Thursday, 27 June 2013

Towards Discipline We Strive Together

Hiew Yi Sa
Assistant Head (2013)

I would like to congratulate all the probationary Librarians who have succeeded in becoming Librarians (and also the Librarians who have succeed in getting a promotion). Well, you make me remember the days when I was a probationary Librarian like you. I was given a warm welcome by my amicable senior Librarians, who taught me almost everything regarding the Library . Without them, I don’t think I could have learnt all that as fast as I did. Some senior Librarians gave me extra work so that I was more familiar with the Library. I even ‘tortured’ myself by asking the Library Coordinator to give me more work after I finished a task that was given to me!  I joined the Librarian Board because I wanted to discipline myself. I wear my necktie and name tag, and never abandon my duties, be it during recess or after school. Sometimes, I come into the Library just after I finished eating during recess. Even now, I still do this. I guess that’s why I got promoted to the high post that I have now.

It isn’t easy to succeed in becoming a Librarian. I’m sure you knew that already, so please behave yourself to avoid being suspended or sacked from being a Librarian. I don’t want that to happen to any of you, since it will be a waste all your efforts if you are eliminated. Hence, please follow the Library Rules strictly. As a Librarian, we bear the image of the Library and (like the Prefects) the school where ever we go. That is why we always want every Librarian to wear their necktie and name tag wherever you go, when you are in the school compound. Besides, I don’t want any of you to break any of the school rules, like not cutting your hair to the appropriate length (especially for you boys). Do you know some Prefects got suspended, just because of that mishap? If you lose your necktie or name tag or both of them, please inform Puan Sabrina [Library Coordinator] to get a new one.

Speaking of discipline, I find that most of you are responsible Librarians, so give yourself a round of applause. However, sad to say, some of you still have lots of room for improvement. The  necktie and name tag not worn, skipping duties, talking back to senior Librarians when given a task to do, chatting and playing instead of working, and so on. Of course, there are times to have fun, but don’t forget there are also times when we need to finish our work. I don’t want to announce the names here, reason being that I want to give you a chance to turn over a new leaf. I dream that all Librarians will be dedicated, responsible and well-disciplined, and in order to turn it into reality, I need complete cooperation from every single one of you. Therefore, please don’t disappoint me. I sincerely hope that you will change your attitude. Do you know that we used to be better than the Prefects, and not just as bad as them? I want to make the Librarians better than the Prefects again, just like in the good old times.

I sincerely apologize for all my mistakes , for whatever wrong I did to anyone and I would like to thank all of you for your support and cooperation. Well, I hope you will enjoy being a Librarian!

Hiew Yi Sa
Assistant Head (2013)
This post is part of a series that will feature heart-warming posts from the members of the High Committee of the 2013 Librarian Board.


Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Boo!: It's the Haunted Library!

The flyer for the Haunted Library.

Several weeks ago, the Library organised a Haunted Library, a step-up from the Haunted House from years past. It was a very exciting thing, so exciting that I had another Librarian to spill the beans. here's what she had to say:

Since the second week of our mid-year holiday, the Librarians of SMK Bandar Utama Damansara (3) were busy making our Library as haunted as we could for our school's Entrepreneurship Week, which was held on the 16th to 21st of June.

On the 19th of June (Wednesday) the Librarians were doing some last-minute work around the Library. Even before our Haunted Library was officially open for visitors, the students were queuing up in anticipation. Screams of fear and excitement were heard from far away. Many Librarians positioned themselves, ready to scare their victims. A few minutes before our lunch break, many of the Librarians who were away helping out in other stalls joined us back in the Haunted Library, adding on the excitement.

 Although there were some miscommunications and technical glitches, we still managed to pull it through. Everyone had fun. Overall, it was a successful event.
Rachel Yee

Overall, it was a success! Despite the chaos outside due to eager students wanting to enter the Haunted Library, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience for most. It was such a hit that the Library made over RM 3500 that day, in addition to the profits from the sales of from our stall. Everyone was so elated, knowing that this bears testament to our spirit of 'Towards Success We Work Together'.  

Here's a little behind-the-scenes:

How the Library looks like with newspaper for windows

The maze

View from the counter

Another view from the counter

She looks more sweet then scary, don't you think?


Ok, I take back the sweet comment.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Haze + Monday = No School!

The haze worsens across Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore

Hello people,

If you live on Peninsular Malaysia or Singapore, the haze has come back, and it looks like it came back with a vengeance. Smog blankets every single place, reducing visibility and obscuring the awesome blue sky. There is that smoky aroma in the air, and not the type you would savour during barbeques!

Anyways, some may ask: what has meteorology (weather science for you laypeople) got to do with our quaint little blog here? Well, school is closed tomorrow, due to the worsening condition!

If you don't believe me, why don't you look here?

Anyways, I bet most students would rejoice, knowing that they could sleep in, and relax. Hence, it would be a perfect time to revise, finish overdue homework, and simply chill. Jogging in the park is off the list, though, because it's time to be indoors people!

I know, it's a bummer, people, but if you really want to go outdoors, perhaps you could sing this song:

Haze, haze, go away
Come again another day
Everybody wants to play
Haze, haze, go away

Okay, it may not work, but then again, you'll never know until you've tried.

Hence, to end this spontaneous blog post, I would like to say good day, and perhaps urge all of you to learn more about the current situation here.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

16 May 2013: Look What Was on the Television!

To my dear readers,

Last month, we celebrated Teacher's Day, and what an event it was. In the days before the celebration, a clandestine camera crew made an appearance in school, and what a stir it caused! Many have wondered what was the result of it, and come Teacher's Day, it was all revealed. Happiest of all was our beloved principal, Puan Azizah binti Yusoff, who announced it with much gusto during her opening speech during Teacher's Day. If you missed it on television, here was what they shot!

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

I am Eager to Learn...

Serene Khoo
Assistant Secretary (2013)
When I took a few steps back in time, back to the time I first walked through the doors, I laughed at my immaturity, [when I said] the reason I made the decision to be a Librarian.

'I love books and I love to read.'

What was in my mind about the Library that day? Books, books, books, and more books. The senior Librarians must have been sighing and shaking their heads at me, for the Library isn't made up of only books.

Somehow, I was able to impress the senior Librarians and passed the interview. I was as happy as a lark and flew happily into probation. To be honest, at that time, I still thought that Library was all about books.

'What's so hard about handling books?'

My immaturity back then amazed me. My mind was still set on books even when I was introduced to the works of the Library! That year, I was put into aesthetics subunit, which got me scratching my head.

'What does aesthetics have to do with books?'

Apparently, I didn't know that the decorations in the Library were actually done by Librarians! Still confused, I listened to a talk by Jin Hao (2011 Head Librarian) regarding Library work and I was amazed: the Library isn't only about books!

That casted a new light on the Library for me. I finally understood that the Library is more than just books. Furthermore, I found the perfect place for me to gain knowledge and experience as well as more friends.

'I'm not a very sociable person. I don't like mixing with new people.'

When I told my senior that, she laughed and told me that in the Library, you have to be sociable. At that time, it scared me.

But after years of experience and laughter, I changed myself and excelled myself in many ways. I wasn't as shy and mousy as I was anymore. I became more sociable to the people around me, though I never spoke to some of you in the Library, I'm sorry for that though.

The biggest change in my life as a Librarian was when I was elected to be the Assistant Secretary of the Library Board. I was shocked, to say the least. I didn't expect me, of all people, to get the post; but my friend nudged me up front and told me that I deserved it. I took a few breaths and accepted it.

When I was officially the Assistant Secretary, I told myself that I have to work hard for the library. I was a blind bat with my job at first, but Kang Yee [2013 Secretary] is always there to help me and I'm grateful for that.

Now people, remember to come for meetings and hand in your co-curricular activities attendance cards! It'll be easier for me to type the minutes!

Just joking, but please make sure you attend meetings.

Many years in the Library, many experiences, much new knowledge, many new friends. Now that I think about it, the answer I should have given during my interview should not have been about books, but:

'I am eager to learn.'

Books do not make up the entire Library for a Librarian. When you waltz on the Librarians' path, there's experience, there's knowledge, and there may be mistakes and little mishaps.

The most important of all, there is love which radiates from the hearts of our brothers and sisters; there are sounds of laughter echoing behind the shelves, there are parting tears, when we see our beloved brothers and sisters step down from their thrones.

Yes, in the Library, we are one big family.

After years of experience, I finally understood. Being a Librarian isn't all about books; being a Librarian is about learning to be part of the big family.

Serene Khoo
Assistant Secretary (2013)

This post is part of a series that will feature heart-warming posts from the members of the High Committee of the 2013 Librarian Board.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

A Trip to Rhythm & Hues Studios

On the 12th of June 2013, the Librarians had a field trip to Rhythm & Hues Studios. It was a sunny morning on that day. What a perfect day for a trip! At 12.00 p.m., we gathered at the Library. Later, we went down to the school canteen to fill up our hungry stomach before leaving for the studio. There were 39 Librarians and 3 accompanying teachers that went for the field trip. At 12.30p.m., we started our journey to Rhythm & Hues Studios.

We reached Rhythm & Hues Studios at 1.30p.m. We were all very excited about the field trip. I didn’t know what Rhythm & Hues Studios was before I went to this trip. As I found out later, Rhythm & Hues is actually a post-production studio. When we first step in the studio, I felt like I was in a Japanese restaurant.

A employee from Rhythm & Hues Studios named Celine introduce the studio to us. She also played a short video to show us the process of animation in a film. The short video was amazing. After watching the short video, we started to ask questions about the studio and what do animators do. Later, another employee named Gretel came and showed us around the studio, alongside Celine.

We saw many things in the studio during the tour. The studio was almost empty as Rhythm & Hues Studios had just finished two big projects. Hence, most of the employees went on holiday. They showed us the employees' work space and also the facilities of the studio that helps with the animation process. There is also a room for the employees to relax and play. After the tour around the studio, we gathered at the studio’s canteen where we had some snacks.

We learnt more about the studio while having some snacks at the canteen. We also joked around with Celine and Gretel that guided us around the studios. Our Assistant Head Librarian [a.k.a. Library Joker], Quek Zuoo Yuon made Gretel laugh by telling her some hilarious pick-up lines. After all that, we took a group photo at the entrance of the studio before we left.

It was a great experience for all of us as we got to see what happens 'behind the scenes'; how a movie actually looks like before the animation and rendering processes. I enjoyed the trip and hope that we could visit more places like this next time.
Foong Kang Ling

Thursday, 13 June 2013

A Short Footnote: Performances During the Cameron Highlands Trip

During a school trip to Cameron Highlands, I learned many things. I learnt leadership skills and I also got to have a great time with my friends besides visiting Cameron Highlands. The night we arrived in Cameron Highlands we were separated into groups of six. Apparently, to add a twist to our trip, each group was to give a performance. After brainstorming, we then decided to perform a drama. We quickly thought of a role play, but our leader Hans Leong cracked his mind for other ideas. Some of us helped him by putting forward ideas and decided that our performance should be an action and comedic sketch.

Everyone in the group gave some ideas and we compiled them together and soon started to practice. The next day, after our tour, we came back to the hotel for lunch and after lunch we wasted no time and went to the hotel’s hall and practiced and perfected the sketch. We went for another tour and came back for dinner. After dinner everyone gathered in the hall for one last practice session. The High Committees of the Librarian Board and the Peer Helpers performed first. Their drama was outstanding for me, I laughed throughout the entire drama. Then, some of the groups were picked to perform first, we were the fourth. There were a few groups that did a musical performance. And then it was our turn. When we finished, all I knew that although it wasn’t the best but I enjoyed being a part of it. I had to thank Hans, because without his leadership we would not have staged a successful drama.
Yet Another Anonymous Librarian

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Life of a Librarian

Quek Zuoo Yuon
Assistant Head (2013)
2010: FORM I
When I entered the school, I told myself that, by hook or by crook, I wanted to be a Librarian. Unfortunately, when the teacher in charge of recruiting Librarians came to my class, 1 Orkid, she said in Malay 'Who wants to be a Librarian?' .I raised my hand, but she [initially] rejected me. Who knew how lucky I was that day, though, because there was a extra application form, so she gave it to me. I was overly excited. I filled in the form and I handed it in. Then I was on probation. I passed [the Librarian Qualification Examination], and the tailors came to take our measurements to make my uniform. After having my uniform made, it was time for the Librarian Annual Camp. It was my first camp and I was excited. Having all kinds of cheeky and smart senior Librarians around, it was fun. At the end of the year, it was time for our Annual Librarian Banquet. I was a little kid, [who was] asked to join the drama troupe, I was a mirror, a mirror that was mistreated sadly. It was [then the] award giving ceremony. and SOMEHOW, I was awarded with the Cute Librarian Award.  After 2 more months, it was the end of the year, and our [most] senior Librarians had to leave. We all shed tears, but we couldn’t do anything [about it], because they have to move on, [and] all we could do was wish them well.

2011: FORM II
In my  second year, the same thing happened, but this time it [happened to] the new probationary Librarians. [Meanwhile], I am one of the senior Librarian. I was appointed as the Second-Former Committee Member that year. I had a normal year. Then, when it was time for the Annual Camp, I was the head of a group. I had butterflies in my stomach. I was so nervous, because it was my first time [heading a group]. Sadly I was a bad leader, [as] my group didn’t win anything. After the Librarian Annual Camp came the Annual Librarian Banquet. This year, I was asked by my boss, Brittany [2011 Assistant Head Librarian], to be the emcee of the event alongside Thazjit. We made a good team. We did [so] well [that] I was told that both of us were the best emcees in the history of Librarian events! You bet I was excited! Another amazing year had passed. [From that], the lesson that I learnt was 'if you want people to respect you when you are speaking, RESPECT OTHERS!' Hence, another year passes by and the most senior Librarians leave.

2013: FORM III
It was a challenging year [for me], because I had to face my PMR examinations [that year]. Despite that, I was appointed as the Head of the Audio Visual Aids Unit. Although I was still young and na├»ve, Puan Tan [former Library Coordinator] trusted in my ability. I was actually afraid and frightened, because I was still young and I didn’t think I was capable of leading the team, but I did it anyway. I was also pulled in by the new Head Librarian, Zi Qing to help plan the Librarian Annual Banquet, as I was part of the [planning] committee. I think I did a really terrible [job] and I will try to improve it this year. Everyone was worried how I would do in my PMR examinations, as I was also busy managing the Library. Guess what, I overcome that big problem by the skin of my teeth. Luckily, I scored [with] flying colours. Oh, where are my manners? [The] same thing happened [this year], the probationary Librarians came in, they qualified, then the most senior Librarians had to leave. It’s the same thing every year and it's [a] very sad [process]. During the Librarian Appointment Ceremony, the most senior Librarians retired and a new batch of Librarians took over the vacancies. I was surprised that I got the post of Assistant Head Librarian, as I was inexperienced and I [felt that I] did not deserved the position. However, Zi Qing didn’t want me to drop the position, so I just went on with it...

2013: FORM IV 
... and now I am a fourth-former, I hope I will do my best to serve the Library.
Quek Zuoo Yuon
Assistant Head (2013)
This post is part of a series that will feature heart-warming posts from the members of the High Committee of the 2013 Librarian Board.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Much Ado About A New Teacher...

Puan Ngau in a game during Teacher's Day 2013
As we all know, we have been without a Senior Assistant of Co-Curriculum for several months. This was so as Mr. Mah See See, former Senior Assistant of Student Affairs was transferred to SMK Sultan Abdul Samad, Petaling Jaya. Hence, Mr. Wong Tzyy Yu, then-Senior Assistant of Co-curriculum changed portfolios. Hence, a vacuum ensued, within the school's administrator board, with many speculations as to who will fill this post, be it teachers or students.

Now, that vacuum is finally filled by a new teacher, Puan Ngau Siew Lian; thus putting an end to the speculating. As with any new teacher, she is unchartered waters, as no-one in the school knows her well yet. Is she nice? What does she teach? What new things and insights would she bring? These were the questions that repeatedly made their rounds though every whisper within the school

Hence, curious as we are, we have put forward 15 questions to her in a pleasant interview. After setting an appointment, we finally managed to make the interview a reality. This was how it went:

Where did you further your studies?
I studied in Universiti Malaya. I had a Bachelor of Science degree and skipped my first year and went straight ahead to the second year, where I studied physics and mathematics and went on to become a mathematics specialist.

Where did you want to further your studies?

I would have liked to further my studies in New Zealand. I find it a very peaceful place, and it’s very in touch with nature. I like nature, so that would have been a pleasant experience for me.

If I may, why then didn’t you further your studies overseas?
Well, when I was still studying, the education system was different. There were hardly any private colleges and universities, unlike nowadays. There were mostly only government universities, such as Universiti Malaya. Getting into Universiti Malaya was seen as very prestigious, so when I was actually accepted into it, I decided to follow the course. It was an opportunity I couldn’t resist, and it felt an honour to be accepted.

How many years have you been in education, and where have you been teaching previously?
This will be my 31st year as an educator. Previously, I have been teaching at SMK Dato' Haji Kamaruddin, Kuala Kubu Bharu; SMK Kampong Soeharto, Hulu Selangor; SMK Bukit Gading, Sungai Buloh; and SMK (P) Sri Aman, Petaling Jaya.

What subjects do you specialize in teaching?
Even though I studied further in the field of mathematics, I actually do more teaching in physics. I taught mathematics for my first few years, but after I was assigned as a physics teacher, I started solely teaching physics.

Why did you choose education as your career?
I actually wanted to further my studies in mathematics and get a masters' degree. I was interested in doing research, writing my thesis and maybe eventually getting a doctorate. After I got married and settled down with kids, all these plans just got postponed and I decided not to pursue them any further. I decided to be a teacher because I believe it’s a noble profession. My husband works in business and I feel that I am blessed with all I’ve been given. I want to give back to society, and one way of doing this is by helping others, such as coaching students who are weak in their studies.

What do you see in your future as an educator?

Well, I hope to be playing an important role in educating students who come from less fortunate backgrounds. Back when I was teaching in SMK (P) Sri Aman, I noticed the students there were quite well off and could afford tuition. The students in SMK Kampong Soeharto on the other hand couldn’t afford to go to tuition and things like that. That’s why I would always try to find time to coach them. They had all the potential but no guide and no financial resources. A good student can’t excel only academically, but must understand the ways of life as well. I share life lessons whenever I teach so that students can use this knowledge to be better prepared for college or work after leaving school. My aim is solely to bring out the best in a student.

What do you like most about your job?
It would be sharing my knowledge with the students, and gaining knowledge from them as well. Different students from different walks of life have a lot to share, and in some way we can actually teach each other to be better people. When I see students from challenging backgrounds, I find it so heart wrenching that they have to deal with such hardships to get their education. This really opened my eyes to how lucky we really are and inspired me to do all I can to help these students.

What do you feel is the hardest part of your job?

That would be disciplining students. We as teachers have to be very strict in order to instil discipline in students. When you want to further your studies, being a more disciplined person will definitely get you far. We face challenges when it comes to disciplining students as there are some parents who pamper their children and don’t believe what they’re doing is ever wrong. They will side their child even if the child is wrong. When parents try to intrude on school affairs, it puts a constraint on the teachers as we are prevented from carrying out our job properly. I’m not saying that we don’t accept the parents’ point of view, for we definitely do. When it comes to teaching and disciplining students though, it’s much better if parents allow the teachers to carry out their jobs.

If you could change anything about the education system, what would you change?
I would hope for a fairer, colour-blind education system. Scholarships should be given to those who really deserve it instead of those who can already comfortably afford to pay for the school fees. It is such a great loss to the nation that those who really need scholarships are sidelined and not given a chance to further their studies.

Who do you think has been a great role model to you in your life?

My mother definitely played a prominent role in my life. She took care of my siblings and I when we were small, since my father was busy with work. She was the one who brought up our family. My brother has also influenced me greatly in life. I looked to him as a point of reference. When he furthered his studies overseas, it showed me how truly independent he was and inspired me to do the same.

How have things changed for you since 10 years ago, and now?
Well back then my children were still small, and my mother-in-law was ill with terminal cancer. I had a hard time juggling between work and family, but I tried my best to deliver. I do wish that I could have spent more time with my children though.

What do you think of SMK Bandar Utama Damansara (3) (SMKBU3) co-curricular activities?
Compared to previous schools, the co-curricular activities carried out in SMKBU3 are excellent. The students here participate very actively in games and sports. Mind you, not all of the uniform sections are active. The fire-fighter cadets and school youth cadets could be improved further. On the other hand, the basketball, volleyball and ping pong clubs in the school are really active and have even won championships before. They need to strive to maintain and improve this standard.

In your opinion, what areas of SMKBU3 require improvement?
Well there are several areas in which SMKBU3 needs improvement. But first, let me say that I am very impressed by the documentation and administration processes at SMKBU3, especially their aptness at recording successes and achievements. Even so, the discipline factor of this school needs vast improvement. During lessons, sometimes I catch students running around outside of classrooms. When I call them to stop and chase after them, they just run away! Furthermore, the students are very noisy when lessons are being conducted. The whole school seems to be buzzing with noise even when it is lesson time. Students also do not greet the teachers when seeing them in the school grounds. If a student does not even bother to greet their own teacher, then how will they greet visitors or officials? The students also do not give way to teachers and push through to get where they need to be. Now that SMKBU3 has become a cluster school, the types of students coming in should be monitored and controlled. The discipline of the school needs to be raised to an appropriate standard.

What are your expectations for SMKBU3?
SMKBU3 is already excellent in the games and sports area, and the students should do their best to maintain or achieve greater heights in this field. On the other hand, the students should also work on their behaviour and discipline so that they carry the image of a good school to outsiders and make SMKBU3 proud.


Saturday, 8 June 2013

Dangerously DeSpeakable

Hello beloved readers,

If you remember, it has been about a month past Teacher's Day, and we on this blog have featured a post on the event. After much surfing, I found a curious video of a performance done by a duo of Librarians who have made themselves a signature of any performance by the Librarians. With that, I guess, I'll show you the video, and just proudly present you ... DeSpeakable!



Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Sketches of Librarian Life

Foong Kang Yee,
Secretary (2013)

Foong Kang Yee
Secretary (2013)

This post is part of a series that will feature heart-warming posts from the members of the High Committee of the 2013 Librarian Board.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

2013: Life as a Probate

Hmm … Where should I begin? The journey in becoming a Librarian was definitely a long one. I guess I should start off from the interview with the Library Coordinator. It was nerve wrecking waiting for my turn to be interviewed. When my name was called, I slowly walked in the room, looking at the interviewers. So I introduced myself, saying my name, my class and why I wanted to become a Librarian. After a 10 minute interview, we shook hands and I left.

After a few weeks, I was notified of the fact that I am a probationary Librarian. In a blink of an eye, I must immediately adapt to the life of a Librarian. I must change my timetable to cope with the days that I am on duty or even having meetings. As a Librarian, we learnt to be more coordinative and wield a great responsibility. As a probationary Librarian, I must learn a great deal of knowledge in a short period of time. With the help of our seniors, we learnt to balance our studies, sports, clubs, and other activities and also have time for performing the responsibilities of a Librarian. Every year, the Librarians will organize an annual trip. This year, we went to Cameron Highlands, an amazing destination that attracts many tourists. The cool misty mountains are really refreshing [as compared to] the polluted air from the city.

But…there is one thing as a probationary Librarian fears, [that is] to pass the Librarian Qualifying Examination. Every single probationary Librarian is afraid of this one moment. Once failed; you are immediately expelled. Your fate in the Library Board is based on this one examination. I still remember the tension everyone was having before taking the examination, everyone being nervous wrecks, just waiting for it to be over. Thanks to the seniors who have taught us everything we need to know as a Librarian, I would say about 99% probationary Librarians pass the examinations Now that I think about it, it is not the examination that was causing the most mental anguish among probationary Librarians, [but] it was the time lapse between the examination till the moment we know whether we pass or fail. But being a Librarian, it’s like I know most of the students already. Also, being a Librarian doesn’t mean that we only arrange the books or shut people up. Instead, we, the Librarians, are highly involved in most of the school events. For instance, Entrepreneurship Day is coming up and we are hosting our very own haunted house. Every Librarian has to contribute something to make the haunted house … more… haunting?

What else can I say except [that] being a Librarian is a great experience for everyone! From learning something new to making new friends! It is definitely an amazing experience.

Probationary Librarian of 2013

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