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Awesomeness in plain text
ISYF Day 2 to Day 4
Wednesday, January 18, 2012 @ 1/18/2012 08:47:00 PM

Hey guys, the internet wi-fi connection here in the HCI boarding school is not really good, so I was only able to get in it after trying for 3 days. So here's what I do:

Day 2 (15 Jan)
After breakfast we went from HCI Boarding school to the Lecture Theatre at the Hwa Chong High School
Building for a welcoming ceremony and a briefing by Organizing co-Chairpersons Kenneth Tan and Ang
Jia Wei. There are also among the facilitators there. After the briefing, delegates from Singapore, Malaysia (another team), Thailand and Turkey had their Cultural Hour Performance. The Singaporeans sang us a song, the Malaysian performed the Dikir Barat, the Thailand showed us a video on Loi Krathong, while the Turkish treated us some of their local snacks. Then after we had a briefing on our Amazing Race which will be held in the afternoon, we proceeded for an ice-breaking session. This is where I got to really know my team members: Leaders, Kenneth Leong and Narice, Hui Ting, Junianthi, Edith, Wei Jian, Jin Rui and Matthew from Singapore, Hazel from Turkey, Karen from Hong Kong, Hariz from Brunei and last but not least, Vaibhav from the States. The Amazing Race started not long after we finished our lunch. Our team was on the actually on the lead when we discovered the supposedly-a-surprise prize were just some snacks and drinks, therefore our team decided to not compete in the race, but to spend the day sightseeing around Singapore where other participants would not have the chance to do. I mean they have the chance, but they did not really do it. Hazel even managed to use the chopsticks the correct way at the end of the day. Anyway, we reached back campus at 2200, exhausted but happy.

Feelings: Well, the cultural performances were truly wonderful, as it actually increased my knowledge on the educational system and the distinct culture of places round the globe. As for the Amazing Race, as we’re all wearing trousers, so we got really sticky, hot and a little humid on the inside, quite a number of us regretted for wearing long pants. ;) Despite that, I still felt that this is a great experience to me.

Day 3 (16 Jan)
Woke up extremely early today at 0515 hours, as there will be a sort-of-assembly which they call it the Flag Raising Ceremony, where all Hwa Chong Students (Sec 1 to JC2) will gather and have the flag raised and some announcements. The main difference of their “assembly” and of Chung Ling’s is that the announcements were made by students on behalf of teachers, and every song they sing (national and school anthem) were played by the school band. We had a photo session and then had a briefing of the day’s programme as usual. We were taken for a tour round the High School and had our Master Class with Nobel Laureates (although my speaker is not a Nobel Laureate). My class subject is “It’s in our DNA: Genetics for Human Diseases” by Prof Khor Chiea-Chien from Singapore. His class was actually very basic and not in-depth, therefore, it was quite easy for me to understand. He is also a lively person, so I did not fell asleep despite waking up so early in the morning. After lunch, we went to visit the A* Bioprocessing and Technology Institute. It was actually a building with research labs and scientists working in it. The facilities there were excellent. It was well-equipped by means of safety, and it even provides scholarships for international students. We had a dialogue session there with some scholars and scientists and lab researchers, it was truly beneficial. Headed back for dinner, and it was free and easy time until lights off.

Feelings: Do you know that the HCI’s school anthem is actually of the same rhythm with that of Chung Ling’s? Except that the tempo was slightly faster and livelier if compared to ours and theirs consists of 3 verses while we only have 2. Yeah and thanks to the Master Class and the A* trip, I finally knew what I wanted to do: genetics. I had actually thought about that, but I was worried that after studying genetics, there will be only a small number of careers available, but after all that, I made my mind to go for it. Thank you ISYF! You just gave me my future.

Day 4 (17 Jan)
Had breakfast as usual in the boarding school’s dining area, and then proceeded for the daily briefing at the Lecture Theatre. JianZi and I made our Cultural Hour Performance together with the Australians, Chinese and Philipinos. Following that was the Nobel Laureates Master Classes, which I was allocated in the class of a 2002 Chemistry Nobel Laureate, Prof. Aaron Ciechanover. Our topic of discussion was about personalized medication. However, instead on focusing on the topic, Prof. Aaron shared more of his life as a scientist with us. He told us of his journey of education since young until how he actually became a scientist. It was truly unbelievable, as he had never attended any courses on Chemistry whatsoever, but he was awarded the award on Chemistry. He was our inspiration, besides providing useful tips and advice, he too shared his knowledge on his field on study, which gave us a clearer image on what his discovery was. We visited the Nanyang Technology Institute after lunch. I was following the group to the Physics and Applied Physics Department, where there were many high-tech machinery were found and also the facilities were very new and modern. In the Lecture Hall of the Nanyang Biological Institute, we attended a discussion with the Nobel Laureates in the topic: Science Education in a New Millennium. It was a shame as when I was queing for the Q&A session, the host had ended the discussion because of the fact that we’re overtime.  Immediately after that, we went to Clementi for a local dinner and headed back to HCI for a “ghost tour”, as it was believed to be ghosts around the Institution. However, it was not proven that the rumours were true until now.

Feelings: Frankly speaking, I thought that our Cultural Presentation was not very attractive because we just merely did a brief introduction about our school and Penang Island. As for the Nobel Master Class, it had truly  beneficial for me, as the professor was just sharing his life experiences, which I think was what I need at this particular point of time. He gave us some encouragements, guidelines and advice in our studies, career, and concerning whatever choices we make. The NTU trip was just fun, although Physics is not my preference. I did learn a lot in the panel discussion session from the Nobel Laureates. It seems that we need to have a strong passion and scientific qualities such as perseverance and confidences (and at times some stubborn-ness) to succeed in science researches! 

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