On the Friday, I accompanied Mary to Dulwich College Suzhou where she heads up the Junior School Music Department. It was an exciting day to be at Dulwich as they were hosting their Official Senior School Opening Ceremony. Their fabulous new facility and the Senior School Student’s activities were all on display to the world.
First up, as promised, Mary set me up with her Grade 5 class and introduced me to the Teaching Assistant Eva, and to Ian, the covering Teacher. As luck would have it, Ian was a Physical Education Teacher and was able to immediately grasp the objectives of the program. The kids arrived and we jumped straight into explaining the Metabolic Symphony Program and teaching them the basic principles of energy exchange in the body. I told them the story of the Aboriginal children at Bayulu Community School in the Kimberley of Western Australia who also did a trial of the program and recorded a song which was broadcast on local radio.
We used that recording to teach the Dulwich children the Energy In Energy Out song and then followed up with the Energy Drill marching song which had them stamping enthusiastically around the room. Ian and Eva assisted and by the end of the lesson we were all exhausted. We finished off with a quick game of ‘Where is My Pancreas?’ and the children went off laughing and singing. I was elated!
We all attended the opening ceremony which began with a bang…. on a Japanese drums! My nephew David was amongst the band of tightly synchronised drummers. Mary’s choir and the accompanying orchestra also did an amazing job and together they brought great warmth and celebration to the occasion.
I was very privileged to enjoy a meal and a glass of champagne at the VIP reception that followed, and Mary tirelessly worked the room on my behalf to try and put me in front of as many relevant people as possible. The interest in the program was high and I made some solid connections for the future.
I joined Mary and her colleagues as they ate lunch, with the children, in the fabulous Junior School canteen. The nutritional landscape was impressive and it was very clear that a great deal of care and attention had been paid to the development and ongoing management of the facility.
There was a cabinet in the entrance hall showcasing the daily meal choices and a full menu for the week so everyone could see what was coming up. They even had a ‘Waste-o-Meter’ that informed Students and Teachers about the level of food wastage from week to week. Amazing!I took a tour of the school and found David playing trumpet in the orchestra in one room and my other nephew Edward making unique Dulwich College key rings in another.
They also had a very impressive performance theatre, art room and science laboratories – all great environments for the Metabolic Symphony Program!
Later in the afternoon, my video production experience came to light and Duncan Grice, Head of Junior School, and Miranda Norris, Deputy Head of Junior School, invited me to be the International Celebrity Judge for their upcoming D’Oscars (Dulwich Oscars) – the Junior School’s animated film festival. The films were a hoot and a pleasure to view – what a great opportunity!
Soon the day was over and Mary and I were rushing to try and catch the last Teacher’s bus back home. We just made it and found a few more people from the Dulwich teaching community on board who were interested in hearing about the program. All in all an exciting and serendipitous day. My sincere thanks to Mary for her tireless and guileless promotion of my cause.