Friday, December 30, 2005

The VIP orientation

This year is hastily coming to a close, and we herald the much-anticipated start of the next year as a period of metamorphosis. Indeed, it would be a challenging time of change, as we abandon those short, abhorred khaki pants and don long pants, spending a fair bit of our time daily studying, and assuming leadership positions in our CCAs.

Well, at least, that’s how most of my classmates’ lives would be like.

But for me…it’s not all so similar. I’m just about to begin a new chapter in my life in a much venerated college.

The VIP orientation, held over the span of the last two days, helped my got better acquainted with my class, seniors and the school premises. It also marked officially the first time I wore VJC’s beige uniform, and their PE attire. I got to meet a senior (Laura) for the first time in person after a month of hiding behind her bubbly MSN personality. I perceive her as a very outgoing, straightforward and cheery girl. The IP2s, who were our Peer Support Leaders (PSLs), turned out to be very benign, approachable, extremely warm and friendly people whom we had no problems getting along with. Some of them were also previously from VS, so there were a few familiar (yet not so familiar) faces that I encountered. The PSLs were truly nice people who made me feel at home with their radiant smile and cordial welcome. In fact, I didn’t feel as if they were my seniors, who had an air of superiority, but more as newly made friends.

Thankfully, my classmates were also very sociable people who could gel together as a united class of around thirty. The girls were very congenial and sweet people, though a few were more demure, but there were none who were irritating or bitchy, much to my relief. They were especially helpful during the games, just to add. The boys were decent people whom I could get along and communicate pretty well with. There were a handful of China PRCs and two Indian scholars too. I think that my classmates are perfectly fine people who would influence me positively. So far, I have yet to detect any ‘attitude’ people with behaviour problems. I’m truly happy with my classmates and I hope that a few true, sincere friendships can be quickly formed soon.

My civics tutor (or otherwise known as form teacher in primary and secondary school terms) is a middle-aged man by the peculiarly quirky name of Mr Boy. How he attained this bizarre name is a mystery to me…but be rest assured that he is Singaporean. Putting his unconventional name aside reveals an exceedingly benevolent teacher who is more of an adult companion than just a teacher to us. He doubles up as our physics teacher too. During the buffet lunch on the first day of orientation, he chatted with us for a while, and I managed to extricate a few pieces of information about his teaching career from that conversation lasting no longer than 10 minutes. He initially planned to teach Chinese, but due to the MOE’s autocratic decision, he was dismayingly sent off to teach physics, which later on he took began to cultivate a strong interest in. He studied in a very typical neighbourhood school across the road from his house when he was young, and he confessed that during those times, primary school education was taken lightly, where a school was chosen based more on convenience than prestige. But nowadays, our society has evolved so rapidly that parents would painstakingly attempt all means just to admit a child into a prominent school. Well, so obviously I inferred that he, as a child, was nothing of a prodigy or genius.

Basically, this orientation was to bond us together and familiarize us with our new environment so that we would not be totally foreign when term begins. Oh, by the way, official classroom lessons only commence on the fourth week of the first term. That’s a relatively long period of orientation and informal lessons, but we receive it welcomingly, of course.

We played many icebreaker games, dodge ball using water bombs, the candle fight game, and the water transport game where we had to transport water from place to place using our shirts, and on a more serious note, had our curriculum briefing. My aging flip-flops gave way when running transporting water, something uncanny because I had run with it before and it did not spoil, but nevertheless, this was the perfect opportunity to get a better, new pair. Haha…

I think VJC is a very warm and friendly institution and I dare say that I’m quite settled there already.

This being said, however, does not diminish the fact that VS will always be cherished in my heart, although, technically speaking, VS is just my ala mater.

VS forever!!!!

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