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.