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A Matter Of Love And Death At Downtown East

Tuition given in the topic of E-Maths Tuition Questions from the desk of Miss Loi at 7:57 pm (Singapore time)

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Miss Loi, I can’t come for tuition today! Coz … I … I … got a date 😛

Miss Loi, for the sake of my future PLEEEEEEZE excuse me from tuition today! I don’t wanna be a monk!

Miss Loi, today cannot come. Got char bor tonight.” *hangs up abruptly* 😕

And so, armed with a sudden abundance of time after being predictably spurned by many of her students, Miss Loi decided to pack up early and drove leisurely to a “leisure & lifestyle destination” in a remote part of Singapore to relax and spend some time by herself.

Downtown East

Seated by a table at the local McDonald’s, she was soon starkly reminded of the significance of the day amid scenes of lovey-dovey couples around her in various stages of companionship.

Her state of loneliness was emphasized 1 × 106 times as she watched, with a tinge of envy and nostalgia, a couple shoving spoonfuls of McFlurry ice cream ‘romantically’ into each other’s mouths; a girl (pretending to be) pleasantly surprised by a bouquet of roses whipped out by her boyfriend … and a bunch of youths staring at her from two tables away.

After a thorough self-inspection of her face/eyes/hair/makeup/dress/shoes which failed to find any sort of stain that might have triggered their attention, she stared back at them in bewilderment.

Miss Loi's Bewildered Stare

But they simply continued to stare at her.

Miss Loi's Stern Stare

Feeling a bit annoyed by this, she stared back at them with greater ferocity and laser beams shooting out from her eyes.

Miss Loi's Laser Stare

Suddenly one of the youths stood up, walked towards her, and asked her in Hokkien,

Miss, why you stare at us huh? What’s your number?

Miss Loi blushed a little before replying shyly,

Ooh you’re rather direct aren’t you? Don’t you think you’re a little too young for me?

His voice took on a rather unfriendly tone.

We are from the 4455 Society! Which society are you from?

Huh? Umm … errr … I’m from the Joss Sticks Society. Please like my Facebook page when you visit 😉

He looked a bit confused at first, but raised his voice nonetheless.

I’ve never heard of your stupid-sounding society, but this table belongs to our gang and society! Get lost now!

Boy was Miss Loi hopping mad now …

DO YOU HAVE TO BE SO RUDE?! I didn’t know McDonald’s sold their tables to SILLY groups like yours with a SILLY boy band-sounding name!

At that precise moment, the entire tattoo-laden detachment from the 4455 boy band Society rose up from their table, brandishing their steely choppers.

Miss, you dare to insult our Society’s name! We will take you to our Big Boss and let him deal with you!

Sensing that something was obviously very wrong, Miss Loi slowly inched her way away from the table. Her tentative steps turned into a trot, and before long her Charles & Keith shoes were off as she broke her own speed record multiple times running at full throttle past terrified onlookers to escape the chasing pack of youths.

Thanks to her infamous sense of direction, however, her escape was brought to a screeching halt when she ran into a dead end – where she ended up with her back pressed to the wall, eyes shut and head tilted to one side as she awaited her impending fate at the hands of the slowly-approaching mob.

Triad gangsters

The elite 4455 Society (for illustrative purposes only)

STOP!!! This girl is mine!

A familiar face suddenly burst into the scene, surprising the mob.

I am a member of 4455. She is my girl. I will bring her to Big Boss myself!

Who are you? I’ve never seen you before. If you are really part of us then you should know our password.

Maybe you are still new. It’s OK, the password is the solution to this challenging indices question – which all 4455 members should know how to solve since ours is an elite society! 4455! 4455!

If 688x = 32 and 43y = 32, find the value of 1/x - 1/y.

When Miss Loi tried to answer, she was firmly put in her place.

Shut up Miss! Only he can answer this! Don’t think you can even solve it in your lifetime looking at your bimbo Ah Lian face!

And so, can you help Smiling 哥 finally, finally attain his wish of becoming his 梦中情人 Miss Loi’s hero on Valentine’s Day?

4455! 4455!

P.S. Please note that Miss Loi & the Joss Sticks Society does NOT advocate nor condone any form of secret society activities in Singapore.


Revision Exercise

To show that you have understood what Miss Loi just taught you from the centre, you must:

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Comments & Reactions


  1. Sushila's Avatar
    Sushila commented in tuition class

  2. mathslover's Avatar
    mathslover commented in tuition class


    x lg 688 = lg 32
    x = lg 32 / lg 688
    1/x = lg 688 / lg 32

    y lg 43 = lg 32
    y = lg 32 / lg 43
    1/y = lg 43 / lg 32

    1/x - 1/y = lg 688 / lg 32 - lg 43 / lg 32 = (lg 688 - lg 43)/lg 32 = 0.8

    "It is 0.8! Now leave this lady alone!" Smiling 哥 jumped up and down infront of all the wide-mouthed 4455 people.

  3. mathslover's Avatar
    mathslover commented in tuition class


    (43 × 16)x = 32
    43x = {32}/{16^x} = {2^5}/{2^{4x}} = 25−4x
    43y = 25
    This is NOT part of the submitted working... 😛
    x lg 43 = (5−4x) lg 2 --- (1)
    y lg 43 = 5 lg 2 --- (2)
    (1) div (2),
    Ok to be honest I can't see how to get through here using laws of indices alone.
    x/y = (5-4x)/5
    5x = 5y − 4xy
    5/y = 5/x - 4
    5/x - 5/y = 4
    1/x - 1/y = 4/5

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