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theeye Singapore American High School

How much is an education worth? Financial crisis affects seniors headed to college next year. See Nick Lesiuk’s story, page 2.

December 16, 2008 / Vol. 28 No. 3

First waves of financial tsunami hit Singapore Stories by Maria Lloyd & Nick Lesiuk

Expats feeling effects in reduced income, lay-offs

Story by Maria Lloyd

I sat with my father, a banker, about three months ago, watching CNBC as we waited for Wall Street to open. The U.S. government had just announced its plan to bail out American mortgage giants, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae that had been spiraling downward for the past few months. Nobody was certain how the market would react. (cont. page 2)

MICA (P) 211/10/2008


Dec. 16, 2008



the Eye

While immediate outlook grim; cheap stocks beckon

From Page One

“Sometimes our families are unwilling to withdraw until they are absolutely sure. Parents know that if they withdraw their child, they may not be able to get a spot at SAS if their plans change,” said Gribbon. Gribbon said that the school has taken preparatory action for a change in the number of applicants. It will no longer be restricting applications to U.S. citizens.

As the opening bell sounded on Wall Street, tense I think vigilance gave way to shouting and gesticulating. A redinvestment faced commentator bellowed out predictions and fears. would have thought it comical, if not for the intensity bankers Iwith which my father’s eyes followed the jagged plunge as a breed of the red Dow Jones line, tick by tick. The Dow Jones dropped some 180 points, 2.5 percent that day. are greedy Until recently, most expats in Singapore viewed the American financial crisis as a curiosity. Many thought, and self- like me, that the American financial crisis would never interested, reach Singapore, but it was only a matter of time. The Teachers delay retirement first waves are here. plans as funds shrink like myself, Facing financial uncertainty, Many older teachers have been forced to retire later than and we will expats prepare for hard times they had planned because of their Like my father, many foreign businessmen in investments. Andrew Hallam, always do Singapore face an uncertain financial future. Many, teacher and author of many this type of especially Americans, have already lost jobs or English investment articles, explained why. a merger or acquisition. Christopher Clower, “The percent of your savings thing. The experienced Merrill Lynch’s head of corporate finance in Southeast that you invest in the market should Graphic by Maria Lloyd regulatory Asia, U.S. citizen, and father of sophomore Rauson equal 100 minus your age. Most Clower, expects to continue at Merrill Lynch although it of retirement age have system is in the process of being acquired by Bank of America. people far too much money in the stock “The acquisition hasn’t impacted day-to-day market, and they will be feeling the allowed us operations, and there probably won’t be much of an pain,” he said. to sell toxic impact. Bank of America is a large commercial bank, Cam McNicol said that he was but has very little investment banking, so there is little not much affected by the financial debt. It’s like or no overlap in the type of work done. There is no one crisis because he had been careful The stock market had dropped 38.63 percent over the past six months, as of December 2nd. Stock prices have plummeted since the beginning of the financial crisis. For some, this means replace those currently at Merril Lynch in Singapore.” with the money he invested. saying a wolf to retirement and college funds cut down by 20-50 percent, but for others this is an opportunity he said. “I predicted that there would be Clower said there was a period of nervousness problems and sold most of my shares to buy stocks at lows not seen in decades. shouldn’t leading up to the merger, but he never really feared for about a year ago. Most of my wealth now is invested in this double whammy effect would be especially hard hunt sheep. his job. property in New Zealand, which has been staying pretty on expats.

Christopher Clower

Eye Survey 37% of students blame banking industry 23% blame consumers 22% blame U.S. government for oversight failure 80% say they have a ‘decent understanding’ of crisis 25.3% say they are very worried about being affected by teh crisis, while 61.4% are “somewhat worried” 13% think a new depression is very likely 50% think a new depression is somewhat likely

“There was no time when Merrill was exposed after Lehman Brothers went under. The executives at Merrill Lynch knew the firm wouldn’t make it a week with Lehman gone, but within 24 hours Bank of America agreed to a deal, before the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy was announced,” Clower said. Others, however, were not so lucky. “Investment banking is down 50% from last year. It’s been impacted tremendously. What we used to think of as an investment bank no longer exists,” Clower said. A senior girl said her father was recently laid off from his job at the Singapore branch of a large American bank and doesn’t expect to find another job any time soon. “He’ll have to wait it out. The people with the highest salaries got laid off and everyone is in the same situation – looking for jobs,” she said. The student said her father had been contacted by headhunters, but is planning to take this time as a break away from work, instead of looking for work immediately at a lower salary. But she worries about her family’s finances, and whether they will hold through her college years. “I’m a little worried about getting through college. They [her parents] kept reassuring me, but I feel like a burden to them.”. Even those who don’t lose their jobs to the crisis will face lowered salaries. Senior Tung Han Yung said that his family would be cutting down on travel expenses because of lower income. His father, who works at Merrill Lynch as a financial advisor, will lose commissions, which make up most of his salary.

Only ripples felt in SAS admissions

With so many in the international community losing their jobs or receiving a reduced salary, and more predicted in the future, it seems like the number of applicants to SAS would drop. According to Beth Gribbon, director of communication and development, this is not yet the case. “We have not yet seen an impact in the number of applicants to SAS, and the official number of withdrawals from the school matches the trend from previous years,” said Gribbon. However, she said that the waiting lists seem to have decreased substantially. Gribbon said that it is still too early to tell whether there would be an impact on the number of students at SAS. “During the Asian Financial Crisis, it took one year for the impact to affect the number students attending the school. However, this is a different crisis, so we will be waiting to see what kind of effect this has on applications,” said Gribbon. She thinks that some parents may be waiting to finalize their plans before registering a withdrawal.

steady,” he said. Nonetheless, he and his wife did not come away from the crisis untouched. “The biggest limitation will probably be the Kiwi Dollar. If the New Zealand dollar goes down much further we won’t be able to travel as much as we’re used to,w” McNicol said.

Predictions of bleak, uncertain future

Most of those interviewed agreed that there was no way to know how long the financial crisis would last or how bad a recession it would cause, but everyone shared a grim outlook towards the future. Hallam said no one can really know how the markets or economy will perform in the future. “Nobody knows. Some people get a lucky guess, but it’s like winning the lottery. The person who wins is hailed as some kind of genius, but really not smarter than anyone else. They were just lucky,” said Hallam. Christopher Clower said that he was uncertain about what the overall effect of the financial crisis would be, but knew that it would not be over quickly. “Definitely, there will be a recession. It will be a long and a painful recession. Unemployment will go up, there will be a reduced lending capacity, and consumer demand will continue to drop,” he said. On the other hand, economist Dominique DworFrécaut, an economist at the Royal Bank of Scotland, had specific predictions about the financial outlook in Singapore over the next few years. “Next year, it will be a double whammy. I’m not very optimistic. I don’t think that we will see a recovery until 2010,” Dwor-Frécaut said. “We are seeing a deleveraging crisis: we have reached a sort of tipping point where people must pay off their debts. Investors all over the world are selling to reduce debt. Globally, the financial sector will shrink. As an activity, finance is going to contract. Global banks had lent a lot of money to Singapore and that money is being pulled back,” she said. Dwor-Frécaut explained that a bank should typically have 8 percent of debt backed by capital, but many international banks had complex products, packages of mortgages that have crushed in value, or off balance sheet investments that must now be funded with more debt. Now these banks must reduce their debts and fix their balance sheets, which means that they will not have enough money to lend out to companies and banks in South-east Asia. Since Singapore is the financial center for South-east Asia, it will be extremely hard hit. Dwor-Frécaut said that Singaporean exports would also be hammered by the crisis as consumers try to save money by decreasing their spending. She predicted that

“Expatriates are more expensive than locals and many work in the financial sector. They will be among the first to be laid-off,” Dwor-Frécaut said.

All is not lost with bargains in sight

All is not doom and gloom. It is also a time of opportunity for those who have cash to invest and can afford the risk. “I’ve lost about 20 percent over the past 12 months,” Hallam said. “All my retirement money is down more than $170,000, but I’m happy. Young people, anyone working for the next five to ten years, should hope the market drops or stays low.” Stock prices are at lows that haven’t been seen in twenty or thirty years. This is the perfect time to buy stock at a cheap price, and sell it, years or months later when the markets recover. Tico Oms, business teacher, said that he had been buying up stocks recently to take advantage of extremely low prices. “The only thing I’m confident about is that 20 years from now when I retire, the stock market will be higher,” said Oms. When Hallam was asked whether he thought the financial crisis would cause the next Great Depression, he responded, “This represents humanity. Historically we’ve seen greed and fear act on the markets before. In 83’, 87’, 73’, 74’, and 2002, people were all talking about the same thing as now; they were calling for the next depression.” Steve Okun from the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore said that the outlook for Singapore’s businesses long-term was still relatively good, in spite of the financial crisis. “People are still investing in Asia, and there’s going to be growth in Asia. Most Asian economies in the past decade have had a much higher growth rate than the US, because they have a much lower base to grow upon. As such, you treat Asian markets differently than you would a mature economy. Overall, there’s still a lot of opportunity here, but it may be more narrowly focused than in the past few years.” he said Dwor-Frécaut saw the long term effects of the crisis from a different perspective. “It’s been very stressful because what we are seeing is the end of the financial sector as we know it. It really is the end of an era. It is in a way very fascinating, but it’s a little bit too close to home,” she said.


the Eye



Dec. 16, 2008

Crisis hits college-bound as costs rise, help recedes Upcoming freshmen likely to see the effects of stagnant market by Nicholas Lesiuk Six months ago senior Chris Comstock had no concerns about how his parents would pay for college. It was prior to the economic crash, and the prospects seemed good. Then, like so many other families, the recession diminished their savings and forced Comstock to refine his options. “They said I wasn’t allowed to go to two of my top choices because it was too much money after the credit crunch,” Comstock said. Comstock’s case is not an isolated one; many students around the world now find themselves in the same situation. Projections show that by next year, the annual number of high school graduates in the United States will peak at about 2.9 million after a 15-year climb. Last year elite colleges like Yale and Harvard had a record number of applicants, and tremendously low acceptance rates of 8.3 and 7.1 percent. If there is one benefit to the financial crisis and a frigid economy, it is that now the number of students who are applying during what would have been a peak application year could be reduced. This reduction in applicants could be due to the fact that parents are finding it harder to take out affordable fixed loans. They might not feel comfortable enough with their current financial situations to send their children to pricey private universities. Even we at SAS feel the impacts of the recession, it has hit the lowest income bracket the hardest. According to the biennial report from the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, for the poorest 20 percent of families in America the net cost of a year at public university was 55 percent of their income, up from 39 percent in 1999-2000. Even community colleges, long seen as a safety net, cost these families 49 percent of their median income last year. While these higher prices could result in lower admissions numbers, the fact remains there will still be students negatively impacted students like Comstock. “I was a bit upset because they were really nice colleges, and I could have been accepted,” Comstock said. Ultimately Comstock seemed understanding. “My dad is an entrepreneur and in this current climate it’s harder to find investors. The entire situation has affected the income of the company.”


After adjusting for financial aid, the amount families’ pay for college has skyrocketed 439% since 1982.

Chris Comstock

Alternative financing offers help to some

As the cost of education increases, so does the need for financial assistance for students. This comes at a bad time, as loans and scholarships are even harder to get than usual, and the private loans come with high and variable interest rates. Entrepreneurs have taken advantage in the lull of activity from private lenders. One such entrepreneur is an online lending company called GreenNote. This California based startup company is a new alternative to traditional student loans. It has developed an online service for students to get friends and family willing to help foot the bill for school. Loans are paid off within ten years at a fixed 6.8% interest rate, similar to a government-subsidized loan. The downside is that there is little protection for lenders and the site. Green Note does not add any additional interest rates that would accrue over the term; it generates its revenue by collecting a one-time documentation fee from the students and a small management fee from the lenders. While these alternative-lending programs might appeal to some students, others are lucky in having parents who exercised extreme foresight when planning college funds. Senior Ali Schuster’s mother enrolled her daughters in the Florida Prepaid College plan when she was born. “They just started investing money when I was born and it grew over time, the plan can pay for college tuition and dorm fees, but we only signed up for tuition,” Schuster said. The plan requires monthly payments that depend upon current tuition prices, and the child’s grade level. Since Ms. Schuster enrolled in this program when Schuster was first born back in 1990, not only did she receive the benefit of lower tuition rates, the price was also decreased because her daughter was very young. The condition that some people might consider a hindrance is that the fund is only usable with Florida public/state universities. This does not bother Schuster though. “I’d be going to Florida for college even if I didn’t have to, so I don’t mind it at all,” Schuster said. “It’s the only place in the States I usually go to anyways.

I was a bit upset because they were really nice colleges, and I could have been accepted.

WRITING ON THE WALL. Photo by Alex Lloyd A lone businessman stares at the plummeting stock prices displayed on a screen in front of The Chevron House

Tina Ardon

My parents laid out a budget...especially with the current financial situation.

College hike comes at a bad time: Trend to change? For more than two decades colleges and universities across the country have been jacking up tuition at record rates. The cost of post-secondary education has risen at a greater rate than any other major product or service - four times faster than the overall inflation rate, and faster even than increases in the price of gasoline or health care. The result: after adjusting for financial aid, the amount families’ pay for college has skyrocketed 439% since 1982. While it is no news that college tuitions are rising, there is new insight to be gleaned on what impact the current economic situation will have on this trend. It seems that college tuition has now become the meter stick, instead of the measurement. The more expensive a college is, the better perceived education it can give. The better perceived education it gives you, the more expensive it gets. Rising tuition costs have been avalanching on this trend for years, but does the staggering economy herald change to come? Normal supply and demand economics cannot completely account for these rises. There is a plethora of under-graduate institutions to choose from in the United States alone, so while there is a large demand for higher level education there is at least an equal supply.

However, the supply of exclusive colleges that are perceived to be good or prestigious is much less, so this might account for part of the trend. Colleges follow their own unusual set of rules, dictating their own exponentially increasing prices. Due to recent events this pattern could change though. In previous years some adults have been spending beyond their means, as is seen in the loan crisis and sub prime mortgages. Now though America has been forced to reduce spending, parents might decide their investment in college tuition simply isn’t worth it. Senior Tina Ardon’s parents have always told her that she would need to keep finance in mind when deciding prospective colleges. “It’s not like were poor or anything, my parents just laid out a budget and said I had to be within it,” Ardon said. “They’ve always told me I had to do this, but especially recently with the recently after the current financial situation.” While no one is able to divine what the economic future will be, many predict that this recession will be long lasting. With that in mind, parents now have to decide whether or not the investment in college tuition simply isn’t worth it.


Dec. 16, 2008


opinion & editorial

the Eye

Freshmen cope despite academic and social rigors

by Steffi Lee This year, the freshmen are settling with ease into the pace of high school. They are encountering no problems with upperclassmen and are enjoying this new experience. Found relieving their stress with a few rounds of card games during free, Freshmen Tan Kabra, Bailey Wood, Kyle Pizzi, Owen Sperling, and Dominique Pratt explain their shift to high school. “My transition was good. And the upperclassmen treat me awesome,” Kabra said. When asked about the difference from middle school to high school, the responses were synonymously positive. “ I think my grade, as a whole, is coping really well. The only major difference would be that teachers expect more from you, no matter what,” Wood said. “In middle school they held your hand, but in high school, they don’t baby you,” The only complaints of this new found freedom seem to be the homework load. Sperling said that the teachers expect them to come to them for help, putting more responsibility on the freshmen. Freshman Kyle Pizzi appears to be befriending the upperclassmen with no trouble at all. “I have upperclassmen friends, and they don’t treat me badly. High school is definitely not as bad as I thought it would be.” Pizzi said. Pizzi and Sperling played soccer last season, and both agree on the competitiveness between athletes that was not present in middle school. Pratt, who was also on the JV girls’

soccer team, nods and assures it was no different for the girls. “It seemed a lot harder to get on the varsity team, and in my old school, American School of Bombay, it was a lot easier.” “I’m treated better than expected by upperclassmen. It helps that I have a sister who is a senior,” freshman Maya Kale said. Admitting that she was at first intimidated, she said that high school is not as scary as everyone makes it out to be. “It’s not that bad, I think if you just need to focus more on everything, including socially,” Kale said. With the number of warnings and precautions from parents, siblings and older friends about time management, the freshmen interviewed seem to be unfazed by the homework load. “Teachers are way more strict about late homework, even if there was a lot. But we have free, so it’s fine,” Kale said. Kale and other freshmen are loving the liberty of doing homework in their free period. It shortens the amount they actually have to do at home. Kale is involved in several clubs such as Bintan Club, Special Olympics, and SAVE, and is on the varsity swim team. “It’s more competitive, and way harder to juggle with school,” Kale said. Another one of the few freshmen on a varsity sports team is Katie Bree, who moved here from ASIJ. Bree and her team practice basketball five times a week and has games on most

Freshman Mishti Sivaramakrishnan, who takes a rigorous courseload as a freshman, claims that her first year in high school was not as intimidating as she had thought - except for a slight increase in course load. Photo by Melissa Huston

Saturdays. “It takes up a lot of time, and it’s time that I can’t really replace without giving something up,” Bree said. The smooth shift from middle school to high school lessens the balancing act of schoolwork and sports for Bree. She does not need to worry so much about other aspects, like mean upperclassmen, of high school. “It wasn’t tough for me, but what was hard was facing the upperclassmen at tryouts,” Bree said.

Counselor Mario Sylvander said several of his freshmen came in disappointed after sports tryouts. “It’s always tough for freshmen, but the important thing is that I don’t ever want them to stop trying their best,” Sylvander said. There seem to be no complaints about transitions and the homework load. Freshman Mishti Sivaramakrishnan takes molecular biology, geometry and French III, all demanding courses for a ninth grader. “The homework only takes an hour or two more, and its not hard

right now because I don’t do any sports,” Sivaramakrishnan said. Sivaramakrishnan delivered a speech for Peace Initiative at the recent Peace Assembly to the entire high school. “I don’t hold any executive power in Peace Initiative. I gave that speech because I wanted to. I’m also in MUN going as practice delegate in an upcoming practice conference,” Sivaramakrishnan said. “High school offers me more opportunities. It’s full of new experiences.” Sivaramakrishnan said.

Honor Code Constitution: Cheaters handed over to fellow students “I think it’s important that students know that they can’t just ask their parents to come in and argue about their punishments,” HCC co-chair Alex Hoffer said. “Though parents can get involved with the Honor Council cases, the council has the right to come to its own conclusion.” The proposal suggests that parents may only intervene once an appeal has been made and since the deputy principals will only have the final say on disciplinary consequences, parents can only negotiate directly about those. The new constituition drafted by the HS Honor Code Council/Committee will adopt changes which includes a measure to counsel with “I don’t think parents students who are found cheating. Photo by Melissa Huston should be able to get their kid out of trouble teacher recommendations and will problem,” HCC co-chair Amit by Akhilesh Pant when it comes to cheating,” junior When high school cheaters get have equal responsibility to the Parekh said. Each individual case will be Ishan Gupta said. “If a student is caught in school, they would expect deputy principals in determining a prompt trip to the principal’s office a particular student’s punishment. dealt with by one of the three caught, they should have to face the to receive their punishment. But not While the disciplinary consequences boards, but when one board decides consequences.” Though the HCC thought about at SAS. At least not anymore. Come such as detention, suspension and on a verdict, a student will have second semester, some consequences expulsion will remain in the hands the ability to appeal to the other the idea of the Honor Council before of cheating will be decided by the of the deputy principals, the Honor two uninvolved boards. Once a the beginning of this year, recent newly proposed Honor Council Council will have complete control clear verdict is reached by the three cheating scandals have “accelerated within the Honor Code Committee over the grade penalties on a student. boards, the deputy principals will the need,” Parekh said. He originally (HCC). The change was spurred The score (if not a zero) that a student be required to implement the grade- thought of developing the Honor by the controversial handling of a receives and all other effects upon related punishment that the Honor Council to mirror a similar recent cheating scandal. his or her grade will be determined Council decides on and will take organization in his old school, The new Honor Council will be by the Council. into consideration the disciplinary Newark Academy in New Jersey. Most noted of the recent composed of twelve upperclassmen “I think it’s fantastic that students punishment that it recommends, (six seniors and six juniors) divided have now been given legitimate though this recommendation will cheating scandals took place in Brian Donalson’s Calculus BC class. into three boards of four students. power to deal with the cheating not have to be carried out. They will be selected through

Students who took a test during Donalson’s second block of the day were given one of the problems beforehand by students from the first block. Many of the recipients had solved the problem in the break before the test. Having witnessed the question-sharing during the break, Hoffer and senior Jake Wright spoke with Donalson as well as with the administration. After a meeting between Wright’s parents and the administration as well as several confessions, the students were denied all earned extra credit and the shared question was marked wrong. “I really don’t think that marking one problem wrong discourages them from doing it again,” Wright said. “I hope that the proposal passes so that students have a say in what happens.” At the moment, the HCC’s proposal is being reviewed by deputy principals Doug Neihart, Susan Mehrbach and principal David Norcott to be passed on to the superintendent and board. If passed, the Honor Council will form and begin its duties during second semester. “Students should have a voice on the issue of academic dishonesty,” Neihart said. “It would be a very positive and powerful thing to have students on a council with input and responsibilities dealing with each of the cases.”


the Eye


Nine seniors take early graduation option

Dec. 16, 2008


Early departure means missing out on prom, commencement, sleep-in privilege

by Mila Rusafova A bustling capital, crowds of people and a family of strangers. Not many would choose this over the comfort and privileges of the final semester of their senior year. Yet senior James Linton will be heading off to Beijing to stay with a host family while taking intensive university courses in Chinese. Linton plans to graduate early in December when his family relocates to Korea. Instead of joining them for six months before beginning college in the U.S. next fall, Linton will take part in the same language immersion program his brothers did. Currently in Chinese 4, he says it seems a good next step. “I’m actually really excited about going to Beijing,” Linton said. “Both my brothers did the same program and were fluent at the end of it.” Linton is not the only senior in this position. Lexis Guerrisi will be taking part in a four-week language immersion program in Spain while her parents return to their home state of Georgia where Guerrisi will start university in the fall. Jea Jun Han, who is taking a semester off to study music before heading off to do a music major in either the U.S. or Korea, sees the time away from school as a better way to prepare himself for his future goals. Shiori Kodama and Karin Ito are moving back to Japan where university begins in April and In

Woo Jung is moving to Korea where university also starts in the spring. Many students feel bittersweet about their early graduation. “I’m happy to graduate early because SAS has too much homework, and I want to go back to Japan,” Kodama said. “And I’m pretty done with high school,” David Momberger said, whose family is relocating to Korea where he hopes to teach English until he leaves for university in the U.S. But at the same time, friends and Interim Semester will be sorely missed. “I can’t wait to graduate,” Guerrisi said. “But I’m sad to leave my friends here. Plus it’ll be weird to go back and pick things up and start over.” Out of all their regrets, it seems Interim Semester is what students will miss the most about SAS. They say it has been a highlight of their high school experience, and are disappointed about missing it this year, especially as seniors who have a broader choice of trip options. Not just anyone can graduate early. School policy requires early graduation requests by May 15 of the student’s junior year with an explanation of the situation signed both by the student and their parents. A student must first speak with a counselor before the application is submitted, and, once a request is received, the principal consults with counselors and

passes a recommendation on to the superintendent. Positive responses are generally given in the instance of a family leaving Singapore midway through the senior year, attendance at a university that begins the academic year early, or a student who transferred to SAS from another high school following a different calendar year, like Australian or local Singaporean schools. Criteria for students to be able to graduate early are, “a record of good citizenship,” meeting all graduation requirements with the full four credits in English, a minimum of two semesters completed at SAS, and a defined post-high school plan.” There is some criticism of school policy. “They only let you graduate early if you’re moving or accepted to a college that starts early,” Roberts said. “But I think if you meet the credit requirements you should be able to graduate if you want.” Nonetheless, most students are not worrying about school policy as December approaches. For Alex Cheung, Lexis Guerrisi, Jea Jun Han, Karin Ito, In Woo Jung, Shiori Kodama, James Linton, David Momberger and Dustin Roberts what is on their minds are those hard last good-byes as they leave SAS and open the next chapter in their lives.

Karin Ito, here with Nora Hanagan on the set of the Morning Show, will be heading to Japan to prepare for entrance exams to Japanese universities. Ito is also applying to U.S. schools. Photo by Yuvika Tolani.

SAS sees increase in AP enrollments by Nora Hanagan At SAS taking AP’s has become a necessity. When College Board created the AP curriculum their aim was and is “for advanced students to earn college credit or exemption from introductory-level college classes.” Yet, anyone who has taken fewer than three AP’s before graduation is considered a slacker. In fact, if you ask any SAS upperclassmen if they are enrolled in an AP class, the answer is almost invariably yes. When they take one of the 22 AP courses offered at SAS, high school students are meant to hone the skills that all students need to be prepared for the rigors of higher education. These skills include critical reasoning, subject matter expertise -more- and study habits that are imperative for students to be successful and ease the transition into their freshman year of college. At SAS, AP courses are like badges on a Boy Scout vest, sometimes meant solely to impress. This phenomenon is primarily concentrated in the last few years with the increase of number of students taking AP’s from 774 in 2005 to 1245 this year. That’s not to say that SAS students don’t know what they’re getting into. “Except for the first [AP] they take, I think most people are prepared, especially by the time they are seniors and know how to handle the work,” senior Nicole Liu said. Last year’s AP exam results seem to say the same thing. The average score from over 1200 exams for an SAS student last year was 4.13 out of a possible 5 – a whole 1.58 points higher than the national average of 2.85. Seniors are a large part of this test taking pool. When the quarter one honor roll was posted earlier this year, one thing stood out the most: the overwhelming number of seniors

Senior James Linton is among the nine who will graduate this December. He plans to enroll in a language immersion program before attendinding US universiy in the fall. Photo by Melissa Huston

Tempting Convenience ATM installation brings positive and negative reactions from school body

Photo by Kenneth Evans

Facts and Figures: AP Environmental Science, one of the newest AP exams, has seen an increase in the number of exams over the past 4 years. More underclassmen are taking the course, although that is not the case in SAS

on the list compared to other grades. “I think it’s definitely common [for seniors to do better than years past] because they’re working harder for college,” senior Kayla Shilling said. Senior Mila Rusafova is currently enrolled in four full year AP’s and one semester-long AP. “I’m doing better [academically] this year, probably because I am taking easier classes,” she said, “ but I don’t think I’m working harder, or maybe it’s just that I’ve learned to work more efficiently.” Though some students saw a drop in their grades due to the stress of applications or the notorious “senioritis,” many seniors found themselves on honor roll for the very first time. Is it because they have really just refined their study skills, or is grade inflation proving to be the most effective way to give that GPA a shot of adrenalin? AP grade inflation has been a problem before. Nine years ago the weighting was changed from 1.0 to .5. The SAS AP board made this decision after realizing that it was harder to compare their GPA’s

to other international schools with lower, or no, weighting. Counselors figured that colleges look mainly at the actual letter grade rather than the GPA because of its ambiguous nature. Considering AP’s are college preparatory courses, it is only natural that seniors take far more AP classes than the rest of the student body. Last year alone 265 seniors were enrolled in AP classes out of a total enrollment of 513. “It’s simple, AP courses are weighted, seniors take more AP’s and so their GPA is, as a result, higher,” counselor Dale Ford said. “Honor roll is simply a GPA cutoff; it doesn’t matter how many A’s you have.” The consensus among teachers and counselors seems to be that grade inflation is the major cause of success in the senior grade, but the students themselves prefer to credit their achievement to their hard work, time management and the looming thought of college just around the corner. Or, as junior Will Bradley put it,“Maybe they’re just smarter.”

by Hee Soo Chung When senior Bella Lee used to run out money, she had no choice but to borrow from her friends. Now, she strolls to the ATM and withdraws cash. “I find it really convenient,” Lee said. “I’ve been wishing there was an ATM at school before it was installed because it was such a pain for me to go all the way to an ATM to withdraw money. It’s located in a weird area though because people coming down from the stairs can see everything.” On Nov. 17, a DBS Bank ATM was installed in front of the high school office. “I think it’s a good idea that it’s there, but I think it should’ve been there earlier, especially for interim fee payments,” senior Rachel Tam said. William Scarborough, director of finance and business operations, said that SAS has been planning to install an ATM for the last few years. “This year, DBS was the most cooperative bank company,” Scarborough said. “Whereas other companies wanted us to pay for the installation and operation, DBS agreed to pay for both. DBS has had a good relationship with SAS because we have been banking with them for a long time.” Scarborough said that the ATM was installed for the convenience of the school community. He estimates that 4000 parents and students and 550 staff will make use of the ATM. “It will be especially useful during weekends, on paydays,

PTA events or on interim payment days,” Scarborough said. Kira Skill, a SAS parent, said she and her children love having the ATM nearby. “My kids have an account and they love it. I think they learn to budget by having an easy access to the ATM,” Skill said. Although most parents, teachers and students with accounts benefit from the installation of the ATM in high school, some students were critical. “I don’t have a DBS account, and even if I did, I wouldn’t really use it,” senior Kirstie Parkinson said. “I don’t really see a point as to why we need it at the school and I find it a bit absurd. I guess it’s good for the faculty and parents but I see the ATM as another unnecessary thing at our school.” Senior Evan Shawler said that if he gets an account, he will probably use the machine in cases of emergency. “I’ve already seen students using it,” Shawler said. “I wouldn’t use it even if I had an account because I would spend too much money. I only bring a certain amount of money to school everyday.” SAS has a three-year contract with the DBS. Scarborough said that the school is considering other projects with DBS. “Eventually, we want to offer a range of cafeteria cards in which parents can deposit money for the students to use in school.” Scarborough said.


Dec. 16, 2008



the Eye

Barack Obama, America confront racism head on by Haani Mazari On the evening of November eight, the audience roared as a new president rose who represented change. Barack Obama, presidentelect of the United States of America, is a man who brings together three worlds. His European, African, and Islamic heritage makes him viewed with much respect from both the black and Muslim communities of the United States. His heritage from his father’s side is Kenyan and Muslim, but he is a Christian born in America. “Let’s make it clear what the facts are: I am a Christian. I have been sworn in with a Bible. I pledge allegiance [to the American flag] and lead the pledge of allegiance sometimes in the United States Senate when I’m presiding,” Barack Obama said in a speech prior to his election. Throughout Obama’s campaign he repeated that he was a Christian. If racism were dead today, the soonto-be president would not have to keep reminding the American public that his religion is the same as the majority. “I think America wants change

Photo series done by Julia Tan under theme of “Underneath all those layers, we are all the same” portrays racial harmony using models junior Christopher Briggs, senior Emma Sheldon and senior Hikari Nagasaki

but change that it’s familiar with, that’s why people were unsure about his father’s Islamic faith,” sophomore Retika Majed said. Along with his father’s religion, the general public was wary of his middle name, Hussein. Majed saw it as a coincidence that Obama shares his name with the ex-dictator of Iraq, sophomore Sophia Cheng agreed. “It’s not an uncommon name.

That’s like saying that because O.J Simpson is a murderer, anyone whose last name is Simpson is as well. I doubt Jessica Simpson would ever be suspected for murder,” Cheng said. In the harsh reality of today’s world, Muslims are often stereotyped as terrorists. Wearing a veil or having a turban draws attention and arouses suspicion among non-believers.

“After 9/11 when traveling with my family I feel like people suspect us and stare at us because my dad has a beard; it’s almost embarrassing being a Muslim,” a junior male said. In a liberal country such as America and school such as SAS, people and students say it’s necessary for them to justify their race or religion as Obama did.

“I can’t even count the times I’ve been ask if I speak ‘Asian’ or the looks of surprise on peoples’ faces when they realize that not all Asians live to study,” SAS alumnus Stephen Ryder said. He echoes the words of many alumni who relocate to Europe or North America. Minorities are often stereotyped and are offered fewer opertunities. Hence Barack Obama’s victory came as a surprise to many people. “If Obama is successful in his presidency,” sophomore Cameron Arnold said,” I think that many people will realize that a black person can be a successful president. But there will always be those who will always look down on other races.” This puts a lot of pressure on the president-to-be. His success or failure during his term as the president of the United States will affect attitudes towards race. Many people believe that Obama being elected will open the doors to roles that have were once ‘white-only.’

Student survey demonstrates Obama’s election puts race at top of news Survey reveals some attitudes about race at SAS stayng power of racism *

Do racismwill will ever disappear? Doyou youbelieve think racism ever disappear?

Yes 8%

No 92%

By Ann Lee In 1997, Spike Lee criticized Quentin Tarantino for his use of the n-word in his movies. “I want Quentin to know that all African-Americans do not think that word is trendy or slick,” Lee said. Samuel Jackson, who starred in Tarantino’s movies, defended Tarantino by ridiculing Lee’s films. Lee responded by saying that Jackson was a “house Negro defending massa.” There are popular stereotypes about races—whether you’re Asian, Caucasian, black, or mixed. When asked about racism in a November Eye survey, 86.3 percent replied that they believe people are stereotyped due to their race. 67.5 percent replied that they believe stereotypes are forms of racism. Most students replied on the survey that racist remarks were jokingly spoken between friends. “ I think stereotypes are forms of racism, but most people aren’t offended by stereotypical remarks,” senior Anna Downs said. While 40 percent of the students who took the survey replied that they have thought less or differently of someone because of his or her race, only 23 percent replied that they have been victims of racial harassment. “Besides the occasional stereotype of things like ‘you must

Do you think people are sterotyped Do you think people are stereotyped due to their race? due to their race? No


No Yes 86% Yes

How often do you see racist Chart 13behavior at SAS? 40 30 20 10 0 Always


Sometimes Seldom

*80 students responded in this survey


Photo by Julia Tan be good at math because you’re Asian,’ I don’t hear a lot of racist comments, aside from that recent event,” junior Danielle Courtenay said. Courtenay was referring to the suspension of a student who made a racist remark about president-elect Barack Obama. “I hear comments about being Asian, but I know that they are joking, so it didn’t really count,” senior Claire Chen said. Students said that expectations are different for different races. “Academically, as an Asian, teachers expect me to be more studious, particularly in math and science,” Chen said. “Everybody assumes [Asians] are really hard-working,” Courtenay, who is half-Korean, added. Chen believes the different level of expectations is an aspect of different cultural values. “It’s expected, because we were raised like that, constantly driven to work hard or fail at life,” she said. However, the stereotypes don’t always turn out to be friendly or teasing. “A friend of mine had been brought up by her parents to believe in a Chinese superiority over Indians for no true validated reason, so she excluded another girl because she was Indian,” one student said. “Well, being from the south, I say ‘n-----’ cause its just tradition and we

Academically, as an Asian, teachers expect me to be more studious, particularly in math and sicence - Claire Chen

don’t really say ‘black’. So a lot of people give me crap for being racist when its just part of my culture,” a senior male said. With the victory of presidentelect Obama, there are increased reports of racist comments in the U.S. Recently, University of Texas lineman Buck Burnette was thrown off the team after he posted a racist comment about president-elect Barack Obama on his Facebook page. “All the hunters gather up, we have a n----- in the Whitehouse,” Burnette wrote. After he was cut from the team, Burnette posted an apology. There are more serious incidents that include physical violence against American racial minorities. A month ago, students from Medford High School, New York, stabbed an Ecuadorian immigrant to death in an attack that was clearly racist. “The students gathered to hunt down, and hurt Hispanic men. They made a sport of it, calling their victims ‘beaners,’ a reference to the staple Hispanic dish of rice and beans,” prosecutors at the trial said. One of the seven defendants, 17- year old Jeffrey Conroy, a star high school athlete, was charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter as a hate crime.


the Eye


Dec. 16, 2008




E R E H W Y R E EV rates, h ig h in ll ti s e s u r With SAS’ paupltey and organizations look to students, fac different ways solutions in heng

Story by Jon C

The ubiquitous 1m tall-recycled cardboard boxes have stood in all classrooms throughout the campus for over twenty years. On Thursday and Friday afternoons, 10 teams scour the school, collecting these boxes and bringing their filled bags to the loading dock. Till now, that has been the job of SAVE Club’s paper-recycling sector. As the student-body grew, so did the amount of paper used. Efforts to cut paper-usage rates included the introduction of Blackboard and Sharepoint in 2008. The widelyused electronic program posted assignments, notes, and worksheets online for students’ convenience. Teachers like Dr. Kim Melsom electronically store class-notes onto CD’s for students to cut paper usage. But the question of whether paper recycling has made a difference in students’ habits is still unclear. “I honestly think [paper recycling] is very useful,” junior James Fan said. “I think that there has been a general decrease of paper from the classrooms.” Fan is the co-head of the paper-recycling program. During the past month, he had to order 40 new cardboard boxes from the affiliate company KYS to replace some of the worn ones in the middle school. Junior Zach Nelson, who is a member of both the paper and aluminum recycling programs, agrees with Fan – recycling has changed the paper-use habits of most students. “SAS uses a lot of paper,” Nelson said. “But I think recycling has helped a lot in reducing paper even though some people think otherwise.” He refers to the publicity that both SAVE and paper recycling

has generated which increased awareness among the student body. SAVE advisor and A.P. Environmental Science teacher Martha Began believes that the programme is not only an important foundation for sustainability (broadly defined as a pattern of resource use that retains itself at a reliable process to meet human needs while preserving the environment), but also a sterling example of how involved the student body is in environmentalism. “Paper recyclers don’t just recycle for the sake of it; they dedicate their free time to the cause of the club,” Began said. She added that paper recycling in SAVE is the most popular club in terms of its member turnout every week. In an effort to further encourage reduction of paper usage, SAVE plans to distribute reinforced A4 sized cardboard print-boxes to each classroom throughout the campus. Despite the increasing size of the student body, there is no real evidence that indicates an increase of paperusage over the past years, according to recycling advisor Fred Crawford. He estimates that an average of 9000 kg of paper is recycled per year for the past few years. Library assistant Josephine Soh claims that paper-use ratio per-student in the library remained constant. She attributes this to the print-limit system, which was introduced in September 2000 by then computer coordinator Duane Melsom. The quota limited the number of allowable sheets to 50 per semester. The current system is still the same except that the quota is converted to a cash-limit equivalent of $20. According to So, students print at least 500 sheets of paper from the library every day.

on blem: motivati ese ro p e th g in m to th n lies in stem te as much effort


ld devo cently, only a partial shou is g in cl cy re r do to athletics.” Re e pe w Pa as s ue iss n tio velopment paper-reduc ned a project de sig solution to the B IS (a to Began. Johnson Controls cause, according to agreement with ) e or ns m tio lu do so n le ca ab e er in sustain ad “As a club, w le al ob gl ut e “B at Began said. first Clinton-Clim reduce paper,” to to launch the in ne t yo ec er oj ev pr of fit b tro jo Buidling Re e iv it should be the at iti In r ei s th ility to take eir Green-Panther have that responsib southeast Asia. Th carbon ed their school’s own initiatives.” dies club has curb stu atives al iti ci in so s d ou an er rough num th The science t in pr ot fo a s stop the S also play es a measure to ud cl in curriculum at SA at th es lu teams, culcating va r cups for sports pe pa large role in in of e us e ik nl e parking awareness. U ling” policy in th Id O and increasing “N a e th e eek fair l schools, lik five day Earth W a d other internationa an t, lo k ko nmental hool of Bang NGO (non-gover 20 International Sc ith w ge lle ey are ted World Co n) companies. Th tio za (ISB) and the Uni ni ga or es do evron to apore, SAS working with Ch ly nt (UWC) in Sing rre cu d an re their lobal Issues audit and measu oec not include G an do . m lu the curricu footprint. Sustainability in ires school’s carbon qu re B IS ate similar in m hopes to incorpor n ga The IB curriculu Be s” ie ud h SAVE a “Global St SAS, both throug at s re students to take su ea m y or at Next year year explor h the curriculum. ug ro course as a twoth d an its un Fuels) will the major urse (Alternative co program. One of w ne a to s as It will be s in the cl ced as an elective. du tro requires student in be s ue iss emistry 21st century and taught by Ch d pe lo learn solutions to ve de rty ve ility and po ight. such as sustainab teacher Simon Br Mark teachers like er th alleviation. O s, re su e of any g pres g are also supportiv er Despite growin sb gi ug G e th in culum. ific plans change in the curri le SAS has no spec ib ss po al ob gl d global incorporate sustainability an e Th near future to “[ e th to inability in m] should be issues and susta issues curriculu rriculum is d. Our current cu te curriculum. da an m s ea ar l in al touch with ioned and out of “We are talented sh fa d ol , es ad gr evements, uggisberg said. -- athletics, achi pt for reality,” G ce ex – sts te standardized gan said. “We sustainability,” Be


- Paper is the number one material thrown away - 50 million tons of paper is used every year in the United States - that is equivalent to 850 million trees - Decomposition of paper in landfills release environmentally unfriendly toxic chemicals

measures to reduce paper

- Print single spaced with border no bigger than 0.7’ - Buy recycled paper that is made without chlorine bleach


Dec. 16, 2008


opinion & editorial Affluent students claim Robin Hood defense in caf food thefts

the Eye

2008, the year the Grinch finally stole Christmas

Families around the world are cutting down their holiday budgets, office Christmas parties are becoming a thing of the past, and the country of Croatia is even trying to “cancel” Christmas by banning all public sector parties. In the midst of the holiday season, people are all the more aware of the worldwide financial crisis. Analysts expect the weakest holiday season sales growth in 24 years, and despite store sales up to 70%, families are cutting costs wherever they can. Nonetheless, in Singapore, Orchard Road is as packed as ever, with shoppers scurrying to finish off their Christmas shopping lists. It still seems like business as usual here. Most of us have not personally felt the effects of the deteriorating financial situation. At least not yet. SAS especially seems to be a hotbed of detachment. Students continue spending over S$50 a week on Subway, Nourish smoothies and soft drinks while parents worry about whether or not they will still have their jobs at the end of the year. Seniors are making college plans almost oblivious to the $200,000 out of their parents’ pockets and the fact that many families are dipping into their retirement funds to pay for their children’s 4-year education at the record high cost of private college in the U.S. The holiday season is helping make some students more aware of the problems of the working world. Anecdotal evidence suggests that more students are staying in Singapore over the winter break, with families cutting back on vacation and travel expenses. Students have to settle for a trip to Bintan instead of the yearly trip back home or a t-shirt instead of the usual jewelry or latest iPod. While it is inconvenient and disappointing and may seem unfair, the financial crisis is here whether we try to ignore it or not. Perhaps the best thing we can do is recognize it and, for once, cut our parents just a little bit of slack.

Padgett’s Perspective by Erica Padgett

Film censor sets record straight in article about censorship in Singapore (The Eye comments: Last year, editor Jon Cheng wrote an article critical of the workings of Singapore’s Media Development Authority, the people charged with censoring media produced and imported into Singapore. They asked if they might respond to that article of April 15, 2008) We refer to the article “Censored: Is Singapore finally releasing its hold on media censorship?” by Mr Jon Cheng in “the eye” on 20 April. As the article presents an unbalanced picture of censorship in Singapore, we would like to clarify the issues raised to put them in context. Censorship is a universal practice. Even in the United Kingdom, there have been occasions when films have to be edited in accordance with content guidelines and standards. Each censorship model is unique and reflects a country’s cultural, political, and social environment.


The Board of Film Censor’s (BFC) content guidelines are dynamic in nature, and have evolved over the years to allow more choice for adults while protecting the young. They reflect community standards and are developed in consultation with the industry as well as our advisory committees who represent a broad cross section of society. In the same vein, the revised film and video ratings were introduced in 2004 in consultation with the Censorship Review Committee (CRC) 2003, which was formed to review censorship objectives and principles in view of social and technological developments. Contrary to what was reported in the article, the incorporation of the M18 rating followed the recommendation of the CRC to provide more choice for young adults while protecting the young, and to offer distributors the opportunity to expand their audience base and was not a result of viewers’ complaints. In addition, the article stated that Royston Tan’s “15” was “brutally censored by the BFC with 27 cuts”. This was not the case. The film was rated R(A) in 2003 for its graphic

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

Lilliane Cadieux-Shaw

Students steal food from Mr. Hoe because “cheapskates” or broke or protesting prices

As you look around at our active, busy school, you may feel an overwhelming sense of productivity. But you probably didn’t know that some of this activity is for less than honourable purposes. In our clean, bright school is a teeming underworld of crime. And, as in most crime-ridden cities, the poor steal from the rich. In our school, the ‘rich’ are the huge corporations that lurk in our grounds: specifically, Mr Hoe’s. The poor? A group of (anonymous) students who were kind enough to give me insight into what they call their ‘Robin Hood’ acts. Robin Hood, outlaw of Sherwood Forest and noble fighter against tyranny, seems a far stretch as a definition for these kids.

Robin Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor; he didn’t keep what he stole for himself. However, not all students have the inside of their wallets plastered with fifty-dollar bills. “I get a really small budget, and the food at Hoe’s is way overpriced,” one female senior said. She also added that it has nothing to do with the ‘thrill’ that many teenagers get committing small acts of theft. “I’m just a cheapskate,” she said. There are a number of rules to successfully stealing that paper carton of lemon chicken you’ve been eyeing. First of all, bring a bag that is big enough to fit Mr. Hoe’s boxes into, and that you don’t mind getting

Indiscriminate, savage slaughter in Mumbai defies reason

Aashna Chopra

Media will lose interest and move on, but India and the world must learn to meet and defeat barbarism

He had just picked a table when the sound of gunshots pierced the air. Terrorists armed with AK-47s and grenades entered the Oberoi Hotel and were executing everybody sitting in the ground floor restaurant. As guests rushed to the kitchen, one terrorist burst into the restaurant and began shooting those who didn’t make it. My uncle and his two golf buddies rushed to the fire exit. They had barely descended a few steps when terrorists surrounded them. The terrorists took them and every living person they could find up the service staircase to the 18th floor. It was there that they made these people line up against a wall and put their hands behind their head. One terrorist then positioned himself on the staircase going up from the landing and the other on the staircase going down from the landing. Then, in what may seem like a scene right out of the Nazi Holocaust, they simultaneously pulled the trigger on the guns they were holding. This is only one of the many

horror stories that unfolded in Mumbai two days. You may hear stories of entire families being wiped out while eating their dinner, five-year olds losing their parents, pregnant women shot while begging for mercy, or hostages being beaten to death with the butt of a rifle so that their faces were unrecognizable. The terrorists attacked all echelons of society. Middle class workers were killed in the railway station. The rich were killed in the hotels. The weak and sick were killed in three hospitals. Indians, Americans, Britons, Israelis. Men, women, children, policemen, firemen, doctors, patients. No one was spared. This was systematic, cold-blooded slaughter. Citizens of Mumbai are no strangers to terror. But this time the sheer scale and audacity brought the city to its knees. The openness of its society, the bustling hoards in its train stations, the vibrancy of its news media, and the thousands of tourists, diplomats, and business

violence and coarse language. BFC informed the producer that some 9 edits requested by the Police would have to be made to the film for law and order concerns. The decision was upheld by the Films Appeal Committee, an independent appeals body, made up of 15 members of the public. However, the producer chose to make edits within the sequences in a manner that brought the total number of edits to 27. The article also made reference to movies like “Resident Evil: Extinction”, “28 Weeks Later” being edited by censors. This is inaccurate. “Resident Evil: Extinction” and “28 Weeks Later” were originally classified M18 and R21 without edits. The distributors chose to edit the films for commercial reasons, i.e. to reach a wider audience. The TV series “Nip/Tuck” was given an R21 rating while “The L Word” has not been submitted by any distributor for classification. “Rambo 4” was edited for a single religiously sensitive remark and not heavily censored as suggested in the article. In our

multi-racial society where social harmony plays an important role, content that denigrates race or religion is a sensitive matter and should not be encouraged in the media. Over the years, the BFC has moved away from censorship to classification of content to allow more choice for adults. Through film and video classification, members of the public can now enjoy more films and videos, in their original form, for their viewing selection. The BFC is pleased to note that about 800 films are classified and screened at the various cinemas in Singapore every year. These include Academy Award winners such as “Lust, Caution”, “Brokeback Mountain” and “Paradise Now” as well as local films like “The Maid”, “Be with Me”, “Perth”, “Singapore Dreaming” and Royston Tan’s “4.30”, all of which have been classified and shown in their entirety, without edits. Amy Chua Chairman, Board of Film Censors

Editors-in-chief: Jon Cheng, Hee Soo Chung, Melissa Huston News editor: See Young Lee, Nick Lesiuk Op/Ed editor: Akhilesh Pant Features editor: Ann Lee, Mila Rusafova Eye In Focus editor: Maria Lloyd A&E editor: DJ Hartman, Jennie Park Sports editor: Nora Hanagan, Caroline Hui Photographers: Kenny Evans, Maria Lloyd, Melissa Huston Reporters: Philip Anderson, Lil Cadieux-Shaw, Jon Cheng, Aashna Chopra, Hee Soo Chung, Kenny Evans, Nora Hanagan, DJ Hartman, Caroline Hui, Melissa Huston, Ann Lee, Steffi Lee, See Young Lee, Nick Lesiuk, Alex Lim, Maria Lloyd, Haani Mazari, Akhilesh Pant, Jennie Park, Mila Rusafova, JD Ward Adviser: Mark Clemens Assistant adviser: Judy Agusti

a little greasy. Second, infiltrate when the crowd is at its biggest. This limits detection. Third, and last, work in teams of two. One needs to subtly slip the lunch of choice into the bag, and the other needs to act as a shield and a provider of casual indifference. These rules are for beginners, though. Experts can make do without a bag: carrot sticks can be smushed down an undershirt, Snak-Paks hidden in pockets. There are risks, of course. This group is no stranger to getting caught. Unfortunately, discipline is rarely doled out, and no reports have ever been made to the administration. The aunties at Hoe’s just shake their fingers, and demand payment. Now, things you’ve always found strange may seem clearer. Always wondered why that friend of yours loitered around at Hoe’s until you left? He may have been looking for an empty spot to make his move. When you sit down to eat in the caf, look around. The people at your table may have gotten their waffles illegally. leaders checking into its hotels was used against Mumbai. “My powers of empathy, my ability to reach into another’s heart, cannot penetrate the blank stares of those who would murder innocents with such serene satisfaction,” Barack Obama has said about terrorism. It is hard to make sense of terrorism, hard to justify such horrendous deeds. Previously held notions of “It won’t happen to me,” are being dropped as people hear about it on the radio and see it on television screens. It is not hard to recognize the hatred, anger, and desperation of the terrorists. They have no respect for humanity and refuse to accept anything apart from their own twisted beliefs. To achieve their “noble” goals, they have declared war on reason and conscience - everything that makes us human. How can we counter such hatred? How could we convince those who are ruthlessly killing others in god’s name that god will never reward such barbarity? How can we instill in future generations our values of compassion and patience when faced with such hate and provocation? Over the next few weeks, as the media gradually loses interest in the massacre, Mumbai and India will ask themselves these questions. The rest of the world should too.

we got m@il

Review of R-21 movie, “Choke,” targets wrong audience

Hi DJ, I read your review article on the movie “Choke” in the the Eye of Nov. 21. The movie has a Singapore rating R-21 As a Health teacher in the High School, teaching Sex Ed as one of the units to 9-12 graders, I have two curious questions: Do you think it is appropriate to write a review on a R-21 movie in a High School venue - where the oldest students are 18 with a sex addict as the main character? How are you capable of writing a proper review without seeing the movie yourself, since you do not have access to the theater due to your age? Best regards, Frans Grimbergen High School Physical Education & Health

The 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 Eye via the Internet at At the author’s request, names can be withheld from publication. Letters will be printed as completely as possible. The Eye reserves the right to edit letters for reasons of taste and space.

arts & entertainment

the Eye


Dec. 16, 2008


New show has three times the charm Band of Brothers “Heroes” season three improves on its luckluster predecessor

Brothers and band members of King’s of Leon don’t disappoint with new album

Review: HEROES



Creator: Tim Kring

Cast: Hayden Panettiere (Claire Bennet), Jack Coleman (Noah Bennet), Santiago Cabrera (Isaac Mendez), Greg Grunberg (Matt Parkman), Angela Petrelli (Cristine Rose), Ali Larter (Tracy Strauss), Masi Oka (Hiro Nakamura)

Original Air Date (Season 1) September 2006

by JD Ward You could wonder if it is possible for season three to save “Heroes,” after the second season sunk and the show lost millions of viewers. The premiere of the third season was promising, catapulting the viewer straight into the action with enough twists to widen the eyes of even the most unflappable fans. With its focus on the villains, this season is darker and more serious than the first two. Peter, who gains the powers of everyone he sees, and Sylar, who gains powers by killing people, are the two main adversaries of the show and are played by Milo Ventimiglia and Zachary Quinto. In the first two seasons of “Heroes,” Peter and Sylar were the center of attention as they played the most powerful heroes, one good and one bad, but the show takes a sharp turn when Sylar gets in touch with his hippie side and decides to stop being the cold-hearted murderer we have all come to love. These two characters continue to have the most complex, captivating plot lines as other characters go off on increasingly comical tangents. Nathan, played by Adrian Pasdar, finds a personal relationship with God before being brought back to reality, and Matt Parkman, played by

Greg Grunberg, befriends a pet turtle he thought talked to him. Those who thought, “Where can they possibly go from here?” at the end of the second season may be happy to know that the writers continue to come up with new and interesting ideas, including flipping and twisting around the roles of characters and even adding new characters. The two new female characters this season, Tracy Strauss and Monica Dawson, each find a companion in one of the shows original characters. However, the biggest new character, the new ultimate villain of the show, is not revealed until late in the season. With his ability to steal the powers of others, he adds new layers of evil and cruelty to the show. Viewers who watched season two and were disappointed, and there are many, can be glad that they have been rewarded with a stellar return. Those who enjoyed the first season, but were turned off by their second date with the show might still want to consider giving this one a shot, as she’s upped the sex appeal this outing. The season has recently ended, and will return again next year with season four.

by Jennie Park The brothers and band members of Kings of Leon, Caleb, Nathan, Jared and cousin Matthew Followhill, just keep the hits coming and coming with their fourth best selling album, “Only by the Night.” The Kings’ newest eleven track album has a much more mature and melancholy vibe than it’s more noisy and angst-y teenage predecessors. With slow, sweeping ballads like “Cold Desert” and their hit single, “Sex on Fire,” a song which explores the temptations of sexual lust while still keeping a haunting and complex melody that’s miles from cliché. “I loved it,” said senior Casey Fussner. “It was amazing. I really liked the song “Sex on Fire,” Fussner said. The success of the Kings of Leon is a rarity in the fickle limelight of the music industry. The fact that the brothers of The Kings of Leon are all so humble


and family oriented only adds to their level of success. “Every night after recording we’d go to a bar together and hang out and talk…it was really a big family vibe,” Caleb Followhill, the lead singer of the Kings’, said on their website. Family always knows best, and The Kings of Leon are no exception to the rule.



Much awaited musical previews in new Riady Performing Arts Center

Photos by Kenneth Evans From Left to Right: Senior Danielle Courtenay engaged the audience with in playful role as “The Cat in the Hat.” The cat was the narrator who led the audience and cast member Jojo into the musical’s plo The Sour Kangaroo, played by senior Sanskriti Ayyar, was literally sour throughout the 2-hour long musical. Hidden in the pit, the musical’s orchestra adhered to no dress code. Pictured in the center are saxophone soloists Michael Jeong & James Linton, Allen Koh. Gertrude McFuzz, played by senior Priscilla Chan, flaunts a long-wished for feathery tail.


Dec. 16, 2008


arts & entertainment

the Eye


The EYE takes a look at the profiles of thriving artists in the SAS school community

Actress, singer, strummer Cheng credits hard work in craft Profile: Charlotte Cheng

by Aashna Chopra Clad in a black Seussical shirt and regulation uniform bottoms, she may seem every bit the typical SAS student. Except for her horizontally striped purple knee-high socks. “I’m addicted to socks a little bit,” Cheng said.“I think I have at least 20 pairs.” Queuing up to buy an item from the Booster Booth, her worn track shoes and horizontally striped purple socks stand out among the plainJane Birkenstock clad feet of those standing behind her. “I don’t find it that strange,”Cheng said. “I think I am the only person that doesn’t.” For someone who looks to Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob for inspiration, Cheng’s taste in clothes is understandable. “SpongeBob has taught me that life shouldn’t be taken too seriously,” Cheng said. “Sometimes, that’s what you have to do.” As an aspiring musician, Cheng seems to have figured out what the secret to being a performer is. The ability to adapt and learn from critical comments is what Cheng feels is the main factor in growing as a musician. “You need to have thick skin,” Cheng said. “You need to expect and accept criticism.” And that’s exactly what made her excel in her role in Suessical. “Charlotte was so dedicated to the role and put so much energy in to every scene that she played,” Elliot

Miranda, a senior and Seussical actress said. Fellow actors and actresses said that Cheng stole the show. “Consistent,” “energetic,” “passionate” and “talented” are just some of the words they used to describe her. “With Charlotte, friendly seems like an understatement,” Miranda said.“She just bubbles with energy and just looks like she is having so much fun.” Tracy Meyer, the drama teacher in charge of Seussical, had much to say about this showstopping starlet who amazed all that watched the show. “From the earliest audition, all directors agreed that she was Seussical personified,” Meyer said. It wasn’t just her acting that got everyone impressed, but also her guitar playing skills. After rehearsals, Cheng played the guitar while the others gathered around her to listen. “She was a fantastic, wild woman,” Meyer said. “ She was absolutely committed and was never late.” Cheng started playing the guitar in her freshmen year and hasn’t stopped since. “I bought a guitar for my brother, but he never played it,” Cheng said. “I thought I wasted my money.” At school, Cheng noticed that there were a number of guitar classes that she could take. “That’s when I started putting my money to good use,” Cheng said.

Cheng describes her high school experience as a roller coaster ride in terms of her music. “After some initial difficulties, I now know what to look for and what to do to make my music sound the way I want it to,” Cheng said. Cheng said that being a good performer requires a lot more than simple singing or playing. “You need to be pretty observant to be a musician,” Cheng said. “Without getting out there and experiencing things, its hard to make lyrics.” Cheng has written a number of songs, but has yet to perform them in front of the student body. She looks up to other musicians and singers, like Jason Mraz. Japanese artist Hide also tops her list. Cheng now has a clear idea of what she wishes to do with her talent, and hopes to get in the Berklee College of Music. She said being a musician is something that requires significantly more work than most would imagine. “You definitely have to love music,” Cheng said. “You also need to know what sounds the best, not just what you think people would like to hear.” Cheng wishes that more people at SAS would be willing to showcase their talents, and not be afraid of failing or coming off as silly or immature. “Growing old is mandatory,” Cheng said. “But growing up is optional.”

Pianist Leu dreams of stage career

SOCKS IT TO ME. Senior Charlotte Cheng preps for her role as a Wickersham brother in “Seussical the Musical.” Friends and teachers praise Cheng’s energy and passion in her performances and music. Photo by Jessica NguyenPhuong BLUE GUITAR. Cheng strums her guitar in the area outside the art room. She took up guitar her freshman year when her brother rejected a guitar a guitar birthday gift. Photo by Yuvika Tolani

Sketches of a young artist Profile: Julia Tan

Profile: Tiffany Leu by Steffi Lee Every day Senior Tiffany Leu practices the piano four hours. “I’ve been playing since the first grade,” she said. Leu plans to play the piano professionally and has been spending the last few weeks sending out her demo disks to her dream schools across the U.S. “I’m mostly interested in going to music conservatories, schools that only teach music, like Eastman School of Music, Peabody Conservatory, Boston Conservatory and San Tiffany Leu practices on the Steinway in the Strings room Leu is waiting to hear from four Francisco Conservatory,” Leu music conservatories: Eastman, Peabody, Boston and San Francisco. said. Leu’s demo disks records her skill in different genres of music. Each piece is from a different blues,” Leu said. “It’s so different.” accompanist. You have to listen to time period. Leu has performed in six piano the soloist or performer and follow “There are songs from the recitals in her entire piano career, their tempo, even if they’re speeding Baroque, Classical and Romantic four of which sold tickets at the up. If you don’t, you won’t match,” time periods,” Leu said. Though Japanese Yamaha Music School in Leu said. these are the requirements of the Taiwan. Leu plans to become a performer demo, Leu confesses that she would “I’ve been in six major and end up in music education, like to explore more genres of piano performances. One was with an attaining a job as a tutor after music. orchestra,” Leu said. Leu is well retirement from the stage. “I’ve only ever experienced known in the music department as “But that’s way down the road. classical because my tutor tells me a perfect accompanist for other I’m mainly focused on being a it’s a good foundation for my music performers. performer,” Leu said. career. I would love to try jazz and “It’s very different, being an

Julia Tan, the last of three children, was encouraged to consider business school by her father. Tan said it was only a suggestion, that her father told her the choice was entirely hers. She has applied to five schools, four of them business schools. One is the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. “If I get in there I’ll do a double major in art and business,” she said. Tan’s sister, Winnie, who graduated from SAS in 2007 inspired Julia’s interest in art. As Winnie worked long hours at home on portfolios for art school applications, Julia was looking over her shoulder. Like Winnie, she has labored long in to the night on her

creations. “It’s the best kind of feeling when your finished and your piece looks like you wanted it to,” she said. “It’s a satisfying feeling I really can’t describe in words. Tan’s drawing “Letting Loose” was one of 15 selected among 17 million entries chosen by the College Board to appear on the cover of an AP Student Art poster mailed to all AP schools. Hers was the first in SAS history to be chosen. Big sister Winnie is studying architecture at Carnegie Mellon, one of Julia’s five choices. She has applied to the Tepper School of Business there. She says that her post college goal remains a profession in art, either in painting or commercial design.

sports & activities

the Eye

Failure not an option for Eagles

Girls touch varisty determined to succeed at the IASAS game


Dec. 16, 2008


The EYE Profile


Professional equestrian trades books for horses

HEAD IN THE GAME: Lauren Felice looks for a teammate to pass to during the TAS vs. SAS game at the Bangkok Exchange. CATCH ME IF YOU CAN: Senior Nora Hanagan breaks through the Panther’s defense in the ISB vs. SAS game. Photos by Melissa Huston

by Melissa Huston As captain Vanessa Peck caught the ball in mid air and slid into the try zone her teammates both on and off the field cheered. They had tied it up with defending IASAS champions Bangkok and only minutes later the Eagles played ISB in overtime dropoffs. A quick side step from an ISB player sent the three remaining SAS players on the field running after her but to no avail. The final scoreboard showed ISB-2, SAS-1. Although the loss would later send the Eagles to play for third place, in many ways this was a victory for the Eagles. “Even though we got third, we definitely did well considering it was so early in the season,” captain Nora Hanagan said. The Varsity Girls Touch Team traveled to Bangkok to play in the Friendship Tournament against the other five IASAS schools and an additional local school, Bangkok Pattana. Placing third, the Eagles lossed in overtime against Bangkok and defeated all other IASAS schools they played. “I think it was good to see that we were on a level playing field with all the IASAS teams, maybe even better,” junior Lauren Felice said. “We’re a competitive team, and from the exchange we learned a lot

that’ll help us during IASAS.” Boasting seven returning IASAS players, the Eagles are determined to take the gold in front of their home crowed at IASAS hosted here in Sinagpore from February 5th to 7th. Throughout the winter break the team is planning to hold three weekly practices for those players staying in Singapore and during the last week of the winter holidays a full week of practice will be held in preparation for IASAS. “We’re having practice so we don’t fall behind,” Hanagan said, “we need to keep working on the skills we learned during the season and we know that Bangkok will be practicing over the break too.” The whole team is anticipating IASAS which will start just three weeks after winter break. “We have a great chance of winning IASAS,” Felice Said, “we have home team advantage this time around which really boosts morale that’ll definitely help us.” With the loss of five starting seniors after the 2007-2008 school year, captains Nora Hanagan and Vanessa Peck have stepped up their game to lead the team. Together they have scored 56 tries (equivalent to touchdowns in football) and have assisted 58 tries.

“Our captains are really motivational,” Felice said, “they get us pumped up to play, create a ton of opportunities on the field and obviously are a huge part of the team.” A strong offense however cannot be successful without a tight defense. The captains have acknowledged that the new team is lacking several skills, specifically defense. “We’re known for our defense in the past, but we haven’t smoothed that part of our game out yet and there’s still some glitches in the defense.” Hanagan said. Throughout their season, the Eagles have been competing in a tournament hosted by the French School, Lycee Francais de Singapour. Regularly playing several college teams including Republic Polytechnic and the National University of Singapore the Eagles easily beat their competitors at the French School during the round robin stage and went undefeated until they loss against Lycee Francais de Singapour in the championships. “The touch tournament is always a close one and Bangkok always brings out a good team that will be a tough match.” Hanagan said

ONE GREAT LEAP AT A TIME: With hopes of representing Singapore in the Youth Olympics, Junior Franchesca Liaw regurarly participates in dressage compeitions Photo provided by Franchesca Liauw

Profile: Franchesca Liauw

By DJ Hartman Nearly every Saturday and Sunday of the year, while students are sleeping in and hanging out with friends, junior Frankie Liauw is over 200 miles away in Kuala Lumpur, jumping fences. Liauw spends most of her weekends in Malaysia riding horses. At 14, she won the Dressage Federal Equestrian International Children’s Test, beating riders all over the world. She also won the South East Asian Young Rider’s League in this summer. For as long as she can remember, Liauw has wanted to ride, looking up to her mother who used to ride as well. She started riding at the age of eight and by age ten was already competing against riders more than thirty years older than her. Now 16, Liauw competes in Hong Kong and Malaysia every summer from May to Sept. against riders from

all across Asia. Unique to equestrian sports is the bond between the rider and the horse. “There reaches a point where you’ve learned all a horse can teach you and you have to move on to a new horse,” Liauw said. Over her career, she has owned five horses. This year, she sold two of them. “It was really hard because a horse isn’t like a basketball. You can’t just put it away and forget about it,” Liauw said. “If you and your horse don’t bond, you’re not going to do well in shows.” If she gains Singaporean citizenship before 2010, Liauw hopes to compete in the upcoming Youth Olympics in Singapore. She plans to pursue her passion after high school. “When I graduate I want to take a year off and ride in Europe and train with the best riders,” Liauw said.

The cost of winning: dissecting the two sides of sportsmanship

“That’s sports. No matter how close a friend you are, you must kill that other person.”

Kultida Woods, mother ofTiger Woods. by Alex Lim In the highly competitive cutthroat world of sports, athletes have become increasingly conditioned to adopt a “win at all costs” mantra – regardless of the moral implications. Call it a byproduct of all the emphasis that our neurotic society places on winning, but it’s a disturbing trend that is not exclusively limited to the ranks of professional athletes . Even teenagers and children of younger ages groups are more susceptible during the informative stages of their athletic careers to pursuing the selfish, egotistical “me first” frame of mind in order to reap the benefits of winning. After all, as some coaches and parents might stress, that’s the only way you’re ever going to make it in sports and, more importantly, in life. “In searching for a sense of self, athletes have to have strong pride,” relates psychologist Varda Burstyn in Michael Clarkson’s book Competitive Fire, a collection of insights by different athletes and

sports psychologists to developing the warrior mentality of sports champions. “But,” Burstyn cautions, “Arrogant narcissism often becomes the reality.” Perhaps that best explains the steady increase of professional athletes being involved in misbehaviors both on and off the field in recent years. It’s a broken record that, sadly, we have grown accustomed to repeatedly hearing. I’m sure that at some point in our lives, we have encountered people just like that; ones with larger than life egos who have a sense of entitlement on them as thick as pine tar on a baseball bat. “The killer instinct brought me some success as a player, but it also tempted me to run over people, to break the rules, and neglect my family to a point,” basketball Hall of Fame guard Bob Cousy was once quoted as saying, “I’m no longer proud of killer instinct. It can kill

the moral sense, happiness. It is not an instinct that I can get rid of. It is something I must live with as best I can.” Does that sound like something parents want their children to become? In a nine and ten year old league championship baseball game between the Red Sox and Yankees in Bountiful, Utah, with his team up by one run and the Sox at bat in the bottom of the last inning with two outs and a runner on third, Yankees coach Bob Farley had a decision to make. At the plate was the Sox’s best hitter. On deck was the Sox’s worst hitter, a weak, slightly over a hundred pounds cancer survivor named Romney Oak. Do you intentionally walk the star hitter so you can face a kid who can barely hold up his bat, let alone swing? Farley decided to walk the star. Romney struck out and the Yankees won by one. The town was

Alex Lim

outraged. Later in an interview with Sports Illustrated, Farley’s assistant coach Shuan Farr, who recommended the walk, claimed that it was merely “good baseball strategy.” What Farr failed to mention was that it was a little league, everybody bats, one-hour game intended for fun. Strategy is fine in the major leagues – not against a little kid who has to take human growth hormone just to survive. “Americans appreciate a winner,” World War II General George Patten once said, “But they will not tolerate a loser.” Nearly 65 years later, it’s still true, but at what cost? “Second place means nothing these days, especially with so much riding on a victory – trophies and earnings, corporate sponsors and self-esteem, says John Douillard in an interview with USA Today. Douillard has advised tennis stars Martina Navaratilova, Steffi Graf, and John McEnroe. “We’ve put so much pressure on winning, we’ve traded in the process of getting there, the enjoyment process of sports which many athletes these days never achieve. The fun has gone out of it. There may be some

enjoyment in getting to the top but no fun in trying to maintain it under those pressures.” That’s not to say that there aren’t people out there who have a higher regard for moral decency over athletic accolades, because there are. In a Division II women’s softball game, two Central Washington players, Liz Wallace and Mallory Holtman, carried Western Oregon senior Sara Tucholsky, who had just hit a home run, around the bases after Tucholsky’s right knee gave out in between first and second base. It was such an incredible show of sportsmanship that ESPN felt compelled to document the story and eventually honored all three players at the 2008 ESPY Awards – an annual sports award event created and broadcasted by the television company. And that’s something that we need more of – exploring outside the black and white parameters of merely winning and losing. If we recognize kids for something that extend-s beyond individual accomplishments, maybe we’ll have fewer egotistical athletes and more decent human beings.


Dec. 16, 2008


Out with the OLD, In with the NEW by Caroline Hui For seven years, the name “Steve Betts” was synonymous with “the Eagles Swim Team.” Known for his tough demeanor, intense practices, and, most of all, a winning record, Betts developed a reputation as “the best swim coach SAS has ever had” among swimmers. But after a remarkable career that included 13 gold medals at IASAS, Betts decided to retire from teaching at SAS to become a businessman. Middle school PE teacher Peter Clark and high school PE teacher Jill Friend have taken over the 48-swimmer squad. Clark, the former JIS swim coach, was a swimmer in high school. He has coached other sports teams as well, among them the Australian kayak team for the 2004 Olympic Games. He said he has always enjoyed coaching swimming and decided to take on the team here.

sports & activities

the Eye

The Eagles face change as two new coaches take the place of seven-year coach Steve Betts

Eagles swimmers have approached this change with mixed reactions, and have already noticed differences. “Mr. Betts was a lot more strict in a practicing type of way,” one swimmer notes. “He’d push us to work harder, and if we weren’t working hard enough he’d talk to us telling us to work harder. The new coaches are strict, but they are more lenient when it comes to pushing yourself. We need to motivate ourselves, because they don’t really challenge us personally.” There aren’t only changes inside the pool, but outside as well. Boys’ captain Ted Chritton said, “There’s definitely less joking around. There’s less fooling around outside of the pool…Mr. Clark does crack jokes and have a sense of humor, but he’s not constantly joking around like Mr. Betts.” Clark understands how big a job he has filling Mr. Betts’s role.

“Mr. Betts has a reputation and a formidable record with the team,” he said. “In some ways, it’s hard to step into his shoes.” There are positives to work with, though. Clark has noted how close the team is and how well they bond with each other and Friend has noticed the depth and versatility of the team. Plus, both the boys’ and girls’ teams took home the first place trophy at the November 3rd UWC meet, a feat the Eagles failed to accomplish last year. An issue this year is the number of swimmers allowed to stay on the team despite unexcused absences. This, according to many swimmers, is something that did not happen under Betts last year. “I hate to admit it, but yeah, I’ve skipped more than one or two,” a junior swimmer, asking to remain anonymous, said. “Sometimes I’m just tired of constantly swimming back and forth in the pool. It really

NEW FACES: High School PE teacher Jill Friend (left) and middle school PE teacher Peter Clark (above), have replaced Mr. Betts as coaches of the Eagles swim team. Both were swimmers in high school. Photos by Kenny Evans

takes self motivation and discipline to get yourself to do the same thing every day. And it’s hard to get the motivation after a tiring or stressful day at school.” Girls’ captain Kathy De La Hoz disapproves of skipping. “I don’t think it’s right,” she said. “I think people are skipping this year because Mr. Betts isn’t here, so they feel that they can slack off, but people need to come every day.” Clark lets it be known that skipping practice will not be tolerated. “The coaches will sit down the swimmer and we’ll talk to them about why they’ve been missing practice and we’ll talk

about their priorities,” Clark said. “Swimming is a demanding sport.” For now, though, the swim team looks to be in good shape. They placed second at the annual Santa Claus meet over Thanksgiving weekend, and Friend said that most of the swimmers beat their practice times. And even though Betts is gone, workouts are still tough – both coaches said on average, practice is four to five kilometers. “Not much has changed,” Chritton said, “so I think it’s fine where it is. We’re on the right track.”

Lady Eagles land 2nd in Hong Kong

By Alex Lim A disappointing loss to Faith Academy in the finals of the annual Holiday Basketball Tournament would have dampened the spirits of most teams, but the Lady Eagles left Hong Kong having discovered something about themselves that could translate into future success in February. The Eagle’s 3-3 tournament record could easily be interpreted as inconsistency by the casual observer, but the quality of the team’s play extended well beyond numbers. “It was a gutsy performance overall,” said head coach Chad Brekke. “We wanted (Left) to improve one game at a time and obviously it showed in the form of us making it to the championship game.” Co-captain Elle Marsh best personified the gritty performance of the Eagles, playing with six blisters, three on each foot. “It [playing with the blisters] hurt a lot, but it wouldn’t have hurt as much as not making it to the championship game.” Marsh said. After blowing a big lead and losing to Seoul on the second day, the Eagles reeled off two wins in a row including a 69-66 victory in a rematch with Seoul. The win would

secure SAS a berth in the finals. From there, the Eagles would fail to take advantage of the momentum they had established and faded in their last game, losing 33-60 against another quality basketball team , Faith Academy. Still, the second place finish provided the Eagles with a measure of confidence. “I think that the tournament is very tough,” said Marsh. “Coming in second was a good achievement and it shows us that we will be ready for IASAS.” Brekke stressed that the Eagles still have some work to do if they want to think about doing some damage at IASAS with finishing around the rim and keeping turnovers to a minimum as the top priorities. “We need to do a better job of taking care of the basketball,” Brekke said. “We also missed a lot of wide open layups.” Marsh and co – captain Rachel McCabe were both named to the All Tournament Team. Eagles bounce back after slow start, finish at 500 Heading into the 39th Annual Holiday Basketball Tournament in Hong Kong, the defending IASAS champion Eagles (5-3) sought to

answer questions of whether they could maintain their championship pedigree in the wake of losing four starters, Andrew Debell, Adam Frogley, Chris Hussey and David Small, from last year. Junior forward Danny Albanese, a holdover from last year’s championship team, acknowledged that it would be difficult replacing all that lost production, especially in the waning seconds of close games. “All four of those guys were capable of making the last shot,” Albanese said, “Our team was more confident when they were on the court.” The Eagles got off to a sluggish start, dropping three out of four games, with their only win coming in tightly contested game against St. Mary’s, 54-52. The real lowlight of the second day came in the form of a 48-66 defeat at the hands of Taipei, the only other IASAS School participating in the tournament. “We were really disappointed with the way we played against Taipei,” junior Blake Peters said, “At that point we felt like we needed to step it up.” Junior forward and newcomer Michael Sparks echoed Peter’s sentiments. “We were not satisfied with

I’M OPEN. Sophomore Michelle Bywater loses her defender while trying to get open for her teammate.

the way we played,” Sparks said, “We have so much potential as a team and we did not perform to our capability.” The Eagles proved to be resilient and rebounded quickly, winning their last two games and finishing with a 3-3 record for the tournament. “We learnt from our mistakes and showed much ore discipline in the last two games,” said Head Coach Mike Norman of the Eagle’s revival, “I was very pleased with the growth shown by the players.” Norman said that playing in the tournament was “the best preparation the team could have” for IASAS

IN CONTROL. Sophomore Hannah Goode looks for an open teammate. Photos by Peachy Bywater

while also allowing the coaching staff to assess what the Eagles need to improve on as they continue to prepare for their title defense come February. “Improving our offensive execution as well as being more consistent defensively is something that are going to be our top priorities,” Norman said. Norman credited sophomore center Trevor Peters and senior guard Russell Kreutter with their consistent play over the course of the tournament. Kreutter was named to the All Tournament Team.

Succesful Jakarta exchange marred by bouts of illnesses By Caroline Hui Everyone was satisfied and healthy the Sunday the boys’ and girls’ tennis teams returned home from the Jakarta exchange. It had been a successful one; both the boys and the girls won the majority of their matches against JIS and ISKL, and to top it off, Eagles Andrew Ni and Meiko Masuno defeated JIS to win the newly added mixed doubles tournament.

But the next day, the symptoms started kicking in. Both the boys’ and girls’ teams started feeling tired, getting fevers, and missing school because of illness. “Someone got salmonella,” girls’ captain Lindsay Slaven said, “and one boy had mycoplasma.” Slaven primarily attributes sickness to a dinner buffet served at JIS. JIS parents were asked to bring in food for the tennis

players, including chicken satay, McDonald’s cheeseburgers, and Krispy Kreme donuts. “Everyone ate the buffet except for me and [my sister] Sarah, and we were the only ones that didn’t get sick,” Slaven said. “Plus, the air pollution was really bad.” Other potential factors are that the teams never played as much as they did at the JIS

exchange, and that there had been a lot of rain and practice time was cut short, both of which may have caused fatigue. Despite the aftereffects of the exchange, the Eagles finished with a strong performance. “We played really well,” Slaven said. “No one really posed any kind of threat and it was a really good bonding experience.”

Senior Andrew Ni and sophomore Neil Parekh work together in a tennis match



I sat with my father, a banker, about three December 16, 2008 / Vol. 28 No. 3 Singapore American High School months ago, watching CNBC as we...

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