Page 1

the eye Singapore American School

Alcohol Survey Truly Anonymous Says Dr. Devens See story online at

Dr. Jeff Devens shows Eye Online reporter Freshman Greyson Harness the results from the anonymous survey sent out to all high school students. Photo by Tan Kabra

Vol. 30 No. 6

May 20, 2011

Senior Power To premiere during the June 2 graduation ceremony, the senior video was shot throughout two days. Seniors dressed up during their free periods to create a music video to Kanye West’s “Power.” Photo by Sam Conrad

Turn page to see SAS’s reaction to one laptop under every arm Junior Dominique Pratt uses her Macbook Pro in her History of China class while teacher Kristin O’Connor lectures. Photo by Anbita Siregar

Where in the Wordle are they going? Senior’s college list on pg 8 Seniors decked out in red for the senior video titled “Power.” Photo by Sam Conrad

Research doesn’t support admin decision on uniforms. Read on pg 15

A student in the library is out of dress code. He wore a sweatshirt around school to conceal his crime. Photo by Leo De Velez • 40 Woodlands St. 41, Singapore 738547 • • (65) 6363 3404 • MICA (P) 091/05/2011



May 20, 2011

One year in: One-to-One

After one year with laptops, feelings about the program are mixed

Students work on their laptops for a Social Studies teacher Jason Adkison uses a projector to lecture his class while stuents collaborative project in Social Studies teacher take notes on laptops. Other interactive technology used in SAS include Blackboard and Jason Adkison’s class.Photo by Leo De Velez There’s an ongoing debate between SAS students on which is better: Mac or PC. Photo by Leo De Velez Powerschool. Photo by Leo De Velez

1:1 In an Eye survey about one-to-one’s first year, teachers were given a chance to make comments about the change. All comments were anonymous. These are a few.

“I think technology can give a learner control over what they learn and I love it!” “If you’re asking me if technology has helped improve my relationship with students, I would say no. The personal touch is missing.”

“With wireless connections we are able to work in the class and other locations on campus. This is a lot better than working out of å computer lab.”

“We are a school; we are not an internet cafe.”

By Becky Kreutter At the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year, the high school inaugurated its one-to-one laptop program. According to the Student Handbook, students in grades nine to 12 are required to “own a laptop as a necessary tool for our academic program” (page 42). “We want students to have access anytime, anywhere to information and to learning that is going on around the world,” high school Principal Dr. Timothy Stuart said. Access to more research, though not all credible

said. Another teacher felt that the time and effort spent researching ways to use laptops in class was not justifiable if the research will not improve the class. “Finding something requiring the use of a laptop takes considerable time and research and is not always a better way to teach many of the topics I need to teach in my field.” Deputy Principal Lauren Mehrbach said the administration realizes that the laptop is simply a tool for learning. “We never expected that every class would be using computers every day. That’s not our goal and that’s not realistic,” Mehrbach said. “That would almost be detrimental, trying to force teachers to use something like that when it’s not an appropriate tool.”

Dr. Stuart said that when he was in school, research meant combing through books in a library and compiling note cards, tasks which didn’t give him as much breadth as students have today. “You have access to thousands and thousands of A variety of brands leads to a variety of problems papers and research that’s been written on that particular topic, so it’s not just three One of the early challenges of books,” Dr. Stuart said. “That’s the program was the mixed platform, power.” mixed brand program SAS uses. This While having such a range means that students not only work off of information gives students of two platforms, Windows and Mac, more options in their research, but also own a variety of brands that they must learn to separate the use Windows. good resources from the bad While the mixed platform model a skill not as necessary when was chosen to allow students to use students pulled research from the type of computer they felt more published books. comfortable with, teachers encounStudents have not been the tered problems with getting projects only beneficiaries of the depth to run smoothly, particularly if teachof resources on the Internet. ers themselves weren’t used to the Teachers have been able to innew technology. Many teachers had corporate information from the to scrap projects because of technoweb into their courses. logical glitches. Dr. Timothy Stuart Science Department Chair “Because it is the first year, teachDennis Steigerwald said that having laptops in class has ers have different levels of proficiency when it comes to differentiated his teaching and made it more student- computer use... And that’s okay,” Dr. Stuart said. centered. Steigerwald said he is able to use not only One teacher who responded to the survey said, traditional lectures in class, but also videos, visuals and “Good teachers are going to teach well, bad teachers interactive content from the web. are going to teach badly, in spite of the technology.” Steigerwald is not the only teacher to see an increase Teachers will have to adapt to teaching with comin variety thanks to laptops. One teacher who responded puters, though Steigerwald said that the administration to The Eye’s One-to-One survey commented that com- acknowledges different teaching styles and encourages puters gave teachers the opportunity to get instant feed- the use of technology without mandating it. back from students as well as students to get feedback In the past all teachers had to use Lenovo laptops from each other. The teacher mentioned blogs, Wikis, which they may or may not have been familiar with. For social bookmarking, and YouTube as just some of the next year, teachers were allowed to switch to Macs if programs available to students before adding, “I think they preferred. As a result, about 70 percent of teachers technology can give a learner control over what they next year will use Macs in class. learn and I love it!” HS Technology Coordinator, Jay Atwood, said that while the computer itself doesn’t change teaching, the But have learning and teaching really changed? more comfortable teachers are with their tools, the more Not all students have felt the effects of differenti- they can innovate. If teachers know how to make a podated learning. Junior Dominique Pratt, who moved cast or blog, they can incorporate that into their teachfrom a paperless school in Bombay, said there is noth- ing. ing she does with her laptop in class that she couldn’t do Training teachers in technology without one. Pratt uses her laptop mainly to take notes during class which she said has helped her stay more For teachers who don’t know how to make a podorganized. cast or blog, training is available. Training for teachers “You can always take notes on a piece of paper,” so far has been teacher-motivated, not top down from Pratt added. the administration. Senior Barbara Hoffer does just that. Atwood, said that teachers who wanted to learn how “For most classes, laptops are optional, but I just to incorporate technology into the classroom had three prefer to use paper and pen to take my notes. It’s just options this year. easier,” Hoffer said. Teachers looking to broaden their skill set could atSome teachers agree that not much has changed tend once-a-month, after-school sessions or they could with the addition of laptops. attend shorter sessions during the day. But Atwood said “A lap top is just a tool, no more and no less. I don’t the majority of training that the IT office does is, what think it has changed my teaching or how I do things in he labels “just-in-time training.” any way,” one teacher respondent to The Eye survey Teachers who wanted to do a specific project with

It is our absolute responsibility to equip our students to be successful and competitive in the 21st century and using technology is part of that.

technology came to the IT office with the project when they needed it. Atwood said the office has helped teachers use Skype, iMovie, QuestionPress and other applications in their classrooms. Temptations in Facebook, YouTube, Skype, more Perhaps the biggest change teachers will have to make will be in classroom management, in particular making sure students don’t become too distracted by Internet focus-zappers like Skype and Facebook. Atwood, who also has a background as a psychology teacher, said, “Students have this false idea that they can multitask and pay attention to what’s happening on Facebook as well as what’s going on in class, and it just doesn’t work.” While Pratt agrees that students need to have selfcontrol in class to stay off Facebook, she said she believes some blame for heavy Facebook work falls on teachers. Pratt said teachers could better control Facebook by walking around in the back of the class and enforcing the screens-down approach. Steigerwald found another way to see if students were using Facebook in class. “Watch their eyes,” Steigerwald said. “They have not only a different expression, but also they are looking at a different place on the screen if they’re typing and writing.” While he admits that he finds kids on Facebook all the time, Steigerwald said that in the biology program the laptop is integral to the assignments which keeps kids on task. Yet Eye survey results show students are more distracted by Facebook than teachers think. According to the Eye survey whose results are shown in SAS in Numbers, most teachers thought only a small minority of students used Facebook during class. However, the survey showed that almost two-thirds of students used Facebook during class. Looking to the future Atwood said the responsibility to focus in class rests with the students. Atwood said teachers cannot be expected to police students’ screens so students must learn to manage their own time wisely. “Facebook is still going to be there when you are done with class,” Atwood said. Multi-platform program problems are bound to arise on a campus as large as SAS, but Atwood said he expects things to improve over the next few years as the program is perfected. “We’re all kind of guinea pigs right now,” Atwood said. “We can’t expect things to change overnight.” One teacher wrote, “To label the program as a failure or success at this point would be short sighted. We need to be patient and grow with this amazing opportunity.” Mehrbach agreed with this view. “This year was more about letting teachers try it out, see what works, what succeeds and what fails,” she said. Dr. Stuart shares Mehrbach’s and Atwood’s longterm views and said that, as the program is perfected, both teaching and learning will change for the better. “It is our absolute responsibility to equip our students to be successful and competitive in the 21st century and using technology is part of that,” Dr. Stuart said. “We’ve got to stop calling it the ‘one-to-one initiative’...Technology is here to stay, it is not going away.”



May 20, 2011


All sports here first season 2011 By Becky Kreutter All IASAS athletes will converge on Woodlands in October for the 30th anniversary of IASAS, the Interscholastic Association of Southeast Asian Schools. SAS will host soccer, volleyball and cross-country teams from all six IASAS schools. Activities and Athletics Director Mimi Molchan said she asked to host this event three years ago after seeing the success of the 25th anniversary celebration of IASAS at SAS. She began planning the event in November of last year when she began getting schedules together and thinking of T-shirt designs. While Molchan generally has little trouble securing enough housing for an IASAS event, housing 396 athletes requires both this year’s third-season athletes and firstseason athletes next year to pitch in. To ensure the event runs smoothly, Molchan said she expects all freshmen, JV and varsity teams in first-season sports to house athletes from other schools. “If you are going to do activities out of our office, housing is a responsibility that goes with the privilege of participating in the programs,” Molchan said. The freshmen and JV players will also help to run the event as part of the Athletic Council. In addition to first-season IASAS, SAS will also host Cultural Debate and Forensics in March and IASAS softball in April.

QR codes, the new bar code By Bram Xu Two weeks ago, Morning Show hosts announced the posting of QR codes around campus as part of a schoolwide scavenger hunt. Quick response, or QR codes, are a new type of barcode that can be read by QR readers which can be downloaded as an app on a smartphone. The reader translates the image to an action, such as sending an SMS, opening a hyperlink or a message. The scavenger hunt was set up by a group of students in Diana Pratt’s Emerging Computer Technologies class. Not all of the QR codes are with the scavenger hunt though. For example, the ones outside the bathroom door open up surveys to rate that bathroom. Pratt and her class thought QR codes could be used check the daily schedule, to get the homework, or to get the citation of a book by scanning a code printed inside the book.

Islander 2011 takes new shape By Gretchen Connick As tradition requires, Islander adviser Tate Sonnack and the yearbook staff stayed silent on the Islander theme until the books were delivered. He offered only a hint last week. “Your journey through high school has its twists and turns,” Sonnack said. Pressed to reveal the cover design, he added, “You’re asking all these questions I can’t tell you.You’ll have to wait to find out.” Students have taken delivery of almost 1300 of the square-formatted books, an Islander first, with cutout three-by-three letters spelling the theme, “Labyrinth,” on the cover. It is not surprising that Sonnack feels so strongly about extending the suspense for as long as possible. This is Sonnack’s fifth Islander. He was sophomore editor for the 2001 Islander, co editor-in-chief his junior and senior years; this is his second and last year adviser. Sonnack finishes a two-year internship in June (see profile, pages )



May 20, 2011

Pakistani protestors shout slogans against the US President Barack Obama for eroding Pakistan’s sovereignty with its operation to eliminate Osama bin Laden, during a protest in Multan on May 6, 2011. Hundreds of Pakistanis took to the streets on May 6, cheering Osama bin Laden and shouting ‘death to America’ to condemn a unilateral US raid on their soil that killed the Al-Qaeda chief. Photo by S S MIRZA/AFP/Getty Images)

People gather in Times Square may 2, 2011 shortly after the announcement from the President Obama announced that Al-Qaida mastermind Osama bin Laden was dead and the United States has his body. Bin Laden was killed in a mansion close to Islamabad. Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/ AFP/Getty Images)

Students’ reactions vary in wake of Al Qaeda leader’s death Some confessed indifference, others relief or caution. Reactions to cheering crowds disturb some. By Viraj Bindra At approximately 10:40 in the morning on May 2, 2011, the Internet exploded with tweets, facebook statuses, and news updates all containing one name: Osama Bin Laden. The death of the Al Qaeda leader came as a result of United States’ military action authorized by President Obama, who subsequently made an announcement of the operation once he was satisfied that the body had been identified with certainty. As groups of Americans began loud cheering in the streets at places such as the White House and Ground Zero, students in our school all reacted in different ways. Some were perfectly ambivalent. “I didn’t care” junior Ishan Krishan said. “It didn’t impact my life in any way” Others were positively exuberant. “It was awesome” sophomore Alex Berenger said, “A lot of people had been waiting a long time for this day, and so they were all really happy to see the end of the leader of such a terrifying terrorist group.” This cathartic experience was prominent throughout social media forums at the time. Facebook statuses included “10 years later, 2977 souls finally avenged” and “People outside the White House are cheering ‘USA! USA!’ haha.” Others simply announcing Osama’s death were met by witty, relieved comments such as “Thank goodness, now I can fly again.” This fervor, however, soon died down. “Initially, I was really happy” said sophomore Rohan Bharvani. “But when I saw people celebrating

and cheering, that felt wrong. It’s hypocritical for those people to celebrate death, even the death of someone like Osama.” David Sirota, left-wing opinion columnist for articulated this view in an online article criticizing the American response to Bin Laden’s death.

“This is bin Laden’s lamentable victory” Sirota said. “He has changed America’s psyche from one that saw violence as a regrettable-if-sometimes-necessary act into one that finds orgasmic euphoria in news of bloodshed. In other words, he’s helped drag us down into his sick nihilism by making us like too many other bellicose societies in history -- the ones that aggressively cheer on killing, as long as it is the Bad Guy that is being killed.” Overall, students seem to be adopting a more longterm outlook on recent events. “I don’t really feel safer in general” senior Gainya St. Clair said. “Unprovoked violence will still keep happening, especially now that Osama’s supporters will be angry. Politically, I think this might end up helping Obama in his campaign, but only because of shortsighted swing votes.” This question of the effect Bin Laden’s death might have on Obama’s re-election has become a hot topic in the American media, and some students seem to think that the incident will entice the public to vote Obama. “Yes, I think people will be more inclined to vote for Obama now,” Bharvani said. “But wrongfully so. One incident shouldn’t define a presidency.” Others thought that the President’s actions did not merit credit. “Obama had nothing to do with it” Krishan said. “The United States has been trying to get Bin Laden for ten years now. Obama did nothing on his own, and I don’t think that he’ll be re-elected just because of this.” Berenger said when questioned about the impact of Osama’s death, “Let’s just wait and see.”


May 20, 2011

An Eye Staff Editorial

Forget Big Brother, Facebook is watching

In an age of easy uploads, pictures posted today might hurt us in tomorrow’s job market Our parents had it easy. When they drank underage - and parents, don’t try to deny that you didn’t make our same mistakes - there were no blurry Facebook pictures to remind them just how much they drank. With no videos narrated in slurred voices and no images of compromising situations, the proof of their deeds disappeared as quickly as the hangovers. But our misdeeds last forever. One drink too many and the whole Facebook community knows. It only takes one Blackberry instant upload to change a reputation. Who among us hasn’t engaged in some harmless Facebook stalking? We love to see what other people are up to, and let’s admit it, judge them for the choices they’ve made. But why should we care about a few blurry pictures? With the News Feed’s continuous updates, the pictures will soon be buried deep in the Facebook picture wilderness. Nobody looks past the first few pages of pictures anyway. Right? Maybe nobody today looks past the first few pictures. But the bad choices we get away with today could come back to hurt us in the future. The Internet lasts forever. We may laugh off our nights in the morning, but we could be staring at that incriminating picture years down the road, way after we’ve forgotten we even looked like that. The incidences of Internet dirt hurting careers rises each year. And it isn’t just politicians and Miss America who need to be concerned. Inappropriate pictures, videos, comments and statuses are diligently filed away wherever Facebook goes when we aren’t looking at it. A skilled investigator, or an amateur stalker can pull up that information in minutes. Once, allegations from the past pitted one person’s word against another’s. No more. But even if we want to take that evidence down, we can’t. Only the person who posted it has the right to remove it which leads to the question of blame. Our generation is no crazier than the last; the difference is the proof of our wild times stays online forever. So perhaps we shouldn’t blame kids for being kids, but should blame the photographer for the evidence. In a world of a billion cameras, a billion eyes ready to capture each moment of our lives, the bad ones are bound to make it to the Internet. Anyone who tries to sidestep every photo will find themselves in an exhausting game of hopscotch for eternity. No, the problem can’t be solved by expecting every adolescent to act their age, underage, and it can’t be solved by avoiding every amateur paparazzi. However, it can be lessened with a collective agreement to share photos, laugh at the good moments, cringe at the bad, and then take the photos off the web.

the eye Singapore American School 40 Woodlands Street 41 Republic of Singapore 738547 Phone: (65) 6363-3404 Fax: (65) 6363-6443


Gold Award

International First Place


Editor-in-chief: Sophia Cheng, Managing editors-in-chief: Phil Anderson, Gretchen Connick, Anbita Siregar, Op/ed editor: Becky Kreutter, A&E editor: Olivia Ngyuen, Sports editor: Hannah L’Heureux, Layout editor: Jennie Park, Photo editor: Leonel De Velez, Reporters: Phil Anderson, Viraj Bindra, Sophia Cheng, Gretchen Connick, Leonel De Velez, Erica Huston, Rachel Jackson, Becky Kreutter, Hannah L’Heureux, Emily Nelson, Olivia Ngyuen, Ash Oberoi, Jennie Park, Anbita Siregar, Tyler Stuart, Megan Talon, Michael Too, Adviser: Mark Clemens; Synergy Chief: Viraj Bindra The Eye is the student newspaper of the Singapore American School. All opinions within these pages are those of their respective writers and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Singapore American School, its board of governors, PTA, faculty or administration. Comments and suggestions can be sent to the Eye via the email address, At the author’s request, names can be withheld form publication. Letters will be printed as completely as possible. The Eye reserves the right to edit letters for reasons of taste and space.


Third grade dreams may have been best career advice Fear of failure sends us in safe directions

When I was in kindergarten, firemen visited my Jennie Park school. They showed us pictures of the cool pole they got to slide down day and night, and they shared stories of courage. One word came to mind: awesome. In kindergarten, I resolved to be a fireman. When I was in second grade, I wanted to be a vet on the basis that puppies were adorable and I didn’t want them to die. In middle school, after watching “Almost Famous” for the first time, I wanted to be William Miller, a young writer for The Rolling Stone. I wanted to meet famous musicians and share good music with the world. I thought about these past ambitions about a month ago, when I was deciding what I wanted to major in. I chuckled to myself. Obviously I could never be a fireman, I mean, it is fireman not firewoman - that is mere-

ly the patriarchal society we live in. A vet? I would be the butt of all jokes. “Jennie can’t even be a real people doctor.” Ah, but surely journalism would be a suitable career. Oh wait-- no one reads anymore. This negativity crept into my mind almost instantly. But I realized, this wasn’t negativity at all, rather, something society has taught me to think. This mindset is what caused me to consider a major other than literature, despite literature being my first love. I began to look into business and economics because, in my mind, these presented themselves to me as practical majors with promise for my future. But I was never a second grader who dreamt of sitting in a cubicle doing the bidding of some faceless corporation. Yet still, I weigh them as options for my future because I’m scared. In fact, we’re all scared. We fear inadequacy, not making

money, and most of all, failure. But no one wants an “okay” life. We want adjectives like “robust” and “titillating” and “marvelous.” But instead, we settle for something “safe” rather than something that makes us happy. When I was younger, I never thought of pursuing a career that was “safe.” My career ambitions were based solely on how much I liked them. But one would say, “You were naive then, you didn’t know any better.” But sometimes, I wish I had never lost my naiveté. It is in this way, that youngsters are infinitely wiser than us. They lack the fear that society will later instill in them - a fear of failure. So graduating class, hold fast to third-grade dreams. It may seem idealistic, but if there is any time to take risks, it’s now, because we have ample room to make them. All of us have the capacity to dream but I know that all of us also have the capacity to make those dreams a reality.

Editor’s Note

daily, or monthly even. We do not have the power to influence world events or political decisions. We do not have a professional staff of several hundred. But as I flip through other high school newspapers, I realized we are better at what we do than many of the high school press. We have stories covering most aspects of high school, or so we try. We touch on sensitive subjects such as anorexia. Our reporters have interviewed not just fellow students and teachers, but also best-selling authors and executives. We go on excursions around Singapore for first hand information – whether it’s checking out a particular restaurant or evaluating public transportation. Most importantly, the Eye has proven itself an influential member of the SAS community. It has become a forum where students can voice their opinion and actually be heard.

observers. We must learn how to take on controversy responsibly. We must learn how to really report the truth – even if it means offending teachers or administrators. We have been working towards that this year. In issue four, we wrote an editorial about interim sponsors’ behaviors: “Reports of sponsors drinking and smoking in front of kids or choosing to ignore the actions of students who did so, surfaced this year.” Although we didn’t name names, the article enraged many teachers – some expressing their anger at our adviser, Mr. Clemens. Were we wrong for publishing the article? The goal of the article was to offer a perspective while reporting the truth. The piece was well researched and everything was based on first hand information and investigation. We report student misbehaviors, and we should report teacher misbehaviors that endanger students as well – in the most respectful way possible. Our goal is to be fair and unbiased, not one-sided.

Sophia Cheng If you are reading this, that means the Eye team has actually managed to finish the sixth and final issue for the 2010-2011 school year. Now that it has come to an end, I can’t help but wonder if all the effort we’ve put into the paper was worth it. Putting together a 16-page paper is not an easy task. Every story you read has been subjected to countless drafts. Editors spend weekends laying out till the only creatures left in the Media Lab are roaches and geckos. Have we achieved our goals? Newspapers, on a professional level, should be diligent and unbiased. Their ultimate goal should be to inform readers with what they need to know, not always what they want to know. These are the characteristics that separate newspapers from tabloid magazines, that separate newspapers from the Internet blogs. What ultimately separates great journalism from the mediocre is substance – the ability to inform, enlighten, persuade, entertain and to some degree, influence readers at the same time. The Eye is no Huffington Post or New York Times. We do not publish

Articles influence policy Take our staff editorial in the first issue as an example. The piece examined, closely, some of our foul restrooms – “For a top-tier institution, SAS has some bottom-rung restrooms. The point is, the toilets seem plagued with problems, yet nothing is being done.” The result? Facilities reacted immediately and effectively. Restrooms are now scrubbed down every fortnight instead of every month, ventilation fans were repaired, standards and methods of cleaning bathrooms were reviewed and twenty-seven air fresheners were put to work to get rid of the smell. In short, cleaner and better bathrooms. In issue three, our staff editorial touched on the issue of unheeded student voices in SAS – “For some reason the administration seems hesitant to ask students their opinions about upcoming changes.” The result? A series of forums led by Dr. Stuart for students to voice their opinion on issues such as drug policy and breathalyzers. More than 15 percent of the high school population attended. Room for improvement We must learn how to be keen

Growing as a writer and reporter While finishing up my final issue, I reflected upon my two years as a student writer and reporter – fourteen issues, countless late-night sessions and too many McDeliveries. What have I really learned? What has working with Clemens and the staff taught me? Plenty. As journalists we must aim to preserve what the printed press values the most – thorough, thoughtful journalism. We must learn how to research and dig, separate rumor from truth, learn how to follow through until the story is told in its entirety. It’s a shame that the printed press is a dying industry. I have learnt the power of information and how easy it is to manipulate the crowd. I have learnt the power of the press to influence, impress and inform. Thank you Clemens, for everything you’ve taught me. Goodbye Eye, and thanks for an amazing two years.



May 20, 2011

College you love or the college that loves you? by Michael Too

Choosing may come down to a choice between the school that tops student lists or the school, or schools, that entice students with offers of scholarships, special programs or honors.

Senior and Eye reporter Viraj Bindra has aspired to attend Stanford University for the past two years. Stanford University, located in Palo Alto, California, was Bindra’s top choice university, hands-down. But recently a dilemma rose during his decision making; he was considering another university. But this time, it wasn’t because he was particularly interested in the university, but instead, the university –Tufts – was particularly interested in him. Bindra may have been pursuing Stanford for the past two years, but ever since he applied to Tufts, they have been pursuing him – via detailed emails and even friendly “tweets” on Twitter. Stuck between the two colleges, Bindra had to make a tough decision: choose the college he loves, or choose the college that loves him. Most colleges require a final decision from admitted students by May 1. Leading up to this date, many seniors have an experience similar to Bindra’s. For Bindra, it was the battle of Stanford’s prestigious reputation versus Tufts’ persistent reaching out to him, showing interest in him. “On one hand, there’s a school I’ve been trying for two years to get to,” Bindra said. “On the other hand, there’s a school who makes me feel accepted and embraced.” Another graduating student, Alex Wong, wasn’t stuck between two

schools, but between a school and enlisting in Singapore’s National Service. Wong has a six month gap between the time he graduates to the time he is required to report to National Service. His dilemma was whether it was better to wait in Singapore until NS began or to attend the college offering him a scholarship Fordham University. “I’m afraid that if I do not attend and then reapply later after NS, I might not get the same scholarship, or it might be less, or might not be offered at all,” Wong said. Wong has considered all the possible scenarios. “Even if I did online classes before I attend [Fordham], and before NS, I’d have to reapply as a transfer student which, in that case, I might

ily their first choice. “Choosing a college is a business decision, as well as a personal like or dislike decision,” Kramer said said she tells students. “There is so much hype about the college decision process; people think there is a perfect college for them. Just as you are investing money, or making an important purchase, people compare value. They want to see what they are getting for their money. It’s important to look at the [decision process] not only as an emotional thing, but as a business choice for the whole family.” A major factor for students and their families, Kramer said, is the family’s financial situation. “For some families, paying $10,000 less is a big factor.” Sometimes the fact that the stu-

leges have many other ways to provide incentives to attend their college. As the commitment deposit deadline date nears, many colleges review where their desired prospective students are from.They then have current students from their same towns, if not same high schools, contact them. Some universities hold “admitted student events.” Although these are more popular in the U.S., larger private schools like Northeastern, University of Southern California, or Boston University will host these events around Asia. At these events, admitted students have the opportunity to socialize with current students and faculty, and learn more about the school. “[These colleges] invite admitted students to generate excitement for the college,” Kramer said. Do these attempts to reach out to prospective students prove futile? “Based on school rankings, [Tufts] was my safety school,” Bindra said, “but I [personally] ranked it number two because of the amount of support I feel like I got out of their interaction with me.” For other students, it is not the issue of feeling embraced but the issue of money. Shoko Oda was the receiver of the largest scholarship given to a student at SAS – a fully paid tuition to attend the University of Southern California. The scholarship she received, ti-

one hand, there’s a school I’ve been trying “ On two years to get to; on the other hand, there’s a school I feel accepted and embraced. “ -Viraj Bindra, senior

lose my scholarship,” Wong said. Wong chose to wait on Fordham. Beth Kramer, a junior and senior counselor, said she works with at least two students every year who are offered scholarships larger than they expected. These students are often influenced by these scholarships even though the colleges weren’t necessar-

dent has received a scholarship to a school will persuade them to enroll. “For other families, [the] pride of getting a large scholarship is also a factor,” Kramer said. If they aren’t giving out “tuition discounts” – the behind-the-scenes term for scholarships – or consistently keeping in contact with students, col-

Empty nest takes toll on parents

Seniors move on and leave parents behind. Feelings of loneliness hard to avoid

EMPTY NEST SYNDROME: Serious cases of empty nest syndrome can affect a parent’s ability to function in his or her’s daily routine. ENS affects mother more commonly than fathers.

By Olivia Nguyen When Josh Abueva graduated from SAS last year, Redge Abueva put on a smile for her son. Accepted into Notre Dame University, Abueva was excited to live in a dorm, possibly join a fraternity and meet new people; however, little did Abueva know, his family would miss him immensely. Although she said she was proud of Josh for the choices he has made, once he left for college Redge Abueva immediately missed her son’s smelly shirts on the floor, the impromptu wrestling matches with his siblings, and the noisy video games he used to play for hours. She also missed being able to talk about his day, and hugging him whenever she felt like. Anxiety, sleep deprivation, depression and excessive crying are all symptoms of ENS, or empty nest syndrome. It is a feeling of depression experienced by parents after their chil-

tled the Trustee Scholarship, includes full tuition, and any study abroad expenses, excluding room and board. “Tuition is about $42,000 a year, and the Financial Aid people said it’s constantly increasing. If it increases, [USC] will cover that, too” Oda said. Oda was accepted into three other colleges; however, George Washington University was the only college that also gave her a scholarship worth an annual $15,000. “After I got [USC’s] scholarship, it was between USC and Wellseley College, but USC came in a better package because I also got accepted into the Honors General Education,” Oda said. USC’s Honors General Education is a program in which only 200 entering Freshmen, after applying, are chosen to be in. This benefits of this program are smaller classes and better professors. Another factor that swayed Oda towards USC is their highly skilled marching band, which recently appeared in the popular television series, Glee. “I’m planning to be in the marching band there,” Oda said. Oda has finally decided to attend USC. “I guess if they’re giving you a scholarship, if you got into their honors program, and they have something you really want to do, then go for it. They’re literally paying you to go there,” Oda said.

dren have grown and left home. Often parents can be swamped with feelings of loneliness after their child has departed, and can’t cope with the loss. “I had always thought I would be ready for Edward (‘10) to leave home to go to college, but the reality was quite different,” Julie O’Connell, mother of two said. “It was strange not knowing what he was doing each day, meeting his new friends and really finding out how he was adjusting to his new environment.” O’Connell said. Dineen Chapman, mother of three, prepares herself for her eldest child Taylor (‘11) leaving at the end of this year. “I think the silence will be deafening,” Chapman commented. Although empty nest syndrome can change parent’s lives, with time and acceptance, empty nest syndrome can pass, and parents can move forward. “I knew it was where he should be, and this move was all part of him growing up to be an independent, happy and successful young man.” Julie O’Connell said. Also in order to be a part of this stage in their child’s life, Redge Abueva believes no matter what distance, communication is key for maintaining a strong relationship- “He’s just a bbm away!”


May 20, 2011


A peticularly painful good-bye Seniors share their thoughts on leaving behind more than just family

Louie, senior Gretchen Connick’s pet pug, hangs out with her while she finishes her homework, perhaps hoping for a late night snack - of homework. Photo by Gretchen Connick

By Gretchen Connick As of June 2nd, I will be an SAS graduate, heading off for college. My friends and teachers know where I’m going and what I’ll be doing, but, when I move out of the house, there is one old friend who will have no clue. His name is Louie and he is my six-year-old pug. In the midst of making the transition from senior to alumni, it is not difficult to forget about a very important demographic: our furry friends. Senior Rodrigo Zorrilla is not looking forward to the looming separation with his Rhodesian Ridgeback, Shaka Zulu. “My parents know I’ll be back, and I can still talk to them over Skype, but no one is going to take my dog out for runs and no one is going to play with my dog when I’m gone,” Zorrilla said. Similarly, Senior Torrey Cullen

Hallam to take year off from classroom to promote book By Megan Talon It all started when Deputy Principal Lauren Mehrbach asked English teacher Andrew Hallam to present a Teachers Teaching Teachers session on finance. Hallam finished the session with the observation that an Ivy league college

In the Eye’s April issue, the story “Facebook a real drag” made two incongruous statements. The first claims that Facebook-using students are “maxing out” Internet connections everyday, and the second maintains that “the school’s Internet traffic rarely exceeds 30 percent of... capacity.”

graduate knew about as much about investing as the average high school sophomore. Hallam says that is when he decided to write the simplest finance book possible. “Since we are not taught how to manage our finances in school, we go into the real world ‘naked in a blizzard,’” Hallam said. He had written articles on finance before, one for “Money Sense,” another for “Readers Digest.” These earned him a finalist spot for two Canadian National Publishing Awards. Hallam has penty of advice for young, first-time investors: First of all, save money. Second of all don’t borrow money to buy things that lower in value. “Don’t borrow money to buy a car, borrow money to buy a house. A house increases value over time, a car loses money over time and you will pay a high interest rate for it.” “The Millionaire Teacher” will be hitting the stores in August in Singapore a month later in Australia, then on to the U.K. and U.S. around October or November. “Teaching investment and how to save money is about as hard as grade eighth math, not even. In all likelihood these are the things that can change peoples lives. Its totally simple and its not taught in schools. Its insane that its not taught in school.” Hallam said. In fact, students are accessing Facebook from 1-3pm everyday, but are only reaching the limit allowed for Facebook access on the school’s network, and not the entire network’s bandwidth. Also, in the last issue “A modest prom-

posal” was left uncredited. The writer of that story was Alex Wong of the Eye Online. In the Cultural Convention spread

in the last issue one of the photos incorrectly spelled senior Becka Ruan’s name. Our apologies to Becka Ruan.

does not want to leave his bottle cap chewing dog, Rosie. Although he is not upset about no longer having to take her out every morning, Cullen will miss certain aspects of their relationship. “I’ll miss having her at the foot of my bed,” he said. Pets hold more place in a household than just being a playmate when the time feels right. They are friends and part of the family. “When I was little I moved a lot, but my dog was always there and now this will be the first time moving without my dog,” senior Nick Starr said. Unlike humans, pets do not understand what is going on or why their friend is leaving. “I probably won’t say goodbye because he won’t understand, but he’ll probably be confused when I don’t come to bed,” Starr said. Many seniors find the communication barrier between themselves

and their pets difficult, but pets do not hold grudges and they love owners unconditionally. “I guess the way you get along with a little pet is different from the way you get along with your family,” Zorrilla said. Starr said that having his dog around is relaxing, so that aspect makes leaving sad. “Whenever I come home, he is waiting at the door for me, and when I leave he sits at the door. I know he doesn’t, but it’s almost as if he sits at the door all day because when I come back he’s right where I left him,” Starr said. When you leave, what would you like to say to your pet? “I would say that I’ll see him soon and not to worry, it will all be chill,” Zorrilla said. “I guess I would say that I love him,” Starr said.

Billboard names alumna to top 30 Under 30 in industry By Viraj Bindra A globetrotter from an early age and an alumni of Singapore American School, Priya Dewan was recently named in Billboard’s Power Players: 30 Under 30 list, which honored thirty of the most influential young people in the music and record label industry. The 1999 graduate acknowledges the role that her background played in shaping her career. Growing up in Philippines and the Singapore before the prominence of the Internet meant that she was not exposed to a lot of modern music until college. In contrast with Priyanka Dewan, a most people entering 1999 graduate (and the industry, who former Eye deputy ediwere generally mutor is the daughter of sic aficionados from former English teacher a very young age, Dr. Roopa Dewan. she had a unique perspective. “I think that was kind of advantageous, because for me everything was fresh and brand new and I had no preconceived notions about what the industry was or what music should be like,” Dewan said. “So I found a lot of people would get jaded very quickly, and I got to keep my naivety a bit longer” Dewan said that her mother, former English teacher Dr. Roopa Dewan, also had an impact on her future career choice. While at SAS, Dr. Dewan began Peace Concert, a largescale musical concert that until recently were sponsored by Peace Initiative each year. Dewan left Singapore for Boston University, where she worked at WTBU, the college’s local radio station. She later became the live music director for the station, which helped her infiltrate what she described as Boston’s “dense, great music scene.” In her senior year she then

interned at Fenway Recordings, and finally joined Warp Records in 2005 where she operates now as the U.S. label manager. Dewan was selected by Billboard for its annual list of influential figures in the record label industry, and is thankful to the American Association of Independent Music for nominating her. She has been an active member of the AAIM, and describes the experience as a chance to contribute to a field she is passionate about. Dewan was recently in Singapore for the Laneway performance of !!!, a band signed to

Warp Records. She was impressed with the local crowds and sees both the Australian and Asian markets as developing independent music scenes. In the next three to five years, Dewan hopes to start her own company, ideally in music management. Next time we see her, it might be on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.



May 20, 2011

CLASS of 2011

where in the wordle are they going?

Abueva, Jerone Agarwal, Kriti Agarwal, Radhika Amstrup, Alexander Anderson, Philip Ang, Nicholas Ang, Rica

Pratt Institute Cornell University Washington University St. Louis University of Pennsylvania George Washington University Case Western Reserve University School of the Art Institute of Chicago Anthony, Natasha University of St. Andrews Antonio, Isabella Undecided Attamimi, Fadri National Service Baek, Joong Hoon Korea Baildon, Taylor Carleton College Baker, Michael Duke University Barrett, Caroline University of Oregon Basilla, Rafael University of British Columbia Benfield, Tasha Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Bergere, Danielle New York University Bindra, Viraj Stanford University Boothe, Adam University of Virginia Byrns, Julian San Francisco State University Bywater, Michelle Brigham Young University Carbon, Ryan Undecided Carpio, Khrishina University of North Carolina at Wilmington Chalke, Akshay Marquette University Chambers, Emily Colgate University Chan, Kelly Claremont McKenna College Chandaria, Kanika University of Southern California Chandran, Vedika Gap Year Chanin, Christopher University of British Columbia Chapman, Taylor Gap Year Cheng, Sophia Bowdoin College Chiu, Bonnie Undecided Chiu, Christy University of British Columbia Cho, Hyeong-Sun University of Chicago Cho, Stella Pennsylvania State University Choi, Hyung Yul Union College Choi, Nyna Gap Year Choo, Christopher Northwestern University Chopra, Natasha Fordham University Chumakov, Catherine George Washington University Clower, Rauson Northwestern University Conklin, Elizabeth Ohio University Connick, Gretchen Texas A&M University Conrad, Samantha Texas A&M University Couch, Alexandria Denison College

Covington, Kendall Crema, Matthew Cullen, Torrey Cummins, Renae Das, Kartik Dasgupta, Kancana De Velez, Leonel Del Rosario, Maiki Desai, Natasha Devine, Nicolas DiBiagio, Nicholai Dimond, Brittney Ding, Olivia Djuang, Matthew Dornel, Kai Driesens, Wilson Easwaran, Sneha Ellsworth, Alexander Erdmann, Heather Evans, Alexander Farrell, Andrew Fay, Matthew Filice, Simon Finchum, McKenzie Fischer, Kathryn Fong, Zoe Foo, Ian

Duke University Dickinson College California State University, Fullerton Western Australia Claremont McKenna College Northwestern University Georgetown University Mount Holyoke New York University Northeastern University Elon University University of Washington Washington University St. Louis National Service National Service Michigan State University Undecided National Service Furman University South Africa University of St. Thomas University of Northern Colorado McMaster University University of Cincinnati Kenyon College Brandeis University National Service, Carnegie Mellon University Gabriela, Michelle University of California, Los Angeles Gang, Aditi University of Michigan Garlick, Nathan Seattle Gentry, Nicholas University of California, Los Angeles Gibson, Chloe Wagner College Gigante, Abigail University of Mary Washington Goode, Johannah University of Texas, Austin Gottron, Nicholas National Service Grace, Serena Manhattanville College Grant III, Gene University of Arizona Guggisberg, Hannah Gap Year Haaland, Hayley Gap Year Hamby, Anne University of Washington Hand, April Australia Hashimoto, Kaho Australia Her, Wook University of California, Los Angeles Hjelm, Jason Australia Hlaing, Helen New York University Hoffer, Barbara Stanford University Hong, Henry Emory University

Houle, Zachary Johnston, Willow Kalia, Sagar Kao, Ingrid Keefe, Katherine Kennedy, Chris Khan, Rachel Kim, Angela Kim, Christine Kim, John Kim, Joshua Kim, Linda Kim, So Yeon Kimball, Hayes Komatsu, Kaori Kothari, Abhishek Kreutter, Rebecca Krishnan, Vaishnavi Kwon, Gu Hyug Kwon, Iris Kwon, Joorhee Kwon, Joseph L’Heureux, Hannah LaBranche, Kelsey Lancon, Kevin Lee, Henry Lee, Ji Su Lee, Joun Lee, Min Jae Lee, Minjoo Lee, Philip Lee, Steffi Lee, Yun Joo Leu, Nicholas Leung, Randall Li, Wei Liao, Yi Jie Lieberman, Mary Lim, Avery Lim, Han Young Lim, Heather Lim, Kelvin Lin, Emily

Northeastern University Australia Massey University Australia Boston University Gap Year Les Roches International School of Hotel Management Pratt Institute University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign McGill University Korea Duke University University of Washington Cal Poly San Luis Obispo University of British Columbia National Service, Babson College Princeton University Duke University Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology Rhode Island School of Design University of Virginia University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign Elon University University of Connecticut Concordia University New York University Harvey Mudd College University of Miami Korea Advanced Institute Science and Technology Undecided Columbia University Wellesley College Parsons The New School for Design Undecided National Service, Boston University Williams College National Service Luther College The College of William and Mary University of California, Los Angeles New York University University of Texas, Austin Georgetown University


May 20, 2011

University of California, Los Angeles Quinones, Robert University of California, San Diego Raghavan, Mrnalini Florida State University Rajkumar, Nishant McGill University Remson, Kerry National University of Singapore Revillo, Karlmaine Washington University St. Louis Rhodes, Alyssa National Service Rinehart, Anna Babson College Roberts, Nathan Stony Brook University Rualo, Katherine Lasalle College of the Arts Ruan, Becka Massachusetts Maritime Academy Rustandy, Febyan Australia Ryan, Alix National Service, Wheaton College Sabol, Jeffrey Rochester Institute of Technology Sasaki, Keigo DePaul University Sawhill, Kayla School of Oriental and African Schuster, Kelly Studies Seow, Samantha McBrien, Thomas University of Michigan Shalabi, Ibrahim McMullen, Linsey Saint Mary’s College Shin, Jenny Meehan, Brandon Georgia Institute of Technology Shum, David Mehta, Ava University of California, Berkeley Singh, Sejal Milton, Hannah University of Oklahoma Singson, Dominic Mohamed Lebbai, Hong Kong University of Science Siriwardane, Dineth Thasbeeh and Technology Sitohang, Klevrin Morris, Robert Pacific University Siu, Natassia Mukerji, Dahlia University of Texas, Austin Skill, Kristen Nam, Richard Singapore Smith, Jeffry Nelson, Zachary Dartmouth College Sodano, Dustin Ng, Clement National Service, North Central University Sohn, Helen Nocete, Patricia Undecided Sohn, Minjae Oda, Shoko University of Southern California Ogawa, Mizuha Johns Hopkins University Sridjaja, Anthony Onischuk, Michael University of Colorado - Boulder Srinivasan, Nandini Oravetz, Nicholas New York Conservatory for Dramatic St.Clair, Gainya Arts Stanley, Victoria Padmanabhan, Shreya Mount Holyoke Subramani, Saachi Parekh, Neil Columbia University Sukamto, Karisa Park, Jennie St. Edwards University Sun, Melody Park, Sam Cornell University Sung, Jia Yu Pasumarty, Devansh Columbia University Surajat, Kenneth Pather, Sarshan Johns Hopkins University Talwar, Ritesh Perucho, Angelo Hong Kong University Picard, Andrew Pace University Tan, Stephanie Poli, Courtney Wells Michigan State University Tecson, Gio Pope, Chase Louisiana State University Teo, Benjamin Prudhomme, Ryan Guilford College Thieneman, Sarah Quick, Elizabeth Chapman University Thompson, Zoey

University of South Florida California College of the Arts Drexel University Texas A&M University Brigham Young University University of Iowa Emmanuel College American University of Paris Santa Clara University University of California, Berkeley Calvin College Lewis and Clark University University of Notre Dame Undecided Gap year Vassar College University of Oregon University of New South Wales University of California, Los Angeles Brigham Young University Columbia University Undecided Babson College University of Texas, Austin Northeastern University Gap year Indiana University Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts University of Pennsylvania University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign New York University University of Minnesota University of Miami University of California, San Diego Northeastern University University of Southern California Undecided Rhode Island School of Design University of California, Los Angeles Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University University of California, Los Angeles Singapore National Service Barnard College University of Virginia

middle graphic by Leonel De Velez

Timan, Jasmine Tiwari, Shachi Tjandra, Clarissa Too, Michael Trgovich, Megan Tung, Irene Vainius, Therese Valenzuela, Antonio Van Tilburg, Sofia Van Zadelhoff, Philip Varathan, Preeti Vesga, Javier Virshup, Isaac Wade, Seira Wait, Jacqueline Walker, Jacob Walters, Katherine Weber, Corbin Weber, Karin Williamson, Robert Wingo, Savannah Wolf, Sophia Wong, Alexander Wong, Felix

Vassar College Gap year Ringling College of Art and Design Loyola Marymount University University of Texas, Austin University of Michigan New York University University of Pittsburgh Indiana University Erasmus University Rotterdam Columbia University University of Edinburgh Hampshire College Pepperdine University New York University University of Miami Emerson College University of Wyoming Chapman University University of Buckingham Texas State University - San Marcos University of Toronto National Service, Fordham University Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Wright, Sam University of Oregon Wu, Ian National Service Xie, Monica New York University Xu, Michael University of California, Berkeley Yamamoto, Dan Japan Yang, Fang New York University Yee, Jia Wei National Service, Culinary Institute of America Yenko, Christian Northwestern University Yeon, Emily Waseda University Yoh, Richard Art Center College of Design Yoo, Sharon Northwestern University Young, Frances University of British Columbia Yusuf, Kais University of Houston Zampa, Peter Boston University Zimmerman, William University of Arizona Zink, Alexandra Bates College Zorrilla, Rodrigo Gap year, University of Queensland Zulkoski, Leah Bates College

typography by

Lin, Jessica Lin, Ta-Wei Lincoln, Jeremy Liou, Eric Liu, Jisheng Luong, Christy Maceyko, Marcus MacMeekin, Julia Madhavan, Sangeetha Magbanua, Jem Malaki, Gabrielle Marsh, Celeste Martawibawa, Tyler Martin, Samantha Matthews, Nicholas Mazari, Haani




May 20, 2011

Bags packed, they’re ready to go what he calls the “privileged” students at SAS. He recalls these students as “challenging and a very gratifying student body.” I think there’s a lot of brilliance here,” he said. Cox said he takes pride in those over-the-top students who provoke higher levels of discussion and heighten the level of creativity in his classroom. Outside the walls of his classroom, Cox said he enBy Ash Oberoi joyed playing the french horn in music performances and In his youth, Chemistry teacher Michael Cox thought travelling with the music department on Cultural Convenhis future would involve fire trucks and red helmets, but a tion trips. two year stint with the Peace Corps led him to work with “Working with kids in the chemistry glassware and goggles. Cox class and then sitting with them in the wanted to be a fireman when he band or orchestra or travelling with them was younger, but those dreams on music trips, you see a whole different were replaced with new ones— perspective,” Cox said. the ambition to educate classes Cox is moving back home to Northof screaming teens. western Ohio to take care of his parents, Cox said this dream was sowho are in their 90’s and living alone. He lidified back in the Sixties in the said leaving Singapore was not an easy space of the two years during decision to make since he’s made close which he taught in the Peace friends here and feels he’s leaving behind Corps. countless opportunities that Singapore has “[When I was a kid] I had to offer, such as going to the Esplanade no desires to be a teacher. That and listening to a world-class orchestra or was something that really catajust wandering around the back streets of lyzed in those two years in the Little India or China Town. Peace Corps. Those were my “We’ve had some wonderful years first two years away from famhere. We’ve had 30 great years of expeily, my first two years outside riences and activities outside the school of the U.S,” he said. context mostly. And it’s now time for a difCox started teaching at ferent phase, and so we’ll have new memCox’ 1982 Islander picture in his first year. SAS in July of 1981. For thirty ories [to make],” Cox said. He started at the King’s Road campus. years he has been teaching

Chemistry teacher, reserve horn player finishing 30th year

IS PAISLEY AN ELEMENT? Cox’s ties are keys to his daily lesson plans. If a tie is decorated in flowers a quiz or test is on the menu for that day. Students often run by his room first thing in the morning to check. Photo by Liz Quick

Couple head north to

photo by Tan Kabra

IASAS Neighbor, ISKL

Meyer taught theater classes in middle and high schools By Phil Anderson For an actor, nothing can compare to those seconds right before the curtains open. The adrenaline, the thrill, the mortifying fear that something will go wrong.

Actors live for that moment, and for theater and Tragedy and Comedy teacher Tracy Meyer, that is her favorite part of teaching. “The feeling just before a show opens, is a real high for the director as much as it is for cast members,” Meyer said. “Highlights involve me sitting in the drama theater or auditorium and being excited for about what I know the audience is going to see.” Meyer first began her career teaching at SAS in the middle school in July 2001 as an 8th grade RLA/social studies teacher. In her second year of teaching, she was teaching half RLA, half theater for the middle school and it was so popular in sign-ups for the following year that she turned to theater full time. There was no formal theater course before Meyer arrived, and so she was given the opportunity to write a new course for middle school theater. “It had never been done as a full time course, and so I had all the freedom in the world to determine the direction the course would take,” Meyer said. Meyer said that she played with her students and at the end felt great about how she had divided the material to suit each grade. After high school theater teacher Patricia Kuester left three years ago, Meyer become the new theater and Tragedy and Comedy teacher. “The scripts are entirely different in the high school,” Meyer said. “I’ve been able to get really in depth with topics and choice of material.” Next year, Meyer will be teaching 7th grade humanities and coaching the girls JV tennis team. “The hardest thing about leaving SAS, without question, is knowing that I’m saying good bye to the students who are day by day closer to what I consider to be my colleagues,” Meyer said.

By Anbita Siregar As a senior editor-in-chief of the 2003 Islander, teacherintern Tate Sonnack created a last-minute cover page before sending the yearbook off to print. “We’d hit the print deadline, and Clemens was gone for his son’s graduation. Nobody else saw [the mistake], nobody else checked it,” Sonnack said. The staff reviewed the books before distributing them, and former The Eye staff member Robert Oandasan found that Sonnack had misspelled Singapore as “Sinagapore.” “Clemens came to me, and told me I’d misspelled something on the cover page, and I said ‘I know, I spelled Singapore wrong.’ Then he told me about my other mistake.” Sonnack had spelled American as “Ameican” as well. After spending a cumulative of 15 years at SAS, the California-andSingapore-native is moving down under, looking to be a freelance cinematographer in Australia. “The States is kind of not the best place to be right now and Hollywood’s always going to be there,” the two-year yearbook adviser and beginning filmmaking teacher said in an interview with The Eye Online. Transitioning from student to teacher in less than 10 years helped Sonnack deal with his students. “I sat in these seats not all that long ago, so I know the types of things that students try to pull.” The worst excuse he was given from a student for not turning in homework was from senior Michael too. “[He] said he was on his period.” After working in the film industry and possibly attending graduate school, Sonnack said he wouldn’t mind returning to SAS someday..

photo by Leo nel de Velez

By Viraj Bindra On the list of things he will miss, Dr. Dale Smith includes his large classroom. The extra space was something he used often, keeping miniature train sets and motorized planes on display for students. He used its large interiors to test fly remote controled planes, an ornithopter, helicopter and blimps. Dr. Smith, who first came to SAS in 2001, has taught classes such as AP Psychology, Western Civilizations, History of India, Modern European History, and Psychology, and Foundations of Knowledge. Dr. Smith said he is excited about the move he and spouse Tracy Meyer will make to International School, Kuala Lumpur next year. “I think it will be interesting for both me and my wife to teach at a smaller school” Dr. Smith said. “It might provide us an opportunity to get to know students and faculty on a more personal basis.” In addition to a new school, Dr. Smith will be teaching a new class: anthropology. He has been taking an online refresher class this past year to ensure that he will be prepared to educate eager young anthropologically-motivated minds. “It’ll be exciting and challenging, because it’s something I’ve never taught before” Dr. Smith said. “I’m revisiting anthropology now in preparation and it’s humbling to learn something you’ve never taught before.” Dr. Smith will also be involved in the introduction of IB Psychology to ISKL. “They had a math teacher pilot it this year,” Dr. Smith said. “But they wanted someone who could kind of take over take over full-time teaching IB higher level and standard level psychology. It’ll be a pretty busy first year.” He lists coaching track as something else to miss next year.. “I’ve really enjoyed the sport, because you get to know people outside of class.” But Dr. Smith is ready for the change. “I’ve liked it here, and so in that sense I’m leaving the things I know and I’m comfortable with,” he said. “On the other hand, there’s a new challenge, and that’s always exciting. I don’t think anyone got into teaching because they wanted an easy life - they wanted some kind of challenge. I want to experience that side of Asia; it’ll be different but it’ll be fun.”

Former student turned teacher leaves for land down under


photo by Leo Del Velez

Arab Awakening draws attention of world, Welsh and deputy Mehrbach

By Ash Oberoi In the year before he moved to Singapore, computer teacher Paul Welsh spent a gap year in a small town in a rural, mountainous area of British Columbia. A world traveler, Welsh taught at schools in Vancouver, Venezuela, Japan and next year will settle in Tunis, Tunisia, where the Arab Uprising began in December of 2010. Change is a constant and since Welsh has been at the Singapore American School for almost 12 years now, he felt that it was time to move on to new prospects. Welsh reminisced about his second interim trip to Mount Kinabalu, during which 19 of his 20 students were able to fight altitude sickness, walk in the dark at 4 a.m., scale a flat rock face and make it to the peak of the mountain. Along with interim, Welsh mulled over the distractions students face due to the one-on-one policy. “Good classroom management is still good classroom management. No matter what the distraction is. In the days of chalk easels, a piece of paper and pen would’ve been a distraction. There will always be distractions,” Welsh said. “There will always be things that will divert attention away from the taskat-hand. And so it’s up to the teacher to be a good class manager and it’s also up to the student to believe that classroom-time has value.” Welsh said he will miss the eclectic society that Singapore has to offer. He calls it “the mix.” He’ll miss the elation of being able to go to a Western restaurant for dinner and then wake up the next morning, ride his bicycle to Little India, as the locals are just beginning to set up the market place. “We’ve been here a long time and I think our take on it was to either stay [in Singapore] forever or to make a change and it just became time to [make that change],” Welsh said.

Bywater, sister, last of family with SAS roots By Gretchen Connick Physics teacher Eddie Bywater is the only one of six Bywater children who did not graduate from SAS. His youngest sister, Michelle, graduates this year. Bywater says that as much as he loves SAS, it is time to move on to something else. He and his family are headed for Qatar at the end of the semester. “I felt the prompting that it was time to go, so we said we’re going to go,” Bywater said. “We like it here; it just felt like it’s what we’re supposed to do.” While teaching at SAS, Bywater began a family. He said that learning how to balance his home life with his work life has been a challenge and can be stressful, but that his job is worth the stress. “You always want to do your best for your students,” he said. “I love my job, I love what I’m doing. If there’s no stress then what’s the point? If it’s too easy, why do it?” he said. Despite loving his work, Bywater puts a great deal of importance in spending time at home. “At the end of the day nobody on their death bed said ‘Oh I wish I had spent more time working.’ You know, they always want more time with their family, so I’m trying to do that,” Bywater said. Family is a special part of Bywater’s life, which is what makes sharing

photo by Tan Kabra

SAS with his sister, senior Michelle Bywater, special even though she never took his classes. “She’s just too good for me. She skipped all my math classes, she took the AP classes before I started teaching AP physics, she skipped JV basketball and went straight to varsity, so I never got to have her in a class or anything, but it has been a lot of fun,” he said. Bywater says that he will always remember the people he has worked with and taught. “I enjoy the students in my class and when they get excited about something or when somebody that I wrote a rec for comes in all excited that they got accepted to their school, that’s exciting,” he said. Bywater will teach IB math at The American School of Doha. Five years ago when he began at SAS he taught math, but was able to move on to physics. Bywater has the same hope for Qatar. “I enjoy the application of physics more. As long as I am teaching I am pretty much happy. I guess one of my most memorable things is when my students come back from the weekend and they say they saw something

Mehrbach to assume her first principal’s job at Tunis high school By Gretchen Connick Deputy Principal Lauren Mehrbach is headed to the American Cooperative School of Tunis (ACST) with her husband and two sons. Mehrbach will take over as the middle and high school principal in her new school of about 700 students leaving behind her high school of over 1100 along with her colleague, Deputy Principal Doug Neihart. Over the past four years of working together, Neihart said that they have gotten to know each other very well and enjoy each other’s company in the office. “I enjoyed finishing her lunches she brought from home if she couldn’t finish her food. That was always a nice treat every now and then,” Neihart said. Every day they share ideas and work at being consistent in how they handle situations. “We pretty much work like a hand in glove. We each have out own responsibilities that we are the point person for, but we also help each other out when needed. We’re often like a tag team,” Neihart said. Mehrbach brought a fresh female perspective to the administration, which is something that will change when she leaves. Neihart is not the only one who will miss Mehrbach’s presence. Many students had positive remarks about Mehrbach ranging from her stylish wrap dresses and nice hair to her interest in students. “She always approaches you and asks how you’re doing. She’s very involved,” junior Isabella Shaulis said. “The American Cooperative School of Tunis is very fortunate to get not only Mrs.Mehrbach but also her husband Paul because they are just such outstanding individuals and outstanding educators and I wish their whole family the best as they go and I know that they are going to be very successful at their next school and they are going to be very appreciated,” Neihart said.

Wischki to stretch, try something new on return home to Brisbane By Emily Nelson It has been 10 years since Australian Karl Wischki walked into his first math classroom at SAS. Wischki says it feels “shorter than that.” But Wischki will join his wife and son in Brisbane in June. Wischki said SAS was a home away from home and that he had many cherished memories from photo by Tan Kabra things that happened in his class and on Interim trips. He recalled being abandoned on

a Malaysian island by students on the Interim trip, Langkawi Sailing Adventure. Wischki said he was lounging on a beautiful white beach waiting for the boat to take him back home, when he realized he was alone.. He then caught a glimpse of two boats carrying 20 students, sailing away. “It wasn’t until I squinted my eyes and looked harder that I saw it was the two boats that were on the Interim, and I wasn’t on either of them,” Wischki said. Wischki said the story had a happy ending as a boat turned around and picked him up. He said that the boat’s skipper, a Captain

May 20, 2011


that we talked about in class and that’s what physics is about,” he said. Bywater has left his mark on SAS by starting an Ultimate Frisbee team that has grown to over 30 students this past year. Apart from his team, Bywater and his family will leave friends and relatives in Singapore, but he said he feels that it is time to leave and they look forward to what is ahead. “We do really like SAS, we like Singapore and if it were left up to us, we would probably stay here, but knowing that the Lord wants us somewhere else is kind of the trump card,” he said. Blake, “christened a postage stampsized island Wischki Island to commemorate the event. While Wischki said he is looking forward to spending quality time with his wife and son when he returns to Brisbane, Australia, he said he will miss Singaporean food, walking around in Little India, and the uniquely Singaporean “lah” and other Singlish phrases. Six hundred kids and 10 years later, Wischki said he has left a good impression on his students, that life is good and caring for your students is important. Through math classes such as Algebra II and Functions, Statistics and Trigonometry, Wischki said that caring for students is the most important step for a good studentteacher relationship. “I think he really cares about his students and he wants them to succeed” junior Katy Thieneman said. “I also think that he is really dedicated to teaching and really likes to help his students learn and will do anything so they can learn the material 100 percent.” To Wischki, caring for students and teaching in fun ways is the best way for kids to learn the material. Wischki said that humor is important and helps get the message across. “Mr. Wischki is one of my favorite teachers because he teaches math in a humorous, relaxed way and loves to help with anything,” junior Megan O’Neal said. Junior Kelly Murphey added, “He is a great teacher who always knows how to motivate us, such as with funny videos at the end of lessons.”

See video interviews with these teachers at



May 20, 2011

Donohue to join Merbach, Welsh in Tunisian school By Viraj Bindra A nine-year veteran of Singapore American School, math teacher Andrew Donahue, who just moved up to the high school after teaching for eight years in the middle school, will be moving in August to teach in the American Cooperative School of Tunisia. He and his wife, nurse Shelly Donahue, see the transition as an opportunity “to experience North Africa, the Middle East and have a different adventure as a family.” Donahue sees many potential opportunities in the new location. “I’m looking forward to traveling in Africa and traveling in Europe,” Donahue said. “It’s an hour flight from Rome, it’s an hour and a half from Barcelona, and a few hours from the Middle East.” There is also a historic component

to his interest in Tunisia. Donahue says that he is intrigued by ancient European and African influence in the area. “I’ve never lived in any place really historic,” Donahue said. “Singapore has got some great things to offer, but I think Tunisia might be a bit more exciting historically and culturally.” At the same time, Donahue acknowledges that he will miss certain aspects of SAS, namely the connections he made with individual people here. “I’ll miss the students, I’ll miss the teachers, I mean, I’ll miss the people here, definitely,” Donahue said. “[I will miss] the people that I’ve worked with here, how much I’ve grown as an educator and a professional here with my colleagues.”

Courtesy of Facilities and Planning. ON TASK. Math teacher Jo Lingle subjects senior Julia MacMeekin’s desktop to the sort of scrutiny required in a one-to-one world. Photo by Leo Del Velez

Fourteen-year math veteran looking for change, adventure By Phil Anderson Math teacher Joe Lingle, will be moving to Bangladesh after 14 years of teaching at SAS. He first began teaching in 1987 in Southern California, where he taught for three years before moving to northern California. He taught in northern California for seven years, and then moved to Singapore to teach math in SAS. He taught in the middle school for six years before moving to the high school, where he taught mathematics for the last eight years. “It’s been an incredible professional growth, in all seriousness,” Lingle said. “I don’t think I had a bad day at teaching, in my classroom, with my students. I’ve had bad days in SAS, but never in my classroom, with my students.” Lingle will be moving to the International School in Dhaka, where

he will continue to teach high school mathematics. Lingle’s wife, Joanie, will teach Joanie Lingle will teach pre-kindergarten and their twin sons, Ben and Sam will start third grade. “I’m excited for a new adventure,” Lingle said. “I’ve been here for 14 years, and I’ve never had a job, previous to this, for more than five years. The International School in Dhaka is a small school and Lingle is looking forward to “an environment where everyone knows each other a little better.” Lingle says he will miss the students and teachers the most, but that he will keep in contact with his friends, like Mr. Tomlinson and Mr. Zitur, though Facebook and Skype. “Even though we won’t be able to just walk across the hall and visit with each other like we’ve been able to, we’ll still be able to be friends.”

See video interviews with these teachers and more news about SAS at

Big A** changes, renovations over summer to improve school Summer renovations will improve PE facilities, middle school caf, library, theater By Greyson Harness and Felicity Dunbar Major summer improvements are hardly a rarity in SAS, but this year there will be a big a** improvement with the middle school cafeteria among other things. In the middle school cafeteria, the ceiling is being lowered and air conditioning removed. Replacing this will be an installation of fans by the company Big Ass. “Part of it is the flow to get students served more quickly and more efficiently,” Middle School Principal Brian Combs said. “Part of it is being more environmental, being more green.” The middle school will also undergo renovations and updates to the 6th and 7th grade science classrooms, and the digital and computing rooms will be piloting new movable furniture so as to better suit the one-to-one learning environment. In the high school, most improvements are being done to the PE facilities. On the track, the light posts will be upgraded, as the current posts are getting dim. On either side of the field, a net will be placed so that when playing games on the grass inside the track, the ball will not go onto the track. On the boundary on the opposing side of the bleachers, netting will be added to prevent the ball from sliding down the slope.

There will be “a total refurbishing for the swimming pool,” as Projects Manager Francis Ang described it. The pool will be re-tiled and there will be new diving boards. In all the gyms, middle school, high school and auxiliary, the court lines are being redrawn to current standards, as the current lines in use are out of date. In the dance rooms, the floors are being revarnished. “If you look at the dance floor, it’s all wear and tear. I think the dancers have a problem trying to slide with the surface,” Ang explained. The Drama Theatre’s lighting system is being completely renewed, with every light bulb removed and replaced with a new one. “Last summer we replaced the dimmer, this summer everything from dimmers out is new,” said Paul Koebnick. Also, the theatre will receive a new stage lighting desk, and the theatre floors will be sanded down. In the high school Library, echoes are a nuissance for students trying to study and so measures will be taken to reduce the echoes produced. “We have acoustic wall panels. We are going to hang some panels and alter the fan patterns. There’s the culprit of the acoustics,” Ang said.



May 20, 2011

In race to find the best, administrators search near and far for new teachers

By Rachel Jackson “The first day of the fair all the Principal Dr. Timothy Stuart start- schools are in one big room, like a ed looking for replacements for 14 big ballroom and we all have tables,” departing teachers in early October. Dr. Stuart said. “About six hundred He began by asking teachers whether teachers come into this room, this or not they were returning the follow- massive room, and there are about a ing school year. By the beginning of hundred and something schools.” December he knew who was leaving Prospective teachers approach a and who was staying. school’s table and ask for an interOnce he view for posiknew which tions that are positions posted as open. he needed Dr. Stuart looks to fill, Dr. at their reStuart startsumes and, if ed looking impressed with through onthe candidate’s line applicaqualifications, tions. While schedules an inmany teachterview. ers choose The first to apply onround of interDr. Timothy Stuart line because views are about of the ease 30 minutes. of doing it, After these inthis is not the terviews are only way to find teachers. done, the administrators decide which The fair season begins with the teachers they want to talk to again, attendance in Bangkok and Sydney. and the second round of interviews Followed by fairs in London, Boston, begin. The second interview can run Iowa, and San Francisco. This year up to an hour-and-a-half. SAS administrators attended hiring By the second round of interviews fairs in Bangkok and San Francisco. administrators have conducted referAt hiring fairs Dr. Stuart is accom- ence checks and have talked to the panied by Superintendent Dr. Brent teacher’s previous schools. At this Mutsch. Sometimes they use Skype point they can decide to offer or deto include other faculty and staff in cline a position, or they can move the interviews with prospective teachers. candidate to a waiting list of potential For instance if they are interviewing a candidates. teacher applying for a math position, Dr. Stuart said he dislikes hiring they might ask the math department fairs because of how competitive they chairman to interview the candidate. can get. He said that it can be difficult to get the best teachers because the reHiring fairs attended by hundreds ally good teachers “will walk out of looking for overseas jobs a job fair with five, six job offers.” It

“About six hundred teachers come into this room, this massive room, and there are about a hundred and something schools.”

can also be difficult because there are so many other options available to the prospective teachers. “I know that he or she has already received a job offer for Paris or Rome, or Tanzania and Prague, so now I am competing, and they might say well Prague in the winter would be nice, so they may make a decision to go to Prague instead of SAS because they have never been to Europe, lets say,” Dr. Stuart said. Direct applications Dr. Stuart’s favorite way to find new teachers

Although hiring fairs play a big role in finding new teachers, it is not always the best way. For the past four years, three years at JIS and one here at SAS, Dr. Stuart has not hired any teachers at a hiring fair, and prefers to hire teachers who apply directly to the school. Dr. Stuart likes to hire teachers with online applications because those teachers have demonstrated a direct interest in the school. He also knows that if he does not act quickly then the teacher may go to the hiring fair and find another offer. New SAS teachers include nurse, drama teacher, new deputy There are 14 new teachers coming next year. Two teachers who have already been working at SAS will be taking on new positions. Cathy Casey who is currently a substitute at SAS, will be the middle high school nurse. Adam Miller is working in the primary and intermediate school PE department and will be moving up to work as a PE/Health teacher in the high school. Christina

HARMLESS FUN? New research reveals potential harm in violent video games including increased agression, addictive behaviors.

Violent video games linked to aggression in young people

By Madeline Mitchell Violent images flash across the computer and television screens of students as they spend hours a day playing video games. Parents and psychologists alike are discovering more and more of the harmful sideeffects of gaming. “Violence is everywhere,” said junior Cassidy Dimond, referring to the shooting and bloodshed seen in movies and video games. “Even in Singapore you come across it every-

where you go.” Gaming is not for everyone, and certainly not for an annoyed senior girl who has seen students choose gaming over friends. “I know people who would rather stay home and play video games than go out with friends,” senior Jackie Wait said. “They play all the time.” Excessive gaming meets criteria for addictive behavior Many pathological gamers exhibit the same behaviors and experience

the same effects as those experiencing true chemical addictions. “If you look at the criteria for addictive behaviors, whether it’s substance use or chemical use, many of those same patterns are found with kids who have what we would consider an Internet addiction or a gaming addiction,” psychologist Dr. Jeff Devens said. Debate and concern over the effect of media violence on young people continues to gain global prominence.

Teachers looking for international jobs check for openings and sign up for interviews at the January International School Services fair in Bangkok. Photo courtesy of Laura Light, ISS

Advento has been living in Singapore with two years with her family and will be teaching social studies. The new drama teacher, Tom Schulz has been teaching theater at Jakarta International School for the past 18 years. He has directed professionally in New York and San Francisco and will be moving with his wife and two young children. TEC teacher Martin Wiliams will be joining the SAS faculty with his wife Ellie Lee, who will be teaching math. Williams and Lee have been working at the American International School of Guangzhou for the past 10 years. Cherie De Zwart was previously working in China and is returning to Singapore after two years. De Zwart taught at UWCSEA in Singapore teaching math, and will continue to teach Math as SAS. Craig Saylar will also be joining the Math Department. He is moving from Saudi Arabia with his wife Tracy who will be working in the primary and intermediate schools. He is currently teaching geomerty and Rock Band at Saudi Aramco Schools in Dhahran. Science teacher Zach Evans will

be moving from New Mexico where he taught at the Rehoboth Christian School. He will be moving with his wife and two kids. He has worked at schools in Hong Kong and S. Korea. Three teachers will be coming from the U.S. Darlene Poluan is moving from the Sequoia High School in Redwood City, California and will be teaching math. English teacher Jackie Osborn was a student teacher at SAS and will now be returning after being a substitute teacher in Iowa. John Gaskell will be teaching Science and is moving from Aurora, Colorado where he taught at Hinkley High School. Darin Fahrney will be the new deputy principal. He is currently the building principal at Greenfield High School new Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Fahrney taught AP Biology, physiology and ecology before he became an administrator. He will be moving to Singapore with his wife Sara and two daughters Sydney and McKenzie. Yearbook adviser Tate Sonnack who was at SAS on a two-year internship will be replaced by Virginia Sheridan who has substituted in classes at SAS.

“If you think about the exposure that we have to certain media sources, whether it’s advertising, whether it’s movies, whether it’s particular shows with explicit sexual or violent content over time the more of that we’re exposed to, the more the tendency is for us to become desensitized by it,” Dr. Devens said. Multiple studies are in effect to determine if psychologically stable young people can develop aggressive tendencies by participating in violent video games. “What researchers have found is that those children who are exposed to more violent content tend to engage in more violent sorts of behavior,” said Dr. Devens. Many kinds of violent games place the gamer in a relatively realistic virtual world where violence is necessary to succeed. “When they see all the fighting they think it’s cool, and they’re so used to the video game world that they confuse what’s real and what’s not,” junior Sam Wills said. Juniors Will Pazos and Shane Soetaniman said they play several hours of violent video games a week. “I don’t think violent videogames cause aggression unless you get too into them, if you are way too intense with it, like 20 hours a day,” said Soetaniman. An article in the January HealthDay reported the results of a longitudinal study on pathological gaming.

“The average time spent playing video games was around 20.5 to 22.5 hours a week,” author Serena Gordan said. “Once addicted to video games, children were more likely to become depressed, anxious, or have other social phobias. And, when they stopped gaming, the depression lifted.” Gaming may inhibit development of social skills Students who know pathological gamers often notice the social differences in behavior and in the way they carry themselves. “The gaming makes them antisocial which could probably lead to depression,” said Wait. Gamers begin to neglect almost every other aspect of their lives when they become addicted to the games. “There is a closing off of social relationships due to the exclusive thoughts, wishes, desires of wanting to be engaged in that activity,” Dr. Devens said. Although controversial, the general consensus of psychologists is that over-exposure to violence in commonly played games can lead to some level of aggressive behavior in pathological gamers. “My plea to parents and my plea to kids is to approach life as best we can thinking about a balance,” said Dr. Devens. “What you put in your body mentally, physically, spiritually, it eventually works its way out in some way, shape or form.”



May 20, 2011


Seniors voice their fears of college life Photos by Phil Anderson

Freshmen fifteen! But my sister told me that if you go to the gym you meet hot guys, so that’s some positive reinforcement. -Seira Wade

Communal bathrooms. COMMUNAL BATHROOMS!? Are you kidding me?! -Brittney Dimond

[For National Service] I’m afraid of having to bunk with seven other dudes in a room without air-con.

I’m afraid of what kind of game I’ll have to adapt to in order to reel the girls in.

-Billy Zimmerman

-Ian Wu

Its not the silly things like if I’m going to find friends. I just don’t know if I’ll enjoy the lifestyle like living in a dorm, going to class, the partying, etcetera. I don’t know if I’ll like that.

I’m really afraid of not finding a roommate before college starts and then getting one that I don’t get along with at all!

” “

-Megan Trgovich

-Alyssa Rhodes

“ ”

I’m worried that my school won’t have the same variety of students as SAS does. -Rodrigo Zorilla

After signing up for my school’s email I got five e-mails from LAPD and Campus Security reporting crimes on campus. I haven’t checked it in a while but I’m pretty sure there are tons more. -Shoko Oda

What if I chose the wrong school? What if it doesn’t have the right programs for me?

-Isaac Virshup

I’m really afraid of the cold. I never lived in a place so cold and I’m worried my toes might fall off because of frostbite.

-Anna Rhinehart




May 20, 2011

hen high school admin removed the decades-old free dress privilege from final exams they cited three reasons (Eye Online, Dec. 3). “Last year as we were doing the calendar, somebody asked, ‘Why does the high school have free dress [during exams] when we all agree it’s going to be on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month?’” Deputy Principal Lauren Mehrbach said. Mehrbach said this was not the only reason though. She said that most research confirms that students perform best on tests when taking those tests in the environment most similar to that where the material was learned. She said that wearing uniforms during finals benefits students’ performance by duplicating their regular, SAS learning environment. “When it comes time for your semester exam, we want you to be in that frame of mind,” Deputy Principal Doug Neihart added. Mehrbach said an additional motive in removing the free dress privilege was to reduce the number of distractions during final exams. New research finds no educational value in school uniforms In online searches of news and education-related sites, EyeOnline was unable to find any scientific evidence to affirm either the assertion that uniforms had a positive effect on test-taking, or that sameness of environment reinforced recall. In fact, research seems to say the opposite. A September New York Times article “Forget What You Know About Good Study Habits,” by journalist Benedict Carey refers to a longitudinal study about school uniform policies from the National Association of Elemen-

tary School Principals that concluded, “It is exceedingly clear that school uniforms are not significantly implicated in the success or failure of elementary, middle or high school students. Research has shown that school uniforms neither directly nor indirectly afBy Madeline Mitchell, EyeOnline fect academAdditional reporting by Frances Young ics by creating a positive In the same article, Carey says school climate that cognitive scientists have long or a positive approach to learning.” known that a student’s study habits The data gathered in the study are what matter most in learning. He failed to find evidence that indicated refers to a 1978 study that contradicts any remarkable effect uniforms had the advice that students find a specific on academic achievement, which inplace for studying. cludes performance on exams. This study found that students The same study undermined othwho studied a list of 40 vocabulary er claims about the good effects of words in two different settings did far school uniforms as well. better on a test than those who studied “What is clear from the research the same list twice in the same room. is that school uniforms, as a policy Administrators’ assertions that and strategy, do not play a role in sameness in student dress - taking producing more parental involvea final in the uniform you attended ment, increased preparedness, posiclass in equates with success finds tive approaches toward learning, prono support in these findings. school attitudes, a heightened feeling In fact, researchers have discovof school unity and safety or positive ered from recent experiments that school climates.” certain study methods show promisResearch new and old asserts ing signs of effectiveness. variety of settings the key to “Researchers have debunked old good test performance notions about learning and now suggest varying topics and study set-

Claims about effect of uniforms on student performance in testing not supported by new research

tings,” said UCLA psychologist Dr. Robert A. Bjork, a senior author of the experiment. “What we think is happening here is that, when the outside context is varied, the information is enriched, and this slows down forgetting.” Studies have shown that the student will find connections between what he or she is studying and the details of that student’s environment. “The brain makes subtle associations between what it is studying and the background sensations it has at the time, regardless of whether those perceptions are conscious,” wrote Carey, summarizing the study’s results. SAS psychologist cautions against embracing research too early However, high school psychologist Dr. Jeff Devens says that because it is helpful to reinforce routine that students may need to have some fa-

miliarity with their testing environment. “Repetition,” he said, “produces predictability and predictability produces stability. Does this translate into clothing? I don’t know. But if the test is taken in an unfamiliar environment there will probably be some heightened anxiety.” This research is all still relatively new and general and the learning and study methods of students will vary based on the individual. Because of this it is important that educators do what they can to consider all the scientific evidence before supporting claims regarding educational methods. “It is important to substantiate opinions with evidence,” Dr. Devens said, “and to back up claims with empirical data. This will help us to look at and eliminate additional variables.”

Starting over: new freshmen share anxieties Seniors leaving high school for college and Alphas moving up to high school find some common ground By Tyler Stuart Two classes will take the largest step of their educational careers over the summer: seniors and Alphas. Seniors face the most daunting transition of the two. Leaving their school, family and friends in one move. But, for 14-yearolds, the move into high school is an intimidating transition as well. Middle school is essentially a three-year preparation for high school. Students are trained to read, write and think at a higher level. In the year preceding the transition, high school and middle school counselors work together to ensure the smooth integration of the Alpha’s into a new system. Alphas will move from middle school where they are tenderly nurtured by teachers, and give little thought to life after SAS. They will move into high school where there is little handholding and where they are expected to begin plotting the path they will follow into adulthood. Seniors, meanwhile, are stepping off on that path as they enter universities with their barely comprehensible schedules, and they do so without the support of parents. “I will miss the easiness of living with my family,” senior Victoria Stanley said. The entrance into high school should not be too overwhelming. Sure, there will be more work at possibly a faster pace, but they have been well prepared. “I am exited about the variety of classes but scared about the heavy homework load,” Alpha Megan Spitzer said. Counselor Sue Nesbitt asked her freshmen to compare the homework load between high and middle school. They said the homework load wasn’t really anything more than middle school,” Nesbitt said.

MOVING UP. Eigth-grader Abby Sardjono makes a reading log for her Reading Language Arts (RLA) class. English classes in high school are equivalent to RLA classes in the middle school, but this is one of many changes rising freshmen will face. Photo by Suein Oh

Most Alphas are intimidated by the thought of being the youngest students in a new school. Nesbitt said many Alphas asked to be placed in the same classes with friends. “You can remain friends even though proximity has been removed,” Nesbitt said. “This is a product of being older. You expand your friendships in high -Senior Sophia van Tilburg school.” But, she said new freshmen “tend to form tighter cliques” to cope with the adjustment. While both, Alphas and seniors, are apprehensive about change, that does not mean they are not looking forward to the challenges. Seniors will not necessarily miss high school. There

forward to meeting new people that “ Ilikelookwhat I like and not having to take all the crappy courses for four years that I do not want to take.

PACKING UP. Seniors picked up their folders containing their school files during their last weeks of school, along with their chords from several different honor societies. Picture by Phil Anderson

is a lot to look forward to in college and there are possible negative aspects of high school seniors leave behind as well. “I look forward to meeting new people that like what I like and not having to take all the crappy courses for four years that I do not want to take,” senior Sophia van Tilburg said. Alphas, on the other hand, are looking forward to the variety of options the high school course catalog offers, but nervous about the mixing of grade levels in some classes, a first for them. “I’m scared about being hurt by people that are older than me,” Alpha Samuel Speciale said. In three months time seniors and Alphas will go from the top of their school, to becoming freshmen. While they share similar anxieties about their transitions, they will probably agree that change is good. “I think the similarities are that they are all excited and they are ready to move on,” Nesbitt said.



May 20, 2011

Eagles snatch one gold, three silvers in third season IASAS Graddy breaks IASAS shotput record set in 1987, badminton girls bring home silver, gold streak ends for softball

Track and Field - Boys 1 - TAS 2 - SAS 3 - JIS 4 - ISM 5 - ISKL 6 - ISB

Track and Field - Girls 1 - SAS 2 - JIS 3 - ISM 4 - ISB 5 - TAS 6 - ISKL

Softball - Boys 1 - ISM 2 - SAS 3 - TAS 4 - ISB 5 - JIS 6 - ISKL

Softball - Girls 1 - ISM 2 - ISB 3 - TAS 4 - SAS 5 - JIS 6 - ISKL

Badminton - Boys 1 - ISB 2 - TAS 3 - JIS 4 - ISM 5 - ISKL 6 - SAS

Badminton - Girls 1 - TAS 2 - SAS 3 - ISM 4 - JIS 5 - ISB 6 - ISKL

CONCENTRATION. Freshman Chris Schindele steps up to bat during an IASAS softball game against International School of Bangkok in Jakarta, Indonesia. Lady Eagles took fourth, ending their gold streak. Photo by Gregory Hand

Goodbye Molly, Hello Criens PE teacher Criens replaces retiring Molly By Erica Huston After eight years at SAS, seven as a 7th grade social studies teacher and three as co-director in the Athletics and Activities Department, Mike Molly says he’s ready to retire to spend more time with his children and grandchildren. And, Molly has a hobby he wants to get back to - beekeeping. “I thought I might raise bees. Bees are a little bit like middleschoolers,” Molly said. “It might help to make the transition easier.” Molly’s departure prompted a search for a replacement and the winning candidate for his job happened to have an office down the hall. P.E. teacher Kim Criens will take over for Molly next term. “It’s nice to know that somebody coming to take over is extremely excited about it and qualified to do it and has great ideas,” Molly said. Criens said that his duties will identical to the ones that Molly

shared with his wife and co-director Mimi Molchan. “Ms. Molchan will be responsible for volleyball, cross country, touch, rugby, swimming and track and field, and I’ll have the other sports,” Criens said. “We’ll do the cultural events, MUN, together.” Criens is moving from a teaching job to a non-teaching job which he said will be a bit of a change for him. Criens said he loves to work with kids and that he likes to watch them take a step outside of their normal routine. “I think what I’ll miss about teaching is that you can take students out of their comfort zone and give them a positive experience,” Criens said. “In extra- curricular activities and athletics, students are always in their comfort zone. Teaching gets kids who maybe don’t have experience to succeed in something they’ve never done before.”

By Hannah L’Heureux Due to Bangkok’s Spring Break holiday and SAS’ prom, the 3rd season IASAS had an unusual schedule this year. SAS participants left Sunday April 17 to start their tournaments the next day. Participants missed school forn Monday through Thursday while Friday was a public holiday. The SAS girls’ badminton team had won silver last year and was pushing hard to get first. Only two IASAS players graduated last year, but the team lost in a close match against TAS in the finals, finishing again with silver. The boy’s badminton competition has always been tough for SAS. Last year they managed to take fifth place. Unfortunately for them, only two players of their team were returning this year. The team was very young and less experienced than last year’s team. Their final result was sixth place. “Even though we didn’t perform as well as the other teams, I feel like we’ve played our best and had a good time,” senior Clement Ng said. Both the Boys and Girls softball teams had high expectations to live up to as they had dominated IASAS softball in previous years. The girls had only four returning players this year and had a relatively young team. They started off the tournament strong, winning their first three games against Jakarta International School (JIS), the International school of Bangkok (ISB) and the International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL). “Coming into the tournament, we knew that it wasn’t going to be an easy win. We started from scratch this year – our team consisted of all underclassmen with the exception of four seniors. The end results weren’t ideal, but we did have two big wins against JIS and Bangkok that proved SAS was a major contender in the tournament,” said Co-Captain Kelsey LaBranche. Unfortunately, the girls couldn’t keep the momentum up, and lost their next two games against the International School of Manila (ISM) and the Taipei American School (TAS). The girls lost again in the consolation match against TAS in a close game of 10-11. “Our team was young and inexperienced, but we all did our best,” team Co- Captain, Michelle Bywater said. “I think we could have gotten gold if we were more consistent, but I was proud of the way the girls bonded and

helped each other on the field” The boys on the other hand had a strong returning team with a few new and experienced players. It seemed like it would be an easy tournament for them after easily beating all 6 Iasas teams in the round robin. “We performed really well,” 2nd year IASAS player, Robert Barber said. Unfortunately nerves got the best of the Eagles when they were put up against their SEAYBST (South East Asia Youth Baseball and Softball Tournament) rivals, Manila. Just a few months before, many of the Eagles Boys participated in the tournament. They had a disappointing loss to ISM in the final game where there were men on base, 2 outs and they were down by one run. It seemed like déjà vu when once again the SAS team was placed up against ISM in the final in the exact same position. They lost 7-6. “We didn’t hit as well as we did the rest of the tourney; probably because of nerves,” senior Peter Zampa said. In Bangkok, the boy’s and girl’s Track Team fought hard to continue their gold streak. For two years in a row the girls have gotten gold while the boys have managed to get it 13 years in a row. It seems as though the other teams stepped it up this year, narrowing the gap between SAS and the other schools. In the past SAS easily blew the other schools away, but the competition became more intense. Sprinters that would usually win races didn’t even score. The Eagles were a younger team this year and unfortunately the boys were not able to pull through with gold and got second place by half a point. On the bright side the girls won the tournament for the 3rd year in a row along with breaking two records. Junior Isabella Shaulis broke the schools triple jump going 10.46 meters, while junior Emma Graddy broke the IASAS shot put throw with 10.75 meters. “It couldn’t have been a more perfect moment - the entire team was there cheering me on, as well as coaches even from other teams. My dad was jumping up and down and i couldn’t have been happier sharing that moment with everyone,” Graddy said.

May 20, 2011  
May 20, 2011  

The Eye volume 30, number 6