Ng Choon Hau (Sr1A)
On the 7th of September 2019, Senior 3 students swarmed into the auditorium at 10:05 a.m. to attend the Chinese Literature Challenge, an event planned by the Chinese Language Section for almost the last two months. In this competition, each of the 10 Senior 3 classes sent out 5 of their classmates to participate while the others watched from the floor. The judges for this competition are Ms. Loo Suh Hoon, Head of the Resource Department and Chinese language teacher of Confucian Secondary High School, Mr. Chia Man Ping, a senior media person, Ms. Giam Wai Shan, Assistant Head of the Academic Department and Chinese language teacher of our school and Mr. Chia Swee En, Advisor-teacher of the Creative Writing Society and Chinese language teacher of our school.
The contest started with the briefing of the contest flow. The competition was divided into 3 rounds. In the first round, participants had to answer 30 objective questions, each worth 1 point, by holding up cards corresponding to their chosen answer; 3 representatives answered the first 15 questions while two of them were switched out to answer the remaining 15. Five classes will move onto the second round, where participants had to answer structured questions, worth 2 points each, by writing their answers on a whiteboard. The third challenge was tougher than the rest, where the 3 classes that advanced were required to say as much about a famous Chinese author as they could in order to get the most out of the 10 maximum points.
The first round went by smoothly, with audience members joining in on the fun, discussing the answers amongst themselves. Raising your card late or putting it down early counted as a foul, by the way; and some contestants had to learn this the hard way. The questions got increasingly harder and more complex, with the first few being about famous authors’ works and the later ones asking about incredibly detailed analyses about lesser known pieces. In the end, Sr3ScA came in the lead with 28 points, while the other classes that advanced were Sr3ComA, Sr3ComC, Sr3A and Sr3C.
Next off was the second round, and it was evident that the stakes were raised. Participants had to think quicker on their feet to answer these questions that took time to write down, especially the questions that asked for poetry lines and multiple answers. There were surely some brain busters but contestants managed to pull through with the overwhelming support from their classmates. Sr3ScA, Sr3A and Sr3C emerged victorious for this round and moved on to the next.
The toughest round had each class pick out a random envelope with an author’s name in it and allocated those 2 minutes to say as much as they could about that author. Some classes that got easier picks were able to perform well; while the ones that got the short end of the stick were, well, let us just say their answers were more comedic and garnered laughs from the audience. Unity was shown when Sr3A’s classmates gave claps of encouragement to their class when they were not doing that well.
The results were promptly announced after this segment, with Sr3ScA achieving first place with 40 points, Sr3A getting runner’s up with 39 points and Sr3C placed at second runners’ up with 35 points. Our Principal, Dr Chua Lee Lee then gave her closing speech, presented gifts to our two guest judges and invited all the participants up onstage for a group photo. There was still time left, therefore a small contest was held; where students dashed from their seats to the front or back of the auditorium to answer a question in exchange for a prize. The event concluded close to 12 noon and students returned to class.
Overall, the contest was a major success. It was a memorable experience for the participants, who felt glad they took part in the end. The audience members got something out of this, too; it was pretty good pre-UEC revision for the Chinese language subject. The only downside to this was the attitude of the main judge, which some found to be a bit impolite and insensitive towards the contestants. That aside, many would love to see this held for future Senior 3 students to serve as one of the final memorable bits of their high school lives.