by C H I - W E I T A I
The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test also known as PSAT/NMSQT is a critical exam given to high school students to evaluate their academic level. In addition, the PSAT acts as a benchmark to place your score on the scale of the official SAT. With the upcoming PSAT in mind, here are some tips to help you score well.
With these three tips in mind, we hope you score to the best of your abilities. Best of luck PAS students!
by J O N A T H A N S U N
Debate is a subject that has been recently introduced into our school system. As one may have noticed from the countless posters taped onto the pillars of our school, a debate tournament occurred during October 6th ~ October 8th. Students who joined the PAS Debate Team paired up and competed in either Policy Debate or Public Forum in Taipei.
Many may believe that the MUN Club, which has been in place since the very establishment of PAS, is equivalent to the current Debate Team. However, there are certain key differences between the two organizations and their activities. The goal of MUN is to train one’s public speaking, communication, and rhetorical skills by representing a country and achieving consensus through collaboration and contribution to each others’ resolutions. The goal of debate, on the other hand, is to foster one’s logical thinking and analysis by arguing whether a policy is right or wrong and attacking the opponent's’ argument using evidence. As Evan Chiang (11) has described, “Debating is a combination of both evidence gathering and public speaking skills, as what’s most important is to persuade the judge to win, not to get countries to agree.” To summarize, “MUN feels more like reaching consensus, whereas debate feels more competitive.”
During the competition, competitors fiercely defended and attacked each other’s claims and arguments. After four elimination rounds deciding the competitors for the quarter-finals and finals for Policy Debate and Public Forum respectively, only two PAS teams entered the quarter-finals of Policy Debate. Even though all of the PAS teams were eliminated past that point, the effort and vigor of the PAS Debate Team won them a total of seven speaker awards and two fourth place awards.
The debate competition served as an important event fostering development among the debaters in PAS. It not only allowed the less experienced debaters to learn, but also encouraged more experienced debaters to get back into the debate scene after a long summer. In the end, through the competition, the PAS debate team has enjoyed an educational and exhilarating experience.
by Y U N J E O N G P A E K
After the successful trip to Junyi Experimental High School a month ago, our school’s year-long journey of Design Thinking has started again.
This year, Design Thinking have included some major changes. First, the maximum size of a team has reduced from three to two. Second, all topics have been categorized into seven big ideas. The topics to choose from are: Design & Architecture, Pacific American School, Photography & Filmmaking, Shared economy, Technology, Well-being, and Self-proposed projects. Lastly, the established theme of this year’s Design Thinking is Expo 2020.
How have PAS students responded to these new changes?
PAS students have been divided upon the new changes. An anonymous student spoke honestly and discussed how the new policy affected groups who teamed up into groups of three prior to the announcement. Due to the new policy, one member had to leave and join another group. The student continued by stating that “I believe that more people per group can gather more ideas and information and thus make the projects better.”
On the other hand, many students have also defended this new policy. Doris Huang (11) said, “I can understand this policy due to the people who were lack of participation last year. I feel the policy overall is doable since the school emphasizes more on the process of design thinking which needs to think more than materializing the project.”
Regarding the change in categories, students have spoke out positively on how categorized topics can inspire students to hone in and focus on one topic. Lillian Shern (10) said, “I think there are various topics that students can pick from is good. At least students with no idea can be inspired.” Despite all these changes, most students are well-settled now and are putting their best efforts into the project.
by R A Y C H E N
PAS students who happen to be supporters of the Marvel blockbuster may be worried by the recent absence of Fan Bingbing, arguably China’s most high profile actress who landed supporting roles in both the “X-Men” and “Iron Man” franchise. Truth is, Fan Bingbing has now disappeared from the public eye for three months. Her last public appearance was for shooting a promotional video for De Beers, a corporation most known for its favor of Fan as their poster child, on May 24. Thereafter, Ms. Fan ceased posting on her Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter. Given Ms. Fan’s frequent appearances in film awards and her active following, the sudden halt in internet posts and attendance in social events has now sparked concern regarding her safety. Many also wonder whether the National Supervision Commission (NCS), the anti-corruption investigation system, is involved.
The Alleged Causes
The former state media anchor of CCTV Cui Yongyuan posted on Weibo a report of deficient tax payment Ms. Fan’s upcoming film in May. Since then, Ms. Fan disappeared from the radar. However, the validity of accusations against Fan or any ongoing investigations have not been confirmed. Officials of the Public Security Bureau has also refused to comment on whether the bureau has, as rumored, taken over the case. Suspiciously, prominent partnerships with Fan, such as De Beer and Swisse Wellness have since suspended the use of advertisements in her name. In addition, upcoming films starring Fan such as “Unbreakable Spirit” have now removed her name from posters.
The Likelihood of Ms. Fan’s Return
From recent development and media probing in China, definite conclusions are yet to be drawn from Fan’s disappearance. Rumor has it that Ms. Fan has already fled China, while others claim that Fan is currently in Tibet for philanthropy. One thing is for sure, when putting Ms. Fan’s disappearance in the context of China’s poor human rights protection - such as the notorious Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the precedent of the NCS, which employed abuses of basic rights for “investigations”- her reappearance seems highly unlikely. The PAS students fans may just have to bear with the disappointment of Fan Bingbing retiring from the media.