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TEACHERS DAY SPECIAL - INTERVIEW WITH MR TAN CHOR PANG
Every year, we celebrate the hard work and dedication of our teachers. They spend their time preparing us for the future and even sacrificing family time in order to prepare lessons for us. Despite all the nagging that we students have to endure, deep down we know that it is for our benefit and for our future.
For this Teachers’ Day, we are honoured have our principal, Mr Tan Chor Pang, share with us his experiences as a teacher.
Who inspired you to be a teacher?
“I knew that I wanted to be a teacher from the time I finished my O levels. Many people like my A level teacher inspired me to love a subject. From there, I majored in that subject, Economics, and started teaching.”
What were some of your memorable moments you had?
“The other day I was packing some stuff when I found a letter from a family member of my student thanking me for changing his attitude for Maths. That letter dated 20 years ago, so it definitely was heart-warming re-reading the letter.”
What do you find most rewarding as a teacher?
“Imparting your knowledge to students is one of the rewarding things. But being able to change students’ life, helping them through their difficult moments in life and preparing them for the future is what I find most rewarding.”
What are some of the ups and downs as a teacher?
“Teachers are happy with small things. Seeing students succeed and changing their life for the better are definitely some of the ups as a teacher. The down side of being a teacher is that some students need different methods to tackle them. Sometimes this easily burns a teacher out. Everything would then be so heavy and overwhelming.”
“A good teacher would find ways to get around, take breaks in order to find energy to carry out their daily life.”
With that, MI Wired would like to thank Mr Tan for taking time off his busy schedule to speak to us and we wish him a Happy Teachers’ Day!
Feera Syaqirah Bte Saadudin, 13A1
Chong Mei Juan, 12S1
Feera Syaqirah Bte Saadudin, 13A1
TEACHERS DAY SPECIAL - INTERVIEW WITH MRS KOH CAIYU
Students may describe Mrs Koh Cai Yu as a stern Vice Principal (VP) as students amongst us would have either been lectured or yelled by her for our wrong doings or not performing up to expectations. My deepest impression of her yelling would be at the PU2s for not taking our target setting for Common Test seriously, after the March Holidays this year.
However, for those who have interacted with her, they will describe her as someone who would oversee personally during preparation of events and care for her students. Some might also say that she is good with her choice of words and confident when speaking to the student population.
MI Wired is honoured to be able to know more and share about Mrs Koh’s life as a student.
What school were you from and what was your subject combination?
“I was from Methodist Girls School (MGS) from Primary school to Secondary school, taking double sciences, double math and double humanities during my O level days. I studied in Anglo-Chinese Junior College ACJC during my Pre-University days, graduating from the Commence faculty.”
What was your most memorable experience as a student?
“When I was in secondary school, it would be planning for specific events are a class together. One of which is being involved in an independent play for English Week. We selected a story as a class, edit it and rehearse on our own, to be showcased during one of the recess periods. It is memorable due to the amount of work and effort put in, not knowing if anyone would watch the play.”
“In ACJC, it would be a biennial fun fair held by the school called Fun-o-rama which involves our class to set up our own stalls. It is memorable as it involves selling of tickets to the public, preparing of our own food (it was allowed back then), coming out with our own capital and designing of our own games”
What obstacles did you face during your student life? How did you overcome it?
“I hated science when I was studying. I have been failing every physics test since I took the subject. However, it’s a subject that we have to sit for an exam so I had to work harder throughout the year and obtained A2 for both my prelims and O levels. I may not say that it is an obstacle, as it is a need for us to do the subject while studying”
“I had family issues and financial difficulties when I was studying. As MGS was an independent school, school fees became a concern. I had to be pro-active in searching for financial assistance and to do well academically in order to be eligible for EDUSAVE awards to help in the funding of my school fees.”
Were there any teachers who inspired or encouraged you during your student life? Please elaborate.
“My PU1 form teacher, Mrs Jeanette Lee,who also taught us accounting in year 1 and 2.” As ACJC and MGS students are quite well off, Mrs Lee was aware of my family situation. One day, she gave me a cheque of S$1800 saying that it comes from a church friend who is a CEO of a company after mentioning about me during church session. Mrs Lee did not elaborate further with the purpose of the cheque. I wondered that Mrs Lee might have a reason for mentioning me to her church friend, especially during life event; this may be because, even during her own free time, Mrs Lee would be looking for ways to help every single student.”
If you can travel back in time, which part of school life would you like to experience? Why?
“I would like to experience life as a PAE (Provision Admission exercise - first three months JC, the interim exercise which graduating Sec 4 students could choose to join a JC / CI for term 1 in the following academic year before release of O level results, using their prelim scores. Abolished in 2009, last batch was 2008) student. With my prelim scores, I am qualified for ACJC or a better JC. However, because of financial situation, it was used as a possible holiday to work part time to earn extra pocket money, thus I did not attend PAE.
Another event would be university orientation. In order to fund the hefty university fees, I worked during orientation period which I thus skipped orientation for my university. I would like to experience it as it seemed to be an important ritual that students would go through. I am sure my first couple of weeks in school would be different after attending the orientation.”
We thank Mrs Koh for taking her time off her busy schedule for our interview session.
I remember Mrs Koh once told me, “It’s not embarrassing to work many times harder than other people in order to get something done. The process does not really matter. What matters is whether you manage to achieve your goal.”
Mrs Koh’s resilience during her school days has gained loads of respect from most of us. We wish Mrs Koh and all teachers a Happy Teachers’ Day!
“The most beautiful people I have known are those who have known trials, have known struggles, have known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.” – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
Ng Gek Lian Elean, 12S2
Chong Mei Juan, 12S1
Ng Gek Lian Elean, 12S2
TEACHERS DAY SPECIAL – INTERVIEW WITH MR AZMAN MOHD SIDEK
Some of us may have already set our minds on what we want to be and what areas we want to pursue. Some of us however, are still clueless about what we want in life. We plan for something to happen but then it does not happen and things take a turn down another path. Just like our Vice-Principal, Mr Azman, he did not plan to become a teacher in the first place. Through this interview, we get to see who inspired him to be who he is today and what are some of his most memorable events.
Who inspired you to be a teacher?
“Funny thing , I did not want to be a teacher initially. However, when I began coaching my new team mates, it allowed me to be exposed another form of teaching. From there, I decided that I would enjoy teaching PE.”
What were some of the memorable moments that you had?
“One moment stood out among many during my 26 years of teaching. I was a cross country coach for a school. They had never participated at the national level before. In my 4th year of coaching them , we achieved four national titles in one event!”
What do you find most rewarding as a teacher?
“One of them is to see your students succeed and catch up with you as the years goes by. It is definately rewarding when they appreciate your hard work as you guide them to be better people”
What are some of the ups and downs as a teacher?
“Seeing students succeed is definitely an obvious joy. Overcoming challenges as a teacher is also something to be excited about. Of course, the down side would be seeing some students who are unable to make it. It saddens me and makes me reflect on myself and my teaching methods.”
Therefore, it is safe to say that you may not be who you want to be. Things may change in the future and you may do a job that you least expected to be. The most important thing is to have passion for what you do in order to enjoy it and that is what our teachers have. HAPPY TEACHERS DAY TO ALL TEACHERS !
Feera Syaqirah Bte Saadudin, 13A1
Chong Mei Juan, 12S1
Ng Gek Lian Elean, 12S2
Feera Syaqirah Bte Saadudin, 13A1
TEACHERS DAY SPECIAL - INTERVIEW WITH MISS CHAN PUI SAN
Miss Chan Pui San, as most of you would know, is a teacher from the Science Department who teaches Biology in our school. Graduating from Cambridge University after obtaining a scholarship from MOE, she started her career in Millennia Institute. She is a teacher who is able to get along well with many students easily due to her friendly and cheerful nature and is often a pillar of strength for her students when they face setbacks.
In a recent interview with MI Wired, Miss Chan shared with us her school life as a student; some of her most memorable incidents, the obstacles that she faced and how she managed to overcome them, teachers who had inspired her and what she would like to experience again if she could be a student again.
As a student in Raffles Institution, one of her most memorable recollections happened on April Fools’ Day when her classmates played a prank on their teacher. Two of her classmates had hidden themselves behind a board that could move sideways and moved the board while the teacher was teaching and writing on it. Her teacher was totally clueless what was happening as her writing started shifting places on the board and the whole class was laughing about it! The two students were eventually caught red-handed but as it was April Fool’s Day, her teacher let them off lightly.
While she had many of these fun days in school, she also faced setbacks. One of which happened when she was in Secondary Two when she failed her Math. It was a major setback as it was her first time failing the subject and the fact that she was studying in an elite school, the competitiveness and high expectations made it even worse. It was so unbearable for her that she cried in her room when she reached home. The failure pushed her to put in more effort for the subject andbe more disciplined. She managed her time better by drawing up a revision plan and following strictly to it. From that incident, she learnt that success does not come without determination and hard work.
Miss Chan drew inspiration from her Geography teacher who cared about how the students did in their studies and would encourage them. When the students need help in Geography, she would sacrifice her own time to help them. This is something that Miss Chan holds dear in her heart and would do the same for her students now.
We would like to thank Miss Chan for taking time to answer our questions and we wish Miss Chan and all the teachers in MI a Happy Teachers’ Day!
Thio Zhuang Mei Valerie, 12S2
Thio Zhuang Mei Valerie, 12S2
NG Gek Lian Elean, 12S2
Shafiqah Bte Mohamed Kamali, 12S2
TEACHERS DAY SPECIAL - INTERVIEW WITH MISS JAMALIAH OTHMAN
Miss Jamaliah Othman has kindly agree to share with MI Wired on why she took the decision to become a teacher.
Who inspired you to be a teacher? What did he/she do?
“My primary school teacher, Mrs Teoh, made me understand and appreciate a teacher’s job. I like the way she conducted her lessons. It was from her that I understood the importance of the teacher’s profession. I also enjoyed drawing at that time and Mrs. Teoh was one of the teachers who motivated me to keep on drawing. In fact, she even sent me to a drawing competition. Though I did not win anything in the end, I was still very thankful to her. I appreciate how she would try to discover the talent in students and how she would encourage them to pursue their interests. The effort and dedication she put in to nurture her students’ potential made me realize the powerful influence teachers have. Although it was not specifically because of her that I become a teacher, she helped to sparked something in me.”
Please share your most memorable moment in your teaching career.
“There was this time when my Project Work class from the previous year wrote little thank-you notes for me and combined them into a little booklet, which they put into my pigeonhole. I had a rather bad day then, and finding this little gift in my pigeonhole made me realize how much I meant to them. That totally cheered me up and it was a good end to the bad day.
Similarly, two years ago, some of my home class kids from 09B1 made a really meaningful Teachers’ Day gift for me and my Co-HT. They actually created a video with two of them acting as us when we were younger. It was very memorable as they actually incorporated into the script some of the random stories I said in GP class. For example, there was once when I told them that I would never sit down in the MRT during my university days as I would rather stand and save the hassle, and there was another time when I mentioned to them how I would like to hear local songs from the band, Lizards’ Convention. They actually remembered all these small details and included all of that into the video. I felt very touched because from there, I could see that they were always paying full attention to my lessons and respecting me as a teacher. Those were really fond memories for me.”
What do you find most rewarding as a teacher?
“Seeing my students getting good results and seeing them being able to pursue their dreams and aspirations would be something I find to be very rewarding. Even though some of my students have already graduated for quite a few years, they still remember me and are up till now still keep in touch with me. They send me thank-you messages and that is very rewarding for me because from these messages, I know that I have helped them succeed in life, and that I have helped them to achieve what they really want after leaving MI. Even though they have only been in MI for a short while, it is rewarding to think about how I had made them realize what they actually want in life.”
What were some of the sad moments as a teacher?
“A huge ‘down’ happened to me when I was teaching a Year Two class in the 07 batch. It happened at the end of the year when the students received their final-year exam results. Although they did not know their promotional status yet, some of them were able to figure out whether they made it or not just by looking at their Promo 2 marks (since it made up such a significant portion of their overall grades). Those who calculated and realized they were retained were very upset and they started crying. Some of them like their classmates a lot and they did not want to be separated from each other. That was a depressing moment for me. The day was made worsen as one of the student’s parents came over and questioned us regarding the poor performance. The long talk resulted in me being late for my next class, and along with other work, the whole day turned out to be really bad.
Another ‘down’ I experienced was CCA-related. When I was doing my first SYF with my CCA, we had quite a rocky start as I was not very experienced with it. The only other experienced teacher had left for another school. Thus, we were quite lost as of what to do, but despite that setback, we worked hard nevertheless and put in all of our effort into preparing for the SYF. At last, we managed to put up a very satisfying and outstanding final product. We had high hopes in doing well for the competition, but in the end we only clinched a bronze. It was very painful to announce this disappointing result to the members as they were all very confident with their performance and had high expectations. Hence, when we finally told them about it, they were very sad. Though we ultimately saw a positive light in it, it was still quite a significant ‘down’ in my life as a teacher.
Having to scold disobedient students who were unwilling to adhere to instructions was a ‘down’ for me too. For example, as the teacher-in-charge of the Drama Club, I had to scold some of the members who were not serious about their tasks. There was this time where they were doing really ridiculous things. I got very furious and I ended up shouting at them. It was so loud that even though I was on the first floor and them on the third, they could still hear it. It was only towards the end that they were willing to buck up. Scolding students was considered a ‘down’ for me as I usually do not like to scold my students and I will always try to avoid telling them off. Normally I will get disappointed with them first before getting angry. It is only in extreme cases where things get really bad that I resort to scolding them, and I find that to be really unpleasant for the both of us.”
Interviewed and Written By:
Lim Yi Jia, 13A3
TEACHERS DAY SPECIAL - INTERVIEW WITH MR ADRIAN TAN JIAN ZHONG
Mr. Adrian Tan is an inspiring teacher who is passionate about sharing his knowledge of Biology with his students. In this interview we learn more about him as he shares with us about his life as a student as well as how it has affected and inspired him.
How did you do for your A levels?
“My L1R5 was 7 and my A Level result was ABC. I achieved B for Biology and A for Mathematics.”
Who inspired you to be a teacher?
“The inspiration that I draw from will be my primary school Mother Tongue teacher. He was very patient and I would say, motivational for me. He modelled all the positive traits that a teacher should have. He is my mentor, because he has really given me a lot of valuable feedback. And I still keep in contact with him and visit him during Teachers’ Day and Chinese New Year. Initially, I had wanted to be a doctor, however after considering my results, I decided to explore teaching as my career.
I am glad that I can follow the footsteps of my mentor. The things that he had done and the way he taught me had really shaped my thinking as well as the way I carry out my lessons and nurture my students. I have really learnt a lot from him. As my family was not financially well-off when I was young, at times I did not have pocket money. My teacher would pass me a bun when he was aware of my situation.”
Your teacher is very nice!
“Yes, so until today when I look back, I am still very touched that he care-d for me not just as a student but also as a friend. He is always concerned and even now when I am working, he would call me and ask me how I am doing. He is someone who has truly inspired me and also the main reason why I took up teaching. When I was contemplating whether to go into teaching he encouraged me to go for it so I took up the award and invited him over to the ceremony. He was very happy that I followed in his footsteps to continue impacting the younger generation. Thus, I really draw a great deal of my inspiration from him.”
Were you a prefect and student councillor?
“Yes I was a prefect, student councillor and house captain. I had this kind of exposure and I think it was really important as it shaped me in the way I do things. It changed the way I did my projects, carried out my duties as a teacher and how I treated the student councillors when I was the council teacher for two years here.”
Why are you not in-charge of the student council anymore?
“I thought it was time for me to have greater exposure in other areas so that I could do other things. I could then do and learn different things. That is why I stepped down to move to another committee. I believed that the leadership opportunities I had when I was schooling was really impactful as it really made me more resilient and helped in my character building . When I was in University I was very happy and fortunate to have the support and advice of the professors who had a lot of faith in me. They gave me a lot of opportunities to do research and in my four years there I was basically doing research besides studying.”
Why did you choose to be a teacher?
“In another job, I only influence the people I interact with. However, being a teacher allows me to get in touch with not only young adults but also younger students that we come across. It allows me to inculcate the correct values and attitude that people should have in life. People keep complaining that Singaporeans, especially the younger generation these days are weaker and less resilient. I think that with the correct kind of examples that we adults set, they will be able to model the right way. Generally I think that the younger generation nowadays is smarter and more street wise compared to my time. Having said that, some things also need fine tuning such as the value system. I joined the teaching force because I think I make a difference. If I can teach the correct values and my students can in turn be teachers, they carry on the legacy that my teachers and university professors have taught me.”
Thank you Mr. Tan for accepting our interview. We have learnt a lot about you and we hope you have a happy Teachers’ Day!
Interviewed and written By:
Kaitlyn Shi Jia Li, 13S5
TEACHERS DAY SPECIAL - INTERVIEW WITH MR WEE CHONG LIN
The Economanificient Teacher
Education is a very vital aspect for every child in today’s society. And the unsung heroes and heroines who are responsible, capable and devoted, spend their lives in developing these children holistically, are non-other than our beloved teachers.
A good teacher must be patient, kind, caring, honest, understanding and sensitive to the student’s academic and social well-being. In MI, students are definitely blessed with many teachers of such qualities. And among these supermen and super women, I would like to introduce you to the extraordinary and marvellous, Mr Wee Chong Lin.
Mr Wee Chong Lin is an Economics teacher for 3 years. And if you have ever sat in his classes, you would have thought he have been in the teaching field for 10 years. He exhibits great expertise in Economics and presents lessons in a fun, clear and enjoyable way that what sparks his student’s burning desire for knowledge and wisdom in Economics.
Besides being an amazing classroom teacher, Mr Wee constantly care for his students. For example, there were times when I was really stressed out and he would come forward to show his concern and give sound advice. These kind acts really help me in my emotional development and in establishing a clearer and analytical mind to deal with immediate and future challenges.
The reason that Mr Wee chose to undertake such a noble role of being a teacher is because he believes that his contribution in teaching is more rewarding as compared to his previous job as a sales person. He also thinks that he is able to spend more quality time with his family.
To Mr Wee, he feels that teaching in MI is a blessing in disguise. MI students let him see the hope in the future generation. What make MI students outstanding as compared to other schools is that they have many non-academic traits and they are more process rather than result focused. This certainly makes the development of our students more enriching and fulfilling. It is an extreme joy for him to help his students realise their potential.
Last but not least, Mr Wee has this message for all his beloved colleagues, “See the positive aspects of our students and help them to succeed. Happy Teachers’ Day to all”!
Interviewed and Written By:
Geraldine Teo Yu Ying, 12B4
TEACHERS DAY SPECIAL - INTERVIEW WITH MISS AZRA SHAZEAA BINTE HARUDDIN
Millennia Institute is a school with business focus. Miss Azra Shazeaa Binte Hairuddin from the economics department would like to share her take on her life from then, being a student, now, a teacher.
“I was inspired to join the teaching industry since I have always enjoyed going to school and learning new things. I have always felt that the school is an awesome environment for learning and interacting as well.
My passion for teaching ignited when I was in Junior College. I had a great Economics lecturer who made me see how fascinating Economics is through her thorough explanations. I began “teaching” in a subtle way like explaining the economics concepts to my mother and siblings and found this really enthralling.
Not just that, my decision to make a career out of teaching is always affirmed when my students are eager to learn and have an excellent attitude towards lessons. I feel really satisfied when my students pay attention during lessons and put in their best efforts towards their tutorials and class work. It is really rewarding when students are able to take home a piece of me, no matter how small or large, after every lesson I have with them.
I see teaching as a way of giving back to my student. Through teaching, I want to pass on my passion for Economics to other students and hope they would see this subject as an extremely interesting one, the same way as I do.
While growing up, I had a lot of memories, especially being a student and a teacher. I was from Bukit Panjang Government High and Anderson Junior College respectively and as a student; I really enjoyed my schooling days as I had great friends and teachers in school.
One of the best memories I had when I was a student was when our class got punished for not handing up our homework. Although we were scolded badly, our class had stood united by staying back together to complete our work without isolating one another and this made me see how great the friendship and camaraderie between our classmates were. I feel really glad to have experienced such strong team spirit.
Also, during my schooling years, a friend of mine had given me a bookmark with the caption “I can’t do everything but I can do something. But just because I can’t do everything, that doesn’t stop me from doing that one thing I can do.” Those words really motivated me to be the best that I could and I carried them with me in everything I do.
As a teacher, one of my best memories occurred on one of my teaching trainings when I was posted to Millennia Institute as a trainee teacher in Economics. My class at that time, 09B1, was extremely attentive from the minute I stepped into class; they stood up and greeted me and were really eager to learn, paying attention to everything I had to say. Before I departed for further training at the NIE, they also gave me a scrapbook filled with student’s well wishes, which was an act that really touched my heart. Their actions really had me swayed and further enunciated the reason why I am glad to have become a teacher.”
Written and interviewed By:
Agatha Oei Xing Yin, 13B5
TEACHERS DAY SPECIAL - INTERVIEW WITH MS MIN YUE & MDM RAJESHWARI RAI
Who inspired you to be a teacher?
“There are many people who had inspired me to become a teacher. I think that the people who had inspired me the most are my sister and grandfather. They are both Chinese language teachers, and this influenced me to become a teacher. At the same time, I learn from them. My grandfather was also my Chinese teacher in Secondary Three. It was an interesting but awkward experience for me.”
“I am not sure if anyone inspired me to be a teacher but what fascinates me about teaching is that year in and year out, I deal with different batches of students and every batch is different in their own way.”
What do you find most memorable in your teaching career?
“This is probably when I return to China, my students still remember me even though I did not really manage to finish teaching them. I was told that my teaching have influenced their lives. This also made me feel guilty towards them since I feel that I am supposed to be there for them till the end... It was really regretful that I had to leave halfway.”
What do you find most rewarding as a teacher?
“What I find most rewarding as a teacher is when I see that I had helped my students become all-rounded individuals such that they not only excel academically but also improve their characters. There was also once when the whole class wrote little cards with messages and combined all of them to give to me as a teacher's day present. When I read these cards, I know how each of them had felt about me and the significance of the various roles I have played in their lives. It was a really meaningful gift to me.”
“One of the things I find most rewarding in teaching is that there is a lot of gratification in it. While I work very hard and it can be tiring at times (I do not have time for other commitments), there is much gratification in this job and I think that this is what makes me wake up and come to school every day.”
What are the ups and downs of being a teacher?
“The ups would be whenthe students write little notes to me like "Today's lesson was interesting" at the bottom of their homework or when I see the look of understanding on their faces. This would give me great satisfaction. However, the downs would be when I recalled some students who looked 'blank' at the end of the lesson. This made me feel dissatisfied and leaves me thinking if I have not done a good job.”
How has teaching made you a better person?
“I was not a really sociable person. However, since becoming a teacher, teaching has pushed me to become more sociable. It helped me gain better social skills since I have to be able to open up when I teach. Teaching has given me the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life. I have also managed to accumulate experience from these people whom I meet and become a better person in the long run.”
Interviewed and Written By:
Sim Yan Ling, 13S5
Jasmine Lim Jia Hui, 13S5
SAMBUTAN DUA DALAM SATU
(A 2-IN-1 CELEBRATION, A ONE-OF-A-KIND EXPERIENCE)
Both Noraisah and Nurul Aini reminisced the double celebrations that they witnessed in Millennia Institute recently and documented their experiences in a simple reflection that captured the essence of the colourful celebration they experienced.
Siti Noraisah Bte Amran (12B6)
7 haribulan Ogos 2013 merupakan tarikh yang amat bermakna untuk para pelajar Institut Millennia. Berbeza daripada tahun-tahun yang lalu, tahun ini, para pelajar dapat menyambut Hari Kebangsaan dan Hari Raya pada hari yang sama di sekolah. Kawasan sekolah pada pagi itu riuh-rendah dengan suara-suara ceria para pelajar yang tidak sabar-sabar menantikan bermulanya sambutan tersebut.
Memandangkan kedua-dua perayaan akan disambut pada hari dan masa yang sama, pelbagai acara telah dirangcang untuk menghiburkan para pelajar yang hadir. Acara pada hari tersebut bermula dengan acara perbarisan. Para pelajar yang tidak berpeluang menyaksikan acara perbarisan di Pentas Terapung Marina Bay telah diberikan kesempatan yang sama. Perbarisan yang telah diadakan dan dijayakan oleh pelajar-pelajar Institut Millennia cukup unik.
Selepas acara perbarisan, para pelajar telah diajak untuk mengenali perayaan Aidilfitri. Yang menjadikan progam ini begitu istimewa sekali ialah kami bukan sahaja dapat mengetahui bagaimana perayaan hari raya disambut oleh masyarakat Melayu di Singapura, malah, kami juga telah mempelajari bagaimana perayaan itu disambut oleh masyarakat bukan Melayu yang sama-sama menyambut kehadiran bulan Syawal.
Sesi nyanyian lagu-lagu yang dicipata khas untuk sambutan Hari Kebangsaan negara menjadi penutup tirai sambutan pada hari itu. Sudah tentu sekali, suara-suara para pelajar Millennia berjaya menggegarkan dewan sekolah. Kegembiraan jelas terpancar di setiap wajah pelajar, menandakan berakhirnya acara ini.
Rumusannya, kedua-dua perayaan yang disambut pada hari itu begitu menghiburkan hati semua yang hadir. Kami didedahkan kepada pelbagai maklumat telah dapat diraih tanpa disedari. Para pelajar juga telah dapat merehatkan minda mereka daripada tekanan pelajaran melalui aktiviti-aktiviti yang telah dilakarkan. Tentu sekali, pelbagai nilai moral telah dapat diterapkan dalam setiap acara yang dirancangkan supaya kita dapat mempelajari sesuatu sambil berhibur. Bak kata pepatah, sambil menyelam, minum air.
SAMBUTAN DUA DALAM SATU
(A 2-IN-1 CELEBRATION, A ONE-OF-A-KIND EXPERIENCE)
Nurul Aini Bte Zainol (12B6)
Tidak boleh dinafikan semangat sifat patriotik dalam kalangan remaja semakin pudar. Generasi kita pada hari ini, rata-rata kurang mempunyai semangat patriotik yang tinggi terhadap tanah air. Hal itu sudah pasti mendorong usaha Institut Millennia untuk mengembalikan rasa patriotik dalam kalangan pelajarnya. Pada 7 Ogos 2013, institut ini telah mengadakan perayaan Hari Kebangsaan yang begitu bermakna sekali. Pada pagi itu, kumpulan pasukan seragam membuka tirai sambutan dengan berbaris di stadium sekolah. Walaupun kami hanya menonton perarakan itu dari tempat duduk yang agak jauh daripada kawasan perbarisan, namun kami dapat merasakan bahang patriotik hanya dengan menyaksikan acara perbarisan itu selain menyanyikan lagu kebangsaan Singapura.
Kemudian, pelajar-pelajar telah bergerak ke dewan sekolah untuk menonton persembahan-persembahan yang telah disediakan oleh pelajar-pelajar dan guru-guru. Antara lain, kami telah dihiburkan dengan segmen permainan seperti ''The Price Is Right'' yang menguji pengetahuan penonton tentang hal-hal yang berkaitan dengan kehidupan di Singapura. Sudah tentu kami rasa terhibur dengan gelagat rakan-rakan kami apabila mereka di pentas dan bermain permainan itu. Namun, perkara yang paling seronok sekali ialah apabila lagu-lagu yang dicipta khas untuk perayaan Hari Kebangsaan dimainkan dengan kuatnya. Semua pelajar berdiri, berpelukan dengan rakan-rakan sambil menyanyikan lagu-lagu yang dimainkan. Secara tiba-tiba, kami terasa cinta dan sayang yang teramat terhadap negara kami. Di saat akhir persembahan, belon-belon merah putih dilepaskan ke bawah! Kami semua terpekik dan sama-sama mengambil belon-belon sambil tertawa riang. “Saya sayang teman-teman saya dan juga tanah air saya!”
Institute day is an annual event that is held to recognise students who excel in leadership, academic achievements and service to the school. This year, in lieu of the school’s10th anniversary, Millennia Institute organised both Awards Day and Institute Day to give recognise more students and allow the rest of the school population to witness the presentation of awards, with the hope that it motivate them to strive for awards the next year.
24th April 2013 marks Awards Day in Millennia Institute. Awards Day gives recognition to a number of students who excel in academia, leadership and service.
Awards given out include EAGLES Award, Edusave Merit Bursary and Good Progress Award. Students who have scored an average of C grades for their three H2 subjects in their pervious year examinations were also given the Silver Wings Award.
Our Valedictorian, Rajeleetha D/O Rajanthiran, Class of 2012 had an inspiring story to tell. ,Rajeleetha came from a family where her siblings did academically well . She was the only one in her family who was not enrolled into a Junior College (JC). In the first year, Rajeleetha was not diligent and ended up being retained. When her younger sister entered a JC, it meant that her younger sibling would finish A Level before her. That motivated her to push herself and to excel in her studies .The four years in MI were less stressful and competitive than the other Junior Colleges according to her. She also enjoyed the support provided by her peers and teachers. Just like the theme Treasures Journeys of the school’s 10th anniversary celebration, Rajeleetha treasured the time she had spent in MI and the friends she has made. Rajeleetha has gained admission into NUS.
11 May 2013 marked an important day of celebration of our school’s 10th Institute Day (IDay), an annual event held to celebrate our school’s achievements. The event was held at the hall and attended by a large majority of our school’s population - PU2 and PU3 cohorts of students, our Principal, Mr Tan Chor Pang, our Vice-Principals, Mr Mohd Azman and Mrs Koh Caiyu, our school staff, parents and not forgetting, our school’s alumni board. Furthermore, many very important guests such as our guest of honour, Dr Amy Khor Lean Suan, Minister of State, Health and Manpower and Mayor of South West District, Mrs Priscillia Chan, Superintendent of Cluster West 7, Dr Stephen Lee, IAC Chairman and members of IAC were also invited our school to grace the occasion, making the event a grand and memorable one to be remembered.
Before the guest of honour arrived, our MCs, Alex and Lena, entertained the crowd with a quiz and fun facts about MI, followed by video that took everyone down memory lane with entertaining snippets about historical, current MI events and present and past students’ fond memories of the school. All these were prepared to bring out the theme of our celebration, Treasured Journeys. Next up was our very own beloved MI Symphonic Band which performed a light-hearted piece, Gavotte.
Upon the arrival of our distinguishable guests, Dr Amy Khor, Dr Stephanie Lee, Miss Priscilla Chan, our principal, Mr Tan, vice principals, Mr Azman and Mrs Koh, everyone rose to warmly welcome them. The event started with two art performances, a breath-taking violin and piano duet and a dance titled Dance of the Globin, to signify the school’s support and nurturing of talents.
After which, Mr Tan went on stage to deliver the Institute report which is a vital segment during IDay. He outlined the strategies MI had adopted over the years to meet the evolving needs of MI students. He stressed on the increasing number of Millennians gaining entries into local universities as a testament of the success of the institute’s programmes. Other than the academic achievements, he also emphasised on how the institute had helped students developed in the sports, arts and business. Furthermore, MI’s Overseas Community Involvement Projects (OCIP) trips, to Batam and Chiangmai, also developed students’ greater appetite for compassion. This had made our students more sensitive to the needs of the community at large which helped to cultivate all-rounded citizens. Mr Tan also shared on the glaring results of MI.World exchange trips with other schools globally that enabled our students to experience multiculturalism and opportunities to work with peers from around the world.
Mr Tan expressed his sincere gratitude to the staff, parents support group and all stakeholders, for their dedicated commitment and contribution to MI. He also sincerely congratulated the award winning students. Last but not least, he stressed that the journey was not over but the decade only marked a new beginning for MI, which would strive for greater achievements in the many years to come.
Overall, the event was an inspiring and a memorable one as it was amazing to see many of our fellow students went on stage to receive their awards. They were truly role models for us to learn from.
Geraldine Teo, 12B5, Thio Zhuang Mei Valerie, 12S2,
NG Gek Lian Elean, 12S2 & Kaitlyn Shi Jia Li, 13S5
Student leaders’ Investiture is a day where the PU3 students leaders handover the leadership to their PU2 juniors to continue the running of the three councils. This year’s investiture theme is Valour which signified boldness or determination in facing difficulties.
The ceremony was simple but memorable as it symbolized the passing of stewardship of the student body to help make the school a better place. It was an important step for the new councillors as they had to fill the shoes that would be the voice of the student population and in inspiring them to achieve greater height. As for the leaders, it would be an opportunity to nurture their leadership skills and be role models to their peers.
The three newly elected Presidents, Yi Shan, Maureen and Haidhar from Student Council, Sports Council and National Education Council respectively, spoke about their dreams and aspirations for the student body in Millennia Institute. They would be the beacon in transforming the school’s environment to best suit the majority of the student body. They understood that it would be over ambitious to want to bring change to every aspect of the school as change takes time. However, they promised to take on the challenge of striving to help meet the needs of the student body in whatever ways possible. With the support and cheers from the student body, teachers and proud parents, the PU2 councillors were sworn in.
We admire their zest in undertaking the amount of responsibilities that come with their leadership positions and we wish them the best in their efforts to lead their respective councils and the student body to greater heights and unison!
Iris Wee Sin Hui , 12A1 & Fong Zhi Cong, 11B2
On 4th May 2012 at @SCAPE*, Somerset, the area was busier than ever, bustling with many people, adults and youths alike. Freckled with plenty of booths selling myriad of products and performers dressed to the nines from the school's performing groups, it was a special day, as the day marked Millennia Institute's annual MI Mart.
MI Mart is an annual bazar organized by the school, featuring businesses set up by the PU1 Arts and Business students to provide them an avenue for them to learn entrepreneurial spirit and to apply business skills through running of their own business. In celebration of the school’s 10th anniversary, teachers and CCAs are also invited to set up booths.
In line with the theme, Treasured Journeys, stall owners sold items that helped their customers to recall their precious memories. As a result, students came up with innovative products such as dream catchers, customised rings, personalised tote bags and even handmade soaps. Under the humid weather and blazing sun, students, teachers and CCA groups battled it out and competed on their entrepreneurship skills. Yet all were in good fun and sales were good!
Weaving through the human traffic, one would be able to spot students enthusiastically marketing their products in an attempt to generate more sales. Students participated actively by shouting sales for their products in a bid to increase awareness for their booths. Others tried marketing tactics such as offering promotions and large discounts for their products.
In conjunction with MI Mart, our school’s yearly performing arts showcase, Transcendence, was held to entertain shoppers and pull in the crowd. It was also an opportunity for Millennians to showcase their talents. Performances took place at 2pm and 6pm respectively and lasted for an hour per session. Hugh crowds were spotted surrounding the stage waiting in anticipation for the stars to perform and each performance was received with tremendous applause! Each singer had their own talent and specialty that outshined the rest. Hit songs like The Climb by Miley Cyrus and Diamonds by Rihanna were covered by the students and they really charmed the audience!
1pm was the opening of MI Mart and it got busier as customers flooded into @SCAPE*, attracted by the interesting and beautiful advertisements made by the stall owners. New friends were made as many bonded with the foreign exchange students through the activities planned by the MCs for MI mart and Transcendence. New experience like managing the stalls and getting rejected by those they approached had definitely enriched the students’ short but fruitful business experience.
At around 6:30pm, the atmosphere was heightened as sellers made their final attempts to offload their products to drive up sales while buyers would heckle for even lower prices and then swarmed in to snap up the goods! MI Mart ended on a happy tone as everyone celebrated their success and congratulated each other for their hard work. It was a very meaningful and exciting day for everyone at MI mart. All in all, MI Mart was another unique learning experience for students of the institute, most importantly, the true value of hard work allow our Millennians to take home useful life lessons.
“Being a science student, I learnt that being an entrepreneur is not an easy job. It is interesting to sell stuff and earn profit out of it and I really enjoy the experience. It created stronger bonds in my CCA. I hope that more CCAs will be able to participate in MI mart again.”
- Koh Wei Jun, 12S2, Students’ Council, Member.
“The event was organised by the school in order to equip students with entrepreneurship skills, such as innovation and enterprise, as well as to allow students to have a taste in starting their own businesses. This is especially beneficial for the arts and business students in the institute. Students also learnt how to work under pressure trying to deal with customer's demands and working against time to deliver quality goods to their customers.”
“It was not easy for the entrepreneurship club members to decide on what to sell as there is a need to stand out due to the fact that we are from the entrepreneurship club. Through it all, although the process was tiring for my PU2 juniors, but to them it was a great experience coordinating all the members for different roles and ensuring the event was a success from helping with the registration of stalls to the preparation at @SCAPE*.”
- Seah Celina, 11B3, Entrepreneurship Club, Vice President
Tou Si Ying (Natelli), 12A1, Feera Syaqirah Bte Saadudin, 13A1,
Agatha Oei Xing Yin, 13B5 & Sim Yan Ling, 13S5
On the 19thof April, in lieu of International Friendship Day (IFD), our school conducted a Model United Conference in the school hall, with delegates from various countries represented by some of our school students, while the rest of the school population played the role of audience and citizens.
Each delegate represented their respective countries such as Singapore, North Korea, Syria, USA, Russia, Mali and other members of United Nations. In a nutshell, Model United Nations (also Model UN or MUN) is an academic simulation of what takes place at United Nation which aims to educate participants about what actually takes place during UN meetings, to better understand some teething issues, international relations, diplomacy and the United Nations’ roles.
Delegates were required to assert their stand on an issue and justify their stand during an assembly which would be rebutted or supported by the other delegates. The discussion on that day was about the intervention of armed conflict in a country by other countries. The delegates representing the individual countries did a great job tabling their propositions and oppositions, at times making rousing and emotionally charged speeches that render strong rebuttals from all around. The audience was apparently enjoying the exchanges, throwing their weight behind their delegates whenever a rebuttal was put forward by their delegate. Being an audience amongst the crowd that day, I was absolutely thrilled to see my peers engaging themselves enthusiastically to support to the student delegates who were firm in their arguments fighting for their rights of their country. Ben from 12A1 who represented North Korea, was especially eye-catching with his theatrical and passionate stance in putting forward his countries arguments despite countless forceful rebuttals thrown at him by opposing countries such as USA.
Through such an activity, Millennians are able to learn about relevant current affairs that are on-going in the world which will improve their general knowledge and help students with their critical thinking skills, encourage them to form and support their own views. It also emphasises the importance of fostering a closer interconnectedness of different countries that contributes to maintaining peace in the world.
In conclusion, the MUN conference was a great success in commemorating INF 2013 as it had allowed our students to understand the importance of maintaining peace and good relations with countries around the world.
Maverlyn Low, 12B5 & Shanel Tan, 12A1
23th of May was an eventful one for us, it was the official launch of Citi-YMCA Youth for Causes 2013. As my team, Sea of Hope, won the Public Outreach Award and Millennia Institute won the Most Supportive School Award last year, my team was invited to make a speech during the Official Launch. The Guest of Honour was Minister Tan Chuan Jin, Acting Minster of Manpower and Senior Minister of State, Ministry of National Development. Besides him, there were guests such as Ms Evangeline Chua, Head of Human Resources, Citi Singapore, Mr Stephen Loh the President of YMCA Singapore, Mr Leslie Wong, Chairman of the Citi-YMCA Youth For Causes Committee and other participants. We spent the days leading up to the event rehearsing our speech.
On the day itself, we felt nervous as we were afraid that we would make mistakes. It was nerve-wrecking to do a speech in front of a huge crowd. Thankfully, our speech was delivered fluently. We felt proud that we could represent the school in making the speech after all the support we had received during the various phases of the Fold a Fish event. It was a meaningful experience for us as it is an opportunity to generate some publicity for our school and improve our public speaking skills. We were happy to receive a number of compliments from the audience after our speech.
We strongly believe that volunteering work should not simply be for CIP hours or for VIA hours as if it is not done from the heart, it is not worth doing. We hope that more youths would be inspired to give back to society and not be self-centred.
Shaun Ko & Wei Ruolan (12B5)
Earth Hour is an international event organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and is held towards the end of March annually to encourage households, schools and corporations to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour. The purpose is to raise awareness about the need to take action on climate change in order to save the environment. Earth Hour 2013 was celebrated on March 23. Likewise, the Arts and Geography departments in Millennia Institute planned the commemoration of Earth Week from 22nd April to 26th April 2013 to encourage all students to participate in a mini green contest within the school campus.
As an Environmental Representative for my class, along with representative from other classes, we were tasked to be part of the facilitating group for Earth Week 2013. We had to encourage 5 of our classmates to take part in an conservation-themed game called “Scan it, Find it, Design it” which required us to make use of QR codes to find the mysterious plants in the campus. The enthusiasm and excitement of my peers demonstrated their conviction in doing their part for earth. To make the game more interesting, a mysterious gift awaited the winning team!
For our Interactive Reading Period, we were given articles regarding Earth Week and environment issues that the earth faces. In addition, we had a chance to showcase our creativity by decorating tote bags with recyclable materials and paint. Students are also encouraged to send in their pledges and ideas to save earth. We were also encouraged to pen down our thoughts and reflections about Earth Day. The commemoration ended with a drama skit performed by South West CDC to educate students on the methods in which we can do our part to conserve and protect our environment.
Teoh Ying Ying Nancy, 11B3
Two MI teams (Cricpers & Security Wrist Alarm) were the finalists for the SMU’s inaugural Youth Innovation Challenge Finals which was held on 22nd April 2013. There were 12 finalists and Cricpers (Oh Jia Ling Joeann - 11S4) won the 3rd Prize of $2000 and Security Wrist Alarm (Alina-12S2, Nur Shadrina-11S2 and Leng Hock Hong- 11S2) won the consolation prize of $500.
“I started my journey, with the innovation workshop when I was in year one, I remembered the trainers were saying "think of a problem in your life that you want to solve, then think of a solution, a simple solution to alleviate this problem". At that point of time, I was thinking that it was a waste of time, But I still went on doing it and came in 1st in the Innovative Product Challenge. I was given MI Seed Fund to develop my product, made the prototype and even presented my idea to Director-General of Education, Ms Ho Peng when she came to MI for its official opening during the 8th Institution Day in 2011.
With the encouragement from my teacher IC, Ms Mada, I sent in my product idea for two competitions, Start-Up Singapore & SMU Innovation Challenge. I was dumbfounded when I got into the finals for the SMU Innovation Challenge, I was not confident with my product idea, and never did I expect to emerge as second runner up. During this challenge, I was assigned to a mentor, Ms Denise, and I learnt a lot from business pitching to drafting my business plan from her. It was a tiring journey, but it was worthwhile as I learnt a lot of life skills such as writing, communication, critical thinking and creative problem solving skills which I could not learn from textbooks.”
- Oh Jia Ling Joeann, 11S4
Security Wrist Alarm
“We came up with our product, the Security Wrist Alarm as part of our Project Work because we felt that there was a need to create a device that would be able to save the lives of many elderly with just a press of a button and its ability to save the lives of elderly who are unconscious with the use of a pulse rate reader was an added feature of our product. We were excited when we found out that we were one of the 12 teams that were given the chance to present our idea during the final judging.
We were pleasantly surprised that our product was good enough and could not wait to start preparing for the competition. At the same time, we were also worried. We knew that the preparation for this competition would be long and time consuming thus we feared that it would affect our studies. The first two months after school reopened proved our fears were right. It got increasingly difficult for us to do research to improve our product and to do our homework and revision at the same time. We became a little stressed. However, our workload was significantly lessened with continual support from my teacher and mentor.
Through this SMU competition, we had gained new experience on invention and entrepreneurship. Teamwork was as it enabled us to complete our project with quality work. This competition preparation helped us to improve our oral presentation skills too.
All in all it was a journey filled with memorable learning experiences and whatever we had learnt would remain with us and be useful for the rest of our lives. We would like to thank the school for giving us this opportunity to participate in this competition.”
- Alina, 12S2, Nur Shadrina, 11S2 & Leng Hock Hong, 11S2
On 19th of October 2012, PU1 students from Millennia Institute had the opportunity to visit the Basic Military Training facilities at Pulau Tekong, where the Singapore Armed Forces trains their recruits. Basic Military Training (BMT) marks the beginning of military life for all Singaporean males at the age of 18. It is the transition from fresh-faced teenagers to combat-ready soldiers.
The recruits will learn the basic soldiering skills which include weapon handling, individual field craft and bayonet fighting to ensure their survivability in the battlefield and the defence of Singapore.
Besides training in basic military skills, we also learnt that Physical Training (PT) lessons are also conducted to build the soldiers' physique and stamina. Equally important, foot drills is a staple to instill discipline and teamwork amongst the soldiers. The boys in our group were able to have a first-hand experience on how their life in the near future will be like when they are enlisted and the visit allowed them to clear their doubts with the commanders and officers. Some of soldiers also share their experience in camp and gave some advice on how to prepare for National Service.
As for the girls, even though it is not compulsory for them to serve in the army, the visit made them appreciate more of their fathers, brothers and boyfriends had to go through.
The overall experience of the trip was enriching and enjoyable as it was well organized by the facilitators. It also reinforces the importance of National Service in Singapore.
Shanel Tan, 12A1
After months of preparation for the promotional examination, the PU1s are rewarded with two fulfilling days of post examination activities held in school by external vendors. This is in line with the institute’s goal of providing a holistic education.
The following are three PU1 MI Wired writers’ reflection on the activities.
“On 12th October, all PU1 students are given a briefing on how to sign up for their Post Promotional Activities. Some of the available programmes were Photography, Ceramics molding, Dance and Calligraphy. We were required to sign up for the programmes of our choice on the name lists provided at the Foyer.
I chose Ceramics Molding over the rest of the options because I had attended a Photography course before during my secondary school years and I have always wanted to make something using clay. Hence, I did not hesitate to make my decision.
On the day itself, the instructor, Ms Nisa, started the lesson by telling us more about ceramics including how ceramics came about in the past and of its useful purposes in daily life. She also showed us the different methods of making our own masterpieces. After which, we started on our pieces after we had decided on our designs. First, we had to pinch and roll the clay to avoid having air bubbles in it, failing to execute this step carefully and the clay will crack when it is fired. We also used other shaping tools to improve on our work and to make it more artistically pleasing. Ms Nisa also taught us that in order to make the clay look shinier and not be out of shape, we should apply water those areas.
On the 2nd day, another instructor, Shahid, taught us more methods on how to further enhance our work. We were very motivated and aimed to do each step correctly as we were informed that some of the best works would be selected to be displayed at our school Art corner! After we were done, all of our works were put in the oven and fired.
Overall, I found the programme very useful for me as I had gained one more skill. Through this program I also worked with new friends and gained new friendships.”
“In MI, the institute emphasizes not just on the academic result of the students but also in developing character and moulding passion. PU1 students were offered various programmes such as videography, photography, ceramics moulding, dance (hip hop and jazz) and calligraphy after their promotional examination.
I chose videography because I have always admired the works of filmmakers and producers. The videography workshop was conducted over three days, though short it might be, the lessons and skills learnt were valuable and priceless. We learnt about using of different camera angles and various techniques on how to create effects in a video that connects with the audience.
We also had to direct one video all by ourselves. Before we could even put our ideas into recording, meticulous and intense planning was required at the pre-production. Group members then decided on roles, crafted out scripts and visual plan (something like a comic strip) so that the whole team was aware of their different roles and jobs. The preparation work would allow the team to have a common goal.
Through this elective, I saw videography in a whole different light. An insight I gained for the three days was, a good production does not only rely on a good idea but on the cooperation of the whole production team.”
“For the post promotional activities, I chose Photography because of its 'hip' image amongst the youngsters and the growing interest to take beautiful pictures nowadays.
The programme successfully captured the attention of the participants as we were brought into a makeshift studio and taught the basic skills of a photographer, such as lighting, choosing good angles, framing of subjects and use of our equipment. The second day of the course was even more exhilarating because the students had to complete a project at the end of the session. All of us had the opportunity utilize our newly acquired skills and apply our creative ideas. Everyone went around the school enthusiastically to take the shots they desire. It was such fun!
The programme certainly fuelled my interest in photography and I would be looking forward to more opportunities to improve my knowledge and skills in this area.”
“I am honored to be given the opportunity to help with my seniors’ Appreciation Tea on 17 Oct 2012. Seeing them dressed up formally and with excitement filling their faces makes me look forward to my own graduation day as well!
There were a total of four speeches made that afternoon and the one left me with the deepest impression was the speech made by Khan, the representative of Science course and the president of the 8th Sports Council. His was not only charismatic but the message he delivered struck a chord with his peers. He is a senior whom I look up to as he has overcome challenges that he faced and emerged stronger. Khan’s speech has inspired and motivated me to stay focused on my goals.
In addition, the PU3 home tutors conveyed their best wishes to their students through songs with meaningful lyrics and videos with heartfelt messages. These touching moments moved me.
The event ended on a high note as students hug each other and their teachers with “The Graduation Song” by Vitamin C as the backdrop.
I would like to wish my seniors all the best for the A level examination!”
- Shirmaine Ng, President, 9th National Education Council
“Dear PU3 students,you have come a long way and fought many battles to be where you are right now - this is the time for you to shine. Make your years in MI count and give your very best so you will leave with no regrets. Keep fighting!”
- Love, Ms Mariya, English Department
“You will never walk alone!”
- Mr Idris, English Department
“I wish all of you will find your place in life and be contented and happy always!”
- Ms Nur Illian, Mother Tongue Department
“PU3 Tamil Language and Literature students, I know you prepared very well for the A level examination. You must stay calm and focused during the paper and give it your best shot!”
- Mr Sengu, Mother Tongue Department
“Everything is possible if you believe in yourselves!”
- Ms Sathia, Business Department
“To all PU3 students, I hope you will remain calm when you sitting for your papers and believe in your ability. Do your best and do not let one paper affect your preparation for the rest of them.
Enjoy yourselves after the A level examination before you embark on the next stage of your journey.”
- Ms Zhou Ping, Mother Tongue Department
Teachers are unsung heroes of the society, the captains of students’ lives.
Teachers day is the day where all the efforts and hard work of the teachers are appreciated by students.The theme for this year’s celebration in MI was “Odyssey”, which painted the journey of teachers.
The much anticipated concert, nicely planned by our very own 9th Students’ Council, kicked off with a drama performance by Millennia Stage. The drama depicted a powerful story of how a wayward student blamed his teachers for his failures, how he embarked on a journey of discovery, reconciliation and recognition of his teachers’ love and faith in him. As expected, the Millennia Stage did a splendid job in their performance and lived up to their reputation among their school mates.
Next, the modern dancers form the Dance Club performed a beautifully choreographed piece expressing love and appreciation. It was apparent that their focus and effort on stage spoke volume of their affection for their teachers. Many of them took time from preparing their exams to painstakingly practise. Their effort was met with a huge round of applause from the audience.
For the grand finale, a band formed by our very own teachers performed on stage! They surprised everyone by playing the guitar, drums and violin. They also impressed with their vocals! The atmosphere in the hall was fired up as everyone cheered, shouted and sang along loudly! Their performance earned them a rousing demand for an encore as the students simply could not get enough of their teachers.
It was certainly a special day, for the students, that is!
Ng Gek Lian Elean, 11S3
Shermane Wong, 12B6
One of the issues that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong pointed out during the NDP Rally Speech 2012 was having a big hearted society.
I agree that we have to treat fellow citizens with respect, accommodate practices and beliefs of different races and religions, and show spirit of tolerance as we are a multiracial society. We have to be respectful to others if we want people to respect us in the same way. He also mentioned that we have to treat foreign immigrants the same way as we treat our citizens, with courtesy and respect. Although it is fine to express concern about the rising influx of foreign workers, it is worrisome to see nasty comments about immigrants expressed by anonymous persons online. I do admit that there are some foreigners who are crude in their actions and may be disrespectful towards our citizens but it would be unfair to classify all of them as the same basket of eggs. These minorities do not represent the whole population of foreign workers. It may be just a handful of them.
Singaporeans are not free from faults too. Everyone has a different perspective to how they should be treated thus we should just give and take. There are also many foreigners who are helpful and they are not being recognized for their initiative to help our citizens. It would be the same way on how we want to be treated if we have the opportunity to work overseas. We do not want to be segregated by the natives as being just another foreign worker trying to make our fortunes and have no consideration for their culture and social norms. I am sure we would not like to criticized for our actions on the net for our “uncivilized” behavior.
Finally, most foreigners come to Singapore to take up work that Singaporeans do not want to do as they are mostly manual work that are shun by local job-seekers. Without them, we might not even have made it into a first-world country with good infrastructure. Therefore we should not be mean towards them but instead help them to integrate into our society.
On the night of the 24th of August, the Institute’s Transcendence was held at the school’s Centre Stage. This annual event allows students to showcase their talent through performances in singing, dancing, rhythmic gymnastics and other art forms.
Every performance was very entertaining, with unique twists in each of them showcasing the students creativity and originality. One group came up with their own ‘meshed up’ version of a song while another dance item saw the telling of a story through the combination of traditional and modern dance moves. Everybody in the crowd was blown away by their performance and rewarded the performers with loud cheers and applause. On top of that, the audience had the opportunity to watch the performance of a gentle and feminine traditional Malay dance in dazzling and colorful traditional costumes. For the first time ever in Transcendence, the audience watched an elegant performance of rhythmic gymnastics. The performers demonstrated exceptional flexibility and coordination that seemed effortless. Kudos must be given for the students’ commitment, hard work and time in perfecting their display! Apart from the students’ performances, the teachers of MI also gave a surprise rendition of rock music! The soulful and powerful performance left the audience in shock and in awe of their teachers’ musical talent!
Overall, the event was well organized and the audience was enthusiastically singing, clapping along and waving their luminous light sticks. Transcendence 2012 ended off on a high note where all the performers’ hard work paid off as they won recognition and praise all around!
These are some of the reflections by the performers.
“It is very refreshing to perform again after more than four years of not touching my guitar! I really want to thank all my group mates for all the things that we have been through, including the hours and hours of rehearsals. We also want to thank all the teachers who have helped us in one way or another especially Miss Hong Xiaohui who gave us a lot of advice along the way. Lastly, I also want to thank all our friends and family who have supported us in one way or another!! We will be back!!”
Benjamin Lau Chang Xun 11S3
“For me, it was a thrilling experience to perform in front of a huge crowd. I guess the satisfaction would be to perform our song with a bang and get the audience going! I joined the group at the last minute and faced difficulties getting the right beat sometimes, such as having to coordinate the beats with our pianist, Ben Yeo. Yeah. That was a challenge! But with the help of my group mates, I managed to get it right in the end.”
Abdul Shameer Rauf 11S4
“I wanted to say without the guidance, support and comments of my band members I would not have blended in with them so quickly. Even though I have many commitments and lack of time for practices which gave many problems to my team, they are very patient and supported me through out. Lastly I want to thank the supporters who give their support to the band.”
Ben Yeo Zhi Hui 11S3
“I would say that I am satisfied that I actually performed in front of a crowd, hitting some of the notes that I had problems with in the beginning. Also, I am pretty happy that we were able to incorporate some of our own style in the song after being inspired by watching the other acts. I joined the group pretty late with only three weeks before Transcendence. My group had to transpose the song so as to adjust to my key. But even with the numerous changes made to the song and the time limit, my group was able to put on a great show.”
Sharie Mirza 11S1
Shanel Tan, 12A1
Teoh Ying Ying Nancy, 11B3
In Millennia Institute, students are encouraged to take up activist projects and to serve the community. The take away from these projects may not be just appreciation from the organizations, but it is the sense of accomplishment that students have in making someone’s life better with just a little of their effort.
For this edition, MI Wired is proud to have Siti Raudhah Bte Anwar from 11A3, recipient of EAGLES (CIP) Award 2011, to share with the school her experiences of being an activist.
1. Can you share with us some for your volunteering experiences?
“The most memorable one would be my trip to Chiang Mai. I was really looking forward to the trip as I knew that I would be able to interact with the kids there. Even though we did not interact that well, due to communication barriers, I felt that we still touched their hearts with our sincerity. Even though there was some time put aside for the aqua phonics project, I still felt like we bonded very well. We even played soccer with them!”
2. What is your motivation for being a volunteer?
“Well, I have always felt motivated to be involved in volunteering, probably because I am really aware of the things that are happening around me. I have always wanted to make this world a better place to live in. I want to help the people around me. If I can progress, I would like to help them to so too.”
“Similarly, it is because of my parents as they have always taught me empathy such that I just cannot stand seeing people suffering.”
3. What are some of the projects that you are involved in?
“I went for the OCIP Chiang Mai trip in June last year. We were basically involved in the making of aqua phonics there. I also went to Saint Lukes Hospital to accompany the elderly while they are having their treatment in that hospital. Earlier this year, I went to help at the Jurong Bird Park, to learn more about nature and how we should conserve it.”
“I helped out in mentoring the students in Princess Elizabeth Primary School with the Service Learning Club in MI. I am also honoured to have a chance to volunteer for the recent National Day Parade.”
4. What are some of the challenges you faced to meet the organization?
“When I was at Princess Elizabeth Primary School to mentor the young students, I have some classroom management problems as they can be quite rowdy at times. When I was at Saint Lukes Hospital, I had difficulties approaching the elderly as I was bit shy and breaking the ice with them took some time. But as a volunteer I always told myself to try my best that these small obstacles should not hinder me from doing good deeds for the society.”
“Similarly, the National Day Parade volunteering was during my fasting month. The fact that we need to be under the scorching sun, I managed to pull through. It was a huge challenge to me, but I tried to think of it positively and carried on my duties.”
5. In your own opinion, how should someone who aspires to take up activism prepare him/herself (emotionally, time management, physically)?
“Well, firstly it should be from the heart. If one desires to do it, I am sure one will contribute to the society. Time management is also important in order to manage one’s life and to strike a good balance.”
We would like to thank Raudhah for taking time off her busy schedule to share with us the valuable lessons learnt while serving the community and we hope this will inspire you to take action too!
Shermane Wong, 12B6 and Chong Mei Juan, 12S2
This year, a group of 4 students, led by Shaun Ko, from Millennia Institute took part in a competition called "Citi-YMCA Youth for Causes" and emerged as one of the top 100 teams. The main objective of the competition was to raise money for Tan Tock Seng Community Chest Fund.
To raise funds, they initiated the "Fold A Fish Event (FAFE)" which was held in the school on 24th August. To make it more meaningful, the event was attempted to establish a record breaking feat in the Singapore Book of Records for "the most number of fishes folded in one hour"
It was well received by the school population, which collected 13,078 pieces of used paper and cut into 10cm X 10cm in preparation for the event. The hard work of the team members and facilitators did not go to waste as a total of 77,776 fishes were folded in less than an hour! Subsequently, sponsorship of S$1 per fish and street sales of the fishes in a flagday format would raise the necessary fund for Tan Tock Seng Community Chest Fund.
It was a rewarding experience for the school as it not only helped those in need, a Singapore Book of Records was also set with the help of our principal, Mr Tan Chor Pang, Vice Principals, Mrs Koh Cai Yu and Mr Azman Mohd Sidek, teachers and all students of millennia institute!
Some students who participated in the event were asked for their reflections of the event.
"It was good because not only we managed to help those in need but actually bonded with my classmates and my home tutors. It brought us closer as a class right now"
Nur Shadrina Mohd K, 11S6
"It (the event) was worth it because it also gave an opportunity for a class to bond together by teaching one another to fold the fish. On top of the event being a platform to break record and to help the less fortunate, it was a unique way to bond people in the class together."
Muhammad Nurhakim Bin Zulkifli, 12B3
"I feel that the event was a wonderful one as the whole school came together for a worthy cause. We managed to fold more than 70,000 fishes for charity in an hour and that was something MI students should be proud of! I see the school more united as one, in the name of charity and similar events should be organized. The event had brought the school closer to the community and though this, I realized that helping the community takes just a small effort on my part"
Rachel Tong Yee Theng, 12B1
"It was a meaningful event because everybody could participate in folding fishes. It provided a chance to bond with the class while doing and contributing our efforts for this project. Overall it was a fun and fresh event. However, the duration was a little bit too long, and could be more efficient by preparing enough papers."
Andrea Che, 11B3
Written By: Ng Gek Lian Elean, 11S3
The essay discusses about today’s school life. Priya points out that today’s school life have become stressful because of stiff competition among classmates. Besides the many activities that are compulsory for them to take part, students nowadays are spending more time in school.
இன்றையபள்ளிப்பருவம்கவலையில்லாதபருவம் – விவாதிக்க.
பள்ளிப்பருவம்மிகவும்சுகமானது. அந்தப்பருவத்தில்தான்இளையர்கள்மிகவும்மகிழ்ச்சியாகஇருப்பார்கள். பள்ளிப்பருவத்தில்தான்நம்மால்ஆட்டமும்பாட்டமுமாகமகிழ்ச்சியாகஇருக்கஇயலும். மேலும்,நிறையநண்பர்களைச்சந்தித்துப்பழகவும்இப்பருவமேசிறந்தபருவமாகக்கருதப்படுகிறது. அதேவேளையில்இன்றுள்ளஇளையர்களுக்குஅதிகமனவுளைச்சலைத்தரக்கூடியபருவமாகவும்பள்ளிப்பருவம்உள்ளதுஎனின்மிகையில்லை.
முதலில்,சிலமாணவர்கள்அவர்களின்பெற்றோரின்ஆதரவில்வாழ்கிறார்கள். அவர்கள்பள்ளியில்இருக்கும்போதும்கூட,அவர்களின்நினைவுதங்கள்அம்மாஅல்லதுஅப்பாவின்மேல்தான்இருக்கும். அதனால்,அவர்களால்தங்களின்படிப்பில்கவனம்செலுத்தமுடியாமல்போய்விடுகிறது. அதுமட்டுமல்லாமல்,சிலர்படிப்பதைநிறுத்திவிடநினைப்பார்கள். அவர்கள்தங்கள்பெற்றோருக்குஉதவிசெய்யவிரும்புவதேஇதற்குக்காரணம்என்பார்கள்.
அடுத்து,சிலமாணவர்கள்அவர்களின்நண்பர்களுடனேநேரம்செலவிடபெரிதும்விரும்புகின்றனர். அதனால்,அவர்கள்தங்களின்கவனத்தையெல்லாம்நண்பர்களிடம்காட்டமுனைகின்றனர். இவ்வாறுசெயல்படுவதால்இவர்களால்தங்கள்பாடங்களில்கவனம்செலுத்தமுடியாமல்சிரமத்தைஎதிர்நோக்குகின்றனர். மற்றும்சிலர்,நண்பர்கள்அவர்களைவிடசிறப்பாகச்செய்யும்போது,அவர்களைவிடஎப்படியாவதுநன்றாகச்செய்துவிடவேண்டுமென்றுஉழைக்கின்றனர். இதனால்,அவர்கள்மனவுளைச்சலுக்குஆளாகநேரிடுகிறது.
அக்காலத்தில்மாணவர்கள்இணைப்பாடநடவடிக்கைகளில்கலந்துகொள்வதுகட்டாயமாகஇல்லை. ஆனால், இக்காலத்தில்அதுஅவசியானஒன்றாகமாறிவிட்டது. இக்காலத்தில்வீட்டுப்பாடங்களைமுடிக்கவேநேரம்போதவில்லை. அதற்குமேலாகநாம்இணைப்பாடநடவடிக்கையில்கலந்துகொண்டுஅதில்நம்திறமைகளைவளர்த்துக்கொள்ளவேண்டும். சிலரோ, தங்கள்கவனம்முழுவதையும்இணைப்பாடநடவடிக்கைகளில்செலுத்துகிறார்கள். இதனாலும்அவர்களின்படிப்புபாதிக்கவாய்ப்புகள்அதிகமாகின்றன.
இக்காலத்தில்பலமாணவர்களுக்குக்காதலர்களும்காதலிகளும்இருக்கிறார்கள். இந்தப்பள்ளிப்பருவத்தில்அவர்களுக்குக்காதலர்கள்இருந்தால், அவர்களின்கவனம்திசைமாறிப்போய்விடும். அவர்கள்தங்கள்நேரத்தைப்படிப்பில்செலவுசெய்யமாட்டார்கள். சிலர்இதுபோன்றநடவடிக்கைகளில்ஈடுபடுவதால், அவர்கள்பள்ளிக்குக்கூடசெல்லாமல்இருப்பார்கள். இதுபோலஅவர்கள்நடந்துகொண்டால்கண்டிப்பாகஅவர்கள்படிப்புபாதிப்புஅடையும்.
இதுமட்டுமின்றி, இக்காலத்தில்படிப்பதற்குநிறையஉண்டு. மாணவர்களால்எல்லாவற்றையும்நினைவில்வைத்துக்கொள்ளமுடிவதில்லை. மேலும், கூடுதலானநேரம்பள்ளியில்இருக்கவேண்டியிருக்கிறது. காலைஎட்டுமணிமுதல்மாலைஆறுமணிகூடசிலநாட்களில்மாணவர்கள்பள்ளியில்இருக்கவேண்டும். இவ்வளவுமணிநேரம்பள்ளியில்செலவழிக்கும்போதுநமக்குமனவுளைச்சல்ஏற்படுகிறது. இதனால், நம்மால்வகுப்பில்கவனம்செலுத்தமுடியாமல்போய்விடுகிறது. இதுநம்படிப்பைக்கண்டிப்பாகப்பாதிக்கும்.
அதனால், இக்காலப்பள்ளிப்பருவம்கவலைஇல்லாதபருவம்என்றுநாம்கூறிவிடமுடியாது. இக்காலத்திலும்மாணவர்கள்நிறையமனவுளைச்சலையும்மனக்கக்ஷ்டங்களையும்அடைகிறார்கள். ஒருவகையில்பள்ளிப்பருவம்சுகமானதுதான்ஆனால், அதில்கூடபலசிரமங்கள்இருக்கின்றனஎன்பதையும்நாம்நினைவில்கொள்ளவேண்டும்.
Priya d/o Murali (12B4)
"Loving Singapore, our Home" - the theme for this year's 2012 National Day Parade. Home is where comfort and solace lies, it is the destination we head for despite all the events (good or bad) that we encounter during the day. No matter where we go or are, near or far, home is the first place we come back to. It is where we grow up to learn about the world we live in and experience love by those closest to us. It is where precious memories reside within us, it is where family warmth knits members together and forms the building blocks that bond the Singapore society.
This year's National Day Parade may be indifferent to many of us since we might feel that the events or performances are similar or repetitive, however, what makes this year's NDP significant is the celebration of 45th anniversary for National Service (NS). Since the independence of Singapore, males are required to serve the Singapore Army at the age of 18. NS is a phase most Singaporean males go through in their lives and it is an institution that they can relate to. This passage of fire bonds Singaporeans together and makes us realise that no one owes us a living and we should rely on ourselves.. The blood and sweat our NS men are invaluable and it is also important to note that without them, no one else would defend Singapore. As such we form a common identity as Singaporeans.
The transformation since the independence of Singapore is nothing short of spectacular! Looking back, we have certainly faced and conquered many huge challenges. Our progress demonstrated Singaporeans’ resilience and spirit. These are the attributes of our forefathers and pioneers, which we shall uphold and expect the generations to come to do the same.
This year's National Day Parade took place at Marina Bay with thousands of people participating in the festive atmosphere. Throughout the whole event, the audience were very hyped up! From the video montage, Singaporeans poured out their love by telling the world what they adore most about our little island and how much work that the performers put in in order to put up a wonderful. In the video, it incorporated our country's well-known paddler, Feng Tian Wei who had done our country proud by winning two bronze medals in the London Olympics! From the skies, death-defying Red Lions skydivers made perfect landings in front of the crowd while the jet planes and speed boats made powerful entrances. Last but not least, the night sky was lighted up with spectacular fireworks, signalling play in the night! Indeed, it was a celebration that would be etched in our memories years to come.
Chong Mei juan 12S2 & Tou Si Ying 12A1
The theme for this year’s Racial Harmony Day is "People . Places . Memories." For this year’s celebration in Millennia Institute, the institute had its very own special edition dance performance and a cultural fashion show which showcased some of Singapore’s traditional costumes during the Friday Home Tutor Period. With the cultural mix of dancers from the Chinese, Malay and Indian clubs, they perform a fun and thrilling dance incorporating some of the moves from each culture. The institute was also taught simple dance moves by the dancers and everyone enjoyed themselves. To encapsulate the spirit of racial harmony among students and staff, most of them wore their ethic costumes from the difference races, some even chose to wear costumes from another culture! Decked out in Baju Kurung, Chong Siam, Sari and even Punjabi suits, the institute was washed in sea of colours on this special day.
To many students, wearing their traditional costumes makes them appreciate the different cultural and ethnic groups in Singapore.
To make the memories for Racial Harmony Day a more distinctive one, MI Wired interviewed two students (Vinothini from 11B3 and Arul Kumaran from 10S3) who come from families with mixed-race parents to share their views on Racial Harmony Day:
1. What do you think are the differences between a family that has mixed-race parents as compare to one without?
“A family with mixed-race parents would consist of various races which would usually follow two varying religious practices in their family and instead of celebrating one festival, a mixed-race family would celebrate two or more festivals. It is a privilege to be able to in depth understanding of both my parents’ heritage and to celebrate their festivals as a family.”
“I think a family with mixed-race parents is generally more tolerable to different cultures. This is unlike a family of the same race, where only one culture is practiced. Through a mixed-race family, we can often more aware of the differing perspectives of individuals, class and society.”
2. What do you think are the possible challenges faced by your parents before their marriages?
“Personally, my parents did not face any problems in their marriage. But I suppose during my parents’ generation, the older generation usually do not approve of such cross race marriages. It could have been due to the differences in traditions and cultures that made them feel uncomfortable. They might have feared conflicts within the family due to differing practices and cultural misunderstandings.”
“I think personally that coming together and establishing a common understanding was probably a challenge for my parents.”
3. How important do you feel about Racial Harmony Day in Singapore today and why?
“Racial Harmony is very important in Singapore because our country comprises of many races and religions. In order to sustain peace and harmony within the country, there must be mutual understanding between the different races. If the people in our country do not cooperate or understand each other, there will be conflicts. To prevent such incidents, racial harmony is vital in Singapore.”
“Singapore is a diverse society comprising of four different races. The fact that we are diverse helps us to maintain a competitive edge as opposed to a homogeneous society. By living together harmoniously despite many differences in tradition, culture and practices, Singapore has established herself as an attractive tourism destination in the world. Singapore's racial riots in the past taught us the importance of living together as one. Racial Harmony in Singapore is thus vital in keeping peace, law and order.”
Nancy Teoh, 11B3
Masalah-masalah yang dihadapi oleh Anwar dalam cerpen ‘Sahabat’ karya Anwar Ridhwan berpunca daripada kelemahan dirinya sendiri. Bincangkan.
Cerpen ‘Sahabat’ karya Anwar Ridhwan mengetengahkan pelbagai masalah yang harus dihadapi oleh watak-wataknya. Dalam cerpen ini, Anwar watak utama menghadapi pelbagai masalah akibat kelemahan dirinya sendiri. Di samping itu, dia juga terpaksa mananggung masalah yang telah dicetuskan oleh pihak lain.
Anwar menghadapi masalah kerana sikapnya yang terlalu bergantung kepada orang lain. Anwar terlalu bergantung kepada temannya dan pihak MSD untuk mendapat wang bagi membiayai pendidikannya di rantauan. Dia tidak cuba untuk berusaha dengan gigh untuk membantu dirinya sendiri. Ini dapat dilihat apabila Anwar bergantung seratus-peratus pada wang yang dikirim MSD bagi menampung segala kos perumahannya. Contohnya ialah dari mukasurat 91,”Kami bukan cuba berlengah-lengah,”jawabku dengan tenang.’Soalannya, MSD belum mengirim wang. Kalau wang sudah ada dalam tangan, kami jelaskan.’” Menerusi tukilan ini, Anwar menunggu wang yang dikirimkan oleh MSD untuk melunaskan sewa apartmennya itu. Dia tidak cuba mencari cara lain untuk mendapatkan wang dan bergantung sepenuhnya pada MSD. Walaupun dia tahu bahawa MSD lambat mengirimkan wang, dia tetap menunggu dan tidak berusaha melunaskan hutangnya dengan cara lain ataupun dengan usahanya sendiri. Justeru, kelemahan diri Anwar yang suka bergantung kepada orang lain menyebabkan dia tidak mampu untuk berdikari untuk menampung kos sewa tempat tinggalnya itu. Masalah membayar hutang ini tercetus kerana Anwar gagal berusaha sendiri dan terlalu mengharapkan bantuan daripada pemerintah.
Anwar menghadapi masalah juga kerana sikapnya yang tidak boleh menyesuaikan diri di rantauan, iaitu di New York. Anwar terbawa-bawa dengan cara kehidupannya di kampung walaupun sudah berada di Amerika. Dia terlalu selesa dengan gaya hidup di kampung Sungai Besar lalu tidak cuba untuk mengadaptasikan diri dengan perubahan yang berlaku. Ini dapat dilihat apabila Anwar memohon kepada Yaakob untuk membantunya tetapi Yaakob menjelaskan perbezaan yang harus disedari Anwar bahawa hidup di New York berbeza jika dibandingkan di kampung. Contohnya ialah dari mukasurat 91, “ ‘Anak kampong,’ katanya dengan keras. ‘Ini New York City ya, bukan Sungai Besar. Di sana kalau kebetulan tak ada garam, berlarilah ke rumah tetangga minta pinjam setempurung garam. Tak ada gula, bergegas ke rumah jiran, minta pinjam sekole gula. Bayarnya bila-bila mungkin sepekan mungkin dua pekan.’” Menerusi tukilan ini, dapat dilihat bahawa Anwar tidak mampu menyesuaikan diri dengan hidup berdikari tanpa pertolongan jiran-jirannya atau pihak tertentu di New York yang amat berbeza dengan keadaan di kampung di mana semua orang saling bantu membantu di antara satu sama lain. Justeru, Anwar menghadapi masalah kerana sikapnya yang tidak belajar menyesuaikan diri di perantauan di mana pertolongan yang dipinta tidak semestinya akan diterima ataupun diberikan dengan semudahnya.
Namun, sikap Yaakob yang tidak bertimbang rasa juga telah menimbulkan masalah kepada Anwar. Yaakob sebagai teman sekampungnya di Sungai Besar dahulu tidak mempedulikan nasib Anwar yang ditimpa kesukaran. Dia masih tegas dengan keputusannya dan tidak mahu bertolak ansur. Walaupun dia sedar akan kesulitan yang dihadapi Anwar, dan kerana sikap Yaakob yang sebegitu, Anwar dan teman-temannya terpaksa meninggalkan apartmen yang disewa itu dan mencari rumah lain dalam waktu yang singkat. Perkara ini telah menambahkan masalah kepada kehidupan Anwar. Ini dapat dilihat apabila Yaakob menghalau Anwar dan rakan-rakannya keluar dari rumah sewa itu. Contohnya ialah dari mukasurat 95, “ ‘ Kamu bertiga kena keluar pada 31 Disember,’ jawab Yaakob dengan tegas dan ‘ Tak bertimbang rasa. Kau bukan tak tahu, Nuriah tengah sarat.’” Menerusi tukilan ini, jelas terlihat bahawa Yaakob bertekad untuk menghalau Anwar dan teman-temannya dengan cara yang tegas dari apartmen itu walaupun dia tahu tentang keadaan Nuriah yang sedang sarat. Sebagai teman sesama bangsa dan sekampung, dia langsung tidak menghiraukan nasib Anwar dan rakan-rakan yang tidak mempunyai tempat kediaman. Justeru, masalah Anwar di mana dia tidak mempunyai tempat tinggal adalah kerana sikap Yaakob yang tidak bertimbang rasa terhadap mereka dan perkara ini telah menimbulkan masalah yang lebih rumit untuk Anwar dan teman-temannya yang harus mencari tempat tinggal yang baharu. Jika Yaakob bertolak ansur, Anwar mugkin tidak perlu bersusah payah mencari tempat tinggal yang lain.
Masalah yang dihadapi Anwar juga adalah kerana kelemahan system MSD. Sistem MSD gagal mengirimkan wang tepat pada masanya kepada pelajar-pelajar Malaysia yang menuntut di rantauan. Sistem MSD sepatutnya berjalan dengan lancar kerana ramai pelajar mengharapkan wang dari situ untuk membiayai kos kehidupan dan kos pendidikan yang mahal di negara asing. Akibat kelemahan system MSD, kewangan pelajar akan terjejas dan ini membawa pelbagai masalah baharu kepada mereka kerana ia sukar untuk mendapatkan wang di rantauan. Ini dapat dilihat apabila MSD lewat mengirimkan wang kepada Anwar. Contohnya ialah dari mukasurat 90, “ ‘Minggu ini sepatutnya kita bayar untuk bulan ketiga, tapi bagaimana? Malaysia Students Department di Washington belum mengirim wang.’” Menerusi tukilan ini, ia menunjukkan bahawa sistem MSD tidak berfungsi dengan begitu baik dan ini telah menyebabkan pelajar seperti Anwar terpaksa menunggu masa yang lebih lama daripada biasa untuk mendapatkan wang yang diperlukan itu. Ini telah menyebabkan banyak perkara lain yang memerlukan penggunaan wang menjadi terjejajas dan harus ditangguh. Ini membawa tekanan dan masalah besar kepada pelajar Malaysia yang masih mentah di negara asing. Justeru, kerana kelemahan sistem MSD, Anwar terpaksa keluar dari apartmen milik Yaakob dan mencari tempat tinggal yang lain dan ini merupakan sesuatu perkara yang sukar untuk ditanganinya.
Secara tuntas, cepen Sahabat telah mengetengahkan kelemahan watak-watak yang berbeza menerusi insiden-insiden tertentu yang telah menyumbang kepada masalah yang dihadapi Anwar. Selain sikapnya yang terlalu bergantung dan tidak bijak menyesuaikan diri, ditambahkan pula dengan sikap Yaakob yang tidak bertimbang rasa serta kelemahan sistem MSD, Anwar terpaksa mengharungi pelbagai masalah. Punca-punca ini telah menyumbang kepada masalah-masalah yang dihadapi oleh Anwar.
Oleh Nisa Nurdini Bte Johar, 11A3
It is definitely hard to believe that exactly 5 days ago, the participants from different institutions in Pre-U Seminar were total strangers. And right now, we cannot get enough of each other. We arrange future gatherings, we chat via whatsapp and we smile at the pictures that we fondly took during the 5-days seminar.
The 2012 Pre-University Seminar was certainly an unforgettable part of our lives, some may say it is life-changing. Through the special activities, learning journeys, Facebook and even the little time between activities, we have fostered bonds that are stronger than ever.
The first day of the event was indeed had me in jitters when the 21 seminar groups first assembled. Students of different backgrounds from different schools with little in common met and interacted through the few games we played. We cracked jokes. We laughed at the hilarity-packed moments. We share individual happenings in schools, with friends and families. We were not the least shy with each other subsequently. It was like meeting up with old friends.
The special activities and the skit production, produced some incredible moments. We tapped on each other strengths; took up different roles-actors, prop managers and script writers and put forth the best play that we have never expected to produce. Each of us in seminar group 12 gave invaluable ideas, discussed how to make the skit more interesting and engaging and invested our best effort in this experience, one that would never be forgotten.
On the very last day of the Pre-U Seminar, everyone was not happy that this wonderful experience was coming to an end. But we did not let our feelings tie down our spirits. In fact, it had a counteractive effect. Together, we sang our hearts out when popular pop songs were played and every single participant in the hall stood up and formed a human train and ran around the hall in celebration of our friendship. It was a huge a party for us! We were dancing, jumping around, well except that there were no alcoholic drinks involved! When the song, YMCA, was played, everyone knew the moves and was dancing their souls out.
All in all, this event has purposefully fulfilled its objective on connecting people from different institutions. I would to thank the school for giving me this opportunity to participate in this very fruitful event. I would like to strongly encourage all juniors to be a part of this yearly event because it is an meaningful and enriching event in the school calendar. In the years to come, the participants will look back and reminisce and giggle at every single moment during the event that will always be close to our hearts.
‘Tonight, we are young. So let’s set the world on fire, we can burn brighter than the sun’ is the chorus of the song, We Are Young that we were singing along to in one of our gatherings. Indeed, it signifies the spirit of a youth and unity of youths, values we have brought home from Pre-University Seminar 2012.
I have visited a few other countries prior to this Korea trip such as China, India and Indonesia. What makes this overseas experience different from the rest was that I had a chance to interact and live with the people of the country I visited. Instead of being just a tourist, I became a part of a family which made this trip one that I wished had never ended.
We paired up with students from Kyung Bok High School. My buddy was Chung Min Sung and he is in Grade 2 but he is a year younger than me. The reason is that they only have three grades in Middle School whereas we have four to five levels in secondary school, hence, the difference in age.
Our assignment there was to work on a Model United Nations (MUN) conference. We were allocated as delegates representing Russia. Although I did not get to sit through any lessons during my stay there, I managed to pick out a few similarities and differences between their learning styles and mine.
On the first day we met, I was grateful that we had a project to work on as I was not sure about what to say or do. We had a barbecue for dinner with “ally countries” and spent the night working on preparing for a memorable conference. The Korean boys were very enthusiastic about the conference while I felt uncertain and lacked confidence. It became even more worrying when the information they had was completely different from what I had prepared! A while later, we all realised that the information that we had been were the same but we had interpreted them differently. However, through each other’s information and content, we were able to better understand exactly what our task was and how we were to tackle it. It was also heartening to see how determined they were to explain all the information they had to us even though they were not as fluent in their English as we were. Their effort to get us involved in idea sharing and brainstorming was a motivating factor that got me more interested in the conference and wanting to excel in it.
In the next few evenings, the boys kept asking us, “What do you want to do?” I wanted to do whatever it was that Korean teenagers did during their weekends but I was taken aback when there was hesitation before they answered us. On Saturdays and Sundays, they spend their time at the Academy which is a tuition centre. Considering the fact that they stay back in school to study till 10pm everyday on weekdays, it was safe to conclude that studying was all they seemed to have time for. This is a stark contrast when compared to the lifestyles of Singaporean teenagers. Yes, we do have night study programmes but that is just before our examinations. Yes, we do have tuition but only for a few hours a week. In Singapore, when teachers call for extra lessons on Saturdays for a mere two hours, we find it hard to attend them. During our weekends, we may revise but we also spend most of our time taking a break from school and just chilling out. We do things that make us happy be it sports, gaming or any other activities.
Both education systems aim to produce top students that will excel and eventually contribute to the success of the nation be it South Korea or Singapore. Both have good education systems that focus on bringing out the best in students. Although we could not experience this first hand in their daily lessons, I realised their seriousness based on the way the Korean treated their assignments and the MUN conference and by speaking and understanding them. They did not study to just graduate from high school or get into any random university. They aimed to secure places in top universities and embark on career journeys that would make their families and countries proud of them. Their drive may be more evident as compared to Singaporean students but there is no doubt that we all have similar goals education-wise and our different lifestyles act as different approaches on achieving them.
The Korean culture is remarkable! The hospitality that was extended to me was very heart-warming. By then, I was already starting to miss home but the moment I entered the house I was going to stay in, it already felt like home. The family was keen in letting me have a full Korean experience. Min Sung’s mother made my bed in a Korean style and the breakfast she served in the morning was like a buffet spread. I usually wake up at 630am before school and breakfast for me is just a slice of bread and a cup of milo because at that time in the morning, I do not have much of an appetite. Breakfast there was at 530am local time and it was difficult for me to finish the food that was prepared. There was a vegetable dish, a meat dish and soup served with a bowl of rice. Fruits and milk were served after. It was definitely a struggle to eat as much as I as I did not want offend Min Sung’s mother. She woke me up for school every morning and stayed up till we came home every night just so that she could say goodnight. She treated me like I was her own daughter and that really touched me. I was not a guest but rather a member of the family and that, I feel, is part of the friendly Korean culture. The people there are naturally polite and friendly. If you smile at them, they smile warmly back at you. It is hard to feel like a stranger.
In just a short span of time, boys that were just friends on Facebook became friends to keep and treasure for the rest of my life. It is easy to have friends that live just a bus or a train ride away. However, knowing that the friends we made during our stay were ones that we may never see again in the near future made the last moments with them a painful experience and I really treasured it. I was sad that we had to say goodbye but the fact that I was sad and did not want to leave was a sign that I did have a good experience, one that I will keep with me for a long time. I had much fun at Lotte World shopping and taking pictures but my favourite and most treasured memory was when we had to leave Kyung Bock High School because it was not the end but the beginning of many new and lasting friendships.