Saturday 31 May 2014

Written by Amanda Lee Yue Ping, Class of 2014, Junior 2 Cempaka

There’s no doubt when it comes to the “Which Disney Princess was the Best Role Model” list, Aurora from Sleeping Beauty hits rock bottom, closely followed by most probably Snow White - taking apples from strangers even after you were warned, seriously? Unless of course, you’re a sleep-deprived teenager (which teenager isn’t?), then Aurora’s sleeping patterns might just be understandable. Unlike us though, she doesn’t have to contend with homework and deadlines, so she also wins the most useless disney princess award hands down by falling asleep for ‘a hundred years’ and waiting for her Prince Charming to awaken her with true love’s kiss.

Thankfully over the years, Disney has changed their perceptions, creating heroines with more active roles who can save themselves and the world without having to wait for some guy in tights and puffed sleeves. But how many fairytales can they tell till the words start to run dry? Which is precisely why revisions of fairy tales are becoming increasingly common, not just in movies but books as well. As such, Disney has revised the old Sleeping Beauty tale, revealing an alternate route which takes us on a different path to the same destination we’ve been before, bringing to the table another side to the story as we once knew it. And so, Maleficent begins.

“Let us tell an old story anew and see how well you know it”

Note: the spoilers start here!
We all know Maleficent as the winged, horned evil fairy, whose eerie green magic and flame-breathing dragon brought an entire kingdom to its knees (more like to their pillows), over a mere slip in the invites. Whoever was in charge of sending out the invitations to the christening should be sacked for missing her out - or so we thought until now. In Maleficent, the story opens to show a magical, Pandora-esque area, filled with twinkly, glowing plants and mystical winged creatures called the Moors. A place where the mystical creatures go about by themselves, separated from the greed of the humans. There we see a young Maleficent fall “in love” with Stefan - a young man contending for the throne, armed with an atrocious Scottish accent that makes him sound like he’s got marbles in his mouth.

Here, Disney takes on a slightly different turn. One that their recent success, Frozen also took - the “this man is not my true love” path. That is to say, the more realistic path. As you’ll learn, it turns out Malificent crashed the party to exact revenge on King Horrible Accent (Stefan), who stole her wings away when she was younger through the lure of “true love”. So the innocent (yet still useless) Aurora bore the burden of her father’s actions, and was irreversibly cursed by Maleficent. Following that, Aurora was taken in by the faeries to a cottage till she was 16 whilst all the spindles in the kingdom were burnt - you know the drill. However the twist’s not even halfway over yet.

If anyone can pull Maleficent off, it’s Angelina Jolie. And from my point of view, she not only pulls it off, but just slays the role perfectly. With her so-sharp-it-can-cut-through-steel cheekbones, and big eyes that can go from glaring-green death stare to warm and teary emerald green, she’s a sight to see all decked out in shiny black leather from horn to toes in her role as the ruler and protector of the Moors. The backstory to how she got her pet raven, Diaval was rather weak, yet interesting to know anyhow. In between performing her cool, evil, magical feats to fend off the king’s attacks on the moor, and playing tricks on the slightly dim-witted faeries who look after Aurora, we witness Angelina Jolie come to care for the child - or “beastie” as she dubs her.

And the twist’s still not over. When Aurora eventually falls asleep under the spell, Maleficent storms the castle accompanied by her faithful Diaval - turned dragon. And though I’ve revealed enough already, I shall leave the biggest surprise for you to watch on the big screen. Or to google.

But I will tell you that the movie still portrays Aurora as a useless princess, if not even more so, whose only role was to flit around, all laughter and smiles to make people fall in love with her. For me, I did expect better from Maleficent. It had all the makings of what could have become a really great movie. However, the inconsistent tone, lag-y pace, weak storyline and mostly flat attempts at humour held it back. Angelina Jolie was the saving grace of Maleficent. Though portrayed in a movie that seems beneath her, Jolie’s performance was well-played. She was both subtle and imposing when needed to be, both playfully wicked and downright cold when the storyline called for it. Her droll acting stole the show away, and Aurora though not the main character, definitely paled in comparison. So should you watch it on the big screen? Maybe. After all, everyone still lives happily ever after.

Rating: 3/5 stars
by Anonymous 21:08 15 comments | in , , , , ,
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Written by Ms. Helen Henry, English Faculty of Cempaka Schools

On reflection of my years as a teacher I am often reminded of my years schooling at the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus, a French Catholic missionary order that arrived in colonial Malaya-Singapore in the late 19th century. It was with singular pride that girls wore the school crest which held deep meaning for generations of school girls in the trademark, ink-blue pinafores. It was also here that I developed an interest in teaching through very simple things like a love for the classroom, school spirit and an appreciation for the school crest that held a deep meaning for most of us. 

The school crest in white, red and silver with a touch of gold had a French motto which read ‘Simple Dans Ma Virtu, Forte Dans Mon Devoir,’ translating to mean ‘Simple in Virtue and Steadfast in Duty’. The crest was also fringed with the Marguerite flowers, the distaff, spindle, holy scriptures and praying beads. We not only wore the crest but took the motto to heart in the way we carried ourselves, approached our education and developed values.

The nuns ran the schools, which first opened at Singapore’s Victoria Street, followed by Penang’s Light Street. Their teachings highlighted more than a colonial syllabus of reading, writing, speaking and arithmetic. They emphasised that we develop personalities that embodied the school ethos – and it was in very simple things like greeting each other or lending a helping hand to each other. We heard the nuns speak of courtesy, honour and fidelity during sports drills, religious instruction, literature or any other subject. Often we were reminded to be alert to the needs of the people around us, and in many ways it helped shape the sort of daughters, sisters, wives and mothers we all became at the various stages of our lives. For me,  it shaped the identity of the teaching we aspired to.

Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus, Seremban in 1942

In what were some of the landmark school buildings of its time, Convent Schools had distinguishable buildings with Gothic splendours such as Convent Bukit Nenas in Kuala Lumpur and Town Convent Singapore, or a classical mix of styles in Light Street convent in George Town, Penang. Within those hallowed buildings, worthy of the pilasters and pillars, we learnt core values of courtesy, honour and fidelity. These were traits that went across our relationships whether at home, at school or within the community and the nation at large.

The nuns and the mother superiors who managed the school administration and classrooms saw their charges as more than mere jobs to handle or oversee. They were each a special flower in a garden of various blooms, each offering different colours and bringing different joys.

As difficult as it can be when teaching in a class where there are challenges, it is precisely here in these circumstances that the values we learnt are most needed. I recall how the nuns and  teachers in convent schools made the effort with students who were weaker in their studies or did not keep up with the spirit. They never gave up on any student. “No student who leaves a convent school will leave without learning something to make a difference in the world out there,” a wise teacher once said. It is true when Convent students gather for reunions, there is the spirit that has moulded them, a belief that they have learnt something to make a difference in whatever they do.

I believe when I set out to teach, unconsciously I brought the ethos and values of a convent education into any classroom I ventured into. Each student that sat in my class, was not just another name or record in the class register. I have always made it a point to reach out to students in the classes I teach. And the students too have responded. While some took a longer time, most came to school eager to learn beyond the school syllabus. 

It certainly demanded patience in some cases, especially in schools where the students were from disadvantaged backgrounds. It is said that teachers who rise to the challenge of being able to reach such students are truly the gifted ones. Perhaps, being in the convent where they also, for a time, ran orphanages, showed us what compassion meant, when the nuns took in unwanted babies left outside the convent schools. These children too, grew up on the school grounds and while deprived of family life, and the school in turn became their family.  Now for some of us, as teachers, we are gently reminded to be more charitable to students who are deprived of stable family lives and to make a difference in their lives. Sometimes even a smile or an encouraging glance makes a difference as one student related to me, years later when she left school. Students themselves teach us teachers valuable lessons, and to be able to realise that, can be enriching, as how I sometimes marvel at the way some of my more lively students approach life and share their thoughts.

With thirty-nine years of teaching experience, most of which was in the public school system and the rest in private schools, I came to see that teaching cannot be just a job. It is a vocation, something that the founders of the mission schools, such as Franciscan founder of the IJ convents, Father Barre declared to his nuns or even as the patron saint of the teachers,St John Baptist de La Salle imbued in the La Salle School teaching fraternity. No child, they argued, is beyond hope. We sometimes symbolise hope in their lives.

Even when reality sometimes makes it easy to admit that teaching is perhaps the most thankless vocation, parents and students who are appreciative, allow us to renew that belief that we are not merely performing a job but taking on a challenge that essentially shapes the sort of people we all strive to be. Now as a teacher in my twilight decades of teaching, that school motto that I took seriously has given me more insights. If it held a certain awe to be simple in virtue and steadfast in duty when I was a student, now as a teacher it helps me renew my commitment to rise and affirm that the simplest acts of teaching – grading papers, preparing lessons, is something that has a supernatural value, and it keeps me steadfast in duty, to love what I was born to be – to share and learn about life with the children that come my way.

by Anonymous 17:35 57 comments | in , , , , , ,
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Thursday 29 May 2014

written by the Panel (Austin Ng, Akhilan Manivannan, Alisraa Aldin Class of 2015, Ryan Yoong Class of 2014)

It’s an undeniable fact that Harimau are the proud and strong underdogs in the race for the First House Cup (FHC). Fondly dubbed as the “Winners of Big Splash”, Harimau has never really been among the top ranks - in fact, you could almost say that they were in a slump after emerging victorious in the FHC race back in 2010 at the helm of Alvin Soo and Goh Mei Jing. With Harimau’s unfavourable past, it was a daunting challenge for Jazmyn Chang Weixin to step up as house captain and attempt to pull Harimau out of its losing streak in order to return the house back to its glory days, as many captains have tried before her. "Not this year!" she often says. We'll see how her plan unfolds. 

This FHC season proved to be no different with the Annual Games Carnival beginning early in extremely rushed conditions. It is safe to say that Games Carnival was never Harimau’s forte, and the dilemma of having less time to train and no new influx of juniors to replace the graduating seniors did not help their chances. Seated far away from the rest of the competition, with the closest being Helang 15 points away after they received a large number of penalized points, GC 2014 was marred by losses. Harimau only won a dissatisfying two events out of all the sports they participated in, namely Ultimate Frisbee girls and Water Polo boys. 

Photo Credit : En Syariz
“Our biggest mistake was that we spread out the well-rounded athletes in various different sports each day to even up the odds and prevent us from going down without a fight. In the end, this turned out to be a fatal move on our part. I should have prioritized all the sports we could have won, and put all the athletic people in the sports we actually had a chance of getting gold for.” - Jazmyn Chang Weixin, Harimau House Captain 2014.

The importance of strategy; clearly portrayed. 

However, Jazmyn remains optimistic for a turnaround as this FHC season has been nothing but unpredictable. Harimau’s performance in the House Deco competition is a testament to that fact, with the team comprising of fellow Harimaus from all three campuses unexpectedly breaking the last place jinx that the house has been trapped in for so many years. Congratulations to them for dispelling the supposed curse. 

In the previous season, perhaps the most bitter of all pills to swallow, Harimau fell short of winning the Swimming Gala title by a mere one point to Seladang - a point that could have easily been avoided if their SFA scores were not significantly lower than the other houses due to a large number of absentees. However, with a formidable set of state swimmers, and roaring spirit to match, Harimau has succeeded in claiming the trophy in the recent Annual Swimming Gala. 

When asked, Marcus Toh Shen-Li, Harimau’s Sports Day Captain, stated that Harimau has got a good chance of winning Sports Day, provided that everyone does their part to compete for the house. “Although we may not have emerged as champions in the previous season, we have number of good athletes that have the potential to bring back the trophy. Sports Day and Swimming Gala have always been one of our strong points over the years, and I feel that this year will be no exception”.

What the panel has to say:
Despite their poor performance in the Annual Games Carnival, Harimau still has Sports Day to vie for especially after their victory at the recent Swimming Gala. However, it remains to be seen whether Harimau’s efforts in SFA this season enough to prevent a cruel repeat of history. Nevertheless, Harimau still should not be underestimated, especially in the athletics arena. As for CeMA, Harimau lost one of its main powerhouses Dean Tan Yu, but this loss should be able to be minimized provided that the new iMovie captain, Ow Syen Yee, steps into his shoes and strategizes well which should be interesting to see. 

Our closing question to Jazmyn was, “Do you have any last words to your fellow Harimaus to motivate them?” 

Photo Credit : Justin Goh
“We are not really a house filled with all rounders especially in sports, but I believe that as long as there’s hard work and dedication within the house, we can do well. I know that sometimes that it’s hard to have faith in Harimau, but that does not mean we should give up and let other houses underestimate us. If anything, we should take this opportunity to prove to everyone, and most importantly, ourselves, that we will not go down without a fight. It might be a little stretch to say that Harimau will undoubtedly be crowned the winners of FHC Season, but we definitely are not a house to be taken lightly of.” 

Photo Credit : En Syariz
by Anonymous 19:28 8 comments | in , , , ,
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Tuesday 20 May 2014

by Amirul Zain, Form 5 Science 2, Class of 2014

My grandfather’s grandfather once told my grandfather who in turn told me 
That classes used to be beneath trees
They used to have textbooks made out of coconut leaves 
Pencils out of charcoal
And stools made out of what was left of the dirt on the ground
And with every vein of his being he swore he never would have believed what he sees now

He told me that it will change
There will come a time where sports are for all
A day where graphite and paper were wedded holy matrimony
A day where we learn from computers and teach with lights

What used to be a cacophony of sticks and stones
Is now a symphony of string and skin
Producing the different tones required to stage the best musicals

A day where words are expressed in writing 
And ideas are projected through digital imagery
From out the back of our minds they taught us to think
They made us learn the difference between creativity and reality

This is the day they taught us to articulate 
They would teach us to use every percent of ourselves and demonstrate
And make us feel like an Olympian with nothing more than C
And make us feel like washouts with an A-

My grandfather once told me
That this is not possible

There will come a time where we learn to celebrate unity
Embrace the unembracable
Conquear potential
We will sing with pride
Run with direction
And thrive for preservation
Under what circumstance will we fail
If we choose to stand by strength
And consume power
Experience perfection
Frolic in grace
Monopolise victory
And bask in the limelight

There will be someone who will teach us the Sun and the Moon
The stars and the planets 
And paint the entire galaxy in the back of our minds
So I can tell them
“Hey I can see the entire galaxy in the back of my mind”

You are a wizard
A mermaid
A magician
A knight
A queen
A sorcerer
A warrior
A hero
A God amongst mortals

You raised us
From diapers to jockstraps
You are our castle
Our saviour
Because what we have is priceless
We are energised to the point where we attract lightning
Because even Zeus envies us

I think back
Of all the times I got hit
And pinched
And have bitter stings thrown at my face
Of all the calls from school I would get at home
All those lunch times I spent finishing overdue homework
And the detentions I used to get
And will definitely get some more

I am who I am today because of you
We cannot thank you enough

What my grandfather's grandfather's grandfather would regard unfeasible
One woman stood up to say
To us Cempakans
Nothing is impossible

- Performed by Amirul Zain on 19th May 2014, in conjunction with Appreciation Day Assembly as a tribute to our Founder & Mentor, Dato' Freida Pilus, and to all teachers and mothers. 

Design by Lim Jade, Junior 2 Cempaka, Class of 2014

Monday 19 May 2014

As the Chinese say, "If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people." So from us here at the Young Journalists' Club, we wish all teachers Happy Appreciation Day and thank you for teaching us that nothing is impossible. Thank you for your endless efforts, support and for making a difference in our lives.

Young Journalists' Club Damansara

Submitted by Law Veng Yee, Class of 2014, Junior 2 Cempaka

Submitted by Lim Jade, Class of 2014, Junior 2 Cempaka

Submitted by Lim Wei Xin, Class of 2014, Junior 2 Cempaka

Submitted by Choo Li Ling, Class of 2015, Junior 1 Venter

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Thursday 15 May 2014

by Amanda Lee, Junior 2 Cempaka, Class of 2014

The first thought that comes to mind when you think about Platinum Expedition is worms. Worms then bugs, fear factor, killing chickens - the list of endless horrors goes on and on.

Photo Credit : Encik Syariz
There's a little sense of foreboding  when you see "parang" is on the packing list, and even more so when you realize there isn't just one, but four fear factors you will have to endure. You start to think of the endless possibilities of what they can feed you and count down the number of hot showers you have left.

Tuesday morning dawned, the bus to Perak running on Cempakan time, was late as usual. Our first challenge began once we arrived at Bukit Merah Lakerown Resort, Perak: build a raft. There were no instructions, no guidelines, just a pile of bamboo sticks on the ground and rolls of raffia string. Teams set off once they finished building their rafts to the first stop - Survivor Island. From the jetty, Encik Salleh pointed off vaguely towards an island that looked far away enough, but we soon learned 45 minutes later that Survivor Island was much, much further away then we had first envisioned it. So much further.

The paddling was endless. Your back starts to ache, your legs start to cramp and your hand feels like it weighs a ton, but then a speedboat comes along. The taunts from the camera crew and facilitators as they zoom around us in circles are just what we need to plough on towards our unseen destination. We sang nursery rhymes, counted till a hundred, even sang the alphabet song backwards - a continuous source of entertainment and amusement for the facilitators. By the time we (team Bravo!) could make out Survivor Island at last, it had already began to drizzle. 

Photo Credit : Encik Syariz
Upon arriving on Survivor Island, we discovered first class accommodations - a shelter we had to build ourselves. It was absolutely freezing. Raindrops trickled annoyingly into our faces as we tied the bamboo together as hard as possible, trying to avoid seemingly unavoidable splinters. It was at that time group leaders were called over, and given a rabbit each. Keep it safe they said, we need it to be alive until tomorrow - yeah right. Like we predicted, the rabbits were doomed to become our dinner that night. All us of solemnly said our goodbyes and watched as one by one, Johnny, Angel, Deltina (also aptly named Dinner) and Alpha got the chop. Skinning and gutting a rabbit is not for the faint at heart, especially not when our rabbit's still full bladder burst, nearly spraying us in the face (Warning : the following photo may be inappropriate for weak hearts and weak stomachs). A moment to remember, was when Azmin started to cover our rabbit in  marinade, only to discover that a plaster he put on earlier due to a cut from his 'parang' had came off, no doubt swimming in the marinade - oh well. 

Photo Credit : En Syariz
"Wow, Angel truly is an angel now then"- one of the comments Encik  Raphael made as judges sampled our Rabbit dishes. Delta won the challenge, and as a reward they got to return to the mainland (this time by speedboat of course) to have a proper dinner and shower. The rest of us however, had to stick to our rabbit rice. All I can say is that it tastes a lot like chicken, only chewier - or maybe ours was just a tad raw?

As winners of the previous challenge, Delta had the opportunity to pick which team had to suffer through the fear factor eating challenge first. First to start, we (team Bravo!) could "enjoy" the delicacies without any added background noises from the other teams. The pressure builds, as the whole team is motioned to stand around the table where three closed styrofoam boxes lie stacked up on top of each other beside cups full of a dodgy looking liquid.

First course? Raw squid, still with the ink inside and oh-so chewy with an indescribable ... raw-squid taste. Not such a good start for people wearing braces. And trust me, it tastes nothing like sushi. Give me plain old sashimi anytime. Next was some form of bitter gourd which was not too bad. To top it off, the last course served was 'popiah'! Well, pit certainly looked like 'popiah', with 'popiah' skin wrapped around a suspicious black substance. I can assure you however, that fish brains and chicken feet are ingredients not found in 'Popiah'. As a bonus round, we had to drink the brownish liquid in the cup. It's unsettling resemblance to the lake water we paddled in earlier did not help neither was the straw we had to use to suck it down. It turned out to be the easiest part, tasting like chinese herbal tea but infused with a lot of chili powder. Being the first to go, we got to watch the other groups, choking and gagging while holding their noses as they worked their way through the courses.

Photo Credit : En Syariz
Straight after that, was fear factor two. This time, other teams had to choose a member from another team to face the next challenge. Being one of the picked members, I had to sit away from the other teams and wait for my turn. For me, the waiting was one of the worst parts. You sit there waiting for your turn, horrible thoughts of what they might do to you running through your head as mosquitos feast on you. I was third to go. The camera crew handed over a small camera I had to wear on my head. By the light of a flashlight, I could see a cage-like structure, covered with tarp. All flashlights were then switched off. The facilitators threw back the cover of the tarp, and the flashlight turned on again.

Crawling on the walls, and covering the entire floor of the cage were what seemed like thousands of maggots and crickets. The strong buggy smell was overpowering. You had to stick half your body in, untie some bottle caps tied on to the cage walls, then stay in the cage for three minutes. You can hear the rustling, squiggling noises of the insects all around. You feel slightly claustrophobic, most definitely disgusted and even tickled on your knees by the stray insects crawling out from the cage. The smell just makes you want to gag. All you can do is shut your ears, close your eyes and wait as three minutes slowly tick by till you can finally crawl out of the cage, breathe into fresh-smelling air, and let facilitators pluck stray insects off your back.

Photo Credit : En Syariz
After our tribal meeting, we finally got to go into (or in our case crawl into) our bivouacs, and turn in for the night. Yes it's cramped so much you can hardly move, yes the odd drop of water falls onto your face every now and then (so much for waterproofing), yes it's uncomfortable with the stalk of the 'daun pelepah' sticking into your back, yes you tend wake wake up every now and then and have the great urge to scratch your feet - something even a contortionist would not be able to achieve in those cramped conditions but sleep, is sleep.

The next day dawns, and as the sun rises, we can finally see in clear light, all the red ants crawling in our shoes. There's a lot of stomping and beating of shoes while teams disassembled their bivouacs, and bundled everything up again. Soon, we set off back to mainland (thankfully by boat) where we could shower and eat before the next activity started - white water rafting! 
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Sunday 11 May 2014

written by the Panel (Austin Ng, Akhilan Manivannan, Class of 2015, Ryan Yoong, and Amanda Lee, Class of 2014)

The successors of ex-captains, Azmin Massoumi, Jamie Kok and Seah Chin Lee stepped up to take their place, just in time for the first event, Games Carnival. Known as Helang’s strong point booster, it was up to Colin Yoong and Amirah Farhanah to see how the gold medals would play out during the matches. It came as quite a blow, when unforeseen circumstances led Helang to incur multiple penalties, putting them at a disadvantage right off the bat. 

Photo Credit : En Khairul

“As of now, I believe we are doing well so far in the race, but I can't say much as it is still in the early stages of the FHC. We won 2 events so far, but due to the huge number of penalized points from the Games Carnival we are at a big disadvantage.”
Colin Yoong Shern Zian, Helang House Captain 2014

When asked, Colin unsurprisingly mentions that Helang is not strong in only one particular category but they are, instead, a jack of all trades. A master of all? -  still yet to be proven. Comparing the Helangs now to the Helangs back then, he states that there is a not much of a difference. He believes the seniors now are as proficient, if not even better as previous seniors were in the year before. The cup just barely slipped through their claws last year, by a mere 0.3 points, proving the point that Helang was one tough house to beat. 

Photo Credit : En Khairul

When asked on the future competitions, Amirah has high hopes and believes that the Helangs can win anything if they put their hearts and souls into it. It may be a tough competition but Helangs don’t back down that easily. She emphasizes on the teamwork between the Helangs, be it the juniors with the seniors or the Helangs and the teachers. “We planned and worked together, though there were some rough times and we never gave up whilst kept pushing until the end.” says Amirah.

Though they have a few flaws here and there - like every other house, Colin and Amirah remain sanguine about the possibility of Helang taking back the FHC title this year. “There is always enough room for upgrades and improvement and that is why Helang is not backing down this year; not now, not ever.” For Helang, things may have just kicked into gear what with sports day and swimming gala still ahead of us. With some of the hectic events put behind in the past, they now focus on what lies ahead. Stiff competition, high spirits and exhilarating performances are almost guaranteed from the boys and girls in yellow. You better get ready for the Eagle's Attack!  

Photo Credit : En Khairul

What the Panel has to say:

Helang’s shaky position in the first event of the First House Cup was a tough blow to the usually sports-orientated house. It’s not all over however. This year’s Games Carnival is unexpectedly long and dragged out. The Eagles still have tennis to vie for. Though this last Games Carnival event is usually conquered easily by the bears who have renowned tennis player Balaguru in their paws, Helang’s position in tennis may or may not help to switch up the placings right now, if not boost up their own position. Besides Games Carnival, the Eagles also placed a competent third in the recent Interhouse Dance Competition. Not a big shocker given the fact that Beruang always had the upper paw in this particular pie. It was also a tremendous win indeed for Helang at the House Decoration Competition, where they had placed first on the board.

Photo Credit : En Khairul

With a good scale of intellectuality and athleticism, Rumah Helang has much to prevail in the upcoming events, with hopefully one of them being the Annual Swimming Gala. Though the history books are not in their favour, with Helangs having not won Swimming Gala in years, determination is still key - and that’s one thing everyone in Helang has in plenty. 

For the time being, Helang has been doing fairly well in terms of maintaining the score. If you take everything into account, Rumah Helang still has a pretty good prospect of snatching back the FHC trophy and to win back its title as FHC Champion. With it's reins being held by two very capable individuals, not forgetting Mr Shaik as their house master followed closely by the very formidable and determined Puan Nurra at it's helm, the other houses had better be wary of the Eagles sharp talons.  

Photo Credit : En Khairul

Our closing question to Colin was, “Before stepping down as the house captain, what would your last words be to the Helangs?”

"It's not easy. The journey, the process and the amount of preparation that goes on behind the scenes should never be underestimated. However, with everyone working together, it makes things just that much easier. So, to the upcoming seniors who will take our place, be leaders, not commanders; and to the juniors who will follow closely behind them, be contributions, not retributions. Helangs; I believe that we will win. Do you?"

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Saturday 3 May 2014


May starts off deceivingly with a one-day holiday, Labour Day. Ironically enough however, most of us probably spent this day of rest for all labourers labouring over our textbooks. It's that time of the year again, where you spend your nights falling asleep with your Sejarah textbook over your face or maybe drooling on your Chemistry notes, only to wake up in utter confusion and panic. Though most of us are no stranger to the aforementioned situation (or similar), the mere mention of exams has us all sweaty-palmed and panicky. 

Just as the theme suggests, we can expect a crazy month ahead for Cempakans. First and foremost, we've of course got our Mid Term exams coming up, which marked its first day for some already. Then there's Cempaka's annual Box Office Production, the Wedding Singer showing in between and for some, there's still interzone competitions. A streak of sports practices would follow, leading up to the combined Swimming Gala and Sports Day at the end of May. After which we can finally sit back and relax with the Mid-Year Holidays. 

When you take a step back and look at it all, you might just get the urge to shake your head and sigh at Cempaka's amazing ability to cram more activities in an already jam-packed month. Or, you might just feel like crawling under your blankets to hide out and hibernate for the rest of the month.  It's going to be a hectic month for sure, but that's what life is about - doing things. The buckets of sweat, sore throats and sunburnt skins will exhaust you but by the time it's over, you'll look back and say it wasn't so bad after all and you might even miss it. (I don't think we can say the same about exams unsurprisingly) Life is about learning, trying and doing things. Believe us, we understand what it feels like to just want to lay in bed and watch television shows all day. But, there's a time for everything. Experience and memories are invaluable and more often than not, the door to it will not invite you in twice.

We wish you the best of luck for surviving the manic month of May, no matter what your endeavour may be in: sports, academics or soul or perhaps even all three. Don't forget, it's also Teachers' Day and Mothers' Day! Be sure to thank the individuals who have been behind us every step of the way, and will no doubt continue to push us forward, especially in this manic month of May.

Best wishes, 
Amanda Lee & Chin Wye Mun.

by Anonymous 19:23 16 comments | in , , ,
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