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June 2013 Official Newspaper of the International American School of Warsaw

Academic News

Blessings for Blessing

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Media and Culture

Speaking in tongues School News

Issue

Star power

Student Fiction

The Raven’s response

Academic Writing

Eco-wakeup call

Private Investigations

Post mortem for a writer

Student Opinion

A teaching moment

INTERNATIONAL AMERICAN SCHOOL • WWW.IAS.EDU.PL • SECRETARY@IAS.EDU.PL UL. DEMBEGO 18 • 02-796 WARSAW, POLAND • +48 22 649 1440


School News

Blessings for Blessing by Sunny Dong

IAS has been involved in various projects to provide financial and environmental aid for different people. This year, we have been cooperating with Caritas for Children to help out a young girl in Uganda. Her name is Blessing Namala. Blessing lives in the Providence Home in Nkokonjeru, Uganda. Through last year’s Walk for Awareness, we provided support for six children there by providing them with needed wheelchairs. One was for Blessing and another one was for a ten year old boy who couldn’t reach school without it. The other four were for others within the orphanage. Blessing was abandoned by her parents when she was twelve. She was found by the Providence Home in a hospital. She was registered for surgery for her clubbed foot but was left by her parents because they felt that they could not provide for her any longer. She could not walk nor talk, and she could not hear. But even though her situation seemed dire, she was always able to bring a smile to herself and everyone around her. To assist her with her education, students of IAS have become her official sponsor. Since February, the school community has raised 280zl per month to go towards Blessing’s sponsorship. Our efforts in the “Blessings for Blessing” project are providing her many opportunities, the most primary being her enrollment in the

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Bishop West Primary boarding school, where she is learning how to read, write, and communicate through sign language. She is also gaining life skills training, in the form of sewing, so that she may earn her own income in the future. She is currently 14 years old and growing with each new day. Her teachers say she is one of the brightest students in class and her good grades and handwriting prove that. Every recess she goes outside with her friends under a tree for shade. There, they share stories, jokes, and laughter. This vital activity will need to be paused during the summer holidays, when she will return to the Providence Home. To make sure that she is able to return to Bishop West Primary for the next school year, we scheduled two fundraisers to close the year: the International Day Bake Sale and the first ever IAS Carnival. During this year’s International Day, parents brought in homemade sweets to help raise money for Blessing. A few days later, students set up a “fairgrounds” with ticket-entry outdoor games such as the teacher dunk tank. Proceeds from both events will support Blessing until the school year opens in September. It is our hope that next year, students will communicate with Blessing though letters and possibly a video chat. By shortening the distance between us, we might be able to transform this project into something more than a charity, because she is a blessing to us as much as we are a blessing to her.

INTERNATIONAL AMERICAN SCHOOL • WWW.IAS.EDU.PL • SECRETARY@IAS.EDU.PL UL. DEMBEGO 18 • 02-796 WARSAW, POLAND • +48 22 649 1440


IAS TIMES

Academic News

Speaking in tongues by Thomas Sinton and Uchenna Josakweker

Four languages are taught at IAS and many more are spoken in the homes of our students. But there isn’t an international school in the world that can represent the over 6500 languages spoken today. That may seem like a lot. However, the rate at which these languages are dying is approximatly one every two weeks. That means that since the last issue of the IAS Times, four more languages have died. Even at this moment, another unique window into human understanding, beliefs, imaginations, dreams, and cultural values is closed. The loss is significant since language shapes identity and helps define who we are. Language is more than a system of speech. It embodies unique local knowledge of the cultures and natural systems in the region in which it is spoken. Therefore any loss of language leads to the loss of culture. The effects of colonisation, and more recently globalisation, on unique languages has given rise to the term ‘killer languages’ – for example, English, Russian, Chinese, Spanish - and moved many local languages into the category of ‘endangered’. An endangered language is one that is at risk of falling out of use as its speakers die out or adopt a dominant tongue. As in predator and prey, killer languages cause the extinction of local languages. A tragic reason for this is the lack of interest from the younger generation to learn its native tongue, under the belief that a killer language offers a wider range of opportunities. While there is truth in this (we are earning graduate diplomas in English after all) it is also worth considering what is lost in the transaction. What will a universal language look like in terms of culture and identity? If everyone in the world spoke English, there would be no uniqueness, nothing to help distinguish one culture from another. The world would be reduced to one mass. Wouldn’t that be boring? Or more precise, dehumanizing?

The outlook need not be completely bleak. On the front lines of language revival are linguists who work for the preservation of endangered languages. They make great efforts to document as many as they can by interviewing their last speakers and preserving unique structures of grammar. But it is not only grammar that linguists are concerned about. The Kallawaya tribe in the Andes of Bolivia have expert knowledge of the medicinal qualities of many plants but they do not write down their findings. This specialized knowledge is only passed down from adult male to male children as a right of passage. If their language becomes extinct, think of the opportunities for medical research that would be lost. Linguists are therefore preserving culture and a way of life. Their work is being received at the higher levels of government too. For example, when Irish Gaelic was on the verge of exinction, the government made it mandatory to teach it in the schools. Interventions like this are known as language resurrection. But before this step can be taken, awareness must be generated amongst the public that the loss of culture is at stake. To this end, we have put together a Facebook page designed to spread awareness of this regrettable loss of diversity. There you can read more into the issue, post your thoughts, and fill out our survey. Let’s not let another language go without putting up a fight!

www.facebook.com/deathoflanguage

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Eco-wake

Academic Writing

Eco-wakeup call by Tommy Le

The gradual evolution of mankind is the gradual degradation of our planet. In the distant past, humans treasured the earth’s resources. The nomadic style of life showed respect to Mother Nature, for every animal slain towards the tribe’s own survival. People never permanently destroyed a homeplace, but instead migrated to other areas, not destroying any habitat. Unfortunately, in our own times, we take every resource we have for granted. We really don’t care for the metal in our computers, the crude oil in our plastic bottles (yes – plastic is made from crude oil in case you’re wondering), the water in our sinks, the air that we breathe, and the ready-made food that we get on our tables. In the process of receiving all these survival goods, we blow up mountains for coal, we drill and pollute oceans for oil, we pollute the air we breathe with carbon emissions from our cars and grills, we use up our scarce water reserves that are already slowly drying up, and we slaughter rare marine life forms and land animals.

An average person uses 466 liters of water on a daily basis on activities such as flushing the toilet, taking a shower, brushing the teeth, washing dishes and most obviously, drinking water. Deforestation has become a major problem as roughly 2.4 acres of rainforest are cut down every second. Mountains are blown apart in the search for coal and other precious minerals while oceans have been dumped with oil from major spills worldwide. Overfishing is a major threat to marine species and over-development a major threat on land. These are just a fraction of our problems and we’re not doing enough to prevent them. And when we try, we are so often turned back by our own leaders.

Eco-wake

Slowly we are destroying our planet, and yet we are unconscious about it. Little is done to stop the destruction of what is our only home. Rather than start the hard work now, we prefer to pass on the burden to the next generation, which will have catastrophic consequences and probably an apocalyptic ending with wars for water reserves or clean air.

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“It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment” – Ansel Adams

Therefore, the first step to prevent further destruction of our planet is getting through to the government. This can cause time delays and people might think the political process a nuisance. Also, due political and economical concerns, eco-friendly plans often get rejected. Many governments try to protect their big oil companies to prevent “economic downfall”. Therefore, we place the economy as a higher priority than our own planet, which is absolutely terrifying. But imagine how much worse it would be if we did not put pressure on our government to find more sustainable solutions.

INTERNATIONAL AMERICAN SCHOOL • WWW.IAS.EDU.PL • SECRETARY@IAS.EDU.PL UL. DEMBEGO 18 • 02-796 WARSAW, POLAND • +48 22 649 1440


eup call

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Technological advances in using electricity as a substitute for petrol in cars hasn’t gained much spotlight, and the technology to charge vehicles in a matter of seconds has been suppressed by large oil companies that want to keep their monopoly of the world fuel market. We can use renewable energy sources for our vehicles, which will be much safer with protected hydrogen batteries that once used, produce pure water instead of carbon monoxide.

The easiest way to save water is to simply reuse it. Modern filtration techniques have proven effective in cleaning up and re-circulating water in the home. Most important is the need to spread awareness and inform the public of the hazards of using too much water. People should be made aware of better habits, like taking showers instead of baths, using cups when brushing the teeth instead of letting the faucet flow, and using dishwashers instead of doing dishes by hand.

Another problem facing our world is deforestation. Here comes another terrifying statistic: seven trees are currently being chopped down every second for paper, furniture and other wood products. By the time you finish reading this essay, the world will have 5,000 less trees with only a few replanted in their place. Such trees can take anywhere from a decade to 50 years to grow. Most trees are chopped down from rainforests such as the Amazon, and at this rate, most countries will be entirely stripped of their primary forests within ten years. Without forests, there will be no plants to help photosynthesize our air. Trees take in carbon dioxide and convert it into oxygen, the basic stuff of our survival. Without sufficient trees, we eventually run out of air to breathe. Yet we remain unconscious.

Everyday habits have enormous impact in preventing further destruction of our planet. Simply using public transport, going by bike or foot, is already a significant step forward for the planet’s survival. Jobs can be created from cleaning up the environment, but most importantly, we must learn that by doing nothing, we are not just destroying the planet; we are destroying ourselves in the process.

Many eco-friendly solutions have been proposed, such as recycling wood for further use or developing electronic paper, which can be completely erased and reused at will. Activists continue fighting against their governments to stop deforestation, many taking it to the extreme and roping themselves to trees. They call for the government to stop harming the environment, but their work is not enough to stop deforestation worldwide. For that to happen, the fight must be taken up not just by activists, but by every individual. Using up our water reserves is also a modern-day problem, since clean water sources are growing scarce. One of the first things we can do to save water is adopt new technology of waterless toilets, currently used in many petrol stations and cinemas. Surprisingly, these toilets don’t use a single drop of water. They instead have special coating that lets the urine flow smoothly down the drains without sticking to the surface, along with air refreshing chemicals to block the smell. They have proven to be effective and would save somewhere around 21L of water per person every day.

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School News

Discovering our DNA by Mohit Keswani

Life is all about making right decisions and people who have decided to make their future on genetic engineering will profit, because that’s the future. Therefore, on May 20th, students from grades 9-11 went to the Biomedical Centre just around the corner of Warsaw Medical University, supervised by knowledgeable Ms.Iza and Mr. Krasner. This was a rare occasion where students had real world scientific activities to accomplish. For biology students, we were doing our future work. Our task for the day was to investigate our own DNA by processing it through many steps and arriving at a final result. We took a small DNA sample from our inner cheek and through a process called PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction), we isolated it, and amplified it, so as to produce a complete DNA sample. We learned how to use pipettes and centrifuges and a UV ray machine. With all the forensic tools made available to us, most of us were successful. But most importantly we received hands-on lab training. Injecting our own DNA into a gel and then having a look through protective glasses into the ultraviolet was a pleasure. This trip not only increased interest in biology, but it created another hole in the subconscious about how the world will look in future. Many movies try to depict this world and the good and bad application of bioengineering. Some say we should reconsider the right to experiment with the blueprint of life and commercialize living organisms. If you are working in a lab, obviously you want to control the outcomes of your work. But on the other hand, no one knows the actual side effects of bioengineering, because at the end of the day it is unnatural. If we do anything that is unnatural to the body, it will take a toll.

With blockbuster films like “Iron-Man 3” and “The Amazing Spiderman” focusing on new and “improved” bio-humans, it will not be surprising if our future is heading in that direction. What do the two movies have in common? Both of them use genetic engineering to alter the human being into something incredible: a super human. Despite the movies bringing us these controversial ideas, at the end they show that original human nature and the truth will win. So to repeat, life is all about making right decisions and if we stay true to who we are, we will not bring any faults. Using science to bring a change for the better is not harmful at all. Still, we must be careful. Genetically modifying an organism will always be a dangerous and provoke two sides: one which will support science with a full heart and the other more ethically-minded which has a problem with changing what is natural. At the end, we all want to develop, but is it the right decision to become super human? Special thanks to Ms.Iza for organizing this wonderful trip and a request for many more to come.

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INTERNATIONAL AMERICAN SCHOOL • WWW.IAS.EDU.PL • SECRETARY@IAS.EDU.PL UL. DEMBEGO 18 • 02-796 WARSAW, POLAND • +48 22 649 1440


Student Opinion

IAS TIMES

A teaching moment by Linda Murphy

The recent news of three women, Amanda Berry, Gina Dejesus, and Michele Knight, escaping a home in Cleveland, Ohio where they were held hostage for ten years has shocked us all. They were kidnapped by three brothers named, Ariel, Pedro and Onil Castro. The girls were sexually, physically, and mentally abused for ten years. Authorities say that they were kept in the basement of the house, chained and tied up. The girls were 14, 17, and 21 when they were abducted. They were all kidnapped on the same street, only three miles from where they were held captive. They suffered many miscarriages due to the fact that the men would beat them whilst being pregnant. As far as we know, one six year old girl was born in the home, the child of Amanda. The brothers are now on trial and the women are with their families. It will be a long way until they have fully recovered from such traumatic experiences.

Such revolting stories make you wonder, why is it that such terrible and inhumane acts are still happening? In the most developed country in the world, women are still being held as sexual possessions. In spite of the fact that civilization has achieved great things through great people, it seems many cannot let go of their savage nature. How can someone function normally in society, going about his daily life, and in the meantime keep three women locked in the basement? It’s beyond comprehension. This is just one example of gruesome things that go on every day, all over the world, e.g. human trafficking. It is not a small percentage of people who act on this sickening nature; it is many.

Have we evolved so far as a species? A much less extreme example suggesting that we have not is drawn from the recent blockbuster movie, “Iron Man 3”. Our class, along with the 9th grade, went to see it as part of a school fieldtrip. We were later asked if the film was in any way educational. After thinking about it, I said it was. It showed that chauvinist ideologies are still very much present in the 21st century. The reason I say this is because the movie’s plot, like so many another Hollywood blockbusters, featured a heroic man as the strong character, and a woman as the weak character who needed saving. Why must the story always be the damsel in distress? In the film, the story’s villain, Aldrich Killian, claims the Gwyneth Paltrow character to be his “trophy”. Trophies are objects; women are NOT objects. The film may seem harmless but it’s these little messages in society that reinforce a perception that many are trying to fight against; who a woman is, and what she is made for. The three monsters that kidnapped the women in Cleveland clearly saw nothing wrong in possessing and abusing them the way they did. Why is that? I am aware that these two examples, one from the dark corners of reality and the other the bright lights of fiction, are miles apart. But on another level, they are connected. They both point to the unevolved and very real issue of misogyny. It is important that we notice how there are many people who cannot let go of this nature and ideology towards women. This is something everyone has to take part in fighting against.

This article contains some mature content

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Science and Health

get health

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by Tommy Le

According to a UN Food and Agriculture Report earlier this year, it was stated that insects are the ideal food of the future. In certain regions of Asia, South America, Mexico and Africa, eating insects such as locusts, crickets or larvae has been a part of everyday life mainly due to their high nutritional value. Insects are superior to meat and fish in protein content and quality. They’re even rich in fiber and micronutrients ranging from copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium and even zinc. The UN Agency also said, “Insects are everywhere and they reproduce quickly…they leave a low environmental footprint.” Even though many people might find eating insects odd or repugnant, it still is currently a delicacy for not less than two billion people around the world. Countries like Thailand eat insects as part of their everyday diet. Insects can be found in cookies, freeze-dried noodles, microwavable “fast-food”, frozen or even canned in the supermarkets. According to the UN report, the most prized edible insects are certain beetles, ants, crickets and grasshoppers, where they come close to red meat and fish in terms of protein per gram. The reason that insects are also less harmful to the environment is that they’re first off part of the cycle because they feed on human, animal and food waste. Insect farming, on the other hand, isn’t widespread. Insects are mostly collected from forests or farmed in rather small, family-run businesses for niche markets.

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Nicola Ruotolo, an intern at CNN, described eating insects for the first time as “a pleasant delicacy with a crunchy texture and creamy, nutty flavor, not unlike a shrimp”. Dutch entomologist Marcel Dicke thinks we should think of insects as the “shrimp of the land”. It is a hidden delicacy that all eaters should learn to cherish. Currently, western culture and psychological barriers remains an obstacle for this nutritious and healthy food to pop up on European and American kitchen tables and restaurants, but hopefully it will soon. But then again, several decades ago when sushi was introduced for the first time to Western cuisine, it took lots of time to prepare the people’s taste buds for eating raw fish. It will probably take some time to raise awareness that this unconventional meal might help gradually save the planet; that’s why I am here to tell you so. Eating insects is the future – maybe you should start trying it.

INTERNATIONAL AMERICAN SCHOOL • WWW.IAS.EDU.PL • SECRETARY@IAS.EDU.PL UL. DEMBEGO 18 • 02-796 WARSAW, POLAND • +48 22 649 1440


IAS TIMES

World News

Is a child safe within this sanctuary? by Razan Al-Enezi

Lee JonRak, pastor in Seoul (South Korea), has created a clever sanctuary for babies who would otherwise be abandoned, called “the baby box”. The baby box is a well-lit box with a towel lining and a bell which rings as soon as the newborn is “dropped off” by parents who no longer feel able to care for the child. Once the ring is heard, the pastor and his wife come and take the child to safety. The pastor started the box in 2009, and since has welcomed all newborns, even those disabled. The box was made to provide a discreet alternative for parents who intend to abandon or even murder their child, sometimes leaving them in front of the freezing cold gates of the church. Now they can place them directly in the hands of safe people who are able to give them a loving home, food, and shelter in the pastor’s orphanage. The box is a heroic act of the pastor and a life-saving miracle for both the parents and the babies. Currently, an average of 17-18 babies are placed in the box every month. "I can see that if these children had gone elsewhere, they would have died," Lee has said. In one case, there was a single parent who seriously considered poisoning her baby because she didn’t know what else to do. She heard the story about the baby box and went to leave her child there with a letter tied to his clothing that read:

“My baby! Mom is so sorry. I am so sorry to make this decision. My son! I hope you meet great parents, And I am very very sorry. I don’t deserve to say a word. Sorry, sorry, and I love you my son. Mom loves you more than anything else. I leave you here because I don’t know who your father is. I used to think about something bad but I guess this box is safer for you. That’s why I decided to leave you here. My son, please forgive me.” The South Korean’s humane baby box gives single parents and newborns a wonderful opportunity and care to babies of all conditions. The pastor loves all the children and wishes them nothing but the best in life. The church presently has 10 people working together to safeguard the baby box’s temperature and light, rapid alert systems, and safe casket. Yet given all this good news, the baby box is considered illegal because it promotes human trafficking and increases unethical adoption. Additionally, situations can occur where someone leaves an infant in the box without permission of the parent, since the baby box does not require that the parent be registered and confirmed. This also makes it difficult for the baby to get sufficient access to other facilities. A documentary called “The Drop Box” can be viewed in YouTube and Lee JonRak currently has a Facebook support page for the newborns. Seek out both links and form your own opinion about this modern day sanctuary.

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Photo Gallery

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IAS TIMES

BOOK

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Photo Gallery

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IAS TIMES

Media and Culture

STAR STAR POWER POWER by Harriet Adeleke

In this day and age, many people care a little too much about their pride. This is true for all of us, but it is highlighted most in those we treat as celebrities. Recently, in celebrity news, there was one story which went against the grain. Angelina Jolie, the star of films like “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” and “Tomb Raider”, is an A-list actress. Not only is she very popular, she has a lot of cultural influence. As most of us know, she recently underwent a double mastectomy, surgery to remove the parts of her breasts that are 80% likely to produce cancer. As she said in an interview, “The truth is, I carry a “faulty” gene, BRCA1, which sharply increases my risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer.” Both her mother and aunt have died from breast cancer, and she would have most likely been next. But since the mastectomy, she has a much higher chance of NOT getting the cancer. Jolie is receiving a lot of support for taking such a public stance on her surgery, and trying to raise awareness on breast cancer. It's not easy to come out and talk about something that killed your mom and aunt. Many celebrities facing such a personal problem are expected to hide it from the press, to protect their identity and their career. Jolie has let it be known that she has breast implants, but not for cosmetic reasons. It was something she needed to do. Now she's raising

awareness for a very terrible disease. She has gone public. She could have kept it hidden from the world, but instead she is being proactive and helping other women who struggle with the same situation (though under less a spotlight). I personally don't think I would have done such a thing if I were in her position. It's a lot to handle. Especially being so high in the entertainment business. However, if she hadn't gone public someone might have started rumors, and before we know it, it could have blown up. That’s how Hollywood works. Jolie showed us how common humanity works. She told the truth and revealed her very vulnerable situation. Her fans are behind her. And she’s gaining more by the day. I wasn’t a huge fan of Jolie, but this episode has definitely helped her gain my respect (a lot more than I can say about Amanda Bynes for example). The most important thing is that we train our eyes on the issue of breast cancer, and that women get their checkups done and be proactive. Everyone needs a support network to get through cancer. With the support of her fans and her loved ones, Jolie will get through this.

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Academic Writing

Make w

AN ECO-FR

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Have you ever wondered what the word ecology really means? Well, ecology is the science of the relationship between organisms and their environment. The earth is a very small part of this universe, but it is also the only planet known where life exists. The earth is home to all living things, including human beings. Forests, oceans, rivers, lakes, deserts, mountains and air are the most important parts of our ecosystem. In fact, these elements are the most essential for our living and we misuse them the most. There is no denying that the living conditions on our planet are getting from bad to worse, every day. Many negative changes have already taken place, such as depletion of the ozone layer due to growing pollution. Something needs to be done. So, before any more damage is caused to our ecosystem, how can we help preserve our planet? By being better ecologists.

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Deforestation

Deforestation is caused by cutting down trees without planting others in their place. It is hard to think that there was a time when 90% of the earth was covered by forests. However, there are many ways we can stop deforestation. We can come up with new laws, such as: • For every child born, you have to plant three plants (a law currently enforced only in Singapore). • When cutting down trees, single out full-grown specimens and spare younger varieties. • In the event you must remove a tree for a legitimate reason, make sure that for every tree lost another is planted in its place. • Citizens between the ages of 10 and 60 are responsible for planting 3-5 trees per year. • All countries that contain forests have to set up drop-boxes where people can donate money to forest protection services. • Anyone who does not obey the laws will be fined harshly Now, I know you might think some of these laws are ridiculous, but you should also know that every great change begins with an abstract idea. We should also try to stop or reduce using items that contain palm oil, such as some breads, chocolates, and shampoos, because too many trees are cut down for this purpose. As a result, native orangutans are losing their habitat. Keep in mind, that we also play a role in deforestation, so try to eat less red meat because for every quarter pound hamburger that is found in fast food restaurants, 55 square ft of rainforest is destroyed. That's about the size of a small kitchen! But if you simply don’t agree to these measures, you can always Reuse, Recycle and Reduce! Try not to waste paper and if you finish a box of milk, turn it into a bird feeder and hang it in your garden or balcony. All you have to be is creative. Another way to stop deforestation is to spread its awareness. Tell your friends and family about it, so a change can appear.

INTERNATIONAL AMERICAN SCHOOL • WWW.IAS.EDU.PL • SECRETARY@IAS.EDU.PL UL. DEMBEGO 18 • 02-796 WARSAW, POLAND • +48 22 649 1440


EC WI O-E NN IAS TIMES SS ER AY , JU CO NI MP OR ET ITI ON

way for

RIENDLY

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by Sara Zulfiqar

Air Pollution

Air pollution is one of the most visible forms of pollution partly caused by deforestation. Besides that, cars and other forms of transportation also cause air pollution. Some two million cars in Manila, Philippines cause 80% of the air pollution there. Air pollution is actually the addition of harmful substances to the atmosphere, which damages the environment and the quality of life. I have a few suggested laws about how to stop air pollution as well, such as: • Factories emitting dangerous levels of CFCs should be banned or closed down. • Subsidies should be given to factories to convert them into eco-friendly industries. • Every shop should sell at least 50% of eco-friendly products. • Public transportation will be encouraged and single car users should be taxed heavily. • Anyone who does not obey the law will be severely punished These laws will help protect our air quality and keep the environment clean. We can also prevent the contamination of air by not using products produced by chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) emitting factories. We can use our buying power to encourage factories to emit less poisonous gases, thus preventing air pollution and acid rains. We can also put filters on factory chimneys. Although this is very expensive, it is worth the prize: we can breathe clean air! Using deodorants which do not contain detrimental substances is also a big step forward. We can also use alternative ways of travel. For example, we can use more public transportation like light-rail, or develop more biking lanes for city commuting. These are just a few ways to stop air pollution.

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Water Pollution and its waste

Water is our most valuable resource. Just think of how much we depend on it. We can survive without food for seven days but we would die if we did not get water for two days. Over 1.5 billion people don’t have access to clean and safe water and 4 million people die each year from water related diseases caused by polluted water. Turning off the tap while brushing your teeth is a big help too! To preserve precious water resources, laws should be made to ban dumping of solid waste into canals, rivers and oceans. Factories should also be forced to treat toxic waste before it is dumped into the water table. Governments should fund factories to set up these treatment plants. Heavy punishment, including closure of the factory, should be imposed for violators of these regulations. I know everyone might not agree with my ideas, but these are my thoughts for a cleaner and better world. We must think that we have not inherited this world from our elders, but that we owe this beautiful world to our youngers. Always remember that every day is a chance to change your life and to give back to the earth.

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Sports News

SIGNIFICANCE OF SPORT by Mohit Keswani

Decreasing sport activity among teenagers is a worry. Among teenagers, 60 minutes of daily physical activity is normal and a must. And yet, in 2011, the average high school student (U.S.) dropped to 45 minutes daily and the numbers are decreasing. The health of the body is vital for success in life. An unhealthy person is always in a dejected and gloomy mood and looses his passion and confidence in himself. A healthy person is always active, running and striving for opportunities. To keep healthy for a long time, we need to have sport activities in our lives. The Olympic games are a worldwide example of it. If one does sport, he ensures upright health and physical maintenance. Sport is also better than just spending hours in the gym. The significance of sport is its mixture of thrill, teamwork, sensation and excitement. Its value lies in that it teaches us to recognize the difference between winning and aiming for excellence. More important, sport teaches us how to respond to failure, to stand up again, go for it again and try again. That is the most valuable point, because we do lose more than we win in the race of life. The decreasing activity among teenagers is a big issue, but it provides an opportunity to take action. Most schools offer PE, but not for everyone. Why not? Budget, facilities, changing priorities. Globally, sport is on the rise, its knowledge and engagement. Then why are kids not so involved? To take an example, in Warsaw, where cricket is not terribly popular, there is now a Polish cricket team and Polish cricket T20 Cup. But

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there are also lots of sport lovers who prefer to stay indoors and play games on their computers. This is the trend—indoors, at the expense of outdoors. Sport makes valuable use of your time in different ways. As a member of a team, you interact with others. Social contact will increase your knowledge as well as communication skills. And you have a reason to be your best. Later in life, you can see the benefits from it. Sport affects your mind as well as body, because it requires a skill, strategy and coordination. As a spectator, it allows your mind to follow suspense and dramatic turns. There is also the demonstration of sportsmanship which consists of fair play, a sense of discipline, capacity of teamwork, cooperation and confidence to accept defeat. If a person learns these lessons from sport, he will be honest and fair in dealing with other people. Enemies will not be able to damage him and he will always heed his superiors. He will be able to learn how to live truly, because as in life he will face loss and eventual triumph. To conclude, increasing sport activity creates a striving person able to face any problems. The healthy spirit of rivalry and competition constantly lead to self improvement; the standards previously set are constantly surpassed. And if you’d like to see an example of a sport-playing healthy person, then look for the person writing this article

INTERNATIONAL AMERICAN SCHOOL • WWW.IAS.EDU.PL • SECRETARY@IAS.EDU.PL UL. DEMBEGO 18 • 02-796 WARSAW, POLAND • +48 22 649 1440


IAS TIMES

Teen Life

Summmeeer! by Aristianna Voureka

I was wondering what I should write this time for our newspaper when I realized that this is my last article for this school year! So what is the best way to end a nice journey? Perhaps with a new one! Have you, yes you sitting there reading this, thought what you will do this summer? I mean summer is on your doorstep, about to ring the bell, and you are still on your iPod glancing at old winter pictures!? Summer…the stuff of dreams. When adults sit at their desks and children sit in school, they dream about it. Summer…the time of infinite bliss. When days last forever and the fun never stops. It is a time of romance, excitement and an enjoyment of life. Somehow summer never seems to last long enough. It is always over before we get a chance to fully experience its power. However this year my friend you have something extra to do this summer, because this article is your guide for summer plans! What is summer without a cool ice cream in your hand? Every time I look back at my summer pictures I always have a dripping ice cream cone. However, this year you have one more reason to break free from your diet because there are 22 brand new flavors around! Some examples are cornbread, jackfruit, blueberry pie and even chai tea! Unfortunately these flavors will not be found everywhere…but hey you still know they exist!

Many new concerts are about to take place this summer. All you have to do is look for “summer concerts 2013” on your computer or phone. Some artists/bands that will gift us with a concert in Europe are Kings of Leon, Paramore, 3 Doors Down, Alicia Keys and many, many more. So what are you waiting for? Start looking for tickets! So what if there are a few rainy days during summer? A perfect opportunity to go to the movies with your friends! Some movies coming out this summer are “The Purge”, “This is the End”,“The Heat” and many more, so don’t fret over the weather! And lastly, it is nice to have a bit of free time, but why not work on something ambitious instead of sitting around? Summer is the perfect opportunity to get to know “you”. Try attending new activities to trigger your passion. Many summer sports await you like water skiing, wind surfing, scuba diving or other activities like pottery classes, gardening or camping! Don’t wait for school to end to start planning; start now! Make a to-do list and try to achieve every point! All that is left for me to say is good luck, bon voyage, gute Reise, szerokie drogi, ondo ibili, góða ferð, yī lù shùn fēng……

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Student Fiction

The Raven Once upon a midnight dreary, while I fluttered weak and weary, Soaring over towns and people, my wings growing ever more feeble, The harsh winter wind blowing, swirling, throwing me about, I searched for a safe haven, a home with a hearth, Until I came across a small dwelling with its inviting windows aglow, And, like any polite creature, I knocked on the door. There was no immediate answer, and so I waited upon the doorstep, Hovering patiently in the bleak December air, rustling my feathers, I thought of my journey, and of my final destination yet to find, When suddenly a voice erupted from within the home, Frightened, I fled from the doorway just as a man emerged, I hid among the branches of a tree, watching there. The man peered into the darkness as though wondering, perhaps fearing, Dreaming dreams no mortal had ever dared dream before, It was as though the man had been hoping for an unexpected visitor, So I looked upon this lonely soul before me, when he whispered, ‘Lenore!’ Unsure of the word’s meaning but sure of its importance, I repeated as he, ‘Lenore!’ I murmured, merely this and nothing more. Apparently the man hadn’t heard me, for he turned to his chamber once more, I began to grow impatient, how much longer could I stand? How much longer must I endure the nibbling bitter cold? I leapt, my wings feeling heavy as I took flight, all my soul within me burning, I landed upon a window lattice, and began tapping somewhat louder than before, Hoping, wishing, the man would hear me, and invite me into his home.

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Finally, he flung open the shutter, and with many a flirt and flutter, I stepped into the humble abode, relieved to be out of the night’s frosty grip, I peered into the man’s face, as a strange memory stirred my mind, A subtle hint of long ago, something hidden, pushed away for its time of arousal, My wings feeling heavy, I perched upon the bust of Pallas just above the door. Perched and sat and nothing more. Suddenly, the corner of the man’s lips turned into a strange smile, I puffed my chest, feeling he was mocking my stance above his chamber door, Until he spoke, “Art sure no craven,” Finally, of all the people I had met, someone took note of my majesty, Others had commonly mistaken me for an abominable crow, Then the man asked my name and I replied, “Nevermore.”

INTERNATIONAL AMERICAN SCHOOL • WWW.IAS.EDU.PL • SECRETARY@IAS.EDU.PL UL. DEMBEGO 18 • 02-796 WARSAW, POLAND • +48 22 649 1440


IAS TIMES

n’s response by Lilla Orly

It soon occurred to me that this man was nowhere near sane, as he shouted, Calling me a ‘thing of evil,’ and asking if I knew of the balm in Gilead, I wondered what could have driven such a humble creature to the brink of hysteria, At first, I believed it must have been my regal elegance, But then I recalled the familiar Lenore, and suddenly felt an ache of despair, Responding in what I hoped was a comforting tone I said, “Nevermore.” The man, obviously not understanding sympathy, only became more enraged, Telling me to leave his loneliness unbroken and to quit the bust above his door, Hurt by the raucous cries of dismissal from the man I wanted to love, I contemplated leaving, but my pride took hold of me; so I stood taller, Digging my talons deep into the bust of Pallas above the door, And I responded indignantly, “Nevermore.”

The man stood, staring at me with what I could only assume was admiration, I felt his eyes boring into me, searching for what, I could not tell, Then the fellow scarcely more than muttered, “Other friends have flown beforeOn the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.” Me, being the loyal raven that I am, felt obliged to stay with my new companion, And so I replied, “Nevermore.” My new friend seemed startled, and stood mumbling to himself for a moment, Without warning, he wheeled a cushioned seat before me, and sank into the velvet, At first I was very pleased with the rapt expression upon his face, I felt he must have been glorifying, if not, worshipping my sovereign beauty, The man began crying, confusing me for the returning memories of a lost Lenore. Shocked by the sudden outburst I answered, “Nevermore.”

This only drove the man further into madness, He began clutching at fistfuls of hair and shrieking, “Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!” This exclamation wounded my very own heart, Never had I any intention of tormenting the poor soul before me, But all I could do was watch as he descended ever deeper into delirium. There I remain to this day, perched upon the bust of Pallas above the chamber door, I observe the sunken man, night and day, day and night, For I had failed to recall that I had known him before, This was the man I had been searching for, where I fluttered, weak and weary, This was the man who long ago I had forgotten was my ultimate destination, For I had known him, when my name was once, “Lenore”.

19


Private Investigations

Post mortem for a writer by Michał Kolwas.

Somewhere in the abyss of the world beyond, I awoke on a lonesome plain. I wondered of the paper I left behind, all those people I had no time left to offend. Time waits for no one, sang the Rolling Stones in the good ol‘ times, in the atmosphere lost and forgotten. But here they are. All those I was ever willing to offend, with the grim scribble of the pen. “There he is, right on time!” cackle the Skates in their baggy outfits. “No trial! No trial! To the stake! To the stake! Burn him, burn in hell Kolwas!” roar the Catholic extremists, holding my burning portraits. “Death to the infidel!” squeak the Priests, holding their baskets full of gold. “Throw some onto the tray, infidel! Maybe it won’t buy redemption, but you can exchange hell for purgatory!” “No. If you’re the heaven, I suppose I’ll find better comrades in hell,” I reply. A crucifix hits my head hard. I have a moment of darkness in my eyes. “To the trial! To the trial!” shout the DJs and “Beliebers”. And there I stand in front of the Judges, the gray pulp I have always stood against, the apocalyptic psychobabble, all happy in their hysteric joy of hatred. The Priest, the DJ, the Mohair Beret, the Vegan, the Skate, the Belieber. And the Ecologist. “What is thy message, which you should convey to this society of love, peace and tolerance?” says the Vegan, who stops to munch a carrot. “About peace you’ve heard nothing,” I say. “Neither is tolerance a word you’re familiar with. You are the hating vermin. I shall go to hell, for in your heaven there is no place for a street-fightin‘ man. There is no place for a beefsteak, no place for the petrolhead. Yes, I confess to poisoning the world by flooring the accelerator, for that is what I believe in. The beefsteak and the rev counter. If there is a last message, it would be the roar of the pagan god. Oh, if it only was here. The V12 engine, with your twelve pots! If you were only here! That is my message. United I stand, undivided shall I fall!” “Do you not feel remorse!?” asked the Priest. “This is violence you inflict on us, the people of peace!” “Violence you call it? I call it healthy reason. But if you call it violence, then find it my ultima ratio.” “To hell! To hell!” shout the Judges. “Why don’t you just follow us?” a kind voice emerges. “It is not that hard. There’s just purgatory along the way towards having us as your friends. All you have to do is obey. The imagination has borders. We are the ultimate truth, so what imagination d’ya need?” “What you ask? Because there’s this one thing on which I agree with Napoleon. He said that imagination rules the world. And what is the world without imagination?” “It’s order! Order, you individualist reactionist! You have never heard of order?!” “I have. I did not like it!” “Here’s pure democracy then! We will vote! Those for...” “So Ben Franklin was right. Democracy’s indeed two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.” “Don’t you dare to interrupt! We’re voting! Those for guilty...” All hands are raised. “Guilty! To hell you shall go!” And there in the dark abyss, the crowd steps aside, forming a passage for my stray soul. I’m beginning to see the light. The Rolling Stones sing out my wish: “Gimme, gimme shelter!” In the light stand the pagan gods of rock, inviting me with the shriek of the guitar. And there I see it behind them. The V12. And all the philosophers who ever had anything wise to say. I hear the tune. The Doors! Waiting for the Sun. “Waiting for you to come along...”

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INTERNATIONAL AMERICAN SCHOOL • WWW.IAS.EDU.PL • SECRETARY@IAS.EDU.PL UL. DEMBEGO 18 • 02-796 WARSAW, POLAND • +48 22 649 1440


Ending Things Right

PARTING WORDS

IAS TIMES

by Sebastian Kettley

It is hard to find the right words. Through the second half of May, I had a sense of direction. Now? All my IB papers out of the way, my friends travelling, and I’m left with an unforgiving amount of time before the next stage of life. The only thing to do, apart from video games and concerts, is to look back on all that’s happened in my 13 years at IAS. I can’t help but look back from time to time and smile. I like to think that memories don’t stack up into a pile of randomly accessed events, but rather shape and define who we are as people. I have memories from IAS that I will carry with me for as long as possible, because they have taught me some valuable lessons. If I were to pinpoint moments worth remembering, it would be my work for the student community: my presidency and work for this publication. Furthermore, all the green schools and student trips that allowed us to bond as students, as people, as friends. Perhaps I should mention when I started a fire in classroom 12—was it the 6th grade? Most of us got into trouble at some point. We should remember the good with the bad. And we should never forget the people who helped create our memories, the friends we have made along the way. Whether you are taking your first steps at IAS or are soon to graduate, I cannot stress how important it is to cherish the bonds forged during these years. Not everything is perfect; I had my fair share of heartaches, but real friends keep a smile on your face. This is why I dedicate this last article to them. All those who have come and gone, who I had the honor of calling my friends. Thank you, simply for being there. It is important not forget about our teachers and mentors. I believe it’s not the role of a teacher to teach directly, as only life can do that, but to guide us on the right path. It is up to us whether we listen to them or veer off into the distance. Nevertheless we have to acknowledge and thank them; not with a box of chocolates, but by achieving great things. That is the most rewarding thing a student can give back to his teacher.

Coming to a somewhat teary end, I also want to thank you for being the ever faithful reader, and if there were any messages that you pulled from this text then I hope you follow them. This is my final farewell. Goodbye, Seb.

Treasures left behind by Nnenna Josakweker

We never wished for this moment We never wanted time to pass us by We wished for it to stand by So we wouldn’t have to say goodbye I wish I could freeze time Turn back the ticking hands So as not to face the reality Of these loosening bonds Life’s a passing storm Grab ahold, changes help us grow The time has come for our parting The rest of life is starting! Ah, a blow to the heart— Pain supplants my joy We stand at the road’s end Choose our paths, lives will mend But now it’s time to say goodbye Close the window, open the door We cannot stay here today For time goes its own way

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June 2013

Issue

International American School of warsaw

21

JOIN THE IAS EDUCATIONAL COMMUNITY AS WE STRIDE INTO THE FUTURE! • IAS was the first independent international school in Poland, founded in 1989.

• Programs to enhance student progress, including ESL, PSL, extra math, history, and science classes.

• IAS is accredited by the world’s leading education authorities: IBO, NAAS, CITA, MENIS.

• A variety of after school clubs provided for all students, meeting every Monday and Wednesday.

• Teacher to student ratio of 1:4. • Dedicated tutors for university guidance.

• Fully resourced and staffed library, providing students with a choice of 30,000 titles.

• 100% university placement.

• Zero tolerance to drugs and alcohol.

• Strong disciplinary policy conducted in a positive and • Dedicated staff from a variety of backgrounds, including Britain, America, Poland, France and Canada. friendly atmosphere.

THE INTERNATIONAL AMERICAN SCHOOL AN IB WORLD SCHOOL EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION

THE IAS TIMES NEWS TEAM Staff Writers Senior editor Daniela Domachowska

Michal Kołwas

Sebastian Kettley

Daria Dobrowolska

Oliwia Budny

Linda Murphy

Sunny Dong

Matthew Krasner Tommy Le

Mohit Keswani

Aristianna Voureka

Lilla Orly

Find us on Facebook:

Nnenna Jokasweker

www.facebook.com/iaswarsaw

Harriet Adeleke

Razan Al Enezi

ng i d a e R r o Thanks F www.ias.edu.pl

Issue 21  

International American School of Warsaw Magazine - IAS Times Issue no. 21

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