High Notes, Vol 6 No 23, August 12 2005
From the Principal
In the senior division, Vinh Pham earned fifth prize. Chen Yang gained a prize and certificate while Frank Cai, Aaron Chan, Richard Liu, Benjamin Nham and Senthil Thillainadesan were awarded certificates. High boys performed with distinction again in this prestigious competition.
GPS Heads Meeting
English Information Evening
GPS v Newington
Popular Fiction and the Quest for Freedom
Movies and TV programs begin (more or less) when people use their thoughts and fantasies to craft stories that are intended to bring a fictional world to life. But many of those thoughts and fantasies appear in these stories only in disguised form, since the creators are not themselves conscious of what they are expressing. Then, as audiences, we perceive what they put into the work, also mostly outside of awareness. Finally, through criticism - discussion, writing, etc - we become aware of what we were responding to in the work and how it fits in with our own personalities and minds.
The meanings that the creators put into these stories include representations of any or all of the following: mind, family, birth, society and culture, politics, myth and religion, and they also contain ideas on the course and purpose of life. But all of these domains of meaning are usually used to tell the same kind of story in which characters are depicted as growing into something or as breaking free from some kind of bondage. What the characters achieve through these experiences is maturity, authenticity, the ability to experience the richness and importance of life, fairness, or some other desired goal.
A great many stories, movies, TV, news, political speeches, advertisements, and so on, are based on the same set of ideas. All include the same themes that centre around our desire to evolve into whole selves and good societies, in the face of fears and desires, and obstacles that block our path. At that point, we will have achieved a kind of psychoanalysis of culture, as a disguised and undisguised expression of what is on our minds. Culture and our selves will then become more transparent.
What we discover after we have done this kind of analysis is that works of popular fiction and non fiction allow us to vicariously experience the kind of selves and societies we know should exist. Most notably, they offer us happy endings that are the sigh of the oppressed creature, giving us a moment - but only a moment - to experience the life and society we desire. But the experience is only temporary and only via the invented world of the story.
Nevertheless, through the magic of empathy and identification, these same stories do at least temporarily transform us, giving us a vision of other ways of being and making us more open and receptive to their ideas. As we begin to recognise that this is what they are doing, we begin to face a task. If what is on our minds is a desire to lead a fuller and more authentic life and to do so in a good society, then clearly this is an essential element of what our lives are about. Works of fiction aren't only efforts to experience this vicariously; they are also 'symbolic' models and guides for how we might approach our own lives. They are a 'game plan' for life and social action, which we create in disguised form, and perceive largely outside of awareness.
Our task then is to take what we experience vicariously and in fantasy, through fiction, and find
ways to make it actual. We then go from being audiences who experience the story, to being
critics who understand the story, to being people who act on what we know. The stories of fiction
and non fiction thus contain within them the potential to be catalysts for human freedom. In the
end, they tell us that we face a choice: we can endlessly pretend to change the world and
ourselves in our stories, or we can genuinely change the world and ourselves. If we choose the
latter path, we will then have new stories to tell and to learn from, and, although it may sound
a little maudlin, our lives will then become more like the happy endings of popular
After receiving an avalanche of complaints from anguished parents, the compiler of the fortnightly science quiz apologises for inadvertently forgetting to submit quiz number 7. Here is quiz number 8 which is again open to students and parents. (Closing date Tuesday week 5)
The topic this fortnight is "Little Boy and Fat Man"
Finally, after quite a saga correcting information that had not been entered at enrolment by many a person, specifically "date of first enrolment in an Australian school," we have lift-off! There were in fact 509 students for whom that information was "unknown" on the OASIS database. Fortunately I had surveyed almost everyone in the past two months and last year and could enable the school to supply the missing dates. In the past we did this silently by amending the return form, but this year, with the return being submitted online, we had to make OASIS and our in-house data match perfectly, which they now do.
We have 84% language background other than English, but very few students who fall into Phase 3 ESL, and none in Phases 1 and 2. On the other hand, my estimate is that about 20% of LBOTE students have issues related to what is called Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency, in other words who still need a degree of support and guidance to achieve their potential.
Unfortunately, only the minimal figures, Phase 3 and below, actually count for ESL staffing purposes.
"LBOTE" is defined as "a student from a language background other than English is one who speaks a language other than English in the home or whose parent(s)/guardian(s) speak a language other than English in the home" -- even if the language used in the home is generally English. We do have a large number of students who fit these criteria, and indeed quite a few where English is not the language usually used at home. We have 88 students who have been in Australia for seven years or less, fifteen of these having been here for three years or less.
Some relevant research findings from the USA:
See http://www.utpb.edu/courses/fall99/educ4329/handouts/Collier.html, one of many references here: http://neilwhitfield.tripod.com/teach.html#ESL.
You will find much for mainstream teachers supporting second-language learners -- and that 20% of our LBOTE students I mentioned are still developing and refining their English language skills -- on that site. The issue will not go away, even if, as seems likely, the school has no ESL support next year.
Don't forget to visit http://neilwhitfield.tripod.com/blog/ my English and
ESL Blog for items of interest on issues of cultural diversity, pedagogy, English Language and
Literature and more. The name change to "Neil Whitfield's English and ESL Pages" from "Sydney
Boys High English and ESL Pages" reflects the probability that in 2006 there will not be SBHS ESL
as such, not to mention my own imminent moving on.
The Preliminary Rounds of the NSW Schools Fencing League started last Saturday at Newington College and the Grand Final will be held on Saturday, 17th of September.
The competition got off to a great start for the Y10 SBHS-Blue Team, our highest ranked team in the Senior Division B. Congratulations to Patrick Duffy, Amadeus Klocker and Yu Lin who convincingly defeated Barker-C 9:0, Newington-F 8:1 and NSBHS-C 7:2, with Amadeus remaining undefeated.
SBHS-Blue fenced without a Reserve and hence a very special thanks to Alexandro Lai for staying behind, in case one of them sustained an injury.
Congratulations too to the SBHS-White Team, who defeated St Aloysius-D and to the Minis-C team who won in a tight bout against SGS-Prep-B.
Just a reminder to all fencers, under the competition rules any fencer is allowed to 'fence up', but if you do fence in a higher team then you cannot go back to your home team for the remainder of the competition. Hence, before doing so, the impact on your own team ought to be considered.
The team order for SBHS is: Senior Division A: Gold and Green, Senior Division B: Blue, Black, Red and White and the Minis-A, Minis-B and Minis-C.
Please remember not only to check my handout, but also to check the website www.nswfencing.org.au for any late changes or withdrawals. Endeavour to arrive at the correct time so that your team does not have to forfeit any bouts.
Well done boys, and all the best to the teams fencing this Saturday.
Volleyball Report #9
First Grade are currently State Champions, can they become GPS Champions as well? Turn up and support them this Saturday and help them get the double!
High are playing Grammar this weekend in the UTS gym.
Second grade start at 9:30 am and then immediately following this is the First Grade match.
Last Saturday saw High play Riverview at Iggies.
Second Grade Report
Riverview quickly recovered after the first set forcing some errors on the High side early in the second. High responded aggressively with strong passing and hitting by Stephen and Balraj. We recovered our momentum and won the second set by a comfortable 25 - 14.
After some team discussion before the start of the third set, we were given an incentive if we took out the last set with Riverview getting less than 13 points. This fired up the team even more, producing more great hits from Ping and Henry. With some strong jump serves from Dizon and we quickly demolished Riverview 25-9, giving us yet another straight sets victory.
Next week we play Sydney Grammar for the premiership. We beat them in straight sets last time we
met but we are not expecting an easy game.
First Grade Report
St Ignatius defended themselves hard whilst attacking a few balls at us every now and then.
However, High still managed to win the match with a 3 set - 0 victory: 25-8, 25-19, 25-10. The
win, despite being 3-0, was rather costly. Our mighty "long stocking man" Karl has sprained his
knee. Well done guys. Only Grammar stands ahead of us now.
Word of Wisdom
You can't have everything; where would you put it?
If at first you don't succeed, try again. Then quit - no use being a damn fool about it.
After all is said and done, much is said and little is done.
Reading is to the mind, what exercise is to the body.
When a man wants to murder a tiger, he calls it sport; when a tiger wants to murder him, he calls
The Music Committee are missing ten tablecloths. If anyone knows where they are could you please
contact the music department? Thanks.
Father's Day is fast approaching. Don't forget Dad or Grandad on this special day.
The High Store has made a special purchase of Van Heusen business shirts for the low price of $20.
Be quick to grab the best designs!
The season is nearly upon us and we need to move into top gear so we are competitive. Over 80 athletes have joined the team this year and I am hopeful that more will come to the invitational each week. Amendments to the Athletics program:
All athletes need to buy the Athletics uniform:
Training this Monday at ES Marks.
High Athletics Training Timetable for 2005
Week 5 Date Time session one & venue Time session two & venue Monday 15/8/2005 4.00pm - 5pm: ES MARKS Wednesday 17/8/2005 1.30pm - 3pm: McKay 3.30pm - 5pm: ES MARKS Thursday 18/8/2005 1.30pm - 3pm: MPW 3.30pm - 5pm: ES MARKS Saturday 20/8/2005 SGS Invitation Athletics - ES MARKS Week 6 Monday 22/8/2005 4.00pm - 5pm: ES MARKS Wednesday 24/8/2005 1.30pm - 3pm: ES MARKS 3.30pm - 5pm: ES MARKS Thursday 25/8/2005 1.30pm - 3pm: MPW 3.30pm - 5pm: ES MARKS Saturday 27/8/2005 WC Invitation Athletics - Homebush Athletics Warm-up Track Week 7 Monday 29/8/2005 4.00pm - 5pm: ES MARKS Wednesday 31/8/2005 1.30pm - 3pm: ES MARKS 3.30pm - 5pm: ES MARKS Thursday 1/9/2005 1.30pm - 3pm: MPW 3.30pm - 5pm: ES MARKS Saturday 3/9/2005 TSC/SBH Invitation Athletics - ES MARKS Week 8 Monday 5/9/2005 4.00pm - 5pm: ES MARKS Wednesday 7/9/2005 1.30pm - 3pm: ES MARKS 3.30pm - 5pm: ES MARKS Thursday 8/9/2005 1.30pm - 3pm: MPW 3.30pm - 5pm: ES MARKS Saturday 10/9/2005 KGS Invitation Athletics - Narrabeen Week 9 Monday 12/9/2005 4.00pm - 5pm: ES MARKS Wednesday 14/9/2005 1.30pm - 3pm: ES MARKS 3.30pm - 5pm: ES MARKS Thursday 15/9/2005 1.30pm - 3pm: MPW 3.30pm - 5pm: ES MARKS Saturday 17/9/2005 GPS Finals - HOMEBUSHReturn to Index
You are invited to lend your support by helping at the following Parking Events
Newcomers welcome! Award Scheme Points for students!
Please contact the relevant co-ordinator to offer your help.
High Cricket Bulletin
Welcome to the first edition of the High Cricket Bulletin, the weekly source of all information pertinent to cricket at High. Included in the bulletin will be a mix of player profiles, tips for success on the field, match reports, and a weekly quiz where respondents will have the chance to exhibit their cricket knowledge.
The new season is approaching quickly, and when not pulling on your footy boots or preparing for those exams, sit down, watch The Ashes, and start thinking cricket. Our senior boys will have met by the time this goes to print, and will get under way in their intensive training program by the end of the month. Don't forget, if you're a junior but think you have what it takes to match it with the older boys, come along to the early sessions and see how you go. The coaches are always happy to see those wanting to test themselves.
This year the 1st XI is off to Melbourne for the Five Highs, a junior team will travel to Brisbane, and we host a visit from a junior Melbourne side.
Before competition starts in term IV, remember that the athletics program is highly recommended for High cricketers as fitness is an important part of all sports. The senior boys can expect plenty of fitness work in the pre-season, so athletics would be the perfect place to see just how much you improve.
Be sure to check the High Cricket Bulletin every week for the most up to date information as we
move closer to competition. Keep in touch also through the cricket website at www.sydneyboyscricket.info. Good luck in your
preparation for season 2005/06, and go the Aussies at Old Trafford.
Quiz Question 1: When did High last win the 1st XI GPS Premiership?
Community Service Announcement
Some Kids Can't Live at Home with their Mum and Dad
Children need carers who can provide stability & can help them through the different & sometimes challenging stages of their lives.
You can be single, married, with or without children of your own, & from any cultural background. It is important that you have experience with children. DoCS staff will work closely with you & support you with ongoing training & allowances. There are many children in our area who are in need of a safe & secure home environment because they are unable to experience this in their own homes. This may be due to abuse, neglect or family breakdown.
The NSW Department of Community Services (DoCS) is looking for people who can provide crisis, short term, respite or long term care for these kids.
We are especially looking for foster carers for children five years & older. We also need carers for siblings, so brothers & sisters can stay together.
Become a Foster Carer.
GPS Music Festival Congratulations to the successful musicians who were selected to participate in the GPS Music Festival.
Rehearsal Schedule for GPS
Sunday 14 August 12.30 - 2.00 Rehearsal / Choir and Instrumental tutorials 2.00 - 2.45 Afternoon Tea (provided) 2.45 - 4.30 Full Rehearsals Friday 2 September 4.30 - 6.15 Stage Band rehearsal / Concert Band rehearsal / All others tutorials 6.15 - 7.00 Dinner (provided) 7.00 - 8.30 Concert Band tutorials / All others full rehearsals Meeting to discuss Saturday details / final instructions 8.45 Pick up and go home Saturday 3 September 12.00 - 1.00 Rehearsals 1.00 - 1.30 Gear moving / Hall set up 1.30 - 2.00 Break / Snack (provided) 2.00 - 5.00 Rehearsals in concert venue 5.00 - 5.45 Dinner (provided) 5.45 - 6.30 Concert prep CONCERT (approx 2 hours at this stage)
Please note that snacks and dinners where stated are provided.
This is the date in the diary for the Year 9 Concert. All Year 9s must attend. It is also open to seniors who wish to perform with an excellent ensemble. Music will be available from music closer to the date.
We have invited a guest band - the Lane Cove Community Band to spotlight for this concert. Lane Cove Community Band is a B - Grade band. They have won the State Championships many times. Their current conductor is Mr Phil Arnold.
The format of the evening will be mainly combined items and both bands will also present a
selection of own choice pieces. All Years 7 and 8 band members are expected to attend with their
parents to watch the performance. It is a free concert although tickets will be issued for
The Bugle Call
News of the Sydney High Cadet Unit
Name Init Rank ID Instrument Roser P WO2 21740 Clarinet Wong F SSGT 21780 Trombone Farrow-Palmer A SSGT 21658 Trumpet Wong M SGT 21782 Trombone Shu T SGT 21748 Trumpet Wei V SGT 21774 Tenor Sax Chong A CPL 21645 Clarinet Ho A CPL 22076 Tenor Sax Santoso J CDT 22454 Tuba Lo D CDT 22341 Trumpet Chan Y CDT 22267 Trumpet Vincent G CDT 22508 Clarinet
Rehearsals will commence at Victoria Barracks at 0930h on 22 - 23 - 24 SEP 05.and conclude at 1330h. These rehearsals are very important for all bands personnel to attend for the total time. Rations are being arranged by RSM.
Please keep in mind that on 24 September 2005 the parade will conclude in the early evening. I am
to be advised on all timings for this date.
UNSW Co-op Program
Linking Leaders - "Discover the leader in YOU!"
"U Lead" Leadership Program
To graduate, a University of New South Wales Union "U Leader" must
a) Undertake 15 hours of community service
* Thinking about Leadership
"U Lead" is FREE!!!
Prestigious UNSW Co-op Scholarships & "U Lead"
"We recognise that the UNSW Union's 'U Lead' program is an outstanding opportunity for students
to extend their developing leadership skills and involvement in the community. Being part of this
program will most certainly enhance the skills that we are looking for in our applicants."
For more Co-op Program details, see your Careers Adviser or visit:
Who should apply?
We are looking for students who would like to develop confidence in leadership just as much as those who are already confident. Those selected will be a mix of students fitting into both of these categories.
Workshop Times and Application Process
Interested students should lodge an Expression of Interest by stating in 100 words or less "Why do you want to learn about leadership?" Include your full name, school name and roll call class. Expressions of Interest should be brief and simple. Don't spend hours creating the perfect paragraph!
Expressions of Interest must be lodged before 3:20 pm, Friday, 9 September. Good luck!
Linking Leaders "On our year 12 muck-up day at SBHS, we raised thousands for
charity. What we did was great but I look back and think how much more we could have contributed
with skills developed through early leadership training. The vision for high school students to
undertake leadership training has led to Linking Leaders, an initiative of SBHS proudly in
partnership with UNSW Student Recruitment Office, UNSW Co-op Program and UNSW Union."
Postal Address: PO Box 797 Kingsford NSW 2032,