HCNY Book Club Gathering

March 22, 2011 at 11:51 am 3 comments

Written by Koh Jian Way (3A311)

On 4 February 2011, a group of 18 Hwa Chong Library Club members, including four Sec 4 mentors, went over to Nanyang Girls’ High School for the first time this year to meet with their English Society members for the HCNY Book Club gathering. After arriving at the school’s 思源馆 (Memorial Hall) at approximately 2:30 p.m., we introduced ourselves.

Icebreakers started after that, using a game called “Whacko.” The game requires two circles of people; the HCI boys first sat in the inner circle, and they were paired with the NYGH girls who stood in the outer circle. The Roamer occupied the very center, and aimed to “whack” the head of the boy (with a rolled up sheet of paper) whose name had been called out by one of the girls. The person that he had been paired up with, however, had to be fast in calling out another boy’s name, so that the Roamer would aim to hit that boy’s head instead. When the Roamer did finally whack one of the boys, that boy’s partner in the outer circle was required to take over as the Roamer, whilst the boy that initially sat down would now stand up in the outer circle, and the initial Roamer would then sit down in his place. In my opinion, for this game to be fun, you need to know the name of every person in the room, and you need very fast reflexes.

After the game, we split up into groups of four, two boys from HCI and two girls from NYGH. Tan Hee (my partner) and I paired up with Nicole and Alice, and had a short chit-chat session; this get-to-know-you session helped improve our understanding of each other. This was essential before we got down to serious work, as we really needed to discover the preferences and attitudes of the girls in our group.

At around 4:15, we set off for the NYGH Library. We were tasked with choosing a Science Fiction book for the book club discussion, and we found several interesting titles, such as I, Robot by Isaac Asimov and a novelization of the Transformers movie. We brought our choices up to the library’s second level and started to read our books; mine was I, Robot, which kept me guessing about what would happen in the next part of the story. After approximately 30 minutes of reading, we stopped and gave a summary of what we had read to each other. We initially settled on I, Robot, but unfortunately another group had already picked the book. So we went back to the shelves and decided instead on Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes. From the back cover blurb, it appears that the book was written from the perspective of a mentally retarded adult man who undergoes brain surgery to increase his intelligence by artificial means; I feel that this book will be a very interesting read as it is written from a unique perspective.

At around 4:50, we all went back to the 思源馆 and had a short discussion on the books we had chosen and why we had chosen them. After that, there was a short briefing on what we were supposed to do during our six-week separation from each other before meeting again, and then we were dismissed. The afternoon was a fruitful one, and I managed to make and learn from new friends.


Entry filed under: Books, Events, Recreational Reading.

Pseudo Book Club: To Kill a Mockingbird Diana Wynne Jones (1934-2011)

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kervin Tay  |  March 22, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    Basically, the event’s aims were to foster better relationships between the two schools and more importantly, the two clubs. Judging by the two times this event was held since last year, I felt that it was a success, since many of us forged new friendships and exchanged cultures, programmes and lifestyles to one another. I personally think that the HwaChongnians could have done better by taking the initiative to start moving such as when instructions were given by the NYGH co-ordinator. Besides, I think that many of us were shy and afraid to speak up. We would most likely be hosting the event the next time we meet, thus I do hope it would be much more successful as each time it is held. For the next event, I do hope to see the HwaChongnians give their best/play their part as bring hosts and have the initiative to get the ball rolling when instructions are given, especially for icebreakers.

    • 2. Jason Erik Lundberg  |  March 23, 2011 at 1:54 pm

      First meetings are always a challenge, especially between boys and girls, but this is why this first event was so important. The boys may have been a bit more tentative this time to speak up or introduce themselves, but it seems that the icebreaker game and chat session did their jobs and getting everyone to warm up a bit.

      But Kervin’s comments here are sound, and I do hope our boys are more forthcoming when the NYGH girls are guests at our school for the next meeting.

  • 3. Richmond Xiao  |  August 21, 2011 at 10:46 am

    I think that such an event is, in essence, excellent at cultivating the relationship between the two schools, Hwa Chong and Nanyang. This allows the students from both schools to recognize the similarities and differences of their characters which is essential for their future in the college section.

    Furthermore, I believe that it is also a good outlet for the students to discuss their love for books. Such a love for books would also cause the students to bond with each other more successfully.


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Library Club Leadership

Teachers In-Charge:
Mrs Rosalind Lee (SC)
Mdm Chan May Lun
Mdm Shieh Le-shiang
Mrs Kris Koo (Senior AO)
Mrs Wang Meng Juan (AO)

2011-12 ExCo:
Foo Yang Yi (Chairman)
Kervin Tay (Vice-Chairman)
Ian Wong (Training & Recruitment)
Zach Wang (Public Relations)
Joel Lee (Welfare)

March 2011
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