The Form Lower 6 orientation programme was held today. I'm involved of course, as one of the committee members of the my school's Form 6 Society. The programme has been planned and discussed since last month, covering all subjects, such as food, activities, time and safety. The purpose behind this is obviously about sociability, integration, cooperation and fun. Last year, the programme was held at Youth Park, but this year is at the Penang Botanical Garden.
The Form Lower 6 students or so-called juniors are divided into 10 groups, each has their own assigned responsibility and activity. I'm the person in charge of the group presentations by them. Early at 7AM, everyone gathered at school. All of us took buses and started the journey at about 7.30, crossing the Penang Bridge and slithering through the traffic, all the way to the gate of the Botanical Garden.
Arriving our destination, everyone entered and walked to a place called Bandstand. When I was walking, I'm surprised to see a lot of girls running here and there. At the Bandstand, I saw hundreds of girls gathered there, much earlier than us! I was later informed that a convent secondary school has booked the place to organise their activity there. So, all of us have to move few metres away to set up our base, temporarily, until the convent girls leave before noon. Standing there, I looked around and couldn't believe my eyes. For a 19-year-old guy like me, the sight there was breath-taking.
After setting up the base, everybody had some rest and ate breakfast. Later, all committee members, myself included, went out to get to our checkpoints for the juniors' first activity, Station Games. My friend, Nurul Akmal, and I are stationed at checkpoint 5, situated near the PBA. Both of us walked past the Palms Collection, Pinus Collection and Bougainvillea House before we settle down at our checkpoint. There are a total of 10 checkpoints, where all the junior groups will have to pass. Each checkpoint has its own game while ours is the gesture guessing game or known as teka gaya in Malay.
The gesture guessing game was really funny. Akmal did all the talking while I did the marking and evaluating the spirit, cooperation, and score of each team. Every team reaching our checkpoint will have to choose a volunteer among themselves to do the gestures while others guess. Time factor is part of the points given too, because only 10 minutes were given to them. The volunteer will have to gesture silently based on proverbs or quotes such as 'time is money', 'a hungry man is an angry man' and 'musang dalam selimut'. The most hilarious and craziest part was when the groups trying to figure out the quote 'potong hidung, rosak mata'!!
The game finally ended at noon and everybody returned to Bandstand to take a rest and some food. For anyone who has visited the Botanical Garden will not forget the monkeys there. The monkeys can get a bit aggressive even if slightly disturbed. There are signboards everwhere to warn us not to feed them. Ironically, some juniors got into trouble with the monkeys, while eating in front of them. Anyway, when I was eating, I noticed that quite a number of teachers came to take part in the programme, including the principal. I ate some rice, a chicken drumstick, sardines, and puddings, enough to restore my energy. After that, the Malays went to pray in a nearby mosque, as others went to toilet to change their clothes for the next activity.
2PM is the time when I'll be busy. It's the presentation time. I'm the person handling the public-address or PA system for the juniors' performances. Among the 10 groups, they voted to decide which group starts first. As everyone gets ready, the first group started their act. All the groups performed different plays, such as Chinese dance, Malay dance, Indian dance, Bollywood sketch, Hollywood sketch, fashion show and pantomime. The teachers watching the show will give points to them. In my opinion, the funniest performance was the fashion show, revealing all the ridiculously top-notch attires! Some of them even wear Superman's underwear!
After the juniors', it's time for us seniors to perform for the teachers. We did the land dance in front of them. Feeling a bit exhausted, I did some minor mistakes in the steps but quickly regained back in position. I supposed some of the teachers and juniors laughed at me. The dance was enjoyable then.
At 4PM, the treasure hunt began. All groups ran everwhere to find for hidden clues and stuff. At the same time, the Malay committee members went to pray again in the mosque. I'm Chinese, so I don't need to pray. That's why I bought an ice cream and walked around the garden. It seems that I haven't visited the place for at least 10 years! I saw a lot of people, including old folks, walking and jogging around while pleasing themselves with the fresh air and spectacular view of nature.
I walked back to Bandstand and noticed that it's almost late evening. The juniors gathered for the reflection session.The principal and Pn. Arsun, chairman of the programme, gave speeches to reflect on what the Lower 6 students have done for the whole day. I'm glad to hear that they responded with positive feedback and satisfaction. Presents were later given to teachers as prices given to the winning group and individuals.
At the end of the day, we went home. The programme has been very successful and much better than last year's, when I was the junior. I also get to know new friends and gain valuable experience from this programme. Tiring yet satisfying, I hope I can get involved in such activity again next time!