s e o u l i n t e r nat i o na l s c h o o l
Tiger Times VO L U M E X LV I I I
J a n u a ry 2 0 1 7
Blackout: Snowball outshines expectations in decor and attendance
o celebrate the coming of a new year and a new semester, the High School Student Council (HSSC) hosted Snowball, their annual dance party, on Jan. 21 in Tiger Gym 2. In accordance with this year’s theme “Blackout,” the HSSC embellished the gym with various glow-in-the-dark and neon aesthetics as well as a nine-piece LED display system. The party also featured performances by seven student singers and rappers, student DJ Yooseob Jung (12), and the Dance Club. In total, despite record-low temperatures and falling snow, over 150 students and teachers attended the event, showing ticket sales slightly less but similar to last year’s. “The sophomore council chose the theme ‘Blackout’ because the purpose of Snowball is to build a stronger sense of community by helping students have fun and let off some steam together,” said William Seo (10), HSSC sophomore council member. “In the dark, it’s much easier to let yourself go, to approach people from different grade levels, and focus on in the moment. In the preparation process, the HSSC had a lot of fun trying to figure out unique ways to add neon and glow-in-the-dark elements to the gym, and I think the people [were] very excited to see the final product.” Those special decorations ranged from rainbow lighted foam sticks to free glow-in-the-dark bracelets provided at the door. In a further effort to increase participation and ticket sales, the sophomore council also provided attendees with various board games set up on side tables, such as poker, Jenga, and foosball, in case the attend-
ees were not inclined to dance. In addition, the HSSC received song requests on their Facebook page prior to the event to ensure that Yooseob could prepare a special Snowball playlist tailored to their attendees’ tastes. “Though last year’s Snowball was also great, there were some points when they party had hit a lull because everyone was tired of dancing or standing,” said Diane Lee (11), who had attended the past three Snowballs. “Not only that, the playlist was pretty EDM-focused, which appealed to some people but was also unfamiliar to a lot of others. One change made this year that I really appreciated was the fact that there were songs and activities for everyone who came.” Later in the night, the HSSC also revealed one more surprise event, as three groups of masked performers came onstage to perform a comedic ballad and two hip-hop songs in a parody of the popular Korean TV show “King of Mask Singer.” After the three performances, all attendees were encouraged to use their raffle tickets to vote for their favorite team. Team Seven Deuce, a hip-hop trio composed of Michelle Ahn (10), Daniel Min (12), and Brian Kong (12), emerged at the top of the pack. “Even as we were rehearsing an hour before the gates opened, I couldn’t believe that I was about to rap in front of the entire school,” Michelle said. “But our actual performance went even better than what we had practiced, and it was amazing to see the crowd so energetically cheering for all of us. I think it was great that this Snowball was really created for students by other students.”
Article by Diana Nakyoung Lee Pictures by April Kim, Soomin Lee
T T O N L . O RG
Senioritis: Symptom or Disease? By Jaeha Kim and Ariel Lee Co-Editors-in-Chief
ppendicitis. Arthritis. Bronchitis. Meningitis. And the dreaded, inevitable, Senioritis. Walking through the school hallways during second semester, one occasionally witnesses a group of blank-faced seniors, sleeping yet awake. As seniors reach the last semester of high school and prepare to transition into college, a potentially-fatalistic mindset is often presumed to take over, rendering seniors utterly defenseless against laziness and a diminishing sense of responsibility. While schools have for years tried to bring an end to the waning performance of seniors during the second semester, the issue is indisputably relevant and equally prevalent. So the $64 thousand question: What exactly causes senioritis? The most obvious answer to this question is the underlying and somewhat erroneous perception amongst seniors that “nothing counts anymore.” With college applications in and mid-year reports sent, seniors at large, take a deep breath and relax. Mr. Schneider’s reminders that seniors must maintain their GPA often have little to no bearing on those that have already succumbed to the disease. Since most seniors have not heard of actual retractions, such issues are often perceived to be a distant, which means that every year certain seniors will not be too concerned about the possibility of retraction from a college. But it would be an oversimplification to state that senioritis is simply to blame on students’ laziness. In fact, many view senioritis as a symptom of a larger, more prominent disease within our scholastic system. Just like a pressure cooker explodes when too much pressure built up within, students suggest that senioritis is a predetermined byproduct in an overly competitive and grade-focused environment. Simply put, after 7 semesters of intense competition in the “race to the top” seniors, some would say justifiably so, have had enough. While academic competition in high school is beneficial to a certain extent, it becomes toxic in high doses. Senioritis may be a branch of the problem that the modern education system has attempted to alleviate for so long: student stress, a topic for a whole new discussion. The recurring problem of senioritis further comes to highlight the lack of intrinsic motivation reinforced within the current educational system. As soon as extrinsic motivations (grades in this case) are taken out of the equation, certain seniors lose motivation for studying. However, this isn’t a problem that is exclusive to seniors, in fact, formative work is often conducted with a lot less effort than summative work, a trend visible in all grades. Encouraging an environment where the learning process is emphasized in practice, schools may be able to effectively deal with such a problem. But perhaps the most crucial part in combatting senioritis may be eradicating the perception itself that seniors traditionally slack off during second semester. An environment in which students and teachers acknowledge senioritis as inevitable normalizes the phenomena. This in turn brings certain students to believe that slacking off is acceptable and the norm, when in fact this is not so much the case. By shedding light on the 85% of students in the senior class that maintain their grades throughout their senior second semester, schools will be able to normalize the notion that senior second semester is just the last semester of high school, nothing more nothing less. In other words, to stop senioritis, get rid of the word itself. Let yourself be heard. If you have any responses to articles published in the Tiger Times or original contributions, please send them to email@example.com.
2 VIEWPOINT Coverage of Yoo-ra Chung’s arrest sparks ethical controversy
veryone’s ethical standards are different. We often make varying choices even when we are in similar situations, and have many perspectives on what is the right thing to do. The instrumental role a JTBC journalist called Gahyuk Lee played recently in the arrest of the daughter of Choi SoonSil, Yoo-ra Chung, and the dilemma he faced in has led to disputes about journalistic ethics. In short, the dilemma was this: Lee had come upon Chung, who the police were seeking to arrest, and reported her location to police officers. However, after the police arrived, he began to film the arrest as a journalist. Because he was a civilian, Lee was obliged to report Chung to the police, while also expected to report on the Chung scandal. Despite this controversy, Lee’s interference was entirely justifiable if the bigger issue of human conscience is taken into account. Journalists must be mindful of any subconscious bias in their writing, which raises the notion that they must cover, but not participate. As objective as they are expected to be, their right to participate in public issues is limited. Losing credibility
for objectivity is, after all, lethal to a newspaper’s reputation. This is fundamentally why Lee is currently under fire in the journalism industry. As a reporter doing news coverage on Chung, the principle is that he cannot involve himself in situations directly relevant to the content of the coverage; it would otherwise be seen as a conflict of interest. The director of the media startup accelerator Mediati branded this situation as a violation of the journalistic codes of conduct, an “opening of the Pandora’s box of journalism.” He declared that the reporter should have remained an observer if he had wished to cover news about the influence peddling issue. Had he decided to continue on the tightrope of journalistic ethics, Lee would have held back from exposing Chung’s location. However, it is essential to note that this goes against one’s conscience. It is true that he disobeyed the basic principles of journalism, but his actions can be legitimatized nevertheless. All he did was simply what any other citizen would have done in his situation. Even if journalistic ethics require one to act passively in such situations, would it still be considered ethical to
let a criminal off the hook? Lee chose to follow his conscience, which is not something that deserves such hostile response. Although his actions certainly leave room for debate, it is erroneous to hastily conclude that what he did was wrong or nonsensical. In defense of this journalist, I would like to say that he acted in the public interest. A witness does not turn a blind eye to a murder just because of clashes with business ethics. Similarly, Lee, decided to prioritize his human conscience. A civilian before a journalist, Lee carried out his role as a faithful Korean citizen by turning in the outlaw—it was without a doubt the moral thing to do. This controversy is a difficult one to arbitrate. The clash between morality and journalistic professionalism makes the decision harder. Lee thought the right thing to do was sending one of our nation’s currently most hated figures into custody. It is not up to us to decide whether his choice was the best one, but his actions cannot be deemed as unethical and wrong in any way. By Youngseo Jhe Sophomore, Reporter
Letter to the Editor I would like to respond to the article in the December 5 Edition. “Expansion of privileges necessary for seniors.” In support of the position that more privileges are necessary there is one point I would like to clarify. Seniors were not faced with one deadline to finish 10-20 applications” Here is the schedule that was presented to seniors the first week of the school year. October 5 was the deadline for applications in Early Decision, Restricted Early Action and Early Action plans. As a matter of fact, I never say deadline but instead give a NO LATER THAN date. Eighty-seven seniors submitted 201 applications in the various
Early plans. All of those were using the Common Application. For the October 5 date to be met, the seniors had to finish their applications, at least two teachers had to finish their recommendations and I had to complete the Secondary School Report and the Counselors recommendation. Ms Lee had to pull all those supporting parts together for submission. Seniors were then encouraged to complete other applications one by one so that our already completed parts could be sent in support. The NO LATER THAN date for completion of all other applications was November 17. A few seniors followed that advice while most waited until the last
minute. Once the Common Application was submitted by seniors, a supplement or no supplement could have completed other applications. Those who chose to wait until the last minute were no doubt stressed while the few who completed applications one by one were less stressed. There may be some arguments for more senior privileges but having “10-20 applications due on one date” is not one of the reasons. Seniors were encouraged over and over to complete applications one by one so that supporting materials could be sent systematically. from Fredric Schneider Dean of Students
Tiger Times January 2017
Tiger Times Tiger Times exercises the right to report on and editorialize all topics, events or issues, including those unpopular or controversial, insofar as they affect or interest the school, community, nation, and world. We refrain from publishing material that advertises illegal products or services, is obscene, libelous, or invades privacy. We refrain from publishing material that creates a clear and present danger or the immediate material and substantial physical disruption of the school.
Tiger Times Staff Paper Editors-In-Chief Jaeha Kim Ariel Lee Website Editors-in-Chief Claire Kim Eric Song Paper Managing Editor Andrew Ham
Website Managing Editor Nicholas Kim Production Editor Grace Lee Graphics Editor Rachel Kang Photo Editor Daniel Shin
Copy Editors Sarah Kim Diana Nakyoung Lee Soomin Chun Alice Lee Layout Artists Joyce Lee Soomin Lee Amy Jungmin Kim Dawn Kim Yejune Park
Graphic Artists Jina Kim Michelle Cho Youngseo Jhe Photographers Ryan Jang April Kim Angela Choe
Reporters Junie Kah Michelle Lee Jeremy Nam Marie Park Grace Yang Justin Chang Andrea Kwon Adviser Mr. David Coleman
The Obama Legacy: From healthcare to environmental reform
ight years is half a lifetime to some, but a blink of an eye to others. Just eight years ago, it was unprecedented and unusual for people of minority races to hold powerful positions, like the President of the United States. Initially, many people voiced concern about how ‘different’ Barak Obama was from Presidents of the past: usually, rich white men born and raised in the mainland of the US. Now, such differences are only minor concerns that people bring up for dispute only to undermine Obama’s political status and social standing. However, ranging from ridiculously referring to Obama’s fist bump with his wife a “terrorist fist jab” to overlooking Obama’s achievements that addressed pressing issues, the 44th President of the United States’ term has generally been underrated. In the spirit of bidding farewell on a more positive note, let us take a look—what have been the significant achievements of the Obama administration, and why are so many afraid that they will be overturned immediately by the next one in power? Health Care President Obama has definitely made significant changes in terms of health care throughout his two terms. Healthcare, or the lack thereof, was a primary concern in the 2008 election, and played an important role in Obama’s presidential campaign. Obama advocated for universal health insurance, emphasizing his vision of passing a single-payer option. Though not carried out exactly the way Obama had envisioned it to, Congress eventually agreed to implement a system in which people would be required to buy health insurance, without lifetime benefit caps or any patients denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions. Through improvements in healthcare, President Obama was able to address all levels of the population—the government expanded Medicaid, for the poor, and
strengthened Medicare, for the elderly. The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, successfully increased health insurance quality and affordability: something not readily attempted in previous presidential terms. As a result, according to the Guardian, now more people are signing up for insurance than ever before. Despite skyrocketing prices of prescription drugs and loopholes in the law that may result in corporations putting economic burdens on consumers, such advancements have made significant progress in making healthcare more widespread in the nation as a whole.
Recovering from Economic Recessions When Obama was inaugurated in 2009, he was met with avid supporters and a hopeful future of “yes we can”—but also the arguably worst economic recession since the Great Depression. According to NBC News, over 600,000 Americans lost their jobs in January of 2009 alone, the month that Obama began to take office, and unemployment rates reached 10 percent by October the same year. Now, as he nears the end of his term, the jobs report released on Jan. 6 indicates that unemployment rates have dropped to 4.7 percent (lowest since August of 2007), and 156,000 jobs have been created in December. This is a report that represents the Obama administration’s success in improving the economy long term. If anything, he deserves applause and credit for pulling the nation out of a potential second Great Depression. Not everything was as perfect as it sounds on paper. Of course, there have been peaks and troughs in the business cycle throughout the eight years, an inevitable, natural fluctuation. The Dodd-Frank Act, signed into federal law in 2010, implemented a system of more stringent regulations on Wall Street that theoretically would break up big banks and powerful organizations. The effects of this financial reform did not go nearly as far, as banks still main-
tained their political clout in Washington and strangled homeowners. Law enforcement agencies refused to go after leaders of powerful banks for mortgage fraud, letting them go with small fines and civil suits.
The Environment Despite the fact that climate change has only been a significant issue to the Obama administration toward the latter half of the presidency, measures taken have yielded effective results. President Obama himself actively urged China to tackle their environmental issues, and only then did the Paris climate accord, an agreement to lower emissions across 196 nations, become feasible. Domestic efforts have been relatively successful as well: regulation of coal-fired power plants became tighter, methane leaks have been limited, and electric vehicle efficiencies have significantly improved. Eventually, the prices of solar and wind energy have dropped rapidly, promising a more sustainable future in terms of energy consumption for the country. However, problems regarding the environment are impossible to address through a handful of legislations and a few years of effort. Many towns and cities, especially in rural areas, are suffering storms, floods, and droughts every year as a result of climate change. Yet the government seems to be unaware of the roots of this problem, or even that it even exists. Only so much of this can be blamed on the Obama administration, as climate change has resulted from a culmination of years of neglect. We must hope for future administrations to follow the ‘green’ path that President Obama has set, but many experts have been alarmed by the fact that president-elect Trump has expressed direct opposition to many of Obama’s policies to combat climate change. Constitutional Rights Of course, one of the biggest events in Obama’s presidency was when the United
States Supreme Court upheld and ruled in favor of same-sex marriage. President Obama was the first president to ever publicly endorse the right of gay and lesbian couples to get married under US law. With the huge boost in LGBT rights came an equally as significant increase in women’s rights. With Obamacare, women are no longer charged more than men for insurance, and have access to more methods of contraception with no extra cost. As such, in terms of women’s and sexual minorities’ rights, the Obama administration made tangible improvements that can be tracked. On the other hand, while imposing stricter gun control laws has been one of Obama’s personal and political priorities, he has failed to bring about significant change. After the mas shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school that left the nation traumatized, Obama has been making attempts to expand federal requirements for background checks during weapon sales, and even proposed a renewed ban on assault weapons. However, Congress has rejected every such proposal, leaving Obama’s efforts to be more symbolic than substantial. No president is perfect, and no administration is capable of solving all the problems that require attention. Time and attention are, unfortunately, finite resources, but passion and a determination to make a change are not. Barack Obama has created multiple legacies throughout his two terms, whether they were through legislations or by shifting the priorities and values of the presidential office. And as is the case for many Presidents, for his efforts to create lasting legacies, it is essential that powerful figures in the future continue to fight for and support ideologies in line with Obama’s. Perhaps it is time to take a step back to look at what he has done for the nation, not what he could have done better. By Sarah Kim Senior, Reporter
The More You Know Republican? Democrat? We don’t know. It is easy to look upon any call for moderation in today’s political climate with suspicion. Increasingly, politics has become a yes-or-no issue; either you’re for something, and everything it entails, or you’re not. Doesn’t it fascinate you that so many people can agree on so many stump issues, across the board, just like that? What social relation does abortion have with gun control, anyway? Turns out, according to the Pew Research Center, that 1 of 6 women who supported Hillary Clinton—bona-fide feminists who say ‘women’s rights are human rights’—oppose abortion. They’re now being left out of women’s rights marches by organizers, who say that women who march with them should be those who support the right to choose. On that note: did you know abortion or gun control are not big political issues in England? Since 1967, abortion has been legal, and gun control measures
are strict and mostly popular. I’m sure things are different in Russia, Korea, or the Philippines. That is, even though we are all people, we prioritize different issues. It’s not just one political decision or another—pro-abortion or anti-abortion, pro-gun or anti-gun—that matters. Watching the recent election, my deepest regret was that the true schools of thought behind government have been lost underneath a mess of what essentially are political stump speeches. Rather than debating whether we want a limited or expansive state, we debate whether we want a limited or expansive state—through the lens of gun control, or abortion, or climate change. So, a question: are liberals who oppose, let’s say, affirmative action, true liberals? To put it another way, I don’t think the standards we have set for ourselves politically are rigorous enough to justify calling ourselves “liberal” or “conservative.”
Throughout the past election, a major problem was that too many different people viewed the election through their own lens. That is, those who wanted to demonstrate growing economic inequality pointed to a revolt from the poor in the Rust Belt (who ended up voting for a plutocrat, interestingly enough). Those who wanted to conclude that racism was still well and alive in the US went on TV and concluded, “America is racist” (a broad, and hopefully misguided, statement). In truth, it was a combination of all of those things. The bottom line, however, was not that Americans are engaging in active racism, sexism, and the other –isms. It was simply that they, and their communities, rarely felt the impacts of the prejudices that were supposedly so evil. For the white residents living in Detroit who watched as the automobile industry packed its bags and left for China or Mexico, leaving them scavenging
By Andrew Ham for jobs and fearing daily eviction notices, white privilege holds no meaning. In racially uniform communities, racism holds no tangible meaning. Most citizens, in fact, are against outright racism, as they should be. But when a problem is not an in-your-face issue, you tend to forget about it. This is why it’s so dangerous to frame a presidential campaign around several issues and to mandate that we agree with the “right side” on all of the issues. It leads to people not voting for the candidate they really want. It leads to people voting for people they’re “supposed to vote for.” Without viewing the overall political structure of a candidate’s campaign, without being given the luxury to vote for the kind of government we want, we create a democratic imprisonment, where what we vote for and who we vote for depend largely upon a few “important” issues, the significance of which are grossly overestimated.
Reconstruction and renovation initiated over winter break to improve student facilities From brightly painted classrooms to newly installed synthetic grass in the playground, the Kindergarten and Junior Kindergarten (JK) area underwent rehabilitation over winter break. In addition to this renovation, the ceiling of the third floor D wing in the high school building was completely reconstructed in order to replace the asbestos, a potentially harmful mineral initially used in the ceilings, with a safer material. According to Yang Min Ko, admissions director, upgrading the Kindergarten and JK area was a part of headmaster Dr. Kim’s plan to improve facilities. Not only did he aim to create a more visually appealing space for the students and staff, he and the administration also hope that it will serve as a means to increase enrollment rates. “I think the important thing is that the administration is always thinking from the students’ perspective,” Ms. Ko said. “If we think there’s a need for new facilities in different departments, classrooms, or areas of the building, we never neglect these ideas, and that’s Dr. Kim’s ethic. He always wants to do something for improvement and fur-
News Briefs By Grace Lee Senior, Staff Writer
ther development will continue throughout the summer break.” Enhancing the Kindergarten and JK space is just a small fraction of the big picture Dr. Kim has in mind. There are priorities among his plans, and replacing the asbestos on the third floor was one of them. When the high school building was first constructed, asbestos was a common ingredient in many schools and buildings in Korea. Its availability and versatility made it a practical substance for construction. It was only until later that the harmfulness of asbestos was discovered. By law, the material was to be substituted by a safer one. “As a student who is directly affected by the reconstruction and facility improvements, it’s very reassuring to know that the administration is continuing to make change for the better,” said Joanne Lee (11). “I think it’s changes like these that we take for granted as privileged students, but to know that there are constant upgrades in facility for our benefit is something I’m thankful for.” Reconstruction of ceilings will continue to take place on other floors throughout
the summer break when there is more time and when the classrooms are free of students. As for other facility changes, Ms. Ko says that they are very likely, and further renovation will take place according to Dr. Kim’s plans for the future. By April Kim Junior, Staff Writer
Avian Influenza causes increase in egg prices The first case of the avian influenza was reported in Gyeonggi Providence, Korea’s largest poultry production base, on Nov. 16, 2016. According to Chosun Ilbo, since then, more than 30 percent of chickens have been killed. Currently, a carton of 30 eggs is priced at 8,237 won, which is a 47 percent increase from 5,000 won since the breakout first occurred last November. The massive increase in egg prices has put a strain on many business-
es, such as bakeries. On Jan. 9, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs in Korea announced that it will import around 1.6 million eggs to deal with rising domestic egg prices. However, the price of imported egg is each priced at 300 won, a rate similar to domestic egg, which has led many agricultural experts to doubt the effectiveness of the policy. Moreover, it is difficult to confirm the origin of the imported eggs.
Beijing implements With the air pollution in Beijing persisting through the new year, Cai Qi, the acting mayor of Beijing, announced early January that the city will launch a new environmental police force to combat the worsening problem. Moreover, Beijing plans to shut down its remaining coal power plant and use the new police force to act against polluters such as open-air barbeques, biomass burning, and garbage incineration. Korea is affected by the pol-
Tiger Times January 2017
Korean government takes down mapping of fertile women
n an attempt to raise awareness of low fertility rates, the South Korean government released a website containing a map of fertile women by region on Dec. 29. According to the New York Times, over the years Korea has been suffering from low childbirth, with fertility rates dropping from six babies per woman in the 1960s to 1.25 babies per woman in 2016, ranking 220th place out of 224 countries. Despite their effort, after uproar and a protest from the citizens due to its insensitivity, the government took down the map on Jan. 7 with an apology and a notice that the site is under reconstruction. “The Korean government attempted to raise the rates in a way that did not consider the situation much of the citizens were in,” said Michelle Choi (11). “Instead of making new programs to aid parents, they chose to make a website informing the people who chose not to have kids.” In response to the plundering birth rates, the Korean government opened up a website to illustrate each region’s fertility rate and the beneficial aid the government provides in each respective area. According to JoongAng Sunday, the Korean government’s plan was to encourage autonomous competition by
environmental police lution as well. Recently, Korea saw an increase in microparticles in the air and the government issued total 58 microparticle warnings during the period between Dec. 1, 2016 and Jan. 7. According to the National Institute of Environmental Research, long exposure to “bad” fine dust level may lead to severe health repercussions. This persisting issue is one that the Korean government has and will try to combat in the future.
comparing the benefits of giving birth in different regions. Contrary to their expectations, however, the government only received criticism for the website from women all over the nation and the world. “Rating women by their fertility rate like this presents them as baby-birthing tools for population,” said Hayoon Song (10). “It puts all the weight and responsibility of childbirth on women only when there are actually many other factors that contribute to these rates. Simply labeling a map by women’s child birth rates is not going to solve the issue.” Many women responded to the website in anger and aversion, claiming it to be offensive and degrading. Especially with the website being heavily focused on women rather than men, comments on gender inequality increased, and many demanded that the government should also input men’s fertility rates as well. “The government is a representation of the people. There are a lot of causes with the government and it is hard to pinpoint just one,” said Morgan Miller, AP Economics teacher, “The government wants to increase fertility rates, yet they do not necessarily want to admit that there are problems. To
an outsider like me, it seems as though being a woman in South Korea is harder than the average man.” Furthermore, many believed the website conclusively proved that the government was not aware of the many causes of low fertility rates other than a mere high cost for raising a child. According to the Washington Post, in a country whose culture is heavily influenced by Confucianism, women are often pressured to give up their jobs after childbirth both by their family and in their work. Only 35,000 parents took advantage of their maternity leave and child-care leave in fear of losing their jobs, which also played a factor in decreasing birth rates. “Change is hard, but it’s not impossible. If the youth of Korea want to change to happen, they can definitely change the culture. But in order to make a difference, it is important to start talking about it,” said Mr. Miller. Despite the fact that the government chose to take down the website for reconstruction, the criticism on the government’s insensitive idea still continues, bringing to light the necessity to discuss its underlying causes. By Andrea Kwon Sophomore, Staff Writer
Students attend AISA Math Conference The AISA Math and Leadership Conference will be held in Korea International School (KIS) from Feb. 2 to 5. Students from SIS, KIS, as well as Senri-Osaka International School, Yokohama International School, and Busan International Foreign School, will be attending the event. From SIS, members of Mu Alpha Theta will participate in the math competition while student representatives from High School Student Council will
join the leadership program within the conference. “This will be my second year going to the AISA Math Tournament and I am confident I can perform better than last year,” said Soomin Chun (11), member of Mu Alpha Theta. “Although it will be different this year with fewer upperclassmen to depend on, I hope to grow into a more leading figure in the team by next year.
White teenager assaulted, leading to controversy over ‘reverse racism’ Both hands bound with orange cords and mouth taped shut with duct tape, a white teenager with mental health problems was assaulted by four African American teenagers, who kicked and hit him while hurling racial insults and denouncing President Donald Trump. Filmed and broadcasted live on Facebook, a video of the assault scene eventually went viral, raising concerns about hate crimes or more specifically, reverse racism. “Of course, it is true that people are killed almost everyday, especially in a large city like Chicago,” said Sophia Song (11), MUN member. “However, at the same time, it is crucial to note that violent hate crimes caused by reasons that do not even relate to the victim himself should never happen on a daily basis, since all lives matter.” According to the New York Times, the victim had been reported missing by his parents a few days after he went to visit Jordan Hill, who he had considered to be his friend. Yet, according to the reports released by the Chicago Police, Hill stole a vehicle to go visit his friends in the West Side, where he and his friends met up and started to have a playful fight with the victim, which eventually escalated to prolonged abuse. “This issue does not only deal with the fact that four African Americans attacked one white man,” said Andie Kim (9), forensics member. “It also deals with the fact that this man was deliberately targeted just because he was disabled. In other words, these four African Americans probably viewed this white disabled man as a defenseless person of a more ‘privileged’ race in society, who they could take advantage of, although the victim was in reality, completely innocent and nondiscriminatory.” The Chicago Police announced that all four offenders admitted to harassing the victim and were all charged with aggravated kidnapping, hate crimes, aggravated unlawful restraint, and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. According to the Washington Post, while some in Chicago have reached out to lend a hand by raising money for the victim, others have been condemning the black community for this incident by spreading #BLMKidnapping online, although there is no evidence to support that the occurrence is in any way, linked to Black Lives Matter. “The fact that reverse racism are occurs signifies that there is growing antipathy for caucasians in the African American community, which needs to be mediated as soon as possible,” said Yoon Lim (10), MUN member. “Specifically, to solve this situation, the government can promote equal opportunities for both races in terms of health care, affordable housing, and waged jobs, so that both the caucasian and African American community will be less less inclined to discriminate against, or face conflicts with each other.” By Alice Lee Junior, Staff Writer
layout by rachel Kang Photos by April Kim, Ryan Jang
From Flowers and Fire By Nicholas Kim
iven its name, one might expect the Hwa-hwe Maeul, known as “Flower Village” in Korean, to be a rich and fertile area, covered in blossoms. However, upon visiting the area, one sees that this is a misnomer, a reference to the village’s beginnings as the site of planned farms to grow chrysanthemums, which failed as farmers found the ground was too rich in iron for anything to grow. Now, the land is barren and dry, nothing sprouting but the cramped 184 vinyl buildings along the narrow village road. Yeonsook Kim acts as a village elder and representative for residents in the 184 households. Having run a wholesale retail store near Jamsil Bridge, a series of bankruptcies left her unable to pay her rent, and so she moved with her children to the village. Originally planning on briefly residing during a time of financial uncertainty, she has now lived there for 17 years with her two grandchildren. “Some people ask if this is where people actually live,” she says. “I used to feel ashamed about living here, but now, after 17 years, I feel no embarrassment.” For Kim and many others, Hwa-hwe was a last resort, a choice forced upon them by
personal circumstances and the rapid urbanization of Seoul’s South side, where previously agricultural land was developed as quickly as construction companies could build. In the mid-1980s, prior to the 1988 Olympic Games, certain neighborhoods, particularly in the Jamsil area, became epicenters of the construction boom, and prior residents faced an uncontrollable rise in rents and were forced out. “In many instances, increasing numbers of people were evicted from the city, almost as a government policy, so many migrant workers would join illegal residents,” said Ye-eun Chun, SIS alum and former president of Habitat for Humanity and Global Issues Network. “While in the 1970s and 1980s, the government attempted to help these people with subsidized housing, wealthier individuals got around the system and began to buy these subsidized units, so the system eventually broke down.” This practice, and the speed with which people left the city and moved into areas such as Hwa-hwe, created areas of impromptu housing which lacked the infrastructure and utilities that other Seoul residents took for granted. According to current residents, conditions have improved, though remain subpar. “Tap water was not available for us until 20 years ago,” said Namsoon Chun, 81-year-old villager. “After a massive fire in 1999, we demonstrated and petitioned the government for tap water, which they provided, but they only provided one tap water line, which is piped into each house.” Events such as that fire precipitated some change, though issues remain with the nature and quality of the resources available to residents, especially in winter. “Gas bills are expensive, so we use briquettes [for heating],” said Youngja Jang, 65-year-old villager. “Because of the electricity bill, electric heaters are not used in individual homes. We have a heater at the Community Center because so little money is available.” Access to resources is not the residents’ only issue with living in the village. Technically, since the land
Mid-1980s Seoul Residents are evicted to Hwa-Hwe Maeul
is owned by seven private individuals, and not by the residents themselves, people who live in Hwa-hwe are illegally occupying the land, and therefore face the risk of removal for future development, a lack of legal recognition, and an inability to gain acceptance over the years. “The problem is that the land is not ours,” Kim said. “After 2001, though, we gained resident registration. Since then, we have received social security benefits and voting rights as well.” Ye-eun’s experience corroborates this assessment, and even as recently as 2011, she faced challenges in contacting the government concerning the legal status of the villagers and their needs. “When I called the Ministry of Health and Welfare, many of them would end up hanging up on me because they consider these individuals as illegal trespassers and criminals,” said Ye-eun. “As this is not government land, and rather, private property, they did not have the legal rights to stay on the land, and were in fact illegal tenants on the property.” Still, however, residents retain a sense of hope for their future, and the possibility of finding permanent housing in the recently-constructed WiRye apartment complex in Seoul and Gyeonggi-do. With the chance for further legal recognition and political representation, this remains a source of some optimism amidst the dust and soot that routinely coat the village. “Many new homes are being built in WiRye New Town,” Kim said, “so we would like to go there if we are given money for rent and a security deposit. This is something that the government must do. We have suggested, but we still have heard no answer.” As Seoul and its surrounding areas continue to thrive, and only a kilometer away, SIS students receive education to prepare them for college abroad, Hwa-hwe’s denizens continue. Life is tough, as Kim says. “I’d like a place to hang out with other people. A playground for the children. Adults need space to rest under the trees.” If she gets her wish, and more attention is given to places such as this, perhaps flowers can finally grow in Hwa-hwe Maeul.
1999 A fire occur The maeul gains run
Behind the fence, a new world lives By Andrew Ham
eneath this maeul at the end of Seongnam-daero, the ground is frozen. Flowers were supposed to sprout with the spring here in this village; Now, however, its inhabitants work cleaning jobs in the city instead of cultivating petals. The split between Seoul, one of the largest metropolitan cities in the world, and Seongnam, an up-and-coming suburban “City of the Future,” is marked on a busy street by a solitary yet welcoming tiger statue. No statues are necessary, however, for the single, worn dirt path that leads quietly away from the busy sidewalk. Preoccupied passersby look into their phones, unwilling to notice the abject poverty right in front of them. To the left, the path drops steeply into a stream littered with abandoned umbrellas and plastic wrappers. To the right, it opens up into a maze of houses constructed with planks of wood and covered with leftover sheets of felt. Just beyond the white fence that surrounds this community, metal shines under light; modern buildings tower overhead, workers stream out of subway stations, and cars race down the wide asphalt avenue. Just behind it, however, the din subsides people lug wheelbarrows of frozen water down a worn, quiet path. This blend of houses, spent heating briquettes, and phone lines is now known in the area as Hwa-hwe Maeul, or “Flower Village.” Its residents first arrived here hoping to plant flowers, but the soil proved unwilling and the water came from the sewer. As they settled the small village under the highways overhead they abandoned their floral dreams. Soon, more people came to the village looking for work, or more immediately, a place to live. For them, Hwa-hwe Maeul was not a first choice; nobody who could afford to leave would stay. But a combination of bad luck, freak accidents, or pure desperation brought them to Flower Village, often to stay for years, or in some cases, decades. “I failed at a lot of things,” says Yongchul Kim, while settling on the bed in his living room. Mr. Kim first came to Hwa-hwe from the Yongsan district of Seoul after a major car accident stopped him from working any jobs. Mr. Kim spends most of his days in the village center, and so do the rest of the maeul’s 184 households. They gather to watch TV on a shared screen and get their hair cut by volunteers who visit every month. “Cut some off the top,” a woman requests, watching as the blades run over her hair and black wisps fall gently to the floor. Behind her on the sofa, a little girl is engrossed in a cartoon playing on her mother’s phone. Yeonsook Kim, the group’s leader, or Tongjang, carries tables and plates into the room. Before noon, a representative from the power company drops by with the electric bill for last month. Ms. Kim reads it and sighs with relief. $160 for the town’s December, a number not has high as many had anticipated. “That’s probably because we received some deductions,” Ms. Kim says. She invites us, a group of SIS students still wearing our backpacks and coats, to lunch even though we’ll be back in our cafeteria in an hour and the villagers have worked all morning with the food. Kim brings out a platter of rice and kimchi-jjigae (a Korean stew) over our protests with a smile and a simple command: “Eat.” During one of the three fires that have broken out in Hwa-hwe, Mr. Kim’s house burned down once. He could do nothing but watch as it was engulfed in flames. The
local government could not help either. Mr. Kim blames the building material for the damage the fires were able to inflict on the village. “They’re all wood and glue,” he says. “There’s nothing we can do until it all burns down.” Mr. Kim got an unexpected present two weeks ago, and it hops around the house energetically. His name is Coco, and he’s a windup toy that never runs out of energy. Mr. Kim doesn’t seem to mind. On a wall in his modest home is a family picture. “Taken years before my accident,” he says. “I don’t live with my kids anymore. My grandkids, my wife, yes. But not my children. Despite the cold winter, the village center is warm. When the maeul’s inhabitants band together during these days, they talk about the “country mood” of the place. Unlike a city, where people lock their doors and rarely greet their neighbors, most of the people here are relaxed, friendly, and old-timers; some have even been here for 30 to 40 years.
Flowers were supposed to sprout with the spring here in this village; now, however, its inhabitants work cleaning jobs in the city instead of cultivating petals.
Unfortunately, the future does not look as bright for the residents of Hwa-hwe Maeul. Every morning, they awake to the idea that at any moment they could be evicted from their homes by nightfall. The land they live on has seven private owners who allow them to continue living there out of generosity, and government officials have yet to respond to repeated pleas for help. The people of the maeul don’t show it, however. In the kitchen, voices bubble in excitement and meals are served as soon as they are made. Everybody pitches in at some point, some making it a point to carry the utensils and others scooping the rice. Soon, cooks and waiters huddle around tables and begin eating. The TV plays in the background. Cautiously consuming rice, I watch as men and women well into their sixties and seventies get up periodically to pass around packets of dried laver and make sure everybody is eating well. They laugh, point at the TV, converse, eat, and grandmothers ask us, with genuine concern, why we are not eating. On Mr. Kim’s wall hangs a medal and certificates adorned in gold. They are from his grandchild’s karate adventures, and Mr. Kim is proud of him. They feature prominently, and the table and the rest of the wall are covered with plastic toys and crayons, presumably for school. “The village is far from school,” Mr. Kim says. “We have to take buses and still walk to just get there. I’m hoping my grandson is assigned to a closer middle school next year.” Just a few meters beyond the maeul—visible above the houses’ roofs, in fact—are the buildings that make up our own school. Two years ago, we added a modern building to our campus. As I watch it loom large over the wooden shacks and gas tanks here. I realize that at this time, students at SIS will be served food in
a cafeteria, a routine they expect without thought. Here, airplanes scream overhead as we finish our meal. As we bid goodbye, we ask minister Kim one last question. What does she, as a minister, pray for the community? “Peaceful relocation to new houses away from here,” she says. “I just want everybody here to have peace.”
2001 Resident Registration granted
rs. nning water
2010 SIS Habitat For Humanity reaches out to Haw-hwe Maeul
2016.11 SIS Tiger Times reaches out to Haw-hwe Maeul
8 LIFESTYLE Students “escape” to specialized cafés
By Dawn Kim For many of us, the first few months of the year is nothing but miserable. It is dreadfully cold, flu viruses are rampant, and the sun is not even up by the time you get on the school bus. If you are like me, you will pass through the days cocooned in hot chocolate, sweaters and scarves, and airy music. Walking to my bus stop at 6:46 AM, I discovered “Root” by Viva La Union to get myself through the chilly mornings. Viva La Union is one of the classic indie bands that have no discernable promotion or marketing to offer basic information about the group. There is no Wikipedia page or record label. The only evidence that the artist ever existed is a lone Facebook page. The page lists four members– John, Brian, Alberto, and Fernando. The members would be unrecognizable if not for the three or so pictures on their feed that reveal parts of their faces. It has a grand total of three posts, the latest one proudly announcing the unveiling of an iTunes page–dating back in 2009. The American garage rock band released a self-titled album, “Viva La Union” in 2009, and disappeared. Of indie bands and their “coolness” factor of not being discovered, Viva La Union takes the prize with a measly 177 monthly listeners on Spotify. The group’s fame is almost entirely connected to vocalist John Cho, whose 2008 movie “Howard and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay” featured their song “Chinese Baby” for a total of 13 seconds. To this day, the only kind of marketing done for the band is by his fanbase, the “Chosen Ones” who comment on YouTube streams of their songs and comment on their otherwise barren Facebook. Additionally, the band’s Spotify page is most frequently visited by fans in Seoul, a testament to Korean-American Cho’s fanbase. Though the band is hardly vivacious, their songs are anything but forgettable. From “Alive,” a breezy number that would go well with a montage in a romcom, to “Chinese Baby,” a song that honestly just makes me want to jump up and dance (alone in my room of course, Taylor-SwiftYou-Belong-With-Me style) Viva La Union has swiftly progressed up my list of favorite songs. Maybe it is the lyrics, vague but teeming with meaning. Maybe it is the pretty album cover that looks like a kaleidoscopic sunrise. But one thing I know is that the band caters to nearly every emotion and situation. So when you want to showcase some Wallflower-esque indie tunes, hit up Viva La Union on Apple Music, Spotify, or Bugs..
he door closes, the countdown starts, and the tension increases as the search for an escape starts: located in areas like Hongdae and Gangnam, room escape cafés have been on the rise as one of the most popular spots in Seoul. With captivating scenarios and puzzles, room escape cafés are unique areas to experience a mini adventure. After a reservation online, with three good friends of mine, I was able to visit one of the franchises of room escape cafés in Gangnam, called Seoul Escape Room. As the first and one of the biggest room escape café franchise, Seoul Escape Room is in Hongdae, Itaewon, Gangnam, Busan, and Incheon. While the price varies depending on the branch’s location and on the number of people participating, I paid 22,000 won per person for four people. The most unique aspect of the Seoul Escape Room is that each room available has a different and original scenario that draws the participants into the scene, bringing both a strange amount of fear and sense of determination to escape the
daunting room. Difficulty levels ranged from four out of five to five out of five stars and each of them were available in both English and Korean, making them friendly for foreign users; it was open to everyone, often uniting friends and (at times) breaking them apart with pointless arguments on the puzzles. Out of the eight scenarios available at Gangnam, one of the hardest scenarios was “Dungeon at Alcatraz.” The story itself went like this: you were sentenced to life at an infamous dungeon and the guard took pity on you and gave you one hour to escape. Before we went in, we were given a talk for safety: their tiles, apparently, were not meant to be torn and so were their props. We were then blindfolded, linked by ankle cuffs, and led into the “dungeon”. The room inside was dark, consisting majorly of bricks and tiles with a mysterious song playing in the background. The thick air covered up the small room as adrenaline rushed through me. 30 minutes in, the music changed from a simple mysterious melody to a time rushing, adventurous or-
chestra that infinitely irritated the hearts out of the participants. From riddles to math problems, the puzzles were mildly hard but became harder and more complex as you moved onward (hints given were not necessarily all helpful). Combinations of puzzles were essential and a good memory skill was a necessity. 60 minutes in and the game ended, my friends and I were not able to escape on time. The door to the exit opened at the end of 60 minutes and the worker explained the missing parts and crucial clues that led to the solution. In general, escape room cafés are perfect for those who want to show off their smart brains or those who just want to spend some time attempting to do something productive. For either case, room escape is a way for you and your friends to feel a sense of satisfaction or a feeling of bitterness that there is always a next time. By Andrea Kwon Sophomore, Staff Writer
Wanderlust: Alina Kim explores Europe
he colorful snapchats that Alina Kim (12) uploaded every day, often adorned with beautiful geotags of different European countries, were the subject of several other SIS students’ jealousy as they sat stuck in hagwons or stayed idly at home. Alina did not experience the typical winter break when she traveled all across Europe with her two friends of 10 years, Alicja Deegan and Clayton Ng, throughout winter vacation. As one might expect, Alina’s parents were initially hesitant to the idea of their daughter travelling so far for a relatively long period of time, especially as she has never travelled overseas without parental supervision. However, since Alicja’s parents are European and have connections all over the continent, and the three friends have known each other for so long, Alina’s parents eventually agreed to the trip. Though travelling together had been a dream of the three friends for as long as they can remember, the actual planning for this trip started only about a year ago. Alina, Alicja, and Clayton went to countries such as Italy, Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Spain, France, and England, staying at each country for about three days. The 10-year-friends followed a loose itinerary that they planned themselves. “The itinerary ran on a day-to-day basis with only a vague idea of which landmarks to visit,” Alina said. “Since the details in a day were not planned, everything we did was spontaneous, but this very spontaneity is what rendered our trip so special and unforgettable. As much as I enjoyed sightseeing, the more memorable moments came from just wandering around the streets with no set destination. Famous sites and landmarks are really just the tip of the iceberg—there is so much out there to explore and take in.” As high school seniors who have already submitted their college applications, Alina, Alicja, and Clayton could
enjoy their trip without the looming presence of upcoming tests or extracurricular assignments to finish. However, though the three-week-long trip was by far not a stressful or difficult one, they still experienced some difficulties in travelling the multiple different countries. “Overcoming the language barrier was probably the most challenging part of the trip,” Alina said. “All three of us only speak English, and since so many languages are spoken in different European countries, we couldn’t even try to learn one specific language. Despite this obstacle, we managed to communicate with everyone in every country through pointing and speaking broken English.”
Photo courtesy of Alina Kim
Though Alina has travelled to places such as Australia, Japan, and New Zealand in the past, nothing matched the excitement and adventure of Alina’s winter break experience. “Though my favorite moments were the spontaneous outings, it was still amazing to see famous landmarks,” Alina said. “Places like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, I have only been able to see in pictures. Finally being able to experience them in real life brought about an exciting sensation just as when one witnesses a celebrity. I will never forget it.” By Marie Park Junior, Staff Writer
Tiger Times January 2016
Golden Globe Awards highlights: Best picture nominations
eleased on Oct. 21, 2016, “Moonlight” follows the life of a poor, black, and gay man, who on one part, suffers through drug abuse, mass incarceration, and school violence, but on the other, enjoys the trivial but significant perks of life such as first kisses and the sound of the waves in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Commended for its professional acting, direction, screenplay, cinematography, and score, “Moonlight” received an approval rating of 98 percent based on 190 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, a movie critic site, and was recognized by the New York Times for having an original and thrilling storyline along with thoroughly developed characters.
Starring two leading Hollywood stars, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, “La La Land” traces a love affair between an aspiring actress and a devoted jazz musician. While both protagonists start off low, barely making ends meet, both work assiduously to attain success that at the same time ruins their once picture-perfect relationship. With appealing music to match the tap dance mixed in with professional acting, “La La Land” received awards for best motion picture in the musical sector, best original song for the movie’s original soundtrack, “City of Stars,” and best original score. In addition, both protagonists got recognized for best performance, while the director also received an award as best director in motion picture.
A Walt Disney production, “Zootopia” is a three dimensional computer animated comedy-adventure film released on Feb. 13, 2016. Displaying a fantasy world inhabited by anthropomorphic animals that mutually live together, “Zootopia” not only illustrates the progression of a relationship between Judy and Nick, or a rabbit and a fox respectively, but also develops a novel storyline on their journey to bring back Manchas, who was kidnapped by “night howlers.” With an avant-garde storyline and refined animations, “Zootopia” achieved a score of 98 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, won the Hollywood Film Award as the animation of the year, and was nominated for the People’s Choice Awards.
A French film released on May 25, 2016, “Elle,” follows the story of an assertive woman who is the head of a successful video game company as she tracks down an assailant who intrudes her house and rapes her. According to the Guardian, although the film itself is utterly gripping and endlessly disturbing, it still sends an influential message centered around women’s rights, by portraying women as powerful figures who can stand up for themselves even when they are victimized. In the Golden Globe Awards, “Elle” received both the Award for Best Actress in the Drama section and the Best Motion Picture in the Foreign Language section. By Alice Lee Junior, Staff Writer
Metallica, Coldplay, BigCityBeats: New year, new gigs
or many, a new year marks another hurdle in the rat race. With the myriad obligations to fulfill comes stress that cannot be assuaged through another hour of sleep. But life has its ups and downs, music being one of its ups. From rock to EDM, the future lineup of artists visiting Korea in 2017 will be more than enough to usher in and maintain a vivacious new year. This year, the first foreign band to visit South Korea was Metallica. The American heavy metal band performed on Jan. 11 at Gocheok sky dome, confirming Seoul as its first stop in the Asian leg of their Worldwired tour. The band aims to promote their tenth studio album, “Hardwired…to Self-Destruct” during their tour. Opening for the band was Japanese metal idol group Babymetal, a widely popular group in not only Japan, but also the United States and
Europe. “I have been a fan of Metallica since I was 16,” Said Elizabeth Lasure. “This [concert] was my third Metallica show, and it was a lot of fun. It was loud, and the crowd was amazing. That was probably the most memorable part of the experience, because I was excited to see how well Koreans knew a band like this. There were ten [teachers] in total who went, and we had a good time.” The most popular performance so far is Coldplay. According to the Hankoryeh, fans of the English rock band fought off nearly 550,000 and 900,000 others respectively during Nov. 24 and 25, when ticketing took place. Ticketing sites opened at noon, and sold out within minutes. In response to their fans’ fervor, Coldplay later added a second performance on the sixteenth along with their original performance on April 15.
“When I got tickets on Nov. 24, the site crashed multiple times,” said Sky Park (11). “The tickets sold out in less than an hour, but I got tickets for the fifteenth, in the near end of the standing section. This is [Coldplay’s] first time coming to Korea, and my first time going to their concert. It is going to be a blast.” With bands such as Coldplay making their first foray into Korea, new festivals are also in store. 2017 marks the first year that BigCityBeats’ World Club Dome visits Korea to deliver their philosophy of “a perfect party night.”Advertised as a “world-class club music event,” the German music festival currently promises EDM giants such as Afrojack and Steve Aoki to visit Incheon on Sep. 22-24. “World Dome is the biggest thing since 2002 for Korea.” Said Ashley Whang (10). “I have definitely been obsessed with music
festivals since the Jisan Rock Valley festival last summer, where I saw an awesome performance by Zedd. The lineup so far is great–Steve Aoki, Marshmello, and Robin Shulz are the most promising artists. I started liking EDM around middle school, and I would love to attend.” From new responsibilities to new opportunities, a new year brings numerous obligations. But it also brings a slew of interesting outings, such as music festivals and performances. There’s a new bunch of artists in town, from newcomers willing to expand their influence to old-timers returning for a friendly visit. None of them are similar but all of them are teeming with potential. New year, new gigs. So get ready to mark your calendars. By Dawn Kim Sophomore, Staff Writer
Raising the bar for Men’s Figure Skating:
Capturing the hearts of the audience one last time with a powerful pose to end his performance, Junhwan Cha placed first on Jan. 5 at the 71st National Figure Skating Championship. With a record-breaking combined score of 238.07, Cha made history as the first Korean male figure skater to surpass the 80-point mark in the short program category of men’s singles. The young prodigy and ex-child actor initially started figure skating at the age of eight as a way to improve his acting skills. As he began to acquire higher-level skills, Junhwan realized his potential in figure skating and decided to pursue his newfound desire to become a professional figure skater. Under the guidance of Brian Orser, former coach of Yuna Kim, at the Toronto Cricket Club, Junhwan won several championships and set a record at the 2015 National Figure Skating Championship with a total score of 220.40, surpassing the previous record of 209.90 points. “Even though he made a few mistakes with his jumps during his performance recently, he was still able to receive first place,” said Hailey Ahn (11), figure skating enthusiast. “I could see that he devoted a lot of time into honing his skills, so I am looking forward to his performances during the PyeongChang Winter Olympics next year.” Aside from setting a national record at the championship in 2015, Cha earned an overall score of 239.47 points, the highest score ever received by a junior male skater, at the Junior Grand Prix (JGP) in Japan last September. A month after winning at the JGP, he received first place for the men’s singles title at the International Skating Union Junior Grand Prix in Germany. “I think Junhwan’s success can be attributed to the fact that he has been training rigorously from a young age to increase his flexibility as a skater,” said Helaine Lee (10), figure skater. “As a figure skater myself, I can clearly see that he stands out among other junior skaters for the same reasons as Yuna Kim. He has very strong jumps with tight and beautiful air position and speed. However, the strongest trait of him as a skater is his good edge use, a skill of using both inside and outside edges of the skating blade that is essential for any skater.” Although he qualified for both the ISU World Figure Skating Championships and the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships, Junwhan will only be participating in the latter event due to the age limit. After this last championship of the season, he will go on to prepare to compete at the upcoming 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics in February. “If people are really set on wanting to achieve a particular goal for themselves, I strongly advise them to go for it—nothing can beat dedication,” said Tamara Atanaskovic, gym teacher. “Junhwan’s entrance to the figure skating world will leave a big impact on South Korea because he has shown that there are various paths to be successful. It is true that being a professional athlete comes with downsides such as potential injury, but that is unpredictable and I believe that people should take risks for something they love.” By Soomin Lee Junior, Staff Writer
Play-by-play: Tigers win match against Chadwick Dolphins
Photos by Ryan Jang
[Left] Jumping up for a layup, Michelle Ahn (10) scores two points for the varsity girls basketball team on Wednesday, Jan. 25. [Right] Pivoting to avoid the defender, Sue Lee (12) secures the ball to keep the offense alive. The girls would go on to win the game 33-9.
On Jan. 25, the varsity girls basketball team faced off against the Chadwick International School Dolphins in a home game at Tiger Gym 1. The animated cheers of schoolmates and cheerleaders supported the team, as they pursued another win of their season.
The Tigers lost first possession, but promptly came back with a fast break layup from Sue Lee (12) in the first minutes of the game. Cheryn Shin (12) proceeded to get fouled by the Dolphins, missing her free throws. However, a pass connected by a steal from Grace Oh (10) saw Cheryn make her redemption in a well-placed layup. Tigers continued to display their coordination as a team by scoring points against the Dolphins in the first quarter, culminating with a fast break layup from Michelle Ahn (9) in the last minute. The Tigers took home the first quarter by a margin of 9-0.
The Dolphins made their first point of the game a few minutes into the second
quarter from a free throw. However, the Tigers continued to keep their lead by making 3 points from three separate free throws. Then, after stealing the ball back from the Dolphins’ possession, Hannah Kim (10) scored a layup from inside the paint. Grace continued the Tigers’ streak in a shot from the 3-point line, and so did Yejune Park (10) with another double possession switch followed by a layup. The Tigers finished the second quarter strong once again with an extensive lead of 22-1.
Starting the third quarter with a 21-point lead, Michelle Ahn (10) extend the Tigers’ scoring streak with a solo fast break to layup transition, followed quickly by another baseline 2-pointer after a rebound from a failed free throw. Eileen Cho (11) followed up with a corner shot, pushing the score to 28-1, but the Dolphins proceeded to make their first real basket of the game, making the score 28-3. Michelle (10) came back with another 2-pointer from inside the paint, but the Dolphins managed to get another basket seconds before the buzzer went off. The final score of the third quarter was 30-5.
Victory in sight, the Tigers started the fourth quarter strong as Eileen broke the ice by initiating a baseline drive. The Dolphins tried to score with a Hail Mary fast break, but the quick reaction speed of the Tigers coupled with their tight defensive work prevented the Dolphins from getting much headway. Cheryn made the last point of the game for the Tigers in a free throw, but the Dolphins managed to score two rogue baskets, ending the game. The match finished with a victory for the Tigers, 33-9.
The girls varsity team showcased yet another game that highlighted their pinpoint accuracy and team coordination. They started strong and faltered slightly in the final quarter, but nonetheless the deadly offense and the airtight defense of the varsity team resulted in a stellar win on the part of the SIS Tigers.
By Jeremiah Nam Sophomore, Staff Writer
Reaching for Super Bowl LI
tars from the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons will be heading to Houston on Feb. 3 to face each other at the Super Bowl LI, where brutal bashing, nifty planning, and accurate passing will determine who takes home the Vince Lombardi Trophy. After thrashing their opponents during conference championships, both teams are the best the league has to offer. The Falcons were the clear favorites going into the NFC Championships, with quarterback Matt Ryan spearheading an impressive 34 points per game record. Though the Green Bay Packer’s quarterback Aaron Rodgers is arguably the best in the league currently, the team’s brutal offensive talent is compensated by their less than exceptional defensive squad whose constant holes have conceded an average 269 yards per game, the second worst in the league. Even with its stellar offensive squad, the Packers’ lack of depth in the defensive end was costly. In the end, the Falcons thrashed the Packers in a 44 to 21 victory, with their offensive line clearly overpowering the Packers’ defense, while the Packers’ offense was unable to close the gap and recover from the score deficit. Veteran quarterback and likely future hall of famer Tom Brady and star running back LeGarrette Blount led the Patriots to their victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the AFC Championships. Facing off against Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, the Patriots showed a stellar performance that secured them a place in the Super Bowl for the seventh time in the last 16 years. From the get-go, the Patriots took the lead, outscoring the Steelers 10-0 in the
SPORTS PHOTO OF THE MONTH
first quarter, and then further widening gap by 19-0 by the end of the first half. The Steelers were unable to recover from their score deficit, and ended up losing 36-17. “I think the New England Patriots have a very good chance of winning Super Bowl Ll as we have done two years ago,” said Justin Lee (12), an ardent Patriots fan. “I know many NFL fans will want to see the Patriots lose because we are a generally ‘hateable’ team, but the Patriots are still the best in the league and will surely clinch home to victory at Houston. I’m just hoping that Tom Brady does his clutch magic again against the Falcons to win us the trophy.” But apart from the thrilling victories that the two finalists secured, the NFL championships, from the Divisional Rounds to the Conference Championships, had much to offer. During the Divisional Rounds between the Steelers and the Kansas City Chiefs, Steelers placekicker Chris Boswell set a NFL playoff record by scoring six field goals in a single game. Boswell’s dead accuracy and running back Le’Veon Bell’s agile feet gave the Steelers a 18-16 victory over the Chiefs and secured their place in the AFC championships. “Although I am a staunch Patriots fan, I still respect the Steelers, especially after their record setting performance during the divisional rounds,” said Eric Kim (11), a Patriots fan. “Of course the Patriots are better than the Steelers as we have proven during the Conference Championships where we destroyed the Steelers, it is still nice to see the level of skill the NFL has to offer.” By Justin Chang Junior, Staff Writer
Cheering for the basketball teams, Helaine Lee (10) rallies up the crowd in a home game against Chadwick International School on Jan. 25.
Evolution of the sharpshooter: Ushering in a new era of play
Ever since the rules of basketball were adopted worldwide in 1930, little has changed in terms of the rules of the game. However, the addition of a three-point line in 1967 marked the beginning of evolution in the game of basketball. As players and coaches in the basketball community learned to use the line to their advantage, the dynamics of the game shifted to accommodate smaller players and a faster game pace, leading to the start of the “small ball”
style of play. The stereotypical basketball player may be athletic, strong, and most importantly, tall. Iconic big men from the late 1900’s like Shaquille O’Neal, Dominique Wilkins, Dennis Rodman, Yao Ming, Hakeem Olajuwon, Wilt Chamberlain, and Bill Russell fit this stereotype, and images of them bullying their way to the basketball hoop come to mind when one typically thinks of the sport. Back when dominant forces were
successful in the National Basketball Association (NBA), the league was seen as a “big man’s” league, where centers and power forwards were the talk of the town. Though the average NBA player is still 200cm, according to Bleacher Report, the league is now becoming one that is dominated by dribbling and shooting rather than strength and height, making it a relatively “small man’s” league. The rise of shooters such as Wardell Ste-
Photo by Ryan Jang
phen Curry II of the Golden State Warriors showed the world that basketball had truly evolved into a sport for all ages and sizes. Though Curry is considered small, at 191cm and 86kg, he was voted as the Most Valuable Player of the league for the past two years. Though Curry does not fit the basketball stereotype of being tall and strong, he owes his success to another aspect of his game: shooting and dribbling. Since not all aspiring athletes are as big and strong as the average NBA player, many model their playing style after Stephen Curry: they hoist up three-pointers, dribble through the defense, and rely on their speed rather than their strength. Because so many people around the world emulate Stephen Curry’s playing style, the “small ball” trend has started to catch fire in college and high school basketball. According to William Son (12), a member of the boys varsity basketball team, this trend has even been apparent in SIS’s basketball program. “A few years ago when I was in junior varsity basketball, we were not allowed to shoot three-pointers,” said William. “But, now we are free to shoot them when we feel that we can make them. Additionally, especially this year, since our players are not as tall, we utilize a method of offense that capitalizes on our speed. Our plays have evolved as well, to accommodate a faster game pace, and I feel like this is going to be the trend for years to come.”
By Ryan Jang Junior, Staff Writer
Idealog: humanism “So I tell my younger friends that no matter how I go, I want it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra.” - Carrie Fisher (Oct. 21, 1956-Dec. 27, 2016) According to the Amsterdam Humanist Declaration, humanists deny the existence of any divine forces. They do not believe in an afterlife, and argue that we must make the best out of our one stay on Earth. They reject that humans were “suddenly blessed with love and reason at some point by an external power.” They hold rationality and science above all else. So it may have surprised some (as it had me) that the 2016 Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism presented by Harvard College and the Humanist Hub went to Carrie Fisher, beloved actress to many and Princess Leia to all Star Wars fans. Star Wars is centered on an omnipresent power called the Force. (You’ve heard of it: ”May the Force be with you.”) It comprises and guides all living beings. The light side grants peace and serenity, and the dark side grants passion and power. When Force-wielders die, some return as Force ghosts. Jediism is now a popular unofficial religion. In short, Star Wars is far from the least religious, or most humanist, modern epic.
by Diana Nakyoung Lee
For a long time, humanism was defined as the antithesis of religion. But one day, humanist Fred Edwords realized that if he were to meet a person who had never been exposed to religion, he would be unable to explain humanism. After searching for a standalone definition, he concluded that humanism was the duty to treat others kindly and ethically—not because we are all God’s children—but because we are all human. Humanism was the belief that we should believe in ourselves and our own capacity to do good. After reading his essay, I stopped doubting Fisher’s nomination. She was perfect. Up to her very last day on Earth this past December, she spent her entire career inspiring people to believe in themselves. To love unconditionally. To find intrinsic value in human life. She was an inspiration to fans, young and old, who were struggling with mental illness. She spoke fearlessly about her experiences with bipolar disorder, her struggle with self-worth, and with religion. So when, during her Golden Globes speech, Meryl Streep remembered her friend by recalling how Fisher had once advised her to “Take your broken heart, [and] make it into art,” it was almost unsurprising that the room broke into tears and smiles. That ferocity, that
The Onion gives up, unable to compete with ridiculous reality
strength, was just so Fisher. She was the type of woman who could go on an ABC interview and proudly tell the world, “I am mentally ill. I can say that. I am not ashamed of that. I survived that, I’m still surviving it, but bring it on. Better me than you.” And to all the young nerdy girls staring at stars, heads stuck in clouds, dreaming of adventures, Fisher was more than a princess; she was an inspiration. She was proof that we belonged, proof that generals could be princesses and that princesses could save themselves, proof that girls could be strong, indomitable, and ambitious. In many ways, she was an older sister— and a very special human—to all of us. At its awards ceremony, the Humanist Hub praised Fisher for her “activism and outspokenness about addiction, mental illness, and agnosticism [that has] advanced public discourse with creativity and empathy.” And though she deserves every word of their praise, a small part of me still hopes that the humanists are wrong. That Fisher will come back, for she deserves more than one earthly visit. The world feels emptier without her. But I know what she would have said: take your broken heart, and make it into art. Blow her a kiss, shed her a tear, and go stun the world in her stead.
PHOTO OF THE MONTH
Fair and Balanced
Famed satire news website, The Onion: America’s Finest News Source, has officially announced its discontinuation of publication after recent polls suggested that the majority of their readership thought that The Onion was legitimate news. Reason for the discontinuation was cited as concern for consumers’ lack of ability to tell between what was entertainment and real news. “I used to have faith in our readership,” said Cole Bolton, Editor in Chief of The Onion. “Once our polls suggested that 96.5 percent of our audience believed that our articles were legitimate, we as an editorial board decided to give up. We realized that it was impossible to take our satire articles to another dimension of humor when reality was already at that level of ridiculousness.” Social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit, has been overcome by a wave of “fake news,” in which false information is presented in the form of a legitimate news article. The Onion had presented their satire pieces in a similar manner, coming up with out-ofthis-world headlines to point out inconsistencies. “Our latest headline was supposed to be ‘Trump administration makes up facts to make up for lack of facts,” said Dahk Hewmur, staff writer of The Onion. “Two minutes
before we clicked the publish button, Kellyanne Conway came on Meet the Press and said that the new Trump administration supports ‘alternative facts,’ not ‘falsehoods.’ Our entire staff couldn’t come up with something that sounded so fake yet so real, and she managed to do it! We can’t trump reality. That’s a fact, and it’s not alternative.” This executive shutdown of The Onion may set a precedent for other news and politics-based entertainment. An example is Netflix’s House of Cards, whose writers have stated before that they are having a difficult time coming up with a dramatic political narrative that is able to accurately represent current affairs when the status quo seems to be an episode of the show itself. “In previous seasons, we’ve had murders, espionage, and creative political rhetoric from our main character Frank Underwood,” said head writer Beau Willmon. “So far, we haven’t had any political assassinations in the post-truth world, but from the number of threats I’ve heard I feel like the House of Cards universe will become reality soon. We know that dissenters in Russia ‘disappear’ mysteriously in the middle of the night. What’s to say that that won’t happen here in the new United States?”
BY JOYCE LEE
e p rally, Katherin inter season pe w e th in le g ac in st at Particip plete the ob koong (12) com Lim and Paul Nam to win a Kassy’s coupon. mpt course in an atte