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At long last, a farewell. Love, the 42nd. This is it. With our final issue of Hwa Chong's Own Magazine, our journey with you has come to an end. This is our swansong. We've come a long way together. From the ZEN Issue — "水", back in October 2015, to the ABLAZE Issue "火" earlier this year in March, we would like to thank you for being with us on every step of this jourTH E ney. Our final issue in our trilogy is about what truly makes our school the warm and grounded place in our hearts. Here, we explore the favourite memories of some of your teachers who were once Hwa Chong students themselves. Here, we appreciate the candid insights of the individuals who work ceaselessly behind-the-scenes. Here, we spotlight the bright moments that make these two years so memorable for all of us — we celebrate the incredible season for our Hwa Chong athletes, the electrifying cheering spirit and the dazzling performances that our Performing Arts CCAs have put up. Our three issues would not have been possible without many of you who contributed

H AR D C O R E

significantly, be it through giving us insights and inspiration for the articles, or simply by picking up this magazine to flip through the contents. Of course, these three issues would not have come to fruition without the dedication, sleepless nights and many months of hard work of the 42nd Hwa Chong Students' Council Publications and PubI SSU E licity Committee, alongside our Teacher-Advisor Mr Sim Weiheng. As we step down and pass on the mantle to Joshua & Yanhua, the 43rd MOCH Coordinators, we wish them the best on their journey ahead. Years down the road, past the A-levels, NS or even university, we hope you will continue to look back on these three issues as the keepsakes that embody the memories, laughter, warmth and spirit that Hwa Chong has given all of us. This is the last of the three. And so, for the very last time, presenting to you the HARDCORE Issue, 土.

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Love, The 42nd Students' Council


3 Gold Forever Some moments in our lives stay gold forever. It has been an exciting and rewarding season for Hwa Chong athletes all around. Celebrate the achievements of your fellow school mates in the past year, alongside the magical nights that our performing arts CCAs have given us.

6 Around The World Outside the gates of Hwa Chong, it’s a big, big world. Are you tackling difficult college choices or dreaming of exhilarating experiences? Hear from our very own seniors based in the UK, the US, France and Singapore.

8 Down to Earth Rearing yourself to do some hardcore mugging for the impending tests and exams? We give you a handy list of good spots for mugging—both in and out of Hwa Chong—with hardcore level ratings and other useful features.

9 Rock You For our athletes on the courts, the cheers of the audience form an irreplaceable pillar of strength. For spectators in the crowd, the Hwa Chong cheers are the best way of showing our support for those who fight for the pride of the school. What does cheering mean to you?

13 Best of Both Worlds Some of our teachers have had the best of both worlds — they get to experience Hwa Chong twice, as a student, and as an educator. We present to you Ms He, the Humanities Programme student; Mrs Chan, the English Literature lover; and Mr Wong, the star basketball player.

16 At Its Core What makes Hwa Chong, Hwa Chong? We ask those who see a side of Hwa Chong that we do not normally get to see — the security officers who keep us safe, estate staff who keep our campus clean, college receptionists who present a professional image of our school, and flag-bearers and parade commanders who usher in a new morning every day. Without them, will our school lives still be the same?

19 New Faces, Fresh Changes As the 42nd ends its term, it is time we introduce the 43rd Hwa Chong Students’ Council! Energised and eager to serve, join them, as they embark on their Odyssey.

21 Faculty Pages Introducing your new Faculty Committees, brought to you by Apollo, Ares, Artemis and Athena. #4Facs1Hwach

11 Hardcore We searched for those who could carry a cactus. These are your schoolmates — grounded, hardcore and standing firm.

Contents


“WE'RE STANDING IN A LIGHT THAT WON'T FADE, TOMORROW'S COMING BUT THIS WON'T CHANGE, ‘CAUSE SOME DAYS STAY GOLD FOREVER.” THERE ARE SOME MEMORIES THAT WE WOULD WANT TO TAKE

GOLD FOREVER

TA EKWO N D O (22ND A P R I L ) "The best moment of this year's nationals was having both the boys and girls team back in the top 3. It was heartwarming to see everyone fight back much harder at Nationals after a disappointing performance at a competition earlier in the year and to see everyone's efforts pay off after months of training."

with us through our lives — the times that we spend together with our batchmates striving after the same aspirations, having fun lasting through tough patches and celebrating triumphant moments, and enjoying the magic that can only be created as a team. In the tremendously packed first half of 2016, Hwa Chong athletes and performers have experienced a spectacular sporting season and phenomenal nights of art, music and dance. These are the most treasured memories from some of your schoolmates.

S QUA S H (3 R D M AY) "We trained especially hard for this year’s competition after getting runners-up last year against Raffles. Many months before the start of our seasons, we incorporated morning physical training into our schedule to work on our speed & agility once a week. It was the first time in 5 years that Hwa Chong Squash won Gold. This was also especially significant to us given the recent news that Hwa Chong Squash has just closed down for high school."

S HO OTI N G (1 5 TH A P R I L) "Our Air Rifle Men team lost by 0.7 to RI last year but we recaptured first place this year with a new record of 1820.8 and a 20.1 lead over first runners-up, RI. Our Air Rifle Women team also holds the record despite losing to RI this year and our Air Pistol Women team achieved their highest placing so far in the last 9 to 10 years."


FEN C I N G (2 4 TH A N D 2 8 TH A P R I L)

"The timing of this year’s A division competition could not be worse. It was right in the middle of the J2 block test. But team spirit prevailed; For the first time in our school’s history, our team swept the podium for two events, namely the boy’s sabre and boy’s foil events."

VOLLEY BALL (6TH M AY A N D 1 1 T H MAY )

"We are really thankful for the strong alumni support! Our boys were victorious in clinching 2nd runners-up against AJC, winning 3-1 in our favour. Our girls emerged as first runners-up after a hard fight against NYJC."

LI O N DA N C E (3 R D A P R I L)

"The 12th NTU Institutional Lion Dance Competition was held at the Cathay external atrium. It was the first time in 11 years that Hwa Chong lion dance earned a top three spot!" WUSH U (31ST M AR C H TO 8 T H A P R I L )

"During the A-division Boys Group Event, when the rival team from Meridian Junior College made a mistake while performing the routine, the Hwa Chong A-Boys Team led a cheer together with the Victoria Junior College Team to cheer them on."

JUD O (5 TH A N D 7 TH A P R I L)

GYM N ASTI CS (23R D M A R C H)

"Both the guys and girls team were A Division Champions in the team category. We ended the competition season with an overnight camp in HC's gymnasium itself!"

"It was the first year where there were only individual competitions and no team competitions, leading to intense and interesting bouts throughout. Overall, the girls emerged champions while the boys obtained first runners -up."


GUITAR ENSEM BLE ( 6 M AY 2 0 1 6 ) “Tsubasa III: A New Horizon”, represented HCGE’s hopes for the ensemble’s growth in the future and symbolized the start of new experiences and fresh beginnings. We made special instruments like ocean drums; filling rice, green beans and red beans into boxes that could imitate the sound of waves crashing upon a shore. One of HCGE’s favourite pieces would definitely be “Melody of Misato”, a nostalgic Japanese folk song depicting a scene of Japanese farmers toiling in the rice farms."

C H I N ESE O R C HE S T R A ( 4 J UN E 2 0 1 6 ) "The theme for this year’s biennial concert was Aestivalis (Latin for of or relating to summer) — which translates to Heavenly Echoes. There was an exciting line-up of a wide range of genres, performance styles and instrumental variations, and our practices started since January. The special thing about this year’s HCCO concert was a Singapore début of a piece by internationally renowned fusionist composer Simon Kong!"

HA R M O N I C A (2 2 A P R I L 2 0 1 6 ) "Between Solstices was a never-before collaboration between the harmonica band and Weyoung to add vibrancy and diversity. Our J1s picked up a completely new instrument and 3 songs in just 2 months! Our J2s’ favourite piece was the Imperial March in “Star Wars”. They only received the scores 3 weeks before the performance but mastered all the rhythms in a short period of time."

C HO I R (2 8 M AY 2 0 1 6 ) "If you had been there, you would have ventured into a world yet unseen with Choir. Did you see cute little fishes and even cuter crabs? The trip included seeing the royal palaces of Malaya and the beauty of the Aurora Borealis, and even deeper into your imagination!"

MA D X C HI N ES E DA N C E (1 9 TH A N D 2 0 TH M AY 2 0 16 ) "Chinese, Modern and Street dancers of Hwa Chong collaborated and created a storyline in which a museum came to life. Renaissance also means renewal in the world of art; renewal of life, vigour. We practised every week from Monday to Saturday and sometimes more than 4 hours a day." S T R I N GS E N S E MB L E X B A N D (3 0 TH A P R I L 2016) "Amour is French for "love". The concert comprised pieces such as the renowned Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky and cool pop songs such as 她说 and Pumped Up Kicks. It was the first combined concert between band and strings in years, and they spiced things up with a segment of pop songs. For the concert, we spent approximately 152 hours practicing!"


DOWN TO EARTH

DOWN TO EARTH

There are some of you, however that may prefer to study in school – if you can’t decide, we’ve ranked some of the study areas for you! TI A N TA N G HARDCORE LEVEL: 9/12 (MODERAT E)

EXAMINATIONS LOOM OVER ALL OF US – SO, TO HELP, WE’VE

compiled a list of possible study locations around the island to aid in your revision. At times, picking a study location is a huge headache, and you may get bored of studying in the same environment every day. Here, we have compiled for you a non-exhaustive list of study locations for you to pick and choose from! Be sure to bring your notes before heading down to these places though, for the worst feeling is when you travel all the way down just to realise you don’t have what you need! All the best for exams Hwa Chong! 1 . S MU

The old MPH building has been converted into the shiny new SMU Labs that is open to its students 24/7. If it gets a little too crowded for your liking, there are plenty of benches within the school as a back-up. Before going, access their “heatmap” on the SMU facilities webpage to check whether it’s crowded or not, so you don’t have to make a wasted trip! POW ER PO I NTS 71 STAMFOR D R D, S178895

NO. OF S EAT S

P OWER P OI NT S

C OM FOR T

C O N D UC I V E N E S S

A P P ROXI M AT ELY 1 0 BENC H ES AVA I L A BL E

ONLY 1

NO FA NS BU T I T MAY BE WI NDY!

T E N D S TO B E P R E T T Y QUI E T O N M O S T DAY S

C O LLEGE TI M ES C A FE HARDCORE LEVEL: 6/12 (NOT VERY)

NO. OF S EAT S

P OWER P OI NT S

C OM FOR T

C O N D UC I V E N E S S

DEP ENDS ON H OW BU S Y I T I S

NO

V ERY H I G H

S O M E M AY FI N D T HE N O I S E D I S T R AC T I N G

R EA D I N G RO O M HARDCORE LEVEL: 12/12 (VERY HIGH)

NO. OF S EAT S

P OWER P OI NT S

C OM FOR T

C O N D UC I V E N E S S

QU I T E A NU M BER OF S EAT S T H OU G H I T G ET S BU S Y NEA R EXA M S

AVA I L A BL E AT S OME TA BL ES

HIGH (AIR C ONDI T I ONI NG ! )

I T ’ S V E RY C O N D UC I V E U NLE S S YO U HAT E T HE S I LE N C E .

MON-SU N AND PH 24 H OU RS

2 . S ENG K AN G CC

This student centre used to be open only from 9am to 10pm, but with the intervention of Minister Teo Ser Luck, it is now a 24-hour study hub for students living in the North East. The best part about this student centre – snacks and drinks are available for free! There are over 200 seats available a day! POW ER PO I NTS SE N GKANG C C , 2 SE N G KANG SQUAR E , S545025

MON-SU N AND PH 24 H OU RS

3 . NUS

With a sprawling campus and multitudes of study areas, NUS is an ideal place to study. The study areas that are found mostly near the Education Research Centre are available 24/7 . They are well equipped with ample power sockets and boast beautiful views. There’s a great atmosphere – it’s a quiet, conducive environment for some hardcore mugging. POW ER PO I NTS 21 L OWE R KE NT R IDGE ROAD, S119077

MON-SU N AND PH 24 H OU RS

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AROUND THE WORLD

AROUND THE WORLD IT’S THAT TIME OF THE YEAR AGAIN! C2S ARE GEARING THEM-

selves for college application season and big life choices seem to loom ahead in neon signs, while the C1s still have a little time to figure things out, as they start venturing into the multitude of possibilities out there. Our seniors have gone through these worries and life decisions before and they have headed to places all around the world, doing amazing things with their university lives. Whether you are considering exciting local options such as Yale-NUS College, a one-of-a-kind university experience in a non-English speaking country, good old Oxbridge or college life in the States, hear from your seniors who have been there and done that, as they share with you on their lives in university and share tips on applications!

weeks. However, making new friends at school helped very much – I was very lucky to have met wonderful people whom I know I can rely on in the first few weeks of school, and forged genuine friendships with them. Another significant difference would be having to adjust to the workload at university. Not only is there a much higher amount of academic work to be done, living alone overseas also brings with it responsibilities such as cooking for myself, doing the laundry, cleaning the apartment, doing grocery shopping and other administrative issues. Studying overseas always looks glamorous and fun when you look at seniors’ photos on social media, but there are also many additional responsibilities that come along with it. Q: ANY TIPS FOR JUNIORS WHO WILL BE APPLYING TO YOUR UNIVERSITY IN THE FUTURE?

Be inquisitive, open-minded, and more importantly, take heart and have the courage to challenge yourself and explore something new. A:

graduated in 2014. While in Hwa Chong, he did Geography, Economics, Literature, Maths and H3 Geopolitics, while serving as the General Secretary of the 40th Students’ Council. He now pursues his love for Geography at the University of Cambridge. DARREL LONG

Q: DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY IN YOUR LIFE AS A UNIVERSITY STUDENT.

graduated from Hwa Chong in 2014. A member of the Students’ Council, her subject combination was BCME. She is currently delving into the social sciences at the Reims Campus of Sciences Po, France. SABRINA LEE

Q: WHY SCIENCES PO?

I think there’s value in exploring a non-traditional country to gain different insights, learn about best practices from a different part of the world, and thereafter contribute to the public service (a career I intend to pursue) with new ideas. I was especially drawn to its broadbased curriculum, which allows First Year Students to take compulsory courses in Economics, Sociology, Political Science, Law and History, before deciding on a major in the Second Year. Of course, I was also interested in learning French as a new foreign language. A:

Q: HOW DID YOU ACCLIMATISE TO THE UNIVERSITY ENVIRONMENT? WAS THERE ANY DIFFICULTY IN THE BEGINNING (E.G. CULTURE SHOCK, HOMESICKNESS) AND HOW DID YOU CONQUER IT?

I cycle to the Department of Geography every morning, where I attend three hour-long lectures. I either have lunch back within my college accommodation or near the Department. The rest of the day is usually spent reading journal articles or working on ongoing projects. On some afternoons I have an hour-long supervision to discuss my essay, or I may have lab-classes for geography-related computing software. I usually attend guest lectures or external talks in the evening, or spend the time hanging out with friends in college. A:

Q: WHAT’S LIVING IN CAMBRIDGE LIKE? WHAT ARE SOME OF THE ACTIVITIES YOU DO IN YOUR LEISURE TIME? A: Living in Cambridge is a great experience. Be it taking a

stroll along the river Cam or touring the different colleges, there are so many ways to destress whenever the academic pressure builds up. It can occasionally be a fairytale experience – during our formal dinners, we don our gowns (similar to those in Harry Potter) and enjoy a lovely three-course meal.

A: In the first few weeks after I came, there was definitely a

lot to adjust to! The most significant difference was going home to an empty room without the familiar chatter of my family, and I did miss home quite a lot in the first few 7

Q: WHO DO YOU THINK IS THE KIND OF STUDENT WHO WILL REALLY THRIVE IN CAMBRIDGE? A:

There is a lot of independent reading and learning, of-


AROUND THE WORLD

ten without an exam guide or fixed syllabus to guide you along, so self-motivation and efficient time-management are necessary qualities for students to thrive in Cambridge. Someone who has put in effort into essays and readings will definitely do well in terms of content knowledge, but Cambridge rewards innovative ideas, as well as clarity and precision in your opinions. I think what really matters are courage and humility– the confidence to present and defend your ideas, as well as the modesty to change and improve when you’ve been corrected. Very few people walk into Cambridge and immediately succeed; I think it’s these innate qualities that set you on the path towards thriving.

Graduating from Hwa Chong in 2014, CHIANG YAN LI was the President of the Science Students’ Research Council (SSRC) and took BCME as part of the SMTP. She is presently studying at the University of Chicago. Q: TELL US WHAT A TYPICAL DAY IN YOUR LIFE AS A UNIVERSITY STUDENT IS LIKE. A: My favourite day of the week goes like this: I have class-

As part of Hwa Chong’s Class of 2013, RACHEL HAU took KI, ELL, Math & Economics, while being a member of the Interact Club and Humanities and Current Affairs Society (HACAS). She is now studying at Yale-NUS College. Q: WHY YALE-NUS? A: I was deciding between studying overseas & studying in

Singapore. Yale-NUS seemed to offer a unique liberal arts experience close to home. On a practical level, Yale-NUS was also a lot less expensive than studying in the States!

es starting 10.30am in the morning and usually head to the gym, or run to the West-most part of campus facing Lake Michigan. After washing up, I head for my class on Islamic thought and literature, before having brunch in the dining halls with some of my friends. Spanish class follows after that, and I also sit in for a lecture or two in a class about language, deception and humour that I take for no credit. Before my architecture class, where I learn to read basic plans and proceed from knowing virtually nothing about buildings to talking about them and their social functions and construction, I usually take a short break or catch up on some work. I have evening meetings, horse-riding classes an hour out from campus, or free dinner organized by some student club on campus after my classes end.

Q: WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE KIND OF STUDENT WHO WILL REALLY THRIVE IN YALE-NUS?

Q: HOW DID YOU ACCLIMATISE TO THE UNIVERSITY ENVIRONMENT? WAS THERE ANY DIFFICULTY IN THE BEGINNING (E.G. CULTURE SHOCK, HOMESICKNESS) AND HOW DID YOU CONQUER IT?

A: I’m not sure there’s a specific type – I consider myself to

A:

be rather reserved, and at the start, I wondered if I could match up to some of my more outgoing peers, especially those who have some distinctive talent or consistently ace everything! But I’ve found my fears to be unfounded, as people are diverse in their temperaments and interests here. If you’re keen on community living and you want to be academically challenged while having close contact with your professors, this might be a good place for you. If you can take charge of your learning, and your life outside of the classroom, the school offers a lot of opportunities and resources. Q: ANY TIPS FOR JUNIORS WHO WILL BE APPLYING TO YOUR UNIVERSITY IN THE FUTURE?

Liberal arts isn’t for everyone, so you probably shouldn’t apply if liberal arts just sounds like a fancy name for arts (at Yale-NUS, there is actually some science involved)! However, if you’re interested in the liberal arts, you should certainly apply! Yale-NUS is in a unique position as a start-up college and has the incentive to innovate, probably more so than institutions which have had a much longer history and can fall back on many years of achievements and illustrious alumni. A:

I think I was lucky in that I viewed coming here as a choice that finally came to some sort of fruition. I’ve gone on to participate in new cultural activities beyond just the very welcoming and comforting Singaporean community that is here, like dancing for a South Asian show and modelling for an African-Carribean performance. These little things help me cope with the cultural shock of how different making friends here seems to be like – sounding different from everyone here makes me struggle to both retain my identity and increase my ability to put myself out there and communicate boldly, I have also grown in many more ways than I would have in the comfortable bubble back home. Q: WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE KIND OF STUDENT WHO WILL REALLY THRIVE IN UCHICAGO?

Someone who is relatively unafraid of new experiences and who is open to sometimes crazy levels of commitment would do well here. Schooling here isn’t going to get easier than what people tend to expect of overseas experiences, but learning about the Great Books alongside quantum mechanics and calculus proofs, while recognizing you are being taught by both highly distinguished and kind professors, makes it so much more of an intellectual experience that’s also coupled with the fun of being in a new place exploring daring and new things. A:

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WE WILL WE WILL ROCK YOU “WHEN HWA CHONG UNITES, WE SHOW OUR MIGHT; WE’LL SHOW THEM HOW WE REALLY FIGHT”

Win or lose, these words resonate with every Hwa Chong student. Whether you’ve cheered ferociously for your school mates, or you’ve fought just as ferociously in the battlefield, the Rock You cheer represents the fire and drive of the Hwa Chong spirit in its continual strive for excellence. In this article, we explore the emotions and feelings of our supporters and competitors when the tension of competition is broken by the stomps, claps and voices that rise in support of Team Hwa Chong.

FROM THE COMPETITORS Our warriors fought hard for every point. They consistently pushed their limits, staying cool in the face of daunting competition. We asked what they thought about the cheers filling the atmosphere during their final matches.


FROM J U DO

We felt empowered. It made us want to fight harder for the glory of the school. Some of us were at the losing end and the cheering pushed us to fight harder to get our scores back. FROM WATER PO LO

We came into the match as the underdogs, especially having lost the preliminary match to RI. To come so close to winning and then to be denied on penalties is harsh, and I think the disappointment on our faces after the game was quite evident. Nevertheless we fought hard and I’m extremely proud of my team for the incredible display of determination they put up against such a strong team. We were all pretty crushed by the loss but I think when the school started singing 满江红 it was a real show of school spirit and that we weren’t alone in defeat. Thank you to all the supporters and taking time and effort to cheer for us! FROM TRACK & F I ELD

When you’re running, jumping or throwing, your concentration drowns out the crowd. However, it’s the cheering and support just before you approach the start line and after you cross the finish line that truly touches your heart; the cheers that make one truly feel like a member of the Hwa Chong family. Having the whole school behind you as you run your lungs out is always a heartening experience, especially on our return to the National Stadium – a lot of tradition and culture there. To those who cheered us on, thank you from the bottom of my heart. FROM TAB LE TENNI S

Go Fight Win was our favourite cheer in the most intense moments! During the final set of the third singles when our player was trailing 4-10, the cheers from the supporters gave her the willpower to keep fighting on and not give up.

FROM THE SUPPORTERS These warriors fight a different battle, but for the same cause. Armed with bottles of water and sometimes even the occasional lozenge, supporters scream and stomp their hearts out, urging competitors to fight on. Here are their thoughts. DURING TRAC K & F I EL D M E E T

Ever since I joined the Hwa Chong family, I’ve felt this strong sense of pride and love for it. To be able to go down to cheer for my school and schoolmates not only made me feel very proud of the school but also, realise how fortunate I am to be part of this big family. Whether or not we’ve won the race is a separate story, it was the sense of joy and happiness each of us supporters felt that united us as one. I am truly thankful for this opportunity to stand together as one and applaud our schoolmates for their sweat, tears and blood. (Ching Wan Ning 16S7C). DURING WATERPO LO

Oddly enough, it wasn’t the actual cheering that made

me feel the Hwa Chong spirit the most. We had gotten quite invested into the match by the time the penalties were announced, because it was an extremely close fight and we saw for ourselves how hard the water polo players had worked throughout the whole match, and of course how much everyone wanted the victory. So when Raffles emerged victorious after the tense penalty shootout, there was a moment of unanimous subdued silence and disappointment, and we all really felt the loss even as we weren’t down there with the team in the pool. And I think that’s what makes the Hwa Chong spirit really shine! because it isn’t just about the winning, but being there for your schoolmates through the ups and downs, and staying supportive whether or not we emerge the victors. It really didn’t matter that much that they didn’t win, and it was okay because they had given their best, and we all agreed after that we were all so very proud to have been on their side. (Sharmaine Koh 16A14)

A SPIRIT THAT NEVER DIES To all competitors, thank you for giving your all, for trying your very best at everything that you have done. Regardless of the result, the Hwa Chong family is proud of you, and we will always be behind you in your future exploits. To the C1s, we hope that you keep working hard, for even better results next year, and continue flying the Hwa Chong flag high. To the C2s, whether you continue on in your sport or not, your spirit and tenacity will live on, and the Hwa Chong spirit in you will never die. To the supporters, thank you for standing and cheering with us – friends and schoolmates. Without each and everyone of you, we would not have been able to be so loud and proud, outroaring and outshining all the other schools that dare stand before us. We hope to see you cheering with us again; you are the epitome of the Hwa Chong spirit. 10


图



BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

BEST

OF BOTH

WORLDS

IS YOUR ASPIRATION TO TEACH? CAN YOU IMAGINE YOURSELF WORKING WITH YOUR TEACHERS AS COLLEAGUES IN THE FUTURE? DO YOU WISH SOMETIMES THAT YOU COULD STAY IN HWA CHONG FAR BEYOND THESE 2 YEARS?

air on MAF nights. Just walking around the campus, you could run into different groups of friends, and there’s a great feeling of camaraderie. Q: ARE ANY OF YOUR TEACHERS THEN YOUR TEACHING COLLEAGUES NOW? IF SO, WHAT IS THE EXPERIENCE LIKE WORKING WITH THEM? DO YOU HAVE ANY FUNNY STORIES TO SHARE? A: Several of my teachers were my colleagues when I start-

SOME OF OUR HWA CHONG TEACHERS HAVE HAD THESE QUESTIONS ANSWERED IN THE BEST POSSIBLE WAY — THEY WERE ONCE STUDENTS HERE AND NOW WORK ALONGSIDE SOME OF THEIR TEACHERS WHO HAVE INSPIRED THEM. EXPERIENCING HWA CHONG AS A STUDENT AND A TEACHER HAS TRULY GIVEN THEM THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS, LET’S SEE WHAT THEY SAY!

ed out, but many have since retired. Among those still here are Mr Christopher Burge and Mr Chan Kwok Leong. My ex-teachers have always been wonderfully helpful and wise. I was one of Mr Chan’s first batches of students. I still remember that he worked hard to make Statistics (more) comprehensible and to keep our spirits up in the Prelims/ Post-Prelim period. His cheeriness was nice and some of my classmates found him cute. Q: ANY WORDS FOR THE 17-YEAR-OLD YOU IN RETROSPECT, NOW THAT YOU KNOW HOW BEING A TEACHER IS LIKE? A: It’s really the subject rather than the career that I chose:

Mrs Chan-Lim Yin-Shin (Principal Consultant 1/English) is a teacher of the General Paper subject. Q: WHAT IS YOUR FONDEST MEMORY OF HWA CHONG, BOTH AS A STUDENT AND AS A TEACHER?

Some of my fondest student memories of Hwa Chong are ones that I can’t tell you about because I’m now a teacher… But my best memories are mostly of hanging out with my band-mates and seniors. As a teacher – I think I’m still creating more memories to treasure! But I met my husband here when we were both HC teachers (he has since left), so I suppose that should be my fondest memory as a teacher. He is also an ex-HC student — it is our 10th wedding anniversary this year. (Editor’s note: Happy 10th wedding anniversary!)

I chose to pursue a degree in English Literature, knowing that any government scholarship offered would be tied to teaching. I love Literature, and would never change my choice, so it is good that the career worked out well and I enjoy teaching English subjects! I’d tell my 17 year old self: don’t be afraid to stand in front of the classroom!

A:

Q: WHAT IS THE BIGGEST OR MOST INTERESTING CHANGE IN HWA CHONG (CAMPUS, CULTURE OR OTHERWISE) FROM YOUR TIME AS A STUDENT? A: Everything about school life seems a lot more deliberate

and intense. The school has so many more programmes and plans to support students in achieving their best outcomes, while most students seem very focused on setting targets and achieving their goals, and take their studies, CCAs and CIP very seriously. But perhaps it has always been so, and I was just ‘blur’ as a student… Q: WHAT DO YOU THINK HAS REMAINED CORE TO THE HWA CHONG IDENTITY OVER THE CHANGING TIMES? A: The Hwa Chong Spirit! Hwa Chongians care for one an-

other, look out for each other and never ever give up on each other. Q: WHAT WAS THE MOST MEMORABLE SCHOOL EVENT YOU PARTICIPATED IN AS A STUDENT? A:

13

Probably MAF. There’s a different atmosphere in the

Ms He Jiawen (Senior Consultant/Holistic Education) has come full circle — once a student under the Humanities Programme, she now works alongside her former tutors in the Humanities Department, teaching the General Paper subject. Q: WHAT IS YOUR FONDEST MEMORY OF HWA CHONG, BOTH AS A STUDENT AND AS A TEACHER?

My fondest memories are related to the time of day – I loved (and love) the sense of peace that descends on the campus in the late afternoons. The pace of life just slows down after classes and CCA, and it is a wonderful time to chat with friends. A:

Q: WHAT IS THE BIGGEST OR MOST INTERESTING CHANGE IN HWA CHONG (CAMPUS, CULTURE OR OTHERWISE) FROM YOUR TIME AS A STUDENT?

There is more of everything now. More students, more buildings, more activities, more CCAs, more subject combinations… The variety of choices boggles the mind. They present wonderful opportunities but also provoke great anxiety. I will take this chance to share an idea by psychologist Barry Schwartz, the paradox of choice. Check A:


BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

out his book or TED Talk, to see how the human mind reacts to choice. Q: WHAT DO YOU THINK HAS REMAINED CORE TO THE HWA CHONG IDENTITY OVER THE CHANGING TIMES?

The sense of community and service. No matter how busy or limited a Hwa Chongian feels, the general atmosphere has always been a giving and generous one. It is never about lone success or glory, but about community and sharing. A:

who helped or guided me. It’s the environment that I really liked and I came back as an educator because I wanted to make sure that this culture stays the same. My fondest memory as a teacher will of course be the success of our basketball team. Together, we instilled a winning culture in the Basketball CCA. We built a winning streak from ‘06 to ‘14, though sadly we lost the championship title last year. We'll definitely try our best to win back the trophy for Hwa Chong!

Q: WHAT WAS THE MOST MEMORABLE SCHOOL EVENT YOU PARTICIPATED IN AS A STUDENT?

Q: WHAT IS THE BIGGEST OR MOST INTERESTING CHANGE IN HWA CHONG (CAMPUS, CULTURE OR OTHERWISE) FROM YOUR TIME AS A STUDENT?

A: Orientation! It was memorable because I felt very out of

A:

place – I like to take time to make friends and orientation season was very jarring for me, because I had to be BFFs with virtual strangers in a very short time through running around doing strange things. It helped though, that senior councillors talked to us and looked out for us. And it was obvious they put in a lot of heart. The day of the war games, it poured, and after awhile the decision was made to cancel the games. Many councillors cried bitterly because they had spent so much effort on the preparation. Q: ARE ANY OF YOUR TEACHERS THEN YOUR TEACHING COLLEAGUES NOW? IF SO, WHAT IS THE EXPERIENCE LIKE WORKING WITH THEM? DO YOU HAVE ANY FUNNY STORIES TO SHARE? A: I was from the Humanities Programme and it feels like

coming full circle. Mr Michael White was my CT, and Mr Chris Burge and Mr Nick Perry were my Literature tutors. Working with them made me remember my experiences as a student – the tutors’ passion for their subject is infectious, they gave us both the guidance and the room to grow. I developed a lot of my teaching philosophy from being taught by them. Q: ANY WORDS FOR THE 17-YEAR-OLD YOU IN RETROSPECT, NOW THAT YOU KNOW HOW BEING A TEACHER IS LIKE?

Always be reflective of the interests, skills, and values you hold, through the things you choose to spend time on. A:

The campus. We spent a lot of years at the old courts so we had a lot of memories there; it was quite sad to see them demolished to make way for the sports hall. Now, the new sports hall is almost done, so I hope that the new Hwa Chong batches will treasure it and make precious memories there. Q: WHAT DO YOU THINK HAS REMAINED CORE TO THE HWA CHONG IDENTITY OVER THE CHANGING TIMES? A: I think it starts with the teachers and filters down to the

students. We look out for each other. If I had to describe Hwa Chong in one word, it would be: family. Q: WHAT WAS THE MOST MEMORABLE SCHOOL EVENT YOU PARTICIPATED IN AS A STUDENT?

I guess everyone would say that it’s the Mid Autumn Festival. But, as an athlete, I will tell you that it’s the finals of the Basketball Competition in 1996 and 1997. My Year 1 finals was a bit more memorable because it was my very first championship. It was at the old Geylang Indoor Sports Hall but it has already been demolished, against St Andrew’s who beat us in the preliminary rounds. But we knew we were going to beat them, and we did! That was one of the best feelings I had, honestly. A:

Q: ARE ANY OF YOUR TEACHERS THEN YOUR TEACHING COLLEAGUES NOW? IF SO, WHAT IS THE EXPERIENCE LIKE WORKING WITH THEM? DO YOU HAVE ANY FUNNY STORIES TO SHARE?

Mr Seow, my Economics tutor. I was very engaged in basketball as a student in Hwa Chong, so I neglected my studies quite often. When I came back, I think my teachers were quite surprised, possibly because I never did display any interest in becoming an educator back when I was a student. I only changed my mind when I began coaching basketball—my friend who watched me in one session told me ‘if you can handle a basketball team, I’m sure you can manage a PE class’. So that’s how it happened. A:

Former captain of the national basketball team, Mr Michael Wong currently teaches Physical Education (PE) and is the coach cum teacher-in-charge of the school’s basketball team. Q: WHAT IS YOUR FONDEST MEMORY OF HWA CHONG, BOTH AS A STUDENT AND AS A TEACHER?

The family feel. When I was here, I had very good friends and never felt alone—I was always with someone A:

Q: ANY WORDS FOR THE 17-YEAR-OLD YOU IN RETROSPECT, NOW THAT YOU KNOW HOW BEING A TEACHER IS LIKE?

I shouldn’t be too hard on my teachers, and definitely should not take them for granted. There’re a lot of things I can now see from their perspective. A:

14


At Its Core


ENSURING A QUALITY ENVIRONMENT MDM KHATIJAH, SCHOOL ESTATE WHAT TIME DO YOU USUALLY REPORT TO SCHOOL AND WHAT IS YOUR WORK SCOPE? HOW DO YOU ENSURE THAT HWA CHONG IS ABLE TO FUNCTION DAILY?

6 o’clock. We clean classrooms, corridors, settle auditorium (inside and outside), toilets until 9 o’clock or 9.15, and then we drink coffee at the benches outside the hall. I have been working for 15 years. I like Hwa Chong and feel happy here. Two weeks ago students from 2014 came back, to meet me and take photo with Auntie. WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO DO YOUR JOB?

Auntie likes Hwa Chong, I have been here for very long. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS HWA CHONG “AT ITS CORE”?

Good heart. I’m happy when students get good A level results. I work hard to keep classrooms clean so that students can study and get good results. And the students come back to see me and take photo. Everything here is very good. A SENTENCE TO SUM UP YOUR FEELINGS/EXPERIENCE IN HWA CHONG?

Auntie feel good. Being here for so many years I know the staff, the estate, the teachers, and I feel happy. But students must keep left and right wings clean. They’re very dirty and students never take care and keep their valuables. Working here is very good.

SECURING OUR SAFETY MR MUNUSAMY S/O ARMUGAM, SCHOOL SECURITY WHAT TIME DO YOU USUALLY REPORT TO SCHOOL AND WHAT IS YOUR WORK SCOPE? HOW DO YOU ENSURE THAT HWA CHONG IS ABLE TO FUNCTION DAILY?

We work in 2 manpower shifts for 24 hours. Those on the day shift help to lock up the campus, while those on the night shift open up the campus. We tend to the students’ safety and manage the events in school, ensuring that everything runs smoothly. WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO DO YOUR JOB?

I have been working here for one and a half years, and there are still so many things to learn such as teaching and seeing new students, who likewise teach us something new. It is heartening to see students who have gone off to NS coming back to say hi to us. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS HWA CHONG “AT ITS CORE”?

A school dedicated to enabling students to be well educated, well-versed in happenings and holistically developed. DO YOU HAVE ANY PERSONAL ANECDOTES ABOUT HWA CHONG?

Sometimes students come back to school on Sunday to find things for a project on Monday, and we help students locate lost things. For injured students, we even use the buggy to take them back to the Boarding School.


PROVIDING A WARM RECEPTION MS MOK WENG XI JOANNE, COLLEGE RECEPTION WHAT TIME DO YOU USUALLY REPORT TO SCHOOL AND WHAT IS YOUR WORK SCOPE? HOW DO YOU ENSURE THAT HWA CHONG IS ABLE TO FUNCTION DAILY?

I have been working here for 7 years, and usually I report at around 8am. Some staff will reach earlier, at about 6 am when the school opens, and we generally stay until 6pm. We handle the basic administrative aspects of school events. We also take care of students. It can be quite tiring during events and peak seasons such as the examinations period, but we do our best in supporting the school and making sure that things go well. WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO DO YOUR JOB?

USHERING IN A NEW MORNING, EVERY MORNING CHUA CHENG LEONG (15A10), FONG CHUN NING (16S79), FLAG BEARERS IN YOUR VIEW, WHAT DO YOU THINK MAKES HWA CHONG SPECIAL?

CL: As a flag bearer, it is most amazing to see that everyone takes flag raising so seriously. The fact that the band is able to perform the national anthem for us every morning really touches my heart and fills me with a sense of pride as both a Singaporean and a Hwa Chongian. WHAT TIME DO YOU USUALLY REPORT TO SCHOOL AND WHAT IS YOUR WORK SCOPE? HOW DO YOU ENSURE THAT HWA CHONG IS ABLE TO FUNCTION DAILY?

CN: Everyday we must put up the flags by 7.25am, so that everything is ready to go by 7.40am. CL: I would usually report to school at 7am to ensure that I would never be late to collect the flags from the college receptionist and make it in time for flag raising. I play an integral role in helping the school and everyone start the day right as I have to raise the flags for everyone. Though it may not be the flashiest job around, I am still very honoured to have been able to serve the school in one way. WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO DO YOUR JOB?

CL: 饮水思源 CN: It’s very fun to raise the flags! WHAT DO YOU THINK IS HWA CHONG “AT ITS CORE”?

CL: 天行健 君子以自强不息 地势坤 君子以厚德载物 CN: Hwa Chong is a family of friends that all come together to do their best.

Some students can be very appreciative after receiving help. When some students need things very urgently, they will come to the office and the staff will guide them. Afterwards, these students will remember what you did for them and come back and say hi, showing their gratitude, and these little gestures really brighten my day. This is a mindset that I want to cultivate in the school environment: for everyone to be appreciative of all the little things, so that the school environment can be more conducive and enjoyable. It is really nice when you can recognize the students and some smile back at you, and these interactions really make life more meaningful in school for me. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS HWA CHONG “AT ITS CORE”?

People that get together and make Hwa Chong a better place, to strive for excellence and to build an environment and culture we want. People are really the most important, as people are the ones who can come up with ideas and execute them.


LEADING THE PARADE TAN HONG TING (15S77), AUYOK RYAN (16A15), PARADE COMMANDERS IN YOUR VIEW, WHAT DO YOU THINK MAKES HWA CHONG SPECIAL?

HT: The banner painting culture, and the fact that everyone is quite bonded. A: The distinct school culture, SODACHE, class benches, a passionate and committed council. WHAT TIME DO YOU USUALLY REPORT TO SCHOOL AND WHAT IS YOUR WORK SCOPE? HOW DO YOU ENSURE THAT HWA CHONG IS ABLE TO FUNCTION DAILY?

HT: Before first bell at 7.40! We give the commands during flag raising. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS HWA CHONG “AT ITS CORE”?

HT: It’s the CCAs, everyone is really bonded and all. A: 自强不息 DO YOU HAVE ANY PERSONAL ANECDOTES ABOUT HWA CHONG?

HT: There was once I was reciting the pledge slower than everyone else, then when I caught up with everyone else it was awkward because there was suddenly a mike voice. A: I am supposed to keep a straight face during morning announcements, but once during one of Artemis Faculty’s announcements, someone did an aerial (an acrobatic manoeuvre) and I had to try really hard not to laugh. A SENTENCE TO SUM UP YOUR FEELINGS/EXPERIENCE IN HWA CHONG?

HT: It’s been very cool being a parade commander as not everyone can do it, but scary at the same time because everyone sees your mistakes. Thankfully at the end everyone just laughs and forgets them. A: It’s my honour being a parade commander and it’s been a unique experience!

IN CONCLUSION So, what is Hwa Chong at its core? Well, it is a group of people working tirelessly towards the common goal of making school life better for all of us. So, the next time you see them around school, do stop and say hello, and show appreciation for the hard work that they have put in to create the Hwa Chong that we all know and love. It’s the little things which make the biggest difference.

CIP COUNCIL: HWA CHONG GIVES BACK BY LEOM SHENG PENG 15S70

At its core, Hwa Chong is also a school dedicated to giving back to society and helping the community. Beyond the school boundaries, Hwa Chong C1 students participated in a very meaningful activity: The Founders’ Day Food Drive. The annual Founders’ Day Food Drive (FDFD) lasted from 29th February to 4th March. This year, Hwa Chong collaborated with the Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC) to help needy Chinese families meet their daily needs. With the help of the teachers and student population, the JC side amassed over 200 bags of necessities. It was heartwarming to see Hwa Chong students contribute their time, effort and money despite having just concluded the Chinese New Year Food Drive (CNYFD) not too long ago. We applaud the community spirit of the student population, and would like to extend our gratitude to them for their part in making this event a great success. When asked for his opinions on the food drive, Food Drive I/C, CIP Councillor Billy Yang from 15S7F, said: “I believe that FDFD is one that is extremely helpful for all. For families, I am glad that we are able to cut down on their financial burdens, even if just by a bit. For students, the event also gives time for introspection, allowing most of us to appreciate our circumstances. Although it has only been a month after CNYFD, the FDFD is a timely reminder to students to appreciate all that they have, even in “normal” times, reinforcing the school spirit 饮水思源. Given that students take time to reflect, this activity will prove meaningful to many of them.” Fellow CIP Councillor Leom Sheng Peng from 15S70 was in agreement with his teammate, adding that, “The FDFD has been a success and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all participating staff, teachers parents and students for their immense support and generous contributions. The CIP Council would also like to encourage all to embody this spirit of 饮水思源 by contributing back to society in your own means and ways!”`


MOCH 3: 土 The Hardcore Issue  
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