Sunday, 26 January 2014

by Ryan Yoong Ka Jun, Form 5 Science 1, Class of 2014

Like how Superman has kryptonite and Spiderman has Dr. Octopus, how Jerry has Tom - or is it Tom has Jerry? - We have school. Thankfully though, we’re not thrown into the hustle and bustle of school, not right away. Like Jet Li, Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee, we have training first, to build up stamina and strength to conquer the baddies. Just that instead of an old and crinkly sifu, we have Launchpad. 

An annual event aimed at "launching" everyone into the new school year, Launchpad was coined to allow students to get into the groove of schooling life (which includes waking up early; something I haven't gotten used to just yet after about 11 years). But nonetheless, Launchpad has allowed students to become more comfortable with the idea of school and also given us the opportunity to learn about the places outside its four walls. 

Traditionally, Launchpad is spread over a span of three days which include, what I like to call, Discussion Day (Day 1), Visiting Day (Day 2) and Presentation Day (Doomsday a.k.a. Day 3). Day 1 had students getting to know one another in school and planning out their activities for the next. Day 2 then had everyone going out to their "Places of Interest" to gather as much information as possible and also have some fun along the way. Between the awkward interviews, excessive lunch breaks and aggressive note-taking, it is safe to say that every group, despite their choice of location, learnt a thing or two from this day.   


Photo Credit:  Syariz B. Amir Sharji 

Then comes the last day of the event; which was to some a huge sigh of relief, while to others, the dreaded sign of the academic year becoming more, well, academic. Students from all years (excluding the Freshman year who were also present to have a glimpse of what to expect in their near future) were to showcase their "Places of Interest" on the big stage to be observed, judged and graded by a panel of judges, teachers as well as the watchful eyes of the Cempakan community. With slightly over 4 hours and over 40 groups to cover, the conclusion of Launchpad 2014 kicked off in full throttle.

First on stage - or the chopping block, depending on how prepared you were, was the combined Sophomore year. With such a major change coming into effect so suddenly, the Launchpad program was a perfect way to allow everyone to mix around in a "fun" environment outside the classroom and as far away from the endless pile of homework as possible. While it was clear that restaurants and work-oriented locations became prime spots, some groups managed to go outside the box and visited places such as an ice-skating rink, a go-kart track and even a library of all places.


Photo Credit: Syariz B. Amir Sharji 


The next two hours or so were filled with informative presentations about many local places which featured insights into their daily routines, specialities and even a little on the business and economic aspect. All this was coupled with a video (often a humorous one) which showcased their location in the best light possible (except for the laser tag group, for obvious reasons). Running very quickly through a mental list in my head, I remember the presentations of a 3D animation studio (Junior 1/Form 4 winners) and a Google Locations company (Junior 2/Form 5 winners) stood out the most due to the fact that their idea strayed very far away from the norm. Also, notable mentions to the groups who visited a library (Form 4/Junior 1) and Delicious (Form 3/Sohpomore) for their humorous take on something not-so-humorous.


 Photo Credit: Syariz B. Amir Sharji 

Four hours in the hall wearing blazers doesn't seem so comfortable. Watching 42 videos is a bit much we must admit and it’s quite annoying to continuously be poked by prefects as soon as you start to doze off. But that's how Launchpad is. At least for now. Perhaps, the coming years will see a change in the Launchpad program, but that's all in the future. Presently, it remains a Cempaka-unique activity which certainly does a great job at making the school year that bit more fun.

by Ryan Yoong 19:02 1 comment | in , , , , ,

1 comment:

  1. Wow very interesting, I have never heard about Launchpad but I like this idea! I think this really helps students to get into the groove of schooling life. I hope that it will be improved and it will do a great job at making the school year that bit more fun. Best wishes, hireessaywriter.org expert

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