Written by: Foo Yang Yi (4I1)
Photographs: Tan Hong Kai (2A3)
On 18th February, a Pseudo Book Club session was conducted by the Library Club at the Jurong Regional Library from 3.00pm to 4.00pm. This session is conducted on a monthly basis and is open to the public, but its intended audience mostly consists of teenagers. The text discussed was “Or Else, The Lightning God”, a short story from a collection of works, “Or Else the Lightning God and Other Stories” by local author Catherine Lim.
“Or Else, the Lightning God” covers various themes relating to filial piety and the duty of both children and elderly parents to respect and consider the interests/feelings of the other. In a nutshell, the story depicted a long-term conflict between a woman and her mother-in-law due to clashing personalities, resulting in the woman evicting her mother-in-law. The presentation itself was rapidly started by a quick introduction session where everyone present introduced themselves, followed by a summary of the events of the story in a chronological order. The presenters were Foo Yang Yi (4I1) and Kervin Tay (3I2), and during discussions other members of the Library Club assisted in getting the ball rolling.
Once the audience was familiar with the events of the text, the presentation mainly centered on the circumstances of the eviction, and which party was more responsible for causing it. There was also a discussion over what would happen if such an incident actually happened, and how the law would respond. There was also a discussion on the Maintenance of Parents Act, as well as its criticisms.
After the presentation was concluded, the audience and the presenters split into 2 groups to discuss certain questions on their own. For example, one of the teams was acting as a Commissioner for the Maintenance of Parents and they had to mediate between both the woman and the daughter-in-law. Each group drew mind-maps and once the discussion period was up, both groups had representatives to present their groups’ thoughts and ideas, and it was evident that the audience was enriched after the discussion.
After 2 years of contributing to the Library Club, in 2012, it is time for Mr. Lundberg’s departure from the library club. It is a sad occasion as he has been, and always will be, the approachable, friendly and patient teacher who would guide us in our library journey.
Mr. Lundberg is an impressive writer, having garnered honourable mentions and awards for the numerous fiction books he wrote. In 2010, he joined the Hwa Chong Library Club, to be our mentor and consultant in whatever we do.
Mr. Lundberg is also IT-savvy. He set up our very first Kong Chian Library Blog to promote the library and the club, the institution’s e-Resources, and the events we hold. He was also the creator of both our Kong Chian Library Facebook Community Page and Goodreads group to increase connectivity between the Library and the Hwa Chong population.
Within the 2 years was with us in the club, Mr. Lundberg organized quite a number of book talks with other authors and writers. Mr. Lundberg and fellow experienced writer Dave Chua are acquaintances and he often organizes discussions with him together. During such talks, Mr. Lundberg himself acted as moderator to keep the discussion going.
Other than such book talks, he was also in-charge of the triannual Sabbatical Reading Programme. Did you know that the suggested reading book list for the Sabbatical Reading Programme was compiled by Mr. Lundberg? Mr. Lundberg is both a proficient writer and reader and has been exposed to lots of books. Therefore, he is able to suggest beneficial books we should read in order to bring our English Language standard to a higher level. He also promoted plenty of e-Resources, not only to help us academically, but also to make us aware of the events and current affairs happening around us. Last but not least, Mr. Lundberg also organized a story telling competition, which took place in the 3rd term of 2011.
After all his major and vital contributions to the club, he will now bid us farewell. We would like to express our heartfelt thanks and wish Mr. Lundberg all the best and good luck in his future endeavours, be it in his career or in his life.
(image from: http://dailyspoonfulsofsugar.wordpress.com/)
On 29 July, the entire Library Club traveled to Jurong Regional Library to support HCI competitors Chin Kee Yong (3I104) and outgoing Library ExCo Secretary Matthew Lee (4I116) in the final round of the 2011 Western Region Public Libraries’ Spelling Bee Contest (Secondary School Level).
According to the NLB website: “The Spelling Bee aims to build up student vocabulary, encourage correct word usage and pronunciation and enable students to be precise and say what they mean. […] Through this event, not only will students get to showcase their talents, they will also be able to gain self-confidence through this healthy competition.”
Students also competed from Commonwealth Secondary School, NUS High School of Math and Science, Kent Ridge Secondary School, Nanyang Girls’ High School, Hong Kah Secondary School, Bukit Merah Secondary School, and Outram Secondary School. The competitors went through a number of elimination rounds, choosing from categories such as Business, Medicine, and Cookery, having to guess the correct word based on its meaning and placement of select letters (a la Wheel of Fortune), and then also spell the word correctly.
The results of the top three positions were as follows:
- 1st place: Lim Yi Herh Ansel (NUS High)
- 2nd place: Matthew Lee (HCI)
- 3rd place: Chin Kee Yong (HCI)
Big congratulations go to Matthew and Kee Yong for putting up such a strong effort in what amounted to an increasingly exciting and gripping competition. Congratulations also go to Ansel Lim from NUS High for winning the top prize, and to all the other competitors for their active participation.
From 30 June to 14 July, Kong Chian Library hosted Project Lorong Buangkok, a multimedia exhibition created by a group of HCI students in conjunction with the National Heritage Board in order to create awareness of Singapore’s last remaining kampung and to discuss how the country’s heritage should be preserved.
Bryan Ow Yong and five other members of the MediaTech Club (mentored by Mr Lee Teck Kong) investigated Kampung Lorong Buangkok, and found out “first-hand from kampung residents about a way of life that is fast disappearing. Armed with digital SLR and video cameras, the team started gathering information and taking photographs at the location” (“Record of the rustic“, Straits Times, 18 Nov 2010).
Although the exhibition is now over, there are plans to make it a travelling exhibition. In addition, the group’s Facebook page and Wix website contain many more photographs both of the kampung itself and of the HCI exhibition opening ceremony.
Written by Kervin Tay (2I323)
Photographs by Tan Hong Kai (1A321)
On 18 June, HCI’s Library Club conducted a meeting of the Pseudo Book Club at Jurong Regional Library from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. on “Drive,” one of the stories from Simon Tay’s Singaporean fiction collection Stand Alone. The objective of the PBC was to give a presentation on the content of the selected text and discuss it with the attending audience. Due to mature themes, teenagers aged 12 and above were invited for the discussion. The event took place at the stage on Level Four of the library.
The presentation highlighted three excerpts from the short story. “Drive” is a story that highlights various traits typical of Singaporeans, such as the importance of social classes/stratification. The excerpts were explored in detail with the audience to provide a better understanding of the topic, which would later allow the audience to answer questions posed for discussion. This was followed up by an open discussion of the recent news where heartlanders were labeled as uncouth, and unwelcome in cultured places such as Holland Village. The main presenters were Foo Yang Yi (3I108) and Kervin Tay (2I323), who had assistance from other Library Club members during discussions to get the ball rolling. The presentation utilized about 50 minutes of the allocated time.
This was followed up by a mind map activity, where one group discussed the effects of social stratification, while the other group listed the advantages and disadvantages of social stratification. Presentations were made thereafter and it was evident that the participants gained deeper knowledge of the topic after the discussion.
The Pseudo Book Club is a recurring event, held every month with a new text for discussion.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is a book (deemed a mystery novel by the book’s narrator) written from the point of view of a 15-year-old autistic savant named Christopher. During the course of the book, Christopher demonstrates his photographic memory in detail. He uses a DVD as an analogy of what he is able to do, being that he can easily remember specifics, including what his mother was like when she was still alive, and even what she smoked, wore or read at a particular moment, as well as the exact words she said. Thus the narration resembles a transcript rather than a proper narrative, with more emphasis on the actions and words of others instead of their emotions. This uniqueness also stems from the fact that early in the book we find out that Christopher has difficulty understanding facial emotions and cannot describe feelings very well.
Despite his photographic memory, we also find out that the “mysteries” depicted in the book are indeed, from his point of view, mysteries, due to his inability to come to conclusions easily. For example, when he discovers a letter to him from his supposedly dead mother, he wonders if it was sent to the wrong person, while ignoring the possibility that his mother is not dead.
In general, the narration of the book may repel certain readers who prefer their narration to be more straightforward and less long-winded, due to a lot of sidetracking and anecdotes brought up in the story. However, it can also be viewed as insightful, since the narrating style used by Christopher is very uncommon due to his emotional disabilities. The information overload he experiences is also an insight that shows how he is able to analyse things that we normally do not pay attention to or take for granted.
This novel is a recommended read for those who like twists, no matter how minor they might possibly be, as there are numerous twists, both foreshadowed and unexpected, throughout the story.
Written & Photographs by Tan Hong Kai (1A321)
On 23 April, HCI’s Library Club conducted a meeting of the Pseudo Book Club at Jurong Regional Library from 3:00 to 4:30 pm, on George Orwell’s acclaimed novel Animal Farm. The objective of the PBC was to give a presentation on the content of a selected text and discuss it with the attending audience. This time round, students from Hwa Chong Institution, Nan Hua High School and Methodist Girls’ School were present for the discussion.
The presentation on the novel explained several important details so as to provide sufficient contextual knowledge for the participants, covering the main characters in the story and the underlying important themes (such as democracy and corruption). The main presenters were Yau Chun Shin (4H131) and Kervin Tay (2I323). The presentation utilized the first half of the meeting time (about 45 minutes).
During the second half, the participants were split into two groups. One group had to create a mind map based on the theme of Democracy, while the other had to create a mind map based on Corruption; both groups presented their mind maps at the end of the discussion, which included definitions of the given topic, and also the questions posed in the presentation. For example, does democracy refer to freedom? Can corruption be overturned? etc. The participants actively and enthusiastically engaged themselves in the exploration of such questions, and gave relevant examples based on current affairs.
The Pseudo Book Club is a recurring event, held every month with a new text for discussion.