The Dark Shadow Shrine

If u think u need extra coaching in General Paper/English/Literature at the 'O'/'A'/International Baccalaureate level, the gates of my shrine are always open.....Drop me a note at or wadsapp me at 91384570 for more Singapore only hor.... :-)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Suggested Structures for achieving Balance in Essays

For my regular Fri afternoon class, attached is the macro-structure handout for achieving balance in ur essays.

Click HERE for the sample essay outlines that go with the five models shown.

Patriotism/ National Identity

'Love of one's country is as much a good thing as a bad thing.' What is your view?

For those who did this qn, here are two articles which u can relate to the qn.

1) Self-immolation of Tibetan monks to pressure China to grant independence to Tibet

This eg can swing two ways, depending on whether u argue the Tibetans' country is China or Tibet. If u regard the Tibetans' country as China, then u can argue that love of one's country is good 'cos if they love their own country China, they won't have resorted to such drastic acts that create problems for the Chinese govt. not to mention tarnishing the reputation of the govt as tyrants, and inciting socio-political instability. This explains why govts throughout the world like to promote patriotism or a strong national identity in order to attain peace and stability. This is premised on the idea that if u love ur country, u will NOT do anything that will jeopardise it.

But it can become a bad thing is u love ur country TOO MUCH that u will do ANYTHING for it. Take a switch now by regarding the Tibetans' rightful country as Tibet and not China. U will then argue that the love of one's country, in this case Tibet, is bad as it causes the people to resort to drastic actions that harm not only themselves, but also others. The self-immolation acts are targeted to give China a bad name on the international stage in order to pressure China to grant independence to Tibet. Such separatist movements usually resort to harmful actions in the name of accounts for the terrorist attacks on UK by the IRA (Irish Republican Army) to gain independence of Northern Ireland from UK. The terrorist attacks by JI and Al-Qaeda can be seen as acts of patriotism in a sense too. What about the Japanese soldiers' atrocities during WWII?

2) DBS's attempt to gain greater control over Indonesia's Danamon bank met with protests in Indonesia

Patriotism can come in here as a negative thing if u argue that by being too protective of their own country's businesses, it will discourage growth and hurt the economy 'cos u r spurning foreign investors. This can create a hostile climate for foreign investments.
Turn it around and it can be a good thing as patriotism will ensure that the benefits of the country's economy are safeguarded and enjoyed by the people of the country instead of being siphoned out of the country to foreign investors.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Eat With Your Family Day

Sun morning J2 class, this is a pic of the campaign we talked about:
A campaign in Singapore to encourage family dinner, in the recognition that food is crucial to promoting family bonding (2010 Compre on Food). As the adage goes, 'the family that eats together, stays together'.

Click HERE to read more info on this campaign. I recall this campaign starting as early as 2003/4 when I was still in govt school. I could have sworn it was then called the grammatically dubious Eat 'Dinner' with your Family Day.

Articles on Heroes....

For those who have done the HCI compre on heroes, you may want to read up these two interesting articles on the same topic that came up in today's Suinday Times:
Article 1:

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Pros-Cons Core notes on Nuclear with outline

Click on the links below for core notes on nuclear:

1) Table of Pros and Cons of Nuclear

2) Essay outline of Nuclear (Skills Consolidation)

Anything a Woman can do, a Guy can too!

Those who did the Hanna Rosni Compre on gender recently...pls read this article. It contradicts one of her views that women are taking on men's jobs today, but the same is not so for men, as men 'shied away' from jobs that are associated with women's territory. Try to sift out the WHYs from the article of man invading the job domain of women.....

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Uniting Power of SPORT

Yet another example of how sport can help promote peace through bonding and uniting people plagued by differences.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wed/Thur Evening Class Mid-Test P2 Feedback

Attached are the passage and answer key to the compre, and an accompanying article by the same writer of the compre passage....She said something interesting in the article about how the gender war will have two winners (or no winners, depending on how you see it) instead of one winner.....

Wed/Thur Evening Class Mid-Test P1 Feedback

This is an essay outline similar to the one you did: 'The government, not the people, should be responsible for protecting the environment' Do you agree?. Note the need to go into other parties like MNCs and NGOs, and how the comparison can be carried out in the sample essay below:

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Lady Gaga's "Telephone" music video

Wed/Thur evening class, in ur recent compre test passage, there is mention of Lady Gaga's controversial music video on "Telephone". Click HERE to access and see whether you agree it vilifies the female gender.

The Paradox of Our Times

This poem came to mind when I was marking the qn: "As the world progresses, the quality of life decilnes." Give it a read and reflect.....

Is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers.
Wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints
We spend more, but we have less.
We have bigger houses, but smaller families
More conveniences, but less time.
We have more degrees, but less sense
More knowledge, but less judgement
More experts, but more problems
More medicines, but less wellness.
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.
We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often
We have learnt how to make a living, but not a life.
We have added years to life, but not life to years.
We’ve been all the way to the moon and back
But have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbour.
We have conquered outer space, but not inner space.
We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted our soul.
We’ve split the atom, but not our prejudice.
We’ve higher incomes, but lower morals.
We’ve become long on quantity but short on quality.
These are the times of tall men, and short character;
Steep profits, and shallow relationships.
These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare,
More leisure, but less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition.
These are the days of two incomes, but more divorces;
Of fancier houses, but broken homes.
It is a time when there is much in the show window, and nothing in the stockroom.
A time when technology can bring this letter to you,
And a time when you can choose,
Either to make a difference
…. or just hit, delete.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Stuff on Crafting Introduction Para....

Sat morning class, below are the links for crafting intro:



Friday, May 18, 2012

Correction on Beijing Olympic Budget

In the handout on "Tips on Crafting an Intro", the second example reflects the statistic that China spent US$20 billion on the 2008 Olympic Games. This example was lifted from the "Broader Perspective" bulletin. I have since found the statistic to be inaccurate. The actual sum should be around US$40billion or so. Nonetheless, this still makes the Beijing Olympic Games the most expensive ever staged! For a comparison, the budget for the upcoming London Olympics is about US$17billion.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Biofuels (Jatropha) as alternative to Fossil Fuels

For those who did the question on nuclear being a promising alternative to fossil fuels, one of the arguments is that there are other alternatives besides nuclear. Few mention biofuels as one such alternative. Biofuels are from plants, usually food crops like soya bean, palm oil, sugar cane, corn, etc. But as mentioned in this article, jatropha is a special kind of biofuel in that it is not meant for food (hence will not drive up food prices when demand for its oil competes with the demand for it as food). It can also be grown on poor soil, hence will not compete for land meant for growing food crops. These are two major rebuttals for what are often major criticisms of biofuels as a substitute for fossil fuels. And of course, like all fossil fuels, jatropha is environmentally friendly in that it emits little CO2. As mentioned in the article, it has already been tested in vehicles and planes to replace petrol.
1) 'Nuclear energy is the most promising alternative to fossil fuels.' Do you agree?
2) Does technology offer the best solutions to mankind's problems?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Essay answer key for qns with absolute terms

 Here are the answer key for the three essay qns containing absolute terms:

1) 'Nuclear energy is the most promising alternative to fossil fuels.' Do you agree?

 2) 'A celebrity's life is nothing to be envied.' Do you agree?

3) 'Man's concern for the environment is purely selfish.' Discuss.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Social Responsibility

More stuff on social responsibility (recognize that this term covers concern for the environment as well since social well-being is tied to environmental well-being).
Qns to ponder:
1) 'Environmental concerns and economic growth cannot co-exist.' Do you agree? (AJC CT 2012)
2) Should profit be the only thrust driving business? (VJC CT1 2012)
3) Is there still a place for charity in today's world? (Cambridge 2005)
4) To what extent should businesses be socially responsible? (SAJC Prelim 2011)
5) 'Man's concern for the environment is purely selfish.' Discuss. (TJC Prelim 2009)

Friday, May 11, 2012

More on GAGA -- and Clooney

Article 1:
Here's more on Lady what her supporters (the 'little monsters') and her detractors have to say about her. Do note she can be a positive example of celebrity influence, not just a negative one. And look at her outfit here -- that enormous hat, and those killer heels! The Lady's a walking satellite dish -- on stilts!!!!

Article 2:
George Clooney came up during a discussion in a class a few weeks back. When giving an example, remember not to just 'name-drop'. Some brief background of the example needs to be given. The examiner's report I showed u the other day says likewise. So here's some stuff on Clooney, and the issue of celebrity influence in politics.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Stuff on how to AGREE with Absolute Terms

Click HERE to access the sample essay outline on "All forms of gambling are undesirable". Below are two more associated handouts: