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theeye Singapore American High School

March 23, 2005/Vol.24 no 6

Zealous students anoint lockers with crosses Two students who drew crosses on high school lockers talk to the Eye through an intermediary.

By Michael Hu Students returning to school on Jan. 24 found crosses drawn with fingers dipped in olive oil on their lockers. Three days before, on Hari Raya Haji, two students - one from SAS and one from the International Community School - spent four hours on campus drawing crosses on high school lockers and some doors. The Eye contacted the two students through an intermediary. Both chose to remain anonymous but replied to a list of questions submitted to them. They said they acted alone. “It was our own idea, we were not associated with ICS, Young Life or anyone else,” they wrote. “We only wanted positive changes to happen at SAS through our actions. We were praying for Godʼs blessings on the school.” Senior Whun Oh said security should have stopped the two students. “What they did was vandalism,” Oh said. “They had no right to come into our school in the first place.” The two said that gaining access to the campus was easy. “We just walked in,” they said. “No one tried to stop us or asked what we were doing. We did not mean for this to be vandalism; there was no malicious intent behind it. We would not intentionally damage school property.”

ICS Vice Principal Rick Carmichael did not support the actions of the two students. “Drawing crosses on anybodyʼs property would be against our rules,” Carmichael said. Principal Paul Chmelik did not notice the crosses on the lockers until they were brought to his attention, but saw a large cross on the high school office door on Jan. 24. “It struck me as a rather bizarre and somewhat bemusing incident,” Chmelik said. “It seems so rude and disrespectful. We all have different views of the world. Why is one better than another?” Senior Daniel Rott, a Jewish student, was disturbed by the students/ motives as well as the act. “I donʼt think itʼs right for them to impose their religion on us, even if itʼs to a small degree,” Rott said. “I wouldnʼt want a group of Jewish kids trying to impose our religion on other kids.” Despite the reactions of SAS students, the two said they only wanted to share the love of the Christian faith with SAS. “What we did was intended to be a discreet practice of our faith,” they said. “We did not mean to offend anyone through our actions.” Chmelik views the incident as a minor case of vandalism, but is grateful that it did not result in serious harm to the student body or the school. “At least it wasnʼt an act that hurt anybody,” Chmelik said. “Just some extra work for the custodians.”

LOCKER BLESSINGS. Two students spent four hours on Hai Raya Haji drawing crosses on high school lockers and some doors, and prayed for blessings on the school. Photo by Mark Clemens

Thieves expelled after being identified by security cameras By Bridget Hanagan responsible for about 10 reported cases school indoor soccer. The thief stalking the training of theft within the last three weeks. Norcott said that security room adjacent to the Activities Prior to these thefts, a freshman male measures have been enhanced this Office was expelled from school on was expelled from school on Feb. 23 year to counter increased cases Tuesday, Mar. 15. On Monday, the for stealing S$100 and two phones of theft. With more reported cases junior male was caught on camera from the auxiliary gym during after- of stolen handphones, iPods and stealing five phones wallets, increased from bags in the security has, in training room. three instances That same day, this year, caught the student sold students stealing on the five phones camera. to a retailer in Even with Woodlands who had decisive action them packaged and being taken by ready for sale later the school to deter that day. Deputy theft, Norcott and Principal Dave Head of Security Norcott escorted the Major Isaac student back to the Benjamin said it is store to repurchase not only up to the the stolen phones. school, but is also They were able to the responsibility purchase four; the of students to help fifth had already prevent theft. KEEPING WATCH. A security monitor displays footage from security cameras around the been sold. “Kids have to be Norcott said school. The cameras have helped identify three thieves so far this year. (Inset) Deputy responsible for their this student was Principal Dave Norcott holds a phone that was recovered from a Woodlands electronics valuables,” Norcott shop.The phone was stolen from Ann Gould the previous day. Photos by Laura Imkamp.

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said. “The school cannot monitor everything.” Valuables left lying around in the cafeteria, activities office and library are not safe. Norcott said that while 99 percent of the student body would never steal, it only takes one percent to take advantage of other studentsʼ carelessness. Eighty security cameras are located around the school, 24 monitoring the high school. Benjamin said the security cameras are only helpful in catching a thief if there are witnesses who can estimate where and when the valuables were stolen. If this information is not known, it is impossible to watch hours of footage searching for an unknown thief. He said that the cameras are chiefly a deterrent and that students cannot rely on them to catch every person who steals. This year, the cameras have succeeded three times in identifying thieves. One severe case of theft occurred in the auxiliary gym during a game of after-school indoor soccer.

Six students had money stolen, and two also had their phones taken. The money and phones were taken from bags that were lying against the wall inside the auxiliary gym. “I was actually kind of surprised it happened. I didnʼt expect it,” said junior Nolan Molloy, who lost S$50 and his phone. After informing Norcott of their stolen valuables, the students viewed the security cameraʼs recording for that period of time. Molloy said the quality of the tapes was good, making it easy to recognize faces in the video. “On the video we could see [the thief] walk over to our bags and take something out. Then we saw him stand up and start looking at the things he took from the bags,” Molloy said. Once a student is caught stealing and identified by witnesses, they are called in to watch the video footage. Punishments vary, but the most common is an in or out-of-school

Theft, cont. on page 6

2 news

March 23, 2005

the Eye

Drinking and stealing incidents mar Interim By Doug Fagan Twelve freshmen on the South India interim trip were caught for violating the interim alcohol and tobacco zero tolerance policy. Deputy Principal Dave Norcott said the punishments ranged from inschool to out-of-school suspension, as well as the loss of interim next year for all violators. An anonymous freshman male caught drinking in India said that a man from the youth center there bought the alcohol, and the students paid him back. The freshman said they drank Smirnoff, Bacardi and Absolut. They were caught when their tour guide saw inebriated students being carried back to their rooms. The next day, a hungover girl told the tour guide what happened and the

guide informed the sponsors. Though the violators have lost their rights to next yearʼs interim, there is a possibility several of the students may have their interim rights reinstated. “Where violations have been marginal, those students may request a review next year,” Norcott said. “Eight or nine outright lost interim with no review next year. I want to try and be consistent, fair, and try and have the

By Lon LeSueur Senior Whun Oh came home with arguably the most memorable Interim experience after escaping serious injury. While quad biking in South Africa on the Kruger National Park trip, Ohʼs bike slid down a rock and caused him to topple over a small cliff. Oh dropped about 20 feet until he was able to stabilize himself by grabbing onto rocks. He then had to wait around 30 minutes until abseiling equipment was retrieved to get him back up. “Iʼm just lucky that I came out alive,” Oh said. Senior Matt Denoma brought home his memory from Interim in the form of a 4.5 kg Toblerone chocolate bar. “The moment I laid eyes on it, I knew it was coming home with me,” Denoma said. The massive chocolate souvenir cost 120 francs, the equivalent of 200 US dollars. Denoma purchased

the bar as a gift for his family, but he said his mom was “quite angry” with him. Members of the Sri Lanka trip had a once in a lifetime experience when they dined with the Honorable James Spain. Spain is a former U.S ambassador to four different countries from Presidents Truman to Bush Sr. and now resides in Sri Lanka. Students enjoyed a 5-course meal at their 5-star hotel and listened to Ambassador Spainʼs stories. “He was a very key political figure in his day,” senior Xavier Du Cauze de Nazelle said. “He was a very interesting guy.” A night cough in the Rajasthan desert was too much for junior Austin Amelio. Amelio woke up at 3 a.m. complaining of breathing problems and was taken to the hospital. At 9 a.m. he was dismissed from the hospital and was back on a camel that day. Amelio said he was very concerned with the quality of the

punishment fit the crime.” However, the freshman male said that the marginal violators were not as innocent as they appeared. “I think other people should have been punished,” he said. “[Those who received] in-school suspension should have gotten out-of-school. They drank more than they said they did.” South India was not the only eventful trip this year. In China, a sophomore male was seen buying cigarettes by sponsor Bill Berg. On the beginning scuba diving trip in Phuket, a freshmen male was caught stealing two DVDs from a hospital. The group was viewing a decompression Graphic by Laura Imkamp chamber at the

hospital, as well as looking at some of the effects of the tsunami disaster. While they were given a speech about the decompression chamber, the student stole the DVDs. In Japan, the sponsors became concerned when three students two juniors and a senior - did not come to breakfast as the group was getting ready to take the bullet train to Osaka. After calling the room and getting a busy signal, sponsor and middle school teacher Joe Thomas went up to the room. After knocking several times, one of the students answered and Thomas entered the room. At that point, Thomas found hard liquor left out on the table from the night before. The students were not sent home, but their movement was restricted by the sponsors. “We gave them two days where they had to shadow us,” Thomas said. “They knew basically that they would have to deal with the consequences when they got back.”

Other than the stealing and smoking incidents, the major problems on interim semester this year were with drinking. “I think itʼs a problem that these kids canʼt hold off a week. Is it because they needed alcohol, or because they wanted to tell their friends?” social studies teacher Eric Burnett said. “My biggest concern is we would look back on interim 2005 and remember the drinking instead of other incredible experiences that the majority had.” Thomas said that as interim sponsors, teachers have a responsibility to first and foremost make sure kids are safe. “No teacher wants to pick up the phone and tell the parent that their kid has been acting irresponsibly, or that their kid is receiving medical attention or drinking too much or getting injured,” Thomas said. “The worst nightmare for a teacher is to have something happen to a student.”

Students take memorable stories and experiences home

hospital in Pushkar. apology,” said Lee, “and of course to Ladakh. However, each day “When I walked up [to the I did.” their flight was canceled at 10 a.m. hospital] there were homeless guys Members of the Ladakh trip because of snow storms. just laying around,” Amelio said. never reached their destination. For “They didnʼt even have empty Junior David Lee had a legal three nights in a row, they packed chairs, so we had to sleep on the encounter during Habitat for their bags and traveled to the Delhi ground,” junior Aaron Tsang said. Humanity: Fiji. While their bus was airport at 2 a.m. to catch their flight After giving up on Ladakh, stopped with a flat tire, the group headed to a local man stole Leeʼs Rishikesh for a fivesuitcase from the bus. day whitewater rafting The bag was recovered trip. One of the guides in a nearby bush and the often drank at night police caught the thief and on the raft. the next day. “One night he must “I think he was have gotten drunk hiding the bag to get it because he fell on one later after we left,” Lee of the tents,” Tsang said. said. Lee was taken to the The group never police station to provide reached their Interim an official statement and destination, but all was was required to testify not lost for the group. in court. The thief was “Even though we sentenced to a year in never got to go to prison. OUCH. Senior Whun Oh remains in good spirits despite suffering an injury Ladakh, we still had a “[The police] asked while riding a quad bike in South Africa. Oh fell 20 ft off a cliff before great time on the trip,” me if I would accept his managing to grab onto some rocks. Photo by Travis Chiang. junior Chris Fussner said.

Tsunami relief work provides students with eye-opening experiences Some students were directly the mass misery first-hand,” junior By Ted Ho The SAS community raised over involved with the tsunami relief Joseph Sarreal, a participant of the S$98, 000 for the tsunami relief fund. effort during interim. Students on Sri Lanka interim said. The Sri Lanka interim students High School students, clubs, and both the Sri Lanka and the South teachers all pitched in on the effort India trips brought supplies to worked with the Savrodaya agency, Sri Lankaʼs biggest child relief raising $36,657.80. A large portion tsunami victims. “Weʼve all seen the after-effects agency, to help them sort through of the money raised by the high school came from student donation of the tsunami on TV, but very few supplies stored in a warehouse. There was a shortage of aid boxes sponsored by Peace Initiative people have actually experienced workers to help sort through and the Student Council. the loads of goods from Four organizations overseas. Students helped by were chosen by the school sorting goods such as rice, administration and Peace milk and medicine so that the Initiative to receive aid. These agency could pack them easily include the Aurorville Tsunami and ship them to places they Relief in South India, Sarvodaya were needed throughout the based in Sri Lanka, Rebuilding country. Lamreh Village in Aceh, and SOS “They didnʼt want childrenʼs village which operates supplies,” Sri Lanka sponsor in all three countries. Dale Smith said, “They need “We made sure they were manpower. We were giving linked (to our school), so we could monitor how the money TSUNAMI RELIEF. Senior RC Hannani hands out teddy them free labor.” The group took 100 teddy was being spent,” senior Pratyush bears to tsunami victims at an orphanage in Sri Lanka. bears to Sri Lanka. The Rastogi said. Photo by Dale Smith.

stuffed animals were purchased in a fundraiser organized by Tracy Meyer, Carmine Filice, Mary Gruman and other middle school faculty members. The South India interim students also did their part in helping the tsunami relief effort. The group participated in a beach clean up organized by the Aurorville Community and gave the organization $500 earned from a charity carwash. “The Aurorville community organized their own tsunami relief program and we worked with them,” sponsor Michael Stagg said. “They sent us to a fishing village where they needed volunteers to do manual labor.” Students demolished houses damaged by the tsunami and also cleaned the beaches of debris. They spent the rest of their morning sorting trash into a burnable pile and a non-

burnable pile, which would later be buried. Lamreh and the SOS Childrenʼs Village also contributed to the community. Both organizations manage long-term programs that help families get back on their feet. SOS provided more than 550 families with support to get their homes and businesses up and running again, according to information provided by the agencies. Lamreh focuses on the long term goal of rebuilding Lamreh, one of many villages in Indonesia that were devastated by the tsunami. Tsunami relief work provided a sobering experience for SAS students who had never seen this kind of destruction before. “I think it was most rewarding,” Sarreal said. “We could see firsthand how our contribution touched their lives.”

the Eye

op / ed 3

March 23, 2005

On the rocks: Drinking Thieves nabbed, but on interim not worth it threat still lingers

staff editorial

Phil Haslett

“Should we do it? What if we get caught?” “Think about it man, what are the chances that theyʼll walk in here that late? Besides, itʼll be such a cool story. How many of your friends have gotten wasted in Vienna?” “Heʼs right dude. And did you see how much that Smirnoff bottle cost? These Europeans know how to party!”

Itʼs a pretty sweet deal: for eight days in February, we get to travel the world with our friends. We can bungee-jump, ride camels, see the Eiffel Tower or ski the Swiss Alps. Delhi, dolphins, diving. Snowstorms, sailing, sunsets. Interim Semester is the highlight of almost every studentʼs school year. But apparently, this memorable experience isnʼt enough for some students. This year, fifteen students were caught drinking alcohol on their respective trips. And those fifteen are only a fraction of the number of kids who drank. The majority escaped being caught. In my first three years in high school, I heard of a couple of kids who got caught drinking on interim. I never thought the problem would escalate to its current stance. Iʼve dismissed the possibility that the students caught were alcoholics that couldnʼt control their habit. Throughout my high school years I have been around a lot of casual drinkers, but have never

encountered an alcoholic. Given these circumstances, why are kids drinking on these trips? Itʼs mostly a combination of peer pressure and the yearning to do something new. Many of the students caught drinking on the South India trip were previously unexposed to drinking alcohol, but had been persuaded by the more experienced to partake in the fiesta. And partying in Singapore loses its flavor over time. Why not kick back and hit the bottle in Paris? Or South India? Or Greece? The drinking-inclined teenager will see many opportune times on interim to drink: when the teachers are out to dinner; when the waiter suggests the house red. Some brilliant planning, like locking the door, spraying cologne in front of the fan and popping down a Tic Tac, and itʼs go-time! For some it could be a sense of rebellion, like an addiction to do something thatʼs not allowed. But that still doesnʼt justify putting so much on the line. Any freshman, sophomore or junior caught drinking or smoking on interim loses their privileges to travel for

one calendar year, and that includes next Interim Semester. Seniors lose the penultimate accumulation of their high school careers: walking at graduation ceremony. Much like making a 500-dollar bet that only pays 10, the high-risk, low-reward situation makes no sense. A quick dialogue from my trip in Paris put it all in the responsible high-schoolerʼs perspective:

“Much like

placing a 500dollar bet that only pays 10, the highrisk, low-reward situation makes no sense.”

“The chances of Mr. Norris or Mr. Burnett walking in here are like one-in-amillion.” “Yeah, but what about that one?” Itʼs true. That one can put you in a hole you never thought possible. That one goes on your school disciplinary record. That one gets told to your parents. That one can really ruin you. But itʼs the other 999,999 that some kids would rather think about. They feel invincible. Some students feel more freedom during Interim Semester because they are away from their parents. That 999,999 seems so secure. Yet for fifteen students, that one is what theyʼll be remembered for.

Cross-fire by Laura Imkamp

A series of thefts shook SAS in recent months. Dozens of unguarded cellphones and wallets have disappeared from studentsʼ bags. Following an intensive effort by school security, two students - who apparently operated separately - were identified as the main culprits and promptly expelled. Last Monday, the second thief was nabbed after casually burglarising the Activities Office under the gaze of security cameras. Caught red-handed, the student confessed to his theft and drew up a laundry list of loot that amounted to thousands of dollars in stolen goods. Several members of the Eyeʼs staff fell victim to the thieves, and countless other students were forced to learn the hard way the importance of securing their valuables. The thievesʼ misdeeds caused frustration and anguish; but their actions did have a notable upside: theyʼve increased studentsʼ vigilance and made them more aware of the problem of pilfering.

Correction: Tsunami relief effort letter to the editors

eye e


The schoolʼs trusting environment has bred laxness. Many students arenʼt bothering to use their lockers, and the cafeteria - with open bags strewn across tables - is a paradise for the kleptoinclined. The crimes, however sleazy, have jolted the student body out of its complacency. Just because the pairʼs reign of thievery has ended does not mean that the theft is over. The majority of students would never consider stealing a wallet or a cellphone, but it takes only a single miscreant to shatter a schoolʼs trust and generate paranoia. Students need not live in constant fear of theft, but they should exercise common sense by taking advantage of the security offered by a locker and a combination lock. As for current or future kleptomaniacs, hear this: stealing is wrong. If you ever feel tempted to grab someone elseʼs belongings, stop and remind yourself of that ancient sage Moses, who stood upon Mount Sinai and proclaimed (roughly), “Stealing is so not cool.”

In the last issue of The Eye, Pratyush Rastogiʼs “letter to the editor” concerning the tsunami relief effort was edited for space. In the haste of the process, Rastogiʼs main point was misconstrued. Rastogi wanted to bring attention to the fact that all disasters, regardless of the victims or any other circumstances, should spur the globe into action. We apologize for this error. -Phil Haslett, op-ed editor

Singapore American High School 40 Woodlands Street 41 Republic of Singapore 738547 Staff: (65) 6363-3404 x537 Adviser: (65) 6363-3404 x539 Fax: (65) 6363-6443

Editors-in-chief: Doug Fagan, Laura Imkamp News editor: Mike Hu Op/Ed editor: Phil Haslett Features editor: Ally Vaz A&E editor: Bridget Hanagan Sports editor: Alex Lloyd Reporters: Penn Bullock, Priyanka Dev, Doug Fagan, Bridget Hanagan, Phil Haslett, Kelsey Heiner, Ted Ho, Mike Hu, Laura Imkamp, Lon LeSueur, Alex Lloyd, Ally Vaz Adviser: Mark Clemens Assistant adviser: Judy Agusti

Edmund didn’t know what to think... was it some childish prank, or had he really found the entrance to the magical land of Narnia?

The Eagle Eye is the student newspaper of the Singapore American School. All opinions stated 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 Eagle Eye via the Internet at At the authorʼs request, names can be withheld from publication. Letters will be printed as completely as possible. The Eagle Eye reserves the right to edit letters for reasons of taste and space.

4 features

March 23, 2005

the Eye

Body image concerns teens

When you just can’t look at you

Shesays By Ally Vaz and Laura Imkamp A recent survey by researchers from Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia said that 47 percent of girls between the ages of five and eight want to be skinnier. According to researcher Haley Dohnt, 71 percent of second grade girls want to be slimmer. Though the survey is only a small sample of girls, it indicates that kids and teenagers – especially females – start to worry about body image at younger and younger ages. Sophomore Casey DeFord said that for high school kids, body image is “one of the number one concerns.” In an article concerning the 1997 Body Image Survey in Psychology Today, David Garner, Ph.D., the director of the Toledo Centre for eating disorders, said that young women aged 13 to 19 are plagued by feelings of inadequacy even though they are at a weight that most women envy. 62 percent of the women in this age group are dissatisfied with their appearance. Garner has been researching and treating eating disorders for 20 years and is also an adjunct of womenʼs studies at the University of Toledo. “Body image is our mental representation of ourselves,” Garner said. “Itʻs what allows us to contemplate ourselves.” An Eye survey of 214 high school students in grades nine to 12 showed that 63.6 percent of SAS high school girls are happy with the way they look, but 72.7 percent are still concerned about what others think of them (compared to 51.6 percent of boys.) “There are times when itʼs just ridiculous,” DeFord said. “Youʼll be in a conversation with someone, and you can tell theyʼre not paying attention because theyʼre too busy thinking about the way they look.” In an environment such as SAS, where the community is smaller than that of public schools in the U.S., and the overall expectations are higher, pressure, stress and the need to fit in often lead to a poor body image, low confidence and, sometimes, eating disorders. “Here, youʼre expected to be a certain way,” junior Christine Byrne said. “Itʼs about being this perfect person, and it carries over into body image.” Both Byrne and DeFord agree that eating disorders are a problem at SAS. What often comes to mind when hearing the phrase ʻeating

disordersʼ are anorexia and bulimia, but Byrne said that constantly worrying about what and how much is being consumed is included in the category. “So many girls have [eating disorders] but donʼt even know it,” she said. “Theyʼre usually defined as extremes, so no one does anything about it.” Pressure from parents, teachers, classes and extracurricular activities

“Body image is our

mental representation of ourselves. It’s what allows us to contemplate ourselves.” - David Garner often leads students to feel like they are losing control of the way things are going, but eating is almost always controllable. “So many things are out of your control,” Byrne said. “Itʼs a way of feeling youʼre in control, and somewhere you just lose it.” At SAS, 70.9 percent of girls have tried to lose weight; 10.8 percent of those girls have developed an eating disorder. In the same Psychology Today article, researchers found that the fear of becoming overweight, and dieting to lose weight begins in girls as young as nine years old. These insecurities escalate during adolescence and the risk of developing an eating disorder is eight times higher in dieting 15year-old girls than non-dieting 15year-old girls. Byrne and DeFord have recovered from anorexia and

ofgirls polled have considered plastic surgery


bulimia, respectively. DeFord said that dealing with the disorder was a difficult struggle, but she learned from it as well. She said that although she has become stronger through dealing with the problem, she has become more sensitive to some things that people say. “If I hear people insult or make fun of me, I have to go through a whole reevaluation. Before, I would have just let it slide.” Byrne said that she feels the same way. Though she regrets being anorexic and realizes that it was “way too much to put myself through,” she does not think she could have avoided it because it was “too deep-set.” Now she makes more of a conscious effort to steer clear of the pitfalls and stop herself before things get out of hand. As for the younger girls, neither DeFord nor Byrne are surprised. “The media has some impact on how they think,” DeFord said. “If their favorite celebrity is stick thin, they want to look like her so theyʼre more concerned.” “Little kids believe what they see, and if all they see are these beautiful people, itʼs normal,” Byrne said. “They just want to be liked.”


of SAS girls are concerned with what others think of their looks


Plastic Surgery

• • • •

8.7 million plastic surgery procedures were conducted in 2003 in the United States This is a 32 percent increase compared to the 6.6 million procedures conducted last year. Out of the 8.7 million, 87 percent were performed on women The top five surgical procedures were nose reshaping, liposuction, breast agmentation, eyelid surgery and facelifts.

the Eye

March 23, 2005

features 5

s, young girls more than ever

urself in the mirror...

Eye Survey Results *Top five by percent

Best Features Girls


Eyes Hair Face Nose Lips

Hair Eyes Face Muscles Smile

First thing you notice about the opposite sex Girls


Eyes Face Hair Smile Height

Face Eyes Breasts Hair Butt

Worst Features

71 % of girls have tried to lose weight, compared to only 27% of guys



Nose Thighs Stomach Height Legs

Physique None Skin Height Everything

63 % of girls are happy with the way they look, as opposed to 37 % of guys


By Michael Hu Senior Tommy Phillips, also known as ʻAbertommy and Fitch,ʼ spends very little time getting ready for school in the morning, despite having a ʻpreppyʼ reputation. “Being called preppy doesnʼt bother me,” Phillips said. “I donʼt think Iʼm preppy, but Iʼve been told by a lot of people that I am. I just like wearing polos.” In a recent Eye Survey on body image, male students said they spend a relatively short amount of time getting ready in the mornings. Ninety-one percent said they take 25 minutes or less getting ready, of which 44.5 percent said they spend only five to ten minutes. “They [boys] definitely spend enough time getting ready in the morning,” senior Whun Oh said. “Spending half an hour is more than enough time.” Female students have a different view of how male students keep themselves groomed. “They [boys] should spend more time getting ready in the morning,” junior Hannah Thoman said. “I think guys with long hair look dirty. Some of them can dress well, but some of them look like they just got out of bed.” Freshman Kat Cooper added that only “some” male students spend enough time on their appearance. The Eye Survey also reported that 37percent of male students were happy with the way they look. Only 26.5 percent have ever tried losing weight, with 78 percent of those students opting for exercise to do so. Only 2.5 percent have ever considered getting plastic surgery, and getting nose jobs was the most popular choice. “In the morning Iʼm out of the shower in five minutes, I grab whatever my hand touches first in my closet, and I gel my hair as I run out the door,” Phillips said. “I just shake my head so excess water drips off, then I let it dry on its own.” The situation changes when the opinions of others are considered. Forty percent of male students have changed the way they look because of othersʼ remarks, and 50.5 percent say they are concerned with what other people think of them. Peer pressure is also involved, with 10 percent of males saying they would be more likely to get plastic surgery if their friends got it.

40% of male students have changed the way look because of others’ remarks.

6 features

March 23, 2005

the Eye

Putting wellness in a week By Priyanka Dev Feeling a little more overworked lately? Are you seemingly getting less and less sleep every night? Well, there is an explanation. Recent research conducted by the University of Michigan reveals that two thirds of high school student s report feeling stressed at least once a week and suggests that adolescents are more stressed than ever. Maurice Blackman of the University of Alberta reports that the adolescent suicide rate has soared, up by more than 200 percent over the last ten years. Alarmed by these statistics, senior Olivia Kelly decided to create a means of raising awareness of this issue in the SAS community. The school will host its first ever Wellness Week the week of May 16. Wellness Week will be devoted to raising awareness in the high school regarding the importance of balance in student lifestyles between academics, social pressures and physical wellbeing. Kelly plans to focus on three issues: sexuality, academic pressure and destructive social behavior. Topics covering physical and nutritional health will be integrated into the weekʼs activities also. Kelly initiated the idea of Wellness Week as her Global Issues Project. She says students at SAS have especially stressful lifestyles. The combination of this type of lifestyle and common problematic issues like sexuality and alcoholism, leads to an unhealthy balance in personal lives. “Teens in general, even at our school, always seem

really stressed-out and overcommitted,” Kelly said. “This week will be about nurturing an individualʼs wellbeing.” Two visiting doctors will discuss teen sexuality, a topic that is often considered “swept under the rug”, with both students and parents. The pressures of academics at SAS will be discussed in presentations to not only student and parent audiences, but also faculty. What Kelly has labeled “destructive social behavior” will focus on interpersonal relationships and alcohol abuse in adolescent lives. The High School PE/Health department will conduct a yoga seminar and a presentation by a visiting nutritionist. In addition to working with teachers from the PE/ Health department, Kelly has discussed her thoughts and brainstormed with school counselors, Parentteacher Association representatives, student council representatives, both school principals, and student club representatives. Peer Support will be organizing “Good Vibes Day” in the same week and Women In Action has agreed to help to organize guest speakers and events. Kelly said the success of this project, Wellness Week, will be measured with evaluative feedback forms distributed after each event. “I realize that in one week, we canʼt change a whole lot around here,” Kelly said. “I think it is most important to try and raise awareness little by little, and slowly the school can help students achieve a healthy balance in their lives.”

The “silent” disease mutates ByAlex Lloyd New cases of a rare strain of chlamydia, a sexually transmitted disease, have raised concerns over chlamydiaʼs recent spread. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 40 percent of reported chlamydia cases are found in teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19. The new strain, called lymphogranuloma venreum (LGV), has been diagnosed in two New York City men. Unlike the commonly known strain of chlamydia, LGV can cause acute illness, lifelong disability and death. Contraction of the disease can lead to increased susceptibility to HIV and AIDS. Chlamydia is now one of the most widespread STDs, not only in the developing world, but in developed countries of North America like the United States and Europe. The CDC calls Chlamydia a “silent” disease because three quarters of women and half of men show no symptoms. Pain, itching, nausea or burning sensations in the genital area can result. If left untreated in women, permanent damage and infertility can occur.

Theft, from page 1 suspension. In addition, students may have limited access to the cafeteria or library depending on the value of the stolen items and severity of the theft. Norcott said that in some cases, the student is not allowed to participate in Interim semester as well. The freshman student implicated in the theft caught on tape in the auxiliary gym had been caught stealing on other occasions. Because almost $100 and other valuables were taken, he was expelled from school. Besides determining a suitable punishment for the theft, Norcott must focus on compensation for the individuals whose valuables were

“I think a lot of students are aware [of STDs], but they donʼt fully understand the disease or that it can happen to them,” school nurse Shelley Donahue said. Chlamydia is perceived as an underground disease. Many scientists and doctors believe that recorded cases of chlamydia are deceivingly low, at around 900,000 and that the number of cases contracted per year in the U.S. is probably closer to 2.8 million. Lavinder Kaur, a consultant at the Kelantan Clinic for STDs, believes that many people do not like admitting to having an STD. “I think thereʼs a kind of a stigma that holds people back from coming to clinics like this,” Kaur said. “They go to their GP and get antibiotics. They hope that it will go away.” Another problem is that since the disease may show no symptoms, people may pass it to partner without ever realizing it. “People need to be socially responsible,” Kaur said. “They need to get tests if theyʼre sexually active and educate themselves about the risks. Otherwise, the incidence of this disease may become even more widespread than it already is.”

stolen. Norcott said that in the case of the expelled freshman, it was difficult to ask for compensation because the school no longer has any authority over the student. In other instances of theft, the student may have to return the stolen goods or buy new ones to replace them. In special cases the school can file an insurance claim for stolen goods worth more than S$500. Not all of the 80 security cameras are used to monitor theft. Perimeter cameras located at the school gates are used solely for security. There are security cameras to monitor traffic, and cameras around the swimming pools and climbing wall monitor safety. An unknown number

of dummy cameras are scattered throughout each of the schools, Benjamin said. Even with enhanced security measures and cameras monitoring the school grounds, theft continues. Junior Sara Calvertʼs phone was stolen from her bag in the training room while she was at softball practice. Calvert said it was the only time that week that there was no guard standing by the door monitoring the training room and that her bag was the furthest back in one of the cubbies. “Itʼs just frustrating because no one at our school needs to steal,” Calvert said. “Itʼs just inconsiderate.”

15 Minutes of Fame You Bean Oak

Photo by Ted Ho By Ted Ho While her fellow seniors struggle through classes like Functions, Statistics and Trigonometry and Precalculus, Senior You Bean Oak has already finished the equivalent of a higher-level college Calculus course through an online distancelearning program. The course, Ordinary Differential Equations is offered to math students worldwide through the Education Program for Gifted Youth at Stanford University. It offers gifted students the opportunity by taking courses beyond those typically offered in high schools. “This course is an extension of what we learnt in Calc 2,” Oak said. The Stanford program offers a wide variety of courses including computer science, english and humanities. The program, which costs USD 700, comes complete with a set of CDs and a textbook along with an online tutor. The CDs contain 30 lesson plans, and after completing one lesson

For three weeks in a row there were two to three incidents of theft a week occurring in the training room. In order to monitor the flow of students coming and going from the rest area, a security guard was placed by the door for four days in a row. The guard monitoring the rest area while students were in practice from 4 to 6 p.m., and wrote down the names of the students who went in and out of the room. Security, the administration, and the activities staff were working together to apprehend the thief and provide students with a safe place to keep their belongings while at sports practice. “We like athletes to be able to

plan from the CD, Oak does a number of homework problems from the textbook to help her understand the material she just learnt. After 15 lessons Oak took a midterm, and after 30 lessons she took a final. EPGY then averages the grade for the two exams to give her a final grade. The exams are based on an honor code system and can be proctored by either a teacher or parent. “You have to sign an honor code, stating that you will not take longer than the two hours allotted to you,” Oak said. Oak believes that because she took this course in advance she will be able to skip freshman-level calculus course when she goes to university. Oak wants to study either math or science in University. “Iʼm not an English or social studies person,” Oak said, “Math has always appealed to me because math always has a right answer and I just like that.”

use that room,” Assistant Activities Director Brian Combes said. “We want to keep that room available.” Before the student was caught there were two options for deterring the thief. One was to lock the rest area door after school and give the coaches a key, or tell students that they could no longer leave their bags in the room. It is not practical to hire another security guard just to monitor a single room, Combes said. A hidden security camera in the training room is what caught the thief in the end. “Itʼs a privilege to go to this school,” Combes said. “And it disappoints us that we have thieves in our student body.”


the Eye

March 23, 2005

Cultural Convention Forensics Extemp

Penn Bullock - Gold Sean McCabe - Silver Kathleen Sun - finalist

Music Band

Original Oratory Simi Oberoi - Silver Julia Knight - finalist Ang-Jun Seow

James Andrews You Bean Oak Joshua Velson Jared Newton David Castillo Jonathan Lee Robbie Rathvon Ben Spalter



Penn Bullock & Priyanka Dev - Bronze Ethan Bates & Richard Bates


Penn Bullock - Gold Sean McCabe - Silver Kathleen Sun

Oral Interpretation Will Reid - Silver Tiffany Lin - Bronze Lucian Mattison - finalist

Art/Photography Lea Tsao Andrew Goodall McKinley Sheerin


Emily Murray Deepti Dhir Michaela Nilsson Olivia Cain Olivia Kelly Tiffany Too Marisa Hale Cordelia Ross Shanna Iacovino Isabella Amstrup

arts 7

The SAS Cultural Convention Dancers performed after school on Monday, Mar. 6 to preview their 20 min. Cultural Convention dance entitled “Circus.” The team was comprised of eight dancers and two alternates.The dancers performed their piece on Thursday, Mar. 10. Photo by Phil Haslett

Angela Chang Joanna Tu Danny Wen Johnny Eg Paul Kang Natasha Liou Wesley Tillu Jason Tsai


Lauren Gaylord Jane Lee Barnabas Lin Whun Oh Christine Byrne Kelly Woodward Terence Leung Andrew Padgett Stephanie Quach - Piano Delegate Chelsea Park - Piano Delegate


Tiffany Lin Sam Stonefield Lexi Kirwin Will Reid Erin Han Wera van Wulfen Nick Kreston Steven Saxton Chelsea Curto

The Cultural Convention singers performed one of their songs - “Sinner Man in Black” - during the school-wide assembly honoring the students participating in Cultural Convention. Singers from left to right: Jane Lee, Andrew Padgett, Kelly Woodward, Whun Oh, Lauren Gaylord,Terence Leung, Christine Byrne and Barnabas Lin. Photo by RC Hanani

Seniors Olivia Cain and Emily Murray perform in “Circus.” Cain’s character was the sad clown and Murray was the ballerina of the circus. Photo by Erich Bussing

The Cultural Convention drama team describes the motives, characters and intentions of their play “Dinner.”They recieved constructive critcism and questions from the five other IASAS school’s drama teams. Photo by Laura Imkamp

8 sports

March 23, 2005

the Eye

Regional baseball, softball tournament slated for SAS By Doug Fagan Baseball may never be a varsity sport at SAS, but this spring break the school will host the equivalent of baseballʼs IASAS. The annual South East Asia Youth Baseball and Softball Tournament will be held on the SAS campus. The Seniors baseball and softball divisions are made up of boys and girls under-19, respectively, with the majority of Singaporeʼs representatives coming from SAS. Along with Singapore, there will be teams representing Bangkok, Jakarta, Manila and Perth. While the boys and girls both placed third in last yearʼs tournament in Manila, they both retain several players from the 2003 tournament in which both the boys and girls got gold. Unlike IASAS events, the tournament is not tied in with international schools. All the competing teams usually bring teams made up largely of local players. Bangkok typically brings several Thai nationals, while Perthʼs team is almost all Australian. Last year, Jakartaʼs team was completely Indonesian. Because there are no restrictions on the schools the players come from, the competition is especially strong. “A lot of kids from our school are playing in the tournament,” junior outfielder Casey Bright said. “It should be treated like an IASAS event [by fans], which usually attracts

a good amount of spectators.” Although the boysʼ Seniors team has only five returning players, they feel their team is as good as ever. “We have an awesome team this year,” Bright said. “Expect us to win because we are solid up and down the lineup and because we have a lot of depth.” The girls lost a lot of players from last yearʼs team and think it will be a tough battle in the tournament. “The teams from last year that we were pretty equal to didnʼt lose a lot of players,” junior shortstop Sara Calvert said. “We were the only team with a core of seniors last year, so it will be really hard.” Unlike softball played in IASAS, the girls play fast-pitch in the tournament. Other than the speed of the pitch, the game is different in that it involves more strategy with stolen bases and pitch selection coming into play. “It is a much faster paced game compared to slow pitch,” Calvert said. “And itʼs more exciting.” Along with the under-19 Seniors divisions of boysʼ baseball and girlsʼ softball, there are two younger baseball divisions. Fifth and sixth graders play in the Minors division, while the Majors division is primarily made up of seventh and eighth graders. The first Seniors game, featuring the Singapore boys and the Manila boys, will be on Mar. 28 at 3:45 p.m.

Airborne freshman Kat Cooper leaps over a hurdle in the 100-meter hurdles, closely followed by an ISM and a Nike runner. Photo by Edna Cooper

From left: Senior Mindy Nguyen and ISB’s Jessy Tang in the finishing stretch of the 1500-meters; junior Katie Crocker in the 200-meter dash; track captain Brad Brunoehler edges out an ISM runner in the 200-meter dash. Photos by Edna Cooper

Track boys get “wakeup” second By Alex Lloyd After winning gold at IASAS for the past six years, the boysʼ track team was unaccustomed to second place. But it was second place they got at a Bangkok track exchange on March 5. ISB claimed first for the boys by a slim margin of eight points. The SAS girlsʼ team placed first. “I think we learned a lot about the team, and we may have to rearrange everyone a little,” track coach Jim Baker said. “It was a close meet and Bangkok deserved to win.” The boysʼ 4 x 100m relay was

disqualified when two of the runners passed outside of the zone in which they are supposed to pass the baton. “The boys had a really strong team and they could have won,” junior Katie Crocker said. “They just had some minor setbacks.” The girlsʼ team, on the other hand, finished with 126 points. Their nearest competitor was ISB with 96 points. “The girls team blew everyone else out,” Baker said. “They won by a mile.” Mentionable on the girlsʼteam was junior Erika Szombathy, who won

the girlsʼ shot-put and took second in the javelin. Freshman Renuka Agarwal won the 3000-meter and junior Briana Witherspoon placed first in the 400-meter hurdles. On the boysʼ side, Ryan Smith won the 1500-meter and came second in the 5000-meter, while Mark Westhuis won the high jump, triple jump and shot-put, and took second in the long jump. “Bangkok was ready to go,” Baker said. “I hope the second place will act as a wakeup call for the boysʼ team.”

By Alex Lloyd A scooter accident rushed junior Kim McKinney and senior Harsha Raja to a Bangkok hospital emergency room in January. McKinney said the incident left her with “who knows how many stitches.” The fall pushed Rajaʼs front teeth back towards her throat. The accident occurred just after the IASAS tennis tournament awards night, when the two were riding a motor scooter that belonged to a Bangkok player. Players from the SAS tennis teams had been taking turns riding together on the scooter down an alleyway. As Raja and McKinney drove down the alley, they hit a speed bump and lost control. “We went over the curb and were pitched off the scooter,” McKinney said. “I saw a wall and then a garden, and then I blacked

out.” McKinney awoke on the street. Next to her, Raja was moaning. An unidentified American was urging McKinney to get in his car so that he could take them to the hospital. Fellow tennis player junior Sara Yang accompanied them to the hospital. Raja remembers nothing from the accident. “I vaguely remember being on the scooter, but after that, nothing,” Raja said. “When I woke up in the hospital I had no idea where I was or why I was there. Kim had to fill me in.” On hitting the ground, Rajaʼs front teeth were pushed towards the back of her mouth. When she returned to Singapore she had to undergo dental surgery to correct this. “They pushed my teeth forward

and fixed up the chips on some of my teeth,” Raja said. “I have partial braces on my teeth now just to hold them in place and Iʼll be getting permanent braces soon.” In addition to braces, Raja will have to undergo some gum work to replace some of the gum tissue she lost in the accident. Stitches were used to close the cuts on McKinneyʼs face. In about a year she will see a plastic surgeon to determine whether she will need plastic surgery or not. “The surgeon said I had the right type of skin so it should heal up okay,” McKinney said. The scars have made McKinney more sensitive to stares. “My self-confidence has gone down and I donʼt like to go out because people stare,” McKinney said. “But everyoneʼs pretty understanding here at school.”

Scooter accident victims on their way to a swift recovery

Pitcher in motion: Junior Casey Bright throws a fastball to freshman catcher Nick DeRose at baseball practice. Photo by Phil Haslett

The Eye Mar 23, 2005  

Theft, cont. on page 6 Singapore American High School March 23, 2005/Vol.24 no 6 Singapore American High School March 23, 2005/Vol.24 no Pri...

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