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TALON’S POST

ISSUE # 3 January 2011

AES’ OFFICIAL STUDENT-RUN NEWSPAPER

New Service Council Leadership

Hopes for Greater Student Participation

By Manali Banerjee You may have noticed significant changes in the AES Service Council over Winter Break. In fact, the number of Service Council leaders DOUBLED over the twoweek holiday: that is, from one to two.

Junior Anuraag Bahl’s year-long term of service concluded at the end of First Semester. His successors, Junior Avi Singh and Sophomore Sachi Chadha, were chosen by Ms. Garg, Service Council Advisor, along with Bahl himself. Criteria cited for choosing new leaders were dedication and commitment to the service community.

“One of the first things we were asked was how much service we had done,” commented Singh. Singh has been devoted to service for a long time now. “I started doing service in fifth grade, in Shanghai. I was inspired by two of my teachers and

“I follow the saying ‘service starts at home’,” said Chadha, “I’ve been teaching my cook English for a long time now and I’ve worked in various orphanages and this has really motivated me to give back and help the community.” When asked about the change from one leader to two, Singh said that the amount of work that the service council leader has to do is at times too much for one student. “With two people, the service council will be more efficient and goals would be reached a lot quicker.” Chadha added, “Everyone has other work and with sports also being a factor, having two leaders would reduce the stress.” The service council’s main goal, at the moment, is to “increase the amount of participation in service clubs,” said Chadha. Learning through service is an opportunity available for everyone at AES and “provides a variety of skills that all students can use in the future,” emphasized Singh. Despite the varied service opportunities, student participation levels is currently low. At a recent Service Council retreat discussing the mission and vision statements of the service council.“ We found that less than fifty percent of the students at AES are involved with service clubs with the lowest number being freshmen,” continued Chadha, “the service council’s goal is to attract more freshmen and sophomores into the service learning community.” I’ve continued ever since. I started the Save New changes for service clubs may the Children club here and this was when be in the works; hopefully those changes I realized I wanted to be a service leader.” will increase student community service, a major focus of the AES Mission Statement. Chadha hinted that “a few ideas have taken Chadha too, has been very shape but not yet been finalized so they involved withservice activities; however, aren’t being disclosed just yet.” these have been mostly outside of school.

Breaking News: Mascot Change By Gautam Kapur Do you soar or roar? Last Fall, the Varsity Council proposed changing the school mascot from the Falcon to the Tiger and changing the school colors from red and white to either orange and black or gold and black. The result? Starting next year, the AES mascot will be the Tiger. AES will make its entrance into the MESAC league with a new identity. The Tiger has a history at AES, but there were also other reasons for the change. AES is moving into the newly formed MESAC league, where two other schools already have primary school colors of red and white. Also, Dubai’s mascot is the Falcon and Cairo’s is the Screaming Eagle. Since AES is in India, it makes sense that AES would be represented by the India’s national animal, the Tiger. In fact, the first AES mascot was the Tiger, before it was changed to the Falcon, Panther, and back to the Falcon

in 1980, where it has remained until now. Mr. Hamilton brought the mascot change proposal to student governments in the Elementary School, Middle School, and High School. He asked three questions: Do you support a change in the mascot? Do you support the proposal of the Tigers as the mascot? Do you support a color change to orange and black, or to gold and black? All three student governments strongly supported changing the mascot to the Tiger. The support was unanimous in the High School, 65% in the Middle School, and 80% in the Elementary School. However, the Middle School did offer some random suggestions, such as the Organic Vegetables. AES will soon sponsor a mascot logo and color contest. However, the Middle School did offer some random sugges tions, such as the Organic Vegetables.

AES will soon sponsor a mascot logo and color contest. Currently, the Elementary School supports the gold and black color scheme, the Middle School is inbetween, and the High School supports the orange and black color scheme. Also, it should be mentioned that tigers are not red and white, the current AES colors. “The mascot change does not only tie us to our roots, but it is also a unifying theme, as the Middle School has a tiger conservation project,” said Hamilton. When asked if the mascot change would increase school spirit, Hamilton replied, “It will provide us with an opportunity to build on our school identity, from all three schools upwards”. Overall, there is strong administrative support to change the school mascot

IN THIS ISSUE

- NEW MASCOT?! - Exam Schedule... - Aamir Khan: Read All About Me and Ms. Garg - New Service Coordinators - IB Theatre Trip JANUARY WEATHER:

Temperatures range from 7 degrees to 20 degrees celcius. Expect Smog to Clear Over the Next Month


SCHOOL NEWS New Exam Schedule By Rohan Goel Earlier this year, AES administrators created a new schedule for semester examinations for December 2010. Last year, the exam schedule provided for a time period known as “dead week” followed by “exam week”. “Exam week” was the last three and half days prior to the winter holiday. “Dead week” served to provide students with a week of no homework, no new teaching material and no extra curricular activity; essentially it was cram week. This year, First Semester’s schedule instead created “exam month,”. a month in which exams were spread out over a longer period of time. There was no dead week. The plan was to allow teachers to give students “minimal homework,” according to AES Assistant Principal Ms. Miller-Manchester. There is no definition of “minimal homework” in the directive. Another exam schedule change was that the language classes now have two exams, listening and written, rather than one. Thus, students had twice as many language exams. Some AES students reacted positively to the planned change. For example, Arun Jain, a sophomore, stated: “The new exam schedule is nice because you get to take them on the same days as your classes and so you get done with them earlier.” In addition Rishabh Sivakumar, a junior, liked “how the exams are spread out so we don’t have the pressure all in 3 days.” Miller-Manchester also stated that “The pros of the new exam schedule are that the exams are spread out, there is room for different types of assessments for different courses, and all classes do not need a 2 hour exam.”

”[R]oom for different types of assessments for different courses?” This reporter asked Miller-Manchester what she meant by that statement. Spanish and French have two exams that will count for their exam grade. Miller-Manchester explained: “This is because World Language needs to assess students for oral, reading, writing, and listening. It is very hard to assess students on all of these aspects in one exam. However, this exam schedule allows for that.” Inevitably, the planned exam schedule change had some critics. For example, Ms. Jain said, “Obviously the bad part is that we don’t have a dead week. Therefore you don’t have enough time to study with your peers and teachers.” Moreover, Sivakumar stated, “The new exam schedule forces some people to take a few exams in the beginning but a lot of exams at the end of the semester.” Students might prefer this, however, to having all of the exams in the same week, Also, Sivakumar argued that having normal classes and exams on the same day “is not a good idea.” He worried that “some students will not focus on their homework because they are more concerned about their exams.” Many argue that homework also helps students study for the exam. Unfortunately, the new schedule may not allow students to study adequately for thei exams and do a good job on additional homework. When asked whether or not exams and normal classes on the same day is a good idea, Miller-Manchester answered: “The hope is that there is minimal home-

work, the focus is on studying for the exams, and that the students study for their exams, as the exam schedule is out a month before.” “The goal of the new exam schedule is to relieve stress” stated Miller-Manchester,

prior to implementation of the schedule. Now that we have experienced the revised exam schedule, does it actually relieve or create stress? Results of the recent survey should help shed light on the subject and lead to further evaluation of exam scheduling.

Who Killed Dead Week? - Editorial In December of 2010 the High School Administration changed the semester exam schedule. The change transformed the traditional “dead week” and “exam week” layout into what the administration felt would be a less stressful exam schedule. Many students, however, let out nervous yelps of stress, “This new exam schedule… so much…I hate it, I’m going to fail the chemistry exam because of this” sighed Krishan Aghi, a Senior. Despite the good intentions of the administration, implementing the new schedule produced controversial results. “It [the new schedule] seemed to increase both teacher and student stress,” said Mr. Paesel. For example, in the math department “teachers were stressed about trying to prepare for exams while still preparing classes and then grading exams as quickly as possible,” according to Paesel. The purpose of the revised exam schedule was to reduce stress. “If we look at the results, it didn’t serve the purpose, but I think it was an important experiment to try,” said Ms. Miller-Manchester, high school vice principal. “Our hope was that this particular exam schedule would alleviate stress, and I think it did in some regards but not in others,” she continued. During December, teachers were supposed to abide by the rules set by the administration and assign minimal work. However, according to an administration survey, 31% of responding students replied ‘Strongly Disagree and 41% replied ‘Disagree’ to BY EDITOR IN CHIEF: RAGHAV VERMA

the statement “My teachers gave minimal homework during this time.” Apparently, students perceived a strong minority of teachers as failing to follow the “minimal homework” rule. Yet some maintain that ongoing homework is necessary for AES IB diploma students. “Homework maintains a flow of thinking from one class to the next. Homework helps maintain the pace of IB courses,” explained Mr. Hoover. An unknown but important factor is whether and how the new schedule affected exam grades. Paesel, when asked about the new schedule’s impact on his classes’ grades, replied: “I did not see any difference.” Junior Manali Banerjee disagreed with Paesel’s assessment of the schedule’s impact on grades: “They [exam scores] were lower, and they caused a drop. I felt I had an insufficient amount of time to prepare,” said Banerjee. First semester senior year grades are the final set of grades prospective universities see before making acceptance choices. Accordingly, first semester exams are particularly important for seniors. Senior such as this author craft university application lists prior to taking First Semester exams. Unfortunately, exam grades came out after January 1st this year (past the application deadline for most schools), and many college lists became a distorted collection of false expectations. This is not a position any senior wants to ever be in - worrying

Students and teachers disagreed on whether students had a sufficient role in planning the schedule, “I think it’s unfair they didn’t even reach out to us; we take the exams,” said Senior Joo Hee Park. Hoover, however, argued that exam scheduling decision process “need not be democratic.” He stated: “Frankly, students do not have enough knowledge of all the constraints to be involved with the making of the exam schedule. Exam schedules are a reasonably straightforward administrative task and they need not be democratic. Thus there should be no expectations that students be involved.”

issue of semester exam schedules. While additional data may clarify the effect of the new schedule on semester grades, many students believe that since they are the test-takers, the administration should take their opinions into greater account.

Clearly, students and faculty differ on the

Either way, stressed-out students, especially seniors, should have a greater voice in the continuing exam schedule debate.

Student “stress” is subjective. A freshman may feel stressed with homework of one hour a night, but a full IB Diploma candidate may work five or six times hours per night. However, the administration survey produced results that were “pretty consistent throughout the student body,” according to Miller- Manchester.


SCHOOL NEWS Muddy All Around – AES International Food Fair By Haewon Jeong Shoes were caked with mud, and the middle school field was a beehive of muddy activity. On November 13th, 2010, AES’s traditional International Food Fair was held. The International Food Fair is a day when people celebrate AES’ rich diversity through a variety of foods and culture.

Unlike previous years, this year’s food fair was held on the Middle School field. The efforts the school put into the event were evident in all the performances by the high school jazz band and outside performers. However, in spite of these great efforts, the festival could simply be summarized in one word, according to Anthony MarangosGilks, a sophomore. “muddy.”

Unexpected rainfall was the reason for the muck. “Before the sky covered in dark menacing clouds, it was all perfect” commented Yeong Hwa Jeong, a Korean Parents Association member. Senior Krishan Lawrence Aghi, who volunteered for the Reach Out beverage booth, wiped the mud from his forehead and comment-

ed: “It is overall really nice and the progress is observable. There is a great variety of foods and it is more organized than last year. The only problem is the location.” Junior, Varun Batta, a Reach Out booth volunteer, shared why he liked this year’s fair. “It is a great opportunity to get a real taste of the diverse cultures existing in

our school. It has a more festival-like atmo- formances. As a jazz band member, I felt sphere, along with more performances and that only few students were involved.” diverse programs than last year.” Despite a few obstacles that could have

Meanwhile, performances at the corner of the field were shaping up to be compulsory viewing. Traditional Indian dancing, a mini concert by the jazz band, and the parent dance performance were highlights.

dimmed the splendor of the food fair, this event ended with great success. According to an old French proverb, “a loaf of bread is better than the song of many birds.” This is certainly the case for our International Food Fair, because it provides a great However, a member of the high school jazz opportunity to both students and parents band, Chang Hun Yun, commented on the to “taste” the various cultures. A bite of food somewhat unenthusiastic involvement of is the best tool to unite people from all over some students. “It would be better if there the world! was more students’ participation in all per-

Teacher Feature: Ms. Garg By Shompa Choudhury Whenever anyone at AES thinks about community service, a smiling yet determined face comes to mind. Vera Garg, who teaches IB HL History of the Asias and Indian Studies, has become the “face of community service.” Yet when she is not arguing about history with motivated students or saving the world through community service, Garg confesses, “I love to dance – especially line dancing and Bollywood dancing with Ms. Sosa and Ms. Guerin.” Garg’s experiences transitioning from one place to another help her to relate to international students. After moving frequently as a child, because her father was in the Indian Navy, Garg’s life finally stabilized when she moved to Mumbai in the 6th grade. She completed her schooling at the Convent of Jesus and Mary before earning a Bachelor’s degree in history at Elphinstone College and a Master’s degree in Modern World History at Bombay University. As an excellent student genuinely fascinated by history, she was a gold medalist in both these colleges- a prestigious honor bestowed on the most intellectually promising students. In order to further her studies, she moved to New Delhi to work under the renowned Indian historian, Bipin Chandra, and to complete her Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) degree in history.” Along with her professional interests, family is an integral part of Garg’s life: “An interesting fact that not many people know about me is that I have a twin brother who lives in Oman.” She excitedly added, “I am also a proud mother of two sons. My elder son works for American Express in Singapore and will pursue his MBA in the London Business School in August. My younger son is working with Proctor and Gamble in Toronto.”

Family commitments actually led Garg to a career as a high school teacher, “I wanted to complete my Ph.D. in history, but after marriage I moved to Kolkata, where I taught as a professor at St. Xavier’s College and at Loretto College.” Later, she

that AES supports her involvement as an IB workshop leader and an IB examiner. After studying Indian history in an Indian environment, she is stimulated by the opportunity to examine history from different points of view in an international school.

moved to Singapore with her husband. There she encountered a challenge: “The universities in Singapore did not recognize my Indian qualifications. They required me to enroll in a degree program in Singapore, but I refused to do so. One day, I saw an advertisement for a high-school history teacher at ISS [International School of Singapore].” This is where Garg’s journey as a high-school history teacher began. Despite her experience as a university professor, Garg prefers teaching high-school students. She said, “The advantage is that I can be more involved with my students. I don’t feel that I have lost out at all. I am a content person.” She also appreciates

Garg especially enjoys teaching IB History of the Asias., “Since this class is not a requirement, students take the class because they are genuinely interested in it.” She uses various teaching routines that her students often refer to as “Gargisms”. Some of these include responding to the prompts “I used to think” and “I now know” for students to reflect on material. “I also use the circle of knowledge, role plays and “wordles” to make the coursework more engaging,” said Garg. Three years ago, Garg was appointed Community Service Coordinator. “My role made me evaluate my own actions more critically. I had to change myself in many

ways.” Ever since, she has fervently worked to promote student involvement in service efforts. With words like: “The more you do, the more you can do”, she has helped double the number of AES students working to help the community. Many students recognize Garg as a source of inspiration. Tanvi Mago, a Senior and former Community Service Student Coordinator, said, “Mrs. Garg has been instrumental in developing my interest in service. She has always been kind and helpful and most importantly, encouraging. I have learned so much about leadership and organization, and I would be lying if I didn’t attribute a lot of that to Mrs. Garg.” Anmol Srivastava, a senior and leader at Teach India added, “After being in Teach India for two years, I really feel that Mrs. Garg is a friend rather than a teacher. It also helps that she is absolutely hilarious, even if she doesn’t mean to be at times.” Garg remains disappointed that, despite the presence of 18 service clubs, only half the student population is involved in service. She said, “At the end of my tenure, I want to say that I was able to help AES’s service efforts move from including onequarter of the high-school population to every student. I want this to be my legacy.” A little-known fact about Garg is that she occasionally “hangs out” with Bollywood heartthrobs. Ask her about her photo of “the hug” from Sharouk Khan. Recently she attended the premiere of Kiran Rao’s new movie, “Dhobi Ghat,” where she was photographed with Rao’s husband, Aamir Khan. One can assume that they were discussing some aspect of Garg’s work. Reflecting her passion for history, Mrs. Garg said with a smile, “Why would someone study chemistry or physics if they can study history? History is all-encompassing.”


SCHOOL NEWS Substance Abuse: Talon’s Post Survey Raises Questions By Alex Bulch When Friday night rolls around, are you the devoted student cracking open the books, the student engaging in sports or watching a movie with friends, or are you the student illegally popping open a bottle of beer? Recently Talon’s Post attempted to survey the student body on the topic of substance abuse. Only 35 students responded; why so few? Some students did not fill out the survey due to fears that the results would not be anonymous. Of those who responded, a minority of 40.5% stated that they have never tried an alcoholic beverage. Comments accompanying the survey results ranged from, “I’m Mormon,” to “ I am an alcoholic because of AES.” A caveat: the results of the survey have limited significance, because of the small number of respondents. Nonetheless, these 35 students represent ten percent of the AES student body. And the responses indicate that at least some AES students are drink alcohol or use drugs. In fact, a large majority of respondents, 91.7%, stated that they drink due to peer pressure because they are in India and don’t know what else to do. The ever-present issue of peer pressure also plays a part. Also, 25.6% of the respondents said that students who drink are higher in the high school social hierarchy. 43.6% say sometimes people are popular because they drink. One comment raised a valid point about this issue, “Those that drink are the more social ones,

and therefore usually more popular/ more known than those who don’t drink.” High school students often face the question from their parents as to what

ers, 14.6% of respondents stated that their parents provide them with alcohol. While some may think that these parents are going too far, one student shared this per-

In addition to the responses regarding alcohol usage, responses also addressed drug abuse. Of the students who use drugs, only 20.6% of parents know they are using, a significantly lower percentage than the 59.3% of students who stated that their parents know they drink. Apparently, this group of students would rather their parents know that they drink rather than that they use drugs. One wonders what the survey results would indicate if a larger student sample had responded. It is safe to say that this alcohol abuse is a universal issue for high school students. This is India, so access to alcohol is relatively easy, despite the legal drinking age limit of 25. Does AES have an alcohol/drug issue? The recent AES survey represents too small a percentage of AES students to answer this question, but the results should alert the community of the possibility. “going out” entails. According to one student’s comment, “We understand each other.” This refers to the might 59.3% of responding students whose parents know they drink. However, 39.1% of the respondents’ parents do not approve of this premature rite of passage. Even though getting alcohol in India presents few challenges for teenag

spective: “My parents are okay with alcohol, and we’ve talked about it. I understand their beliefs, and they understand mine.” Although this may seem safer to some, since this way parents know the risks their child is taking, others would disagree. AES is an academically challenging school, and one might wonder if alcohol or drug abuse would make life easier. How

AES Debates the Delhi Alcohol Law BY ANUSHKA Bhatia The government projects alcohol as a looming danger for society; the culprit in road accidents, homicides, suicides, and other mental or physical health problems. Government reports dictate that drunk driving is the cause of 40% of road accidents in India. Thus it seems only natural that Delhi has set the minimum age for alcohol consumption at 25, in order to safeguard the country’s youth. The law strictly orders that any place serving alcohol must have a well displayed notice of the age limit. The government supposedly performs regular checks, increasing public awareness about the risks and dangers of alcohol, as well as monitoring the hospitals and charging large fines.

ever, almost all of the respondents believe that alcohol and drug use do NOT make you smarter.

Yet, enforcement seems to fall short, according to some AES students. For example, Junior Alex Bulch said , “ I have seen 15 year olds drinking in restaurants without ever being asked for ID.” Junior Livia Kodderitzsch agreed: “There’s no point having such laws; they’re never enforced” Some believe that high legal age limits do not stop an underage person from drinking anyway. Alice Rossignol, another Junior, said, “The later the drinking age, the more out of control underage drinkers will become.” Perhaps the current age limit of 25 actually promotes underage illegal alcohol consumption, particularly when students perceive that the law is unenforced.


SCHOOL NEWS

Ambassador Roemer Speaks at AES By Raag Kashyap On January 6, the U.S. Ambassador to India, Tim Roemer, gave a foreign policy talk at AES to AES Juniors and Seniors. He discussed issues related to India and current priorities that the U.S. government has with regard to India. Topics he addressed included Wikileaks and Obama’s visit to India. Ambassador Roemer was pleased that Obama had come to visit India so early in his term and felt that this was good for U.S.-India relations. Regarding the Wikileaks issue, Ambassador Roemer also said that the U.S. would try to prevent classified information from getting on Wikileaks and expressed disapproval for that organization. Student response to Ambassador Roemer’s speech was positive. For example, Junior Rishabh Sivakumarsaid, “I felt the foreign policy talk was good and informative. I really had an interesting time listening to the speech.” Overall, students enjoyed his speech and gained information about U.S. foreign policy, and, specifically, U.S. relations with India.

London Survives AES Thespians By Alex Bulch This year’s IB Theatre trip was to artistically rich London. AES thespians invaded the beautiful city for six days, from November 2nd until Sunday the 7th. This year’s excursion included 16 students and three

teachers. AES Seniors traveling included Cam Byrne, Nathalie Enderle, Hania Olszewska, Ankita Raturi, Maggie Soto and Jason Tasharski. Juniors on the trip were Rohit Ayyagari, Adam Basson, Falaq Lall, Kanchan

Jha, Monique Mahboobani, Georgia Ale Nelson, Genevieve Nickel, Jorina Pascale, Joel Potts and Alice Rossignol. Teachers Mr. Caemmerer, Mr. Clinton and Mr. Pitale guided the young thespians throughout the trip.

The students engaged in 16 hours of workshops in a series of four-hour sessions. A professional actor from one of the most prestigious theatre schools in the world, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London

(RADA), led the students throughout their various trainings. Students learned new acting skills through creative exercises, along with hours of reciting lines with dramatic expression. Despite the jet lag and the long workshops, the group saw five plays. Two were musicals; Wicked and Les Miserables. The other three plays were The Death Trap, Design for Living and Country Girl. When asked about the plays many students men-

tioned they were amazing, but it’s possible they could not fully appreciate them due to jet lag and the overall exhilaration of being in London. During the trip, the students focused on developing the characters from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing . Hopefully those trip participants appearing in the AES version of that Shakespearean comedy will be able to apply some of their newly-acquired skills.


OPINION Senioritis: Let It Happen BY SHOMPA Choudhury

Throughout high school, students precariously jump from one challenge to another. Their only consolation is the hope that during the second semester of senior year, they will reach the state of absolute complacency known as “senioritis”. Mysteriously, senioritis seems to justify lethargy, lack of focus and chronic apathy about anything labeled “academic”. Is senioritis such a state of nirvana? On the other hand, does senioritis necessarily prevent learning? The Class of 2011 has just entered the second semester senior realm, yet many are failing to reach the senioritis oasis. Leon DeBoer, a Senior, described senioritis as “something that does not exist in [his] world.” He added, “It is something that exists only in the world of American colleges. For me, the IB matters and the IB is an ongoing process. So, I can’t stop.” Senior JooEun Lee added, “In our grade, everyone is very competitive and into grades. Everyone keeps studying.” Another Senior, Sanggyun Kim said, “Senioritis is like a goal that cannot be reached. It’s a social conspiracy to make us work up to senior year.” During the second semester of senior year, the workload does not

miraculously disappear. The teachers and the courses remain the same, as does the homework. In fact, the workload possibly

So, is senioritis just a momentous lie? No. But what IS “senioritis?”

increases for IB Diploma candidates as exams approach.

Only when seniors forcibly abandon this parasitic stress, will we reach the state of bliss that characterizes senioritis.

For the Class of 2011, the disadvantage of being part of a group of studious, ambitious and motivated students has been the steady pressure to perform well. Senioritis is simply realizing that a “C” on the next test does not directly jeopardize our future. Rejecting stress does not have to hinder educational goals. Seniors not worrying about grades, college applications or SAT scores can focus on the actual learning process in class. Just think; we could actually enjoy learning. Seniors, we need to collectively overcome our psychological dependence on the cycle of stress. Is stress such an intrinsic part of our academic character that we cannot learn without it? After spending a year stretching ourselves to the limit, forgetting what a good night’s sleep felt like and attempting to be studious, all-rounded superheroes; we second-semester seniors should take a deep breath. Finally, we have the opportunity to learn that we do not have to be perfect all of the time. We cannot blame the school, the administrations, the IB, or even fate for denying us our “senior privileges”. This is our decision.

Letter to the Editor

DEAR EDITOR

Although the High School is helping the majority of projects and events, the Middle School launched a project last year. The project involves students bringing Tetra Paks to school. At the end of each week, the collected Tetra Paks are sent to an NGO that recycles them. The Middle School needs our help. As high schoolers, we are the leaders of the campus, and we should set an example ourselves, by recycling collected Tetra Paks. We, from the Recycling Club, would like to launch this project in the High School. For this to work out, we need students to

bring Tetra Paks from home or anywhere else. We will recycle them. This new project will save more trees and make our society cleaner if not better. Here are some kinds of Tetra Paks, including but not limited to those sold in school:  Milk cartons (e.g. Nestle’s)  Juice boxes  Other beverage Cartons If you have any of these at home, bring them to school and help the community. Instead of throwing them in trash bins, throw them into the recycling boxes specifically designed to recycle Tetra Paks. As responsible global citizens, we should all be aware that by not recycling

Tetra Paks, we are killing trees and wasting our precious and limited resources. Be on the lookout for further information on this project in the near future. Help

society by starting to collect Tetra Paks for recycling today. Sincerely, Jaeho Yoo Leader of Recycling Club

Look for a Talon’s Post dropbox in the Breezeway Turn in your ideas by 20th February WIN A PRIZE


OPINION Brr...Brrr...Breezeway BY GAUTAM Kapur

In April 2010, AES’s high school building received a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design Schools Gold Standard (LEED) certificate. However, has the need to be “green” and environmentally friendly surpassed the need for comfort? The high school building has been controversial ever since students and faculty moved from the Porta-Village in April of 2009. Students and faculty alike endured harsh summer conditions until the end of that school year. Complaints were aplenty regarding the building, but surely things would change as it had only been the first three months of operation. When students returned in August, temperatures had cooled down, but the monsoon season was in full force. Thunderstorms made the staircases slippery, and it was not uncommon to see someone fall when walking from one class to the other. When the monsoon season ended there was a brief two month period of sanity, until winter arrived. Shivering students could be seen gulping down cups of hot chocolate, trying to stay warm in the cold passageways, Breezeway, and even some classrooms. Evidently, the construction of the High School Building was suitable for neither Delhi summers nor Delhi winters. It is now the second year that high school students and faculty have had to endure the cold while occupying the high school building. Why haven’t any changes been made to make it more comfortable? Can we expect to see changes in the near future? Students had specific ideas for making the Breezeway more comfortable: “If the school has the money, I would definitely like to see patio heaters set up in the Breezeway,” said Jay Vaidya, a Junior. “I would install temporary glass panes to serve as a full enclosure during winter,” said Junior Anuraag Bahl.

The Executive Council (EC) has heard these complaints, and wants to “create a solution,” said Junior EC rep Shannen Eikerman. “The EC has talked about installing fans during the summer and heaters during the winter in the Breezeway. Next week we will set up a table for students to interact with EC members,” she added. At the EC table, students can give their opinions to EC members. According to Eikerman, EC will then discuss these student-raised issues at their meetings. EC representatives Rishi Sharma and Vikram Kumar advocated the table idea, saying, “Get back to us next week at the table,” when asked if the EC would improve the conditions in the Breezeway. When asked if the EC had the funds to address the Breezeway issue, Senior EC rep Abhinav Tyagarajan stated, “Actually with Fall Fiesta funds, half go to service clubs and the other half go to the ASCs. When the EC met with the ASCs, they addressed their concerns over the Breezeway, and the ASCs liked the idea of using the funds for developing the Breezeway.” However, some students feel that trying to change the Breezeway would essentially defeat its initial purpose. “It’s the nature of the Breezeway to be windy and cold. It is the breeze way after all,” said Kavya Gundavaram, a junior. “Besides, winter in Delhi is generally for two or three months,” added Rishabh Sivakumar, a junior. Another common argument is that students do not necessarily have to sit in the Breezeway during the winter season; however, as the high school population passes the 400-student mark, there is less and less space for students. Ultimately, some students will have to sit in the Breezeway, because the cafeteria and other indoor locations will be filled. The good news is that winter is coming to a close, but the bad news is that summer will begin before we know it. Nevertheless,

there is evidence that the AES administration can take action to address high school building issues. During a Board of Governors meeting on November 19, 2009, a PSA representative reported that “corridors in the new high school building were getting dangerously slippery due to the rains.” Immediate action was taken thereafter, as

Teflon fabric cover was used as coverage to roughen the floor. In a school like AES where student input is highly regarded, hopefully various bodies will address the input and begin to take action to develop the Breezeway to make it more habitable.

Where Do Elephants Come From? By Sohel Dhawan Recently, I was discussing the phenomenon of elephants mating. And guess what? Predictably, some people focused more on the sexual aspect rather than seeing this as a fascinating event in terms of biological continuity and the natural selection that enables some species to live. For example, when I mentioned the phenomenon to fellow Senior Nidhi Saxena , she seemed repulsed . “Never talk about this again in public.” Never? In public? Are we afraid of reproduction, especially that of elephants? Often, when discussing the process of reproduction, people tend to associate it with inappropriate thoughts. Is the topic really that bad? Senior Anjali Misra’s response was, “No comment,” immediately followed by, “I would find it disturbing.” Let’s think rationally: we all are all here reading this brilliant article thanks to the amazing process of reproduction. Reducing multiple possibilities of genetic combinations to only a small number is brilliant. Additionally, to think that humans and ivory-tusked beasts go through the same process is even more mind-blowing.

Based on a random sample of AES stu dents, male students seem more direct (or is it nonchalant?) about the topic of elephant mating. Some males may respond, as did Senior Conor McGurk, “It turns me on”.

Perhaps, in contrast, females are terrified at the prospect of verbalizing a completely harmless and natural process that resulted in their existence. By the way, Conor modified

his statement by adding, “I don’t care. It does not interest me.” Fair enough. Another Senior, Nicholas de Young said, “It’s completely fine.” Senior Jason Tasharsky summed up the tone of the “survey” results, saying, “Why would it bother me?” Honestly Jason, I don’t know, but it shouldn’t, so don’t worry about it. Tasharsky summed up the tone of the “survey” results, saying, “Why would it bother me?” Honestly Jason, I don’t know, but it shouldn’t, so don’t worry about it. Having studied the process of reproduction in detail as an HL Biology student, I find that the concept as a means of creating life is empowering, amazing, and fascinating. Does it bother me that others disagree? No, I don’t care. But should I? People, don’t let others influence you; don’t let the naysayers dictate your view on the appropriateness of the elephant reproduction issue. You have the right to form your own opinion. THE FINAL VERDICT: ELEPHANTS ARE AWESOME!


SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT Advice Auntie

Dear Advice Auntie, I have just finished submitting all my college applications, and my parents (not the most laid-back folks) are constantly harassing me to find out whether I got in. This is making me so nervous that I have started biting my nails and pulling handfuls of hair out during class. Is this normal? Should I tell my parents about my new masochistic tendencies? I’m confused, worried, and desperate. Help! Sincerely Kollege Krazy

Dear Kollege Krazy, Firstly, that horrible usage of ‘K’s instead of ‘C’s will really get you nowhere. Being a senior, you should have realized at least by now that good spelling correlates positively with decency and dignity. Anyway, I don’t think you should worry this much about your so-called ‘masochistic tendencies’ because that is a perfectly natural part of growing up. Stress goes hand-inhand with pain. When I was young, waiting for the board-exam results, I would often eat rotis right off the pan so my tongue would singe with the hot steam. Well, enough about me. I hope you get into college, and remember to check the results as often as possible! Sincerely, Advice Auntie ------------------------------------------------- Dear Advice Auntie, I AM DYING. I have so many extra-curricular activities; I don’t even know where to begin with my work. How do I prioritize it? I don’t know whether to do my Biology IA or to finish my work for my service club. As a result, I’m not doing really well in anything. All my work is turning out average, but I guess it is okay since I manage to do everything. I guess I can never be Superman. Well ‘AA’, do you have any advice on what I should focus on? What should I do to

satisfy all parts of my life and work? This may require some serious planning. sincerely, Stretched Out Dear Stretched Out, I’m happy that you’re working hard in whatever it is you’re doing. However, the solution to this problem is simple. When faced with a choice between helping others (which will not help your grades, and can be postponed) and doing Biology (which will determine your future as a significant human being), it may seem to be a hard choice, but choose what is necessary to be an empowered person: choose biology.

Schoolwork is always more important than extra-curricular activities. Those can simply be exaggerated or made-up on your college application. My friend Nippi has a son who didn’t do any service work during school. He worked very hard in his classes and graduated with all ‘A+’ grades. On his college application, he listed all the service and extra-curricular activities he would have liked to do if he had had the time, and next thing you know he was accepted to Harvard. Let this be a lesson to you that anything is possible if you put your mind to it! Hope that was inspiring, Sincerely, Advice Auntie

Where’s the Heat? BY ROHIT Ayyagari

At the Miami Heat’s welcome party

on July 9th, LeBron James claimed that the Heat would win, “not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven . . . ,” championships. However, the Heat has failed to perform like a championship team over the first six weeks of the season. With an 8 and 4 record, the team has brought either disappointment or delight to many. Prior to the commencement of the season, Miami was supposedly going to rule the east. Yet they are 0 and 2 against the Boston Celtics who have recently added Shaquille O’Neal to their roster and currently lead the east with a 9 and 3 records. On the other hand, the Heat has

played 12 out of the 82 season games, therefore making it difficult to criticize the gradually unifying team. Bocar Toure, arguably the biggest Miami Heat fan at AES, claims “the team is still developing to become a unit and will dominate the league very soon.” Personally, I foresee great success for the team by the end of 2010. I say this with conviction as I have noticed a budding chemistry on the court between the players, the key ingredient that was missing. The Miami Heat have proven themselves with their last three consecutive wins, beating the Toronto Raptors (109100), Phoenix Suns (123-96), and Charlotte Bobcats (95-87). On offence, Miami stands second in the league in offense efficiency

(number of points a team allows per 100 possessions).

Although their standings do not reflect this, the Heat has been successful on both sides of the court. So why does this supposedly “invincible team” have an 8 and 4 record? The problem lies in the number of assists, possessions, and rebounds per game, all of which require chemistry and unity within a team. Lebron James is already making this effort by leading his team with an average of 25.7 assists and 15.5 rebounds per game. Also, over the last 12 games the bench has been inconsistent, putting all the pressure on Wade, James, and Bosh. If the three all-stars get their game on together, the bench will follow through, making the team undefeatable. All three players have taken on the team pressure as individuals. In order to succeed, Wade, James, and Bosh need to split this pressure equally amongst them and set up a foundation for teamwork. When the team is finally stable, maybe not seven but at least one championship will follow. All Miami fans, including me, will then be able to say “YES WE DID” once again.


SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT Pick Up Lines: Harry Potter Crossword

IF YOU were a Dementor, I’d become a criminal just to get your

kiss.

MY NAME may not be Luna, but I sure know how to Loveg-

ood! IF I were to look into the Mirror of Erised, I’d see the two of us together. DID YOU survive Avada Kedavra? ‘Cause you’re drop dead gorgeous. I’M JUST like Oliver Wood, baby… I’m a keeper! IF I were a Seeker and you were a Snitch, would you let me catch you?

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: Diksha Gupta, Anushka Bhatia, Rohan Goel, Sohel Dhawan, Alex Bulch, Haewon Jeong, Gautam Kapur, Manali Banerjee, Raghav Verma, Shompa Choudhury, Rohit Ayyagari, Raag Kashyap FACULTY ADVISOR: Ms. Guerin EMAIL US AT talonspost@gmail.com


January Issue 3  

January 2011

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