Official Newspaper of the International American School of Warsaw
It's On! Teachers vs. Students
The Double Life
Under One Tent
Sharing the Same Space World News
A Millennial's View of Trumpland
Meet the Inspectors Times Interview
Life After Brexit
INTERNATIONAL AMERICAN SCHOOL • WWW.IAS.EDU.PL • SECRETARY@IAS.EDU.PL UL. DEMBEGO 18 • 02-796 WARSAW, POLAND • +48 22 649 1440
Under One Tent
by Nicole Rogowski
From their introduction in 1933, Poland has had some of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe. Currently, you can only get one in cases of grave fetal defect, rape or incest, or threat to the life of the mother, and only within 12 weeks from conception. This is a change from the policy held by the communist party, who held power from 1945-1989. The communist party had made abortions available for about 40 years—the world didn’t fall apart. Since their assent to power in 2015, the PiS government introduced even harsher measures. The new law they propose would make abortion illegal in all cases. Doctors who perform abortions and the women who get them would be punished with jail time. The only legal outcome of a fetus dying would be if it was unintentionally killed while saving the mother’s life. This law was put forward by the pro-life organization Ordo Iuris. PiS officials had often criticized past governing bodies for rejecting the bill, but now in power, they are pushing for its passing. The law is also supported by the National Council of Bishops, who wrote a letter condemning women who get abortions. The Catholic Church has been supporting the abortion ban for a long time, and even had a letter read during an April 4th Mass stating that all abortions should be criminalized. Many women and men in attendance, to show their protest, walked out. Another disturbing clause of this bill is its proposed surveillance and investigation of pregnant women. If a pregnancy doesn’t result in birth, the woman could be punished. Even a normal miscarriage could lead to a date in court. A woman would be stripped of her dignity and denied her right to do what she wants with her body, since, after all, it is her body. The law also criminalizes abortions when the fetus is the result of rape. To argue this point, PiS representative Arkadiusz Czartoryski said that during World War II women were raped and “gave birth to many good Poles. Why should that be changed now?” Protests. After the April 4th Mass, women started a Facebook group to form a peaceful protest. Their first major manifestation took place in cities across Poland on Monday, October 3rd. It was called the “Black Protest”, as women wore black to show support for the rejection of the bill. I was unable to go, due to a stomach virus. But many students from IAS participated, including Nadia Wilkoszewska, Wiktoria Gzik, Ania Gutkowska, Sarika Karira, Sudi Kim, Darek Nguyen, Sofia Pantoja, Sophia andJan Szenk. Sophia told me about the powerful atmosphere, especially captured in a photo taken from a height of all the black umbrellas huddled together in Warsaw’s main square. The rain did not keep people away, but rather transformed the event into a national drama played out in black and white. So many people are coming together to fight the total ban on abortion, and yet there remains a group of men gathered outside Metro Centrum with signs protesting abortions. In fact, the fate of women largely rests with a male dominated legislative body and clergy. In a world where we fight against so much ignorance and injustice, shouldn’t we let women and their doctors decide if and when to terminate a pregnancy, rather than politicians who have never spent a day in med school?
INTERNATIONAL AMERICAN SCHOOL • WWW.IAS.EDU.PL • SECRETARY@IAS.EDU.PL UL. DEMBEGO 18 • 02-796 WARSAW, POLAND • +48 22 649 1440
A Millennial's View of Trumpland
Here I am, the morning of November 9, writing an article about the new President of United States—Donald J. Trump. After chugging a double espresso mixed with Red Bull, I’m ready to write while Mr. Krasner has dismissed class due his emotional state. So, what the heck are we to expect from the next four years of Trump other than a new Great Wall? November 8th was not only a historical presidential election. It was also the date the Republicans held their majorities in the Congress and Senate. Donald Trump, as leader of the party, will be facing the same situation as Barack Obama in 2008. All branches of government will be controlled by the same party, and thus, there are no obstacles to the Republicans’ wish list. First of all, repealing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. I suggest readers read further on this topic, as it’s very controversial. We can also expect tax breaks for the wealthy, tighter immigration control, reduced government spending, a drift away from environmental protection due to a larger tolerance of non-renewable energy sources. On all these issues, especially Obamacare, both the Republican led congress and the new President agree. However, there are some issues where Trump and his party part ways. Primarily, foreign policy and trade. Trump’s foreign policy branches off from mainstream republican ideals. Presidents like Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush were known for their hardline stance against Russia. We all know Donald Trump admires Vladimir Putin and is open to more cooperation. Trump is also skeptical towards the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). This means European countries, especially the EU, may be left without protection against outside threats due their small size, lack of unity and cooperation, and low expenditures on defense.
by Jan Kwasniak
Yet Trump and his party come together on some more hot button issues: terrorism and China. Trump takes a hardline stance on terrorism, and although he doesn't articulate a detailed policy, his rhetoric suggests he will take decisive action, like sending ground troops to Syria and Iraq. He also recognizes China as a rising competitor to the U.S. in the world order. He aims to rival China economically by destroying free-trade deals like NAFTA, TPP and probably thrashing TTIP completely. By these measures, he aims to protect American businesses and workers from China and Mexico and make America’s economy grow faster. Or as he puts it… “great again” (the fact that Trump manufactures his own companies’ products abroad is noted for its political irony). I believe these are the main topics that will shape America once Donald Trump is pledged in as the 45th President. But Trump’s triumph might just be the beginning. The world at large is demonstrating that it is tired of left and center-left policies. People have turned towards the right and even far right, especially finding hope in populist strongmen. The Law and Justice Party in Poland, Viktor Orban in Hungary, RecepTayyipErdogan in Turkey, National Front in France, UKIP in UK, Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines and many more, including Donald Trump, are living proof that our world is changing. Even myself, as a white, heterosexual and conservative male, am looking at the future with worry. However, I will not give in to my fears, but rather continue to work towards the realization of shared ideals. I think that's the right attitude for everyone to take in what appear times of turmoil.
Meet the Inspectors R an interview with the ADVANCED team, by Flóra Melke
Remember the end of last year? No, I don’t mean Green School or exams. Remember our guests? The well dressed strangers who sat next to us in observed lessons? By now you know they were AdvancED inspectors who came for our school’s accreditation review. And since we are back in school, this means the standards were met! But the visit was about more than results. As you likely guessed, I decided to get a closer look, both regarding the IAS inspection and the life of a school inspector.
FM: Ms. Branch, Mr. Brinton, I am so delighted for your time. I know you have a lot of work, but most students, including myself, do not really understand your job as AdvancED inspectors. BB: I prefer the term “fellow educators” as we work with schools to ensure they meet key standards, with an eye toward continuous improvement. While there is an element of quality control in what we do, the essential work is helping to develop a roadmap to lead schools to become more effective. Such improvement needs to be measurable in student outcomes. For me, the hardest part is delineating the areas of focus for each school and articulating the steps needed to move the school to the next level. NB: My focus is not so much on inspection, but rather identifying areas for improvement and crafting recommendations that will truly help. For example, we may discover a school’s biggest problem is communication (with teachers, students, parents, and the community) and if communication systems were improved, the education for students would be better. This is more difficult than going down a list and checking if the school has complied with regulations. FM: And what did you learn about our school? NB: I can tell within minutes of entering a building whether the environment is one of respect for individuals and learning. Your school has both of these. Also, it appeared that you have many leaders (adults and students) who are strong role models and have the will to make positive change. Your students seemed thoughtful and mature, which says a lot about the school and its respect for the minds of students.
INTERNATIONAL AMERICAN SCHOOL • WWW.IAS.EDU.PL • SECRETARY@IAS.EDU.PL UL. DEMBEGO 18 • 02-796 WARSAW, POLAND • +48 22 649 1440
FM: I know your job involves a lot of travel and that you’ve seen many parts of the world. What did you think of Warsaw? BB: Having lived in Germany for over 25 years, it was great to be in a European city again. People do not seem to be in as big a hurry as in major U.S. cities. I particularly enjoyed the history, the park which conjured up thoughts of Chopin, and the massive cultural complex in the middle of the city. NB: This was my first visit to Poland and I was impressed with the cosmopolitan feeling of the city. I’m not sure what I expected, but the city was beautiful, the food was delicious and it seemed like a city you could live in without a car. We loved walking through the parks, seeing the memorials and learning about the area’s history. The park in the center of the city (Laźienki) was my favorite. FM: Knowing that you have experienced many cultures, what do you think about its influence on education? Is there one particular country where the education system was better than anywhere else? BB: A number of countries come to mind. In Finland, it is as difficult to become a teacher as a doctor, so only the very talented make it. As a result, the quality of teaching is high and teachers enjoy as much respect as members of any other highly skilled profession. In Japan, practical application of concepts and skills is the norm and competition is fierce. As a result, students achieve at a high rate. However, suicide rates among students have been disconcerting. The Lebanese have a strong educational system, as do several other countries. It’s safe to say that many countries have adopted educational practices that should be emulated. However, each system has flaws too, so I hesitate to point to one as the superior system for all students.
IAS TIMES BB: A famous U.S. educator has stated in simple terms that the purpose of schools is to make students good and make them smart. For if we make them good but not smart, we have limited their ability to reach their potential for the benefit of themselves and society. But if we make them smart but not good, we have done them a real disservice, creating the potential for evil in the process. FM: I know that you all have been working as teachers and school principals. If you had the possibility to stand in front of your students again, how would you use your experiences from AdvancED? BB: Our brains thrive on making connections, and practical experience develops lasting cognitive links. I know this sounds a bit esoteric, but Dewey and Plato summed it up well. So I’d make sure I returned to these quotes for counsel: “Give pupils something to do, not something to learn; and the doing is of such a nature as to demand thinking; learning naturally results.” – John Dewey “Do not train children to learning by force and harshness, but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.” – Plato NB: I would probably use a wider variety of teaching methods, including technology, and would focus more on using achievement data to help determine what I needed to change in my instruction to improve student outcomes.
NB: I have to agree with Bob. Also, schools in developing countries, with a large population of poor and illiterate students, are often at a disadvantage. And, it’s important to remember that culturally, not everyone subscribes to a western model. For example, in many countries in which we work, religion plays a much bigger role than it does in the west. This obviously has a big impact on the curriculum and the style of teaching. FM: How do you see the impact of contemporary times on teaching? From your perspective, what is the most exciting change in education? BB: While we still have to figure out many of the details, technology now makes universal literacy possible. Providing educational opportunities to everyone creates the potential for turning hopelessness into bright futures. NB: I agree with Bob that technology is probably the most exciting advance. The prospects for the future are unlimited. For example, the work I do for AdvancED would have been almost impossible 20 years ago; all our work is done electronically. FM: What traditional aspects of education should be carried on? NB: Education has always been about preparing people to be caring, responsible adults who have the skills needed to make our world a better place for everyone.
FM: I have just one more question, less job related. What do you consider the most import lesson that you have learned from traveling around the world, seeing different people and cultures? NB: I think what I’ve learned is that we are all more alike than we are different. BB: I’m fortunate to have seen many places and met many kind people I would never have interacted with were it not for AdvancED. I’ve seen the pyramids of Egypt, the ancient city of Petra in Jordan, the Taj Mahal, the Great Wall and the hustle and bustle of Beijing, had bodyguards and police escorts following the revolution in Egypt, enjoyed the beauty, people, and cuisine in Lebanon, found a deep cultural appreciation in Poland, and met with wonderful, optimistic people everywhere, even amid abject poverty. Every culture has unique and valuable aspects, and I find common threads among them all: kindness, optimism, and the desire for a better future. Perhaps most importantly, everywhere I go I meet young students who are ready to take the lead to make the world a better place. This is cause for great optimism, and is probably my greatest joy as an AdvancEd lead evaluator. FM: Thank you both for your time! It was an incredible experience for me to talk to you; I’ve learned a lot in this short time. I wish you a safe journey to your next school and that our school follows that roadmap developed in last year’s inspection!
Life After Brexit
an interview with History Teacher Simon Bradley, by Sofia Pantoja
SP: So first of all, how is British identity as a sovereign nation linked to the EU? SB: Britain's history is bound to Europe's and our collective experience as a continent has been essential in making the UK what it is today. SP: Why is Britain now demanding sovereignty from the EU? SB: Britain's history of having an empire and being a world power that had the ability to determine international affairs has clashed with its position now, in which it has to cooperate in an international system where it is not the most influential actor. SP: Why is there an anti-Europe movement now? How can we address it? SB: The movement has been a reaction to European integration and its perceived problems. There are those who feel the process is simply going too fast, and stalling it could alleviate short term impacts, but there will always be those that seek to resist the process based on the assumption that it takes away their sovereignty. Most people still do not identify as being 'European', but rather as part of national groups. Until there is a coherent European identity that people can relate to, Europe will struggle to act as a unit. Education could help solve this, with the idea of European identity and the common history of Europe as core elements of the system. But this is a long-term solution.
Brexit — you know about it, but what will come of it? The movement to leave the EU began with hostility towards a perceived ineffective and remote “establishment”. On the right-wing, this sparked a rise in nationalist rhetoric, blaming the country’s problems on immigrants and refugees. While the EU is a historic achievement, there are failures due to, in my opinion, a lack of democratic transparency within a technocratic and austere EU. However, the EU’s disintegration would have terrible consequences, starting with the facilitation of nationalistand xenophobic groups coming into power.
SP: What's wrong with the current structure of the European Union? SB: Partly a lack of accountability, or certainly a perceived lack. People do not understand how the organization works and so don't know who to blame when they feel things have gone wrong. Education could help with this, though again, the effects would take a long time to be felt. SP: Why has there been a big rise of right-wing populism in the UK and elsewhere in the world? SB: Again, I would look to nationalism; it is a simple message, clearly targeted, easy to understand, and able to promise easy solutions to complex problems. It is generally easier to get angry about something than to find a constructive way to solve the problem and this is what seems to be happening now. SP: Given the context of recent economic crises in Spain and Greece, what are some of the misunderstandings people have about the economic relationship between the UK & Europe? Can you highlight some of the successes and failures of Europe’s financial integration? And, what is the economic outcome of Brexit, both for the EU and UK?
IAS TIMES SB: People treat external regulations as something that is determined to punish them and help others, ignoring the collective benefits, such as having a European-wide fisheries policy, which helps to avoid over-fishing and allows fish stocks to recover more quickly. This comes down to game theory and the treatment of international relations as a zero-sum game (think of the phrase "we lose in China") — the idea that in every deal there is a winner and a loser. The Leave camp paraded the £350m/week figure for the cost of membership of the EU and many parroted this figure despite it being completely misleading. This reinforced the idea of the EU being an entity that just takes away. The Euro crisis did not help and its introduction was riddled with problems, some short term, such as Britain leaving ERM, some long term, such as the irregularities of the Greek tax system. Britain has already experienced the drawbacks of
economic isolation from Europe when it 'missed the bus' in joining the EEC; I strongly suspect that the British economy will go the same way following Brexit. However, this is assuming a 'hard Brexit', which seems unlikely. In the event of a 'soft Brexit', it is hard to find positives, though serious long term problems are also hard to anticipate. The EU itself will likely do well without the UK. Its absence may actually provide an area for potential growth in sectors previously dominated by the UK from within the EU. SP: One of the key points when talking about Brexit is immigration. What is the reality of how immigration works within the European scenario? Why are Brexit leaders so concerned? What is the reality of how border controls would work (in both Leave/Remain scenarios)?
SB: Immigration has been used to identify a group to blame for the perceived problems of the state and there is no clear picture of how the policy would look from the Leave camp in the event of Brexit, other than that it would somehow change. Reality is not something the Brexiteers have ever really stopped to consider. Unemployment is at a very moderate 5.4% and has been falling for several years despite relatively high rates of immigration, so the standard argument about immigrants taking jobs does not hold much water. Rather, it has benefited from access to the massive, cost reducing labour force of Eastern Europe. Within the EU, the UK is also expected to do its fair share and help support refugees. I do not see either of these factors as problems and so I feel the border controls are already more than sufficient. If anything, I was hoping we would finally join Schengen, rather than leave the EU altogether. SP: What are your thoughts regarding how Brexit would pose a threat to workers’ rights, agriculture and environmental issues? SB: Workers' rights are not exactly at the top of the current government’s agenda and the EU was the closest thing we had to a constitution, so certain rights that UK workers have become accustomed to may now be in jeopardy. A return of Labour to power could stem the flow, but in the long term, once the UK leaves, that layer of protection is gone and there may be no going back. SP: Other EU nations, in discontent with the establishment and observing the UK referendum, have considered leaving the EU as well. For instance, Poland, Hungary, France under LePain etc. Is this the beginning of the end of the European Union? SB: I think this is the short term impact from Brexit and there is not the same historical and social factors that would sustain a prolonged Leave campaign, at least for the time being. My hope now is that Brexit will be an issue that is 'put on ice' until a referendum can be held that will essentially give the government the possibility to reverse course. However, I had not expected the public to back leaving the EU, so I'm not holding my breath. SP: Thanks for your perspective Mr. Bradley. It’s certainly hard to predict history…
Sharing the Same Space a visit to the Laski School for the Blind, by Disha Keswani
On September 26th, 12th graders Minsang, Flóra, Hasib, Bartek, Elsa, Sofia, Stan, Mattia, Ken, Aleks and myself visited the School for Blind in Laski. I had visited the school with another group last year and it was a transformative experience. The students pursue so many creative outlets for themselves — and indeed do not consider their ‘condition' a condition! Students knit, create exquisite ceramics, and in general demonstrate an outside the box imagination. That visit ended with us being blindfolded and eating soup (or trying to). It was hard, not knowing where to put the spoon even though you know where your mouth is. Anyhow, it’s always inspiring to get your thinking beyond yourself.
After the program concluded, we had the chance to attend their regular classes. We split up into groups for English, UK Culture and German. I joined the German class, where we practiced reciting “Der Erlkönig". We were given the chance to perform the poem in English and the students were impressed with our dramatic skills! In a short time, we were able to bond with them.
Laski is located on the edge of a forest outside the regular Warsaw hub-bub. Once there, we came across horses and open fields, nuns driving in golf carts — things you wouldn’t encounter on a regular school day. The place was like its own little radiant society.
“I was amazed by their talent during the presentations. I found them extremely friendly and very clever. I’m looking forward to the next visit.” — Flóra
As we entered the school, there was an exciting-nervous ambience, as they were celebrating ‘Day of Foreign Languages’. The program started with a group of boys singing Ukrainian folk songs, then two girls singing pop songs in English. We also enjoyed a dramatic performance in German of the poem “Der Erlkönig". The students demonstrated astonishing talents — they taught us that we don’t have any excuses to develop our own. During a break, we met with a school director to discuss a project to tutor the Laski students in conversational English. Not only is this an opportunity for IAS students to gain insightful perspectives on life, but also to learn directly from the students we shall tutor. For instance, we can learn Braille (!), knitting, poetry and pottery — why not? After our meeting, the program continued. A school alum, Marta, Skyped us from New York, where she currently lives and works. She shared her experience in the U.S., how her English has progressed, and how all the technological improvements are a great benefit to the blind. For example, Siri is a major support system for her, as she uses it for daily tasks like setting her alarm, asking about the weather, using the GPS system to navigate her way through the labyrinth city.
When the school bell rang (not automatic like ours, but an actual bell rung door to door) we were back in the buses and on our way to IAS. I could feel the ambience turning into a feeling of gratitude. Everyone had their own experience, so I’ll close the article with their reflections:
“It is not only through the eyes but through touch and feeling that we perceive.” — Hasib “I realized that when we talk to people, we actually look into the eyes of the mind.” — Ken “During the lesson, my attention focused on how different teaching methods could be used. The visit raised my awareness of the similarities and differences in their everyday studies compared to my own.” — Elsa “I got to see that although they had special necessities, they are capable of awesome things. I also realized some of us are actually blind, as we don’t open ourselves, even though we can see.” — Sofia
Student Life Picture this: it’s a perfect, lazy Sunday. You’re curled up on your sofa reminiscing about your weekend. This is right about the time you log into your social media and BAM! You check your Messenger and find the following things due for tomorrow: psychology essay, math quiz, biology IA, and a billion other confusing things. Well, there goes that perfect day… I guess these are things anyone can relate to. But as an IB student, that’s when you really feel it. We’re all fighting to keep a balance between our school work ethic and actual lives. And now it happens that the lines between the two blur because of one more fat acronym: CAS! For those who aren’t familiar, CAS is an integral component of the IB program. It stands for Creativity, Activity and lastly, Service. Many IB students struggle with CAS, since it isn’t the only requirement outside of the IB subjects; the Extended Essay and TOK follow closely behind. Given the massive workload, there tends to be two types of IB student: CAS-overachiever and CAS-underachiever. For the overachiever, the sky is the limit! MUNs, volunteer missions, tutoring — you name it, they do it. The underachiever operates inversely, either doing a minimum to pass or failing to gather their portfolio in time to graduate. Because of the daunting way IB is presented, students perceive CAS as some torture device created by IB bureaucrats, when really it’s one of the few things in the program that pushes you to go outside your comfort zone. It’s only daunting if you look at it negatively. When you apply to university, your grades will not tell admissions experts what they’re most interested in — you! Rather, the extra-curriculars and what you give back to the community, that tells them what kind of person you are. Plus CAS is a growth experience, so you’re killing two birds with one stone.
Our school may be small but that doesn’t mean our students don’t take the leap towards phenomenal CAS experiences. For instance, Elsa Orvokki, an IB2 student who joined our school last year, did a lot of innovative things to boost her CAS portfolio. In Finland, she was part of the Red Cross as director of the Reddie Kids Club, where she brought younger kids into charity work. She was also a youth group member and served in several projects, collecting donations, recruiting volunteers, and making school visits to spread knowledge about things such as sexual health. This is how Elsa described her work: “This experience has been one of the best, as it connected me with lifelong friends and raised my awareness of global issues and how small individual actions can add up to form big influences.” You would think since she left Finland, this experience would be over, but the opposite is true. Now Elsa takes on other activities for the Red Cross, including knitting beanies, mittens and scarves and donating them to local branches. That’s the idea of CAS…you do it for school, but you may just want to do it for you too. My next two examples are Nicole Rogowski and Dayae, both IB1 students, like me. Dayae is a HSDP student but she and Nicole shared a similar experience. Both took up teaching — Dayae has been teaching English to children in a Korean school and Nicole recently taught a biology class outside of IAS, through the mentorship of Ms. Redlinska. They both said, and I’m paraphrasing, “The experience was powerful. I learned how to teach and how it feels to be in command in front of so many people.” Nicole and Dayae both count their CAS experience as something they will treasure forever. It shows that a little bit of engagement and the right attitude can change some aspects of your busy life — even something as “obligatory” as CAS.
CAS - A Life Changing Experience
A Life Changing Experience by Shikha Gianchandani
Teachers vs. Students It's On!! A scrapbook of our Fall Sports Day
The Double Life
University shapes people in many different ways. For example, while at medical school at the University of Edinburgh, I’ve developed a fondness for a game nicknamed “the Cadillac of Poker” — No Limit Texas Hold’em. Confused how a med student got involved in a game associated with smoke-filled card rooms and mafias? Perhaps it’s my way of maintaining balance, where I’m not only immersed in a stressed-filled degree, but also surrounded by people who escape their mundane lives in this exciting game of chance. Deep under the game’s surface lie a series of mathematical calculations that skew the chance in your favour. Many simulations have been run by computers to determine optimal strategies. Books have been written and studied by the world’s best poker players to gain an edge. The strategy applied to every move is comparable to games like chess, except in poker you also have to peer into each player’s soul. Everyone starts on equal ground, having poker chips and two dealt cards. Everyone shares the same five cards in the middle. But it is the person you need to play, more than your cards. You need to exercise patience, as you can often lose control of yourself after losing a big hand. It is also important to practice breathing techniques, to clear your mind and reset yourself to start a new hand. I found a group of like-minded players my first week of university, gathered in a club known as the Edinburgh University Poker Society. We played to improve each other’s game and call out each other’s mistakes. We then started to play some small buy-in tournaments. I started my poker tournament career with the weekly £5 tournaments that my university organised and made around £30 in profit over a month. This was better than being in a deficit, but by no means impressive. I went on to study the game as a means of relaxation and gave casino tournaments a go. The local casino hosted a £5 weekly tournament, but with more people playing, the pool was significantly bigger. I ended up cashing £285 over five sessions and believed that I was significantly better than most my peers, as they continually put themselves into losing situations. The turning point was when I entered a £20 tournament where the top 10 would earn a ticket to the £550 Grosvenor United Kingdom Poker Tour main event in Edinburgh. It was a tournament for high rollers and usually avoided by students due to its cost. The overall prize pool, however, was a staggering £100,000! I ended up winning a ticket and began preparing to play the £550 tourney.
by IAS alum (2015) Tommy Le
To promote skill over luck, this tournament had a slow structure. It’s been running for 10 years and I studied every player who was to enter through online live streams of the hands they previously played. The tournament endured over three days until one person accumulated all the chips. I cruised over the first two days, having the most chips after Day 1 and second most chips after Day 2. As the price to play each hand cost more chips, my stacks had their swings — but I eventually outlasted a field of over 180 people to secure a £25,000 payday and the title of GUKPT main event champion! All of this was captured live on TV, which means my professors know what I do with my spare time. I don’t know if that’s a good thing… And while the victory is a great achievement, it’s not going to my head. Like everything, I take poker in moderation. I play it as a hobby and stress reliever, but am still working hard towards my medical degree. That’s the real achievement. I guess the takeaway is how important it is to balance your studies with hobbies to make for a lasting university experience. Don’t get me wrong — it’s great to have extra spending money! But I have to warn any poker hopefuls— the price to learn the game can be very expensive.
Tracking the Autograph Hunter This interview will be with one of our fellow presidents, Phi Long Bui, otherwise known as Bobbi—Autograph Hunter. Along with photography as a hobby, Bobbi also hunts and collects celebrity autographs. It’s amazing the lengths he’s willing to go to get them! Here’s a document of his crazy stories and answers to other questions you might have. by Jan Kwasniak Julia: Who/What inspired you to start autograph hunting + collecting?
Julia: What’s the weirdest experience you’ve had with a celebrity?
Bobbi: One day I saw Neymar’s autograph on the internet and I really wanted to get it. I started researching on how to do it and realised it was easy to get other celebrities’ autographs. In March 2015, I started to collect them.
Bobbi: I usually am really nice to celebrities. I say that their show was great and ask about their travel, but one time I went hunting for a band I didn’t know well, “Nothing Buy Thieves”, and gave them a picture of “Beirut” by accident. They got angry and wouldn’t sign anything or even take a picture with me.
Julia: What do you do with these autographs? Bobbi: Well, autograph hunting is a time consuming hobby, as you need to wait outside hotels or in airports for hours just to get one. So when I get one, I try to make the most of it. I collect them for myself and get some for anyone who asks. I trade them with other collectors. Sometimes I sell them because printing the pictures for signature costs money, so I get some money back. I also have a website — philongautographs.wixsite.com — where I display my autographs and write about my adventures.
Julia: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for an
Julia: How do you hunt down a celebrity? How do you know where they are?
Julia: Is there anyone you go hunting with? Have you met any people hunting?
Bobbi: I use social media like Instagram and Snapchat to see how they are getting to Warsaw and where they are staying, but sometimes paparazzi tell me which hotel they are staying in and for how long. When I find the hotel, I just wait outside until they come down and give me their autograph, but that’s only where 40% of my collection comes from. 60% are actually from fan mail. I send out letters to celebrities saying how much they mean to me and ask for an autograph. Sometimes it takes months, or even years for them to send me an autograph back. When I get an autograph from a person and they die, for example Johan Cruyff, the autograph becomes very sentimental to me. From time to time, I donate the signature.
autograph? Bobbi: During this year’s Open’er festival, I camped in the airport for 30 hours to meet 60 bands. Other than that, I’ve met the Polish football team a couple of times already. I go to their hotel occasionally to get pictures and autographs. I’ve met Lewandowski around three times and he knows me. Players like Pazdan and Krychowiak also know me. They call me the ‘staly klient’ of the hotel.
Bobbi: I always go with friends but there are around 2,000 people in the Polish Autograph Community. I always see the same people getting the autographs. Sometimes they show me on TVP or on the celebrity’s Instagram, and the autograph hunters recognise me as “the Asian one”. Julia: Now to finish off the interview, I’d like to ask what teacher would you hunt down for an autograph, and why? Bobbi: I’ve asked for signatures from our teachers many times but the one I would value most would be Mr. Ceesay’s. He’s been my teacher for 10 years, and he’s influenced me the most.
Two Roads Diverged by Bhawesh Vasnani
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” I bet most of us have heard or read this quote one way or another. It seems so simple. But is it? I’ve been in this school for eight years now. I still remember my first day at IAS, full of excitement. When I was in 4th grade, it was all jokes and laughter. We used to have tennis lessons full of adventures, swimming lessons with Mr. Jan, and of course PE with Mr. Ceesay. Those days are unforgettable memories. Looking back now, I realize why adults always say childhood was the best time of their life. Near the end of 10th grade, I was faced with some heavy decisions. I had to choose my IB subjects, and in a way, these subjects determined my future. IB subjects lead to field of study and choice of university. IB subjects ultimately determine profession. This is a tough choice to almost all 10th graders. For me, thinking about the future was and is extremely stressful. I always imagine the worst scenarios and end up demotivated. The question is, “What do I want to be?” For some, it’s easily answered. Nadia knows she wants to be a veterinarian. Jan knows he wants to be an economics professor. But for others the question keeps you up at night. So we often turn to our parents. They exert such an influence on us, just by being who they are. But the influence is heaviest when it’s time to choose one’s career path. Sometimes we get immense support, other times source for conflict. Sometimes parents try to push us towards a career choice. For instance, my cousin in India was passionate about filmmaking. But after a talk with his parents, they insisted on him becoming an engineer. And so he did.
I was 17 years old when I entered university and honestly did not know what to study. I remember being in the admissions office at Penn State and only then deciding on Liberal Arts, because it was the direction for those people who didn't know what to do. But my father was with me and I lost confidence in my choice and settled on Marketing instead. My father was a businessman and this choice seemed much safer in his presence. I actually finished my degree in Marketing. Worked in marketing. And quit. And 12 years later applied for my Masters. In Liberal Arts.
~Matthew Krasner My dreams of going to Columbia College in Chicago, to pursue a career in Fine Art, was quickly crushed by my mother. Her reasons were: "Get a real job. You can do art on the weekends". Devastated and unwillingly, I chose a new career path (Educational Psychology) but never lost hope of my dream. I entered Benedictine University and as luck would have it, they had an art program. Naturally, I would take all of my regular Psych classes and add on a few art classes each semester. When I was about to graduate, I asked my councilor how many more credits I needed to finish with a Minor in Fine Art. He said that I already completed a Fine Art Minor two year back and just needed to finish two classes to graduate with a double major. So, I stayed one more semester and ultimately received the degree I wanted, as well as the degree my mom wanted. A Happy Ending for all :)
Parents tend to push us towards stable career choices, because they care about our well being. They want us to have a secure future. They want us to be settled and independent. Some children listen to their parents and do as they say, others not so much. Because sometimes the question “What do I want to be” comes in between them. For some perspective on this issue, I decided to ask several teachers about their decision making process when they were my age. How did they become what they are now?
“When I was at school, I had a passion for history which was encouraged by my parents and teachers. My mum would take me to historical sites around London which brought the subject to life and increased my interest even more. By the time I left school, I knew I would be studying history at university, and I couldn't imagine being away from the subject. By the time I graduated, I still felt the same and knew the best way to stay connected was by teaching history myself and hopefully passing on my passion to others!”
~Simon Bradley 14
in a Wood, and I These stories tell us a lot about parental influence on a child’s biggest decision. Judging by the answers, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. In the case of Mr. Bradley, his passion for history was fostered by his family. But as for Ms. Mieszczańska, her passion was in conflict with her mom’s pragmatism. And Mr. Krasner’s passion wasn’t awake yet, so he followed his father’s. Passion is a strong feeling of enthusiasm towards some object. So back to the quote: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” It is telling us to follow our passions. How many of us are making our university choice based on passion? Is our passion strong enough to follow? I decided to interview Gabriel Okoko on this subject:
BV: Gabriel, tell me about your passion. GO: My passion, or rather my dream, is football. BV: How did you choose your IB subjects then? What are your plans for the future? GO: I chose the subjects I felt were most convenient. They also suit my alternative ambition to become an economist or a businessman…that is if I decide to quit football, which is unlikely, or rather impossible, regardless of what anyone says. BV: Do you experience parental pressure? GO: Of course I do. My parents, especially my mum, tell me to forget football and face my studies, that playing football won't get me anywhere. My dad tells me, education before football. Graduate and get your degree, then you can follow your football dream, but my dad is more determined to see me make it in both education and football at an early age.
Gabriel’s path seems similar to that of Ms. Mieszczańska. He’s in the middle, unwilling to give up his true passion, but willing to satisfy his parents’ wishes as well. Sometimes the question “What I want to be?” changes into “What I need to be?” This change occurs because of insecurity. It occurs because of overthinking and worry. In my opinion, it’s better to pursue something you absolutely love and get paid less, than find work that makes you miserable but get paid more. Is there a perfect solution? Yes, having a passion that is true.
An interview with longtime Polish teacher Kasia Kilijanek, by Yugyeong Kim
IAS is known for its close relationships between teachers and students. However, can you confidently say you know your teachers? Their backgrounds and future plans? Let’s get a closer look at our Polish teacher Kasia Kilijanek in this edition of teacher profiles.
YK: When did you first come to IAS and why did you choose this school? KK: The first time I appeared in IAS was August 2007. I remember the meeting was conducted by Michael Ceesay. It was a surprise to me that a foreigner could speak Polish so well. He told me about the school and students and I thought it could be an interesting challenge, to work in such a diverse environment. YK: What was your first thought about IAS? KK: First thought? I remember it clearly: unbelievably interesting place! So many cultures in such a small school.
KK: It was one of my first dreams I've had since a little girl, either to be a teacher, a detective or a pilot. When I was a student, I was in the Girl Scouts (Związek Hacerstwa Polskiego) and as the main scout, had a lot of kids to look after. I had classes with them after school. A few times a week, I was teaching these kids the ZHP (Girl Scout rules). It was my first experience with instruction and then teaching felt like my mission. I think that was the point I knew what I wanted to do. YK: Are you happy so far with what you’ve achieved as a teacher? KK: Yes of course! And there’s a little detective work in it too ;)
YK: Can you tell us about your life before you came to IAS?
YK: Could you tell us about your future plans?
KK: Actually it goes back to the previous question about my initial thoughts of IAS. Previously I worked for a few typical Polish schools: big two or three floor buildings, big classrooms with classes a, b, c, each class having around 30 students. So when I came to IAS, the school seemed small. Now I can see that it's an attribute. The students know one another well. Often times they're friends not only within their class but also a 5th grader will be friends with a 6th grader or maybe with a 10th or 12th grader! I've never seen that in a Polish school!
KK: In the Polish system, there is a professional development program that teachers can pass to further ourselves. That's one of my goals. I have finished a lot of programs and did my masters, which are unbelievably useful in our school, especially for teaching PSL. I might want to complete another masters, like Psychology, which always interested me but we'll see. No matter what I end up doing in the future, I'm being guided by a quote by an amazing teacher and person, Janusz Korczak: "A kid wants to be good — if he can't, teach him; if he doesn't know — explain it to him; if he can't do it — help him." That’s my plan for the future. Teaching is my mission and I want to fulfill it by teaching, explaining and helping.
YK: Why did you decide to become a teacher?
As we get older, we are always asked what we want to be when we grow up. Children think about the obvious and not so obvious choices — doctor, entrepreneur, artist — but rarely think about the journey that takes them there. Before becoming what you want to be, you need to pass through a number of obstacles. Between high school and university there is one ‘little’ obstacle that at first appears to be a wall — the IB program. To first year IB students, climbing the wall is nerve-racking, time consuming, impossible, and just painful. To graduates, it is a memory of deadlines, study, challenge, and finally, “done!”. A good feeling, right? But at the onset, one beats herself up with thoughts like “I will fail” or “doing well in IB is just plain make believe”. Actually it isn't…
IB is Not the Enemy
IAS TIMES Meet Isobel Wood. She is a speaker for Lanterna Education and a former IB student. Oh, she scored 45 points. Meaning, she got 7’s in all her subjects. She got the maximum points in TOK and the Extended Essay. She completed her CAS. She got 45 points! Isobel Wood is not a superhero nor magician. She is a regular person, has normal habits, and even spoke about being very lazy. She graduated from Cambridge fairly recently, so was one of us not long ago. As a new IB student, the fear of getting bad grades, or not keeping up, is incredibly stressful. Most students hide behind their smiles, when in reality they need guidance and assurance that everything will be okay. Fortunately, we got plenty of that from Ms. Wood. “Organization and an open-mind are the keys to having fun in IB,” she told us. Have fun in IB? Is that possible? Ms. Wood passed on the common joke that in IB, from grades, sleep and a social life, you only get to choose one! “Ok, if you are fortunate you get to choose two.” Why organization? At the beginning of IB, there is only one thing in a student’s mind — a MESS. All the information we get is mixed up with duties at home, CAS experiences, university consideration, and maintaining a personal life. Without a plan, all of it can jumble together and promise a nervous breakdown. Why an open mind? Because how you look at things determines the quality of the result. Ms. Wood told us that the key to success is to enjoy the process. Her positive and laid-back attitude was apparent. She did not use IB to isolate herself, but rather worked collaboratively with others. She saw the program as an opportunity to develop her organization and coping skills, both valuable beyond this one phase of life. Like anyone else, she ate when she was stressed. She had her share of sleepless nights. She used the analogy of a panda trying to get on a swing. She said that it was okay to feel as if we are stuck in an endless time loop, but that there is always a way to get “on the swing”. How? Ms. Wood created a structure for study that made goals achievable. She advised us to create a timetable for our entire day and entire week, marking off hours for study, extra-curriculars, friends (even friends!) and sleep. Not only making the schedule, but sticking to it: “This will help you set priorities so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. Having a plan makes the IB experience easier, more organized and controlled, and more enjoyable.” As a last bit of guidance, Ms. Wood said, “The only thing stopping us from believing in our success is fear.” Ms. Wood overcame fear by following her routine. What about you? What about me? Can we get that Panda on the swing?
by Anna Teytel
Smiles and Shrieks
Another Halloween to Remember
Remembering the 2016 Hustings and WAWMUN events.
Complete the crossword below 1
6 7 8
Created with TheTeachersCorner.net Crossword Puzzle Generator
3. The name of the organization that sent school inspectors to IAS last spring 6. One of the two majors earned by Ms. Iza Mieszczanska 10. Ms. Kasia Kilijanek was a member of this Polish children's club (Polish name) 11. The referendum measure that Mr. Bradley would have voted against this past year 12. It's either C or A or S...you guess 13. Mr. Greg's alter ego, from Klara's mystery series 14. According to Bhawesh's article, they are either a source of conflict or support
1. Tommy Le's discovered pastime at uni 2. The university that Isobel Wood attended 4. The name of the ongoing protest in Poland related to women's reproductive rights 5. What Arman is dreaming about, right now 7. The pet name players from the Polish national football team give to Bobbi 8. One of the two 3rd party candidates in the U.S. Presidential election 9. The location for the school for the blind, visited by IAS tudents
Science and Technology
an imaginative look at the rational future, by Arman Zhakypbekov
Dr. Walker could not fall asleep the night before that day. The memories of his last hours with his younger brother occupied his thoughts. The image of his pale face with a faint smile stood in front of him. “Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, you are going to become a part of a historical moment in the development of human race,” he said to a group of selected sponsors and important government representatives. “Imagine that tomorrow you will wake up in a new world without disease, hunger and pollution. Atoms make up our bodies, the food we eat and the air we breathe. What we have achieved is the ability to control them with great precision using extremely small instruments. One clever man called such tools assemblers when he defined the word nanotechnology. Many skeptics thought it would be impossible to make such complicated structures at this scale. Today we will disprove them by making the major technological breakthrough in the history of humanity.” Dr. Walker ordered his team to activate the program. Suddenly, a cloud rose up from the ground in the experimental chamber. As Walker later explained, it consisted of tiny machines on the order of a billionth of a meter. It appeared to be milky because of the scattered light. The cloud grew bigger and bigger until it occupied the entire volume of the chamber, preventing the group from seeing what was happening inside. After exactly one hour, the cloud started to fade away, and the figure of a newly built rocket emerged. It produced a luminous iridescence, much like that of a fire opal. The reason for this effect was the intricate structure of the rocket: it consisted of trillions of capillaries paved by assemblers, patterned less than one wavelength of visible light apart. It caused the light to diffract producing different images depending on the position of observer.
There was a standing ovation in the room and a smile passed across Dr. Walker’s lips. “I won it for you brother. I won it for you,” he whispered to himself. In the next few decades, all diseases were eradicated with the aid of nanosurgeons — nanomachines traveling through the blood circulatory system of a body. As a result, humans achieved physical immortality and even enhanced mental power through small structures surrounding each individual neuron in the brain. Hunger became a tale of the past. Vital resources could be easily produced through atomic manipulations conducted in nanofactories. The notion of absolute recycling appeared. There were no longer any wasted materials since they were immediately broken down into atoms and recombined in such a way that allowed reconstruction of useful resources. By the end of 22nd century, humans had finally become an inter-planetary species thanks to the aid of nanoswarm, an extremely large group of nanomachines capable of terraforming inhabitable planets. Mars, being the closest planet to Earth, was first on this list, comprised of planets far beyond our solar system… When Dr. Walker woke up from his dream, he found himself surrounded by paper mountains related to his research. His brother was lying on the couch after another session of chemotherapy. Having shrugged off his reveries, he continued writing the last few pages describing the design of what would become the first ever molecular assembler.
Art and Culture
The Lady Of Waweł Castle by Jade Martin
Waweł Castle in Kraków is something straight out of a fairytale. It takes us back to a medieval setting with its picturesque towers (and not to mention the legend of the dragon that was said to once call Waweł Hill its home). Indeed, Waweł Castle is home to many secrets but one stands out from the rest. Just like in fairytales, Waweł Castle is the home of a portrait of a young maiden. Now this isn’t just any portrait … In fact, what makes her special is the fact that she was made by the same hand that created what has to be the world’s most famous painting…. The Mona Lisa. Yes…. It is the Lady with an Ermine by Leonardo Da Vinci. It is important to keep in mind that Da Vinci only painted FOUR portraits of women and that includes The Mona Lisa. Lady with an Ermine is also the only painting by Da Vinci currently residing in Poland, which is why she is the most treasured painting in the castle. She is displayed in a room dedicated to herself alone. When it comes to the portrait itself, there are many who say that she is the most beautiful out of the four portraits painted by Da Vinci (and yes… many agree that she is more beautiful than The Mona Lisa herself). Maybe it is because of the physical condition of the painting. Out of the four, this painting is the most vibrant and fresh. Da Vinci’s use of light and shade definitely enhanced the mood of the painting and her posture says a lot about Da Vinci’s style. A lot of the portraits painted during the renaissance era mostly portray the model in profile, which makes them look quite stiff. But Da Vinci’s portrayals usually show the models caught in a moment, like in a snapshot. This is visible in this painting because when you gaze at it, it looks like someone called to the Lady, and she turned to look back at them. Her face shows so much character because she appears outspoken, graceful, gentle and rather timid. This was Da Vinci’s way of bringing the portrait to life. He gave her soft features that give us hints about what she was like. The model, Cecilia Gellarini, was around 14 or 15 at the time she was painted. The white ermine or stoat that she is holding symbolizes purity. Another interesting artsy fact is that some paint brushes used during the renaissance were made from sable hair, which is a mammal that looks quite similar to the ermine. The Lady with an Ermine is still on display in Waweł Castle and she definitely deserves a spot in any art lover’s bucket list. Visiting her not only allows us to experience what it is like being close to a masterpiece, but also let’s us feel the presence of the master himself.
Identity Chapter 3
of an original fiction series by Klara Matuszewska
In the first two chapters, we learned that our hero is a quirky middle schooler with braces who gets picked on by everyone, including school bullies called the “Avengers”. One of them is Tom, whose mother died leaving him alone with his abusive step-father, a suspicious man who helps troubled people “disappear”. Tom seeks out our hero’s help to discover more about his step-father. Along the way, they learn that their English teacher, Mr. Greg, has another identity, one he is skillfully hiding…
After I gave Tom a piece of my mind for not sticking up for me at school, I hurried home. I was so mad. I thought we could solve the case together, but since I couldn’t count on him, I needed to catch Mr. Greg..I mean, Mr. Gomez, myself. Superman never needed a sidekick anyway. And I already had a plan… Since my ex-friend told me where his stepdad’s suspicious “office” was, I decided to go there this very night. I had to find some proof on Mr. Greg! He could not be out of jail committing crimes again! I ignored my homework and finalized plan A and B so that there was no room for error. I caught myself thinking about telling Tom, but remembered what he did to me at school and decided not to. It was finally time and I was stressed. We all already know I was a big geek, so doing something edgy didn’t happen that often. I snuck out my window with a backpack and bus ticket. When I finally arrived at the place, I started to regret my idea. The lot was empty, rounded by a metal fence. It felt ominous. Then I heard footsteps coming from around the corner. I froze in terror. After a second, I quickly ran behind the nearest car. There was no chance of it being a random passer – it was almost 2AM. I saw a flashlight peeking through the night and after that saw a familiar face … “Tom!” I exclaimed, “What the hell?! Why are you here?” “I could ask you the same question!” he replied, fury in his eyes. “I’m here because I thought you’d be too much of a chicken to come. I don’t need you to save our school. I can do it myself just fine, thank you.” “Well, I can do just fine without you too!” he yelled. “Shhhhh! It’s 2 AM, do you seriously want to wake someone up?” “It’s already 2 AM? I’ve been here for so long and I still can’t find a way in,” he said with a tone of sadness. “Then I guess we need to work together now, don’t we?” I asked. “I guess we should.” After a while, we finally found an entry. As we approached, I felt the tension between us. We were both scared, but had to proceed. I looked at Tom for confirmation and slowly pressed the door handle. It was locked, which I didn’t really consider. But Tom did. He stole the keys from his stepfather. “Do the honors,” I said as he inserted the key in the lock. We heard a satisfying click as Tom pressed the handle and opened the door. I looked inside. It was pitch black. I guessed no one to be in there and entered, Tom following closely behind. We left the door open, so any bit of light would reach inside. We started walking around when we finally heard a very loud noise. The alarm went off.
IAS TIMES “YOU DIDN’T TURN OFF THE ALARM!?” I yelled as I tried to outshout the noise. “I THOUGHT YOU DID!” Tom yelled back. “YOU THOUGHT I DID? ISN’T THIS YOUR STEPFATHER’S PLACE?! YOU SOULD KNOW THE PASSWORD!” “I HAD NO IDEA WE’D NEED ONE!” “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!” NO! I JUST DIDN’T THINK ABOUT IT! ARE WE GONNA GET CAUGHT?” he asked with fear in his eyes. “WE CAN’T! JUST LET ME THINK… WAIT! ISN’T YOUR STEPFATHER AN IDIOT?” “UM…. THAT’S AN ODD QUESTION… WHY?” “JUST ANSWER!” “YEAH, I’M PRETTY SURE HE IS!” Tom yelled but I could hear him almost losing his voice. “WELL, IF HE ISN’T THE BRIGHTEST, I’M PRETTY SURE THE PASSWORD IS THE DEFAULT…” I screamed back. Then I ran over to the console and typed the only thing that came to my mind: 0-0-0-0. I pressed okay and waited… It didn’t work… I had no idea what else to do so I tried 1-2-3-4. I stared at the console, begging it to work and… It did! The alarm silenced! After a minor celebration, Tom and I continued our search. Since we had the keys, we could enter all the rooms, except…it was so dark! We both searched for a light switch, but with no luck. We worried that someone could come in any second, since the alarm sounded for so long. As we were moving about, I heard a loud thump. “What was that?!” I asked Tom, thinking it was a security guard. “Sorry… I… I hit myself on a desk…” he replied shyly. “Seriously…” I whispered to myself and continued searching for any light source. I touched all the walls, when it finally hit me… “Tom..?” “Yes?” “Why are we looking for a light source?” I asked. “What? Cause it’s dark and we can’t see…” he replied. “Tom… Tell me… Didn’t you have a flashlight with you?” “Oh my gosh! You’re right I did!” he laughed nervously. I just rolled my eyes. Now since we had everything, I was able to look around. The walls of the building were ragged and dirty. The wallpaper was hanging from the ceiling and the floor was concrete. It was clear that Tom’s stepdad didn’t give this place a makeover. All the rooms were empty, no furniture. Finally we walked up to the last room. My expectations about what we’d find were not high. I gave Tom a “do it” look and he quickly unlocked the door. But this room was very different from the rest. It was well decorated with white walls, two chairs, a desk, and a computer. One of the chairs resembled a throne, very big and bright red. The other was small and black. It was obvious which one belonged to Tom’s stepfather. Now it was time to break into the computer. I stretched my fingers as I sat down in the chair. This was a job for me. After a minute, we already had full access. It didn’t take me long to find what we wanted — a file named “Client J_Gomez”. It was obvious it belonged to our infamous English teacher. I opened it, but didn’t understand a word. Most of it coded contractions with numbers next to them. The only legible thing was PAYMENT - LATE. Hm, so that’s why Mr. Greg was behaving so strange lately. He didn’t pay Tom’s stepfather! It all made sense. I shut down the computer. We both were so happy that our little adventure didn’t backfire. I felt like our friendship was even fixed a little. We walked out of the building, all proud of ourselves, when we heard an ominous growl. I turned around and there it was… my worst nightmare — a fierce pitbull was barking on all fours, a few steps from me. Tom didn’t know, but I had an irrational fear of dogs. Even small ones freaked me out. Tom instinctively ran away. He yelled at me to “come on!”, which shook me from my terror. I spun around and ran as fast as I could. Unfortunately, I wasn’t the athletic type. I saw Tom far ahead of me, jumping on the fence and climbing over. I looked around for a better solution, but there was none. I just had to jump and climb. With the power of fear and adrenaline, I leaped higher than I ever did in my life. I grabbed the top of the fence and turned my head. The pitbull was right behind me. As I was hanging from the fence, he leaped too and bit my leg. I felt his sharp claws digging into my flesh. Absolute pain, and fear. I couldn’t get the pitbull off! I also couldn’t climb any higher without Tom’s help. I saw him staring at me, deciding if he should just run and save himself. There was hesitation in his eyes. I almost lost hope and was about to let go the fence when I felt Tom’s hand grabbing mine. He was pulling me up. I shook my leg ferociously and the pitbull let go, landing to one side the fence, while we were on the other, panting wildly. Tom came back to me… I could not believe it… Was he my friend after all?
International American School of warsaw 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 educational authorities: IBO, AdvancED, MENiS.
• After school extracurricular clubs provided every Wednesday
• Average classroom size of 16
• Fully resourced and staffed library, providing students with a choice of 30,000 titles.
• Career counseling and university placement expertise available
• Zero tolerance to drugs and alcohol.
• 100% university placement. • Dedicated staff from a variety of backgrounds,
• Strong disciplinary policy conducted in a positive and friendly atmosphere.
IB WORLD SCHOOL COMMITTED THEANINTERNATIONAL AMERICAN SCHOOL TO EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION AN IB WORLD SCHOOL EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION
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