Goh Ming Jin Dorothy, Class of 2018
2nd May 2016
BMS Family Day, started in the year 2014, is an annual event at the School of Biological Sciences (SBS). This event was originated by the Nanyang Technological University Chinese Medicine Alumni Association (NTU CMAA) to allow the alumni to interact and share their invaluable experiences with students of the double degree programme; the year 2016 marks the 3rd anniversary of BMS Family Day.
As a third-year student who has participated in BMS Family Day every year, I truly treasure the time I could share with my fellow seniors, peers and juniors every year. This time, BMS Family Day was organised on 21st February 2016. It was an eventful Sunday, and I had a very pleasant day as it was spent with good food and great company. The flow of the programme was simply amazing; though it was packed with exciting events by the second, the organisational committee never lost their cool as the day proceeded smoothly with clockwork precision.
To kick-start the programme, we were split into our groups and each was tasked to buy items from Prime Supermarket as part of our first bonding activity. My group purchased childhood-favourite snacks like jelly and crackers and delicious herbal tea. It was a fantastic time to bond over the “fruits of our labour” that was our first collaboration as a group.
Soon after, everyone proceeded to one of the classrooms to play the telepathic “pass-down-the-message” game. The first player had to illustrate an object by drawing within a time limit, each player after would have to decipher the drawing and create an illustration or write their interpretation in turn, and so on. This was a wonderful way to improve our communication and camaraderie, especially since everyone seemed to enjoy unleashing their creativity. Hilarity ensued as many drawings, hastily scribbled, were ghastly interpreted in vastly creative ways, and I was no exception. It was truly an effective way to bond; I had a whale of my time.
Next up, to my utmost surprise, was time for our own BMS version of “Don’t Forget The Lyrics!”. Songs, ranging from Chinese, English to Hokkien, were selected. I was rather impressed with the enthusiastic responses displayed by the participants as representatives dashed to the front to answer upon hearing the oldies. I had wanted to participate myself, but I was always lost during the beginning of the songs and was always out-ran by my peers. Next time, perhaps?
Following that, all the participants gathered for the spicy food game. Teams had to compete against each other and take turns eating; we had to guess who had eaten the spicy portion. I had anticipated the arrival of this game since the very start because I have always enjoyed identifying the liar in similar games. It was definitely fun to be a pseudo-psychologist once in a while. Unfortunately, due to time constraint, only wasabi bread was introduced into the game. It was a fun game nonetheless. If one has had wasabi involuntarily shoved up their throats before, it would definitely be easy to sympathise with my poor friends who had to force a smile on their faces despite having their airways on fire. Unsurprisingly, some were obviously identifiable as the unlucky participant, but I took my hat off to those peers who still kept a cool head despite their throats being anything but.
Moving on to the finale game, everyone dispersed to find as many ingredient cards as possible to make up Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) formulae. Kudos to the organisers who went the extra mile to hide the ingredient cards in unexpected areas; I was very surprised to find them in places like bushes, corners and behind posters! I was on cloud nine; I felt like a detective running around looking for the missing clues to crack cases. The planning was meticulously done and organised. Not only did it promote team effort and bonding, this game also made us put on our thinking caps in recovering our theories on TCM Formulae.
Finally, there was the highlight of the evening! In line with the Chinese New Year season, there was a BMS “lohei”. The setting grew lively and noisy as seniors and juniors alike joyfully partook in the awaited activity that would bring us good luck and prosperity. Like previous years, it was apparent that the logistics were thoughtfully arranged. To ease the clean-up, newspapers, disposable utensils and tableware were catered.
To end the event on a high note, everyone was greeted with a splendid spread of buffet dinner at the SBS lobby. Undoubtedly, it was heart-warming to observe the constant mingling amongst and across the different batches. As the wonderful saying by Malcolm Forbes goes, “If you’ve had a good time playing the game, you’re a winner even if you lose.” In addition to the sumptuous food, each and every participant also received gifts for taking part in the games. On top of the encouraging prizes, all of us went home with a handful of goodies as a token of appreciation for taking time off to attend the event and making it a successful one. In my opinion, everyone was a winner by participating. While it was a good bonus to have a prize-gift, I believe that the true gift from the evening was the memories made that day.
In summary, I would like to once again thank the NTU CMAA for organising BMS Family Day 2016, the marvellous support of the Biological Sciences (BS) Club’s BMS Secretaries, alumni, current students as well as each and every person who, in one way or another, contributed to the success of the BMS Family Day 2016. It was a great pleasure to meet familiar and also new faces every year. BMS is a close-knitted family, which I am certain will emerge stronger with each incoming batch of potential bilingual talents who carry BMS to greater heights.