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Friday 20-Nov-2015
識玩一定去英國玩-三招玩轉寄宿學校

當我就讀寄宿學校時,升學顧問是我憤怒之源-因為他把我送到了位於Norfolk的鄉村小“鎮”Holt裏。不要誤會,我不是抱怨Holt環境,英國的郊野景色如詩如畫,小鎮周遭是一望無際的綠色原野。可是英國對於“鎮”的定義令我百思不得其解,因為Holt在香港的話充其量只可被稱為“街”。


香港的生活緊張又刺激,離開香港來到Holt讀書並不是我所嚮往的生活。從交通方面來說,Holt的主要交通工具就是蒸汽火車,你可想像成Thomas火車頭載著你包覽Norfolk周圍的美景,Choo choo!

 

在就讀時你會費盡心思挑出寄宿生活的缺點並加以投訴,並會記掛家裡的生活。但當你離開那裏才會發現自己有多麼懷念寄宿時光,現在的我願意付出任何代價來交換在寄宿學校讀書的一天。如果我能回去,會有何不同的事發生呢?


 
首先是運動,我選擇不再以消極的態度來參與運動,特別是在各式體育比賽場館裏,其實更容易建立個人性格。在學校我們幾乎每天下午都有體育活動,每年的各個學期我們都會參與不同的運動,夏天可以打板球,冬天則有欖球比賽。逢星期六我們會與其他學校比賽,有時主場,有時作客。無論你的天賦直逼美斯或是像我一樣手腳不協調,學校都鼓勵你參加體育運動,每人都能找到自己的定位,無論在甲組、乙組、丙組,總有你的位置……不幸的是,學校為之驕傲的運動項目不是「我杯茶」,我討厭死欖球了。雖然近年來英國的冬季溫度回暖,可是有時還是極寒冷且潮濕,與香港天氣反差太大。最可怕的是欖球員的運動服不是那麽厚,憶起十二月下旬我被逼脫下平時穿的那些衣服而換上運動服,心中猶有餘悸!
 


盡管如此,我還是很想念那段群體合作的時光,跟隊友們一起歡唱,並在搭乘小巴去比賽場地時開的各種玩笑。雖然在潮濕的天氣下比賽不太舒服,但我還是會懷念那些比賽的日子和North Norfolk一望無際的運動場和原野。在香港玩欖球 (Rugby) 、曲棍球 (Hockey) 和板球 (Cricket) 的機會少之又少,特別是當你只是想要娛樂一下而非認真地比賽。另外,英國寄宿學校的運動場地可謂無與倫比,世上再沒有比英國運動比賽更刺激和有趣的事,沒有緊張的競爭、隊員們互相開的玩笑、奪冠後的喜悅等等。
 

 

接下來是書院音樂 (House Music) 和戲劇表演。你需要用空閑時間來練習,因為每個書院的學生總有機會演出,這種活動讓學生剋服他們的害羞和膽怯心理。一些極具音樂天賦的人可以參加獨奏表演,而我自問沒有貝多芬的音樂造詣,所以能在全民皆兵的書院歌團唱歌跳舞已心滿意足。


 
運動,音樂和戲劇都是講求團隊合作以及塑造個性,我強烈建議還在英國讀書的同學可以抓緊機會,不要缺席練習,也不要過於勉強自己。我以前從不認同“參與的過程才是最重要的”這句話,直到現在我才明白。所以,同學們,全力以赴,從失敗中學習。
 

      

 

最後,不得不提學生聯合軍訓隊 (Combined Cadet Force) 和愛丁堡公爵獎勵計劃 (Duke of Edinburgh’s Award) 。在我校只能選擇參加CCF或皇家空軍 (Royal Air Force) 。學校鼓勵我們參加愛丁堡公爵獎勵計劃,在完成挑戰後可以獲得不同的獎章,分為金銀銅獎章不等,挑戰內容多為野外定向和遠足。
      

然後,一大堆活動帶來一身臭崩崩。在香港我習慣了整潔的環境,有人幫我把鞋子洗乾淨,去英國,給我的生活帶來巨大轉變。當時的我要背著沉重的背包和穿著充滿泥濘的鞋子在湖區奔跑!
      

軍訓使我喘不過氣來,持著機關槍頂著大雨練習,這幾年來我在舒適的辦公室回憶自問,軍訓日子只有我知,對世界沒有改變皮毛,這麽辛苦值得嗎?對,回憶總是美好的,我很感謝學校讓我體驗過這些,坐在辦公室,遠望天際,是回憶。
      

最後,越野賽跑。噢,我還是很討厭,這一點從未改變。 

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Samuel Chan, the winner of Alumni Awards 2017, is the founder of Britannia. He had studied in the UK since the age of 9 for 15 years and achieved his master degree in International Political Economy at University of Warwick. Now he shares his experiences and professional advice in education columns in Hong Kong’s major newspapers.

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Mabel Chan is the Principal Consultant of Britannia. Having studied in both the UK and the US, she is an expert in school matching for overseas education. She writes education columns for Sing Tao Daily and The Standard, and answers questions arising from parents and students patiently.

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