Third Issue - October 2013
PTE Meragang Student Magazine
There is a well-known proverb: “All good things must come to an end.” Sadly that is the junction now faced by our current Principal Dyg Chong Li Chen, known by all of us as Mrs Lim. Her retirement, set to take place in early 2014, will mark an end to her service as a teacher and administrator. Speaking for the many teachers and students who have known Mrs Lim over the years we can safely say her efforts to improve education are appreciated and she will be missed. Her dedication and service will be remembered well into the future. Meraxcellence has taken this opportunity to interview Mrs Lim and offer a glimpse into her vocational past.
Tell us a little about your school days: I started my primary education at Chong Hwa Middle School and stayed until Primary 4. I then joined the Brunei Prep School where I completed Primary 6. At secondary level I attended STPRI through to Form 3, then SOAS College through to Form 5. I finally entered the Sixth Form centre, located on Jalan Muara; currently the site for Maktab Sains. From here it was overseas to university and a tertiary degree, then back to Brunei and a career in secondary teaching.
Mrs Lim‟s Retirement YASKA Fundraiser Movie Review Hoodies In Your Hands Blue Police Box Presidential Message Rugby
What about your teaching career? Following nine enjoyable years teaching at STPRI, I was posted to Sekolah Menengah Awang Semaun in 1994 as a deputy principal. It came as a shock because I had never thought of going into administration and I had never been to Awang Semaun. I really had no idea of what to expect. All in all I can say that I learned a great deal and I was grateful when in 2006 I was officially appointed as the school‟s principal. The students of Awang Semaun were a pleasure to work with. Life operates at a different speed in Kampong Ayer, but the children and their families hope for the same things as all Bruneians and I felt rewarded to be part of their many achievements. There were of course certain challenges to be faced early on in my job. Punctuality in the mornings was an issue for many students, mainly because of their unusual mode of transport – „boats‟. The effects of shifting tide times plus the lack of boat availability hampered our attempts to improve on punctuality. But over time we found ways to impress on the students the value of timekeeping. Holding daily assemblies before classes started helped motivate the students not to be left behind. And what about your sixth form experience? Sixth form is different to secondary, a lot different. Secondary students are more playful and less focussed on their future. But when Six Form students begin their „A‟ Levels, it‟s like they mature overnight. They have the realisation that „this is it‟, „make or break‟. It is here they begin to map out their future careers and professions. Attaining entry into a good tertiary institution and securing a scholarship becomes the students‟ driving force. So as you look back on your esteemed career, what advice can you share with us? For students, nowadays there are many distractions and with this they must be able to strike a balance with study on one hand and life‟s other activities on the other. Without good „time-management‟, students won‟t be able to do well in their studies. „A‟ Level is very challenging, demanding and students must really put in their best effort not to procrastinate. Students have to revise early as it is very important to be prepared. I would also like students to be motivated to do well, not waiting for others to motivate them. If you ask good students they would say time-management is very important – make full use of your time in school and don‟t be afraid to ask questions. If students only keep quiet, they may lose out; always seek help from tutors.
What have you loved about being a Principal? I have loved the interaction with the teachers and students, meeting people, seeing improvements, even slight improvements, by students; that has definitely made me happy. If you could sum up all your experience in PTEM/PTEB in one word, what would it be? Oh one word is really not enough. Until now, whether I‟m teaching or in administration, whenever I wake up, I would always look forward to school – But if I had to choose one word it might be “Memorable”. Do you have any parting words for us all? I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the teachers for their continuous support and cooperation throughout my time at both Pusat Tingkatan Enam Berakas and Meragang. I know teachers will continue to support our students and try to motivate and inspire them to achieve their dreams. Finally I wish all our staff and students the very best for the
Mrs Lim Studying in London 1984
Interview by Fikki
The Conjuring is the third horror film series directed by the Malaysian-born director James Wan, who also started the classic „Saw‟ and „Insidious‟ franchises. The Conjuring portrays a family moving into a retro creepy old farmhouse with a barricaded basement and other mysterious secrets.
Review by Eric SCT
Wan did a great job of building up suspense and the eeriness, from a creaking door to the „hideand-clap‟ game. Some of the scenes are truly terrifying. While the plot is not original, the acting is very believable and the script adds in a few lines that are genuinely funny, similar to Wan‟s previous horror films.
The Conjuring may have predictable horror movie clichés, but that doesn‟t stop people from screaming in the cinemas. The dramatic silence, jump scares and eerie tracking shots all makes the movie frighteningly immersive, which makes the movie comparable to other classic horror movies such as „The Exorcist‟. So yes, I definitely recommend this movie to all horror fans. And bring a pair of pants too.*Clap Clap*
By Fifi PTEM held a three-day fundraiser called “Charity For YASKA (YayasanKanak Kanak Kanser) 2013” on June 27, 29 and 30. The fundraiser was organised by our very own Peer Counsellors Group (PRS) 2012/2013 in collaboration of four CCA clubs:Zumba Club, Music Club,Eco Club and PTEMcares Club. The launching ceremony was inaugurated on the Thursday with an opening remark by Muhammad Azmi bin Sait, the President of PRS. Azmi highlighted the importance of 'instilling a sense of responsibility in individuals when it comes to giving a hand to those who need it and an awareness for those who are affected by cancer and other incurable diseases.' YASKA is a non-government organisation (NGO), comprising of volunteers. YASKA's mission is to provide information and support for children with cancer and their families. Madam Principal Chong Li Chen then gave a speech in appreciation of the fundraiser's contributors and officially launched the event with the cutting of a ribbon. The lobby area was teeming with games and food stalls, all run by our own students. Side activities, such as Truth or Dare and Memory Lane by the PTEMcares Club. A Zumba session at the Multi-Purpose Hall and the Wishing Tree created a festive atmosphere. On the second day of the fundraiser, some special-needs children were invited to come over to share in the fun. This allowed them to not only take part in the activities being held but also to interact with the student population of PTEM. When Day 3 of Charity For YASKA came, the PRS held a bowling tournament at Megastrike, Airport Mall, which saw 60 participants, comprising of students, teachers and parents, competing. The PRS wanted to show that being charitable is not just about giving money but also something you can enjoy. Nur Fazelah Yakub, the Head of PRS‟ Sports and Culture Bureau, said, “Bowling has been popular among students and youths alike, so we incorporated the spread of awareness towards cancer into playing a trending sport in a tournament.” Overall, the fundraiser successfully garnered nearly $4000 for YASKA within the period of 3 days. The donations were handed over to T'sara Nawwarah Abdullah, Vice President of YASKA, by Madam Principal in the presence of school administrators and the fundraising committee.
As a safer variant of Rugby Union or Rugby League, Touch Rugby exists as a sport in its own right. The PTEM Touch Rugby CCA, which has already been running for a few years, has brought sport’s enthusiasts together dubbing themselves as the ‘Lions’.
Furthermore friendly matches were held at maktab Duli which the Black Lions found very difficult. As a result they lost to all their opponents. As for the girls, there was not really an imbalance in strength as they participated in the 2012 and 2013 JIS and UBD Tournaments in 2012.
The club has over 50 members, 32 of them being girls. The CCA is usually carried out on Wednesday afternoons with help from Mr Hans and Mr Oscar. The club halves the field and separate the boys from the girls to make trainings easier. This prepares players for the competitions which both the boys (Black Lions) and the girls regularly enter.
At the Mudsharks and the Hammerheads tournament at UBD, these Lions, with Lady Shahsha Cuadra Hashim as their captain, seized 4th place. Their biggest achievement of all was winning third place at the Total Touch Tournament held at RBRC. The Lions also had friendly matches against PTEK, MD, JIS, MS and BBLACKS, but could only defeat the first three.
The biggest tournaments the Black Lions boys have competed in are the JIS Rugby Touch Tournament 2012 and JIS-SOAS 10 Side Rugby Tournament, in which they managed to come second.
With all these achievements, the club under the care of the club presidents, Awang Muhammad Haziq Wahiduddin Burhanuddin and Sabinaya Chandra Rai, encouraged the players to train more. As seen at every CCA session, the members are still actively involved. With this, the Meraxcellence team would like to convey our heartiest congratulations to the Lions for all their hard work and enthusiasm shown. All the best in your future endeavours!
Victims were (in theory) either drugged or kidnapped and participants had to undertake each challenge to save them while gaining the information they needed within a set time limit. Failure to complete the challenges in the given time resulted in the „death‟ of the respective victims. The challenges included solving a riddle, getting through „unmarked territory‟ and finding an antidote whilst avoiding a sticky situation. The winning team was the one that saved the most victims of that particular challenge.
By Rai & Jie
The „In Your Hands‟ Challenge was an event organised by Meraxcellence, during which there were participants who had to go through „challenges‟ in order to save the victim. Participants had to go through 6 challenges, with a shocking twist at the end. The challenges were located all over the school, with their exact whereabouts only being revealed by the victims themselves, along with an important clue which was essential for the last challenge.
The game was 'heart-hammering' and the twist at the end added to its nervewrecking intensity. The winning team, 'Twinkle Toes', said that they didn't really expect to win. They also said that they bonded more while problem solving and therefore achieved ultimate teamwork, resulting in them grabbing the first-place. They said the most fun part was feeling the rush of adrenaline while trying to 'save' the victims while keeping on their toes for the challenges ahead.
One gusty, tedious Saturday morning on my usual mind-numbing walk through the forest, a strange object stood in the middle of the path, in between two oak trees, its indigo shade exhibiting a contrasting hue to the forest’s emerald backdrop. Curiosity took over astonishment as I tiptoed around the odd obstruction, wondering how it had materialized out of nowhere. I put my ears against the wooden door and, to my relief and slight disappointment, heard nothing but an unexpected a soft whisper that murmured through the wooden walls. Unable to decipher the whispers, I let curiosity tighten its grip on me - I knocked. The door opened up to reveal an enormous, golden, spherical room residing in it. There were steps that led on to a raised platform, on which a strange control panel stood, while another set of stairs led to what seemed like an exit-way from the control room. I was in a bit of a dilemma trying to take everything in when I heard voices and unwittingly, went to hide under the staged platform. A man wearing a bowtie came bouncing down the stairs from the tunnel and started fiddling with the switches on the control panel while talking to a couple who just came down the same stairs. Bowtie flicked a number of switches and suddenly, the whole place started shaking. I clung on to the base of the control panel and held on for dear life, not knowing I had stumbled upon the one thing I have been longing for my whole life: An Adventure.
By Lady Shasha
By Fikki & Zulfadli
You have all heard about the upcoming PTEM hoodies, haven‟t you? Do you have any question about it? Well, we have taken it upon ourselves to take a peek behind the curtains at how the hoodies came to be and we did just that by interviewing two of its committee: Qina and Syasya. How did it all start? Qina: It all started with a small talk between friends when one of our friends ,Fifi, brought the MS hoodie from her previous school and during PS she suggested Meragang should also have one like it. So we encouraged her as we don’t have something that represents Meragang . We need something to make all of us remember Meragang, where we were from, when we go to university: we would be looking back and thining of what Meragang represents.
Syasya: And we really wanted to show the cool, easy-going side of Meragang. So, we decided to ask students to create a design as we want students to participate, since it is our hoodie, our school. Qina: So first it was all talk and all ideas but with the help of Fifi and the MPs and PRS, the talk went around and everybody supported it and wants it to become an official thing. So, Fifi, Azim and Reedznan went to the Principal and sent a proposal and then she accepted it and that’s how this all started.
Why a hoodie? Syasya: Well, one it will protect you from the rain
Qina: I guess it is because in universities in the UK, US or any other institutions, everyone has their own jackets/hoodies where it represent NYU, United Manchester and people will be like “Wooo! You’re from there?” People can sense where you belong, so I think that is where Fifi got the idea.
Syasya: And hoodies are more mature, like if it’s a jacket everyone kinda has that already. Qina: And plus we can used it during exam, so you can imagine the whole hall having Meragang hoodies – that should happen soon… and If someone doesn’t have the hoodie then maybe they’re not from Meragang!
Syasya: It kind of increases the image of PTEM in a positive way…
Qina: So that we have quality… Qina: Hoodies are also not something that Brunei schools normally have, making us stand out from the other schools such as MD and Katok. I don’t really think they have something like this, to have something to unify all the seniors and the class of 2012/2013.
“Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. Intelligence is what we all are born with; Allah created man, where everyone is intelligent in their very own way. Character, is what we then slowly develop throughout our journey. Add these two up, (although it’s mathematically nonsensical) gives… True education, it’s what we all, as students, are trying to consume. It’s what we all are trying to seize. It is what we all, are trying to conquer. Assalamu’alaikum and Salam Sejahtera… Pusat Tingkatan Enam Meragang has come to be a map, tools and fire in this journey of ours. Teachers act as our needed guides. Everything else, carefully carves us to what we have to become, from a student to a person of the future. Finally, what we bring in our backpacks, like fire, it acts as that vital element which will cause that small spark that will then flourish to multiple successes. I am personally grateful of the blessings that I have received, from good education to awesome people. On behalf of the Student Council of 2013/14, I hope we, the student intake of 2013/14 will revel our two years together. Whereas for the graduating seniors, we thank you for your guidance and counselling, we wish you all the best for your new journey ahead .
Zahirul Ghazi bin Jomari: Student Council President 2013/14
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A big THANK YOU goes out to all the Upper Sixth students of PTEM who have worked this year to make our student magazine a success. We wish you all the best for the future as we hand over the responsibility once again to those moving from Lower to Upper sixth.