Thursday, 06 January 2011 08:05

A Challenge of the Minds


English General Knowledge Competition
The grade 7s had their first taste of competition a la High School style on 17th December. The competition was between 7A (boys) and 7E (girls). The boys' team was represented by Chhounchhiv Chea, Sethy Pong Nara, David Lim and Kimsinawath Chou. The girls' team was represented by Catherosette Meas, Pichvoda, Sokha Chen and Khunmanuth Buth. The respective classes were also present to give support to their friends. Mr Brett and Mr Muhtor were judges during the competition.

The contest participants had to sit through almost 80 minutes of gruelling questions. Thus, as in all competition, the atmosphere was indeed tense. The questions were focused on English primarily and the knowledge and skills the students had acquired thus far on listening and reading. The questions ranged from simple True/False statements to more analytical ones which required a probing of minds through teamwork.

The audience was not neglected during the course of the competition. Three questions were posed to them during the end of each section of the competition. This gave the contest participants a breather whilst engaging the audience as well. Three students, Eang Uy Eng (7A), Houy (7F) and Pich Raksa Hiv (7E) walked away with prizes. In addition to the three questions, two more were posed as the audience wanted a competition amongst themselves. This posed a dilemma as I had run out of prizes. I informed the students about it and though they knew that I had run out of prizes, the students remarked that it was ok and would settle for a point of merit from their teacher. I was pleasantly surprised by their suggestion as their actions revealed to me that they were not merely interested in prizes/presents as per se (though they would graciously receive it if there was one). Rather they wanted to be in the arena of competition and have their minds challenged and all that mattered to them was to be able to have the correct answer and by its own right emerge as a winner. But of course that their teacher (me) noted their point of gallantry! To me their noble thought tipped the scale versus the desire for points. I felt so very proud of my students. Well done fresh faced High School Zaman-nians! Your attitude will certainly take you up and far as you progress through life.
Just about this time, the bell rang and it was time for a break. Little were the students aware that fun hadn't ended yet but was only beginning and a surprise was awaiting them.
And the surprise was ..........
A treat!
What treat? I hear you ask.
It was a bewildering one fitting the notion of the competition; a challenge to not only the mind but to the hands as well. A small sized Indian crafts man kept us enthralled for about 10 minutes with his craft creations using only coloured papers, his hands, his creativity mind and an occasional snip here and a snip there with his scissors and voila a beautiful coloured sword appeared. Next a chain of paper figurines and a beautiful rose flower. The students were amazed by the agility of his hands and the outcome of his paper creations. Oooohs, aaahhhhs and wows ensued every craft he materialized. At the end of the show, he sold his secrets and more which were contained in a little DIY craft book for a $1. Students and teachers alike bought them.
Soon after the short fun intermission, the participants were up on the stage once again for round 3 – the final round. This time the questions were more challenging, requiring the students to read lengthy passages and answering probing questions within a short span of time. Within the next half hour, the competition ended and the winners were determined. 7E class won the challenge with a total score of 255 and the 7A class was close behind with 235 points.
In closing, here are some quotes for you to ponder over.

Zig Ziglar
It is not your aptitude, but your attitude, that determines your altitude.

Henry David Thoreau
We were born to succeed, not to fail.

Special Olympics Motto
Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.

Sheela Naidu

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