Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My first trip...

Posted by Dawn at Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Started our Robotics training for Asia Pac Robotics Championship in September.

Training during school: 3pm - 9pm.

Training during weekends and public holidays: 9am - 5pm.

2 weeks break for the students for their final year exams

Continued training right after it ended

Had mostly packet rice for meals in school-bought from coffee shop.

Was I actually prepared for this? A little but it was made even tougher as I had to balance training with my Sec 4 students who were sitting for their Math papers. So most of the time, I had to ask them to come to the robotic room for consultation.

So with all this busyness, plus having to plan for the Taipei trip and handling all the administrative matters regarding the trip, I was overwhelmed...so much so that I wasn't even thinking about the trip. Even on the day itself as I was leaving for the competition, it didnt really sink in that I was actually going for it...All that I have been working hard for has finally arrived but when its here..you are just too tired to think.

Anyway, I was happy to be able to be on my first trip with students for competition. Glad this time round, I am not the one competing. However, I still get nervous as I feel for my students as well. (On the side note, because we didnt have enough students coming along, I had to be in the game as well and assist during the matches. So it was kind of cool to be competing as well together with my students)

For the competition, we won 8 awards in total. No team won so many awards in a competition except ours. So I was really proud of my students. Here's what we got..


#1. The Excellence Award (highest honour for the competition)

#2. The Tournament Finalist (2nd Place)

#3. The Middle School Division Finalist (2nd Place).

#4. Robot Skills Challenge Overall Champion (Overall in Middle school and High School)

#5. Robot Skills Challenge 1st in Middle School

#6. Robot Skills Challenge 2nd in Middle School

#7. Robot Skills Challenge 3rd in Middle School

#8. Programming Skills Challenge 2nd in Middle School

The highlight of this trip was not only being able to compete in the matches but also the amazing bond I had with my students.
I think they all wanted to spend time with me as we had suppers, playing together and watching movie in the hotel room after our competition. It was fun...Reminds me a lot of my swimming days when I went overseas for competition except now, I am playing a different role but I still feel young at heart and thus enjoy, playing and spending time with my students.

One thing that I learnt during this trip about students nowadays are that they are hooked on to IT. They need to feel connected. I know all of this but to actually witness it with my own eyes on it, is different. During our meals, most of them would be playing with their handphones or psp.

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Of course, I am also guilty of it for also trying to be connected as I go down to the hotel lobby and dining area by 630am to serve the wireless connection.

Another thing I learnt is that students nowadays enjoy eating fast food or basically western food. They have really become westernised. They crave for pizzas and macdonalds!

After the competition, we had 2 days of sightseeing. Took the public transport (train and bus)to various places like the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall,
Taipei 101..the tallest building in the world
We also ate a lot for every meal till I feel like puking!!

You will never go hungry in Taiwan as they have lots of 7 Eleven stores all over. We had one next to our hotel and in there, they have so much variety of instant food and noodles that taste SO NICE!/

Street stalls are also a common sight in Taiwan...

Taiwan has been quite 'Japanised'...a lot of recycling efforts going on (got to pay for your plastic bags, and segregate your left over food and plastic in different bins etc). Even the public transport was quite good, clean and efficient. They had all the timings and info you need for the oncoming bus or train!

I will definitely go back to Taiwan with my family and enjoy the food and the surroundings!

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