Notice me, senpai by Alistair Soh

Theme: Valentine’s Day

Topic: Notice me, senpai….

By: Alistair

Roses are red, violets are blue,

Be my valentine, I’m waiting for you,

Blood is red, bruises are blue,

Don’t say no…

While everyone’s busy this Valentine’s with their significant others, obnoxiously rubbing in your face how wonderful it is to be in a relationship while you mope around thinking “I’ll never get a girlfriend!”, or “I’ll never find a date for Valentine’s!”, have you ever wondered whether there are people who admire you in secret? You probably do, and you should be flattered that people have an eye for your qualities. However, have you ever wondered whether things may go overboard with that one particular psychopath slash possessive serial killer? You may even be dating one, right now. These creatures may appear sweet upfront, but deep down they’re willing to do anything to have you all to themselves, and only to themselves.  

One may categorize those species of fanatics as yandere.

Yandere (ヤンデレ) is a Japanese term for a person who is initially very loving and gentle to someone (or at least innocent) before their devotion becomes destructive in nature, often through violence and/or brutality. The term is derived from the words yanderu (病んでる) meaning a mental or emotional illness, and deredere (でれでれ) meaning to show affection. Yandere characters are mentally unstable, and sometimes are incredibly deranged and are not mentally sane, often using extreme violence and/or brutality as an outlet for their emotions. Yandere are usually, but not always, female characters. A classical (and rather extreme) example of yandere is Yuno Gasai, from the manga/anime Future Diary, who is prone to kill anyone who may interfere with her obsessive passion for the series protagonist Yukiteru Amano (or just even be near him without any romantic contact).

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YunoYandereFace

Source: futurediary.wikia.com

Here are a few disturbing things that a yandere usually keeps track of his/ her… lover (*cough prey): Favourite foods, music, clothes, hygiene products of choice, etc. It gets deeper with their goals and dreams. A few other examples include what he or she typically wears (bonus points for commandeering articles of said clothing), what video games he/ she plays (and if online, which server they use), the lover’s  contact list, family background, fears, weaknesses and so on. Ideally, the yandere would want to know EVERYTHING to the finest detail, but he or she has to start somewhere! They will ensure their significant others’ life revolves solely around theirs, and/or vice versa.

As mentioned, these species of fanatics are not easy to spot as their inner demonic nature is masqueraded by a face of innocence, or they are well blended with the regular folk. If you’re still unsure how to discern a yandere, here are a few hints that she or he (but commonly she) is one (A heads before you start judging people who approach you, this list may not apply to everyone!):

  1. They are 100% cute and/or attractive.
  2. At a first glance, they looks harmless
  3. They are completely devoted to your love.
  4. They make sure you get to school or work on time.
  5. They always make you a balanced meal, full with their love.
  6. They are suspicious of the people around you, and that includes your parents!
  7. They have the cute hobby of collecting knives.
  8. They are excellent cleaners (to clean up the blood they’ve spilled!).
  9. People think they are a little crazy.
  10. They will protect your from anyone and/or anything.
  11. They do not take rejection well.
  12. Their reactions can be extreme.
  13. They hate being alone (particularly away from you)
  14. They will never admit to being controlling.
  15. They sometimes want to kill their ‘beloved darling’, but they eventually revert back to being lovey-dovey.
  16. They might attack anyone that gets too close to you.
  17. They have their characteristic blank eyes, creepy laugh and lack of empathy.
  18. They are very vindictive.
  19. They don’t do rivals or love triangles.
  20. At the end of the day, their love is to die for. Literally.

 

A heads up before you start judging people who approach you, this list may not apply to everyone.

So, with Valentine’s Day around the corner, and you do manage to get chocolates from an anonymous admirer or your lover, don’t need to go dumping them in the trash and blatantly accusing them as crazy! They probably mean well… I mean, unless they start keeping collections of your hair in a jar, or have some sort of shrine in which they worship every day.

Maybe then you can consider calling the police. Hey, I’m just saying!

Chinese New Year Festival

On the 3rd of February, Chinese Independent School Alumni (CISA) organized a Chinese New Year Festival the celebrate the Year of the Monkey. The theme of the event, as it was associated with monkey and the Chinese tradition, was ‘Journey to the West’. It’s the 1st event at the open area of Sunway to have events and a night market all the way till 9pm at night! It was a platform for Sunway students to perform and it could be seen through their performance routine whereby most performers are Sunway students.

Three members of the board of directors, Dr. Elizabeth Lee, Dr. Lee Weng Keng and Professor Graeme George Wilkinson where there for the opening ceremony and they also took part in calligraphy writing, whereby they wrote 人杰地灵、威风八面 and 双喜临门. These quotes, in their respective order, represents to glory derived from a person, an awe-inspiring reputation and good things coming in pairs.

On that day, there were wishing areas, and stalls selling food and drinks and even a place for students to learn Chinese calligraphy as well. One of the events that drew a lot of attention from people around was the spicy food challenge, which according to Chloe Kwok, had three stages. The first stage would have 10 people, 6 at stage two, and 3 at the last stage, before a winner emerges. The dish served at stage one was popiah with chili in it, while the second stage featured rice balls with cili padi. The 3rd stage one however, was a plate of spicy noodles, so said ‘homemade’ with secret recipe.

Most contestants, when asked about their reasons for joining the Spicy Food Challenge, said that they were either there to support their friends, just to have fun and also, of course, have their eyes on the prize. The first person to finish their food has to raise their hand and then shout their own name.

Contestant number one, Billy, was the first to finish in stage 1. The emcees teased him, asking whether his girlfriend or the food was hotter – in Chinese, ‘hot’ can mean spicy or, well, hot – in regards of a person. He said, to everyone’s applause, his girlfriend was still hotter. The majority of contestants in stage one rated 5 on level of spiciness from a scale of 1 to 10.

At stage 2, contestant 1, 5 and 9 were asked about their rating of the food’s spiciness again and this time, we even had one contestant who cried because the food was too spicy to handle! This time, the rating was 6 from contestant 1, and 5 said that he did not feel anything; apparently the food was still child’s play for him!

At stage 3, contestant number 9 quit, and his place was replaced by Roy who couldn’t even handle spicy food but was pushed by the rest of his committee members! Contestant number 1, Billy, ended up being the champion of the spicy food challenge, and we asked him for his comments on the whole festival afters. This time, when prompted about which is hotter, he said that both are equally hot!

Billy rated the food a 9 on the spiciness levels, and said that he had tried spicier food that the ones provided in this challenge before. He thought that it was a good event overall, and it provided a chance for most people to learn more about the Chinese tradition and languages.

Attached below are photos taken by our photographer Nicole Chin.

How Single People Spend Valentines Day by June Ong

 Hello dear human, does the date 14th of February signify anything to you? It’s Valen…sshhh….hush now, (waggles finger under your nose), noooo…..this is just an ordinary day, just like any other boring mundane lonely depressedDAYS!!!

 Shoot, I just blew my cover, didn’t I? Fine you win, I’ll say it (admittedly quite grudgingly):

“I’m single, just like I have been the last 19 years and yes this will be another stupid Valentine’s Day that I’ll be spending alone.”

 Oh well, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger right? Yeap, I am channeling my loveless yet still amazingly awesome single life (forget what I said earlier about being mundane etc.) to a self-help guide called “How Do Single People Spend Valentine’s Day”.

 Yes I know I sound like some grudging old lady eating sour grapes and yes I agree with you that I can just ignore this momentous day and live my life as usual but hey, what better day other than Valentine’s Day to show you how single people can still rock their awesome life even without a significant better half?

 Step 1: Treat yourself

 Can’t afford to splurge a fancy solo dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant? No worries. Here is a box of chocolates and yes, you can finish that whole guilty sinful box of delights. Of course you can, you don’t have a “better half” that will call you fat or forced to share the box with, remember? No chocolates, fret not, it’s still Chinese New Year, gobble down all those CNY cookies. Go ahead, no one’s judging. Valentine’s Day for single people is a free “I-don’t-care-about-calories” day.

Step 2: Netflix and chill

 Woah people, no dirty ideas please. All I am saying is that being single means you don’t have to share, that 36-inches plasma TV is all yours to enjoy and soak in the life of being a single couch potato. Don’t be sorry for yourself, you don’t have to force yourself to watch tear-jerking cheesy Hollywood romcoms that’s just constantly reminding you that you do not have anyone special. Who cares? Personally, I do a horror movie marathon every year during Valentine’s Day and trust me, watching a Texas chainsaw massacre makes you feel grateful that you’re alive and well, whoever needed a partner anyway?

Step 3: Scorn all you want

 Notice I said scorn, not scones, like what the British love having for tea. Yup, scorn all the way however and wherever you want. Sneer at the thought of cliché romantic gestures, turn away in disgust at fancy romantic dinners offered by restaurants, wince at overpriced roses, yes single people, this is the one day in the calendar where you can do all these sour-grape actions and people would not look down upon you because they understand your pain. Although the truth is, under this tough emotionless shell we  single people have been so good at building, underneath it all we are fragile beings who just want someone to love us and hold us when the days get dark.

 One day, we will all be loved and we will find our soul mate, one way or another. In the meantime, those who are already in a relationship, I wish you all the best;  those who are flying solo, your time will come. Cheers and Happy Valentine’s! #All the single people put your hands up     

Why we LOVE? By Clinton Wee

For centuries human beings have been obsessed with finding their better other half.  Even now, the only real reason anyone goes to the gym is to maximize their chances of attracting a potential mate. Billions of dollars are spent on makeup, skincare products and magazines which outline effective dating tips. All this emphasis on how to love has blinded us to a more intriguing question-WHY do we love? Science and psychology seem to have no clue, but over the years Philosophy has had some interesting ideas.

 

“Love makes us whole again” was Plato’s theory. He claimed that once upon a time human beings consisted of two separate humans glued together, with two heads, 4 arms ,4 legs and so on. One day the humans angered the Gods, and Zeus punished them by splitting them into two, leaving them to suffer the agony of being incomplete until they are lucky enough to find their significant other.

 

Later on in the 18th century, Schopenhauer reasoned that love was a biological trick to lure us into having babies. Any species that wants to compete in the evolutionary tree has excel in reproduction. Therefore, it is not a coincidence, that humans, being the most successful species on Earth are also the only species that gain pleasure from sex (other than dolphins).

 

According to the Nobel Prize winning British philosopher, Bertrand Russel, love is an escape from our loneliness. It is the only thing that can quench our physical and psychological desires. He put forth the idea that humans are intimidated by the cold cruel world and hide in their protective shells to isolate themselves. However, love’s warmth and intimacy help us overcome this fear and allows us to escape our shells to live life to its fullest.

 

Some theories are not as pragmatic as the ones above. Siddartha Gautama who later became known as Buddha, believed that love is a misleading affliction. He proposed that the reason we love is to fulfill our base desires, and like all desires, it only leads to more suffering. Buddha’s teaching states that all attachments of this world are detrimental and need to be disposed of in order to reach nirvana, an enlightened state of clarity, wisdom and compassion.

 

Bear in mind all these are just theories, and there is not yet a definite answer. Maybe all of them are wrong, maybe all are correct.  For now we can’t say. We can however provide you with more questions to ponder about. Does love actually make our lives more meaningful? Can we love only one person? Is love all we need? Do we even need it at all? And why do we put ourselves through love’s crazy emotional rollercoaster if there is no clear benefit to us?

 

Surviving Cancer–Featuring Jennifer by Christopher Liew

As we are living in the 20th century, cancer stands out  at the rate of 20% of the total death toll worldwide. At a staggering 57% of cancer cases, and 65% of cancer deaths worldwide, approximate of 5.3 million deaths by cancer a year. Through Facebook, we came across a brave cancer survivor , Jennifer Teh Yin Li , age 28, a survivor of a 3rd stage germ cell tumor/ Yolk sac tumor. Diagnosed with a 3rd stage ovarian cancer (a tumor weighing about 4.5kg to 4.8kg), it requires a lot of positive energy and bravery to face the truth. With this, we have interviewed Jennifer about it.

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From left to right, after chemo, during chemo, chemo ended

Question 1:

How do you feel when you first found out that you’re diagnosed with Ovarian cancer?

Jennifer:

To be honest, when I know about the growth in my ovary from my doctor, my tears immediately rolled down my face. My first thought was ‘ I won’t be able to have kids anymore’. That dream was shattered because the doctor said that my ovary will be removed. And when the lab test report showed that the cyst is cancerous, my dream shattered again when I think of the days of my life will be ending sooner. I won’t be able to get married, have kids, take care of my parents~ What’s worst is that my parents are old already. How can parents send their kids “off”, you know? A funeral for children! That thought was so devastating that I started crying in my room thinking about it.

 

Question 2:

How do you accept the fact that you’re diagnosed with ovarian cancer?

Jennifer:

My family is clean of malign illnesses. No connection with the BIG C! Therefore, it’s very hard for me to accept this diagnosis at an early stage which delayed my doctor consultation and check ups in the hospital until it got bigger and worse. It was on the night of Christmas eve, I experienced this lower abdominal pain on my lower abdomen.. So painful that I couldn’t talk or walk.. I just kept on perspiring… It was then that I got admitted to the hospital and went for an ultra scan and X-ray. (for your info I was working in Singapore at that time).

 

Question 3:

What or who influenced/motivate you to continue to fight on hard and strong?

Jennifer:

I told my boyfriend about it and he shared that it wasn’t right to even to think this way. He wants me to promise that I will fight this battle. How can I give up when everyone around me hasn’t even given up their hope? The battle has just started.

So, I went to google all the inspirational stories about cancer survivors and how they managed to overcome all the obstacles and won the big C war! I “absorbed” all these positive juice from them! I wanna get cured. I wanna fight for my survival not only for myself, but for my mom and my dad and for my love ones. I always believed that things happened for a reason and I know, I should continue to believe this during this down time! God only gives what you can handle. If he puts you through this shit, he’ll help you get over it ! What really kept me going was the support from my family and friends! My mom cooked and brought me hot food every morning! That already made me felt as if I was in heaven! Hahaha! And what make me look forward to my recovery. Other than that, I looked through my old photos. I used to join marathons, participate in charity events, volunteering job, travel around and diving in the free ocean… I want to be this fun again! I want to have this meaningful life again! So, I need to make sure I recover!! I just can’t wait!

 

Question 4:

How do you feel when you’re undergoing chemotherapy?

Jennifer:

It’s a total nightmare to stay in the hospital for 10 days. With tubes and IV drip attached, it’s hard for me to move around. Especially from day 3 onwards, my body will feel very weak and sometimes, I can’t stand straight.  I’d feel dizzy so i’m glad my mom was there to assist me in moving around.. Feeding me and also to shower me.  I felt quite helpless at that time. If it wasn’t for my mom, I’m not sure whether I’ll be able to go through this.

The side effects would be enduring the tingling and numbness in my fingers and feet, metal taste / weird tastebud, tinnitus, sprained wrist feeling, lethargic, hair loss (anywhere that has hair growth! Which includes of my eyebrow and eyelashes!), nausea,… I don’t remember much now… it’s been a while…

 

Question 5:

After winning the fight with cancer, what do you think about cancer?

Jennifer:

Cancer is like a new definition of a second chance in life. At least it came knocking not too early, not too late and it is present with  solutions. It gave life a new definition and made you start over.

When life gives you something that makes you feel afraid, that’s when life gives you a chance to be BRAVE!

Your largest fear carries your GREATEST GROWTH!

It will always seem impossible until it is done!

You have to fight through some bad days to earn the best days of your  life! Feel like one and think like one, it’ll help you to understand better.

Shout out to the public?

Despite all the struggles, even I, myself find it hard to believe how I actually managed to make it through! But my advice is, do try your best and have faith. People said problems that can be solved using money is not a problem at all! I do agree with that! if you compare that with a sudden misfortune like an accident in which you don’t have a choice or second chance, will that make you feel any better when you’re dealing with the current stress in hand? YES,IT WILL. Just be happy and take one step at a time and breathe ~ There’re so many beautiful reasons to be happy!

Valentine’s Day Without You By Elycia Lee

 

Valentine’s Day was never the same for Brandon, since the year 2012 when he lost his best friend, his lover, his life. They say good things need to go, so that better things can come your way. But what if you’ve lost the best?

A hundred days have made me older

since the last time that I saw your pretty face

Ashley was her name. She was a mute, but Brandon loved her, still loves her, and Ashley loved him too. She may have been unable to confess her feelings out loud, but when she reaches out to interlock their fingers, or when she leans up to kiss him on the cheek, Brandon thinks he can hear her screaming “I LOVE YOU” out loud.

Letting her express her love in her own way makes Valentine’s unique for Brandon. Ashley loved painting, and she translates her words into vibrant colours over blank canvases. Every year during Valentine’s she would paint a portrait of Brandon in various hues.  

A thousand lies have made me colder

And I don’t think I can look at this the same

Each painting would be filled with writings on the back – regarding the things Brandon has done for her in the past year and how much she appreciates him. Brandon still keeps all the paintings, and rereads them for the past four years; it’s his way of lying to himself that she’s somehow still here, her soul residing in the paintings.

But all the miles that separate

Disappear now when I’m dreaming of your face

Now she’s nowhere near him. Out of sight, but not out of mind. As she succumbed to a fatal disease and returned to where she belongs, (“Angels belong in heaven,” said Brandon.) she left a vacancy in Brandon’s heart, and he feels so, so empty. But at night, when he meets her in his dreams and she gives him that same old smile, he feels like he’s seen a glimpse of heaven, and his heart feels whole again.

The miles just keep rollin’

As the people leave their way to say hello

Tragically, Ashley passed away on Valentine’s Day, and that is why Brandon can never see Valentine’s Day the same way as he did before – happy and warm. Now all he feels is sadness as he mourns with a bouquet of red roses in his arms, kneeling at Ashley’s tombstone. Tiny daisies bloom around the block of granite, and Brandon wonders if Ashley is painting with flowers this time.

I’ve heard this life is overrated

But I hope that it gets better as we go

If Ashley was the best thing that ever happened to Brandon, then it would be impossible to have

something better.

No one else could love Brandon the same way Ashley did.

Even if they tried, it wouldn’t change the fact that Valentine’s Day for Brandon is a day of losing a loved one.

But you’re still with me in my dreams

And tonight girl, it’s only you and me

So Brandon goes to sleep and dreams of Ashley, waiting for the day when he can see her again.

Lyrics from Here Without You by Three Doors Down.

Real or Not Real by Tiffany Hoo

Contrary to popular belief, love at first sight doesn’t exist. Infatuation perhaps, but certainly not love. This statement may not settle well with most of you, but hear me out on what I have to say. Mainstream media has convinced us to believe that love is instinctive, or better phrased as, a ‘gut feeling’ you have when you set your sight on ‘the one’. It is this feeling that eventually drives us to pursue that person because you ‘know’ that this person will be your significant other. However a problem arises when this sense of ‘knowing’ diminishes and fades away with the passage time. You begin to perceive your relationship in a different light and conclude to yourself that this is a sign that you made a mistake in choosing your partner and eventually walk away from your relationship.

Love in reality, is so much more than a mere emotion. Love is action. It is a test of tolerance, of being able to withstand the hardships that life decides to throw at you in order to break apart your relationship.

Love is about being committed to one another. Commitment doesn’t entail having to constantly be by each other’s side at all times. It means prioritising your partner and cherishing the bonds you both share, even if you aren’t able to see each other every day. It’s about looking past each other’s weaknesses and embracing both your partner’s strengths and shortcomings. I’m sure we can all appreciate the fact that no one is perfect, we are humans after all. Often times, it is these weaknesses and shortcomings we possess that give rise to conflicts which threaten the very foundation of a relationship.  If such a situation arises and a confrontation ensues, examine your own self and discuss with your partner of the matter which is upsetting the both of you. This shows that you are committed to your relationship enough to set aside your differences and solve the issues at hand for the sake of your beloved.

Moreover, love is also about being willing to make sacrifices, just to see a smile across your better half’s face. You have to be willing to invest your time and energy in order to maintain your relationship, without hoping for anything in return. After all, actions speak louder than words. It doesn’t mean having to devote all your time and energy to your partner. There is no doubt that there will be various commitments that need to be attended to apart from your partner. However, in a relationship, it is a must to go the extra mile to make sure your partner feels loved and cared for. Neglect could be the worst emotion experienced, especially during a relationship and that could very well destroy the trust your partner has in you.

In conclusion, love is better understood through experience, rather than being defined. I dare not say that love doesn’t exist because it truly does. Love involves heart, soul and mind which makes it all the more magical of a phenomenon. Essentially, to understand whether the love you have for a person is real or not, it all depends on you. So, is it Real or Not Real?

Valentine’s Around the World by Merissa Tan

How Do You Say “I Love You” Around the World?

February, the month when love is all around in the air! With Valentine’s Day coming in full force, February is when those in love show their appreciation for their partners. Everyone knows that the norm for this occasion is to give gifts to your crush/boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse, but do you know that the celebration of love actually varies around the world? In this article, we will explore how people worldwide declare their love!

Finland : Minä rakastan sinua

 

Ystävänpäivä is the Finnish name for St. Valentine’s day. It means “Friendship Day” in the Finnish Language, or “Day of the friends”. The 14th of February is not reserved for lovers and heart-shaped things in Finland, but rather a day where you do a “public declaration of friendship” of sorts. What you do is to give cards and small gifts to your friends, small things for everyone you care about, just to remind them of how much you value your friendship! The official flower for this occasion is a pink rose.

Japan : 愛してるよ(ai shite ru yo)

In Japan, Valentine’s Day is celebrated on two different dates, February 14 and March 14. On the first date, the female gives a gift to the male. Japanese females believe that store bought confectionery are not a sign of true love, so they tend to hand make their gifts. However, on the second date, the male has to return the gift he received on February 14. So technically, a Japanese female has the luxury of actually choosing her own gift. Lucky girls!

China : 我爱你 (wo ai ni)

For the Chinese, Valentine’s Day is celebrated on the 7th day in the 7th month of the lunar calendar. On the Chinese Valentine’s Day, people in love like to go to the temple of Matchmaker and pray for their love and possible marriage. Single people often go to the same temple to pray for luck in love. The day is also called The Double Seventh with a legend surrounding it, where a cowherd and a weaving maiden, a pair of lovers who were separated by divinity are allowed to reunite for a day and a night on this day.

Before I finish this article, I’d like to wish those with partners out there a wonderful Valentine’s Day with your loved one, and to those single ones like myself, the right one might just be around the corner! So put on a smile, you never know who’s falling in love with it 😉