Saturday, December 29, 2007

Sec 1 Orientation Camp - E.D.G.E. 2008

Today, we welcome our new batch of Sec 1 Victorians.
They will be leaving for the E.D.G.E 2008 Sec 1 Orientation Camp on 4-6th Jan at Jln Bahtera Campsite.

Let us welcome our new Victorians into the family.

Camp Commandant will be....

The one, and only Mr Amir!

For more updates, check out

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas Greetings

Hi all,

Christmas is round the corner and with all the carols playing in the air, I thought I'd share that hilarious version of the "12 Days of Christmas" with you all.
It helps if you are familiar with 80s group Toto to see the humor in this clip:)
Performed by Straight No Chaser


Saw this clip on Google- might give you all some interesting games to do on Christmas Day-- Yup, Human Tetris

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Light and Mime

This has got to be the best illusion I've seen to date:

Sometime back in Lit class, I showed a mime of the song "Torn" by Natalie Imbruglia.
Here is the same mime guy, performing live with Natalie!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

How Six Songs Collide

Saw a clip of this mashup on You-tube the other day. Basically, a mash-up is a video remix of MTVs

In this clip, the creator, Peter from Norway mixes 6 songs:
Jason Mraz- I'm Yours
Howie Day- Collide
Five for Fighting- Superman
Angela Ammons- Always Getting Over You
Boyzone- All that I Need
3 Doors Down- Here without You

We get another dose from Peter here.

But my personal favourite is this one:

Cool, rite?

You can download the songs at

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Will the real Jay Chou please stand-up?

As you guys know, I pride myself on having an ecletic taste in music and popular culture- everthing from Linkin Park to Era, reading 风云comics to Warhammer 40,000 Sci-fi.

And yes, Jay Chou ranks number 1 on my cool dude list...

Here's his latest duet with Fei Yu Qing, <千里之外> - "A Thousand Miles Away"

The above is the original MTV- cool and without a doubt the best male paired duet in the decade.

BUT, but, but..... the following video takes the cake. Same tune, similar voices, but OMG ROFL. Sorry Jay, you got punk'ed !

Laugh until fall on the floor man!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Veloci-T 2007 (Victoria Enhanced Leadership & Outdoor Camp Instructors Training)

Yup, our official mascots- Big Fad and Lil Jo!
The offcial Veloci-T brudder-hood mascots!

After a gruelling 5 Days locally and oversea, students and teachers have returned and survived from Veloci-T 2007. Veloci-T stands for Victorian Enhanced Leadership and Outdoor Camp Instructors Training. It is an amalgamation of 2 formerly seperate programs: the LTC-Leadership Training Course for CCA leaders and the CIC- Camp Instructors Course for volunteer Camp Instructors.

During the Confidence Ropes Courses, the boys showed that they could tackle the high elements courageously. Kasidet inspired us by his rendition of Thai songs while crossing the Broken Bridge

Apart from the usual Confidenence Ropes Course and Kayaking, we had our Combat Medic, Mr Amir conduct a First-Aid Familiarisation course for the boys. (Next year, I think we'll teach them how to deliver babies :)

Another, new activity was the Night Mission game 'Hostile Take-over' which required our leaders to learn how to negotiate and trade playing cards to score the most amount of points.

Even during our early morning PT, we tried to push the boundaries.
The boys were tasked to do 10 counts of jumping jacks- silently, without counting.
Not an easy task with 80 boys. Here we see one of their early attempts:

No satisfied, they tried again:

This time they really succeeded!

Even the camp planning committee was pushing our limits by meeting to discuss our Leadership Framework for SEM during our lunch break! Steady lah! Mdm Tang and Mr Maran!

On Sunday, we made our way to Mawai, in Kota Tinggi, Malaysia.
Unlike the Jalan Bahtera campsite which was still relatively modern, this was a back to basic, all natural and organic campsite. We had to cross a river to even get to it!

Here we see the boys loaded and crossing the river:

On arrival, the boys were introduced to the campsite by Mr Leung Kok Peng, one of the trainers from Edu-Outdoor. Kok Peng himself is an ex-Victorian and he shared many fascinating insights with us on nature and wild life- like the legend of the Mawas (Malaysian Big foot) and how the place became known as Mawai:

After unpacking, we were introduced by the one and only Uncle Sutari to the jungle lore and hunting skills of the Orang Asli

Uncle Su, showed us how the various traps were placed and how they worked.

His infectious humor continued into the section where he introduced us to the medicinal properties of the Singapore Rhododendron:

Uncle Su also gave us an intimate introduction to the friendliest creature in the forest- the brown leech!

After my trek with the boys, we returned to play some games. You've heard of beach volleyball with the gorgeous babes but I bet you've never heard of swamp volleyball with our muddy hunks!

On Mon, we took our Challenge Climb up Gunong Arong. A 300m vertical climb that took us close to 3 hours to reach the summit.
The view at the top was simply breath-taking. During our VS PE study trip to UK, we visited Old Trafford stadium, there Mr Sng made a video dedication to his good friend Mr Maran. This time it was Mr Maran's turn to return the favour-

Sometimes words just cannot capture the experience but I believe Wilnard and Tarang summed it up beautifully.

By the time, I reached the beach, I was exhausted but looking at the faces of the boys and seeing the view, I know that this is what I live for.

This is the first Veloci-T camp and I am sure that we will grow from strength to strength.

Nil Sine Labore

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Linkin Park- 'Live' in Concert at Indoor Stadium

It has been a gruelling month, with me having to cope with reservist, school videos, running camps, etc.

But there was no way in the world I would have missed Linkin Park when they were scheduled to perform live at the Indoor Stadium- Not when I got 2 tickets to go to the free standing area.

Yup, Ah Beng teacher and lovely wife headed down to mosh pit to rock the night away-- Never mind the fact that I just came back hot, sweaty and tired from the jungles of Mawai.

At first, the long queue to get in and my fatigued from the camp got to me, but when the concert started, the energy of the crowd just took it all away. Check out the opening sequence, man. Simply mind-blowing!

When the opening bars of 'Somewhere I belong' came out, the crowd when wild and it was reliving my post-grad days all over again

I've used 'Shadow of the Day' from their latest album "Minutes to Midnight" for our Victoria Challenge video this year. But hearing it live was awesome! You can hear me screeching along with Chester Bennington.

Chester Bennigton's vocals were pitch perfect- I believe he's the only guy on the planent that can scream, growl and rap with perfect diction and voice clarity.
If there was doubt, "Numb" proved once and for all that Chester has the power AND control of his voice.The beautiful surprise came when they transition flawlessly from Numb into an acoustic set of "Pushing Me Away".

Saturday, November 3, 2007

What bugs me...

If you guys go to STOMP, you find the following story of an old trishaw rider taking 3 Caucasian passengers.
The 3 of them ridicule him for his slow speed, make fun of him and Singapore. In the end when he asks for $10 for ferrying the 3 of them, they don't even want to pay him the money claiming that he only took them round the corner.
(See full story on at STOMP)

In response to this article, an outporing of support for the old rickshaw rider came on-line (see other article here)

Victorians, the educated Singaporeans that we are now, bi-lingual and versatile in the traditions of the East as well as the technologies of the West- all this came about through the blood, sweat and tears of our lowly educated fore-fathers who toiled in menial labour so that you and I would never have to walk their path.

At his age, the old Uncle is making something more of himself- earning his own living, however meagre that is. No one has a right to take away that dignity.

Victorians, we must give our elders their due- especially the elderly who are poor and alone.
For in time, we will be old too.
As for the actions of the 3 passengers, well... The title of the youtube video posted on STOMP sums it up nicely. See it here.

Evening of Music and Drama " A Simple Affair"

Thu 1st Nov was our Evening of Music and Drama. This years theme was "A Simple Affair"

which sought to "underline and accentuate the very basics of a play and the very fundamentals that are key for each and every individual act"

The performance began with a sort of Alumni band- Armchair Critic (sort of 'cos Visa and Boon are from VS while Ryan's not, but then nevermind :P)

Having played with the boys during EMD in 2005, it was good to see them mature as musicians and become much tighter in their music (Although, Visa should spend more time engaging with the audience rather than flirting with Boon on stage and showing us all his backside)
Here's two of their songs for you:

The next song, "It's not too late" was dedicated to our Victorian who's passed on. I was touched that the boys have become self-reflective as muscians and people.

It's good to see that they've actually started writing their own songs and materials. A tighter sound and development of stronger vocal presence and you guys will be on your way. For more on the band, check out

The next performance, "Madman on the Roof" featured some very familiar faces to me. Most of the cast were comprised of boys from my 2A and 2C classes, whom I KNOW very well (heh heh... all your mischief put to good use at last)
I must say that all of you were cast perfectly for the role.
Darryl was absolutely adorable as Mistress, Yoshitaro's mother. Check out his performance here:

Timothy Koh and Mark Thambiah were perfectly cast- It was simply hilarious watching the 2 of them with Timothy acting as the fraudulant priest and Mark as the loony Yoshitaro. Mark's portrayal of loony bliss was just hilarious. Check it out:

After our play, we were serenaded by the choir with 2 songs:

and Love Changes Everyhing:

Our guest performers from Crescent Girls put up and entertain play about the vagarities of love and cultural sterotypes:

Complete with J-Lo MTV Segment:

They were followed by our Chinese Orchestra, that gave us a refreshing renditions of A Mei's "我要快乐"

We had a Victorian rendition of Shakespeare's 'Twelfth Night'. However, my Nokia N95 no batt, so couldn't capture videos of it.
But kudos to Gareth- you make a beautiful girl :)

We concluded EMD with a selection of songs played by the Concert Band. Here we see, the various soloists take centrestage:

It was indeed an entertaining night. See you all next year

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Prayer for a Victorian

Through all that has happened, we have stood together as a family.
Class of 2007, we have a mission to fulfil a dream:
A dream for a fellow Victorian, a dream for ourselves and a dream for those to follow.

Let us live this life fully for ourselves and those around us.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sec 4 Graduation 2007 "一人一半"

Today was our Sec 4 Graduation Ceremony, we began the ceremony with a simple session in the school hall. Our principle presented
This year's organising Chairman, Mr Amir started a new tradition where Form Teachers presented their students with the cohort pennant and a specially made tie pin. First on stage, were our Head Prefect and Assistant Head Prefects, who were the first to receive their tie-pins and pennants.

After that, our Form Teachers took their turns to present the tie-pins and pennants to their Form Classes. We can see our Form Teacher's filled with the pride of seeing boys turn into men:

In the blink of an eye, 4 years have passed. In 2004, I took my first Sec 1 Class, now before I know it, they are all about to graduate.

This is Bryan Tan from my FIRST orientation camp. Byan came to my attention because he has skeletal dysplasia which resulted in stunted growth for him. His parents were concerned for him but also wanted him to participate fully in all our activities. Skeletal dysplasia may have stunted his limbs but I tell you that Bryan has a heart as big as any one else out there.

Look at him now! After four years in VS, he's gone through all our camps, become an outstanding member of the ELDDS and has taken bigger and larger steps than many other students his age. Bryan, to me you are a giant. You are everything we have hoped for and more and we are proud to be your teachers.

These are Weiliang and Earnest from Sec 1E in 2004, my first Form Class as Asst. Form Teacher with Miss Lim In Siew as Form Teacher. Time has really flown and I have seen first hand how these boys have matured.

Ahhh, my Vietnamese gang- You fellas have done VS, your families and your countries proud- all L1R5 below 10. I am glad at the way you have all improved in your English, I'm sure the books I confiscated from you all helped , right...

To Hin Kai, it has been a pleasure teaching you and also training you as a Camp Instructor. You were the ONLY Sec 3 to join the Sec 2's for CIC... that is an exception that is very difficult to make because each year we have very limited vacancies. But in 2006, there was one free slot so I was able to take in one more and I am glad that I made that exception for you. You proved your worth and the chance I took on you paid off. Well-done!
Ahh, North and Vincent, the 2 fellas that I believe had the record for the most severe case of detention and community service under me. But you promised me that you wanted a second chance and that you would do us proud-- in character and in studies. You were men of your word and your results- 7 points for Vincent and 6 points for North proved that you are men of character and capability. All those long talks that we had paid off, you did it-- all on your own, without taking any shortcuts or the easy way out.

From the scoldings, nagging, to 'talk-cock, sing-song' sessions, I seen many grow.
Some I've trained to be Camp Instructors, others have had long conversations with me on life, universe and other musings, some I have taught Literature to, some I taught PE- but whatever the level of our interaction, I am glad to have been a part of your lives boys.

This latest Xiao-Xiao Production video was inspired by our local film "881" (which I've featured elsewhere on this blog-check my archives)
The theme song "一人一半" or "Half to each of us" was very meaningful for me. In life, no one is complete in himself- it is the interaction with the people around us that makes us whole.

So as you graduate from VS guys, I wish you all the best in the future. Here's the video we presented at your graduation ceremonby today. Enjoy!

I guess one of the graduating boys summed it up beautifully in the "Voices of Victoria" when he said "When we are in Victoria, we are proud of the school; When we are out of Victoria, we become the pride of the school.

Nil Sine Labore

Monday, October 8, 2007

Ignorance... the danger we face today

I came across the following clip on YouTube just the other day.

It was hilarious and tragic at the same time:

It is important boys that we ask ourselves what do we really know and what is the worth of our knowledge.

I used to be quite a talkative chap when I was a kid. I remember being told that " You don't have to say everything you know; but you must know everything you say."

As we are right smack in the middle of exams, I hope that you'll bear in mind how to distill the quantity of knowledge that you acquire in your studies such that it bears quality results.

Nil Sine Labore

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Teaching for Understanding (TfU) and GCE PE 6080

On Tue 3rd Oct, PE Department met up to plan and discuss the syllabus and implementation for next year's pilot GCE PE class for Upper Sec. Here we see Mr Lee, our HOD pointing out our future direction! (Steady lah, Mr Lee!)

In line with our TfU training, we have selected textbooks whose content follows the same organisational structure and framework of TfU. This will allow us to deliver a more concerted learning approach across all curricula levels- including PE.

The following year promises to be one filled with challenges and excitement.
More updates along the way.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

2007 East Zone Color Awards

Fri 21st Nov was the East Zone Colors Award at Pasir Ris Crest Sec School.
We saw some outstanding recepients from Victoria School head onstage to recieve their well-deserved awards. Our C-Div Hockey boys, B-Div Cricket Team as well as B & C Div Track and Field and X-Country Boys.

This is your moment boys, take it with pride because you have done us all proud!

This year, I was filled with a strong sense of pride as I watched Fung Jin Jie get his second colors award. Jinjie has grown from the aloof and mischievous boy that constantly got scolded by me into a more motivated team player. Keep it up Jinjie! I've heard from many teachers that they see a strong improvement in your school work as well as in the effort you put in.
This year, Jinjie is joined by the Tan brothers: Tan Xiang Tian and Tan Xiang Ting (whom we call TXT and txt). Despite a sudden transfer to VS only in Sec 3, Xiang Tian has adapted well and his progress in school and in CCA representation shows the evidence of his hard work.
Xiang Ting, our most mischievous member so far, has done well for us in the Interschool Competitions as well as winning Singapore a Gold in the 4th Asian Junior Wushu Competitions.

Remember that every success today is the result of hardwork, not only from ourselves but from those who have provided for us.
VS, we promised you that we will do even better next year!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A mxi of East and West: Chinese Accupunture and Dj Mixing

Hi guys, as many of you know, part of my journey in martial arts also meant that I did quite a bit of TCM. Massage and accupunture were 2 arts I learnt in the old apprentice way.
It's always been quite a serious thing and I'm glad that I've been able to put some of it into practice with you guys when you're injured. But the follow video clip, takes the cake.

It's kinda funny and absolutely horrifying in its own way.
You guys pray and hope the PE office doesn't catch fire the next time I'm giving your fellas therapy.

The next clip shows 2 young Japanese kids Sara and Ryusei doing a mean turn-table DJ set.

Kind of interesting to see how Asian kids have taken to a "Western" adult/teen phenomenon and turned it into their verious of play time.
Cool right :>

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Chemistry Powerpoint Slides for Sec 3 Revision

As part of their certification and endorsement process, Sec 3 Camp Instructors are asked to determine an area in which they can make an individual, personal contribution to the school.

Gavin Chandra from 3C decided to contribute to the school by preparing Powerpoint slides to help fellow Sec 3 students revise for Chemistry.

I have hosted the slides here for all to use and download:
1)Elements,Compounds & Mixtures
2)Oxidation and Reduction
3)The Mol

Kudos to Gavin for a job well-done!

This is a Sec 1 pic of him- so cute right :P

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Supper Treat for VS Boarders

Sometime back, I promised the VS ASEAN and A*Star Scholars are supper treat if all their rooms had a cleanliness rating of A and above.

True to form, our Victorians showed that they were indeed a cut above the rest and so we had a sumptous satay supper on Tue night.
I have never seen so much satay consumed in so little a time :)

Friday, August 31, 2007

VS vs JWSS - C-Div Hockey Finals

Today was the first time in more than 10 years that our C-Boys Hockey have made it into the finals. Our opponents were Jurong West Secondary School.
They were a tough opponent and beat us 4-0 in the end but the students from Jurong West really got standard. Their student leaders cheered for us heartily and gave us '3- cheers' to cheer our boys up when we lost to them.

That's the spirit of honest and sincere competition!

So keep your head up boys!
Here we can see the C-Div boys with their proud parents!
Special mention must go to our little chilli-padis: Hidayat, Russel and Jonathan, who ran the field like turbo-charged hamsters! Here's a video clip of our boys receiving their medals

Teachers Day Celebrations in VS

Today was our Teachers Day Celebrations in VS, and there were some really exciting programs lined up for us.

Winner of the 'Most Enthu Teacher Award', Mr Denny Aw, led the boys in doing the Cha-cha!

Give it up for the sporting Mr Denny and the rest of the boys!

It certainly was a very 'emo' celebration, especially when our resident Emo-master, Mr Ernest Puay gave us a heart felt emotive poem he composed:

I'm so touched :{ Can cry...

Thanks boys for everything.
Our C-Div boys are playing in the Hockey Finals today- let's wish them all the best and enjoy the holidays!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

My new favourite show, "America's Got Talent"

This has got to be the my favourite TV reality show now, it's got everything: singers, musicians, actors, acrobats and some really bizzare performers.

Here are 2 ventriloquist acts that really break the stereo-type and are great fun to watch:

The next 2 clips touched me in very different ways:
Some of you remember me talking about control of body and muscular form in the PE theory classes. I cited one example of 2 gymnast that I saw many years ago being able to do push-ups without their feet touching the ground. Imagine, when I saw Lazy Legs and his crew do the same thing but only that Luca "lazy legs" Patullei is handicapped from waist down.

The second is an awesome pair of brothers who play mind-blowing harmonica:

The thing about this clip that touched me was not the skill of the younger bros harmonica playing, the lesson that this clip shows:
When to stick together and when to let go
- The younger brother showed his values and gratefulness when he didn't want to go on without his older brother
- The older brother shows his true love and maturity by acknowleding that his younger brother is more talented than he is and by saying that he's willing to 'be a security' guard and fade into the shadows so his younger brother can shine; that boys, is true brother hood.

A good lesson for all of us to learn.

Friday, August 24, 2007

The Final Sprint! Go Sec 4s, go!

On Wed, morning Dr William Tan: brain scientist, doctor and wheel-chair athlete, touched us with his story of growing up paralysed from waist down with polio.

He shared with us how he pursued his dream of being a doctor and how he subsequently trained and was able to run 7 marathons in 7 continents in his wheel chair.

For more infor on Dr William Tan see his President's Social Service Award at this site

Dr William Tan shared with us his motivations for "The Final Sprint" and how he pushed the limits of his boundaries for each of his expeditions.

So as our Sec 4 Victorians head towards their Final Sprint for the exams, keep in mind that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Don't see the ESP or Night Study Programs as torture; but look on the fact that even the teachers are investing their time, energy and personal life to support you.
We don't demand A's in results; but we do ask that you give an A for your effort.
Together, your work and our dedication will be able to work miracles.

Boys, we do all this because we believe in you. You must believe in yourselves too.

So don't get your head stuck in the wall now, but focus on the goal ahead!

Nil Sine Labore

Monday, August 20, 2007

Tricks and Stunts

Well boys, as requested here are some clips of tricks and stunts.

As you know, the French urban sport of "Le Parkour" has been taking the major urban cities by storm. Meaning "Free Running" in French, it started out as a street sub-culture, much like skateboarding and, BMX biking, Parkour has come into its own.
Here's a clip of a really cool Russian dude:

Any arena for tricks and stunts is the break-dance scene, again a product of street culture. Although, many see breakdancing as a passe thing of the 80s with robot-man imitations, Michael Jackson moon-walks, but recent movies like 'Stomp the Yard' have shown how the b-boy dance scene is alive and kicking in the age of Hip-Hop. In this clip, you see a sample of break-dancing, cheer leading and xtreme martial arts stunts. Enjoy:

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Beach Clean-up CIP for Sec 2s

Today, our Sec 2s headed to East Coast to do clock some hours for their CIP. Our task was to clean our designated beach area of litter.

It is surprising that in just a matter of 40 odd mins, we were able to pick up so much trash in such a small area. The most common pieces of trash were:
1) cigarette butts
2) styrofoam pieces.

Definitely these items are not bio-degradable- we know that it takes years for cigarette butts to bio-degrade and to date, scientist have found that styrofoam is one of the most NON-BIODEGRADABLE products around. Some say it'll take millions of years to bio-degrade.

Our man-made landfill at Pulau Semakau (yes, even our dumping grounds are man-made! Cost us $600 million to build a pit and then fill it up with rubbish!) will be filled up in 40 years.

So boys- Reduce, Reuse, then Recycle!

Punish to Purify

Reccently, there's been a spate of appalling behaviour in some of my students. You have insulted me on this blog, some of you have behaved disrespectfully towards prefects and teachers, etc.

Some people have asked me whether I should remove the offending comments from my blog, or whether I should even mention these inccidents on my blog. My stand is this: I created this blog so that it would be a useful teaching tool for all. So even in your misbehaviour, I will teach you.
Hiding your faults, your misbehaviour from public scrutiny is never our style. We teachers in Victoria take pride in teaching YOU. To me, it is more important that the public sees how we handle and correct misbehaviour; rather than pretend that it doesn't exist in our school.

Victorians, we got standard and that is why we don't hide behind false names and we learn to taken responsibility for our actions.
So you may continue to spam this blog, call me names, use another person's identity to hide your own and insult me or other teachers but that won't stop me from:
1) Stopping my car to ask you to tuck-in your shirt at the bus stop- you fellas are from Victoria School and not Siglap Link Secondary School. For goodness sake, have some pride in yourself.

2) You won't stop me from walking into Zion and 'kaypoh-ing' there to see if any of you are there in your school uniforms.

3) You won't stop me from scolding you for misbehaving in class.

On a lighter note, I found this on the web at
Click the link here to go to this FLASH animation above.

Sometimes, I wonder whether we teachers should be like that and give you all some of your own medicine.
Ever wondered what it would be like if I were really like the teacher in the FLASH animation? muahahahah!

"881" Movie Review

Went to watch "881" with my 2 Mothers (My own mother and my mother-in-law- so busy nowadays, I must find some time to score points with these 2 important ladies mah!)

And I tell you, our Singaporean home-grown shows are getting better and better. Albeit, that anyone not from SE Asia would miss many of the cultural relevances of this film; but I am sure that Singaporeans, Malaysians and maybe even our Taiwanese friends would identify with this film.

First of all, it's set during the Chinese 7th Month 'Hungry Ghost Festival', which is really big in our 3 countries.

Second, it's in my Mother Tongue- Hokkien.
I mean, we've seen hokkien becoming used more frequently in local films but everyone seems to have the impression that hokkien is only used by vulgar Ah Bengs. In this film, the remix of old Hokkien songs and Ge Tai numbers show a very poignant and poetic side of the language.

I mean, it's almost like Moulin Rouge in Hokkien.
I won't give away the plot but here are some nice teasers:
The 881 Trailer:

This is movie that is delightfully campy, extravagant and makes us really look at our sensitivities as Singaporeans. And in a way, it's a tribute to Chen JinLang, our veteran Ge Tai singer who passed away from cancer last year and continued to sing despite his illness. It is this resilence which I believe marks out our strengths as Singaporeans.

One of the most poignant songs in the film was 'One Half' and here's the MTV for you to enjoy:

When we share our troubles, our hopes and desperations- our burdens are halved and our joys shared. Beyond family ties, beyond friendship, we become something more.

For more info on this film, click to go to the official site here.

Definitely a must watch for all true-blue Singaporeans. Huat ah!

Friday, August 10, 2007

National Day Celebrations @ VS

On Wed, we celebrated National Day at VS.
It was good to sing many of the National Day songs- many of the best loved songs that teachers and students like were actually penned in the early 80s. I remember the lyrics of many of them even though they were first written when I was in primary school. And as our MCs led the boys and teachers in song, I couldn't help but feel that the newer National Day songs lack something- they seem to be written for our pop idols rather than the average Singaporean to sing. Thus, many of the new national songs sound good but are hard to sing and somehow seem to fail to evoke the familiar sense of belonging like the older classes.

Here we see, teachers and students all joined in songs and we see how voices joined in one can make a difference. We may not be fantastic singers but it is this common thread of national identity that bonds us together. Let's see Mr Hazrin leading the boys in a rousing rendition of "We are Singapore."

Seeing such enthusiasm and passion for the occasion, Mr Low also gamely joined in singing "Home" with the Red Shirts:

This is our country, Singapore- which is our Home.
This is our school, Victoria- which is our Home too.
and home is where the heart is.

Happy National Day, Victorians!

Hostel Room Check: Cleanest Room- Vicent and Auzzidz

The Teacher-Mentors have been keeping a close watch on the level of cleanliness in the hostel. The VS ASEAN and A-Star scholars have been working hard to make their rooms presentable.
As promised to all my boarders, if ever the whole level gets an A rating, we'll go out for a special Sea Food Supper treat at East Coast Hawker Centre.
As of this check, the winner of the Cleanest Room Award goes to Vincent and Auzzidz (with the Sec 1 ASEAN scholars following closely behind)

Check out the effort they put into maintaining their room and making it a place that they can be proud to call home:

In the words of Vincent- "It is a habit"
Boys, only a new habit can replace an old one. So form good habits to replace bad ones, ya?

Friday, August 3, 2007

Racial Harmony and School Exchanges

In VS, we pride ourselves on being Global Minded and that comes about from being sensitive to the racial and cultural diversity we have in Singapore. We just celebrated Racial Harmony Day couple of weeks ago with an intense Chapteh competition:

This month sees VS playing hosts to myriad groups of visitors, from China alone we've got at least 3 different groups. Well, in line with our Core Values of Global Mindedness, VS has been involved with the Sino-Sin Exchange programme since 2003. Together with Cedar Girls, and other participating schools, MOE sends a delegation of schools from Singapore to visit selected schools in Beijing, China; these schools then organise a return visit to Singapore.

During their first day at VS, the Wushu Team and I were invited by Miss Yong Soon Yi to share a bit of the local Chinese customs. The Straits Chinese have carried over many interesting cultural traditions that seem to have fallen into disuse in mainland China. Thus, we thought that traditional Southern Lion dancing would be a good way to connect and bridge the cultural gap by introducing a traditional Chinese performing art that our Beijing friends would likely not be familiar with.

They took to it with gusto and with the dedicated instruction of our Wushu boys, we can see that they were quick to learn the beats and rhythms to this fascinating performance art:

We explained the basic rudiments of how the Lion is 'awakened' from its sleep, its 3 bows towards heaven, earth and man, how it proceeds to salute and greet the audience,etc. It is definitely not an easy thing to learn in one lesson but our Chinese guests were more than sporting and Vice-Captain Pang Hongyun patiently guided them through the basic steps:

As they got more confident, they began to take to it more readily- According to Miss Yong, they might put on a small performance next Monday when the girls come to visit from Cedar.:) Looking at this pair, we just might be able to pull it off!

So on behalf o Victoria School, we welcome our guests from 三帆中学and wish them a fruitful and exciting stay in Victoria School and Singapore.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Accidents and more accidents!

VS Boys, I've set 2 dislocated wrists this year already in VS- you boys are getting more and more accident prone. Please take care of yourselves and avoid putting yourself at unecessary risks like:
1) Playing football in the rain at the basket ball court
2) Pushing each other or trying to trip each other for 'fun'
3) Clowning around while travelling from VS to East Coast- especially at the underpass near the storm drain and crossing the pedestrain crossing.

For those in my PE Theory class, I've talked about how accidents happen even during highly regulated events in Track and Field. Remember we were talking about 2 reasons for having a 'scratch line' in the javelin throw- standardised measurement and safety.

So that's why we constantly emphasise safety to you all during PE. Look at this Javelin accident from You-Tube- "The incident occurred midway through the evening when Finnish thrower Tero Pitkamaki slipped at the end of his run-up, hurling the javelin out to the left of the landing area and spearing Sdiri in his right side as he crouched in the long jump warm-up section"

Sdiri's liver and spleen were pierced but he's expected to be ok.

If you guys feel that you need to test your agility and dexterity, then you you try doing what Chris Bliss does in this clip:

Here we see the two extremes of skillful perfection versus clumsy accidents happening to both professionals. So who would you wanna be boys?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

National Schools Track and Field Finals

Yesterday marked the finals of the National Schools Track and Field Championships at Choa Chu Kang Stadium.

Despite our best efforts, 'C' Boys were not able to place in the top 3 for their division title but our 'B' Boys have managed to stay in the pack emerging 3rd in the 'B' Division.

Looking at the high spirits of the Red and Black shirts, it definitely showed that win or lose, the Victorian Spirit never dies.

To our honoured compeititors, we salute your achievements as you have really raised the bar of competition. We are inspired by you and will train harder to match ourselves with you next year.
Together, let us achieve greatness for ourselves, our school and nation.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Victoria Challenge 2007- Victoria, We Give to You

Well, after a gruelling 24 hours, we've all took stock of the work we had done. As you can see from the picture above, Sec 2A my form-class did quite well. Despite the constant mischeivousness of the boys and the frenzied nagging and scolding from Miss Lim and me, what started out as 'chicken scratches' eventually grew into the floor mural we had envisioned as a class.

Also, as Saturday is our Speech Day I had set myself a personal challenge to produce a new video compiling all the footage of themselves in action. It was with a great sigh of relief that I finished the final edit at about 6am. I left Windows Movie Maker to compile and publish the video and went off to pack up. To my horror, Windows Movie Maker crashed each time it attempted to compile the movie! Great! 24 hours of non-stop editing, filming down the drain because of Microsoft!

It was pure trouble shooting from then on: from reinstalling codecs, to finding conflicting programes to surfing forum support groups,- I was on the verge of really losing my composure. But through it all, I took support and heart from a group of boys that despite severe setbacks and failures, they continued to revise, revision and rework their Victorian Challenge such that they could deliver a project with pride (to Subra, Paul and gang- well done!)

We will not be overcome with defeat and we somewhere,some how, we will find a way.
So after an extended 'Victoria Challenge', I present to you the new, re-edited, re-compiled, new Xiao-Xiao Production Video "Our Very Best!"

Victoria We Give to You Our Very Best!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Victoria Challenge 2007- Projects

Here's a brief sneak peak at some of the projects for this year's Victoria Challenge:

Not forgeting my own form class, Sec 2A, which is attempting to do a chalk and sand mural on the walkway next to the Eco-pond.

Check this space later for more updates as well as 4F's Blog

Victoria Challenge 2007

Today, we kick start our Victoria Challenge- an event held once every 4years.
Started in July 1987, the Victoria Challenge aims to allow classes to identify task which will contribute tangibly to the school. This contribution can be either aesthetic or ‘atmospheric’. The Challenge is for classes to plan their task carefully and pledge to complete it within the time allocated. It is conducted once every 4 years and has always been regarded by students as a high in their student life in Victoria School. This year's theme is Victoria, We Give to You- inspired by a line from our School Song. It is our wish that we can give back to Victoria and to the community around us.

For information on Victoria Challenge through the years, see THE VICTORIA CHALLENGE website here

Also, since the fantastic pupils of Sec 4F will be doing a 24hr blog to cover the event, I won't attempt to undertake the daunting task of updating over 36 simultaneous projects at once. So I'll leave it in 4F's capable hands- you can see their blog at 4G Victoria Challenge 2007

Another note worthy, project is by Sec 4J, who in line with this being our 131st Anniversary, will be collecting 131kg of toys to donates to the Spastic Children's of Singapore. Check them out at Victoria We Give to You

More updates later in the day- but for the most current events, do check out Sec 4G's blog.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Inspiration for Victorian Challenge- Team Hoyt

Just as we are preparing for our Victorian Challenge, our boys are also taking part in the qualifiers for the National Schools Track and Field Championships, Sec 1 to Sec 3s are starting on the first legs of their NAPFA Fitness Test- so what do all this have in common?

Well, these activities all require us to have a CAN DO mind-set.
Take a look at TEAM HOYT, a Father and Son triathlon team
"Dick and Rick Hoyt are a father-and-son team from Massachusetts who together compete just about continuously in marathon races. And if they’re not in a marathon they are in a triathlon — that daunting, almost superhuman, combination of 26.2 miles of running, 112 miles of bicycling, and 2.4 miles of swimming. Together they have climbed mountains, and once trekked 3,735 miles across America.

It’s a remarkable record of exertion — all the more so when you consider that Rick can't walk or talk.

For the past twenty five years or more Dick, who is 65, has pushed and pulled his son across the country and over hundreds of finish lines. When Dick runs, Rick is in a wheelchair that Dick is pushing. When Dick cycles, Rick is in the seat-pod from his wheelchair, attached to the front of the bike. When Dick swims, Rick is in a small but heavy, firmly stabilized boat being pulled by Dick. "

(Read more about TEAM HOYT here)
What WILL we do with our lives? What CAN we do with our lives?
Watch this video and see what 'CAN' really means:

As I watched this, I was touched and close to tears: how far are we willing to carry someone else? Boys, as we embark on our Victorian Challenge, let us ask ourselves what we CAN really do: for ourselves and others.
Nil Sine Labore

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

4th Asian Junior Wushu Championships

Our 2 Wushu exponents, Fung Jin Jie from 2C and Tan Xiang Ting from 1G, represented Singapore Wushu Youth Squad in the 4th Asian Junior Wushu Championships in Yeongju, Korea

Fung Jinjie managed to place 8th in 2 events: Changquan and Cudgel. Given the standard of the competition and the fact that it was an International event, this means that Jinjie is ranked in the Top 10 for his age group in Asia.
Tan Xiang Ting did Victoria and Singapore proud by clinching the only Gold for the Singapore Youth Team in his Spear event.

In your defeats, don't lose hope, boys; and in your success, always be humble.
And if we all keep working, I'm sure you and I will achieve more for Victoria.
Nil Sine Labore

Loo Yi Hao @ the IAAF World Youth Championships

Loo Yihao from 4F will be flying off to the Czech Republic tonight for a 2 week long stint to participate in the IAAF World Youth Championships.
Here will represent the Singapore Junior Athletic squad in 100m there.
I had a chance to have a brief chat with Yi Hao, before he left today.

I still remember when me and Miss Lim Inn Siew taught him in Sec 1. To think that in the blink of an eye, our quiet Sec 1 boy is now in Sec 4 and representing Singapore at such a prestigous meet!

What makes me really proud was that, despite being given such a glamourous opportunity, from the little interview that I had with him, it is apparent that what is most important on his mind is not his own individual performance; rather it is whether he can make it back in time to compete with fellow Victorian team-mates in the National Schools Track and Field's Championship.

Spoken with the heart and soul of a true Victorian- let us all send our best wishes to Yi Hao in his coming days. He will send pictures back to me of the days ahead and I'll update once I get news.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

VS Wushu Team in Flexi-Fight

Reccently, I was asked by Principal, Mr Low to take a few pictures of the Wushu boys training at the new Flexi-Amphitheatre.

But just take photos, quite boring lah. So I thought to myself, wouldn't it be cool if instead of still pictures of the boys posing on the amphitheatre; it might be cool to do a fight MTV from the amphitheatre allthe way down to each of the Flexi rooms. Crazy idea, right? Here the team puts together segments of their competition set sparring routine with Jay Chou's 《霍元甲》 to come up with our exciting fight video making full use of the new FLEXI classroom environment in Victoria School.Check it out!

In line with the spirit of innovation, we extrapolated segments of their routine and tried to play around with various objects in the Flexi classroom environment.
I know some of the effects are abit low-tech lah but hello, it's only a $250 video camera- so don't expect Transformers! But because Victorians are something more, we may be low-tech but we strive to be hi-concept, right :)

Nil Sine Labore
(PS: In my bid to fulfil National Education criteria and promote multi-culturalism, yadda-yadda-yadda, you can find the Chinese Subtitled on on the VS Wushu Blog Also, because my own Sifu would be complaining "Eh, how come your wushu video all English word, no chinese one for me meh?" Here's one for you, Sifu)

Friday, June 29, 2007

Family Film Fest @ VS Flexi-Amphitheatre

Fri 29th Jun, Victoria School had it's first open-air movie screening in the newly completed Flexi-Amphitheatre. The amphitheatre had been a part of the new schools facilities since 2003 when we first moved to Siglap Link but was never used because it was exposed to the sun during the day and there were no lighting fixtures for the night.

With funding from MOE's FLEXSI program, we were able to construct a synthetic awning and refurbish this wonderful open-air space for a whole variety of uses. Friday's movie screening was part of the Family Film Festival to promote family cohesiveness and we screened 'Singapore Dreaming'( 美满人生 )
This film "is a story about a family with big dreams, living on a small island... Singapore Dreaming” is a poignant, yet darkly humorous story about a typical Singaporean family coming to grips with their aspirations. It weaves a layered and moving tale about a family dealing with loss, ambition and the search for what really matters in life."

(Click here to link to official film site)

Staff, students, and family members trooped down to enjoy a good old-fashioned open-air movie- A good reminder of days gone by in the Kampungs with open-air movie screenings or the good-ole Jurong Drive-in.

Of course, no good movies experience would be complete without popcorn, drinks and candy floss. And as usual we have the fantastic, tireless, gang of PSG members (led by our one and only Margaret Goh) who provided us with lots of goodies.

With the wonderful response from staff, parents and students, I'm sure that the new amphitheatre will see a whole myriad range of new activities from now on.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Socratic Questioning Workshop

Here we see members of our Math's Department in serious discussion (except maybe Mdm Ernie who is busy posing for the camera, heh heh..)
Big Boss, Alvin Lim was leading his gang on to develop a lesson on graphical presentation of figures. Students were asked to convert textual information of Premier League soccer teams into graphical form.

What is the whole purpose of this?
Well, on Fri 22nd Jun, VS staff attended a workshop on Socratic Questioning conducted by Republic Polytechnic's Centre for Educational Development.
Basically, Socratic Questioning has 6 broad categories of questions:
1)Questions of Clarification
2)Questions of Assumptions
3)Questions that probe Reasons and Evidence
4)Questions about Viewpoints or Perspectives
5)Questions that probe Implications and Consequences
6)Questions about questions
For more info on Socratic Questioning, click here to access Wikipedia's site for a brief account.

Here we see the VS PE Dept in an animated discussion showing how we can integrate the Socratic Questioning method with our Games Concept Approach in delivering a soccer lesson focusing on passing and receiving.

Proving once and for all that conceptualising and delivering a PE lesson isn't just about rolling a ball out for the boys to play, and that yes, curriculum planning for PE is just as rigourous as any other subject- more so when we use knowledge inquiry methods like Socratic Questioning.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

VS SOAS Exchange- Departure

In the blink of an eye, it is now time for us to depart Brunei and head back to Singapore.

VS student, Pang Hong Yun, interviewed our Principal Mr Low to get some parting thoughts.

Victoria School would like to extend our heartfelt thanks and gratitude to:

Principal SOAS- Pg Hj Zahari B Pg Hj Ahmad

Deputy Principal- Hj Roslan Bin Hj Md Hassan

Deputy Principal- Hjh Nur Amalina Bte Hj Md Aarif

and ALL the staff and students of SOAS that are too many to mentioned.

You have all enriched our lives and blessed us with your graciousness and hospitality.

We look forward to seeing you in Singapore soon.


Special mention must go to our dedicated Traffic Police Patrol Riders who have followed us tirelessly these 7 days ensuring that we got from place to place safetly in the quickest fastest time.

You guys rock, man!

Friday, June 8, 2007

VS SOAS Exchange Day 6- Cultural Night Finale

In the blink of an eye, we have come to the last day of our school exchange. As we walked into the auditorium of SOAS school for the night of cultural performances, we were really made to feel like royalty as they showered us with rice and music.

The occasion was also graced by the presence of Director of Schools.

Today, our principal Mr Low was formally presented with the oil mural by Cikgu Mohamad which was given when we first visited the SOAS art gallery.
The Wushu boys kicked off the event with their performance first:

Thereafter, Mr Low proceeded to express his thanks to our hosts for our wonderful and meaningful time in Brunei

After that, the dinner started and we our meal accompanied by the soothing sounds of the school's gamelan orchestra.

After that, staff and students put up a musical piece serenading the water village of Kampung Air.

Our SOAS hosts never stopped amazing us with their rich heritage of cultural talents and students from the school's dance club presented a popular Kedayan dance 'Aduk-Aduk' using coconut shells.

After witnessing this myriad tapestry of artistic talents from SOAS, it was time for VS to return the favour and our Chinese Orchestra presented Singapore's multi-racial heritage by giving an Oriental twists to the classic piece 'Canon in D' by Pachabel.

SOAS followed this with their prize-winning Hadrah troupe we had seen practicing earlier this week. For the past 10 years, they have always been finalists in the National Competitions, winning it 3 times.

Our ever sporting and absolutely wonderful student buddies from SOAS were also not to be outdone and put up a show too for VS boys

There was even a special treat arranged by Cikgu Zarina for us! Having heard of my interest in Martial Arts, she actually managed to persuade one of the former Deputy Principals of SOAS to perform silat for us during the concert. It is definitely an honour for all of us to have been graced by his performance.

Well good things are meant to be shared and our hosts involved everyone in a rendition of the popular Malay Song 'Geylang Si Paku Geylang'

Their hospitality and enthusiasm were so infectious that they even managed to get BOTH principals to dance the Joget with them. (VS boys, this is a priceless moment- how often you get to see your principal dance?- Now you know why I like being BEHIND the camera, hee hee)

Even the boys couldn't get enough of it and started their own circle:

Soon, before we knew it, it was time to go but we made sure to take lots of photos- especially with the lovely teachers of SOAS!

Looks like the next time I'm in Brunei, I got my own retinue of body guards from SOAS.
Thank you SOAS- Principal, Deputy Principals, teachers and all students, we will remember you always and look forward to your arrival next year.

Yesterday we were strangers, today we are friends and when tomorrow comes, we will change the world together and make it a better place for you and me!

Nil Sine Labore, VS-SOAS boleh!

VS SOAS Exchange Day 6- Hiking at Bt Shahbandar and Kampung Ayer

Bright and early we headed to Bukit Shahbandar for a nature trek and hill climb. Our liaisons told us that Bukit Tasek the other day was just a warm up for today and they were right! Public interest in the VS and SOAS Exchange with our boys being interviewed live on RTB's Morning Show. Cikgu Sirazuddium from SOAS is also a part-time DJ with Radio Pelangi (Cool, right?) also did a phone interview with me for their live radio telecast. Today, a reporter from the Brunei Times came all the way down to Shahbandar to catch us in action:

Once things were settled, we began with with the usual warm-up and then a briefing on the various routes we could take ranging from Route A(1.6km on flat land) to Route D a steep traverse over mountainous terrain taking about 1-2hrs!

For the VS and SOAS buddies, we were also required to do a scavenger hunt along the way and complete various tasks:

We started out with an easy trek into the forest and it was a cool respite from the sun.

However after the initial ease, it quickly got tough and we were faced with upslope inclines of more than 45 degress!

But my group solidered on and were rewarded with a great view from the top!

Going downhill wasn't that much easier and took a lot more care as a misplaced step could easily send all of us tumbling into each other.

As we took at well-deserved break before our further descent, we paused to take a group photo-

But as we started heading down again we saw some workers carrying construction materials uphill!

But as we progressed through the forest, we were also able to pause and take stock of the interesting flora there. Here we see some carnivorous pitcher plants:

After our long trek, we finally reached our last check point and had to complete a log maze while blindfolded:

At the end, I'm proud to say that my group *ahem*ahem* emerged SECOND! Yay!!!
As allstaff and students gathered together for a sumptuous breakfast, Mr Low gave an interesting demonstration on how to fold a shirt in 2 secs:

In the afternoon, we visit Kampung Ayer- an entire Kampung Village built on water. Don't worry parents, we made sure that all of the boys wore life jackets as you can see:

We took a tour around the river and saw a unqiue rock formation:

It's called the Boat that became a Rock because it looks like a capsized boat on its side.

We were also able to visit one of these Kampung Houses built on the river:

One of SOAS' teachers, Cikgu Md Zain's grandfather used to live in the Kampung and his grandfather was a renown brass smith who was comission to make various brass artefacts.:

Later, Cikgu Md Zain and his aunt put up a short impromtu demonstration of Gamelan music for us:
Baik la Cikgu!

One of the VS boys from Chinese Orchestra, Vincent Ooi, decided to give it a try too!

Steady lah, Vincent!

Tonight is our Cultural Performance night- will update later

Thursday, June 7, 2007

VS SOAS Exchange Day 5- Mount Tasek, Project Presentations and Museums

After all the good food and makan, it is finally time to do some hard exercise. Today, VS and SOAS boys went on a trek up Mount Tasek.
We were led by one of the Senior PE teachers from SOAS and began with warm-ups to get everyone up and pumping.

Both our principals, Pengiran Zahari and Mr Low were rearing to go! (But we soon lost sight of them somewhere after the first slope.. hee hee) Going upslope was tough and as we struggled up panting, we saw the senior PE teacher who led the warm-up sprinting upslope to reach the vantage point ahead of us. No videos of his agile feats as I was busy trying to keep pace with the rest of the,.
At the top, we were treated to a nice view of the surrounding area before heading downslope towards a natural waterfall. Going downslope proved to be as much a challenge as you can see:

But when we reached the waterfall, it was all worth it!

Being such a picturesque location, I made sure I took some 'emo' shots for the Wushu boys.

After a good rest, we headed back to SOAS for the formal presentaion of the boys Ecological Field Study of Tongkat Ali.

There were a total of 4 groups and each group was given 10min to present, followed by a Q&A session.

The delegation from VS was very impressed with the rigour and thoroughness with which the organising teachers planned this field trip- it wasn't just a 'for show' activity but one that really with very clearly defined learning outcomes for the boys. There were 4 groups that presented Ixora, Karamunting, Kuduk-Kuduk and Simpur- Their projects can be found at the following hyperlinks

In the afternoon , we toured the Malay Technological Museum which showcased traditional Malay indigenous crafts, skills and culture.

At the lobby, were interesting logic puzzles made of rattan:

There were various dioramas showcasing traditional malay arts and crafts- such as silver-smithing, sago tapping, etc.

Next we visited the Brunei Museum, which had an entire section on Islamic Art that was donated from the Sultan's own person collection:

Being a martial arts enthusiast, this collection of swords captivated me. Mind you, these are not decorative blades but real, 'live' historical swords and the etching and inscriptions on them were simply breath-taking.
As we toured the rest of the museum, we found yet another interesting fact between SOAS College and Victoria School. I've mentioned many similiarities between both our schools in the past posts and also that the Sultan has studied at SOAS- but I bet that few people know that he studied in Victoria as well!

Well okay, maybe that's stretching it a bit as Victoria Institution in Kuala Lumpur is totally unrelated to Victoria School in Singapore but it certainly is a nice and pleasant coincidence to have both SOAS and VS tied to each other (and to royalty!) even though it's just a naming coincidence :)

The boys enjoyed themselves touring the museum, but being boys, tend to look for fun whenever we can find it:

One display that definitely tickled the boys was the one showing traditional customs and rites of passage:

They were all so curious about circumcision and its process. Well, sinced I've learnt Traditional Chinese Medicine as part of my training in Wushu, I've got a pretty good knowledge of how to handle sharp objects like scapels and needles. So seeing their great interest in the subject of circumcision, I've kindly volunteered my medical and martial experience to any student wishing to experience it.
For those wishing for 'surgery' Doctor Siow will be in tonight. (muahhahaha....)
Don't worry, all the SOAS boys who've been through it say it's like an ant prick.
So who wants to be first? I promise it won't hurt.....much heh heh.