People like to espouse the virtue of persevering through hardship. “Nothing is impossible if you just believe.” “If there is a will, there is a way.” Repeat five hundred times while carrying out any difficult task.
But every one of those aphorisms must have deserted me at an inopportune moment, because after much deliberation, I have concluded that writing this op-ed is, indeed, impossible.
I can’t recall how many times these words have played in my mind. I had previously heard of Project Work (PW) “horror stories” from seniors, but always thought to myself, “How hard can completing work for a H1 subject with the help of group mates really be?” How asinine I was to harbour such beliefs.
Student life is best summed up in three factors – work, leisure and sleep. By adjusting these variables, we try to elevate our overall well-being and enjoyment. Certainly, we have noticed variation among the cohorts of students – the imbalance of work, leisure and sleep is a trend, with some working excessively hard and being prone to poor sleep schedules while others slack too much.
By Mr Patrick Wong
GP teacher/Raffles Press teacher-mentor
I have been studying for some months now, taking a part-time course three evenings a week. In one of my modules, we covered the concept of empathy: the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Or, in a familiar metaphor, to stand in someone else’s shoes.
More aptly, it’s been like sitting in someone else’s chair – the student’s, to be precise. And the experience has deepened my appreciation of what my students may be going through. It has certainly allowed me to understand better why they behave the way they do (sometimes infuriatingly) and made me think about what I expect or ask of them.
Maybe it’s crass capitalism, maybe it’s a testament to our ambition. Could it just be human nature? As Rafflesians, teenagers, Singaporeans, we are grossly obsessed with the work that we do. We attend laborious lectures and defy terrifying tutorials. The grind leaks into the afternoon. The clock strikes five, time for CCA. Ten, back to it on the study desk. Twelve, nights in. Lights out.