My Favourite Place

My favourite place is my house. It is a three-storey terrace house and has a gym, a function room, a swimming pool and an indoor Pool table that anyone in the neighbourhood can use. But, anyone who wants to use the function room and the Pool table would have to book them.

I have been living in this house since I was about 4 years old. I like my house because it is still very spacious even after both my brother’s and my books are placed in the house. We also have a built-in fish pond and a basement to keep all English and Chinese storybooks and magazines.

There is a nice view of the forest from both my brother's and my parent's bedrooms but there is therefore quite a lot of mosquitoes "visiting" my house sometimes.

I feel that my house is where the family eats, shares about things that has happened during school and work, plays and does work together as a family.

Amazing Trail EPISODE 2

During the day, we visited 14 places altogether and did many different tasks. For example, we went to the National Museum to find a sculpture. The clue was “We have a Big –sized brother who sits behind a museum. 7 of us there will be, clustered in an area. Guess what we are!”

The answer was a big red apple. The task we had to do was to find as many people in 3 minutes as possible to take a group photo at the red apple.

We rushed to the carpark and asked a few people there. Some of them did not want to take photos and others were taking their own time. We managed to get only three people in two minutes, but luckily, one adult spotted a family some of us rushed to ask them. Meanwhile, my friends and I continued to ask a few more people to come. To our delight, they agreed and they asked their friends to come along too.

In the end, we managed to find 12 people!

At this location, we were given a choice to take up an optional task. But, if we could not complete the task, we would minus 50 points. My group leader decided to take the task. We excitedly tore open the envelope and unfolded a small piece of paper. It read, “Find 5 members of the public who are willing to perform a duck-walk for 10 metres with your entire group. A picture of this must be taken.”

We started to walk around, trying to find some people. Just at this time, we saw a group of about 8 secondary school students walking on the pavement. We approach them and asked them if they could help us to perform the task. At first, only four of them agreed to help us, but after much persuasion, another boy agreed.

My group was the first to reach back in school. We handed up our assignment book to the judges at the Koi Pond for them to see. A few more groups arrived and they too handed up their books. We were then led into the Kidz Zone to relax our tired legs. When all the groups had arrived, we were then brought to the AVA room, where we collected some things from the teacher-in-charge.

After a delicious dinner, it was finally the prize–giving ceremony. We listened eagerly for our group name (G); the first-runner-up and second-runner-up were called but it was not us. I thought, “My group surely would not win again this year,” The teacher called out, “Is it A, B, C, D, E, or F? No, it is G! We ran up the stage to receive our award. I never thought that we would win! I had finally won a gold trophy!

The Amazing Sculptures Trail

I participated in the annual Scout event called “The Amazing Sculptures Trail” on the 23rd of May. The aim of this event was to try to go to as many locations with sculptures as possible. For each checkpoint that we went to, we were given a certain amount of points.

My group consisted of 10 scouts and 9 adults, and we were supposed to decode some clues written on a piece of paper. Two facilitators followed my group and they were the ones to give us our points.

Clue for location 4: “The 7 of us guard the stairwell by the park. People are confused because we seem to be guarding a tunnel expressway as well.”

At first, we thought that it was referring to Istana Park, but when we went there, we could not find any sculptures nearby. Some people guessed that the ‘7 sculptures’ was referring to the 7 tall palm trees, but others disagreed because the trees were not blocking the staircase.

One of the parents just remembered that there was another tunnel expressway near “Park Mall”, which was across the road. Could the park refer to "Park Mall" instead of "Istana Park"? We rushed there and saw 7 stone dragon heads around a semicircle. They had water sprouts in their mouths, but no water was coming out. We had succeeded in finding the location!

“Wow! This is so cool!” Dylan exclaimed aloud as he pointed at the dragons. We looked around carefully for a staircase nearby. Another friend spotted a staircase leading up. Our facilitator briefed us on tasks to be completed-firstly, every one of us was to pose as a dragon and have a group photo taken. Secondly, we were to count the number of steps there was on the staircase.

Very quickly, we accomplished our first task and started up the stairs. Each of us counted the steps as we walked up. 54? 55? 56? 57? ....... Oh no! We could not even count! Jinh Wanh went back down and counted one more time. Confident of his answer, he shouted “57!” MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

Gaming Addiction

I am sure that many of us play computer games quite often, usually during weekends, school holidays, public holidays, and sometimes during weekdays (school days). But, have you ever heard of people playing computer games until they DIE? Many of us haven’t, so I will state three examples below:

Shawn Woolley was an avid gamer of the computer game “Everquest”, a game that was created by Sony. After playing for quite some time, he became hooked onto it. His mother started to realise that Shawn was becoming anti-social, withdrawn and depressed, and was totally different from the Shawn that she knew the previous year- the Shawn that had finally found a new job and bought his own apartment. But, after a few months after he was hooked onto ‘Everquest”, he quit his job in order to play continuously in his apartment with no one able to interrupt him from his virtual world. He was subsequently diagnosed with depression and schizoid personality disorder.

Then, on Thanksgiving Day in 2001, when his mother went to his house to visit him, she found the door locked. After a long time of ringing the doorbell, she knew something had gone wrong. She knocked down the door and was horrified to find that Shawn was sprawled on the computer table, with the computer showing the game going on. Blood stained the table and Shawn’s mother was shocked to find out that he had shot himself in the head! She knew that the reason of her son’s death was most likely over a virtual incident in the game.

Here’s is the second incident:

On the 3rd of august 2005, a South Korean man called Lee Seung Seop entered a cybercafé, where he played a computer game called “Starcraft” continuously for FIFTY HOURS! He also had been fired from his job after frequently skipping work just to play computer games.
And here is the last incident:

Ben Stein, a speechwriter turned comedian, has firsthand experiences with video gaming addiction. He says that video gaming almost destroyed his 15-year-old son, Timothy. Even Timothy agrees with his father.

Ben Stein said that his son stayed up late regularly just to play computer games. “It was as if there was a demon inside him,” he recalls.

Desperate, the Steins did the only possible method left- to send Timothy to a boarding school, where video gaming was strictly prohibited. Luckily, that strategy worked.

Scared already? Anyway, here are some facts about video gaming.

It has been demonstrated that game addiction has similar symptoms to that of gambling addiction, such as shaking and insomnia, which have been identified in people addicted to video gaming. But, the psychological symptoms of video gaming are the same as the symptoms of drug addiction.

If you are addicted to computer games or feel that you would soon be addicted, try to stop immediately. This is not impossible- if Timothy can stop, so can you! Surely you do not want to die of playing too much computer games, right?

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Hi guys, I'm a student in Singapore, and this are some thoughts and essays I have written over the years.