Author: May Law

Why I Joined the Raffles Academy

Reading Time: 5 minutes

By Law May Ning (14S03O)

Photo credits to Madeleine Cheng, Sun Jiarui and Wong Shi Hwa (14S03O)
Photo credits to Madeleine Cheng, Sun Jiarui and Wong Shi Hwa (14S03O)

I begin this response to the article titled “Why I Rejected the Raffles Academy” by conceding that as a member of it myself, my attempts at a balanced viewpoint of the system might inevitably be clouded by some sort of bias. Nonetheless, while the author brings up fair points regarding “elitism”, unequal access to resources as well as what he believes to be inherent flaws with a pull-out academic system, I feel obligated, as one of those who did join the programme, to offer my alternative viewpoint on its merits.

Continue reading “Why I Joined the Raffles Academy”

Continental Drift: How JC Changed My Friendships

Reading Time: 4 minutes

By Law May Ning (14S03O)

As a (slightly more) innocent and naive Year 4, one hears many a foreboding tale from wiser seniors back from their travels to the other side of the world known as Bishan. Yet, about a year ago, it was not so much the horror stories of heartaches, failure grades or even the woes of late nights and less sleep that scared me. It was that wistful line of advice, thrown in at the back of every visit, that shook me the most. The line about treasuring years in secondary school, because the times – and the friends – would not be something you could get back. Continue reading “Continental Drift: How JC Changed My Friendships”

Please Mind the Platform Gap: Choosing Subject Combinations (Part 1)—The Science Combinations

Reading Time: 14 minutes

By Law May Ning (14S03O), Feng Zhuo (14S03S), Allison Choong (14S05B), Tan Jun Xiang (14S06C)

The following is the first part of Raffles Press’ feature, Please Mind The Platform Gap: Choosing Subject Combinations. You can find the second part of the feature on Arts combinations here.

Disclaimer: All information written here is accurate as of the time of writing. There have been significant changes to the subject syllabi. Please check the current updated subject syllabi on the MOE website.

Continue reading “Please Mind the Platform Gap: Choosing Subject Combinations (Part 1)—The Science Combinations”

“Rafflesian” Doesn’t Mean Perfect

Reading Time: 4 minutesBy Law May Ning (14S03O)

Cover Photo by Georges Ip of the Photographic Society

A couple of days ago, my family and I ended up babysitting my 3 year old cousin. Decked in a baby blue dress and a matching pseudo-pearl necklace, the irresistibly adorable little girl pranced into the house and waved at me. “P-ween-cess,” she mumbled happily, pointing to the Snow White plastered on the front of her dress, a shy smile on her face. Continue reading ““Rafflesian” Doesn’t Mean Perfect”

The Haze – De-mist-yfied

Reading Time: 5 minutes

By Allison Choong (14S05B), Law May Ning (14S03O), Tan Jun Xiang (14S06C), Bryan Chua (14A01A)

We’re just a few weeks away from our CTs, but students are reportedly spending more time staring out the window than at their textbooks. It’s not just the usual procrastination at play here either; what started as a few paltry smoke particles has now progressed into a full blown haze at 371 401 PSI. While some Singaporeans have taken to social media to do what Singaporeans do best (complain), others have quietly boarded themselves up at home, waiting for this whole mess to (literally) blow over. Here at Raffles Press, we share some tips for those of you looking for ways to stay unfazed by the haze.

(Source: SGAG)
(Source: SGAG)

What To Do When The PSI Is Higher Than My PSLE Score

Option 1: Upgrade Your Wardrobe

Most ladies love a good wardrobe revamp, and what better excuse than a nationwide crisis to do a little shopping to make you a little easier on the (already red) eyes? This statement, though, might be in a grey area for even the biggest fashionistas.

(Source: Temasek Review and Fake Leticia Bongnino)
(Source: Temasek Review and Fake Leticia Bongnino)

Though normally reserved for the likes of Chernobyl and Fukushima, the gasmask is a fashionable accessory which doubles up as protection against any airborne assault. Coupled with a smoking dress and a pair of killer heels, you’d be sure to take anyone’s breath away (if they aren’t already having trouble breathing). For the more paranoid among us, this will no doubt be a useful tool in your arsenal.

Option 2: Camp out in school

Edit, 21/06: Classrooms A23 and A24, as well as the school library, will be closed next week due to the haze.

Can’t concentrate at home? The school facilities are open from around 8am till 7pm for all your mugging purposes. At the thoughtful request of the 33rd Students Council, two classrooms, A23 and A24, have been booked every weekday for students to study in.

Haze FB Screenshot

Alternatively, there’s also the school library – a large, airy and generally more quiet environment for you to study (provided you don’t owe the library any money or books). So head on down to enjoy the free air conditioning and a distraction free (or not) environment! But be sure to be dressed in proper school attire, lest you incur the wrath of our friendly discipline master.

Edit: Stamford, 21/06:

Due to the haze situation, all physical activities in school are suspended. Students are strongly advised to stay at indoors at home and not come to school unless absolutely necessary. Do check Stamford for further updates.

Option 3: Create Your Own Air Filter!

For those of you who have smoke already firmly ensconced in your room, here’s a simple home remedy to help you out (results not guaranteed). Simply wet a towel, wring out the excess water and wave it around in your room. We’ve experimented with various dances, but have consistently found the cha-cha to be the most effective for covering the largest area in the shortest amount of time. Of course you could always add in a repeating chant as you recite that long chemistry molecule (we hear reciting mathematics formulae works too), but we leave that up to you.

Option 4: Lock yourself at home

For the typical hermit Rafflesian, the haze is just another excuse for you to stay at home and study instead of going out with those pesky friends. Air-conditioned rooms, comfy beds, snacks at your disposal – what more could you ask for? Here we present our six step plan to surviving the apocalypse (no, we aren’t referring to the common tests).


Step 1: Carry your huge stack of books and lay them nicely on the table as you plan your self-induced quarantine/mugging fest.

Step 2: Attempt one Math question from the revision pack that’s been sitting on your table.

Step 3: Pause as you ponder the implications of life outside your window, and how the haze has deprived you of the bright sunny outdoors and healthy lifestyle you so normally adore.

Step 4: Think more about what the haze and wonder what your friends think. Open your window in an attempt to figure out if the haze is really only at a PSI of 126. (Edit: turns out it’s 371 401 now)

Step 5: Go on Facebook. Like all the haze-related statuses and photos.

Step 6: Oh look, it’s already past midnight. Time to go to sleep so you have enough energy to study tomorrow!

Option 5: Create your own air freshener!

Raffles Press has cooked up a unique concoction of chemicals, designed to keep your study-area haze-free. (results not 100% guaranteed)


WHAT YOU’LL NEED (adapted from various online sources)

  • An empty spray bottle
  • A mixing bowl (preferably one you’d never consume food out of ever again)
  • ¼ cup of hot water (~100-125ml)
  • ¼ teaspoon of lemon juice (fresh or bottled) or lemon essential oil
  • ¼ teaspoon of baking soda
  • 2-3 drops of essential oils (we recommend lemon, eucalyptus, or geranium)

1. Combine baking soda, lemon juice, and essential oil in a mixing bowl.
2. Add hot water; stir and dissolve.
3. Allow mixture to cool for about 15 minutes till room temperature.
4. Pour the mixture into the spray bottle, shaking well before use. Additionally, you may choose to include thinly-sliced rinds of citrus fruits, such as lemons, oranges, and limes.

Even as we wait with bated breath for Indonesia to take firm action on this issue, let us not forget that there are always those out there who have it worse than us. While we bemoan the relentless rise of the PSI rating from the comfort of our own homes, there are still many out there who toil on despite the haze.

(Source: SGAG)
(Source: SGAG)

Jokes and humour aside, do remember to take care of your own health in the tumultuous days ahead!

Disclaimer: Raffles Press would like to emphasise that we are in no way liable for any harm to one’s health, property or grades that might arise from attempting any of the above solutions.