THE HIGH E D I T I O N 7 4 | M AY 1 8 , 2 0 1 8
Photograph by Diana Van Dooren
Illustration by Manka Szedlรกk
TALK DIRTY TO ME EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Hannah Besson DEPUTY EDITOR
Our resident celebrity
Many shades of blue
Dances with the stars
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
he only way to avoid pissing people off is to do nothing important.” - Oliver Emberton I can’t say that I really know who Oliver Emberton is, or what he does, or that I would agree with him on anything else. However, I do agree with this statement. While I wouldn’t want to romanticize the idea of pissing people off or creating provocative journalism just for the sake of getting a reaction, I do think that the most meaningful journalism will never have everyone on your side, and The High has demonstrated this time and time again. However, The High has also been and will continue to be a place that we celebrate the best parts of our school and our society, whether it be LGBTQ rights or student achievements in general. With this new era of The High, let’s keep challenging our community’s flaws as well as highlighting its strengths. Amara and Edward, you set the bar high but with an amazing team of journalists paired with the incomparable guidance of Mr. Ribas and Mr. Kirby, The High will continue to reflect and push our community. So, as the the new editor-in-chief of The High, I have one message - don’t be afraid to speak up about anything. Share every good thought you have and never let injustices go unnoticed. As we embark on this journalistic journey, we invite you to share it with us through three new features of The High. First, Letters to the Editor. Instead of my words here, I would like to see yours, so if you have any suggestions or responses to our articles, send them in! Second, freelance writers. If there’s something you’re passionate about or that you think deserves attention, send in an article about it! Finally, we’ve started an Instagram for The High. Follow us @wearethehigh and send in your ideas and feedback! ‘Til next time.
HANNAH BESSON + SUHASINI MEHRA Editor-in-Chief + Deputy Editor
Joseph Nobs Raquel Muzquiz Eleanor Payne Maddie Johns
Leonardo Morosini Edward Fraser Amara Sarao Jocelyn Kwan
TABLE OF CONTENTS Sex Ed Autism Awareness Mr Allen Being In The High Mr Cairns Tech In Movies
03 04 05 06 07 08
The Kardashians Jack of All Trades Badvice Avicii Wordsearch
09 10 10 11 12
LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX
ne could characterize sexual education as the simple teaching of issues relating to human sexuality and sexual relationships. Or, maybe, it is the opportunity for students to expand their knowledge and create a foundation of information on which to base their future decisions. Or, if we’re pushing it, it can even be considered an event that involves the formation of mature and developed minds from their once adolescent predecessors. Yeah, that sounds about right. As children, before ever experiencing it ourselves, we are presented sex-ed in the media as this painfully awkward ordeal in which kids are enduring moments of horrific realization at the discovery of where babies come from. We then watch as these children grow up a little more, eventually being confronted with an equally uncomfortable account of a teenager’s “changing body” from their all too candid teachers. The saga finally concludes with the students’ notorious first encounter with the clarification as to the exact mechanics of sex (undoubtedly accompanied by the self-deprecation that comes with the sudden awareness that they are now at an age where they “should” be having sex). Is this what sexual education at ISL is like? Over the last few weeks, the current Year 10s and 11s reached that final stage in their sex-ed lives; their personal introduction into what sex is really like, and how to do it safely. According to Mr. Foley, the program was done to “ensure that students understand the biological aspects of sex but also the emotional and legal aspects of sex and the responsibilities and relationships involved in it.” In order to be adequately taught this information, the students were split into small groups, and then sent to three different discussions on various topics: Mr. Friend talking about the necessary safety precautions one must take before having sex (amusingly coined “slippers bits”); Mrs. Vivian guiding them in conversations focused on the emotional aspects of sex, consent, and sexuality; and Mr. Ribas leading an open-ended presentation on pornography. Specifically, Mr. Friend informed the students of the different forms of protection that can be used during sex and then led them in a hands-on workshop, so to speak, involving a condom and a fake penis. Following that, Mrs. Vivian had the students make assumptions about how long a couple had been dating based on the time they first had sex, with the goal of understanding the social, cultural, and emotional aspects to a relationship with that level of intimacy. Mr. Ribas then brought it home with an analogy relating porn to cars, warning them that what they see on the internet isn’t necessarily the truth. On paper, it appears that this sexual education program at ISL encompassed exactly what a student or parent would hope that it would. Now, did the kids find leave the lesson with a newfound sense of sophistication and self-confidence? When asked about his opinion on the course, one boy in
Maddie Johns faces the birds and the bees Year 11 said that he thought that it was quite “informative” and “well-received by most students.” He then went on to explain the specific successes of the program, including the relaxed mindset employed by the teachers (helping to make it as comfortable as possible), the meaningful yet “not too serious” atmosphere of the discussions, and, of course, Mr. Friend’s undeniable ability to crack a few jokes in the process. I then went on to pose the same question to one Year 10 and one Year 11 girl and received relatively the same response. They agreed that the program was “simple” and “comprehensive”, allowing for there to be very little awkwardness between the teachers and the students. Moreover, they felt that some of the more difficult topics to teach to a room full of 14-16 year olds (well… porn), were handled in a very appropriate and educational way. However, the course did receive some obvious critiques. Some students pointed out the slight uselessness of the “emotional one” with Mrs. Vivian, where the entire time was spent creating scenarios for fake relationships as opposed to discussing any personal questions or problems, while others thought that it could have been improved if there was more time devoted to the teaching so that additional content could be covered. Despite these, all in all, this year’s sexual education program was a success from the students’ point of view. As I said, from the students’ point of view. It can be easy to forget that at ISL, not everyone possesses the common Western liberal mindset that is so openly displayed and recognized by the majority of the community. And it is during times like these, where students are being taught the ins-and-outs of sex, that we are reminded of this. In response to the sexual education program that was held, there were a small number of complaints from (particularly religious) parents in specific regards to the school’s teaching of sexuality. According to Mr. Foley, “there are people who genuinely believe, quite often for religious reasons (but not always), that school shouldn’t be teaching about homosexuality” out of fear that their “anti-religious” view will be preached onto the students. When I asked him to elaborate on what ISL’s response to this was, I was happy to hear him say that as a school, we believe that “no students should feel that their sexuality has an impact on their dignity and the way they are treated as a human being.” He went on to argue that ISL will stand by this viewpoint and continue to educate students how the school deems fit, while never losing its understanding and respect for those that may disagree. So, maybe ISL isn’t like the movies? What if all along, sex-ed hasn’t been some infamous impending doom that we were all bound to face one day? What if it actually was an opportunity to really learn and grow? Or is it just ISL’s modern, forward-thinking mindset that is reshaping the nature of sexual education.
THE AUTISM BLUES Kia Bagha and Heloise Coubat
n Autism Awareness day (the 26th of April) students cheerfully came into school sporting blue clothing as part of the “Light It Up Blue” awareness campaign to show support for autistic people. Shortly before the day itself, we were all given presentations on what autism is, aimed to help us understand the issues we were supporting. Students organizing the event at school gave explanations and statistics, showed videos, and encouraged everyone to participate in the campaign - even if it was only by wearing a blue shirt. It was established that the Light It Up Blue campaign had name recognition (with pictures of the White House and other famous monuments ‘lighting up blue’) and that it was successful in spreading awareness of Autism’s existence. Before coming to school sporting full blue, we decided to do some research on Autism Awareness Day, Light It Up Blue, and Autism Speaks (the organization which has been overlooking Autism Awareness Day and Light It Up Blue for the past eleven years). In the process, we found some interesting information about the organization’s history: it turns out that the organization is much more divisive than thought. Simply google searching “Light It Up Blue” will give results such as Autism Speaks’ website, posts by organizations participating, and people protesting the event. At first glance one might think that these protesters are just people who do not understand why autism and society’s treatment of autistic people is an issue, but further research found that most of these had legitimate concerns over what the campaign and organization do for autistic people. Needless to say, many of these articles were also written by autistic people and/or their family members. So why is Light It Up Blue so criticized? To begin with, only two of Autism Speaks’ twenty-six directors have been diagnosed with autism. Even if the organization should involve non-autistic
people for purposes of allyship if nothing else, it should still be representative of the community by having active members on the board who are on the autism spectrum and understand the issues that autistic people face in society. Making decisions without first consulting a variety of people with the actual disorder means the organization is susceptible to misinformation, cannot meet the needs of autistic individuals and their families, and often ends up speaking over them instead of empowering them.
Only 4% of their total budget went to the “Family Service” sector
Furthermore, there have been many controversies surrounding their budget and spending habits. Only 4% of their total budget went to the “Family Service” sector, which provided aid to families with children who are diagnosed with autism. Most of their budget went to awareness and lobbying in itself, this doesn’t seem so bad, but this type of spending has no concrete impact on autistic people and families. The second largest percentage goes to ‘research’. In general, autism-related research tends to focus not on autistic people, but on the causes and prevention of Autism, and until a few years ago, much of Autism Speaks’ research funds explicitly went to finding ‘cures’. On top of this, its rates of executive pay are among the highest in the autism world; ostensibly, more of the money would go to helping families and researching how to help them. For these reasons, Autism Speaks does not
spend enough on help for the autistic or their families. The last, and probably most controversial part of Autism Speaks, is the fact that they portray adults on the autism spectrum as burdens on other people. They use damaging and offensive words to describe autistic people, and rely on scare tactics to nullify the value of human beings who suffer from this developmental disorder. Co-founder Suzanne Wright put out a statement on social media: “Life is lived moment-to-moment. In anticipation of the child’s next move. In despair. In fear of the future. This is autism”. Such remarks were are not uncommon in the organization, portraying life with children or partners on the spectrum as almost unbearable, which has resulted in backlash from the autistic rights movement. The event Light It Up Blue also has ties to the sexist past of theories regarding autism: for years, autism was considered a ‘male’ disorder and a representation of the “extreme male brain”, leading to under-diagnosis and lack of treatment for autistic women. The issue is still prevalent to this day, leading some to question why an organization for ‘all autistic people’ would choose this type of symbolism. Despite all this, Autism Speaks and their events do provide some supportive programs for autistic people. However, it is important to understand that the organization is far from perfect, and if you want to leave a positive impact or help the autism community more directly, organizations like the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) - which works to truly improve the standards of living for not only individuals on the spectrum, but people with other disabilities - exist. It’s always important to look at the background of an organization & to understand what you’re advocating for; so, the next time autism awareness day comes around, think twice before “Lighting it up Blue”.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ALLEN
t’s disconcerting, to say the least, when you happen across a teacher out in the Real World. That sense of mutual acknowledgement that you both have lives outside the classroom, with hobbies and interests beyond SL Chemistry or French B. So, what if you saw your teacher in the end credits of a blockbuster film? Six years before he came to work at ISL, our own Mr Allen was invited by his best friend to be a technician on the set of A Million Ways To Die In The West. It soon turned out, as he puts it, that “if you show up to work on a regular basis and don’t do anything too stupid you basically work there.” It’s no surprise, then, that the majority of the people he worked with had never been formally trained in film-making of any kind; though all part of the New Mexico Film Workers’ Union, his colleagues were a mesh of different skills and backgrounds, all trying to put a movie together. Nonetheless, each member of the team had a ‘special craft’ to focus on throughout the production. For Mr Allen, this special craft took two forms. The first was, naturally, the role of technician. The work was solitary and quiet; he would often “literally be standing still next to a light for six hours.” Sometimes he would be taken up with a light in the aerial lifts, and spend eight hours up to 50m above the ground, alone. This, he says, is why most people couldn’t stay long: they couldn’t take the long hours of stillness and silence. Mr Allen, however, quite enjoyed having time alone with his thoughts. “I once graded an entire set of papers while up there,” he tells me. “And read half a book.” The second role was crafts service—making sure everyone on set was well fed. This was a far more active, social job, but Mr Allen enjoyed it just as much. It was in crafts service that he got to interact the most with the other
backstage departments and actors. He was quite well-liked, too, and not just because he brought food to people working days that could last between 12 and 22 hours. “I was generally happy and cheerful,” he says in explanation as to why he was so often invited back. In contrast, those who worked on sets year-round would often be tired and irritable, the exhaustion of non-stop work taking a heavy toll on their health. Many went straight from one set to the next; they had to, if they wanted to remain in the Union. It was difficult enough to get into: one had to have connections in the business to be invited onto a set where there weren’t enough Union workers present to fit all the required roles, and had to work at least a month before being considered to join. Naturally, once membership was gained, Union members were reluctant to lose it. As a result, many of the people Mr Allen worked with were deeply overworked and unhappy; only those who found the time to get away from the sets seemed able to recover. Many used drugs and alcohol regularly—sometimes simply pills and “con-
Suhasini Mehra fangirls in the corner coctions” to keep them awake. For six years, Mr Allen spent his summers and, occasionally, his weekends on the sets of such famous titles as The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Independence Day 2, and Better Call Saul. He still misses it, sometimes, but ultimately his departure was for the best. After all, he has a wife and two daughters and, at the end of the day, he would rather spend his free time with them. Nonetheless, he did enjoy the time he spent in the film industry, and values the memories he has of the strange and interesting people he met there. If nothing else, his time on sets taught Mr Allen about all the work that goes into movies and TV shows, all the little pieces that need to come together for a production to come to life. He recalls a short bar scene that took two days to set up, two days to film, and another day to clear up. “It’s really pretty astounding,” he says, smiling, “how much TV and movie work is actually done in order for us to sit down on our couch and watch something.
FREE FOOD! Pia Tiwari tells a tale of words and pizza Now that I have your attention, let me tell you a story that will clear it all up for you.
t was a Thursday like any other. The High’s journalists and editors were to plan our next issue in the meeting today. The illustrators would be present, too, for good measure. Between the homework and the assessments this past week, I hadn’t had the time to dwell on the fanciful notions of equality which may otherwise have prompted me into a writing spree. Thankfully, experience had taught us to compile a list of prompts for those suffering from creative dry spells. I greeted the others as I walked in and was soon drawn into a conversation about the latest political news. Maybe I could write about the possibility of a unified Korea? Or did that have too much coverage already? What about Kanye’s latest racist quip? No, his narcissism doesn’t need to be fueled any further. Everyone was here by now. Finally, the meeting commenced. We discussed reactions to the latest issue. Fairly positive, it seemed, although the Crucible review garnered particular attention (apparently we only offended one person this time— we needed to up our game). Soon, we began arduous task of brainstorming and finalising ideas. Some people were sure of what they wanted to write about, while the rest of us mere mortals continued to discuss the prompts on our spreadsheet (which is rainbow coloured now, just so you know). Someone suggested that I cover the IB art exhibition—we do try to cover ISL news, although we seem to have a particular proclivity for polemics. Having run this idea past the editors, I decided to roll with it. x I emailed and interviewed some of the artists in the exhibition. Forcing people to talk to you is a surprisingly good way to get to know them, apparently. x Writing the article was the hardest part. It’d been a week and all I had to show for it was a few quotes. At this meeting, I discussed my ideas with the others in the room, once again. There was still time and, for now, I was in the clear. We had to note the length of each article. I was hardly writing a thesis on an art exhibition, but around eight hundred words for a full page article didn’t sound too bad. I enlisted the help of an illustrator to create a graphic—it was just absurd to have an article about an art exhibition without any visual ornamentation of its own. Once all the logistics were in place, I said my goodbyes and head off home.
It’d been two weeks since the brainstorming session. I had something of an article growing out of the quotes and ideas I had listed. No articles had been recalled yet, although one person seemed to have changed their topic. Better late than never. The general vibe was that we’d have our articles in by Sunday, our deadline. I checked in with the illustrator to see how my graphic was coming along. Everything seemed to be in place, which was really rather unusual—there was generally at least one poor soul who had no idea what they were doing, while someone else had, by now, chosen to enlist another person’s help in writing their article because it was just so much. But having confirmed my word count and graphic, I was free to go home. x Sunday had arrived but my article was only half in existence. I had till 23:59. I couldn’t make it so I emailed the editors and got myself another 24 hours. x I ploughed through my homework at an alarming speed and finally finished off the article. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but the editors could take care of that. x I walked into SS031 armed with coffee and snacks; this was going to be a long night. We were printing and there was a flurry of last minute editing, and in some cases, writing (we’ve all been there). All the graphics were scanned in and all articles were on the team drive. As was our tradition, all of us picked some other articles to edit and got on with it. Once a few others had gone through mine, I flicked through their comments, changing things as I went. When the articles had been edited to the best they could be, the crowd began to thin, leaving only the most devout to wrestle each article onto a template, invent some punny titles, and most importantly, eat some well-deserved pizza. x It was a Friday. The newspapers were out in the homerooms, waiting to be read. For those of us who stayed, print night became a hazy memory lost among incomprehensible essay titles and some unfortunate grades in our overworked brains. The day passes, and once more, we begin to look for ideas. I realise, with a sense of irony, that one story at ISL still remains untold: that of us at The High. Oh!—And in case you are still wondering what this has to do with free food, come down to SS031 one of these Thursdays to find out for yourself.
YES, HE CAIRNS Joseph Nobs looks into the future of ISL
very school likes to think it is a little bit special. Certainly, the majority of the student body tend to have very good things to say about the school, many commenting on the positive and trusting relationships between teachers and students, the mutual respect within the student body as a whole, and the care people have for the school. However, does this really make us unique among places of learning? “There are many things in this school that you can find in other international schools,” says Mr Cairns. “For example, you get people who largely think study is important, who are polite, who are generally thoughtful in many international schools. There is a sense of community here that I think you can also find in other schools.” Our director is currently collecting the thoughts of students, parents and teachers about the school, to get a well-rounded picture of the good and the bad of the school according to its community. This is going to help the school improve in the future. The methods of gathering this research have included collecting parents’ views at workshops and meetings, asking teachers to compare this school to others they have worked at, and sending out a number of surveys to the students, teachers and parents. It certainly has not been easy. “Inevitably, because we are a diverse community, people don’t always have the same idea about what is a good school and what is not,” he explains. “Some parents thought that the students here were terribly polite and friendly, while others thought we were terribly impolite and unfriendly. Some people thought it needed to be more rigorous, while others felt it was too rigorous and too focused on grades. So really polar opposites.” Now, however, we have reached a point where much of the research has been gathered and interpreted. There are plenty of good things that people have to say about the school. The parent community generally feels that the school is very safe, and has a good academic level and high teaching standards. The students generally agree with these points, but also feel that there is a good air of mutual respect within the school. “The things that students specifically said could be better were often quite material things,” says Mr Cairns, “like ‘it would be great if we had certain sports facilities’.” That being said, there are also more serious problems that people have with the school. The parents feel that there needs to be better communication between the teachers and students, but perhaps more important is the idea that there is insufficient pastoral care at the school. “[In the past] we looked after people in an organic way because we were small,” says Mr Cairns. “When you’re bigger, that organic structure doesn’t work as well.” This is an idea that has reached our director through the parent community, but it
seems that many of the students also have a problem with it. One student who has recently arrived from another school remarks, “We felt more like we could go to [our teachers] in my old school and tell them our problems, but the relationship is more like a university here. The teachers are much more formal.” Other students feel that more needs to be done about teaching ways to deal with mental health. Possibly, the reason this might be a problem now could be due to the recent expansion of the school. “Structurally, I think the school has relied on its smallness to build relationships,” he says. “I think there is a great deal of care, but no real structure. And when an organisation becomes bigger, then you actually need structures, to make sure that an individual has people he or she can go to, to speak for them.” Our director offers another reason why wellbeing is so important. A government-funded study conducted last year in the UK revealed that almost a fifth of a sample of fourteen-year-olds showed some signs of depression. “Problems that were common in people who were nineteen, twenty, twenty-one, twenty-two are now common in people who are fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, and many of these things are stress-related,” explains Mr Cairns. “So globally, there is an increase in stress-related problems in younger people.” Looking after the students’ wellbeing is high on Mr Cairns’ list for improving the school. “We can’t remove stress, but what we need to do is teach people ways to manage stress more effectively,” he says. Before he can begin to implement these methods, though, it is important to fully understand the causes of stress. “There are many people who say that they have the answer to dealing with stress,” he says, “but a lot of times that’s just their opinion. And what there is very little of is good data.” Because of this lack of information, ISL is currently beginning a research project alongside CHUV, the Lausanne University Hospital, into stress and mental health among students. ISL is going to serve as the test ground for the research, in order to gather data, which can eventually be used by Mr Cairns and the teaching body to improve the wellbeing of the students. Certainly, our director also has other plans for the school. There are certain attitudes that he wishes to reinforce among the student body. “I think that the point of an international education is to help students realise that their decisions can have a serious effect, and then give people the courage to make those decisions. [It is important to] understand that you have the capacity to make others’ lives better, and that you have the capacity to do that sooner than you think you do. You can do it locally, you can do it globally, but the important thing is to choose to act.” Mr Cairns has made his thoughts on our school very clear. The question now is what sort of school do you want to be?
FILM ME IN Achilleas Martinis keeps it virtual
ast month, I went to watch the newest Steven Spielberg movie, Ready Player One. I would recommend you watch the movie if you haven’t. The characters in the movie live most their lives in a virtual reality. In the past decade, virtual reality has become more prominent in our lives than ever before. I took this movie as an opportunity to look at technology in two other movies. How close are we to creating the world we imagine?
Ready Player One Virtual Reality
The story of the movie is a world where everyone has a virtual reality headset and plays a VR game called The Oasis. This game is as realistic as and more exciting than real life, so people use it to escape from reality. Although the story is set in the year 2040, we could have a world similar to that of the movie before 2030. In 2016, Oculus started selling their VR headset Oculus Rift for $600. Although the price wasn’t very low, it was $60 000 cheaper than the first commercially sold VR headset in the 1990s. Today, however, you can buy Google’s virtual reality headset for just $99. What advances have brought virtual reality so much closer to us in the past two decades? First, our graphics cards have improved. For example, the Oculus Rift had one million more pixels than the first VR headset. Second, the processing power of our devices has improved. In the 1990s, the large computers that came with virtual reality headsets could only perform tens of million calculations per second, but today your much smaller iPhone can do billions of calculations per second. If the technology continues to improve in the future, one day, virtual reality headsets could be as common as iPhones in households.
Big Data & Predicting Crime
What is this? It is a map that predicts crime In the movie Minority Report the police have found a way to predict where, when, and who will commit a crime before the crime happens. The police prevent the crime by imprisoning the person they predicted would commit it. Although the movie is set in the 2050’s, our police might be able to predict where and when most crimes will happen by the 2030’s. How can we predict crime? We can use big data, which are extremely large sets of data, and combine them with algorithms to draw patterns and trends from this data. Motorola, a telecommunications company, can predict where and when crimes will happen with a 40% accuracy and can make crime maps similar to the one in the picture above, using big data and algorithms. Why are crime maps more accurate now than they were in the past? We have more data now than ever and with it we can find more patterns that will predict crime. The volume of data in the world is increasing exponentially. Since 2016, the volume of data in the world has doubled and by 2020 the amount of data in the world will double again. With this kind of growth in data, our algorithms will be capable of making even more accurate predictions. Although we are not yet able to predict crime with the accuracy of Minority Report, we might get there one day.
You probably never saw this computer within your lifetime- we have innovated a lot since its release. The movie Her is the story of a man who buys and falls in love with an Operating System. The Operating System in the movie employs Deep Learning, a more advanced type of Artificial Intelligence, which means that it can learn by itself like the human brain and reach the level of intelligence of a human. How far are we from creating an Operating System as intelligent as the one in the movie? The answer is that we could see it within our lifetimes. During the last three decades, we have had incredible breakthroughs in Artificial Intelligence. In the 1980’s IBM sold its first commercial computer. You could not do much more than write with it, it cost $4000 and it was double the size of a bowling ball. Today, you can buy a $50 Alexa - the size of a hockey puck - that can hear you, speak to you, and surf the Internet. What has brought about growth in Artificial Intelligence? First, our algorithms have been improving. Three years ago, a program that used Deep Learning managed to teach itself to identify objects and it beat humans in this. In parallel, our computers are learning faster: in 2016, computers were able to learn 60 times faster than they could in 2013. Your Alexa might misunderstand you, but if our innovation continues at the same rate, you won’t have to wait long to replace it with a better one.
KAR KRASHIAN Leonardo Morosini can’t keep up
ove them or hate them, you cannot deny the fact that they are everywhere: TV, Instagram and even billboards in every major metropolis. What started with Paris Hilton’s assistant, Kim Kardashian, ‘accidentally’ releasing a sextape has now become a global phenomenon. But why are we so obsessed with them? Why do we care so much about their lives when what they do is not in any shape or form productive? And how has this affected ISL? Do ISL’s students care about them, and in what ways? Regardless of the Kardashians’ fame and financial success, I first wanted to see if ISL students actually like them. When asked if they liked the Kardashians, one student said that “they have made the IQ of some individuals drop off the cliff.” A second student said that they “secretly like them, but sometimes find it weird that they are famous for just being them.” Another student said that they were “entertaining” while a fourth student thought that they were a “ridiculous example of people who are not deserving of anything, but always get in the headlines due to [the] stupid things that they do.” So we can see that ISL has a varied opinion regarding the Kardashians. But do people like or dislike them because they are successful? We cannot deny that ‘momager’ Kris Jenner has been tactful regarding the marketing strategies she has used to make her and her family financially successful - she even patented the word momager. If you think about it, by allowing cameramen to intrusively enter their house and film everything they do, the family has been offered countless opportunities. The family’s net worth is about $450 million. Thanks to her lip kits, Kylie Jenner (who is only 20 by the way!!!) is now making $21k per hour - I’ll give you some time to let that sink in. Arguably the most famous of the Kardashians,
Kim’s app generates about $71.8 million annually, and she also earns $10 million per season of Keeping Up With The Kardashians. While the other members of the family earn less, they also get their fair share, earning about $15 million every single year. Not only have the Kardashians become financially successful, but they have become a household name - your grandparents have probably heard the name Kim Kardashian before. And while talking about Kim, did I mention that she is in Time’s 100 most influential people, along with others such as Angela Merkel, Barack Obama and the Pope! So even though Kim, Khloe and Kendall are not political leaders, religious messiahs, or have developed of a cure for cancer, they are individuals who today have a major influence on Western culture. An example is how the Kardashians have had an impact on teenagers. After Kylie got her lips done, many young women wanted to do the same and have gotten lip injections or actively use lip liner to make their lips look bigger. Contouring is now a thing and Kanye West’s yeezy collection has also proved to be a huge success among young people. ISL clearly reflects all of that, too.
How many students have you seen wearing yeezys? How many times have you witnessed students speaking or acting like the Kardashians? They don’t only affect some people’s way of living but also their way of seeing others. As one student put it “boys think all girls should have huge lips and butts because they are the ultimate image of beauty despite it not being real [which also] affects how girls view themselves and others [making them] focus more on that ‘stuff’ than on their personalities.” The Kardashians obviously live in a bubble of wealth, fame and opportunity which most people in this world do not have access to. This has given many of the Kardashians a superiority complex seen in the way they talk and act around others. This might have caused “certain people feel like they’re well above others” despite the fact that they might not necessarily be rich and famous. But, at the end of the day, who can blame us for loving (or hating) the Kardashians? We are right in the midst of big profit seeking corporations, and it is not surprising that many of us want to be like the Kardashians as we are taught from a young age to desire such qualities like physical ‘beauty’, wealth and fame. Illustration by Jade Tan
MASTER OF NONE
o start, I should define “jack of all trades”: it’s used to describe someone with average proficiency, but no particular specialty. We’ve all heard that “a jack of all trades is a master of none”, but the term was actually meant to insult people who do have a specialty. The original saying goes, “a jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.” This brings up the question: which is truly better, being great at one thing or okay at everything?
Most students try to be ‘well rounded’. It’s a mistake. Pros to being a jack of all trades: you are adept in a lot of situations, which opens the possibility for lots of different career paths. Additionally, you can go from being a jack of all trades to being a specialist, but it’s harder to go from a specialist to a jack. If you decide to specialize in mathematics, but you wanted to become a jack of all trades
again, you would have to learn skills in a lot of different fields from scratch.
best surgeon possible so she can fix your arm.”
Cons to being a jack of all trades: it’s harder to get into a British college. As Mr. Mac told me: “UK universities would prefer that a student has an expertise in one area. You would normally apply for a particular course, for example Law, Medicine or Engineering.” So, if you would prefer to go to school in the UK, you might want to think about your specialties.
Cons to being a specialist: as one of the students I interviewed put it, “you might be amazing at biology but where will that get you when you need to do your taxes?” Becoming a specialist will make you extremely useful in some situations, but extremely vulnerable in others. Also, being a specialist requires a lot of work - it takes anywhere from 6 to 10 years to truly master a skill, no shortcuts. Estimates put it at around 10,000 hours of practice to truly become an expert.
Pros to being a specialist: finding a job or college might be easier. Harvard alumnus Allen Cheng says that being well-rounded is one of the worst things you can do: “Most likely you’re making a mistake in how you demonstrate that you are both world class and capable of accomplishing great things. Most students tackle this in entirely the wrong way; they try to be ‘well rounded,’ thinking this is what colleges want to see. It’s a big mistake.” He stresses the importance of developing a spike something to distinguish you from the crowd. “Do the New England Patriots care about whether Tom Brady can do math? No—he just needs to be a great quarterback and team leader. Few other things matter. If you break your arm and need surgery, do you care that your surgeon has a fly-fishing hobby? Likely not—you just want her to be the
BADVICE How do I motivate myself to do homework?
always find deadlines to be particularly motivating. There’s something about realising you have a 1200 word essay due tomorrow that keeps you going on that keyboard at ten in the evening until it’s done. I can certainly say that I found the deadline on this column a singularly impressive motivator in its creation. Of course, there are a couple of issues with the deadline method (the “D-Method”, as it is known
To summarize: people who are are more well-rounded are versatile and can adapt to different career paths, but people who are specialists might have easier time getting into colleges/ jobs. With this in mind, what’s most important is that you do what you want to do. Mr. Darby told me: “My first bit of advice is for students to be themselves and not try to become someone or something that they think a university is looking for; authenticity is key. The most appealing and engaging students are the ones who are themselves and pursue their own interests.” So, no matter if you are jack or a specialist, what’s important is that you enjoy yourself.
The Disclaimer in intellectual circles.) Firstly, the work can occasionally end up rushed, generally resulting in a poor mark. There is also the risk of forgetting a deadline and not doing the work, which is why I recommend recording everything in your homework diary, just to remind yourself of all those motivating deadlines. In the event of no deadline, it is suggested that you create one. If self-imposed deadlines are not sufficient motivation, then self-imposed homework reports are recommended
as a last resort. Disclaimer: the D-Method is not generally recommended for particularly lengthy projects such as Personal Project, Extended Essay and TOK Presentations. Any poor grades earned by students who have created their work while under the influence of the D-Method are put down to the cognitive capabilities of the student, and are in no way the responsibility of the High, its editors and operatives.
VENI, VIDI, AVICII Raquel Muzquiz is wiser and older
n April 20, Tim Bergling’s devastating yet mysterious death was announced to the world. Tim was born on the 8th of September, 1989 in Stockholm, Sweden. Music was very present in his family, and he fell in love with it from the start. Being a music-holic his whole life, this love ended up consuming him, and, along with other personal problems, led him on a very steep downhill which sadly didn’t have a way back up. At the age of 28, after years of alcohol and drug abuse, Tim Bergling passed away. Initially, his cause of death was unknown, but a few days later, it was discovered that his death was due to blood loss after he had cut himself with broken glass from a wine bottle. So, how does knowing about this young man’s death make you feel? As a stranger, it is normal for this to not affect you. You might be thinking that he’s just “some random guy with problems,” that eventually escalated to the point of costing him his life, but what if I told you that this “guy” named Tim Bergling is more commonly known as Avicii? Do you have the same reaction? Your answer is probably no. Why does Avicii need to be named in order for his death to impact us? How is it that by only describing his personal life, without mentioning his fame and hit singles, we simply don’t care in the same way? Role models are supposed to be people who we look up to for their success, but sometimes our admiration tends to go beyond this. We can begin to feel influenced by their personal decisions, like those related to their health. For Avicii, since the moment he first became famous, he has been a role model for people and children all over the world, but how much of an idol is he really?
The fact that Avicii committed suicide doesn’t exactly project an exemplary mindset and state of well-being, or express his admirable role model qualities. Instead, for the many people who look up to him, regardless of their age, his death could have introduced them to the world of alcohol and drug abuse, something that parents may not want for their children. But, isn’t it also good to see a glimpse of “reality” in the superficial world of fame? Don’t we need to know that fame isn’t always what it seems, and that these people with amazing professional careers have “normal people problems” too? Avicii’s personal life going public and his private problems being exposed to the whole world show people the “real” side to fame, the side that most famous people want to hide. Moreover, knowing that such an important person passed away intentionally, at such a young age with his whole life ahead of him, allows us to see the immense toal that a life like his can have on a person. Recently, Netflix released a documentary, which was originally made by BBC,
about Avicii’s life. In this documentary, we see how fame overwhelmed Avicii in many occasions, and how this caused him to struggle with a number health issues. Sadly, it also depicts Avicii opening up about his feelings towards live performances, which he lost interest for during his career. He said that he didn’t enjoy his performances, and often felt like they were an obligation, not a hobby. Watching this documentary, and knowing this about Avicii, just makes his fans feel even worse Because of his death, the documentary was released by Netflix, allowing more people to have access to his “privacy” and get an answer to why he retired from performing at such a young age. We were able to see how he actually felt, understand his actions (which were often kept private), and know more about him as a person. But honestly, do we really think that all this information helps us in any way? The fact that he passed away is what has enabled us to know all of this about him. So, wouldn’t it have been better not to know about things like his unwillingness to perform for his fans, and that he wasn’t the role model we expected him to be?
LET THE GAMES BEGIN SPORTS QUIZ
1. Who was the shortest player ever to play in the
1. What’s Kim Kardashian’s Secret Skill?
2. Can you list all the Kardashian/Jenner kids?
2. What is professional wrestler, John Cena, catch-
3. What tattoo do both Khloe and Kris have on their
3. Brazil was eliminated in the 2014 world cup by
4. What was the name of the children’s clothing store
that Kris and Kourtney owned before they found
4. The Olympic Games were not held during which
three years, for what reason?
5. Which of the Kardashian sisters is the only one to
5. What basketball move was banned from 1967 to
have gone to college?
1976? 6. In 2017 Which team won 18 matches in a row before losing in Dublin?
ANSWERS 5. Kourtney
6. England’s rugby union team
5. The slam-dunk
4. 1916, 1940, 1944, World War I and II 3. A cross Chicago, Dream, Stormi, True
2. Mason, Penelope, Reign, North, Saint,
2. “You can’t see me!”
1. She can smell cavities
1. Tyrone Bogues, at 5’3”
Sexual education, autism awareness, strategic planning and some celebrities (including our own!)