Farewell year 12s! Thank you for your legacy to Melbourne HS!

Today we farewelled a truly awesome cohort of year 12s whose collective legacy to Melbourne High will not be forgotten.

Principal Mr Ludowyke entertained everyone with before/after photos of school leaders before going on to speak about their legacy to the school and invite them to reflect on the next phase of their lives.

Congratulations to our school leaders whose speeches revealed their love for each other, gratitude to the school and staff, and for opportunities to learn from and contribute to the Castle on the Hill together. How quickly the four years pass from the time you all arrive as boys and leave as young men (to paraphrase Mr Ludowyke) – young men we are proud of.

After assembly comes the traditional mass exit through the main doors of the school and down the central steps – followed by the equally traditional shirt signing.

Then a brunch of pancakes and ice cream.

I apologize for the bad quality and incompleteness of the videos.

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Is texting your main form of communication? How to have a conversation face-to-face

(This post is based on a session run as part of Ten Minute Tuesdays.)

Of course, we all have face-to-face conversations every day. But how skilled are we in the art of conversation?

Celeste Headlee has worked as a radio host for decades, and she knows the ingredients of a great conversation: Honesty, brevity, clarity and a healthy amount of listening. In this insightful talk, she shares 10 useful rules for having better conversations. “Go out, talk to people, listen to people,” she says. “And, most importantly, be prepared to be amazed.”

 

Here are the 10 basic rules Celeste has shared:

  1. Don’t multitask. Be present, be in that moment. Don’t be thinking about other things.
  2. Don’t pontificate  True listening means setting aside yourself, your personal opinions.
  3. Use open-ended questions. Who/what/where/why/how? Otherwise you’ll get yes/no answers (boring).
  4. Go with the flow. While the other person is talking, we remember things about ourselves and then we stop listening because we’re waiting for the opportunity to say our stories. Let them go.
  5. If you don’t know, say that you don’t know.
  6. Don’t equate your experience with theirs. Don’t talk about your own experiences. All experiences are individual. It is not about you. You don’t need that moment to prove how amazing you are or how much you’ve suffered.
  7. Try not to repeat yourself. It’s condescending and it’s boring. Don’t keep rephrasing your point.
  8. Forget the details. Don’t talk about the days, dates, names. People don’t care.
  9. Listen. If your mouth is open, you’re not learning (Buddha). Most of us don’t listen with the intent to understand, we listen with the intent to reply.
  10. Be brief.

Be interested in other people. Be prepared to be amazed.

Thanks to those who came to the session; it was great to see your spirited conversations following our discussion after the TED talk. Some photos for your pleasure:

Comic Con(versation)

Seeing new books and helping select them for the library is always a winning activity and this week students from the Book Club, Library Assistants group,  some year 12 students  and a few keen teachers have all helped review some wonderful new comics, anime and graphic novels for the library collection. Titles chosen range from Super Heros (Welcome Wonder Woman and Ms Marvel), a few more in the Marvel Star Wars range, Blanket (this had been on my list for some time) Nimona,  The Fifth Beatle and many more.

As much as possible we try to purchase locally and from within Australia. All Star Comics based in Melbourne are one of our suppliers who are able to drop tubs of treasure for us to choose from.

 

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Students talking about the comics and popular series as well as sneakily reading a few titles before they are returned.

 

 

 

Out and about

Each year the staff and a small group of student leaders from the four selective high schools are given the opportunity to meet, this year it was Suzanne Cory’s turn to host. For many of us it was a longer commute than usual but we were so warmly welcomed it compensated for the early start.

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The keynote speaker, Mark Donaldson VC told of his experiences in the Afghanistan  war and what lead him into a military life. It was honest account and he stressed his ability to focus and think under pressure. These attributes literally lead to his survival, and to him saving the lives of others. It is hard to impress a room of over 500 teachers but he did it.

Mark holding his biography, The Crossroad, signed for a student.

It was with a great deal of pride students from Suzanne Cory also took teachers on tours, sharing the highlights of learning at their school.

 

The day included the opportunity for faculties to meet. For the library team it was especially delightful to visit another library, to share ideas and concerns. Paul Byrne, Head of Library at Suzanne Cory ran a practical session on encouraging wider reading using games and  fun activities. He had us participate in a student  activity,  matching the book cover with the blurb. Most of us will be taking this idea and using it this term as it resulted in lots of discussion and interaction.

Concluding the day we were challenged by Prof. Shirely Alexander, Vice Chancellor of University of Technology Sydney, who discussed the University’s radical change to their approach to learning. The motivation behind this change is a focus on the skills and knowledge students of the future will need for an ever changing workforce. We were amused by the list of job titles she showed us for jobs of the future and a few librarians among us could see us using our skills to become Nostalgists; helping people sort their collections/memorabilia and telling their story.

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We wish to extend our thanks to our host school and the many presenters and facilitators. Thank you also to those who attended from other schools – it was lovely to see you.

Delving into the history of MHS

The Library Assistants were recently invited to visit the Melbourne High School archives. The students who journeyed to the top of the school share their reflections.

Last week, I took part in the school Archive Tour, where we learned about the history of the school. We visited the Archive Room to look at historic items and climbed to the very top of the ‘castle’ to gaze at the spectacular views below. Among the many interesting things I learned was that there is an underground river tunnel under the school (rumoured to be used as a bunker during WW2) and that there was a fire at the back of memorial hall, which luckily didn’t cause much damage. Overall, I would recommend going on the Archive Tour to give yourself an insight into the history of the school.

Ilyas Year 11

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It was fascinating to explore a part of the school that isn’t accessible to us most of the time. The rooms and staircases were steeped in history; the musty smell was quite pleasing and to be on the very top of the school was quite an experience. Thanks to all who made this possible.

Jian Year 10

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It was like taking a stroll up memory lane, with all the nooks and crannies teeming with secret stairways, underground hideouts, and the workings of the now antiquated Melbourne High School campus. I can’t imagine myself being one of the students to ring a mechanical bell every period of the day, or opening up the floorboards in T30 to find a wondrous cavern, but these memories are the foundations of what we live and breathe today. In history it has gone down, as will we one day, and I can say that it was an honour to witness the substance and character that makes MHS what it truly is – a school of wonders.

Jainam Year 10

Luke, the volunteer school archivist, came in and gave us a tour of the archives. It was a very insightful experience, especially in regards to the history of the school. The most interesting part of the tour for me, were the architectural plans and models. The original architectural plans of the T Building showed many secrets of the school, including some of the passageways hidden below the school. The scale model of the N building was also of interest, with Luke telling us all about the missing room on the top floor. Overall it was a great experience, and I am grateful for him taking the time to give us a tour.

Bernard Year 10

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The archive tour was simply fantastic; it really felt like we were getting a bite of the history of Melbourne High. During the tour we got the chance to look at the architectural plans of the school. The things we learnt were fascinating! For example, did you know that during World War 2 trenches were dug on the school oval, because of fears that the school would be accidentally bombed by the Japanese? Did you know that the Q-store and the armoury were used to store sensitive and important documents when the school was occupied by the Navy from 1942 to 1944? I had never known that the history of the school was so rich! If you are interested in learning about the school come along on the next archive tour!

Sachila Year 9

A great experience uncovering the astonishing heritage of the Melbourne High School. Weather it may be the dark abandoned passages underneath the traditional building, or the mechanical old school bell, MHS has kept fascinating us and will keep fascinating us.

Het Year 10

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A very insightful and interesting tour about the history of the school. Also, the view from the top of the tower was astounding.

Taha Year 10

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The history was very enjoyable and enlightening, especially the access to the otherwise restricted areas of the school. We were able to learn about the fascinating history of the school and other interesting stories from its past.

Thanks to all who made the tour a possibility.

Aahidh Year 10

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Blind Date with a Book #LibraryLoversDay

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February 14th is not only Valentine’s Day, but also Library Lovers’ Day. Libraries and their users all around the world are celebrating loving their library. Here at the MHS library, we decided to celebrate by having a ‘Blind Date with a Book’. You never know what you might check out…

First of all, have a look at what’s available…

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Look at all these lovelies (with a chocolate as a sweetener)…!

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So many to choose from!

“I think you’d like this one”

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No Angus, you can’t see through the paper!

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By recess, quite a number of dates had been taken out…

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At the end of the day only the desperate and dateless were left….

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Happy reading!

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Happy Library Lovers’ Day!

Tony Thompson visits MHS

Reading Assembly

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A celebration of reading and writing was a focus of last Junior Assembly. We were fortunate to have a visit from Melbourne author, Tony Thompson who shared his own journey to the dream job of being an author. No doubt many of our boys would have felt inspired by Tony’s evident love of literature and passion for writing. During Assembly Tony presented Reading Awards to the following students for sustained and balanced reading, across a range of genres and including some very interesting and challenging reads.

Patrick Phung, 9C                                                       Xavier Kelly 9F
Nikhil Chalisgaonkar, 9F                                             Sean Wong 9G
John Li, 9J                                                                   Noel Augustine 9K
Callum Wigg, 9L

Kevin Kim 10A                                                           Vaibhav Malhotra, 10A
Sam Loh, 10J                                                             Nick Wang 10K
Mahen Pathirana, 10L

Writing workshop

Many of our keen writers signed up for a double period workshop with Tony focussing on the challenging aspect of interacting characters with settings. In a series of carefully constructed writing activities students produced some very engaging and intricate story lines. Equally impressive was their delight and generosity in sharing unedited first drafts with the group and with us:

Activity 1: Creating a setting

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The man sat in the corner of the room looking towards the opposite wall. The room itself was silent, save for the shallow breathing of the man and the occasional rasping of chairs as he adjusted positions. The sun never slanted through the narrow grill in the top left corner, never tried. A dark puddle had formed a few feet away from the man, flies lazily buzzing above it; not even the flies would pay any attention to him. And yet the man kept looking, transfixed, towards the opposite end of the room. The ‘End’, they called it, the name of the man’s predicament. He himself had no home; it was easier to forget that way. Leo Year 9

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The room was of an explicit design, unlike anything I have ever seen before. A pristine chandelier hung low from the ceiling, while the walls were lined up with old furniture filled with cobwebs and a layer of fine dust on top of them. In the epi-centre of the room, an out-of-place object drew my attention. It was a workspace and a bed fused together. I touched the angular and odd shapes that made up most of this fusion, and a shock was instantly sent up my spine. This bed, no, this weird piece of furniture, looked like some high-tech death machine had been sent through time and space to this room. This room was an uncomprehendable blend of old and new. No, “out-of-worldly” would be a better, more accurate word to describe the room, and I was not sure if I liked it or not. I sat down quite cautiously on the bed. The blanket looked just like a regular one, except it felt like liquid in the form of a solid, giving a rather strange feeling. Fused to it beside the bed… Bryan, Year 10

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The room is quiet, with air of silent watching. The vivid colours of the painting sharply contrast with the dull colours of the walls behind them. The couches in the middle of the room are littered with whiney travellers and children who seem like they’ve been looking at the same thing for hours. The paintings look so real, like if you turned around they would pull a face at you… Noah, Year 9

Activity 2: Introducing a character

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The valley was bathed in darkness. It was too late to start a fire; the trees blocking out all the starlight. The travellers were becoming restless; they’d been warned by the occupants of the previous village of strange disappearances in nearby forests. First it was a small child, then a group of men. Now, with darkness playing tricks in their ears and eyes, slowly the travellers began to disintegrate. One ran off. Two collapsed. Only one remained standing, rooted to the spot. And that was just the beginning. It was too late to start a fire.   Leo, Yr 9

He was falling. The wind whistled as the clouds flew further and further away. The snow had faded into stone, melting into thunderous yet glorious falls. There was an air of freshness that eased his mind. The bright sun shone dimmer down here. His eyes closed as he fell into the soft hands of his giant father. Daniel, Year 9

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From a distance the primary school, unlike any other, looked like a fortress dwarfing all other buildings within close proximity. I strolled casually towards it, and the school soon pulled me as …, into the circle of buildings it dominated. I stood before the rusty gate which towered exactly one metre over me, and stared at it. I was expecting something to happen based on my experience, but it only stared back at me plainly, as if it was not acknowledging my presence at all. Hesitantly I touched the lock to open it and… Bryan, Year 10

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One had never been in this museum before, but had been in museums all around the world. He was used to the atmosphere that these places had. He quietly observed a painting by one of his favourite artists, Claude Monet. The use of colour and space and lighting that was always found in Monet’s artwork was astonishing. One looked around the room at some of the other paintings, then back at the painting in front of him. Something was different about it this time, not something he had not noticed, but as if the painting had moved by itself… Noah, Year 9

Activity 3: Streetscape description

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My street is a rather quiet one, which is strange considering I live in the bustling suburb of Glen Waverley, a popular destination and hub to which many immigrants from all over the world introduce their cultures and ways. In the court four giant houses dominate the rest, occupied by billionaire tycoons who spend every day salivating over the flow of the money river. Bryan, Year 10

The Melbourne skyline looked the same as it always had; big cranes, bigger buildings. The sunrise was immense with the hot air balloons coming up in front of it. Flinders Street Station was packed with the endless stream of people wanting to touch off their mykis. The boats of the Yarra coming in with the rich people and their exclusive parties. And there was Felix, no one noticed Felix. Not until he fell out of the sky… Noah, Year 9

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Thanks to Miss Morton for the photographs