Tuesday 23 July 2013

by Ram Rengasamy Pillai, Class of 2013, Form 5 Science 1

We welcome the new year with a power-packed duo that personify the new face of the student body - Head and Deputy Head Prefect, Wong Sher Lynn and Azmin Arman Massoumi-Sourey. I interviewed them recently (both being good friends of mine) to share a little insight about their experience spearheading the student community thus far, and also to find out what they are usually up to both on and off work hours. I can't help but point out that the apparently 'strict' and 'stern' head prefect and deputy head prefect that people make them out to be... is hardly the complete truth. Interested? Read on!

RAM: What does it feel like being Head and Deputy Head prefects of the school, knowing that "with great power comes great responsibility"?

SHER LYNN: It's great and comforting to know that there are so many people in the school community who look up to me. However, in all honesty, the fact that I play a dominant role in the upbringing of the name of the school definitely brings about additional stress. At times, I may have the tendency to upset a certain party in the process (which is not the best feeling), but all in all, I sincerely hope under my leadership, I will be able to ensure that the school remains a distinguished and conducive place for people to learn new things, grow as a community and make a difference.

AZMIN: Well, it's actually so unreal. To have seen all the Head Prefects and Deputy Head Prefects throughout my whole school life in Cempaka, and to be able to say that I hold that same position is quite hard to take in.

RAM: Do you think the both of you make a good pair?

SHER LYNN: Yes, I believe so. Azmin has always been a close friend of mine and I'm really grateful that he was chosen to be my partner. He has been nothing but a great help to me these past few months.
Azmin helps remind me of things that I forget, as I tend to be a pretty forgetful person. Also, I normally handle things in a panicky yet serious way, because I like things to be done with great efficiency. However, Azmin on the other hand, is more easygoing. We strike a really great balance, like Yin and Yang.
However, one not-so-great thing is that I think he is too tall to talk to. Nonetheless, he is very special in his own way and I appreciate his help.

AZMIN: I suppose so, especially since we're close friends. Adding to that, we're also in the same class and we have worked together on numerous accounts in the past. We are a pretty productive pair!

RAM: What has been the toughest challenge that the both of you have undertaken as Head and Deputy Head Prefect?

SHER LYNN: Gaining respect from several different parties in the beginning. As we all know, respect is not easily earned! 

AZMIN: Well... since we were first installed (towards the end of 2012), until the beginning of 2013, both of us did not really have anyone that we could lean on to or seek assistance from if we weren't sure about how to tackle a certain problem. However, over time, we both have improved drastically. Now, we have the entire school community depending on us instead of us depending on others! It's a great feeling when friends, juniors or even teachers approach us when in need of help.

RAM: Do you have any specific plans for the Prefects' Board of 2013?

SHER LYNN: I like to keep my plans confidential.

AZMIN: One thing I've always been hoping for the Prefects' Board is not only to train the prefects to play a dominant role in ensuring that every Cempakan obeys the school rules but in addition, to become someone who is easily approachable by students. 

RAM: Azmin, could you share with the readers some of the best and worst things about working with Sher Lynn?

AZMIN: The best thing would probably be the fact that she does everything that needs to be completed. The quality of her work is also quite remarkable. Quality AND quantity! She is very efficient too.
The worst thing is probably when she's doing her work, or when she's thinking of something, and if you try to communicate with her, it's close to impossible - it's almost as of she is in a world of her own!

RAM: Sher Lynn, how do you spend your time after school hours on a regular basis during the weekdays?

SHER LYNN: To be honest, my after school schedules are really tight. Since the First House Cup events are piling up, I stay back very often to supervise Merpati trainings and to attend school team trainings. Every Tuesday and Thursday, I have to stay back for Handball trainings until 6pm, and on Wednesday for Netball trainings. My Fridays are usually kept free for society meetings and other Merpati Games Carnival trainings which will take approximately 1 to 2 hours. After all these trainings and meetings, when I get home, I usually take a power nap for around 30 minutes to ensure I'm focused when I'm doing my school work after that. You could definitely say that my life is almost completely devoted to school.

RAM: How do you juggle between your studies and prefect duties?

SHER LYNN: I won't say that I'm a very disciplined student, as I haven't been following the 'study timetable' I was assigned to create for my tutor, Mr Sheat. (If you're reading this, Mr Sheat, I'm sorry!) However, just like any other student, I cannot pay absolute attention during lessons, but I try my very best to so that I don't have to spend more time studying what I've learnt in school as the amount of work I have already take up my sleeping hours! I also start recapping on previous topics taught by my teachers 1-2 months before exams.

AZMIN: I usually do all the non-studies related work after I get back home, and I do my homework or my studying at night, which is the time when I find I can concentrate even more.

RAM: What's the one thing that keeps you motivated every day?

SHER LYNN: "Don't do your best, but do THE best" - my dad always tells me this. This keeps me going because I'm an exceedingly competitive person. I always try to be above everyone else. Trying my best isn't always enough, because there are many other people out there who can do greater things!

AZMIN: Knowing that people are depending on me, and the fact that they have relatively high expectations of me, probably because of the impact my older brother (Deputy Head Prefect 2011) made in the school. Although it can really take its toll on me, I've always told myself that I have to be the sort of person that I used to look up to in the past.

Well readers, the head and deputy head prefect of Cempaka Damansara seem to be working well together, so here's to them making Cempaka's 30th anniversary a memorable year! I can safely remark that they've done quite constructive and productive progress in leading the student community to a whole new level. I for one cannot wait to see what the Prefect's Board has up their sleeves for the students this year. Thanks very much Sher Lynn and Azmin for taking time off of their extremely busy schedule for this interview, and thank you readers, for taking the time to read the interview! I hoped you've enjoyed getting to know your new head and deputy head prefect as much as I did!
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