Tuesday, 29 October 2013

School Pioneer, Beloved Teacher, Dedicated Educator

Friday, the 18th of October 2013 was the day that one of our beloved teachers, Puan Phay Heang Heng, officially announced her retirement. A special assembly; which included speeches from Puan Phay herself and Puan Azizah, and also some unique performances; was organized by the school during the morning of that Friday to celebrate her retirement.

Born on the 25th of October 1955, Puan Phay Heang Heng happens to be the eldest among seven siblings. She hails from the capital city of our nation, Kuala Lumpur. She received her primary education at SRJK(C) Confucius, her secondary school education at SMK Taman Petaling and her college education at Tunku Abdul Rahman College. She then pursued her career as a teacher in Penang. She also has obtained a Bachelor Degree of Science in Economics at the prestigious University of London.

Puan Phay has indeed has had an illustrious 34 year career as a secondary school teacher, starting at the age of 24 in the year 1979. Having been teaching at our school a year after our school’s establishment in the year 2002, Puan Phay is very much considered to be one of the early pioneers of our school. 'I was very happy to have enrolled in this school as a teacher, I applied to get a transfer from the school which I was teaching previously, SMK Sri Aman because this school was very close to my old house and it made things even more convenient for me. My old house was in BU4.' Puan Phay once worked close with the school’s principal back then, Puan Tan Wat Eng, or in other words, the predecessor of Puan Azizah binti Yusoff.  

According to Puan Phay, things were very different back in 2003, her first year in the school. 'Right about everything in the school was new. If I have not mistaken, there were only first-formers, second-formers and third-formers in the school. The school’s first ever batch of PMR students only comprised of 50 candidates. We had a small body of educators, comprising of less than 20 teachers, which meant that we had to work together - together as a team to lay the foundations of the school. I was also selected as the school’s first head of the Mathematics committee.' 

As a teacher who has been teaching upper secondary mathematics in our school, Puan Phay has definitely seen it all. 'The teachers and students were very close and united during the first 4 years. There were only  600 students in our school until the year 2005. However, I have to admit that they, especially the fifth-formers who had graduated in 2005, were the ones who really appreciated us as teachers teaching in this school at this time, the ones who loved us and ultimately loved the school, not to say that the following and present batches don’t at all,' quipped Puan Phay, when queried about the first four batches of students in our school’s history.

She also praised Puan Azizah’s achievements as a principal. 'There was a drastic increase in number of students the year after Puan Azizah’s  first year as our school’s principal, which was in 2006. This was due to the increase in the amount of facilities and amenities in our school. Puan Azizah has had an immense level of impact ever since then. She was obviously the one who really built and enhanced the name and reputation of our school.'

There is nothing more that Puan Phay can ask for, with such an illustrious and experience-filled career as a mathematics teacher for 34 years. This includes receiving two Excellent Service Awards in 1997 and 2006, and not to mention having a family of her own that includes her husband and a very well-to-do son, who now currently resides in Australia as a student pursuing a degree in the world-renowned University of Melbourne. 'I am just an ordinary teacher, that’s all. It is not really anything that special. However, as a teacher who originally specialised in economics and mathematics, I think I have given it all and done my best. I initially opted to retire three years ago at the age of 55. I am happy to retire at this age and I am ready to enjoy the government pension. Age is just a number and I still feel youthful at heart. I would like to continue my interest and hobbies, such as reading and also my other commitments, like in investing. I would also like to use my experience gained in my career as a teacher to be a tutor. 

Puan Phay currently resides in Tropicana Golf And Country Resorts, which is located close to our school. She also has a holiday home at Melbourne, Australia. She has also clarified that her love and passion for SMK Bandar Utama Damansara (3) is forever. 'I would be travelling often to Australia, for occasions such as getaways and visiting my beloved son, who is furthering his studies there. I would still be a loyal Malaysian citizen and be loyal to the school. Despite already being a retired teacher at that time, I would definitely come back here every now and then. If at all the school approaches me for seeking any assistance that is required, I would always be ready to give a helping hand. I hereby want every single student in SMK Bandar Utama Damansara (3) to balance their time wisely. Be it study or play, just remember to put in your full effort and full concentration, and to always do your best. I also want all of you know that I have and always will love each and everyone of you from the bottom of my heart and wish you all good luck in your future undertakings. As for my colleagues teaching in this school, I wish you all the luck in the world and happy working in SMK Bandar Utama Damansara (3)!'

Ajay and Rachel Yee

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Idiosyncratic Malaysia: An Old 2011 MyChallenge Skit

To our readers of old,

Two years back, we had a talented ensemble of actors who participated in MYChallenge, which was organised bu KDU University College. Simple as its storyline was, it packed quite a punch with a crowd. It was such a hit that it actually won! How did this victory come about? How does the storyline go? Well, just watch the video below, and you'll soon find out...

The cast members are...
Kevin Lim as Susan
Ian Raj as Bad Boy Raj
Jonathan Chin Yee as narrator
Shawn Ashley Paris
Timothy Tinjan
Chee Jiang Nam
Wong Jian Yoong
Jonathan Patrick

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Graduation Day Performances

On the 19th of November, SMK Bandar Utama Damansara (3) had its Graduation Day for its fifth-formers. One of the interesting things on that day were the performances, one from each class. With its unique angle, they portray the best of each class of 2013. Hence, here are four videos of four performances that were presented on that auspicious day! The article will be up soon, so stay tuned!

Thanks to Kimberly San, Tay Keen Meng, Jeremy Yeo and Eugene Lee for taking these videos and uploading them. Here are the fruits of their labours:

5 Orkid: Cup Song

5 Mawar: Mash-up Medley and SMKBU3 Rap

5 Ixora: Mirrors

5 Kenanga: Just The Way You Are

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Student Highlights: Passion For Success

Lim Wei Yi is smart, committed and driven. He scored 8As for his PMR and he will probably outscore everyone in his SPM as well.He was named ‘Tokoh Sahsiah’ (Exemplary Student of the Year). His teachers praise him for being hardworking and committed. Says his class teacher, Puan Rozita Sulaiman, ‘Wei Yi was very active in class; and no matter which group you put him into, he got along easily with everyone.’ This student of SMK Bandar Utama Damansara (3) is no doubt a young man with many different skills and abilities. ‘Procrastination is the worst enemy one could have,’ he says, so he forces himself to study at least an hour a day and get eight hours sleep daily. Wei Yi is the second eldest of five siblings. His parents run their own business He sets goals and organizes himself to keep on track with his studies, sports and extra-curricular activities.

In 2011, he won third place in the Pertandingan Menulis Karya Bahasa Cina organized by the Dewan Perhimpunan Cina Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Nanyang Siang Pau. He was also among the top 16 scorers in the Oxbridge Genius Mathematics Competition in 2010. Wei Yi was also the president of the brass band, the Volleyball Club, the Chinese Language Society, and the head of the Media and References Subunit in the School Resource Centre Prefect Board.

He also plays basketball football and badminton in his free time and takes part in Taekwondo. ‘The most important thing in my life is to prioritise things I shoulder and focus on what needs to be done.’  Like any teenager, Wei Yi also surfs the Internet to communicate with his peers. Besides that, he also spends a little more on the computer to type reports, letters and do research. In his busy schedule, he sacrifices his resting time to meet academic deadlines. Wei Yi was able to achieve so many things he already has. 

His relationship with his siblings is very close. He often acts as a helpful brother by assisting the younger ones with their homework. He believes having a good breakfast helps him stay focused during lessons. Wei Yi does not think that there is a secret or technique to strive for success, but he says, ‘We have to make sure we have the passion and responsibility for the things that we are involved in. It is very important to keep ourselves going for improvement and success!’ He adds, ‘When repeat things, we become professional at it; but when we repeat things with passion we become winners.’

By Wong Ying Ying, Chelsea , 16, SMK Bandar Utama Damansara (3), Selangor 

This post is part of the line-up ahead of the blog's second anniversary. All these posts will be taken from articles written by students featuring the school on School Times, the educational pull-out from the New Straits Times.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Origins: The Be You! Tree

The Be You! Tree: the official newsletter of my school, SMK Bandar Utama Damansara (3). Mooted by our beloved principal, Puan Azizah Yusoff; it is a quarterly publication which covers any ongoing school event. It is the companion publication of the School Resource Centre blog, and is run by the Publicity Subunit of the School Resource Centre Prefect Board.
It all started on the 11th of August, 2011, an ordinary-looking date for most. According the blog post written by Nur Diana Rodzi [2011-2014 Friday Assistant Supervisor] on the next day entitled ‘It’s official, people’, the events plays out as can be read below:

It's just in. During the meeting on Thursday, Pn.Tan [Soa Tiam][then-Resource Centre Coordinator] said that she is going to make the newsletter into a reality. So yeah, it is in the works, and hopefully, it'll be released soon

2011 was an important year for me, but not just because of this. The PMR examinations were about to test my batch that year, being the second public examination I have to face in my entire school life. As with any student, examination year means putting a hold on anything which doesn’t involve academics per se. Being a School Resource Centre Prefect, that meant having to be less active in the School Resource Centre. However, that didn’t stop what was about to happen next, as Diana writes:

Currently, the newsletter team consists of the other administrator of this blog and I. I am in charge of the designs and the other person is in charge of the articles. Sadly, most people don't agree with him being the journalist as his English is a little too good. If he wrote the articles, I don't think half the school population would understand what he is saying, including the teachers.

Who else should the ‘other administrator’ be, if it wasn’t me! Not being in any particular subunit at the time, and the posts for the High Committee already been filled, a new subunit was created. However, nothing can be done as of yet, as the PMR examinations were already at my doorstep

After the examination, Diana and I got busy with planning to set up the subunit itself. We brainstormed for ideas, and listed them all down. This became our first letter to Puan Tan Soa Tiam, and in hindsight, it was quite full of original ideas, and is very influential in the direction it is taking now, such as its affiliation with the blog, creation of a Facebook fan page and input from normal students. This letter I have appended due to its length, but it is nevertheless worth reading.

At this time, we took to designing the mast head of The Be You! Tree. Besides that, we also decided to design the logo of the School Resource Centre, in hope that it will become the official emblem of the School Resource Centre

By the 17th of September, we have started advertising for input into the newsletter, which is detailed in the aptly-titled blog post, ‘The Be You! Tree’. It basically marks the true start of the newsletter editing . This I have also appended due to its length, but its spirit shines through as clear as day.

By then, Diana and I had gotten busy with editing. I started to write articles, and Diana would do the art and design on Microsoft Powerpoint. However, with the end of the school year coming close, the pilot had to be pushed to 2012. However, a preview was printed for inspection of the District Education Office officials

In 2012, Puan Tan Soa Tiam was replaced with current (at time of writing) School Resource Centre Coordinator, Puan Sabrina Mohd Rafiai @ Ismail. By then, it is displayed in the designated notice board for students to read, but instead of being monthly, it was semi-annual. As it was Diana’s year to face the PMR examinations, she had to put her responsibilities on hold.

Since the whole undertaking was a bit tedious, the whole concept needed a rethink, so by the end of the year, The Be You! Tree underwent a makeover; with a new mast head, a new concept and a School Resource Centre logo revamp. Shedding the rigid sections, it centred solely on articles written by students for students, about events in the school.

In 2013, the project was brought into joint venture with the school Editorial club, with the newly-named Bulletin Subunit collecting articles, and the Editorial club managing the design. From that, it was then first syndicated throughout the school. During School Resource Centre Week, it was mentioned in the principal’s opening speech in joy.

The articles from this first issue were put up on the blog. Later on, articles are derived from the School Resource Centre blog. The blog itself had evolved from being a casual medium of sharing to being an official source for news and events in schools as well.

Originally founded on the 31st of July, 2011 as a virtual camp fire to recount experiences, the blog slowly started to cover school-related events in 2012, which involved the School Resource Centre Prefect Board, such as School Resource Centre Week, Wind Band Concert and the PMR Examinations. In 2013, it started to grow in that direction, culminating in the creation of the series of farewells from the 2012/2013 High Committee, before reaching its climax in the Highlights of 2011-2013 series and the Student Highlights Series which grossed 1,770 views in August; thus making the total overall views of the blog to 11,854 views as of 7:36 PM on the 13th of October, 2013.

Starting of the 23rd of May, the blog posts are also syndicated to The Be You! Tree Facebook fan page and Twitter account. These were revamped to now belong to the School Resource Centre.

With this strengthening of a digital base, content from The Be You! Tree becomes more accessible to the masses, and the printed issues continue to be displayed on a designated notice board.

As I retire this year, with two years of experience, I hope this subunit, with the usage of a variety of mediums will continue to achieve the paramount mission of the Library: to make itself an agent of dissemination of knowledge and information.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

The Be You! Tree Omnibus Issue - A Parting Gift

Dear blog readers,

As you know, Librarians can only serve until they are in Form V. Hence, being in Form V, I have officially retired, and my post has been ceded to my successor. However sad it has been, it has been a pleasure to blog here for three years and be the head of the Publicity Subunit for the same period.

The Be You! Tree has a dear place in my heart, with Diana and I being co-founders. Hence, I have compiled an omnibus issue of The Be You! Tree to commemorate this succession as well as present past articles in a beautiful issue, which spans 2012 and 2013. In addition to that, I have also written a history of The Be You! Tree, and the Publicity Subunit; so that its origins will be preserved for years to come. I hope my successors will bring this subunit to greater heights, and with it the School Resource Centre and the school as well.

Hence, here are the pages of this omnibus issue. It can also be found on our Facebook fan page as well.

Towards Success We Work Together

Emperor Qrautuianus Kryvestrumn,
Publicity Subunit Head (2011-2013)

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Inspection: A Short Note

It was just an ordinary day at school until Puan Sabrina came in to my class, 1 Kenanga. She called me out of the class along with Yue Li and Nisha. we went to the library and Yuk Tze was there too. Puan Sabrina explained that there would be an official from the District Education Office that were going to visit our school’s library. Our job was to wait for her arrival at the car park and show her to the library. When we reached the library, Puan Sabrina led her to a seat and began to introduce our library to her. She showed her some files, and some examples of the books we have in our library. There was also a projector to show the activities in the library. Meanwhile, we Librarians stood near the library entrance to inform the students that the library was temporarily closed for the day. After a while, the lady left and we helped Puan Sabrina to keep all the files, books and documents. The lady was actually here to rate the library for a competition of the best library in this district.

Yong Ying

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Before We Part...

As most of you know, another year is coming to an end. Not only have we made new friends and memories but we will be losing some too. Next year, the fifth-formers of 2013 will be gone, and these are some farewells, memories and advice from a few of the soon-to-be dearly missed fifth-formers... 

Wan Norlela Wan Sazali
It all started when I was in primary school, I wanted to become a Librarian so bad but sadly I didn't get to be one. I didn't know why I wanted to become a Librarian, the thought of becoming one amazed me (I know it's weird :P). Hence, I set a goal; I told myself I have to be a librarian in secondary school. In 2009, I went to the interview, I still remember that I was waiting anxiously for my turn, memorising our school's mission and vision, the dos and don'ts in library, etc. I'm assuming my interview went well, because a few weeks later my name was listed to be one of the probationary Librarians. I was so so happy, I can recall myself telling my best friend, Pricilla that it's the best day of my life, for the whole day, that it annoyed her I couldn't wait to go home and tell my parents too.

Soon enough, I was wearing the official Librarian uniform, and no words can describe how proud I was wearing the uniform. There are a lot of ups and downs I've been through throughout becoming a Librarian, and with all that experience, it had mould me to become the person that I am now. A few days ago, I asked myself again why I wanted to become a Librarian and I think I got my answer. It's because of the bond between the Librarians, the joy I had spending time with them and also the cheekiness from them.

Being a Librarian for almost five years has taught me a lot. I met tons of amazing people. I have gained so many new experiences that I never thought I will ever be experiencing in my life. I was never the person that really cared about what was happening around me, but after becoming a Librarian, I started to opened up a little; I started to embrace all the happy memories and made the bad ones as valuable life lessons. Leaving secondary school and the Library has to happen sometime. It's a phase that I have to go through. It taught me so much, how to behave like an adult, it also helped me academically. It helped me to think beyond my ability. I never really show that I'm sad about leaving the library but deep down, I am. Therefore, I'd like to thank everybody that have made this such an overwhelming experience. Thanks to my parents for the endless support, all the teachers that have given me this chance, all the senior Librarians that guide me throughout this whole process and last but not least all the Librarians for this wonderful journey.

To all the Librarians in Form V (including me) - I think we did a pretty good job being the seniors this year, don't you think? Bullying all the juniors muehehehehhe, just joking! (Maybe not) You guys are all awesome people and we'll be leaving secondary school soon, so I just wanted to say good luck for the SPM examinations and also the future! Always remember that you have to pass through fire before you get diamonds. I will miss all of you dearly.

To all the Librarians - Words cannot describe how amazing you guys are. Don't miss me too much okay? Hahaha; that's so vain of me. Anyways, continue working hard to make the library a more successful place, keep up the good work and good luck on everything you do. Will miss you guys a lot too :')

That's all from me, I love you guys, Messi love you guys too *wink* and goodbye!

Shaun Yuen
Hey everyone, I'm reallly glad to have been part of the Librarian family and I will always remember the memories we shared together. To be honest, this is my last year in secondary school, and although I've had some bad times, overall the ride has been quite happy.

Foong Han Chuen
Well, I would like to say that being a Librarian is great because it has tested me in a lot of ways, like being patient when I work; and I am thankful for my school and the Library because I can study in peace, especially when I'm away from home :P 

Hans Leong
All the best in all that you set your mind to do! Always remember to work hard, be kind, respectable and honorable at all times to uphold yourself, the library and the school. Work together as a family and support each other! Never give up, guys

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Co-curriculum Day 2013 - What a Day!

It was Co-curriculum Day on the 11th of October. Everyone gathered at the multi-purpose hall at 10.00 a.m. sharp. The teachers supervised some students to set up the sound system. Half an hour later, the event for the day has begun. The performers were getting ready and some of them were nervous. Everyone was very eager for it to start.

First up was our school band, that played three songs. Rolling In The Deep by Adele was the favourite of the crowd. Their performance caught the crowd’s attention as everyone cheered and clapped after their marvellous performance. Our school band practices a lot in order to give out such a splendid performance for everyone to enjoy.

Keshia Jasmine Ashaari, an international competitor in gymnastics, performed a solo gymnastic routine. Her remarkable performance wowed the audience. Next were the Wushudao members that gave an energetic performance. Wushudao is a martial art like Taekwondo but from China, instead of from Korea. They performed their demonstration, which was subsequently followed by a sketch.

Besides performances, outstanding teachers and students were given recognition for their achievements in co-currucular activities. Puan Nasiroh binti MD Yusof, Senior Assistant for Curriculum gave away the certificates to them. The Taekwondo performance was next on the list. Some of them showed us their special skill which is by breaking the piece of wood by kicking it. This totally wowed the jaded audience. A senior member of the troupe performed a dangerous act, as he jumped through the ring of fire and then broke a block of wood. For me, that was truly an extraordinary performance.

Safety always comes first, as before the performance, the cheerleaders got ready by assembling their safety mat to make sure it is safe before their performance. Cheer leading is a very dangerous and risky sport, though it does amuse the audience very much. Flyers were being tossed into the air; as the bases caught them carefully to prevent any injuries. This performance excites the audience.

The event will not be over without the school basketball team performance. They were showing off their skills, that they use in competitions. This was then followed by slam dunk! That is the basketballer players' specialty and everyone was amazed by their performance, and this day has come to an end. This yearly event was a success as everyone put their hearts and soul to produce such marvellous performances.

I believe that today was an exhausting day for everyone, especially for those who performed with such gusto. Today’s performances were marvellous, and we hope to see better ones next year.

Article in School Times, educational pullout in the New Straits Times

Celine Wong

P.S.: Down here are a few videos that show the excellent performances that wowed the audience that day

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Stamps: Quiet, but Effective

In the Library, there are tonnes of books (obvious, much): from reference books to novels, encyclopedias and anthologies, it pretty much covers every genre under the sun. Though in the school, we have over 13,000 books, it is a modest sum to manage; nevertheless, it is still a daunting task to manage it all, and keep the Library well-managed.

In a previous post, I have talked about the usage of the Dewey Decimal System in the Library.  Now, that system by itself is quite a way to arrange books, but let's say someone wants to borrow a book. How is anyone going to know that it belongs to the Library? Well then, we have a myriad of stamps to serve that purpose, and all in the delightful shade of blue!

Information stamp
First up, we have the information stamp. This stamp is the very first stamp any Library book would receive. Amongst us Librarians, it's colloquially called the 'BIG stamp' (emphasis on the BIG) due to its large size relative to the other stamps. It displays its identification, and makes it easier for Librarians in the Inventory Subunit to key in the information into the Library inventory. It displays its acquisition number, call number, date of acquisition, price, source and signature of approval. It is usually found at the front free end paper, but it could simply be stamped on the first page. With this stamp, one could tell the book's history in the library, and the value it adds to the wide range of reads.

Side stamps
Secondly, we go to the side stamps. As the name implies, it is found on the three sides of the book, to tell anyone that the book belongs to the Library without having to open the book. Amongst us Librarians, it's simply and colloquially known as the 'SMKBU3 stamp' due to its appearance: a simple rectangle surrounding the initials of our somewhat long school's name (SMK Bandar Utama Damansara (3) if you wanted to know).

Oval stamp
Third to come is the oval stamp. Like what its name implies, it is an oval bearing the word 'Library' framed by a oval ring bearing the school's name and the city's name. It is found on both free end papers, or simply the first and last pages of a book. It declares irrevocably that the book is the property of the Library. Its usage is not limited just to books, but it is also stamped on newspapers and magazines, on the first, last and middle pages to claim it as Library property.

Round stamp
Fourthly, the round stamp. Basically, it's the round version of the oval stamp, but it's usage is mainly for the non-book materials (such as compact discs, maps, and charts) in the Library. Besides that, it is also the seal of the Library, marking approvals and official recognitions.

Secret stamp
Fifth stamp to go, and we are at the secret stamp. Omniously saying that the book is Library property, it's location is secret and classified information, limited only to Librarians and those under probation. Mysterious, isn't it. Well, the next time you read a Library book, look out for this stamp!

Date stamp
Sixth up is the date stamp. While the first five are only stamped during inventory processing, this stamp is only stamped when a book is borrowed. It states the latest date of return, after which we get money! :P the borrower has to pay a fine according to the tariff set. This stamp is usually found on a special slip of paper taped to the front free end paper, or the first page. Hence, you can actually track how many times the book has been borrowed, and the duration of the borrowings! Some books in the Library are so popular, that it has two slips filled with date stamps!

Return stamp

Seventh, and final stamp for today is the return stamp. Declaring that the book is returned to the Library, it is stamped over the stamp declaring the book's last date of return, and closes up the case. Humble it may seem (and not visible most of the time, due to the fact that it is stamped over something), it has an important role nevertheless, stating that the book has been cleared on the S-Lib system and available to be borrowed once again.

With this modest army of seven stamps keeping over 13,000 books in check, the Library can function seamlessly and efficiently. Thus, next time you pick up a book, spot these stamps and be sure to know how important they are in getting the Library to serve you better.

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