5 Tips to Making Friends

Many of you are in a brand new class, and you may be feeling a little out of place without friends. So, what can you do to get out of your shell and make more friends? Check out some of the tips we have for you.

1. We all get nervous.
Most people are more scared than you are. You may think they are cool and calm, but they are just as scared as you are. Just smile and relax.

2. Irritating habits
The person with the irritating habit is usually the LAST to know. Talk to a friend you really trust, and who will not deliberately say hurtful things.

Work on the areas your friend has pointed out.

Some questions to ask your friends to help you be more self-aware of any irritating habits you may have:

    “Do I talk too much?”
    “Do I complain too much?”
    “Does my breath smell?”
    “Do I always use too much offensive language?”
    “Am I frequently late?”“Do I come across as bossy?”“Do I gossip too much?”

3. Like yourself first
Some people think that if they can just find some people to like them, they will be happy. WRONG! When you are miserable, you will only attract people who have big problems.

4. Avoid arguments
Don’t get into arguments with the attention seekers and fighters. You don’t have to join them. We can’t please people all the time, so just do better things with your time.

5. Keep your limits
You can depend on your friends, but there are limits. Don’t think you can keep borrowing pens and foolscap paper or even homework from your friend all the time.

At the same time, being close to people is no excuse to insult them. Let’s beware of offending each other.

Adapted from Making Friends: A Guide To Getting Along With People by Andrew Matthews

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The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Twelve-year-old Amir wants to win the approval of his father, an extremely wealthy and well-respected merchant in Kabul, badly, but his studies aren’t that great, and he is not strong enough. The only way he can do so is by winning a kite fighting contest. He wants to show that he has the makings of a man.

Hassan is a great kite runner who is always able to know where the kite will land and he is always able to help Amir out of trouble. They are very good friends. Due to Hassan’s low social status, he is always taunted by Amir’s friends.

However, a terrible event happens to Hassan when he tries to protect the kite from Amir’s foe, and the friendship changes. This is a moving story set in Afghanistan about love, loyalty, vengeance and decisions.

This award-winning book is made into a movie.

Have you read the book yet? If you have, give your comments about how you feel about the book and the characters.

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Read the following extract, and let us know your reaction to this text by commenting on this post.

March 21—We had a lot of fun at the bakery today. Joe Carp said hey look where Charlie had his operashun what did they do Charlie put some brains in. I was going to tell him about me getting smart but I remembered Prof Nemur said no. Then Frank Reilly said what did you do Charlie open a door the hard way. That made me laff. Their my frends and they really like me.

Some times somebody will say lookit Frank, or Joe or even Gimpy. He really pulled a Charlie Gordon that Time. I dont know why they said it but they always laff and I laff too. This morning Gimpy hes the head baker and he has a bad foot and he limps he used my name when he shouted at Ernie because Ernie losst a birthday cake. He said Ernie for godsake you trying to be a Charlie Gordon. I dont know why he said that. I never lost any packiges.

April 10—I feel sick. Not like for a doctor, but inside my chest it feels empty. Last night, Joe Carp and Frank Reilly invited me to a party. They got me to dance with Ellen. I feel three times and I couldn’t understand why because no one else was dancing besides Ellen and me. All the time I was tripping because somebody’s foot was always sticking out.

They were all around in a circle watching and laughing at the way we were doing the steps. They laughed harder every time I fell, and I was laughing too because it was so funny. But the last time it happened I didn’t laugh. I picked myself up and Joe pushed me down again.

Then I saw the look on Joe’s face and it gave me a funny feeling in my stomach.

Then I remembered a picture in my mind when I was a kid. The children in the block let me lay with them, hide-and-seek and I was IT. After I counted up to ten over and over on my fingers I went to look for the others. I kept looking until it got cold and dark and I had to go home. I never found them and I never knew why.

What Frank said reminded me. Joe and the rest were all laughing at me. The kids playing hide-and-seek were playing tricks on me and they were laughing at me too.

Now I know what they mean when they say “to pull a Charlie Gordon”. 

Food for Thought 

· How does Charlie feel about his friendships?

· How would you react if you realise your friends are making fun of other people?

For more information on the author and book, click here on Flowers for Algernon.

Welcome to The Grapevine

Psst, have you heard it on the grapevine yet? Yishun Town Secondary School library, Bibliotheque, is launching a monthly newsletter. We have an online version as well. This is where you find information about our activities and some of the new books we have purchased.

Reply to some of the questions in The Grapevine here, and you may see your comment published in the next issue.

Link to us if you have your own blog. Spread this message on the grapevine!