The mugger’s edition: Study Spots

Written by:  Liew Shu Mei Jacynthe (21-O3), Leanne Soh Li En (21-E6), Liew Yi Xuan (21-E1), Tricia Loh Qiuxuan (21-U1)

Designed by: Liew Yi Xuan (21-E1), Leanne Soh Li En (21-E6)


We can all agree that studying is a large part of student life. Endless assignments and group projects often bombard us, leaving us wishing for more than 24 hours in a day to complete them. Sound familiar? Fret not, for in this article, we will be breaking down various study spots in EJC for you to find the perfect one to study and maximise your time spent in school!

Library 

Situated on the 9th and 10th floor, the school library takes up two levels with ample space for students to clock in hours of studying. You can find many rectangular tables placed parallel to one another and several round tables on the first floor and more tables and chairs on the second floor. What we like most about the school library is that there are many carrel desks (study cubicles) on the upper level for undisturbed studying as well as power sockets on each carrel desk to charge your electronic devices.

Moreover, the air-conditioning in the library is a plus point and its quiet environment is most conducive for long hours of studying. The panoramic view of Bishan-AMK park is also a bonus, especially if you need a break from the books and one look outside the huge window full of lush greenery can help calm you down.

Noise level: 10/10

Accessibility: 7.5/10

Comfort: 8/10

Overall rating: 8.5/10

Cafe 

Located on the 10th floor, the cafe provides snacks and light refreshments as well as a variety of chairs and tables for you to study at. Doing some work while indulging in a light snack for some study motivation is perfect in the cafe. There are also plenty of power sockets in case you need to charge your electronic devices.

Though the area seems conducive for studying, it does get quite packed when many classes have break, as some students choose to dine at the cafe instead of the canteen. Hence, if you face difficulty concentrating in loud spaces, do try to come at non-peak hours!

Noise level: 5/10

Accessibility: 8/10

Comfort: 7/10

Overall rating: 6.7/10

Benches on level 3 

On Level 3, there are a few tables and benches that are available for students. These tables are quite convenient for meeting teachers for consultations as it is an area that is not frequented by passing students. This makes it a less disruptive environment to review understanding about the syllabus than other more common gathering areas in the school! This is also a non- air-conditioned place with fresher air, which may be more beneficial for your studying than being cooped up in an enclosed space! However, it is on a lower level, meaning it is closer to the warmer ground, and air ventilation is not the best here. Thus, we do not recommend this place to students who are easily affected by warmer temperatures. 

Noise level: 8.5/10

Accessibility: 7.5/10

Comfort: 6.5/10

Overall rating: 7.5/10

Benches on level 6 

At the corners of Level 6, there are benches and tables available for students to study at. These benches are relatively secluded, making the area quiet, which is ideal for those who find themselves easily distracted by noise. There are a few power sockets for you to charge your devices, and the area is also an open space, so there is plenty of natural light and wind. However, we do not recommend studying there on rainy days!

Noise level: 9/10

Accessibility: 6/10

Comfort: 7/10

Overall rating: 7.3/10

Level 8 

With the staff room occupying virtually half the space, Level 8 might not appear to offer much at first glance. However, there are two quiet spots for some of us who prefer an environment with minimal distractions. Walk straight ahead from the lifts and you’ll see a high table situated by the infamous cocoon chairs. The area is typically quite breezy and it is generally quite a conducive space! You might want to think twice before studying there for long hours, though. The awkward height of the chairs without a backrest might get a bit strenuous to use after a while. 

Walk on a little more and you’ll come across two benches overlooking the lush flora of Bishan Park. They’re nothing out of the ordinary, just your usually sturdy, brown benches that work well for studying. The space does get a bit too windy at times, so make sure to hold tight onto your worksheets!

Noise level: 7/10

Accessibility: 6/10

Comfort: 6/10

Overall rating: 6.3/10

Benches on Level 11+12 

Located within walking distance of the lift at level 12 and the classrooms, you can find several wooden benches for students to study on level 11 and 12. Since they are located at a relatively high ground, it can get really windy at times which can be both a boon and bane. Overall, this is a good place to study at if you like heights and seclusion.

Noise level: 8/10

Accessibility: 7.5/10

Comfort: 6/10

Overall rating: 7.2/10

Canteen 

While the canteen is a place for many of us to enjoy our food, it can also be a great study spot if you are a foodie that snacks a lot while studying. There are many seats to choose from, such as the high tables, round tables and rectangular tables! Since it’s an open space with direct access to Bishan park, you might occasionally find birds chirping around as well as strong gusts of wind. We recommend studying here during after school hours when there isn’t much crowd scrambling around to find seats during recess.

Noise level: 5/10

Accessibility: 9/10

Comfort: 6/10

Overall rating: 6.7/10

Consult Tables 

Located on Level 9, the consult tables are another option for students looking for a quiet secluded place to get some work done! While not an air-conditioned place, this study area is on one of higher levels in EJ, making it a cooler environment than areas on lower levels. With the tables quite spread out from each other, the noise level is more tolerable. There are also 2 types of chairs to choose from, depending on whether you are more comfortable on a bench or chairs with a back support. 

Noise level: 8/10

Accessibility: 7/10

Comfort: 7/10

Overall 7.3/10

Forbidden Tea 

Here’s a bonus: Forbidden Tea. While not exactly located within our campus, it’s grown to become one of our favourite study spots nearby. Unless you wouldn’t mind listening to JJ Lin’s latest single blasting in your ears while you work on your Econs assignment, we recommend getting your work done at the benches outside. You could choose between the high tables or the low benches, but both are equally as sturdy and comfortable – perfect for you and your study buddy. Go on then, get back on your grind and sip on your favourite cup of bubble tea while you’re at it.

Noise level: 5/10

Accessibility: 8/10

Comfort: 8/10

Overall rating: 7/10

Conclusion 

Congrats! You’ve officially ventured with us through every nook and cranny of EJ (and beyond). We hope that this trusty little guide has given you some insight on where to study next. Whether you’re someone who needs a quiet environment or someone who doesn’t mind a bit of noise, there’s definitely a spot in EJ meant for you. Oh, hey. Look at the time. You should probably get back to your assignment. See you around!

Periscope July 2021 Summary

Written by: Elizabeth Khoo Yuk Min (21-U1), Katelyn Joshy (21-U1), Rakshita Murugan (21-E1), Tiew Zuo Yuan Richard (21-I2), Zuo Yuning (21-A1), Aaron Wong Jielun (21-I4)

Designed by: Katelyn Joshy (21-U1)

Here’s July’s edition of bitesized current affairs, a monthly summary of the happenings around the world! From an interesting gauge of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to speculation on Poland’s exit from the EU and even the next-door KTV cluster, we have all the news for you.

Global  

Tokyo Olympics 2020 Begins! 

The long awaited 2020 Tokyo Olympics has finally begun, except that it is now 2021 and the expected 40 million international fans and tourists leave the Japanese stadiums vacant.

Many have taken to social media to document their fanatic following on the Tokyo Olympics games, raving about the glory behind the sports, the heartwarming sportsmanship and drama of the Olympians, and the beautiful infrastructure of the Olympic village Japan has put together just for this long-awaited event.

However, the social and environmental consequences are not to be forgotten. Over 300 Japanese homes have been forcibly relocated by the Japanese government to accommodate the Games, and the building, transport and accommodation costs for the Olympic athletes has only added on to the hefty price tag that is borne by the Japanese government — upwards of 26 million USD. The number of COVID-19 cases in Tokyo have also risen to upwards of 3000, of which numerous were caused by the spike in Olympian-related cases. Therefore, a question comes to mind when reviewing the rationality behind hosting such a large-scale international sporting event in the midst of a pandemic: is it really worth it?

South African unrest 

As of Thursday, 22 July, the government has reported 337 deaths due to the increasing unrest in South Africa.

Most incidents of unrest are in the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal, home province and support base of former president Jacob Zuma, and Gauteng, where capital Pretoria and main city Johannesburg are located.

The unrest originated from the Constitutional Court’s decision to sentence Zuma to 15 months in prison after he refused to turn up for trials for corruption allegations on 8th of July. Zuma supporters were infuriated, and hence decided to launch a series of protests throughout the country.

While Zuma’s prison sentence was a trigger to the widespread unrest,  long-standing, systemic issues like poverty, unemployment and wealth inequality have created deep resentment and could be the underlying cause for these violent protests.

Both explanations exemplify how political fragmentation among the electorate can endanger the legitimacy of the ruling government, and reveal how economic problems can erode social stability.

The army has been deployed in worst affected areas to suppress unrest, but until the root causes of violence are addressed, there can be no true stability in South Africa.

Poland’s speculated exit from the EU  

They are calling it Polexit, a portmanteau of ‘Poland’ and ‘Exit’. The issue started in 2017, when the international media speculated over Poland’s intentions to leave the EU. Later in 2019, Poland’s Supreme Court warned that judicial reforms could result in having to leave the EU. Currently, the conflict has reached a fever pitch with the Poles becoming ever determined to leave. 

Here are some reasons for why: 

  1. Poland’s values are out of sync with many other EU countries

          The PiS is currently the largest political party in the Polish parliament, helmed by party leader, Jarosław Aleksander Kaczyński. Whether be it the EU rule of law, climate goals, abortion or protection of LGBTQI rights — many PiS politicians see it as the EU imposing “Western” or “liberal” values on conservative and Christian Poland. The conflicting beliefs and values makes it difficult for Warsaw and Brussels to find common ground on policies. For instance, the Polish government recently opposed a gender equality plan for EU foreign policy and the bloc’s artificial intelligence strategy because they included the word “gender.”

  1. There’s rising anti-EU sentiment amongst government backers

Most Polish officials do not like the EU, its institutions and the officials behind it.

Mateusz Morawiecki, Poland’s current prime minister, made a recent speech to the Polish parliament defending the budgetary veto to cancel the EU budget deals. He likened the bloc to Poland’s former communist regime, railed against “arbitrary decisions” by “Eurocrats” and “the European oligarchy.”

  1. Being in the EU might not be in Kaczyński’s long-term interest

Poland’s future rests in the hands of 71-year-old Kaczyński- Poland’s de facto leader. He feels the EU isn’t central to his vision of rebuilding Poland from the ground up. He aims to cut the country off from the years of reform dating back to the end of communism in 1989. For Kaczyński’s plans to be a success, PiS needs to tighten its grip on the courts, media, other institutions and build up its own loyal cadres and elites. The Polish government has already said it has no intention of backing away from further legal changes that have soured relations with Brussels.

Regional 

Cracking down on Didi Chuxing 

DiDi Chuxing, one of China’s tech giants, is under investigation by the Chinese government following its Initial Public Offering (IPO) in the United States. The Chinese government claimed that it was simply in precaution of ensuring national security while removing its app from all app stores across the country. The Chinese Cybersecurity Watchdog (CAC) shared on the 2nd of July that they had launched a “cybersecurity review” of DiDi to “guard against risks to national data security” and “protect the public interest.”

Local

KTV and Jurong Fishery Port COVID-19 Clusters 

The latest KTV and Jurong Fishery Port clusters have caused a spike of hundreds of new infections, setting us back to Phase 2 with tighter measures.

While several KTV lounges, mainstays of Singapore’s nightlife scene, have been allowed to operate as F&B outlets with restrictions in place, many establishments have flouted these rules and operated underground with activities such as close socialisation and interaction with hostesses present. As a result, 227 cases, comprising many patrons and hostesses, have been discovered so far. This entire situation tells us that COVID-19 restrictions are there for a reason and are in fact protecting us; flouting them can only put the entire country at risk.

Meanwhile, the Jurong Fishery Port is a bustling site where thousands of workers, customers and suppliers do business, and 30% of Singapore’s seafood imports come through. While serious breaches of restrictions did not occur in this case, the sheer scale of the operations there and the frequent movement from the port to distributors and retailers around the country have led to 665 total cases and the temporary closure of the port. This situation teaches the hard lesson that now is not the time to get complacent, and we must still continue to diligently observe the “smaller” measures like proper mask wearing and social distancing.

Tragedy at River Valley High School  

On 19th July, a tragic event occurred at River Valley High School (RVHS) that sent our nation into mourning. A 16-year-old student had killed a fellow student of 13 years in the level four-bathroom of the high school compound. The Singapore Police Force (SPF) received a call for assistance at RVHS at about 11.40 am on Monday, and the victim was found lying motionless and was pronounced dead at the scene by a paramedic. The alleged teen assailant was arrested, and an axe was seized as evidence. The suspect was charged in Court the following day for murder. The judge ordered the accused to be remanded for psychiatric observation for three weeks and return to Court on 10th August. 

Since the incident, the Singapore community has shown great solidarity in helping RV emerge stronger. Several religious groups have come forward to pray with the bereaved and for the well-being of the affected students, and dozens of bouquets have been laid by public members outside the school. Several ministers have taken to social media to express their condolences, and MOE is working closely with RVHS to provide students and staff trauma support. Moving forward, MOE and schools will continue to be vigilant about campus security. 


Bibliography

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  2. Al Jazeera. (2021, July 22). South Africa unrest death toll jumps to more than 300. Jacob Zuma News | Al Jazeera. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/7/22/south-africa-unrest-death-toll-jumps-to-more-than-300
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