The O Level students are working hard to get ready for the Singapore exams in October. Part of the English exam involves narrative writing. Here is an example of the quality of this writing from one of Ms Jane’s students, Aris Li Lu.
Write about an event that changed your life for the better.
Written by Aris Li Lu
“You have advanced lung cancer. The chance of a successful operation is very slim, almost non-existent.” I blundered out of the consultation room with downcast eyes as the doctor’s sentence lingered in my mind. I tore the report and threw it on the ground. Hiding my face, I wept, not believing such a terrible thing could have happened to me.
After my mother passed away, I became an anti-social person. My mother died due to our family not having extra money to support her medical fees. To take my revenge on this society, I had reached the notorious level typical of seasoned gangsters and was involved in all types of crimes such as robbery, theft and fighting. That was until yesterday. My cousin, who is the only relative in contact with me, sent me for a medical examination and told me to get a checkup. Then I received this report.
I walked aimlessly on the street feeling that this world is strange and cruel to me. In my eyes, the whole world is grey and black. Suddenly, I saw an elderly woman struggling to drag a box and I gave her a hand, helping her home. She thanked me and her eyes filled my heart like the brightness of the moonlight. At that moment, I knew what I could do with the rest of my life.
I devoted my days to being a volunteer in the nursing home and orphanage. At night, I found a part-time job which did not pay well, but I enjoyed it as this was my first job. Spending my time at these places, I acknowledged that this world is not as bad as I thought. Everyone was trying their best to live in this world, even these elderly people and children who were abandoned by their parents. From them, I learnt a lot.
One week later, dusk fell. I was sitting on the beach watching the sunset. The setting sun cast a deep red glow over the city. My heart had never been peaceful, but now I know the essence of life. I felt that my previous life was a failure and meaningless. If I had one more life, I would not live it like my previous way of life. Suddenly, my phone chimed, “Hello, this is Dr Tan. I’m calling to inform that you haven’t got lung cancer. I am terribly sorry as your report was mixed up with another patient’s …” I hung up the phone and looked at the sunset far away with a smile.
5 years later, as a phenomenally successful businessman, I am sitting in my easy chair. Recalling my previous life, I think getting ‘cancer’ was the best thing that ever happened to me. It really changed my life for the better.
Great work and good luck!