1 thing 2 say 3 words 4 you– COMPLETELY. WORTH. IT.
one of the first few times i’ve taken part in something so truly international, and it’s only the first day but i know it’s gonna be an incredible camp. maybe not so in terms of academic advancement (realised today that singaporean students –raffles students(?)– are quite ahead of our grade as compared to our counterparts), but very very much so in terms of learning. i’ve mentioned before that education isn’t all-book-knowledge right? well, this camp is living proof of this claim then. :)
let’s start with some statistics.
15 countries. – finland, netherlands, austria, united kingdom, british columbia, bhutan, japan, korean, thailand, vietnam, hong kong, new zealand, india, phillipines, singapore.
97 participants. – 79 international delegates. 18 local students, 8 from rgs & 10 from ri.
1. Prof Kristin Wood
“an hour long talk?!” my newly-made friend and i exchanged a look, slightly alarmed. then Prof Wood started talking, and we just literally just dropped everything and listened. highly-acclaimed people don’t always come with good speaking skills (i know all too well, all the talks i attended omg) but he is such an inspiring speaker. he specialises in design, and the talk he gave was incredible. so many want to change the world, but who actually can? and how? with a little bit of science and a lot of humanity, we can. he talked about assistive systems, products for developing countries, and flight systems. he, his son and various teams designed aircraft (using $15,000++ materials worh). but everything aside, somehow i love that his team includes his son.
when we think of professors, maybe we don’t associate them with being fathers; but he is one, and a damned good one at that. he loves innovation, he changes the world, and it doesn’t start and stop with him alone.
2. New Friends, New Learning!
The Malays have a saying– ‘lain lalang lain belalang’ and yup it’s true! there’s so so much to LEARN from all the participants here– whether (s)he is the japanese guy whose fringe seems more important than his eyes, or the korean girl who doesn’t like kpop, or the soft-spoken bhutan girl who has never been out of bhutan before this, and has never played basketball. even from the uniform, can we tell the unique differences in their culture, and it never fails to amaze me. :)
fun fact— talking to my new zealand friend today she mentioned her surname was ‘penman’. huh seriously?! i asked her what are the most common surnames in new zealand, they are ‘smith, wood, taylor, robert, william…etc’. guess what, their surnames are inherited from the jobs of their ancestor! :D WOW ikr, i never knew before. so ‘smiths’ were metal smiths, ‘woods’ used to be woodcutters, builders(?); and ‘taylor’ were tailors. fascinating stuff! ;)
and the new zealand students (kiwis) have summer skirts and winter skirts, all must take a sport each. the korean girl learns japanese sword-fighting, the UK guy doesn’t know what durians and guavas are, the bhutan girl has never been away from home before. the japanese guy likes guitar and is super shy, the thailand girl has never played monopoly, and my ri counterpart programmes a game where squares shoot hexagons at enemy circles because he can’t draw for nuts. (like me heh!)
tomorrow we’re exploring singapore for our amazing science race (we have a tourist pass to sit any public transport any number of times wow). it’s gonna be superb.
AND I MET SO MANY SENIORS :D not that i don’t enjoy the company of my juniors (who are liking all my photos left right and centre wow) or batchies but i miss the times where we were just cute kidz running to them for advice. and y’know what? i was worried about jc… but i’m not now. sudden realisation on my part that it’s only 2 years, and no matter how we end up and how past experiences show, there’s gonna be good people everywhere. 人之出，性本善！my 三字径s finally come in handy LOL XD
on a funnier note, i remember my friend once said something about “aiyyo guys need NS to make them manly if not i tell you, cmiii!!” and hahaha i’m inclined to agree now. we may not be facilitators, but we are residents of this little red dot hosting them, and a little more out-going than some of the rest. so they look to us for leadership and guidance and omg he’s nice enough but sooooo nerddddddddd!! haha shhhhh, but seriously! 我哭笑不得 hahaha. well, what do, they’ll learn eventually. jc’s a huge leap :)