Tuesday, November 16, 2010

We do not return to you, Victoria; because we never really left

Today, VS Junior Leaders and Senior Leaders return from our 3rd Veloci-T Camp.
With the completion of this year's Veloci-T Camp, I have come full circle in VS and this marks the culmination of my service to Victoria School.
I have spent 7 1/2 years here and these have been the best years of my life.

In this time, I have taught them lessons in theory indoors and camped with them to experience life's lessons outdoors.
We have trained together, hiked together, sung together, kayaked from East Coast to Changi, cooked dinner together over open fires, shot each other during Night Missions and even drummed together during the YOG.

Having spent the past years in VS is the best thing that has happened to me and choosing to leave was the hardest decision that I've made in my life.

This last Veloci-T camp has been a great way to say good bye to all students and colleagues. I was pleasantly surprise when some of the boys from our Emperor Tribe wrote a farewell song for me during campfire. Luckily, you all never make me cry :P

Next year, I will take on my new post heading the National Education Branch in MOE HQ.
It is a new post with new challenges but I know that the years spent in VS have given me the strength to forge ahead. It is a new experience with completely new challenges and a new environment but in the words of Robert Frost:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
and sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
and looked down one as far as I could
to where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
and having perhaps the better claim
because it was grassy and wanted wear;
though as for that, the passing there
had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
in leaves no feet had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I --
I took the one less travelled by,
and that has made all the difference

To all Victorians: past, present and future, take care
Always remember that even when we leave Victoria,
Victoria lives in us.

Nil Sine Labore

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Prelude to Veloci-T

Tomorrow we begin Veloci-T 2010 "Legacy"
Veloci-T stands for Victoria Enhanced Leadership and Outdoor Camp Instructors Training.
It's the fusion of the Camp Instructors Course conducted by the PE Dept and the Student Leadership Course conducted by the Pupil Development Dept.

Through the year's, we've constantly sought to refine the camp and with Veloci-T in its third year as a unified training program, we've incorporated several changes. Last year, we introduced the Kouze and Posner, Leadership Challenge as a framework on which to base our training activities.
This year we have further refined the modules to bring out these themes.

We also brought back the coastal navigation element where the boys kayaked and rafted from East Coast to Changi Coast Adventure Campsite.

Today, we prepped for the camp by begining the intial phase by transporting the kayaks and rafts to VS to prepare for tomorrows event.

Many thanks to our partners and stakeholders from Griffin Kinetic Logistcs who generously supported us with their transport services to enable us to achieve this massive endeavour of 30 double kayaks, 2 dinghys, as well as the paddles and life vests.

Thanks to Mr Salleh from Griffin Kinetic for his patience and help.

Here's how we got it done:

This being my last year with VS, I'm sure the next few days will be a time to cherish and remember.

Friday, October 8, 2010

VS Class of 2010- Sec 4 Graduation

Today marks the graduation for the VS Class of 2010

Let's see some interesting characters who have followed me through my years here!

Here's Fadzly, Kwek Daniel and Jinjie, whom I've taught since Sec 2

What are we pointing to? We're pointing to the blank spots on the honor rolls in hopes that one day their names will be there. Jin jie was VS first Wushu DSA candidate and he has grown from a small skinny boy...

But look at him now, look at all of them now.
All grown to men.
They took a bit longer than some of their peers but the time was well spent. No regrets, man; no regrets.

Of course, close to my heart are the wushu boys.
Here we have Ryan Goh, the Captain of the team who has learnt the most that I have to teach- Lion Dance, Wushu, Sparring, Balintawak...
You are a champion indeed Ryan.

Next is Tan Yuda, our dependable Vice-Captain, who complements us in all we do.
When Ryan is the Lion-Head, Yuda is the tail. When we spar, Yu Da is the ideal practice partner to match my size, when we do Wushu, he's always the dependable last member-- may not get so much glory, but without him, we couldn't pull it off too. (Imagine Lion Dance got no backside...)

Then we have Saw Eh Tha Khu and Kong Wei Chung:
Saw overcame the barriers in language to learn Sanshou from my own teacher and to gain a resounding win for VS in the SNWF Wushu Invitational Sanshou Free-sparring event. Proving that VS Wushu boys are not just about pretty moves and to top that, he's one of our top students!
Next to him is the one and only Mr Kong Wei Chung, our Malaysian scholar-who is the first overseas scholar in the VS Wushu team.
All members in the VS Wushu team unanimously agree that Weichung's roar can be heard all the way from Siglap to JB, some say KL even.
Next to WeiChung is Adrian Tan Jian Yang, one of the most outstanding NCC Cadets VS has ever produced.

Then we have Jin ZhenYu, who though academically weaker, has worked hard to receive the PSG Most Outstanding Improvement Award.
Keep it up, Mr Jin--- you'll be a global leader one day :)

And who can forget the scholars... it took me 7 years to have a daughter of my own cos all my time is taken up by these energtic 'sons' of mine!

First off, our neighrbourly Malyasians:
Malaysia BOLEH!

Then we have the silent, quiet but ever polite and diligent Vietnamese:

Also, the Mafia Wars gang from Bangkok, the Thai scholars:

And who can forget our Serious PE class of 2010
"Eng Lek, stop staring at your crotch"

Last but not least our various student leaders:
Ben and Laksman

The one and only Barry

The rest of the gang from 'The Climb'

As Mr Low our principal rightly put it today- a gift only has meaning when it takes on a life of its own.
Thank you boys for the gift of the best years of my life and in return it is a fitting final for us to give back. Every year, graduating Victorians pen down their thoughts in the Voices of Victoria journal, but this being my final year with VS I decided to collaborate with our Senior leaders and do a 'live' Voices of Victoria:

Thursday, October 7, 2010

"The Climb"- Senior Leaders, Class of 2010

"The Climb"- Senior Leaders, Class of 2010

A good way for us to say our goodbyes.....