by Muhammad Aliff, Year 9
When I was tasked to write about ‘Amalgam’, the third and latest student publication of Sekolah Seri Cahaya, I honestly did not know what to expect. So when I got hold of the book, I was simply flabbergasted. I was truly surprised to read such immersive and attractive stories written by a group of Form 3, 4 and 5 students of R.E.A.L Schools, Shah Alam Campus.
Amalgam is a compilation of essays, poetry, anecdotes and other forms of literature produced by students regardless of their English language skills. With a committed editorial team, wordsmiths and beloved English teacher Ms. Veni at the helm, the book was completed in three months and was published at the beginning of 2017.
In an informative interview with Ms. Veni, she revealed that some of the students involved in the book were slightly below average in their English. “What was the purpose of writing this book then?” I asked. “I believe that these students have amazing potential and with help and guidance, they would improve greatly. While writing these stories for the book, they had a tremendously good time as it was an opportunity for them to express themselves while inspiring others,” she said.
The contents will draw you in with curiosity and put you dead centre in the inner workings of the students in terms of what they think and how they feel. This book is truly an amalgam; not just of stories but of emotions, personalities, opinions and fantasies. It will throw you into the world of teenagers in its purest form with a bonus of beautiful language.
“When I first handed them this project, the students were very eager and excited. Hence, I was convinced that they would produce very good work,” added Ms. Veni. Indeed, any doubts or questions that you may have about this book would be answered in astoundingly colourful fashion. Amalgam would either invoke a sense of nostalgia that would make you reminisce of days gone by, or spark boundless imagination.
The word ‘amalgam’ is a mixture or blend. Hence, Amalgam is not just about stories. It is everything that defines what a teenager is, while offering readers a refreshing perspective of the world we live in. Perhaps more significantly, the process or journey of making this book a reality was a truly wonderful experience to cherish.