Thursday, February 17, 2005

Whee! Today all the J1 students and tutors dumped all formal tutorials and went to Escape Theme Park for a day of activities in the open air and bright sunshine. Formal clothing went out the window, only that the students had to be in their orientation Ts for easy identification.

All the students had already formed their tour groups from within their GP tutorials and were tasked with a number of different small assignments set by our different departments while entertaining themselves on the rides. As far as I could tell, the interest was more on the rides than on the assignment book, but who could blame them? Anyway, apart from a few tasks they had to manage on site (like measuring pulse-rate before and after a ride) there will still be time for them to complete their tasks this weekend.

The activity I planned for the students was nothing more than the stipulation that they tour the park in a set group of 4-5 members. Group integrity to be kept at all times. To facilitate the relationships amongst the group members, I assigned a specific role to each. There was a Motivator, a Cheerleader, a Resource Manager and an Arbitrator; and in case there was an additional member or two in the group, they could double roles. During GP next week, the groups will assess their success in maintaining cohesion, and correlate their success (or failure) with how well the group members played out their duties in their assigned roles.

Now, this simple activity was designed with Total Defence Day in mind; I still am NE i/c after all. Q: how does this activity relate to Total Defence? Drop me a note if you think you have an answer and see if you're right!

I landed the role of PA announcer as my duty for the day. So I burned 6 CDs full of randomized assorted music and tried my hand at being a radio DJ, spinning discs and making announcements, or rather vocal inturruptions, at every half-hour interval. At first I was all fired up and speaking with FD's smoothness, then as I realised that I could only be heard within the space of the Central Pavillion and not much further beyond, my enthusiasm took a bit of a hit. By 1130 I had run out of things to say and I guess my alternative career at 'Station SKPD*' died a natural death. Beyond that I was making inane comments and not long after my job was just to pursuade people to go home.

Never seen anything like it before. Usually our problem would have been how to keep the students entertained within the premises until dismissal time. Today, noone wanted to leave. We had to beg and cajole the students to make their way to the exits as the park had to close for the day. First I tried to be subtle by announcing the last song to be played at my station. The I stopped the music completely, kept my CDs and physically left my station. As noone got the hint, I had to grab a loudhailer and along with other staff we went from ride to ride "granting permission" for them to go home.

Picked up another kitten after dinner. This ash-coloured furball is one of Flirt's babies and the Cat Rescue Squad brought him home, bathed him and will take him to the vet tomorrow to have his front paw looked at and treated. Poor thing's limping so badly. Needs attention ASAP.

*Station SKPD was derived from the title of today's activity, 'Escapade,' which was in turn coined by both me and Agnes. 'Escapade' was a joke acronym we made up and it stood for, ahem, Experiential Scholastic Collaboration Alternative Plan And Developmental Exposure, which actually means nonsense. But we liked 'Escapade,' so we kept the title.

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