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Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Last Cross Country

In all my years of secondary school, this is only the second cross country run I've attended. That's right, I ditched my friends and made them run alone for the past 3 years. But this year, of course, being my last, I wanted to attend and be able to run one last time.

The running routes have changed again, and this time, we only had to run around the housing area (it was still the same distance). Chingx, Sara and I only ran at certain stretches of the road. The rest of the time was spent sight-seeing and inspecting the cool architectural design of some houses. Pn Chen thought I was looking for a friend when she saw me peeking into a house (hee, whoops!). We completed the entire race track in about 25 minutes (fail!), ending at 8.50. There were other girls in our category who probably finished the whole run in under 10 minutes.

After running, I had to go help out at the Interact stall, which was wrongly speculated to be placed at a "strategic spot" by Pn Mary Anne. Just as I had suspected, only the stores nearest to the coupon counter (the poor admins) drew the most students. So what did we do? We went there and marketed there. Of course, the students weren't very receptive to new ideas and didn't believe that our drinks were that great. But after talking to a lot of random people and talking a lot of crap in front of them, I must admit, I had an exceptionally awesome time conning a lot of innocent students.

When I did eventually get tired of direct advertising with the students, I took a trip to the prefects' games stall, where the rest of the committee members were getting thrown at with sponges by normal students. If the students hit our faces, they would get some form of prize. It was really cool to be there, literally. I got soaked like mad, and we committee prefects really had a fun time laughing at each other and taking revenge on "traitor prefects" who decided to throw sponges at us, their very nice seniors. This group of traitors included head prefect Daniel, Shawn and Zhong-Yuen, who eventually found themselves facing the wrath of the rest of the committee, who directly threw pails of water on them. Now, that was just the first round of things. I had to go back to check on the Interact stall again, and about 1 hour later, returned to get more soaked.

Our game garnered a lot of attention, most of it coming from the afternoon session kids. Well, we can't really blame them anyway. The idea of being allowed to throw wet sponges at important people 4 years older than you really appealed to the younger crowd. Amusingly, this year's Form 1s are one bunch of very aggressive people. The best throws came from these very scary 13-year olds. But to be fair, Lau Kah Yew from 1 Jati took the cake for being our "best" customer. After using up all his sponges, he decided it was time for somebody daring enough like him to pwn the prefects. Taking a bucket full of water, he threw the water onto the entire committee and ran away as fast as he could. Sure enough, the most important group of people in the school disbanded and gave chase. "Divide and conquer!" was the last thing heard by each of us before splitting up to look for him.

From here onwards, my side of the story becomes the most interesting one among the AJK prefects. I saw my friends running towards the canteen, the empty blocks A, B and C, and thought that no one would bother to check block E and the car park at this rate. So to the car park, I ran, and there, I found (to my surprise), non-prefects running after the little boy in Purple house shirt. Darien was the only morning session-er running after him, while the rest, I suspected, were his friends (yes, even his friends had trouble catching him). My quarry ran all the way through the deserted block E and towards the end, took a sharp turn towards the direction of the stairs. My worst fear was that this boy would decide to run up the blocks, because then, I'd be the only one left still hot on his trail!

Thankfully, the boy just took an illegal turn and ran to the other side of the block using the pathway under the stairs. I thought he would turn one round so I could nab him. Darien was nowhere to be seen at this point, just when I needed a guy around the most. When everything stood still for a few seconds, I took things to my own hands and went to the end of the block, where I found Darien staring over the steep edge, looking down at the forbidden grounds of block G. And there, below us by the height of one storey, stood the boy, grinning enthusiastically. According to Darien, this crazy fellow slid down the steep slope just to get away from us. Great, just great. And what did Darien do after that? He walked away. Just like that. After running after this boy and wasting a few precious moments of his life, he walks away. Psh.

Okay, so I stayed on to persuade the boy to come up. He followed my instructions, after I warned him that the block was a forbidden area and he could be caught being down there. Holding him by the shoulder so that he couldn't run away again, I led him back to the prefects stall.

There, he was invited to sit among us committee members to share our fate of being sponged at by students. Before we even settled down, Krystle took a bucket of water in an attempt to soak him. His reflexes were too fast for her, and he managed to backfire the attack, landing the water on Krys herself. Next thing you know, Zhong and Thiam Joo were drenching the poor boy with 2 pails of water simultaneously. What happened after that threw us off guard. Kah Yew suddenly went white and screamed "My phone!" in front of the same people who confiscate handphones from unsuspecting students. No, we didn't confiscate his phone there and then, we went white and wide-eyed with him. If his phone died, we would have to use all our profits to get him a new one.

Pravin managed to dry Kah Yew's phone, so thank goodness it didn't die. The phone was very obviously Kah Yew's main concern, for when he learnt that his phone was still functioning, he threw a grin at us again. We decided to close the prefects stall after that singular incident (and a few more throws from those who have already paid for their chance) to avoid more complications.

I left the prefects stall at about 12.05 to get back to the Interact one. We cleared the stall and proceeded to count our coupons before heading over to Pn Cheng's office to submit our coupon collection (470 in total!). Then, we went back to the canteen and each of us took a few leftover bottles home.

And that, my friend, was how I spent my last cross country run. I had a really good time practicing my filibuster skills and conning a lot of random students, including Kah Yew, who ended up following me back to the prefects stall without even putting up a fight. Special thanks to all the Interactors who managed to make today our special Con-The-Students Day and ALL the students who threw sponges at us prefects. If I were still in Form 4, I'd definitely want to come back next year. Then again, if I were in Form 4, I wouldn't be a part of the prefect committee yet, and probably wouldn't enjoy today as much as I did. Thank you, Kah Yew, you crazy little Form 1 kid.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Winning A Drama

Take a leap of faith. That's all you need.

We started early, yes. Earlier than most of the other classes by at least a week. The theme for our first and last school drama competition was Mask/Essence, whichever we prefer to use. The proposed idea our director came up with initially was to divide the stage into 2 halves, using one section for "the present" while the other half would be for flashbacks. Somebody died, and somebody got arrested. The arrested suspect would be proved innocent later on in the drama. Slightly dry, if you leave it at that.

Well, our class rejected it.

So began our quest for a new storyline. We eventually settled with one, which was....amusing. Execute. Execute. That was the last thing we needed to do, until we finally thought we were perfect.

The stage was divided into 2 sections, one for flashback, one for the "present". 4 people were seated, 2 parents, their daughter and soon-to-be son-in-law enjoying their engagement dinner. Then, a mysterious police inspector turned up and accused each of them for being the reasons for pushing a girl named Eva to take her own life just 2 hours earlier. Scenes were frozen, thrown into flashback, and secrets were revealed. After making them feel guilty enough, the inspector left, while they pondered over their wrongdoings and regretted their past actions. Father, being skeptical, decides to call up the police headquarters to check if there really was an Inspector Kane. There was no such person. So daughter decides to check with the information centre if a girl had just committed suicide. No one committed suicide yet. Being glad that it was all a bluff, they continued to enjoying their champagne.

Minutes later, the information centre calls up. A girl name Eva just killed herself.

That won 5 Cengal the first place. Catch is, my class isn't 5 Cengal. We changed the script to one much lighter and less morbid, involving parents planning to divorce and their distressed son.

We didn't win, maybe because we had too many actors who were forced to play so many side characters. We didn't win, maybe because the storyline didn't link up as well as we'd thought; maybe the scenes were too fragmented; maybe the characters didn't act well enough, maybe we didn't portray a strong "cause and effect" concept. But then again, maybe we didn't win because we chose not to. We wanted to bend the rules to include more actors, actresses and crew even if it jeopardizes our script and storyline; we wanted to work with each other despite the hassle in numbers, just to bond together and have memories of each other in our sunset days. We didn't win, maybe because we firmly guarded our stand that each Batai-an has an equal portion of this once-in-a-lifetime competition and each of us should be involved, sacrificing group coordination. We ended up having a good time with each other, and no one was ever left out.

We were given a choice. It's a trade-off between winning and creating fond memories together. Our class chose the latter, and we walked away with something more valuable than 15 gold medals only given to cast and crew. We earned something the other classes would never have from this event.

We didn't win.

But it doesn't matter any more.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Too Far

I would not have tried to see the most distant star
If I'd known the universe is infinite
Or capped a bottle of expectations
If I knew it could be burst open.

I would not have told myself
That life could've been different
If I'd only been able to see
That I'd been given this much to start with.

I would not have drawn a different route
To reach the same destination
Or satisfy an earth-bound consciousness
So eager to fly.

I would have told myself a life of lies
If revelation would have its way earlier
Forced my way to the limitless sky
Even if I had not been given wings.

I would have showed myself
How angels fall from out yonder
Tested the truths
And rocketed to star-bound fate.

I'd rather stand before heaven's door to question the existence of equality
And the reality of this nightmare
Fueled by whispers of endless lies
Than to grope inside the illusion of an unawakened dream.


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