Page 1

THE RIDGE MAGAZINE A NUSSU PUBLICATION AUGUST 2010

*

We heard that the most established publication on campus needed a makeover. So,welcome to the fresh new ridge. Flip open to get a taste. We hope you enjoy.

A DATE WITH JASMINE TYE

STOP STUDYING, SERIOUSLY We tell you how through a fresh approach to school

WHO READS WHAT?

“OKAY I’M VERY AUNTIE LAH!” With looks like hers? Find out why NUS’s favourite Singapore Idol contestant declares herself... well, an auntie

SHOP IN NUSTYLE

Does your reading preferences depend on the field of study? We conduct an investigation across the different faculties of NUS

NUS FLASH

Presented by NUSSU Bizcom, check this initiative out on pg 44

SECURE YOUR FIRST INTERNSHIP The director of NUS Career Services Centre answers your most burning questions about internships and shares a few tips on how to get one

NO PRESERVATIVES ADDED FULL OF VITAMINS..

+ Tay Ping Hui marries one of our own + RunNUS to have chips to track runners’ timings + NUS hosts inaugural Asian University Waterpolo Championship 2010 + We are going to have a comedy club in NUS? No joke?

THIS ISSUE’S THE RIDGE MAGAZINE FEATURES A DOUBLE COVER, CHECK THE BACK FOR THE FRESHMAN BUMPER ISSUE.


19

CONTENTS 22

NEWS

OUTSPOKEN

LIFESTYLE

06 NUS FLASH

14 STUDENT JOURNALISM IN NUS

22 8 MUST HAVE STATIONERIES

08 PHOTOSTORY

15 CIVIL SERVICE THROUGH THE EYES OF AN INTERN

23 SAME SAME BUT DIFFERENT

09 INSTANT CO-OP MEMBERSHIP FOR FRESHMEN

24 I KNOW WHAT I DID LAST SUMMER 16 I HATE STUDYING

10 HALL ADMISSIONS SYSTEM TO CHANGE

27 THE GOOD, BAD AND WASTE OF TIME 18 GUEST COLUMN: A/P MARRANCI

12 RVR FEES FROZEN

28 JASMINE TYE: ALL TYED UP 19 THE HARE PARADOX 30 FASHIONABLY NOTED

ENTERTAINMENT

SPORTS

32 A TALE OF MANY FACULTIES

40 SINGAPORE YOUTH OLYMPIC GAMES PREVIEW

34 SINGAPORE BOLEH 36 THE ANAMORPHIC DIRECTOR 37 BOOK REVIEW: THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES

06

27


02

Ed EDITOR’S NOTE

AIMS A) GRAB YOUR ATTENTION B) CONVINCE YOU TO READ ON C) INTRODUCE MYSELF D) NOT TO CREATE CRAP WORK (NO JOKE)

“Journalism is just a gun. It’s only got one bullet in it, but if you aim right, that’s all you need. Aim it right, and you can blow a kneecap off the world” – Warren Ellis, Transmetropolitan. Journalism is a dying art in this university. The gun self-imploded here last year. Whoever stuffed the gunpowder probably bought the cheap stuff. The shots that were fired didn’t hit the mark. Who’s servicing the revolver now? Well, I have news for you: A new editorial board is in town.

university life this month and we’re part of that package. We know it. We want you to enjoy it. We challenge you to define NUS in your own way (“What is NUS to you?”), explain what to expect when it comes to arts (“An Intro to the NUS Arts Scene”), compare Freshmen camps (“Freshmen Orientation Camp Awards”), write about the annual Rag Day (“Rag Day 2010”) that many of you took part in and help you with some much-needed tech info (“Getting Tech-Ed up for Year 1”).

This is my fourth year at THE RIDGE. I will graduate with a degree of RIDGEness and the editorial board are equally good ridgesters. They understand the power of the written word. That it sticks in your head. It doesn’t fade away like idle conversations on sunny afternoons. Words written on paper should be those that convey an idea in the best manner possible. Thousands of students read this magazine, after all. And words can influence and bring change.

Outspoken, News, Wired, Lifestyle, Entertainment, Creative and Sports are terms that will become familiar to you by the time you finish browsing through this magazine. And while you do, you’ll read about a Sociology professors’ view on religion in Singapore, Jasmine Tye (a former Singapore Idol contestant and our own fellow NUS student), why our Outspoken editor hates studying, the latest campus News, the YOG, all the Entertainment Singapore has to offer and much more.

This issue, in particular, is meant for freshman students. The August issue always has and always will be. It’s your virgin experience of

As Chief Editor, I hope “to bring THE RIDGE to greater heights and make every NUS student proud to identify with THE RIDGE as their

publication” (Nurhayati Khan, Chief Editor, April 2007). Yati’s legacy still drives me on. Last year, unread issues were lying about campus. I couldn’t believe it. I hope this year such a travesty never occurs. We will work our hardest and our darndest to avoid such a thing. Talk to us and send us an email. We’re the platform that you can choose to be heard in this university. And we want to keep getting better. We have a new look, a new team and a new logo but we know that’s not enough. Congratulations to the freshmen for making it here. You’re at one of the top universities in Asia. And to our seniors, welcome back. Enjoy the busybodyness of the first month, reuniting with old friends and the joy of learning something new. Have a great semester ahead. And bang goes the first shot.

SUHAS BHAT Interim Chief Editor the.ridge@nussu.org.sg


EDITORIAL TEAM

03

THINKING OF JOINING US? WE’RE ALWAYS ON THE LOOK OUT FOR TALENTED WRITERS, DESIGNERS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS. ASK US ABOUT RECRUITMENT AT the.ridge@nussu.org.sg

THE EDITORIAL BOARD

Chief Editor

Suhas Bhat

the.ridge@nussu.org.sg

Copy Editor

Arnab Ghosh

a_g16@nus.edu.sg

Creative Director

Kaden Hoe

u0908955@nus.edu.sg

Entertainment Desk Editor

Saheli Roy Choudhury

theridge.entertainment@nussu.org.sg

Lifestyle Desk Editors

Sharon Chen

theridge.lifestyle@nussu.org.sg

Athena Foo

CONTRIBUTORS

Outspoken Desk Editor

Chen Yongquan

theridge.outspoken@nussu.org.sg

News Desk Editor

Meera Nair

theridge.news@nussu.org.sg

Secretary

Anokhi Vakil

theridge.secretary@gmail.com

NUSSU Publications Secretary

Michelle Tan

pubsec@nussu.org.sg

Writers

Jane Antony

janeantony@nus.edu.sg

Nathanael Ps

u0900511@nus.edu.sg

Tng Ying Hui

u0702907@nus.edu.sg

Chua Ai Ni

chuaaini@nus.edu.sg

Bridget Tan

bridget_tan@nus.edu.sg

Tan Hui Yi

u0801648@nus.edu.sg

Chow Yongjun

u0800202@nus.edu.sg

Sabrina Mercy Anthony

u0802534@nus.edu.sg

Jason LKH

u0805887@nus.edu.sg

Vincent Lau

bchvlsl@nus.edu.sg

Heng Ming Fong

mingfong@nus.edu.sg

A/ P Gabriele Marranci

socgm@nus.edu.sg

Goh Ruoyi

u0802479@nus.edu.sg

Michelle Chong

michelle_chong@nus.edu.sg

Shanmugan MPL

shanmugam@nus.edu.sg

Joseph Chin

a0073391@nus.edu.sg

Designer

Peng Yifan

u081540@nus.edu.sg

Designer/Photographer

Eunice Ng

u0702964@nus.edu.sg

Photographer

Matthew Chee

u0908832@nus.edu.sg


04

NUSSU

FLAG DAY 2010 COLLECTIONS a numerical breakdown

508,703.30 total amount collected

3, 167.5

amount by which this figure breaks the past record (2008)

highest faculty count

‘Thank you, all NUS Flaggers for contributing to this positive cause on NUSSU Flag Day!’

78, 812.90

137, 661.20 ALL-TIME RECORD

highest hall count

562.27%

PERCENTAGE INCREMENT OF MEDICINE FACULTY

PRESIDENT’S SHIELD WINNERS FACULTY OF SCIENCE & KENT RIDGE HALL

*further updates on Rag awards can be found at www.nus.edu.sg/nussu THE ABOVE INFORMATION IS CORRECT AS OF 06 AUGUST


05

THE ESSENTIAL VITAMINS IN THE RIDGE MAGAZINE

NO PRESERVATIVES ADDED FULL OF VITAMINS.. NO PRESERV ATIVES ADDED FULL OF VITAMINS Et . Ns. Os. Sp. Ls. Wr.

Ns THE NEWS DESK

One of the largest desks in THE RIDGE, the News Desk is dedicated to bringing YOU the latest news around campus. From fee hikes to counterfeit goods, and even Mas Selamat’s presence on campus (that is, if he’s still alive and makes an appearance!) we are the go-to desk for your monthly dose of information. Now we can’t guarantee a scandal every month, but when one does occur, YOU get to probe right into it. So if you’re a complete busybody (just like the rest of us!), this desk is YOUR salvation. We welcome you with open arms!


06

NEWS

NUSFLASH RUNNUS WITH A TWIST

WORLDMUN COMES TO SINGAPORE

ASIAN UNIVERSITY WATERPOLO CHAMPIONSHIP 2010

GOH RUOYI

MICHELLE CHONG

TNG YING HUI

R

T

unNUS is back, this time with newer technology

he 20th session of the World Model United Nations

rom 8th to 14th July,

F

competitive water polo, it also aimed

NUS hosted the inaugural

to promote interaction among athletes

and a charitable motive. The annual

(WorldMUN) will be held in

Asian Universities Water Polo

from diverse cultural backgrounds.

running event, hosted by the NUS

Singapore in March 2011. Th is is the

Championship (AUWC). Jointly

The participating nine teams came

Students’ Sports Club, will be

fi rst time the conference will be held

organized with the Singapore

from seven countries: China,

collaborating with NUS’s Annual

in this region. WorldMUN brings

Swimming Association, this event

Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Pakistan,

Giving Campaign to raise funds

together youth delegates from around

brought together teams from around

Singapore and Uzbekistan.

for bursaries for needy students.

the world with the aim of providing

Asia to compete on our home ground

These funds will be raised using

a platform for them to voice out

– NUS.

the proceeds from the runners’

their opinions on international

registration fees, as well as through

issues. It also establishes cross-

Despite this apparent advantage,

donations pledged by the runners’

border networks that would facilitate

the NUS men’s team was trailing

friends and family. To ensure the

the implementation of plans at

for most of the competition. They

success of the 10km competitive run

an international level. With the

faced stiff competition from teams

event, a new running chip has also

conference being driven by the

from Korea, Japan and China. The

been acquired. The disposable ‘D-tag’

“WorldMUN Spirit” which idealizes

NUS men’s team clinched the overall

is able to track runners’ timings more

friendship, cross-border cooperation

bronze medal while the women’s

accurately and facilitate the retrieval

and a deep understanding of cultures

team came in 4th.

of these results. It is also easy to

and perspectives beyond one’s own,

use as it is unobtrusively attached

WorldMUN 2011 Singapore will

The AUWC was not just a

to one’s shoe. Over 2,000 runners

have much to offer as delegates get

competitive event, however. Apart

are expected at this event, a number

to immerse themselves in cultures,

from providing a platform for

exceeding the 1,600 that turned up

thoughts and ideals in a whole new

at last year’s event. Apart from the

region.

competitive run, RunNUS 2010 also includes a 5 km Fun Run and a carnival. It will be held on August 15, 2010.

PHOTOGRAPH XINMSN


NEWS

NUS TO HAVE A COMEDY CLUB TNG YING HUI

A

it, why not us!’” said Brintha Anne Loganathan, the creator of the

with technology as your buffer,” said

club in the hopes of increasing

NUS Comedy Crowd. Although

Brintha. Although this plan is still

awareness of both the local and

the NUS Comedy Crowd has yet

in its infancy, the support they have

international comedy scene amongst

to gain approval from the Office of

received from the NUS community

undergraduates. Named the NUS

Student Affairs, it has made plans

has kept them optimistic. The NUS

Comedy Crowd, it also aims to

for the coming semester. These plans

Comedy Crowd has found itself far

encourage the performance of stand-

include the starting of an NUS

surpassing its initial expectation of

up comedy. “The idea came to me

Comedy Crowd YouTube Channel

having about twenty members, with

whilst watching re-runs of the Last

where students can post videos of

its Facebook group having over 200

Comic Standing. In the wise words

themselves performing comedy. “Th is

members.

of a personal hero of mine - Harry

will be the fi rst step in encouraging

Potter - I figured, ‘If they can do

actual live performances of comedy

group of NUS undergraduates

as it’s slightly less daunting to do so

have formed a comedy

NUS LECTURER MARRIES LOCAL CELEBRITY TAY PING HUI GOH RUOYI

D

r Edna Lim, a lecturer from

during the Mediacorp Star Awards

the Department of English

held earlier in April this year. Dr

Language and Literature in the

Lim, whose research interests include

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences,

Singapore fi lm, television and theatre

officially tied the knot in June with

amongst others, has been teaching in

local Mediacorp artiste Tay Ping Hui,

the department since 1996.

who has consistently been dubbed one of the most eligible bachelors on the local acting scene. The couple got married shortly after Tay publicly expressed his gratitude to his future wife and baby in a speech made

07


08

NEWS * PHOTOSTORY

the phases of nus I

lectures and tutorials. Students

corridors were absent.

semester.

catching up on much-needed

Instead, rays of the afternoon

It is the beauty of these phases

revision.

sun streamed through the

that we miss in our quest for

will spend their time in libraries,

corridors and danced across the

academic excellence. With a

This is followed by the term

ceilings. An occasional breeze

start of a new semester, let us all

break. The phase we just got out

gently blew and a sense of

promise to take a step back and

of. The tide disappears. It is this

peace and tranquility enveloped

appreciate the elegance of this

t’s term time. Once again,

phase that is the most elusive

the whole place.

transition.

NUS roars to life with the

to most of us. We aren’t there to

rush of the mighty human tide.

witness it, you see.

It’s the time when chaos fills the linkways as students transit

I swear I could almost feel the gentle puffs of breaths taken,

But I was there.

hear the soft, soothing sigh as

It was a weekday afternoon. Yet

temporal slumber before the

Pretty soon, this human tide will

the throngs of people streaming

human tide roared through it

“the moment of change is the only poem.”

be tempered by the cessation of

through the various linkways and

again with the start of a new

– Adrienne Rich

between different venues.

the place settled into a sweet

AUTHOR MICHELLE CHONG * PHOTOGRAPH MATTHEW CHEE


NEWS

09

INSTANT CO-OP MEMBERSHIP FOR FRESHMEN A

ll incoming NUS freshmen

entitle students to a 10 percent

“If membership can be funded

from computation into their CAP

from this academic year

discount when purchasing textbooks,

by NUSSU, why wasn’t this

score. Cohorts before that did were

onwards will get instant membership

general books, stationery, NUS

implemented years ago?” she

not given that benefit.

at the NUS Co-op when they

memorabilia and personal computer

questioned.

matriculate. Th is membership

accessories from Co-op stores. Also,

will be given at no additional cost

they will be eligible to apply for the

Ho Jun Yi, the President of

freshmen does not put the current

and is valid for the tenure of their

Book Assistance Award of S$400,”

NUSSU, however, explained that

seniors at a disadvantage. In the long

undergraduate studies.

she added.

this policy was only possible now

run, more students will benefit from

because NUSSU has, over the years,

such a scheme,” said Christopher

Th is scheme is the result of a

Despite the benefits freshmen

engaged in “conservative financial

Cheong, the Vice-President of

partnership between the NUS Co-

gain, this policy is not without its

management, successful marketing

NUSSU.

op and the NUS Students’ Union.

drawbacks.

for sponsorship and fund-raising,

“Giving membership to incoming

Funding will come from the NUSSU

thereby resulting in the accumulation

At least one student, however, did not

coffers, which is partly endowed by

of sufficient funds to sustain this

see what all the fuss was about.

a one-time payment students make

collaboration.” Jacintha Gopal, a third-year political

towards Union membership. In return for this bulk purchase, the NUS

He added, “Th is collaboration with

science major, said, “I am slightly

Co-op will offer NUSSU a subsidized

the Co-op is not permanent. There

annoyed but Co-op membership is

rate for membership.

might be a scenario where future

only about 5 bucks after all, so I don’t

batches of NUS students no longer

really care.”

Both the NUS Co-op and NUSSU

receive this privilege, instead getting

stated that this move was made for

other, probably better, privileges.”

the benefit of NUS students. “The Co-op was borne out of concern for

The transient nature of such privileges

the community,” said Karen Lim, the

Leong Liting, a third-year business

can already be observed now, with

senior manager of the NUS Co-op.

major, pointed out that this policy “is

the implementation of the S/U option

unfair to senior students who have

which allowed cohorts from 2007

“Th is scheme will immediately

paid for membership” at Co-op stores. onwards to exempt certain modules

AUTHOR MEERA NAIR + PHOTOGRAPH COOP.NUS.EDU.SG


10

NEWS

HALL ADMISSIONS SYSTEM TO CHANGE THE REVISED HALL ADMISSION POINTS SYSTEM (RHAPS) IS SET TO CHANGE IN A YEAR’S TIME. THE NEW SYSTEM, CALLED THE RESIDENCE ADMISSION SCHEME (RAS), WILL BE SHADOWING THE RHAPS THIS ACADEMIC YEAR BEFORE TAKING OVER THE YEAR AFTER.

F

irst proposed by the Office of

reasons which the RHAPs appeared

The RAS consists of two categories.

Tier 6 which constitutes the general

Student Affairs (OSA), the

to endorse.

Category A contains six tiers. Tiers

senior undergraduate population. Th is

1 to 3 guarantee accommodation

will be balloted again to assign people to the remaining vacancies.

RAS was created in an attempt to counter the problems posed by the

Apart from that, “students will not

for elected members of the NUSSU

RHAPs, namely, that of points

run into commitment issues with

Executive Committee, elected

inflation, abuse and cheating of the

the CCAs they like because they are

members of the Halls Junior

Category B consists of SRC’s

system.

forced to raise their points by joining

Common Room Committee and

Varsity Sportsmen Scheme and

many CCAs,” explained Christopher

elected members of the Constituent

the Halls’ Master List. The former

The RAS allows recognized Student

Cheong, Vice-President of the NUS

Clubs’ Management Committee

offers accommodation to deserving

Organizations (SOs) to recommend

Students’ Union (NUSSU).

respectively.

sportsmen while the latter does so for

students for accommodation instead

students who are able to contribute to

of awarding CCA points as the

He also added that this new

Tier 4 dedicates a quota for elected

RHAPs did. Students will be

scheme was fairer to senior students

members of Societies, Interest

recommended based on the quality of

who would be unlikely to get

Groups and CFA’s Management

Despite the fairness of the scheme,

their contribution to the SO.

accommodation under RHAPs

Committee.

Cheong admits that the system

if they have never stayed in a hall

the vibrancy of their chosen hall.

is not free from glitches. “A

SOs, in turn, will be given the

before. Th is is because RAS, by

Where demand exceeds the number

possible problem is how trusting

flexibility to decide on the criteria

using a tiered system that depends

of places available, balloting will be

we can be to allow SOs to devise a

they wish to use to rank and

on recommendations and balloting,

conducted with those unsuccessful

recommendation plan of their own

recommend students.

specifically takes this group of

being considered under Tier 5

that will be impartial and fair to all,”

students into consideration in one of

where SOs and halls are allowed to

he said.

It is hoped that this new system will

its tiers. It offers all students an equal

recommend names for consideration.

encourage students to participate in

chance at succeeding while at the

CCAs out of interest and passion

same time acknowledging the most

After another round of balloting,

initiated the one-year shadow period,

rather than for purely pragmatic

deserving.

those unsuccessful will be moved to

he added. During this time, SOs will

AUTHOR MEERA NAIR + PHOTOGRAPH PANORAMIO

It is for this reason that NUSSU


NEWS

be given the opportunity to devise a

points,” he added.

system for recommendation. It will

Not all students interviewed were unhappy with the changes, nor did

constantly be reviewed to ensure

His views were echoed by Hong

they need such reassurance. Lee Jia

impartiality. Moreover, SOs will be

Xinlei, a third-year geography major.

En, a third-year geography major,

able to learn from other SOs’ models

However, she also noted a positive

said, “I am certain that these changes

and mistakes.

side to the RAS.

have been thought through carefully with the welfare of the students in

While sound in theory, Aloysius

“Ideally, the recommendation

mind. Even if the new system does

Teo, a third-year life sciences major,

system is fairer because the CCA

not work out, it will defi nitely point

pointed out that it may not be that

leader will be clear as to who really

us in the right direction.”

easy.

contributes as opposed to just taking attendance,” she said, referring to the

With the mixed responses from

“The recommendation system may

common practice of CCAs equating

students, teething problems and

lead to ‘fake’ friendships just to get

participation with attendance.

administrative hassles of a new

into the good books of the CCA

scheme, Cheong aptly concluded,

leader, as well as backstabbing and

Student dissatisfaction is only to be

bad-mouthing to bring another

expected, Cheong noted, explaining

person down,” he said.

that when the RHAPs was put into action close to 13 years ago, it too

“Moreover, students who are more

faced many negative responses.

extroverted will also have an edge over students who do most of the

However, Cheong assured that

work but go unnoticed. The point

NUSSU would seek to address every

system is not fl awless, but at least

concern and provide improvement for

those who do their jobs will get some

the RAS along the way.

“CHANGE IS NEVER EASY.”

11


12

NEWS

RVR FEES FROZEN T

he University has announced

hence there definitely needs to be

said.

that it will freeze the

a difference in the fees charged to

increase in hostel fees for Ridge View

account for the difference in hostel

She also added that given an

Residences (RVR) for AY2010/2011

upkeep,” Loh Ziling, a third-year

inevitable increase in the fees for

and that the fees will be revised again

psychology major, said of the

older RVR blocks in the future,

in AY2011/2012.

decision.

the administration should consider renovation and refurbishment instead

Th is means that fees per week would

With these RVR blocks now being

remain at $75 for single rooms and

cheaper than the other hostels, the

of fee freezes.

$50 for double rooms as opposed

Office of Student Affairs (OSA)

David Cheah, a second-year computer

to around $90 and $60 respectively

acknowledged that the number

engineering student who is staying

for the other hostels. However, this

of applicants to the residence may

at Prince George’s Park Residences

would only apply to the older blocks

increase and said that they will be

agreed, saying that he would not

in RVR and not the newer Tower

monitoring the trend.

consider shifting to RVR despite the

Block (as it is known).

residence’s “central location” unless it Students interviewed, however, do

The decision came after the

not appear to be keen on staying

University conducted two dialogue

there.

sessions with students and received

could boast upgraded facilities.

The Office of Student Affairs (OSA) did not rule out improvements to the

feedback from a NUSSU student

Choo Jiale, a third-year student

existing blocks during this period,

survey.

from the School of Design and

noting that that the fee review in

Environment, felt that the difference

AY2011/2012 would take into

Respondents of the survey pointed

in fees was not worth the sacrifice of

consideration any improvements done

out the differences in the conditions

newer facilities.

to existing blocks.

of older RVR blocks as compared to other hostels on campus.

“If I were to choose, I would go for the newer blocks unless the old blocks

“Conditions of these blocks may

offer hostel fees that are substantially

not be as good as the newer blocks,

lower than the new RVR blocks,” she

AUTHOR CHUA AI NI + PHOTOGRAPH PANORAMIO


THE ESSENTIAL VITAMINS IN THE RIDGE MAGAZINE

NO PRESERVATIVES ADDED FULL OF VITAMINS.. NO PRESERV ATIVES ADDED FULL OF VITAMINS Et . Ns. Os. Sp. Ls. Wr.

Os THE OUTSPOKEN DESK

Not for the apathetic, Outspoken is an avenue for passionate columnists to voice their opinions on a wide range of social issues ranging from the sciences to the arts that are of concern to the NUS student population. While promising a team of shining personalities with fresh perspectives and interesting experiences, Outspoken will not be held accountable for our readers’ addiction! Outspoken currently features a regular guest column whereby prominent NUS figures from the management, teaching staff, alumni and elsewhere touch on issues that are close to the heart of the student population, showcase their research or share their experiences.


14

OUTSPOKEN

STUDENT JOURNALISM IN NUS AN ASPIRING JOURNALIST HIMSELF, INTERIM EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF THE RIDGE SUHAS BHAT HOPES TO REVIVE THE CULTURE OF ACTIVE STUDENT JOURNALISM IN NUS.

Y

ou don’t see many students

a smaller way, they can contribute

deadlines. Bottlenecks can easily be

past four years, I’ve seen numerous

wanting to become journalists.

by helping us improve through

formed as long as a single cog in the

talented writers, designers and editors

I’ve given this peculiarity much

offering constructive suggestions

machine fails to operate as expected.

emerge and I’m confident that there

thought and although there are

and by providing us with feedback

NUS students are infamously

are more yet to come.

conventional explanations provided,

on what they hope to read in student

never free to meet up and attend

they do not really solve this puzzle.

publications.

meetings and so towards the end of

Kent Ridge Common, an

the previous academic year, THE

independent publication founded by

Many say that freedom of expression is restricted out there while others

But the challenge in raising the

RIDGE was constantly plagued with

a Philosophy student named Lester

believe that there isn’t a strong

quality of journalism within campus

delays which tarnished the reputation

Lim, is a prime example of how

enough publications sector in

does not stop there. There are also

of the magazine and the standard of

student-led journalism can indeed

Singapore.

high turnover rates within campus

journalism within the university.

work within NUS. The new team of

publications as writers don’t stick for

editors and writers of THE RIDGE

But when it comes to journalism

the long haul. Writers are a sensitive

Furthermore, articles themselves

are hardworking and passionate

within NUS, a Catch-22 paradox

lot who take great pride in their

need to have a personality, structure,

individuals who sincerely wish to

exists whereby journalism will be in

work and whose feathers are easily

purpose and quality and writers

bring this magazine back to its glory

vogue once there’s good journalism

ruffled. Editors have to be especially

should be more than just freelancers

days when it used to produce issues

present but that won’t happen if we

careful when editing as creativity is

working from their desks. They

that I personally (among many others)

don’t recruit good journalists in the

apparently easily stifled these days.

should expend a little extra effort to

eagerly looked forward to every

fi rst place! Many potential writers

Such a volatile atmosphere is not

add that extra gloss to the fi nish.

month.

out there do not seek to join campus

healthy and patience is becoming a

publications primarily because they

rare quality. I remember a time when

The common organisational problems

Only time can tell how student

are not happy with the quality of

it took 30 replies before an article

found in other CCAs are also always

journalism will fare over the next

journalism provided within the

I submitted finally got approved!

there - petty politics, favouritism,

decade. As I pen the last article

campus.

Writers should learn to see editors

weak leadership, formation of cliques,

before this magazine goes to print,

as their guides and realise that

cultural differences, lack of discipline

I, for one, am keeping my fi ngers

Well, it won’t spring up overnight like

ultimately they’re the ones that

and inter-organizational confl ict.

crossed..

a magic beanstalk. These potential

will benefit from the changes made

But the problems that I’ve outlined

writers must be willing and have

to their work. I know I benefitted

are particularly acute to publications

to take the fi rst step by bringing

greatly.

and make it difficult for there to be a

*Please write to us at the.ridge@nussu.org.sg

thriving environment for journalism.

and tell us what you think of the new issue of

their ideas to print so that over time a change in the culture of writing

Also, publications generally require

within campus itself can happen. In

consistency and a strict adherence to

AUTHOR SUHAS BHAT

THE RIDGE. There is hope, though. Over the


OUTSPOKEN

J

ust a month ago, I completed

only from the inside that I realized

my internship at a certain

that a lot of efforts were in place to

government sector. When people talk

help improve Singapore.

about the civil service, they think men in white and a dash of red in the

It was not a boring experience. In

form of a lightning bolt. Yes, that’s

fact, people who were passionate

right - the People’s Action Party

about what they do surrounded

(PAP). Singapore’s political system

me and they consistently proposed

has been a matter of much debate ever

recommendations to fi ll up the gaps

since dominant one-party rule was

in the system. No doubt the process

established by the PAP in 1959.

was long and tedious whereby one’s

15

CIVIL SERVICE THROUGH THE EYES OF AN INTERN

HENG MING FONG SHARES HER INTERNSHIP EXPERIENCE THAT WOULD CHALLENGE YOU TO RETHINK YOUR ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT THE CIVIL SERVICE.

proposal had to go through weeks and I recall a year back when I was

weeks of vetting and approval but the

working as a temporary staff worker

rewards were satisfying as they were

for a particular government sector.

a service for the public rather than a

Whilst I was on the train, I pulled

concern for the bottom line.

out my work pass and at that

encounter in my working experience

know why. It just felt like the right

with the private sector.

and safe thing to do. Along the way,

moment, an old man stared at me and

There are also initiatives for a good

started to spew words of disdain at

work-life balance. There are bi-

In times of financial crisis, the

was obvious how fast pay increment

my association with the government.

monthly volunteer activity sessions at

public sector is seen as the pedestal

could be in an established Multi-

What have I done? That thought

a home for the aged and special events

of security - an iron rice bowl. Th is

National Corporation. But ultimately

came across to me almost instantly

like the public service challenge

has helped attract graduates into the

she stayed as she felt competent

as I kept quiet and made a speedy

whereby civil servants battle it out

public sector. However, there are also

in her area of expertise. As for her

escape from the train. I guess this

in a series of activities like Captain’s

disadvantages to working in a public

outstanding peers, one of them took

stigma against the government will

ball and Sudoku. Such activities allow

sector. The biggest would have to

a career switch to answer her calling

always be there. The civil service

one to unwind from the stress of daily

be that salary raises and promotions

- teaching.

has long been perceived as a source

work. In addition, there are privileges

are harder to obtain as decisions

of inflexibility coupled with red

like free ice cream day, gym access at

have to be made on a governmental

As a new semester begins, some

tape. The government had executed

work, special movie screenings and

instead of a company level. Much

of you sophomores might still be

some policies that take only a more

many others. Such offers I have yet to

more value is also placed on your

clueless about your career aspirations.

outspoken taxi driver to reiterate

educational credentials and often your

As for the freshmen, you might still

about them to his or her passenger.

starting salary is pegged against your

be searching. Although it might be

qualifications. Th is may be one reason

encouraging to have an idea of what

The image that the civil service

why aspirants work so hard for an

you want to do in the future, not all

presents is a boring and rigid one.

honor’s degree.

ideas materialize. Somewhere along

some regretted their decisions. It

Hence, it is not surprising that the

the way, you might just find a new

younger generation tend to shy away

Back in her time, my Assistant

pursuit in life. You might be just as

from it. I was not an exception. But

Director had graduated top in her

outstanding in the public or private

a certain appeal still draws me to it

class. She was an eager and hopeful

sector but ultimately you have to like

and that is the possibility of doing

graduate along with her other

what you do. What is important is

something that could benefit society.

academically outstanding peers. They

to keep an open mind and to have

As much as I had my reservations

were offered high paying jobs in the

faith. Like the saying goes - life is a

as to how much society could be

private sector but everybody turned

journey, not a destination.

changed for the better, I went ahead

down the offers and went straight

to take up the internship. And it was

into the civil service. They didn’t even AUTHOR HENG MING FONG + PHOTOGRAPH FLICKR.COM/Nigel_4ever/joeylu


16

OUTSPOKEN

I HATE STUDYING STUDYING IS ONE PAINFUL CHORE. CHEN YONGQUAN KNOWS THAT AND HE WANTS TO CONVINCE YOU TO STOP DOING IT.

W

hen someone speaks of studying, I think of thick

textbooks, stacks of lecture notes,

MY MUM WAS WRONG.

choking deadlines for assignments

many others around me had desired.

arts since my lower secondary days. I

The Head of Biology Department

learnt History and English Literature

called me up one morning along with

and loved them.

several others to ask why we had not

and stressful burning of midnight

My mum was wrong. Perhaps all I

chosen to study 8 subjects despite our

The past fascinates me – the people,

oil during the examination period.

had was a little aptitude in drawing

results allowing us to do so.

their practices and the lives they led.

Studying is a painful chore that

those rectangular boxes that were

involves largely an accumulation of a

used to represent mathematical

I did not tell her that half the reason

time was something intriguing to

lot of boring information. I spent the

problems.

was that I wanted to slack more. I

me. Lessons on English Literature

told her the other half that Biology

were equally enjoyable as I found it

last 15 years or so of my life mostly

The change in human behaviour over

studying and I find myself wondering

But as I would learn, Math was not

did not really appeal to me and that

interesting how the private thoughts of

where all that supposedly stored up

my cup of tea. In upper secondary

it seemed a difficult subject. She

each character eventually manifested

information vanished to. You see, I

school, I struggled with Additional

laughed heartily and with a hand

themselves in less than expected ways

had studied without knowing why I

Mathematics because I could not

gesture, swiped my concern off like

in a group setting.

was studying.

understand why I had to study

how one would with a housefly.

numbers so much when all I felt

“Biology is easy!” she exclaimed.

In Junior College, I encountered a new

As a child, I was taught that it was

that I needed back then were simple

Being young and naive, I believed

subject – Economics. I enjoyed learning

just natural that upon reaching a

counting skills so that the canteen

her.

it. I saw how economic theories

certain age, it’s time to put an end

auntie would not cheat me of my

to all those hours spent wasting

rightful change!

on play and to head for school.

and concepts were embedded in the Plus the prevalent view around me

surroundings of everyday life. I went

was that the sciences were more

on to take a Special Paper and was even

During school, I studied without

Later on in Junior College, I even had

prestigious and more practical than

more interested as the focus was on real

an appreciation for knowledge – the

consultation in a small group of four

the arts, so I eventually ended up in

economic events happening around the

acquisition of it and its application

for Math because I was scoring just

the triple science stream taking up 8

world.

to life.

30 marks three months before the

subjects. I knew I had slapped myself

‘A’ level examination. It was not that

in the face with my lack of resolve

Upon completion of my National

I did not try hard enough but that

when I found myself wondering why

Service, I regained my status as a

In sum, I wasn’t truly learning.

Math just didn’t interest me. I failed

I was studying pages and pages of

student and stepped foot on NUS. I had

Back in primary school, Mathematics

terribly at trying to see how Math was

complicated diagrams on cellular

indicated the Faculty of Arts and Social

was my best subject. My mum told

relevant to my life.

structures when I couldn’t even see

Sciences (FASS) of NUS as my fi rst

a cell with my naked eye. Indeed,

choice because I knew that this was the place where I wanted to be.

me that I could work hard on this area and be a Mathematics teacher

In a streaming exercise at the end

studying these subjects was torturous

one day.

of secondary two, I had initially

for me.

indicated that I wished to take up 7 subjects instead of the 8 or 9 that

AUTHOR CHEN YONGQUAN + PHOTOGRAPH SUHAS BHAT

I have enjoyed learning for the past On the contrary, I had a liking for the

2 years in university. It was only in


OUTSPOKEN

17

even an economist to

modules from different faculties. You

predict with certainty.

will never know if you like something

My answer is that

or not until you have tried it yourself.

I learn Sociology because I love it and

Let us set our sights far. If through

I love it because I can

taking modules from different

appreciate how it is

faculties make you realize that there

so relevant to life.

is something else which you enjoy

Sociology allows me

learning more then perhaps it is time

to learn more about

to do some reflection. I have learnt that

others and also about

along the way, a great deal of people

myself.

will tell us what to do and what not to do but ultimately they are not us.

university that I found myself truly

the discipline is to life given that it is

To my readers who are majoring in

learning and not studying. I was

at work every moment in our day-to-

Biology or Mathematics, it is not that

appreciating the knowledge that

day interactions.

Biology and Mathematics are not

I acquired, seeing how they were

important to life or that they are less

STOP STUDYING, START LEARNING.

relevant to my life. These two years

Sometimes, others don’t bother and

attractive subjects per se. It’s about

were a lot different from what I had

simply ask, “So what do you want to

you being able to appreciate their

There is a quote from one of the pages

been doing the past 15.

do next time?”

relevance more than I can and being

in my ‘A’ level Economics course pack

better Biologists or Mathematicians

which I find meaningful and have

in the future than I could ever be.

remembered even till today – “I do not

Today, every now and then, I am

To be frank, I have not much of an

asked what I am majoring in. Almost

idea. It is not that I am ignorant of

every time when I mention Sociology,

what kind of jobs Sociology graduates

To the freshmen: I had chosen a

people ask me, “What is Sociology?”

today do. I always thought that this

course which I am passionate about

At the expense of incurring the wrath

was a rather strange question. Can

and I hope you will too. I have learnt

of my beloved Sociology professors,

anyone say with confidence what will

that passion is a wonderful thing.

I must admit that I have always felt

happen to the job market 10 years

When you are passionate about

that it was a difficult question to

down the road? Every year, new jobs

something, you will find yourself

answer.

are being created and old jobs become

learning and not studying. If you

obsolete through an interaction

are unsure where your passion lies,

I feel that the conventional answer

of a whole array of demand and

it is time to start on a journey of

that ‘Sociology is the study of human

supply conditions in the job market

discovery.

behaviour in the social context’ did

that are beyond the control of the

not emphasize enough how important

individual and too complicated for

remember what I was taught. I only

Get out of your comfort zone. Take

remember what I have learnt.”

So to all my readers: Stop Studying, Start Learning.


18

OUTSPOKEN * GUEST COLUMN

GUEST COLUMN Religion is once again in the limelight with Pastor Rony Tan’s insensitive comments and in a separate case, yet another use of the Internal Security Act. Assoc. Prof. GABRIELE MARRANCI shares with us his research on religion in Singapore and his views on how we can tackle the challenges posed by religion.

R

eligious (and racial) harmony

indeed, studied. This is particularly

Sure, they share spaces, they see

as a Singaporean lifestyle, that the

is central to the peaceful

important since, before moving to

differences, they may even direct

younger generations are exposed,

cohabitation of different, sometimes

Singapore, many European friends

the odd question to a friend of a

secularly, to the practices, places of

divergent, systems of beliefs

stressed how I would teach in a

different faith - but, overall, they

worship, and beliefs of the various

and symbols which constitute

country with severe limitations on

know little on average about others’

faiths in Singapore. This will also

Singaporean multiculturalism.

free speech concerning religion.

religions. When one knows little

help prevent radicalism (or at least

Cases such as Pastor Rony Tan’s

After having lived here for two years,

about a subject, he or she has more

spot it easily) since opposition to

comments on Buddhist and

I can affirm that such impressions

chances of speaking or acting in

this kind of exposure would only

Confucian tenets and the recent

were misled.

such a way as to create offense.

come from those who hold a very

Act (ISA) of a full-time national

This does not mean that in

Take this example: removing shoes

may be. We need new generations

serviceman for self- radicalism

Singapore people, even when

before entering somebody’s home is

of Singaporeans who, although

over the Internet reminds us of the

academics, do not censor

an ordinary courtesy in Singapore.

having a solidly rooted identity

challenges we face concerning

themselves for fear of ‘crossing

The same act in my country of origin,

within their own ethnic and/or

detention under the Internal Security

religion.

On the 17th August 2009, The

essentialist view of what religion

R E L I G I O N

religious community, do not feel uncomfortable with, or even fearful of (as unfortunately I have often found),

Straits Times, in the article ‘PM’s 4

the red line,’ as one friend told me.

Italy, would be considered quite

other religious beliefs and practices.

basic rules for religious harmony’,

As an anthropologist, an outsider

rude. Hence, all that can prevent

Only then can we be sure that ‘live

reported PM Lee’s ‘four basic rules

who has been kindly permitted to

one from, in this case, being rude is

and let live’ is a personal, deeply

that had to be observed in order to

observe and participate in the many

to know, quite well, the tradition of

rooted principle and not the fearful

maintain peace and harmony’. The

aspects of Singaporean life, I have

the other. In other words, knowledge

acceptance of a disliked imposition.

Prime Minister highlighted that all

asked myself why such uneasy

is achieved through experience or

religious and non-religious groups

feelings exist. Nearly two years of

through study - but a combination of

Indeed, fear - regardless of the

have to exercise tolerance and

research (including that pertaining

both is best!

source - can always be overcome in

restraint, keep religion separate

to religious issues) on young people

from politics, maintain a secular

in Singapore has helped me to

My experience, through my field

Assoc. Prof. Gabriele Marranci is a visiting senior

government, and finally, maintain

advance a hypothesis that has been

research, suggests that young

fellow at the National University of Singapore,

the common space that all

confirmed several times by fieldwork

Singaporeans often know little,

Sociology Department. He is also Honorary Professor

Singaporeans share. Within these

experience.

and experience even less, of

at Cardiff University, Centre for the Study of Islam

each others’ religions. It is urgently

in the UK. For more of his writings, you can visit

wise parameters, nowhere did the

the end.

Prime Minister suggest that religion

Young Singaporeans often have

needed, if religious harmony is to be

his blog :

cannot be discussed, debated or,

very little exposure to other religions.

not only maintained but internalized

marranci.wordpress.com

AUTHOR GABRIELLE MARRANCI + PHOTOGRAPH GABRIELLE MARRANCI


OUTSPOKEN

19

THE HARE PARADOX WE ALL KNOW THE TORTOISE AND THE HARE RACED EACH OTHER. BUT WHO WINS, REALLY? VINCENT LAU EXPOSES THE FALLACY OF QUICK FIXES, SHORT CUTS AND FAST TRACKS.

L

earn golf fast! Lose weight in

it? What comes quick usually goes

Even after years, you have no problem

Learning, sadly, requires a tad more

1 week. Master Photoshop in

quick as well. Ever tried picking up

recalling them from your cerebral

effort than assembling a writing desk

3 days. Chisel your abs in 1 month.

a language briefly over the Internet?

attic.

from an IKEA furniture store.

Get your MBA in a year. Th ink

If your answer is yes, you probably

yourself successful! Swarmed with

would have found yourself blabbering

Quick results don’t tend to last. One

marketing messages such as these, we

grammarless vocabulary at best. Your

such example is weight loss. You can

spend large amount of time searching

brain just doesn’t retain this new

lose your pounds quickly by caloric

for quick ways to accomplish our

language, does it?

restriction or what’s better known

fickle interests.

as ‘going on a diet.’ However, such

IT IS ALMOST AMUSING TO KNOW THAT A FRIEND, ON THE VERGE OF GRADUATION FROM LIFE SCIENCE, DID NOT KNOW WHAT THE ACRONYM DNA STANDS FOR.

Th rough evolution, the human

resorts consequently lead to extreme

Having such notions put all the

brain has long traded resolution

starvation, subsequent binging

masters of their trades to shame. For

for the art of association. That is,

and the lost fats come back with a

what they paid their priceless youth

the brain becomes adept in

for, you can now spend a weekend

retaining patterns but not

‘understanding’ the essence from an

details. Time is needed

online e-book. Long gone were the

to initiate new neuron

days when tailors committed their

connections in your

whole lives to sartorial excellence

brain and to retain

and artists made to draw nothing but

electrochemical

You have to face it.

he had to do was to paraphrase his

eggs.

information. To

There will be no

senior’s submission templates.

vengeance.

He had it easy, though; the nights we stayed up working on our reports, all

prove my point, try

gain without all

Capitalists are taking advantage of

regurgitating now the

that endearing

gullible consumers. It didn’t take long

multiplication tables

for marketers to realize that to sell

which the young

wear and tear from exertion. In the

you something you don’t need, they

you used to

process, suffering the grueling pains

have to innovate and come up with

chant before

of muscle aches cannot be prevented.

new gimmicks.

every

To maintain muscle bulk and volume,

meal.

one has to repeatedly stimulate it with

And voila, they make you promises

You will

consistent workouts. Modern day

to solve your problems in the shortest

realize

artificial protein concoctions sell you

time possible, with convenience of

that the

the idea of rapid mass growth. Guess

plug-and-play. That actually sounds

repeated

what? Due to an enormous distorted

like an offer too good to ignore isn’t

chanting has paid off.

increase in muscle mass within a

AUTHOR VINCENT LAU + PHOTOGRAPH DISNEY.COM

pain.

Everyone knows that to build muscles, fibers fi rst have to endure


20

OUTSPOKEN

short period, your body’s metabolism

adolescent acne.

goes into gear four. What do you get

Some might even contend that we

It was then I came to suspect that

are gradually losing our ability to

probably most over-the-counter

when you stop your religious devotion

Robust groundwork and a fi rm

know people and uphold a genuine

products, regardless expensive or

to supplements and workouts? Yes.

foundation is laid when one spends

conversation. So many couples would

cheap, might actually work, but only

Man boobs, all over…

considerable amount of time

fight the crowds to watch fi reworks,

if you stick to it. Are you guilty of

familiarising oneself with the basics.

but miss out on the grandeur of

getting a new product you just saw

Practice can make perfect. In his

Ever wonder why bamboo forests are

routine romance. Ask any couple that

on television and throwing away the

book ‘Outlier’, Malcolm Gladwell

particularly resilient to strong winds?

have braved the storms and stayed

old one even though it was still half

illustrated an intimate relationship

The secret lies in the structure of their

in love all these years on their most

full, simply because you couldn’t see

between success and the number

flexible vegetative construct: a hollow

precious lesson learnt. The answer

immediate results?

of hours spent on practice. He

stem reinforced with hard cross-

more often than not is learning the

highlighted that exceptional

partitioned circular rims at regular

art of sewing shreds and appreciating

So does the tortoise or the hare

individuals do well, regardless in

intervals along its length. What many

the beauty of a colorful patched quilt.

win the race? I hope I have given

sports or music because they had

do not know is that the plant takes

opportunities to engage in formal

a painstakingly long time investing

Focusing excessively on the ‘X’ on

choice. So the next time before you

umpired practice. His equation

nutrients to create these rigid joints

a map can be punishing. You can

pick up a book titled ‘(Place a verb/

was simple. As long as you clock

before any rapid growth spurt can

almost be assured of a mundane

noun here) in 3 days,’ think again.

10,000 hours in what you do, you

happen. Over time, the result is a

and lonely school life if you spend

will imminently excel in it. Th is is

weatherproof survivor.

a huge portion of your time solely

because with greater practice, you

you enough reasons to make a right

worshipping a Cumulative Average

become aware of the underlying

Playing music is one of many

concepts behind that particular

activities that require a compulsive

activity. Your technical skills also

solid foundation. A couple of months

Have patience. In reality, the red

improve. Moreover, when confronted

ago, I was enticed by a newspaper

Mario mushroom does not exist.

with a problem, it is likely you can

advert from a music school claiming

One does not grow in a split second.

troubleshoot if you have understood

‘Play and sing the guitar in 10 weeks!’

Contrary to the notion that wisdom

each procedure thoroughly, as

Point of 5.

comes with age, aging, of late,

compared to frivolously going

Having no background yet hoping

is gradually becoming a word of

through the motion.

to impress my significant other, I

abhorrence. Similarly, an endeavor

enrolled for a class without hesitation.

that takes too long to fruition is

Yet while perfection entails practice,

10 weeks later on a scenic romantic

shunned.

the inverse is not true. Practice does

beach, the best I could muster was

not always produce perfection. One

strum and sing ‘Kumbaya.’ I almost

My nanny, 60, has managed to retard

of my mom’s Wednesday dishes is the

lulled myself to sleep.

youth deterioration as visually evident

steamed egg, much like an upsized

through a comparison with three

Chawanmushi. I love its taste (well,

Embrace the process. Sometimes,

of her sisters. When asked for her

I suppose that’s the only thing I can

the goal pales in comparison to the

secret youth elixir, she brought out

possibly like it for!) but the surface of

process of pursuit. I dare say this

something unexpected. Not SKII or

the egg always looks like that of the

is true of love. Many rush into a

some famous label product; it was a

moon: fi lled with undulating craters.

relationship, only to find themselves

bottle of baby lotion. Since some 20

dying to rush out. Other pursuers

years back, I have seen her use this

Despite having attempted the dish

of love tend to go straight to deep

product religiously every morning

umpteen times, my mom’s egg never

French, missing out on the crucial

and night.

fails to look like it had full-blown

process of courtship.


THE ESSENTIAL VITAMINS IN THE RIDGE MAGAZINE

NO PRESERVATIVES ADDED FULL OF VITAMINS.. NO PRESERV ATIVES ADDED FULL OF VITAMINS Et . Ns. Os. Sp. Ls. Wr.

Ls

THE LIFE STYLE DESK Live in style. Like they said, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.


22

LIFESTYLE It was definitely love at first sight! This A A5 felt notebook is perfect for school as it combines aesthetic appeal and ffunctionality into one. Good for jotting down notes in lectures and tutorials, this notebook will definitely be the object of envy from your fellow friends! (From kikki.K - $39.90)

THE HOLIDAYS ARE COMING TO AN END AND SCHOOL IS LOOMING AROUND THE CORNER. ARE YOU READY FOR SCHOOL?

These fanciful A4 string folders make a

OTHER THAN THE USUAL TEXTBOOKS AND

wonderful addition to your boring bookshelf.

SPLURGING ON NEW OUTFITS TO ATTRACT

Even better, they come in different hues and

THE ATTENTION OF THE GUY/GIRL OF

classy baroque prints. Much thinner than

YOUR FANCY, THERE’S ONE THING THAT

the usual ring folders, they are easy to carry

YOU DEFIN DEFINITELY FINITEL CANNOT DO WITHOUT –

These stickies come in psychedelic polka

around and who knows, they can double

STATIONERIES! ON NERIE ES! T THIS HIS S IS ISS ISSUE, SU WE BRING YOU

dots and stripes. Ideal for decorative

up as accessories! (From Prints - $22.50-

8 TREND-SETTING REND-S D-SE ETTING NG STATI S STATIONERIES TIONE ONERIES ST THAT YOU

purposes and for marking out the important

$23-50) 23 50)

CAN’T DO CAN D W WITHOUT ITHOU HOUT T FOR OR SCHOOL: SCHOO SC OOL::

pages in your notes. It also comes in a cute tin case that’s easy to carry around. (From Made With Love - $12.95)

Ideal for your notes, these markers come in an array of Well, if you’re like me,

Isn’t that just a normal pencil, you say? Now

colours. What’s more, it doubles as a pen

these clips are a must have! With

now, take a closer look... Holy crap, that’s

and a marker so you can reduce your load

5 to 6 modules on hand each semester, I’m

a mechanical pencil disguised as a normal

in your pencil case by not having to bring so

sure every one of you will be swarmed with

lead pencil right there!!! - Pardon me for the

many pens! (From Prints - $1.45)

work. These clips are helpful because they

theatrics, but that was exactly my reaction

remind you which stack of papers are ‘To Do’,

when I chanced upon this kitschy mechanical

‘To File’ and really ‘Urgent’. This way, you’ll

pencil. This is definitely the pick if you want

definitely never miss another deadline again!

something different from the good ol’ shaker

(From kikki.K - $8.90)

pencil. (From kikki.K - $5.90)

Weekly Planner: (Picture unavailable) Definitely

Everyone adores stickers, right? Okay, maybe

a saviour for the forgetful. Scribble down any

not so for the boys, but I’m sure the girls out

appointments you have right down to the last

there would love to decorate their notebooks

hour in this planner and you’ll never miss another

and planners with fanciful stickers like these.

date with that crush of yours (not that that needs

These pop-out and glittery stickers just

a reminder, right?). (From kikki.K - $12.90)

scream out ‘CUTE’ in your face, don’t they? (From Made With Love - $6.95 - $9.95)

AUTHOR TAN HUI YI + PHOTOGRAPHS EUNICE NG


LIFESTYLE

23

SAME SAME BUT DIFFERENT W

e trust that before the

flood you. Don’t say we didn’t warn

term started, most of the

you!

freshmen students have been on ‘orientation camp sprees’ - joining

HOLIDAYS ARE PRODUCTIVE

Faculty camps, Sports Camp, Union

EXPLORING THE GROUNDS

because if there’s one thing we’ve Most faculty camps ensure that the

learnt, the signboards usually take us

incoming freshmen know their home

on a detour.

faculties like the back of their hands.

Camp, O-week and signing onto

Just as you made full use of your

basically any registration form that

post A-level/polytechnic holidays

Some people still have no idea where

you could get your hands on!

to attend orientation camps, you’ll

the Chinese Library is or where the

soon realize that holidays in NUS

bridge linking Engineering and

While some might be quick to call

even if it’s for a day, are awesome…

Central Library can be found. And

orientation camps an idealistic bubble

For catching up on your lectures,

some have to carry the school map

disconnected from the realities

tutorials, assignments and test

like a bible for fear of getting lost.

of NUS life, we at THE RIDGE

revisions.

beg to differ. As it turns out, those three or four days bear an uncanny

useful when you’re running late)

Happy fi rst week everyone!

We also recommend that you know FOOD HUNTS

where the short cuts are (extremely

resemblance to the next three or four years of your life.

While we’ve had seniors from the Arts and Social Sciences never setting

SLEEP IS A LUXURY

foot into the Science canteen for 4 years, the truth is that knowing the

It’s no secret that sleeping is optional

variety of food offered in most, if not

in camps. Which is why we chock up

all, faculties is good for your tummy.

hours of sleep debt after each camp. Plus, we heard that there are new Well, the good news is that it’s good

stalls opening up in some of the

training for your body clock in sleep-

faculties! Shuttle buses ain’t just for

resistance. The bad news is it’s going

ferrying us to lectures and tutorials,

to be like this for the coming term

you know.

when term assignments and projects

AUTHORS ATHENA FOO & SHARON CHEN + PHOTOGRAPH WIKIMEDIA.ORG


24

LIFESTYLE

I KNOW WHAT I

Wonder what your fellow NUS mates did with their three months of fr

HELLO, I’M NG ZHI YING & I INTERNED IN WASHINGTON D.C.

still had some ways to go to nurse a broken heart. He was my first love, and things seemed perfect. The hardest thing to do was to let go. I’d always thought that if you worked hard enough for something, you’d get it. Wrong. Doesn’t work with love.

Thankfully, I met the most whimsical, funny and crazy people on this programme. Weekends were spent going out with my group of girls who hailed from Ohio, Boston and Connecticut. We went to bars and clubs where I’ve found drunken people who speak with

G

sober hearts. iven my interest in

After two weeks I realized that

journey of being a political journalist

American politics and

if I stayed on, I might start do

and I had not fulfilled that desire.

I remember meeting a marine at

foreign affairs, I knew that

something criminal. So I quit. The

When I heard about an opening,

one night. He was tall, probably six

Washington D.C. was the place

next internship I took on opened

I jumped at the chance to apply

feet, well built, with gleaming blue

to be for the summer. I applied for

my eyes to the world of broadcast

for the post of reporter at another

eyes and a boyish smile. I smiled

The Washington Center’s Media

journalism.

organisation. And I got it.

at him. He walked towards me. We

prepare myself for the world of

We produced business shows for

Run by Susan and Joseph Trento,

“Why did you join the marines?”

political journalism.

business people shown on sixty-

I knew I was in good hands. Joe

He said, “I wanted to kill people. I

two channels and on the internet.

used to work for CNN’s Special

wanted to kill those terrorists.”

But things didn’t go as planned.

Perhaps the most memorable

Investigation Unit and has won

I didn’t meet any politician or

experience was getting to rub

several Pulitzer prizes. His agency

So there I was, juggling two

intellectual at my first internship.

shoulders with ex-Prime Minister

was the one that exposed the

internships, running around like a

Neither did I get to write about

Anwar Ibrahim. I asked him about

secret dealings between Saddam

young professional whilst enjoying

national security issues. Frustrated

the time he was incarcerated and

Hussein and President Ronald

all that D.C. had to offer. If there is

and disappointed, I felt jaded,

snapped a picture for my dad.

Reagan. I learnt a tremendous

anything I’ve learnt this summer,

amount under his guidance.

it’s that things don’t always go

& Communications program to

spoke. I got curious and asked him,

robbed of my huge ambitions and dreams.

But I still was unsatisfied. I had come here to embark on the

AUTHOR SHARON TAN + PHOTOGRAPH NG ZHI YING

according to plan, but they do get When summer started, I knew I

better.


LIFESTYLE

25

DID LAST SUMMER!

of freedom? THE RIDGE gets three students to share their summer tales.

A

nother summer has come and gone, and

most of my friends spent those precious three months busily interning at various companies or taking part in the rigorous planning of freshman orientation projects. Me? Well, I spent the summer practicing Yoga.

HELLO, I’M SOO WEI LI & I DID YOGA EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR 3 MONTHS

“Say what?” was the general

for a few Yoga classes before,

person. It taught me about

reaction I got from most of my

how much harder could Hot Yoga

endurance, perseverance and

friends and family.

be? However, within the first 30

patience. It stripped away my ego

minutes, I was lying down on the

and taught me that it’s not about

Yes, you heard me right. I spent

mat feeling lightheaded, dizzy,

being the best student in the class.

the entire summer practicing Yoga.

and ready to crawl out of the Yoga

Rather, I learnt to love and listen to

‘Hot Yoga’, to be precise. Prior to

studio vowing never to return again.

my body, and not push it beyond

this, I’d never in my wildest dreams

its limits.

have imagined I would one day

They weren’t kidding when they

contort myself into a pretzel in a

named it Hot Yoga. My clothes

room heated to 40 degrees Celsius

were soaked, sweat dripped off

I could feel myself getting stronger

and 50% humidity.

my hair and rivulets of perspiration

and becoming more flexible. I

ran down my arms and legs. 30

could touch my toes and beyond!

It all started with my decision

days of this, I thought to myself, is

My sleep was sounder, my mind

to sign up for H.om Yoga’s 30

impossible.

was sharper and I found myself

Days Hot Journey, a challenge

In a short period of two weeks,

focusing a lot better. I dropped

to complete 30 hot yoga classes

It took three more agonizing

two kilograms as I naturally craved

within 30 days. The benefits of

classes for me to get used to the

lighter and healthier foods due to

hot yoga sounded promising:

heat. But once that happened,

the detoxification my body had

improved flexibility, detoxification,

everything seemed so much easier.

been subjected to.

strengthening of cardiovascular

It also definitely helped that the

system, weight loss… What’s not

instructors at the studio were so

I soon became an absolute Yoga

to love?

encouraging, pushing all of us to

convert. I started doing two classes

achieve more than we could.

a day, and then three. Before long,

I went into my first class feeling optimistic. I mean, hey, I had gone

I’d completed the 30 classes even Yoga made me a much happier

before the end date! I continued PHOTOGRAPH SOO WEI LI


26

LIFESTYLE

going for Yoga every day, because it had become a daily practice and habit for me.

Looking back, I have zero regrets having spent nearly 3 months of my time practicing Yoga. It really was a transformation, detoxification

HELLO, I’M MAX XU & WENT TO SOUTH AFRICA TO WATCH THE WORLD CUP the tourists talked to each other

best time to have traveled South

about how beautiful South Africa is

Africa. The security measures there

and purification of the mind and

coincided with the World Cup, we

and, in the same breath, about how

were heightened for our protection

body and I will most definitely be

should really consider this once in a

their teams were doing thus far.

yet many locals were ready to meet

practicing Yoga regularly for the

lifetime opportunity.

rest of my life.

I

and greet visitors like us. Once It brought a smile to my face

when we walked past a local on

The first thing we did was ballot

when many people said they

the street, he shook our hands and

for tickets online and we were (un)

also supported ‘Bafana Bafana’

greeted us, “Hello stranger!”

t was a graduation trip unlike

fortunate to get the South Korea

despite coming to cheer on their

any other. Never in my wildest

vs Nigeria match in the group

homelands. After all, it was a

It all added to the atmosphere of

dreams would I have thought I

stage. Even though it wasn’t a “big”

special occasion for them this

this amazing experience. All in all, I

would be in the midst of the action

match, we decided that the match

World Cup, and it really would have

felt the trip was worth every penny,

at the world’s greatest sporting

wasn’t as important as being at

been nice for them to advance as

even for a lukewarm soccer fan like

event. How did this adventure

the World Cup. Once we had

far as they could.

myself. It undoubtedly tipped the

come about?

confirmed the tickets, we began planning the details of our trip –

Like my fellow graduates-to-be, I

plane tickets, accommodation, day

wanted to make the most of my

tours and things-to-do.

last holiday before I started work at BCA. One day, I was chatting

We eventually decided ongoing to

with my JC classmate, Qian Li, an

Cape Town for 3 days then moving

avid Barcelona/Spanish/soccer

on to Durban for another 3 days.

fan, while we were still in the midst

When we reached South Africa

of our final year projects. We

itself, I felt as if the whole world had

realized that since our graduation

converged there. The locals and

PHOTOGRAPH MAX XU

scale for my travel partner. This World Cup was definitely the


LIFESTYLE

*HOW TO GET THAT JOB/INTERNSHIP

27

THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE WASTE OF TIME

Go Get It! For those looking for that elusive internship next summer, Corrine shares some tips that just might give you that extra edge.

Have Direction Be clear on what you are required to do during your

WITH COUNTLESS WAYS TO SPEND THOSE THREE GLORIOUS MONTHS, HADN’T YOU WISH THERE WAS SOMEONE WHO COULD TELL YOU JUST WHAT TO DO? THE RIDGE SITS DOWN WITH MS CORRINE ONG, DIRECTOR OF NUS CAREER SERVICES CENTRE TO GET YOU THE ANSWERS.

internship stint. You’ll have a better idea if this is the

R: What is the best way for students

R: What about other enrichment

internship for you.

to use the 3 months of holidays?

activities like Work and Travel, Summer School, Rag and Flag, Orienta-

R: Is it better to get a temp job or an

Pay Attention

C: Students should aim to develop

tion Camp planning, CIP and Special

internship, especially since temp jobs

Be on a constant look-out

themselves through meaningful

Semesters?

pay better and a student might be able

for opportunities offered

experiences that allow them to

by the NUS Career Centre,

better understand themselves, their

C: Yes, these are certainly enrich-

the faculties/schools, NUS

passions, interests and strengths.

ing activities that students could

International Relations Office

Students should also look for avenues

take part in during the vacation. An

C: The key deciding factor should not

and NUS Enterprise.

to harness their leadership, organisa-

NUS student undergoing a 3-year

be remuneration but instead the job

tional and interpersonal skills.

degree programme has two 3-month

scope. The question to ask would be

vacations and hence it is important

whether the job scope offers a mean-

Go Online

goals.

to find a temp job in the industry he/ she is interested in?

Participate in social media

R: Does it matter which year you are

that students identify the skill sets

ingful working experience that will

such as Linked-In to build your

in? For example, should Year 3 stu-

that they would like to acquire and

help you to acquire the competen-

networks with employers and

dents be especially concerned about

prioritise accordingly.

cies and knowledge to enhance your

recruiters.

getting an internship?

marketability and employability. R: What is a “good” internship and

Make the First Move

C: It is never too early to take up

how can students go about selecting

Write directly to the companies

internships. If students are interested

and securing one?

that you would like to work

to gain experience in the working

and propose an internship

environment, they can start taking up

C: A “good” internship is one that

job scope you think you can

internships as early as Year 1. Increas-

provides students with meaningful

contribute within. This will

ingly, employers are looking at intern-

learning opportunities and a chance

leave a good impression with

ships as a talent pipeline for future

to experience working in the industry

companies that value initiative.

hires. Very often, internships provide

that they are planning to enter upon

a platform for graduating students to

graduation. Internships give a reality-

Talk it Out

gain a potential employment offer and

check on what it is like working in

Make an appointment with an

the work experience gained from the

an industry and enables students to

NUS career coach to get a

internship could give them a competi-

assess whether there is a good fit.

clearer picture of your career

tive edge when seeking employment

If there is an absence of a good fit,

objectives and find out ways

after graduation.

students could re-evaluate their career

to maximise your chances of securing an internship. AUTHOR SHARON CHEN + PHOTOGRAPH SOCIALISBETTER ON FLICKR


28

LIFESTYLE * FEATURE

*ALL TYED UP THE RIDGE catches up with Jasmine Tye, former Singapore Idol contestant and third-year student at NUS. We find out that really, she’s just like the rest of us: busy, busy, busy.

J

asmine Tye has no illusions

earn money and still survive.”

about herself or her future.

She knows that the music industry

When we meet her she is dressed

in Singapore is still not established

simply in a sundress and flip-flops,

and doesn’t count on it as a means

no make-up. She confesses,

of stable income in the future. She

“I’m actually a very, very boring

also knows just how far she can

person.” Her days are mostly spent

go, and what she can do in terms

in school, rehearsing or writing

of music. That’s why she decided

songs. While preparing for ‘A Cozy

to get a degree here at NUS. “I

Affair’, a concert she organized to

wanted to gain an upper hand and

showcase her original songs, she

not be pushed around or taken

had to put in 3-5 hours of solid

is that she knows exactly what she

what was wrong with me [when I

advantage of within the industry,”

rehearsals a day while studying for

wants to do, something she feels

did not do well the first two years]

she says.

her exams (which she still managed

many around her are still searching

and these profs really helped me.

to ace). With her ambitions, she

for. That’s why she advises her

So NUS students, you don’t have

So this aspiring singer-songwriter

hardly has time for leisure activities

fellow students to use NUS as a

to be afraid of your profs, you know

chose to major in Biomedical

like watching movies and hanging

platform to find out what they really

you can go and talk to them if you

Life Science. Yes, we were just

around after school.

love.

need advice.”

accounts for this peculiar choice

Well, she does have time for one

LOOSE ENDS

On the music industry: “It is very

by reflecting on her mother’s side

other thing… When asked about

of the family. “They are all brilliant:

her relationship status, Jasmine

On NUS: “I’m really glad that I

who are] into drugs, they do

scholars, scientists, doctors,” she

giggles coyly as she admits she

went to NUS, I’m really proud of

whatever they can to move up to

lists, rolling her eyes slightly.

thinks she has found the one. But,

NUS . I’m very lucky I made the

the higher level, to get fame. It is

as surprised as you. Jasmine

easy to stray… [there are those

she would only tell us that he is

right choice. Cause I went to SIM

quite sad but it does happen not

Jasmine, who describes herself

not a student from NUS and only

yesterday… I really had a culture

only in Singapore but everywhere

as a closet introvert makes sure

dabbles in the music industry here

shock… I don’t think I can adapt

else. The more I am into it the more

that we understand she has her

and there. What is more important

there”

I realize I know nothing about it and

priorities right. She disdains fame-

to her, she says, “is that we trust

hungry people and emphasizes

and compliment each other.”

repeatedly, “I don’t want to be

I really have to learn more. I think On the Profs at NUS: “Profs like

I have to be more disciplined and

Rudolph Mayer…. They changed

focus.”

taken as an artsy-fartsy kind of

Ultimately, Jasmine is just another

my life. They actually make me

person, always living in her own

university student trying to juggle

want to come to school, look

On her fellow Idol-contestants: “I

world.” She wants to be seen as

the demands of family, friends and

forward to going for their lectures.

have 3 very close friends, Levin,

someone who is practical: “I can

school while working towards a

It’s because of them I didn’t lose

Siew Woon and Wan Hua… Last

do something that I love and still

successful career. The difference

my confidence… I kept asking like

Sunday we just had a barbeque together, that’s how close we are!”

AUTHOR SHARON CHEN + PHOTOGRAPH JASMINE TYE


LIFESTYLE * FEATURE

WHAT’S IN

29

JASMINE’S

SCHOOL BAG?

1

2

1. WALLET

7. ORGANISER

I need a very big wallet because

Usually my organizers are

sometimes I have to put name

worse that this but now I use

cards and things inside.

my Blackberry… I rely on my Blackberry a lot… If I lose my

2. SUNGLASSES

Blackberry, I think I’ll die!

I hate to wear make-up so

3

4

sometimes when I need to meet

8. POUCH

clients or my friends I just put them

Oh no I have so many obiang stuff

on

lah! Okay this my mum gave it to me, she bought it from Hai Nan

3. PLASTIC BAG

Tao. It has all my creams and lip

Okay I’m very auntie lah!

balms and things like that.

4. DECORATIONS Because I’m performing for OMG [One More Green] campaign…

5

6

so I have to bring my own stage decorations. They have no budget for the campaign so I sponsored it myself. I feel very strongly about it.

5. PENCIL CASE I have a matching pencil box with my bag. I’m quite a sports person and I like Adidas

7

8

6. MAKE-UP POUCH I have to bring [this] everywhere I go because I never know when I have to meet clients

“Okay I’m very auntie lah!”


30

LIFESTYLE

FASHIONABLY NOTED “WHO SAYS HAVAIANAS CAN’T BE FASHIONABLE?”

D

uring one of my lectures

school.

last semester, a lecturer

of what to wear everyday whether or not you’re staying in hall. And

casually asked how many students

I’m not saying we have to wear

sometimes, when we’re up to our

in the theatre were staying in

ball gowns to school, of course.

necks with deadlines to meet,

halls. To which a tutor promptly

In fact, I’m fully supportive

being stylish is the last thing we

of wearing fl ip-flops to school

want to worry about.

replied,

occasionally. Who says Havaianas “Oh, you just need to look at what can’t be fashionable? (But I draw

But before those dreaded term

they’re wearing!”

the line at Crocs.)

assignments return to haunt

Well, as much as I was miffed at

One of my hall mates once

academic year on a fashionable

that remark because I stay in a

defended himself, “I’m

note? I trust most of you made

hall myself, it was kind of true.

comfortable with who I am. I

full use of the Great Singapore

(Disclaimer: I dressed well that

don’t need to dress up to feel

Sale during the holidays to update

day.)

good about myself.” That’s a

your wardrobe so show off your

nice thought but I still think it

stylish steals!

us, why not start off the new

While it’s nice to know most of

doesn’t hurt to take more pride in

us live on campus long enough

your appearance. After all, Karl

Or if you’re contented with your

the erase the distinction between

Lagerfeld once said, “Vanity is

FBTs, take heart that you can

home and school, I can’t help but

the healthiest thing in life.” And

still wear them in your university

feel exasperated at times when

he is 77 this year.

days before the working world

I see my fellow hall mates roll

beckons!

out of bed and go to school in

Then there’s the age-old fashion

whatever they were sleeping in.

debate about comfort versus

Surely, their wardrobe has more

style. But whoever said one has to

than hall shirts and FBT shorts

sacrifice style to be comfortable in

right? I don’t know about you,

their clothes?

“VANITY IS THE HEALTHIEST THING IN LIFE.”

I admit it can get tiring to think

- KARL LAGERFELD

but I’d feel naked wearing just a shirt and a pair of FBT shorts to

AUTHOR ATHENA FOO + PHOTOGRAPH NUS ADMISSIONS ON FLICKR + YOGOEGO.COM


THE ESSENTIAL VITAMINS IN THE RIDGE MAGAZINE

NO PRESERVATIVES ADDED FULL OF VITAMINS.. NO PRESERV ATIVES ADDED FULL OF VITAMINS Et . Ns. Os. Sp. Ls. Wr.

Et

THE ENTERTAINMENT DESK A certain Douglas Adams once dashed our hopes by saying, “It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.” Very well Douglas, we’ll just make French fries out of it. Here at the Entertainment Desk, we like our French fries with a bucket of rock salt. This is also the place where the East blends in with the West, and you, dear reader, can expect a healthy dose of the local and the global, the contemporary and the classic, the modern and the postmodern and of course… our obsession with French fries. We operate round the clock (no, really we do!) to bring you our remarkable acumen over entertainment matters with reviews, previews, interviews, and occasionally our own thoughts on music, dance, film-making, and literature. And if you are an expert at reading between the lines, you might just find your lucky Toto combination!


32

ENTERTAINMENT

A TALE OF MANY FACULTIES B

ooks are more than the words

to do with my faculty… sadly, I think

printed and the worlds they

I’m in the wrong one!”

take us into. They often stretch the human imagination, by creating the

Koo Lim Sung, Year 2, adds “I’m a

impossible – like perfection, love and

moderate reader. Words don’t interest

beauty, to name but a few.

me as much as codes do. For that reason I like Dan Brown – especially

While there are countless testaments

‘Digital Fortress’.” Well that’s SoC

to the immortality of the written

folks, with their mixed opinions.

word, this article will try and explore why specific books seduce a certain

Amelia Richards, Year 3, Faculty of

group of people and why others leave

Science (an exchange student from

them frustrated.

Boston), “Well I love romantic books like ‘P.S. I Love You’ and stories

The Question: Does your reading

from life; particularly ‘Tuesdays

preferences depend on your field of

with Morrie’. Some people fi nd

study? Or does your taste in literature

them maudlin, I suppose but there’s

determine the faculty you are in? Or

a magical quality about them that

are you the rare Omnivorous reader?

helps you connect with emotions that aren’t your own. But on an

Says Nirali Jivrajani, Year 3, School

intellectual level, I love ‘Robin Cook’

of Computing “I am a big fan of

and medical mysteries as they involve

classics but I love my dose of thrillers

a fair amount of biochemistry and

and detective fiction. And the

life sciences. And these tidbits of info

occasional chick fl ick would be my

stay better in my head than my course

zero calorie guilty pleasure. ‘Tess

material!”

of the d’Urbervilles’ is one of my

AUTHOR JANE ANTONY + PHOTOGRAPH PAW.PRINCETON.EDU

favorites; in particular the ‘Life is a

I don’t know about books, but I have

mishap’ quote. What I read has little

seen Grey’s and I do know that feeling


ENTERTAINMENT

of internalizing stuff you don’t need

of Fortune’ (Jeff rey Archer) would

experiences, and at other times things

to.

be my all-time favorites. I like them

we wish we could be or that we could

action packed and don’t have patience

experience.

“My top three would be ‘White

for the heart tugging emotional stuff.

Teeth’ (Zadie Smith), ‘Kafka on

Philosophy puts me to sleep most

Occasionally, they’re like the travelers

the Shore’ (Haruki Murakami)

of the time. I think girls like more

we meet on the train and who keep us

and ‘Shantaram’ (Gregory David

in-depth books. I’m a guy, ergo more

occupied – they can sometimes give

Roberts). The fi rst ticks because

immature. And proud of it.”

us a headache, or keep us in splits

of humorous, colourful characters

33

of laughter and even make us feel

and an unrivalled style of writing.

Divya Sivasankaran, Year 3,

melancholic. They can enter our lives

The second is spiced with a tinge of

Computer Engineering continues

by chance or by choice and like most

the unusual and Freudian scenarios

“I find crime fiction and thrillers

people in our lives, they always leave

mixed with some fundamental life

attractive. I hate books on

a mark on us.

questions worth thinking about. The

philosophy.” Now I know even a

third is an action-packed novel that

philosophy major who says the same

And what about me, you may ask?

gives a bird’s eye view into all that is

thing. No clear reason why, but she

Well I’m the little worm who nestles

wrong with Mumbai, the metropolis

claims it is a torture, intended to

between different pages each night –

in the limelight post-Slumdog

make you numb and dizzy. Darrin

it could be a tête-à-tête with romantic

Millionaire” rattles off Akshita

Mei Rui adds, “I like books that

tragedy or a serenade with mystery

Ganesh, a Year 3 Economics major.

are to the point and don’t go about

but to know more you’d have to ask

with long flowery languages and

me yourself!

Arti Srivastava, also from Faculty

metaphors. They take longer to give

of Arts and Social Sciences says

you the same information. Why talk

“Classics such as ‘David Copperfield’,

in riddles and waste everyone’s time.?

‘Oliver Twist’ and ‘Tale of Two

And of course the cherry on the

Cities’ had a silent sadness about

top from a source who refuses to be

them. Personally, I find Austen

acknowledged - “Dude, the last book

too feminine to my liking. I enjoy

I read was Dr. Seuss. I haven’t gotten

Shakespeare for his complexities –

past the fi rst twenty pages of Harry

the double meanings and clever play

Potter. I don’t read!”

of words and puns. And also, Thomas Friedman’s ‘The World is Flat’.”

Hearing that, I decided it is time to

What’s an Economics major without

stop trying to fi nd a clear cut pattern;

an interest in globalization, eh?

although it’s evident that it’ll be hard finding an Engineering student who

And now of course we move onto

can stomach Kant or Socrates. Or an

Engineering where the responses I

Arts student who will have fun with

got astounded me.

a medical mystery or code related thriller.

Rakshit Gupta, Year 4, Electrical Engg, begins “‘The Lord of the

Maybe the most obvious link is that

Rings’ (JRR Tolkien), ‘The Seventh

books are sometimes a reflection

Scroll’ (Wilbur Smith), and ‘Sons

of what we see in ourselves, our

PHOTOGRAPH HUMBOLDTLIBRARYFOUNDATION.ORG


34

ENTERTAINMENT

*Boleh means ‘can’ in malay

I

f you think about it, your top five

available on TV, cinema and the

films are likely to be multi-million

entertainment circuit. During the

the average Singaporean.

vivor Rap, to educate Singaporeans about the disease. He also made

dollar Hollywood blockbusters

blockbuster season, we eagerly

This leads me to the crux of this

an appearance on the third season

that swept through every award

wait for the next mega-hit while off

article. While this heavy western

of ‘The Amazing Race’ as a clue

ceremony that exists – from the

season we fulfill our entertainment

influence is inevitable and, in

presenter – the show’s international

Oscars to the Nickelodeon Kid’s

needs with a variety of other films

certain circumstances, welcome

audience gave him a very healthy

Choice Award. Chances are,

– including a rise in popularity of

in the age of globalisation, are

exposure.

your favourite musician is an

Bollywood and Korean dramas

we doing enough to preserve

international heart-throb whose

among all Singaporeans.

our unique Singapore brand

We have yet to see PCK’s

and culture? I can envisage

successor emerge from the ranks.

record has gone platinum and have been played on radio stations

Surviving this onslaught of

several critics snickering upon

worldwide. Not forgetting books,

globalisation of culture with a

this statement, wondering if I

It’s not that Singapore’s arts

your must-have book could be a

heady concoction of Western and

accidentally fell off my chair and

scene is not well developed. The

twentieth century post-modernist

Eastern influences has always

knocked myself against the edge

infrastructure and the supporting

masterpiece written by a man from

been a concern for Singapore. Our

of the table (which I did, and it is

framework are there – but it has

the other side of the Atlantic.

ministers always emphasise on the

extremely painful!).

to continuously compete for both

need to build a stronger national

attention and airtime with the vast

Putting aside these generic

identity, to preserve our Asian roots

Remember the days of ‘Under

echelons of Hollywood and the rich

assumptions, let us think about the

as we regularly encounter the rest

One Roof’ or when ‘Phua Chu

Eastern cultural heritage that flows

significance of this cultural trend

of the world in various capacities.

Kang Pte Ltd’ first aired in the

in. In Economics, we call this the

prevailing in Singapore today.

This interaction is better facilitated

aftermath of the former’s swooping

crowding-out effect where certain

by the emergence of powerful Web

success (that earned it an Emmy

elements get pushed out of the

The Republic is unique because of

2.0 social networking tools like

nomination)? Phua Chu Kang

frame in light of overcrowding.

its ability to combine the timeless

Facebook and Twitter.

(PCK) and Gurmit Singh went on

wisdom and values of the East with

to become a national icon. During

Despite the formidable hurdles,

the dynamism and creativity of the

Using Facebook and the English

the Severe Acute Respiratory

there is no need to despair. We

West into a modern cosmopolitan

language with its Western Internet

Syndrome (SARS) outbreak, PCK

have a flourishing arts culture

blend. We see an amalgam of

terminology to discuss Korean

teamed up with the Ministry of

in the youth community. The

this in the variety of programmes

drama or Bollywood is passé for

Health to come up with the Sar-

Singapore Youth Festival, primarily

AUTHOR SAHELI ROY CHOUDHURY


ENTERTAINMENT

35

an annual event to celebrate the

that hype faded as The Dark Knight

newest theatre company, whose

has done Singapore proud. We

achievements of youths on all fronts

rolled out from the silver screen.

artistic directors are our very own

hope to remind our readers that

Adrian Pang and his wife, Tracie.

while we continue to enjoy our

allows performing arts groups like Guitar Ensemble, Concert Bands

For the stage-lovers, The

among others to shine. At NUS,

Singapore Repertory Theater

To pay homage to these,

Girl, we can also make time for

we have our very own NUS Arts

(SRT), founded in 1993, is one

sometimes unsung, heroes,

some of our own talents.

Festival that affords performers

of the leading English language

creative geniuses and budding

the opportunity to showcase their

theater companies in Asia.

actors, we will be doing frequent

talents to the NUS community

staples like Glee, CSI and Gossip

features, appreciating our

and to the public. By actively

They have staged both original

homegrown talent – filmmakers,

promoting these avenues for our

productions like Forbidden City:

musicians, production companies,

youth to showcase their talents in

Portrait of An Empress and highly

poets and just about anyone who

the fields of performing arts, we are

acclaimed plays like Rent, Hamlet

laying a strong foundation for our

and M Butterfly.

future musicians, thespians and performing artistes.

And remember last year’s successful stage adaptation of ‘The

But can this momentum sustain?

Full Monty’; based on the book by Terrence McNally? Another

Recently, Ng Chin Han’s part in

local hit production, containing

one of the biggest Hollywood

some household names including:

blockbusters The Dark Knight

Daniel Jenkins who has worked

caused a buzz in this part of the

extensively in theatre both here

world – and rightfully so. Hailing

and in the UK, Lim Yu-Beng whom

from a country of just 4.5 million

you might remember as Sergeant

people, his inclusion in a speaking

Alan Leong from Channel 5 drama

role in one of the highly anticipated

series Triple 9, among others. The

films of the year gave people

stage adaptation is produced by

something to talk about. However,

PANGDEMONiUM! – Singapore’s

PHOTOGRAPH SWAYMYWAY.COM + CARICATURE.COM.SG


36

ENTERTAINMENT

THE ANAMORPHIC DIRECTOR T

hat Wes Anderson is a funny

Born and raised in Houston, Texas,

is that his

man.

to a father in the advertising business

fi lms are often

and an archeologist mother, Wes

tragicomedies

With two Academy Awards

expressed his early interest in fi lm-

and revolve

nomination and six highly acclaimed

making by shooting crude Super 8

around a broken

fi lms under his directing repertoire,

movies and staging highly elaborate

or an unorthodox family circle. He

fi rst time he shot a full length stop

he has developed a huge cult

school plays (later parodied in his

is highly selective with the acting

motion animation feature.

following in the last fi fteen years.

fi lm Rushmore). It was while reading

talent he uses in his work, often

Philosophy at the University of Texas

working with a few select actors in

With the likes of George Clooney,

Famously known as the ‘new Martin

at Austin that he honed his ideas and

recurring roles for different projects.

Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman

Scorsese’, the title given to him by

culminated them into actual tangible

Th is has led to famous (or infamous

and Bill Murray voicing the

the very man himself, Wes is famous

work.

- depending on your frame of mind)

characters, Wes proved that he still

the term ‘Wes Brigade’ featuring

has the ability to lure Hollywood A-listers to his projects.

for his unique takes on fi lm and art direction. Every Wes Anderson

As chance would have it, he

Owen Wilson, Luke Wilson, Jason

creation, be it a short take, an advert

befriended another young and

Schwartzman, Andrew Wilson,

or a full length feature fi lm, is

idealistic talent (Owen Wilson) who

Bill Murray, Kumar Pallana, Dipak

Currently, he is in the midst of

instantly recognisable because of its

had a similar eye and passion for fi lm

Pallana, Brian Tenenbaum, Stephen

fi lming ‘The Rosenthaler Suite’

trademark characteristics. They are

art. The two worked on what would

Dignan and Anjelica Huston.

which adapts Patrice Leconte’s 2006

so distinctly identifiable with Wes

be lauded as his greatest achievement

by the audience that it has almost

in fi lm - ‘Bottle Rocket’ (1994) –

Technique-wise, Wes almost

Exact details about the re-make are

become a signature mark of his.

which also launched his career as

exclusively uses wide-angle

still shrouded in secrecy with many

a director. A short but extremely

anamorphic lenses which give most of

fans speculating it to be a significant

He achieved the impossibly tricky feat

powerful fi lm, centering on a group

his work a semi-distorted viewing.

departure, in terms of style, from his

of producing unique and quirky fi lms

of young men from a wealthy Texan

while working within the notoriously

community, it would go on to enter

Although many have argued that

restrictive mould of the Hollywood

in the Sundance Film Festival and

most of his latter work has been

Whatever the case, Wes Anderson

studio system. If traditional fi lm

garner enough interest to be made

lackluster (‘The Life Aquatic’ and

still remains a household name the

making was a religion, he’d be a

into a full feature length fi lm.

‘The Darjeeling Limited’), his latest

fi lm industry and shows no signs of

work ‘The Fantastic Mr. Fox’ opened

fading into oblivion for years to come.

heretic. One of Wes’s classic trademarks

AUTHOR NATHANAEL PS + PHOTOGRAPH CINEMATICALLYCORRECT.WORDPRESS.COM

French feature ‘My Best Friend’.

early work.

to much critical acclaim. It was the


ENTERTAINMENT

37

BOOK REVIEW: SUE MONK KIDD’S

THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES “I HAVE MORE MOTHERS THAN ANY EIGHT GIRLS OFF THE STREET. THEY ARE THE MOONS SHINING OVER ME.”

he Secret Life of Bees is an

T

the significant role of a mother in

The Secret Life of Bees also

into a movie as well as produced on

artful Bildungsroman that

a person’s development. As Lily

demonstrates Lily’s struggles with

stage; both of which received mixed

follows the stream of consciousness

discovers, a person does not always

her own, inbred racism. Kidd moves

reviews.

of 14-year old Lily Owens. The

need to share a biological connection

beyond stereotypes to portray whites

story is set in South Carolina and its

to call someone a mother.

and blacks with the multifaceted

For my part, I would say the movie

personalities that we fi nd in real

adaptation is one of the few that lives

Silent symbolisms also are woven into

life. Lily imagines that all African

up to the high standards set by a

the novel in an intricate manner and

Americans are like Rosaleen; coarse

book; it was capable of evoking core

To escape from her cruel and angry

leave the reader free to interpretation

and uneducated. Encountering the

emotions without seeming maudlin.

father and to discover the truth

and imagination; reminiscent of

educated August Boatwright changes

Alicia Keys (June Boatwright) and

about her late mother’s past, Lily

Archibald Mcleash’s famous line in

her stereotypical perception of the

Dakota Fanning (Lily Owens) were

flees with her caregiver Rosaleen to a

Ars Poetica ‘A poem must not mean

African American community. Th is

exceptionally mature and graceful in

small town in South Carolina where

but be.’

social awakening propels her forward

their portrayals.

significance is tied to its role in the American Civil War.

she is taken in by the bee-keeping Boatwright sisters.

to fight against the inherent prejudice Bees serve as Lily’s unspoken guides

in her sub-consciousness.

To echo the words of the author,

throughout her development. Lily

‘The Secret Life of Bees’ has a

Kidd has a poetic eye for detail and

follows the trail of the honey label

In the course of the story, when she

rare wisdom about life – and it is a

develops her characters and plot with

to Tiburon - and learns the truth

begins to develop romantic feelings

soothing exploration about mothers

an imagination that many readers lose

about her mother. The worker bees’

for Zach (a charming, handsome,

and daughters, and the women in our

themselves in. Minute details which,

industrious care for their queen

African American teenager), Lily

lives who sometimes assume the role

at fi rst glance, seem insignificant

mother, their continuous ability to

once again encounters her own subtle

of a mother.”

help us re-evaluate our own live as

persevere and carry on working,

prejudice.

made evident by Lily’s ardent love

and their strong will to survive

for reading and the implication of

inspire Lily and their reliance on an

The book has enjoyed a two and a half

using stories as a way to escape her

all-female community resembles her

years stay on the New York Times

circumstances. Kidd also highlights

own.

best seller list, and was adapted

AUTHOR JANE ANTONY + PHOTOGRAPH AMAZON.COM


THE ESSENTIAL VITAMINS IN THE RIDGE MAGAZINE

NO PRESERVATIVES ADDED FULL OF VITAMINS.. NO PRESERV ATIVES ADDED FULL OF VITAMINS Et . Ns. Os. Sp. Ls. Wr.

Wr THE WIRED DESK

The only world you know is the tech world? Do you know tech tricks that we don’t? Do the acronyms LED, RAM, 5MP, VGA, 3GS, HDTV, Web3.0 and 3.5G make any sense to you at all? Yes, yes and yes? Then, please join us and take the NUS population to school with lessons from the IT world. But please don’t call us ‘noobs’.


THE ESSENTIAL VITAMINS IN THE RIDGE MAGAZINE

NO PRESERVATIVES ADDED FULL OF VITAMINS.. NO PRESERV ATIVES DDED FULL OF VITAMINS Ns. Os. Sp. Ls. Wr.

Sp THE SPORTS DESK

Those who live and breathe sport are not that hard enough to come by. Those who live and breath sport and somehow manage to write well enough so that their passion and excitement can be shared with other sports fans are a little more rare. It’s something like finding a Cristiano Ronaldo, a Kobe Bryant or a Johnny Wilkinson to play for your team. Well, our game plan is for you to come to us instead. Got game?


40

SPORTS

SYOG 2010 PREVIEW F

or approximately a month, the

world. Singapore would create yet

world was divided as it came

another milestone in her history.

together for World Cup 2010 held in South Africa. Even in Singapore,

The International Olympics

we donned the colours and jerseys

Committee President Jacques Rogge

of different nations, supporting our

revealed that the YOG had been

favourite teams and football stars.

a concept pondered upon since

While Spain basks in its glory, being

2001. It would be an international

in sports in order to keep a healthy

opportunity to work with the Main

only the 3rd team in history to be

event coupling sports with education,

lifestyle and to play sports the right

Press Centre, providing news,

concurrent champions of Europe and

and act as a catalyst to engage

way.

interviews and reports for the YOG

the world, it’s time for Singaporeans

young people around the world.

to unite in red and white and support

These young athletes would be

our young athletes in the next big

ambassadors of their communities

The atheletes will be housed in

event of the summer.

and given fi rst-hand experience of

the Youth Olympic Village, an

participating in an international

accomodation area within the

event.

confine of Nanyang Technological

Come 14th August 2010, Singapore

website and digital platform.

University (NUS was initially

will play host for the inaugural Youth Olympic Games (YOG). Held from

The sports in YOG have been

supposed to be the host until

the 14th to 26th August, this two-

modified a bit. In order to

construction problems led to the

week event will see some 3,600 young

encourage interaction between

athletes from 205 countries gather in

countries, there will be events where

Though there are similarities with the

Singapore and compete for honours.

athletes from different countries play

actual Olympics, the Youth Olympic

An integral part of the Olympics is

in the same teams. There will also be

Games place a larger emphasis

the Torch Relay and it will also be

The young athletes are aged between

mixed-gender events, such as fencing

on education. Not to be seen as a

a highlight for the Youth Olympic

14 and 18 and will compete in 26

and judo. In the sport of Basketball,

mini-Olympics, the Cultural and

Games. In March 2009, the

different sports, ranging from the

the format will also be altered to a

Educational Programme aims to

International Olympic Committee

common likes of football, basketball

3-on-3 event.

educate youth in Olympic values,

decided from then on that torch

healthy lifestyle habits and their

relays were to be held only within the

social responsibilities.

host nation but an exception has been

and volleyball to the more obscure sports such as triathlon, modern

YOG will be a good platform for

pentathlon and wrestling.

young athletes to pursue sports on

abandonment of the plan).

made for the inaugural YOG.

a professional level and at the same

The YOG encourages participation

Th is major event will require the

time develop a strong sporting

and involvement from youth from

The Journey of the Youth Olympic

teamwork of over 20,000 volunteers

culture amongst the young ones. It

around the world. Besides the

Flame (JYOF) will connect youth

and expects a crowd of at least

emphasises not just excellence but

athletes, young aspiring sports

across the world as it passes through

370,000 spectators from across the

also encourages youth to participate

journalists will also be given the

a city from each of the 5 continents.

AUTHOR CHOW YONG JUN & SABRINA ANTONY + PHOTOGRAPH SINGAPORE2010.SG


SPORTS

41

the YOG website.

Role model athletes have also volunteered to become ambassadors to this event. Some famous profi les include 12-time Gold Medallist Swimming Phenomenon – Michael Phelps and the fastest man on earth – Usain Bolt (although both said they would not be able to make it to YOG on July 31) and Yelena Isinbayeva, the Pole Vaulting World Record holder.

representative for the event.

be honed if one wishes to compete at professional level.

The JYOF embarked from Greece,

Bolt said: “I know how important it is

“I hope to see a sporting scene where

travelled to Berlin, Dakar, Mexico,

to have mentors and role models when

all sports are accessible and enjoyed

Singapore has achieved commendable

Auckland and Seoul before arriving

you are young to help give you focus

by all Singaporeans, rather than just

results in the sport of table-tennis

in Singapore.

and dreams to aspire to. I couldn’t

the common ones."

from our foreign talents in recent years. It will be interesting to see how

be happier to be an Ambassador It then went on in a 6-day round-

for the fi rst Youth Olympic Games

"I hope that we can build a sports

our youth match up against the world.

island relay and even passed through

and to provide inspiration and

culture in Singapore where everyone

National University of Singapore,

encouragement to the young athletes

can have fun together recreationally,

And if you are suffering from World

making a special appearance at this

participating in Singapore this

and support the athletes who choose

Cup withdrawal, do purchase tickets

year’s RAG event, with President

summer and to kids everywhere.”

to take up the sport from school

to the football matches at Jalan Besar

S R Nathan gracing the

level, club level and up to national

Stadium; you might spot the next

occasion.

level” related Lian Han, when

Kaka or Messi in the making! The

asked about what he hopes for the

final costs a mere 30 dollars!

A total of 2,400 torch

future of sports in Singapore.

bearers had the honour of

While the not-so-pleasant song of

being part of this significant

Clearly, the decision of the

JJ Lin is still stuck in our minds, let

celebration.

Singapore Olympic Committee

us all support your young athletes as

to not send in any representative

they do us proud. At the same time,

seems to go against this ideal.

do not forget to give way to the YOG

Besides the physical torch relay, YOG also has a virtual relay

In an interview with an aspiring

Buses on the road! (I hope you have

to celebrate the Olympic Values of

youth athlete, Loh Lian Han, 18, we

Personally, I believe it is necessary

noticed the new markings on the

Excellence, Friendship and Respect

looked at Team Singapore’s prospects

for our young athletes to gain the

roads!).

in an initiative named the Million

at the Games. Lian Han was in

experience in these big games,

Deed Challenge.

the running to represent Singapore

whether or not they have a decent

Here's hoping to a great month of sports ahead.

in a fairly uncommon sport, the

shot at gold. These experiences help

For this event, youth across the world

Modern Pentathlon. However, he

them to grow not just physically, but

are encouraged to post their acts of

was unable to pass a final trial, and

also mentally and mental toughness is

excellence, friendship and respect on

Singapore decided not to send in any

an important attribute that needs to


19-20

TH

AUGUST

PROJECT Y Y NUSSU? FIND OUT Y AT THE CENTRAL FORUM WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/NUSPROJECTY


NUSSU COMMITTEES THE RIDGE THE NUSSU MAGAZINE

NVAC NUSSU VOLUNTEER ACTION COMMITTEE

NUSSU VPC VIDEO AND PHOTOGRAPHIC COMMITTEE

NUSSU PRU PUBLIC RELATIONS UNIT

NUSSU BIZCOM BUSINESS COMMITTEE

NUSSU IRC INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS COMMITTEE

NUSSU SAVE STUDENTS AGAINST VIOLATION OF THE EARTH

NUSSF NUS STUDENTS’ FUND

NUSSU WELFARE

NTS NUSSU TRAVEL SERVICE

NUSSU CBLC COMPUTER-BASED LEARNING CENTRE

NUSSU HOTLINE


44

NUSSU BIZCOM


Dear Freshmen, We are

Brought to you by ...

PLEASE FLIP OVER NOW. PLEASE FLIP OVER NOW. ... Home of the Welcome to Dear Freshmen,


14

FRESHMEN

C

ongrats for making it here.

work is done and stored in remote

Furthermore GDocs allows you

storage space - music, video,

You have many exciting

servers safely and securely. Sounds

to collaborate in real time. For

pictures,

things to look forward to! Your

expensive? No, absolutely not… at

instance you and five other friends

GDocs allows you to share these

stay here will be filled with meeting

least not if you follow me!

Zip

files…

anything.

can work on the same document

files with others as well. You could

deadlines that seem impossible,

simultaneously! All of you can see

back up media files and pdf files in

exams which sneak at you almost

what the others are typing in real

GDocs but this will use up the 1GB

at the speed of light, projects and

time. Thus there is no need to

in no time.

appointments. Don’t worry, you’ll

I hereby introduce you to Google

constantly email each other the

get used to it, sooner or later. But

docs (docs.google.com). Google

latest copy of the document. Being

Want more space? That’s where

with a bit of technology on your

Docs will redefine the way you

quite convenient and handy, you’ll

Dropbox comes in!

side, all of this can be a piece of

look

soon discover it to be very useful for

cake. Let your resident tech guru

more constant “saves”; no more

help you out with a bit of tech

corrupted or lost or misplaced

advice that could save you time.

files; but sadly, no more excuses

Google docs has spreadsheets

hassle and (hopefully) a few bucks!

which start with “oops,i left my doc

and presentation vapabilities as

at

word

processing.

No

your work.

in my desktop!”. With GDocs, all

well. Each user is granted 1GB of

I am sure most of you have recently

your documents stay online safely

storage space for all their storage

invested in a fast new laptop or net-

residing in Google’s servers. So

needs. To sweeten the deal, GDocs

book for your computing needs.

there is no reason to save your files

ensures that all documents created

If you don’t already own one, I’d

constantly, they are automatically

and stored in the GDocs format take

highly recommend you to invest in

saved. Best of all, you can access

up NO space at all! So you can be

one soon.

your documents from any computer

sure all your documents are safe in

with Internet access. You are not

GDocs servers.

Your laptop or net-book might have

even restricted by what OS you

shipped with the complete MS

use! It works flawlessly in Windows,

Well now that you have taken care

office, but what if it didn’t? Stuck

Mac, and Linux.

of your precious documents, lets

with that dreadful 60-day trial? All you need to get started is a Gmail Fret not, I shall introduce you

account to use it, which is free and

to

quick to set up.

cloud

computing!

In

cloud

computing, all or some of your

AUTHOR SHANMUGAM MURUGA PALANIAPPAN + PHOTO UWEC.EDU

FILE SYNC & BACKUP Dropbox

(dropbox.com)

is

an

application that allows you to store any file to their servers.

look at other important files that you

Dropbox is incredibly easy to setup.

might want to safe-keep.

Register for an account, download a client which is available for all OSs

In GDocs, you can now upload files

and even most mobile phones -

of ANY format into your GDocs

iPhone, Android and Blackberry.


FRESHMEN

15

Now you’ll have a folder in your

for projects. Although Gdocs would

affordable although they are usually

modules before. So while bidding

computer called ‘My dropbox’ and

considerably reduce that, doodle.

slow while running Windows 7

in the future, make your decisions

any file in that folder will be synced

com is a website that allows you

(although a more netbook friendly

carefully and wisely after taking their

to their servers (it will bei instantly

to schedule events easily. There is

OS like Ubuntu Netbook remix

counsel.

uploaded online) and kept safe.

nothing to download, registration

works like a charm).

is optional and it just works! You can access these files from anywhere using a browser. This

INTERNET BROWSER

is extremely useful if a group

For those who get their modules When getting a netbook, usually

allocated and wish to start studying

more RAM is better. I suggest an

ahead, you’d need to get your

upgrade to at least 2 GB RAM.

textbooks. Head over to IVLE and

needs to collaborate and produce

I’d also like to enhance your

Ensure your battery life is sufficient

under “Others” you will find the

different parts of a whole (like when

browsing experience - try Google

also i.e. it lasts at the very least for

“Used Textbook Forum” and here,

designing a magazine!).

Chrome

3 hours.

there are seniors willing to sell their

as

an

alternative

to

your previous browser. You will Although

the

free

version

of

dropbox only gives you 2GB, for

used books for a lower price. The

immediately see the huge difference

When purchasing a laptop with an

best part is they usually give you

in speed of rendering pages.

Intel chip, I suggest to go for Intel

notes too!

each successful invite to a friend

Core i3s and Intel Core i5s instead

you get an additional 250mb and

Chrome

you can grow up-to 8GB! You can

that allows you to sync all your

also share files using dropbox.

bookmarks, themes and extensions

has

a

sync

feature

across your computers! If you really crave for more storage

of the Core 2 Duo alternatives as the

They will also be able to give you an

newer chips have hyper-threading.

insight on what’s in store for you! so its a good place to make friends.

Unlike with older processors, hyperthreading enables the operating

And thus ends the list of the few

space, I suggest Windows Live

I’d also like you to take note that

system

to

see

each

physical

quintessential tricks and tips that

Skydrive (skydrive.live.com). It

although Chrome is faster and

processor as two logical processors

any NUS freshman would need

offers 25GB of free space but there

better in many ways, not all NUS

and thus you can run two tasks

to make his academic life a LOT

websites support it fully (use it for

simultaneously on each increasing

easier. We at THE RIDGE truly hope

general web browsing apart from

the efficiency of the processor.

that these nifty tools help make your

NUS websites). For this you can

academic life more productive and

use alternatives better supported

In short, your laptop responds

by NUS such as Firefox or IE.

quickly and doesn’t get sluggish as

LAPTOP LOOKOUT

a bit more enjoyable!

easily!

Lastly, I’d recommend a laptop is a catch - each uploaded file

If you haven’t purchased a net-

with

cannot exceed 50MB. There isn’t a

book/notebook yet, and are looking

dedicated

syncing feature either but that’s a

for one, here are the details I’d like

more

trade-off you pay in order to enjoy

you to watch out for. Get a light

to use the processing power of

more space.

weight device - lugging a 3kg laptop

the graphics card these days.

SCHEDULING MEETINGS

everyday isn’t fun.

a

minimum graphics

applications

of

256MB card

are

as

starting

NUS TECH

If you aren’t going to game or run heavy applications on your device

Module-review.com is a website

I am sure you will have to arrange

I suggest to go for a netbook as

which has reviews by fellow NUS

meetings with your team members

these are small, light-weight and

students who have taken various

PHOTO TECK.IN + DROPBOX.COM


WHAT IS

TO ? YOU

FRESHMEN

13

FRESHMEN HAVE TO MAKE COUNTLESS DECISIONS SEEMINGLY AT ONCE. JASON LKH HOPES THAT THEY CAN ULTIMATELY TAKE A LEAP AND CHALLENGE THEMSELVES IN THEIR COMING YEARS IN NUS.

W

elcome freshmen of

of names. NUS, for all you know,

your Cumulative Average Point

For the more visionary, perhaps

AY10/11! You’ve probably

stands for National University of

(CAP) or even 4.0 which is already

work towards an abolishment of

Somalia.

impressive! Look at the other things

the created boundaries. for level

you can achieve! Perhaps being the

ground General Elections are just

heard that this is the time of your life before you take the plunge into the real working world. I think

This play of the NUS acronym is not

most revolutionary Junior Common

around the corner and boundaries

they are right as in this phase of

new right here on campus. Some

Room Committee (JCRC) member

will be questioned throughout the

our development, we are full of

in exhaustion took ‘S’ for Stairs, of

or Resident Assistant who has

country as well.

ideals, hope, and energy - the best

which you might be already aware

brought about good changes to

concoction to usher in change. And

and perspiring from climbing them.

campus life? How about the Singa-

The irony of hard work is that those

best of all, you’re in the right place

Or maybe ‘S’ for Stress, because

pore version of Martin Luther King

who work the hardest are not well

to make that change.

the normal curve simply refuses to

Jr., lifting derogatory terms against

appreciated. When was the last

be normal. Or to be swept by the

certain foreign groups of people

time you thanked the bus driver,

During the colonial era, tertiary

‘green’ wave, we have National Uni-

simply because they are different?

the cleaner or the gardener? When

institutions in this region had played

versity of Sustainability.

Why can’t we be influential in our

was the last time you greeted them

‘civilized’ culture, if it is really that

with a smile, or with a simple greet-

awesome, Persia?

ing? Or did that even cross your

an instrumental role in political awakening, which had led to the

Whichever the acronym, it is

independence of Malaysia as

your call. Each and every one of

well as Singapore. Today, you are

us will shape this university, this

Is the lecture theatre always too

embarking on the same journey as

society and this world, but under

cold despite SAVE *’s call for

I therefore challenge you, to see

the past heroes of NUS. What is

one condition, that we must all

25°C temperature for all rooms?

beyond your CAP to things around

NUS to you?

be intentional in our actions and

Can YOU do something about it?

you that matter too. After all, a

choices, gearing towards truth and

Design an automated system to ad-

bunch of you with scrolls in hands,

righteousness.

just temperature of 3 lecture halls

sharing a common apathy towards

of different sizes and capacity that

the humanities, politics, and envi-

are linked to a central ventilation

ronment are ‘just another bunch of

NUS DEFINED BY US When I first broke the wonderful

MORE THAN MEETS THE CAP

news to my college teacher back

mind?

system? Or challenge the simplistic

graduates’. It’s time to ‘value add’

home in Malaysia that I’ve success-

Pun intended. Let’s fast track to

meat-out theory to combat climate

to your graduation.

fully enrolled in NUS for my Bach-

your graduation in 3 or 4 years. You

change? What will you do to con-

elor’s, she asked, not surprisingly,

only receive a scroll, a scroll that

tinue to put NU.Sustainability as the

*Students Against Violation of the

“What is NUS?” It’s not that the

cost you about S$7,000-10,000 per

leading institution in Singapore for

Earth – Pro-environment group in

National University of Singapore is

annum. Really, is that it?

green initiatives such as Campus in

NUS

not known. It’s just her unassuming

a Tropical Rain Forest or conduct-

attitude towards acronyms that can

Surely, there’s more than a scroll

ing recycling studies for the Singa-

be very well interpreted to a variety

and more than the number 5.0 for

pore society? AUTHOR JASON LKH + PHOTOGRAPH MATTHEW CHEE


10

FRESHMEN

FRESHMAN’S GUIDE

THE TO THE

NUS ARTS SCENE

DON’T PANIC! On my first day at NUS, I came to school with my battered copy of ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’. My rationale? It had the words DON’T PANIC written in bold on the back.

Making the transition from high school can be a daunting task as things move at a lightening pace in university. You are forgiven if you feel a little overwhelmed. In the various pulls and pressures from academia, social life and from friends, one great way to keep afloat is to explore and engage in the vibrant arts scene on campus.

Some wise men will argue about its soul cleansing value; however, this writer believes the arts provide a meaningful way to relax and allow the mind to calm down. Fringe benefits include CCA points, new friends and an avenue to discover or brush up on your existing talents.

In this article we hope to provide you with an easy-to-understand, The Exxon Mobil Campus Concert their biggest opening number (EMCC) will be celebrating its

UCC. You will enjoy upbeat

Timbre Music Academy. And,

being the Timbre MusicFest on performances by Timbre artistes oh yes, did we mention there’s

25th anniversary this year. EMCC Campus. It falls on 13 August and our very own NUS students, free beer and a chance to win is a series of concerts held on campus, 2010, 6 p.m. onwards at the

AUTHOR SAHELI ROY CHOUDHURY + PHOTOGRAPHS CFA

handpicked and trained by

an Apple iPad?

pocket-sized companion that will help you to navigate the arts scene on campus and choose what suits


FRESHMEN

11

MUSICAL NUMBERS The exciting thing about the

reputation of being one of Singapore’s

you an opportunity to explore the rich

performing arts in NUS is that there’s

premier wind orchestras. NUS Wind

heritage of Chinese and Indian music.

something for everyone! Here’s a

Symphony has performed extensively

selection for those who love to play

both on local and international stages.

musical instruments.

FOR BUDDING THESPIANS

If you fancy something more niche you the best.

If you enjoy the eloquence and

than full sized orchestras, you can

The NUS Centre for the Arts

glamour of a full-sized orchestra,

choose from a range of alternatives

(CFA) is the main organisation that

And remember, as ol’ Douglas

then the NUS Symphony Orchestra

like the NUS Harmonica Orchestra,

looks after the various performing

Adams wrote many years ago

might just be the group for you.

Kent Ridge Harmonica, NUS Jazz

arts groups on campus.

With its impressive repertoire, the

Band, NUS Guitar Ensemble, NUS

NUS Symphony Orchestra holds

Piano Ensemble, NUS Rondalla, NUS

The CFA also regularly organises

the distinction of being the first

Choir and NUS Electronic Music

events and concerts for students

student group in Singapore to be

Lab which provides students the

and the public. If you would like

selected to participate in the Aberdeen

opportunity to use some of the latest

to know more about the CFA or

International Youth Festival in

music technology to create their own

any of the groups mentioned above,

Scotland, 1998.

signature style.

please do visit their website at:

An alternative to the Symphony

For the more traditionally oriented,

Orchestra would be the NUS

NUS Chinese Orchestra and NUS

Now for some major events coming

Wind Symphony which boasts the

Indian Instrumental Ensemble gives

your way thanks to CFA.

DON’T PANIC!

http://www.nus.edu.sg/cfa/

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE?

Dance enthusiasts have a diverse range These groups specialise in a

holding open-to-all sessions to let

You might have heard the buzz

of activities to choose from: from the

healthy dose of jazz, modern,

you have a feel of what their group

surrounding a certain Welcome

traditional to the contemporary.

contemporary, hip-hop, and

is like. For more information, please

Back to Campus concert. While it

break dancing. Synergy is unique contact NUS Centre For the Arts

is not an underground rave party,

The NUS Chinese Dance, the NUS

in that it does not require

it is pretty attractive in its own

Ilsa Tari and the NUS Indian Dance

newcomers to audition for a

right. This CFA House Party is

offer a combination of the traditional

place – your performances are

held on 10 & 11 August 2010 from

and the tribal, with a mix of the

assessed with time.

6 – 9 pm at the UCC. This is a

(CFA).

contemporary. These groups have had

great opportunity to catch all the

an impressive run since their inception To understand what suits you

NUS arts groups under one roof !

under the tutelage and guidance

the best we encourage you to

They will be putting up shows and

of instructors who excel in their

attend Dance Marathon – a

performances and give you a sneak

respective fields.

whole day event from 10 a.m. to

preview of what you can expect

6.30 p.m. on 14 August 2010 at

from a particular group. If you

the University Cultural Centre

arrive fashionably early, you might

If your interests are more

contemporary than classical, then your (UCC) Dance Studio. All seven

enjoy exclusive backstage tours of

best bets are with NUS Dance

NUS Dance groups, including

the UCC and guided tours at NUS

Synergy and NUS Dance Blast.

NUS Lion Dance, will be

Museum.


12

FRESHMEN

HALL PRODUCTIONS

OTHER AVENUES FOR ACTING ENTHUSIASTS at the start of the new

If acting is your forte, then NUS Stage

become the next Steven Spielberg (hey,

academic year, though the

is the place for you to be. Whether

I’m not knocking you down!), you will

timeline might differ between

you are an actor, scriptwriter, stage

learn the basics of film making that

halls.

manager or director, you will always

will stand you in good stead if you

find an avenue to apply your talent and

choose to make a career out of it.

First, the main committee

harness your skills.

comprising of producers,

(Note: When receiving your Oscar

production managers, dance

Currently 34-member strong, the

for Best Director of the Year, THE

directors are formed and

society prides itself in recruiting

RIDGE humbly requests a mention in

brainstorming for script ideas

the best and brightest talent around

your acceptance speech)

begin. After finalising the

campus to establish themselves as a

scripts, the tedious process of

premier theatrical production house.

writing the script begins. This

An integral part of university life

On the other hand, if you are glued to your Channel 8 dramas and aspire to

is normally done in summer

If you prefer to be behind the

star in your own show, check out NUS

breaks and as soon as the

camera instead of being in front of

Chinese Drama.

new semester begins, casting

it, nuSTUDIOS Film Productions

revolves around Halls. The six Halls

calls are made and halls prepare

provides students an opportunity to

at NUS are big on their productions

for auditions. Casting is usually

explore the art of film making.

and they regularly compete in a

completed by September and full-

variety of shows like DramaFest,

fledged rehearsals begin in October.

RockFest, Amplitude (Choir) and

(Fear not though! Rehearsals break

Dance Uncensored. They normally

to give the budding actors time to

happen one after the other which

focus on their studies as well.)

CLOSING WORDS

though if you ask around, most would

The rehearsals intensify in the

Looking ahead a little, in Semester 2,

preferences, there is something

swear that is absolutely gratifying in

second semester and practically

there will be the NUS Arts Festival;

available for everyone! It is only a

the end.

everyone works thirty five hours a

an exciting line up of performances

matter of taking the initiative and

day to facilitate the different needs

put together by NUS students can

seeking out the right person to get in

Apart from that, every Hall also stages

to successfully stage the production.

be caught for an entire month. THE

touch with.

a main production which is basically

A month prior to the production,

RIDGE would be covering the Arts

their signature highlight for the

which is normally held in February

Fest in detail – so keep a lookout for it

We hope you’ve fully utilised the

Academic Year.

or early March, various aspects

next year.

Matric fair to find out as much as you

While there is no guarantee you will

gives students very little time to rest –

and elements are put together

can about life outside academics and

THE RIDGE spoke with Neeti

and the final product is rehearsed,

The main idea you can take away from

we sincerely hope you have already

Shiva, from Eusoff Hall who gave

repeatedly, to perfection.

this guide is that there are no shortages

found your true calling! After all, who

of opportunities presented to students

says university is all about studying?

at NUS.

And remember...

Regardless of your tastes and

DON’T PANIC!

us a breakdown of the procedure in Eusoff ’s production which she

For more information, we advise

describes as “a musical combining

you to contact the seniors in your

acting and dance”. The process begins

respective Halls.

*Some of the events mentioned in this article have already taken place. We would like to apologise for not getting this guide to you on time. However, we hope that you’ve already found your true calling by now, and that this guide continues to serve as a companion piece to your own exploration of the NUS Arts Scene. PHOTOGRAPH NEETI SHIVA


08

FRESHMEN

FRESHMAN ORIENTATION CAMP AWARDS 2010

T THE RIDGE DECIDED TO TAKE A LOOK AT THE VARIOUS ORIENTATION CAMPS AND PRESENT... THE RIDGE FRESHMEN ORIENTATION CAMP AWARDS!

AUTHOR BRIDGET TAN + PHOTOGRAPH ARTS/LAW/SPORTS CAMP PROJECT DIRECTORS

hey’re where it all happen - romance, friendship and

even rivalry. Orientation camps mark the start of a freshman’s university life. The camaraderie of cheering for the house (even if you can’t, for the life of you, pronounce its name!) and running around like a lunatic in public is all part and parcel of this unique experience.


FRESHMEN

MOST CREATIVE CAMP SOC OF COMPUTING SURVIVOR CAMP

LARGEST CAMP UNION CAMP

LONGEST CAMP ARTS & SCIENCE CAMP

It takes a gleaming reputation and

09

MOST OUTRAGEOUS (NAMES) CAMP SCHOOL OF DESIGN AND ENVIRONMENT CAMP

a lot of good feedback to generate

When you enjoy yourself so much

The difference in activities is what

popularity for an orientation

that you don’t want to go back home.

truly set camps apart. It is amazing

camp. Th is year, one camp had

Th is award goes to the camp which

Naming teams by colours just got

where the imagination can take you.

a significantly larger number of

prolongs the experience for the

outdated. Welcome to the era where

From wet games to clubbing nights to

participants than the other camps.

longest time.

students go ‘huh?’ when they are

Amazing Races, this award is given

The Largest Camp award goes to

to the camp with the most creative

(surprise!) Union Camp!

activities.

informed which house they’re in. Th is The Arts Camp and Science Camp

award goes to the camp with the most

are tied for this award! Compared to

outrageous house names.

With 400 participants this year, it

the average 4 day, 3 night camp, these

THE RIDGE FOC award for the

makes it to the top of the list with the

camps lasted for 5 days and 4 nights.

Most Creative Camp goes to the SoC

second largest camp being Arts Camp

Survivor Camp! Whilst the other

with 300 participants. Most camps

Holding a longer than usual camp

this time. But, the Most Outrageous

camps had the usual war games,

expect an average of less than 200

is no mean feat considering the

Camp award goes to… SDE!

beach games and Secret Pal, it was

participants.

amount of planning, preparation

the ‘Night Murder Mystery’ by the SoC Camp that helped bag the prize.

Th is category was a tough fight as the camps have truly outdone themselves

and sponsorship involved. And a

With names like Fierte, Stolz, Gier,

Th is is due to the fact that the Union

long camp doesn’t necessarily equate

Vrede, Orgullo, Zorn, Cobica and

Camp is neither faculty nor interest

to a good camp. These two camps,

Lacomia, they outnamed every other

Admittedly, Mystery Nights are not

specific. According to Raphael

however, succeeded with flying

camp hands down. Named after the

uncommon, but here campers were

Wun, Freshman Orientation Project

colours.

7 sins in different languages, it really

ferried by coach to PasirRis PA fl ats

Director for Union Camp, it is also

to play around inthe compound as

the only camp with a beach party in

Arts Camp stuck to their tradition

came up with the idea. Unlike the

well as in the flats.

NUS and the only camp which goes

with their emotional ‘Tug-of-War’ in

other camps, SDE had sister groups

Sentosa and ‘Circle of Friendship’ to

instead of houses. Hmmm, they

Director for Union Camp, it is also

round up the camp. Science camp had

sound more like sinister groups to us!

the only camp with a beach party in

a variety of activities from dry games

NUS and the only camp which goes

like ‘Know your Enemy’ to a race

to Jurong East for pool games.

around NUS and wet games. Kudos

makes one wonder how they even

to the planning committees!


FRESHMEN

03

RAG DAY 2010 RAG IS A SPECTACLE THAT IS MADE POSSIBLE BY THE CULMINATION OF SPIRIT, CREATIVITY AND PASSION OF EVERYONE IN NUS. NO TEAM, FACULTY OR HALL COULD HAVE DONE IT ALONE. A TRULY SPECIAL NUS PROJECT THAT BROUGHT TOGETHER OUR WHOLE COMMUNITY. ENG ZHENYU, RAG 2010 PROJECT DIRECTOR

O

It was a proud moment for NUS, when the Guest of Honour, President

over 3,000 students and staff that

the grandstand of the Sports and

S R Nathan, with the aid of hockey

represented the various faculties and

Yet this did nothing to dampen the

Recreation Centre as NUS conducted

player Silas Abdul Razak and

halls in NUS, together with their

enthusiasm of the performers, with

its annual Rag day. In doing so, it

swimmer Amanda Lim, set the

accompanying performances, proved

pep talks and cheers keeping energy

bucked years of NUS tradition of

cauldron alight with the Olympic

that they could hold their own on

levels sky-high as Rag progressed.

holding Rag in the mornings.

Flame on its premises.

a day already marked out to make

n the afternoon of August

Rag to the sidelines. Floats built by

6, 2010, people flocked into

Singapore history.

no major injuries.

Despite the competitive spirit that

Th is change was made to

“Singapore now has a place in

accommodate the arrival of the Youth

Olympic history,” declared President

Starting with a prize presentation

evident enjoyment of the audience

Olympic Flame, a one-in-a-lifetime

Nathan after the cauldron was lit.

for the Flag Day collections, Rag

and the performers that was most

event that marked the end of its

That declaration was feted by a

featured floats and performances

noticeable. It was clear that Rag was

journey around the world.

fi reworks display that drew cheers

that wowed the crowd with their

more than just a race to the fi nish line

from the audience.

innovativeness and liveliness.

– it was a celebration of the journey

accompanies every Rag, it was the

The Flame’s arrival was celebrated

that got them that far.

with performances by external groups

NUS was the fi rst stop in the Flame’s

It had its fair share of glitches too.

such as Bukit Batok Secondary

island-wide relay, which lasted from

For instance, the School of Design

School and Youth Impact, as well as

6 to 13 August and included stops at

and Environment was penalized

themed floats from the NUS Halls of

19 other local schools. It also passed

for being late as their truck broke

Residence, each depicting a place the

through popular tourist destinations

down just minutes before their

Flame visited.

like the Singapore Zoo and the

performance. Fortunately for them,

Singapore Botanical Gardens.

they found another car to tow in

‘Athens’ was presented by Temasek

their float, making it just in the

Hall, ‘Berlin’ by Raffles Hall, ‘Dakar’

Th is is also the last time the Flame

nick of time for their Candy Land

by Sheares Hall, ‘Mexico City’ by

will make an international tour before

performance.

Eusoff Hall, ‘Auckland’ was done

arriving at its host country.

by Kent Ridge Hall and ‘Seoul’ was portrayed by King Edward VII Hall.

Some groups also ran into problems Despite the rarity of the event, the

with failed lifts and fl ips during their

Flame did not relegate the rest of the

dances, although there were (luckily!)

AUTHOR MEERA NAIR + PHOTOGRAPH EUSOFFWORKS


04

FRESHMEN

TH

E

KR

USP

USP

FASS

FASS

USP

USP

KR

PHOTOGRAPH EUSOFFWORKS + KR PHOTOCOMM + MEERA NAIR + CRAIG D’SOUZA

“YOU ONLY HAVE FIVE MINUTES TO PROVE YOUR POINT. MAKE THOSE FIVE MINUTES WORTH REMEMBERING” - ZHU PING, SDE YEAR 2 FASS

DENTISTRY

KR


FRESHMEN FRESHMAN

05

THREE OF OUR JOURNALISTS TAGGED ALONG WITH FLOAT PERFORMANCES AND REPORTED ON THE EVENTS AS THEY UNFOLDED ON THE DAY. THEY EVEN TOOK PART AND HELPED OUT AND HERE THEY PRESENT THEIR VIEWS OF RAG DAY 2010 AS THEY SAW AND EXPERIENCED IT EH

KENT RIDGE HALL Like the invincible All Blacks Rugby

EH

Team of New Zealand, Kent Ridge Hall (KR) successfully completed a hat-trick of Chancellor’s Shield wins at the annual NUS Rag Day. Not only this, but KR also had won

Y

the President’s Shield Award for collecting the largest amount on Flag Day.

It was a proud start for KR then as they proceeded on to their Rag display – an impressive showcase of New Zealand culture and the

EH

youthful zeal that will be exhibited at the Youth Olympic Games. Items symbolic of New Zealand, like the float referencing the famous Buzzy Bee toy and the rugby ball representing New Zealand’s national sport were showcased as part of KR’s parade.

AUTHOR JOSEPH CHIN


06

FRESHMEN

Viewers were treated to an energetic

the KR Rag Committee, described

performance that married Maori art

that “dried leaves and broken tree

and Singaporean exuberance. Key to

branches (were used) to create the

this was the rendition of the Haka,

cladding.”

the Maori war chant popularized by the All Blacks.

It served as the spirited finale to the

one large creation (a magnus opus

UNIVERSITY SCHOLARS’ PROGRAMME

of sorts) towards fashioning a more immersive feel with smaller, more detailed creations.

In the spirit of diversity represented The leaves were also creatively used

by the Youth Olympic Games, the

These included intricate Egyptian

to form the words “KR” and “NZ” on

University Scholars’ Programme

hieroglyphics carved onto walls of

the float.

(USP) chose to delve into the majestic papier-mâché, beautiful flowers

KR performance when performers banded together in a stark display of

Even the performers’ costumes

determination and camaraderie.

continued on this vein, with designer

mythology of ancient Egypt for its

of all colours fashioned out of the

2010 Rag performance.

bottoms of used plastic water bottles, a fearsome six meter long snake

Jane Lilis explaining that drinking

It was a time where air conditioning

painstakingly crafted out of an

Choreographer Deo Amarawi

straws were used to make dresses as

was unfortunately unavailable

inordinate amount of paper plates

explained that the performance,

they ensured durable and waterproof

(although copious amounts of smoke

and a weapons store displaying a full

which used a mother-and-child

costumes.

could be produced by court magicians range of deadly tools, including bows

combination to weave together

equipped with fi re extinguishers if so

made out of clothes hangers.

a storyline based on the famous

Also, the use of discarded sports

Manuka honey, was meant to “express

equipment on the float and props

commanded!).

the imaginative mind of a child and

were especially apt in an event

The dance itself featured unusually

of their creativity, however. It was a

show his journey of finding his pride

so closely tied in with the Youth

well-dressed beggars forced to

symbol of the comradeship displayed

as a New Zealander.”

Olympic Games.

cooperate to eradicate the mandatory

by members of USP, be it current

forces of evil that were best

students, alumni or staff.

The USP float was not just a display

Of the Haka, he said, “it signifies

Despite

represented by

the continuation of life and the

being pipped

agile mummies

The snake, for instance, was the pet

celebration of victory.” Indeed, it

for Best Rag

who twirled

project of an alumnus who completed

was a sentiment echoed by many KR

by Eusoff

their streaks

his undergraduate studies a full two

residents who had chanted along.

Hall, KR’s

of bandages

years ago.

showcase

gracefully about

The performance also showcased

of a rousing

them.

indigenous Maori culture such as the

war chant

poi (a type of plaited ball), modern

and all the

From a distance,

Thursday afternoon helping the

contemporary dance and gravity-

hard work

the float, which

students out in the completion of the

defying stunts by the renowned KR

led to a successful defence of the

depicted a marketplace, seemed

Steppers cheerleading team.

Chancellor’s Shield trophy.

somewhat unremarkable with no one

Also, the administrative staff of USP spent a good amount of their

particular object standing out. In the spirit of environmental

float.

The motivation behind this was the strength of the community, explained

friendliness, KR’s main float was

But according to the rag director

deputy director of USP, A/P Albert

made largely of recycled materials.

Jerome Kok, this was a deliberate

Teo. He added that members of the

Wong Song Han, the chairman of

attempt to move the focus away from

staff were willing to go the extra mile

AUTHOR DENYS TAN + PHOTOGRAPH CRAIG D’SOUZA


FRESHMAN FRESHMEN

07

as “we’ve always been about student-

emotions welled up inside her became circuses weren’t just all fun and

won the Best Float Design award.

centricity.”

too strong!).

games), they had hoped to “mirror the

Not a bad way to for the faculty’s fi rst

3 months of hard work that we put in

batch of freshmen of the new decade!

Winning the competition, however,

As we walked onwards to the football

was not what USP members aimed

field, a towering elephant mounted

while preparing for Rag day”.

for during Rag. Since 2003, they’ve

on a truck could be seen which was

And the hard work could be

held a dinner before Rag Day

the float that FASS students had

seen with the freshmen and the

(known to some as The Last Supper)

designed. It was an impressive setup

seniors dovetailing smoothly and

in celebration of Professor Teo’s

and within the belly of the beast,

complementing one another. A few

birthday.

dancers were huddled preparing to

mistakes were made but they had a

spring out at the exact moment. The

decent effort and by choosing dance

And this, to most in USP, really

dancers that I met were gearing up

hits such as “Bad Romance” and

underscores the essence of what it

for the fi nal performance and tensions “Tik Tok”, their performance was an

means to “Do Rag” – not for the

were high.

enlivening one.

official results the day after, but to celebrate the community.

Zhen Yang (FASS, Year 3), another project director for

FACULTY OF ARTS & SOCIAL SCIENCES

Arts Rag, said that, “Every year, Arts Rag works on much more limited money

Upon contacting Shane Koh, FASS

& manpower than other

Rag project director, we received

faculties. Our performance is

an enthusiastic response and I was

When it was time to perform, the

promised that I would get to fi nd out dancers gave it their all with an

a testament to the youthful spirit of FASS undergraduates.”

what would happen behind the scenes impressive display that wove a spell of FASS’ rag performance this year.

over the watching audience with its

That spirit was embodied poignantly

However, the best laid plans of mice

charm and vigour.

by some Raggers who have been

and FASSites oft go awry and in the

around since their fi rst year. One of

bustle of the day, we were not able to

Based on a circus theme, the dancers

them, who was apparently labeled as

meet the man himself.

were decorated as clowns, animals,

the Grand Old Man by his friends,

ringmasters and other characters.

said that, “The friendships and bonds

Nevertheless, a sea of green shirts

Their dance aimed to show the

that you make are priceless. Every

could be found assembled at Plaza@

audience all the hard work that takes

year it’s different yet every year it’s the

YIH where the ecstatic house leaders place in preparation for a circus

same. I couldn’t have imagined that

of FASS O-Week were busily rousing performance.

I’d be seeing the Olympic fl ame uring

up the spirits of freshman students

a Rag day.”

from Arts faculty (one of the house

Koh said that by showing the inner

ICs even broke down crying as the

workings of a circus (such that

All the hard work paid off as FASS

AUTHOR SUHAS BHAT + PHOTOGRAPH KRISTEN KIONG


Cr THE CREATIVES

We are responsible for the sports bottle, the kiwi and everything you see between them. Our job is to make sure that the work of our writers are well presented through graphics, layouts and photographs.

IF YOU THINK YOU CAN DO BETTER, PLEASE CONTACT US. We are always looking for people better than ourselves. “If we hire people who are smaller than we are, we will become a company of dwarfs. If we hire people who are larger than we are, we’ll become a company of giants.” - David Ogilvy of Ogilvy & Mather


FRESHMEN

01

FRESHMEN CONTENTS 03 RAG REPORT

13 WHAT IS NUS TO YOU?

14 GETTING TECH’D UP FOR NUS

08 FOC AWARDS

10 YOUR GUIDE TO THE NUS ARTS SCENE


NUS Credit Card Power your lifestyle

You want to live it up we’ll fuel your lifestyle


THE RIDGE MAGAZINE A NUSSU PUBLICATION AUGUST 2010

*

Dear Freshman, you’re just in time. Welcome to NUS and welcome to the fresh new Ridge. Flip open to get a taste. We hope you enjoy.

A GUIDE TO THE ARTS SCENE Excited about the arts scene? Read this before you make up your mind

WHAT TO WEAR TO SCHOOL

FRESHMEN ORIENTATION CAMP AWARDS Yes you’ve had your fun. But was the grass even greener on the other side? We seek out the biggest, longest, the most creative, and the most outrageous camp in NUS

Don’t get caught off-guard! Get a hint of how your seniors dress

INSTANT CO-OP MEMBERSHIP An exclusive deal clinched just for you!

THE FRESHMEN ISSUE

HOW LONG CAN YOU STAY FRESH?

THE 8 MUST HAVE STATIONARIES Check out these stationary items from the likes of Kikikai and Prints that will surely make you one OF the coolest freshmen on campus!

THIS ISSUE’S THE RIDGE MAGAZINE FEATURES A DOUBLE COVER, CHECK THE BACK FOR THE RIDGE’S BUMPER ISSUE.

THE RIDGE - August 2010 Issue  

The August 2010 issue of THE RIDGE. After a 6-month hiatus, the magazine returns bigger and better than before. Turn the page, and a new sto...