Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hanoi Write-up

4:47 PM Posted by JieMin , No comments
Day 1

I was exhilarated when we finally landed in Hanoi.
We first visited Hanoi Amsterdam High School, the best school in Hanoi. We saw the grand-looking school and were amazed by the various facilities it provides. We then interacted with the students and found out that we had many common interests.
Next, we had yummy dinner in the hotel.

Finally, we went to watch the Water Puppet Show. We admired the spectacular performance of the water puppets, which were depicting the daily lives of the vietnamese with some humour injected. There was also a few vietnamese either playing musical instruments or voicing the characters.

We were very tired and retired to our hotel rooms.

Day 2

We first went to Nguyen Du Secondary School. We were warmly greeted by the students and were guided to the hall. The principal of Nguyen Du Secondary School and Mr Soh, our vice-principal gave a speech to welcome the other party’s school.
Then, SST students played a video about what SST was about, for the Nguyen Du Secondary School students to understand. Next, SST students gave a presentation about what we SST students do on a daily basis.
The Nguyen Du Secondary School students also gave a presentation in English about the history of their school and an introduction about Vietnam.
We were called to exchange gifts with the Nguyen Du Secondary School students and we thanked them for hosting us.
After that, the Vietnamese students had several performances like singing and dancing. Many of us joined in the performance and we had lots of fun.
The Nguyen Du Secondary School students guided us around the school and we got to know them better at the same time. We then helped our Vietnamese buddies to create Blogger accounts and let them post on the GCP Friendship Blog.
Soon after, we left reluctantly as we could not bear to part with our new friends.
We ate delicious pho (Vietnamese noodles) for lunch.
Next, we visited the Hoan Kiem Lake. The name means “return sword” lake as the Vietnamese president once received a sword from the heavens to fight during WWII. After it was over, the golden turtle asked the president to return it the sword.
We went to the Ho Chi Minh Museum. There were many different artefacts about his life. He was very noble. He fought for Vietnam against France.

Day 3

We were on a bus ride for 4 hours until we finally reached Ha Long Bay.
The scenery was beautiful and magnificent. We got onto a boat and had prawns, spring rolls, “crabs” and other seafood.
After a while, we got off at a cave, which was founded by a fisherman and his son accidentally.
We saw the rocks naturally shaped in strange ways and one of them even looked like the Merlion!
After that, we got back onto the boat and onto the bus for another 4-hour-long ride.


I noticed that there are many motorcyclists on motorcycles on the streets of Vietnam. This is probably because motorcycles are cheaper than cars and there is not much public transport. I also noticed that many people live in small and rundown houses. This is probably because many Vietnamese are poor.
I learned that I take some time to recall what I did and feel earlier in the day, for reflections.
I realised that many students from our Hanoi GCP like to sing aloud together to songs that we are familiar to.

Done by: Sun Jie Min 1-07

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

GCP Hà Nội 2010 Pictures

7:21 PM Posted by Reuven Lim , No comments
Here are some pictures of the GCP Hanoi trip I had taken, from 9-12 December. Many other members of the contingent have recorded or photographed something to bring home, many of them are on Facebook or storage devices.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Humanities Mobile Learning (Botanical Gardens)

8:21 PM Posted by Reuven Lim , No comments
Today, our school organised Mobile Learning field trips for every class in school. As my class, 104, and 106, had already gone for a previous Mobile Learning trip, we were going to the Botanical Gardens, while the other classes were going to locations we had visited before.

After a short briefing at the hall about some software that was not applicable to my group, we assembled at the porch and boarded the bus to our respective locations.

104 and 106 were split up to go to different stations first. We were guided by guides from the Botanical Gardens. 104 first went to see a few plants and learn about them and the park.

We were slightly delayed for the second, more fun rainforest walk as the 106 was behind time and the station was not prepared yet.

We were guided by a different guide for the rainforest walk, who showed us many plants we may find in a native rainforest and explained to us some of the workings of a rainforest. It was quite fun, and though we were behind time we managed to finish the trail and go back to school, where many of us had our Learning Support briefing afterwards. All in all, it was a tiring but fun day.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Service-Learning Workshop (Nov)

4:00 PM Posted by Cherin No comments
On 9 & 10 November, the groups that went to Beijing and Shunde in May 2010 finally have a chance to experience something what the rest of their peers experienced while they were overseas--the Service Learning Workshop! However, it is not exactly what their peers have experienced, it is something totally different.
The workshop title is called CLASS, which stands for Compassionate Leaders Always Serving Society and it is conducted by Touch Youth, particularly the Leadership & Mentoring Sector.
On the first day, the workshop kick-started off with an ice-breaker, called Body Google, where they have to send a representative and compare parts of their body, such as their eyebrows and ears.

Ice breaking - Longest Breath

Its back to business and we went to their pre-assigned teams to create our Group Norm, the Agreement, Rules and Expectations. This is followed by a ‘Gallery Walk’ presentation of their Group Norms to let others ‘like’ their Norms.
Agreeing to the rules set

Next, they started by learning the topic on the Heart of a Servant Leader, with the main activity called ‘Pass it on’, where they had Cheng Ngee (S1-01) as their elected leader to instruct us how to play this game, which involves passing items quickly and without dropping them. Those who passed too slow will be outcasted in the game, but that was not true as in the end. The outcasts were actually chosen at random by the mentors.

Pass it on

They moved on to the second topic of the day, Effective communication. Using what they learned about effective communication, they have to look at pictures which form a story and find out what is the story out of the pictures. But here’s the catch, they can only see our own 1 or 2 pictures and nothing else. It took a while for the students to try to make sense of the stories, but eventually, some of them managed to figure it out.
Telling a story

After a scrumptious lunch, the workshop proceeded by touching on the topic of Service-Learning, what it means, why there was a hyphen in the topic. The mentors then revealed what our field trip was for the next day--Doing a survey with the Elderly! They gave details of how we were going to do the survey and the students found out an undeniable fact. Majority of the Elderly speak Cantonese and Hokkien and they have to learn these languages in order to do the survey.
Luckily, the students do not to be fluent with the languages as the mentors have helped them translate the survey questions into these languages, along with how they can introduce themselves. All they need to do was to be able to pronounce the words. So, for the next few hours, they were learning how to pronounce the questions in both of the languages. They had difficulty pronouncing in Cantonese, so the mentor had already put up and audio file link to be able to listen how she pronounced the words. But that cannot be said when the students were learning Hokkien. They sailed quickly through the class as it was easy to be able to communicate .
Before the end of the first day, there was a challenge waiting for them. They tied strings around their wrists and the strings were tangled with others. The goal was to free themselves without untying the string, cutting the string and burning the string. It took quite a while to get themselves free until one pair managed to set themselves free and teached the rest on how to free themselves. And with this, it marks the end of the first day.
On the second and last day of the workshop,

it started off with a surprise challenge, where there are stages. Whichever stage the mentor shout out for, we have to do that particular mini-game. Stage one is a thumb wrestling match. Stage two is a finger-poking match. Stage three is a knee-tapping match. The floor was full with moving people as they played this challenge.
This was followed by a re-cap of what they have learned before breaking up into their smaller groups to brush up on their language skills. The buses to the different destinations came and they left for either Toa Payoh or Whampoa to conduct their surveys.
Some of them managed to interview all the three elderlies assigned to them, while some did not even manage to even interview any of the elderlies. But with that experience, they learned about compassion and related it back to the experience earlier on.

Let's go!

Along the corridor

After that, they learned about the last topic, resilience. The main highlight of this topic was going through a journey with their group right in the basketball court under the sweltering sun! Their task was to get to the other side of the court without stepping onto the court itself. They can use the resources to get them through but their have to carry the responsibilities above their heads. Try after try, some of them got tired and frustrated that they do not really want to move on.
Activity at the basketball court

At the end of the activity, it was a time of the closure of the workshop and a time of reflection, reflecting through the topics they learned during the past two days. The session ended off with one last activity, which is to get a piece of paper through your body. Many of the students were thinking for a long time as to how to solve it. But in the end, one of them managed to solve it, by tearing the paper.

That marked the end of the day and the end of the workshop. Though it was not really a long workshop, but still, it taught them many things, from the Heart of a servant leader to Resilience. These were effective to be applied into their daily lives, moulding their character through the experiences and giving them the skills to be a better leader. This workshop has succeeded in giving the students that.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Digipen Workshop, 30th October 2010

11:31 PM Posted by Hardy No comments
On the 30th October 2010, the students attended the Digipen Workshops. We had an experience on making games. Our facilitators led us on making some simple games too.
The students listening to the lesson

Facilitator preparing lesson projects and demonstrations
Facilitators explaining concepts of developing game applications
Facilitators giving a walkthrough in games development
A student working on his Game Application

Students glued to their screens working