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TALON’S POST

ISSUE # 4 March 2011

AES’ OFFICIAL STUDENT-RUN NEWSPAPER

Can AES Clear the Middle East Hurdles? By Gautam Kapur Due to political unrest in Cairo, the Screaming Eagles Track Invitational scheduled for March was cancelled. “We as a school decided to not travel for the safety of our student athletes,” said Mr. Hamilton. Large-scale protests led to Cairo American College (CAC), the host school, deciding to close. Not only CAC, but also Cairo Japanese School decided to close. After all, safety comes first. However this raised the question: could Middle East instability affect our entrance into MESAC?

school. Plus, I would think that all this politi- joins MESAC, our athletes will be traveling to cal tension would stop by next school year.” the Middle East frequently. Nevertheless, it is unwise to assume that the Middle East will be “Cairo is scheduled to host track every unstable for a significant period of time. “Six year in the new MESAC league, so it months ago, nobody would have thought will be interesting to see how things that Cairo would fall apart,” added Hoover. unfold,” said track coach Mr. Hoover. Cancellation of the highly anticipated MESAC schools currently include the Ameri- track meet disappointed AES athletes. “I can Community School Abu Dhabi, Ameri- was looking forward to running the hurdle can School Dubai, Dubai American Acade- event, since we don’t use hurdles in SAISA,” my, American School Doha, and CAC. As AES said Sebastien Derveeuw, a Sophomore. AES has won SAISA Track and Field 15 years in a row, with athletes from elementary school all the way to high school setting records and wining events. However, athletes recognized the importance of safety. “In the end, safety comes first. Thankfully, we’re hosting SAISA Track and Field this year, so I’ll still be able to run for AES,” said Benjamin Blackstone, a Freshman.

Some political analysts view the Egyptian demonstrations as part of a domino effect in the Middle East. The clamor for political reform began in late 2010 with the Tunisian revolution and spread to Cairo in early 2011. When asked if the Egyptian political situation would impact AES’s entrance into the new MESAC sports league, Mr. Hamilton replied, “It does not have any implications. It is a local political issue that occurred in Cairo.” Rebecca Robbins, a former student at CAC, stated, “I am not too concerned that the situation in the Middle East would affect our entrance into MESAC. CAC is a very secure and safe

The good news: this year AES will host the track meet originally intended to be held in Cairo from April 14th to April 17th, so AES athletes will still be able to compete.

Who needs the SAT? By Saumya Gulati Prior to and after January 22nd, AES hallways were filled with ranting about the invalidity and needlessness of the SATs. Although one could simply pass this off as casual student banter, it raises the question: is the SAT a fair test, and does it warrant the importance it holds for US colleges? The SAT was initially created in order to predict how well a student would succeed in college. However, Bates College, in Maine, has had a standardized testing optional for over 20 years. In 2004, Bates conducted a study based on 20 years of data that showed only a miniscule (0.1%) difference in graduation rates between SAT score submitters and non-submitters. Based on the results, Bates decided that “testing is not necessary for predicting good performance; the academic ratings assigned by Bates admissions staff are highly accurate for both submitters and non-submitters in predicting GPA.” Submitting SAT scores continues to be optional for Bates applicants. As other schools replicate the Bates study, more are choosing to make score submission optional. Ms. Rosenfield, AES high school counselor, confirmed this: “More and more schools are jumping on the SAT-optional list; I think that’s good.” Although these studies suggest that the SAT may not be as important as people perceive it to be, many students and teachers alike still believe that the test should not be scrapped. A New York Times article stated that the SAT allows for a standardized comparison of students from all backgrounds. Junior Diksha Gupta agreed: “It’s a good way to compare students in writing, critical

reading, and math, because it’s standardized.” Rosenfield supports colleges taking a well-rounded approach: “I think that the SAT needs to be read very carefully in the context of what the student has been able to do over three or four years of high school when they’re applying and not what they do on a Saturday.” Both GPA and SAT scores may be relevant, but those like Rosenfield would give more importance to factors such as the level of the student’s classes. Another option to the SAT is the ACT, another standardized test that some

colleges prefer. “The ACT is a more holistic test because it has more subject areas and is more content based versus reasoning ability. Many students who struggle with the SAT find that they will be more successful with the ACT,” according to Rosenfield. As much as students would like to believe that the SAT will go away, it’s unlikely that that will happen anytime soon. However, students can hope to see a growing trend in colleges placing less importance on standardized tests and more importance on other aspects of high school achievement.

IN THIS ISSUE

- Genoa MUN - Minicourse Feedback - Danger at Gate 2 - 3rd Season Sports - Scott Beale Visit NEWS FEED - Much Ado About Nothing - New Leaders of CHS - Holi Party Awareness - Minicourse Evaluation MARCH WEATHER: Temperatures to rise again maxing around 35 degrees celsius. Get ready for summer


SCHOOL NEWS Shaping the World: Speaker Urges Public Service By Pooja Sivaraman Scot Beale, founder of Atlas Corp, spoke to AES students at lunchtime on February 2nd. He has given over 500 speeches to young people all over the world, encouraging them to take part in service. “We are in a revolutionary period,” according to Beale. Beale emphasized the importance of the younger generation: “Young people have the responsibility to change this world, and I hope that you step up and shape this revolutionary period.” Beale began his service activities as a Georgetown University student government leader. Since that time, he has started the non-profit organization, Atlas Corp. Beale offered three major tips to achieve successful service. First, young people “should not wait when you see challenges or want to make a difference”. He discussed how people, as they grow older, lose perspective of how the world is. He urged students to take action: “Don’t assume there’s a better time.” His second tip was that one must “believe in the power you have to change the world, and get involved.” He explained that changing the world is a daily event, and most feel unable to make a difference. “We choose to believe in this powerlessness.” Finally, he focused

on current developments in Egypt and Tunisia, citing young people there as clear examples of the power youth can hold: “If you say something aloud loud enough, you start to believe it, and others start to believe it too.” Overall, listeners responded positively to Beale’s speech. Senior Abhinav Tyagarajan said, “His whole manner was very inspirational, although his ideas were fairly simplistic.” Ms. Garg, head of community service at AES, enjoyed Beale’s speech, but she felt that “all of his examples were American, and he could have used more international examples.” She also felt that “he could have had more hands-on examples.” In general, though, Garg found the speech “good for students,” particularly Beale’s “leap before you look” focus on changing the world. Can AES students really make a difference? Asked if Beale’s suggestions were applicable to AES, Ms. Garg responded positively: “Only when you do something, will you know if it works.” The AES service council includes clubs that have made significant differences in the community. According to Garg, “If five clubs work and three clubs fail, it’s still okay, for it is more important to focus on the successes rather than the failures.”

EC Update: Inside the Boardroom BY SHANNEN Eikerman

Students ask: “What does the Executive

Council actually do? Why is it necessary?” EC’s most important role is representing AES students. EC, together with the Student Life Committee (Senior Fari Sattar and this author), Environment and Facilities Committee (Senior Abhinav Tyagarajan, Senior Vikram Kumar, Junior Varun Batta) and the Board (Junior Rishi Sharma, Sophomore Adi Mehra), is tasked with producing an environment where students can flourish.

and ASC members, and concerned parents brainstorm what they really want out of the school, and how to deliver that to the students. Also, you know that “Student Satisfaction Survey” that you take each year that often asks extremely awkward ques-

to discipline you if they see fit? Some may find that intimidating. Dr. Hetzel, School Director, member of the EdSLC/School Director/dedicated

The Education and Student Life Committee (EdSLC)’s role is to recommend changes in student handbook policies regarding the school philosophy and mission, health, safety and security, instructional programs and students. Momentum for change originates at strategic retreats, where interest groups give feedback and make recommendations to the director and board. AES School Board members, faculty, EC

Student stress is an ongoing issue. It comes up in our Wellness survey, from parents and our own observations. Student use of tobacco, drugs and alcohol comes up often whenever its use becomes highly visible, like the Holi party last spring or kids smoking in Malcha Marg. How does the EdSLC board decide what needs to be put on the agenda? What is the process?

Besides putting blood, sweat and tears (mostly Mr. Yeo’s) into Fall Fiesta, the school’s only fundraiser; creating a new blueprint for progressive changes in minicourse selections; installing a 42” television in the breezeway that displays daily announcements and other AES tid-bits; making the 35-minute lunch period a little bit sweeter by playing music throughout the breezeway; allocating funds so each class council can pay for their sumptuous VIP rooms; EC members attend School Board committee meetings. In this issue, readers get the inside story behind student-life policy changes: why the food was changed, surprising off-campus regulations, and other juicy pieces of information Sattar and this author picked up while attending the AES School Board Education and Student Life Committee meetings.

brought up? What was the condition of the issue in the past?

In May, the committee will identify its goals for the coming year. Many of these come as a result of the ongoing curriculum review process or from the satisfaction surveys we conduct. Are there any contentious issues that were discussed for a long period of time before they actually changed? What brought rise to the change?

tions? That also is one of the main ways they receive feed back from the students on what to change.

morning-greeter, recently answered some questions about the Education and Student Life Committee:

In response to all of this feedback, EdSLC essentially creates many of the AES rules and regulations directly affecting your lives: how you may behave off campus, which foods you can consume, what you can wear and the overall character of The American Embassy School. To really see the results of the EdSLC in action, though, just crack open the student handbook. You’ll be surprised. For instance, did you know that AES holds you accountable for your behavior, illegal or otherwise, through a signed contract, and they hold the right

What is the purpose of the EdSLC? What does it hope to provide for the school?

Trying to improve the quality of food service at school has been a long-term project and continues to date. The changes stem from our satisfaction surveys and gathering input from parents and students. Three years ago representatives of ASC came to EdSL with a petition about food in the high school. According to you, what is the best policy change the board has made?

To provide an official liaison between the Board and the daily life of students, especially curriculum and student well being. It’s also a place for parents, students, or faculty to take concerns or ideas.

In my judgment, having student and faculty serve as honorary Board members at the meetings and participate on these committees. It provides an opportunity to influence the direction of the school.

What are some issues that you think will impact the high school population the most? Why were these issues

Attending EdSLC and other School Board committee meetings is just one way that EC represents the student body. Next month, look forward to another EC update.


SCHOOL NEWS MUN Club Triumphs in Genoa BY MANALI Banerjee

After a month of intensive preparation, eleven AES delegates and chaperones Ms. Guerin and Mr. Kleinhenz left on February 22nd for GEMUN, a Model United Nations conference in Genoa, Italy. Two flights and 12 hours later, the group reached Genoa and embraced the fresh, chilly air. AES would represent Pakistan and China over the next few days.

to McDonald’s to enjoy juicy beef. Then came the pre-conference panic. Everyone worked on resolutions and revised speeches to make sure they were prepared for the first committee meetings the next day. At the Opening Ceremony, Mago and other officers were introduced. AES’s own Anuraag Bahl delivered an ambassador speech on behalf of the People’s Republic of China.

language being a difficulty. Most delegates were not native English speakers. Frequently, speakers were asked to rephrase their questions. Despite the language barrier, AES delegates as well as delegates from schools in Dubai, the UK, and the USA, were able to maintain good debate throughout the conference. AES delegates successfully got several resolutions passed at the conference. In the Environment Commission, Bahl’s resolution was passed. Müller’s resolution in the Economic and Social Commission passed unanimously and Manali Banerjee’s resolution passed with just two opposing votes. Other AES members co-submitted resolutions and proposed clauses which passed as well. Friday night, the AES team celebrated Guerin’s birthday with a cake presented to a surprised Guerin, who answered the door in her pajamas. AES bagged three official and numerous unofficial, awards at Saturday’s closing ceremony, .Müller won Best Resolution,

Three local students showed the team around Genoa, pointing out the MUN conference venues, Palazzo Ducale and Palazzo Rosso, as well as the ship from Pirates of the Caribbean and the “best chocolate shop in Europe” (Junior Tom Muller begged to differ). Senior Tanvi Mago, as a conference officer, missed the tour to participate in a mandatory workshop. After the tour, one group headed to a local Italian café to enjoy pizza and pasta. Arun Jain, AES’ youngest delegate and the only sophomore, said “The pizza was so good, I’m never going to be able to have Pizza Hut again.” The rest of the group went

GEMUN involved a high level of “security,” which meant that scores of students stood ready to prevent anyone wearing a coat, jeans, “too colorful” wear or above-the-knee skirts from entering the committee rooms. Mago was told by the Conference Director that she would have to cover the “ethnic” henna designs on her hands by wearing gloves. One young man on security detail asked Anushka Bhatia if he could “touch [her] pants” to verify that they were not jeans. Bhatia refused, and Ms. Guerin accompanied her on the next trip to the committee room. Committee meetings went slowly, with

AES Aces SAISA Tennis BY GAUTAM Kapur

From February 11th to February 13th AES hosted SAISA Tennis at the Delhi Lawn Tennis Association (DLTA). By and large, SAISA Tennis this year was a smash for AES, with the Boys winning the first place trophy and the Girls team taking second place. AES placed first overall as well, doing so for the second year in a row. One of the reasons behind hosting SAISA at the DLTA was that AES tennis surfaces are inconsistent, offering either hard surface or clay In fact, this SAISA was fairer than most other tournaments, with AES not having a home court advantage. “We were as new to the DLTA facilities as the visiting athletes were,” Senior Shompa Choudhury stated. Nevertheless, AES triumphed at SAISA, and won a total of 444 points to earn first place, more than 100 points ahead of second place. However, there were some downfalls to hosting SAISA Tennis at the Delhi Lawn Tennis Association. “We did not have as much of a crowd as we would have if we hosted SAISA at AES,” said Senior Manit Bharany, AES Tennis Team Captain. Despite additional courts at the DLTA, “many games were played back to back, which was really

tough for many of the players,” said Rishabh Sivakumar, a Junior. “The matches were shortened from a best of seventeen to a best of thirteen,” said Bharany. “Sometimes the schedule didn’t give us enough time to recuperate from previous matches,” Sivakumar added. “The experience the boys team had this year was pivotal to our success,” said Bharany. “Last year there were only three returning varsity players, while we had six this year,” he added. The victory in an unfamiliar venue was particularly rewarding. “It felt good when AES won, because we were all playing at a different set of courts for the first time, and we were really nervous since we lacked the home court advantage,” said [Class?] Jay Vaidya. Athletes were sad to say goodbye to SAISA but look forward to the challenges and experiences that await them in MESAC. “MESAC should be great because it will give us a different level of competition compared to previous years,” said Sivakumar. As a whole, the move will improve the AES tennis program significantly, as the JV team will also travel next year.

runner-up for Best Dressed Delegate in the Special Conference committee, Mago was voted Best Chair in the Mediterra-

nean Conference, Müller was named “Mr. Amendment” after proposing and passing a total of five amendments, and Banerjee was named “Next Hitler” after attempting to declare two wars during debate. Saturday night found MUNers blowing off steam at the celebratory dance. Jain said, “The dance party was awesome. I loved just hanging out and busting a move.” Overall, some AES delegates complained that conference debate lacked quality and that too much attention was paid to other aspects of the conference. “Dress code was taken much too seriously,” complained Bhatia. “I was sent back to the hotel three times before being allowed into the conference. The problem against my skirt was understandable, but I was sent back because my toes were showing. It was ridiculous.” Committee room security was also overly strict. Delegates required an escort to go to the bathrooms. “I was very annoyed by their meticulous attitude towards apparel and security,” said Bahl.

while Banerjee and Bahl were both Best Delegates in their respective committees. Additionally, Stefan Hörtnagl was

After a brief respite following GEMUN, the AES MUN Club is now preparing for its very own “DELMUN” next month.


SCHOOL NEWS Name: David Clegg Name of Trip: Salang Meadows Trek Best moment: The view of everything at the top of the mountain. Scariest moment: coming down the mountain because of snow up to waists Funniest moment: every time that tom spoke, and boccar coming down the mountain, he cried (wanted to go home) Favorite food: pineapple fritters (all food was amazing) Name of a new friend/bud: Patrick Mooney, really funny and cool person

MINICOURSE

Maahika Srinivasan Name of Trip: Hope Foundatio Best moment: watching 4-yea hula and doing itwith them Scariest moment: when our g bus left us at thehotel and we were abandoned Funniest moment: when a ran the beach asked for myfriend we had to pretend we didn’t h Favorite food: Malabar (fatty) Name of New Friend: KY Richard Jan Kaleta Name of Trip: Hills of Garhwall Best moment: being at the pinnacle of the divine mountain(8000 feet) embracing it upon my soul simply blissful Scariest moment: none Funniest moment: screaming “This is herpes!”on a boat Favorite food: none Name of New Friend: Dong Worst moment: train ride

Name: Shaurya Rast Name of Trip: Salang Best Moment: Reach end Scariest Moment: Ev down at the mounta have to walk so muc was on my own and Funniest Moment: B Favorite Food: Fried Name of a New Frien

Vikram Kumar Name of Trip: Panna and Bandhogarh and Safaris Best moment: Seeing 3 tigers while sitting on an elephant Scariest moment: suddenly seeing a tiger 2 feet away from us Funniest moment: Abhinav falling asleep on the safari and bouncingoff Mr. Toigo’s shoulder Favorite food: French fries Name of New Friend: James Reynolds (9th grade)

Name: Tara Venkatesan Name of Trip: Hope foundation Jodhpur Best moment: taking a guide audio tour of Rajput palace and seeing the armory with Kulveen Scariest moment: falling down the stairs at a hotel after seeing a spider Funniest moment: falling down a sand dune just after proclaiming I was coordinated Favorite food: gulab jamuns Name of a new friend/bud: Quatan

Nehal Joshi Name: Mahakali River Expidition Best Moment: When I got stung by a scorpion. Scariest Moment: Jumping into a rapid. Funniest Moment: Seeing Ankita fall off her raft. Favorite Food: Chicken Curry

Name: Peter Mooney Name of Trip: Hope Foundation: Delhi Best moment: After helping the lepers Scariest moment: When entering the Tigri School, the basement was creepy. Funniest moment: those math contests. Some people couldn’t do math in our school. Favorite food: The food was disgusting. Name of a new friend/bud: Rishi Sharma

Grace Koclar Delhi and Around (Delhi Hope) Best Moment: seeing the pure joy on the kids faces and watching the orphanage children putting on dance for us – you could tell that they put so much effort into it. Scariest Moment: One girl, Nani, about 6/7years old yelled at people when she was telling them they were doing something wrong. You didn’t want her to yell at you….no. Funniest Moment: Watching Shompa dance with all the school kids. Favorite Food: Pizza Hut


SCHOOL NEWS

E ANECDOTES

Name: Joomin Kim Name of Trip: Going to the Gaon Best moment: Night safari on a tractor in the dark with only torches and countless stars searching for elephants. We spotted deer. Scariest moment: Going to the bathroom at night without any electricity and rain. Favorite food: Papur! Roasted marshmallows. Name of a new friend/bud: Sohyun Kim

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Name: Sophia Foutsitzis Name of Trip: Saat Tal Best moment: Sitting by the campfire with the school children and learning to dance with them. Scariest moment: plowing with oxen, I was so scared one of them would kick me! Funniest moment: My voices several pitches because I was sick and everyone made fun of me. Favorite food: chicken curry and paneer, and rhoti. Name of a new friend/bud: Lydia Phillips, we’ve known each other for a while and this gave us a chance to get to connect more

Name: Clarissa Masdar Trip: Camp Tusker Best moment: telling dead baby jokes Funniest moment: stealing Maggie’s clothes from the shower Favorite food: cookies Name of new friend: Mattia Worst moment: waking up at 3:45 to take the train

Name: Haewon Jeong Name of Trip: Hillsof Garwahl Best moment: On third day, when we took a break duirng 6 hours trekking. And when we were rafting (wall) Scariest moment: When So young was about to fall down on the mountain, and Mr. Schmid was trying to help her, but he also was going fall down. Favorite food: chapatti with chilly chicken Name of a new friend/bud: AF (Anne Fleur)

Name: Isabella Rahm Trip: Going to the Gaon Best moment: Being on a tractor on a night safari when it was pitch black and seeing the deers’shimmering eyes in the dark and clear star constellations Scariest moment: Having to duck for 15 minutes under a buzzing bee hive Funniest moment: Going to the bathroom on the train and seeing just a hole on the floor leading to the tracks Favorite food: Roti which we ate everyday and we made some the last day New friend: Prerana Kumar, the 23-year-old daughter Worst Moment: Taking a bucket shower and washing my hair- it was HARD!


OTHER NEWS Teaching Happiness: the Dalai Lama Visits Delhi

BY ANUSHKA Bhatia

The Dalai Lama spoke on “The Different Levels of Happiness” at Modern

School New Delhi, on the 9th of January, 2011. The occasion was the 30th anniversary of the Tushita Dharma Celebra

tion. A seemingly nonchalant Dalai Lama urged the audience to embrace selflessness, love, kindness, and compassion. Speaking to over 3,000 people of all ages, the Dalai Lama urged people to find their inner selves and to seek tranquility and satisfaction, which he claimed were the secrets to happiness. According to the Dalai Lama, one transforms tragedy into strength by developing the inner resolve to view and deal with physical difficulties, obstacles, and grief realistically. He said that grieving for a dear one is not realistic, as nobody wants you to do that, not even the person for whom you are grieving. The Dalai Lama demonstrated the importance of willpower in the following story: Two hospital patients suffered from the same disease. The patient who tried to be positive and concentrated on his illness healed faster, while the patient who constantly worried and complained took far longer to heal. The Dalai Lama’s point was that overcoming mental pain is far harder than overcoming physical pain. Those who are happy and satisfied have less mental pain and are generally more successful, regardless of the endeavor. Also, the Dalai Lama spoke about how

while happiness can be at a physical, short lived, sensorial level; humans can achieve a deeper, more genuine sense of satisfaction via human intelligence. A disturbed mind with loss of emotional control and anger could destroy inner peace and intelligence, thereby hampering clear thought, vision and happiness. Furthermore, dispersion of this happiness always brings further happiness and a deeper sense of satisfaction to the giver. Encouraging warm heartedness, good intentions, and genuine concern for others brings deep contentment. According to the Dalai Lama, all religious traditions discourage selfcenteredness and ego in different fashions. He believes that Buddhism is distinctive in that it uses “wisdom to the maximum” in establishing reality. An enthusiastic question and answer session towards the end of the presentation suggested that the audience was deeply affected. Finally, the Dalai Lama encouraged listeners to “accept reality” and achieve inner tranquility, not just focus on the abstruse concepts of

Egypt’s Mubarak: End of a 30-Year Reign

BY ALEX Bulch

the Egyptian government shut down the internet in an attempt to quell the protests. Police began to control the sea of protestors more aggressively, using tear gas and

have strong personal and professional connections to Egypt. Before coming to AES, Junior Rebecca Robbins lived in Cairo for 4 years (2002 – 2008) and attended

rubber bullets in an attempt to gain control. Confrontations between pro-Mubarak and anti-Mubarak forces became violent. On February 1st Mubarak announced that he would not run for re-election. This was not enough to satisfy the protesters or the international community. On February 10th, Mubarak formally passed Presidential responsibilities to Vice President Omar Suleiman in an address to the Egyptian people, and the announcement of Mubarak’s resignation followed the next day. Until the September election, the Supreme Council of Armed Forces will govern. Some members of the AES community

the Cairo American College (CAC). Friends attending CAC informed her that, “they had to shut down for a while,” and “did schooling online.” Robbins also reported that “the entire school had no internet, which prevented the students from doing any form of school work.” She added that “a lot of people ended up evacuating.” According to Robbins, students who had been evacuated by an embassy were told that they could not re-enter Cairo for 2 months with a diplomatic passport. If they wanted to re-enter Cairo they would have to enter on a non- diplomatic passport. When asked about the protests, Robbins stated: “I agree with the free

of expression. The deaths were unfortunate, but the community came together; people were protecting themselves and protecting their families.” Colonel Richard Ryder-Burbidge of the Canadian High Commission (CHC) also lived in Cairo from 2005-2008 as Colonel of the Cairo CHC. Ryder-Burbidge was “pleased to see that an autocratic, almost dictatorial, government has been challenged.” He stated that Mubarak’s resignation “should allow tensions to ease and allow demo-

Mubarak is no longer at Egypt’s helm, as of last month. Hosni Mubarak first became president of Egypt in 1981, after the assassination of Egypt’s third president, Anwar El Sadat. Mubarak comes from a military background, educated in Egypt’s National Military Academy and Air Force Academy and at the Frunze General Staff Academy in Moscow. While Egypt was under the reign of El Sadat, Mubarak held numerous positions, including Deputy Minister of War, until becoming Vice President in 1975. On January 17t,h, a 50-year-old man set himself on fire in front of the Cairo parliament. On January 18th, two more men set themselves on fire as a protest against the Egyptian government. These events resembled the self-immolation that catalyzed the earlier Tunisian uprising. On January 24th, the opposition leader Mohamed El Barade, addressed protesters, suggesting that the people of Egypt follow the lead of Tunisia by overthrowing Mubarak. Protesters in Egypt relied heavily on modern-day communication tools to organize: the internet and Twitter. In response,

cratic processes to progress. However the Egyptian army is taking over and needs to be watched. The Egyptian military is one of the strongest institutions in Egypt.” Colonel Ryder-Burbidge predicted that “the Muslim Brotherhood is going to step in and try to push its agenda. The Egyptian population is going to think they can jump in on a regular basis by having demonstrations and the army is not used to governing, so Cairo could be a dangerous place for some time.”


OPINION Behind Every World Cup There’s an... Octopus?? BY RAGHAV Verma

Supersonic cracks of incessant vuvuzelas, thundering bellows of the crowd in complete harmony with the 22-men scrambling for the Jabulani ball, spikes and crashes of raging adrenaline: this was the Soccer World Cup 2010 in the rainbow nation of South Africa. But there was something more to this frenzy of sports. As dreams were fulfilled and crushed and countries let out patriotic shouts of anguish and celebration, a modest mollusk made its way to the stage. He brought with him a powerful talent: prediction. Paul the Octopus, as he was called, became a worldwide phenomenon after he correctly “foresaw” the outcome of seven of the German team’s matches and the result of the final game. As India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh host the 10th Cricket World Cup, one can only wonder if this subcontinent will find a magical crustacean/mollusk/annelid of its own.

Paul’s presence in the Soccer World Cup was not singularly gimmicky, but it had profound and wide ranging impacts. Marketing experts predicted that Paul could have been worth millions of dollars in endorsements, “If you get it right, and remember Paul has worldwide success… you’re talking an earning potential of £2 or

£3 million (up to $4.5 million), maybe more,” said PR guru Max Clifford in an interview to CNN on 14 July 2010. Paul also introduced a universalizing quality to the World Cup. Not everyone understands football. The game can be confusing, complicating, and for some -

outright boring. Paul created excitement for those outside the realm of football fandom (many, no doubt). “I actually began to have a greater interest in the games and actually sat to watch them through, to see if he [Paul] would be correct,” said Nidhi Saxena, an AES senior. The lack of a similar unifying symbol in this Cricket World Cup may fail to attract strangers to the game. “I was already a football fan, but he [Paul] certainly did make the game more grabbing, and perhaps I would be more compelled to watch cricket, as a foreigner to the sport, with the excitement from a similar predictor,” said Senior Leon De Boer. Paul, despite the limitations of eight sucker-bearing arms, a soft saclike body and no internal shell, revolutionized the football industry. Only time will tell if a Bengali Crab or Bihari Prawn will make its way to the prophesying front. Until then, no crazed fans will celebrate shellfish in the streets of Delhi. Nor will they mourn its demise. RIP Paul, January 2008 – October 2010.

Segregation: Alive and Well at AES By Haewon Jeong Lunch time. The crowd pushes through the doors to the cafeteria. I stop to look for an empty table. Where should I sit? In the far corner, I spot a large group of students speaking with broad American accents. In the middle, a table with four fashionable

Americans, our students represent some 53 nationalities. This melting pot of different nationalities would suggest that AES follows the policy and “does not discriminate among its students on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion or gender.” Certainly emotional enrichment stems from cultural and linguistic diver-

Latino girls whispering in each other’s ears. Closer to the window, another group speaking rapidly in Korean. If you were in this situation, where would you choose to sit? Although 35 percent of our 1473 students from nursery to twelfth grade are

sity, but the process of integration is somewhat harder, as students initially tend to separate into their own cultural groups. The initial reaction is to associate with other students from one’s own cultural group to feel understood and accepted,

while one continues adjusting to the new environment. Belonging to a peer group reinforces your identity. Junior Aishwarya Srivastava commented: “It is true that stu-

competitive compared to other nationalities and they are very focused on the IB.” Categorizing others is a way of making

dents behave differently towards new students depending on their mental image of a certain nationality.” Srivastava also added, “For example, when a new Korean student comes, our immediate assumption is that the new student will join the Korean group.” Ethnic stereotypes are widespread at AES. Sophomore YounJi Yang, who has been at AES for 8 years, said, “People from other nations have a typical image of a Korean: a great artist who aces math.” She added, “Although I’m not good at art at all, people always claim that since I am Korean I must be good at art.” In addition, Senior Leon De Boer commented: “When I first meet the people at AES, I unintentionally generalize that Asians are good at math and Caucasians are not so academically proficient.” Junior Alex Bulch similarly admitted to having a “stereotypical image of Indian students. I think they are much more

things simpler. Insecurity leads people to differentiate themselves from others, so that they feel protected inside the umbrella of a common language and culture. Yet, categorizing people prevents people from seeing each individual for whom he or she is. If we choose one lunch table over another based on stereotypes, we are hampered by our assumptions. We miss the real person, the friend we may have made, the world of opportunities we could have have explored at AES. How can we combat these stereotypes? As you stand watching the lunch crowd, think of the stereotype other people have of your own cultural group. You may cringe. Do you really want others to see you in that narrow box? If not, consider the possibility of rearranging our lunchtime seating plans. In the process, perhaps some of our stereotypes will dissolve.


SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT Artist of the Month: Midival Punditz BY ASIM Lal WHEN ONE thinks of Indian music artists, the word “eclectic” may come to mind. Artists that one may think of are Ravi Shankar, Jagjit Singh, A.R. Rahman, and my personal hero, Jay Sean. Sadly, though, the electronic genre includes a paucity of Indian artists. Therefore, the Artist of the Month in this issue is a unique electronic group: Midival Punditz. This group recently performed alongside Prodigy at the Invasion Music Festival in Delhi. “To be honest, I didn’t go to Invasion for Midival Punditz, but when there I realized how good they really are,” said Kiera Pettersson, a Junior. Here is the inside story for Kiera and other Talon’s Post readers. MIDIVAL PUNDITZ is an Indian fusion group consisting of two Delhi-based musicians, Gaurav Raina and Tapan Raj. The two realized that Western dance music did not connect with them on the same emotional level as India’s own classical and folk music; therefore, they decided to instigate change. In 1997, after setting up their own studio in New Delhi, the two launched Midival Punditz. The duo’s style includes jungle, electronica and North Indian classical music. Instruments normally used in their songs are dhol, tumbi, sarod, santoor, dholak, tabla, and the sitar. Moreover, Raina and Raj have worked with renowned artists such as Anoushka Shankar, Kailash Kher,

and Karsh Kale.

MIDIVAL PUNDITZ launched Indian electronic music onto the world stage. Their song “Atomizer” reached such success that it was featured on the “FIFA World Cup: South Africa” video game soundtrack. In 2000, they were signed to Karsh Kale’s record label, Six Degree Records, and since then they have released three studio albums, a remix album and a compilation. INDIAN CLASSICAL music has much to offer to electronic and dance music, as shown through songs such as “Eastern Jam” by Chase & Status, “Shiva’s India” by 1200 Mics, and “Mandala” by Thievery Corporation. Thus, it’s surprising that there are not many artists like Midival Punditz who have used these cultural and traditional sounds in their music. THE SONG “Electric Universe” by Midival Punditz uses a bansuri flute, a traditional Indian instrument, throughout the track. This instrument is the crux of the song and creates an aura of extravagance. Without it, the song would be only a drum beat; yet with it, the song fuses modern music and traditional roots. In another song, “Raanjhan,” the group uses a spiritual prayer to create a song as close to spiritual healing as music can get. The vocals accentuate the soothing effect. Yet another song, “Ali,” creates a unique sound via classic Hindi vocals.

SIX DEGREES Records says about Midival Punditz: “Their unique and expansive artistic vision marries the soulful elegance of South Asia’s extraordinarily rich traditional and classical music heritage with the exuberance and limitless potential of modern Western electronic music.” Midival Punditz’s music combines the soothing effect of classical Indian vocals and samples along with upbeat drum loops and synth. The listener

can simultaneously obtain absolute inner peace and be prepared for a rave. THE GROUP has released no information about their next upcoming album, but for now, you can indulge in their unique expression of harmony by listening to “Night”, “Electric Universe”, “Raanjhan”, “Ali”, and “Kesariya.”

Pakistan’s cricket team is one of the best teams in the world, but sometimes underperforms. Their batting side composes of Shahid Afridi, Misbah-ul-Haq, Abdul Razzaq, Kamran Akmal, and Younis Khan. ul-Haq is an in-form batsmen, and has played a good knock (93 runs with 7 fours and 1 six) against New Zealand. Razzaq averages an astounding 82 runs a game. Akmal has not played for Pakistan in a long time, but if he hits a ball it will fly out the field. Pakistan’s bowlers are Shahid Afridi, Sohail Tanvir, and Umar Gul. Tanvir, however, is out of the Cricket World Cup due to a knee injury. Without Tanvir’s fiery bowling, the team could suffer. Pakistan is at a setback right now since three of their top players have been banned and suspended for illegal match fixing.

recently smashed a 105 off Pakistan, and averages 90 runs a game. Taylor has always amazed his audience with a range of shots. New Zealand’s bowling will include Daniel Vettori, Tim Southee, and Scott Styris. If New Zealand is going to win any game, Vettori will have to play his top performance.

Can India Do It? Cricket World Cup By Rohan Goel The Cricket World Cup is happening, and the top 12 teams (Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Canada, Kenya, India, South Africa, England, West Indies, Bangladesh, Ireland, and The Netherlands) are going head

to head, but only one can win the title. Two groups are vying for the title. Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Canada, and Kenya are in Group A. India, South Africa, England, West Indies, Bangladesh, Ireland, and Netherlands are in Group B. Only the top 4 teams in the group stages can advance to the quarterfinals and then the World Cup becomes a knock out game. In Group A, Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka are most likely to proceed due to their past performances. Also, in Group B, India, South Africa, England, and West Indies are likely candidates for advancement.

Australia, the defending champion, is the top team in the ICC rankings after winning the World Cup for four consecutive years. They recently proved their strength against England in a crushing 6-1 match. Their team is stacked with experience and skill. The backbone of their

batting lineup is Micheal Clarke, Mitchell Johnson, Micheal Hussey, Cameron White, Shane Watson, and David Hussey. Out of these talented bunch the recent shining players are White and Watson. White averages 37 runs a game, and Hussey is also a very good batsman. Australia’s top bowlers are Doug Bollinger, Shaun Tait, Brett Lee, and Mitchell Johnson. Brett Lee once took an astounding 5 wickets for a mere 22 runs. Johnson is a dangerous Ozzie, capable of both batting and bowling flawlessly; he once took 5 wickets for 26 runs. Johnson has not performed his best in his batting, but if he gets in the zone… he can be dangerous.

New Zealand has a dangerous top order consisting of Martin Guptill, Brendon McCullum, Jesse Ryder, and Ross Taylor. Ryder has

Sri Lanka also poses a peril if its players play their best. Kumar Sangakkara, Tilakaratne Dilshan, Angelo Matthews, and Upul Tharanga will lead the batting. Dilshan and Matthews will be the two players to watch. Dilshan averages 88 runs a game, while Matthews averages 84. On the bowling side, Sri Lanka excels mostly because of Lasith Malinga’s and Muttiah Muralidaran’s amazing, unorthodox bowling. Muralidaran once took seven wickets, almost an entire team, for 30 runs.


SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT Crosswalk of Doom By Suruj Pal Crossing the street in front of AES Gate 2 is a struggle between traffic threats and the natural desire to keep one’s limbs. Why are drivers so angry? Crosswalks are supposed to be safe, but what if the crosswalk is the most dangerous of places? Is it fair that the AES crosswalk strikes fear into the hearts of young preschoolers? The AES crosswalk: where drivers launch themselves into the air and cross whole sidewalks. Once, right in front of Gate 2,

only way to survive, and I’m going to hook you up. First tactic: Put your hands down by your side and walk straight. As soon as you see a car edging towards you, raise your palm in the direction of the car and shout ‘NO!’ The vehicle may or may not stop and you may be risking your life, but this is your first step to protesting against crazed drivers. Second tactic: Armor plating. ‘You hit me; I dent your car’ type of concept. You will

Movie Review: How do you know? I was half way across the sidewalk when I spotted a car thundering towards me from about twenty feet away. Fortunately, I managed to dislocate my torso and fling my body across to safety. Trying to change the way Delhi natives drive is unimaginable. If you can’t beat them, join them. Avoidance tactics are the

be slowed down drastically, but you can make it. Third tactic: Wear a sign that says “Uninsured” and walk through traffic swinging a baseball bat. This will make even the most aggressive drivers think twice. “It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.” –Confucius.

By Komali Yashki How Do You Know, starring Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson and Jack Nicholson, is an endearing tale about the

not understand how his life became such a mess. When he discovers the reason, the audience is relieved to find that lovable George remains a “good guy.”

Jason Tasharski: The artemis Fowl of Theatre?

BY Sohel Dhawan Six feet tall, slim yet sharp, and full of confidence; Jason Tasharski lurks the halls of the American Embassy School seeking future superstars. This year, Tasharski embarked on a mission to stage a forty page play, Oak Leaves, the first draft of which he wrote in a playwriting camp during the Summer of 2009. Apart from Tasharski, five other actors devoted two or more days per week from November through February to practice: Joel Potts, Alice Rossignol, Nina Waldman, Priya Achaibar, and Kanchan Jha.

Although the gender reversal was intriguing, character depth was particularly striking. Senior Vikram Kumar said, “I thought the play had excellent parallelism,” referring to Lucius and Quintus versus Marcus and the slave. Kumar further lauded the play’s themes, such as the divisions in Ancient Roman society. Crisp, entertaining, and intellectually stimulating, Oak Leaves engrossed its audience and was an AES Blockbuster, leading writerdirector Tasharski regretfully state, “I wish I had scheduled a second performance of it.”

encounter between two people from different walks of life. Although it may not be as gripping as a horror thriller, How Do You Know has touchingly sincere moments. The main character, Lisa (Witherspoon), is cut from her softball team and must reevaluate her life. She befriends George (Rudd), a corporate worker going through a different type of crisis. Witherspoon’s portrayal of an emotionally distressed athlete trying to keep up a “tough girl” façade is convincing, though exhaustive at times. On the other hand, George’s situation is annoyingly unclear. George himself does

Jack Nicholson plays George’s father brilliantly. Unfortunately, Owen Wilson as the stereotypical ‘jock’ lacks dimension; the character’s sole purpose seems to be holding back Lisa and George’s budding friendship. Episodes of unexpected depth appear. When George gives Lisa a box of Play-Doh for her birthday, this author’s eyes teared up. Such emotional moments, coupled with Jack Nicholson’s trademark humor and George’s attempts to drink himself into cluelessness, make the film memorable.


SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT Pick Up Lines: Chemistry Crossword

You’re so hot, you denature my proteins. Can I be the phasor to your electron and take you to an excited state? I’m more attracted to you then Fluorine is attracted to an electron. You’re hotter than a bunsen burner set to full power.

Sudoku

TALON’S POST STAFF

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Raghav Verma LAYOUT EDITOR: Manali Banerjee PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR: Malvika Nagpal OPINIONS EDITOR: Shompa Choudhury NEWS EDITOR: Gautam Kapur WRITERS: Anushka Bhatia, Rohan Goel, Sohel Dhawan, Alex Bulch, Haewon Jeong, Gautam Kapur, Manali Banerjee, Raghav Verma, Shompa Choudhury, Komali Yashki, Shannen Eikerman Saumya Gulati, Pooja Sivaraman, Suruj Pal, Asim Lal FACULTY ADVISOR: Ms. Guerin EMAIL US AT TALONSPOST@GMAIL.COM


Talon's Post Issue 4 2011