Thursday, 29 December 2011

Sponsored Post: Revisiting Singapore Polytechnic

Remember not too long ago I was being nostalgic about being a student and how good it all was? I wasn't from a university, and that was my choice. (Remember I also said you can do well even if you're not a University graduate and you may not even if you are?) I still stand by that - you can do well as long as you are given the right kind of education, wherever that may be from. And sometimes, the best kind of education may not be the one textbooks feed you with, but the one that teaches you about how to deal with society and the pressures it can give. I learnt the most in Singapore Polytechnic (SP), especially my time with the SP Student's Union...I really grew as a person there. =D

I'm still feeling nostalgic thinking back about my poly days...the McDonald's, the time in the Students' Union, the days when I had to do actual clinical work and see real patients...and guess what? I was invited by SP to go back for a tour!!! Because the school had changed so much since I graduated, I thought it would be cool to go see what's new!
First stop was where I spent the most part of my poly days- Singapore Polytechnic Optometry Centre, affectionately known as SPOC.

This is where students, staff, as well as members of the public, can come and get their eyes THOROUGHLY checked. And I really mean thoroughly checked. A final year student on duty, as well as their lecturer-in-charge, will be there to fully check your eyes for any sign of abnormality or pathology. Many a time we had picked up conditions that the patients were never aware of, and referred them to doctors for confirmation. Did you know that through an eye examination, we can pick up conditions like Diabetes? Time to head for an eye check, if you've never done so!

At SPOC, they do not charge students & staff and members of the public who are referred to SPOC. They only charge the general public $5. Prepare about 1.5-2 hours for the check-up.=)

SPOC looks so professional now. Even the door handle bars look cool~

This is where customers can pick out a spectacle frame of their choice, much like an opical shop. ^.^
As it's the school holidays, the frames have been kept away.

This looks like an actual clinic! Wow!!! How come we didn't get such cool decor during my days in school huh? That was just a few years ago!

These are all the equipment in SPOC:

Iwas telling the lecturer-on-duty that we are so fully equipped with every kind of equipment imaginable, that the optical shops we graduated to work in pale in comparison!I mean, we learn about so many useful things and machinery, yet the public just sees optometrists as "opticians", or that we only know how to check the degree of your myopia or presbyopia. We were trained really well to pick out a lot of other eye conditions too~

Most of the machines are attached to a laptop in each lab, so that thelecturer-on-dutyis able to see exactly what the student clinicians see on their machines.This helps to save time as the lecturers don't have to physically do the eye examination a second time, reducing discomfort for the patient too. 

Lockers for student clinicians to store their belongings when they are on duty. So cool! We used to stuff our bags like, wherever there's space, as long as its out of the public view. Lol~

A proper lecture room for the Optometry students. Nice, spacious,brightly lit....Ah~~~

The contact lenses room. This room houses all the soft and hard lenses to let students try how to fit contact lenses for others. You should always get a trained optometrist to teach you the proper way to wear and take care of your lenses. Maybe you don't know this, but contact lenses are considered medical devices!

The lens dispensing room. This is where we cut the lenses for the spectacles according to the patient’s eye power.

There is also an area for patients to test their new spectacles where they can do their usual things like watching tv, doing work on their desk etc. How useful!

Feel like getting your eyes thoroughly checked already? ^.^

The SPOC is by far, I believe, the most "open to public" hands-on place for students to actually practice and apply what they learn in class. As in like an actual eye clinic and they see real patients. ^.^

As for the rest of School of Chemical and Life Sciences? Other than the normal classrooms, there is a new T11 Square, which is made up of 2 identical buildings mirroring each other, T11A and T11B, and houses the rest of the School of Chemical and Life Sciences. This is where the science and clinical laboratories are.

This place is where the students study wellness equipments like those who measure body fat and muscle mass. Students taking this course can go on to be Nutritionists or Sports Coaches and the like. Anything to do with nutrition and health. They even study stuff like herbs for homeopathy and TCM! Cool stuff!

Those interested in food science students will like this place. This is where industry players come and test their food, like the springiness of the fishball, the fragrance of a new tea, what the texture of a new kind of food product should be like.

Know what are these? Here they have surveyors come and actually taste the food and give feedback.

The food is served to them through these holes, so surveyors do not actually know the brand, or who is serving their food, or what components are in there. So exciting! Lol~

This is where students learn how to make pharmaceutical products like aspirin! One wrong measurement and they're in for trouble, so being meticulous is a requirement for students taking this course~ But can you imagine? Knowing how to make your own prescription drugs! Wow~~~

Final-year students at work~

There are also courses for Perfumery and Cosmetics where students study how to extract fragrances from flowers, how much preservatives and all kinds of ingredients to put to make shampoos, perfumes, anything you apply onto your skin, in the right amounts such that they won't harm your skin.

Does the School of Chemical and Life Sciences interest you yet?

I didn't really get to tour the rest of the other schools, but I'm sure you can do so on SP's Open House which will happen from 5-7 January 2012. So much to see OMG!!!

In case you won't get to have that much of a chance to tour the school during their Open House, I shall let you in on some of the amazing facilities available in the school premises. Let me warn you, there are so many things to see and do in the school, you may never need to head to nearby Clementi Mall nor Holland Village during your long breaks between classes. (That was what I used to do during my long breaks back then!) SP has changed so much since, and it is so freaking nice and jaw-droppingly dunnowhatwordtouseamazing that I wish I were a student here again~

First things first, we all know SP has their very own MRT station - Dover MRT. That's not amazing? Come on~ Back then, no other school had their own MRT! Of course, pretty soon NUS and Hwachong Institution along with some other schools will have their own train stations, but if you notice, the schools which have their own stations all have a certain standard. ;)

AXS station in the school! No more late payment of bills! And we can book those movie tickets!

Foodcourt 2 has changed SOOOO much! It used to house McDonald's. But now Mcdonald's has moved nearer to the MRT station and in its place? YA KUN will be taking over!!!! ALRIGHT!!!! Eggs and kaya toast! What else is better for breakfast?

One of the main reasons why I chose SP back then, was that it was so green. Like, so many plants everywhere it felt like I'm in a Jia Hong Chu (landed property). Or a nicely landscaped condominium. Very cosy, and the plants helped keep the school cool on hot days.

A fitness corner amidst the classroom blocks.

And there are plenty of study areas scattered throughout the school. Much much much more than when I was studying there, and nicer too!

The whole school has free wifi access for students so students can choose to study anywhere with their lappies and tablets and iPads and whatever gadgets, and log in anytime~

And that is the Library. This is the most amazing place with the largest transformation. I used to head to the library to sleep during breaks *guilty*, but now there are soooooo many things to do, and borrow, that I asked if alumni can apply for the library membership. CAN LEH!!!!!!

Okok let's go in and have a look!

This is the library cafe. Yup, there is a cafe in the library building.

Students can borrow books and then chill out here at the Library cafe called Hotshot.

There are BookCross@SG spots here!!!!

Yup, if you have books you no longer want anymore, you can release them into the wild at all BookCross@SG hotspots! Share them instead of throwing them away!
Ok now for the actual inside of library...

WTH we can now borrow GAMES???? Games like Warcraft and DOTA???

There is a GIANT IPAD for you to read The Straits Times!!!! Like, it's a humongous digital Straits Times which you can flip the pages and zoom in and out while reading!

Of course there are physical copies for those of us who really prefer to hold the paper in our hands. Lol~

Other than games, you can also borrow magazines! Like you know, Cosmopolitan, Her World, Cleo, Stuff, Singapore name it. You no longer have to buy them and end up having stashes of old magazines at home! You can borrow them back to read for a week!!!! Woohoo!!!!

And guess what my sister is doing?

This corner is for students to try out all the gadgets available in the market, like the iPad, Samsung Tab, the iPod Touch, iRiver...yada yada...

The iRiver. I have never even seen this before la, but students at SP get to try out all these cool gadgets for free!

There is an SP Timetable and an SP Map app????? Don't have to print out timetables anymore! And you don't have to worry about getting lost. Download the map if you're going for the SP Open House. Gonna come in handy, I swear. The school is huge~ Lol~

Oh, and please wear sneakers, or something comfortable. You come in heels you're gonna regret it. Cos there's so much to see!

Inside the library there is this hallway of famous people who were from SP:

So many distinguished seniors!!! *proud*

Btw, did you know that Xiaxue and QiuQiu were also from SP? *winks*

On Level 2 there is a Robopod corner, where you can find books related to robotics, and even borrow a robot set to build! There are even spaces for you to store your half-completed robot in case you can't finish it in one day!

You can also borrow the sets home!

Or build them here.

There are computers scattered around the library for the students to use so even if you don't wish to carry a hugeass heavy laptop around with you? No problem. A USB thumbdrive will suffice. Or a Dropbox. ;)

There is this super high tech thing that made me feel like I'm in the Matrix. Students can use this SmartBoard in the project room and project their stuff on the whiteboard. If they then decide to add anything to their file, all they needed to do was write on the board, and everything they wrote can be captured in the file as a PDF! Like. WHOA!!!!!!!!!! What technology is this?????

Random, but I walked past this and decided to snap a pic. So true. =)

The next level is major cool.
Here you have all the computers. iMacs, Dual-Monitor PCs, and plenty of laptop power points. Basically, you come here to use computers, serve Facebook, finish projects, blog, and do whatever it is that we do at home with our computers. You cheeky kids! No porn of course! =P



There are plenty of project discussion rooms in the library for those group sessions.

There's even a room for you to borrow DVDs and watch!!!

This is a new level that they are building, which will focus on the arts, design and architecture. Where the artsy students will hang out in the near future!

This next corner, I am in love with it.

You can borrow card and board games!!!!

As well as DVDs and CDs to bring home and enjoy! Wa can save a lot of money if we can just borrow! Good!

Borrow already can come here and watch. No need to go watch movie after school. Got a 4-hour break? No worries~ The only issue is whether you can get a slot here.

Pardon my language, but WTF??? Can play Kinect in the Library??? OR rather, got Kinect for students to play with?????

The Kinect corner. I am speechless.

For the Manga and Anime fanatics, you are catered to as well. My sister went wild here. Lol~

This corner was done up by students who did the exchange program in Australia. They shared their pictures and put them up nicely here.


All automated. It's a lot like what our National Libraries have, isn't it?
Students can also pay their course fees on this machine. So convenient!

So much to do just at the library alone!!! Got time to do other things on top of the regular school schedule or not!!!??

More green spaces.

SP really takes pride in beautifying the environment for their staff and students. This really feels like a condominium. Heck, some condos aren't even half as nice as what SP has done.

Some more study/chill areas

Found this. Am totally in love with the decor of this little cafe inside Moberly Building.

Stuff aren't expensive either.

Plus the interior is major WOW~ I mean, look at this! Very Italian/French!
At the back are memorabilia which houses a lot of antique stuff associated with this building, and the people who used to occupy it. Moberly used to be army barracks, you see. There are plenty of exciting (some creepy) stories associated with this building, but I think that just adds on to its character. =)

Cafe Moberly also sells a lot of interesting snacks and drinks most school cafes wouldn't carry:

Pocky from Japan!

IBC Root Beer!

And non-alcoholic wines!!! I didn't have time to sit and enjoy the food, but I promise I will head back there to try one of these. And I heard the Haddock Cod is simply *slurps* yummy. Yes, it is open to public, from 10am to 10pm. Yay!!!

Inside Moberly, there are also plenty of pool tables for students to relax. IMO, playing pool here is so much safer than playing in those sleazy pool bars.

I can't believe it. As though having Kinect in the Library isn't enough, they also have Wii???

More pool tables...

And you can also play Darts here. It's like having a mini arcade of sorts in the school~ *salutes*

I thought I had seen enough, then I was brought to this room:
Want to make a guess?

It's a KTV ROOM!!!!!!!!!!!!

This thing tells you when the audio is too loud for the ears. If it's beyond safe levels, the red spot will light up. WAAAAA SOOO COOL!!!!!!!!

I'm getting tired from all that feeling of amazement and the oOoohhh-ing and aaahh-ing already. Lol~ Still, there's more:
Jamming rooms!!!

Don't know what else to say. I really really like the school now.

There are also dance/martial arts studios...

...a rock wall....
and plenty of other things which I really can't fit into this already super long post. You get the idea.

For every interest and hobby, there is a club you can join...

Are my eyes playing tricks on me or is there a Wakeboarding Club, an Ultimate Frisbee Club, and a WING CHUN club??? All those inspired by Donnie Yen, you know what to do. Uuuuwaaaaaaooooo~~~

And I head to Foodcourt 5.
It is now fully air-conditioned, and houses Subway, KFC, and Starbucks. No other school has Starbucks you know!!!!

Popular Bookstore is also here~

And just outside Foodcourt 5 is a nice pool. I admit I've never had the guts to swim there. Cos I've always been conscious about my body la! A lot of people eating and watching you know! But for the body-confident people, have fun here!

Yup, you got it! There is a fully-equipped gym by the pool! I said the school feels like a condominium didn't I?

This gym is huge la! Condos won't have such huge gyms! And they don't have Starbucks, KFC, Macs, Ya Kun, such a hugeass Library, KTV and Jamming rooms lor!

The cosy Mcdonald's tucked in a nice little corner.

And which condo, or which other school, has a SKATE PARK??? For every kind of student, to cater to all kinds of needs, SP is the school that you really should consider taking a look at. I would, and it's not just because I'm an alumnus, but given all that I have seen and all that I have yet to, I really think this is the kind of school environment that is conducive for all areas of my personal growth.

I'm sure you have been home and sometimes feel like you really can't mug there, and have to head to Starbucks or the Library to do so. I have been there. And I really take my hats off SP for being able to do up the school so nicely in the last few years to be how it is like now. *thumbs up*

Just so you know, about 2/3 of our graduates continue on to local and overseas universities, many ofthem also clinch prestigious scholarships or proceed to post-graduateprogrammes, so there must be something about the school which motivates. =)

If you're curious about the school, want to see for yourself how it feels like, or want to find out more about the courses that you're interested in, mark the date down.

SP Open House: 5-7 January 2012, 10am to 6pm

For more info about what else the school has to offer, you can log on here.

SP Open House Microsite:
SP Official Facebook page:
SP Official Twitter page:

View the list of courses here.

If you're curious about how SP is like through the eyes of the students, view what students have posted up on Instagram. Some pictures were really interesting~ There's nothing like firsthand info from the current students.

Grab a friend and head down to the Open House, or if you're like me back then, who had no friends going to SP with me, you can find an SP buddy! Just fill up some information here, and they will match you up with a student from SP who will be able to answer all your burning questions! ;)

Discover your aspirations with SP, because it's So Possible. ;)

Choose a school you will like, or even love. I'm proud of what I chose. =)