The screening for F1 was carried out barely one week after they registered, with some of them obviously still crying at night (ha ha). But it's important to grab them (the talented ones) before they have any grand idea of doing something else.
It was a good harvest, to summarise it in a few words. At least we can take comfort that MCKK will have a formidable team in both BM and English well into 2010 and by the the time we quit doing this, opponents will still tremble at the thought of facing us (whether we lose or win, well that's another story).
There were 2 rounds of screening involving more than 60 students for both BM and English. They were supposed to deliver a few minutes speech, after which they would be grilled by a panel of debaters, teachers and old boys on the topic they had talked about, as well as other issues.
At some points the process was almost cruel because it was obvious the kids just couldn't answer or give an opinion as it was simply out of their depth. But as much as it made me squirm at the sight of a 13-year old on a verge of tears, nobody said it would be easy. I personally believe college boys should be subjected to this from their first day, otherwise they cannot speak their mind.
Anyway, after the whole process was done, we came about with a shortlist. These people went through a second level screening - to test their intelligence and outlook on life (the so-called "brain" factor). We sat in a group and started throwing them questions on many issues to solicit their comments, and they were supposed to comment on each other's comments too.
At the end of the whole thing, it was very clear who can speak but was not at the maturity level that we want, who was mature but couldn't speak properly and who were both fluent and matured and knowledgeable.
Next weekend is the camping workshop - more hardwork and another round of team building. By now it's almost secondary that we win PPM or not - it's the journey that matters most.
TAR Hall - first round of screening
Second round of screening
More pictures here.