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June 2, 2008/vol. 27 no. 8

Singapore American High School

by Amanda Tsao

When the digital count of 55 didn’t match the manual count of 50, AP Biology teacher Kim Melsom first thought there was a printing error. She counted the number of mock exams three times, each time coming up with the same number–50. Assuming it was a photocopying blunder, she administered the exam. But the Monday afterwards, she decided to make sure it was a mistake by contacting Sharifudin Hj. A. Rahim in the Print Room. “Din [Rahim] checked the computer system. He emailed me and said that he was absolutely sure that he had made 55 copies,” Melsom said. “He showed me how the system keeps track of the number of copies. So then I figured that someone had stolen my exams.” Shortly after, a teacher told. Melsom that during his exam review session, two students had come into her room through the connecting door. The lights were turned off, but he could see them. “Why would they leave the lights off unless they didn’t want to be seen?” Melsom said. According to Principal Dave Norcott who interviewed the students who were in the room, they said they were looking for sample quizzes which had been left out for students to practice with. “They were in there for 30-50 minutes though, and they never answered the question about the lights that were off,” Norcott said. When administrators asked. Melsom if fingerprints had been left, she said yes. At a meeting between Melsom, Deputy Principal Doug Neihart and Norcott, it was decided to pursue the fingerprint lead. Melsom, who teaches Criminal Forensics, used those materials to

All for clubs and a club for all by See Young Lee

dust the two drawers, including the one where she usually kept her keys to all the exam cabinets, and found fingerprints. All of her students volunteered to have their fingerprints taken. “I would only take fingerprints with the administration’s approval,” Melsom said. “It’s not guaranteed that the fingerprints that matched the ones on the drawer would be from the person who stole the exam, but I could eliminate some people pretty quickly.” Using students’ fingerprints, Melsom found a match. The fingerprint on the front and back of the drawer matched that of a suspect. There were a total of six fingerprints left in the lab-classroom: one on the front of the drawer, one on the back of the drawer, one on the filing cabinet beside the drawer of the exams, one on a tabletop, and two on the master copy of the exam. “The master copy of the exam was sitting on top of all the exams, so to get to the rest, [the suspect] had to lift the one on top first,” Norcott said. The parents of the suspected students were called in and gave permission for Melsom to take their children’s fingerprints. Fingerprints of the Print Room staff were also taken in case their fingerprints were the ones that matched the print on the exam. Five of the six fingerprints were matched. But the two fingerprints on the master copy, the only ones that could prove a culprit had seen the exam, turned out to be Rahim’s. Norcott called off the investigation of the prints, in part because of this. Additionally, the parents of a suspect asked for the fingerprints so that they could have them verified by an outside expert.

clubs pretend “to Most be active at first,

but they are later abandoned by the irresponsible students who are only interested in making their transcripts look

A student writes a message of piece in the Library atrium during Peace Initiative’s Oct. 19 “Chalk for Peace.” Peace Initiative is one of the largest and most active of SAS’s hundredplus-and-growing clubs. Photo by Paul Griffin

MICA (P) 183/10/2007

Missing AP Bio tests point to cheating

FINGERPRINT INCONCLUSIVE. An examination of prints found on drawer and test surfaces narrows suspects, but inadequate for final identification of culprit. Photo by Mark Clemens

“[Norcott] felt the situation would have gotten much messier,” Melsom said. Melsom told her class about the cheating and the consequences. First, she required everyone to retake the mock exam during finals week. Second, almost all of the teacher recommendations had to be given back. “I have 34 recommendations, and I handed back 30 because I don’t know who’s involved or not,” Melsom said. “I’m still struggling with that.” She did not return those to some students who were absent at the time of the exam. Melsom said that there were circumstances where there was no reason why she shouldn’t write their recommendations.

“But then there are cases where they’re not cut and dry. I’m not sure if they haven’t seen the exam or not,” she said. Junior Young Bean Oak was one of the students who had his recommendation handed back. “People were really mad about the teacher recommendations. Now they don’t know what to do,” Oak said. Junior Hyun Soo Kim dealt with the issue by sending out an e-mail to all AP Biology students suggesting everyone voluntarily give their finger prints so that cleared students could get recommendations and would not have to re-take the exam: “Let’s give Melsom our fingerprints. If she finds out for sure who stole it, she says we won’t have

to take a re-mock. If you are not willing to give your fingerprints, it’s your choice, but it’s very likely that YOU STOLE THE EXAM!” the e-mail read. Melsom said that she told her class there would be no re-taking of the mock only if she felt sure she knew who was involved in the cheating. But she never said she would know who stole the exam. “I heard that other people had volunteered, but my focus was on the prime suspects,” Norcott said. He also said that he never required all students to be fingerprinted. All suspects were called into Norcott’s office to hear the final result. The concern of recommendations is currently undergoing further discussion.

In the last five years, the number of clubs at SAS has almost doubled, with the number reaching 92 this year. “More is not always more; sometimes more means less,” Executive Council sponsor Eric Burnett said. Burnett said that although the proliferation of clubs does present more variety for students, it inevitably creates overlaps and redundancies. “There is a risk that having more clubs will make it less possible for anything to stand out,” Burnett said. “Everything will become background noise and nothing will seem unique.” The proliferation of clubs is not only detrimental to the originality of the clubs, but also it affects the homogeneity of the club community, he said. “A lot of the clubs differ in their degree of activity,” Burnett said. “There are a few [clubs] that are involved in everything while the rest are disregarded.” Activities Director Will Norris said that the degree of participation

of some clubs does not meet the standard that he would like. Junior Roseanne Tang said that only a few clubs are active because many people fail to realize the demands of managing a club. Tang pointed to communication skills, organization skills and time management as the primary demands of managing a club. A junior male, who is an officer in one of the recreational clubs, had a different explanation for the differences in the degree of involvement among clubs. “Leaders in most clubs fail to maintain their passion and devotion to the end,” he said. SAS has a history of constant births, deaths, and rebirths of clubs. Clubs like the Physchem Club, Hackey Sack Club, and Hawaiian Club that were formed in 2003 failed to survive for more than a year. Meanwhile, clubs like Peace Initiative, SAVE Club and Leprosy Home have long histories and are still among the most active clubs in school. Book Club and Philosophy Club that disbanded four years ago have reorganized in recent years in

an attempt to revive interest. It is not just that it takes time to get a club up and running. The immediate success of fledgling clubs like the Medical Explorers Club indicates another explanation for the short-lived nature of the clubs. Tang, who is the president of the Medical Explorers Club, said that some clubs do not last long because many students are rushed into making clubs without much thought about purpose and organization. Too often, students did not intend to manage the club properly in the first place. “Most clubs pretend to be active at first, but they are later abandoned by the irresponsible students who are only interested in making their transcripts look more impressive,” the junior male said. He pointed to one of his friends who created a club this year. On the surface, the purpose of his friend’s club was to promote interaction among students through recreational activities, but it was really created

CLUBS continued page 2

2 news

by Ravi Shanmugam As a freshman, I ran into my first Chinese history lesson almost 10 minutes late, sweating and desperately scared. I had lost my way, I explained to the imposing lady outlining her class requirements. “It’s OK, Ravi, just sit down,” Ellen White said, motioning me to an empty seat. I was struck by how she immediately knew everyone’s name, and over the next six months, the zeal she brought to Shi Huangdi and Mao Zedong energized the classroom. “Ms. White is one of the most passionate and caring educators I have had the privilege to work with,” drama teacher Patricia Kuester said. White has taught Chinese and AP. Art History for six years, and taught Mandarin at the Intermediate School for four years before that. With her son graduating, she is ready for a new challenge. She will take over the directorship of admissions from Laurie Thompson. “Ms. White is the most fantastic and terrifying person I have ever met,” senior Amanda Tsao said. White is a simultaneously inspiring and frightening teacher, a strict disciplinarian with an infectious passion for her subjects. A late assignment warrants a zero, but, in my class, those were few and far between. “You never want to get something in late for her, because she gets kinda mad when that happens,” senior Phoebe Johnson said. “Ms. White’s sarcasm can be a bit intimidating sometimes, but she’s so funny and she really cares about her students a lot,” Johnson said. “She’s brilliant, and such a good role model.” Journalist, social studies department chair, and now director of admissions. White is a role model for having broken the proverbial glass

Veteran counseling secretary follows White to Admissions Office next year by Jon Cheng Seven years ago, in the fall of 2001, barely anyone could remember her name, let alone pronounce it. But counselor Frieda Dietrich says that it will be a long while before her (and her fellow counselors) forget Ylva Bracken’s name, when she leaves the High School to join social studies teacher Ellen White in Central Administration next year. White will leave her teaching post as the History of China/AP Art History teacher to become the Director of Admissions in the fall of 2008. “I think I’m ready for a new challenge,” Bracken said. She has been working in the Counseling Office as a secretary for seven years. Bracken was born in Sweden and speaks Swedish and French as well as English. She is married to a Singaporean and has two children, a seven-year-old son and a 13-yearold daughter.

June 2, 2008

White moves across campus to new job, new digs


the Eye

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN. Counseling secretary Ylva Bracken and high school teacher Ellen White stand at the door of Admissions Director Laurie Thompson’s office, the one White will occupy next school year. Bracken will move from Counseling to work with White. Photo by Mark Clemens

ceiling, for enjoying a successful outside the caf with sketches of career while raising a son, and for classical columns. being such an incredible teacher. “She says drawing helps us “She’s extremely appreciate the passionate about her art we study When I was in subjects, to the point better,” senior where she spends T h o m a s school, I didn’t her summers and Whalenenjoy it, so I holidays wrapped Bridge said. up in that world to Even in wanted to make it bring that history to my Chinese enjoyable for life,” social studies History class, teacher Eric Burnett Ellen White my students. said. assigned Ellen White “When I was in coloring school, I didn’t enjoy exercises— it so I wanted to make it enjoyable lessons with her were never just for my students,” White said. theory scribbled on a whiteboard. Every year, White’s AP Art More than her lessons, though, History students plaster the corridors White will be remembered as one of

Before coming to SAS, Bracken worked extensively in the travel industry. She was a tour guide stationed Thailand, Greece, Romania and other exotic locations. “When I had my first child, we felt that we needed a place to settle permanently,” Bracken said. “So I decided to work as a secretary in a counselors office.” Since then, she has never regretted her decision. She has thoroughly enjoyed her time in SAS. “I really love all the students here,” Bracken said. On a typical day, from 7:30 to 4:30, she handles a variety of work: she concentrates on new prospective students, PLAN testing, and students’ class schedules, among other things. Her colleague, secretary Lajim, is primarily involved in processing university/ college applications. Her students will sorely miss her. “She’s a life in the classroom,” senior Belal Hakim said. Bracken never forgets a student’s name, and always seems to have a smile on her face. “She’s never not smiling,” junior Sajan Shah said. Bracken said she has enjoyed working with the students and all the counselors the most.

SAS’ most approachable teachers. I had her in the first semester of my freshman year, and have been able to drop in ever since. However mundane my problem, White always had time to talk it through. Also, speaking as a journalist, she gives an exceptionally candid interview. “She realizes the importance of getting to know each child, she knows their CCAs (co-curricular Activities) and is always ready to talk to them about their social lives,” Burnett said. White says she enjoys talking with students. “One of the things I love about teaching, I love about being a parent, is that I learn so much from students,” White said, “They teach you so much

num6ers No evidence of donor fatigue

Despite fears that students, staff and parents would weary of fundsraising appeals for the dual disasters in Myanmar and China, both funds received generous support. When the Myanmar fundraising closed last Wednesday, donors focused their attention on giving for China’s earthquake relief efforts. The total collected for Burma cyclone and China earthquake assistance reached almost S$ 120,000 by Thursday May 29.

Testers fail water taste test Math teachers Dave Rops and Paul Terrile’s statistics classes asked 82 students and staff to sample two cups of water, one containing tap water, the other Ice Mountain water to determine which was Ice Mountain (sample B). Rops said that if testers could not tell the difference, then about 50 percent should pick Ice Mountain. Students wanted to know if if there were enough people who could correctly identify Ice Mountain which would indicate a discernible difference. Results indicate that people cannot tell a difference.

about life and about living; kids have a very different take on things, and often when I meet my friends they are surprised by the perspectives my students have.” Physical endurance is not my forte, but I have always had high esteem for those who can run around the basketball court tirelessly or sprint across a football field. White, who took a course in sky-diving, which required her to pass an endurance course, is one of those physically adept people. “I was a counter-culture kid. I was too young to be a hippy, but I was definitely a flower child. And yes, I remember the Summer of Love,” White said. The Summer of Love refers to the summer of 1967, when “an unprecedented gathering of as many as 100,000 young people converged on the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco, creating a phenomenon of cultural and political rebellion” (Wikipedia). Ironically, Wikipedia is one source I wouldn’t dare to turn in to Ms. White. “He who opens a school door, closes a prison,” Victor Hugo said. White has always had an open door, passionate about education and ever-ready to discuss students’ worries. She says the education is mutual. “However much I teach my students intellectually, I learn much more from them,” White said. “That’s what I will miss in Admissions, all the things I learn from my students.” I can’t speak for you, Ms. White, but I do speak for your students in saying, I doubt anything we taught you could match the way you inspired us. As Shakespeare said, “I can no other answer make, but thanks, and thanks.”

CLUBS from page 1

Myanmar S$69,952.35 China S$49,892.18*

*Total as of press time, May 29


correctly identify Ice Mountain


choose tap water

to satisfy his friend’s desire for a good transcript. “At first he managed it OK, but later he began to skip club activities and blamed it on his heavy workload,” the junior male said. “I found out later that he was actually playing Warcraft at home.” Norris pointed to another club that formed last year. “Five to seven students created a club last year to play music at retirement homes, but they lost interest after about a year because they were all graduating this year,” Norris said. Burnett said the lack of passionate individuals was one reason for the early demise of clubs. “Clubs are started by passionate individuals, but when those individuals leave, the efficacy is lost with those people,” Burnett said. Burnett said that clubs need to start with enumerated rules, goals, and methods in order to last longer. “Students have to first find out how many people will be interested in their idea before starting a club and really look into how to manage one before creating it,” Tang said. “If you want to do something, you should do it well.”

news 3 Nine-year old a champ in battle with rare condition the Eye


June 2, 2008

by Alex Lim Chelsea Fairclough is 9, can’t walk, can barely muster the strength to use her hands and has to rely on a special ventilator just to keep her breathing. So how come she’s the one giving us a lesson on resiliency? For the last eight months at the Intermediate School, Chelsea has not been able to run around and play, like most kids her age. In fact, she has barely even been at school. That’s about right for a kid born with Cavernous Hemangioma, a condition that affects less than one percent of the population and results in stroke like effects. It is one that left Chelsea – who was walking last year - a quadriplegic. “When you think about all that she has gone through, how she was able to come back to school with such a wonderful and enthusiastic attitude is incredible, said Chelsea’s teacher Jenny Redlin. What Chelsea went through was Fourth-grader Chelsea Fairclough with her four grade friends in Jenny Redlin’s classroom and with visitors in the hospital earlier this year. four exhausting months of intensive Faircloughs have also had to deal physiotherapy in isolation, away continued. “She always had to work twice a day in the classroom.” As for Redlin, she’s the person, with transportation issues. Chelsea from her family and friends. She hard just to be at the same level of who, with the exception of Chelsea’s comes to school every morning in has been hospitalized 25 times, but the other children.” Of course, having the right family, just couldn’t leave the kid’s one of those London taxis specially ask her what she recollects most about the experience, and she will support group around you can make side. She spent hours with Chelsea designed to cater to the needs of the tell you with the 100,000 Watt smile life a whole lot easier. Since Chelsea at home and in the hospital, helping handicapped. “I don’t think many people of a lotto winner that she remembers went into the hospital, her mom – a her with homework or just being understand how difficult it has been all the people who were there to management and organizational someone to talk to. consultant – has had to put her job “There were times when Chelsea for Chelsea’s family to have to ask support her. If that happened to most of us, on hold to be with Chelsea and the went through periods of depression,” other people for help financially,” it’s more than likely our zest for life entire family has had to adjust their said Susan Taylor, Chelsea’s Taylor said. There has been no shortage of would go down the drain faster than lifestyles according to Chelsea’s counselor since third grade. “Ms. Redlin played a phenomenal role help from the SAS community. New Coke. Not Chelsea. She found schedule. “Our lives pretty much revolve in that she helped to keep Chelsea The Intermediate School has done a way to live simply because she around her,” mom said. motivated through the whole anything and everything possible to just didn’t know any other way. Back at school, there has been thing.” raise money for Chelsea. Bake sales, “The way we raised Chelsea was Predictably, the expense of the basketball and dodgeball games, to rise up against adversity and never no shortage of love for Chelsea, use her handicap as an excuse,” said especially from Redlin’s fourth- treatment for Chelsea’s condition has selling candy canes and lemonade – grade class I 213. been expensive. The Fairclough’s you name it; they tried it. To date, Susan Fairclough, Chelsea’s mom. “Chelsea’s classmates have insurance company balked at their enough money has been raised to So Chelsea keeps going, day in and day out with that 80-pound been very supporting and eager to claim, agreeing only to cover a pay for Chelsea’s wheelchair as well as to improve the quality of her frame of hers, 60 of it heart. But as write messages and visit her in the small percentage of the costs. On top of having to pay the care. with anything in life, it’s rarely that hospital,” Redlin said. “Even though she couldn’t be at school, we would medical bills and a special wheelchair Even though Chelsea can’t do simple. “Chelsea has been challenged try to keep her involved by having that would allow for Chelsea to some things she used to be able to, since she was a baby,” her mom conversations with her on Skype move around independently, the like swimming with her younger

photo by Alex Lim sister Francesca whom her mom calls her ‘best friend,’ she hasn’t let that stop her from trying other things. “Chelsea,” beams Redlin, “makes terrific slideshows.” It’s true. In one slideshow aptly named “Anything is Possible,” Chelsea describes some her role models – including the original Superman, Christopher Reeves. In another, Chelsea proudly displays a colorful montage of pictures of her friends visiting her in the hospital. “I’d be really lonely without my friends,” Chelsea said, “I don’t know where I would be without them.” But that’s not the question. The question is, “Where would they be without Chelsea?” “It’s inspiring because her positive spirit is something the children will never forget.” Redlin said. “She’s like a hero to them.” You don’t always need a cape to be like Superman.

As Ivies take fewer applicants, students load up on APs for edge by Ann Lee SAS is more competitive than The dash for the acceptance to most U.S. schools. While the US a top-notch university begins at average for completing 10 or more birth. We live in a world where the AP exams is a mere 0.6 percent, the acceptance rates to Ivy universities average at SAS is 11 percent. Over are at record one tenth of lows. the graduating “It’s not worth H a r v a r d class having University completed over taking a lot of APs admitted 7.1 10 AP exams. and having no life. percent of the The trend of You should take taking AP tests 27,462 high has been steadily school seniors exams that you are growing at SAS, who applied, interested in. with 85 percent according to the New York of the graduating Da Yeon Kim Times. Students class of 2007 senior are clamoring to having taken get into their choice college, honing one or more AP exams. Seventytheir skills and making sure that they four people received the AP Scholar stand out apart from others as much with Distinction in the class of 2006. as possible. Ninety-six people received it in the Amid the flood of GPAs, SATs, class of 2008. This is roughly a 30 recommendations and essays, percent increase. The AP Scholar students are turning towards a new with Distinction is given to students player in the admissions game – who have an average score of 3.5 or higher on at least five AP tests. Advanced Placement exams.

To get an idea of how the AP testing rates are increasing at SAS, the Eye took a survey of how many APs next year’s junior class, the class of 2010, will be taking. Out of 120 students, 27.5 percent said they were taking three APs while 12.5 percent replied that they’re taking four. In addition, 9.2 percent of students said they are planning to take five APs their senior year. T h e graduating class of 2010 will have an estimated average of 5.4 AP exams per person. The graduating class of 2007 had 4.6 exams per person. When asked whether they think AP courses are important in terms of college acceptance, 41.7 percent of sophomores replied they are pretty important, while 34 percent replied that they are very important. Senior Da Yeon Kim believes that APs have helped her prepare for

or not. Rather than the amount of APs, we like to see whether a student has really worked hard during his high school years. This also means that rather than taking easy courses and getting all As, it better to take challenging courses even if you don’t get as good grades.” Counselor Frieda Dietrich cautions students to focus on quality o v e r quantity. 11 percent of the Class of 2008 “It’s not have completed over 10 APs the number of APs, although for highly selective schools take exams that you are interested in. I don’t think APs were a determining the AP is probably important. Students should be a serious studier factor in my college acceptance.” Becky Musterer, a representative in that field, not just a trophy hunter,” from Dartmouth University said APs she said. Dietrich agrees with Kim: are not necessarily a determining students should seek balance in their factor for admission. high school choices. “No, APs would not determine “Colleges are going to look for the acceptance between two students, interesting people with awesome “ Musterer said. “It depends on personalities, not dull people who that person. What really matters is only know how to study.” whether you took a challenging class college. “If you get a good grade in your AP exams, you are exempted from first level college courses,” Kim said. “It also gives you an idea of what college is going to be like.” Kim said she focused on balance between APs and other interests. “It’s not worth taking a lot of APs and having no life. You should

4 features

Revoir u A

June 2, 2008


the Eye

The modern language, English and Science departments say good bye to key members.

Zai jian, sayonara, no matter how one says it; good-byes are seldom easy. The Modern Languages department will be losing three of its teachers at the end of the year with the departure of Chinese teachers Sarah Mar and Hung-Hua Charbonnet, and Japanese teacher Eric Schreiber.


chreiber, who has been teaching Japanese for two years, is leaving to teach at the Canadian Academy in Kobe, Japan, at the end of this school year. “Before I even came here, I was thinking about going to Japan,” he said. “In the back of my mind it was always ‘How do I get back to Japan?’ I like Singapore but its kind of limited since it’s a sm`all country. I like Japanese food, and the seasons.” Schrieber said that he has worked hard to raise the level of the Japanese program since he began teaching, and hopes to leave a strong and vibrant program. “He’s a really nice person,” junior Eric Riemer said. “He expects a lot from his students.” Schrieber said that he not only enjoyed working with students, but also had a very supportive department. “They’ve been really nice and really helpful, they’ve helped me out on a whole range of things, even non school related stuff.” Schreiber will be teaching English and ESOL. He said he is happy for the change because it will provide more opportunity to get to know his students, since the content requires more interaction than teaching Japanese did.


Kim Tay

by DJ Hartman

Unlike most teachers at SAS, this is not English teacher Kim Tay's first teaching job in Singapore. Tay started her teaching career in Singapore, teaching English at the Anglo Chinese School, where she taught for eight years. "It gives me a different perspective. The local system is very good for prepping kids for exams, and that's helpful, but there needs to be a greater emphasis on independence, critical thinking and just injecting more joy into learning," Tay said. After moving to California and earning her masters in education at Stanford, she taught at a Casa Grande High School in Petaluma, California, before returning to Singapore in 2004. "I have a huge extended family in Singapore, and I wanted to try the international style of teaching," Tay said, on her decision to move back. Since arriving at SAS, Tay has taught English 9 and 11. Compared to ACS and Casa Grande, SAS

students come from a higher socioeconomic background. Tay believes this contributes to a better learning environment. "The clientele is different. Parents at SAS are generally better off, and provide a lot of support. SAS students are usually highly motivated, " Tay said. When school lets out this June, Tay will be heading back to the states, to return to teaching at Casa Grande High School. She will be teaching sophomore English and AP English Literature and Composition, as well as coaching the Academic Decathlon, where students compete at the county, state and national level in ten different academic events, from literature to economics. "Casa Grande was a great cross section of America. There are students with very educated parents, from the high end of society. At the same time, I'll be serving children of first generation immigrants, who struggle with the language, with assimilation… Having being raised

in Singapore and teaching English, which is my second language, I can empathize with them," Tay said. Tay will miss Singapore's tropical climate, culinary delights and being close to her extended family. "I'm really really really going to miss SAS. That's probably an understatement," Tay said. I've made a lot of good friends, and hopefully I'll maintain strong ties with them after I leave." "She has a passion for living as well as teaching, and I think that makes her a great person to be around," English teacher Nanette Ruhter said. Junior Nashoba Santhanam went on interim to Japan with Tay this year. "Being on interim with her was great, because, unlike most teachers she connects with you on a personal level. I felt she was more like a friend than just a teacher," Santhanam said, recalling his interim experience.

ar will be leaving for Beijing, concluding her three-year career at SAS. Like Charbonnet, Mar is leaving because her children are graduating this year and her husbands business is in China. Mar will continue teaching high school Chinese at the Beijing International School. She said that overall she enjoyed SAS best because “its professional development is good. SAS has a very strong program, the students are very talented, and they all work hard.” Apart from her passion for teaching students also remarked on the assortment of games Mar likes to play, and her sense of humor. Apart from being entertaining many students found them to be great learning tools. “She’s really funny,” junior Jelita Adams said, “We play lots of games in her class so they’re never boring.” Many students commented on how rigorous her curriculum is. While they said she expected a lot out of students, they also commented on how much they learned. “She’s really fair” Adams said. “She really makes sure that you are up to speed with the rest of the class when you’re learning,” junior James Linton said. “She’s very strict and expects a lot out of you, but she’s also compassionate and always has the education and best interest of the student in mind.”


“ love her, she lights up my world,” junior Patrick Bousky said. “She makes me want to sing in Chinese.” Not many teachers have students that profess their love to them, but lao shi, Chinese Teacher Hung Hua Charbonnet can often be found with a smile on her face. “She’s a real jokester,” junior Meredith Hayward said. “She’s funny and likes to say chillax a lot.” Charbonnet teaches Chinese II and IV, but at the end of this year her three-year career at SAS will come to an end. Charbonnet will be moving to Hong Kong because of her husband’s job; and her son, senior Daniel Charbonnet’s graduation. Charbonnet will continue to teach High School Chinese at Hong Kong International School (HKIS). Charbonnet will be missed for her amicable personality and colorful quotes, especially her favorite quote, “Your mouth, like 7-Eleven, open all the time!”

Reporting by Nick Lesiuk & Rohin Dewan

the Eye


Carrie Thomas

Hung Hwa Charbonet

features 5

June 2, 2008

High school math teacher, Carrie Thomas, may surprise many upon first mentioning that she once worked at a residential treatment center for emotionally and behaviorally disturbed adolescent boys. It was her first job out of college and came about due to her major in criminology. Thomas was born in Palo Alto, California, and moved to Utah at the age of nine. “Everyone was Mormon, and I’m not,” she said. “But I loved horses, and we did a lot of outdoor stuff in Utah.” There, Thomas even competed in barrel racing, a rodeo event, which involves racing a horse in a pattern around three barrels. At 16 she moved from Utah to Oregon in the middle of her junior year of high school. Following that, she attended Southern Oregon University where she met her future husband, Middle School Principal Franke Thomas. They married shortly after graduation, while she was still in her oneyear stint at the treatment center. “The boys [at the center] had all been in trouble with the law, but they weren’t

by Amber Bang

in juvenile hall.” During this time, Franke Thomas, who had been working towards his master’s degree in biology when they first met, continued to teach high school biology, which he had taken a year off from in order to earn his master’s. After Carrie’s first year working however, she decided she did not want to continue in that field,

which would require her to attain a degree in social work. For the next few years, she worked in public relations

Karen Portman Sarah Mar

Eric Schreiber

Although Chemistry is among the most feared subjects of highschool students, those that see Karen Portman on their schedule breathe a sigh of relief. “Even though the material is the same as in all the other Chem classes, when Mrs. Portman teaches it, it’s really easy to understands” junior Tyler Nelson said. “Last year I would always hear people complaining about how hard their chemistry class was, and I really couldn’t relate to any of that with Mrs. Portman teaching me.” Having spent four years here at SAS teaching Chemistry and Biology, Mrs. Portman has finally decided that its time to move on. She said she really enjoyed teaching at SAS, thanks to the students, staff, and interim trips,

at KPMG Peat Marwick. When their first child, Mariko, was six years old, the family moved to South Africa where Carrie and Franke had been offered teaching positions. Despite the fact that she did not have a teaching degree, she was still offered a job at the same school teaching computers initially, though eventually moving to math. Their second child, Micah, was born in South Africa. The family lived there for three years before moving back to Oregon. The summer after leaving South Africa, Carrie attended an international program in Cyprus and Majorca, Spain to attain a teaching license. She completed her license in the U.S. so that she would be able to teach with Franke at a school in a Portland suburb. She has since also received a masters degree with the same program in Mayorca. The decision to move to Singapore three years ago came about as she and Franke wanted to move to Asia, and though they were offered jobs in Korea, thought Singapore was a better option partly due to its proximity to many other countries in Asia. “It’s been a really wonderful experience living here and working here.” Carrie Thomas and her family will be moving to Aberdeen, Scotland where she and Franke will work at the International School of Aberdeen.

by Lorenzo Holt

having been to China, Langkawi, and New Zealand. Before moving to Singapore, she had taught in Jakarta at Jakarta International

School (JIS), and before that she taught in the United States. From here she will move to Canada because of her husband’s job, and

plans to start teaching there. Most students feel that despite the challenging subject matter, Mrs. Portman always manages to make her classes exciting and entertaining. “I loved her titration shirt,” said sophomore Matt Grgas, “She would always wear it on the days we had titration labs, and it was the same color that our results should have been.” Her perennially friendly demeanor and jovial attitude is almost legendary among the students. “I’ve never had her as a teacher, but I heard she’s really nice. She’s one of the few teachers I haven’t heard anything remotely bad about,” senior Bryce Robinson said. “She’s such a happy person,” sophomore Nicole Widjaja said. “I love her!” “She’s a nice teacher – just always positive about everything. She can always relate to us students. I think she’s one of the best teachers I’ve had.” sophomore Ken Sweigert said.

6 features

June 2, 2008


the Eye

Class of 2008... looking to the future Jose Acevedo Renuka Agarwal Sakshi Agarwal Dong Won Ahn Shina Akagawa Jonathan Amidjojo Lindsey Andersen Megan Anderson Michael Andrew Shannon Angdrea Gary Baicy Divya Banerji Amber Bang Matthew Bardon Byron Barrett Rudona Basilio Aditi Basu Camille Beinhorn Kendra Black Alexandra Boothe Juvenalia Brito Erica Brunoehler Maritz Buchholz Lena Byrne Woo Jeong Byun Amanda Cain Charles Carver Breno Cavalheiro Kelly Chan Leon Chan Natasha Chan Hua Wei Chang Daniel Charbonnet Sidd Chattopadhyay Jean Chen Henry Cheng Tiffany Cheng Melissa Cheong Alison Chin Martina Chiu Hye-In Cho Jesse Choe Jun Yul Choi Thaddeus Chua Andrew Chung Michael Ciputra Chelsea Curto Algie Darby Maximilian Davies Andrew Debell Luigi DeGuzman Katherine Dickson Min Hee Do Chao Dou Patrick Doyle Nikita Due Matthew Eng

University of Florida Columbia University Stanford University Cornell University SUNY Binghamton San Francisco State University Colorado State University Australia The University of Arizona Pepperdine University University of Virginia Lake Forest College Reed College Miami University of Ohio Wake Technical Community College Singapore Institute of Management Boston University New York University Fort Lewis College University of Virginia Uni. of Ill. at Urbana-Champaign Fordham University Fordham University Syracuse University Emory University Emily Carr University National Service Australia Babson College University of Toronto Indiana University at Bloomington National University of Singapore College of William and Mary University of Toronto Wake Forest University National Service Northwestern University Northeastern University University of Virginia University of Alberta School of Visual Arts University of Wisconsin, Madison Cornell University National Service Brown University Santa Monica College Oklahoma City University Australia Gap Year San Diego State University Rochester Institute of Technology University of Alberta University of Arizona Syracuse University University of Arizona University of British Columbia National Service

Luke Ettensperger Purdue University Alexander Ettlin University of San Francisco Tiffany Fan Boston University Lindsey Farris University of Hawaii at Manoa Natalie Favati Suffolk University - Madrid Caitlin Fay University of Hawaii at Manoa John Foo Carnegie Mellon University Daniel Fordney University of Colorado at Boulder Morgan Foster Notre Dame de Namur University Markus Friis Lancaster University Adam Frogley Brigham Young University Jonathan Fu Tufts University J. Bryan Gamble University of Washington Rick Garcia University of Utah Danielle Gay Portland State University Kailen Gilde Coastal Carolina University Patrick Gilligan Tyler Junior College Jordan Glick University of Edinburgh James Golden University of Mississippi Jonas Goode The University of Texas, Austin Synne Grefsrud Foundation Year - Norway Alice Grgas Cornell University Hannah G-B Vassar College Belal Hakim Tufts University Brittany Hale Kansas University Sunny Han Columbia University Devin Hardee Duke University Larissa Hardesty Gonzaga University Benjamin Hartung Trinity College Wilson Hasan Santa Monica College Shuma Hasegawa Japan Rod Hesh The University of Arizona Justin Hill Boston University Soo Jin Hong Carnegie Mellon University Kelsie Householder Texas A&M University Katherine Hsieh Carleton College Kai Yang Hsu University of Washington Jane Hurh Northwestern University Christopher Hussey National Service Brit Hvide Northwestern University Catalina Hwang Princeton University Rishad Irani University of British Columbia Karim Ismail Melbourne, Australia Jonathan Johncock San Jacinto College Phoebe Johnson Emily Carr University Joo Hee Jun Georgetown University Koki Kamata Japan Min-Seon Kang The Ohio State University Min-Hsiang Kao National Service Simreen Kaur London Shogo Kikui Japan Da Ham Kim Korea Da Yeon Kim Cornell University Dong Ho Kim Wash. University in St. Louis Hye Soo Kim University of Notre Dame Jong Woo Kim Korean Adv. Inst. Sci. and Tech. Joo Hyun Joseph Kim University of Wisconsin, Madison

Kyo Joong Kim Kyu Min Kim Champaign Na-Young Kim Sun Woo Kim Champaign Tina Kirwin Hui Xiang Koh London Ha Na Koo Niyomi Kothari Yuka Kumano Brendan Lam Dexter Lam William Langford Sharon Lau Jae Won Lee Ji Na Lee Jonathan Lee Kyu Ho Lee Kyung Rock Lee Maelle Leneel Lyndon Leung Rickie Leung Mei Fung Li Guan Lian Austin Lim Huei-Yu Lin Jeffrey Lin Karen Chi Lin Yu Chi Lin Gaby Linnard Rachel Liou Shih-Yiu Liu Evelyn Lo Barb Lodwick Daniela Lopes Esther Lukman Kathryn Lydens Charles Maher Pradeep Mahtani Patricia Mar Pauline Mar Hendra Marshall Jake Massobrio Maung Lay Maung Colin McDowell David McKenzie Tyler Mcmanigal Michael Meguid Brytannie Mehring Shannon Middleton Chie Miyauchi Yashika Mody Zachary Moilanen Bryant Molloy Gun Tae Moon Austin Moore

Babson College Uni. of Ill. at UrbanaNew York University Uni. of Ill. at UrbanaBoston College University College


Northwestern University Babson College Japan Australia The University of Arizona Tufts University Cornell University Boston University Korea Uni. of Ill. at Urbana-Champaign Korea Uni. of Ill. at Urbana-Champaign Gap Year Boston University Uni. of British Columbia Hong Kong Purdue University University of Texas, Austin Columbia University California Inst. of Technology Cornell University National Service Elon University Boston University Fashion Institute of Technology McGill University U.S. Military Academy Trinity University UC Berkeley Santa Clara University Uni. of Maryland (Singapore) Boston University The Uni. of Texas, Austin The Uni. of Texas, Austin Boston University LaSalle College of the Arts Syracuse University Tidewater Community College The University of Arizona University of Washington McGill University California Lutheran University Colorado State University Japan Bentley College Indiana Uni at Bloomington Maryland Inst. College of Art Korea Uni. of Central Arkansas

the Eye

Alexander Morris Devon Morris Brandon Mulder Abby Murray Caitlin Murray Kanako Nakajima Andrew Nazarechuk Kelson Nef Kaitlyn Newlin Christine Newman Isaac Ng Emily Noble Yusuke Oimatsu Natalie Ong Anshul Parikh Esha Parikh Candice Park Chae Ho Park Jae Won Park Min Jae Park Sung Bae Park Marina Patterson Andres Pazos Ivan Pesik Laura Picard Priya Prasanna Kelly Procida Abhay Puri Daksha Rajagopalan Angelica Ramirez Benyamin Ramli Maya Ranganath John Ratley Lauryn Reay Jordan Reed Brian Riady Thomas Ringheim Bryce Robinson Daniella Rodriguez Mairead Ross Paul Ruan Thomas Qi Ruan Nikita Sahgal Bobby Samit Miguel Santos Calli Scheidt Carolyn Schmidt Andrew Schollaert Kea Scullion Victor Seet Evan Semones Ang Jun Seow David Seto Ravi Shanmugam Alexandra Shaulis Colin Shea Rushika Shekhar

University of Manitoba University of San Diego Southwestern University Columbia College University of Dayton Japan University of Nevada, Reno Brigham Young University University of Redlands Virginia Tech Duke University University of S. California Japan Columbia University Babson College Emory University Boston University Uni. of Ill at Urbana-Champaign Cornell University Babson College Duke University Marist College Colgate University Seattle Central Comm. College Vanderbilt University San Francisco State Uni. Sacred Heart University Uni. of Wisconsin, Madison Yale University De Anza College Uni. of Ill. at Urbana-Champaign McGill University Middle Tennessee State Uni. Brigham Young Uni., Idaho Belmont University University of Texas, Austin Bond University Brigham Young University Ateneo de Manila University Australia UC Santa Cruz California State Uni., Chico Rutgers College National Service Singapore Management Uni. Virginia Tech Australia Northeastern University Northeastern University Cornell University St. Cloud State University University of Cambridge Swiss Hotel Mgmt School National Service University of San Francisco University of Virginia Northeastern University


June 2, 2008

Kunal Sheth Shane Shibazaki Asuka Shiraishi Apiksha Singh David Small Josh Smith Kiersten Soderlund Shaun Soetaniman Sae Gyul Song Elizabeth Stanton Melissa Steckler Darin Steinke Elisabeth Stocking Taisuke Suzuki Thomas Swenson Andrew Szombathy Danielle Szulanski Tomohiro Tachibana Alison Tan Carissa Teng Edward Teonadi Tammy Tew Chris Theisen Mariko Thomas Evelyn Toh Jivesh Tolani Rory Tredinnick Amanda Tsao William Tsay Fernanda Umeoka Kaitlyn Underwood Clarissa Vainius Tiffany Varinata Julia Vasko Vysak Venkateswaran Anna Von Essen Teng Yuan Wee Thomas W-Bridge Robert Whitehead Tiffanie Widjaja Barron Witherspoon Clarissa Wong Megan Woodard Emily Woodfield Laci Wright Meng-Ju Wu Wanwen Wu Kiyoko Yasuda Dan Yeheskel-Hai Jay Yen Ken Yeoh Genevieve Yip Winnie Young Jon Zaman Robert Zimmerman Alex Zulkoski

Suffolk University Uni. of Hawaii at Manoa Japan Australia Lynn University Pace University, NYC College of Lake County Undecided Indiana Uni. at Bloomington University of Virginia Uni. of New South Wales University of Leftbridge Wash. University in St. Louis Calvin College University of St. Thomas Uni. of British Columbia Nazareth College of Rochester Japan University of Pittsburgh Wellesley College Northeastern University Australia University of Michigan Southern Oregon University Boston Conservatory Worcester Polytechnic Institute Australia Smith College Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Pepperdine University Texas State Uni.-San Marcos Northeastern University Connecticut College Bryn Mawr College Duke University University of Cambridge National Service Rochester Institute of Technology Cornell University Santa Monica College Oklahoma State University Wheaton College Clemson University New Zealand Uni. of Texas at San Antonio National Service Boston University Japan Savannah College of Art + Design National Service Brandeis University Australia Hofstra University Rochester Institute of Technology University of Arizona Parsons School of Design, New School University

features 7

8 features Jon Cheng

June 2, 2008

Nick Lesiuk


the Eye

Akhilesh Pant

Hee Soo Chung

Goodbye to all that . . . . . . my three years on The Eye

Ravi Shanmugam

by Ravi Shanmugam

Amanda Tsao

Alex Boothe & Barbara Lodwick

Rohin Dewan

Megan Anderson

At the end of my freshman year, my English teacher told me I should join journalism. So, armed with a note from Ms. Ruhter, I pushed open the blue doors of the Publications Lab to see a genial man surrounded by a gaggle of students. Journalism is wonderful for teaching a concise writing style. The grimace on Mr. Clemens’ face as he saw my first story took a few issues to disappear, as I moved from doing a lot of legwork (a sophomore’s job on a newspaper without freshmen) to redeeming myself with a piece on excessive homework loads. By issue four, I had graduated to the op-ed page. Every year on The Eye has its characters. From my sophomore year, I remember my workaholic editor Laura and the perpetually dozing Ted Ho; from my junior year Denise Hotta-Moung’s satirical writing and Cat Ward’s passion. I disappeared to Budapest for six months, and returned to find a revamped newspaper. Megan Anderson and Amanda Tsao joined, and that year was marked by an inability to distinguish between Amber Bang and Amanda. Both girls, born on Jan.6, 1990 in Southern California, took to looking furious when addressed with the other’s name. The confusion over “Amamber” refused to go away. Amanda, Megan and I became editors, winning ourselves 2 a.m. layout sessions and weekends at school. Layout was always done at the last minute because reporters rarely

Amber Bang

met deadlines. A few recalcitrants held the whole paper up, as we waited on their stories. At times I have felt like a zombie living in the publications lab amidst the smell of cold pizza and sound of Brian Riady’s blaring tunes. One thing about journalism is that so many people who have no connection with the class turn up. Alison Chin takes possession of a computer to work on her latest video, Brit Hvide and Alison Tan sit on a bench eating and chattering, letting us catch the occasional tantalising aroma. Brian Riady plays deafening music on his computer, and takes such good pictures that it is impossible to be angry with him. I’m told that familiarity breeds contempt, but the Publications Lab is my favourite place at SAS. Firdaus, always willing to solve my frequent computer problems, and the fridge stocked with free food make it so much more pleasant that the noisy caf or impersonal library. Still, staying in the lab until the wee hours of the morning is not my idea of a rocking evening. Megan’s quiet efficiency and Amanda’s noisy exuberance characterised those late sessions, as Megan almost single-handedly layed out the newspaper (I did the op-ed page, Amanda helped with news, and Jon with Arts). I’ll remember Amanda bouncing in with a mischievous grin, ready to pull another prank, and Megan doing an impromptu jig after finishing a late-night layout. I’ll remember Amanda insisting (wrongly) that she was taller than me, and Megan crushing me when I had the temerity to challenge her to an arm-wrestling contest. I’ll miss both of them. Some staff members always beat expectations. Jon Cheng, especially, has impressed me this year. He came in as a self-effacing, shy boy with

Devin Hardee

a slight stutter, but has grown in confidence and started taking bigger stories. I envy his gorgeous layouts. Amber, too, in her senior year, has taken on far more responsibility. She’s met deadlines and turned up on Sunday nights to help us place stories. I complain about the hours I spend, but Clemens easily tops them. I feel sorry for his wife, he seems to spend his life in the lab. He is a moving, breathing, bespectacled part of its furniture. I can’t imagine journalism without his Texan drawl and ready smile. Clemens has instructed the SAS journalism class for over 10 years, and, along with assistant advisor Judy Agusti, he has done wonders with our writing. Comparisons with the International Herald Tribune might be premature, but I like to think The Eye is a pretty good student newspaper. As a student production, we make mistakes, but we protect our sources, take on school issues, and draft, redraft and redraft our stories before they see print. The Eye has won international 1st place from the “Quill and Scroll Honorary Journalism Society” for eight consecutive years, and gold from Columbia University’s Scholastic Press Association for the last five years. We have also taken two All-American awards. It’s hard to imagine life without Clemens, the publications lab, Megan, Amanda, Amber and even Brian. I’ve spent so much time with the newspaper, it will leave a huge void. But it is an experience I would not trade in, and I have never made a better decision than when I pushed open those blue doors, armed with that note from Ms. Ruhter, and asked Mr. Clemens if I could join his class.

Mark Clemens

Judy Augusti

Amanda Tsao & Amber Bang

Photos by Malavika Singh

Ann Lee

Firdaus Bahri


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