Page 1

The Academy News

 Check out The Academy News online: /langacad.Go to “Student Information” and then click on “The Academy News.”

 More profiles of Language Academy students, p. 5

 Are you going to take the GMAT? Read some tips from Iris on p. 6.







Studios Halloween



5 5 ,




2 4 .

2 0 1 2

Six Flags—A Screaming Tour By MIYA CHENG

Our weekly activity was going to the Six Flags Fest this time. This theme park is well known for its adventurous and exciting rides, especially its various kinds of roller coasters. Right before Halloween, the park also goes into a horrible atmosphere where ghosts and monsters are hanging all over the place in order to catch and scare people passing tthrough. We arrived at dusk, and soon it was totally dark outside. Therefore, we had to follow the faint lights as well as try to avoid the monsters' attack to find the

Language Academy students enjoyed the thrill of the roller coasters at Six Flags.

entrances to the rides. Those ghosts were so naughty and wicked. They chose the only way that we could pass and lurked

there in order to scare timid people. Before they act, they usually put some smoke so that we couldn't see them See Six Flags on p. 7

Customs Personality





Architecture Hollywood


Sign Hike Calendar of Events


UPCOMING ACTIVITIES California Science Center/IMAX Friday, November 2, 2012 Meet at 1:00PM in JEF (return by 4PM) Explore the exhibits of the most popular museum destination in Southern California and enjoy “Blue Planet” on the seven-story IMAX screen. This event is FREE.

Language Academy Fall Break October 25th and 26th There will be no Language Academy classes on Thursday, October 25th and Friday, October 26th. There will be no Language Academy-sponsored activity on Friday, October 26th.






Monday, October 29, 2012 Description

Location JEF 124 DRB 265 JEF Courtyard JEF Courtyard JEF Courtyard DRB 265

Writing an “A” Paper (Levels 3 & 4) GRE/GMAT (Levels 4-6) Conversation Level 1 & 2 Conversation Level 3 & 4 *Special Conversation: Election 2012* Levels 5-6 IELTS Preparation

JEF 124 JEF 124 VKC 202

Conversation Level 1-3 Conversation Level 4-6 Statement of Purpose (Levels 4-6)


Writing an “A” Paper (Levels 3 & 4)

Facilitator Heather James Luke C. Jackie Rachel James Jackie Luke C. Marisa Heather

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 Time




JEF Courtyard

Conversation Level 1-3

JEF Courtyard

Conversation Level 4-6


Luke C.

JEF Courtyard



JEF Courtyard

Conversation Level 1-3 Conversation Level 4-6

JEF 203

Luke C. Joyce Diana

Speak English Fluently (Levels 1-3) 1:30-2:30

VKC 202

GRE/GMAT (Levels 4-6)


FEATURED LANGUAGE LAB: PUMPKIN CARVING! We will be carving pumpkins to celebrate Halloween from 111:00pm on Tuesday, October 30th and Wednesday, October 31st in the Jefferson Courtyard. Pumpkin carving is a great American tradition brought over by British and Irish immigrants as a symbol of harvest season. Carved pumpkins are also called “Jack-o’-lanterns.” Wear a costume and join us in this special language lab!


Writing an “A” Paper (Levels 3 & 4): Make your writing more sophisticated by using research. Learn how to use research in your writing to effectively support your ideas. GRE/GMAT Preparation (Levels 4-6): Find out the best ways to succeed on the new exam IELTS Preparation (Levels 3-6): Learn how to do well on the IELTS exam Statement of Purpose Workshop (Levels 4-6): Learn how to write an amazing SOP for graduate school. Bring your draft statement of purpose to every session. Speak English Fluently (Level 1-3): KNOW THE CODE! Maybe you can speak some English, but when you hear Americans talking socially, they use different English. This language lab will give you everyday English phrases so you can understand what Americans are saying, answer quickly, and make new friends. Conversation Groups: Practice speaking English by level with USC students. This is an interactive discussion in which you will participate in groups about several interesting topics. This is your opportunity to practice and to ask questions to native speakers. Special Conversation Group: Elections 2012 (Levels 4-6) Americans will be choosing their next President on November 6th. Learn more about the process and the candidates.



Statement of Purpose Workshop (Levels 4-6): Tuesday, October 30, 2012 Time



Location JEF 124 JEF Courtyard JEF Courtyard JEF Courtyard

Description Statement of Purpose (Levels 4-6) Conversation Level 1 Conversation Level 2 Conversation Level 3

JEF Courtyard

Conversation Levels 4-6

JEF 124

Reading Power (Levels 1-3)

JEF Courtyard JEF Courtyard JEF Courtyard

Conversation Level 1,2 Conversation Level 3 Conversation Level 4-6

Facilitator Marisa Megan Anastasia Luke P. Blaire Marilyn Anastasia Luke P. Blaire

Thursday, November 1, 2012 Time




Location JEF 124 JEF Courtyard JEF Courtyard JEF Courtyard JEF 124 JEF Courtyard JEF Courtyard JEF Courtyard DRB 265


Description Statement of Purpose: Body (Levels 4-6) Conversation Level 1,2 Conversation Level 3 Conversation Level 4-6 Speak English Fluently (Levels 1-3) Conversation Level 1,2 Conversation Level 3 Conversation Level 4-6 IELTS Preparation

Facilitator Jeminah Megan Luke P. Blaire Marilyn Blaire Anastasia Luke P. James


Any student in USC Housing: Parkside, La Sorbonne or Sierra must attend a very important meeting Monday, October 29th at 3:30 pm in THH 213. We will confirm your plans, give you forms to fill out, collect your forms, and explain the procedures required to either extend your stay for spring or move out. YOU MUST ATTEND THIS MEETING IF YOU ARE IN USC HOUSING.

Learn how to write an amazing SOP for graduate school. Bring your draft introduction to this weeks session. See more detailed description online.

Reading Power (Levels 1-3): Do you want to become a better, faster reader? Attend this lab to get tips and tricks on how to improve your reading skills. IELTS Preparation (Levels 3-6): Learn how to do well on the IELTS exam

Speak English Fluently (Level 1-3): KNOW THE CODE! Maybe you can speak some English, but when you hear Americans talking socially, they use different English. This language lab will give you everyday English phrases so you can understand what Americans are saying, answer quickly, and make new friends. Conversation Groups: Practice speaking English by level with USC students. This is an interactive discussion in which you will participate in groups about several interesting topics. This is your opportunity to practice and to ask questions to native English speakers. Special Conversation: Elections 2012 (Levels 4-6) Americans will be choosing their next President on November 6th. Learn more about the process and the candidates.



Horror Night at Universal Studios By CHRISTINA HE

“Once you’re inside, there’s no way out.” This is absolutely true in Universal Studio’s Halloween Horror Night. Last Sunday night, I went to this horror fest with my friends excitedly, but after four hours, I almost lost my voice from screaming my head off. Although there were many highlight activities in Studio, such as Welcome to Silent Hill, Alice Cooper Goes to Hell 3D and La Llorona, the Terror Tram was definitely the star of the night! At first, I thought it couldn’t be too scary since I would be in the “tram” the whole time. In fact, we did take the tram for three minutes before it suddenly stopped at a dark, creepy and

Walking dead zombies are on the attach on Horror Night at Universal Studios.

deadly silent community and all the passengers were asked to get off the tram and walk through the path because the tram had some “technical problems.” Before I recovered from my sudden surprise, high-pitch

screams had already started! Numerous bloody Walking Dead zombies rushed out from houses into the crowd and looked for fresh meat— especially for girls. When I looked back, the tram had already left, and thus there was NO turning back! I had no choice but to walk besides those monsters and watch out for their attacks in extreme fear. I ran and screamed through the whole trip, which was the longest 10 minutes in my life. When I reached the end, I could barely breathe but couldn’t help laughing in excitement: this route was totally worth the $47 ticket! Go, horror fans! Scream as loud as you can and enjoy the feast!

Halloween Special: Stories Behind the Pumpkin Face By CLAIRE LIN

One of the typical Halloween decorations is the Jack-o’-Lantern. As Halloween approaches, we see more and more families placing carved pumpkins around their houses, along with skeletons and spiderwebs, celebrating the holiday. There are many folk stories about the origin of the Jack-o’-Lantern, and they are all about a man called “Stingy Jack.” Jack, a lazy and mean farmer, successfully trapped the Devil in all the stories. One says Jack tricked the Devil into

As a result, he put embers into a carved turnip and began to wander the Earth, looking for a resting place with the help of the light. From then on, he was known as Jack-o’Lantern. From where the pumpkin carving first originated, people believed that by putting the pumpkin lanterns in the windows, they could proclimbing an apple tree Devil go only if the Devil tect their houses from the and didn’t let him down, wouldn’t take his soul. So evil spirits or vampires. and another says Jack when Jack died, he was Nowadays, few peopersuaded the Devil to obviously too sinful to go ple believe this superstiturn into a silver coin in to heaven; however, he tion, but the carving of his pocket and locked him was not able to go to hell pumpkin stays as a tradiinside. In both stories, as well because of the tion of Halloween in North Jack agreed to let the Devil’s promise. America.



The Girl Adventurer: Ajwaa Aljoudi By CHRISTINA HE

feet by herself. Among all these adIf I were not her classventurous activities, her mate, I would certainly bungee jumping in Ottawa assume that Ajwaa has was the most remarkable been in United States for and exciting experience! years, not just because of “The Rock” is the highest her American accent, but bungee jumping in North also because the way she America. It is a 200-footdresses and behaves is so high cliff surrounding a different from other Saudi 160-foot deep blue lagoon. Arabian girls. To my surIt usually takes 30 prise, she has only been seconds for people to get here for six months! With ready and jump, but it great curiosity, I intertook her nine minutes beviewed her and amazingly cause she was asking discovered the great adsafety questions! She Ajwaa has done many adventurous sports, like bungee jumping. venturous heart beneath stood on the tip of the her slim body. can you believe that she ing license for open water, springboard, hesitated, and Roller coasters, para- actually has done all of which means that she is finally she jumped! sailing, mountain climbthese? Also, she has a div- able to dive as deep as 20 See Adventurer on p. 7 ing, bungee jumping—

Nao Nakanishi: Journalist experience. Some are interesting while others are touching. Before she went to If you know that you are having interview people, she made plans and an English class with a professional listed all of the things she and journalist and reporter, would you feel her assistants needed to do. Becurious and be eager to talk with cause she was a leader of the her? You might want to know who I group, she made decisions for every am talking about. My answer is that step of the interviews. In her mind, all her name is Nao Nakanishi. the details are so important that any Nao Nakanishi comes from Sasmall mistake will influence the regamihara prefecture, which is in the sults. middle of Japan. She worked in the Besides that, she also did the field of media for eight years before same work as her subordinates did, Nao Nakanishi, reporting for NHK, covered the she came to the United States. When like shouldering a 10- kilogram camera earthquake and tsunami in Japan last year. you talk with her, you feel that she is to do research and a live report. She an easygoing, smart and open-minded told us that sometimes it was stressthe only public station in Japan. lady, who is sensitive to the changes ful if they did not have any idea for the The stories of the foreigners living happening around the world, from the topic because there are lots of topics political field to the thoughts of minor- in Japan are the things that she is really around them that can be used, and Nao concerned about. She had interviews ity groups. had to find the topic, which is the newwith many people from different counWhen she was in Japan, she est and hottest for people and the sociworked as a journalist at NHK (Japan tries who live in Japan, so she got lots ety. of stories about different cultures and See Nao Nakanishi on p. 7 Broadcasting Corporation), which is By CHRISTY ZHU



Demystifying Landscape Architecture By CHARLES HSIEH

When people talk about landscape architects, usually they imagine they’re a gardener or a kind of urban farmer. They don’t really know what kinds of things landscape architects create, or what kind of work they usually do. Landscape architecture is a relatively new major in the world. It has been developing for around one hundred years. Before that, we didn’t have a profession which could help people to combine natural and human culture. Landscape architects are a sort of bridge between people and the environment. They aren’t like other architects. Architects build constructions only for humans. Landscape designers try to achieve an environ-

around there, and it also improves the quality of New York City by adjusting the air temperature. Sometimes landscape architects create an environment to connect people with people. In Chicago, Millennium Park has two unique landmarks: Cloud Gate and Crown Fountain. Those structures interact with the landscape, people and buildings. New York City’s Central Park, a favorite tourist Those are good examples of landattraction, was planned by a landscape architect. scape design. Landscape architects need to ment which can balance human be- study environmental psychology and ecology because landscape architecings and nature. They usually design outdoor pub- ture is a multi-disciplinary field. It incorporates botany, fine arts and lic areas, landmarks and some architecture. That is why people can smaller structures. For example, use this profession to open the door Central Park in New York City is a really successful example of a land- which separates nature and human beings. scape. The park feeds the creatures

Conquer the GMAT Test in a Short Time By IRIS MU

The GMAT (the Graduate Management Admission Test) exam is a standard test for people who pursue the degree of graduate management programs worldwide. Using the GMAT score helps institutions select the most qualified applications and sis argument in logical way. A good ensure that the applicants are up to template will save you time on the the academic rigors of their proargument description part and gram. make sure you have more time to illustrate your points. Besides, be The four-part exam measures familiar with the writing topic as your Analytical Writing, Verbal, soon as possible. Quantitative, and Integrated Reasoning skills. There are some useful Reading Comprehension tips for preparing the GMAT test. Keep your pace on reading and practice more. Pay attention to the Analytical Writing: transition words in the article and Use your own prepared template use the key words to follow the to help you to organize your analy-

reading passage. Sentence Correction Finish your GMAT official guide exercise first, and read the answer explanation thoroughly and carefully. Summarize Manhattan grammar book’s main points in your computer. Practice Prep thirty exam questions every day. Critical Reasoning Go through the official guide first; then use the GMAT LOGIC Bible to help you better understand the exam setting point. It is extremely important for you to follow the chapter summary to practice. If you are confused with the exercise, go back to the corresponding chapter.


Six Flags Continued from p. 1

ahead. You could hear girls' screams everywhere in the park that night. As for the rides, if you are a fan of roller coasters, Six Flags is your heaven. I didn't count carefully how many roller coasters there are, but it's sure that you have many options. Every time the roller coaster car dropped with an extremely fast speed, my heart was about to rush out of my chest. Among all the exciting games, I think "Superman" and "X2" are the most unforgettable ones. The first one pushes people to over one hundred meters high within one second. At the top of the sky, I fully understand why it has such an interesting name. That is because one can find the feeling of a superman on it. The "X2" is different from normal roller coasters because people are upside-down. So it took the thrill to a whole other level. This tour, despite all the screams, is a good way for us to release the coming midterm



pressure. Besides, I've already considered visiting there again, of course by day next time !


Hiking to the Hollywood Sign? hike with great views of the Hollywood sign. If you are visiting or new The Hollywood sign,which is Los in town, the total hike is a little over 4 miles and will take about 1-2 Angeles' most iconic symbol, is lohours depending on your hiking cated in northeast Los Angeles speed and time spent resting or takwithin Griffith Park and sits on top of a mountain overlooking the entire ing in the beautiful views. At the top is a great 360 degree view behind city. the famous sign. Initially, the sign was built in If you come this far (3.2 miles) 1923, but, it was rebuilt in 1979. and have the energy for a bit more, Each letter is 50-feet high and 30extending the hike out to Cahuenga feet wide and the full sign spans 450 -feet across the 1,675-foot summit of Peak is highly recommended. Two tenths of a mile from the top, at the Mount Lee, overlooking the entire outside of the big bend in the road, LA basin. This 5-mile hike will lead hike around the back of the chainyou to an overlook just above and link fence to a narrow rugged path behind the sign. heading west over the ridge. This is a great easy to moderate By YVETTE LING

See Hollywood Sign on p. 8

Nao Nakanisi

Continued from p. 5

Continued from p. 5

In the first few seconds, she was scared but soon the fear passed; “It felt like I was flying!” as she described. This experience gave me the impulse to try! Next, time for a little secret: in Saudi Arabia, it's illegal for women to ride a bicycle, motorcycle or drive a car in public. But guess what? She did it! Disguised as a boy, she rode a motorcycle with a friend and it was on one-wheel! She told me that she would have been in serious trouble if anyone noticed her, but thankfully she was lucky enough or I probably wouldn’t have had the chance to know her!

What made a deep impression on Nao Nakanishi was the earthquake and tsunami that occurred last year in Japan. It was the most powerful earthquake ever known before, which was magnitude 9.0. More than 15,000 people died and over 6,000 were injured in this disaster. She went to the sites and interviewed the victims. One of them was an old woman who lost her sons, granddaughters and other family members. The old woman described the whole disaster with tears. Nao Nakanishi was touched by the serious situations of sites and people’s suffering. She wrote pieces of news and reported the victims’ stories. In her articles, she could not hide her emo-

tions anymore; instead, she expressed all the feelings via her words and photographs. You might wonder why she quit her job and went back to school, while she was doing such a great work. About this, she told us that she wanted to deal with the problems between the relationships of mass media and other media, to improve the efficiency of communication and cooperation, so that the residents and foreigners can get reliable information more quickly. That’s the perspective for her career, for the media industry, and also for all people around the world. If you are interested in any stories of Nao's, you can just talk with her directly. She would feel happy to show reports and share her experience to you.


2 4 .


2 0 1 2

Hollywood Sign

USC Language

Continued from p. 7

Academy Rossier School of Education Phone: 213-740-0080 Fax: 213-740-0088 Web: Check out The Academy News online at to “Student Information” and then click on “The Academy News.”

The Academy News is a weekly newsletter produced by students in the Journalism Elective of the USC Language Academy. All students in the Language Academy Program are encouraged to send news stories and photos to Sonja Lovelace at

At the top, there is a nice view of Lake Hollywood to the southwest. Follow this track for a third of a mile to visit the 1,820-foot summit. Cahuenga Peak does not have any houses because they were saved from developers by the citizens who donated to the Save the Sign campaign. They bought the land in April 2010 and donated it to the city to become part of Griffith Park. This track is a nice relief from the fire roads on the hike up to the Hollywood Sign. To get to the hike, drive up Beachwood Drive all the way until it ends and you'll see a dirt parking area at the bottom of the hike with a path leading up. You'll follow it up to the left. Difficulty: Easy Length: 4.3 miles / 6.9 km Duration: 1-3 hours

THE ACADEMY NEWS STAFF Editor: Christy Zhu Assistant Editor: Christina He Reporters: Ziad Almimony, Miya Cheng, Charles Hsieh, Cathy Huang, Claire Lin, Panda Lin, Yvette Ling, Iris Mu, Robin Nan, Moran Pei, Lien Phung, Christy Wang,

CAMPUS CALENDAR October 24-November 2 FILM


Nikkatsu at 100

Faculty Recital with Henry Gronnier, Violinist

Friday, October 26, 2012 Sunday, October 28, 2012 Eileen Norris Cinema Theatre Admission is free. A three-day event will draw from the library of Nikkatsu, one of Japan’s oldest and most acclaimed film studios, to celebrate 100 years of Japanese cinema. Screenings and discussions will reveal Nikkatsu’s enduring legacy in Japan and its historical place in the film world. For a complete festival schedule and to RSVP, go

Friday, October 26, 2012 : 8:00pm Alfred Newman Recital Hall Free


Enjoy free events on campus during the semester. Please go to the Arts and Events Calendar for more details at

Violin faculty Henry Gronnier is joined by pianist Rina Dokshitsky, violist Thomas Diener, and cellist Stephen Erdody for an evening of Brahms.


The Academy News - October 24, 2012  

In this issue: Horror at Six Flags, Adventurous Ajwaa, GMAT Tips & more!