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INSIDE THIS ISSUE…. Toxic Smoke – page 2
Unseen Thailand – page 3
Samui: The True Meaning
An Adventure in
of a Getaway – page 6
Personality – Page 10
World’s Scholars Cup –
Saying Goodbye to Our
Leaving Teachers – Page 11
University: Where are our seniors going? – page 4
Rose and Chocolate Day – page 9
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TOXIC SMOKE! Han Jong Won On Tuesday, March 18th, students were all excited as they called their parents to pick them up from school. They were more than glad after they heard there would be no school the next day as well! What the students didn’t realize was the fact that they had already been exposed to toxic smoke that was filled with various fatal chemicals for more than half a day… Unfortunately, we had to come to school on Thursday again! And once more, we were exposed to the thick smoke that covered the whole sky of Samut Prakarn. Samut Prakarn is an industryheavy province, also home to 9,000 factories with the Bangpoo Industrial Estate located just south of the dump site. The estate consists of 250 factories, 27% of which produce fertiliser and chemical products, 17% metal
products and 8% rubber, plastic and artificial leather. The trash site was filled with not only chemical wastes from producing these products, but also with household trash and all sorts of stuff. Now, let’s dig into what particular chemicals were in the smoke caused by the trashburning. The smoke was fraught with carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), and nitrogen oxides (NOx). Other smaller amounts of more poisonous chemicals that are commonly detected in the smoke include benzene, styrene, formaldehyde, polychlorinated dibenzodioxins (PCDDs or "dioxins"), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs or "furans"), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and heavy
metals such as lead, mercury, and arsenic. All these chemicals can have really harmful effects on our respiratory systems, and increase the risk of heart disease, cause rashes, nausea, and headaches. This incident not only gave the school a chance to reflect on how they should respond in future events, but also sheds light on how the trash issue is becoming really serious around the world, and Thailand in particular in this case. We should all think once more when we buy things and throw things away, not only for the environment, but also for the sake of our own health.
UNSEEN THAILAND Kunlanit Chongsujipunt
Western New Year celebration during December, Chinese New Year celebration during January… and now it is time for Thai New Year celebration! Songkran celebration with the theme of “Unseen Thailand” was set up on the very last day of school before everyone headed off on their holiday. A week before the celebration, Thai handicraft decorations like flags, banners and lanterns were hanging all over the school, creating the mood for us to look forward to this date. With no doubt, the students and Thai teachers all worked tirelessly to set up this event for us to enjoy. Starting the day by giving food offerings to Buddhist monks and receiving blessings from our smiling teachers lightened our Songkran spirits even more. When the morning ceremony was over, everyone was ready for the fun to begin.
Numerous activities were set up that day. Middle school and high school students opened booths selling several delicious foods such as roti, grass jelly in syrup, chocolate banana dips, and cakes. And when you were full, you could settle at a craft booth and create your own DIY bag or painting. But if you would like to do something more active, walk toward a game booth and show your energy! Throw a ball at the right spot and got your “beloved” teacher down into the cold water or even freeze your hand to search for the balls in the icy, freezing water bucket. If you did walk around that area, you would notice how energetic the students were. A big promise
that you could not get tired in this atmosphere at all. Along with the schedule, students would have time to come up to the second floor gym and spend time making Thai handicrafts from natural resources they could easily find locally. And because this year’s theme is regarding the “Unseen Thailand,” we would be taken on a trip throughout Thailand, seeing and visiting beautiful and natural tourist attractions that they might now imagine that Thailand has one. Visit the fourth floor of the library building and students were all feeling that they really were travelling. All the decorations and landscapes set up seem so real
May 2014, issue 4
that they could feel how it would really be like over there. Leaving these attractions behind with more knowledge about each place, students would now be having more fun up in the fifth floor gym. They learned traditional Thai games and enjoyed them with their fellows; laughter and crazinesses with each and every group. Finally, the finale of the day was here… water-splashing time! Buckets and buckets of water splashed on each face, cooling us down a few Celsius. The day ended with a sense of joy and of course, with wetness.
University: Where are our seniors going? Michelle Chua
place has always been my dream school, you know? But most importantly, the feeling that all the hard work walking this difficult path these past four years paid off, that not giving up was the after all the right choice: nothing beats this feeling.” Major Joe Rummaneethorn Princeton University “I was initially really torn between Princeton and the University of Chicago, but to have such options, the word "thrilled" would simply be an understatement. I screamed like an idiot when I saw the big "congratulations" in orange on Princeton's admission decision page. I mean, that place
“I actually ticked undecided as first choice for all the schools I applied to. I'll probably major in something related to the maths and sciences: my "ticked" second choice was biological/chemical engineering and third choice was astrophysical sciences. But again, I am a troublesome person with lots of interests; well, except art. (LOL)”
Nick Cheng University of California, Berkeley “I’m very excited, mostly because of the people I’ve talked to and the vibe it brings to me” Nick’s reasons of choosing University of California, Berkeley: The reputation University of California, Berkeley is one of the most important factor. Also he got in the major he
wanted to, the people there seems extremely nice and willing to help. Getting admitted to a school as prestigious as UC Berkeley also means more opportunities in the future. Who doesn’t like California? Nick said California is said to be a sunny place with moving AC. Sounds perfect!
Thiti Thanachaiporsakun University of Colorado - Boulder
“The feeling of getting admitted is awesome. It felt like you succeed in high school and getting ready for a new life. A brand new beginning into the real world.” We can see that Thiti feels great about getting admitted to a university as fine as University of Colorado.
There’s always a reason for someone to apply to certain schools, here’s Thiti’s reasons: He thinks that the environment the school is in is an important factor of him choosing University of ColoradoBoulder. It is located near Denver, with pristine mountains for skiing and hiking, small college town with everything you’ll ever need. Of course, the academic in CU-Boulder is one of the finest in states. The people there is liberal and free minded, and the professors are helpful. Recommendation: He emphasize on getting a good balance in life. Sacrificing on things that are less important and work on your priorities. Actions are more important than words, and plan before hand.
Andy Tai School of Visual Art School of Visual Art is ranked top 3 in animation; this makes Andy pretty excited about attending School of Visual Art to try some fun stuff! Reason for Attending School Of Visual Art: He said it’s just an art school. Well, everyone knows that Andy is really talented in art, this school suits him very well. Also, he doesn’t need to learn math and other subjects to get in this school, therefore is pretty fun! Who likes math anyway? Also, he loves the location of the school, which located in Manhattan.
Beam Chulalongkorn University She still can’t believe that she get admitted to Chulalongkorn University. We all know that since Chulalongkorn University is one of the top universities in Thailand, it must be great to be in a school as fine as this. The reason she wants to attend to Chulalongkorn University: Chulalongkorn University has good business programs which suits Beam very well. Also, Chulalongkorn University is located in the heart of Bangkok, near BTS station. Well, if you’re near the BTS station, you can go anywhere you want!
Alex National Taiwan University He don’t know which university he’s going yet, but he’s hoping to get into National Taiwan University. Why National Taiwan University? National Taiwan University have a big campus with good facility, and according to his sister who is graduating from NTU, it’s one of the most active school in terms of clubs and events. NYU is located in Taipei, he prefer to be in city because it’s more convenient and less boring. Why Electrical Engineering ? He interested in all sorts of engineering majors, from electrical engineering to eve aerospace engineering. After some consultations with his experienced teachers, it occurred that electrical engineering cover the widest range of topic and is suited for him, who’s interested in many topics.
May 2014, issue 4
Samui: the true meaning of a getaway Wendy Lee
You can sit beside someone in class for a year, cracking slightly insulting jokes, without ever knowing them. This is something I realized while sitting on a white plastic beach chair, staring at all the classmates I’ve never had an actual conversation with. So what was left for me to do? I talked to them. There, with the soft crashing of water onto the shore as background music, stories began to unravel. That night I learned a lot of different things about the people I call friends. I learned that people could look up at the same starry sky and dream of completely different things. I learned the extent in which people will stay up just to make sure that someone else is okay. I also learned how to pick locks.
The senior class of 2014 took a trip to Koh Samui during the last week of March. Sure, it was a secret that wasn’t particularly well kept, but that’s hardly the point. Our journey began Monday evening in Hua Lumpong Station, continued with a 12 hour train ride to Suratthani and a two and a half hour ferry ride before we arrived at the magnificent island of Samui. The first day was spent testing the limit of our skins against the burning sunlight. We jumped into the ocean just to find ourselves diving into the pool a moment later to wash away the salt on our skin. The Frisbee was tossed carelessly into the sky, and anyone was welcome to catch it. Friends kayaked into the waters, away from the limitation of
“groups” and “cliques”. As the summer breeze blew through, new connections were made and the old friendships were restored. The second day took us out into the open waters, where people swam around, mesmerized by the world
underneath their bodies, before looking up to call out to one another. We found each other among the waves and held on, because that’s what friends do. The third day was the easiest thing to do. Sightseeing, having lunch on the beach, and running right back into the waves. We would have frozen that moment, but time turned on it’s own rules.
A plane ride brought us back to reality on the fourth day. Our bodies were back, but our minds lingered. Soon our sun-soaked skin will return to it’s original color and our carefree attitudes will fall away, but the jokes of Dino’s gentlemanliness and Ant’s headstand backflip will never stop being funny. Our thoughts will always go back to Samui.
Rebecca Lee PWAA! Junior Team: William Liao, Hans Han, and Rebecca Lee Sophomore Team: Tam Leepaisomboon, Friend Prakitpong, and Ta Leepaisomboon What is “Pwaa”? It is the sound that a happy alpaca makes! This onomatopoeia has been echoing from every World Scholar’s Cup participant because the Alpaca is WSC’s mascot. The World Scholar’s Cup is like an “Olympics of Nerds”. It is a celebration of learning and a gathering of nations. This year, TCIS sent two teams of three delegates to attend 2014 WSC Regional Round in Bangkok. In spite of their late entry and lack of preparation, TCIS participants still brought back 17 medals and 1 big trophy! In addition, both TCIS teams have been invited to attend Global Round in Singapore this summer! Rebecca: Unlike other academic events that make one stressful, World Scholar’s Cup is both enjoyable and scholarly. The event not only nurtures and supports effective teamwork but it also encourages individualism. Hans: I found the WSC really inspirational, and would like to give credit to all the organizers and teachers who accompanied us to the event. I think the whole idea of having a "fun" scholar's cup is a really exceptional idea, because we not only get to meet awesome people, but also get to interfuse thoughts and perceptions. Of course, the food and people there were awesome, and I really liked the conversations and blend of different cultures and perspectives. (P.S. I got plenty of medals and a trophy, which was a bonus that made my weekend!)
I got plenty of medals and a trophy which was a bonus that made my weekend) William: I think the WSC is really fun, but it was nerve wrecking at the same time. So much pressure when it came to the scholar's challenge, because it's just like doing SATs. The debates were quite fun, and the topics as well. It was a light hearted and social event, and I'd really recommend people joining next year.
Tam: I think it is a good new experience for all of us. It create this new confident in our heart that says we can do anything if we try. PLUS it's fun and we got free adorable alpacas. Ta: I think it's fun to be in there. I like how each school got to share ideas and share about what we can improve better as individuals. Moreover, O like how they organize so it would not bored us. Yes, of course, it's good for both university application and for us.
TCIS Rose and chocolate day Kitty Chen
April is the month of spring, the season of cheer, love, and creativity! During this month, we are also looking forward to the event of Rose and Chocolate Day in TCIS. Rose and Chocolate Day is an traditional event organize by the Student Council members, who prepare and deliver envelopes for students, teachers, and staffs to buy roses, chocolates, bears, etc. to the people they care. Student Council members put a lot of effort towards making Rose and Chocolate Day better every year. To go for a fresh change this year, Student Council decided to try pink roses rather than red roses, which had been the major choice from the previous years. Furthermore, there are also new special sets, including the Snow Set with white roses and Alpaca Dolls, the La Dolce Vita set with triplet and a bag of mixed sweets, and the eco-friendly Roseless set. The Roseless set would be the most eye-catching set of all because it light up people’s curiosity. Nick (12), one of the people who came up with the Roseless set, said, “First, I think that the roses we got every year either wilt or become dark already when we got them (for me at least).” He wanted to find a more sustainable
way to deliver people’s words, and represent a more significance message to the people they care. He then said, “The thing that we cherish and keep are the letters we received, so I was thinking are roses really important to have?” Student Council first came up with Stems and Leaves set to turn leftovers into a better use. Also, it is offer to people who prefer to be environmental than buying roses that are more troublesome because it needs lots of water to survive and flourish. Though, the purpose of the Stems and Leaves set might not be clearly understood by everyone the Student Council decided to take a different approach. One of Nick’s friends was folding a rose from scrap paper. After a better arrangement, the modified idea of folding hand-made roses was introduced. He said, “The purpose of this Roseless set is to demonstrate that love for others is not merely based on the amount of roses, but the thought and message delivered.”
There are many creative changes this year, which not only keeps the spirit of Rose and Chocolate Day going, but improved. The intention of this event is to thank the people who had helped us and to express our gratitude for them. Happy Rose and Chocolate Day everyone!
May 2014, issue 4
An Adventure In Personality Dino Kijkul
I’ve always considered myself a heavy-weight thinker. I’m not saying that I’m good at thinking, or even that my thoughts are profound or significant. I’m simply saying that when I think about stuff, be them the meaning of life or whether or not I like a certain girl, I tend to explore as many perspectives and possibilities I can imagine. I personally cannot judge the quality of my ideas, but I feel that they are interesting and simple enough to be understandable and a fun read. Today, I’ll be presenting my thoughts on the topic of a personality, specifically whether or not people can change themselves to the point of being a different person. Personality is defined as the combination of characteristics or qualities that
form an individual’s distinctive character. Does this mean that a person retains his characteristics and qualities for as long as said person lives? If a person is able to change certain characteristics in said person’s personality, is said person still the same person as before, or a completely new one with a slightly variated distinctive character. The answers to these questions will be explored to the best of my ability in this article. I myself believe that no matter what, a person’s personality will always remain the same deep inside. If a man is easy to anger, then he will remain so for the rest of his life. Humans are social creatures, and so society will definitely be a huge factor in shaping how a person behaves. The man will probably learn that being easy to anger is not desirable in modern society, and will adjust his behavior accordingly. He will act as if he doesn’t have a quick temper. Even with this change in behavior, his personality remains unchanged. He is in fact still quick to anger but is simply able to
withhold his anger so that society won’t disapprove of him. I’ve discussed this with a certain friend of mine, and he thinks that this point of view is extremely depressing. He sees personality as something that can change for the good. He argues that people can change their characteristics and qualities. For example, he said a “bad” person can undergo a transformation for the good resulting from a significant event in life. This “bad” person will then become a more decent one. He then concludes that personality can indeed change. What my friend fails to see is that personality characteristics and qualities aren’t “good” or “bad” by nature. They simply are what they are. How a person behaves according to the personality they have, though, can be classified as “good” or “bad”. A sly and crafty man might decide to live a life of deceit and thievery, which would be “bad”, or he could use his wits
for society by being a detective and solving crimes. Who better to catch those sly villains than the trickiest and most devious of them all. How people behave depends on the environment they were raised in, and the amount of willpower they have to uphold their values and way of life. Some would reason that qualities like “lazy”, which I can assure you is definitely a real quality, can be nothing but “bad”. For those I say “is it?”. Being lazy isn’t bad. It’s actually required to experience a feeling unique to only lazy people. Although a certain amount of willpower is needed to make oneself work, the feeling one attains when everything is done and the rest of the day is free is simply joyful glee.
Saying goodbye to our leaving teachers Owen Wu
The month of Songkran is coming to an end and here we welcome May. May is a month of exams, final projects, and other torturing work that teachers will assign before they allow us to go on summer vacation. Even though prom is in May, I’m sure the majority of you hate May the moment you start scheduling your exam week. Although this is the perfect time to hate on teachers, this may also be the last month you’ll see some teachers since many are leaving TCIS. “Why should I care?” Oh, of course you do. Remember the teacher who taught you the alphabet? I do. Remember the first teacher who gave you a curve on your quarter grade so you got an A instead of an ? I do. Remember the teacher who never forgets to give detention? I do. Remember the teacher you can always be playful and joke around with? I do. In fact, we all do. So before we all dive into work and rant on teachers via Facebook, remember that many of the
teachers who have taught you in the past are leaving. Whether they taught you in lower school, middle school, or high school. But why are the teachers leaving though? This is a very complicated question. Since there are many teachers leaving, it is hard to pinpoint a mutual reason why some teachers are leaving. Some leave for other opportunities, some leave for family reasons, some leave to start and try new things. Although they are leaving, let us not forget what they have taught and helped us throughout our high school career. The last few months of school can be very stressful for us students. While burying our heads in work and projects and ranting about school, chances are some of your favorite teachers are already packing up their stuff to leave TCIS already. Let’s not spend the last few moments of this school year just hating them and then moving on to summer like nothing happened.
“Smile. Start conversations with your teachers (when they’re free, of course). Talk. And most importantly, be nice. It’s not hard to remind teachers that they are teaching or have taught some of the best students in the world, TCIS students.”
Note from the Editor-In-Chief So that’s it, the last “The Howl” issue of the 2013-2014 school year. Hope you all enjoyed it! A shout out to my awesome writers who stuck with me through the emergency meetings and ever-changing deadlines, and also our advisors: Mr.A and Ms. Beth. Thank you all for the great journey. To our readers (whomever you may be): Never, ever lose your voices. Keep howling! ☺ Wendy Lee
TCIS News Magazine, May Issue 2014