This piece has as much to do with the exams as Singapore has to do with the conflict over at the Gaza Strip. However, this headline and that headline are pretty much as different as an elephant is to a bird. While the exams are so excruciatingly important that our lives come to a full stop to accommodate these monsters (more on that later), at least we’re not being unconscionably opportunistic of a serious decade-long diplomatic deadlock involving rockets that rain down on densely populated urban areas — come on, children are dying.

Anyways, Justified’s taking a break.

It is again the time of the year (and this happens twice a year) when we retreat to our cosy corners, snuggling up to our textbooks, cases and — lord, bless my soul — muggers. Whether it’s the library, angsana, the study room, the sub-club meeting rooms with a strategically placed whiteboard to shield the eyes of the world from the happenings that happen within, or your trusty bedroom (although this might risk your utility bills running high on the air-conditioning), we’re all guilty of hibernating in our little caves of ratio decedendi, legal rules and exceptions, policy reasonings and rationales.

It is the time of the year when it is socially acceptable to return to our prehistoric, pre-evolution cavemen instincts — it’s okay to wear your hair in a dishevelled manner (or even not to wash your hair at all), to ditch those time consuming contact lenses for intelligent-looking dark-rimmed glasses, to sit on our bums till dusk turns to dawn (apparently sitting can kill), to rely solely on Hello Panda for sustenance, and even to throw tantrums like a three-year-old. Hey, the only sleep I got was on the train ride to the library, and everyone copes with stress in different ways, so cut me some slack okay.

It’s a difficult time. It is a time when pimples and acne trespass your flawless complexion – but you don’t even care. It is a dangerous time. It is a time when the push of a button can set off a cold war in the angsana.

This is the time of the year when strange words infiltrate and breach your everyday vocabulary. When first-come-first-served becomes the first in time prevails, when being righteous is looking on as done that which ought to be done. Your sense of humour seems to be limited within the range of legal puns — don’t even get me started. What are your torts on Spandeck?

And this is why Justified’s taking a break.

But take heart, my friends. ‘Tis the night before Christmas. It is 5 o’clock in the morning. Soon, the dusk will crack, and the rays of dawn will filter through, reaching out with its warmth of comfort.

Soon, we will be standing tall with arms outstretched and the wind in our hair, David Bowie blasting on the stereo, as we emerge from the tunnel, feeling infinite.

Exam Tip: Always talk about s 391 at the end of a director’s duties question.


Text by Desmond Chng.

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