PUBLISHED : Thursday, 11 September, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 11 September, 2008, 12:00am

The Olympic Games aftermath

The 29th Olympic Games in Beijing ended with China winning 51 gold medals.

As a Chinese person, I was very proud of the country's athletes and the Olympic organisers. The opening and closing ceremonies were gorgeous and impressed people all over the world.

The international view was the mainland has changed and become more modern.

A few months before the Olympic Games, the Beijing Government implemented many policies to change the city. People were encouraged to learn English and a lot of money was spent to clean up the city and reduce air pollution.

But I'm worried these policies will end once international attention is no longer focused on the city. If this happens, all the hard work will have been meaningless.

I hope the central government continues to uphold these principles. They will benefit the whole country and all its citizens.

Sam Wong Pak-sum, Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College

Smoking ban not broad enough

Smoking in restaurants, karaoke lounges and offices had been made illegal since the beginning of last year. It was believed the smoking ban would help protect people's health and improve air quality.

But there are pros and cons to the ban.

We can now avoid exposure to smoke when we eat in restaurants, go shopping and sing karaoke. Some people have given up smoking because it's too inconvenient to find a place to smoke indoors.

But a lot of smokers now congregate to smoke in public outdoor spaces. This means we are exposed to more smoke on the streets.

While the smoking ban was a good move, I don't think it will have much impact on air quality. The government should do more to encourage smokers to quit. It's better for the environment and for everyone's health.

Jennifer Yu Ka-yan

Try something new for the experience

I recently signed up for my school's inter-class dubbing competition. Nobody in my group had ever done this sort of work, so it was quite a challenge.

First of all, we had to choose a show to dub. This took a long time, as we all had some great suggestions, but eventually we decided on Mulan.

Next we had to write out all the dialogue. We were really happy we managed to do that quite quickly. We had no idea of the hurdles that lay ahead.

Then we started trying to dub the cartoon. At first, we thought it was easy. But soon we found it was hard to keep up with the cartoon. It took a lot of practice.

We are looking forward to the competition. We may not win, but at least we'll know we've tried our best at something new.

Natalie Yeung

Give away free time

The most popular pastimes for teenagers are playing computer games, watching TV and chatting to friends.

While I think these activities are a good way to relax, I believe we should also do something meaningful with our free time.

Volunteering is an excellent way to spend our spare time. Not only can we help other people, we can also learn to appreciate our own lives.

Janice Lam

Sports day is an opportunity to relax

In Hong Kong, most schools hold sports day to let students demonstrate their athletic skills. But not everyone enjoys the activities.

Once when I was taking part in sports day, I looked up into the crowds to see some students chatting instead of watching the games. It made me angry some people weren't paying attention while others were making so much effort.

I think sports days are important because they help us relax and take a break from ordinary school life. They also improve the relationship between students and teachers because they work together. Even if you don't like sport, you should appreciate the benefits of sports days.

Yu Hok-kan

Pros and cons of liberal studies

Liberal studies is a reasonably new subject at school. But when it was introduced to the syllabus, neither students nor teachers knew much about it.

Liberal studies aims to broaden students' knowledge base and enhance their social awareness through the study of a wide range of issues.

Instead of just reading textbooks, we should read the newspaper to find out what's going on around us.

But it is difficult to measure what we learn in a regular exam. It would be better to examine our understanding on a regular basis. While I appreciate the advantages, the way liberal studies is taught isn't very helpful.

Hui Ka-hung

Online music is cheaper and greener

I am writing to express my views about buying online music instead of CDs.

Firstly, albums require a lot of paper and plastic. This is bad for the environment.

Secondly, if we only like one or two songs on the album, buying the whole album is a waste of money and material. It is more efficient to download just the songs we like.

Unfortunately, many people abuse the system and download music illegally.

Kwong Mei-yu