Thursday, September 20, 2012

WrITers, IgnITe! Top 3 Essays

Ho Jun Yong Nicholas
Woodgrove Primary School

1st Place

I sat nervously in my seat, squirming about as beads of perspiration formed on my neck. My fingers were jittery as I was fiddling around with my green pencil case. Audible footsteps could be heard and Mr Lee, my austere form teacher, emerged into the classroom, using all his might as he carried a stack of heavy papers in his hand. “Class, I am giving out your English papers,” he barked. Oh dear. English was my worst subject, and I did not study for the examination. I had been scoring straight ‘C’s for the semester, and if I scored terribly again, I would be in hot soup with my cantankerous mother.

“Peter,” my fierce teacher called. My heart started palpitating wildly as I thought, “Oh no, he’s staring at me sternly. What if I did terrible?” However, once I approached the teacher, he broke into a wide smile and announced that I had scored 92 marks, the highest in class. I was sceptical at first, but once I too a glance at my paper, I let out an enthusiastic “Yahoo” while jumping up and down maniacally, forgetting my dignity. At last no more scolding, no more lecturing, no more caning! “Ring!” the school bell went and I stuffed all my belongings in my haversack and dashed out the door at breakneck speed.

 When I related the good news to my mother, she patted me on the back and whispered, “Good for you, son!” As a reward, I was allowed to use the computer for as long as I wished. “Hmm, what’s there to do?” I muttered. Out of the blue, a suggestion struck out of my brain like a lightning bolt – a chat room! Of course, why didn’t I think of that? I immediately turned on the computer and clicked on the icon for the Internet. As I could not contain my excitement any longer, I kept making a mistake typing the web address. After a few unsuccessful attempts, I was in and logged on.

 I met my classmate, Adam and at least five other classmates of mine online and wasted no second to chat. We began having a heated discussion about our exam results and other frivolous things about school.

As my hands flew over the keyboard typing a reply, Gerrard, one of my classmates, sent me a suspicious web link that caught my attention. Out of curiosity, I decided to just click on the link, without bothering to find out if it contained any viruses. To my horror, it was a website to vote Vincent, one of my classmates, to be the biggest weirdo online. The webpage read in big, bold letters that Vincent was a coward and a liar and also was pea-sized. There were also countless vulgarities up there. A mixture of three expressions came over me as I continued to read the article. I was so afraid that I lacked the guts to continue reading, so I hurriedly closed the window, logged out from the chat room and shut down the computer. I plopped myself on the sofa and think out of perplexion, “Why would these people do this to Vincent?” I felt myself getting angrier and angrier that I was going to throw a tantrum, but fortunately I simmered down and tried not to let those wild thoughts run in my head.

The following day in school, during recess, I spotted Vincent sitting on a bench in a corner, sobbing away. I made my way next to him and asked with concern, “What’s wrong, Vincent?” In between sobs, Vincent told me that he had been bullied by Gerrard and his sidekicks most of the time and when he reported to Mr Lee, Gerrard and his gang suffered a heavy punishment, and started writing nasty things about him as a part of revenge. I assured him I would stop that before it got out of hand, and accompanied him to see the principal.

Once we reached the office, I told the principal every detail about what had happened. The principal told us he would discipline Gerrard and his gang for their actions and would go look for them now. We found him and his gang at the school gate, drinking alcohol. The principal towered against them and boomed, “Hey! Why did you cyberbully Vincent?” Gerrard’s shoulders began quaking and stammered, “ I…I…” “You don’t have to explain, go to my office now!” thundered the man. “Y…Yes, sir,” the group of six boys mumbled and followed behind him meekly.

Vincent watched as the principal and six boys disappeared, then became as happy as a lark, cheered and thanked me profusely. He even gave me a high-five that almost took off my hand! I smiled and returned the high-five. Putting his hand on my back, Vincent offered to buy me a drink at the canteen after school today. I politely rejected his offer, and my greatest wish for now was that the boys would be severely punished.


Charles Ho Jun Yong
Woodgrove Primary School

2nd Place

“It was the previous Sunday. I had gone to Facebook, a social website, to meet up with Darren and Jane. We were going to chat about school matters over there. We met up in the private chat room Jane had specially created for the three of us. We mainly chatted about homework and school life. But when Darren changed the topic, they suddenly mentioned John (the victim of cyber bullying),” I recounted.

I continued,” Jane and Darren then told me about how they met. I also realized that both Jane and Darren avoided John. It appeared that John, Jane and Darren were in the same class last year. John had constantly told on them and Jane and Darren were scolded by Mr. Lee, their last year teacher, for their mischievous acts. Naturally, they had a strong hatred against John and wanted to get back at John greatly.”

I stopped to catch my breath, then went on with my recount,” They decided to get back at John by emotionally hurting him. They had planned to spread nasty rumors about him, which I have no idea of since I left the chat room in the middle of the conversation. However, I believe that they did forget to erase all trace of evidence and probably forgot to permanently delete the chat room. So it is possible to find out what they were talking about. “

“Thank you very much Sonia. You were a great help to helping us in this case. If you would now please log on into your Facebook account and go into the chat room, please?” praised and requested Mrs. Wong, the form teacher of my class. Mr. Lim, the disciplinary master who was investigating the cyber bullying case, had placed his laptop on the wooden table that was in the middle of his personal office.

With a few clicks of the mouse, I was already into my Facebook account. There, I opened up the chatroom, which I correctly assumed that Jane and Darren had forgot to erase. There, Mrs. Wong, Mr. Lim and I gathered enough evidence to confront the culprits of this fifth cyberbullying case of the year.

The next day after class, Mrs. Wong called up Jane, Darren John and I to Mr. Lim’s office. When Mrs. Wong opened up the door, there, Mr. Lim greeted us with a stern look. “ What do we have here. What do you have to say for yourselves, Mr. Darren and Mrs. Jane?” They had denied having done anything wrong. However, when I opened up the Internet browser, and signed in my Facebook account, I presented them with the definitive evidence, which to be more specific, the chat room.

Realising that they were caught red-handed, they confessed to their actions. They had spread the rumors and meekly mumbled an apology. However, the culprits were not let off so easily. They had to spread the message that everything they said was false and having spread the rumors to many students, who in turn spread the message to many other students, this was not an easy task. They still had to accomplish the task, by crook or by nook. And they did it.
After solving the fifth case of cyber bullying at Woodlands Primary School, Mr. Lim and I let out a sigh of relief. Another case, solved!

Anthea Low An Teng
Yishun Primary School
3rd Place

Let it go. This is what I learnt from this experience. My best friend died, all because of me. I learnt to forgive myself. At first, I felt so guilty that the waves of pain and guilt that had only lapped at me pulled me under. Slowly, I began to break past that wall of pain and guilt.
Monday: I got called names on Faithbook.

Tuesday: Many untrue things were said about me.

Wednesday: I was bullied during recess.
Thursday: My refuge, drugs.
Friday: Feels better. I a-

As I stared at Kelsey’s diary, the half written Friday entry, I cried.
I cried.
The events that led to this flashed through my mind, playing over and over again in my head. It was my fault! Had I not passed that snide remark about Kelsey off as teasing, Kelsey would not have left this world. What happened? You might be wondering. Hear my story.

“Ring!!!” The school bell sounded. I dashed home immediately and plopped my bag on my bed. While waiting for the computer to start, a series of thoughts tumbled over one another. Have my friends tried out my new creation? Do they like it? I hope so. Faithbook. That’s what I created. I signed into my account and boy, there was a number of people online. I felt on top of the world. My creation was a success! I scanned through the lists of names of people who signed up for Faithbook to support me. He was really a goof friend no matter how fat he was. But who knew that my creation would be a weapon of destruction, a weapon that would end my best friend’s life. A chat room popped up, it seemed that my classmates had already made their way though Faithbook. After some casual greetings, we talked and joked around.

Out of the blue, Faith asked us, “Don’t you think Kelsey is very fat? Gabby, why do you even want to be friends with him?” Kelsey saw it and sent a sad face. Jasmine even mentioned that he probably ate ten meals a day and that he never bathed and had body odour. I knew that was not true. A hot tide of anger raised through me. In the end, I decided to pass it off as teasing. On Tuesday, the same thing happened. Kelsey was mocked and jeered at on Faithbook again. I felt useless. They were using my creation to bully my best friend. During the next few days, Kelsey always wanted to hang out with me. This time he did not even tell me anything.

I felt so hurt.
I felt all alone.
I felt like a useless friend.

When Faith and her gang said mean things about Kelsey, I did not even do anything to defend him. He was probably angry and hurt. It was all my fault. Finally on Thursday, Kelsey showed up, but he look different. His eyes had dark circles all around them and he looked really weak. Kelsey was really quiet throughout the whole day. He did not tell me anything. He looked so tired that I decided to leave the questions for another day. Who knew that there would be no tomorrow for Kelsey?

On Friday, Kelsey was writing his diary. He was about to write, “I am feeling much better.” When he slumped to the floor with a loud thud. He never finished his diary entry. When Kelsey’s mother, Mrs. Audrey, heard the loud thud, she rshed into his room and found him half-dead. She was close to hysteria. She laid his head gently on her lap and stroked his hair, there was no time to seek help and she understood that, all she wanted now was to spend her son’s last few moments with him. Memories of Kelsey since he was a baby flashed though Audrey’s mind. The joy of being a mother, Kelsey first steps. The sight of his angelic smile and lovely eyes. But now, the sight of Kelsey’s agony-etched expression twisted a knife deep in her heart. “ –M-Mum, I-I l-love y-you. I’m sorry.” With that Kelsey closed his eyes for the last time. Thud. Thud. Thud. Kelsey’s heart stopped beating, never to beat again. “He’s gone. He’s gone. He’s gone. Kelsey’s gone. My Kelsey’s gone.” Audrey screamed inside her head. She broke downed and let go off Kelsey.

Kelsey would always be remembered by me and everyone as the kindest, most encouraging and most helpful boy they had ever met. At his funeral, I explained how Kelsey had left a message for me. About how he had been bullied on the internet with the harshest, meanest words that anyone could use. He was also bullied physically. The pain he had felt was excruciating, he felt like he had been trampled by bulls, punched by a prize fighter, ran over by a bus and submerged in acid but all at one go.

People die. Things get stolen or rot away and perish. It is time to move on. Let it go. There are some things and even people that we cannot hold onto forever. Life is like a thin string. Full of knots, but smooth at times. At the same time, life is like a bubble, it can pop at any time, anywhere. Treasure your friends and family.

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