theeye Singapore American High School
SAS e eagle aglee spirit
October 26, 2006 2006/vol. 26 no. 2
makes a comeback
by Rhoda Severino In 2004, the administration was planning to cancel spirit days and pep rallies. Two years later, Student Council is making an attempt to revive SAS’s dormant eagle spirit with more spirit activities and livelier pep rallies. The ﬁrst season opened with ﬁve spirit activities and Student Council is planning up to 32 more for the rest of the school year. Student Council advisor Eric Burnett said that the aim of the spirit activities was not necessarily to help the athletes do better in tournaments but to engender a greater sense of belonging in the school. “The purpose was so that students, when they look back on their high school experience, will treasure memories at SAS instead of just ones that have nothing to do with SAS,” he said. Junior Council Treasurer Jeffrey Lin said that the goal was to “foster school spirit” and “develop community tradition.” It is still early in the school year so any changes in school spirit are not yet obvious to some people. “I think at this point everything is so new that students have been very open to change,” Burnett said. “I think it will be better gauged when we look back over the summer. The ﬁrst quarter is more of a trial period.” Senior Brittany Balcom also found no difference in this year’s spirit level. “I don’t think that it’s any different this year than last year,” she said. “But student council is trying harder.” Lin agreed that the new spirit activities were not making much of an impact. “Within the school body I don’t think anybody takes it seriously,” he said. Lin said that despite this, there has been an improvement from
previous years. “It’s much better than last year,” he said. “Mr. Norris and Mr. Burnett have a different leadership style [from Mr. Tomlinson]. They’re pushing us harder.” Junior Nikita Sahgal said that the spirit activities would not help to make the school bond any better. “I think that’s more of a social issue,” she said. “There’s not really anything the school can do.” Senior Council Communications Director Abhinav Kaul disagreed and said that the increase in spirit can already be seen among the seniors. “I’ve deﬁnitely been noticing a lot more school spirit in certain individuals in the senior class,” he said. “In the past, our class has been really cliquey. Before I only used to move around a couple of cliques. But now my friends’ group has been expanded a lot. I think that now that it’s our senior year we’ve really come together.” Senior Shruti Shekar also approves of the new activities. “It really gets the school body involved,” she said. “People are actually enthusiastic now to see their friends being made fun of. It’s a lot of fun.” Sophomore Hee Soo Chung said that Student Council’s efforts were successful to a certain degree. “I think it needs to involve a lot more students,” she said. “I guess it bonded each grade more.” Kaul said that the ﬁrst season IASAS athletes’ performance might have been affected by the pep rallies and spirit activities before their departure. “I hope they went away pumped as a result of the spirit activities,” he said. Burnett disagreed that school spirit had anything to do with the athletes’ performance and added that SAS has always done well in sports.
Math teacher David Rops peddles back to pre-school. Photo by Brian Riady
Seniors Crystal Clower, Shabiba Hasan and Sara DeNoma pass cups for class points. Photo by Brian Riady
The senior class paints the gym red during the year’s ﬁrst pep rally. Photo by Brian Riady
Juniors Zachary Moilanen, Leon Chan, Ellie Stanton and Megan Woodard ponder trivia during Jeopardy. Photo by Brian Riady
Junior Rachel Liou, senior Barrett Hammond, and sophomore Chaz Suckow get tangled up in the Twister spirit activity. Photo by Brian Riady
Freshman Cameron Lower speeds toward the ﬁnish line in the Back to Pre-school contest with fellow freshman Richard Acevedo in tow. Photo by Brian Riady
“I think [the athletes’] success is based on the amount of time and practice they put in,” he said. “There’s no correlation.”
Varsity soccer girls’ co-captain senior Kacey Whitaker said that the spirit activities did not help the team but that the pep rally helped their
The idea for a new deputy principal has been in the works since last spring when Superintendent Bob Gross, former Principal Paul Chmelik, and former Deputy Principal Dave Norcott saw a need for a new deputy principal. Norcott said that the size of the job was just becoming too big for one person. The responsibilities of the deputy principal include the supervision and evaluation of teachers, organizing interim semester, and discipline. It has yet to be decided which
deputy will take on which duties but Neihart said that he no longer wanted to be as active in discipline as he has been this year. “With discipline, I have to be the bad guy. It’s not a fun part of the job,” Neihart said. “I would like to focus more on curriculum and supporting staff through supervision and evaluation.” The division of responsibilities will be decided in a meeting with Norcott, Neihart, Gross and Thomas. Gross and Norcott, along with
team spirit. “Pep rally helped us bond as a team so we played as a team,” she said.
Additional deputy principal to join high school next year by Barbara Lodwick Middle School Deputy Principal Franke Thomas will be moving to the high school at the end of this school year to be a second deputy principal. “There is an increased need for a new deputy principal,” Deputy Principal Doug Neihart said. “Four years ago, there were 750 students. Now, there are more than 1100. We need another deputy principal.” Middle School Deputy Principal Franke Thomas plays ping pong with middle school students. Thomas will join the high school staff next year. Photo by Rohin Dewan
Permit # MICA (P) 234/10/2005
a select group, chose who would become the new deputy. “I wanted a person who has very strong people skills,” Norcott said. Thomas’ experience includes 20 years as a high school teacher, two years as a high school principal and nine years of administration in middle school. He also taught International Baccalaureate (IB) Biology and chemistry in South Africa. “I want to get back into the high school, but it’s tough,” Thomas said. “I really like the staff [in the middle school.]”
October 26, 2006
New bus cards are unused, parents not watching by Amanda Tsao As bus aunties ﬁsh into children’s bags to scan cards, four siblings indicate their arrival with four beeps. Footballers loaded with helmets and shoulder pads fumble through wallets to ﬁnd their familiar yellow cards. The new implementation of bus cards has raised questions concerning its value and necessity. The Global Positioning System (GPS) project was launched in 2003, and has been used by the bus ofﬁce for the past two years. Its implementation started when the United States Department of Defense insisted that North Asia use the GPS system, a series of satellites that broadcasts precisely-timed radio signals that determine locations. There are seven satellites available to get readings from, however the Bus Ofﬁce usually uses
three. Results vary depending on the weather. Clear days post more accurate readings, while cloudy weather results in possibly wrong information. “The feedback has been pretty positive. Parents like that they know where the buses are. In the case of a rainy day, they can see where the bus is [by using the] online site [which is] updated every ﬁve minutes,” bus transport director Adrian Yeap said. “The only complaints are when the GPS system [is sometimes inaccurate. There was an incident in which] a mother saw online that the bus was 15 minutes away but the bus was actually already there.” Some parents feel differently about the beneﬁts of the bus cards. “I think it’s a waste because most of the kids would lose them anyway,” said ninth grade parent Germaine Jack. When asked if she had used the
online system before, Jack said that were a good use of the school’s she remembered seeing the cards, but budget. “I think it’s a had not used the great idea but I system online. haven’t looked at “Although [the online system] the bus cards myself,” Bitting were a good said. idea for the Bitting is among lower division the many parents schools, lack of who do not use the actual use and online system. adoption marks “I didn’t know it as a failure,” about the online junior Belal site. I think we Hakim said. should have been Kimberly better informed Bitting, a parent because I don’t of a second and think most people fourth grader, know about that,” thinks the new middle school change is a parent Diane positive one. A student scans her bus card before Howarth said. Bitting thought getting on the activities bus. Photo by Although that the bus cards Cat Ward
parents have given feedback on the online site, the bus ofﬁce does not keep track of the number of hits on the site because the server is situated in the central ofﬁce in Ang Mo Kio. Besides tracking the bus’s current location, the GPS system is also used to determine where passengers are seated. Yeap said that this ability of the GPS system is especially useful in the case of an epidemic outbreak in order to narrow down a potential carrier. Before the GPS system was implemented, bus ofﬁce employees often had to stay late at night ﬁnalizing schedules and timings. “At the start of the school year we’ve always had to stay back until 9-10 p.m just to get information out to the parents. Sometimes I’ve stayed until 2 a.m. [But] now we can go home at 6-7 [p.m.] or earlier,” said Yeap with a smile.
SAS may pull plug on expensive Coke machines
Junior Chi Chi Lin queches her thirts with a 100 plus from the coke machines after tryouts. Photo by Brian Riady
by Kathy Bordwell Athletes drenched with sweat, tired and worn out from the Singapore heat usually gather around one of the high school’s nine soft drink machines after practice. They are important machines to have around when faced with thirst, but they take a toll on the school’s electricity bill. A project done in the 20042005 school year by one of robotics teacher Mark Devine’s electronics engineerings students revealed that the coke machines use up 427 watts of power each hour. This number does not include how much is lost each time the door is opened when restocked.
SAS to host two math competitions by Rhoda Severino Sixteen freshmen and sophomores, all vying for mathematical glory. By Feb. 1, only six will remain to compete at the annual South East Asian Mathematics Competition (SEAMC), which will be held at SAS and United World College (UWC). All potential SEAMC competitors must be 12 to 15 years old and all SAS candidates must be Math Club participants so that they can take the practice tests to qualify for the competition. After these practice tests, eight will be selected to compete in the Singapore International Schools Mathematics Competition (SISMC) on Nov. 11 by SEAMC organizer and SISMC co-founder Dr. Jim Kett. “We’ll do three or four preliminary competitions and we’ll use the results of those to determine the eight kids who will be competing,” Kett said.
The selected competitors must then go through more practice rounds to prepare for SISMC. Six out of the eight SISMC competitors will be chosen to compete in SEAMC from Feb. 1 to Feb. 4, 2007. Their selection will be based on their performance in SISMC. SAS fared well at last year’s SEAMC, with Eng Seng Ng (class of 2006) winning the individual championship in Hong Kong. Championships can be won either by team or by individual. SAS will be sending two teams of four to SISMC and two teams of three to SEAMC. Winners stand to earn prizes donated by the PTA, the Booster Booth, the SAS administration and UWC. The team champion also wins the Warry Cup, currently held by the King George V School of Hong Kong. The Warry Cup is named for SEAMC’s founder, Steve Warry of Garden International School in Malaysia, who created the competition in 2001.
“It was a neat story,” Devine said. “[The student] went around counting each machine and found all the information. He found they cost a huge amount.” Devine’s student calculated that the school pays $1,700 to $2,000 a year to run each soft drink machine. Facilities and Services Director Anthony Wong said that the machines are free as long as the school covers the electrical charges. Coca Cola provides maintenance and the restocking for the machines. Coca Cola makes donations to the school to cover the electricity costs. “They make a donation of $30,000 to $40,000 a year, donating
trays of cokes for PTA functions, county fair, SACAC events, [and] book fairs,” Wong said. If Devine’s students calculations are accurate, the school pays between $15,300 and $18,000 for the nine machines located around the high school. Rhonda Norris, Assistant Superintendent for Business, said the ﬁve-year agreement with Coca Cola will be expiring either this month or next. A meeting has been scheduled to address this issue and others involving soft drink machines. “They seem less interested [to extend],” Norris said. “SAS is not an open venue. It’s not in use all year round.”
“I have a feeling they want to pull out of the contract,” Wong said. “They keep telling us they don’t make much from [the school] because we don’t let the lower levels [the primary, intermediate and middle schools] access the machines. They depend on the high school to provide the volume.” Coca Cola’s concerns on whether students drink enough of their products will also be answered in the meeting, with a possibility of trading in some of the coke machines for water machines. “A survey done within the Food Service Committee encouraged more water,” Norris said.
700 students sign hair petition by Alex Boothe On junior Mike Howard’s ﬁrst day back at school, Deputy Principal Doug Neihart bluntly told him, “put up your hair or you’ll have to get it cut.” This moment was a preview of the stricter enforcement policy introduced by the administrative team. While the student handbook says boys’ hair should not fall below the collar, the rule has not been strictly enforced in the past. Following the administration’s crackdown’, Howard began circulating a petition on boys’ hair length. At least ﬁve students have been asked to cut their hair this year, and several others have been required to put it in a ponytail. Over 700 SAS students signed Howard’s petition which stated that “all male students should have the same rights as female students concerning hair.” Neihart wore a ponytail for nine out of the last ten years. He said that he understands the students’ standpoint on the issue and believes everyone has a voice. However, he said that SAS has an image to uphold. Howard contends that this ‘image’ is outdated by contemporary
standards. Neihart believes that if Howard has a good, strong argument, he may be able to change the standards of boys’ hair at SAS. He said it will be a tough issue to argue with the administration because an American school in a foreign country has a certain impression to make. A meeting was held involving Principal Dave Norcott, Executive Council President Jennifer Nockels, Vice President Sneh Shah and Howard to discuss his argument. It will be presented to the other school divisions before any decisions can be made. Howard believes he has a compelling argument that could change the mind of the administration. He said that his hair does not draw attention and that it is a simple request if he and others are willing to follow the rest of the school’s guidelines. “I think there should be leniency when it comes to style and freedom of expression, especially if it isn’t a distraction to the learning environment,” Howard said. “I just don’t want to put my hair in a ponytail anymore.”
Senior Valerie Mahillon with her hair pulled back in a ponytail. Behind her, junior Jacob Massobrio styles the same hairstyle. Photo by Cat Ward
Senior JJ Subaiah sits in the library computer lab with his hair held back with a head band. Photo by Alex Boothe
Junior Maritz Buchholz barely passing the rule which states that boys’ hair may not fall below the collar. Photo by Alex Boothe
October 26, 2006
Students have mixed responses to library changes
by Arunima Kochhar All was silent, except for the distant sound of an air conditioner humming, and the silent scratching of pencils on paper. This has been the aura of the new high school library. Students have had mixed responses to the new enforcements in the library. In a recent Eye survey taken by 336 seniors, juniors and sophomores, 73.1 percent of students said that they go to the library purely for work. 30.4 percent of the students found the library to be too noisy while 71.4 percent found the noise level ﬁne. According to librarian John Johnson this year’s changes in the library began by focusing on reducing the noise level from previous years. It was not the administration that provoked a change but rather a student survey conducted last year. In the survey, the top three concerns that students and parents had were the avaliablity of technology, noise level and access to books. “Together with the complaints from students as well as parents, [Principal Dave Norcott, Deputy Principal Doug Neihart] and I thought a change was necessary,” Johnson said. Johnson said that the library had become a more social environment
and less of an academic one. His sense at all,” senior Sneh Shah said. aim is to create a quiet and peaceful “Firstly, a restriction of chairs on place to study rather than a lounge each table is bull. The rules are there atmosphere. Vi o l a t i o n s such as high noise level, rearrangement of seats and aimless w a n d e r i n g that have been overlooked in previous years, will not be tolerated this year. Johnson said that changing Freshman Alex Havas listens to music while doing the position of homework in the library. Photo by Clay Crawford furniture shows “a lack of respect [for the] furniture.” “There are three levels of punishment: a simple request to say quiet, a ﬁrmer yet patient reminder followed by the involvement of [Neihart] and a possible ban Seniors Kacey Whitaker, Anit Das and Ellen Wuest chat from the library,” in the library while sitting on the ground, a practice which is no longer allowed. Photo by Rachel Liou Johnson said. Students have expressed complaints with some of to limit the noise, and that obviously these rules and punishments. just doesn’t make sense.” “I think some of the policies Students have claimed that they are ludicrous and don’t make any are not being given the same respect
Former SAS teacher publishes biography by Cat Ward In 1989 former SAS teacher Bob Dodge sat in a class called Conﬂict, Cooperation and Strategy at Harvard University and listened to Professor Thomas Schelling. Eleven years later Dodge decided to write Schelling’s biography. The book, The Strategist, will be released in mid-October in Singapore. The book will be carried by the Booster Booth at the Singapore American School as well as in bookstores such as Borders in downtown Singapore. D o d g e began working on the biography of his friend and former teacher Schelling in the summer of 2000. At ﬁrst Dodge brought up the idea that Schelling should write an autobiography; however, because of how long it would take, Schelling did not want to. Dodge volunteered to do it instead. “I had a couple dozen three to four hour interview sessions [with him,]” Dodge said.
Dodge could only work on the book during the summer so the time that it took to write was stretched out across six years. The book was originally planned to be released last summer, but Dodge decided that more interviews and sources were needed before the book could be published. Then in 2005 Schelling won the Nobel Prize with Robert J. Aumann, and people became interested in the biography, Dodge said. Schelling won the Nobel Prize in Economics for his work on conﬂict and cooperation through gametheory analysis. When Dodge was at SAS he taught a course called Conﬂict Resolution, which was started as an attempt to teach Schelling’s ideas and methods at a high school level, Dodge said. The hardcover version of the book is planned to be released soon in the states. “November is what they say,” Dodge said. “It’s being printed right now.”
that they are giving the librarians. “There are always ways to ask people to lower their voices, pleasant ways,” senior Crystal Clower said. “The librarians seem to skip the nice part and go straight to drill sergeant.” Other students have responded positively. “I think the rules can be a bit too harsh,” said a sophomore student who asked not to be named. “However, I do think that some of [the librarians’] measures made the library quieter and a better place to study.” “I like the idea that I can actually use the library for studying rather than trying to ﬁnd a place in the depths of school,” said a junior student who also asked to remain anonymous. Many students feel that the relaxed atmosphere of the library has been damaged by the new rules. “The library should be a place where people feel welcome, where they can go and relax in a quiet space,” Clower said. “But it does not feel like that here. People are constantly being yelled at and it has
become a place to dread instead of appreciate.” A forum was held on Oct. 12 for students to discuss the changes in the library with Norcott. “This is an opportunity for you guys to be part of the solution,” Norcott said to the 30 students that attended. “It’s a healthy part of the democratic process to not be afraid to speak.” The forum was mainly for students to “voice their concerns and thoughts” rather than one that promised immediate solutions. Norcott said that he hoped to ﬁnd answers through questions and discussion. Senior Casey DeFord said she was particularly upset with the way that the rules had been enforced. “Kids are being disrespected,” she said. “You want to rebel. You can’t do anything in the library so it just deters students from going in.” Junior Chi Chi Lin said she agreed that the library should be quieter and that SAS students have forgotten what a library is. “If you go to the National Library it’s completely quiet,” Lin said. Johnson said that the main reason behind his determination to enforce these rules is that there must be a difference between relaxation and academia. “We are trying to give the library back to those who need it,” he said.
Over 100 students attend marijuana Speaker’s Corner
by Nicole Schmitz Senior Penn Bullock declared a war on lard and love during the recent Speaker’s Corner that focused on the legalization of marijuana Bullock argued against the claim that marijuana was and should be illegal because it had too extreme of an effect on people’s behavior. Bullock sarcastically vowed to change his own lifestyle habits. “I’m going to give up coffee, give up caffeine. I’m going to go home every night and read the bible,” he said. “We should not only ban marijuana, but fast food. And love, because love makes people act irrationally. I declare a war on lard. A war on lard and a war on love.” Speaker’s Corner was scheduled for Sept 22 but was postponed due to rain. Speaker’s Corner was moved to Sept 28 during the 40 minute second break. Students attended the debate, sitting on the tables, benches and ﬂoor of the patio outside of the cafeteria. Sophomore Spencer Anderson said he believes in freedom unhindered by government intervention. “Legalize everything. It’s my money, and my body, don’t tell me what to do,” Anderson said. Junior Charles Maher said that the medicinal use of marijuana is acceptable, but believes that people
need to know the consequences before experimenting with drugs. “People aren’t actually educated,” Maher said. “They don’t know what’s actually happening to their bodies.” Peace Initiative sponsor Troy Blacklaws joined the debate and cautioned students of the consequences of taking marijuana. “You might even end up as a beach bum in India,” he said. “You might end up sleeping on a station ﬂoor.” Senior Rhys Holding disagreed with Blacklaws claims. “I’m sorry but you, sir, are erroneous,” Holding said. “I know people who smoke pot that don’t ﬁt that stereotype.” While senior Xenia Stafford argued that marijuana was a gateway drug, Bullock disagreed. Bullock cited that 50 percent of people in the US have “smoked up” at least once in their life while only 1-2 percent have tried cocaine or heroin. “The people who try cocaine or heroin will try crack and heroin no matter what, whether or not marijuana is illegal,” Bullock said. “Pot is not a gateway drug.” Senior Abhinav Kaul said that legalizing marijuana would actually yield beneﬁts. “Marijuana generates a billion dollars in revenue. If we legalize
it, we can deprive [drug dealers] of their number one source of revenue,” Kaul said. “We should just tax them and make money off it.” Junior Mariko Thomas cited that the national budget could go to better uses than the prohibition of marijuana. “The government spends 25,000 per year to prevent [growing] of marijuana but only invests 10,000 per student,” she said. Bullock said that marijuana was not as detrimental as other legal substances are. “[Marijuana] is not a physically addicting substance like caffeine,” Bullock said. “People have died from overdosing on alcohol, from overdosing on drugs but no one has ever died from overdosing on marijuana.” Over 100 students attended Speakers Corner. This was a huge increase from previous sessions where only a couple dozen students attended. “I saw people out there that have never come [to a Speaker’s Corner] before,” Peace Initiative secretary Bryan Gamble said. Peace Initiative sponsor Anne Marie Russell was pleased by the overwhelming response. “It was wonderful to see some people speaking. We want to get human rights topics and topics where students are interested,” she said.
October 26, 2006
SATs no longer a litmus test for student excellence
by Jeff Hamilton Many could consider senior Sophie Greene to be one of SAS’s most driven students. As Executive Council Vice President, a member of peer support and an ofﬁcer of Global Giving, Greene has the motivation needed for college success. The SATs, a major component of the college application should have shown thia, but they did not. Green like many colleges in America now believe these tests to be poor measures of academic talent and college potential. “Strict adherence to SATs may guarantee a strong class, Students use test-prep books to but it also excludes other learn to outthink standardized tests. able students,” President of photo by Jeff Hamilton Mount Hollyoke College marketing ploy. Joanne V. Creighton said in “I like to think that because a report by CollegeNews.org. a four-hour test does not predict Since Bates and Bowdoin college success, schools are trying College became test-optional several to do the right thing by going testdecades ago, the number of schools optional,” high school counselor going test-optional has been on the Dale Ford said. increase. The number currently Some students who do not feel stands at 730 schools in America. their scores accurately gauge their While many of these schools are art college potential seek out testor religious institutions, a growing optional schools. Greene visited number can be found in the top Middlebury College, Connecticut 100 liberal arts colleges including College and Union College, three Middlebury, Dickinson, and test-optional schools, over the Hamilton. The decision to become summer. test-optional is regarded by many as According to Ford, the testone of good sense and by others as a
optional policy employed by many top liberal arts schools creates a cycle that allows these schools to remain in the top ranks of American schools. “When only students who performed well on the SATs submit their scores, test optional schools are able to record higher test scores for their freshmen so prospective students and parents obsessed with numbers and rankings look at these schools,” Ford said. Another beneﬁt of being testoptional is that schools are able to attract more diverse prospective
students who in the past had been marginalized by standardized tests. According to Michele Tolela Myers president of Sarah Lawrence College the SAT relies heavily on whether or not a student can afford a test prep course that teaches a client how to “out think” test makers. Often equally capable students lack the resources to pay for these courses. Test-optional schools then become an alternative. Schools going the test optional route usually have the added bonus of attracting a larger application pool. College of the Holy Cross’s pool is up 41percent, and Lawrence University, Appleton, Wis., is up 12 percent. Some schools like Hamilton College and Middlebury College took the middle ground stance on the issue of going testoptional. Hamilton is considered testoptional because it requires either SAT, ACT or Advanced Placement test scores and Middlebury requires either the new SATI, ACT, or SATII (with three different subject tests). “We still believe standardized tests have a place at highly selective colleges because fewer high schools are calculating class rank and grading practices are inconsistent,” President of Hamilton College Joan Hinde Stewart said on collegenews. org.
Top Test-Optional Liberal Arts Schools
By Jeff Hamilton Taking four Advanced Placement courses and one honors course, as well as being Executive Rank Council Vice President, a member of peer support, and an ofﬁ cer of Global Bowdoin College 6 Giving, Senior Sophie Greene could be Middlebury College 8 considered among SAS’s most driven Hamilton College 15 students. Despite this Greene was not surprised when, what she feels is her Bates College 21 college potential, was not captured 23 byMount her SATHolyoke scores. AsCollege more and more students areof realizing that SATs College the Holy Crossdo not 32 always show true academic potential, Connecticut College 36 more and more colleges and universities Union College 36 are realizing the same thing. “Strict adherence to SATs may Bard College 39 guarantee a strong class, but it Franklin and Marshall also excludes other able students,” Collegeof Mount Hollyoke College 39 President Joanne V. Creighton said in a report by Dickinson College 45 CollegeNews.org. Sarah Lawrence College 49 Since Bates and Bowdoin College Source: became testFairTest optional several decades ago, the number of schools going test optional has been on the increase. The number currently stands at 730 schools in America. While many of these schools are art schools, a growing number can be found in the top 100 liberal arts colleges, such as Middlebury, Dickinson, and Hamilton. The decision to become test optional is regarded by many as one of good sense and by others as a marketing ploy.
High school graduation rate increases competition by Katrina DaVaney Most of the ruling elites in US government, business and industry are baby boomers, born in the years between 1946 and 1964. Their offspring, born between 1982 and 1995, called echo boomers, have created a second population surge that is taxing college admissions ofﬁces and changing policies. These echo boomers are 80 million strong and represent onethird of United State of America’s population. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that two-thirds of high school graduates go directly to college. This overﬂow means extreme competition for college. The United States Department of Education expects “record high enrollments every year until 2015.” “Colleges generally don’t change the number of seats available. The physical space, dorms, classroom seats don’t increase,” counselor Dale Ford said. Contributing to this college fervor is the increased value of education. There is a huge discrepancy between the lifetime earnings of a high school graduate and a college graduate. High school graduates can expect to earn $1.2 million over their lifetimes. On the other hand, college graduates earn nearly double that amount, at $2.1 million over their lifetime. “I think nowadays it’s extremely important. In our parent’s time, they needed to get a college education to keep themselves apart from everybody else. Now we need to get
graduate degrees to be successful,” in ways unthinkable a generation aggressive. ago. College marketing is not limited “I travel around the country senior Brad Kobylarz said. For some students, and parents, to glossy brochures and college whipping kids (and their parents) it is not enough to just go to a state fairs. About 20 colleges, including into a frenzy so that they will apply. university. Colleges have now University of Vermont, Baylor, and I tell them how great a school Duke become a kind of status symbol. “It just seems to me that kids aren’t looking outside the big names. There are so many fantastic colleges in America,” counselor Dawn Betts said. Increased competition for admission is mainly concentrated in ﬁrst and second tier schools. Top schools reported record low admission rates for their 2005 freshman class. For every one student that got into Columbia University, nine were rejected. As spurned Ivy League wannabes trickle down to their safety schools, the competition increases in second tier schools. Schools compete to place Increases in the high shool graduation rate has lead to greater on lists of the ‘top colleges’. competion for college spots. In 2006, ﬁve out of every 50 applicants A major criterion for placing were accepted into Harvard University. Photo by Brian Riady high on one of these lists is classiﬁcation as a selective school. Students agree that being a selective school equals a Tulane are sending out, usually by is academically and how much fun good school. In Princeton’s Review email, ‘instant applications’. These they will have socially. Then, come list of dream schools, eight out of 10 instant applications make it easy for April, we reject most of them,” wrote are also on Princeton Review’s list students to apply, with all information Rachael Toor, in her book about her already ﬁlled in and no application former job as admission ofﬁcer at of ‘The Toughest to Get Into.’ This, and other marketing Duke University. Even receiving the Marketing plays a major role fees. in changing ideas about colleges. techniques such as calling students prized acceptance letter is no longer Colleges are marketing themselves at home, have been criticized as too a guarantee for today’s high school
seniors. Colleges are cracking down on seniors who slack off in their last semester of high school. Rescinding applications is not new. On their acceptance letters, most, if not all, colleges warn students that their acceptance is not deﬁnite. “Congratulations! We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted to Oklahoma State University for the Fall 2006 Semester, pending completion of the curricular requirements and graduation from high school,” states an acceptance letter from Oklahoma State. Californian universities, including University of California, California State University and Stanford University have rescinded hundreds of applications alone for the 2005 freshman class. The University Of Washington at Seattle retracted the largest number of applications ever in the college’s history when they rescinded 23 applications, and sent warning letters to 180 students out of the 5,400 students in their incoming class. Counselor Dawn Betts said that there has been only one case of a SAS student’s application to college being rescinded, and that happened several years ago. She attributes parent, teacher, and counselor input in keeping students on track. “We warn them ahead of time. But yes, it does happen. I can’t imagine working for four years and have one semester take it away,” Betts said.
October 26, 2006
Smothering mothering creates a ‘wimpy’ nation
by Sam Lloyd It is often a nice boost of security to have mom and pop there to lend a helping hand. But an article from abcnews.go.com cites cases of mothers and fathers making daily wakeup calls, regularly cleaning dorm rooms, revising essays, or even arguing with professors over a bad grade, all for their college child. How much is too much? In the last few years, the media has expressed growing concern over the rise in over-attentive “helicopter parents” at college
While “helicoptering” may seem to beneﬁt students at ﬁrst glance, “Nation of Wimps” author Hara Estroff Marano believes that it leads to excessive dependency on parents during a time when their children should be creating their identity and ﬁguring out how to live on their own. SAS counselor Freida Dietrich is running a program called “Launching Your Senior and Letting Go” that advises parents of high school seniors
helicopter parents cited above may be rare, there are excesses of attention from some SAS parents, according to Dietrich. “We’ve got some samples of parents who call their child [in college] every single day and talk for an hour. That’s a lot,” she said. But, she conceded, “every family has their own system.” Vickie Reay, mother of 2006 graduate Paul
attention to helicopter parents, portrays the trend as inaccurate in scale, just reﬂecting wealthier families rather than the majority of children in “true American famil[ies].” In her Time magazine article “Barbie to Baby Einstein: Get Over It” she writes, “The afﬂuence of those [families] is never
A survey that was sent out to juniors and seniors provided information on students and the college application process. 255 students took the survey.
One out of the 255
students surveyed is not planning on applying to college.
SAS parents are very involved in the application process while
4.7% are not involved
campuses, who constantly monitor and shelter their children. Regular communication with parents is normal for most students; a parent survey by the Chronicle of Higher Education found that about 74 percent of parents are in contact with their children in college two or three times a week, according to JournalStar.com. However, helicopter parents take this to an extreme by constantly monitoring their child’s progress. The increase in such activities may have roots in technological advances. Ease of communication through phone, email, and, more recently, video conversations through programs such as Skype™ and iChat have made it feasible for parents to keep up-to-date on what their child is doing, especially when that child is overseas.
how to deal with separation from their kids after graduation. She said, “We can identify with that [dependency] here. A lot of our students don’t even know how to use a washing machine.” Such dependency may also be leading to declines in health once the “eternal umbilicus,” as Marano calls it, has been removed. If parents have previously controlled their kids’ lives for them, their kids might experience undue stress when faced with the multitude of freedoms and responsibilities available to them. Overstretching of such freedom may lead to overextension in classes, clubs, and activities resulting in an unhealthy inability to cope. Nurse Shelley Donahue says that she has noticed a particular increase in stress-related maladies in the last two years, out of her four years at the school. While the extreme cases of
R e a y and an SAS junior daughter in the high school, said, “our mind is pretty much made up” on where her junior will go to college. The decision, she said, was made “ﬁfty-ﬁfty” between her and her daughter. She said she keeps in touch with her son in college at least three times a week and checks his grades regularly, a right she says she has because of a waiver he signed. “As long as I’m paying the bill, I’d like to see the report card,” she said. “I still have a lot of input. You try to back off but it’s hard, especially in the ﬁrst six months.” In a survey of 255 SAS juniors and seniors, 24% said their parents were “very involved” in their college application process; 88% said their parents were at least “moderately involved.” Moreover, 62% said that they found the colleges they plan to apply to through their parents, more than any other category. Po Bronson, a critic of the sudden
copped to; instead, these fears enter into the media bubble and get supercharged into widespread panic by the multiplying coverage.” Momoko Kanda, SAS alumna ’06, began college at Tufts College in September. She said that while her mother was very involved in her college decision and currently calls her about three times a week, parental overconcern has not been an issue. “[At SAS,] I never felt pressure from my mom to perform well, it was more pressure from myself and my peers,” she said. “In college you’re basically on your own. Seeing as I’ve always been extremely protected in Singapore, the sudden bout of freedom can really get to your head.” Kim Hartung, who also graduated this year, is in a similar situation. “Honestly, my parents are far enough away that they couldn’t be all that overprotective if they tried,” she said.
64.1% would be more
likely to apply to a school if it made standardizedtesting optional.
63.2 % would still
send their scores if submission was optional. The most common ways students found the colleges they are applying to is from
parents and peers
while the least common is from teachers.
College freshmen speak out reporting by Megan Anderson
“I feel like it [making friends] is harder at a big school like Boulder because you rarely see the same person twice.” Sarah Calvert University of Boulder Colorado U.S.A.
“I really recommend it [a single room] for people who are iffy about having a roommate” Kaitlin Crocker University of Waterloo, British Columbia, Canada
“Make sure you enjoy your activities, but remember that academics are the number one priority.” William Reid Boston University, U.S.A.
“High school was a lot easier for me. I do not know why. I guess I am just working harder than I did in high school and it’s all hitting me now” Katie Fusco Southern Methodist University, U.S.A
October 26, 2006
Schedule changes, student frustration remains is to cram 1,000 students into the cafeteria. Junior Chrissy Newman complained about how crowded the caf was. The line keeps going and going, even reaching the stairs,” she said. This schedule change may be affecting the catering services in the cafeteria. Subway Supervisor Shu Ping, said that there are few customers during the 10-minute break. “Everybody comes during second break. Sometimes [students] order, the bell rings, but they don’t have time to eat,” Ping said. Venkatesh observed how some students queue up and never get their food. “Sometimes I see some people in the Subway line walk away at the end of break, looking very disappointed,” he It is third break and very few students have time to buy food. Long lines plague Mr. Hoe’s during second break. Photo by Brian said. Photo by Brian Riady Riady Mr. Hoe’s underwent changes over the summer. by Nicole Schmitz Guggisburg said. There are three separate stations For two weeks senior Nate dietary habits, Principle Dave Students can now be seen Norcott decided to change the serving the same Schzuan chicken, Mahoney spent his breaks circulating enjoying the new break in both the schedule from last year. sandwiches, and drinks, including a a petition to change the new lunch cafeteria and library. “Overextending students does ﬁ rst ﬂ oor stand situated beneath the break back to the old schedule. Freshman Akshay Venkatesh was not make a lot of sense,” he said. “I stairs. During the ﬁrst and second “[The old schedule] was more in the library. wanted to create environment that break, all of the stations are open. effective than the current one because “At ﬁrst [the schedule] was was not quite as stressful, where you During third break, the stand beneath it was more ﬂexible with consistent confusing but it got better. We could catch breath, have a meal, talk the stairs is wheeled next to the cash time to get food and break between can actually go to our next class with a friend, ﬁ nish up work.” registers. classes,” he said. “An extended without rushing,” freshman Akshay English teacher Mark Guiggisburg Three new cooks were hired this break for lunchtime is appropriate, Venkatesh said. agrees. summer to meet student demand. but 40 minutes isolates and restricts “I see people getting their lunch “The second 40-minute break Mr. Hoe said that the queues are a student’s option to get food. and they’re not in a hurry,” Norcott is not just for eating. It is a time not longer than the ones during last Spurred on by student complaints said. to relax, socialize; be a kid,” year’s 25-minute lunch. of stress, lack of sleep, and poor One of the challenges, however,
First forum ﬁnds faults, concerns and suggestions by Denise Hotta-Moung “After working with student During the second week of government and seeing the results school, the ﬁrst forum of the year from a survey with the staff and was held for students to voice their students, we felt a longer third break concerns with the new schedule. would be better,” Norcott said. Six weeks later, a change was made Norcott considered changing the to the length of the third break, length of the third break for a while, which is now 15 minutes long. but was unsure where the extra ﬁve The forum was not what minutes would come from. The provoked the change in the schedule, options included taking a minute out but it helped give Principal Dave from each class, taking ﬁve minutes Norcott an idea of what students’ from either one of the other breaks concerns were. Most of the or taking ﬁve minutes away from the concerns that last period students had of each day. were with the In the end, a length of the minute was third break. removed Following from each the forum, period and c h a n g e s added to the such as more last break. seating and Senior the addition Sneh Shah of food attended carts were the forum made. When and said conditions that Norcott were not explained rectiﬁed by h i s such changes, intentions lengthening b e f o r e the third break getting Principal Dave Norcott listens to was taken into feedback student conerns. Photo by Brian Riady consideration. from the
group. complaints. “During the forum it may not “It brings the people that really have been noticeable because care about the issue though,” Shah Norcott did said. not say Senior Simi anything, Oberoi agreed with but I could Shah and said that tell he really though the forums wanted were good, not to see enough students opinions were taking and get advantage of the feedback opportunity to voice t h a t their opinions. contributes “I wish more to changes,” people showed up. Shah said. I know so many “It is good more people felt because strongly about it,” it allows Oberoi said. “If they students wanted to make a to get change, they should t o g e t h e r. have come.” Senior Sneh Shah waits to voice his opinions Students do at the forum. Photo by Brian Riady Many students not usually still are not satisﬁed go up with the lengthened randomly to a principal and voice all break. of their concerns.” “It’s just not enough time,” Despite the positive aspects of Oberoi said. the forums, the number of students Despite complaints with the that showed up was disappointing. results, forums have allowed students Shah noticed a difference in how to have a voice in situations. many people complain and how “I deﬁnitely do [recognize the many people actually showed up efforts of the administration],” when given a chance to voice those Oberoi said. “And I appreciate it.”
“Business is not affected,” Hoe said. Norcott stands by his decision. “It might take them a while to warm up to it, but in the end, I think they’ll like the new schedule,” he said. Club meetings have now been moved to the 25-minute ﬁrst break or after school. “It’s a good idea for clubs to try to work the meetings in after school. It keeps the lunch hour empty to get a bite to eat and it gives us a chance to use the 30 minutes after school for communicating with club members.” Guggisburg said. Many ﬁnd fault with the third break. “The last break doesn’t give students a chance to relax or take deep breaths and they come to class stressed,” Guggisberg said. Norcott worked with the student council to get solutions to the problems caused by the new schedule rather than revert to the old one. On Monday Oct 9, a new schedule was implemented. It included a 15-minute third break. The extra 5 minutes were taken from class time and the ﬁrst and second breaks. Senior Ming Yen recalled the problems with the former 10minute break. “You had 5 minutes to walk to class so it was like a 5 minute break,” he said. “You couldn’t walk down to the cafeteria, but you could make it to your next class, if you walked really really slowly.”
Between Sept 28 and Oct 2, student council held a survey to record student views of the new schedule. 35 percent of the student body voted and on the whole, the upperclassmen response had negative feelings toward the change while freshman responses showed the opposite. On Oct. 9 student concerns were acknowledged as the administration made alterations to the schedule.
seniors said they now eat less with the schedule
of juniors said the new schedule added to their stress level.
48.6% of seniors
said they would like a homebase.
96% of freshman
said they would like a homebase.
October 26, 2006
17 bands bring musical variety to this year’s Peace Concert auditions by Nicole Schmitz Auditions for Nov. 17’s Peace Concert, themed “Breaking the Silence,” were held on Sept. 29 and 30 and lasted for eight hours. The judges, seniors Rachel Witt, Jessica Lin, Anit Das, and Brad Kobylarz, were concerned that there wouldn’t be enough bands to audition. Only 17 bands auditioned this year for Nov. 17’s Peace Concert, half of the number of bands that auditioned last year. “We were a little worried we’d be reaching for talent, but I was pretty happy with the line up,” Peace Initiative President Witt said. Witt saw the newly available space as an opportunity for new talent to come through. “The Peace Concert is a forum that launches bands onto the local music scene, especially high school bands,” Witt said. “[SAS band] Mental Flaw, is comprised mostly of juniors. There is no other concert
that features amateur bands to the same degree that we do.” Sponsor Dr. Roopa Dewan noted that bands who have preformed in Peace Concerts in the past have signed deals with studios. This year’s headliner, Saw Loser, has signed a deal with Universal Records. The fundraising concert’s theme “Breaking the Silence” is a common catch phrase for many organizations. “It’s about being a voice of people who are oppressed,” Peace Initiative sponsor Dr. Roopa Dewan said. The concert, which was started in 1993, is held by SAS’s human rights club, Peace Initiative. Proﬁts go to educational charities in Vietnam and Africa. Blue Dragon (Hanoi), Saksubi, a Cambodia orphanage, and Zamba, an African organization dedicated to educating and aiding those in AIDS-stricken countries. Witt cites scheduling as a problem.
“The concert is on the weekend of the big MUN conference,” she said. “Last year’s emcee, Sean McCabe, is going away to MUN.” Seniors Sneh Shah and Jennifer Nockles are scheduled to replace McCabe. “We thought it was easier if two people can play off each other,” Witt said. “Sean’s kind of unique in the way he can get up and talk for a long time.” The nine bands that met the criteria of sound quality, base and guitar work, timing, stage presence, voice and over all performance, were Face Off, Mental Flaw, Summer’s Over, Female, Half Strife, Klaudin, Saw Loser, Osmium and Say Whale. Concert goers can expect punk, indie, metal, screamo, and rageagainst-the-machine-meets-POD (Christian rock band). “It was pretty hard to get a single genre. It was a pretty good mix,” IPAU President Anit Das said.
Review: The Oﬃce
ers o w vie ell t S U tw p a ad ish red t o i r m B hu y dr edy m co by Denise Hotta-Moung Question. How would an American remake of “The Ofﬁce” live up to the British original? And how would American viewers, most of whom have become accustomed to the laughtrack-dependent, “Seinﬁeld” type TV shows, react to this dry humored comedy? Apparently, very well. The U.S. version of “The Ofﬁce” won “Outstanding Comedy Series” at this year’s Emmy Awards and averages about 8 million viewers weekly. Filmed as a ‘mockumentary,’ the show follows the lives of workers at Dunder-Mifﬂin , a paper supply company in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Its humor lies in the show’s awkward moments, long pauses and inappropriate and often offensive
situations. “The Ofﬁce” ﬁrst aired in the U.K. in 2001 and is the brainchild of British writers Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. The show is set against the backdrop of the Slough branch of a paper company. In 2004 “The Ofﬁce” (UK) won two Golden Globe Awards. After beating popular American TV shows such as “Sex and the City” and “Will and Grace,” “The Ofﬁce” (UK) caught the attention of American television network National Broadcasting Company (NBC). The U.S. version premiered on March 24, last year. Steve Carell plays Michael Scott, the innocent, yet obnoxious, regional manager who is oblivious to how offensive he is. Not wanting to be
perceived as insensitive, Scott tries to rectify the problematic situations he creates but instead makes such situations worse. Ironically, Scott is rarely seen doing work. Instead he spends his time sharing inappropriate jokes, dealing with the unwanted attention of assistant regional manager Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) and desperately trying to win approval from the rest of the ofﬁce. Scott shows an attraction and interest in “temp” Ryan Howard (B.J Novak) to the dismay of a jealous Shrute. Often bored at work, salesman Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) , with the help of receptionist Pam Beesley (Jenna Fischer), plays pranks on his nemesis Schrute, bringing adult immaturity to
“The talent has been more diverse than it has been in the past. We provide music to attract a larger audience, what appeals to most people,” Witt said. “It seems that in the last ﬁve years, the genre has been pop-punk which has reﬂected music that is now popular.” There was an upside to the dearth of auditioning bands. It only took one hour to decide on the bands, an improvement over the seven hours of deliberation last year. The ﬁve-man Mental Flaw, the only SAS band that made the cut, started playing together at the end of the last school year. Mental Flaw members ﬁnd it hard to classify the music they play. Junior John Ratley, guitarist, was the brain behind the band. “It’s not hard core or soft core,” he said. “It depends on who’s writing the songs,” junior Moritz Buchholz said. “We all have different musical tastes.” a new level. Halpert’s pranks include paying everyone in the ofﬁce to call Schrute “Dwayne,” moving Schrute’s desk into the bathroom and putting all of Shrute’s desk items in the ofﬁce vending machine. Other characters include an inappropriate Kevin Malone (Brian Baumgartner), alcoholic Meredith Palmer (Kate Flannery) and overtly religious Angela Martin (Angela Kinsey), Schrute’s secret girlfriend. Part of the show’s appeal is its ability to somehow make ofﬁce life interesting. “We understand the realism of it,” Krasinski said in an article in ‘The Improper Bostonian.’ “There are painful situations in 9-5 life, and we give you the ability to laugh at it, since most people sure as hell can’t do it at work.” The show’s viewers have gained interest in Halpert’s romantic connection with Beesley. Fans watched Halpert painfully pine for an unavailable Beesley who was engaged to warehouse crewmember Roy Anderson (David Denman). In the last scene of the second season, Halpert and Beesley share a kiss at the ofﬁce ‘casino night.’ The love lives of the characters are not portrayed as drama-ﬁlled fairy tales as many TV shows tend to do. The show does the exact opposite. After a few drinks, boss Jan Levinson (Melora Hardin) impulsively kisses Scott which, to her horror, prompts him to claim her as his girlfriend. She realizes her mistake the next day but instead of accepting her rejection, Scott continues to pursue her in an annoying, obsessive way. The third season begins a few months after casino night with a few changes: “temp” Howard is no longer a temp, Halpert has transferred and Ed Helms of “The Daily Show” joins the cast. Some things never change as Schrute continues to follow Scott’s every move with admiration and Halpert, from his ofﬁce in Connecticut, continues to play pranks on a helpless Shrute. Working in a cubicle has never looked so good.
Sophomore Sam Lockett and junior Pradeep Mahtani cover vocals, sophomore Martis Buchholz plays the base and Moritz plays the drums. English teacher Troy Blacklaws is the newest Peace Initiative sponsor. He sat in on the auditions. “For me, it was quite a harrowing experience listening to those auditions in such a small space,” Blacklaws said. He has seen Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones play live and hopes for a festive, laid back feeling and a summer-concert atmosphere. “I think I’ll enjoy the interludes and the acts,” Blacklaws said. Dewan has high hopes for this year’s concert, which is fronted by Saw Loser, formerly Pug Jelly, and includes Say Whale, who won this year’s Battle of the Bands. “One can literally let their hair down, relax, enjoy, and have fun,” Dewan said.
Michael Scott Regional Manager Played by Steve Carrel
Jim Halpert Sales Rep Played by John Krasinkski
Pam Beesley Receptionist Played by Jenna Fischer
Dwight Schrute AssistanttotheRegionalManager Played by Rainn Wilson
October 26, 2006
Students attend Improv sessions to relax, relieve stress
Patricia Keuster’s 7th period Theater Improvisation class warms up with “Freeze Improv”, an activity where students hold a position before slowly releasing it. Photo by Denise Hotta-Moung
by Denise-Hotta Moung It is 3:30pm in room S105 and senior Penn Bullock is playing a tiger crawling on the jungle ﬂoor. Seconds later, senior Sean McCabe spontaneously jumps on Bullock’s back, and the group of 25 students erupt into laughter.
Every Wednesday, drama teacher Patricia Kuester and former SAS student Daniel Dugard lead an Improvisation (Improv) Group. It is open to anyone who wants to participate. McCabe and Bullock were part of a skit in a game called “Double
Time” in which a scene is performed repeatedly. Each time the scene is repeated, the time limit is halved. Ideas for skits are taken from suggestions from the rest of the group. In their skit, McCabe, Bullock and seniors Ronnie Toth and Jess Harris impersonate actors who are in an improv group. The group is performing when they realize that one of them is extremely bad at improv. The group’s scene is set in a jungle where McCabe, Toth and Harris are attempting to capture a tiger, played by Bullock. Playing an inept actor, McCabe randomly yells “Pony!” and “Cat!” before climactically leaping onto Bullock’s back. Such outrageous moments get the most response from the students. “As well as being challenging, it’s always hilarious,” McCabe said. “It’s a great way to relieve stress.
When you mess up, it’s just as funny.” The atmosphere is relaxed as students kick back, encouraging each other with applause and constructive criticism. It takes a few “come on guys” for some students to start jumping into scenes, although veterans like McCabe and Bullock are always eager to volunteer. Some students attend the sessions merely to watch other students perform. “ There’s no pressure,” Dugard said. “People can come to just watch if they want.” The upbeat environment is only disturbed once, when a student comes into the classroom to tell McCabe and senior Peter Ayer that they are needed for play rehearsal. McCabe and Ayer rush to squeeze in a chance to participate in one of the scenes before reluctantly leaving for rehearsal. “It’s fun because people can just go up and get to completely goof around,” Dugard said. “It’s kind of an excuse to be immature.”
Senior Anna Simpson and Junior Phoebe Johnson hold their pose in “Freeze Improv.” Photo by Denise Hotta-Moung
Seniors Barrett Hammond, Steven Costello and Anna Simpson attempt to drive their “car” with their feet in an Improv game called “Hitchhikers.” Photo by Denise Hotta-Moung
Dancers close in on Clue murder mystery Reverend Green
Played by junior Shih-Yiu Liu
Dancers Anushka Bharvani and Ahilya Kaul work with each other for a dance move. Photo by Cat Ward
Played by senior Anushka Bharavani
by Cat Ward Deviating from the usual Disney-themed dance productions, Clue is expected to show something different and unique to audiences this year. “You have a story that you have to stick to with Disney,” dance choreographer Anna Allen said.“But this year we were able to make our own story and make our characters however we wanted.” First semester dance productions, which were usually Disney themed, appealed to younger kids. Allen said that this year the production will appeal to both the younger and the older age group. Students in the Dance Performance class choreograph their dances during class. Rehearsals are held after school. “It’s going a lot better than last year,” Allen said. “We have the individual dances done, and we still have 10 more rehearsal blocks.”
From left: Abby Murray, Anushka Bharvani, Esther Lukeman, Ahilya Kaul and Anna Allen strike a pose. Photo by Cat Ward.
Dancer Abby Murray cartwheels over Shih-Yiu Liu during Dance Performance class. Photo by Cat Ward
Played by junior Esther Lukeman
Played by junior Abby Murray
Played by senior Anna Allen
Played by junior Esha Parikh
Played by sophomore Ahilya Kaul
October 26, 2006
It’s showtime “Chess” musical gets ready for the big The cast of “Chess” practice a dance routine during a rehearsal afterschool. Photo by Brian Riady
by Denise Hotta-Moung With less than a week until opening night, the cast and crew of the musical “Chess” are hard at work. Rehearsals take 20 or more hours every week and usually last from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on school days. Saturday rehearsals last about four to ﬁve hours. “It’s deﬁnitely tiring, because we have to match everything with the pit orcheastra so it takes some time,” singer Alice Jeong said. “It’s stressful, but hopefully it’ll be worth it in the end.” “It’s going pretty well,” cast member Sean McCabe
said. “We did out ﬁrst run through on the date that we were supposed to, so it seems to be moving right along.” “Chess” will be performed on Oct 27, 28 and 29, immediately after the long weekend. Strings teacher Stephen Bonnette said he hopes that students will be able to come back fresh and perform well for the performances. “Chess was a great collaboration between the music and art department,” he said. “We are lucky to have such a great program.” Additional reporting by Rohin Dewan
Assistant teacher Jay Londgren and choir teacher Nannette Devens rehearse music for “Chess”. Photo by Brian Riady.
“Chess” chorus belt out tunes during an afterschool rehearsal. Photo by Brian Riady.
Chorus Tiffany Fan, Claudia Thieme, Winny Hasan, Priscilla Chan and Shina Akagawa at an afterschool rehearsal for “Chess”. Photo by Brian Riady.
Junior Jane Hurh and senior Alice Jeong look through music notes during a chess rehearsal. Photo by Brian Riady
10 op / ed staff editorial
Spirit activities help ease tension As students and teachers ran in circles around the gym, laughing and screaming with pride, a stranger could not have guessed that this year had started with conﬂict . The ﬁrst pep rally of the year showcased not only the atheletes of our school, but its ability to transform the spirits of the student body. For those 45 minutes, students were not concerned with any petitions, the disposable razors and navy blue shpants that were waiting to be used in the ofﬁce or the stapled notes on their bags in the library. For those 45 minutes, students did not complain. For those 45 minutues, students were proud. For those 45 minutes, students had spirit. The activities that were held for volleyball players, soccer players and cross- country runners from each class provided entertainment for the audience as well as healthy class competition. In addition to the pep rally, there have been three break time spirit activities that have provided a way for students and teachers to relax. They have provided a way for students to not be bothered with complaints or negativity. Of course, it is the academics and the learning part of high school that is of most importance. But this should not be the only aspect that concerns us. High school is about making mistakes, forming relationships, acting foolish and being a kid. We thank the students at this school who care enough to walk across all of the rows in the high school gym bleachers and place a colored piece of paper on every seat. We thank the student
announcers, who courageously stood up in front of twelve hundred people. We thank whoever had the spirit to be in a hot, sweaty eagle costume for 45 minutes. We thank the teachers that willingly participate in spirit activities with us. We thank those that plan these events in hopes of building relationships between each student. We appreciate the effort in trying to give us a high school experience that consists of more than just grades. To all of these people, we recognize you as the ones who have raised our school spirit. To all of you, thank you. The hard work and dedication has resulted a student body that is excited for IASAS even if they aren’t participating. A student body that has fun in spirit gigs and that willingly stands up to represent their grade. A student body that can see how much there is to appreciate. A student body that can relax. A student body that is assured that it is okay to still act like a kid. There are those that label school spirit, school functions, dances and pep rallies as useless, unnecessary and a waste of time. But in twenty years, when we are reminiscing on our high school careers, we may not remember the speciﬁc points we scored in a game, the grade we got on that one test, the times we had to change our faded pants or the time we got kicked out of the library. But the student spirit, the atmosphere of our school, the relationships, the lessons, the memories. That, we will remember.
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 email@example.com
Editors-in-chief: Denise Hotta-Moung, Cat Ward News editor: Sam Lloyd, Rhoda Severino Op/Ed editor: Amanda Tsao, Vicky Cheng Features editor: Jeff Hamilton, Nicole Schmitz Eye In Focus editor: Katrina DeVaney A&E editor: Arunima Kochhar, Kathy Bordwell Sports editor: Michelle Lee, Barbara Lodwick Photo/Layout editor: Rohin Dewan, Brian Riady Reporters: Megan Anderson, Alex Boothe, Kathy Bordwell,Vicky Cheng, Katrina DeVaney, Rohin Dewan, Jeff Hamilton, Denise Hotta-Moung, Arunima Kochhar, Michelle Lee, Sam Lloyd, Barbara Lodwick, Enja Reyes, Nicole Schmitz, Rhoda Severino, Ravi Shanmugam, Amanda Tsao, Cat Ward Adviser: Mark Clemens Assistant advisers: Judy Agusti, Shri Lakshmanan 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
October 26, 2006
Just a little bit: library, students need respect
There is a reason students still ﬂock to the library during crunch time when it’s crucial to ﬁnish that last paper or cram for next period’s test. We go there because we feel it’s a less frenzied atmosphere than that of the caf - maybe not an environment c o m p l e t e l y Vicky Cheng devoid of noise, but one with the connotation of “work.” It’s been noticed by many that the library is not the quietest place in school, but it’s no longer the kids that are making noise. The “new” library is part of a package that includes harsher enforcement of dress code and a strict, no-cutting policy concerning lunch lines, all of which took students by surprise at the beginning of the school year. It’s not to say that one is supposed to be loud in the library, but high noise level, ‘loitering’ and excess students at a table are rules that have never been enforced in previous years. The change in the library is perfectly tolerable, maybe even preferable for those who had complaints about how the SAS library resembled a circus. A survey sent out by The Eye found that 30 percent of the 343 high school students that responded found the library to be too noisy, possibly because of the 27.3 percent who go to the library to socialize or the 12.5 percent who don’t do work at the library. While these new rules should be expected of any library setting, the ways in which infractions are being enforced are yielding complaints. A library is, in theory, a quiet, peaceful environment, set apart to contain materials for reading, viewing, listening, study, or
reference. In short, a library is a place to work. “People have said that we should model our library after [that of National University of Singapore], but that’s just ridiculous because we’re not NUS. It’s our high school library,” senior Casey DeFord said. If the noise level is pushing the limit, a gentle reminder will do. If we are standing looking for a place to sit, give us a couple of minutes. If we enter the library laughing, let us laugh. And if we go to the next table to borrow a copy card that is, most unfortunately, already seating four people, please, just give us our copy card and not a lecture. We do not deserve to be yelled at. We do not deserve to be manhandled out of the library. We do not deserve to be chased around, and we particularly do not deserve library bans. One morning before school started, a senior was caught joining a table of four people. The senior said that librarian John Johnson said to him “I want you to leave.” “I asked him why because I was just asking my friends for help. First, he said it really nicely, then he said it again a lot harsher. Eventually he asked me for my ID number and banned me from the library,” the senior said. He was readmitted to the library a day later once he had Deputy Principal Doug Neihart’s permission and had written an apology letter to Johnson. The library is where students go to complete work or study. While being banned may, tentatively, deter kids from creating a disturbance, it seems that the actual act of getting a
DOMESTIC LIFEOR F
HOW TO FOLD CLOTHES 101
STEP ONE: Lay out shirt and fold sleeves inward towards the center
student in trouble is more distracting than anything else. “We should be encouraged to use our school facilities and not be scared to use them,” DeFord said. The four-person-per-table rule generates more noise than it does quiet. The problem doesn’t lie in students completely disregarding the rule for the thrill of seating ﬁve people to a table. The problem lies in the lack of respect between the students and the library staff, and the enforcement of the most seemingly trivial issues. A member of the library staff strolled past a table of four students openly copying each other’s homework to the next table, where students were studying together. There were ﬁve students seated at the latter who drew the criticism of the staff. Those who had been bothered by the noise last year give accolades to the library’s enforcement of the rules and commend the lack of socializing, the decreased number of rambunctious kids, and the increased number of tables to work at. But 71.4 percent of students surveyed still do not ﬁnd the library too noisy. The silent reading room bans talking for those who sincerely need pure silence. Many students took advantage of this silence to catch a quick shut-eye before their next class. Sleeping has now been banned in the silent reading room under the claim that it occupies seats for those who need it. After the forum that was held on Oct 12, a library committee was formed to help improve the situation. The committee includes students who support the changes and those who do not. It will be a way to compromise and ﬁnd a solution so that students will feel welcomed into the library again. The issue may not be completely resolved, but it is a start in getting what everybody is asking for: respect.
By Amanda Tsao
STEP TWO: Starting from the bottom, fold bottom of shirt upwards.
STEP THREE: Straighten any creases until desired square shape in achieved.
ghtly i t p a Wr your d n u o ar ie a t d n a neck knot.
October 26, 2006
Mystery student dispenses random act of kindness A previous teacher of mine once portrayed the common SAS brat to be an iPod and Nalgene bottlecarrying whiner. I concur. “Cliff Notes” were invented for people like us. People who complain about lunch queues, the hassle of bus cards, seating arrangements, the chill out
room being taken away, silence in the library…the list never ends. I have even heard complaints that the lighting in the girl’s locker room in front of the mirror is not good enough. But no one ever talks about the small acts of kindness. No one ever mentions the enduring bus attendant who gets screamed at for
the umpteenth time by a brat a ﬁfth of her age supported by an overanxious mother. What triggered this sudden appreciation was an occurrence during interim sign-ups, a miracle on a school-day-scale which happened to me. By the time my alphabet group came to sign up, there were only three spots left on the Bhutan trip. I drew chip number 44. All hope lost, a girl, someone I had never seen before, walked up to me. She asked me where I wanted to go. I told her
Bhutan, accompanied by the sight of my luckless draw. Nonchalantly she said, “I’m pick number four, and I know for sure I’ll get on the trip I want to go on. Do you want to trade?” Utterly astounded at her gesture and my sudden serendipity, I thanked her feverishly. Unfortunately my number was called almost instantaneously after the trade and I didn’t get a chance to ask her name. Although I never saw her again, stories like this aren’t as rare as one
may think. So this is a tribute to the boy who randomly baked a pie for his math class, and to the girl who helped a parent hobble her broken-heeled way into the ofﬁce to get a new pair of shoes. This is a tribute to the custodian who cleans up a paint spilled ﬂoor in the art room with a smile and a small shake of the head, and to the unnamed student who helped a frazzled student carry his books from the ﬁrst ﬂoor to the fourth. Thank you.
Volleyball boys and girls bring back gold game against the Dragons later on that day to get into the semi-ﬁnal round. Having taken the Dragons out of the running for the ﬁrst and second place team, the Eagles were to play the Taipei Tigers on Saturday monring. In the ﬁrst ﬁve set match, the Eagles were victorious in a 3-2 upset against a previously ﬁrst seeded TAS team. ISKL, the winners of the second semi-ﬁnal game that morning against ISB, were the team to beat for the championship. “We were conﬁdent going into our second match of the tournament against ISKL for The boys volleyball team after their victory over the Panthers. SAS boys varsity volleyball has won seven straight gold medals. Photo by Martha Began the championship, because they were a by Barbara Lodwick and implemented to allow a larger range against TAS, set the tone for the rest team we were familiar with, having Michelle Lee of teams to be able to make it into of the teams that SAS was ﬁnally played against them at exchange,” The boys’ and girls’ volleyball the ﬁnals, and not the same top-dog beatable. We had it written across junior co-captain Barbara Lodwick teams were victorious at the ﬁrst year after year. Everyone knows our faces, and the other teams were said. “We had no doubt in our minds round of the 25th annual IASAS that team is SAS, but the format overjoyed,” Lynn Lodwick, varsity that the ﬁnals would not end up like tournaments. New formats, new actually worked to their favor,” a JIS girls’ volleyball coach said. our round-robin match.” coaches and new players marked the athletics council ofﬁcer said. The third game of the day was success of the SAS girls’ volleyball against the ISM Bearcats, a team team, and the boys won their 7th Eagle girls come back with the same win-loss record of 0- Seventh straight gold for from behind to win gold 2 as SAS for the round robin. The Eagle boys straight gold medal. The Eagles failed to win any of Bearcats took the ﬁrst set, but the This year was the ﬁrst time that Pride. Pressing. Passing. That was volleyball IASAS was conducted their morning games, including the Eagles turned it around to win the the motto that led the boys’ Varsity with the three-day format that 2-1 opening game defeat to a strong match two games to one. volleyball team to their seventh included a round of round-robin play, TAS team. After that, the Eagles The Eagles faired a little better straight IASAS championship a play-off division, semi-ﬁnals and faced the ISKL Panthers, a team that in the second day of play, playing victory. Led by a team of six championships. This new format posed no real threat to the Eagles a well-fought match against the seniors, the Eagles were prepared to would accommodate for a team’s during the pre-IASAS weekend, to hosting Jakarta Dragons, losing 2- dominate the court. Two losses at the ‘off’ day, and would allow for the lose three sets to zero. 1, but winning a well-deserved 3 set exchange in KL to ISKL were the “I think the ﬁrst game, although match against the Bangkok Panthers only things that worried the boys as range in wins and losses. “The format seemed to be it was a very competitive match to gain an advantage in a playoff they entered the tournament.
Once at the tournament, the boys sailed through their round robin games, beating ISB, ISM, TAS, and JIS with ease. The challenge came from their morning game on Friday against ISKL. The Eagles lost the game winning one set, but losing two. “I think we were expecting to win in the round robin [against ISKL],” Assistant Coach Kim Criens said, “but in hindsight an 800 pound gorilla climbed off of our backs and on to theirs.” With the new format of the tournament, the boys seeded second going into the single elimination round. The eagles played TAS in the semi-ﬁnals, beating them in three sets. “We weren’t prepared in the morning before the game,” CoCaptain Adam Schwarz said, “then coach got pissed off and that got us focused.” With the easy morning game behind them, the Eagles took the afternoon off and relaxed, focusing for their championship game against ISKL. Before the championship game the gym started ﬁlling. Two rows of bleachers, occupied by parents, the girls’ volleyball team, and the crosscountry teams were the only fans there for SAS. Cheers and chants against them, the Eagles dug deep to pull off a victory. Despite initial worries about ISKL, the Eagles had conﬁdence in their skills. “I knew if we played our best, that we could take it,” senior Colin Lee said. The Eagles fought hard to win, and thanks to an impressive save by junior Kelson Nef, the boys came out on top.
SAS to host all third season sports to mark 25th anniversary by Michelle Lee With the successful conclusion of the school’s 50th anniversary celebrations last June comes another momentous year for SAS athletics—the 25th annual IASAS championships. It marks another year of success in the school’s proud history and the practice of hosting all seasonal sports at one venue is
being resurrected. All third season IASAS tournaments: badminton, track and ﬁeld and softball will be held at SAS. This idea was brought up by coathletics director Mimi Molchan, who wanted to commemorate the congregation of the six SoutheastAsian international schools in the league.
“It has never been done in our high-school lives, it’s going to be crazy,” athletic council member senior Ming Yen said. “It’s going to be fun, but it might take some attention away from the newer sports like badminton,” senior Marcus Beck said. This year’s softball tournament was going to be held in Manila, Track
and Field at ISKL, and badminton at SAS. Because of difﬁculties in ﬁnding a suitable venue in Manila, and with SAS’s abundance of facilities, Singapore was designated as the site for all three tournaments. “What’s so cool about it is that all the seniors can end their year with good memories by hopefully winning at home,”softball player
senior Jeff Kreutter said. “The hardest thing about hosting all three events would be accommodating 350 visitors from our neighboring schools,” coathletics director Brian Combes said. “[Molchan] and I are fortunate to have the help of six athletics directors to run the tournament as smoothly as possible.”
October 26, 2006
Strength in top seven wins gold
1. SAS 2. ISKL 3. JIS 4. ISB 5. TAS 6. ISM
1. SAS 2. ISKL 3. TAS 4. ISB 5. JIS 6. ISM
FINAL SAS 3-1 ISKL
FINAL SAS 3-0 ISKL
All-Tournament: Adam Schwarz Clay Crawford Ian Gillis
All-Tournament: Alex Boothe Barbara Lodwick Cat Ward
On your mark, get set, GO.The Eagles start their race in Jakarta. Photo by Martha Began by Sam Lloyd A sound like an angry belch resounded across the JIS track as black smoke began spewing from a chimney right outside the school. Heads turned to see the smog mingling with the haze and pollution already in the air, and expressions of consternation broke out; the IASAS girls’ cross-country race was to begin in just over 15 minutes. Yet through haze and heat, both boys’ and girls’ Cross Country teams brought back IASAS gold for SAS this year, the third year in a row for both boys and girls. Junior Renuka Agarwal, co-
captain and last year’s IASAS champion, came in fourth place this year. While she said that a marshal misdirected her at one point in the race, she did not attribute her placement solely to that incident. “I didn’t run as well as I did last year,” she said. “You can’t take back the race so you’ve just got to move on.” She also cited the role of unanticipated competition. Will Seimer of ISKL and Amelia Clark of JIS placed ﬁrst in the boys and girls respectively, both exactly 30 seconds ahead of the second place runners. Third through seventh place
runners all ﬁnished in the following 30 seconds for the boys and 15 seconds for the girls. “They ran a very good race, and I look forward to seeing them in track,” Agarwal said. “If I work hard during second season I think it’s fair game.” Co-captain senior Warren Ho, who placed ﬁfth overall and ﬁrst for the SAS boys’ IASAS team of seven, said that the Jakarta haze was little, if any, obstacle to the runners. Instead, like Agarwal, he said that stiff competition required more effort to overcome. “We could see from the
improvement of teams like TAS [Taipei American School] that they had something to prove this year,” he said. This year, they TAS boys’ team came second with a third-place individual runner, while last year they placed sixth. Ho attributed SAS’s victory to hard workouts from the coaches and a solid, dependable team. “I was certain we’d win the gold – very certain. I could see what would happen in IASAS,” he said. “For me, it was a great season and a great way to end cross-country at high school.”
Soccer brings home gold and silver by Megan Anderson The Eagle girls proved victorious for the fourth year in a row, without conceding a single goal during the 25th Annual IASAS soccer tournament held on Oct. 4-6 at the International School of Bangkok (ISB). Both the boys and the girls came into the tournament as defending champions and were both the team to beat. The girls proved to be victorious for the 4th year in a row without conceding a single goal during the entire tournament. The boys made it to the championship game but lost by two goals against the host school ISB. The Eagle girls had no problem during the qualifying round and swept through their competition. When they got to the championship game, they had high hopes and did not expect the tremendous effort that the Panther girls would devote to the ﬁnal game. “I have to admit, after winning all of our games and beating ISB the day before we were kind of cocky,” said senior Crista Favati. “At the end of the championship game when the ﬁnal whistle blew, we were all sort of
shocked that we hadn’t scored.” The girls’championship game was the epitome of intense competition. Both the Eagles and the Panthers had equal control of the ball and both teams had close attempts at goals. When the ﬁnal whistle blew, the score was 0-0. According to IASAS rules and regulations, teams must play 14 minutes of sudden death overtime when this situation occurs. If the score remains deadlocked, a penalty shootout takes place. Sophomore striker Erin Morris saved the day for SAS and scored in overtime, winning the gold for the Eagles once again. “It was the most intense game of my life. You could tell both teams wanted to win so badly. Everybody played their hearts out,” junior Bella Reid said. Once Morris scored the crucial goal, the SAS girls piled on top of one another with joy and relief. “I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end my soccer career at SAS. Tough competition, screaming crowds, under the lights. What can I say? It was perfection,” captain senior Gaby Loscalzo said.
1. ISB 2. SAS 3. JIS 4. ISKL 5. ISM 6. TAS
1. SAS 2. ISB 3. ISM 4. TAS 5. JIS 6. ISKL
FINAL ISB 2-0 SAS
FINAL SAS 1-0 ISB
All-Tournament: All-Tournament: Kris Kieser Alex Shaulis Marcus Beck Erin Miller Sang-Hoon Lee Kacey Whitaker Natalie Favati
CROSS COUNTRY BOYS 1. ISKL-WilliamSiemer 2. ISKL-Tom Boyd 3. TAS-Joseph Liu 4. ISM-Hisashi Yoshida 5. SAS-Warren Ho 6. SAS-Sam Lloyd 7. SAS-Evan Shawler
GIRLS 1. JIS-Amelia Clark 2. JIS-Brianna Florida 3. ISM-Patricia Limacacco 4. SAS-Renuka Agarwal 5. ISM-Morika Ohmura 6. SAS-Jaime Shah 7. SAS-Devin Hardee Soccer players junior Natalie Favati, junior Alex Shaulis, sophomore Erin Morris and junior Megan Anderson congratulate each other after a home game in Singapore. Photo by Philip Boston The boys’ games proved to be tougher competition because they were more evenly matched than the girls’. The Eagle boys won all of their games in the round robin with an exception of a 0-1 loss against the Jakarta International School (JIS). A three way tie between ISB, JIS and SAS resulted at the end of the round robin. It came down to a matter of goal difference to decide who went on to
play in the championship game. ISB and SAS were the two lucky teams. The Eagle boys had the comfort of knowing that they had already beaten the Panthers the day before, but the Panthers had a signiﬁcant asset: the home crowd. The power of the home crowd prevailed and the Panthers proved triumphant with a 2-0 victory over the crushed Eagle boys. “[The Panthers] deﬁnitely had an
advantage,” junior Nacho Acavedo said. “Having your whole school cheering you on really helps. Last year we had that advantage; it was Bangkok’s turn this year.” This year’s IASAS marked the 25th anniversary of the soccer tournament. The performances of all teams put forth on and off the ﬁeld celebrated a memorable decade and a half of friendly interscholastic camaraderie and competition.