploding," said Morgan. “Growth rates can't go on forever, but I would be surprised if Android didn't sit at number two for a while—not just this quarter, but going forward. The only thing that would stop Android is iOS, but iOS and Apple have limited distribution and a limited market.” On the global markets, this showdown reads like a play-by-play commentary.
PHOTO | INTERNET
Smartphone sales grew 96 per cent worldwide from third quarter last year, and smartphones accounted for almost a fifth of overall mobile phone sales in the third quarter of 2010, according to Gartner. Apple rose into the top five mobile device manufacturers, and pushed past Blackberry maker Research in Motion into fourth place. More significantly, on the smartphone front, Google’s Android grew more than seven-fold to become the second most popular mobile OS worldwide.
n ov e m b e r 2 2 , 2010
T h e na n ya ng c h ron ic l e
tech Li Fang shares some tips about Facebook usage that may help you through the exam period.
Exams are right around the corner and it is during this high-stress period that students turn to Facebook for a break. However, it is important not to get too carried away on the social networking site.
PHOTO | INTERNET
Fitting Facebook In
ACCORDING to Wan Wenya, a first year undergraduate at the School of Mathematical Sciences, before she begins her daily revision, she always has an organised timetable. Between tough chapters of Calculus, the distractions available on Facebook start to look pretty appealing. This probably sounds familiar to most people. After all, how many of us actually strictly adhere to our study plans? Instead of taking Facebook completely out of our lives (at least during the exam season), the other approach would be to include it as part of our schedule.
Staff PROFESSOR Chan Song Heng, Assistant Professor, at NTU's School of Mathematical Sciences says: “An undergraduate’s life may be tough, but it can also be enjoyable. Attending lectures, reading the notes and textbooks, doing tutorials and taking exams can all be enjoyable. Do concentrate all your effort on revising and achieving those straight As, without losing the fun from communication with your friends.”
Ng Su Ying
Arranging your schedule around Facebook is a huge no-no, however tempting it may be. Instead, take a ten to thirty minute breather in between each study session (of perhaps a couple of hours each). You can use the time to surf Facebook, or do something else that’s relaxing for you. This way, you are less likely to go over the allocated amount of time and can still resume your study plan. You are aware of how much time you spend on Facebook and can cut back on it accordingly.
Games Off Although including Facebook time in your schedule may work, there are possible drawbacks. The multitude of real-time, social and achievement-based applications, which are scarcely covered under the umbrella of “games”, can be extremely time-consuming. Avoid applications that you know you will be unable to tear yourself away from when the break is over. If you believe yourself to have enough self-discipline to leave a field of crops half-harvested or that pet house half-decorated, continue by all means. Be aware of how much time you spend on Facebook. Every minute spent on Facebook is equivalent to every minute spent away from your studies. It is accumulative.
Facebook Study Groups Facebook chat can be an alternative or even a replacement for instant messaging as communication in study groups. Create a group and add your fellow classmates. You can now conduct real-time group chats on Facebook. Working with others is a great way to determine what you know, what you don't, and what you need to know. Hearing alternative viewpoints and explaining concepts to others can help solidify it in your mind.
Continuing the edveNTUre
EVER since NTU embraced eLearning in 2000, the online availability of course material in edveNTUre reached 90% within three years and is currently at 100%. Statistics from the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) show that 30,000 students and over 1,600 faculty depend on eLearning platforms to supplement traditional forms of teaching and learning. The January 2011 upgrade of the software technologies behind edveNTUre (Blackboard Academic Suite 8.0 to Blackboard Learn 9.1) aims to increase faculty efficiency and foster student engagement. Content management has been enhanced through features such as multiple-file uploading and increased ease of access to files across courses and organisations. The new search and filter feature has also made it easier for faculty members to select questions from an existing database to create tests. It is equally simple to use various criteria as filters to view the grade data for the each test. For communication between faculty members and students, one particularly neat addition is Blackboard Connect, or BbConnect for short. Faculty members can keep students informed of anything from assignment deadlines to cancelled lectures in the form of email, voicemail or SMS. Also, in keeping with the notion of “learning on the go",
d r a o b k c 1 a . l B rn 9 Lea PHOTO | INTERNET
Blackboard is now available for mobile devices such as the iPad, iPhone, Blackberry and Android. Simply visit the application store or marketplace of the respective devices to download the Blackboard Mobile Learn application. User interfaces for the various devices vary. For PC users, Blackboard now comes with the drag-and-drop feature similar to iGoogle.
In addition, due to the frequent issues of missing playback buttons and odd screen sizes, videos of lecture recordings will open in a new window by default instead of within the Blackboard environment. Another avenue through which learning can take place is the usage of wikis and blogs. While they are available as third party plugins in the current version, they will be integrated in the new one. This ensures the smoothness and higher loading speed at the user end. Faculty members also have the option of grading wikis and blogs. Realising that adapting to these changes can be overwhelming, CELT has conducted workshops and sharing sessions for faculty members and support staff for each school. The available time slots can be found at edUtorium, with some sessions to be held over lunch and others lasting up to eight hours long. In living up to the “technological" part of our university's name, students can now engage the spirit of exploration and experiment with the capabilities of Blackboard and its ability to enhance the teaching and learning processes.
There will be a period of down time after Christmas (tentatively 2829th Dec) as there will be a server upgrade in conjunction with the switch to Blackboard Learn 9.1. Should any problems arise, please call the edveNTUre helpdesk at 67906157 or email them at bb-help@ntu. edu.sg.
n ov e m b e r 2 2 , 2010
T h e na n ya ng c h ron ic l e
“I’ve never been shy or secretive with the fact that if you walk into my life, you may be walking onto a record.”
Ape House Sara Gruen (Fiction) $32.95 available at Kinokuniya Published by Hodder & Stoughton General Division
We MIGHT be aware that the animals who share this planet with us are smarter than we think. Some dog or cat lovers are known to insist that their pet can understand what they say. This is no exaggeration in Ape House, Sara Gruen’s fourth novel, where a group of six bonobo apes are taught the American Sign Language as well as simple English and are able to communicate with their handlers. But when their sanctuary is bombed by misguided ecoterrorists, the bonobos are kidnapped by a television producer who intends to lock the apes in a small enclosure surrounded with cameras. Their activities will be broadcast worldwide for his new reality show, Ape House. Although the events are fictional, the behaviour and capabilities of the bonobos are based on the real life Great Ape Trust in Iowa that studies language use among primates. Ape House is at its best when depicting the bonobos, who are the real stars of the book. Their interaction with Isabel, signing messages like ‘Kiss Kiss Love’ and ‘Gimme Pears Hurry You’, is lively and charming. Gruen calls attention to the uncomfortable fact that these animals, who so closely resemble humans, are routinely subject to cruel and horrific medical experiments. A good book makes you change your views about a subject, and with respect to the animal kingdom, Ape House succeeds.
Even Silence Has An End Ingrid Betancourt (Non-Fiction) $34.19 available at Kinokuniya Published by Virago Pres Published
Held captive for six years in the depths of the inhospitable Colombian jungle by Marxist guerrillas, Ingrid Betancourt recounts the despondency, pain and will to survive in her memoir, Even Silence Has An End. Betancourt was the presidential candidate for the fledgling Colombian political party, Oxygen Green. While campaigning in the sleepy town of San Vicente del Caguán, Betancourt and her entourage were ambushed by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), who considered Betancourt a valuable bargaining chip against the Colombian government. Shackled by chains, Betancourt was starved, brutally beaten and left to the mercy of the jungle animals. The Marxists compounded the emotional with the physical torture, and the deprivation of hope ate at her from within. Her captors worsened the torment by referring to the hostages as cargo in an attempt to de-humanise them and encouraged them to turn on one another for measly material gains. In the time she was held hostage, her father died and her teenage children grew up without her love, care or knowledge. Although Betancourt has been openly criticised by her fellow captives for arrogance and seeking special treatment from the Marxists, her propensity for acid self-criticism offers some semblance of balance and credibility. Even Silence Has An End is an emotionally riveting read of courage in captivity.
BOOKS FROM KINOKUNIYA
Taylor Swift, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, on drawing inspiration from her daily experiences
THE BOY WHO LIVED: Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) embarks on a treacherous journey to destroy the Horcruxes of the Dark wizard Voldemort, artifacts which contain a portion of his soul. PHOTOS | INTERNET
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 1)
Catherine Zeta-Jones, Justin Bartha 95 min
Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson 121 min
NINE years after the first Harry Potter movie, director David Yates looks to have created a fitting finale for the beloved series. Based on the final book of the wildly popular Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling, Deathly Hallows Pt. 1 is full of action and magic. While the action from the previous Harry Potter movies were limited by time, this final instalment is free of such restrictions and builds up the story well. Die-hard fans will be pleased to note that the movie sticks faithfully to the plot in the book. The start of the movie sets a formidable tone for the battle against the evil Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) to come. The trio of Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) , Ronald Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) leaves Hogwarts school, intending to defeat Voldemort once and for all. This can only be done through destroying magical objects containing pieces of his soul known as Horcruxes. The trio journey to locate the Horcruxes, with evil forces threatening to overwhelm them at every turn. There are a few frightening scenes which felt more suited for a horror flick than a popular children’s series. Despite the grim atmosphere, there are rare moments of levity. A scene where the trio infiltrates the Ministry of Magic disguised as Death Eaters provides much laughter. Favourite moments from the books are not forgotten. The romantic tension between Weasley and Granger flares up as she spends a lot of time alone with Potter, a scene which effectively utilises the chemistry between the three stars. Watson’s acting in particular stands out. She portrays different emotions well as her character goes through relationship woes while searching for the Horcruxes. A note of caution for viewers unfamiliar to the Potter series: the movie does little to clue them in. But for a movie aimed squarely at pleasing the fans, and it achieves this in spectacular fashion. Deathly Hallows Pt. 1 ends in a nail-biting cliff-hanger that will leave viewers counting down the days until Part 2’s release.
BOY TOY: Sandy (Zeta-Jones) and Finkelstein (Bartha) find love in New York.
May-DECEMBER romances are slowly gaining acceptance in society, with older ladies romancing young men. The Rebound celebrates this with the story of a woman finding love in a man almost half her age, yet treats it with a realistic touch. Written, directed and produced by Bart Freundlich, The Rebound is at its heart a simple story of woman-meets-boy. Newly divorced Sandy (Catherine Zeta-Jones) leaves with her children for a new life in New York City. She rents an apartment above a coffee house and befriends one of the waiters, a 25-year-old named Aram Finkelstein (Justin Bartha) before hiring him as her full-time nanny. Slowly the couple find their friendship deepening into something more. The happy ending is assured but the path the movie takes to get there is bland with few surprises, albeit comfortably so. Zeta-Jones delivers a passable performance, but Bartha’s portrayal of Finkelstein is top-notch. His interaction with his stereotypically Jewish parents often steals the scene. The dialogue is honest and truthful without being too exaggerated. Near the climax of the movie Finkelstein utters an all too familiar phrase, “It was the wrong timing”. The Rebound takes a believable look at the cougar romance and Finkelstein’s emotional vulnerability is important in bringing it out. Although its subject matter might interest a few men, The Rebound remains a movie for the more worldly ladies out there.
Easy A Comedy/Romance
Emma Stone, Amanda Bynes, Penn Badgley 92 min
It seems easy to dismiss Easy A as another typical high-school comedy with the same tired and overused plot. At first glance, it seems to hold all the usual ingredients— a meek wallflower of a girl named Olive Penderghast (Emma Stone) who goes unnoticed by her peers nursing a longtime childhood crush, who comes in the delectable form of Woodchuck Todd (Penn Badgley). But this is a movie with spunk. Together with feisty sidekick Rhiannon Abernathy (Aly Michalka), Penderghast faces her nemesis—bouncy perky blonde Marianne Bryant (Amanda Bynes). Penderghast invents a story about losing her virginity to her best friend, which was overheard by Bryant, the self-righteous leader of the school’s Christian youth group. Predictably, word gets around and she acquires overnight fame of the dubious variety. Penderghast however is a refreshing change from the Hilary Duff and Lindsay Lohan-esque characters one may have previously encountered. Instead of trying to save her reputation, Penderghast embraces her new notoriety, and goes all out to encourage further speculation. Delivering sardonic lines with flawless comic timing, Emma Stone makes her potentially unlikeable character faultlessly charming. Supported by an equally strong cast, the dialogue is whip-smart and delightfully snappy. Patricia Clarkson and Stanley Tucci (of The Devil Wears Prada fame) turn in excellent performances as Mr and Mrs Penderghast, who dispense terrible parental advice with the best of intentions. Yet for a movie that seems unabashedly to be about teenage sex, it does not feature any actually taking place on screen. A loose and humorous take on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 19th century novel The Scarlet Letter, the film chooses to highlight the speed and accuracy of the information grapevine in high schools and pokes gentle fun at religious fundamentalism among students. There was a regrettable lapse in focus in the later part of the movie, as it finds itself saddled with the ubiquitous problem of trying to tie up multiple plot strings within a short time frame. Despite its shortcomings, director Will Gluck’s second film is a surprisingly enjoyable flick. Full of witty lines and snappy humour, Easy A is like that precocious student we all know in school who never seems to put in much effort in class, but still hands in work that is a cut above the rest. -Ng Tze Min
Speak Now Taylor Swift (Pop)
Swift wrote and composed all the songs in the album herself.
SOME girls of Taylor Swift’s age may write to let off steam and document their daily lives, with perhaps a few sly references to the guy they are they are interested in. But unlike them, America’s sweetheart wears her heart on her lyrical sleeve in Speak Now, the follow-up to her sophomore effort, Fearless. While the former chronicled Swift’s tumultuous adolescence, Speak Now is about a sadder but wiser Swift, all grown up after a tumultuous year in the spotlight. From ‘Kanye-gate’ at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards to criticisms of her live singing, Swift tackles each topic with aplomb, encapsulating grief and acceptance with her selfpenned lyrics. But the album’s greatest strength could also be its weakness. Because the songs are so personal, they might not strike a chord with new fans unfamiliar with her style. Swift experiments with a wide range of musical genres, ranging from kitsch-pop to American banjo to electric guitar. Mean is a delightful bluegrass ditty aimed at her detractors and bullies in general: You have pointed out my flaws again /As if I don’t already see them. To the errant West, she offers forgiveness in Innocent: Who you are is not where you’ve been /You’re still an innocent. Speak Now is another standout: Swift imagines bursting into church to interrupt Mr Right’s wedding, before delivering a rousing chorus complete with applause and giggles. Back to December is particularly poignant, in which she offers a heartfelt apology to ex-beau Taylor Lautner. Dear John also deserves a mention for its instropective look at her rumoured dalliance with fellow singer John Mayer. In Long Live, Swift sings: One day we will be remembered. For her, that moment is now. Speak Now has already hit number one on the US Billboard Charts and her coming of age album looks to be a runaway success.
-Lee Jian Xuan
Loud Rihanna (R&B)
The album contains the sequel to Eminem’s smash hit ‘Love the Way You Lie’.
promotion Pangdemonium! presents Closer, a play in which the line between love and lust is often blurred, and people with choices almost always make the wrong one. The lives of Alice (Cynthia Lee MacQuarrie), Anna (Emma Yong), Dan (Keagan Kang) and Larry (Adrian Pang) intertwine in a web of passion, deception and ultimately self-destruction. In the end, it is all about one thing—love. Closer will be playing at the DBS Arts Centre from 17th February to 6th March 2011. 700 Category 1 student tickets will be on sale at a 50% discount (Usual price $45-50). Tickets will be on sale through Sistic from December 1st. This promotion is brought to you by Performance Motors Limited.
RIHANNA is back with a vengeance. The Barbados-born diva’s previous album Rated R was a mediocre effort, coming from the singer of smash hits like Umbrella and Disturbia. But with the release of her latest album Loud, Rihanna fans will have something to cheer loudly about. The 22-year-old’s fifth studio album, Loud distinguishes Rihanna from other R&B artistes by embracing her unique vocals and personal style. After her infamous breakup with Chris Brown, a number of songs clearly focus on the themes of empowerment and confident sexuality. Her first single Only Girl (In the World) is a standout. Her vocals are resounding and explosive, yet harmoniously blending into a club-friendly melody. S&M includes provocative lyrics like Chains and whips excite her and Loves the smell of sex in the air which delightfully coalesce with the heavy beat in the background. The combination makes for an outstanding track. Love the Way You Lie (Part II) is a follow up to its wildly popular predecessor, displaying her gorgeous style. It showcases Rihanna’s sultry and soulful vocals, backed by a somewhat melancholic melody. Eminem’s guest vocals are hard hitting and may not flow nicely with the rest of the track, but at least they live up to the album’s name. However, some songs like Cheers (Drink to That) don’t quite fit in with the mature themes that Loud develops. Man Down, a track penned by fellow R&B singer Shontelle, is also a letdown because of the annoying police sirens that whine incessantly throughout the song, making hearing the lyrics difficult. Despite that, Loud still has a good mix of club-friendly tracks and slow ballads that show off Rihanna’s excellent vocal range.
-Lim Zuo Han
n ov e m b e r 2 2 , 2010
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The 60-year-old undergraduate PHOTOS AND TEXT | Goh chay Teng and Wan Zhong hao
Studying full-time for his first degree in Linguistics, Canadian Paul Fitzgerald is like any other undergraduate. He lives in hall and has an active campus life. But, his white hair and wrinkled skin tell a different story. At 60 years old, Mr Fitzgerald has a lot more life experience than his peers. With it, he brings a unique perspective to his project meetings. The english teacher and freelance writer met his wife through a mutual friend in Singapore seven years ago, and has lived here ever since. His enrollment came as his work and family took a back seat, giving him time to learn again. "I never had a chance until now," he said.
While most students might disagree with anotherâ€™s opinion in silence, Mr Fitzgerald openly voices his disagreement with a course mate during a lecture. Mr Fitzgerald holds a discussion with his Bilingualism and Multilingualism tutor, Saeko Ogihara, while walking to class. He carries his bicycle seat around school to prevent his bicycle from being stolen.
Mr Fitzgerald's outspoken personality and monolingual upbringing in Canada allows him to share his experience with classmates during tutorial discussions, something that his peers can benefit from. Here, he points out an observation on how children study and recognise Chinese characters.
Mr Fitzgerald checks online for movie tickets to the latest Harry Potter film in his room in Hall of Residence 8. Although he stays in hall for only a couple of days per week, he and his roommate, Kevin, have a friendly relationship.
After lunch, Mr Fitzgerald travels on his red mountain bicycle back to his hall. He prefers to cycle to his lectures and tutorials so that he can keep fit.
N OV E M B E R 2 2 , 2010
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dapper: your essential style guide ACA DEMI CHIC Gear up for exam preparations without compromising on style or comfort in elegant hues and gentle chiffons, knits and jerseys
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Nude laced back dress, $41.80, Schwing Schwing.
STYLING Audrey Lim Tan Jingliang
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Grey tube jumpsuit, $34.90; Gold and purple flats, Peach chiffon blouse, $34.90; Puss in Boots ring, $12.90; Pink chiffon tank, $30; Grey jersey A-line skirt, $37.90, $89.90, both Victoria Jomo; waist belt, stylist's own. Pop-up bear ring, $39.90, all Victoria Jomo. both Victoria Jomo.
学生参赛勇闯广播界 —— 刊25页
本地小学、中学、初级学院和 理工学院都有制定校训，让学 生朝着一定的方向前进努力。 而本地现有大学却难以找到校 训的踪影。 周慧敏●报道
当陈俊杰乘搭巴士往返学校时， 都会看见砌在云南园斜坡上的八 个字“自强不息，力求上进”。这不禁 让他深感疑惑，因为自己的母校华侨中 学（高中部），也正是以“自强不息” 四字做为校训。 这名23岁的黄金辉传播与信息学院 新生认为，在校训上有这冲突会让学生 身份不显著。 他解释：“一所学校的校训应和其 他学校不一样，这样才能够让学生感受 到学校独特的精神，以及产生更大的归 属感。” 其实，南洋理工大学至今并没制定 校训，而在云南园的八字石砖是过去南 洋大学的校训。 问及是否会将此制定为校训时，校 长徐冠林回答，制定校训可能不适用于 现在南大的体制。 他说：“与其自上而下地制定校 训，我们不如用这八个字代表南大精神 的延续，精神培养是重要的，也可以加 强学生的归属感。” 中文系副教授李元瑾认为，南洋大 学的校训对于现在的南大，还是蕴涵着 丰富的历史意义。 她说，前辈为了让后代有机会接受 高等教育，辛苦办校；早期校友为了报
答社会的栽培，于是刻苦奋斗。这一切 都反映在两句校训里面，并一直刻写在 云南园里，岁月已经赋予它实质和象征 意义。 身为南洋大学校友的李元瑾补 充：“不管它将来是否成为校训，作为 云南园的子弟，应该了解其历史和内 涵，鞭策自己向前。” 然而，她也认为如果学生不了解这 精神的各层意义，当然不容易认同，可 能还会产生抗拒心理，最后弄巧反拙。 除了南洋大学以及华侨中学，不少 海外学府也以“自强不息”作为校训。 其中包括了清华大学的“自强不息，厚 德载物”、厦门大学的“自强不息，止 于至善”，以及东北大学“自强不息， 知行合一 ”。
“与其自上而下地制定 校训，我们可以用这八 个字代表南大精神的延 续，精神培养是重要 的，也可以加强学生的 归属感。” 徐冠林 南洋理工大学校长
应创立校训 需与现代贴近 尽管如此，多数受访者表示，南大 可考虑创立校训，但校训应贴近学生， 才会有更多认同感。曾诗敏认为，校训 应体现大学的“好玩”之处，因为学生 的活动不纯粹是上课和回家。
这名21岁的生物学系三年级生 说：“南大向来一直被认为是pulau NTU，如果真的要创立校训，它应该改 正公众对南大的错误概念。而且学生也 必须努力遵从，尽力让南大变得好玩、 有一个活泼的氛围。” 现任人文与社会学社团长林纯瀚 （21岁）则认为，好的校训除了要照顾 到南大的多种学科，也不应该忘了其价 值观。 他说：“更重要的是，校训应该把 人文与社会学融入南大目前‘科学与科 技’的愿景。” 而南大宿舍一校内学生会、学生自 制宿舍管理委员会（JCRC）主席林晖 翔（23岁）建议，校训可以是“凝心 聚力，和而不同”（Strength in Unity, Diversity in Harmony）。 他解释：“南大的学生多元化、多 种族，要有好的认同意识，就必须团 结，而且不同种族的人必须和谐。” 本届常年部长论坛会主席刘诗梦认 为校训代表大学的文化，例如拥有悠久 历史的顶尖学府哈佛大学，该校训是学 生不可缺少的一部分。 这名23岁的商学院三年级生说：“ 如果选好校训，南大生将有更强的归属 感。长期下来，会让南大校友对大学更 引以为豪。” 虽然校训既是办学理念、治校精神 的反映，也体现大学文化精神及核心价 值观，但是市场营销与国际商业系主任 黄昭虎教授指出，校训是否对大学的名 誉有所影响，就得看学生的态度，及南 大校方执行校训的力度。 他说：“就像有些品牌很受欢迎， 有些品牌不受欢迎，不同之处在于宣 传，及它代表公司精神的程度。”
黄昭虎也认为，名校与邻里学校的 差别在于毕业生离校后的表现。 他说：“不管你爱它或恨它，莱 初、华中总是有好学生。因此，如果南 大不吸引最好的人才，就算有校训，也 是毫无意义的。”
“如果选好校训，南大 生将有更强的归属感。 长期下来，会让南大 校友对大学更引以为 豪。” 刘诗梦 常年部长论坛主席
本地其他学府也没有校训 此外，本地另两所大学——新加坡 国立大学以及新加坡管理大学——也没 有创立校训。 国大发言人受询时表示，目前并没 有创立校训的计划，理由在于国大愿景 已包括了大学的集体愿望。国大也认 为，校训并非是影响学校声誉和品牌的 单一因素。 同样的，电机与电子工程学院一年 级生黄明辉（21岁）认为南大没有创立 校训的必要。他觉得由于南大的学院繁 多，校训难达到直接的目的。 他解释：“小学、中学有校训，是 为指引培养学生的方向。但在南大，我 们已经超越了那个阶段，现在的我们在 自我探索和试验中，创立校训因此有点 矛盾。”
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16届亚洲运动会目前正在广州如 火如荼地举行，各国选手都为争 取国家荣誉努力着，抱着必胜的决心， 希望自己能有机会站在领奖台上。 若没能赢得奖牌，也只好失望地离 开，望下次能做得更好。 当然，面对失败的时候，无论是 谁，难免会感到失望，甚至，还想大哭 一场。 不久前，笔者曾到国际大学群英辩 论会现场观赏A组大决赛，经过一番唇 枪舌战，正方武汉大学最后胜了反方马
来亚大学。马大的辩论代表和支持者在 赛后都难掩激动，哭成一团。 好胜之心人皆有之，没有人会喜欢 失败。从小到大，相信不少人读书考试 就是仰赖这份好胜心——因为不想落在 其他人的后头，所以甘愿开夜车猛啃 书，只为要争取最好的成绩。 但是过分争强好胜，往往会伤害别 人也伤了自己，并在人与人之间筑起一 道墙。 最近就发生多起结党伤人的事件，
引起社会的担忧，不明白为何现代青年 会出现那么多反社会行为，但不可否 认，年少气盛背后的好胜心起着一定的 影响力。 或许因为想要在弟兄面前表现，结 果朋友之间的叫嚣酿成拿刀砍死人的血 腥事件。而今，犯案青年就必须为自己 冲动鲁莽的行为付出代价。 其实，好胜心本身并没有问题，在 现代社会，一个人不敢竞争势必吃亏。 但物极必反，问题出在很多人不懂得调
节强烈的好胜心所可能带来的负面情 绪，例如嫉妒心、憎恨心等。 如果被这些负面情绪牵着鼻子走， 人们往往无法理智地处理问题，就像结 党伤人事件那样。 有句话说：“人最大的敌人，不是 别人，而是自己”。笔者认为，大家要 赢的其实是自己，而不是别人。与其拼 了命和他人竞争，倒不如以自己的极限 为目标。 如果自己已经尽力了，根本没有必 要因为输给他人而感到气馁，没尽力的 人更是没有任何理由觉得沮丧。 以赢自己为主要目标，视胜他人为 额外奖励，更能让自己融入众人，而非 树立敌人。
论是在常年部长论坛或是各大报 章，归属感都引起热烈讨论。 可见不少新加坡人至今仍置疑自己 心在何处，及新加坡人是否爱国。 为保持经济稳定和人口数量平衡， 新加坡不得不吸引外来人才。它是个很 典型的国际“熔炉”。 话虽如此，这个小小的国家仍然有 着它本身的特点，如：整齐的组屋区、 精致的街道、让世界仰慕的滨海湾娱乐 区、精湛的教育系统，以及高质量的研 究氛围等。
身为在新加坡求学的中国籍学 生，笔者非常欣赏新加坡人精益求 精的精神，也很赞赏政府任人唯贤 的政策。 但是，一名外国人对新加坡的归 属感，主要是建立在外国人是否被 接纳的基础上：犹如家庭接纳新成 员一样，双方面需不断沟通，建立 理解与信任，并联络感情。 只有这样，双方的价值观和人生 观才可以不断渗透给彼此，磨合不 同出生背景所带来的隔阂。
真正归属的地方， 是个有血缘关系的 地方，是一个无论 成功或失败、疾病 或健康、快乐或忧 伤，都会接受你的 地方。 不同国家有着自己的文化习俗。 融入一个国家的时候，要主动接受 不同的文化差异，不能坚持在他国 维持自己的风俗。 例如，习惯在祖国大声说话的 人就得在新加坡调整声量，尊重他 人。当本地人感到外国人尊重他们 时，接纳心态也就慢慢培养起来。 中国人归属感，除了建立在以古 老的文化和历史为荣的基础上，也 建立在中国是一个家庭本位社会。 对于当地人来说，真正归属的地 方，是个有血缘关系的地方，是一 个无论成功或失败、疾病或健康、 快乐或忧伤，都会接受你的地方。 新加坡作为中西文化的汇聚点， 既汲取西方个人本位社会，以及东 方家庭本位的特点。 如此，本地国民往往需要融合双 方社会特点来总结自身的归属感。 作为历史不长且拥有多元种族的 国家，这种归属感的建立始终需国 人用心去发掘新加坡的可爱之处。
前，新加坡国立大学最近出现了 一群自称“时尚警察”的学生， 在社交网站Facebook和Twitter上载校内 捕捉到学生穿着不当，称为“时尚灾 难”的照片，以及批评校内服装不够 “时尚”的同学。 这种效仿“绯闻少女”（Gossip Girl）的做法让笔者不敢苟同。一个人 的衣着，本来就是人身自由。 这些学生虽自认具有强烈的“时尚 意识”，但是，这不代表他们可以公开 偷拍他人，和对他人穿着作出评价。 尽管他们标榜自己没有恶意，但这 个行动的回响并不大。南大方面也有制 订类似衣着准则，但向来没有严厉执 行——我们不难在校内看到身穿居家服 的同学。 不过，近日学生事务处更新准则， 指明要求学生的穿着不可过于暴露，例 如裤或裙不可过短，露出大腿等。 大学的课业非常繁重。或许对于这 些住宿舍的同学来说，学校就像第二个 家，实在没有必要为上课做特别打扮， 在考试期间尤为常见。 同样的，共和理工学院近期也以电 邮方式警告学生：不得穿无袖上衣、短 裤和拖鞋上课，违例者将被逐出课堂。
原因是校方觉得一些学生的穿着太 暴露不够正式，对学校不尊重。 新加坡一年到头都是夏天，短裤、 拖鞋成为大家的最爱也是无可厚非的。 多数同学也都随身准备外套来对付室内 的低温。 轻便的穿着，并不是对学校的不尊 重，而是出于实际的考量。学生到学校 的主要目的，是努力学习，而不是去参 加服装秀。 与其把时间精力花在如何使自己展 出靓丽一面，不如把它花在课业上。轻 便的穿着相对较实际，让学生能够集中 上课。 一些企业如谷歌也积极鼓励员工除 下严肃的工作服装，改穿轻便服上班。 穿着应由学生本身决定 穿衣，也是一种自我表达的方式。 经过了10余年穿校服的日子，是时候同 学拥有决定自己穿着的权利。 只要学生的穿着不会过于暴露（透 视装或三点式泳装配热裤之类的），学 校是一个很好作时尚试验的场合。 大学生离职场只有一步之遥，如果 不趁现在好好自我表现，以后恐怕很少 有这样的机会。 校方如果觉得个别同学穿着不得 体，在适时给予提醒，其实已经足够。
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找寻城市变迁中的轨迹 在发展迅速的新加坡，人们往往没时间停下脚步，细心观察这些硕果仅存的历史遗产。这一期就让 记者郭慧盈和蔡韵带你到丹戎巴葛火车总站和罗弄万国村一探究竟。 罗弄万国村
到甘榜，年轻人应 该会认定它早已走 进本地的历史，顶多只能 在外岛乌敏岛找到。 其实，后港附近的罗 弄万国这条小路里，就隐 藏着本地仅存的村落—— 罗弄万国村（Kampong Buangkok）。 从万国或实龙岗地铁 站搭乘巴士到罗弄万国附 近，沿着一条小径往内走 再转个弯，罗弄万国村就 隐藏在绿树间。学校、超 市和诊所等公共设施都可 方便到达，并不如先前想 象中那么闭塞。 这条长长的轨道将在不久的将来走入历史，以后再也见不到火车行驶于此。
落在市中心安静的 一角，丹戎巴葛火 车总站不知不觉已经服务 来往于新马一带的旅客长 达78年。 即将于明年7月1日停 止运行的丹戎巴葛火车总 站，外观深深吸引笔者。 四根分别代表着农 业、交通、商务和工业的 柱子树立在火车站的入口 处，散发一种庄严肃穆的 气息。 雕刻在柱子上的人像 仿佛在注视着出入的人 群，默默捍卫这栋古老的 楼宇。 一踏进站内，发现这 里有别于一般火车站。若 你曾经到过中国或美国的 火车站，就会知道站内总 是人来人往，秩序稍乱。 车站在上午时分人烟 稀少，让原本并不宽敞的 室内更为空荡，还多了一 份落寞。 等候处中央有个由马
来西亚旅游局摆设的传统 木屋，大小相等于一个马 来西亚甘榜居民的屋子。 室内的壁画充分展现 从前居民以捕鱼和农业为 生的画面，间接增添了浓 厚的历史怀旧风味。
车站在上午时 分人烟稀少， 让原本并不宽 敞的室内更为 空荡，还多了 一份落寞。 选择乘搭火车的旅客 大多表示，搭火车比较方 便，无需像乘搭巴士时， 得在新马两个关卡下车办 理出入境手续。 58岁的退休人士莫哈 莫，少年时就乘搭火车往 返新加坡和马六甲。 上了年纪的他表示自
己乘搭火车已经成了习 惯，至今从没打算尝试搭 巴士。 业者大受迁站影响 受搬迁影响的不只是 旅客，在火车站经营生意 的摊主也遭池鱼之殃。 贩卖书籍和零食的店 员哈加希望，这座有着殖 民地风味的建筑能像博物 馆一样，供人们参观。 这名24岁的店员 说：“这里靠近许多购物 中心和其他的旅游胜地， 火车站如今要搬了，实在 很可惜。” 在隔壁经营茶水摊的 罗丝娜（44岁）也表示不 知该何去何从。 她感慨地说：“这里 的生意非常好，但老板说 我们将不会一起搬到新的 火车总站。做了这行15 年，可能是时候回马来西 亚了。” 丹戎巴葛火车总站将 停止运作，难免让人触景 伤情。不过对24岁的杨凤 凌而言，凡事总得往好的 方面去想。 她坦言火车站在哪不 成问题，自己还是会选择 搭火车。她说：“我希望 新的火车站会更摩登，最 好是有冷气！” 虽然根据火车站站长 透露，这里的建筑物将会 保留，但旧的不去，新的 不来。 在迎接新火车站的同 时，也将这班载着满满记 忆的火车开往属于它的终 点站。
坐落于城市的世外桃源 这个现代村落住着28 户人家，他们保留着城市 罕见且纯朴简单的生活方 式，仿佛旧日时光一般。 村落的建筑多以铁皮 和木条搭建，并漆上五颜 六色的油漆，入口旁还放 着一块手写的黑色大字木 牌指引人们方向。 笔者停下来打量这个 木槿花开得繁盛、蜂蝶飞 舞、拥有现代文化元素的 世外桃源。住户们都养着 家畜，见有外人光临，声 音鼎沸，煞是热闹。 在一个安静小院落 里，就住着72岁的戴亚成 和他的妻子。而他大方邀 请我们到他那蓝白相间小 木屋里大阳伞下的休闲椅 上坐坐。 已经在此住了37年的 他，育有三名儿子，现在 都搬出去住了，但时不时
在通往罗弄万国村中央的道路上，还能看见非常稀有 的信箱。 摄影|陈伟杰 会邀请父母到家里聚聚。 问及为何没跟他们一 起住，戴亚成说：“住组 屋多没意思，走前面就是 大门，走后面又是墙壁， 这样下去迟早会得忧郁 症、痴呆症哟！” 戴亚成的生活作息即 健康又悠然自得，常年早 睡早起，每天就扫树叶、 泡茶、晒太阳，因此身体 仍十分硬朗。 他也表示逢年过节 时，亲戚朋友都会过来， 因为屋前的空间大，可以 容下很多人，所以场面格 外热闹。 村落未有收购的计划 后来经由另名女居民 的带路，就来到了村长孙 梅凤（57岁）两层楼高的 住处。 交谈中获知，这片土 地是孙梅凤的父亲于1956 年买下的，遗留给他们兄 妹四人后主要是由孙梅凤 在打理。这里的住户很多 是当初在附近板桥医院工
作的马来同胞。 有关近年来外界盛传 的政府即将征用这片“新 加坡最后的村落”的消 息，孙梅凤表示虽然之前 让出了小部分给政府修筑 排水渠和快速公路，全面 的收购目前并未有任何官 方的通知。 她无奈地说：“我的 邻居曾着急地向我询问是 不是已经悄悄把土地卖掉 了，因为外人告诉他们被 蒙在了鼓里都不知道。” 最后她说：“但如果 有一天政府真要拿回去也 是没有办法的事。每个 人，每个地方，都有它自 己既定的命运。”
更正 ‘手工制品 精心制作’ （Vol 17 No 4，22页） 本文提到SoFabric会免 费给布包添隔层，是错误 的。隔层是有添加费用， 特此更正。
n ov e m b e r 2 2 , 2010
T h e na n ya ng c h ron ic l e
娱乐 陪友参赛 表现出色
名南大生在机缘巧合下 陪同朋友参加电台的征 选活动，结果误打误撞成为明 日的电台闪亮之星，朝这梦想 跨进一大步。 商学院二年级生刘伟龙（22 岁）当初只是为了陪伴朋友一 同去参加YES933电台的“明星 DJ争霸赛”。 没想到朋友突然临场退出， 而他则顺利进入决赛，最后脱 颖而出，摘下了冠军。 刘伟龙说：“我比赛时只在 感受过程，没有考虑输赢，竞 争感也不强，所以临场表现得 比较自然。” 无独有偶，入围“883Jia FM校园特派员”征选活动10强 的陈志龙（22岁），也是被朋 友拉去一起参赛的。 这名黄金辉传播与信息学院 二年级生即将在本月27日于白 沙浮广场参加决赛，争取冠军 头衔。
“（刘伟龙）的反 应很快，应对能 力好，这是当电台 主持很重要的条 件。”
电台主持需具备现场能力 已经获得一年电台主持合约 的刘伟龙，现在课业之余，还 要参加电台培训，学习发声、 录音和使用操控盘等技巧。 同时，他也以兼职电台主持 的身份，与前辈林佩芬、周崇 庆搭档，分别主持《夜玩场》 和《周公来咯！》。
林佩芬在评价刘伟龙的表现 的时候说：“他的反应很快， 应对能力好，这是当电台主持 很重要的条件，因为一切都是 现场的。” 她补充：“他也蛮有自信， 对自己有很高的要求，因此也 很努力。” 不过，她也认为，刘伟龙还 需要长期的磨练，才能找到自 己广播的声音和风格。 对于这个终极的目标，刘伟 龙希望，以后他能够走诙谐的 主持路线。 乐观磨练 过关斩将 同样也希望走搞笑、风趣路 线的陈志龙，目前正在积极地 为决赛备战。 到时候，除了比赛项目，还 会有参赛者的才艺表演环节。 因此，现在每个星期，他除 了要去电台开会、接受主持培 训，还要筹备舞蹈表演。 陈志龙说，比赛当天将会演 唱并跳嘻哈舞。 由于自幼就酷爱唱歌，他曾 经参加过许多种歌唱比赛和节 目，比赛表演经验非常丰富。 陈志龙说：“音乐对我而言 是空气，可说是维持我生命的 重要元素。” 他还与几名当兵时结识的朋 友成立了Quis摇滚乐团。他们 经常在新达城和滨海艺术中心 表演。因此，他对自己在决赛 的表现挺有自信。 除此之外，多才多艺的陈志 龙在小学时当过大会司仪，中 学时参加华族舞蹈团，在南大 宿舍还担任舞台剧导演。 不说不知，他也曾经是1995 年本地电视剧《豆腐街》里的 小童星。 虽然曾经参与过很多不同类 型的艺术表演，但是陈志龙却 说，他以后的志向是当一名电 台主持。
他解释：“我的华文掌控能 力不错，而且热爱音乐，所以 希望能主持音乐节目。”
“音乐对我而言是 空气，可说是维 持我生命的重要元 素。”
现在，他也在南大的飞声电 台当电台主持，累积经验，为 听众介绍新的专辑，并报道娱 乐及校园新闻。 另一边厢，尽管刘伟龙所读 的科系与广播业沾不上边，他 已在考虑毕业后成为全职电台 主持。 他说：“电台主持是个有 挑战性的职业，每天都会有新 体验和变化，很有意思。我十 分喜欢也擅长讲话，所以我觉 得，当电台主持是适合我发展 的一条路。”
电影：《功夫·咏春》 导演：张同祖 主要演员：白静、余少群、惠英红、元华、元秋
, , , , , 着《叶问》的余波沾沾光，《功夫·咏春》讲述的是咏春拳创始人——严咏春的故 事。严家与梁家是世交，梁博俦是严咏春指腹为婚的未来丈夫。但两人一见面就斗嘴 吵架，成为欢喜冤家。 另外，影片两大反面人物，一是看中咏春的恶少高升；二是负责捉拿咏春师傅五枚师太 的朝廷高手。 咏春在与这两大恶人缠斗的过程中渐渐与梁博俦产生了情愫，同时也在五枚师太的启蒙 下创立了咏春拳。 这一次，叶问的祖师奶奶严咏春和徒弟李小龙也跟着“出动”。接二连三地看了叶问系 列之后，这部电影算作花拳绣腿，也难为了饰演严咏春，受训四个月的中国演员白静。 让人难以忍受的是片中的剪辑，跳来跳去缺乏连贯性；挨打的人从口中喷出来的红色液 体像足番茄酱；一些镜头布景假到让人一眼就能看穿，似90年代的港剧。 不过，《功》集结了惠英红、元秋、元华等一票香港老戏骨，为这部制作略显粗糙的电 影增添了亮点。金马和金像奖双料影后惠英红一双大眼睛充满了幽怨和坚定，把飘逸又刚强 的五枚师太诠释得恰到好处。 元秋、元华这对金牌搭档“打情骂俏”比男女主角欢喜冤家间的爱情更逗趣可爱。 相信老演员出色表演加上电影中的喜剧元素，能让想解压的观众会心一笑。（文／陈熙）
热爱才艺表演、又当过《豆腐街》小童星的陈志龙心所向往的仍 摄影|柯岱玮 是电台主持。
N ov e m b e r 22 , 2010
T h e na n ya ng c h ron ic l e
专辑：《四度空间》 歌手：棒棒堂 推荐： 《四度空间》 《放空》 , , , , , 违一年多的棒棒堂，从 六人团体改为四人发行 了新作品。队长敖犬以及小 煜、阿纬和威廉，在专辑中展现苦练多时的创作能力，在10首歌 中参与了七首的创作，足见对音乐的野心。 首播主打是节奏强劲的《四度空间》。这首由敖犬和小煜谱曲 填词的舞曲很有记忆点。副歌重复着“go crazy”，有现今韩国流 行曲的影子，十分琅琅上口。 第二主打抒情曲目《最佳男主角》却少了新鲜感，感觉一般。 反而是小煜创作的《放空》更加耐听也更有感染力。歌词：我的 心开始放空／叫我怎么生活／时间变成一个黑洞／最后终于把我 吞没，成功描绘爱情离开后空虚的感受。 棒棒堂这次也尝试了嘻哈及摇滚曲风，但较慢的歌型常突显出 阿纬和威廉薄弱的嗓音，歌唱实力是一大缺点。总体来看，重新 出发的Lollipop F，还是交出了不俗的成绩单。 （文／彭丽吉）
然没正面互动，但本地 歌手龚芝怡和插班生个 别的演出却依旧将校园音乐 会搞得有声有色，不比海外 歌手逊色。 而且她们这次也是同 时把第一次的校园音乐 会“Artspeak”呈献给南大的 学生。 在司仪的提问下，首先登 场的“插班生”成员：陈迪 雅和杨佳盈，就互相暴露对 方生活上的“小动作”。 最后还需司仪“介入”来 挽留两人的一点形象，让整 场的气氛十分轻松搞笑。 随即两人搞笑调皮的形象 一下子不见踪影，演唱献给 父母的歌曲《小动作》。 陈迪雅说：“父母对孩子 的爱不需要夸张的表现，而 是从很多小动作中流露出来 的。” 插班生坦言，在音乐界闯 荡不容易，总是要面对各方 面的挑战。她们很感谢父母 的体谅与关怀，让她们能走 到今天。 此外，她们现场献上两 首抒情的歌曲《太透明》和 《逞强》。 在演绎《太透明》时，插 班生将歌中描述的心酸遗憾 展现得淋漓尽致，让现场的 学生听得入神。 演唱《逞强》前，陈迪雅 在酝酿情绪时还不忘搞笑。 她一脸“忧虑”地对观众 说：“不要笑我，请给我个 emo的脸。” 而在演唱专辑第一主打歌 曲《人生实验课》时，插班
龚芝怡则在由南大文艺活 动学会主办的校园音乐会下 半场，以无插电方式表演， 边弹电子琴边演唱，让观众 能够近距离看她多才多艺的 一面。 对于这个安排，她解 释：“既然是和观众近距离 接触，就想给大家一种不修 饰的感觉。” 演唱专辑的第一主打《明 知我爱你》时，全场气氛一 时喧闹起来。这首也是本地 电视剧插曲。 正如司仪所说，听龚芝 怡现场演唱这首歌就像是在 听CD一样，音质好得令人 惊艳。龚芝怡听了便拍着额 头，显得不好意思。
“父母对孩子的爱 不需要夸张的表 现，而是从很多小 动作中流露出来 的。” 陈迪雅 插班生团员
另外，两首歌曲《恋爱女 生都是羊》和“LaLa”拥有 轻快动感的旋律，观众都忍 不住随着音乐开始摇摆，手 和脚也都在打拍子。 龚芝怡更是邀请观众与她 合唱“LaLa”，现场气氛顿 时高涨。 在演唱高难度的《卓别
林》前，龚芝怡坦言她有点 紧张，而且和观众又很近。 不过一开唱，她非常投 入，丝毫都察觉不出她的紧 张。整首歌颇具爵士风味， 还略带点调皮，让人心情很 愉快。 问及专辑《55:38:7》的由 来，龚芝怡解释，一名加州 大学教授在总结出人与人的 沟通时，讯息中里55％的意 义来自于身体语言，38％的 意义则来自声音方面，仅有 7％的意义来自说话内容。 龚芝怡说：“我的专辑就 是关于人的沟通，所以就决 定用这命名。”
专辑：《自由发挥》 歌手： 自由发挥 推荐： 《欢迎光临》 《别哭》 , , , , , 台湾综艺节目《大学生了 没》的阿达与《超级星光 大道》的李伯恩组成的“自由发 挥”是个令人新奇的组合。 打着“史上最Free的创作团 体”的两人，在这张同名专辑中 包办了所有歌曲创作。主打歌之 一的《欢迎光临》表达现代年轻 一辈对这社会愤世嫉俗的看法。 此外，他们也为自己的MV亲自操刀，还请到如陈奕迅、吴建 豪等多名前辈客串，而且视频网站Youtube点击率在一星期内就 超过50万人。 这个极受前辈宠爱的组合也与动感女星温岚合唱《姐姐》。自 由发挥以Kuso方式唱出年轻男生对熟女的爱慕之情，不过当中有 些露骨的歌词可能会让人不习惯。 《别哭》这首歌歌词以消极的态度传达，无论发生什么事都 要走下去。在这个新人辈出的年代，自由发挥必须更有自己的特 色，才能真正的突围而出。 （文／廖哲豪）
音乐界发展有前途 谈及如何成为歌手，龚 芝怡说：“我之前是个上班 族，后来我把很多自己的创 作寄给老师。有一次，老师 问我要不要出专辑，我就这 样踏上歌手的道路。” 同样也曾是上班族的杨 佳盈说：“我的梦想就是要 快乐，而唱歌能给我带来快 乐，所以我就毅然转行当歌 手啦！” 她补充：“虽然知道这行 很难，但还是得先迈出第一 步。现在我虽快30岁了，但 自从进了音乐界，我感觉好 像年轻许多。” 今年相继推出首张专辑的 龚芝怡和插班生都认为本地 音乐界正在飞速发展，以后 将会变得非常活跃。 对于未来，龚芝怡感慨地 说： “只要我还能当歌手， 我就会一直在音乐路上走下 去。正因为我的热诚会给我 勇气和信心！”
专辑：《曹之在我》 歌手：曹格 推荐： 《爷爷》 《悲歌王》
, , , , , 曲歌王曹格在万众期待下推 出了新专辑，而《曹之在 我》维持了他的风格，里头包含 了一贯的曹式苦情歌、甜蜜轻快 风，还有在摇滚上的新尝试。 首播主打《爷爷》不同于一般 时下的情歌，唱出了对爷爷的思 念和对世界的观感，给人截然不 照片｜网络下载 同的感动。 《丑角》是继《掌纹》、《无辜》后新一波的曹式地狱情 歌，“我只是寂寞的解药／我也知道曲终人该散了”，唱出爱上 不爱自己的人的寂寞和无助。而《悲歌王》歌词内穿插了多首曹 格最爱的K歌，他细腻的演绎，直接唱到心的最痛处。 虽然《惊天动地》属于专辑中较冷门的歌，编曲上稍嫌嘈杂了 些，但嗓音非常适合演绎这类歌曲，听了更让人期待曹格尝试摇 滚曲风。 专辑曲风的多变，再加上曹格富有生命力的演绎，带来了听觉 上的享受。唯一可惜的地方是他的咬字不清，理解困难。如果能 改进，对歌曲的诠释将会更完美。 （文／李蕙钰）
Opinions frankly, my dear
A column by The Chronicle editors on issues close to their hearts
Too many too soon? New president, new modules, and now, a new campus. It has been barely a month since Dr Su Guaning announced his decision to step down at the end of this academic year, and already, plans for a myriad of changes are underway. Plans for a new bar and cinema on campus, PhD in immunology, a new medical school, and a liberal arts major like philosophy being phased in signify the start of a new era for NTU. Pe r h ap s s uc h pla n s come in light of the “ranking hoo haa” that was the talk of the campus for a while. According to Dr Su, some students expressed concer n over the ‘drop’ and others said that what counts is the experience that they received in NTU. It is this “experience” that students crave that seems to have become the central movement behind the changes that have taken place.
Alcoholic, or not?
W hile rank ings may turn students off, Dr Su stressed that it is important to paint a “composite picture about the university”. It is not enough to lure future generations of NTU students and faculty members with just numbers - what is also important is what “frills” there are for a student, or faculty to chose NTU over NUS, SMU, or the upcoming STU. While it may seem unfair to compare the four univer sit ies because of their vastly different niches, it is also impossible not to do so. NTU seems to be making an extreme number of changes, projected in a short number of time. However, it should also be careful to take it one step at a time. As we attempt to transform our university into the “It University” with state of the art facilities, it is important that students, both the new and old, don’t forget our humble beginnings.
CH R O N I C L E THE NANYANG
chief editor Shereen Naaz Charles MANAGING editor Law Shi Ming Elizabeth sub-editors Kwan Hui Xian Lau Liang Tong Lin Jieming Melissa Neo Wen Tong Shahida Bte Hassim News editors Aw Yeong Jia Jia Maxie Wang Simin Lifestyle editors Goh Shang Zhe Kenneth Jennifer Dhanaraj Reviews editor Lock Mei Jin Clara TECH editor Goh Yimei Gillian dapper editors Lim Hui Ching Audrey Tan Jingliang Chinese editors Su Wenqi Wong Kang Wei
opinionS editors Chan Xiu Fen Rosemary Goh Jiamin sports editors Eve Yeo Yu Ping Loh Jiaju Ronald layout editors Loh Jun Qi Mak Jinfa Joseph photo editors Chan Wan Wai Eunice Ng Jun Sen graphics editor Choong Jia Tang Alan business manager Lim Pei Yi Vivian production support Ng Heng Ghee Teacher advisors Andrew Duffy Debbie Goh Xu Xiaoge
GRAPHIC | ALAN CHOONG
Elizabeth Law managing editor
A students’ newspaper published by the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI) Nanyang Technological University 31 Nanyang Link, Singapore 637718 Tel: 6790 6446 Unsigned editorials represent the majority view of the editorial board of The Chronicle and do not necessarily reflect the policies or views of Nanyang Technological University, its employees, the students or the Council of the University. Signed opinion columns, letters and editorial cartoons represent the opinion of the writer or artist and are not necessarily those of The Chronicle. Printed by KHL Printing Co. Pte Ltd, 57 Loyang Drive, Singapore 508968
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU News Hotline: 6790 6446 Letters: firstname.lastname@example.org Opinions: chronicle.opinions@ ntu.edu.sg Please include your full name, contact number, faculty and year of study.
i I’m Liz, and I’m an alcoholic. Or at least that’s what my friends think. Before you rush to report a drunkard campus paper managing editor to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), allow me to explain myself. I love Scotch whiskies, and I collect them. As part of the collection process, I go around tasting var ious t y pes of t he beautiful drink. What many don’t understand is the reason I like scotch. Just like a book collector, I love that every bottle has a story to tell. L i ke how wh i s k ie s f r om Campbeltown tell of a region once considered the whisky capital of the world. While the town used to have more than 30 distilleries, there are only three left today.
Yet every bottle from the region still tastes of the sea, a poignant reminder of the once flourishing sea port. Sadly, to many in Singapore, where there is not a drinking cu lt u re, a 21-yea r-old going around sipping The Macallan (a personal favourite) is set on the path to AA membership. Talking to a few of my friends, I realised that the habit of calling people alcoholics just because they enjoy a tipple is not confined to our sunny island. It is a worldwide phenomenon called stereotyping. S t e r e o t y p i n g i s p a r t of human nature. We tend to give individuals labels so that it is easier to remember a person. Take for instance: “Hey you remember Liz?” “No, not really.” “The alcoholic one that goes round drinking scotch?” “Oh right, Liz Law.” Of course this can be applied
to anyone with any sort of hobby. S hoppi n g , e at i n g , s t a mp collecting, heck, you could even use it on someone who loves studying. “Remember my friend Sally? Sally, the geek who loves books.” “Oh right of course! Sally the bookworm.” There is a theory in criminology called the Labelling Theory. It states that while individuals m ight not act ua lly be doing something bad, humans have a tendency to negatively label minorities or those that do not conform to social norms. Like those who like a dram of whisky. The sad part of this is that even though what the stereotyped individuals might not be doing something bad, self-fulfilling prophecies happen because of such negative labels. People find it easier to conform to the labels than to try fight them. Some are actually comfortable with stereotypes because they feel it represents who they are, and really, being called a geek in university is not all that bad. Guess who will have the last laugh when you graduate with a first class. Of course, there are other labels that cannot be taken as lightly, like “alcoholic”. It might sound funny as a joke, but alcoholism is a serious social problem that has torn many lives and families apart. The difference between having a real drinking problem, and being merely labelled as having one, is how you deal with liquor. Alcoholics depend on alcohol to get through their day. Those who enjoy liquor simply like having it around. And we know when to say “no” when we’ve had too much. This applies to every supposed vice. Those who enjoy the occasional mahjong or poker are not gamblers. They are merely delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s. (This has been scientifically proven.) But our brains have been wired this way since the dawn of mankind, so it is impossible to change how we look at each other. All I can hope for is that we try to think twice before putting negative labels on individuals. Because you never know what the consequence may be. In hopes of a less judgemental future, I’ll raise my glass. Slainte!
n ov e m b e r 22 , 2010
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Chan Xiao Yi
sking a science student about what they think about the arts may result in derogatory statements being made. This reaction may happen, too, when an Arts student is asked the same. As one final-year account-
ancy undergraduate said: “Studying the arts is an impractical and idealistic decision.” This attitude is sometimes evident at all levels of education, ranging from students to professors. In an effort to encourage interdisciplinary learning, NTU has stepped up to the plate with a five-year strategic plan: NTU
2015. By merging the interdisciplines in this plan, NTU aims to achieve a holistic education. While impressed with the science students’ knowledge in their areas of specialisation, a finalyear English undergraduate is appalled by their “frequent dismissals of the arts”. She firmly believes that “an open mind is essential in the acquirement of knowledge”. To undermine an area of study could potentially reflect some level of ignorance to the larger world around us. Would it not serve us better to advocate the creative collaboration of different fields? Singapore schools have begun to inculcate this culture. Queenstown Secondary School has started implementing a new framework in recent years – Teaching for Understanding – which prompts more deliberate thinking into designing class activities. Efforts are undertaken by the teachers to draw links between the lesson concepts and real-life issues, or to other disciplines. For instance, mathematical concepts have been incorporated into geography lessons. A lesson on rivers
and meanders involves working out rate of water flow, or calculating the volume of the water basin. Since 2006, students in junior colleges are required to take interdisciplinary subjects. For example, a science student would have to take a subject from the arts stream, and vice versa.
To undermine an area of study could potentially reflect some level of ignorance to the larger world around us. A final-year accountancy undergraduate is grateful for having been ‘forced’ to take an arts subject, English literature, while being a science student. He appreciates the variety of knowledge that he has been exposed to and received training in both his writing skills and scientific mind. NTU students are now required to take 30 percent of their courses
outside their core curriculum. The aim of such measures, other than enriching our learning experience, is to widen our perspective. A third-year linguistics undergraduate believes that “a balance is essential to ensure against the singular advancement of either.” An English major who recently graduated and is currently working at a graphic design company is one such example. An interest in editing photos encouraged her to attend graphic editing modules in school as Unrestricted Electives and to sign up for classes outside of school. The additional effort she put into developing a skill out of her comfort zone, made her stand out from the rest of the applicants. Diversifying of knowledge betters one’s chances of meeting societal demands. It does not, however, necessarily mean coexistence is impossible or improbable. Ultimately, with an open mind to accept variety and differences, benefits will surely be gleaned from allowing for the creative collaboration between fields. After all, creativity stems from an open mind, and it is with creativity that inventions exist.
How handicap-friendly is NTU? With new facilities such as a pub and a cinema coming up, can more be done to make NTU more handicap-friendly? Hong Yu Ran
decided the best way to go about testing the handicap facilities on campus was for myself to be in a wheelchair all day. Doing so, I noticed minute architectural details in the school buildings easily overlooked. In the School of Art, Design & Media (ADM), much thought has been put into building a wheelchair accessible school. There is a lift specially catered to service split levels in ADM for wheelchairs. However, a substantial percentage of its classrooms are furnished with work stations and desks that can only be used by an able-bodied person. The internal shuttle buses around campus run by Tong Tar Transport Service Pte Ltd are not wheelchair accessible. However the bus captains will stop the bus and alight from the seat to help the handicapped to board or get off the bus. Only Singapore Bus Service Transit Wheelchair Accessible Bus service 199 is wheelchair accessible. Left with little choice of transportation around school, I at-
tempted to make my way from ADM to NIE with my bare hands. All my National Service army training as an Army Officer could not prepare me for this harrowing experience. Making my way up the seemingly gentle slope, my wheelchair started to roll backwards and onto the road where I was greeted by a car screeching to a halt. The driver looked visibly shaken, more so than I. Going up approximately 400 metres felt like a climb on Mount Everest. I was met with more obstacles that could be solved by making minor changes to the way the campus is built going from NIE to the South Spine. This includes the need for ramps. Making my way from NIE to the North Spine, I used the zebra-crossing near the Lee Wee Nam Library bus stop. I held up traffic for a full five minutes trying to get my wheelchair off the zebra-crossing because there was no gradient connecting the road to the pavement. Such a slight step can be overlooked by an able-bodied person but proves an obstacle for one in a wheelchair. Also of importance is wider pathways. When I finally got off the road onto the pavement, I headed towards the lifts on the ground floor. However, I fell off my wheelchair and onto the grass along the way as the pavement was as wide as my wheelchair and was raised about 20 centimetres above the
road. Lastly, and of the most importance, having accessible handicap toilets. I gave up trying to find one in the South Spine, got up and ran to the nearest toilet, leaving onlookers bewildered and puzzled. We also cannot merely measure the school’s handicap friendliness by the amount of facilities provided in its infrastructure. At the zebra-crossing connecting NIE and NTU's North Spine, people walked past me even though it was obvious that I needed help. This is not to say that the entire population turned a blind eye toward me. I was offered help at NIE's canteen to carry my food back to my table. The students and staff of the school play a significant part in ensuring that the school environment is indeed friendly towards people with physical disabilities. Currently, the school will meet with the student with physical disabilities to understand his or her needs before allocating him or her a suitable hall of residence near his or her school that is fitted with appropriate facilities, explained Mr. Lai Yew Chan, senior assistant director of the NTU Student Affairs Office. Students who are temporarily wheelchair-bound can also request for such services. Newer buildings such as ADM, NIE and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) have been designed with wheelchair
accessible facilities. Further upgrading of the other parts of the school are mostly based on feedback provided by students who require these facilities, explained Mr. Siew Hoong Kit, divisional director of the Building Management Division. So is NTU handicap-friendly? Yes, to some extent it is. However, it has a long way to go. Getting from one school to another still requires one to have the athleticism of a Para-olympian and the stomach of a daredevil to manoeuvre down winding and steep hills. Improvements in the area of
transportation of handicapped people around school need to be made. This can, perhaps, be done with golf cart buggies or a handicap assistance hotline. During my entire ordeal in a wheelchair, I could not help but wonder why no one came up to ask me whether I needed help getting around. The next time you see someone in a wheelchair pushing themselves along school or even in public, ask them whether they need any assistance. Just by asking, you make them visible to the world.
GRAPHIC | EDISON CHEE
n ov e m b e r 2 2 , 2010
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Oh, woe is clothes! serve to provide an image of the institution that imposes it and this is something the university can do without”, he said. While there is a difference between being comfortable and looking sloppy, should guidelines be enforced? Republic Polytechnic (RP) believes so. According to a Straits Times article published in October, “Republic Polytechnic recently sent out an email to students, saying it would bar them from lectures if they were improperly attired. “Not only that, these students would be marked as absent.” Improper attire includes shorts, Bermudas and sleeveless shirts. Students are also only allowed to wear covered shoes.
GRAPHIC | GOH WEI CHOON
Chan Xiao Yi
quote from the Shakespearean play Hamlet, “the apparel oft proclaims the man”, implies that the manner in which a person dresses tells you something about who they are as a person. This may apply even in today’s society where people still believe in dressing up for certain occasions such as job interviews. You would expect that dressing presentably for school goes without saying. So it seems surprising that there is a dress code for staff and students on campus. This is not just out of respect towards him or herself but also towards their lecturers conducting the class.
One would expect that dressing presentably for school goes without saying. One final-year accountancy student for instance, was not aware that there was a dress code in school. “It is a student’s personal responsibility to turn up for class in the manner befitting of a student – to appear neat and tidy at the very least”, he commented. Staying in hall, however, may influence the way students dress for class. People who stay in hall
may not see the need to dress up as compared to their peers who have to travel on public transport to get to campus. A first-year student from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information who stays in hall said, "It is a proximity issue. “Because school is just round the corner, I tend to wake up later and that means having less time to get ready and dress up." Also, many find it difficult to adhere to the ban on flip-flops, especially since they are common in Singapore.
“Because school is just round the corner, I tend to wake up later and that means having less time to get ready and dress up.” A final-year psychology major, who is aware of the dress code said: “While many of my classmates wear slippers, most make it a point to dress more appropriately when the occasion calls for it such as during presentations”. Some would even go as far as to say that these guidelines are pointless. A second-year Electrical and Electronic Engineering student feels that the implementation of this ban serves no educational purpose. “I find that dress codes merely
“ I find that dress codes merely serve to provide an image of the institution that imposes it and this is something the university can do without.” A second-year RP student, 18, from the School of Hospitality said that the rules are too strict. Although she agreed that certain regulations are understandable, some of them are unnecessary, such as the ban on sandals. “These regulations are merely around to foster a distinctive look and a good reputation for the institution”, she said. “Students are disadvantaged because they are sent home to change and end up missing their lessons.” Thus, strictly implementing dress code guidelines may not benefit students. However, we should always bear in mind that the phrase “dressing for the occasion” should not be taken lightly. Ultimately, as an educational institution, the aim of us coming to school is to learn. While comfort is the key in facilitating this learning process, it should by no means come at the expense of distracting or offending another. As young adults, the onus is on us to ensure that we are dressed appropriately. After all, we will be members of the workforce in a few years, and will have to be presentable at work every day. It may thus be important for us to recognise the school’s logic in drawing up a dress code – to promote an atmosphere for conducive learning. It can also cultivate adherence to dress codes present in organisations we may be part of in future.
With the new dress code implemented by NTU, we ask students their views on it. Should such restrictions be imposed or should university students know better?
I agree with the dress code except for the ban on flip-flops, especially since they are common in Singapore.
Divya Venkatraman, EEE, PhD student, 29
I think the dress code goes without saying as we should portray ourselves as well-groomed at university level. Chen Wen Ting, HSS, Yr 4, 22
I disagree with the dress code. I have tonnes of shirts with offensive prints and I don’t see a problem with wearing them.
Glenda Tang, WKWSCI, Yr 2, 21
Since we are encouraged to be creative, we should be allowed to wear whatever we want to express ourselves. Samuel Woon, HSS, Yr 2, 23
I agree with the dress code but I do not think we should have to be told we should know how to dress appropriately.
Tan Kheng Hiang, MAE, Yr 4, 24 TEXT | ROSEMARY CHAN ; PHOTOS | NG JUN SEN
N OV E M B E R 22 , 2010
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The battle for Mancunian supremacy Ronald Loh sports editor
I LOVE YOU, MAN: South American rivals Tevez (left) and Rafael (right) square off. PHOTO | INTERNET
T H E e v e n i n g of t h e 15 6 t h Manchester derby was a cold and unforgiving one as two old rivals locked horns at the City of Manchester Stadium. Yet at the last kick of the game, which was billed to be an explosive encounter, there was nothing to celebrate for either side. T he r e wa s no c u s toma r y injury-time winning goal from Manchester United. Neither was there any revenge dished out by Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez against his former club. T h e go a l l e s s s t a l e m a t e , however, was hailed by Cit y manager Roberto Mancini as a huge step forward in breaching the gap between them and their more illustrious cross-town rivals. Pe r h a p s t h e m e s s a ge h e de l i ve r e d to t he me d ia wa s not about how his team had successfully defended that night. Instead, he had subconsciously admitted that currently, City are nowhere near their fiercest rivals. T h i s i s de s pite how C it y owners, the trillion-dollar Abu Dhabi United Group, have invested over £300 million (S$629 million) in hopes of bringing success to the
blue half of Manchester. Undoubtedly, the arrivals of skipper Carlos Tevez, David Silva, James Milner, the Toure brothers and a host of other big names have given this City side more dept h t han t heir Manchester counterparts. It is also true that with over £700 million (S$1.5 billion) of debt, United are unable to compete financially with City in terms of transfers. As much as City have grown in the past three years, they simply have not expanded enough to topple United as Manchester’s biggest and most successful club. Since their establishment, City have only won the English league twice, compared to United’s record 18 trophies. Also, outside of England, City are a relatively unknown club, having never competed in the biggest stage of Europe that is the UEFA Champions League. United, on the other hand, are regular Champions League participants, and have bagged the coveted trophy twice. Famous skirmishes with Real Madrid, Milan and Bayern Munich are match histories that City are not able to boast. Then, there is the winning culture that United are so famously
a s soc iate d w it h . A l l Un ite d players, from the likes of Bobby Charlton and George Best to Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney, have been taught never to give up, and that has made the club always hungry for success. I t i s n o t t h e q u a l i t y of their players, or the massive bankrolls, that is the root of their dominance in the BPL and the town of Manchester. Instead the very culture that is bred at Old Trafford, which every United player is made to adopt, is something that City have failed at emulating. In short, the Citizens still have much catching up to do if they ever wish to overtake the Devils. Perhaps in 20 years, after 16 premiership trophies, and after an overhaul of their “take what we can get" mentality can City then think of matching up to United. Stature and histor y cannot be bought overnight. Looking back at the match that ended scoreless, it was in truth, merely a match for bragging rights for the week. Even if City had triumphed then, like how they did against Liverpool and Chelsea, United fans probably would not have lost sleep over the battle for supremacy in Manchester.
Technological assistance for referees Alvin Chia ON THE pitch, the spotlight is often on the players, while the referee just lingers in the background. The latter is merely there to award points or penalties according to the rules of the game, or at least based on his interpretation of it. But controversies arise, as do the occasional player tantrums when the referees’ judgements are questionable. Arguments between referee and player over whether the ball crossed the line can be resolved by sport technology. It assists referees in simply confirming a goal or to give them a second look at a dispute. It is hard for referees to make accurate judgments with human eyes, especially when mere centimetres makes the difference between right and wrong in football. Therefore, the sporting world is increasingly calling for goal-line technology to be implemented in matches. This would prevent referees from making errors, and save their blushes. I n t he recent World Cup, English midfielder Frank Lampard was denied a goal by the referee,
despite replays showing that the ball had crossed the line. This is merely one case where human blunder had caused a scoring error. Sports has evolved from entertainment to a serious profession. Athletes' performances count towards their salaries. It is thus unacceptable to them, and their fans, if referees continue to make errors. Unlike football, the implementation of Hawkeye replay technology means that wrong line calls in a tennis match can be overturned. The BNP Paribas Open, a premier tennis tournament to be held in 2011, has announced that all eight of its match courts will feature the Hawkeye technology, making it the first tennis tournament to do so. However, introducing goal-line technology might render officials useless. So is there still a need for a physically present referee, once technology comes into play? It is impossible to allow technology to take over the job of a sporting official. There are so many rules that need an official to enforce and to ensure that these rules are not broken through human discretion. Technology will not be able to pick out a vulgarity hurled by a player. Likewise in swimming, an
incorrect stroke or turn can only be spotted by officials. Also, in sports like gymnastics, ice-skating, wushu and diving, the judges are irreplaceable. Technology would not be able to generate a score based on how neatly a move is executed. Judges have to award scores based on their impression of
an athlete’s performance. But it is also unwise to leave out technology entirely. Sport technology is a useful aid, and it would serve to achieve a higher level of accuracy in sports. In moments of uncertainty during or post-match, sporting officials should be allowed to refer
to replays before the decision is made official. For example, touch pad technology in swimming ensures that a winner can be determined by a fraction of a second. While the referee’s job is not at stake, his job will definitely be easier if it were complemented.
GRAPHIC | ALAN CHOONG
N OV E M B E R 2 2 , 2010
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Free tickets fail to draw crowds Annabelle Liang FREE tickets to S-League matches still fail to fill Jalan Besar Stadium. This is despite the Football Assocation of Singapore's (FAS)
drive to draw youths back into local football. Si nce Febr ua r y, bot h t he Sports and Recreational Centre (SRC) and International Student Centre (ISC) at NTU have been handing out free tickets to students which would have other-
wise cost up to $8 to watch a match. Although 30 tickets were offered to NTU students for each S-league match, the number was reduced to about 20 tickets in the few months leading up to November as it was deemed by the SRC as a
BARREN STADIUM: Only 300 supporters turned up for the Beijing Guo An Talent vs Senkang Punggol match. PHOTO | GOH CHAY TENG
busy period for students. The SRC said that take-up rate was usually 50 to 70 per cent of tickets available. Despite the imposed cap of five tickets per student, more tickets would be given out freely depending on availability. Yet this initiative does not seem to have suceeded in drawing the crowds. In a match on November 12th where free tickets were given out, the measly 300 supporters at the match scarcely filled the 6,000 seater Jalan Besar Stadium. Eight tickets were claimed by NTU students for the same match. Even though the match concluded with a solitary goal from Guo An, the 300 supporters made themselves seen and heard with banners and synchronised cheers. Tan Yong Teng, 24, a thirdyear student at NIE felt that the practice of giving out free tickets by the FAS would be more effective over time. The Etoile FC supporter said: “I think it is a very good initiative by the FAS and SRC as it would slowly but surely help to promote interest in football among the NTU student population.” “Now with the availability of the tickets to watch such matches, I would be sure to queue for tickets," he added.
Cheaper fees a smash with players The NTU Tennis Open had more sign-ups this year, despite the organisers doing away with prize money Eve Yeo sports editor PR I Z E mone y wa s t he f u rthest thing from contestants’ minds at the NTU Tennis Open Championships this year. Instead of cash, participants received medals and certificates. Last year, there were cash prizes but it cost more to sign up, and many players said that this put them off from joining the competition. According to the organisers, the participation fees paid for the cash prizes. “Many students suggested that we have lower participation fees rather than offer prize money for the tournament,” said Merwyn Wijaya, 22, the vice-chairperson of the event. “Lower participation fees would be affordable to more students and we hope to increase the enrolment rate through this”, added the thirdyear student from the School of Art, Design and Media. T h e N T U Te n n i s O p e n Championships is an annual tournament organised by the NTU Tennis Club. It is open to students, staff and alumni of NTU and the
National Institute of Education. This year, there were 49 participants in the Men’s singles category and 16 pairs in the Men’s doubles category, a 50 per cent increase this year. Members of the NTU tennis club paid $2 for the singles event and $3 per pair for the doubles event. Non-members paid $5 and
$8 respectively. At the doubles final on the 15th of November, Arun Prakesh and Bharath Seshadri beat Jorg Kanonenberg and Fransiskus Xaverius 4-6, 6-3, 7-5. Prakesh, a final-year student from the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, previously defeated Xaverius in the single’s fi-
nal in two sets to win the men's gold. In his first and second years in NTU, Prakesh was a finalist in the single’s final in the Tennis Championships before exiting in the semifinals last year. He said: “I used to play both tennis and cricket at IVP level but because of clashes in schedules, I chose cricket over tennis.”
they said that? "Mayweather should put up or shut up now or move out of the country. Manny is way above him at this point." Freddie Roach, coach of boxer Manny Pacquiao, to American boxer Floyd Mayweather
"I swear a dog just flew past the window. This is getting serious!" Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand tweets about the bad weather in the United Kingdom
GRAPHIC | GOH WEI CHOON
"We need to get rid of a few of those cripples." F1 driver Bernie Ecclestone gives his view on how to manage the slower teams on the grid
"Wozniacki has to be disappointed. She wanted so much to prove why she is No.1—even though many of us know why. She still has a lot to prove in 2011." ESPN Analyst Pam Shriver on tennis player Caroline Wozniacki who finished 2010 ranked No. 1 despite being defeated by Kim Clijsters in the Sony Ericsson Championships final in Doha DOUBLE DUTY: Xaverius (second from left) returns a shot to Seshadri (first from left) and Prakesh, while Kanonenberg looks on. PHOTO | WAN ZHONG HAO
Improving the S-League’s attendance on Page 31
Street Challenge reaches new heights This year’s Street Challenge saw the highest number of participants in three years Lai Junjie “IT’S a one-way street—play or be played” was the theme for this year’s NTU Street Challenge. And play certainly seemed to be on the minds of the estimated 500 participants, the highest number in the last three years. The annual sports competition, organised by the NTU Sports Club, took place at the Sports and Recreation Centre on November 13th. This year’s event saw participants taking on six sports: basketball, soccer, handball, frisbee, floorball and captain’s ball, which was introduced this year. “The addition of captain’s ball was to increase the number of students participating in this year’s events since we know that it is a very popular sport,” said Anthony Leow, 21, chairperson of this year’s Street Challenge. 16 teams registered for captain’s ball this year. “Next to soccer, captain’s ball is one of the more popular sports this year. We even have some post-graduate students taking pa r t ,” t he f i r st yea r st udent from the School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences added. Ong Su Yi, 21, a third-year student from Nanyang Business School (NBS), agreed. “I joined captain’s ball with my friends, because I think it is one of the easiest sports to play,” she said.
REACHING OUT: Captain’s ball was the most popular sport at this year’s events.
The participation of school tea m player s does not mea n that the Street Challenge is a toug h s por t i ng comp e t it ion reserved for dedicated athletes, said Claudia Phuah, a first-year s t ude nt f r om t he S c hool of Humanities and Social Sciences
FAIR PLAY: Ultimate Frisbee teams were only allowed two school team players each to level the playing field.
a nd v ice-cha i r per son of t he event. For each sport, every team was limited to two school players. The exception was f loorball, where only one school player, out of a team of three, was allowed. “We want everyone to enjoy themselves, so we capped the number of school team players, to make sure it is fair,” explained the 20-year-old. In addition, the organisers implemented a round robin system over a knock-out format, allowing participating teams to play in more matches. Floorball participant Iman Azhar, 21, complimented the organisers for allowing recreational teams more game time. “This way you get to play for the whole day, rather than losing one match and getting knocked out from the competition,” said the first-year student from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. However, there were hiccups for some students competing in multiple sports. K e v i n L i n , a t h i r d -y e a r
PHOTOS | WU HAN
“My friends and I are all in different faculties and courses. The Challenge was a good opportunity to take a break and spend time with them.” Danial Ridhuan School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Year 1
Canadian exchange student at NBS, had registered for both handball and floorball, and faced scheduling conflicts as both ran concurrently. “The competition is organised such that it is very troublesome if you’re playing more than one sport,” said the 20-year-old. In the end, Lin was placed as a reserve during the handball events.
Despite the presence of formidable teams, underdogs were able to make a strong showing with their team spirit. Raj Kamal, 22, joined the street soccer competition with his friends and emerged third out of 16 teams, despite having not trained much. He was even named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, although he played down the accolade and gave credit to his teammates. “If I was able to shine on the pitch, it was all because of my friends,” said the finalyear Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering student. While some students took to the pitch to showcase their skills, others joined Street Challenge to get together with friends and seek reprieve from school work. Danial Ridhuan, 21, a first year student from the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, said: “My friends and I are all in different faculties and courses. The Challenge was a good opportunity to take a break and spend time with them.”