Year 9s raise the bar for poetry – slam!


Above: 9L Slam Poetry winners, Ivan and Yi Ming and their English teacher, Mr Mahoney

Yesterday Memorial Hall was host to  performance and celebration as the winning teams from each year 9 class amazed the audience with their Slam Poetry performances.

The judges were extremely impressed with the high standard of all teams’ poetry and their powerful renditions.


Runners up, the team from 9E (Ms Hamilton), performing Safwan’s poem

The winning team was 9L (Mr Mahoney’s class), followed by 9E (Ms Hamilton’s class) in second place and 9D (Ms Grimwade’s class) in third. The Best Individual Performance was awarded to Ivan Tat of 9L, and the Best Line was also awarded to 9L.

Poverty is the cracked lips of a boy, hands outstretched, eyes like a dead fish, …

There is so much to celebrate in the year 9 students’ poetry! I’d like to take the opportunity to share some of the poetry.

Standout lines from 9A:

A blind man will never know the colour of blue nor ever see the so-called ordinary hue

But he know he does not need to discover the new.

He’s surrounded like an animal in a zoo,

Caged by prejudice and stereotypes.

A slice of 9B’s offering:

Patriotism, loyalty: who do I please?

Lion Dairy, Abbey, and Colby: three types of cheese.

Which industry do I support?

Which farmer do I make abort?

An Irish cow, an Australian goat, an American sheep,

Which allegiance do I keep?

Or should I be like sister Tegan,

And just like her become a Vegan?

Powerful, dark lines from 9C:

His mind is out to kill him

So far his mind is winning

It sews his lips

Shuts his mouth

Beats him, blinds him from those who care,

Tying him down to the bottom of the ocean,

Drowning him

He can’t die

He can’t escape

He is drowning 24/7.

He’s been drowning since he was 11

Yet no one saw and we all breathed around him.

Powerful lines from 9D:

But why has our society become one where such people are glamorised and idolised

While teens are hurting themselves and hurting others over their own demise,

Because their waist size is over 26 inches, because their skin is wrinkled and because, unlike their role models

their looks aren’t stylised?

They think that, that is something to be ashamed about

It seems we regret celebrity influence upon teens,

The roots and trunk of our future, hollowed out like logs

To be only superficial and not care about what’s on the inside.

But our current generation can still be saved without doubt

If we look up to Mandela, Churchill and Malala

Instead of Minaj, West and Gaga.

From the runners up, 9E:

You may say that you wish to live forever,

That you wish to die never,

But our eventual passing is what gives our life its merit,

The looming presence of death is what motivates us to get out of bed each morning,

Because we may not always have a tomorrow,

The looming presence of death is what lets us perceive the true beauty of our lives,

The looming presence of death is what gives our life its momentum,

It is not the vindictive venom we make it out to be,

Can’t you see?

Death is what coerces us to be alive.

From 9F:

Until this day I never thought dragons existed…

… Yet today I found one, lips curled in a ferocious snarl,

dressed in a satiny carpet of brilliant, crimson scales, and with eyes…

… This dragon was none other than the one that dwelled within me,

the one which I have tried to subdue for so long.

It is eating me, chewing at the fibres of my identity.

This dragon’s name is Guilt.

From 9G:

I thought I knew who I was.

I thought I was that person who would always do well in school,

That person who should be popular and loved,

That person who could shove other people aside to get what he wanted,

The centre of the universe.

The world would revolve around the brightness of my glow and the other planets would looks to me with envy and greed,

knowing they could never reach me.

I knew who I was.

I was happy.

I was content.

I was frolicking inside the beautiful meadow in my little bubble,

skipping in time with the beat that had been set out for me.

From 9H:

The powers of the world don’t like change,

So they shut up the game-breakers,

the would-be preachers,

the idea makers, because their system only works

when nothing changes, so they keep them quiet,

with only their malicious greed behind it,

planting the seed.

When the seed grows, it turns into a tree,

and when a tree grows tall, it’s hard to cut down…

From 9J:

My speech I left like a house on fire,

But this time my words won’t misfire.

That bully, it’s time to confront him,

To show I’m not just a melting icecream.

Without dismay, without distress,

Chest out, back straight.

Because I will take on the dare.

From 9K:

Blinks of cosmic glitter twinkled  in the sky

shimmering with an exuberant brilliance

as it stained the rich vermillion sunset.

The place where the sky met the sea

Had a majestical topography.

and a favourite line of mine:

They tormented the sky, tearing the delicate canvas,

Its colour a conflux that couldn’t stop bleeding…

And, to honour 9L’s winning poem, here is the full text:

9L  Ivan and Yi Ming

Poverty

 

Somewhere in Australia they are incinerating

Designer handbags, never used, to maintain brand exclusivity

Whilst in inner-suburbia there is a child digging through

The Salvo’s donation tip for a jacket that can last them the winter

Somewhere in Australia they are building boutique apartments

And fancy shopping malls so that we forget that

Unemployment is soaring

Homelessness is soaring

Poverty is the cracked lips of a boy, hands outstretched, eyes like a dead fish,

it is the blackened toenails of the outworker, chest compressing with each breath

Do you not hear the lullaby of a mother hunched in a rusty old car in a parking lot at night?

Do the cries of the homeless who scream with fleshy pink throats fall upon your deaf ears?

Do you hear the peoples sing: but only until it stops making you feel comfortable

Because it is better to be silent, hold our tongues

Bow our heads in defeat and get back to work

Then for you to acknowledge that the wealth, the privilege you accumulated

Was built on the blood and bones of the oppressed minorities

Built on the sweat and tears of the homeless and overworked

Is it truly benevolence when you throw a piece of stale bread

To the people whose homes you drove them out of?

Our narrative, our stories aren’t your pay-per-view poverty porn to ogle at

Do not throw us your scraps, your pittances for us

For us to climb onto the back of other others to reach for

We were confined to lifetimes hunched over, lifeless, in factory plants

Lethargic and weary as pawns in your pyramid scheme

Would you rather us complacent and obedient slaves?

 

(SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH)

Do we scare you?

Since when has saying nothing done anything?

This is not an outlet to spruik your faux philanthropy

This is not an appeal for a rich people Jesus to come to our salvation

We learnt the hard way that in the snaking queues of Centrelink

Under the Flinders Street bridge at night that there is no god pining for us

We don’t care if you don’t want to believe we exist but we believe in you!

Each and every one of you are complicit in our death

On the streets, in rusty cars, in public housing units,

Guilty whether by consent, complacency, indifference.

The only way to enact social change, to close up the crackswe have fallen into is

To lend a hand, give a shoulder to cry on, open up your ears.

This is a conversation.

Won’t you listen?

 

 

A huge thank you to Ms Buckland for organising this event, to all the English teachers involved for hard work and inspiration, to Ms Morgan and Mr Sloan for judging (I can’t thank myself, but I enjoyed the judging experience so much), and to Ms Tsilimidos for her unrivalled skills as M.C.! A big thank you to our wonderful stage and film crew, Brett and Mr Morton.

 

Our students’ success in this year’s Slade Literary Awards

Three students from 9L were finalists in this year’s Slade Literary Awards, a writing competition that has been run for more than twenty years by Richmond Rotary Club.

The topic this year was ‘Making a Difference’ and Hoangan Le, Henry Mann and Vlad Monakhov all received certificates of merit for their essays. Hoangan’s essay, ‘Second chance fairy’ was about Nobel Peace Prize winner MalalaYousafzai; Henry’s essay was about the difference that can be made by quantum computing; and keeping with the technological theme, Vlad’s essay was titled ‘How the internet changed the world.’ Henry was performing in the Winter Concert, so was unable to attend the awards night, but Hoangan and Vlad were able to experience the event and meet the other finalists.

Congratulations, Hoangan, Henry and Vlad! Thanks to Mr Blair Mahoney for organising this opportunity for our students.

Swimming Carnival 2017

Another great swimming carnival at the most beautiful sports venue in Melbourne.

Waterloo were the winners, followed by Yarra, Forrest, and Como. Well done everyone who participated in the events, and thank you also to those who helped out as martials, with photography, or cheering on your house in the stands.

Our friendly and hard-working officials.

 

 

Tea duelling/Michael Pryor visit/ Steampunk dress ups

What a day we had – Michael Pryor’s visit and workshop, the Reading Awards assembly, and our inaugural Tea Duelling event (see previous post for information). Thanks, Denise, for making this happen down to the smallest detail. We even had Mr Brown’s original Steampunk composition playing. Well done to all the boys who participated in the duelling heats. There wasn’t much jousting but there was plenty of nomming and splodging. (Tablecloths definitely need a wash now). And, of course, much biscuit dunking and tea drinking.

I apologise for the bad quality videos but I think they were not uploaded in high definition. Lots of photos too so be prepared to scroll down a lot. Thanks also to Ms Buckland for the Reading Awards and workshop. Thanks for coming and for being such a good sport, Michael.

The videos are not in heat order.

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We came, we played, we ate popcorn – BookWiz 2014

Our second ever MHS BookWiz was so much fun.

Full house, popcorn supplied, and 3 rounds of challenging book trivia – what more could you want? Thanks to Old Boy, Marcus Saunders, for being an awesome M.C., and to Ms Denise Beanland for organising the event and even purchasing the popcorn machine especially. This year the winning table of students thrashed the 2 teacher tables – that’s life. Thank you to all who came, including all teachers and assistant principals who took time out of their very busy schedules,to Mangala for scoring, to our volunteers, to the students who set up the microphone, and the library team for making sure everything ran smoothly.

Some photos of the event –

The winning team – fearless readers!

The crowd

 Teacher tables

Quite optimistic here

Not quite as optimistic later in the competition

Marcus and Pam Saunders

The Scores

Signing up for tables

The teams

The concentration

The best answer to Number 10  ‘Why doesn’t Hogwarts have a gym’

The disappointment

Thanks to all who made this a fantastic event. See you next year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The word is …

…glaucoma. At least that was the last word given to the year 9 students at the annual spelling competition. It took 31 words to determine the winner of this year’s competition and the list included words such as odyssey, mezzanine, acqest, paediatrics, myxomatosis (that knocked a few out), penicillin and mortgage. The famous T29 lecture room was packed with supporters, cheering, clapping, yelling ”YES” and raising fists in the air when a particularly hard word was spelt correctly.

The event was conducted with the calm and careful pronunciation of each word by Ms Grimwade, who stressed that we were looking for the British/English spelling of each word. She gave the word, clearly repeated the word, gave a dictionary meaning and when requested used the word in a sentence or gave the word’s derivation. Mr Mahoney, as judge, kept track of each student’s attempts and sadly announced when a student had run out of lives; three words spelled incorrectly and the student had to exit the stage.

Well done Victor of 9B who came first, Kevin of 9M second and James of 9A third. It was a tough competition.

Now for the year 10 competition on Thursday.

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Post by Pam Saunders

 

CBCA Book of the Year winners announced

The Children’s Book Council of Australia announced their Book of the Year winners today.

The winner in the Older Readers category is Fiona Wood with Wildlife.

16 year Sibylla embarks on the outdoor education program for the term at her high school, having recently transitioned from forgettable geek girl to newly cool model. With her on this ordeal are the reclusive new girl, Lou, and her new crush, the popular boy Ben. This book is their story of surviving not only the elements, but each other. Realistic and emotional.

While it is not a book we have in our collection at the moment, we do have the prequel, Six Impossible Things.

14 year old Dan’s world has been turned upside down: his dad announced he is gay, the family business has gone bankrupt, and he has a crush on his unattainable neighbour, Estelle. Exuberantly charming.  

In the spirit of the CBCA 2014 Book Week, Connect to Reading, Reading to Connect, I am recommending other great fiction titles based on the theme of: Geek Boy in search of Love

Another CBCA shortlisted book for 2014 is Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil.

Wannabe screen writer and hard-core gamer Sam is happily avoiding life until he meets new girl at school, Camilla. Camilla is the ultimate cool girl, she wears vintage clothes, is friendly to everyone, her dad is a music reviewer, and she’s into World of Warcraft. Quirky, cool and fun.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.

Charlie is starting high school and is awkward, geeky and shy. He falls into friendship with free spirits who lead into finally having a go at life in the middle of the party. This story delves into some hard-hitting emotional issues, and is  not an easy read.

Looking for Alaska by John Green.

15 year old Miles decides he wants an adventure, and insists on attending the same boarding school his dad did. There he meets the infuriatingly troubled and teasing Alaska, and is hopelessly in love with her. Cool and smart teenage characters, story  packs a punch. 

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.

Karou is an art student boarding in Prague, who comes from a family of mythological monsters. She falls in love with an angel, Akiva, and an epic and ancient battles ensues. Romeo and Juliet meets The Hunger Games. Awesome.

Look for for Mrs Saunders dressed as the main character Karou for the Book Week costume parade!