YWC2013-1 Entry 02: 2013 and me

Author: hawt_dd1
Age at 1 Jan 2013:  11 years old
Word count: 842
Overall score: 6.90

I saw the advertisement shown on Channel 5 recently featuring the seven hours of non-stop year-end partying to celebrate 2013 hosted by Gurmit Singh and Joanne Peh, I wished they had one for kids like me. Maybe, I can organize the party and the tickets can be priced around $15 each. Children all over the country can purchase these tickets at all shops and the proceeds will go to me. I will be rich! But alas, this is only a dream. Here I am, back in reality doing reflection about the year that has passed by me so quickly. Looking back at 2012, I reminisce all the successes and failures I have experienced. Moving forward to 2013, all I can think about is that dreaded PSLE paper.

I do want to go to a good secondary school. My ultimate but yet distant goal for PSLE T-score is 250. Far-fetched? Especially since I do not have tuition but I am doing all I can. Together with my mom, I am planning a proper study routine and this time I must adhere strictly to it. I also want to try to have adequate time for other things like setting aside time for recreation and spending time with the family. The proverb, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy is so true. I am living proof of it.

My mom is my pillar of strength. She has identified my learning style that helps me learn better. In school, the teachers may explain concepts in one way and while everyone else seems to understand, I sometimes do not. I have tried asking questions when I am still uncertain about what was covered in class, however the teachers would just explain it again exactly the same way but only louder! Like that worked? Nevertheless in 2013, I would still try to ask more questions in class hoping that the teachers would explain stuff in another way for me to get it through my thick skull. Or else there is always mom as my backup. I am independent when it comes to completing assignments from school. It is often followed by my mom’s usual gentle reminder, “If you don’t understand, please ask.” Another favourite line of hers is, “Checking is very…?” I would end up finishing that sentence for her all the time, “… important!” However, I am always too lazy to do so resulting in bad grades. Every year, when I tell my mom that I would try to do well next year she would simply reply, “Actions speak louder than words, darling.” So I suppose this time I will just have to prove it.

Reflecting on 2012 was painful in parts. I have come to realize that my mom was right all along with regards to choosing the right friends. There have been many different groups of friends when I first transferred to this school. I felt that I needed to belong somewhere and very quickly I made the mistake of joining the popular girls in school. I later found out in a miserable way that they were actually wolves in sheep’s clothing. They made themselves out to be like a big gang with an influential and a very popular gang leader. Everywhere the gang went, the cronies would be following the obnoxious gang leader like she was the master. I used to be one of those cronies. Yes, I was that dumb. I found out too late that all the time they were pretending to be my friends, they spread lies and rumours about me to other schoolmates. It was too late to repair the situation. My blessing in disguise was that this was the time I realized who my true friends were. Three wonderful friends found out about the untruths spread all over the school and they came to me with pieces of useful advice and told me that I can always hang out with them anytime. So, while indeed I was popular back then, I am even more popular now but all for the wrong reasons. I failed my SA2 Mathematics Paper badly and for that I was demoted to one of the worst classes. This is the biggest regret I have experienced in my 11 years of life. I am determined to change for the better next year. Yes, I know. Actions speak louder than words.

As I was rewarding mom with a full body massage earlier today, I finally realized how important she is in my life and how I have taken her for granted all this time. While mom was in half a daze quipping, “I’m in heaven”, towards the end of the massage, I was no longer able to hold back the tears that was glistening in my eyes. 

I whispered in her ear, “Thank you for everything, mom. I love you more than any words can say.” I broke down almost immediately after telling her that. In my heart, I knew that with mom by my side I can survive 2013 and PSLE with confidence.

Judge Score Comments
Duncan Rose 6

Several sections appeared to have idiomatic phrases which felt slightly unnatural i.e. rote learned. Prepositions were missing i.e. ‘reminisce all’. Past tense and perfect tense demonstrated a number of errors. Additionally, subject verb disagreement was noted i.e. ‘tears that was glistening’. A good effort hampered by grammatical errors.

Esmonde Luo Jianwen 6 Vocabulary:  2/3
Grammar:  1/3
Content:  2/4
Total:  6/10
Comments: A very good attempt. However, it fell short because of numerous grammar errors. There was a visible effort to employ good vocabulary in this essay. However, several words were not utilised appropriately, causing their usage to inadvertently backfire.
Nevertheless, it was a pleasure to read about the author’s relationship with his/her mother. Keep working at it!
Link to detailed comments
Neo Yi Qun 8.5

Content: 4.3
Good humour is achieved through effective mental simulations. Candidate made a good choice of shifting her thoughts from something lighthearted to brooding moments. This is great for creating story flow. Mature and genuine reflections conveyed in each paragraph. Overall relevant to the topic.

Language 4.2
Non optimal phrasing and prepositional mistakes are observed in some parts of the writing. Examples:

…back in reality doing reflection about the year that has passed by me so quickly.‘ vs ‘…back in reality reflecting about how quickly the year has passed by‘ (better) 

was painful in parts‘ vs ‘was painful at parts‘ (better)

My blessing in disguise was that this was the time I realized who my true friends were.‘ vs ‘My blessing in disguise was the moment I realised who my true friends were‘(better)

Other than the above, there is good sentence variation. Great keywords used to capture essence of expression. E.g Reminisce, obnoxious, in a half daze quipping etc

R. Miskam 6

Precise words are used to show, and not tell. 
Confident use of English

Introduction, body and conclusion need some revision. Structure and main point of writing is unclear.
Sense of purpose and/or audience is unclear. 

David Squires 8

I liked the beginning. It immediately made me sympathise with the writer. By using specific people (Gurmit Singh and Joanne Peh) it made it much easier to visualise the celebrations than if non-specific nouns were used.  It was an imaginative beginning and I think we all dreamt of becoming rich when we were children. There are some appropriate phrases (e.g. pillar of strength). I liked the way the writer reflected first on 2012 and then connected this to their aspirations for 2013. . The writer’s voice is effective and he/she is obviously close to his/her mother and that does come across in the writing. It would be much stronger to put the parts about the writer’s mother together as at the moment they are separated by a few ideas thrown together (eg popularity at school, learning at school). The writer could have chosen one part of the story to really ellaborate on. For example about the rumours being spread. This could have been used to generate the writer’s character and a lot of feelings could have come out.

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