The point of making things more meaningful? Part 5 -- An atypical lesson on the history of Penang Free School
During the recent PFS Student Leadership Workshop (February 22-23, 2020), Seng Sun and I managed to collapse a 350-page book down to 90 minutes of videos, a guided tour and a fun-filled quiz.
The 10 five-minute videos, made with a very limited budget and lots of help from our former classmates like Kumaravelloo, Jimmy Lim and Albert Quah, took us over a year to produce. Now on Youtube, they were aired during the session, much to the awe of the participants. You can view them here: tinyurl.com/y2h76nmo
A tour around the Pinhorn Hall (the school hall) was conducted by Seng Sun. On the huge wall plaques were names of luminaries like Gnoh Lean Tuck (Wu Lien Teh), Lim Chong Eu, Ong Chong Keng, Syed Omar and Yeoh Bok Choon, among others more. There were photos of former headmasters like William Hargreaves, Ralph Pinhorn, William Hamilton and Tan Boon Lin.
Perhaps the most engaging for the students was the highly-interactive and competitive quiz after the tour. There were 22 questions in all. Ten were "bonus" questions where the first group that rang the bell got to try; marks were deducted from those who tried and failed. The rush, the anticipation, the release of tension, etc, can be seen in the accompanying pictures.
This is one way of getting from the parts of meanings (with audio-visuals, fun and games) to the greater whole. One day, perhaps, some of the participants would be driven to read Seng Sun's 353-page "Let the Aisles Proclaim: The First Two Hundred Years of Penang Free School 1816-2016". Even if they did not, they now know there is a structured resource they can turn to on the school's history.
The other coaches were Loh Lean Kang (PFS 1969-74) and Tan Soo Choon (PFS 1969-75) who have led the overall workshops with us since the first set in 2017. This is the sixth set of two weekends each.