by J U S T I N E C H A N G
7:30 AM on Saturday marks the start of a mandatory three hour mock test for all juniors and sophomores. For Vanessa Lin (10), it marked “the loss of my precious weekend.” To add on, all high schoolers were faced with a week of final exams. The burden of academic work and SAT preparation is stressful for many students. Barbie Hsieh (11) said, “during exam weeks, I stay up late at night to study for finals, because I am concerned about my grades, which may have great influence on my college applications.” Albert Chou (11) claimed that, “The planning of our finals and SAT schedule is just absolutely atrocious. Finals immediately after break takes away our rest and outdoor activities, following up with a SAT only makes matters worse.” Instead of bottling up the pressure and stress in our minds, we could learn to release stress in healthy methods.
Next time, you feel anxious or exhausted from a day of school, why not just try to release stress through the above techniques? They will help you boost your spirits!
by R A Y C H E N
Unknown to many, one of our school’s janitors has resigned recently. Prior to her resignation, she spoke to Ms. Ruperez about her frustration about our students’ waste disposal habits. The janitor “couldn’t understand why certain students would unravel tissue rolls, only to leave them in the sink, or flush entire rolls of unused tissue.” Ms. Ruperez added that “while it is obvious that the janitors’ job to clean up after the students, there is a big difference between that and the feeling of entitlement to litter or dispose waste irresponsibly.” First, dumping an entire roll of unused tissues into the toilet or the sink is a huge waste of resources. Second, it is also incredibly inconsiderate to the people who have to clean up for us. As a school, we must improve the overall cleanliness of the campus. Below are possible methods you can take to help improve the sanitation of our school community.
On the issue of littering, besides the obvious solution of picking up after oneself and others, an alternative may be posting flyers with eyes on bathroom doors. Professor Melissa Bateson and Professor Daniel Nettle of the Centre for Behaviour and Evolution discovered that when people were handed leaflets printed with watching eyes, the odds of littering was reduced by around two thirds. Another solution include placing more trash cans around our school. In a study conducted by social psychologist Wesley Schultz, he “found that the distance to a trash receptacle was the strongest predictor of littering.” In other words, it means the farther trash cans are from students, the more they will litter. Thus, by placing trash cans in individual classrooms, it can significantly reduce littering in school.
Furthermore, students should be reminded that the school provided tissue paper do not dissolve in water. By disposing tissues into the toilet or the sink, it will clog the school’s sewage system. On a similar note, ill recycling practices should also be addressed by changing the lids on recycling bins. A 2008 study titled "It matters a hole lot” concluded that by using various lid shapes (such as 6-inch hole for recyclables, narrow slit for paper), correct recycling was increased by 34%. Improper recycling behavior in our school can be improved if traditional trash cans are replaced with bins with shaped lids corresponding to the prototype of the content.
The student body and the staff should commit to their responsibility in maintaining the cleanliness of our campus. With the methods proposed in mind, we can help improve the sanitation in our school.
by A N N G U C H A N G
On November 19, the ever-so-precious PD Day, 24 high schoolers representing the delegations of Iran, Myanmar, and the Netherlands, traveled to Singapore to attend the fourteenth annual THIMUN Singapore conference.
Each year, THIMUN Singapore is hosted by the Hwa Chong Institution with the purpose of educating students about worldly affairs and preparing them to become the leaders of tomorrow. From their lovely admin staffs to their hardworking leadership team, the conference was a definite success. Inside the committees, debate quality was persistently high as delegates remained diplomatic and found innovative ways to target and solve various world issues. For many of our own PAS delegates, THIMUN Singapore was not their first overseas conference, and they eagerly assumed leadership roles in committees whether it be as a chair, main submitter, or a delegate that led the debate. For many, THIMUN Singapore represented a huge achievement in their MUN careers and a conference that yielded many valuable learning opportunities. Lillian Shern (Grade 10) believed that THIMUN Singapore helped her understand aspects of MUN that she was previously unfamiliar with. She “learned that MUN is more than just a conference debating diplomacy issues, and instead, it's also a psychological and physical warfare where you have to withstand the urge to shy away from speaking in front of so many delegates.” Indeed, THIMUN Singapore has remained a learning experience even for MUN veterans.
Beyond the conference, students explored Singapore’s dazzling city lights and hectic streets, while getting a taste the phenomenal food, beautiful architecture and rich culture. Salina (Grade 12) commented that “Singapore itself had a marvelous array of cuisine to offer— from local savories such as char kway teow to imported delicacies like authentic Italian gelato.”Of all the places PAS students went to, here are some favorites: Cuba Libre for exquisite Cuban cuisines, Clarke Quay Ollie Cafe for delicious burgers, Newton Food Center for traditional Singaporean street food, and The Big Cheese for custom Mac n Cheese. During the Singapore trip, PAS delegates truly lived up to the mantra of Mr. Buchser: “Work hard, but play harder.”
From traveling abroad with friends, experiencing the vibrant culture of Singapore, and debating in the conference, this year’s THIMUN Singapore proved to be an incredible experience for all.
by J E S S I C A L I N
Thanksgiving is one of the most treasured holidays in America. It is a day for friends and family to gather together and appreciate the many blessings we have received throughout the year.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, on November 22nd, STUCO held a Thanksgiving luncheon. As soon as the bell rang after the fourth period, the cafeteria was packed with students lining up for the roasted turkey and dishes provided by the Parents Association. There were various options for food including sushi, pasta, mashed potatoes, cakes, and many more. Julian Lin (Grade 7) even noted that “This is the best lunch [Julian] ever had in PAS!”
After lunch, our PAS rock band performed six songs that lightened up the crowd. Cindy Wei(11), a singer in the rock band, described the performance as a big challenge because the rock band originally only prepared two songs to perform. However, during the rehearsal the night before Thanksgiving, Ms. Pamela wanted the rock band to add 4 more songs. “Luckily, all of our members are talented enough to play the songs right away,” Cindy remarked. Additionally, the art crew decorated a bridge filled with thank you notes from students who wanted to express gratitude for their teacher’s hard work during the school year.
To liven up the spirit even more, the PAS boys basketball team played against Tsing Hua University winning with a score of 40:29. It was an extremely competitive game where the upper hand constantly switched during the first two quarters. Willy Wang (Grade 11) described that he “was worried during the first half of the game because our scores were extremely close.” As the game continued, the PAS basketball team gradually widened the score gap and won with 11 more points. The boys basketball team performed remarkably and drew the event to a perfect end.
With the various events STUCO provided, students had a pleasant evening learning the true spirit of Thanksgiving - being thankful for those around them.