Thursday, May 31, 2012

NYP Alumni to Climb Everest in 2015

Ismail, Hilwan and Sufian, three NYP alumni looking to literally scale new heights.
It was painfully cold as the blizzard raged on.  High on India’s Mount Shitidhar, members of Team Singapura Everest 2015 struggled to reach their camp. They were drenched and the white-out meant they could not see beyond their arm’s reach.

As the team hurriedly entered the warm reprieve of their camp, the remaining stragglers in the team received a chilling warning from their Sherpa - move quickly because an avalanche is coming.

That moment served as stark reminder of the inherent risk in climbing a mountain. Death and injury is so commonplace that Sherpas point out incidences of death with a matter-of-fact nonchalance. Reaching camp brings no guarantee of safety.

Some climbers are even buried by avalanches while they sleep in the assumed safety of their camp. It is a way of ‘mountain life’.

Aside from the dangerous terrain, there is also the risk of acute mountain sickness (AMS) – an illness that first manifests itself as a severe pounding in the head before turning into confusion; water later forms in the lungs and brain and becomes fatal if it turns into ice.

Despite these potential dangers, NYP Alumni Mohamad Sufian Bin Sulaiman, Ismail Bin Latiff and Muhd Hilwan Bin Mohd Idrus remained unfazed. These three NYP Alumni are part of the seven-member Team Singapura Everest 2015.  

Sufian - The Team Captain and Strategist
Sufian taking a short break at the base camp of Mount Shitidhar
“It’s a calculated risk,” said Sufian, a Senior Officer in the Singapore Civil Defence Force. This alumnus from the School of Business Management (SBM) said that the team is like a family and they know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. They avoid pushing each other unnecessarily and draw a clear line between accomplishment and dangerous bravado.

As Sufian discusses the risks, it quickly becomes clear that his focus on safety and strategic-planning makes him a perfect leader for this expedition. This former SAF officer said that what he learnt from NYP helped him in preparing for this trip.

“I learnt how to think ahead from my lecturers,” he said, “especially from Ms Helen Tan the Advisor to the SBM Club. I learnt a lot from her, like the importance of following your passion.”

Ismail - The elite SCDF Officer and Trainer

Ismail coiling ropes after reaching the base camp of Mount Shitidhar.
To prepare for Everest, the team is embarking on a series of 7 climbs, with each successive climb being higher than the last. Their journey up Mount Shitidhar was the second climb in the series, with the team recently completing their climb of Nepal’s Mera Peak, Amphulaptsa Pass and Island Peak in May. The team’s recent trip to Nepal was their first attempt at climbing multiple peaks in one excursion.

Ismail, an alumnus from the School of Engineering (SEG) and an officer in SCDF’s elite Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (DART), oversees the team’s training with fellow team member Nur Yusrina Yaakob. He said that the team trains 3 times a week. Each two-hour session varies from climbing with heavy loads, to cardiovascular exercises to technical training.

“We are preparing for something big. To me, training is never enough. You can’t really be fit for any mountain. And we have full-time jobs so we make do with what we have. We also get feedback from other Singaporeans who have climbed Everest. I take it one mountain at a time,” he said.

Hilwan - “The fittest programmer around”
Hilwan undergoing a Technical Mountaineering Course at the base camp of Mount Shitidhar.
Hilwan’s motivation for scaling Everest? “The brave do not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all. I want to say that I’ve lived.”

So far, the arduous climbs and the strenuous training have not an issue for Hilwan, an alumnus from the School of Interactive and Digital Media (SIDM). Unlike Suffian and Ismail, Hilwan’s job as a Digital Developer at an advertising MNC is not physically demanding.

Whereas Sufian and Ismail were adventurous since they were students at NYP, Hilwan only began participating in marathons and ironman competitions after he completed National Service.

“I’m the fittest programmer around,” he joked.

Fortunately, he has not suffered any asthma attacks during any climbs so far.

But Hilwan’s climbs have not been without incident. During his first climb, he experienced acute mountain sickness (AMS). “Yusrina had to carry me on her shoulders and I can’t remember what happened after that! Things like that make us strong and bond our team together.” he recalled with a laugh.

When he had to undergo a 26-day acclimatisation climb by himself due to a scheduling conflict with the rest of the team, he underwent a period of the intense solitude.

“You have too much time to think and reflect on your life,” he said. “When you reach the top, you can see as far as your eye can see. But I felt so lonely at the top, I wanted to call someone to let them know this awesome feeling and to share the view with someone.”

A gift of inspiration to Singapore on her 50th birthday
The team is quick to point out that no one ‘conquers’ a mountain. “It’s an awesome and humbling feeling, “Hilwan said.

Sufian agreed. “When you are at the peak, you see the clouds below and you feel blessed to be there.”

19 March 2011 -Team Singapura Everest 2015 at the summit of Mount Kinabalu. The team's first climb allowed them to iron out teething issues and gel together as a team.
The team wants to reach the summit of Mount Everest in 2015 as a birthday gift to Singapore on her 50th birthday. They hope that this gesture will also inspire others to pursue their passions and follow their dreams.

The team wants other Singaporeans to know that there is more to life than just work and it is important to realize your dreams, no matter how busy you are.

To support Team Singapura Everest 2015, leave words of encouragement on their facebook page. You can also learn more on their website.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

His Aviation Dreams Take Flight

So great was his love for airplanes that 19-year-old Tariq Bin Idil Adzha enrolled himself in NYP’s Diploma in Aeronautical & Aerospace Technology so that he could do something related to aerospace when he graduated. It was a coincidence when he found out about the Singapore Youth Flying Club’s (SYFC) programme in Year 1, which offered him the chance of piloting his own aircraft.

“I had always wanted to be a pilot since I was young,” he said. “When I heard about SYFC’s flying program, I was ecstatic and couldn’t wait to sign up for it. I applied for the programme straightaway. I had to go through an interview and pass a stringent medical check up before I was accepted.”
Tariq’s dreams soon came true. He started flying at the end of Year 1, and received his Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL) recently in an award ceremony with 37 other students. Tariq, who is now in Year 3, is grateful that he managed to pull through the tough training and pass the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) theory exams required to obtain his licence. He said that NYP’s aeronautical science and propulsion modules also gave him an added advantage in the CAAS exams, providing him with some background knowledge.
Although Tariq’s PPL training is tough, his priority has always been his NYP Studies. Besides managing his school work well, this resilient young man also managed to practice his flying at least once a week, and prepare for his 6 CAAS theory exams. In total, he spent more than 60 hours flying and many more studying for his exams.
“I spent most of my Saturdays at the club studying for my theory exams,” he said. “Overall, the journey was a tough but rewarding one. It wouldn’t have been possible without the constant support of my friends and family.”
Tariq receiving his “wings” from Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister of State, Ministry of Defence & Ministry of Education
Tariq is in the first batch of students licensed to fly the club’s new aircraft, Diamond Star DA40 CS. He is now eagerly waiting for his chance to go on an overseas trip to experience the life of an Air Force Pilot Trainee in Australia.
Tariq also urges students to sign up for SYFC’s free programme if they have a keen interest in flying.
“My sentiments would be best expressed by Leonardo da Vinci when he said
‘For once you’ve tasted flight, you will walk this Earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.’” he said.

We wish Tariq all the very best in his future career!

Spotlight: Hossan Leong on ‘We Are Singaporeans’!

By Ho Khin Wai, Year 2, Diploma in Banking & Financial Services, and
Nur Mirrah Amit, Year 2, Diploma in Mass Media Management

One of the nation’s best comedians, he’s got his hands full doing stage acting, and being the host for two consecutive seasons of Singapore’s game show ‘We Are Singaporeans’. Luckily, we’ve managed to get ourselves some one-on-one time with the ever busy Hossan Leong and got him to shed some light on what makes him Singaporean.

How Singaporean are you? Why do you think so?

I am very Singaporean. I can’t call myself anything else! I’m definitely not American, not French and not English. I’m born and bred here in Singapore. I’m proud to be Singaporean!

What is the one thing you love about being the show’s host?

It’s a dream of mine to host a game show and to host something like this, in this format, is like dream come true. I really enjoy learning new stuff about Singapore, meeting new people, and working with my friends on the show. It’s really good fun!

We know you have been on stage and on screen as an actor. Is this your first time as a host for a TV game show? Is it different from acting? Any difficulties faced?

Yes, acting on stage and on the screen are different genres. In acting, I have a script and a character; as a host, I have to hold the show together. Some challenges for me involve keeping the energy up. As a host, I have a lot of responsibility holding the show together, not letting it drag, and not letting it be too short.

If you weren’t a celebrity, do you think you would have participated in the game show as a contestant and make it till the very end?

Yeah, I think I would join because I’m competitive. Who doesn’t want money, right? (laughs).

Frankly, for the questions that come up in the show, I don’t know the answers to a lot of them. I really don’t think I could have walked away with the grand prize.

How did the opportunity to be the host for this show come about for you?

I begged the producers (laughs). No, I had to audition for the role like everyone else. A few months later, they asked if I wanted to host the gameshow. I said “Uh huh, duh!”

What is the most memorable thing that has ever happened on the show so far?

Oh, there are so many! I think one of them is the look of delight and pure happiness when someone wins the grand prize. It is really nice to say that they deserved it, and hand them the money. Even if they just walked away with smaller prizes of a few thousand dollars (in four hours of filming), it is a lot of money.

You seem to have a lot of energy on the show! How do you prepare yourself for such a role? Are you always so upbeat and energetic?

I think getting enough sleep, getting my head in a clear space before the camera starts rolling, and being aware of what’s going on is important. I’m very happy when I’m on the job, and the energy will come!

Do you look forward to seeing more of game shows like ‘We Are Singaporeans’?

Yeah, I sure do! I think we lack a lot of such shows. People learn from these shows, and it helps us all – contestants, celebrities, studio audiences and even home viewers - to think a bit more.

Is there anything you would like to say to attract people who haven’t watched ‘We Are Singaporeans’?

I think the reason why the first season did so well was because we haven’t had a game show about our collective history in such a long while. Now we’ve got something like that, it’s exciting to be able to sit down as a family or a group of friends and go “Hey! I know the answer!” and start talking about it.

If you could describe the show in one word, what word would it be?

What do you think makes this show unique?

The format’s unique. It has been thoroughly thought through by the producers and our creative people, with an amazing team to put it all together. I think there’s no other game show in the world that would feature Singapore in this style.

Do you think there would be chances of a remake, with other countries trying to adopt this very same format?

Well, you’ll never know.

Catch the second season of “We Are Singaporeans” premiering Wednesday, 8pm, 30th May, on Channel 5! We sure had our share of fun and laughter during the TV shoots, so be sure to get your weekly dose of Singapore’s fun trivia show “We Are Singaporeans 2”!

Confirm? Double Confirm!


Ho Khinwai is an NYP Year 1 Banking and Financial Services student from School of Business Management (SBM). He started writing for NYP Portal this year out of interest and was soon "addicted" to it. He has also written book reviews for Straits Times YA Classified. Besides writing, he loves singing and has performed for various events in NYP under NYP Soundcard.

Mirrah is a Year 1 Mass Media Management student who, as her mother had reiterated, “reads all the time!” She consumes as many as three books a day in her spare time, and enjoys classics and romance novels by authors such as Mari Mancusi, CS Lewis, and Sophie Kinsella. She aspires to write for political science magazines like Time and Newsweek in the future, and also has an interest in fashion writing.  

He's the Man

By Amira Komari, Year 2, Diploma in Mass Media Management
Mr Azhar (middle) with 2012 graduates
Mr Azhar Abdul Salam. That was who I named when I was asked about the most interesting person I met in Nanyang Polytechnic.
Mr Azhar is a lecturer from the School of Business Management. He definitely lived up to my perceptions as he managed to multitask and handle my questions whilst assigning work to his students.
It was difficult to get hold of Mr Azhar.  In fact, he was so busy that I had to re-schedule my interview appointment.  But the wait was worth it because he was apologetic and extremely accommodating throughout the hour and a half together.

It was 9.30 in the morning in Studio M when I finally met him, and the first thing he said when I settled down was, “What do you want to know about me? I am a very boring person you know?”
Actually, he is definitely more interesting than how he perceived himself to be.  A lecturer for eight years now, he has garnered quite the reputation amongst Mass Media Management students. This is a man who never fails to stride into class every time with a cup of coffee from Koufu and is strict with latecomers.
“I enjoy mass media. I love sharing with students the experiences I have gained as a producer and studio director, so that they’ll gain their own experiences and hopefully come back and share them with me, ” said Mr Azhar.
He devoted nine years of his life to working as a producer and studio director at big-name media companies such as Mediacorp, ESPN and World Sport Group before venturing into lecturing. He has directed shows like “Talking Point” and “Inside Asia” and reported from cities such as Beirut, Seoul, Tokyo, Manila, Bangalore and Phoenix, Arizona. Because of his work, he has also travelled to places where most of us can only dream of.
Mr Azhar enjoys travelling.  “Japan’s one of my favorite countries. Travelling to the Middle East was quite an experience. I loved Beirut, a city in Lebanon. They still preserve remnants of the civil war that happened in the 80s. I have read about it in books and seeing it for myself was surreal.” 
As a lecturer, he has learnt how to keep his classes interesting.  “I am a strong believer in story-telling. My main concern in teaching is to ensure that what I deliver has to be interesting. I believe that people tend to listen more when stories are told. I hate boring presentations. I think being entertaining can help your students remember stuff from lectures, because it works for me,” said Mr Azhar.
He added, “There’s no worse feeling than when you’ve ended your lecture or tutorial and having your students say that they didn’t learn anything from you. There is nothing scarier than that.”
How many times have we, as students, created mindless chatter in the midst of an ongoing lecture; blatantly ignoring the lecturer? What he said made me more resolved to be more attentive in all my classes.
He proceeds on to telling me about his routine after his classes end for the day. It’s usually dinner at home with the family but on some days, he takes his son for junior’s table tennis training which would mean some quiet time with his wife. Weekends are spent visiting his parents as well as going for some short runs or a swim.  
He speaks fondly of his son, Ayman, who is seven.
“I think my son has got my sense of humor and my wife’s intelligence,” he said.
His interests hover over two extremes – sports and reading. He has completed eight full-marathons and taken part in Olympic-distance triathlons. He is also a news junkie who also tries to read as much as he can. As for music, he listens to music from any genre possible. And oh, he has also been a volunteer as a race official for the Singapore F1 Grand Prix for the past three years.
My pink perforated pad brimmed with notes from the interview, so I decided to say my thanks for the time set aside.
So just like that, I left the studio feeling convinced that he is, without a doubt, still the most interesting person I have ever met.
Amira Komari is a Year 2 student from Mass Media Management. An avid reader, she enjoys her own space and can spend hours in a coffee house with a good book. She thrives upon solitude and nature. She is also obsessed about ice cream and anything colorful, you can almost always find her at a nearby bookstore with her dip dyed Chuck Taylor shoes.

Monday, May 28, 2012

NYP Clinches the Gold in the Singapore Amazing Flying Machine Competition 2012

16th March 2012 - Students from NYP’s School of Engineering (SEG) walked away from the “Singapore Amazing Flying Machine Competition” with Gold, Silver and Bronze medals as well as $7,000 in cash and four iPad 2s.
NYP Students, alumnus and lecturers savouring their victory after the competition.
Ten teams from SEG, consisting of a total of 22 students and 1 alumnus, competed against 40 other teams from the other local tertiary institutes in two categories – Autonomous and Semi-Autonomous Flight.

Team Radical Ace's machine flying through a window.
For the Autonomous Flight category, the aircraft had to be intelligent enough to detect and avoid obstacles with minimal control input from the user. SEG’s Team Spiral Wings swept the competition and won the overall Gold medal and a Silver medal for Creativity.

Minister of State for Ministry of Defence & Ministry of Education, Mr Lawrence Wong with Team Spiral Wings (from left to right) Gao ZhiJian, Kevin Ho KeQin,  and Jim Tan Poh Keong.
For the Semi-Autonomous Flight category, participants are given more leeway in controlling the aircraft. SEG also put on a strong showing with Team La Haste and Team Aventador receiving Silver and Bronze Awards for Performance respectively.

But success did not come easy. Phang Yuan Xin, one-half of Team La Haste, said “The preparation was intense right until the day before the competition. We encountered numerous challenges like hardware failures, plane crashes and fatigue (due to long hours training). Nevertheless, we pressed on.  We trained with diligence and determination every day.”

Flying machine manoeuvring a turn while NYP student, Maurice Kam Yew Liong, looks on.
Yuan Xin’s most memorable moment during the competition was when his team completed the first flight with a perfect score.
Team Spiral Wing's flying machine navigates an obstacle.
“During that flight, I thought our flying machine dropped the ball outside the bull's eye and missed the target. But after I landed the flying machine, the judges told me that I scored a bull's-eye. We were overjoyed.”
For aspiring competitors, he has these words of advice, “Train hard and when it is time to fly, fly it with confidence. Do your very best. Have fun.”

The Singapore Amazing Flying Machine Competition is jointly organized by DSO National Laboratories and the Singapore Science Centre, with the aim of helping students expand their creativity and problem-solving skills. This competition also allows those with a driving passion towards building flying machines to test their ideas and gain experience in building their machines.

Vanessa is a Year 3 Media Studies & Management student who enjoys writing, drawing, sports photography, literature, reading, music & fashion, and basically anything artsy. She also enjoys spending time with friends, laughing with them and listening to them. She has a huge interest in planning & facilitating events, and also loves nature, walking, and landscape photography.

Friday, May 25, 2012

CCA Spotlight!

By Pavani Jeyathasan Krishnan, Year 1, Diploma in Accountancy and Finance

Remember the time in secondary school when choosing a Co-Curricular Activity (CCA) was compulsory and had to comprise of either two things?

a)    It was loaded with points, so you had a higher chance of scoring A1
b)    Your friend was joining the same CCA

Well guess what? CCA isn’t compulsory anymore in a polytechnic! Despite this, many turned up for the Club Crawl on March 25th and 26th. NYP has loads of CCAs to offer, from athletic teams to cultural clubs. So just because you don’t have to join a CCA doesn’t mean you shouldn’t! Here are some of the clubs that caught my eye.

1.    Rotaract Club
Are you someone who loves community service and is eager to meet other people like yourself? Then, you might want to consider joining this team. The purpose of Rotaract Club is to provide an opportunity for youth to enhance knowledge and skills that will help them in personal development, to address the physical and social needs of their communities, and to foster better relations between all people worldwide through friendship and service. The club aims to incorporate their motto, “Fellowship Through Service”, into all their activities which they organize.
Stocks, shares and bonds, are these terms familiar to you? Well, than you might want to consider joining the Investment Club. This club is relatively new and consists of members who gain financial literacy as well as learn about financial investment. Members can enjoy a two year complimentary subscription of SIAS (Securities Investors Association Singapore) Youth Chapter which will provide plenty of opportunities to meet and learn directly from investment experts. Who knows, maybe you could be the next Warren Buffet!
The “A-Team”, updates their motto every year, and their latest motto is Passion and Honour. Members of this club get to assist in functions hosted by NYP, as well as non-scholastic events where they will represent NYP. The team has volunteered at events such as Singapore International Water Week. Members have to be well-groomed at all times when attending such events as they not only represent themselves, but NYP as well. Not to worry though, as members get to attend courses which will better equip them for their duties.
Interested in planning events and attending functions for youth? Then the Student Union might be the right fit for you! SU offers a wide range of activities for members to sign up. Some include Chingay and President’s Challenge. Since many of the events are organized by students themselves, members get to express their opinions and creativity. The club has a diverse group of members so you will be able to make many friends and find people with the same interests.

5.    Emcee Club
Established recently, the club hosts school events like Club Crawl. Members can attend courses to improve their public speaking skills and increase their stage presence. Auditions are required if you are interested in joining, but don’t let that scare you off! Who knows you could be the NYP’s very own Ryan Seacrest or Cat Deeley.

CCA can be enjoyable and a time to take a break from group projects and ICAs. So do join a club that interests you.
When Pavani is not attending lectures or tutorials, you would probably find her browsing through books at the Library.  Other than reading and writing, she also enjoys foreign films and television shows.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

YouTube Stars Rock the Stage!

By Ho Khin Wai, Year 2, Diploma in Banking & Financial Services
Ever wondered what popular YouTube singers like Jason Chen and Tiffany Alvord sound like LIVE? I know I did. On May 5th, my friends and I got a chance to see and hear it for ourselves! We were so excited to be at the first ever YouTube Stars Music Festival 2012 held at The Coliseum in Hard Rock Hotel, Resorts World Sentosa.
The show started with a special item by two popular and well-known Singapore YouTubers, Toh Yifan, known as TheSingaporenRapper, and SammmyDee aka Electricladyland8. The duo performed a cover of “Nice Guys”, which was originally created by YouTube stars KevJumba, Chester See, and popular YouTuber, Nigahiga.
Toh Yifan (TheSingaporenRapper) and SammmyDee. Photo Credit:  Gracia Chua   
Next up was Singapore’s homegrown YouTube singer, Clo (Clarence Liew). The Bruno Mars lookalike performed four covers of hit songs which got the crowd waving and singing along.
Clo (Singaporean Youtube singer). Photo Credit: Gracia Chua
Tiffany Alvord then came on stage to rock the crowd with her stunning vocals and charisma. Her rendition of Carly Rae Jepson’s “Call Me Maybe” had the whole crowd dancing and singing, “Hey I just met you, and this is crazy, but here’s my number, so call me maybe”.
Tiffany Alvord. Photo credit:;
When Joseph Vincent came on stage, the crowd screamed and cheered to receive him. Joseph started his performance with an original song, “Bumble Bee”, before swinging into a medley with Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” and Jessie J’s “Price Tag”. After the song, he invited a lucky member of the audience on stage and serenaded her with a song, saying that “every young lady deserves to be serenaded once in her lifetime”.
Joseph Vincent. Photo credit: Shirlene Loo
As with Joseph Vincent, the crowd went into frenzy and screamed with glee as Jason Chen got on stage.
Jason Chen. Photo credit:;
Known for his incredible vocals and great musicality, Jason enchanted the crowd with his recent single, “Gravity”, and did a cover of Michael Wong’s “Tong Hua (Fairytale)”. He also covered a popular original called “Best Friend”, singing a few verses and choruses in Chinese, which got the crowd singing in unison.
Ana Free. Photo credit:;
Ana Free was up next, after a short video introduction by Singapore’s very own Kumar. She did an energetic cover of Shakira’s “Waka Waka” which got the crowd into the party mood.
David Choi. Photo credit:;
Finally, the YouTube star many people had been waiting for emerged on stage. David Choi, a talented musician and singer/songwriter brought the concert to a lighter note with his new originals, “Missing You” and “Rollercoaster”. He also sung well-known tracks “That Girl” and “By My Side”, which got the crowd swaying their hands in the air and singing along with David.
Photo credit:;
Just when everyone thought the show was over, David called the other YouTubers out on stage. Together with Sam, Yifan, Jason, Joseph, Clo, Tiffany, and Ana, David and the stars performed a final group rendition of “Baby” by Justin Bieber. The crowd enthusiastically chanted along “Baby, Baby, Baby, ohhh” during the chorus.
So what’s good?
Almost everything! The music, the band, the atmosphere, the crowd, and not forgetting THE YOUTUBE CELEBRITIES!  What more can you ask for after seeing and hearing your favourite YouTube celebrities “live”, when you have been watching them on your computer screen all along? The experience was not only amazing, it was stunning! The crowd sang to every single song being sung and clapped in rhythm to the music.
Photo credit:;
What’s not?
Don’t get me wrong, I loved the crowd there. As each YouTube singer went on, the crowd cheered ever so faithfully, and with so much enthusiasm till the last song of the night!
So what bothered me was:
1.  The heat! As night fell, more and more people gathered and squeezed one another, contributing to the humidity. Even the YouTubers on stage were sweating!

2.  We also had to stand throughout the whole 3-hour concert in the sweltering heat with no way to sit! However, I would not entirely blame the organizers for this “negligence”. After all, if everyone were sitting comfortably in their seats, the crowd would not have been that hyped up and the concert atmosphere would probably have been “mediocre”.

3.  “Don’t block, please!” This is a common gripe concert-goers would face. My friends and I were lucky, as we managed to get a spot near the stage. Still, an awkwardly tall dude was blocking our view of the stage every now and then.

At the end of concert, the host announced that the YouTube Stars concert will be held annually. So, if you have missed this year’s exciting performances, be sure to keep a lookout for this event next year!
Khin Wai is an NYP Year 2 Banking and Financial Services student from School of Business Management (SBM). He started writing for NYP Portal in 2011 out of interest and was soon "addicted" to it. He has also written book reviews for Straits Times YA Classified. Besides writing, he loves singing and has performed for various events in NYP under NYP Soundcard.

Monday, May 7, 2012

SIDM Charity Event: May the 4th be with you

May the Force be with you
To Star Wars fans, May 4th was the unofficial Star Wars day and it also marked the 35th Anniversary of the first screening of Star Wars: A New Hope. Nanyang Polytechnic’s School of Interactive and Digital Media (SIDM) celebrated this occasion in style by raising funds for the Singapore Children’s Society.

‘May the 4th be with you’ posters  outside LTM1
For those unfamiliar with the Star Wars movie series, the first Star Wars movie was actually Episode IV: A New Hope. This was followed by Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.

After the original trilogy fans had to wait 16 years for the series to continue with the prequels, Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.

SIDM celebrated Star Wars day for a good cause. There were booths set up outside LTM1, for the sale of cookies, T-shirts and personalized photographs. All proceeds were donated to the Singapore Children's Society.
When I arrived at LTM1 at 3pm, there were huge crowds around each of the booths and the screening of the Star Wars movies had already started in LTM1. The first booth that caught my eye was one which had many balloon sculptures. I was really impressed by the creativity of the SIDM students because they were able to make all kinds of things from the balloons.  I learnt from Jasmin (one of the talented balloon sculptors) that they developed the skill of balloon sculpting as a hobby.

Jasmin with her impressive Darth Vader balloon sculpture
There were also booths selling delicious chocolate cupcakes with irresistible icings and decorated with sweets resembling the light sabers in Star Wars. The cupcakes went for $2.50 each and they were very popular amongst the SIDM students. Almost everyone had one in hand. There were also cookies available for sale. Each cookie had a unique Star Wars character drawn in edible food coloring.

Okay, call me biased but I particularly liked the one with Darth Vader on it.
As I explored, I became attracted to the t-shirt booths.  I have never owned a hand-drawn T-shirt and was excited when I found someone to draw one for me. Because it was a Star Wars event, the drawings were of Star Wars characters - exactly what I wanted. My t-shirt artist was a 2nd year animation student who very kindly drew a red Darth Vader on the back of my SIDM t-shirt. The t-shirt was then passed to her extremely talented teacher, Ms Deda, who drew a cute version of Darth Vader on the front of my t shirt. I am not an artistic sort of girl so my jaw dropped when I saw how the artists were able to draw without sketching in advance.  It was such an enriching experience. The other person who impressed me was Mr. Jacques Muller. Within 15 minutes, he brought Yoda, one of my favourite characters, to life with an awesome drawing giving the t-shirt a brand new look.
The SIDM t-shirt Artists at work
Mr. Jacques Muller with his t-shirt Drawing
Attending SIDM’s Star Wars event was an eye-opening experience. For many Star Wars fans, the event rekindled our love for the Star Wars franchise while creating awareness for a worthy beneficiary. I believe that the passionate, creative, caring SIDM students have a bright future ahead and the Force will be always with them.
Kelly is a first year student, pursing an Advanced Diploma in Nursing (Midwifery), who loves reading and cooking. She also likes to spend time with her friends, engaging in relaxing activities. Her friends describe her as unpredictable, spontaneous and inquisitive.