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Reminiscing the Good Days: 2013

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BC: "Cheers to a beautiful year and may the next be an even better one"

FC: Reminiscing The Good Days 2013

1: Contents | Secondary 3 level.....pg 2-9 camp London trip..............pg 10-21 National day............pg 22-27 Parade Blast To The Past!.......pg 28-29 Acknowledgments......pg 30-31

2: Sec 3 Camp... | 2

3: The idea of camp scared me, it was absolutely revolting. I had my doubts at first, i mean, going on a camp with a class of people i did not know in the slightest just seemed like a bad notion. Questions flooded my mind: what if I could not fit in? What if they do not like me? The fear was overwhelming and I was tempted to just call it off and not go. Ultimately, a strict decree from my parents sent me off to a relatively speaking enjoyable three days and two nights. The ride across the causeway was the longest ride I have taken in a long time, sitting in a bus full of strangers who knew each other well, this was not going well, i thought. After the dreary ride, we finally arrived at the campsite Kota Tinggi. The first thing we did was assemble in the less than visually appealing assembly are which was also the eating area. After that, we met with what was to be our sleeping area for the next two nights, which reeked of the smell of dirty socks and the PVC

4: material of the tent burnt our skin when we came into contact with it. Immediately, we left for our first activity, the low elements, which required my classmates to carry us up across the wall. At first, i felt insecure, fearful of falling, and to trust strangers to help each other overcome this challenge was intimidating to say the least. It was interesting, to see the different dynamics within the class, the cliques that existed and the different personalities of my classmates were shone through this one activity, i still felt like a foreigner, but at least like one who knew the culture of the foreign country i was in. | 4

5: The next challenge, required nothing short of an acute sense of balance and finesse, something I doubt I have. We were required to stand on a big broad wooden plank, that rested on a thin object which allowed to sway left and right like a see- saw. Our task was simple, balance for as long as we can. So we tried several times, at first, we fumbled, not sure of what would be the best way to carry this out, but we soon got a hold on it, and coordinated like a well oiled machine, we sat on that plank, for a whole twenty minutes, singing songs, occasionally shouting and scurrying to balance the plank again. Though we had not known each other for long, the cliques started to break, and we got to know each other better.

6: The water activities required us to jump from one plank to another which was further supported with barrels that float on the water. We were split up into teams and placed at the two ends of the lake where the aim was to ensure that the whole team gets to the other side as fast as possible. Knowing I had a fear of water or anything to do with getting myself wet, it required much bravery. | 6

7: I balanced myself as best as I could, but the planks were wobbly from the first step, from then, i knew this challenge was rigged, and we were meant to fall. I did not want to disappoint teammates by falling down as it would result in lost of time and a team member. I kept myself focused on my aim which was to go forward and reach the other side, therefore, I continued jumping from plank to plank ignoring the water as best as i could. Reaching the other side, finally, was a immense relief for me and an achievement. Something that I would never have imagined myself doing.

8: Lastly was the activity that many have been waiting for which was the Campfire. No camp is complete without a campfire. Celebrating three days and two nights of survival, we performed and sang with much ardor. It required much planning, coordination and communication, processes that enabled me to better relate to these now slightly more familiar acquaintances. | LET'S PARTEHH | 8

9: On the ride home, things were different from the ride to the camp, i sat amongst friends, we chatted, sang and clowned around, the ride was quick, almost a little too quick. The times ahead will be the intense competition in the concrete jungle we call home, but we will never forget the convivial time we had under the shade of the canopy of the forest at Kota Tinggi.

10: London Trip.. | This year during June the Literature class went to England. This is the first time ever that Commonwealth was bringing a group of students so far abroad and it was something really new and different not only for students but for teachers as well. We went to York, Cambridge and last but not least London and were given the chance to experience the diverse pace of life in the different towns in England. | Before the .... | 10

11: When we first arrived in England everything seemed very foreign to us and we were very unsure of how to carry ourselves. The first few nights were hard as it was the first time for most of us to be so far away from home and our families but we eventually got used to it and learnt to be independent individual. The friendly guides and teachers that accompanied us also helped to make this foreign environment more comfortable for us.

12: Our first stop in this trip was York! York is a very traditional place , which preserves the English culture very well. When we were there, we saw many grand historical structures that hold much importance to England's history and to the people of England as well. The place had a rare charm, a rustic feel and we were washed over by a feeling of nostalgia despite never being there before. Evidence of its long history could be seen throughout the streets through the architecture and old shops that sold an array of goods. it was a pity to leave as we all appreciated the slow pace of life that York had to offer and the sights and stories related to it were magnificent. | 12

14: The second stop in our England trip was Cambridge! When we first came to Cambridge it felt very different as compared to when we stopped off at York. Cambridge holds a more intellectual feel as it was the home of many ivy league universities such as Cambridge and Oxford. We not only got the opportunities to tour these colleges but we also got to experience the favourite pastime of the people of Cambridge, punting. The punters were the very students of these universities and were very friendly towards us. They told us many interesting facts and stories related to the town of Cambridge which made this so much more enjoyable and meaningful. | 14

15: We had a lovely time taking pictures, looking at the grand architecture of each college, looking at each bridge above us and interacting with the other tourists and locals and even our classmates that drift by on separate punting boats. | We saw the chapel in Cambridge University and were awestruck by the grandeur of it all. The peacefulness we felt in the chapel was something that could never be experienced in the hustle bustle of Singapore life. Inspired, was how we felt, and we long to see those sights again.

16: LAST BUT NOT LEAST, our final stop was LONDON, one of the most happening cities in the world. We saw the symbolic red London bus whizzing past, the urban lifestyle and pace of Londoners, the elegant architecture of the commercial buildings. But besides all those wonderful places we also got to watch 3 plays. | 39 steps, which was a mystery action comedic play, Matilda, a musical based on one of the famous authors, Roald Dahl's, book and lastly, the play which held the utmost significance in our England trip, we watched it right in the Globe Theater itself, A Midsummer Night's Dream. | Can you spot the red London bus? | 16

17: I truly felt that Midsummer Night's Dream has to be the most significant and memorable play that the class has experienced as we actually got a first hand experience on how the audience during Elizabethan times felt as they watched the plays out in the open. Also, the fact that the actors on stage were talking n Elizabethan English and were acting like how they used to during that period of time itself, gave the whole play a different play to it. The atmosphere and everything in general made the whole experience something that would never be forgotten.

18: During our stay in London, we also went for multiple literature and poetry workshops. One of the poetry workshops we went for was conducted by a famous poet, Sam La Rose. It was an extremely meaningful workshop as it taught us how to analyze poems better. We were also taught on the many different perspectives we must consider such as what are things we smell, see, feel or hear when we think of a word before constructing a poem of our own, hence this allowed us to see what things were like from a poet's point of view which allowed us to further understand how we could analyze unseen poetry. | 18

19: We also went for many other drama and literature related workshops on Romeo and Juliet which was the book we were studying for our Secondary Three year, through these workshops we were able to understand each character better and generally understand the whole play better.

20: On the trip, we fell in love with the breathtaking views. It opened our eyes to things we never knew existed and it also taught us more about ourselves. This opportunity was one not to be missed and I wouldn't trade it for the world. This whole trip was like taking learning to a whole new level, for example we were having loads of during this trip but at the same time we were gaining a lot of knowledge and skills as well. | YEAH BABY WE'RE AT THE PALACE | 20

21: Hence, this wondrous trip not only allowed us to learn how to appreciate literature more and learn the different skills required for the subject. It also allowed our passion and interest for the subject to grow. Hopefully Commonwealth will provide more of such trips to the future batches as we truly felt that this was one of the best opportunities we have been given in Commonwealth and we have no regrets of signing up and going for the trip!

22: The school was filled with joyous chatter on the morning of our National Day observation. Uniformed groups were already ready in neat rows, ready to march out once the command has been given and our one and only Commonwealth Military Band has started playing. I was extremely nervous. This was the real thing. There is no room for mistakes, if not, our hard work for the last 2 months would have gone to waste. “Get ready, after this song we're going to start this observation ceremony,” said Mdm Yani, out of breath. | NATIONAL DAY PARADE... | 22

23: Everyone has been busy the whole morning to prepare for one of the school's biggest events of the year. This is when we display our Uniform Groups and Military Band's excellence. This is also the day where we commemorate Singapore's independence. As the emcees announce the ceremony's beginning, the whole school fell silent. This is the moment where the observation ceremony is at the grandest. All eyes scrutinizing every move, ready to identify the littlest mistake made.

24: ''This year's parade 2IC is Tan Bin Qian from 3I'' says one of the emcees as Bin Qian marched in alone. Bin Qian gave a command. The band started playing and the march in started. The parade went smoothly as rehearsed. After the supporting continents had taken their places in the parade. Bin Qian went to take his place between the two contingents and the band. | 24

25: ''Now, the parade IC, Raynard Tay from class 3O will call in the Guard of Honour contingent'' continued the emcees after Bin Qian and Raynard had taken their respective positions. After the guard of Honour contingent were in their respective positions, The flag bearers got ready to bring in the state flag and our school flag.

26: The anxiety within me was increasing by the second. I was about to slow march out and the whole school had their eyes on the other flag bearers and I. Slow marching is very hard and even after practicing for as long as 2 months, we were unable to fully master this skill. But regardless, I did my best, kept calm under pressure and executed it with what my friends described as “skillful” and “flawless”. Next were the performances by the school’s percussion group, Urban Nature and in conjunction with Mr Fazlin, a well loved teacher who is known for being a very sprightly person. After the performance, we had the flag raising ceremony where the band played the national anthem. I felt proud to be a Singaporean and thankful for what Singapore has offered me for the past 15 years. | 26

27: As the observation ceremony drove to an end, the mood returned solemn. The contingents prepared for the march out. Standing proud, they marched away, each with a slight spring in their step, thinking: I’m proud to to be a Singaporean.


30: Acknowledgments... | Rui Hon & Zafirah, the writers of the Sec 3 Camp Section :D | Afiqah, the writer of the National Day Section ;P | 30

31: Awadah & Grace, the writers of the London Trip Section :) (:

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  • Title: Reminiscing the Good Days: 2013
  • Our journey in the Secondary 3 life has opened up a lot of opportunities for us. This is us sharing our experiences.
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  • Published: about 6 years ago