the eye Singapore American High School
Eye in Focus:
Stories, surveys and questions about future of students favorite time of year on pages 6 - 7
March 22, 2007 2007/vol. /vol. 26 no no. 6
Junior Patricia Mar plays with children at Bridgman Center, Soweto. Photo by Julia Knight
Teachers help critical in stopping cheating
by Ravi Shanmugan
An Eye survey found that 43.2 percent of high school students have copied off the Internet for school work. 31.7 percent of high school students think that half of the school cheats on a regular basis.
English teacher Nanette Ruhter caught a junior throwing a furtive glance at a nearby paper. Those wandering eyes booked that student a date with Deputy Pricipal Doug Neihart. In homebase tomorrow, seventyseven percent of the people you see will have cheated on their homework, and half of your classmates will have let their eyes stray on tests. If it bothers you that your friends cheat, count yourself among half of the student body. “People obviously cheat for better grades,” junior Thomas WhalenBridge said. Honesty may be one of SAS’ cornerstones, but junior Miguel Santos says that this alone will not
deter determined recalcitrants. Both is conducive to cheating. Neihart, Santos and Whalen-Bridge say that however, says that SAS does what it teachers need to be more vigilant in can to limit the problem. their monitoring. “Cheating is ubiquitous; every “Outsiders” author S.E. Hinton educational institution has that coined the phrase “rat race for problem,” he said. “But here at SAS success,” and in the scramble for we try to show students that their good grades actions will have and better consequences.” colleges, He added that “we many students all reap what we are led astray. sow” and students “ T h e who cheat now will people who suffer in college. cheat are Witt thinks that generally the many students are people who oblivious to longjunior Miguel Santos have the most term consequences, pressure to do and the school well,” senior Abhinav Kaul said. needs to talk to teachers about “They’re the ones who are most cheating. Witt claimed that teachers driven to get the grades,” added never catch students cheating. senior Rachel Witt. While Whalen-Bridge says this “The interesting question is not is an exaggeration, he believes that why people cheat but how come “a lot more can be done by teachers” so many get away with it,” Santos to curb cheating. He pointed to the said. example of a teacher who sat at the Kaul believes the school policy back of the classroom to observe his
question is not why people cheat but how come so many get away with it.”
students without them knowing if he was looking at them. Santos said that something as simple as making students leave their bags in the front of the class and allowing students only a pencil case would be an effective deterrent. Neihart added that deterrence on the part of teachers comes down to “proximity [to students] and attention.” Santos thinks that having the school publish a set of guidelines for teachers to follow when giving tests would greatly reduce the problem. “Some teachers might get offended if the ofﬁce were to send them a sheet of guidelines,” said Neihart, adding that he values the “autonomy of each individual teacher.” Ruhter said that she is constantly alert to ensure that students don’t cheat, because it is “unfair” to those who bother to study. If Santos, Whalen-Bridge, and 50 percent of SAS students get their wish, other teachers will be equally vigilant.
HOW THEY CHEAT • Cheat sheets • Looking up information when “go ing to the bathroom” • Passing papers • Looking at other students’ tests • Talking when the teacher leaves the room
HOW TO STOP IT • Students may only have a pencil case with them during tests • Teachers sit at the back of the classroom to observe the students without their knowledge • Have different forms of the test • No bathroom breaks during tests • Immediately fail students caught cheating
Girls vow what happened in Italy, stays in Italy by Megan Anderson They were sworn to secrecy, bound by a scandalous secret. Nothing could be disclosed. They were six female seniors on the Italy interim trip. The six were caught violating curfew regulations on the Italy: Rome and Sorrento Art, Architecture & Culture interim semester trip. The group of 20 SAS students stopped over in the city of Florence and stayed at the Hotel Olympia when six female seniors decided to explore the city after dark. Those suspected did not all sneak out together and came back to the hotel at different times.
Permit # MICA (P) 234/10/2005
English teacher Joe Thomas, one of the trips’ sponsors, was warned that one of the students was missing and checked all the rooms. “Apparently he kept banging on the door until someone woke up,” senior Vanessa Tan said. “The doors were pretty solid so the door was like coming off of its hinges.” Upon return to Singapore the group of girls made a pact not to discuss the happenings on their trip with other students or teachers. They refused to talk about it to their friends. “The Italy girls took an oath to each other not to talk about it or
something,” one friend said. The six seniors received several consequences for their offense. Those people that are involved lose their senior privilege and must write letters of apology to the sponsors and others on the trip, Deputy Principal Doug Neihart said. They have to write a letter to the SAS administration from the parental perspective asking how their daughter could have been abducted and what it means for the parents not to know of their whereabouts. In addition, the students have to log in twenty hours of charitable service. Neihart said consequences
for curfew violations are not written in stone and depend on certain circumstances. “We look at these situations on a case by case basis. We don’t want anybody to think that the consequences this year will be the same in another year,” Neihart said. Incidences like these have changed the opinions of many teachers on interim semester and could have a detrimental effect on the future of interim semester trips. “It could have a ripple effect on the continuation of interim semester,” Neihart said. The concerns regarding
disciplinary some trips lacking education have caused teachers to question some of the trips available to SAS students. “I think we should end the cultural trips that are essentially city tours,” one teacher commented in an Eye interim survey. “We should end all Europe trips. Though seniors feel they are ‘owed’ Europe, that is not why these trips were created. If the students want to go on a senior trip to a city where they drink, party and enjoy the city at their leisure they should set these post-graduation trips up without the need of an adult sponsor/policeman.”
March 22, 2007
Parent donates 3 million for foyer, Memory Garden by Cat Ward A 3 million dollar gift from Stephen Riady will convert the space between the Drama Theater and Auditorium into an airconditioned, enclosed reception area. The generous donation will allow for the construction of a foyer, the renovation of the SAS Memory Garden and a possible revamping of the bridge that connects the Middle School to the foyer. “We want to do something so we can enclose [the area],” Superintendant Bob Gross said. Riady, the parent of junior Brian, Jessica ’06 and Jennifer ’04, was approached by Gross less than two months ago about the donation. “I was approached by Mr. Bob Gross,” Riady said. “He called me then I invited him to my office and that’s where the conversation started.” Riady is a Deputy Chairman of the Lippo Group, a group which son Brian describes as a “family business that started from zero.” Gross described the project that he had in mind to Riady and then Riady came up with the
donation amount. “It was really something that he decided,” Gross said. Riady said that he came up with the figure out of the conversation that he had with Gross and that he has a policy of giving back to society. “We have a policy, a philosophy, that we should contribute back to society so we have been doing that
actively for the past ten years,” Riady said. “We’ve been doing that in the U.S. (in New York), in a university in Hong Kong. Particularly in Indonesia we’ve done quite a bit there. Riady said he had been thinking about doing something for SAS when Gross contacted him. Gross said that he wanted the
foyer to be conducive for use during intermissions from shows. Gross, the Board of Directors, and the architect have just started the project, and are not sure of the final design. “The architect is currently looking at a rendering and what possibilities he sees,” Gross said. While renovations for the foyer include a possible enclosing
Shincee Riady, Jennifer Riady ‘04, Stephen Riady, Jessica Riady ‘06 and junior Brian Riady. Stephen Riady is contributing 3 million dollars to renovate the area around the Drama Theater and Auditorium. Photo courtesy of the Riady family
device in the roof and an airconditioning unit, the Memory Garden project includes a memory wall and a seating area. Gross said that the Memory Garden would be especially for alumni, who could come back and read the history of the Woodlands campus at the site. He hopes that the Memory Garden will be a place where alumni can remember the relationship that they had with the school. As the superintendent, Gross is responsible for approaching people for school donations. “If it appears that their children have had a good experience and they have a kind of reputation of donating to other organization then maybe they’d be interested in donating to SAS,” said Gross. The Memory Garden project might occur as early as this summer and the renovation of the foyer would most likely happen in the summer of 2008. Gross is hopeful that any construction would help to make the area more attractive and more useful. “It’s to make that area just look a bit more special.”
Wireless networks next year may be followed by student laptops by Sam Lloyd When social studies teacher Jason Adkison visits YouTube, it’s not to idly browse the newest featured videos. It’s to grade assignments. Students in his class have had such assignments as ﬁlming, editing, and uploading human rights videos, or collaborating online via “wikis” resembling Wikipedia. If the plans of the new Wireless Steering Committee come to fruition, this kind of in-class work could become more common. A laptop for every SAS student, and a WAP (Wireless Access Point) for every square foot of the library. That’s what the committee, a group of faculty and administrators organized to discuss wireless Internet access in SAS, has been considering. According to committee member and Library Media Specialist John Johnson, they are “90 percent sure” they will implement such a system, with next year designated a pilot year where the committee’s considerations will be tested on a smaller scale. “The library would be wireless, and laptops could be checked out, but not for the whole day,” he said. “We’re pretty sure that’ll happen. We’re also hoping to make the café area (outside the library) and the cafeteria hotspots.” The science and modern language classrooms could become wireless too. Currently the system implemented there is that laptops are taken to classrooms when needed, on a cart with a WAP attached that transmits the wireless Internet.
The Wireless Steering Committee is discussing whether and how to integrate laptop use for every student and widespread wireless Internet access into the high school. Staged photo by Mark Clemens.
Johnson said that, at present, “no decisions have been made.” Member of the committee and social studies teacher Jason Adkison believes that the school cannot resist such change, whatever the shortterm decisions. “That’s the way education is going; we’re tech-savvy,” he said. “Everybody will have to have it. It’s just a matter of time.” “A lot of people are saying we’re missing the boat,” Member and IT Director Ed Gilbreath said of the school’s lack of wireless access. “If we provide [students] with Internet access, a way to collaborate in a team and produce a product, it should be moving them in a direction that will help them in their future,” he said. When several classes without access to the WAP carts need Internet access at the same time, it puts a
strain on space in the computer labs. Yet, Gilbreath said there is not enough space for new labs. He acknowledged that there are complex issues involved in laptop and wireless distribution. Parents are concerned about the weight of laptops added to students’ school bags, Gilbreath said. He said a possible solution to this is using “electronically-based” textbooks, though some parents still prefer real books. “It’s ﬁne the way it is,” Junior Michael Howard said. Laptops “would just be more of a hassle” and although they are “deﬁnitely good for notetaking...they’re just gonna get lost and stolen.” This raises another issue: security, both physical and informational. Laptop theft is already an issue at many American universities. And when New York Times technology
columnist David Pogue set out to test the security of a coffee shop’s wireless network, he found that it was easy for a computer to intercept emails and see what sites another computer using the network was visiting. “None of this took any particular effort, hacker skill or fancy software. Anyone could do it. You could do it,” he concluded. He did note, however, that there are security measures that can impede this. Johnson also noted, “It’s not going to be like Starbucks where you just walk in and get online.” According to Johnson, the committee is still uncertain of whether to supply students with laptops or to require them to purchase one themselves, as the local school Republic Polytechnic has done.
“An advantage [to providing laptops] is that you only have one kind of laptops, but a drawback is that you’d have to make repairs available; you’d have to hire a whole new staff for those hundreds of laptops,” Johnson said. Gilbreath pointed out that some universities have withdrawn laptop requirements because they consider the devices a distraction in class when students engage in instant messaging or browse unrelated websites instead of listening to the instructor. “That’s going to happen unless you’re engaging with the students,” Adkison said, so teachers need to be educated about how to control such situations. “You’ll be able to tell if a kid is playing games in your class.” The school could also ﬁlter out such services and websites, as it does on its current networks. However, the committee is considering doing away with ﬁlters altogether. Johnson cited the labor involved in enforcing the ﬁlter, and said an alternative could be to collect data about, but not limit, students’ Internet use. Other issues include bandwidth and battery limitations, distribution of and types of wireless, and the cost and time associated with implementing the system. Concerning time, Adkison predicted a long transition due to the size of the school and the need to instruct teachers on how to incorporate the technology into their classes. “It’s more of changing the style of teaching, the methodology,” than of changing actual curriculums, he said.
March 22, 2007
Singapore delegates win medals in all categories by Rhoda Severino The 34 delegates waited with tense anticipation as advisor Paula Silverman opened the envelope containing the candidate numbers of the delegates who would go on to the ﬁnals. When Silverman read out the number of the SAS debate B-team, the room erupted in cheers. This happened again and again as ﬁve out of nine forensics contestants qualiﬁed for the ﬁnals and both debate teams reached the semi-ﬁnals in this year’s IASAS Cultural Convention hosted by Jakarta International School. Senior Julia Knight won ﬁrst place in the impromptu category, the event in which contestants must make a speech from a prompt such as “veil” or “The path is the obstacle” with only one minute to prepare. “I did not expect that,” she said. “It was just something I enjoyed doing. I did not expect the gold medal.” Knight also reached the ﬁnals for Original Oratory (OO), where she wrote and delivered a persuasive speech on the pros and cons of celebrity activism. “I was slightly disappointed with not placing but I was happy with my performance,” Knight said. “I thought the competition was very intense. There were some wonderful OO speeches, some of which should have made the ﬁnals.” Senior Simi Oberoi won the silver medal in the OO category for
her speech about rap, ﬁnishing her speech by actually rapping. Though she is happy about her overall performance, Oberoi questions the objectivity of the judges. “I felt conﬁdent but being judged is such a subjective thing and you have to deal with biases from the host school so you can never go in with too many expectations,” she said. Oberoi added that there were candidates who reached the ﬁnals who she thought did not deserve to and others who did not but should have. Senior Abhinav Kaul won the bronze medal in the extemporaneous category for his speech on the war in Iraq. He only had 30 minutes to prepare. “I was pretty happy with how I did,” he said. “I knew I could’ve done better on a couple of speeches but I was pretty happy.” Senior Brittany Balcom also made the extemporaneous ﬁnals and delivered a speech on how to reverse Zimbabwe’s economic slide. Senior Sean McCabe won second place in the oral interpretation (OI) category, dramatically reading an excerpt from the short story “Skin” by Roald Dahl. McCabe also reached the ﬁnals for impromptu. “Gold is always preferable, but I didn’t feel bad for losing to Paul Heath (from the International School of Bangkok) who has been second for
Junior Vysak Venkateswaran and senior Brian Leung debate against the TAS B-team. They won three preliminary rounds and lost two to go on to the semi-ﬁnals. Photo by Jessica Lin
two years. This was his opportunity to get gold, and I’m happy for him,” he said. OI coach John Hurst said he was pleased with his three contestants’ performances and found that this year’s competition was mixed. “There were some very, very good OI’s then there was a group
of really, really poor ones,” he said. “Half really strong competition, half really weak competition.” Both the SAS debate A-team and B-team won bronze medals after they were defeated in the semi-ﬁnals by the International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) debate teams. This year’s debate topic was whether a just government is required to
provide healthcare to its citizens. B-team member senior Brian Leung said that he did not expect to get as far as the semi-ﬁnals. “This is my ﬁrst year and other people make it sound very intimidating but I made it through,” Leung said. “I had no expectations when I went there.”
SAS students participate in Channel News Asia blogging forum by Amanda Tsao A sea of green paddles rose to show agreement. “When we ask you how many of you blog about your teachers, all of you put up the green paddles,” host The Flying Dutchman said during the making of the show’s trailer. However, in the taping session, even students who did not own a blog were made to put up the green side of their paddles. Ten high school students were invited to the discussion on Feb. 1, by Channel News Asia as a part of a series of discussions called BlogTV, a show aimed at throwing light on the subject of teachers and students using blogs. Hosted by local celebrity The Flying Dutchman and news anchor Cheryl Fox, they were joined by about twenty students aged 13-16 from Canberra Secondary School and Amad Ibrahim Secondary School. The show aired Feb. 8, on Channel News Asia. Students and teachers who were present expressed opinions on the topic of students blogging about teachers, and teachers about students. A webpage that promoted the show said the panel would address the topic of “should students be allowed to blog about their teachers? Should teachers be allowed to blog about their students? How does blogging enhance teacher-student relationships?” Each participant was given a paddle with a green side and
a red side to agree or disagree. Occasionally the hosts questioned the audience, picking a few audience members to explain why they disagreed or agreed. Among the myriad of concerns brought up was
A book about how the blogosphere is revolutionizing how we communicate and write in the world today. Photo from amazon.com
the question of whether students had blogged about their teachers knowing that the teachers could not respond in a similar form. Senior Azhani Amiruddin said that she had blogged about a teacher in the past because she was emotionally hurt by him. “It’s not to show that I’m popular but it’s just that I had a lot of support,” Amiruddin said, “I tried to
get back at that teacher in a way, but he couldn’t really do anything about it. Once I posted on the blog what he had done to me, I knew that the students would support me.” Recently on an online discussion group, SAS alumni commented on former teachers. As the administration has no authority over them, it would be difﬁcult to close the group down. Upon the discovery of the site, one concerned SAS high school student complained at the site’s administrators, but no action was taken. “They said they would get back [to me] in 48 hours but they never did,” the student said, “I didn’t write to the people actually involved in the group. They might just think I’m in high school and that it’s ridiculous.” At the BlogTV discussion some teachers said they had blogs but none said that they had written about their students. “Most teachers who blog have opted to do so underground — refusing to cite their names, workplaces or other identifying details — to avoid potential professional pitfalls,” Jennifer Radcliffe wrote in a Houston Chronicle newspaper issue last January. She referred to “Mike from Texas,” a teacher with a blogspot account, who does not write about his students, but is open about his opinions on faculty. “We have a VERY young teacher on our campus, to me she looks like she’s about 15,” Mike writes on,
“Needless to say she is in her ﬁrst year of teaching and a little on the, well let’s just say, different side. On Valentine’s Day she wore an absolutely hideous outﬁt. Imagine somewhere out there a bridezilla who wanted to get married on Valentine’s Day and wanted to make SURE the bridesmaids were not prettier than her. THAT’s the dress she was wearing.” Another blogger, “Ms. H,” does not give the actual names of her students but uses nicknames when writing about them. “I have a brilliant kid, Chatterbox, who CAN NOT SHUT UP. He is constantly talking to someone. And yes, I’ve moved him. But, each time, he MAKES NEW FRIENDS. And, given that my room is roughly the size of a soup can...I’m out of options. He’s always got a reason why he needs to be talking. I can’t seem to get him to realize that I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU WERE ‘JUST’ DOING. I don’t care if you were discussing my nomination for Teacher of the Century. When I start to speak, SHUT UP.” Math teacher Siva Ganesh from Canberra Secondary School said that some of his students visited his site and even left comments. He once received personal attacks through his site. The student was found, his parents were called in, and the student was punished accordingly. The hosts of the BlogTV discussion, Cheryl Fox and the Flying Dutchman, told an anecdote
about a student who was expelled for blogging about another student. They then asked the panel of teachers whether the school’s decision was right or not. SAS math teacher Edwin Bywater said he disagreed with the school’s decision. “The school wasn’t right. Getting expelled...that’s huge. [Singapore American School] doesn’t have any guidelines at all. [There was] no right to expel a student for that,” Bywater said. Earlier this year an SAS student was suspended for offensive comments on another student’s blog. However, no students have been expelled for offensive blogging. Some SAS student panelists present at the discussion questioned the journalistic integrity of the Channel News Asia team. Most with when the team was ﬁlming the trailer for the show. Students were made to put up green paddles representing their agreement even if they were opposed. Junior Belal Hakim, a student who did not own a blog, felt that he should not have been forced to give false opinion. “I felt the show was not presented in a professional way at all. It was more about the teachers versus the students [aspect of the show,]” Hakim said. Further discussions on the subject can be found on the website: www. blogtv.com .sg.
March 22, 2007
Middle schoolers make tobacco pledge with shoes
by Amber Bang
Photo by Mark Clemens
At the bell signaling the end of the school day, a senior male joins other SAS students to go for a smoke off campus. After they have ﬁnished, they remove the school shirts that have absorbed the smoke, wearing a shirt underneath for when they go home to see their parents. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 1.3 billion people worldwide smoke cigarettes or other tobacco-related products. Though the number of tobacco users has decreased in developed countries, it remains a signiﬁcant problem in developing countries. Globally, of the people who smoke, 84 percent live in developing and ‘transitional economy’ countries. Cigarettes continue to sell, though the cost of one pack of Marlboro Red cigarettes would buy a poor family six kilograms of rice in Bangladesh. An international Kick Butts Day created by the Campaign for Tobacco Free Youth, takes place on March 28. Because this is over spring break, Kick Butts Day activities took place over the week of March 12-16 to make students aware of the tobacco problem around the world, as well as the danger of it in students’ daily
lives. Activities in the middle school included demonstrations showing the effects of smoking on lungs, as well as a wall of pledges made by eighth graders who promised not to smoke. Project 1200 involves the display of donated shoes hanging in the hallway leading to the h igh school drama room. These 600 pairs of shoes represent the 1200 smokingrelated deaths within the U.S. per day. At the high school, Freedom from Chemical Dependency (FCD), a nonproﬁt organization that provides substance education and prevention programs for schools in the U.S. and abroad, visited from March 1215, talking to students about drug, alcohol, and tobacco problems. “Kids are being targeted and marketed by cigarette companies already,” Alex of FCD said. “Diseases are so far away for kids. [We] tell them smoking decreases lung capacity for students who are athletes.” According to FCD, tobacco is directly responsible for over 435,000 deaths per year in the U.S., more than alcohol, car accidents, AIDS,
suicide, homicide, ﬁres, cocaine/ crack and heroin combined. An FCD brochure said that 59 percent of surveyed tobacco-related advertising executives believed that a goal of tobacco advertising is to inﬂuence teens who do not already smoke. Teenagers often say they are not addicted to cigarette smoking, and that they can stop anytime they want. Alex said that while smoking may not become a problem immediately, it becomes part of a person’s life. “Addiction can happen pretty quickly, but there’s a difference between psychological and physical addiction. If someone only smokes when they drink, then it becomes a habit to do one with the other [for the rest of their lives].” An Eye survey determined that approximately 19 percent of SAS high school students use tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, shisha, bidis, pipe tobacco and chewing tobacco. The majority who do use tobacco attribute their use to social situations and stress. “I smoke because I can’t sleep if I don’t,” a junior male said. Other students described
smoking as an enjoyable rather than a necessary activity for them. “I smoke because I like the feeling of blowing smoke out of my mouth and the buzz and the taste,” another junior male said. Some high school students said that they only smoke when they are drinking. “I smoke when I’m drunk,” a senior male said. The majority of those in the survey who said they smoke started at the age of 14 to 16. One senior male shared his experience of how he started smoking in the 9th grade. “Because I’m Muslim, I didn’t drink, so I decided to smoke at parties.” A junior female said she started smoking because of peer pressure as everyone around her smoked, and that she now continues because it has become a source of comfort for her. One junior female began smoking by herself at the end of 7th grade. “I think it was partially my dad’s inﬂuence, because he was a smoker,” she said. “I watched him smoke. He quit when he found out that I smoked. But it’s a mental habit. I have one ﬁrst thing in the morning, after school – whenever I get the chance. I’ve never tried to quit.” Alex agreed that there is a much higher risk of a teenager smoking if parents or older siblings smoke. “They’re role models,” he said According to the survey the most popular form of tobacco use is shisha. Shisha is ﬂavored tobacco smoked through a hookah, and is very popular with teenagers in Singapore. Some students believe that smoking shisha is better than smoking cigarettes because the hookah ﬁlters the tobacco through water ﬁrst and then through a long pipe. “I think shisha’s a lot cleaner and nicer, and shisha is a much better alternative to smoking,” a junior
male said. “Smoking [cigarettes] is disgusting.” Shisha has become viewed as so separate from activities that involve alcohol or cigarettes that one senior male does not smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol, but smokes shisha. “I think that shisha, while it’s bad for you, is not as bad as smoking cigarettes because you don’t do it as much as cigarettes,” the senior male said. “I don’t drink or smoke because I don’t want to die.” According to a WHO advisory, a one-hour session of smoking shisha exposes the user to 100-200 times the volume of smoke inhaled from a single cigarette. “My mom smokes, so she can’t smell it on me when I go home after smoking or when I’m smoking at home,” a junior female said. A sophomore female said she smokes out her bathroom window after her parents have gone to sleep. Some parents do know about their child’s smoking, and either do not care or have given up trying to make them quit. “My parents know I smoke. I’ve smoked with [my dad] once,” a senior male said. “My mom started crying when she found out that I smoke. They think I have like, three cigarettes a day, but I actually smoke a pack a day.” Many students at SAS have attempted to quit at least once. Others say they plan to quit in the future. “I plan to quit before I get to college,” said a junior male who currently smokes a pack of cigarettes a day. Despite plans, however, statistics seem to stand against them. “It takes an average of ﬁve to eight times for adults to quit forever,” Alex said. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states that more than 90 percent of smokers start before they are 18.
Freshmen, Peer Supporters learn how to be drug-free
by Nicole Schmitz “One time,” a confession on a torn slip of paper began, “I sneaked into a nightclub with my friends. One of them got high and a little overdosed. Her eyes turned white and she started to shake her head crazily. Someone called the ambulance and she got kicked out of the country.” Another one read: “I witnessed my friend peeing in the middle of the road while she was under the inﬂuence.” The ﬁrst “confession” is false and the second one is true. These are sample scenarios by some of the incoming freshmen. On four days of the week of March 12 – 16, members of Freedom from Chemical Dependency (FCD), a nonproﬁt substance abuse prevention organization, spoke to students at SAS, concentrating on mandatory classes for freshmen and information sessions for Peer Supporters. With the mission of raising awareness and educating students on addiction and chemical dependency, the FCD speakers, who
are all former addicts in long-term recovery, share their personal stories with addiction to connect with their audience. Former drug addict Diane Wilson spoke to the students. A druggie at 15 and sober at 30, Wilson wants to prevent students from going down the same path. She cautioned students on psychological addictions and said that the drive to smoke still haunts her. “Marijuana was much more readily available in California where I was growing up,” explained Wilson. “People are especially vulnerable at a young age.” It is Connie Kim’s ﬁrst year as a FCD educator. A recovering heroin addict, she and other speakers talk about what substance abuse and addiction was like, [and] their experience as addicts. “We keep it simple, but graphic too,” Kim said. “There’s something really powerful about a personal narrative.” “Hopefully, they can connect with us,” Wilson said. Wilson ran the four-day program
that taught how drugs affect relationships with school, family, friends and society. Students were also taught the physiological facts of addiction, how to get a “natural high” through activities such as sports, and how to handle mixed messages the from media. They also learned the difference between “helping” and “enabling” addicted friends. Guidance counselor Beth Kramer was in charge of getting the FCD to hold workshops at SAS. “‘Enabling’ is cleaning up your friend’s vomit,” Kramer said. The four-day workshop was compressed into two days. Ninth graders played “Truth or Dare: Eyewitness” where students anonymously submit accounts of alcohol and other drugs. The class has to decide if the situation is true or not. “Kids are unusually shy, especially around us. They think they’ll get in trouble,” Wilson said. “It gives us an idea what kids have witnessed anonymously and gives open discussion on a subject. It
gives people a voice.” At the end of the course, the students submitted anonymous evaluations. “Most found it useful,” Wilson said. “They feel it’s going to help in the future.” Kramer hopes that FCD will return to SAS and work with the seniors. “Kids get comfortable here, but when they get to college, they might feel as if they have to ‘prove’ themselves,” Kramer said. “There will suddenly be drugs far more available and a new set of decisions.” Junior Jack Pitﬁeld, a Peer Supporter, went to one of the after school lectures. “It was beneﬁcial,” he said. “I was disappointed that we didn’t get enough time to talk to them. Thirty minutes wasn’t enough.” He said that they were easy to contact and talk to and were available after school as well. “I was surprised by some of the facts. With a drug addiction, you can stop cold turkey, but with
alcohol, if you stop cold turkey, there’s a good chance that you’ll die,” Pitﬁeld said. SAS parent Mary Gruman was instrumental in bringing FCD to SAS. She asked parents what the main issues facing teens were and they decided that it was alcohol. “They left the ﬂoor open,” Pitﬁeld said. “They were able to shift the focus from hard drugs to drinking and smoking, which is more relevant in this school.” Some remain skeptical. Senior Azhani Amiruddin is a Peer Supporter who did not attend the workshops. “A few words won’t stop anyone,” Amiruddin said.
To cheat or to learn?
A major literary analysis paper is returned to two English students who wrote on the same topic. One received an A+, the other a lower grade. The student with the lower grade was curious why she did not receive a similarly high mark for what she thought was quality work. She asked the teacher if she could read the other students’ paper. She could tell that passages had been taken verbatim from the Sparknotes website. It happens too often: the student who plagiarizes outﬂanks the student who spends hours preparing. According to a February Eye survey on cheating, 11.6 percent more seniors than freshman believe that it’s okay to cheat. As students move up grade-by-grade in high school they are more likely to believe that it is acceptable to cheat. According to the same survey, the older the student, the more likely he or she is to cheat and the less likely he or she is to feel guilty about it. Overall, 77.2 percent of students say they have cheated on homework. In a previous Eye article about cheating, anxiety about getting good grades and getting into college were cited as reasons for the high incidence of cheating. Here are two more reasons: institutional attitude and teacher’s ineptitude at handling cheating. “The school philosophy is just wrong,” senior Abhinav Kaul said. “It’s conducive to cheating.” This institution, including the counseling ofﬁce, pressures students to take AP classes, not because of a students’ genuine interest in the subject, but because they believe that colleges value the label of an AP class more than the learning which occurs in nonhonors courses. Another aspect of the school attitude is the belief that getting bad grades will ultimately mean lifelong failure. Because of this, instead of going to a teacher for help, preparing with a friend, or making work schedules to avoid procrastination, students resort to cheating. The desire to get good grades has trumped the desire to learn. While the school attitude provides the mind-set which permits students to cheat, the inability of some teachers to police cheating provides students with the opportunity to cheat, and to be rewarded for it.
“The school needs to really talk to teachers about cheating. I don’t think teachers know how to handle cheating,” senior Rachel Witt said. “Teachers don’t catch students cheating. Ever.” While some students are caught by attentive teachers, the great majority of those who cheat are not held responsible for their actions. The result is an immediate negative impact on all honest classmates. Witt said that one teacher’s response to ﬁnding cheating in her classroom was to make the tests harder. “It’s kind of backwards logic, because then you can’t really study for it. Then the people who cheat get the good grade [and those who study don’t],” Witt said. Witt believes that teachers and the administration should be more focused on cheating. The Honor Code Committee was a step, and the letter they are addressing to teachers at the end of the year with tips for catching and dealing with cheating is another step. However, it is essential that teachers and the administration start working together to handle cheating right now. There are teachers who can handle cheating. Psychology teacher Dr. Dale Smith has his students turn 180 degrees with their backs to him during tests. This makes it easier for him to spot cheating. One student said that math and science teacher Brian Donalson “just knows” when people cheat. While teachers may believe that students are honest, or at least that some students are, it might just be in the greater interest of everybody if teachers assumed that all students are dishonest. Simple things like exchanging quizzes before grading them, making sure each student has returned a quiz before going over it in class and having students put all electronic papers through turnitin. com to eliminate the possibility of plagiarism will make a difference. If the administration believes that the incidence of cheating at SAS is too high, then they should meet with teachers and discuss with them how to catch cheaters, how to make it harder for them to cheat, and how to penalize them. A universally enforced policy on cheating is the only solution. Right now, students believe that the beneﬁts of cheating outweigh the costs.
March 22, 2007
op / ed 5
NS duty kills creativity
The supremacy of country over words, young men fall in step and self is drummed into every child march to music. Pristinely clad from the moment he starts school, ofﬁcers direct them hither and the old lie over and over till it thither, breaking any rebellious becomes an unquestionable truth. spirit and rewarding conformity. Which child can fail to be inspired “Two pages torn out of the by spotless uniformed bands, climax of a novel.” That is what marching in step to martial music? one Russian novelist likened time That picture of dedicated efﬁciency spent in the army to. NS is served is all he is privy to. He does not see by 18 year-old teenagers. Just the driving rain lashing unprotected when they are rebelling against the faces, the strict discipline, the establishment, they are put in the burning sun boring down on lightly most hierarchical clad backs, or the and regimented of hours it takes to polish institutions; they are gleaming bayonets. made to conform “Dulce et decorum just when they want est pro patria mori.” to break free. It is a sweet and Henry James seemly thing to die for described it as a one’s country. These second youth, but patriotic words adorn instead of traipsing the cofﬁn of every around Florence or soldier butchered in seeing Versailles, his country’s defense. for two years these Every country has young men become times when it requires Ravi Shanmugam soldiers. They go its citizens to take up where they are the mantle and raise told, be it Taiwan, arms in its defense. It would be Thailand or the Australian desert, expedient if that citizenry, which to become cogs in a well-oiled forms the army, is trained. war machine. They cease, in their For countries that cannot 18th year, to be individuals and maintain a large standing army, become a unit. It is a travesty to like Singapore, Israel, and South inhibit the idealistic sentiments and Korea, compulsory national service revolutionary passion of 18 year(NS) ﬁlls that void. More than olds. Having left school behind, 10 percent of SAS students will these teenagers should be able to have to serve NS. For two years, give vent to such inclinations. largely unwilling Singaporeans “It is sweet to serve one’s and Koreans slog through muddy country by deeds,” the philosopher ﬁelds, ﬁghting of ticks, lice, and Sallust said. Junior Thomas Whalenbedbugs in preparation to ﬁght a Bridge disagrees. He said he would future foe. Heavy bags and heavier feel “angry” if America had an NS riﬂes are borne aloft in the name of requirement. Many teenagers share patriotism, as every step, a renewed Whalen-Bridge’s opinion. If George effort, brings the individual closer W. Bush were to force every 18 to a ﬁghting machine. year-old American into the army, As politicians spew out patriotic he would be committing political
TSAOISM By Amanda Tsao
Editors-in-chief: Denise Hotta-Moung, Cat Ward News editor: Sam Lloyd, Rhoda Severino Op/Ed editor: Amanda Tsao, Vicky Cheng Features editor: Jeff Hamilton, Nicole Schmitz Eye In Focus editor: Katrina DeVaney A&E editor: Arunima Kochhar, Kathy Bordwell Sports editor: Barbara Lodwick, Megan Anderson
suicide, and the same goes for Jacques Chirac of France, Angela Merkel of Germany, and almost every major world leader. Korean sophomore In Woo Jung said he could see the “need for NS.” However, Jung admitted that if it were not compulsory, he “would not go.” Senior Jaidev Subaiah, who will serve NS in Singapore, said he has “no qualms about going into NS.” Subaiah said that Singapore has given him a “good life” and that he has no problem with giving two years to the county. He expressed the view that NS “disciplines young men,” which he claimed stands them in good stead. The point here, however, is that young men of 18 should not be so disciplined. They should be allowed to follow their passion, to become idealistic individuals. They should be allowed to follow the Marius Pontmercys and Hyacinth Robinsons of this world. They should be given the chance to become revolutionaries, to join student movements and enjoy the last of their teenage years. In the long term, changing the enlistment age would beneﬁt the country. NS, by stiﬂing individuality, stiﬂes creativity. A robotic citizenry is hardly ideal. A country may be able to justify calling on its citizens in a time of need, but to force blossoming youth to sacriﬁce individuality is a crime. Cynical old men would be better recruits. Or even if the country says it needs young men, allowing them to serve after university would not hurt the country. The age at which people are drafted only creates resentment and detracts from the legitimacy of what may well be a necessary evil.
I Know What You Did Last Interim
Reporters: Megan Anderson, Alex Boothe, Kathy Bordwell,Vicky Cheng, Katrina DeVaney, Rohin Dewan, Jeff Hamilton, Denise Hotta-Moung, Arunima Kochhar, Michelle Lee, Sam Lloyd, Barbara Lodwick, Nicole Schmitz, Rhoda Severino, Ravi Shanmugam, Amanda Tsao, Cat Ward Adviser: Mark Clemens Asst. advisers: Judy Agusti and Sridevi Lakshmanan
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 email@example.com. At the authorʼs 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.
in focus 6 eye features
by Katrina DeVany A week after interim, sophomore Ali Schuster created a group on the popular social networking site Facebook, called “I miss Interim.” The group now has 174 members. Good news to all that have ever doubted the popularity of interim. Sixty percent of SAS students interviewed in a recent Eye survey said they “loved their interim,” and 25 percent said they “liked their interim.” “Before this year I hadn’t realized how important interim really was. It was a fun trip. Period,” a student on the Bhutan interim said. “But somewhere along the trip I realized that the experiences we have…really do give us things most of the rest of the world don’t get.” Students were generous when they rated their interims on the Eye survey. Most students responded that they liked or loved their interim. In the Eye survey results and followup interviews, a few interims got less enthusiastic ratings. These interims were Malaysia: Scuba Diving Around Pulau Tiga, Greece: The Greek Odyssey and Philippines: Habitat for Humanity. Some students complained that they had not gotten their money’s worth on the trip, or that they had too many assignments. Students on the Pulau Tiga trip said that they were assigned a four-paragraph essay for behavior a sponsor called “cruel”. Students on the Habitat for Humanity interim in Philippines said they felt that their community service work was too impersonal. “ We never got to see the people who we were helping,” junior Vysak Venkateswaran said. The in-Singapore photography course was the least liked interim of all. The majority of students said they “disliked their interim.” This was a double whammy for students, most of whom chose their course because the other options were prohibitively
March 22, 2007
the challenges faced the price paid
expensive. None of the students who responded in the survey said
I realized that the experiences we have...really do give us things most of the rest of the world don’t get.
- Survey response
they believed that the cost of this interim was reasonable. “I found the course…was badly planned and poorly handled,” one respondent said. “We didn’t go to all of the very few places we had been planning on going to, and that was disappointing. On top of that, the money we paid for the course was totally unreasonable for the activities we actually did, as well as for the under-qualiﬁed instructor from out of school who didn’t do much more than run a few PowerPoints.” Students were displeased with the timing of the Wednesday Parent Night. “Friday, please. I was actually absent the day after cause I was just dead,” senior Miguel Meñez said. Students on the Taiwan interim were not required to attend Parent Night. “I think students have enough to do,” sponsor Ellen White said. “They have classes the next day. It gave us a chance as adults to talk about the trip.” Bad scheduling aside, interviewed students all responded positively to the idea of Parent Night. “I think parents really like to see what we did,” Meñez said. “Sometimes we don’t tell these things to our parents.” In a teacher survey for the Eye, teachers complained of students getting sick after interim. “I still doubt the beneﬁt of our interim when you weigh the costs of the effects on the classroom
performance (so many students sick afterwards),” teacher Cam McNicol wrote. McNicol thinks that community service-based trips are more worthwhile. According to the high school ofﬁce, 55 students were absent on Feb. 21, the ﬁrst school day after interim. This number is much greater than the usual 20 or so students who are absent. “ [I think students get sick] because of the tight schedule of interim. Students don’t have enough sleep because they stay up with their friends at night,” senior Audrey Akman said. A problem, especially for the Asian trips, was acclimatizing to the different cultural environments. On trips to India, Vietnam and Turkey, students reported being hassled by local vendors to buy goods. Teacher Beth Kramer, who was on the Rajasthan Discovery interim, said that students should make their choices based more on what interim suits them, not on trying to accompany friends. “A student who can’t handle the standards of hygiene in a less developed country shouldn’t sign up for an India trip,” she wrote. “It can be embarrassing for SAS and fellow travelers if a student ‘looses it’ in a public area because conditions aren’t what she or he is accustomed to.” Cultural trips drew criticism from both teachers and students. Social studies teacher Eric Burnett, who was on the new Vietnam interim after the cancellation of the original Sri Lankan trip, wrote that these trips were “essentially city tours” which contributed to “alcohol/curfew abuse,” and did not offer a better experience that a student would receive from going on a trip with their family or in a group of friends. “First, due to the large size of the group, each student’s appreciation of the piece of architecture, art, object is based on the needs and knowledge of the group,” Burnett wrote. “If you go to the Louvre, you should be able to stay 10 minutes or 4 hours based on your individual preference. Second, students consistently compare these trips -accommodations, activities, meals - to the travel they would do with their family.” Students complained about
e x c e s s i v e transportation t i m e , specifically long bus rides, on cultural trips. Many students said that their interim was too ‘touristy,’ and while they saw many famous
sites, they did not absorb enough local ﬂavor. “I don’t know how to explain it... it’s kind of like, if our school’s interim semester was a show on Discovery Travel and Living, it’d be the boring one that no one watches because it just hits the main spots of each country/city,” a student on the Spanish immersion interim wrote. “The people on our trip were enthusiastic and
outgoing enough that we got to meet and hang out with locals. I know some trips are just a bunch of white-washed kids who only eat McDonald’s and spaghetti. I want to punch those kids in the face. It defeats the purpose of interim semester.”
March 22, 2007
features eye in focus 7
Interim lessons that last a lifetime by Vicky Cheng Senior Casey DeFord stood in the middle of the Himalayas. She was freezing and wet, but, curiously, at that moment, she thought of a little country called Singapore. The Interim Semester program meant different things to everyone. For DeFord, it was chance to go trekking in Tibet, an opportunity she would have never been able to seize had it not been for Interim
Semester. Many thought it was strange since she was the only senior o n a predominantly juniorﬁlled trip when she had sixth choice out of the entire school. “Part of the reason of Interim is to
meet different people. I didn’t know 18 people on my trip when we began, but it was basically a spurof-the-moment decision,” DeFord said. “All I knew was that I just know I did not want to go to Europe and sightsee, especially after having gone to Soweto,” On the contrary, for senior Caitlin Hale, it was the last year- her golden year- to ﬁnally be able to travel on a Europe trip. While she did explain that she thinks it is the company that makes a trip good and not the location, she did not consider any place other than Europe. “Well, [the seniors] have waited like, three years to go on a trip to Europe. I love winter, cold weather and the snow, and Greece was the only Europe trip still available at my pick,” Hale said. “But I did know basically all t h e people on my trip. If I knew all my friends were going, say, kayaking in Thailand as seniors, I’d pick that trip rather than doing something like skiing in Switzerland but by myself.” “[Tibet and Soweto] were two completely different experiences, but they both impacted me in incredible ways. Soweto was just…heartwarming. And it made me want to become a teacher teacher,” DeFord said. “[Tibet] pushed me outside my comfort zone, but the timing was great, since it’s right before college and I’ve showed
myself that I can survive and adapt in an alien environment.” DeFord has never let anyone sway her decision on what Interim to choose. “Every year I have gone where I really want to go,” DeFord said. “Whether or not I go with friends, I still have an amazing time and meet a lot of people.” For junior Siddhartha Chattopadhyay, this year’s Interim Semester was not a time he spent making friends or learning about himself; rather, it was a week of reinforcement spent in Study Hall, a consequence resulting from his previous year’s breach of Interim conduct. “[The breach of conduct] deﬁnitely wasn’t worth it,” Chattopadhyay said. “Study hall was like a prison if you didn’t work.” Junior Rachel Liou was learning completely different things on the interim trip she had chosen, surﬁng in Australia. Liou acknowledged that it was a ridiculed trip, but defended the itinerary. “It taught me to be really independent. Like…I learned how to live with girls my age, and it was amazing knowing that I could survive without my mom or my maid,” Liou said. “It’s more of a living experience than it is anything else. It’s not something you can learn in the books. I can’t cook or do laundry, but I made the beds!” Meaningless or meaningful, snow or sand, skiing or serviceInterim Semester will remain etched in their memories forever.
Future of interim considered by committee by Arunima Kochhar With Interim Semester going towards being only a “vacation for rich kids,” an Interim advisory committee has started to talk about returning to only Asian trips among other changes. Each year, over 50 different Interim Semester choices and an ever growing 1000 students in our high school, has brought on many complications since Interim began over 20 years ago. Deputy Principal Doug Neihart created a committee of ﬁve teachers to evaluate this years Interim and consider changes to the program. “[The committee] and I discuss small things that can improve Interim as a whole,” Neihart says. “Topics ranging from how we pick interim to speciﬁc trips are discussed.” Parent night in particular was an
issue this year. “Over 200 parents were crowding in at the same time to get into school,” Neihart said. “There was a huge trafﬁc jam that we just can’t have in future years.” The committee solicits suggestions from faculty members and bring them up at meetings. Proposals include bringing Interim Semester back to its roots as an exploration of asia have also been brought up. Theater technician Paul Koebnick said that this change could be because of the steadily increasing cost of trips. “We take over 200 kids to Europe each year,” Koebnick said. “With the increasing population of our school and the price to ﬂy, this just doesn’t seem as easy anymore.”
Originally, Interim Semester began as a way to educate a largely western student population in Asian culture. Interim used to be a way in which the SAS community could give back to South East Asia through purely service based trips. As the population of students grew the trips began to expand to Australia and New Zealand and ﬁnally up towards Europe. Junior Justin Hill said that it bringing Interim back to purely Asia would be limiting. “Those of us that get a chance to visit Asia during holidays would be given the choice to revisit something we’ve already seen or, redo something we’ve already done,” said Hill. There are also proposals on a change in the way each trip is
picked. However, students have complained that there has been foul play in picking out of a hat. A senior who wished to remain annoymous said that students would pick a number out of the hat and exchange it for a lower number. “I saw this boy get the number 49,” she said. “So he put it in his pocket and grabbed another one which was 23.” Problems such as these are discussed and sorted out in the advisary committee that meets every few months. “We get to together to discuss these issues,” Neihart said. “But in the end, the ﬁnal decision is up to Mr. Norcott and myself so that we can make Interim run even smoother in upcoming years.”
Survey Results om results fr d e r T h e a s c ti statis create following y 26, 2007 survey d 205 r a a u r chers n a the Feb te 0 3 Eye.” by “The esponded r students
51% of students believe that the cost of interim is reasonable.
97% of teachers said they did not assign homework over interim.
73% of interims were paid for by parents.
64% of students
believe that they got their their money’s worth.
58% of students
said they were assigned homework over interim.
67% of teachers
loved their interim.
March 22, 2007
Communication key in parent-child relationship by Denise HottaMoung They circle their child’s life like hawks, scrutinizing every decision and move. They are what Susan Coll, in her article “Spiraling Out of Control” calls the “helicopter parents,” the group of overbearing, micromanaging, parents. Stories of the dad who grounded his kid for getting an A -, or the mom who prepared her child for the SAT in 7th grade are frequent. On the other end, there are parents who party with their children and parents who are unable to live in the same country as their kids. “ T h e r e ’s some of everything,” high school counselor Dale Ford said. “We have 1100 students and over 2000 parents. You
can’t paint all the parents with the she wants to kill me,” she said with “I think if I was scared of same brush.” a laugh. “But we get along great, we disappointing my dad, if I had High school counselor Dawn communicate well.” respect for him I probably would not Betts has had experience with many Xenia said that her mother still rebel as much,” a senior girl said. different types of parents. gives her boundaries. Betts said rebellious acts such as “There’s everything from parents “She doesn’t hit that point of drinking were important to discuss emailing with exclamation marks, being too lenient, too much of a ‘cool with children. you know saying “Urgent!” Parents mom.’ My mom still disciplines me,” “Freedom from Chemical who email on a regular basis,” she she said. Dependency was saying that we said. “On the other end are parents Betts agreed that having should have conversations about that don’t live here. Or, you alcohol,” Betts said. “The know, dad is traveling and key word is conversation. mom travels too.” It’s not lectures, it’s more Senior Paul Charbonnet’s ‘let’s talk about how much father has lived in Hong Kong is too much, instead of the for the past year because his lectures.’” term in Singapore ended at the Bill Cain, junior U.S. embassy. Amanda Cain’s father, said “We’ve always been really that because drinking is so close, but I still talk to him on common, it is difﬁcult to Skype every Sunday or so,” he completely prevent it. said. “It’s deﬁnitely brought “We talk more about me closer to my mom though. caution when drinking,” She needs to rely on me to be Junior Amanda Cain with her father Bill at the Art Show Mar 17. “Our he said. “You can’t stop relationship is built with mutual trust and communication,” Bill said. the man of the house now.” what goes on, but we do A senior girl, who wishes talk about it. We talk openly and try to remain anonymous, said that boundaries was necessary for a to guide her the best way possible.” her dad’s traveling affects her parent to have but that you needed to Xenia calls her mother a relationship with him. adjust your parenting style for each “relatively young parent” but says “When we go to dinner together, individual. their good relationship has little it’s like silence,” she said. “We don’t “The biggest key is to understand to do with age but more about her really have much to talk about.” your child and ﬁgure out what the mom’s personality. Senior Xenia Stafford shares a right balance is,” she said. Betts agreed. friendship with her mother, Sharlyn “If you’re too hard, they’ll “It doesn’t really have to do Stafford. always go behind your back. They anything with age, but more about “It’s like I share a house, like may rebel when they leave home,” communication and the relationship she’s a roommate,” she said. Sharlyn said. “But then at the same that you have,” Betts said. Sharlyn said that their time, a child might feel unloved if For some senior students, dealing good relationship is due to they don’t have any boundaries.” with parents during the college communication. The anonymous senior girl said process can be difﬁcult. “We have our moments; you that if her relationship was better “It can be due to the whole know ‘I want to kill her’ as I’m sure with her dad, she might rebel less. empty nest syndrome, it’s not all
catastrophic,” Ford said. “There may be some cultural inﬂuences where parents might see the name of the university as a reﬂection of their parenting ability.” Senior Valerie Mahillon said she is “really close” to her mother who she describes as “really protective.” “[My mother] wanted to get a house in Boston right across from my college,” Mahillon said. “But my dad said ‘you have to let her go.’” Other parents give their children independence when it comes to college applications. “I just left [Xenia] to it,” Sharlyn said. “She bought all the books, she did all the research, she knows what she wants to do.” “My mom says I could be a toilet cleaner,” Xenia said. “As long as you love what you do, then you should do it.”
Guggisberg boys: just your average father and son by Cat Ward Normally students do not hear their parents names mentioned in conversation at school. Normally students do not see their parents often in the hallways of SAS. Normally school is a place where parents and their children do not talk everyday. But none of these are true if your parent works at SAS. Teenagers and their parents usually have a hard enough time keeping their relationship healthy. Imagine the extra quirks attending the same school that one or both of your parents work at would add to the relationship and what, if any, stress it might add. A look at the relationship between English teacher Mark Guggisberg and his sophomore son Wyatt shows that despite certain oddities and awkward moments, students with teacher parents can manage to have normal relationships with their parents. Their relationship even shows how being a teacher and having a teenage son or daughter can beneﬁt their teaching. Wyatt said that sometimes he gets help from Guggisberg for English, but that “on other classes I’m pretty much by myself.” “I read his papers,” Guggisberg said. “I guess we discuss his readings and history, [especially] if it’s something we read or just discussed in my class.”
Guggisberg This situation said that their differs greatly relationship was from when honest and open. Guggisberg was “We talk about in high school. everything,” he “ [ I n said. “[Wyatt’s] highschool] reluctant to talk I didn’t do about girls with homework,” me, but we talk Guggisberg said. about sports.. “My friends school especially.. might’ve. I didn’t It’s a better do it. I went relationship that to school and I had with my worked.” dad. We talk more English teacher Mark Guggisberg eats out of his son Wyatt’s lunch container. Afterwards, A n o t h e r honestly with each Wyatt jokingly tells his father that he now needs more money for food as Guggisberg took oddity presented other than I ever some of his lunch. Photo by Cat Ward by having a did with my dad.” teacher as a parent it is not that people are slandering One of the peculiarities of such his dad, but that they are just saying is Guggisberg’s inability to confront a relationship is the position that his name: Mr. Guggisberg, and not teachers like other parents can. Guggisberg believes it puts Wyatt ‘Wyatt’s dad.’ “When we talk about teachers I in. Wyatt said that while he and his don’t have the luxury of going to a “It’s a bad position because I’m dad get into arguments now and teacher and complaining on behalf of sure I’ve pissed off a lot of students,” then, they always get solved. my son because of professionalism,” Guggisberg said. “Some students One plus that Guggisberg has Guggisberg said. “If I was a non[might go up to him and say] ‘God, received from having a son in the teacher I’d have no problem going your dad’s such as as*****,’ so I high school is his newly attained in to talk to them about something don’t know how he feels. It’s a bad knowledge concerning homework. that was unfair.” position to be put in.” Another aspect of their “I’ve deﬁnitely been made more Wyatt described such situations cognoscente of the workloads of relationship which Guggisberg as awkward, but not because fellow kids,” he added. “And I’ve toned it may think about more than the students insult his father in front of down considerably. I’m choosing average parent is how to avoid the him. Wyatt said that his friends just my homework more carefully.” embarrassment of his child, a feat say that his dad’s class is hard. “[Wyatt] works anywhere more easily managed when a parent “It’s awkward if I hear people between 3 and 4 hours on homework is not in the same place as their son talking about him,” Wyatt said, but a night, and I think that’s ridiculous,” everyday. he added that in this kind of situation Guggisberg said. “I think that his biggest fear about
having a father who teachers here or a mother is he just doesn’t want to be embarrassed,” Guggisberg said. “I hope he’s not embarrassed. I don’t go out of my way to embarrass him.” Despite this Guggisberg thinks that it’s possible Wyatt is embarrassed sometimes since “a lot of his friends have me right now.” Wyatt said that he is probably more embarrassed by his good friends being in his father’s class, and not by his father teaching at the school. Despite this, Wyatt does not want to be in a class taught by his dad. “No, I don’t want to take my dad as a teacher,” he said. “He’d probably be really hard on me so I’d end up dying.” Like most other students, Wyatt is given rules to follow from his parents. Guggisberg said that there are “not many rules” at home, but some do exist. Such as a limit of one hour of television per week day and a suggestion that Wyatt “hang out” with the family on Sundays. Also, Wyatt is given one night per weekend where he can stay out late and “come back at one or so.” Wyatt dismisses any major negative impact that his father being a teacher might have on him. “When he’s outside of school he’s a dad,” he said.
arts 9 Author fights to keep books on shelves the Eye
by Kathy Boardwell Sharing a hearty laugh with the group of teachers surrounding him, Chris Crutcher is interrupted by two middle school students seeking an autograph. With a cheerful “sure,” he signs their books and continues talking. An author of many novels for kids, Crutcher visited the school on March 12 to 16 and talked to both middle school and high school students about his books and experiences. Crutcher explained to the group of teachers why his books are so popular. “I often say ‘kids, here’s a book you can read, because I don’t know many big words,” Crutcher said, before erupting into more laughter. Crutcher’s controversial and sometimes censored novels are very popular with students who seem to believe he captures their slang very well. “My ear is better than my eye,” Crutcher said. “[Kids] like it. You can’t use everyday slang though. It would change by the time you get published.”
March 22, 2007
He continues with this explanation of certain slang that authors of kid novels don’t use even though it’s common in speech. “You can’t use ‘dude’ too much. On print it’s different,” Crutcher said. “You’d have an epic if it’s just dude, dude, dude.” The inspiration for his novels comes from a long career as a child and family therapist. Crutcher said that topics came up from sessions and that he also Author Chris Crutcher talks to high school studens about writing. Photo by Cat Ward. takes topics from the news if it will ﬁt his characters. “You see something and you start “In terms of events, not so much said. to ﬁctionalize it,” Crutcher said. [an autobiography]. In terms of how As a child, Crutcher himself Crutcher is also quick to explain characters see the world, it’s more wasn’t much of a reader, claiming the autobiographical nature of his autobiographical in what I’ve seen that the only book he read was To books. than what I’ve experienced,” Crutcher Kill a Mockingbird. He jokes on his
Most describe the life of an artist as one of starvation, homelessness, and constant scavenging for shopping carts and a purpose in life. In contrast, visiting artist Arturo Correa is clear about his mission. by Amanda Tsao “My purpose in life is to portray it,” Correa said. A South American artist from Valencia, Venezuala, Correa studied art at University of Central Florida and New York University, and exhibits his work in individual and group shows Guest Artist Arturo Carrea from Venezuela North and South gave advice to art delegates during cultural throughout America. He is known for his convention. Photo from artist.
Visiting artist brings house down
installations including the Quinta de Calle, a painted house which he designed and placed in the middle of the third International Art Festival in Valencia. “I wanted my audience to literally be inside my art,” Correa said. Over 3000 people walked through the Quinta de Calle and responded by writing messages inside with markers hanging on strings from the roof. Next year he plans to produce 80 canvases within less than a year, a project commissioned by the Ascaso gallery, which will be exhibited in its galleries in Caracas and Valencia. Painted mostly in acrylic media, his paintings are bright and vibrant like the life he seeks to portray. “I like to use thick layers, have fun with it. Sometimes I use my nails,” Correa said during
his Cultural Convention acrylic workshop. In the week following Cultural Convention, Correa worked with AP studio art students to help them with their acrylic boards for the Memory Garden, as well as presenting a slideshow of his work to several high school and middle school art classes. During his slideshow, Correa said he wanted his paintings to stay rooted to his Venezualan culture. His painting, “La Novia,” (“The Bride”) was inspired by the importance of brides to his people. “In Venezuala a bride is like an icon, everyone wants to see a wedding. If there’s a trafﬁc jam it’s probably a wedding because everyone comes out to see it,” Correa said. After 9/11, he was so disturbed
beginnings as a writer and his sudden success in writing. “I was out creating stories,” Crutcher said. “I could write later.” This ‘later’ came when a friend of his, Terry Davis, was writing and Crutcher got to witness the process. “Three quarters through [the process] I thought ‘he didn’t do anything I couldn’t do’,” Crutcher said. “He had an agent, called me after he read [my book] and said ‘I’ll call my agent, you send it.’” “All of a sudden I wrote as many books as I’d read in high school,” Crutcher said. Since his novels contain controversial topics like rape, incest and murder Crutcher is used to them being censored. “It’s [usually] school people yelling bloody murder. I usually ﬁnd out when it’s happening…and someone calls and wants my comment,” he said. As to how he answers the people calling for censorship, Crutcher returns to humor. He said he makes a point of visiting these schools. “I like to go there and make myself obnoxious.” that he was inspired to throw all of his paint onto a wall. The result purged his emotions and inspired him to keep painting. “My art teacher always told me paint like you own the store, don’t worry about your materials,” he said. After a while the image of a ﬂower emerged out of what seemed like a mess, which he developed into a painting of ﬂowers. His series of carousel paintings also reveal a story beneath the canvas. “If you go to see a carousel, there is always one child who wants that one horse, and as soon as the gate is opened he gets it,” he said. Similarly, Correa stands out among the stereotype of lost artists, knowing exactly which horse he wants next.
Student illustrates ﬁrst book - her mom’s by Kathy Bordwell “There’s just art oozing from her pores,” art teacher Barbara Harvey said of AP Studio student Pony Weng. Recently the oozing art was used to illustrate her mothers newly published novel. “The editor found out I drew and asked if I wanted to do [illustrations for my mom’s book],” Weng said. “They just kept asking for more pictures and it ended up being the whole book.” The drawings are of ordinary objects that Weng found and sketched based on what the editors asked for. Her favorite sketch is the cover illustration of ballerina shoes. “I just really like to draw. I have a lot of fun with it,” Weng said. Weng, a junior, has always liked to draw and doodle, and became serious about art in her sophomore year. “[Weng] is an exceptional
student,” Harvey said. “She’s probably one of the most humble students I’ve ever taught, and that’s one of the reasons she’s so successful.” One of the things that surprised Harvey was not the quality or hard work involved in Weng’s work, but how she did it very quietly and ‘under the radar’ in six months of hard work. “When I was rushing for deadlines, I worked for eight to ten hours a day,” Weng said. “If I wasn’t rushing it was about three [hours a day].” Though the ﬁgure drawing was a long and difﬁcult process, Weng found other factors of the work more difﬁcult. “Keeping consistency was the most difﬁcult,” Weng said. “The technique was left up to me to decide. I really like ﬁgure drawing like that.” Harvey already praises Weng’s
technique based on artwork that she has done for school assignments. “She surprises me with every assignment she does.” Harvey said. “Regardless of the work she’s doing she stays true to her personal style, and that’s hard for a high school art student.” Harvey is equally optimistic when looking at Weng’s future in art. “She’s going to be one of those greats one day, who will sneak in under the radar,” Harvey said. “She’s true to herself personally and artistically.” For now, Weng is thinking of a future in design, but said she has no big plans for art school. She does however, have more books in mind. “They asked for a second book,” Weng said. “So I’m planning on [illustrating] a second book as well.”
Junior Pony weng working on an artwork for AP Studio Art.Photo by Megan Anderson.
10 arts Dancers’ reception stark contrast to athletes’ March 22, 2007
Dancers show the “Numb” world of teenages trhough their choeography. Photo by Tracy Van Der Linden.
SAS Cultural dancers sihouetted during their performance. Photo by Tracy Van Der Linden.
Dancer Jessica Lin during the Cultural Convention assembly. Photo by Brian Riady.
by Jeff Hamilton This year’s IASAS Cultural drama production brought to life the trials and tribulations of a generation stuck between the “old” and the “new.” The audience was able to sit back, relax and enjoy a night at the theater courtesy of the SAS cultural drama ensemble. Oh, isn’t it romantic. The nine-strong cast of SAS Cultural Drama brought to life the pages of Wendy Wasserstein’s play, “Isn’t It Romantic,” a story of two intelligent young women living in New York and their efforts to ﬁnd a balance between work and play, romance and life. According to senior Sean McCabe, who played Marty Sterling, the “nice Jewish doctor,” one major change from last year was the type of play chosen by director Patricia Kuester. “ In comparison to last year’s more cerebral production of Kafka’s “The Trial,” this was a more lighthearted piece.” McCabe said. The lighthearted characteristic of the production is the more concrete themes of the play as opposed to the abstract characteristics of plays past. Actor, Sneh Shah who plays Simon
Blumberg said that choice of play was a good one. “It was a good change because it is nice when the entire audience can understand the play,” Shah said. In past years, a preview show took place prior to Cultural. This year a post view of the show was performed instead on March 15, the Thursday following Cultural Convention. Kuester said the change in audience presented a challenge to the actors who were use to the overwhelming response from the Cultural Convention audience, a response that does not always occur outside of Cultural Convention. “The performance in Jakarta was certainly stronger,” Custer said. “Actors felt more energized and were more focused because the audience response was so strong.” Cast: Rachel Black ( Janie Blumberg), Mariko Thomas (Harriet Cornwall), Sean McCabe (Marty Sterling), Jane Hurh (Tasha Blumberg), Sneh Shah (Simon Blumberg), Chelsea Curto (Lillian Cornwall), Jeff Hamilton (Paul Stuart) and JJ Subaiah (Kaplan Singleberry, Hart Farrell, Vladamir). By Wendy Wasserstein; direction by Patricia Kuester; assistant direction by Susan Murraysets and Lauren Helpern
by Denise Hotta-Moung “Kentucky Fried Eagles!” the crowd of athletes chanted in unison at last year’s IASAS basketball tournament. Athletes from the ﬁve other IASAS schools had joined together against the SAS Eagles. But at Cultural Convention in Jakarta this year, instead of jaunts, SAS dancers were welcomed with a personalized room that had pillows, mattresses and ﬂowers. “Apparently with sports it’s all rivalry,” junior Esha Parikh said. “But since we go to workshops we all just get to hang out and support each other.” From Mar 7-10, 48 dancers from
the ﬁve IASAS schools gathered at the Jakarta International School (JIS) for Cultural Convention Dance, where they performed for each other. The dancers attended workshops together where they studied different styles with a guest artist and participated in critique sessions where they evaluated each school’s performance. Senior Anna Allen and Parikh were particularly impressed with the TAS dance, which was themed “Fear.” “TAS is always good. They really made you feel afraid,” Allen said. “You even felt uncomfortable watching it.”
“It was really cool. They took a risk in doing something really different and it worked,” Parikh said. Although the dancers did not spend much time with other schools’ participants, Allen said there was never any rivalry between the groups. “I never felt any animosity,” she said. “We didn’t really mix that much but it wasn’t negative. It’s more that we were all just shy and it was easier to stick to your own group.” Cultural Convention dance is not a competition, which Parikh said allowed the dancers to appreciate each other’s work. “I like that it’s not a competition. We get to just share with each other,” Parikh said. “Although, sometimes I wish we got medals. People always ask you how you did when you get back.” Allen said she liked that Cultural Convention gave an opportunity for non-athletes. “If you don’t play sports, Cultural Convention is another way for schools to interact,” she said. The SAS dance team was chosen _____ ago and usually rehearsed their routine ______. The team was careful not to practice too much, fearing that they would lose passion of the routine. “When you over practice something, you don’t have that original rawness,” Parikh said. “Sometimes if we weren’t feeling it, we’d just stop and talk about what we could do.” To conclude the event, the dancers all learnt a routine on Saturday which they performed at their ﬁnal show. Overall, Parikh was pleased with SAS’s performance. “I honestly think it was the best we’ve even done,” she said. “After it was done, we all felt really good.”
Actors asks: Isn’t it romantic?
PLAY A HIT AT CULTURAL. IASAS audiences gave a standing ovation to the SAS performers. The Cultural Convention drama group in a post dress rehearsal pose: Jane Hurh, Sneh Shaw, Jeff Hamilton, Sean McCabe, JJ Subiah, Mariko Thomas, Chelsea Curto, Rachel Black and Christal Clower. Photo courtesy of Sean McCabe.
arts 11 Musicians warm up to beats of Drums Alive the Eye
March 22, 2007
SAS hosts singers and players in three-day celebration of talent
SAS OCTET PERFORMS.Cultural Convention music delegates Juliana Kim, Corey Householder, Nora Yin, Ee Chien Chua, Alice Jeong, Hyeong Seok Oh, Renuka Agarwal,Tae Jin Son performing. Photo by Brian Riady.
by Megan Anderson Dancing around to high-tempo music and wildly beating exercise balls does not quite sound like a typical cultural convention activity, but that is because this year’s cultural convention held at SAS was far from ordinary. To de-stress and blow off steam, the Cultural Convention music delegates congregated in the gym to participate in a Drums Alive session. Drums Alive is the latest in ﬁtness innovation. It is a unique combination of music, drums and aerobics that improves blood ﬂow, ﬁtness and coordination. “We have been doing Drums Alive in my ﬁtness class with Mrs.
Pong,” junior Devin Hardee said. “It is so fun you don’t even realize how much of a workout you are getting.” Along with the fun and exciting came the nerve racking. All musicians each had to prepare a solo to perform in front of three judges. The judges then picked the best musicians and singers from each category to perform at the giant festival showcase on the last day. Arthur Meng was chosen to perform a trumpet solo, Catalina Huang was selected to play the violin and the SAS octet was chosen to sing. Along with Drums Alive, participants were able to relax and have fun at the IASAS coffee house. Musicians and artists performed
everything from acoustics to A cappella to Korean Pop. This years Cultural Convention, no matter how well it went still had its fare share of disciplinary issues. “We had a slight problem on the very ﬁrst day,” said Azhani Amiruddin the student music convention director. “Two kids were sent home and one was pulled out of Cultural Convention because they were out after curfew.” Despite this minor mishap Cultural Convention music ran very smoothly. “It went very well,” said Amiruddin. “Compared to last year it felt more organized.”
South Ukrianian senior Robbie Rathavon plays for SAS String delegates Jazz band. Photo by Chi Chi Lin.
un s der t s i t one r a l by Sam Lloyd a roo r u t l f Cu
QUINTA DE CALLE. Inspired by artist Arturo Correa’s piece in the International Art Festival in Valencia, Cultural art delegates bring the IASAS countries together by painting the six countries on six walls of a house. Photo by Megan Anderson.
From hanging to critiquing, from toy cameras to pinhole photography, or from printmaking to acrylic painting, this year’s IASAS Cultural Convention Art delegates got to engage in a variety of activities when they visited SAS from March 8 to 10. The largest activity that all worked on at once was the brainchild of visiting artist Arturo Correa: to make an easel out of a house. As their ﬁrst activity, each school’s ﬁve delegates painted their school’s own panel of a simple house-shaped structure, within two hours. “Each place comes with its own background,” Correa said. “The artists represented what they thought was important about their country.” One challenge for the artists was
painting the edges of their panels so that they would connect with those of other schools and unify the image on the house. “Many different kids and countries being together made it one,” Correa said. “I think that little house symbolizes what Cultural Convention is. It’s about being different, and celebrating our differences, but coming together and working as one, celebrating our feeling of being one.” When they were done painting, the artists joined SAS students in writing hundreds of comments such as “Keep writing, keep living” or “I am made of awesomeness” on the interior of the house. It is currently standing in the high school foyer.
March 22, 2007
Injuries deny Eagles key players in IASAS medal race
IASAS athlete Tina Starky wears an ankle brace during hurdle practice. Many SAS athletes choose to wear ankle braces to prevent ankle injuries. Photo by Linda Starkey
by Alex Boothe In the ﬁnal minutes of practice Senior Gonzo Carral went out for a header when his leg interlocked on a defender. When he landed he heard a pop- his right leg had snapped. That snap was Carral’s MCL. SAS’s athletes have been in short demand this year. Some of our best athletes have been benched due to injuries sustained in games and practices. In two out of the three seasons that have been completed this school year over six SAS students have taken major injuries due to sports. Carral’s soccer injury occurred two weeks before IASAS which prevented him from participating his senior year. “It felt like s--- because for the past two years I was gold scorer for IASAS and I was captain since sophomore year.” The boys’ soccer team went to Bangkok without t h e i r
captain and brought him home the silver. “The soccer team was like my family” Carral said. Second season Varsity basketball player David Small also had damage to his knee during a game, but he was at IASAS when the accident occurred. While in the second game of the tournament a player from ISB accidentally hit Small from behind causing his knee to bend inward, and tear in his ACL. Small was taken to a local hospital for the next morning where he was told that he wouldn’t be able to play for the rest of the tournament. The team made it to the championship game, but could not take the gold; they lost to ISB. “It was a horrible feeling just watching the ‘big’ game that I was suppose to be in” Small said. As far as immediate care both Carral and Small received ice and were told to keep off it. Most schools in the US have a trainer; someone trained in sports medicine and proper stretching techniques. However, it is not so common in our IASAS community.
“At this time, we feel that having a separate Athletic Trainer would be a luxury and is not required,” said Robert Connor, ISB’s Athletic Director. And although most of the other schools don’t have a trainer they do have some sort of doctor or nurse on staff to serve as an equivalent. Activity and Athletic Directors, Mimi Mulchin and Brian Combes, as well as the coaches act as SAS’s trainers and offer assistance with injuries. During tournaments there is an ambulance on stand-by. “Historically SAS has never had a trainer... however it has been taken into serious consideration in the last few years with an increase of injuries, which average one major injury a week,” said Combes. Now after about ﬁve years of documenting injuries and discussion, SAS has made the decision to hire a full-time trainer who would work with all school sports as well as SACAC. The trainer chosen for the job is a former SAS student currently working as a trainer at another high school in San Diego.
Senior Clay Crawford up to bat while fellow players Brandon Mulder and Mitch Sampson look on. Crawford and Sampson have been on Varsity for four years.
Softballers travel despite embassy threats and ﬂoods in Jakarta by Barbara Lodwick A bomb threat on the American Embassy and heavy rains that ﬂooded the homes of Jakarta International School (JIS) students did not stop the softball teams from making their way to the capital of Indonesia. The softball teams traveled to Jakarta to compete against JIS and the International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) on March 2. The Eagle girls started the exchange on Saturday morning against JIS. It was close until the ﬁfth inning when the Dragons went on a two out rally, taking control of the game and eventually winning 1812. Junior Alex Shaulis was named player of the game. “Shaulis had a great tournament this weekend. We could count on
her to get on base, and she is an aggressive base runner,” senior captain Keri Dixon said. Playing ISKL in the afternoon proved a good time to practice ﬁelding and hitting against an inconsistent pitcher. ISKL was at a disadvantage because six players could not attend the tournament due to the expense of the trip and other school trips. The ISKL shortstop stopped the Eagles from a high scoring game though, and the ﬁnal score was 14-9. Pitching for the ﬁrst time this year, Freshman Brittany Dawe got player of the game. In the afternoon game, the Eagles girls faced JIS for the second time, and pulled out a win. The defense was tight and stopped JIS from hitting their way to a victory. The
ﬁnal score was 9-2. This game was crucial in the Eagles season, and the coaches complimented Dixon with player of the game. “The third game, we played as a team, and we hit,” coach Mark Swarstad said. “We had 11 hits that game, and they were timely hits.” The boys’ team played consistently. Their schedule mirrored that of the girls playing JIS twice, and ISKL. In the ﬁrst game the Eagle boys were rusty, handicapped by rained out practices and a lack of games. They won the game 3-2. “This tournament is very early in the season for us, and we haven’t had much practice or games,” coach Will Norris said. In the second game of the day
the Eagles faced the ISKL Panthers. They defeated a tough ISKL defense and won that game 5-2. “KL has a good defense; their shortstop made some plays on hits that would have been base hits,” Norris said. The games that day were low scoring compared to the runs the Eagles usually put on the scoreboard. In the afternoon game against JIS, the Eagles took it to them with a score of 14-4. Softball assistant coach Kent Knipmeyer was not able to be in Jakarta this weekend due to a passport mix-up, putting added pressure on Norris. “It had an impact on some of the base running, but the seniors and captains stepped up to help,” Norris said.
STAT BOX GIRLS
SAS V JIS 12-18 SAS V ISKL 14-9 SAS V JIS 9-2
SAS V JIS 3-2 SAS V ISKL 5-2 SAS V JIS 14-4