I am not well. With mountainous piles of assignments and projects as well as my school workload, I do sometimes feel like going berserk – not to mention the unnecessary emotional upheaval I have been feeling (refer to previous entries). The month of March until May always prove to be the busiest in the calendar. This year, I have been coaching the Choral Speaking team as well but unfortunately I couldn’t make to the competition day due to clash with the 4th SISC+ session on 31st March 2015 (REFER to https://undomiel84.wordpress.com/2015/03/31/4th-observation-by-english-sisc-officer-of-hulu-selangor-5-pelangi-sk-serendah-2015-the-self-protection-education-for-my-diamonds-in-the-rough-have-a-little-faith/). Apart from that, I am also coaching the Story-Telling representative for my school!
SK Lembah Beringin school hall. Very cute. And there is an audio-manager room at the corner behind of it.
It is indeed a new experience for me but I have to say I am quite eager on this task as I was very active in story-telling and elocution activities during my primary and secondary school days back in SRK Padang Tembak & Penang Free School in Penang. It was like a Deja Vu to escort my pupil as a teacher – when 20 years ago; my teacher, Mr Ong Jun Hao escorted me for my Malay Language elocution competition in 1996 for Penang State Level (which I managed to get 3rd placing).
What a pleasant surprise! Stumbled upon Suganthi; a fellow teacher I knew from my Non-Optionist course back in 2011 (REFER to the entry at https://undomiel84.wordpress.com/2011/06/26/scaffolding-english-final-phase-of-mbmmbi-course-exhibition-day-emceeing-closing-ceremony-seasons-in-the-sun-with-jolly-english-language-teachers/).
The date slated is on 20th April but my main focus was on coaching the Choral Speaking (which is undeniably a TIRESOME task; to coach and to get pupils in coherent rhythm is such a hassle affair!); what’s more, Thivya, my story-telling representative insisted of joining Choral Speaking, as well.
A few of the story-telling contestants. Very talented.
Initially, I had the enlightenment of using the famous Ramayana epic of King Rama & Queen Sita as the story for Thivya to tell. Being a historical freak, I even drafted and typed the story, revolving about the kidnapping by Ravana and with the help of Jantayu as well as Hanuman The Monkey-King; Sita finally rescued from the island of Lanka, etc. But Thivya had different opinions. Her family was quite supportive with her story-telling activity and they found it quite unsuitable as the Ramayana epic was a dogmatic piece. Oh, my! Yeah, I didn’t think of that. It was good we had that different opinions – after discussions, we decided to bail out from Ramayana story.
The winner. I guess she proved her prowess in the Impromptu part.
I talked to my English Panel sisters and they felt it would be best if I just let Thivya to carve her own niche and finds her own story. With that note, I gave her the liberty to choose. This time, we tend to resort into fables and fairytales. Nevrtheless, Thivya brought an Indian fairytale which comprising some Hinduism element and we couldn’t use that as one of the stipulated rules is not to stereotyping any religions or races. Then, for the 3rd time; she compiled all the fables from India and asked me to choose. In the end, I thought the story of “Gopi & The Magic Pot” was quite special and chose that story.
Thivya delivering her story – “The Return of Cinderella”.
A week before the competition; which is today – Thivya had another idea! She and her family went somewhere for family activities and so happened that one of the relatives had experiences in story-telling state level. The relative commented that “Gopi & The Magic Pot” was not ‘up-to-the-standard’ to be catapulted as the winner – so; a story “The Return of Cinderella” was suggested. It was a subsequent story of what happened to Cinderella after her Ever After marriage.
Her family is very supportive. They even came to root for her today and they searched the Cinderella gown by themselves. Kudos!
As a teacher, I didn’t want to stop Thivya’s creativity as well as her family’s zealous enthusiasm. I remembered that when I participated my own story telling in my primary school of which I never failed to emerge as the winner for 3 consecutive years (not to brag; just stating out); I chose my own stories, with the help of Mak :-
- Year 4 (1994) – “The Clever Bird” (the famous story of bird putting pebbles in jug to drink water, remember?);
- Year 5 (1995) – “Rona & The Moon” (a New Zealand fairytale about a Maori woman with her calabash – I learned the word ‘calabash’ from this story; cursing the moon – this story I took from small cheap brochures of stories that Mak used to buy for Kakak & I when we were young);
- Year 6 (1996) – “Snow White & The 7 Dwarves” (via the read-along cassette, I mimicked the voice intonation of evil Queen and the eerie cackle of Old Woman)
“The Clever Bird”.
“Rona & The Moon”.
“Snow White & The 7 Dwarves”.
– so, I decided to let her do her own way. I gave her the ultimatum – chose it but make sure you can memorize it within a week. She took my challenge and she performed well. So; throughout last week – I have been calling her now and then to practice her story as well as a bit of Impromptu simulation in front of classes I teach.
The nostalgia in SRK Padang Tembak, Penang. In the story-telling competition in 1995 when I was in Year 5 – “Rona & The Moon”. (,”)
So, today all of us went to SK Lembah Beringin despite my meager health. We were assembled in the hall and then separated into several venues in accordance to the respective event. Story-telling was to be held at the Library. Although 24 pupils gave names, only 19 pupils turned up. Thivya was No.16. I personally thought she did great job in rendering her “The Return of Cinderella” in comparison to her competitors.
Congratulations! Looks like Sir’s endless nagging and reprimand paid off, yeah? Hahaha! But of course your own efforts as well as your family’s immense support anchored your success, Thivya!
Nevertheless after the scripted session, the participants were whisked to different room where Impromptu to be held. No one was allowed to enter except the participants although for previous years, the Impromptu session was somewhat an open space. So, I couldn’t vouch whether Thivya did well or she stumbled as the session was somewhat a discreet session. Some teachers & parents I interviewed expressed dissatisfaction for the ever-changing rules. OK, I ain’t going to siphon my own thoughts as when I did that in my Choral Speaking 2011 entry, it caused quite an uproar involving headmistress calling headmaster; teachers calling teachers, etc (REFER to https://undomiel84.wordpress.com/2011/03/31/choral-speaking-hulu-selangor-district-level-competition-2011-running-snow-white-to-2nd-placing/).
Not in my ‘pinkiest’ of health. That’s why I feel the face was a bit peaky and pale. But the show must go on, no?
Alhamdulillah. Congratulations to Thivya. She managed to secure 3rd placing. To be able to get that by outwitting more than 15 other school is quite encouraging! I felt that she was quite strong in the scripted story-telling but perhaps she stumbled in the Impromptu part. She told me that she got the word ‘Jungle’ and she had to create an instantaneous storyline via that word within 2-3 minutes.
Congratulations also to Miss Azlin & Kirana for the 2nd placing in Public Speaking. Kak Wahida, our Ketua Panitia Bahasa Inggeris. So, is SK Serendah a force to be reckoned with? Haha! But it is good experience. We all take it as process of learning. Victory or failure is another case.
On whole, this is a new experience for me as well as a Deja Vu. I am not sure where my path would lead me next year; perhaps I will still be in education line; perhaps I dare myself to go into the risky affair of furthering the study and leave my teaching post, etc. Nobody knows. But it is a good enriching experience for me as a teacher.
This was the story I told in my Year 5, 1995 at SRK Padang Tembak. A New Zealand myth named “Rona & The Moon”. A short narration I found in You-Tube! Enjoy! (,”)