#3 HOLIDAY EDITION 8Rising Stars 8The Earth is, Obviously, Flat 8English as a Universal Language
THE NEW HEAD
“WE SHOULD BE MISSION DRIVEN AND VISION LED”
MEET THE TEAM
Fellow reader, It is with great pleasure that I present you the Holiday edition of the Under the Stone magazine, led by students, for the students. This edition focuses on the various hobbies that our reports pursue such as listening to music albums, watching movies with Hollywoodâ€™s rising stars and travelling around the secret marvels India has to offer. Just like in every edition, we have worked very hard with the hope that you share the same passions as us! Unfortunately, this is my last edition of the student magazine, since I will be graduating next year. It has been an honor leading this organisation destined for success, and I hope you enjoy this Holiday Edition. Please welcome Bhavya Vyas, from M5, as the new Editor-In-Chief for the next editions of Under the Stone! Thank you very much for your support and I wish you a very happy holiday on behalf of the Under the Stone team. Vinicius Sousa
Vinicius Sousa Vice Editor-In-Chief
Magazine Designers Anaelle Jarrault Simon Tuner Rohit Abby Tayyibah Kazim
Reporters Jayati Gupta Sushruta Kokkula Bhavya Vyas
Siya Tripathi Sachin Rammoorthy
Photographer Lea Cepeda
Mr Adam Esiyok
Let it Snow John Green
The Book Thief Markus Zusak
HOLIDAY READING TIPS FROM US
Across the Universe
The Golden Compas
Interview with the new school head
By now, I’m sure we are all aware that Dr. Sortland will be retiring this year, and that Mr. McCloskey will be taking over as head of Stonehill. Taking up such a position is very exciting, yet, a challenge. Under the Stone has interviewed him to gain a better insight into who the new Head of School is!
here are you from and how did you get into education? “I am from Exmouth, which is a town in Devon, England. When I left school I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do, so I became a builder’s labourer, which was very hard work. After doing that for about a year, I decided to get a degree in Drama, European Literature, and Politics from the University of Lancaster. After graduating, I still did not have a clear career path, so I decided to become a bar manager for about a year, which also is pretty hard work. Then, I really took some time to think it through and find a solid career path. Both my parents and sisters were teachers, so I decided to try that out. I went to Plymouth University to train to be a teacher, and I taught there for about 2 years” Where were you before Stonehill and How long have you been here at Stonehill? “Right before Stonehill, I was in Khartoum, Sudan. In total, I have taught at six different international schools in Bangladesh, Tanzania, Malawi, Thailand, Sudan and now, in India. This is my 4th year here.” What do you like about Stonehill and how would you describe it in 3 words? “People who come to this school always 4
comment on how caring, friendly and polite the students are, which I believe is very important. I also think that it is a very inclusive, international school. Stonehill makes students open-minded and caring, which I admire a lot. In terms of academics, we offer great quality education where children get the opportunity to apply what they learn in class to the real world. I am very proud of the curriculum in place, as I think it prepares children for life and makes them global citizens. I also think the school does extremely well in terms of the students’ results. If you look at our diploma results, we are above the world average, which means we offer a well-balanced, holistic and academically challenging curriculum. The three words I would use to describe Stonehill would be that we are caring, inclusive and welcoming.” What are your plans for Stonehill? “I think this school should be mission-driven and vision led, and what is important about our school is the guiding statements we have in place. My job is to make sure that we bring those guiding statements to life, and that they are not just stuck on classroom walls. It is my job to make sure what we say is what we do.“
What do you think will be your biggest challenges as head? I think the biggest challenge for us is to make sure we continue to employ good teachers. Good teachers make a good school. It will be my job to recruit and retain high-quality teachers that will initiate high-quality performance from students of all ages. What will you miss the most about your current position once you become head? As the current primary principal, I am able to spend a lot of time with the students in their classrooms, which is fortunate. I pop into as many classrooms as I can throughout the week and talk to the children and teachers. However, my concern is that with a different position I will not be able to interact with students as much, and it is extremely important for me to stay connected to the school. MYP and DP students should expect to see more of me later on. Right now, I’m mainly around the PYPs, but I hope to get to know some of the older students soon. I think it’s really important to treat the older students as adults and ask for their opinions. This way you find out what is working well and what requires improvement. Sushruta Kokkula D2
OF A BORED BUS RIDER In the mornings, I am awakened from my slumber just in time for the bus to leave for school. I hastily shower and wolf down a light breakfast. As I run down to the bus stop, I can already feel my eyelids getting heavier. When I finally slump down on my seat, I close my eyes and sleep like a baby - often times even better than the previous night’s sleep. When the bus inevitably arrives at school, I groggily make my way to my homeroom and begin the day.
The time taken up by these activities only comprise a fraction of the real journey. The real journey includes mentally setting deadlines for homework and figuring out what to do the rest of the day. This practice is very dear to me since setting mental deadlines makes it very hard to procrastinate. Sometimes, in addition, I complete a large chunk of my homework on the bus out of extreme boredom. In fact, part of this article was written on the bus.
Time flies - and it seems like I just got out of the bus when I am whisked back inside at the end of the day. However, unlike my morning commute, I find it hard to sleep on the bus ride in the evening. As I stare out the window into the chaotic world outside, I yearn for an appetizing snack.
Of course, most bus rides are spent browsing through my ever-expanding music library. Watching videos on YouTube is also a popular cure for boredom. Nevertheless, these two activities are limited by several factors - a faulty network connection on my phone, and a younger student throwing a noisy tantrum.
Students who take the bus - especially the ones to south Bangalore - know exactly what I am talking about. Often times, students take no fewer than 2 ½ hours to reach home from school, tormented by the horrendous traffic on city roads. Time on the bus is viewed as an utter waste of time by many, but in my opinion, the time on the bus is precious, and accounts for productivity and mindfulness.
But in these dire situations, I simply turn to my left and strike up a friendly conversation with friends. I learn about an interesting piece of information that happened in school today, or about a really good ice cream place, which often turns out to be a highlight of my commute.
Every day, on the way back home from school, I gaze out onto the landscape, looking forward to every signboard that gets me closer to home and bracing myself for every small, yet mighty speed bump along the way. Others may view this practice as a waste of time, but I do not. I see two youngsters quarrelling on the road, and time is needlessly lost pondering over the reason for their dispute.
The bus journey is one that no student looks forward to. As much as you hear me complaining about it though, it has become a part of my daily routine. Long periods with absolutely nothing to do is surprisingly when I’m at my best. Sachin Rammoorthy M5
Mr. Ananda is a familiar face around Stonehill. Perhaps you’ve seen him in the art room, while he’s helping out with various different things. Although we’ve all seen Mr. Ananda walking around school, most of us don’t know much about what he does. To learn more about Mr. Ananda, we interviewed him in a mix of English and Telugu. His responses have been translated.
Mr. Ananda is married with kids and speaks Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, and English. One thing you’ll realize about him is that he’s very busy around the school, as he helps nine teachers with a multitude of things. He’s an art teacher assistant, who helps all the teachers in the art department with anything they need, whether it’s scanning, printing, sticking things up on the board, or cutting things. He receives a timetable from the art department that tells him when to help what teacher. He loves his job at Stonehill and finds it very interesting. Although he helps teachers with their jobs, he also teaches pottery! Pottery is a passion which he enjoys both at school and at home. Mr. Ananda finds pottery calming, and it was part of the reason he was chosen for the job he does. When he was asked about it, his face lit up immediately. He had been doing it for over twenty years, having learned it at a very young age from his grandparents.
When asked why he loves pottery so much, he simply replied with “because it’s my hobby!”. Mr. Ananda loves all types of pottery: hand sculpting, wheel pottery and more. In fact, he’s very good at all of them! His favourite sculpture to make is Ganesha. He says that “Ganesh Chaturthi is very big in India, so people like him”. There are many forms of Ganesha to sculpt, as well. Mr. Ananda sells his designs, and he says that statues of Ganesha sell the most. However, he really enjoys making sculptures of animals, especially horses and elephants. Another hobby of his is driving, though there isn’t really a particular reason he likes it; he just finds it interesting! In Mr. Ananda’s nine years at Stonehill, he’s done quite a few jobs at the school. He first found the job in 2008, in the housekeeping department. However, the Head of the Arts Department realized that his talent should not go unnoticed, so he got promoted to the Arts department. Mr. Ananda says that his favourite part of his job is being able to practice pottery and teach it. Throughout the time we were interviewing Mr. Ananda, he had many things to take care of. Including locking up the art room after students left and helping Ms. Ranmali with artwork. The next time you see Mr. Ananda around the hallways, or in any of your art classes, say hello! Siya Tripathi M4
DEAR INDIA, WE’RE PRAYING FOR CHANGE...
hen I was younger, I was taught to pray every night before I went to sleep. Even today, although my beliefs have changed, not once have I consciously skipped doing so. I don’t understand it fully, yet it brings me comfort. Even though my family has never pressured me to believe in a certain way, I’ve constantly felt the need to have faith, because of the way the concept of right and wrong has been conveyed to me. If I do believe in religion, I’m a great person. If I question it, I’m considered to be unworthy of respect. In my opinion, this mentality desperately needs to change. Religion is responsible for beautiful and meaningful lessons, including spreading love and teaching kindness. Although it is a broad concept that connects people around the world, it can also affect families negatively when taken to an extreme. Many children are pressured into certain religious beliefs by their parents, especially in India. When this happens, children start to feel guilty for not believing in religion, and this feeling can follow them into their adult lives. Across India’s different religions, children are raised to adopt or practice their parent’s religious beliefs, as a rite of passage, without being given a thorough understanding of it. This ‘imposition’ without explanation leaves children frustrated and guilty for not practicing religious traditions in the same way that their parents do. As modern India develops its social beliefs, the way religion is practiced will inevitably have to change. This feeling of guilt can push these children to feel negative emotions towards their families, even though their families never had foul intentions. This negativity can often be suppressed, simply because of a fear of confrontation.
For both the older and younger generations of today, it is imperative to find a way to understand one another. This requires a shift from their conditioned outlook to a more open and accepting perspective on the social demands of today’s youth. Educating children on religion is not a bad thing, but imposing religious values and practices on them is. Adopting a healthy curiosity and interest in the constructive teachings that religion provides can give children strong values to fall back on. Like most themes in the world, religion has positives and negatives. In a country like India, where religion crosses into every other topic, it is important to understand why it’s imperative
not to force beliefs upon children. Instead, families should focus on what religion can teach without forcing children to follow religious practices: it can provide a strong sense of morality, something today’s world is desperately lacking. Siya Tripathi M4
10 Tourist Destinations You
Have Never Heard of in India India - full of diverse culture and rich history. A country that is so chaotic and colourful, from the Himalayan peaks in the north to the banana trees of Kerala in the south. This country has so much to offer, and so much to see. I’m sure you all know of the popular destinations such as the Taj Mahal and the beaches of Goa, however, India has so much more that is hardly ever heard of. Here are my top 10 unknown tourist destinations in India: Ellora Caves, Verul, Maharashtra Located in Maharashtra, this is one of the largest rock-cut monastery temple caves in the world, making it a UNESCO world heritage site. Showcasing various Buddhist, Hindu and Jain monuments along with beautiful artwork which dates back to the 600 CE period, these caves originally served as a place for prayer, to many monks and gurus, and a place of rest to pilgrims. With over 100 caves at the site, 34 of which are open to the public, the caves showcase the importance of history and culture from that time. Bhutanatha Temple, Badami, Karnataka Who would have known that this beautiful cluster of sandstone shrines, dedicated to the deity, Bhutanatha, would be in the same state Bangalore is in? The construction of this temple started in the late 7th century and was only completed in the early 11th century. Hence, the Temple contains architectural forms from several different periods. The 8shrines also indicate signs of Jain artistry carved into the temple walls.
Tirthan Valley, Himachal Pradesh Located in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh, at an altitude of over 1600 meters above sea level, is an adventure heaven with stunning scenery. It derives its name from the river “Tirthan” which winds its way through the valley. This calm valley is ideal for trekking, fishing and simply enjoying the wildlife and nature around. Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health, Velankanni, Tamil Nadu Located in a very small town in southern India, the Roman Catholic Latin Rite Basilica is devoted to Our Lady of Good Health. It started off as a small chapel in the mid 16th century and became a full parish church in 1771 when the Catholics of India were under persecution from the Dutch. In 1962, the shrine of Vailankanni was brought to the high status of “minor basilica” by Pope John XXIII. Maluti, Jharkhand Situated in the Dumka District of Jharkhand, this place has about 72 small temples. Built during the Baj Basanta dynasty, these temples are devoted to the kings of the Pala dynasty. They portray various different scenes from Hindu mythology like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. This place is also known for its annual sacrifice of over 100 goats, which is looked down upon by animal activist groups, yet the tradition still remains.
Leh Palace, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh A former royal palace overlooking the Ladakhi Himalayan town of Leh, built by King Sengge Namgyal in the 16th century. The palace has about 9 floors, the upper ones accommodated the royal family and the rest held the servants quarters, stables and store rooms. Unfortunately some parts of the palace are now ruined while the ones still safe have been turned into a museum, holding a rich collection of jewellery, ornaments, ceremonial dresses and crowns as well as Chinese thangka or sooth paintings, which are more than 450 years old. Mokokchung, Nagaland Home to the Ao Naga tribe, Mokokchung is a district in the state of Nagaland. Surrounded by six distinct hill ranges, it is a beautiful area. With many valleys nearby the main ones being Tsurang, Changki and Milak Valleys. Talasari Beach, Baleswar, Odisha It lies on the north-eastern coast of India, the name meaning “palm rows” because of the palm trees lined in rows along the beach. It is one of the less exploited beaches of the area with very little visitors. The waters of the sea are calm and very peaceful. This peacefulness makes it a popular destination for adventure seekers and those looking for solitude. Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, This is one of the world’s largest private residences, with a part of the palace being managed by Taj Hotels. Constructed in 1943 over a period of 15 years, the palace was purposely built at a slow rate in order to provide employment to the famine stricken farmers in the local area. This magnificent palace was named after Maharaja Umaid Singh, and with 347 rooms it serves as the residence of Jodhpur’s royal family. Rosary church, Shettihalli, Karnataka Built in the 1860s by the French missionaries in India for the wealthy British estate of the time, it is a grand structure of Gothic Architecture. In the 1960s, due to the construction of the Hemavati dam and reservoir the church was abandoned. Nowadays people come to see it submerged in water due to the monsoon which is regarded as a spectacular sight. By Sushruta Kokkula D2
Album Review: “Tell Me You Love Me” “Now I’m out here looking like revenge, feelin’ like a ten, the best I’ve ever been.” When I first heard that Lovato launched yet another album, I had low expectations. I was expecting the album to be a regurgitation of her previous albums: pop based and rather generic. But I must say the more I heard about the album, the more intrigued I got. Why was there so much praise for it? Why were there so many sales? I finally convinced myself to give it a shot and sat down to carefully listen to it. Usually while listening to albums,I skip songs that are uninteresting or aren’t as catchy, but while listening to “Tell Me You Love Me” I surprisingly found myself repeating several songs to myself! I have to admit, this album blew me away. The R&B vibes of the songs were really catchy. Another thing about most of her songs on this album is that they are deep and meaningful, yet upbeat songs that you can sing along to. Her song “Daddy Issues” is about her past struggles with an abusive and alcoholic father. “Lonely” is about her breakup with her six-year boyfriend, Wilmer Valderrama. She also does an excellent job of taking her listeners on an emotional roller-coaster from lighthearted songs like “Games” to meaningful songs like “Smoke & Mirrors” and then to laid-back, compassionate songs like “Hitchhiker and Concentrate”. Each of her songs are filled with emotion and love (based on some life experience) and are very different from other popular songs today. Demi Lovato, a multi-platinum Grammy-nominated singer, is one of the biggest songstress’ in today’s world. Apart from being a singer and a writer, she is also a philanthropist, businesswoman, and an actress. She is one of the most followed people on social media with over 145 million combined followers. On September 29th, Demi Lovato released her newest album, “Tell Me You Love Me,” which opened at number three on the US Billboard 200 and sold over 48,000 copies in the first week. This is Lovato’s sixth album and has more of a soulful R&B vibe unlike her previous album, “Confident,” which has more of a dance-pop, urban style to it. The title is named after Lovato’s favourite song in the album, “Tell Me You Love Me”. A hit song in the album, “Sorry Not Sorry” was released before the album and reached #1 on many charts. Her vast repertoire of diverse songs proves that Demi Lovato is one of the most fierce vocalists of today.
In addition, Demi Lovato recently released a new Youtube documentary called “Simply Complicated”, where she talks about her rough experiences with drug and alcohol addiction, self-harm, eating disorders, and bipolar disorder. Her documentary relates directly to her album, as they both cover many of the same topics. She says she got a lot of her song inspiration from her experiences.
Now, I can openly declare that Demi Lovato’s new album is simply the best and I would recommend all music lovers to give it a try. It is an emotional, catchy and meaningful album. As of now, the album is available on Spotify, Soundcloud, and iTunes. Aiisha Rishi M4
The Earth Is, Obviously, Flat The Earth is flat, we have no reason to believe otherwise, other than useless gibberish. I do not understand why people want to complicate the answer to such a simple question. Allow me to enlighten you. First of all, gravity is nonexistent. Instead, Earth is a disc that accelerates upwards at the speed of 9.8m/s2. This acceleration is what you wrongly call gravity. It is driven up by a strange force called dark energy or aetheric wind but is globally known as Universal Acceleration (UA). This is much like sitting in a train that never stops speeding up; you are forever pushed into your seat. You might be sitting there scoffing at me but think about it. From where have you learnt that the earth is an oblate spheroid. School? The internet? Common sense? Well, I’m here to tell you that you’re wrong. The number one association people relate to scientific advancements is inarguably NASA. Guess what? NASA lies. But it’s not their fault. The earth is portrayed as round because NASA thinks it is.
prevent us from falling off. The rest of the geographical structure remains the same, with continents in their place relative to the shape of the earth. Though this has not actually been proven, it seems like the most likely scenario. Solo explorers trying to prove this theory have often been unable to do so as they were stopped by unidentified groups and individuals. Some explorers even claim that they have been turned around at gunpoint for trying to investigate the ice wall. Why would anyone try to stop this research if there was nothing to hide?
“ But it’s not their fault. The earth is portrayed as round because NASA thinks it is.”
Let me tell you a little bit about the history of NASA. Its early rocket research resulted in total failures, one after another. At a point in time, speculated to be after the Apollo I catastrophe, NASA realized that they only needed to make rockets that could fly high enough to disappear from sight. This is all they needed to convince the world the earth was round. Soon after this decision, they went from total disasters to consistent successes: NASA’s success rate became nearly perfect.
I am not telling you that you should believe the earth is flat. Rather, I’m trying to tell you to do your own research, form your own opinions. Don’t blindly believe what you have been taught at school, or what you hear other people say. Did you know that some of this ‘round earth’ drivel dates back to the Ancient Greeks? Figure it out on your own. And when you realize the truth, join the Flat Earth Society. *This article is satirical and meant purely for entertainment purposes. Jayati Gupta M5
You may argue that there is photographic evidence to show the shape of the earth, but images can easily be altered or manipulated, and photographs are prone to distortion due to atmospheric conditions. The Flat Earth Society does not lend credibility to photographic evidence for the reasons specified above. Now let’s talk a little bit about what the earth actually looks like. The earth is disc shaped, much like a pancake, with a huge 150 foot high wall of ice, known to most people as Antarctica, at the edges to
ENGLISH AS A UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE Everybody reading this article can read and converse in English. But why English? Why not Hindi, for example? Contrary to popular opinion, English is not the most widely spoken language in the world. This title belongs to Mandarin. China, a country of more than a billion speakers is bound to take up the number one spot. In that case, English must be the second most spoken language in the world, right? Wrong! The second most widely spoken language in the world is Spanish. English finally comes in at a distant third. And yet, here we are, reading in English! English has been perceived by many to be the universal language of our world. So why English, you may ask? This article could have been written in Chinese, Bengali or Danish. Well, there are actually several reasons for English having the privilege of being called the universal language. Firstly, English is spoken all over the world. Unlike other languages like Chinese, Spanish and Hindi which are spoken by people only in specific areas, English is spoken by a reasonable fraction of people in most countries around our world. For example, an English speaker who is not conversant in Hindi can survive in India, but a Hindi speaker who cannot speak English would face difficulties in living in countries like the United States or England.
English is also one of the easier languages to learn. Unlike much of the other ones, the English language has no gender, no case, no word agreement and simple morphology. This makes it a straightforward and arguably one of the easiest languages to pick up. This has led to many more people around the world learning and taking up English. The final explanation for the popularity of the English language is historical. At its peak, the British Empire spanned over a quarter of the globe, from North America to Australia. They discovered that it was extremely difficult to govern a country when the people shared no common language. Thus, the British forced education in an English medium in their colonies. This led to the spread of English across the planet. Now, the question arises - will English remain to be the universal language? With the rapid growth of speakers of languages like Chinese and Hindi, will the title of universal language be held by another language? Latin and Sanskrit were once spoken widely, but are mostly spoken by priests and scholars now.
One cannot tell what might happen in the future, but considering the vast number of languages spoken in this world, there is a minuscule possibility of another language taking over as a universal language. Asian languages are considered easy to pick up but have complicated scripts, so it is highly unlikely that it will be taken up by a large number of non-native speakers anytime soon. On the other hand, coupled with its simple script and elementary structure, English has risen to be spoken by a large number of people worldwide, and the number of English speakers is only increasing. Rest assured - you will not be forced to learn another language in the near future. Sachin Rammoorthy M5
THE ISACI CHOIR
The ISACI choir attended the ISACI Choir Festival hosted by The International School of Hyderabad on November 2nd to experience 3 days of pure musical enjoyment. They were joined by many other schools from all over India, with the total number of people adding up to about 200!! Students sang their hearts out and formed new friendships. Under the Stone interviewed Ms. Evelyn Kelton, the conductor of the choir, to learn more about the trip. How was the experience of organising this choir? When I first joined Stonehill there was no choir - the MYP and DP thought it was silly to sing. I had a little primary choir. Things changed slowly, and new, enthusiastic students rolled in. This is the first year that I get to have such a big, diverse and exciting bunch of students to work with. How do you think the choir did? I think that considering the amount of rehearsal time we got - only about a few months of lunchtime - we did pretty well. We may still have a ways to go, but I’m sure it will be a fine journey. What is something the choir could have improved on? It is important that everyone rehearses together, but that sometimes becomes difficult in Stonehill, where there is so much happening all the time. This, coupled with the fact that there were busy D1s in the choir, meant that we didn’t get to practice as much as I had hoped for. Two hours a week to rehearse would be ideal.
What is something the choir did really well? The feeling of camaraderie between the members of the choir. M2 boys and D1 girls for example, two groups of people who would normally never even talk to each other, were now cracking jokes and genuinely loving each other’s company. What is a moment that stood out for you during the trip? My fondest memory of this trip was when I asked the choir to assemble at lunchtime to rehearse the day of the final performance and ended up being late to the rehearsal myself. When I arrived at the room, much to my amazed delight, the choir had started rehearsing on their own - in perfect harmony. It was a wonderful feeling. What are your hopes for the choir next year? I hope that it continues exactly the way it is going - that we build on our musical talents - and stay just as happy and excited as we are now. Jayati Gupta M5
RISING STARS You may know Tom Holland for his breakthrough role as Peter Parker in the movie Spider-man: Homecoming, which released earlier this year. His on-screen debut however, was the film The Impossible (2012) for which he played the role of Lucas Bennett. Though this role may not have gotten him his BAFTA Rising Star award, it did get him 11 respectable nominations and 9 awards. Holland, as most of you might not know, started out his career with dance. He was dancing at a hip-hop class in Wimbledon when he was scouted by the choreographer of the musical, Billy Elliot. After intense training for 2 years and 8 auditions, he was cast in the title role. He went on to star in The Impossible, for which his role was so highly praised that rumours about Academy Award nominations popped up. The rest, as we know it, is history. During Spider-man, Tom Holland was lauded for his agility. Due to his extensive dancing background, he was able to perform many of his own stunts. This set him apart and gave him an edge over other actors, who required stuntmen. But Holland is far from done yet. He is set to star in the sequel to Spider-man: Homecoming, which is expected to be released in 2019. Next year, he will reprise his role as Spiderman in Avengers: Infinity War. Apart from this franchise, he will play the title role of Todd Hewitt in Chaos Walking, an upcoming film based on the book The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. “The kid is flat-out fantastic. Tom Holland, 21, is boyish enough to play a 15-year-old Peter, and his portrayal is a tightrope walk between eagerness and hesitation. He plays and voices Spidey with an irresistible elasticity, believably pulled in a million different directions at once, his vulnerability making him special. “ - NDTV Millie Bobby Brown is undeniably best known for her portrayal of Eleven, a girl raised to develop psychokinetic abilities, in the hit sci-fi Netflix series, Stranger Things. Though she did have guest appearances in a few T.V. shows, including Grey’s Anatomy, Modern Family, and NCIS, Stranger Things was clearly her breakthrough in the film industry. Millie made her debut at the tender age of 9 when she played Alice in Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. She, then, continued to guest star in multiple T.V. shows and played a main role in the show Intruders, portraying the role of a young girl being possessed by a serial killer. It didn’t do that well and was cancelled after a single season. A fact people may not know about Millie is that she is a beautiful singer, despite being partially deaf. She recently opened up about this topic and said, “I just started to sing, and if I sound bad I don’t care, because I’m just doing what I love.” Millie also has plans of conquering Broadway, regardless of her hearing impairment. After Stranger Things, Millie is signed to act in Godzilla: King of the Monsters, which will release in 2019 and is directed by Michael Dougherty. “We knew Eleven was a cool character on the page — it took the magic of Millie to make it this culturally iconic figure.” - Executive Producer of Stranger Things: Shawn Levy
Jayati Gupta M5
E D I U G L A V I V SUR IB Being an IB Diploma student is one hell of a journey. You have your good days and your bad days, but then there are those days that you literally can’t find the will to get up in the morning. You don’t necessarily need to be super intelligent to score well in the IB, but you do need to be persistent and extremely organized. Here are some tips in order to survive these two tough years. 1. Plan a schedule and be organized This is probably one of the most important things. Maintain a planner, whether it be on your computer or a hard copy. Make sure you write down all your assignments and deadlines in order to successfully meet them on time. Organization is a key skill to have in life, and developing it now will definitely benefit you in the future. It will help you foresee things and make your workload easier to deal with. 2. Procrastination Nowadays, we are so addicted to our phones and can’t seem to leave them alone. They are so distracting at times when we need full concentration. Therefore, I cannot stress enough how crucial it is for you to put away your mobile phones and any other device that will distract you while studying. You might think that replying to a Snapchat or Facebook message will do no harm, but trust me, it will lead to you wasting hours which could have been spent on effective learning. DO NOT PROCRASTINATE. This is the worst thing to do. You get distracted from what you set out to do leading to endless hours of doing absolutely nothing because of your phones. Your Netflix shows, social media, and phones will not go anywhere. You can always check in on them during your free time.
3. Sleep Sleep is something that an IB Diploma student does not get enough of, but is so essential. This is the time where your body is working to support healthy brain functions. Studies indicate that a good night’s sleep of over 8 hours is necessary for students our age. Not only does it rejuvenate us, but also improves our memory and keeps us sharp. There is no point working and studying through the night because when you go to school the next day you’ll find yourself falling asleep in most of your classes! You will just end up wasting your class time, which leads to my next point. 4. Time management We all know about the enormous workload the IB Diploma has in terms of TOK, CAS, Extended Essay, Internal Assessments, and obviously, the content of the subjects themselves. Therefore managing your time is essential. DO NOT leave things until the last minute, otherwise you will find yourself panicking and not being able to perform to the best of your abilities. Start studying for tests in advance and don’t cram it all in the night before - trust me this method does not work. Instead, it just stresses you out. Find a balance. Set times strictly for studying, and the rest for your own entertainment. Master this skill now and you will be grateful for the rest of your life. Especially when the final exams roll around, during which time management is key.
5. Study wisely Make sure you are constantly revising the content you have learned in class. This way you will find that you have less stress while studying for exams. Do not waste your time studying things you already know. Spend more time on areas you find challenging and mastering the knowledge you are not so confident with. However, do not completely ignore what you already know. Make sure that you are confident with recalling that particular information. Build this confidence, as it is essential in order to believe in yourself, which is pivotal for the success in any IB Diploma student’s life.
Sushruta Kokkula D2
I was Born in the Wrong Generation
“I was born in the wrong generation. The forties are so dreamy!” This is a phrase we hear quite often. Everyone seems to want to go back to the past because it’s ‘Oh, so cool’. With the Golden Age of Hollywood, the birth of Rock n Roll and so much more, it feels like an absolutely wonderful time to live in - unless, you’re a person of colour, a woman, or part of the LGBT community. As a society, it’s regressive to believe that the past is far better than the present - especially when there is concrete evidence which demonstrates that in the past most people were treated much worse than they are now. Race is and always has been a front people use to condone their hate. To put things into perspective, 67 years ago when some of my favourite songs were written, and when your grandparents were kids, black men were segregated in the U.S Army, but were always led by white men. Before 1947, most people in India couldn’t vote in their own country. If you’re biracial, your parents would have not been able to have a relationship before 1985 in South Africa. If you’re anything other than white, you should be happy you weren’t in Charlottesville, Virginia on the 11th and 12th August 2017. But please, I say to the older gentleman on the airplane, as he continues telling me about how his childhood was all butterflies and rainbows, with no hate or negativity, and how kids these days complain about the world’s issues too much. Obviously, women being treated unfairly wasn’t a problem, right? In Europe during the 1800’s, a woman was the possession of her father before becoming the possession of her husband. If I was a teenager in the USA and Europe during the 1950’s, I’m pretty sure I’d be out of 16my mind before the time I turned 20, with all the advertisements
around me that insisted women had no place other than in the kitchen. And in 2017, in many countries including India, the law still protects men who are violent towards their wives. Despite this, I talk to a teenage blogger who insists she believes in equality but wants to go back to the past, because the moodboard she saw on ‘Tumblr’ portrays the 50’s to be poodle skirts, leather jackets and diners. Nothing more, and nothing less. So men controlled everything in the past. Surely two men could be in love with each other? In many U.S states before 2003, you’d be well out of luck if you loved someone of the same gender. In fact, if you were gay in most places in the world before the 21st century, it’s likely you’d be called a multitude of slurs, be assaulted and harassed and have many horrible things done to you, simply for who you loved. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention. In many countries today same-sex relationships are illegal. Let’s recap, shall we? In the past it really wasn’t ideal to be anything but: 1. Straight 2. White and 3. Male. If you aren’t these three things, you would probably have had a significantly difficult life prior to a few decades ago. In fact, in our world today we still have many problems that stem from racism, sexism and homophobia. If this is the case, and we have such a long way to go, why are some so hell-bent on going back to the past? There’s one thing people who romanticize the past need to understand: We still have Rock n Roll, diners and milkshakes...and we still have racism, gender inequality and homophobia too. Siya Tripathi M4
Is Media Reporting in the US Biased? Every once in a while, we hear news of another mass shooting or terrorist attack which breaks our hearts. The most recent ones - The Las Vegas and Texas Shootings - took the world by storm. These shootings were similar in that both the gunmen were White-American with unknown motives. You may be thinking, why is this relevant? After these attacks the shooters have been called “lone wolves” or “granddads”, but nothing in proximity to a “terrorist”. Is this due to misinterpretation of vocabulary? I think not. The Texas Church shooting took place on November 6th, 2017, when a man broke into a church of a small town and began firing at people from the ages of 5 to 72. Around 4% of the population of the town were killed, but it was not labelled as a terrorist attack. The Las Vegas shooting took place on the night of October 1st, 2017 when 64-yearold Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and injured more than 500 others. This shooting was considered the ‘deadliest shooting in modern US history’. Again, the media did not once label it as a terrorist attack. When attackers and shooters are White-Americans, they are automatically described as mentally ill by the media. The Las Vegas shooter was
called a country music fan who ‘doesn’t fit [the] mass shooter profile.’ However, if the same person was of another race or religion, then the shooter would immediately be called a ‘terrorist’ or a ‘criminal’. Some people oppose this argument as they believe that the reason these attacks were not labelled as terrorist attacks is because they didn’t have anything to do with race or religion. Terrorism is viewed as being used by radical groups to scare others into changing their religious or political beliefs. The attacks mentioned above contain no evidence of any political or religious motives in either one of these attackers. They were merely mass shootings.
“Mass murder is mass murder.”
I don’t think we should put labels on anyone without proper evidence proving that their crimes fall under a particular category. I believe that the Las Vegas shooter and the Texas Church shooter would have been portrayed as terrorists by the US media if they belonged to a different race. For example, Omar Mateen (a Muslim-American) killed 49 people at a gay nightclub on June 12th, 2016. He didn’t have any political or religious motives, they were personal. But he was still called a “radical Islamic terrorist”. Why is it that when the Las Vegas shooting happened, the first reaction of the police and media was
to look for possible mental illnesses, but the media was quick to use words such as “pure evil” and “genocide” to describe other mass murderers and terrorists? Yes, somebody like the Texas Church shooter was actually suffering from a mental problem, but isn’t it possible that other people who commit mass murders also aren’t in the right mindset? Mass murder is mass murder. If we are scared of terrorists with a motive to kill, we should also be scared of people with access to weapons, and minds filled with hatred. Before calling somebody a ‘terrorist’ or a ‘mass murderer’ research must be done to make sure that they fit under these categories. Mass murder and terrorism are wrong no matter what race or religion the shooter is from, and it is time for the US media to change their perspective on this matter and cover the topics in a more balanced manner. Aisha Rishi M4
How the GST in India Benefits Elephants “The mammoth tax reform was an
indirect blessing for the elephants in South India.” The rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on July 1st, 2017 marked a historic change in India and has been touted as a mammoth step towards tax reform in the country. Although experts predicted a significant number of benefits resulting from the GST, nobody predicted one jumbo advantage of the tax roll out - the Goods and Services Tax helps elephants! Let me brief you on tax benefits to help you understand the connection between GST and elephants. One of the taxes subsumed by the GST was the Octroi, which is a fee paid by vehicles that carry goods when entering any major city. The declaration of the cargo that is carried by the vehicle is a relatively large process which takes up a lot of time. An important fact to note is that there are checkpoints set up at the entrance of every city in India to collect the Octroi, usually from drivers of large trucks. Since these posts were gateways to major cities that required plenty lot of goods, there were several trucks seeking to pass by. Ergo, there were gigantic lines to reach the checkpoints! These lines often stretched over 3 kilometres in length and were a huge hindrance to everybody seeking passage. When the Octroi was dissolved, these checkpoints had a much simpler and straightforward purpose - to only collect declaration forms for the goods without the fee and other formalities. This made the whole process transparent and expeditious, reducing the size of the truck line significantly.
Now, we reach the second part of our story. There are several prime checkpoints in the states of Kerala and Karnataka that are situated right in the middle of 3 wildlife reserves - the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary and two other sanctuaries in the Nilgiri biosphere reserve. Elephants are a common sight in all 3 of these reserves. All the elephants in the area usually migrate to Noogu, a river in Karnataka, during the onset of summer. However, because of the arduous process of collecting the Octroi in the past, the serpentine lines blocked the elephants’ migratory corridor. This led to them not being able to journey to the river. Several elephants were killed because of the overpowering heat of the sun. Thus, the mammoth tax reform carried out by the Modi government was an indirect blessing for the elephants in South India! I am not sure how many readers are aware of the Butterfly Effect - the phenomenon where one small action would result in cascading effects elsewhere. In this case, it would be the Elephant Effect! It is truly marvellous and mind-blowing when you think about how an unrelated action can have such divergent impacts. Sachin Rammoorthy M5
Bangalore under 3000 Rupees Bangalore is a buzzing city with plenty to see and offer. While there is a lot that families can do in Bangalore, it can be challenging to find places that are inexpensive, but fun and interesting at the same time. After having spent some time exploring Bangalore, I have short-listed five places which a family of four can visit on a tight budget of 3,000 rupees. 1. Lalbagh Park (₹80): ‘Lalbagh’ literally translates to ‘Red Garden’ in English and is a botanical garden located in the South Bangalore. It was first commissioned in the 18th century by the ruler of Mysore, Hyder Ali, and was later finished by his son Tipu Sultan. It is an ideal place for families to visit, with its beautiful gardens, lakes and trees. There are many activities that a family can engage in, such as picnicking, walking, jogging or cycling. Besides having a wide range of flora, Lalbagh is also home to many birds, which is a great addition for those who are interested in birdwatching. For those into geology, the giant peninsular gneiss formation must not be missed. There is a tower at the top of this formation, where people can climb to get a beautiful view of Bangalore. The fee to go into Lalbagh is quite cheap. It is free from 6:00- 9:00 am and 5:30-7:00pm, but it costs 20 rupees per person at any other time. Something to note before visiting this park is that the bathrooms are very far from the main attractions. However, all in all, this park is worth visiting as it is an important landmark of Bangalore. It also hosts the annual flower show, the dates of which are publicised in the newspapers. 2. Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium (₹ 200): Established in 1989, the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium is one of the five planetariums in India that has a science park and a center for science. It is on Sir T. Chowdiah Road and is opposite to the Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain Park. For children, the science park showcases several models like whispering dishes, a massive kaleidoscope, a sundial, DNA and resonant swings. The planetarium has a capacity of 210 seats and runs daily shows such as ‘Sky Theatre’, ‘Dawn of the Space Age’, ‘Our Solar System’ and ‘Mars- The Red Planet’ for all ages. The planetarium is designed to encourage families to develop an interest in science. The planetarium also hosts many science exhibitions,
lectures, sky-theater shows and workshops for students and adults. If you are planning to visit anytime soon, be aware that the bookings for the shows can only be done a week before in person, otherwise, the tickets are only available for 30 minutes before the show starts. Nevertheless, the shows are well worth the wait and provide a great experience for the whole family. Depending on your age, the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium will cost around 200 rupees. It is closed on Monday and every second Tuesday. 3. Bowling (₹1000-1500): Another way to spend fun quality time with family on the weekend is to enjoy a game of bowling at ‘PVR BluO’ in Orion Mall or Phoenix Marketcity. It is one of India’s largest bowling destinations and is open from 10:30am to 11:00pm. The cost for a family of four can range from 1000 to 1500 rupees. Bowling is a great game to play with a group of people. There are instructors at the centre who can teach people the game and help improve their gaming technique. There is also a lounge where people can relax after an intense game of bowling with delicious food and drinks. PVR bluO can be crowded on special holidays and during the weekends, but it is fairly quiet at other times. 4. Zip-lining at Red Rider’s Club (₹1400) Have you ever thought about sailing through the sky? Well, going zip-lining at the Red Rider Sports Club, near Sarjapur road, is
another great way to spend time with family. This place has a 2-way zip-line surrounded by nature and greenery. People of all ages can zip-line: it is a fun, thrilling and safe activity. The club provides certified and well-trained instructors to ensure safety. Zip-lining not only helps people to step out of their comfort zone, but also gives a great sense of accomplishment. The club is open every day from 11:00am to 7:00pm and costs around 1,400 rupees for a family of four. However, this activity can be quite short, so once families have finished zip-lining they can head over to the club and do other activities like archery, go-karting and paint-balling. 5. Parasailing (₹2500): For families that want to (literally) be swept off their feet; parasailing at the Jakkur Airfield on Bellary Road is an ideal weekend activity. It is one of the safest aero sports, and can be done by almost anybody. Kids are allowed to fly with their parents, and safety equipment like helmets, harnesses, arm guards and knee guards are provided by the organizers. The total process of the activity includes the briefing by the instructors, putting on the safety gear, and finally - flying. The adrenaline rush that people receive while parasailing from a height of around 300 feet in the air is amazing. You also get a bird’s eye view of the city. This activity is relatively cheap and costs around 2,500 rupees. The centre is only open on Saturday and Sunday, from 6:00am - 4:00pm. Aiisha Rishi M4