Monday, January 28, 2013

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Apologies for not posting for quite some time - Year Four has been insanely insanely busy, but I'm actually loving every single bit of it, it has been quite enjoyable so far!

Shall put on hold my academic learning for a while though, because I'm flying off to Taiwan tomorrow morning! I'm heading to participate in a Dwen An Leadership Camp with three other leadboard representatives from my school - Tiff Chan from PB, Yijing from PSB and Lei Rong from Congress! (I'm representing House by the way) Oh yes, and four other dudes from RI too. It's my first time going on an overseas trip without my parents and I'm really quite excited about the prospect of it :)

It's really a time to step out of my comfort zone - meeting new people plus having to converse in my Mother Tongue (which I'm not really good at, I must add). To help myself achieve the most I can achieve in this one-week journey, I have written down goals that I intend to fulfil everyday of my time in Taiwan. I really hope that I'd be able to attain these self-set goals and learn something truly meaningful at the end of it all. To do that, I would really have to push myself to the limit and I'm pretty excited to try that since I'm really quite an introvert at heart (':

Go forth, Li Yin. Explore.

I'm a little apprehensive at the stack of homework I would have accumulated at the end of the trip though. When I come back, hardcore teacher-consulting sessions shall be the way to go! Oh yes, I'm really excited for IHG Opening Ceremony too - so glad I'll be present for it :) 
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Friday, January 18, 2013

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It's so easy to do the right things, but so incredibly difficult to make others do the same. 

It is a lovely breezy Friday evening of a lovely week - it was a week that turned out much better than I had expected - and I am in the mood to type out some thoughts I have been having ever since the Leadership Workshop the leadboard teachers conducted for Year 4 Student Leaders last Saturday. This blogpost might possibly bore everyone reading it (yes you!), but I'd just like to keep track of some things in my life here.

The workshop was based on the Kouzes and Posner Leadership Model (KP Model) which covers the five tenets of effective leadership - Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act and Encourage the Heart. To be honest, I have never taken Leadership Workshops very seriously because they usually talk about leadership theories and in actual fact, these theories are difficult to practice in real life. However, I thought that the workshop held on Saturday has been incredibly useful for myself to take stock of how I have been doing as a leader, and more importantly, a person, so far.

Before the workshop, we took a leadership test which involved our own self-reflection as well as the input of friends who have worked with us before and we received the results of the test during the workshop. I found out that I was particularly weak in a certain branch of leadership and that was "Enabling Others To Act". It came as no surprise to me as for my own self-reflection, I had also ranked myself the lowest for that particular tenet. For that, I conclude that I am quite lacking as a leader and I need to improve on this aspect as soon as possible, as best as I can.

And somehow, I know where I'm going wrong but I just can't seem to let go - I fail to empower others and enable them to act because I am a work-hogger. I enjoy doing all the work by myself because it is much faster and it ensures that everything meets up to my own expectations. Yes, I know, this is an absolutely selfish and terrible behaviour to have because I am not allowing others to have a chance to learn and develop their own leadership potential, something I shouldn't be doing as a mentor to my juniors/ charges. I want to be able to leave my leadership positions at the end of the year knowing that my juniors are able to take up the role well because I have mentored them well - it's going to take a longer time and it's going to be less efficient but ultimately, it'll benefit them more. Come on Li Yin, take some risks! Learn to make an impact in someone else's leadership journey.

On a sidenote, during the leadership workshop (which coincidentally falls on Melissa Tang's birthday), Channel 5 sprang a surprise on her by bringing out a cake during lunch time! 

I love chocolate (': And birthdays - it makes people feel so so so special. 

After the workshop, 3/5 of us went out for a little celebration at Somerset which included a lot of heart to heart talks and laughing. We truly hope that you've enjoyed spending your birthday with us, Mel! I lub you very much, thanks for everything (': 

This photo is ridiculous because it so happened that the two straws lined exactly at the edges of my mouth from the camera angle. 


Yup that's about all for last Saturday - it was a pretty eventful day which allowed me to think and reflect so much more than I would have without it. 

This week was such a good week as well, will be blogging about it soon (': 
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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

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Life has been an absolute roller coaster ride recently, one of the peaks of the ride being the recently concluded Year One Orientation Programme that I'm so honoured to be a part of, no matter how tiring it was and how much I was complaining about it.

For those who don't know, our Orientatiton Programme this year was split into two parts (three days in Week 0 and two days in Week 1 of school) - the climax of it was really the two days of Week 1 - Thursday and Friday where it was an overnight camp. I was absolutely drained at the end of it but I've truly grown as a person within these short days and have entirely (kinda) gotten rid of my stage fright. 

On Thursday, the high point was really House Practice 1 - it was amazing and I'm so fortunate to have gotten wonderful Waddle classes. I was rather apprehensive for the year because due to the rotations, Waddle is only allocated to two classes, one class less than the usual and I was so afraid that if the classes were not enthusiastic, House Practs wouldn't be able to achieve their intended effect but 105 and 110, you guys completely exceeded my expectations and I'm so glad that you guys are in Waddle (': 

(Thank you Angelia for these photos! The colours are amazing) 

During Intra-House Time :D 

They were so participative during Intra House Time and I would also love to thank Waddle House Comm for being the best comm anyone can ever ask for - keep it up guys and let's continue this lovely spirit for every other House Practs :)

I really like this photo - Sarah, Codee, Justine and myself! :) 

Channel 5! :)

As usual, we ended House Pract with a combined House cheer off! I love being a part of Channel 5 and I'm really really happy that the Year Ones embraced us and House with so much more love than we thought they would. 

House Commers present for House Pract (Year 3s were at OBS D:) + Heng Hwee hehe! :) 

Afterwards, we had School Tour, Dinner Time, House Games and Bathe time concurrently, facilitated by their SPSLs and House Comm members - it was rather chaotic and I felt incredibly worn out after all of that but the night was still young and we still had many activities planned for the night - Night Surprise! :D Night Surprise was a time where leadboards come together to put up a performance for the Year Ones as an evening treat. 

I was involved in Night Surprise as the emcee (being in SIMU) and I also had to perform in two other performances - House and PB. It's not appropriate for me to elaborate on our performances but at the end of the event, I was completely shagged because of all the running around and getting into different characters for the entire night - I was probably the only one who was involved in so many things at one go and it was quite an experience in itself. During PB's performance, my eyes saw white and I almost fainted but I kept going because I knew that if I were to faint, I would be ruining the entire night for everyone. 

After that, once we ensured that the Year Ones were safely sleeping in their classes, we then proceeded to showering and finally when we got to sleep, I just felt so relieved that the entire day went as planned. The night was nasty though, as it was so cold in 104's classroom and I was freezing and I had a terribly naughty nose that was so runny it wasn't even funny. I'm so glad Cheryl and myself managed to wake up the next day though. It was a weird feeling waking up in school and then having to attend assembly and following that, lessons because normally the Orientation Camp takes place on Friday-Saturdays not Thursday-Fridays. 

During lessons, the sweetest thing happened. Shermaine, who knew that Wang You, Phionna and myself had stayed over with the Year Ones the night before, came to us with three bottles of honey lemon water (which she made herself!) and told us that she made it for us because she knew that we were tired and our throats will probably extremely sore. It was such an amazing act on her part - because of all the fatigue and stress I was feeling at that time, I burst into tears with Wang You. The honey lemon water tasted like love, to say the least (': Shermaine, you are an angel. 

After lessons, Channel 5 gathered in the hall to rehearse for the Orientation Concert later that night and it got frustrating at times but overall, we had a lot of fun together! :) Orientation Concert was a success in my opinion, with the Year Ones putting up great performances, a lovely audience and us not messing up too much! 

Orientation 2013 was an amazing yet exhausting experience - it is indeed something that I would want to remember and nothing would have been possible without Orientation OT (who slogged their nights away planning) and on a personal level, thank you SIMU, PB, House Comm and Channel 5 for going through this journey with me and being so understanding whenever I was torn between two duties. Finally, thank you Year Ones for being so enthusiastic and making everything worthwhile (especially my Waddle classes - you guys honestly have no idea how much I appreciate the level of energy you guys have in you!).

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Sunday, January 6, 2013

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How has Week 0 of school been so far? (Yes, it's just week 0!)
Well, it has been exhausting, but exciting all the same.

I don't really remember what happened during lessons, but this year I have been blessed with fabulous teachers - from what I see so far, they are so amazing and I have a feeling my education is in really good hands this year. I rarely get such vibes so I'm so glad I do this year, especially when I'm a Year Four and it's sort of the "most important" year of secondary school life. 

So, how has Orientation been? 

Well, it has been a crazy three days! 

Led the school in school cheers as SIMU 2013, 

Made our first appearance as Channel 5 - House Capts '13!

Met Waddle's Year One Waddlians during a very successfully organized and executed Station Games (thank you French Fries)!

Had a pretty good House GM with my lovely yellow kids (': 

It's been so so so draining, but at the same time, my spirit feels brightened as I get myself involved in Orientation and House related matters. 

Now, it's back to three days of lessons before another two days of Orientation - the last two days of Orientation, and undoubtedly the most draining yet! 

Let's make the most out of it
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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

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First blog post of 2013 and it isn't my usual looking back to 2012 and gathering the best moments / writing a tribute to the wonderful people of my life kind of post. (Well, because I didn't have enough time to do that.) 

More importantly, because 2013 is going to be a completely fresh start for myself, I'm moving away from what I usually do and I'm trying out new things, I'm experimenting and I'm changing the way I work. It's so exciting, and scary sometimes, but I'm ready. 

Come on, let's do this.

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