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THE OVERACHIEVER Thankful for the friends we’ve made.

November 2011 Vol. 8 Issue 2

International Academy 1020 E. Square Lake Road Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304

Staff Principal Ms. Lynne Gibson Associate Principal Mr. Michael Giromini Faculty Facilitator Ms. Sarah Clancy Editor-in-Chief Sarah Khan News Editor

In this issue...

Swathi Shanmugasundaram Features Editor Sneha Edupuganti Entertainment Editor Nancy Huang Sports Editor Karam Hadid Perspectives Editor Nisreen Salka Back Page Editor Abby Strub Contributors Allie Stehney Mina Lee Liz Mandapathil Tiffany Loo Sneha Edupuganti Mariam Anwar Nancy Huang

Karam Hadid Nisreen Salka Abigail Strub

Royal Wedding! .…..…….…..3 Giving Thanks.............…..…5

Entertainment…………...……7 Sports……….....…..…............9 Beyond Teaching…………..10 Crossword..............Back Page

Cover Design Photo by Federica Risi Description The first Powderpuff game in recent history! Seniors, Juniors and Sophomores competed for the victory. Congratulations to all classes for their effort, and to the Class of 2013 for being victorious!

November 2011


A Look Inside the Royal Wedding by Allie Stehney

There was an excited

superb example of what not

buzz throughout the air as the

to wear! On the opposite end

whirlwind of media across the

of the fashion spectrum,

globe was at its peak. As April

however, Kate Middleton’s

29, 2011 rolled around the cor-

ivory wedding dress—

ner, millions of people grew

covered with lace—blew the

anxious to witness the wedding crowds away. Designed by of the century! Crowds gath-

Sarah Burton, a creative di-

ered around Westminster Ab-

rector for Alexander

bey in hope of stealing a glance McQueen, this unique dress of commoner Kate Middleton, the bride to be, and her fiancé Prince William. As guests arrived, the

set the standards high! So where are they now? The Dutch and Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine

public took note of their outfits. and William, have returned From bizarre hats to Kate Mid-

from their lavish honeymoon

dleton’s wedding gown, fashion that they took at an unknown played a dominant role on the

destination , and are remain-

day of the ceremony. Princess

ing out of the spotlight.

Beatrice’s pale pink hat was a

Needing time to adjust

FASHION ALERT!! On the right, Princess Beatrice strides confidently with her pale pink garnish resting on her head.

to the hustle and bustle of the Royal life, the queen has allowed for Kate and William to stay shy of the cameras. Prince William stays busy working on his piloting skills, and Kate is adjusting to her life as a royal figure. And who knows, Kate’s younger sister, Pippa, may find her Prince Charming next!


4 News

The Overachiever

North Korea - Nuclear Developments by Mina Lee

With the stakes of war increasing with time, so have the weapons. Nuclear arms are one of the most devastating types of weaponry. Most would agree that regulation needs to be in place. However, this brings to question the right of a nation to hold these kinds of weapons. How is it decided who gets to have nuclear weapons and who does not? Recently, North Korea and Kim Jong Il have been brought to the spotlight with their conflicting statements and actions concerning nuclear weapons. Ever since the Korean War, strong opposition began to emerge between America and North Korea.

Quite recently, North Korea launched a nuclear missile test, despite the fact that they had consented to an act which prohibited the promotion and action of such nuclear practices. A few years earlier, they had launched yet another nuclear test as well. This erratic behavior caused much concern to America, as they were conscious of South Korea’s precarious situation, considering that it is within the vicinity of North Korea. To the left is a picture of Kim Jong Il. http:// imgres?imgurl=http:// listverse.files.wordpress.c

The United States is currently sending forces to impede North Korea from initiating further illicit actions, and attempting to establish a consensus with North Korea on its nuclear program. Perhaps a advisor from the United States is necessary in order to make sure that North Korea is following the rules they had agreed to.


November 2011

Giving Thanks! Thanksgiving – the fourth

thank the Indians for helping


Thursday in the month of Novem-

them. So, a celebration inviting

ber where no one holds back on

90 people was held in order to

know about the true origins of

their feasting. Filled with delicious

give thanks. Although this first

Thanksgiving, many, however,

dishes all around the table, it is the

“thanksgiving” was not an offi-

keep in mind all the blessings

best time of the year to just “pig

cial holiday yet, it became a

they received throughout the year

out” and feel no guilt. But Thanks-

gathering that was very common

while celebrating such a day.

giving is not only about feasting,

throughout the colonies after fall

Thanksgiving is heartwarming

but also about the time spent with

harvests. It was in October of

holiday when families have the

family through a unified meal. But

1777 that all 13 colonies cele-

opportunity to unite and share a

ever wonder what really sparked

brated Thanksgiving at the same

meal in a form of giving thanks.

this holiday? How this delectable

time, and in 1789, George Wash-

So next time you see that turkey,

day came about?

ington officially declared

stuffing, mashed potatoes, ham

Thanksgiving an official holiday.

and many more delicious foods

When the Pilgrims first arrived

Although very few people

in the New World, they made nu-

fill your dining table, just take a

merous attempts to find suitable

moment to reflect on the past and

land for themselves, where they

remember the true history of

could harvest. The harvest of that


summer was very successful, and the Pilgrims wanted to

Tips for Going Green!


Every issue, the Overachiever will be sharing a new idea to help you live an ecofriendly life. So, keep a lookout for more green tips in future issues!

Tip for November: Rather than using new plastic water bottles daily, use a tin water bottle instead!

6 Features

The Overachiever

Eating Healthy

by MARIAM ANWAR Eating healthy is not about

so staying well hydrated will

strict dietary restrictions, being

also help you make healthier

extremely thin, or even depriving

food choices and help you cut

yourself of the foods you love.

down on unnecessary calorie

Eating healthy is about feeling

intake. As a bonus, drinking

great and enjoying what you are

more water helps flush out the

eating. It may seem like it re-

system of waste products and

quires a lot of work, but it can

toxins more, so you’re less likely

actually be easily be achieved by

to become ill!

learning the basic habits of healthy eating, which in turn can boost your energy, sharpen your memory and stabilize your mood. 1. Eat your breakfast! Eating a simple but healthy meal at the start of your day can jumpstart your metabolism and energy, so you are ready for anything throughout the day! 2. Eat slower! Studies show that just by eating slower, fewer calories will be consumed. The reason behind this mystery is that our brains take around 20 minutes to register that we are full. So, by eating slower, you are giving your brain more time to recognize that you’re full so you will stop on time. 3. Eat in variety! Always eat a variety of fruits and vegetables

as they contain higher concentrations of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Aim for a minimum of five portions each day. 4. Avoid refined foods! Choose healthy carbohydrates

7. Exercise! Find something active that you like to do and add it to your day; the benefits of lifelong exercise are abundant and regular exercise may even motivate you to make healthy food choices a habit.

and fiber sources instead. This is a better option as it provides long lasting energy. Studies have actually shown that people who eat more whole grains tend to have a healthier heart. 5. Add calcium to your diet! Calcium is an essential building block and it helps our bones become stronger. Like always, the more, the better!

7. Avoid sugar and salt! This would include sugary drinks like pop or salty snacks (such as potato chips) as they can become obstacles to your way of a healthy lifestyle. Most importantly don’t ever think of this as restricted diet but a lifestyle you enjoy and follow!

6. Drink more water! Incorporate a higher intake of water


into your healthy life style. It

is common to mistake thirst for hunger,


November 2011


Horror Movie Marathon


that DVD-extra alternative ending

There is, of course, the prob-

could have prevented that…). Not to

lem with choosing a horror movie.

mention bathtubs after Nightmare on

Earlier today, I made a list of what

Elm Street, or TVs after The Ring.

terrifying movie was the best for me

Heck, even Zombieland had me

to see. My results were as follows:

checking the backseat of every car I

A) Nothing NC-17

entered, which was really, really em-

B) Nothing with a sequel—

barrassing whenever it was my turn

The Ring series had already ruined

to drive during Driver’s Ed.

me enough.

The point is—I am abso-

C) Charlie and the Choco-

lutely terrible at watching horror mov-

late Factory does not count as a hor-

Image from

ies. When doing so, I find myself

ror movie.


flinching at every sound that is not


immediately identifiable. There is

of those Scary Movies, Vampires

simply no reason—or, no good rea-

Suck, or Beetlejuice productions. I

son—to let me watch anything that

am not going to let myself wimp out

has blood, gore, screaming, or pi-

of this one, you guys.

Halloween—the greatest time of year for horror movies. Honestly! Now that I have been reduced from my former fairy/witch/elf/doctor/ Hermione Granger-costumed glory and forced to hand out candy to children the size of my little brother, I must take drastic action to make sure that Halloween still contains some ounce of fun. My lack of candy -hunting this year must be compensated. I hunger for justice! I hunger for fun! I hunger for candy. And what better way than with horror films? I will admit it—Saw III made me queasy. And though I vowed to myself that I would be extra, extra careful in public bathrooms after Rest Stop, I still ended up becoming paranoid every time I came within walking distance of a toilet (maybe

D) No spoofs allowed—none

geons. Every horror movie I’ve ever watched has been a bad idea. My

I have now been getting up

friends have even made it a point not

and handing out candy to the small

to invite me on their horror movie

children of my neighborhood for an

outings anymore—something which I

hour. It’s almost time. Once curfew is

am simultaneously offended and

set, I will use Netflix (hey look! Unin-

relieved by.

tentional advertising!) and plug my

But this year will be great,

laptop into the television. From there,

because I will give it no other option.

I will select the scariest movie I can

This year’s Halloween horror movie


will be fantastic. It will be the bloodi-

And while you will be read-

est, goriest, scariest movie I can find.

ing this past Halloween, let’s ac-

It will make me lose so much sleep

knowledge that Halloween is proba-

that—well, actually, I already lose a

bly one of the most enjoyed holidays.

lot of sleep. But that’s beside the

Which is reason enough to kick

point. Though these movies are terri-

back, and watch those horror movies

fying, I always, always make myself

in November (or anytime, really).

do things that scare me. Hence the purpose of tonight: to scare myself.


8 Entertainment

The Overachiever

Horror From Overseas by NANCY HUANG I have Jenny Kim (a Junior) to

If any of you remember the day

I’m supposed to use that box for some-

thank for this article. Without her, I

a whole bunch of Asians gathered

thing more relevant, but oh well) are

would never have been introduced to the

around a single computer in the IA li-

called Oksu Station Ghost and Bong-

delightful concept of Korean horror.

brary simultaneously jumped back,

cheong-Dong Ghost. I have taken great

Thanks, Jenny!

screamed, and rolled around on the floor

pains to find the English translated

(no, we did not just lose a Starcraft tour-

works. You’re welcome.

Jenny showed me (and a bunch of my friends) a very, very scary comic online. I know what you’re thinking: “Oh Nancy, Superman isn’t scary!” or, “Nancy, Batman isn’t THAT bad”, or “Nancy, get real—the graphic novel of Twilight is not scary!”. But I’m not talking about any of those (well—maybe the Twilight one). I’m talking about Korean comics. Being an Asian comic geek, I have grown up with Japanese and Korean comics. I’ve read all the great mangakas and manhwas that have immensely impacted the Asian industry. I am part of Anime Club. I regularly read

nament), then I apologize. I was part of that group. In fact, for a while, we de-

comics are not for the light-hearted. If

cided that Jenny’s horror comic was so

possible, grab an earphone or turn your

terrifying that we made a gentleman’s

speakers on for the best watch. One last

pact never to speak to her again in the


foreseeable future. The pact ended in


about five minutes, in case you were wondering.

Oksu Station Ghost webtoon/detail.nhn? titleId=350217&no=30& weekday=tue Bongcheong-Dong Ghost webtoon/detail.nhn?titleId= 350217&no =31&weekday=tue

manga. And although I prefer Japanese

their Korean artists.

The two comics, whose links I have included in the convenientlysituated gray box above (I’m pretty sure

Boy, was I wrong.

I sent these to a couple of my friends and told them it was a cool comic I wanted them to read. Here is some of their feedback: “!!!” “This is the worst thing ever. Do you know how many things there are? A lot. And this is the worst one.” “I WILL BLAME YOU FOR MY FUTURE HEART CONDITIONS.” “You have ruined my life. Fore-

comics to Korean ones, I thought I was quite familiar with the manhwas and

Keep in mind, though—these

vaaaar.” “NOT FUNNY, NAN. NOT FUNNY AT ALL.” “Omg I hate you.” ...Happy reading!

November 2011


IA Athlete of the Month by Karam Hadid

Tony Petit, a junior at the International Academy, does more than just his homework each night. Petit stays connected with his home high school friends by participating in Varsity Swimming at Seaholm High. His main events in swimming are the 100 meter backstroke, freestyle, butterfly, and 200 meter individual medley. I interviewed Tony to ask him what he thinks of the IA, and how he maintains a relationship with students from his home high school.

Q: Would you recommend a sport for other students?

ways to

A: Definitely. It's fun to compete in something besides academics. Doing sports just gives you good vibes. Yes, it's tough sometimes, but having something to put some energy towards just feels good. You just get into the swing of things. It helps me focus more with school too.


Q: Is it difficult to leave IA and go to another school each day that is completely different socially and academically? A: No, not really. I mean, it's a different environment with different people, but I get along with everyone. It's like any other team, everyone is just really close, which makes it so much more worth it. Q: Explain to the readers how you are able to balance your time and fit swimming in your busy schedule. A: I don't really know, it just kind of happens. I usually come home and eat, then leave for practice which lasts up to 4 hours. After that I just come home, eat again, and hit the books. I get some long nights, but like I said, it's worth it in the end when you’re competing with others and spending time with the team. feels good. You just get into the swing of things. It helps me focus more with school too.

driving. Now, although this may sound boring, it’s done through fun activities involving food, music and games! Each day, the world is seeing that distracted driving is turning into an epidemic. A simple task, such as using a cell phone can ultimately be the reason for an acci-

Q: When did you begin to swim and what inspired you to join varsity swimming? A: I've basically been swimming since I was born. My parents signed me up for classes when I just a baby. I just love being in the water all the time. I started swimming competitively in 5th grade, and I've swam ever since. I decided to do varsity swimming not only to get in shape, but I really wanted to take my swimming to the next level.


dent that could easily be prevented. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, using a cell phone while driving, whether it’s hand-held or handsfree, delays a driver's reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent. An alarming fact to many is that in 2009, A photo of Petit swimming in a meet against an opposing school team.

5,474 people were killed in U.S. road-

**If you would like to be listed as IA’s athlete of the month, please contact the sports editor, Karam Hadid, for details.

448,000 were injured in motor vehicle

Students Against Distracted Driving

by Sophia Huq & Vani Bhatia The new club called “Students Against Distracted Driving”, created by Vani Bhatia and Sophia Huq, has a goal to build awareness for the risks of distracted driving as well as to teach different, creative ways to prevent distracted driving. The club meets on the first Thursday of each month to discuss new

ways and an estimated additional crashes that were reported to have involved distracted driving, according to the U.S Department of Transportation. The International Academy, and the world need people who are willing to fight for the lives of others. This is a national problem that does not seem to be getting any better. However, through the help of students and faculty, people will be able to become informed about this topic and have the knowledge to prevent this from happening to them and their loved ones. If you find any of this interesting or concerning, join our cause and join Students Against Distracted Driving.

10 Perspectives

The Overachiever

Beyond Teaching: Discovery by NISREEN SALKA The core classes of a high school curriculum contain what many consider the basics of an essential education; learning not only content, but also the methods by which to study, critically analyze, and form perspectives about that content for future use in specified fields. However, arguments have been sprung against the power of the high school curriculum in teaching the skills most applicable in real-life situations. Employment and internship opportunities, some claim, provide much more insight into the subtle relationships of various professions, and grant students with a much wider perspective of the world in which they live. However, this argument is derived from the assumption that classes are not taught through discussion and debate, but rather in a limited lecturing format that highlights no more than indisputable facts. The most widely used example is History, for although it relies on certain dates and events, its parameters extend into the murkier, more controversial disputes of causes, motivations, intentions of historical figures, the validity of historical documents, and so on. History could be taught through two widely differing methods, and their consequent outcomes are correspondingly varied, for the integration of sociology and deliberation in historical disputes creates an atmosphere of analysis and inquiry rather than base acceptance. The previously conceived argument of the inability of reciprocating real -life situations in a classroom setting also fails to consider the aspects of each core subject that links it to other fields of study. Economics, for example, is heavily based in business management theory, marketing and public relations, sociology and other sciences of human behavior, history, and even literature. The topics presented by the class cannot be fully comprehended by the students without

allusions to other fields; the teacher must present the implications of their own subject to other professions in order to expand their students’ perspectives and to aid them in developing first cross-curriculum, then cross-ideas, links of their own accord. These encounters with the subtle relationships between core subjects and their corresponding applications beyond the classroom will prepare students sufficiently once the time at which they must leave the lecture hall forever finally arrives. At this point, it is also essential to note that varying teaching methods lead to varying results: teachers could reconstruct any given curriculum based on their own interpretation of the material and their personal beliefs in presenting such information to their students in a method that is both

memorable and beneficial once they stretch their journey beyond that of school. It could be argued that there is no possible way that an interpretation of the curriculum, through the introduction of multiple debates, discussions, socratic seminars, and other similar activities, could possibly influence a student’s preparation for future employment. However, expanding the curriculum beyond what is necessary into what is possible is the first step into overcoming such a barrier, so that students emerge with the necessary tools in order to be successful in whatever path they choose. That first step has already been taken by many schools, the most relevant example at the International Academy being the introduction of the Theory of Knowledge class by the International Baccalaureate curriculum, so that one

Photo courtesy of Iowa State University

November 2011


could truly scrutinize the content taught in class not as factual material, but rather as flexible information. In such a way, International Academy students have learned how to shape their perspectives through what is taught as much as they are taught the information itself: and it is that additional angle that students use to


form their own path on the road to colleges, university, professions, and beyond.

Photo courtesy of Cutcaster

Stressed About School? Try a Smile! by TIFFANY LOO

Photo courtesy of The Good Men Project

According to several members of our IA community, October was the most nerve-racking month of the year. We stressed through Extended Essays, college applications, and internal assessments, not to mention the various extracurricular activities that we all take part

in. We could all feel the anxiety building up, beginning to affect all of us in some way, shape, or form. But a select few were able to maintain their composure. How did they do it? You might be surprised at how simple the answer is.

Smile. Studies have shown that smiling increases your body’s ability to produce serotonin, a hormone that helps with sleep, memory, learning, and appetite control. It is often used to treat nausea, depression, anxiety, and pain. In addition, smiling increases the production of endorphins, which relieve stress and motivate the body to exercise. So the next time you are feeling down, try slapping on a smile! Sometimes smiling can trick the body into changing your mood, relieving stress, boosting your immune system, and leading to an overall improvement in your physical and mental health. Moreover, smiles are known to be contagious! A smiling person spreads a blanket of happiness. With a pleasant expression, you can immediately lighten the mood of your environment. This simple act can make one appear uplifted and confident, instilling stress relief all around. Whether genuine or not, a smile may be the key to maintaining one’s sanity in this stressful IB-induced period of time. Live. Laugh. Smile.

Back Page


I got a Facebook so I could please my grandma (and compete with her on Farmville, which by the way was a dismal failure – she’s the corn queen). And so I could communicate about homework and quizzes and stuff. Most of my news feed is random stuff from IA students, some of whom I’m sure I don’t really know all that well. Am I the only person who gets a little weirded out when they see a name on their news feed and thinks, “I have no idea who that is! How’d they get to be on my friends list?”? . . . I guess so. What is my news feed full of? In reverse chronological order: A photo of a book titled Malice!. Notifications of new friendships between friends of mine and people I don’t care about. Two people making near-identical-but-unrelated comments about the short-lived Kardashian marriage. A poll about “the best Pokémon” that has a made-up Pokémon and one genitalia reference. An angry post about trick-or-treating. A photo of people with small pumpkins with matching names. Someone freaking out about it possibly not being a no-homework weekend. Someone claiming they have “DEM MOVES LIKE JAGGER”. A video of talking twin babies, 11 people changing their profile pictures, several funny videos of children under 2 doing silly things . . . I could literally go on forever. Sometimes I wonder . . . does everyone post to everyone? Or do they set their posts so that only their friends and peers can see? Because half the stuff I see on Facebook, I am glad my family members are not forced to see along with me. I have to assume most everyone is also making use of the privacy settings, unless everyone’s family is just cool with whatever they do. Facebook can be convenient. Sometimes my dad is online as late as I am, and he asks me (via IM) why I’m still on. I say “Homework”, but if he wants to verify that he has to come upstairs and knock, and it takes but three seconds to change my page to match my cover story (if I’m not *telling the truth the first time). And now for something— completely different. (Well, not really). Clues 1.Comedy video stars. 2.Star of a popular anime about catching animals. 3.A common element of statuses. 4.That thing you say you're on Facebook for. 5.The reason you enjoy setting who can see your posts. 6.The other reason you use the privacy settings. 7.The best part of Halloween. 8.The people it's awkward giving candy to. 9.A sign of greed or imaginary greed. 10.Those which should not be trampled in a candy-rush. 11.The number of topics focused on. 12.That place online that needs more love. 13.The forgotten password to Halloween treats.

Overachiever November 2011  

The November issue of the International Academy student newspaper.

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