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Issue 1


class of 2014


Nov. 2013

welcome to the TAS newsletter

Hello All,

We are very excited to have you reading our first issue of the Mustangs Monthly. This is a student led and published newspaper that focuses on our lives at TAS. We hope you will all take a moment to enjoy all of our hard work. Also, if you happen to have any ideas for upcoming articles or would like to see something in future publications please email us at Tony, Musa, Kevin, Mina, Musa, Hannah C, Thomas, Hannah D, Kathy, Steven, Ms. Jen

Artist of the Month

Oct. 2013

“Art is like a personal diary to me. When I do artwork, I imagine like I am composing music or writing a story, but visually. My favorite medium to use is pencil. The simplicity of pencil drawing is what I think makes it intriguing. When people see my work I want them to be able to interpret it any way they feel. It is not important to me that people like my art, I just want it to be interesting and fun to look at.” - Juju Chang

comics by MINA

Nov. 2013


Horoscopes horoscopes Aries (Mar 21-Apr 19) The upcoming month is going to be Fun! Your fabulous style and charm are what makes you so likable! Watch out for too much fun with your friends. Studying is important as well, so keep your eyes on the books and don’t always focus on your social life. Remember to mix work with fun this month and enjoy October.

Libra (Sept 23-Oct 22) If you have a low grade this month. Do not worry, it will be better next month. A little effort may help a lot. Don’t be afraid to make the first move and motivate yourself to do better. Be determined with your actions, and you should be perfectly fine throughout October.

Taurus (Apr 20-May 20) It has been smooth sailing so far on your back to school journey. Your grades, relationships and health have been excellent since the start of school. Make sure to stay focused on your wallet this month though, as money could become an issue. But...even if you do run out of money at least you can still watch PewDiePie.

Scorpio (Oct 23- Nov 21) You have been so busy and lonely lately. It is time to kick back and relax a bit with your friends. Put more effort into your health and friendships this month. Even if it has been stressful lately, try to stress less over school because you will do well without it.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) You’ve been so buried in those books; you forgot your social life.This is the time to spice up your life with some adventures. Why not go out with friends or escape the city for some fresh air? Once your eyes are lifted from your books maybe you will be able to see the new relationship that is about to present itself.

Sagittarius (Nov 22- Dec 21) This month will be the time for you to shine bright like a diamond. Balancing work, relationships and your wellbeing can be hectic but you are up for the challenge. Don’t be scared to take on new projects and impress others with your hard work and determination. If you do this, you are guaranteed to shine all month long.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) You’re so smooth bro!!! You just know how to handle everything. Teach me your ways master… This month your relationship is going to blossom due to your coolness. Take care of your health, and don't forget to prioritize your wellbeing. Money and grades will not be an issue this upcoming month so no worries. Just keep being cool and October will be a smooth month!

Capricorn (Dec 22-Jan 19) Family is very important but lately it has caused you a great deal of worry. This month may begin with a few problems but they will quickly disappear. Look forward to new relationships and new found friends. They will help push your earlier troubles away and make the end of this month much smoother.

Leo (July 23- Aug 22) You and your best bud have been bickering like an old married couple but everything chills out this month after you spend a few days doing your own thing. Boost your confidence by doing something extreme like learning how to skateboard - all your buds will be totally impressed. Virgo (Aug 23-Sept 22) You’re one word… AMAZING! Your grades and health are off the charts. But, why are you acting so shy? Go out there and make your move. That special someone might be out there waiting for a bit of your attention. Who knows this could be an experience of a lifetime (wink wink).

Aquarius (Jan 20-Feb 18) You’re so creative it’s crazy! Now is the time to put those thoughts into action. Start to paint your masterpiece but don’t get too arrogant. Things might back fire if you think too much of yourself. Take care of your current relationships and maintain your artistic and creative self. Pisces (Feb 19- Mar 20) You have been putting off work for a while now. It is time to get back on track with your studies. This month will be the most productive time for you to refocus your priorities. Start planning now so you can reap the rewards of your hard work in the future.

Nov. 2013


Nov. 2013


Environmental Issue:


Damming the Mekong River

August 29th, 2013

by Thomas Nguyen

Words of Wisdom

In those days he was wiser than he is now; he used to frequently take my advice. -Winston Churchill or from me Here at “Words of Wisdom” I answer questions about LIFE. but if you want academic and personal questions are cool too. if ever dumbfounded or in need, shoot me an email at Check out next month’s edition of Mustangs Monthly to see if your personal mysteries have been solved. -Wisdom

It is easy to understand why the term Mekong roughly mean’s “Mother of the Waters” in Thai. The Mekong River is a vital lifeline for millions upon millions of people in Southeast Asia and China. There are millions of people who depend on the Mekong River for food and their livelihoods. That vital lifeline is now under threat because the governments of Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam are planning to build dams on the lower Mekong River. China has already built dams and will build more on the upper Mekong. These dams will create a lot of environmental problems for the river. For the countries downstream of the river, the upstream dams will block the sediment and nutrients flow to the lower river which will affect the agriculture and aquatic life. The Mekong includes many endangered species and by blocking their route to reproduction and flow of food, they will be pushed a little harder toward the brink of extinction. Building the dams would also mean that tens of thousands of people would have to be relocated from their homes since their living space will be used for building the dams and their villages will be flooded with water. The people whose lives are affected will most likely not benefit much from these projects and sometimes they won’t even get access to the electricity produced by these dams. The Mekong River is one of the world’s great river systems. It is the 10th longest river in the world at 4350 kilometers. This mighty river flows through six countries including Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, China, Thailand, and Burma. The upper basin is located in Burma and China where the river is called Lancang Jiang. The lower basin, is located in Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia and is home to about 60 million people. The Mekong River supports the largest inland fisheries with total production in 2008 reaching 3.9 million tons which generated between 3.9 to 7 billion dollars. 80% of the 60 million people rely directly on the river for food and their livelihoods. The food harvested from the Mekong is extremely important for poor Southeast Asian countries. 47% of the Laotians get their animal protein from fresh water fisheries while it is 80% for the Cambodians. Laotians and Cambodians are not the only people who depend on the Mekong. Us, the Vietnamese also rely heavily on this mighty river. 17 million

Vietnamese live in the Mekong Delta. The delta is responsible for generating 50% of Vietnam’s staple food crops. Also, 60% of fish production in Vietnam comes from the Mekong River. The Mekong River and delta provide food for 40 million Vietnamese and generate an average of 27% of Vietnam’s annual GDP. The Mekong is also home to thousands upon thousands of wildlife species in which many have yet to be discovered. The river possesses an incredibly high biodiversity and therefore creates multiple habitats for animals and plants. Around the Mekong deciduous dipterocarp forests, moist evergreen forests, karst limestone forests, open grasslands, savannas, wetlands, upland plateaus and pristine riparian are fed with silt full of nutrients for plants to grow. The river and the habitats around it are home to no less than 20,000 species of plants, 1,200 bird species, 800 reptile and amphibian species, 430 mammal species (including Asian elephants and as many as 350 tigers one of the largest population of tigers in the world). This great river is also home to the Irrawaddy dolphins which are extremely rare. There are only 78-91 individuals of this species still in existence. Despite the massive numbers of known species of the Mekong, there have recently been 1,059 species discovered and many more that are still unknown to modern science. All this greatness that the “Mother of the Waters” give us along with the habitat and biodiversity can be taken away from humans by humans. There are as many as 11 dams being planned on the lower Mekong and as many as 7 mega dams functioning and 20 more being planned or under construction by the Chinese on the upper portion of the river. Right now, we can only predict the impacts of the dams that will be built. However, we can make accurate predictions by looking at the biggest dam that is already functioning. It is the notorious Three Gorge Dam on the Yangtze River in China. The negative impacts environmentally, economically, and socially of the dam are undeniable. Theoretically, the Three Gorge Dam is considered “clean” and “green” because it does not emit any carbon dioxide. However, if you look deeper inside the construction of the dam, you will see massive deforestation. Deforestation for the construction of the dam is not the only

tree killer out there. Thousands of trees were also killed because of the flooding, and necessary relocation. Relocation causes deforestation because the people whose villages were cleared out need land to build new homes and to farm. Cutting down trees releases carbon dioxide because trees store it within them so they can make food. Therefore, Carbon dioxide floats around in the air and into the atmosphere. This actually contributes to 20% of the greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. Thanks to deforestation, the land will now be exposed to erosion which will ultimately cause landslide. The Three Gorge Dam was opened in 2003 and so far there have been at least 91 places where the shore has collapsed, with a total of 36 kilometer of land carved in. In Fengjie County alone, officials have designated more than 800 disaster-prone areas. Another concern should be the dams collapsing. In this situation people, animals and land downstream could all be destroyed. It is easy to forget about the environment, the animals, and all the things that mother nature gave us when progress is presented. Machines and technologies that give abundance and comfort have left people in want for more. Our cleverness has left us hard and unkind, even to our own planet. Charlie Chaplin once said “This world has room for everyone and the good earth is rich, and can provide for everyone”. This is no longer the case. We have been destroying the good Earth day by day because we have been blinded by technological advancements. It is time for us to wake up, and realise that we must act and stop the building of these dams. We can act before disaster strikes. It is quite simple that convincing the governments to stop building the dams would not be an easy task. However, we can take baby steps by using less electricity. Simple actions such as turning of the lights when you don’t need them, turning off the computers and other electronics.. Unplugging TVs and electrical machines when they are not in use will also save electricity. These actions may seem small and insignificant, but, when there are hundreds, thousands, millions of people who work together, we can make a difference. It is our responsibility to help this might river and all of the people and animals that rely on it.


Nov. 2013


Nov. 2013




Nov. 2013



nyna Restaurant food & drinks corner

BOOK REVIEW MOVIE REVIEW The Hobbit is a classic hero quest and an extraordinary piece of literature. The Hobbit was written by J.R.R.Tolkien, an English author and possibly one of the greatest writers of all time. You should not be surprised if you have read something similar to The Hobbit since it has been an inspiration and template for many modern fantasy books and stories. This book is an adventure filled with magic, wonder and heart stopping action and includes a list of great characters. It is undeniable that The Hobbit is one of the most successful modern fantasy pieces of literature. This is the first book and the foundation of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The Hobbit provides many insights to the series that follows because it shares many characters such as Gandalf, the Baggins (Bilbo and Frodo), the Elves Lord, and the geological locations Middle Earth and Rivendell. However, there are distinct differences in the tone, mood, and motives of the characters between the two books. The Hobbit is also not as difficult to read as The Lord of the Rings and it is a lot more humorous. It can be a more pleasing story, especially for young audiences, since it is much less complicated to comprehend. The most remarkable aspects of The Hobbit are the characters. The characters of the book are allegories to modern humans. Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit, is our main character. When we look at the hobbit communities we see what many modern people want, an easy life filled with food, drink and happiness. An average hobbit has at least seven meals a day. They eat first breakfast, second breakfast, elevens, tea, dinner, suppers and that is excluding snacks. Hobbits also love to throw parties where they eat until they cannot eat any more. Even though they love fun and food there is one thing they do not like, and that is travel and seeking adventure. Bilbo was the same, until he met Gandalf the Grey. Gandalf stirred up his inner adventurousness which leads to Bilbo’s decision of joining the expedition with him and the thirteen dwarves. The adventure of Bilbo and his companions is filled with heart stopping action and stories of courage. Just like any person, a life of easiness is appealing but there is the seed of curiosity and adventure in us all. Tolkien presents his readers those seeds from within and all the fun that comes with it. Gandalf is another great character. This grey wizard will move on to become the main character of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. He is a great leader who knows how to use the resources that are given to him no matter how limited they are. He also has the ability to see through a person and deep into their qualities and that is why Gandalf picked Bilbo to go on the dangerous expedition. All in all, The Hobbit is an excellent book and it is worth the time you invest in it. Even young children can read it and learn many things. I give the book a rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 because of the use of allegory throughout the story. I also ranked this book quite high because of the heart stopping action as well as the good feelings the readers can accumulate from reading it.

Thomas Nguyen

Director: Phil Alden Robinson Genre: drama, fantasy Release date: April 21, 1989 “If you build it, he will come,” a mysterious, soft whisper that voiced out in the middle of a cornfield when nobody’s around, inspired novice farmer Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) to plow under his growing crops and build a baseball diamond directly on his cornfield, despite financial ruins. Soon, Ray and his family saw the legendary Shoeless Joe Jackson (Ray Liotta), a dead baseball player of the infamous Black Sox, on their field. On his journey of creating the magical baseball diamond, Ray found a reclusive activist Terrance Mann (James Earl Jones), who wrote about his childhood dream of playing baseball professionally, and an elderly doctor Graham (Burt Lancaster), who played a single game in the major league but never had a chance to bat. The movie’s filled with heartwarming and graceful moments of taking a second chance, grabbing the opportunities to fulfill one's deepest dreams and fix your regrets. Acting in such an emotional fantasy movie without seeming awkward or ludicrous requires some truthful and experienced acting skills. Costner and Madigan did just that, they successfully portrayed a sensible and lovable married couple who run a farm in Iowa while experiencing some of the most unusual events in their own cornfield. It superbly features a smooth, flowing and intelligent storyline with a heartfelt lesson throughout many touching scenes without becoming overwhelmingly sentimental. The final few minutes are among the best moments of the movie; they deliver a mixture of delights and regrets that you will never expect to happen at the very end. “Field of Dreams” was ranked sixth among the best film in the fantasy genre by the American Film Institute in 2008. If you’re not interested in sports or baseball and you’re wondering if the movie’s worth watching? Definitely yes, it would be quite wrong to call “Field of Dreams” a baseball movie; it goes beyond baseball and sports. It’s recommended for all ages, however, not for extreme realists.

Kathy Duong

Tucked away in a small alley, numbered 227 on the busy street of Xo Viet Nghe Tinh in Ho Chi Minh City’s Binh Thanh district is a jewel of Western cuisine. The name of this eatery is Nyna Restaurant. As a person travels to the Hang Xanh traffic circle onto Xo Viet Nghe Tinh, they will immediately notice Nyna Restaurant because the front of the alley is decorated by two coffee shops, Passio and Urban Station. Located at the end of the alley, the first impression a customer makes while walking into this restaurant is that it feels very homey. The restaurant is built based on a fusion of Western and Asian architecture, giving it an oriental elegance yet modern feel. The friendly staff will immediately greet you as you enter. The menu itself consists of a variety of Western dishes as well as Asian dishes. Pasta, fried rice, Buffalo wings, squid calamari, and grilled ribs in BBQ sauce are all served here. The menu also includes top-quality imported grilled Australian ribeye steak glazed with a magnificent red wine sauce. The dishes served at Nyna are nothing short of amazing in both visuals and tastes. Most surprisingly, however, would be the price. It ranges from only $2 to $10 per dish. Imagine having an amazing cut of Australian steak cooked by a professional chef for just $6. If you are a resident or planning on visiting HCMC, Nyna Restaurant is an experience you definitely don't want to miss.

TAS MUSTANGS basketball team As we kick start the 2013-2014 school year, the High School U19 Mustangs boys basketball team is working hard to prepare for the season. Last season, Coach Michael Crowley led his team of Mustangs to third place in the City Championships, and with the further support of the student body this year, our team can definitely compete against all the other international schools in Ho Chi Minh City. On Tuesday, September 10th, the team had their first reunion and team practice with Coach Mike after school. This year, the Mustangs schedule includes several home games at our own TAS basketball court. This will be an amazing opportunity for students to come out and cheer on our team The team will continue to improve and perform well through hard work and determination. So, students and faculty of TAS, please come out and support the Mustangs basketball team and make TAS proud.

Nov. 2013

Nov. 2013


TAS OCTOBER calendar

TAS soccer teams

by Steven ‘Captain’ Thai





Under 19 Boys Soccer @ BVIS

29 25 24

Quarter 2 Progress Reports Distributed

Elementary Girls Basketball Tournament

28 27

18 17


22 Under 14 Boys Soccer v. AMIS @TAS

21 20

Elementary Boys Basketball game @ SING 3:00-4:00

High School Boys Basketball @ ABC

15 14 13 11 10

Missouri State University reps will be at TAS to discuss their Duel-Credit program with staff & students


Quarter 1 Report Cards Distributed

6 5



Webster University of Half Day for Students Missouri representative will meet with interested Parent Teacher students 2nd period Conferences 12:00-6:00



Fri Thu Sun

The TAS U14 Soccer Team had their tryouts on September 10th to find new players for the upcoming season. In order to choose the best players, Coach Rasul made dribbling skills, shooting skills, ball control, passing abilities and a sportsman like attitude the criteria to find good players.


TAS U14 soccer team tryout





The TAS U19 Soccer Team lost during their first friendly game against Saigon International School. The score was 4-1. After being down 1-0 in the first 20 minutes, Kei scored a penalty kick to tie the score to 1-1. However, the team struggled and lost 4-1 against SIS in the end.





U19 TAS team struggled against SIS on first game

TAS School Calendar ~ November 2013 ~

new players 2013-2014 season


After they finished second in The 20122013 City Tournament (Pool B), The TAS U19 Soccer Team is back in training and preparing for a new season. The team had been working hard before their first practice by doing weight training agility exercises and dribbling and shooting drills. After the warm up exercises, the team was divided equally by Coach Rasul for the training match. The boys put 100% of their effort in the practice as warm up for the new season. This year, TAS U19 Soccer Team is aiming for a champion place in the Pool B City Tournament and a hopeful promotion into the Pool A Division for next year.

Elementary Track & Field Meet @ ISHCMC

Hint: Rotate to have a look!


Nov. 2013



Nov. 2013

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