Sunday, June 26

Halfway into Term 1.

Tomorrow, the second semester of school begins for those in junior colleges, primary schools, and secondary schools. But for us polytechnic students, it's already been halfway into Term 1. It has been a harsh time for especially the freshmen Year One students in adapting to the hectic pace of tertiary life. Tomorrow, Week 5 of Term 1 begins. We're halfway through Term 1 already - so quickly.

This past week - projects and assignments took their highest toll on me (yet). Especially that storyboarding, outline/profile and PowerPoint I had to do for Digital Video Production Techniques (which I did from Friday to Sunday).

Just yesterday we spent an entire day out at Bukit Panjang sourcing for available soundscapes for us to record as part of our Recording & Mixing Techniques assignment. A whole day of recording just for 2 minutes of final production. And that's only for one person, there's still three of us left to record (on other days). It's so frustrating when you just want the SOUND of an environment recorded, not the VIDEO or anything else. Just the SOUND. We went to the arcade and library and both firmly rejected our request. So much for corporate organisations. At least the bowling alley was kind enough to allow us several recordings.

Today I went to Wild Wild Wet (a water theme park) at Downtown East as part of my dad's union's annual family gathering. Had not much of a mood for enjoying the lazy river or wave pool there though. Just took the day as more of a short escapade away from the whizz of doing projects.

Very sleepy now - off I go to bed. Caution: My blog may/will not be updated often in the next 3-5 years (at least) at the rate that my assignments are going.

Wednesday, June 15


With the worst days starting from 7am (time I leave home) to 6pm or later (time I arrive home), I've yet to adapt to the long hours of polytechnic life though I can cope with other aspects such as finding my way around school. Guess it's the one-and-a-half hour journey (walk->bus->MRT->walk and vice versa) that's draining me out. Like today when I came back myself (I come back with at least one person most of the time) - it was so hard to restrain myself from falling asleep. I managed to get a seat, so the environment was comfy for a good rest. I didn't want to end up at Boon Lay or something (missing my stop at Tampines) anyway, so tried as best as I could to stay awake.

Yup, another thing - lunchtime's ALWAYS so crowded! ONE hour for lunch is often a mad rush to secure seats and add on to the already-snaking queues. Especially for the new freshman intake - the DRAGON YEAR BATCH of 1988! Which results in a greater number of people fighting for that single seat. 6 food courts and still not enough. Oh well - not too long ago we christened ourselves as DDB (Diploma in Da Bao || Da Bao = Takeaway) students. There were 16 of us who takeaway-ed our lunches, giving us 16 red plastic bags swinging to and fro as we walked to a staircase to have lunch together. Not before lining up in two neat lines side by side (no one in the middle) and taking a photo to capture the moment. It was super lame - but we had fun later singing songs accompanied on the guitar - great in expelling excess gas. Haha. We will definitely consider Da Bao-ing our food in future.

If you haven't noticed yet, I haven't been blogging so often now - can't afford the time to. So I'll just be doing fortnightly/monthly round-ups of my adventures in life. Catch you all next time.

Monday, June 6

DMAT - you rock.

I've been so caught up with polytechnic life that I've just managed to squeeze in a bit of my precious time to blog about recent developments.

Life rocks at Singapore Polytechnic (SP). As has been the focus of my previous posts. Polytechnic propaganda they might seem, but I'm not intending to show any bias towards Junior Colleges, Centralised Institutes, Institutes of Technical Education or private schools here. Just frankly describing my experiences.

It's now (as I'm typing this) the start of Week 2 in school. Got to know my classmates better, 43 of us including me in all. Although I must admit I still can't match certain names to faces. You know - girls' Chinese names that are so similar to one another.

DMAT (Diploma in Music & Audio Technology) life is great - an exclusive luxury lusted after by hundreds of applicants. For the privileged 43 of us who got into the course, we could have asked for no more. For one thing, we get to create our own digital music in the MIDI & Synthesis module. Another unique thing we get to do that no other course offers is to stage our own group/solo performances in public areas (we're coming to it not so soon yet though) in the Peformance module. And - we study in an air-conditioned environment for all our lessons - no workshops or laboratories for our course.

If there has to be a down-side to this course at all, it would probably have to be the Musicianship module, where we're covering Music Theory at an impressive speed (presumably EIGHT grades in one semester/half a year) as part of our Musicianship module. Our timetable is rather packed, ranging from 9/10am to as late as 5pm (for Friday), with breaks of only 1 hour per day on certain days. But this is perhaps of our present process of adaptation to polytechnic hours; we're not used to such a hectic schedule yet - but we'll get used to it in time.

Sidetracking now to the CCAs I joined during the CCA Week last week: Campus Crusade for Christ, Info-Comm Tech (ICT) Club (my faculty's club) and Community Services & Cultural Club. 3 in all. But the two clubs are what they call "non-commitment-based" - which means I don't really have to be a REAL active member all the time. So my main CCA would be of course Campus Crusade.

Ack. Gotta go sleep soon so I can't blog anymore.

DMAT. --*Exclusive. Exquisite. Experiential.*--

Wednesday, June 1

Singapore Polytechnic - ROCKING MY WORLD! (Part 4)

The final series of the summary of my polytechnic orientation activities. I was barely starting to regain my energy after a camp and a chalet (see Singapore Polytechnic - ROCKING MY WORLD! - Parts 2 & 3) when I went for this event. So, as expected, I was EXTREMELY worn-out.

[21 May 2005] || Organised by SP Community Services & Cultural Club

Hmm... I was supposed to at least put some photos of the event in this post - but I haven't managed to get them in digital form yet. Yawn. Where's Foodcourt 5? *blur* Oh now I remember. Grabbed a sandwich from a nearby shop and registered my attendance. Then it was the usual routine of icebreaker games again - in groups. We were split evenly later however - my group was El Draque. Guess it's some pirate's name or something because all the group's names were centered around the theme of "Vikings Showdown" - which was the event name anyway. Our first assignment was to paint our group emblem/flag. Like most of the other orientation activities, we were to carry it around with us wherever we went around Sentosa. Again, I don't have a photo of our completed banner. Ack. That aside, the team spirit for my group was rather low at first when we later decided upon our group cheers (which I contributed - seeing that I could do my part to gel the team together). This was to change gradually in the course of the event when we needed lots of teamwork to get things done.

We had lunch at 11+ and took a chartered bus to Sentosa Island, singing silly songs and filling the bus with laughter along the way. Upon landing we were given a quick briefing, after which we took off to the Visitor Arrival Centre to catch a bus to our Game Station (different teams had to go to a different station first). El Draque (my team) headed for the Carlsberg Sky Tower, our first stop in the leg of the race. It was a flip-the-card memory game. Seems easy but don't forget we each had 2 cards and there were 10 of us - which makes for 20 cards. The climax was when my poor team leader Xiang Ming found out that - to put it in Singlish - he "kena tio" bird shit. In other words, he got bird poo on the back of his shirt. We were like pitying him but laughing at the same time because of his "misfortune". Returning to the game, there was a forfeit for us because we finished the memory game too fast. Sitting in a circle in alternating gender (boy-girl), we had to pass a tiny slip of plastic with our mouths to each other. Which meant KISSING (separated by a piece of plastic)! I decided to be enthusiastic and did it anyway.

The Merlion was our next stop. Just that it took a bit of time to find that the gamemasters were actually at Merlion Walk instead. Two cards, pictures of animals, were given to us again this time - we had to keep them secret. Then we had to act out one animal and give the other card we had to another person who was acting out our other card's animal (sounds confusing? read again. if not, never mind). All without mouthing or any verbal communication. Then we stood in one line, passing a Mentos sweet from mouth to mouth (again, boy-girl alternating). More enthusiasm needed. I did it anyway. As always, a forfeit out of the blue was bestowed upon us again. We stood in the shallow "fountain river" of the Merlion Walk and sang "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" - while the inquisitive eyes of the public scrutinised us.

Next stop - Siloso Beach - was agreeably the worst experience for us. Given a pail filled with holes, we had to lay down on the sand and cover the holes with our footwear as they poured more sea water in. And we had to remove our footwear one by one at the same time. The pail, being suspended, caused great distress. Worse than that was that we got completely wet when the gamemasters poured sea water all over us. Later we went into the shallow part of the sea, separating ourselves into two groups, facing each other. We played five rounds of a game similar to scissors, paper, stone. If you think that wasn't wet enough, we had to roll in unison over the sand next.

We walked to Underwater World with wet sand on our clothing. Luckily Underwater World was near Siloso Beach, or else we would've gained even more stares from the public as we trudged on. Separated according to gender again. Then we got little cardboard cards with different body parts written on them. We were supposed to transport various fruits in the fastest time in pairs, using our respective body part combinations. El Draque was one of the fastest teams - we clocked a timing of about 4 minutes plus! The forfeit this time was well - yummily sour - savouring a slice of lemon each. Then we had to do our group cheer (like what we did for most of the game stations), because lemon was supposedly able to help us to soothe our throat, making us able to cheer louder.

Cable Car Station was next and as usual, we ran into a bit of trouble finding it. Having eventually discovered it at the foot of the now non-operational Cable Car Station, our task was to all cram into the masking tape-tiled shapes on the floor with the given number of feet and hands. Thankfully we had no forfeit this time because we completed the station quickly.

Back at Siloso Beach, we discovered we had to complete three inter-group games. Just a quick summary of them. The first game was at some mini play fountains at Siloso Beach. Holding the shirt of the person in front of us, we had to cover the nine "water holes" of the fountain according to the called "fountain number" (there was a fountain number layout). Any water that shot up above our knee level because we failed to cover it lost us one game point. El Draque won! So the other team had to do a forfeit of - what else - being splashed all over with more water. Ended up we were all wet - AGAIN. Second was a game that I'd briefly describe as "Shoot-a-hole-through-the-paper-using-paper-bullets". Self-explanatory. Which led to the third game where, since El Draque had lost the second game, had to face a water bomb bombardment by the winning group. We felt like Prisoners-Of-War as we crouched face-down on the sand and got bombarded by the winning team. Anyway, we got our revenge later when we won a game of "Bird-Water-Stone" (like "Scissors-Paper-Stone"). It was evil fun hitting back at them with water bombs like they had previously did to us.

The FINAL VIKINGS SHOWDOWN @ Palawan Beach. The rain was starting to get heavier, and we were starting to feel cold and hungry. But we still had to play this "telematch". The first task was for the group to run, one by one, to get one article of a pirate costume each. After that, we had to dress one of the members in that costume, and that member had to run across the suspension bridge to the island (South-eastern Most Tip of the SouthEast Asian Continent) and up one of the two towers to get coloured flags assigned to our group. While that member was still somewhere about in the towers, the rest of the group had to fill water bombs and transport twenty to another pail some distance away. After accomplishing that and once our "pirate" had come back, we had to all roll in the sand - AGAIN! Next, a few members had to go across to the towers to retrieve our group flag. Upon their return, we all dashed towards the finish line. EL DRAQUE EL DRAQUE NUMBER ONE!!! We came in 1st! It was a tremendous achievement for us - we felt that it really made our day - and it was totally unexpected, anyway.

We took a group photo all together to preserve the memories there (and I blogged this post, or for that matter, other posts in this series, for that same reason too). As said earlier, I haven't seen the photo yet. Guess they didn't make it available online. Following that was washing up and having dinner at the Seah Im Food Centre in mainland Singapore. Then it was time to bid adieu. Home sweet home, rest for our tired souls.

Footnote: The series of "Singapore Polytechnic - ROCKING MY WORLD!" is a recollection of the great times I had during my various polytechnic orientation activities. As you can see, fun is always guaranteed by joining these events - especially so for those of you reading this who have also gone for any of these activities. It is with great pleasure (and much fatigue) that I end this series here - the full 4 parts of the "Singapore Polytechnic - ROCKING MY WORLD!" series are available through my blog's archives as well. Having a great time in Singapore Polytechnic (SP) and hope all SP students out there will enjoy their time here as well!

Credits: Certain parts of Part 4 - this post, were copied/modified from my ex-secondary school classmate (and present SP schoolmate) who also went for the event. Really needed her blog posts about the event, which helped me remember the time I had there as well (you see, it's been quite some time between the event and typing this so I can't really remember all the details). Thanks Jessica!