As misleading as the name is, there is some modicum of truth in Feeling Fab Day: it’s a day of great fun and memories. Of course, I’ve heard some pretty amusing stories about students churlishly complaining about the activities which their classes were assigned to. My class was designated the activity of bowling, and it was definitely the strangest bowling session I have ever experienced.
First off, there was a bowling lesson. How many a time have people actually attended a bowling lesson, much less with friends, decked out in school attire during a supposedly normal school day? Professional instructors were actually present to demonstrate legitimate bowling techniques in a step-by-step manner. Being someone who has lessons in golf, which is another unorthodox sport in Singapore, I have come to appreciate the role of proper lessons in such sports.
Secondly, I honestly never expected students to be as attentive as they were to the instructors. My initial impression was that of cynicism when I heard that we were having bowling lessons: would the students really be able to appreciate such a privilege? I certainly did not think so at that point in time. However, I was pleasantly surprised when the my classmates actually attempted to replicate the steps taught.
Safe to say, the entire experience was nothing short of enlightening. Some people enjoy doing the simplest of activities while bonding such as kite-flying and having picnics; others require slightly more complex activities to sustain them, like learning dance moves or bowling. Whatever the case, I believe that what matters is the memories and experiences that one would have shared with his or her class. After all, it is not every day that we get to relax with our classmates and teachers on what would be a typical school day for others. In that sense, it really was nothing short of fabulous.
Students demonstrating their skills during the bowling session at Tampines SAFRA.
My class, on the other hand, was designated the activity of Dragon Boating.
A polar opposite to bowling, dragon boating was an activity that required much less learning and skill, and also demanded the coordination of the motor skills of everyone on deck, rather than that of a single individual (one class to one boat). The activity was held outdoors in the warm and humid weather, depriving us of the comfort which air conditioning provided to those with indoor activities. The water, also somewhat off putting, consisted of murky clouds of sediment accompanied by dead leaves. Not something you would lick tastefully off your lips.
But those factors were but mere blemishes on an otherwise perfect day. Three things in particular made the day for me.
One, the instructor. Well developed shoulders, funky hair, contrasted well with his chill and relaxed disposition, making him a rather unique and interesting individual. The instructor my class was assigned came in a blue singlet and shorts. He had a mop of brown hair which hung to the back of his head, and a smile which seemed permanently etched on his face.
Sitting at the front of the boat, he gave us simple guidelines to follow, most of which were safety precautions. Bit by bit, he improved our rowing techniques, encouraging us along the way. Other than the few races we had with the other classes, we cruised slowly down the Kallang River, appreciating the view as we went along. He made our activity a fun and relaxing one, which I personally really enjoyed.
Second, the boat. The boats had a seating capacity of around 22 people, which was coincidentally the average size of a class. Clustered together in the boat, we needed to work with one another.The boat required the synchronised paddling of all my classmates in order to move, and wobbled when any of us shifted our bottoms away from the sides of the boat.
After the separation of classes by boats, competition developed. When approaching an “enemy” boat, we would raise our oars and fervently start to whack the water surface in an attempt to splash water towards the other boat. The other class would then retaliate, which left both sides dripping wet.
Students trying their hands at Inline Skating
We also had short races with other classes, complete with cheering and a little bit of jeering at the end.
During these moments in the boat with my class, I felt a sense of childhood bliss and ecstasy, where I could throw away all concerns and just have fun. I would liken this feeling to the times I had playing catching back in primary school, when life was much simpler, and fun came naturally.
These devious little devices contributed to much of my enjoyment of the event.
Third, the jerry cans left in the boats.
Supposedly used to empty the boat when water is collected within, these little instruments were actually exploited for more sinister purposes. When approached by other boats, they acted as powerful artillery, engulfing the other boats with a torrent of water which would slowly fill up to your ankles. It was also the perfect device for irritating your fellows within your own boat, something my classmates took great pleasure in doing.
Near the end of the event, my whole class was given a ceremonial baptism, with a fully filled jerry can dumped over each of our heads. It marked the completion of the activity, and quite sadly, the end of the event.
Fabulous is defined as ‘extraordinary, especially extraordinarily large’. For me, at least, thats what feeling Fab was: Extraordinary, and an experience of bonding and interaction that was larger than life.
Kwek Zhan Hao
P hoto Source: Qi Haodi (15S63) and Ma Jingjing (15S42)