Wednesday 18 March 2015

Mooting Talk with Professor Katherine Atkins

by Joyce Law, Alysha Kyra, Ayden Emir, Natasha Wong, Class of 2016

You sit on your couch, anxiously waiting for the court to give a ruling to that bad boy who yet again somehow ended up in trouble. The lawyers had given out their side of the story and it’s all up to the jury. The scene familiar? 

Well, those who signed up for the Mooting Talk by Professor Katherine were given an in-depth look into what actually happens in court.

Photo by Lai Li Chan

Ayden Emir: How long have you been working in the justice system?

Professor Katherine: I was administered into legal practice or as known from Malaysian terminology, called to the bar in the year 1985. About 30 years.

AE: How has the experience changed you?

KA: Rather than changed, I was given many skills. Problem solving, analyzing, communication, reasoning and others. Being a lawyer allowed me to develop these skills thoroughly.

Photo by Lai Li Chan

AE: Why did you choose to be a lawyer?

KA: Oh, you’re going to be disappointed with this answer. My first choice was actually to be a lawyer, but it being a male-dominated career, my parents were against it. So I liked languages, I studied Japanese and French, and wanted to be a translator, so I told my parents. But again, it would’ve been a bad idea considering the limited job opportunities in that area. So I thought I’d just end up a teacher, which is pretty funny since I’m a teacher right now, but yes, I did end up pursuing law in the end.   

AE: You mentioned that listening was extremely important further being different types of listening. Being a student, what advice can you give us that will allow us to listen better during classes?

KA: After class, you should self-reflect, this is important to keep in mind the key points being made. Think of phrases like “5 points I learnt from that class”.

Photo by Lai Li Chan

AE: In what way do you think your thoughts of the justice system and being a lawyer has changed from when you first started to right now?

KA: In the past, I think I had very unrealistic thoughts about it. I thought that justice would always be served, I was naive. Thinking that the court would always make the right decision. Instead, the court might choose the decision you may not agree with. So don’t put all your faith in the justice system. It’s also at its core driven by business and money.

AE: What are some of the struggles being a lawyer?

KA: Working with people you don’t respect or like is definitely a challenge, but ultimately that’s not your job you must represent them.

AE: And has that ever impaired your ability to perform your job?

KA: As a young lawyer, it can but by slowing maturing you won’t be as bothered by it. You just do your job and represent your client. Keeping an open mind and not allowing prejudices to hinder your job.

Photo by Lai Li Chan

AE: Have you ever thought of changing your job?

KA: Have I wondered what would have happened if I was a engineer or translator? Haha, yes. But our culture being such as “you learn law, you become a lawyer” and there’s no changing careers after that. Definitely no regrets though.

AE: Why should a student consider getting a law degree?

KA: A law degree is actually very versatile, it’s a fantastic degree to get. About 50% or more law students do not actually want to be a lawyer, they want the skills that come with it. The ability to communicate with everyone is so important along with being able to think on your feet and reasoning. I have a friend teaching business and she says that some of her best students are law students as well, she mentioned that the way they think was different from the typical business student giving them the edge in the real world. So I do believe that a law degree is a good choice, not only for being a lawyer but for many different professions, because no matter what you do it will include law or the skills you use in law in some way or another.

Photo by Lai Li Chan

Thursday 12 March 2015

Interhouse Dance Competition 2015

by Akhilan Manivannan, Junior 2 Higgs, Class of 2015
All photographs by Lai Li Chan, Junior 2 Higgs, Class of 2015

On the 10th of February, Cempaka Schools had one of its most popular and highly anticipated events of the year, the Interhouse Dance Competition. The Interhouse Dance Competition is an annual event that tasks each sports house to perform dances split into three categories(A,B and C) based on ascending secondary school years. 

Seladang Damansara Category A
Harimau Damansara Category A
Category A consisted of Freshmen and Sophomore 1, Category C consisted of Sophomore 2 and Junior 1 and Category C consisted of the senior students, Junior 2 and Form 5. The event was a combined spectacle between both the Damansara and Cheras campuses, the results tabulated together as well. With only a very limited amount of time to prepare, all dancers gave it their all and the performances spoke for themselves.   

Helang Damansara Category A
With the the Category A dancers being the youngest participants, all houses were given the exact same music and only had to choreograph their dances. The song was “Get It” by Phillerz, an upbeat, exciting, electronic dance track. While a standardised song might seem like an easier option, with identical music the dancers found it much harder to stand out and there were many performances that felt stale and repeated. However there were a few that managed to describe the purpose of Cat A perfectly, fresh, energetic and full of promise. Those were the top 3 performances, the winners Beruang Damansara and the runners up - Harimau Damansara followed by Helang Damansara.

 Beruang Damansara Category A

Beruang Damansara Category A
Category B dancers were given arguably the most difficult and strenuous task of all, composing their own music and then choreographing their dance according to that music. Music is a major part of the performances and therefore if the music wasn’t appealing and fitting to the dance or was poorly crafted, audience members and judges would gradually turn off. This proved to be the case for many dances that featured much too generic and unimaginatively put together tunes. However the winning performances were clearly pegs above the competition and were incredibly enthralling and memorable to behold. 

Helang Cheras Category B
Harimau Cheras Category B
Harimau Damansara Category B
Beruang Damansara Category B
This was a case in particular for Helang Cheras featuring an acrobatic hip-hop themed dance routine that truly took audience members through a futuristic and heart thumping journey. They certainly stood out of the pack and were completely distinguishable from the rest of the category. In fact a vast majority of the audience felt that they should have clinched first place rather than winners, whom in all fairness did put on a good performance as well.

Seladang Damansara Category C
Seladang Damansara Category C
Finally, the most consistent and outstanding set of dances, Category C. The Category C performers were given the most freedom among all groups, the ability to choose an existing song and choreograph their dance according to it. The senior students did not disappoint in the slightest, and proved their talent and metal with this string of astonishing performances ranging from a fun and alluring routine with a mash up of "Mercy//Rehab" by Helang Damansara passing through a vibrant and catchy routine with “Bang Bang” by Harimau Damansara) to well refined and dramatic routine with “Telephone” by Beruang Damansara. However the performance that without a doubt claimed first place was Seladang Damansara's out of this world routine of DJ Snake and Lil Jons “Turn Down for What”, and it would be an absolute sin not to talk about it.
Helang Damansara Category C
Beruang Damansara Category C 
Beruang Damansara Category C
Harimau Damansara Category C

Led by assistant house captain and head prefect “Ruhaani Mahadeva”, the dancers owned the stage like no other performance, clad in joker costumes and faces sprawled with terrifying joker paint. To say they left a lasting impression would be an understatement, and the level of uniqueness yet unparalleled synchronisation was marvellous to behold. Furthermore the routine was arguably the most full-body dance routine of the day, and the performers exhibited a very professional level of control despite their fast paced movements. Definitely the most polished and perfected performance, which to this day students are still found re-watching, minds engrossed in utter awe and spectacle. Overall the Damansara campus dominated this category, taking all four top places.

                                      Seladang Damansara Category C

In the end of the day Beruang Damansara rose to first place thanks largely to their consistent placings in all three categories. However it would be safe to say that competition for runner up was very close with Harimau Damansara ultimately pulling through. All in all the Interhouse Dance Competition 2015 was a huge success and it’s safe to say that we at YJC are already looking forward to next years event.

Interhouse Dance Competition 2015 Champions
Beruang Damansara