SHSID TIMES September and October 2014 Edition

SHSID TIMES September and October 2014 Edition
Persistent, Aspiring, Noble, Diligent, Achieving
PAGE 21-22
PAGE 38-39
PAGE 9-14
PAGE 2-3
September and October 2014 Edition
Staff List
Editor in Chief
Martin Guo
Thomas Wong
Matthew Yuan
Vice Editors in Chief
Chelsy Wu
Cheryl Jiang
Xiaoxiao Meng
Kyra Chong
Jasmine Jiang
Vania Liu
Min Chiang
Darren Sung
Dave Zhang
Tommy Zhao
Wendy Fan
Peter Luo
Jessie Wang
Creative Directors
Albert Lin
Kenneth Lin
Director of Photography
Elaine Shen
Grace Zhou
Rachel Wang
Kyra Chong
Jasmine Jiang
Jinyoung Yoon
Minji Suh
Docha Ting
Grace Kim
Student Journal
Martin Guo
Edie Guo
Cheryl Jiang
Harry Chen
Science and Technology
Cheryl Jiang
Jackson Chen
Xiuwen Shen
Jeffrey Fu
Kenneth Lin
Jerry Ding
English Literature
Xiaoxiao Meng
Ashley Wu
Chloe Tan
Rachel Wang
Xiuwen Shen
Michael Shi
Chelsy Wu
Darren Sung
Sabrina Chen
Wendy Fan
Matthew Yuan
Jerry Ding
Mickey Zhou
Cloe Huang
Jessie Wang
Chinese Literature
Cecilia Zou
Karen Mao
Ruby Yao
Jessica Hong
Laura Lu
Publicity Coordinator: Ms. Zhang, Nan
Supervisor: Mr. Ma, Feng
Anna Tsai
Cloe Huang
Julia Xu
World News
Grace Zhou
Rachel Wang
Kyra Chong
Jasmine Jiang
Jinyoung Yoon
Minji Suh
Dochia Ting
Grace Kim
Grace Zhou
Jinyoung Yoon
Ruby Yao
Raymond Luo
Tommy Zhao
Elaine Shen
Chloe Zhao
Nancy Wu
Daniel Tian
Amy Zhou
Mark Wu
James Zhu
Celine Sung
Jonathan Shaw
Michelle Lee
Maggie Gao
Vicky Chan
Alisha Tay
Erica Ji
Julia Xu
Kenneth Lin
Albert Lin
Wendy Kim
Angelina Ding
Ishii Koken
Mike Hu
George Ng
Ellen Fu
Michelle Lee
Candy Tang
Angel Chen
Albert Lin
Chelsy Wu
Kenneth Lin
Shine Jeong
Ashley Wu
Eden Cui
Lynn Zhao
Dave Kim
Julia Xu
Table of Contents
IB and AP: Insights
New Faces in Zhongxing Building
Comic Club
Exchange Program
The Giving Tree
My Biology Internship
What AIDS Patients Need
Interviewing Yido He
Venus and Gradient
Dancing Farce
MIDI Music Festival
The History of Carpe Diem
Class Posters
Carpe Diem: Case Studies
Seize the Know
Megapixels for Moments
Microsoft Introduces Windows 10
Worldwide Growth in eLearning
Class Posters
Written By Grace Kim
To celebrate the beginning of
a new semester, passionate students redecorated Xianmian Building with creativity and uniqueness. The outdated contents from previous posters have been
replaced by up-to-date news and most
recent information, along with posters
revealing artistic talents and individuality.
The posters all assume varied
forms, reflecting a diversity of tastes.
The designs range from simple phrases
to intricate artworks. For instance, the
class poster of 11(3) provides an elaborate gradation from black to indigo
blue embroidered with glitters, and the
words “Welcome” are depicted as coffee
trickling down from a cup. Julia Li, the
designer of this splendid poster, gave a
detailed account of her experience. “Our
poster delivers a message to pour out the
coffee that keeps us awake and enter a
state of imagination. The act of pouring
the coffee also indicates leaving the past
behind and entering a new world.” More
cheerfully, she added, “I want to thank
all my friends for their cooperative efforts. It was a refreshing experience to
ponder on the designs and discuss the
message behind the illustrations with
my classmates!” Other classes bedecked
the rooms with characters from famous
animations and cartoons, including Bugs
Bunny and Mike from Monsters Inc., or
frequently used phrases, such as “Keep
calm and love Monday”.
The distinctive students of
12(9) put their homeroom
teacher Mr. Ma Kaicheng’s
face on display.
took an unconventional approach to
the poster. The distinctive students of
12(9) put their homeroom teacher Mr.
Ma Kaicheng’s face on display, drawing
others to visit their classes solely to see
the poster. To this inspirable work, Chris
Lin, a student of 12(9), commented, “It’s
just great. No one has ever done this
before.” Not able to keep himself from
laughing, Mr. Ma Kaicheng, the teacher
responsible for the hilarious incident,
made additional remarks. “My students
are incredible. That sketch seems identical to me, and I’m glad to see it in my
Every year volunteers from
each class devote their time and efforts
On the contrary, some classes
to create exquisite posters that will accompany them for the rest of the year.
Knowing how posters play a vital role in
constructing the ambience of the class,
students endeavor to contribute their artistic and innovative talents. By taking
part in the creation, some students discover their potential talents, while more
experienced students enjoy the benefit
of aesthetic expertise. The cooperation
of ardent students brings a sense of accomplishment to both the creators and
onlookers, accompanied with awe and
In some classes, all students
contribute to the design by suggesting
ideas. The new IB class of 11(1) B held
a dispositive survey in the wechat group
chat to settle between Garfield and Charlie Brown for the class illustrator, Jade
Khotjak, to draw. With supports from
the survey, Jade successfully completed
a perfect reproduction of Garfield in the
back of the classroom.
All students seem to enjoy the
diversity of the posters. Jenny Shin from
11(10) mentioned, “The posters convey
the different atmospheres and individuality of the members of each class. Every
time I walk into a different classroom, I
admire the extraordinary features. I don’t
tell a class by the class number; I tell it
by the class posters.”
The posters all assume
varied forms, reflecting a
diversity of tastes.
IB and AP: Some Helpful Insights Into the Two Programs
Written By Amber Li and Tommy Zhao
Both IB and AP are
rigorous programs that are
accepted by colleges and
universities worldwide.
In 1995, two years after
SHSID was established, SHSID became an International Baccalaureate (IB) world school. Soon after,
the school was authorized by College Board to administer Advanced
Placement (AP) exams, and AP
classes were integrated into the
school system. Both IB and AP are
rigorous programs that are accepted
by colleges and universities worldwide. The school requires that students during the second half of their
sophomore year choose whether
to take IB or AP as their school
course for the next two years. The
comments and the advice of a few
students currently in IB and AP will
hopefully shed some more light on
the two programs and help those not
yet in their junior year gain a better
understanding of each course.
Why IB?
During the last few months of
tenth grade, students all faced an important choice: AP or IB? Which is
more suitable? In this case, the reasons
for choosing IB varied among students.
“Originally, I wanted to choose AP because they made IB sound […] intense,”
Jade Khotjak from 11(1) B said. Ultimately, after consulting her parents and
teachers, she decided to take IB. “It’s
more comprehensive and helps you develop skills beyond the academic scope,”
she explained. Jayden Liu from 11(1)
B stated that he was greatly influenced
by what his former tenth grade English
teacher, Mr. Zach Sanders, had to say
about the IB program. “I learnt from
him that AP was actually an exam that
could be taken even if you didn’t take
the course, while IB was a curriculum
that had both a compulsory course and
exams,” he said. “AP does have more
flexibility in the selection of courses,”
he added, “[but] the tests are more multifaceted in IB.” Taking these factors into
account, he chose IB as his eleventh –
twelfth grade course.
Although only a month has
passed for the 2014 – 2015 school year
and eleventh grade IB students are still
relatively new to the program, several of
the students have their own comments
about the classes so far. Both Jayden and
Jade expressed their interest towards the
Theory of Knowledge (TOK) class that
is taken as a compulsory IB class in eleventh grade only. TOK is central to the educational philosophy of the IB Diploma
program. The course requires students to
understand how the Ways of Knowing,
including language, sense perception,
emotion, reason, imagination, faith, intuition, and memory, affect how we analyze the different Areas of Knowledge,
including mathematics, natural sciences,
human sciences, history, the arts, ethics,
religious knowledge systems, and indigenous knowledge systems. Essentially,
as TOK teacher Brian Moczygemba puts
it, TOK is a class in which students examine “how we know what we know.”
“TOK is especially interesting and I like
the freedom of thought it facilitates,”
Jayden said. “The main things [about IB]
that stand out to me are TOK classes,”
Jade agreed. Apart from classes specifically, she also added that “the notion
that the IB class is like a ‘big family’”
is solacing during difficult times. However, Jayden pointed out that an inconstancy between the IB syllabus and some
textbooks used in class “creates some
difficulty when learning, as some concepts are explained differently.” Overall
though, the general attitude towards the
course is one of enthusiasm. “I look forward to what the next two years have in
store,” Jade commented.
Two words: time management.
“The workload [and] review work is
challenging to manage, along with extracurricular activities,” Jayden points out.
“TIME MANAGEMENT,” Jade emphasized, as well as the challenge of recalling the knowledge previously gained in
ninth and tenth grade, which yes, will be
needed and will not be re-taught in detail
in eleventh grade. Jacqueline Zhu from
11(1) B said that because of the workload, leaving them to the night before the
deadline is not wise and will “drive you
crazy.” Despite these struggles, Jayden
retained a positive outlook and believed
these challenges will in fact help in the
long run. “I think in learning to cope
with these challenges, I’ll really be able
to improve my time-management skills,”
he said.
So what do current IB students
have to say to those who have yet to
choose what courses to take? The first
is to make informed decisions. When it
comes to choosing IB or AP, make sure
to fully understand the situation before
deciding which program to take. “IB or
AP, it’s your choice,” Jade said. “Think
it over yourself, talk to parents, counselors, and/or even friends for advice and
maybe some moral support.” Jayden
added, “Universities view AP and IB
equally. So the things to consider are
where you want to go for college. Write
out plans, lists, schedules. Use every
tool and resource at hand, including
college counseling and teachers.” Jacqueline stated that “it would be better if
you choose those subjects you have the
strongest interests in, because IB courses
require a lot of self-study.”
In terms of coping with courses,
Jacqueline brought up finishing work as
early as possible. “This is actually the
most effective way to keep away stress,”
she said. Jade placed emphasis on commitment. “You’ll be surprised at how
much you can actually accomplish when
you put effort into it,” Jade said. “In other words, have faith in yourself.”
Why AP?
The term AP stands for Advanced Placement, numerous college
level courses which high school students
could choose from having already finished with high school courses. It’s not
only a reliable source of GPA, but also
a highly flexible program that allows the
students to choose according to their interests and such. A student with a clear
and distinct goal in mind could highly
benefit from AP courses as they offer
extremely specialized courses that are
The first is to make
informed decisions.
constructed around the student’s needs.
Wendy Fan from class 11(6) said: “AP
is a really specialized course that I find
challenging and satisfying”. Unlike the
IB program, the AP is a fast paced oneyear course. It offers a unique blend of
self-dependence and interactions with
other students as one big community.
Because AP classes generally have a
larger class size and more varied combination of students, it is relatively easier
to interact with more people. “Almost all
my classes have different classmates so
I made a lot of new friends”, said Jeric
Sim 11(6). The AP exams also utilize
a grading method based primarily on
multiple choices, giving the students a
more objective perspective towards the
knowledge presented to them.
The AP’s challenge is also its
greatest asset, it does not have a clear
time schedule—in fact it doesn’t have a
time schedule at all. This is due to the
fact that you alone pick the courses you
wish to attend, and when you attend
them. The time and subjects you take is
purely based on your own decisions, and
you must carefully construct a curriculum that best fit your needs. In order to
do so one must take an introspective approach and analyze what his/her greatest
strength is and such. Time management
is critical as you must plan and allocate
certain portions of your time to areas
where your weaknesses lie, dedicating
them to balancing the amount of time
spend on each. However, with challenges come improvement, “AP pushes me
to an extreme I have never experienced
before and it greatly enhanced my learning and time management skills through
a variety of challenging tests”, said Sabrina Chen 11(2).
“Manage your time, challenge
yourself, but also know your limits and
priorities. ”
SHSID is a prestigious school
with an intellectual atmosphere, and
with such an atmosphere individuals
with high potential are often recognized
and remembered. Most of us have heard
stories of students with an insane amount
of AP 5’s and a full GPA. These mystical
people righteously known as ‘xueba’ (学
霸) have decorated our high school life
with a mixed feeling of both awe and
envy. These individuals have encouraged us to also push ourselves to the
limit, however we don’t always know
exactly where that is. Theoretically yes,
it is possible to get 15 AP 5’s. But in reality? It is very difficult and requires large
amounts of self-discipline and time management skills. We often get distracted
from our goal or procrastinate despite
having exams and projects due. While it
is recommended that you try to challenge
yourself and take as many AP courses as
you can, you should also know exactly
where your limit lies and avoid tipping
over and imploding. It is important to
balance between the intensity of schoolwork with the extracurricular activities
you have. Above all stay optimistic and
hopeful, that will increase your chance
of success and help you keep a positive
attitude towards the AP exams.
New Faces in Zhongxing Building
Written By Rachel Wang and Jenny Moon
It’s only been a month since the
start of the school year, and the students
of the Zhongxing Building are already
bustling around, eager to get on with
their lives. In the midst of all this hurry,
new faces can be seen everywhere, from
the student community to the school’s
staff members. New members of the
staff this year include Ms. Gina Aylward
and Mr. Ryan Kalb.
Ms. Gina Aylward
Born near Ann Arbor, Michigan, Ms. Aylward grew up in the United
States. She attended college at the University of Michigan, earning a dual B.A.
degree in English and Sociology. After
college, she worked at the University
of Michigan’s teaching center as a tutor. Currently 24 years old, she came to
Shanghai on August 21st. As Ms. Aylward had never been to Asia before, she
was curious about what life here is like
and wanted to experience it. She’s not
really sure why she decided to become
a teacher, but she loves the English language and wishes to pass her knowledge
on to her students. Mr. Kyle Whisler,
who taught tenth grade H-level English, recommended SHSID, and that’s
why Ms. Aylward’s here as a member of
the staff today, teaching ninth grade H+
English and H-level English Writing.
Overall, Ms. Aylward’s first
“Students sometimes rely
too much on verbatim
notes and only copy what
teachers write on the
month in Shanghai has been a positive
experience. She states that “There are
new things every day, and though there
have been some negative experiences,
it’s really nice here.” Throughout this
month, Ms. Aylward has mostly stayed
in the area around SHSID, walking
around and trying out the different types
of food sold here. Nevertheless, she has
also been around Shanghai to places
like Xujiahui and Xintiandi, where she
enjoyed taking strolls and exploring the
city. “Being a teacher is quite fun,” she
declared when asked about her job. “I get
to learn from my students and at the same
time, they also learn from me.” Her first
month in SHSID has been a great time,
and she believes that students here are
able to grasp high-level ideas and mature
enough to understand what she teaches.
Though she likes how her students are
paying close attention to everything she
teaches in class, she believes that they
sometimes “rely too much on verbatim
notes and only copy what teachers write
on the board,” often ignoring her when
she discusses important points and only
paying attention to what she writes. She
recommends that students should contribute more to class discussion.
Most students in Ms. Aylward’s
classes enjoy learning from her. In particular, Wendy Xu from 9(7) thought that
“she’s really pretty and sociable, and she
has a really deep insight on literature.”
Ms. Aylward encourages high school
students to be open to new ideas and
read constantly to gain a broader world
view and learn more about themselves.
In her free time, Ms. Aylward
likes to read, listen to music, and try
out Shanghai’s local food. She also has
a cat named Oliver in the United States,
which her roommate is currently taking
care of.
Mr. Ryan Kalb
to live in, especially in Shanghai!”
Mr. Kalb is from New York
City, U.S., and graduated from NYU,
where he majored in literature and cultural studies. As a university student,
he shaped his own goal of becoming an
English teacher who is “able to influence
how students perceive the world.” Now
beginning his career as an English teacher in an international school, he was taking his first step to accomplish his goal
in this completely ‘foreign’ setting of
Mr. Kalb chose SHSID as a
place where he would like to teach because of the fact that our school offers
both IB and AP programs. He said that he
would like to ultimately teach IB or AP,
and especially IB. He preferred IB because he opted for the “latitude in terms
of curricular choices” in our school’s
IBD program. “I’m also quite interested
in the Associated Student Body. I like
the way they plan everything and lead
the school’s major events,” he added.
When asked about the reason he
came to China, he responded with a simple yet ambitious remark, “adventure.”
With a broad smile, he added, “I just
wanted to experience something foreign.
And of course, China is an exciting place
Although he absolutely enjoyed
his first month of teaching in SHSID and
was getting more and more used to his
life in Shanghai, it was undoubtedly true
that he did encounter many difficulties.
“One of the most difficult things I’ve experienced so far at school was the ‘Law-
“One of the most difficult things
I’ve experienced was the ‘Lawson
translations’ with the ladies.”
son translations’ with the ladies,” Mr.
Kalb said, “I’m currently learning Mandarin, though, so hopefully I’d become
more comfortable in communications in
the future.”
Finally, when he was asked
about his primary concern about teaching, he proudly remarked, “My ultimate
goal in my career as a teacher is to let
my students learn in a multiple-studio
perspective. Since they all come from
different cultures and have been exposed
to different languages, I want to teach
them how to view things from multiple
perspectives and make use of that advantage!”
Comic Club
Written By Tommy Zhao
The annual Club fair was held
weeks ago on September 15 signaling
yet another productive school term, staying true to our traditions that unite us as
a loving and helpful community. Among
the numerous successful old-school
organizations such as MUN or Roots
& Shoots, a new and promising club
emerges. Its raison d’être? To explore
the boundaries of our imagination and
artistic values through the appreciation
and creation of graphic novels, bringing forward new ideas and concepts that
were previously unknown to us, summing all of it up in one word—comics.
Brought to you by the artsy
minds of Laura Ye 11(9) and Lulu Ye
11(5), the Comic club takes place every
Thursday in Xian Mian Building room
308. It is open for all grades and essen-
tially anyone with an interest or passion
for either drawing or appreciating comics. “We gather to share, enjoy, and explore the amazing art that is the comic.
Comics aren’t just entertainment for
Children. It is our goal to let more and
more people to know that there are much
more that comes out of the art of comics”, said Laura Ye.
For every meeting held, members of the comic club will come together to discuss and renovate conventional,
well known characters or create a brand
new superhero weaved from the fabric
of their imagination. “Comic club is a
great learning experience”, exclaimed
one of its members after her first meeting. This is not a rare occasion as numerous members have expressed their content and optimism towards the club after
their first meeting. Laura and Lulu built
this tightly constructed circle in order to
promote comics, which are often viewed
more as entertainment than appreciated
as an art form, and show the world for
what it truly is.
It is also a club full of diversity
and style; some would prefer the sardonic cynical story telling of DC while
others prefer the excitement and enthusiasm that Marvel bombards upon its
audiences. Members ranging from 9th
to 12th grade all contribute and enjoy
the experience that they themselves construct and preserve. One of the 9th grade
members exclaimed that “This is my first
time joining a club like this; I’m excited
and am looking forward to future events
and activities”.
The comic club not only provides an interesting experience, but will
also serve as an important and practical
cornerstone for those who are likely to or
have a clear goal of pursuing visual art
as a profession. Above all it trains your
skillset as an artist and serves as a fantastic extracurricular activity.
Exchange Program
Written By Min Chiang
On Friday September 19th, a
group of students gathered in Xianmian
Building, room 310. With the tables and
chairs pushed against the walls, they
stood in a circle that spanned the length
of the entire room. Curiously, there were
students wearing black shirts, with the
words “I <3 SHS” printed big and clear
on it. Students who walked by the room
looked in, their unasked question clear
on their face: what the hell is going on
in here? Can I have some of that pizza
on the desk? To answer the first question,
the students were attending a meeting—
a meeting that included students from
both the local division and the international division.
This meeting is a result of four
students, and it starts with two students
who met during the summer.
Over the summer, our campus
hosted the weeklong summer program,
HSYLC. Hundreds of students were in
attendance, including students of Shanghai High School local division and international division themselves. Here,
Alex Liu 12 (1) from SHSID befriended
Audrey Wang 11(6) from SHS. “I’ve always wondered why we never interacted
with the SHS kids, they’re some of the
best students in all of China, and we’re
literally only 5 minutes from them,”
Alex said, “Geniuses, and we’re com-
pletely missing out on the opportunity
to get to know them.” “It’s gonna be really cool if we can find a way to bridge
the gap,” said Audrey. Thus, hoping to
“connect” the two groups of students,
Alex and Audrey contacted students who
might be interested in the program. Chris
Lin of SHSID and Sabina of SHS joined
and helped Audrey and Alex.
The meeting, or “exchange program”, is, according to Chris Lin, “designed to foster the creation of a common identity.”
During the meeting, Audrey and
Chris each called out from their respective lists of names, students who were
called on introduced themselves and
their hobbies. Now and then, friends
would tease each other, resulting in
bursts of laughter. When Alex introduced the “Math Gods” Matthew and
Allen from SHSID, Audrey called out
to their “International Math Olympiad
Gold Medalist”, earning laughter from
around the circle. The circle dissolved
as soon as introductions ended; however, almost immediately the sounds of
students chatting filled the room. “Most
people were able to hit it off and chat
with each other”, Alex recalled. Groups
of two, three, four, five students stood
together, attentively listening to each
other. Students talked about their own
Students who walked
by the room looked
in, their unasked
question clear on
their face: what the
hell is going on in
“The borders dividing
us are, at best,
artificial.” –Alex Liu
school life, clubs they attend and its activities; the three math enthusiasts stood
together in the corner of the room, talking passionately in their own world.
From these fellow students, we learned
that they are from the “出國班”, meaning they will not be taking the high
school examination 高考, and unlike
other students, will be able to participate
in clubs during their senior year.
Cindy Zhang from SHSID said,
“Personally, as a member of the international division’s Roots and Shoots Club,
I loved talking to these few people representing the Green Club. They were
eager and enthusiastic and I was able to
exchange ideas on areas of cooperation,
like setting up a campus wide reusingthemed garage sale.”
As a result of the first meeting,
the Debate club and MUN are going to
collaborate. Students from SHSID will
be judging debate competitions held by
SHS students and participating in their
mock committees.
As of now, the meeting is held
on a small scale due to the limited space.
The organizers are looking to find a way
to encompass more students from both
divisions. In the future, there will be
more similar meetings held. Hopefully,
not far from now, SHSID students will
be greeting SHS students when they see
each other on campus like greeting old
Written By JinYoung Yoon
Starting from Week Two,
the sign-ups for the annual Giving
Tree program began in Zhongxing
Building, signaling a new year of
charity and benevolence.
The ‘Giving Tree’ program started five years ago in
SHSID, when one of the student’s
parents introduced this program to
our school. This program is mainly
about donating and giving presents
to migrant children whose families
are not financially privileged. The
Giving Tree is a program held
by the Community Center
Shanghai (CCS), a nonprofit organization
made up of international commu-
The ‘Giving Tree’
program started
five years ago in
SHSID, when one
of the student’s
parents introduced
this program to our
nities all over Shanghai. There are
several other international schools
cooperating with this organization, including American Schools
and Japanese schools in Shanghai.
Our school has one of the highest
number of students participating in
this event with around 200 students
joining every year. The Giving Tree
program has now become an annual
event in our school.
This year in SHSID, the
Giving Tree will be taking place in
Li Min Primary school(利民小学)
in Pudong. Students will receive a
bag containing a wish list that children wrote and act as a Santa Claus
for them every Christmas. Students
attending this program will visit
schools themselves and give the
presents directly to them. In the gift
bags, there are not only presents
but also items that will be useful to
them in multiple ways. Since this program is held during Christmas, gloves,
hat, scarfs and other winter supplies
can be included.When students visit the
schools, there will be small gatherings,
where students give brief speeches and
enjoy performances that will be held.
Many students in SHSID are encouraging this event as well as actively participating each year. This program is a great
opportunity for them to actually take part
in the charity and act out to contribute to
the community.
Most students view this program very positively. When asked about
the “giving tree” program, students gave
positive simple replies such as “good’”or
“I think it’s very nice.” The majority of
the students supports this program and is
looking forward to it. “I really enjoy this
program because I think this would be a
good chance to actively help the children
myself,” said one of the students. Teachers as well view this program in a positive view. “I think this program is very
influential to helping students develop a
sense of compassion and generosity, and
I hope many students can join this program and share their love” said Ms. Gao
from 10(6).
Despite the positive feedback,
there were also some suggestions for
improvements. “I wish I could donate
money or something useful to the children rather than presents, this way it can
be much more helpful to their education
as well as their future”, said James Zhu
from 10(5).
All in all, many students as well
as teachers find this program very supportive and encouraging!
When asked about the
‘giving tree’ program,
students gave positive
simple replies such as
‘good’ or ‘I think it’s
very nice”.
Carpe Diem:
Case Studies in Initiative
Written By SHSID|TIMES Staff
Summer often provides students with
a time for respite and relaxation. Gone are the
days of daily homework, monthly exams, and
weekly extracurricular activities. Instead, students are free to forget about the burdens of
school and pursue interests that are unique to
them. Every summer, many students achieve
great accomplishments or experience many
unique events that show that their summer was
not wasted.
With the recent passing of Robin Williams, SHSID|Times has decided to explore
a pervasive concept in one of William’s most
famous movies, Dead Poet’s Society: Carpe
Diem, which translated literally means “seize the
day”. Multiple interpretations exist that attempt
to explain the implications behind this phrase.
The general meaning as intended by Horace,
who first wrote the phrase in his Odes, is that
The two detailed case studies that are
in this article are personal experiences written
directly by the students involved. The two studies differ greatly; the first is about a math tournament, while the second is about an Arctic expedition. Yet the common aspect about the two is
that they both show that the students involved
have partaken in something that they felt was
Many people don’t think highly
of math tournaments. They think competitors do hundreds of practice questions, go into a classroom, take a test,
and then leave and wait for their scores
—just like the AP Calculus tests. However, after we took Stanford Math Tournament China this summer, we didn’t
feel that way.
Most tests only have 10-15
questions, but getting even
half of these correct easily
places you in the top 10%.
it means to do everything you can do today to
create a better future. The interpretation that we
took, however, is slightly different. We took the
phrase to mean to take initiative and seize the
available opportunities today rather than wait
for the future. Many students follow this principle. These students used their summer time
efficiently and took opportunities that reflected
their demonstrated interests or curiosities.
The SMT is renowned for its
difficulty—most tests only have 10-15
questions, but getting even half of these
correct easily places you in the top 10%.
Participants compete in teams of up to 8
people. There is individual algebra, ge-
ometry, advanced topics, and an easier
general test that incorporated a bit of the
other three topics. In addition, there are
two team rounds: a proof-oriented Power Round, and a fill-in-the-blank Team
Round. It sounded fun to us. After our
math teacher introduced the tournament
and after we were awed by the difficulty
of the practice questions, we quickly
formed a group of 8 challengers to take
the test.
The SMT China took place at an
international school in Beijing, so we arrived there a day early to get ourselves
oriented (and do some last-minute cram-
ming for the test). We were getting nervous over the test topics that weren’t as
familiar to us—the advanced topics dealt
with concepts we haven’t formally studied until we did practice questions, and
the other tests required approaches that
wouldn’t come to mind in a normal math
test. Some of us were cramming the geometry formulas we had learned in 9th
grade. Others were making and memorizing “cheat sheets”, pages describing
the patterns seen in past tests. At the
same time, we were also quite excited to
escape from our homes in summer and
see the Chinese capital. The next day, we
attended the opening ceremony for the
first SMT China. There, the faculty gave
a lengthy tribute to the school hosting
the tournament. They announced their
goal of exposing us to insidiously difficult mathematics, applauding the beauty
of cracking these problems with an elegant solution. In the end they introduced
the Stanford students that had written
and solved the problems we were going
to face. Just before we left for the tests,
they said they had fun writing the questions, and hoped we’d have fun solving
We understood what they meant
when we took the individual tests. In the
end, regardless of the topic, all of these
tests asked questions that seemed to
mockingly tease us. The questions were
worded in an understandable way, and
most contestants didn’t find their premis-
es confusing or their requests incomprehensible. But after quickly understanding the question, we often realized we
didn’t have even the faintest clue how we
could find the answer, so we just stared
at the question until we gave up. Other
times, we would mistakenly think that
some method would do the job, and realize after digging deeper into the question
that we had to make 2014 mental calculations to find the answer. At times, we
trudged on with a bad method, wrote out
a huge formula, and spent a good half of
the allotted time on one question. Lastly,
at times our approach seemed to miraculously give us easy numbers and simple
mental calculations. We felt like we hit
a jackpot and hurried on, and eventually rejoiced when we finally reached an
answer, sometimes a number as simple
as ‘2’. Throughout the tests, the formulas and cheat sheets didn’t help much.
These questions required creativity and
intuition to solve, not raw math experience and memorization. The questions
didn’t look like “Please find the volume
if this curve were rotated around the yaxis”, but more like “Find the last digit
of 2^(3^(4^(5…^2014 ) ) )”. No computer in the world can actually calculate
that number, let alone a person with a 50
minute time limit. Even the easier general test had, among typical questions
we’ve done in high school, some tricky
Imagine frantically explaining
your insights to your
teammate when there’s
10 minutes left, and failing
to make your teammate
questions that defied our expectations,
questions like “You have $15. Apples
cost $0.20, pears cost $0.30, and oranges
cost $0.50 each. How many different
combinations of fruit can you buy?”—
which sounds easy but will laughingly
mock you if you give it a sincere attempt.
The team tests of the SMT
China had a different feel from the individual tests. On the one hand, teammates
can discuss their ideas and collaborate
with each other, sharing inspirations
and speeding up the problem-solving
process; on the other hand, many communication problems may arise between
members. Imagine frantically explaining
your insights to your teammate when
there’s 10 minutes left, and failing to
make your teammate understand. Or
swap roles and imagine frantically trying hard to explain why your teammate’s
inspiration isn’t going to work out. We
sometimes faced problems just like
those; a pair of teammates solving a
problem isn’t as efficient as one person
with two brains solving it. Either way,
communication was crucial in this team
test, and our teammates were constantly
jotting down notes, or passing papers in
an attempt to explain their ideas to others. Sometimes, one of us would get
the answer in a spark of inspiration, or
he would slowly put the pieces of the
puzzle together to solve the problem;
he would then phase out of our conversations and work his problem alone.
Some of us initially did not know why
the Power Round was named that way,
but after 90 minutes of nonstop whispering, thinking and writing, we walked out
of the test room exhausted, and learned
firsthand how much “power” that test required! Some of us spent more than half
of the allotted time tacking a difficult
proof question, filling pages upon pages
of logic trying to convince the grader.
The regular team test went by similarly,
except there was more of the blank staring just like in the individual tests; notably in that test, at the last minute someone in the team had an inspiration for a
question, and wrote down all the steps as
quickly as possible. The answer was ‘1’.
After taking the tests, our last
source of worry was the award ceremony. We were wondering how well we’ve
done, and whether we’ve flunked the
tests or not. We first noticed that the top
prizes were consistently being given to
one school, The High School Affiliated
to Renmin University. We then noticed
that none of us fell in the top 10 for any
of the four individual tests. We weren’t
very sure if we could get any prize. But
when the staff began to announce team
awards, we discovered that our group
was consistently in the top ten, somewhere between the 4th and 6th place out
If you’d like to take participate
in the SMT in the future, we’d
suggest you exercise your
creativity and insight.
of about 80 teams in total. In the overall score we also scored 4th. We were so
happy and ignored the fact that the 4th
place contestants received the same certificates as the 5th-10th place, whereas
the top 3 received medals. Needless to
say, The High School Affiliated to Renmin University received the first place
for all these prizes, and their overall
score was far ahead of the second place.
We noticed that each contestant wore
multiple overlapping medals.
In conclusion, the math tournament was an intellectually rich experience where we all had a chance to see
how difficult math can be. It makes me
wonder how mathematicians working
on century-old unsolved problems got
their crucial insight to finally crack out
an answer with an irrefutable proof. Our
questions are questions college students
If you’d like to take participate
in the SMT in the future, we’d suggest
you exercise your creativity and insight.
Grab one of the questions and go wild
thinking of plans to simplify the question to something trivial. Look for common properties of the numbers they give
you, add something extra to make the
equation nice and symmetric, slash out
2013 terms by considering what remains
invariant; try everything you can think
of. With enough skill, I’m sure you can
get a score above 60% and stand alongside the Renmin University champions.
We first noticed that the top
prizes were consistently being
given to one school, The High
School Affiliated to Renmin
created, and still 9 times out of 10 a high
school candidate would have no idea
how they could even begin solving the
question. And we knew that those candidates from Renmin University must’ve
been really good at math, not as in the
sense of being able to multiply 5-digit
numbers in their heads (though they
might also be good at that), but in finding the crucial initial step and eventually
solve algebra, special topics, and geometry questions alike.
This summer I had the very fortunate opportunity to attend an Arctic
expedition group led by Professor Shuyi
Zhang from East China Normal University. Professor Zhang is my Dad’s colleague, and he recommended me to him
for this program. I was very excited for
this trip, and I almost couldn’t sleep the
night before the flight. On the morning
of July 19th, I and a group of 37 other
students from all over China gathered
at Pudong International Airport to begin
our journey. We started at Stockholm, a
beautiful city in North Europe. My stay
at Stockholm was a transit point to the
main adventure—the cruise through the
Our Arctic expedition started on
July 22th when we arrived at Longyearbyen, Svalbard in Norway and boarded
the ‘Akademik Sergey Vavilov’, an
expedition vessel from Russia. As our
ship left the dock, we realized we were
heading to a grand and mysterious Arctic land where few, if any humans live.
On the boat deck, we saw huge mountain
chains, the gray plain sky and the boundless ocean. In contrast to the bustling
atmosphere in Shanghai, the atmosphere
here was much more tranquil. The temperature in the Arctic was colder than anything I could ever imagine. I could feel
the severe chill in the air in each time I
took a breath.
Our schedule for this expedition
on the vessel went about in a fixed way.
We would wake up at 7:00 AM and eat
breakfast by 7:30 AM. By 9:00 AM, we
would change into our outfits and head
out onto the zodiacs, small boats that allowed us to explore the ocean, and go
on land. Every day we went out on the
zodiacs twice, once in the morning and
once in the afternoon. There would be
ten people per boat, with each person
wearing a heavy outfit that consisted of
a technical jacket, outdoor pants, high
boots, waterproof gloves and sunglasses.
By noon, we would return to eat lunch.
By 2:00 PM, we would go out for our
second trip, where we would usually go
on land, and return by 5:00 PM. After
eating dinner at 6:30 PM, most of us students would go to the lounge and get to
know each other better. Before we went
to sleep, we would all write diary entries
to summarize the day.
We saw many different types of
Arctic animals. It felt magical. We saw
Arctic terns, glaucous gulls, bearded
seals and reindeers; these wild animals
that could hardly be seen in zoos were
moving vibrantly just in front of us.
Birds were standing on rocks and flying
throughout the sky. Seals were resting
It felt magical. We saw
Arctic terns, glaucous
gulls, bearded seals and
on the ice, not paying attention to the
students observing them. It can arguably be said that polar bears are the main
characters in the Arctic world. We did
not see that many; we were lucky to see
four polar bears during our whole expedition. For safety reasons, we could not
get too close to these carnivores. One
time we saw a polar bear swimming in
the sea searching for fish. It was such a
good swimmer that we were worried that
it would suddenly rush at our boat and
drag one of us into the sea. Another time
a polar bear was eating a dolphin with a
group of gulls flying around it and waiting for it to finish. The sharp red color
of the blood stained and contrasted with
its snow-white fur. It reminded us that
under that pure and adorable appearance
was a fierce beast. It really changed the
way I thought about polar bears. Before,
I had thought polar bears were cute and
cuddly, but my initial thought upon seeing the half-eaten dolphin was: “Wow,
it’s a predator”. It was a scary experience.
Sometimes we went on the land
if no polar bears were spotted. If there
were, we would not go on land due to
safety purposes. When I first set foot on
land, I was mesmerized by its grandiose
and eternal nature. We were on land that
no human has lived on. Everything was
just so natural—there were no human
traces, and everything was covered by
vegetation. Reindeers and birds blended
in with the natural scenery. The crewmembers who led us were all experienced and renowned Arctic explorers
and scientists. They told us about the
different types of bizarre plants that we
encountered during our walk. All the
plants were low on the surface of the
land to protect themselves from the severe weather. The crewmembers put
great effort in protecting the environment. We were always supervised and
not allowed to leave any human traces
on the land. They made sure that we did
not do anything that could damage the
state of nature. This was one of the few
places left on Earth that was still considered pure, and we felt that we each had a
responsibility to protect it.
On July 27th our ship had arrived at 80 degrees north (approximately
1109 km from the North Pole) and we
had a great party on the deck to celebrate
the great time we all had together enjoying the amazing gift of nature. We enjoyed that we were in a separate world
that was untouched by the hand of humanity. By July 29th, we had returned
back to Longyearbyen.
For ten days, we went away
For ten days, we went away
from the hustle and bustle of
Shanghai to relax in this calm
and peaceful world of nature.
from the hustle and bustle of Shanghai
to relax in this calm and peaceful world
of nature. We went to areas where mountains and glaciers, which have witnessed
the rises and falls in this simple, yet
beautiful part of the world, have been
standing for centuries, Despite the environmental extremes, life still flourishes
here, growing and reproducing, for only
the strongest ones manage to survive.
This experience has encouraged me to
contemplate, to change and to love. I
respect the fact that such animals can
live in such extreme conditions. They
do not possess the luxurious desires that
we humans have, as they just go about
living their lives. Communication with
among crewmembers and fellow students was also simpler. As there was no
Wi-Fi or cell phone signal, we did not
just sit around, staring at our phones. We
had meaningful conversations about our
lives back home, our thoughts about the
day, and other topics.
This journey has undoubtedly
been one of the most meaningful experiences I have had in my life. With
Professor Zhang as a guide, we 38 students hope to publish a book documenting the events and writing about what
kind of impression this trip has had on
each of us. We will write about what we
saw, how we felt, and how this expedition has changed us. This entire trip has
made me realize just how small humans
are in relation to the world. We must be
like those Arctic animals – persistent and
diligent—no matter what the surrounding conditions are like.
Our purpose is not to put these students on a pedestal and say that they have
had a more “superior” experience than other
students; rather, we are using these two to
show the extent of variety of pursuits that
SHSID students have taken. The preceding
two case studies are just two of the many
pursuits that students have taken apart in.
The student body of SHSID is too diverse for
these two to be representative of the whole
—each student will have their own individual story to tell. Each student will have their
own interpretation as to what they consider
meaningful. No matter in what way, no matter in what channel of expression, we believe
though that it is important for students to take
the opportunity and “carpe diem”. As to how
a student can achieve this, this is up to them
to decide.
Things tend to go wrong in Biology experiments.
I have always wanted to major in
biology. But many of my teachers and friends have kept telling me that it would be better
to experience what it felt like to
be a biologist before i actually
decided on my major. After all,
sometimes reality can be harsher
than imagination. So this summer, i seized an opportunity to
get an internship at the shanghai
institute for biological sciences
so that i could live the life of a
Written By Cheryl Jiang
“Don’t be surprised if your experiment fails, be surprised if it doesn’t.”
a researcher at the lab told me.
After one week of watching
other researchers do their experiments
such as comparing the different concentrations of a tumor-inhibiting protein in
cancer cells and normal cells and learning all the safety precautions and basic
experiment procedures, I was finally
given the chance to do my own project
to experience what it felt like to be a researcher. With the help of my instructor
and other researchers, I finished my experiment design and handed it in to my
instructor in merely two days.
It was a very simple project: testing the effect of garlic on the growth of
colon cancer cells—just add a few drops
of garlic juice on cancer cells and test to
see if they are alive by using chemicals
to dye the cells that are alive and count
how many there are in different concentrations of garlic juice solutions. That’s
why I was so surprised that the first comment my instructor made was: “This is
quite a complicated project. It’s going to
take you quite a long time to finish; one
to two months if you are lucky.”
I dismissed it with a laugh; I
was confident that I could finish this simple experiment quite quickly.
That night, I made a schedule of
my experiments. If nothing went wrong,
I could finish the entire project within
one week.
To my greatest horror, everything went wrong during that week.
My very first step in the experiment, culturing cells, was met with
terrible failure. The day after I thawed
my two plates of colon cellsi, I went
to observe them under the microscope.
The plate of colon cells which belonged
to the cell line SW480ii was very
healthy—each cell was huge and blobby; parts of the cell were stretching out
like tentacles, grasping hard onto the cell
plate. The multiple nuclei in each cell
seemed to smile back at me. However,
my satisfaction didn’t last very long,
because as soon as I looked at my other
plate of colon cells which belonged to
the cell line SW1116, I was devastated
to see them look so lifeless: small, circular half-transparent black blobs floating
aimlessly around. I searched around the
cell plate and found the source of contamination: a gigantic blotch of crystalline monster.
to add in the ingredients and half an hour
to wait for it to concrete. One hour later,
it was still as viscous as water. I asked
my instructor for help.
“It’s a fungi contamination,” my
instructor pointed out calmly. “Reread
the protocol and see if you missed any
of the safety procedures.” Oh the safety
procedures. I forgot to read them.
It turned out that this time I had
failed to notice a line of teeny-tiny words
on the acrylamide bottle that said “shake
before use”.
“When heating the cells to 37
in a water bath, do not let the bottom of
the lid sink into the water.” I did just that
when I thawed my SW1116 cells.
At least my SW480 cells survived. If I read the protocol more carefully next time, I should still be able to
finish my experiment within one week.
I couldn’t have been more
My second failure was a western blot experimentiii. It was quite a
complicated experiment that would take
a long time to finish, so I had to start in
the morning. My instructor had showed
me how to do it the day before. I had taken very detailed notes, read the protocol
three times and even highlighted the important steps. I was very confident that
the experiment would succeed this time.
My first step was making the geliv for
the experiment. It took me half an hour
I remade the gel again, this
time, taking care to shake the acrylamide
bottle really hard. Nothing would go
wrong in that experiment after that…or
so I thought.
The next day, I came very early
in the morning to add the antibodies onto
the protein that I had extracted from the
western blot experiment. As soon as I
walked into the lab, I was horrified when
my instructor told me I had forgotten to
put the protein into the refrigerator.
I quickly rammed through my
memories and realized I had planned on
putting it into the fridge but was distracted by my mom’s phone call, and only
ended up leaving the protein on the desk
right beside the fridge.
I banged my head on the wall. I
had to redo the entire experiment all over
healthy cells prospering.
Contamination, seen
as the black spot on
the left, hindering
normal growth.
i All cells are frozen by the last user for a longer preservation time.
ii Cell lines are types of colon cancer cells originally extracted from a patient and mutated so they can keep growing and dividing forever. Every cell
in a cell line is divided from the original cells extracted from the cancer tissue of that patient. This SW480 cell line is originally taken from the colon
cancer cells of a male Caucasian patient at the age of 52.
iii A chromatography for proteins. The proteins are first pulled straight into stick-like shapes, and then coated with a layer of a negatively charged
substance called SDS. That way, the bigger proteins would be coated with more SDS and thus have more negative charge on them. After that, the
proteins are run through a gel with electricity where the proteins with a larger charge will receive more force and move faster. This way the proteins
will be divided into several layers in the gel according to their different sizes.
iv A site for the chromatography-like process that separates proteins in the process mentioned in the endnote iii. This gel contains a web of acrylamides that creates little holes which allows proteins to pass through.
I couldn’t be more
And so, the first week passed
with barely any progress made. According to my plan, I should have already
finished my entire project by now, but
instead, I barely began.
In the following few days, I kept
doubting whether I really did want to be
a biologist in the future. Every successful data point I collected was preceded
by countless failures.
But after two months passed, in
the last few days of my experiment, as I
organized and evaluated my data, I suddenly understood that every single chart
of data I made was a small corner of the
universe no human has ever explored.
My conclusion that garlic can suppress
colon cancer cells line SW480 was a discovery that no one has ever made before.
Instead of simply learning knowledge, I
was creating knowledge. Knowledge is
like a building that everyone lays a stone
on. Even if my discovery is only an insignificant piece of pebble, I have contributed to this great project that many
scientists have contributed to for hundreds of years. And this is what makes
all my failures worth it.
Written By Matthew Yuan
My perception of AIDS
patients was that they
were weak, moribund
people lying helplessly
on hospital bunks.
I believe many of us have been
busy over the summer. Some students
have participated in summer programs,
some students have competed in tournaments, and others were doing internships
at various institutions. What I did, however, was volunteer at Dali No. 2 People’s Hospital in the rural area of Dali,
Yunnan. Though it may not sound grand,
it turned out to be a very fulfilling experience.
As summer barely started, I embarked on my journey to Dali. My luggage only contained a few sets of clothes,
and the rest was packed with gifts, such
as jumping ropes, markers, and notebooks, for the HIV-infected kids I would
meet. I expected to spend the next 4
weeks with them to help them cope with
their disease and brighten up their lives.
What I did not expect, however, was
how much my life would change.
I had learnt of this hospital
from Barry & Martin Trust, an interna-
tional AIDS charity, and had heard that
an American college student helped out
previously. Before I visited the hospital,
my perception of AIDS patients was that
they were weak, moribund people lying
helplessly on hospital bunks. I thought I
would mostly assist nurses to take care of
the patients, helping them recover from
surgery and intensive therapy. I would
also try to make them cheer up, and relieve their psychological stress, whether
through small chats or other ways.
After I had arrived at the hospital, however, my image of them proved
to be completely wrong. Most HIV-infected patients lived a relatively normal
life, visiting the hospital only for occasional check-ups and medication. The
HIV-infected kids I met received the
disease from their mothers in the womb,
and they appeared the same as everyone
else. Their medical needs were covered
by the hospital, and they received free
checkups and medication; my job was to
provide psychological assistance for the
families treating us with hospitality and
smiles, I felt relieved that I was welcomed by them, and proud that I could
bring happiness to the family, and I felt
my time volunteering very fulfilling and
Although, this discrimination is unsubstantiated, it still causes
people to ostracize and distance themselves from them.
patients, particularly for HIV-infected
children, through various activities.
The American college student
taught children English for five weeks,
leaving an excellent impression on both
the hospital and the kids. This year, however, we neither had the funding support
nor the human resources to gather the
kids, some who live quite far away, together, so we arranged for other fun activities with the kids. As I met up with
a British volunteer from the same grade
who came here with the same inspiration
and motivation as me, we discussed our
activity plans for the children.
As I soon learned these children, although apparently normal kids,
in fact endured significant pressure in
their daily lives, as do their parents. First,
their illness is concealed from neighbors,
friends, classmates, and teachers, for
fear that they will be discriminated because of their disease. Second, they must
take antiviral medication daily, which
produces many adverse side effects. As a
consequence, they seem a bit more cautious and quiet than normal kids, and are
more obedient to adults.
To relieve their mental burden,
we decided to organize some playful
activities with them, including skipping
rope, making origami, and playing ball
games. We wanted the kids to loosen
up—and they liked it! They were attentive when making paper cranes and
crowns, and proudly held up their work
when done. Although some kids were
reluctant to join the group at first, they
were moved by other kids’ joy and finally participated in the games. Seeing
gleeful smiles on their faces, we planned
another activity with them, bringing
them to KFC for lunch and a movie
afterwards. Since these kids normally
lived far from towns, there were excited
to have fast food and watch 3D movies,
and enjoy life like other kids. It was very
rewarding to see how these initially shy
kids gradually opened up and began to
talk to us as friends.
Later on, we paid home visits to
a number of kids and their families and
got the opportunity to chat with them,
while we got to see for ourselves what
their ordinary lives were like. The kids
were thrilled to see us after getting to
know us from numerous activities, and
showed us around, introducing us to the
sights and scenes in town. One little boy
eagerly took us to meet his family and
showed us around the village, where
people were preparing for the Torch Festival, a major summer holiday among
the Bai ethnicity. With the kids and their
Not all of our activities went as
smoothly as planned, however. We originally anticipated for 20 kids to join us;
only 10 showed up. Some children could
not attend because of inconveniences in
commuting; some simply didn’t want to
go to the hospital. When we had scheduled visits to patients’ homes, one cancelled it when we were at their doorstep,
after travelling a long way. The reason
probably was that they did not want our
arrival to alert their neighbors and cause
unnecessary speculation.
This incident exemplifies patients concealing their condition from
neighbors, co-workers, colleagues, and
even family and friends, because they
are afraid of discrimination from them,
which can be even more devastating
than the disease itself. Although, this
discrimination is unsubstantiated, it still
causes people to ostracize and distance
themselves from them. We, as educated
people, should respect their equal rights
and treat them as normal people.
Through this trip, I have learned
a lot about the everyday lives of AIDS patients—including their happiness, their
hardships, and their endurance. I have
learnt more about the diagnosis, treatment, and development of the disease,
and have understood the importance of
raising awareness of HIV information
and stopping bias and discrimination.
Moreover, I have genuinely felt the joy
in helping others and bringing them happiness. Making these kids who have endured so much smile was definitely the
most rewarding part of this trip to me.
Why not join a volunteer group and start
helping others out? Like me, you will
not regret this valuable experience!
Yido He
Written by Edie Guo
Yido He is in grade 11, and he started playing the
violin when he was 5. He plays the violin in a piano trio outside of school, and is also the president of the school string
ensemble. This means that other than playing the violin he
has to adapt the articulation of the piece of music to make it
more suitable for playing, and also act as the conductor to
guide others in rhythm and dynamics. Having played years
of violin, he has come to understand and appreciate classical music. He believes that it is not a lack of passion that
prevents many from loving classical music, but a lack of discovery. Here he talks about his views on classical music,
and wishes readers to understand that classical music is
something that all people can enjoy. Yido strongly recommends the speech “The transformative power of classical
music” by conductor Benjamin Zander. Readers who are interested can search up this speech on Youku or TED.
How were you first exposed to classical music?
When I was 5, a student from
the music conservatory used to come
to teach me violin, and for a long time,
I didn’t actually play; it was more just
me listening to her play. When I first
took violin lessons, my mom would
play some classical music CD on the car
rides to and from lessons. By listening
to music first, I was able to develop my
passion for violin because as a little kid,
I became fascinated by the interesting
sounds that came from the violin.
When you first began
practicing violin, were you really
enjoying the process, or was it
When I first began, and I think
this goes for most kids, I was attracted to
the element of novelty. When that wore
away, practicing became more “homework” oriented. However, my parents
were never too strict with my practicing, so I was still able to develop some
personal interest. I think I really started
to enjoy practicing violin in grade six,
when I began playing Canon in D in an
music is still
music — it’s
just the music
of people
who lived
many years
How has learning classical music changed you as a person?
Well, practicing violin, or any
kind of instrument, requires a lot of work
and patience. Decent practice sessions
require a lot of work and patience. So
right now, I find that I am able to things
with a lot of patience. Also, practicing
has taught me to focus better.
In your opinion, what are
the major difference between
popular music and classical music?
Classical music is really just the
popular music of the people who lived
hundreds of years ago. It just evolved
throughout the centuries. The reason
that the standard of popular music has
changes is because the world changes.
Music reflects what is going on in the
world, and people tend to listen to music
that they can relate to. So if you think
back on the history of music, you would
realize that Baroque music reflects the
extravagant culture, Classical music reflects the balanced society, and Romantic music reflects the release of freedom.
Since popular music is evolved from
classical music, they share many characteristics.
Was there a time period
when you felt like you could not
understand classical music?
And how were you able to come
to appreciate it?
Yes, so when I was little my
parents would take me to classical concerts, and I would fall asleep because
they were all really long and I did not
know what to listen for. However, I soon
realized that there were always these elements that kept repeating in the piece
of music-which I learnt later are called
motives. So, now when I hear the motives, I pay attention to how the music is
Classical music is one of
those areas that is full of jargon
which makes it very difficult for
an individual to appreciate the
structure, development, and
graceful details in music. Do you
see any simple ways that an individual could come to understand
I think this perception is somewhat biased because classical music is
not actually that complicated. Classical
music is still music- it’s just the music
of people who lived many years before.
The people who attended the concerts
back then may not all be music professionals, but they were still able to appreciate the music. For example, everyone
knows when a piece of music is ending.
Non-professionals have a feeling that
the piece is ending, and know when to
clap. But when you analyze it from the
professional perspective, you feel like
the piece is ending because the return
to tonic triggers that instinct. So I think
people appreciate classical music the
same, whether they have studied music
or not. You will gradually learn to appreciate music if you keep listening. There
are small things that you can start doing
though, like trying to find the motives,
and paying attention to the gestures of
the conductor in a symphony.
Do you think classical
music will make a comeback
into the modern culture?
I don’t think pure classical
music will ever come back, but since
popular music is influenced by classical music, you can always find traces of
classical music in popular music. Some
obvious examples are the modern electric replications of famous classical pieces like Beethoven’s sonata, and symphonies. However, there are also some very
subtle ones, like how tonality is evolved
from western classical music, and how
many melodic ideas in popular music are
inspired by the ancient Greeks.
How do you think classical music could fit into SHSID?
There are some resources at the
school, like the orchestra, where the students study classical music once a week.
I hope in the future, there will be more
performances for students and teachers
to enjoy.
...where "Seize" is
Used In Its Broadest
Possible Defin tion,
Either to Confiscate
or to Obtain...
Information travels at the speed
of light with today's technology. What
seemed to be next to impossible just a
few years ago are slowly, one by one,
coming to life. One of the more intriguing fields of rising technology is the
realm of the wearable. The concept of a
"computer" on a wrist fascinated many
for ages, and has been attempted numerous times in the past, with varying degrees of success. With the LG G Watch,
and Google's newly launched Android
Wear platform, Google intends to bring
this age old dream of a wrist-mounted
computer to reality, while incorporating
the concept of having limitless information, seizing knowledge and providing
convenience at a glance.
The LG G Watch's appearance
is best described as understated. It certainly is not as striking to look at as
LG's other products, such as the pseudometallic mega-phone G3, or the novel
and literally pliable G Flex. The watch
takes the shape of a rounded rectangular prism, with a sizable black bezel and
the usual straps hanging out its top and
bottom. The watch is noticeably thick,
and has a rim of dark metal around the
side. On top of the watch there is a 1.6
inch IPS screen that is bright enough for
indoor usage, but hopelessly dim and reflective under the sun in even the cloudiest of days. The underside of the watch
is predominantly occupied by the promi-
nent LG logo, and is complemented by
a series of small dotted charging spots.
The design is extremely uninspiring, as
if an overworked designer was tasked to
make some watch and then simply drafted a five-minute job.
Perhaps the beauty of the G
Watch's design appears once it turns on.
Weirdly, the watch contains no power
button. Hence, the only way to switch
it on is by attaching the watch to its
commodious magnetic charging
cradle. That's when the G Watch
enters a whole new world,
and the bland design
begins to take flight.
Once the screen is
on, and the watch
is functioning, the
design just doesn't
The passive design
seems to take a step
back, as if it were a
getting the job done
silently while remaining dormant and reposed. The quiet design
allows Android Wear to
take the center stage,
with it functioning as a side in
main course.
In this watch,
the hardware
is the soothing
background music as
the software, and more
importantly, the content,
takes the center stage. In this
case, the content of the watch is
inexplicably Google. As such, the
watch needs to be paired with a reasonably modern Android smartphone
A Review of the LG G Watch
Written by Kenneth Lin
with the Android Wear app. Everything
in the watch is presented in "cards", with
each card containing textual information
as well as a graphically relevant backdrop.
Using the G Watch gives an overwhelming impression of attentiveness and attachment: it knows you well. The watch
certainly "feels" you very well: it switches on and brightens when you maneuver
your arm to glance the time, and dims
into a black and white power-saving status as your arm goes back to its usual
position. Quietly, the gyroscope and accelerometer work in unison detecting
your every movement, counting steps
and determining position. This sense of
overwhelming connection is continued
in the software: the watch just knows
what you are up to. Most of this almost
intimate knowledge of you is based on
Google Now, which since its release
two years ago, has been the spotlight of
digital assistants. Google Now lives in
the Android smartphone, and connects
seamlessly to the G Watch. It tracks your
searches, your YouTube activity, your
interests, your location at various times
of the day to weld a lurid picture of your
life. Using this web of information,
Google Now pushes information cards
to the watch that it deems useful to you.
The result is a constant stream of relevant information at the right time, such
as traffic details to school at 7:40 AM
or the weather at 6:00 AM, displayed
on the watch.
Of course, like any assistant,
Google Now is not infallible. Foremost, the very design of how Android
interacts with the user in a watch poses
a unique inconvenience. Most inputs to
the G Watch are based on voice recognition, which at a glance, sounds like
things of the future. Indeed it is a thing
of the future, and still will be a thing of
the future for a few more years. Voice
recognition is actually more accurate
than one would expect, only confusing
a few words in moderately noisy environments. However, the biggest issue of
voice input, aside from the ghastly awkwardness of talking into a black rectangle, is simply the monumental pool of
wisdom required to recognize speech.
The watch relies on a constant internet
connection with Google to obtain data
and decipher inputs. However, due to
various controversial local concerns, the
watch can't always connect with Google,
and therefore can't always "know" your
inputs. The state of the internet seizures
where we live also means Google Now
is functionally depleted, often displaying
error messages, such as "Disconnected",
when attempting to refresh the weather.
Most of Google's services crucial to the
watch, such as Google+ and Google
Keep, simply become decoration. At this
point, the watch ceases to be in the know,
and transforms into an expensive and
tragically overpriced accessory, awaiting the future to provide emancipation to
We reside within a context that
is hostile to the very presence of knowledge. Certainly, knowledge is a powerful
thing, keeping the G Watch in the know,
and silently powering the G Watch, allowing it to recognize what it can do to
its owner. Knowledge fuels every aspect
of the G Watch, be it the intimate knowledge of its location and presence, the
sizable dictionary that powers its voice
recognition, or the limitless information
sourced from the internet. Knowledge
also makes the G Watch truly infinite a powerful tool to interact, discover and
enjoy. Perhaps it is simply the power of
knowledge, the power of criticism and
the power of innovation that intimidates
some. The restriction of knowledge
deals a heavy blow to the functionality
of the G Watch, perhaps exposing the
biggest flaw of knowledge itself: in a
world where one cannot seize the know,
restrictions bewilder, raze, and pillage,
sending potent and often times benevolent ideas to their graves.
Written by Jeffrey Fu
In this era of the smartphone,
seizing the day, putting it in your pocket,
and sending it to your friends over WeChat has never been easier. 8 megapixels. 16 megapixels. 41 megapixels. Pixels are the building blocks of pictures,
the minute squares that together form
the picture. A megapixel is one million of these pixels. When we graduate
from SHSID, grow old, and rock in our
chairs, these precious pictures will be
our most treasured memories, recorded
in megapixels. However, any wellversed smartphone geek could probably
tell you: great megapixel counts do not
the great camera make. The true deciding factors of the quality of a smartphone
camera are the sensor and the image processor.
rarely reveal the specifications of their
camera sensors, but when they tout an
insane megapixel count, be cautious!
Caution: the below information is greatly simplified
The image processor is what
determines the time between your pressing of the capture button and the actual
capture of the moment. Weak image
processors may lead to long delays and
blurred results, hardly an acceptable performance when it comes to preserving
memories forever. The software loaded
in the image processor is also a determinant of the final result. Light, when captured, is first converted into digital data,
before the image processing software
converts it back into the image your eye
sees. This translation of data into light
depends on the camera designer’s judgment, as different cameras process the
interpretation of color, sharpness, and
shadows uniquely.
The sensor is the magical eye
that captures that beautiful sunset, or the
chicken crossing the road, or the shock
on your friends’ faces when you dump
a bucket of ice water on them. In general, the larger the sensor, the more pixels can be fitted on the sensor, and the
more light can be collected. That means
more vividly preserving that rosy light,
that flash of white, that splash of blue.
However, cramming more pixels onto
the sensor actually increases the noise,
the graininess of the photo, because
the same amount of light was captured,
but is divided into more pixels. Modern
smartphone manufacturers often exploit
the intimidation factor of numbers when
they proudly declare the new roof-busting number of megapixels in their camera, but fail to increase the sensor size
to match the new number of megapixels.
The end result is a very large, but very
grainy picture. Smartphone companies
But how many megapixels is
enough? Consider the following. The
biggest screens around, 4K TVs, only
have around 8 megapixels. The Time
magazine (the original Time magazine,
not SHSID Times) used for its November
2012 cover a picture taken by the 8-megapixel iPhone 4S. People in both Canon
and Nikon have pointed out that for A4
sized papers, 5 megapixels is a sufficiently high resolution. Moreover, the
more megapixels each photo is, the more
storage space it takes up on your phone.
Those megabytes really bite when you
have a year’s worth of high-resolution
(but not necessarily high quality) photos all stored. So in the future when you
hear an advertisement about the amazing
hundred-megapixel smartphone camera
that is sure to come, smile and search
for more modest megapixel phones with
better camera sensors and image processors.
Written by Chloe Tan
The skies they were vivid and bright
As the stars pointed to morn
As the moonlight hinted of morn
It was day when my maiden betrayed
And my lustre heart was torn
My seraphic sinner betrayed
As my sound sanity was torn
It was night when my maiden was sleeping
And I kissed her heart goodbye
When I kissed her spirit goodbye
My maiden was silently screaming
When I cured her and made her mine
The skies they were ashen and grayed
The trees they were leaden and sere
The trees they were senescent and sere
It was day when nature portrayed
My maiden hanging here
Not one shall disturb the marais
Of my maiden hanging here
It was night when my maiden ceased breathing
For the lingering illness has past
For the pandemic and pain has past
The cancer that is called living
My maiden was cured of at last
Written by Sabrina Chen
flowering buds.
fragile existence with only valediction
tears falling, falling,
each dissonant.
clear to pink,the stained then steeped
turn to lycoris
billowing, descending, spiraling,
如往常一样,罗纳德在早上 飞快似乎迫切地想要逃离那已经 被不可控制地侵蚀、陨灭。时间
快要翻涌到他们头顶上的浓厚乌 与空间不停地扭曲旋转着,自我
云。到处可见的排列整齐的特 变得如此的渺小,如此的微不足
他身穿宽松的灰色西装, 警,脚步统一,面部僵硬毫无表 道。就在那一刹那间,他突然意
衣服已经三天没有洗了,灰尘和 情,给这城市带来灰色的安全 识到这并非只是一种幻觉,也是
汗渍早已融为一体。他走到他所 感。罗纳德抬眼看看大厦,天空 现实生活的一种存在。他被这真
住的那一层的角落,手边是一张 已经被大厦挤压成一小块灰色的 实的幻觉吓坏了,紧忙从口袋里
熟悉的画报,沿着昏暗的通道, 有褶皱的布,而那些儿拔地而起 随便挑出一颗药丸,慌忙吞了下
他走下了积了一层厚灰的台阶。 的大厦,都有要穿破天空的劲 去。很快,刚刚的恐慌犹如昨夜
这楼梯直通向一个勺形的小弄 头,穿梭在这中间的人群,就像 的一场噩梦已然被清晨的阳光温
堂,那里面只住了两户人家。左 卑劣的爬虫试图在皮鞋下四处冲 柔地抹平,脑海中什么都没有
边的那一户是一位单身母亲,听 撞,寻找苟延残喘、奄奄一息的 了。
说她已经精神错乱很久了,他唯 希望。
路边本来是架有一个张贴 钟,在路过了无数大同小异的
亲鲜少出门,但是路过这个弄堂 着中秋月饼的广告牌,现如今已 摩天大楼后,他最终在一座小办
的人们总能听见从那里发出来嗤 经改成路灯,美其名曰是为了道 公楼门前停了下来。他走进去,
嗤的笑声,时断时续。而住在对 路,实则是为了建一个隐藏在路 对自己最好的朋友微微一笑,便
面的是一个沉迷于网络的叛逆少 灯里的秘密摄像头,窥视着整个 径然走进办公室。办公室墙面上
年,这两个月来,没人看见过他 城区所有的变动。罗纳德看着身 的总统候选人文根的画报早已撤
出门,门口红色的地毯显得格外 旁的玻璃,其反射出他的身影, 下,墙后的裂痕和老鼠居住过的
神色狰狞,他身后的背景是由一 痕迹一览无遗。
罗纳德走出弄堂,踏进这 路人留下来的一道道黑影所组
个城市最繁华的地方。马路上, 成的复杂纹理。在他梗着脖子试 画面:纯黑色的背景下有两个加
上班族们皆神色紧张凝固,走得 图去看清这纹理的过程中,逐渐 大的粗体词:活着。
Written by Wendy Fan
They say it’s
Pronounced carpay
reminds me of crustacean catalogs,
stubby eyes accusing, a dead
forceps’s failed grasp; “Seize!”
and the crab shakes my hand, we
dancing, the mock turtle’s
trajectory waltz: square roots of life in
triangular steps
“we are born to clasp hands”!
Born to grasp his
And her hands,
they laughtheir feet churn dust
like eggbeaters, and clouds rain pride
on, their crowns
hands shimmying to his and her
own pretty tune, they seize, each otherthe dance,
fearless plights and regretless,
no days before yesterday
the Gryphon beckons
BUT, I don’t,
know how to dance?
He had an awkward smile; the pretty man
in, and onto my toes, it hurts
so we sit
down and
And the Dance breaks
Into five skinny lines and we are left
holding hands. We lie,
on the curb, the unseen
footsteps punish our waterlines with
“what ifs”
“if only-s”
and “only if-s”;
Come back! She pleads, finally
sitting up from concrete bowels
of a city, long gone and
people moving,
on, on, on
to sidewalk squatters with
bruised toes—wear socks next
time, it’s o.k. dance
Dance, blue appendage
They’re off to tomorrow to
Days after tomorrow’s
tomorrow, leaving footsteps dipped,
in tomorrow’s Tempo
not other, tuneless
To Hayley
Written By Ashley Wu
One by one, the guests had departed in their grim suits and thin gloves
of mock sophistication. Desperate to
save their got-done hair from the pour of
rain, they had leapt into their identical
little cars and said goodbye from their
seats, leaving our poor mother waving
by the concrete curb. They don’t understand, and they never will. They’re not
like you; I know you would’ve wanted
it to rain, and you would’ve tittered at
how cliché it was—a gloomy drizzle at
a funeral. It’s almost magical.
We didn’t have an after dinner. The other deathly ceremonies were
enough to pay for, and besides, none of
these people really deserved a meal in
your name. Distant relatives who never
cared for you showed up, muttering
distasteful complaints about you even
now. Those you’d once called your
friends had the decency to stay away; I
expect them to be flossing their gleaming white fangs in a mall somewhere.
Mother left last, with Aunt
Laurie. She’d told me that she couldn’t
stand to stay in this field any longer, especially since you’ve become a part of
it now…but I could. I kissed her on her
pale cheek, and I could feel the wrin-
kles around her temples, miniature valleys creased by nights of weeping.
The last of the raindrops were
now cradled by leaves and flower petals, so I sat and settled at the damp
ground, alone, just outside of the cemetery gate, left in the dust of leaving cars
and you.
It was the evening before you
went missing.
“Hayley,” I called from the
kitchen counter. I guess I’d always been
a brother more protective than most;
at least ever since I noticed that I had
a sister who needed one. You stepped
out of your room, the hideaway you resorted to everyday after school, and revealed your tear-streaked face.“Tell me
what happened.”
“Life is a marvelous thing,
Hunter,” you told me instead, after a
brief hesitation, with a smile almost as
brave as your voice, “I am marveled
too much by it to give it up for a few
snarks.” Silence.
I didn’t know what to say, and
I never found the words that would’ve
possibly made a difference. I rose and
strode over quietly with the attempt to
reassure you with a hug, but you tensed
in my embrace.
“But Hunter…I’m thinking…I
might be able to give this one up,” you
whispered suddenly and barely audibly, and I would be lying if I said those
words didn’t chill me. “This life for another. For a better one.”
“Shh…it’s okay. You’re safe
now.” Perhaps desperately, I held you
closer. I felt the need to know that although your mind was dangerously
drifting away, you were still solid in my
arms. “You’re safe.”
“Magic…I figured it out, Hunter,” and in saying so, you sounded less
broken and I could hear a smile creeping back onto your lips, and in that moment that’s all that I thought had mattered. “I figured it all out. Magic—the
real kind—will rescue me from this
place, all these horrible people, and all
these things they say…”
“That’s right, Hayley. It’s all
okay…” I recall murmuring, again,
without fully comprehending what I
was agreeing to. I was always aware
that she still clung onto the idea of
magic, the one that neighbors said was
her way of understanding the world too
cruel for her. But neither story was one
I dared to invest belief in.
“But of course, I’d miss Mother, and you, and the sunflower field…”
Little had I known then that
you treated yourself seriously, and that
perhaps if I had, too, matters would’ve
been different. As in, you wouldn’t
have disappeared at around 10 a.m.
the next day. As in, you wouldn’t have
been found 52 hours later, floating in
saltwater and engulfed in the shadow
of the cliff you took your final, determined step from. As in, you wouldn’t
have given up this life—and the brother
who loved you so dearly—for the afterlife you fantasized about.
When it comes to belief, there’s
always the touchy subject of whether or
not it is the truth. Is there a creator of
the universe? Does a supreme being of
all evil exist, taking responsibility for
what darkness we see? Or, like you insisted, is there an unexplained force
Did it take you where you
wanted to go?
that explains all, otherwise known as
magic, driving life and reality forward?
Did it take you where you wanted to
I settled on not deciding.
I figured it all out, Hayley, and
I will settle on this: reality is defined
by our own beliefs, therefore it varies
with each one of us. There’s no point in
trying to uniform our perceptions of the
world; we are bound to see things differently, as how stars against the midnight sky form images unique to every
new pair of eyes.
another, better one.
At least, in your magical reality, you’re where you wanted to be. I
will settle on that.
I dusted off my pant legs—the
ground had dried at this point—and
prepared for the long walk home.
Goodbye, Hayley.
“That foolish girl…I hear she
gave up her life for an impossible fantasy of…magic!…She was so young…”
“She lived in her confusion
and finally died for it…”
They can keep grumbling because you, with your shining gaze, saw
beauty and magic that most chose to
ignore–me included. While you lived,
you twirled amongst the spring firstblooms to your own unheard tune, as
if nothing bothered you. Yet that was a
lie. You knew it. You then died not just
believing but knowing that there was a
life you were yet to be living, and you
wanted to be part of it.
“You believe what you see”
is false as we know it; what we don’t
know is that we won’t begin to see certain things until we believe in them. I
don’t know what else you believed in,
but I’ll respect that in your reality, you
had, like you said, given up this life for
The Magic Box
Written By Jerry Ding
Research Log #53
It’s completed at
After a decade of frustration,
I’ve built an anti-chronological telephone (antitelephone). I combined
the transmitter, receiver, and processor
components together and sorted them
out. The machine can only send one
message before it fails, but I think we’d
all agree that’s already very impressive.
I’m surprised to even make it
this far. Just five years ago, when I was
still researching the causality and structure of time, a successful antitelephone
only existed in my dreams. I was afraid
I’d fail like the mad engineers ridiculed
in the news. My acquaintances deserted
me the moment I told them my aspirations, as if I were another madman.
(I hope you all burn in the flames of
hell! This antitelephone is the product
my hard work alone; turns out I never
needed any of you!)
It is late. Tomorrow, I shall begin my first experiments and prove that
my device is operational!
Research Log #54w
the design of my machine.
Today I performed the experiments, and received the definitive proof
I needed. This is a pivotal moment for
The machine hummed all
day, receiving research logs and metamessages such as “If you receive this,
your future self’s experiment was a
success…”or “My expectations will
be completely blown if I receive this…
”Every experiment idea I could think of
was done, and I was left with nothing to
I am in awe. This device is
like a magical box, churning out words
that I both have and haven’t written. It
unites the past, present and future. With
my Magic Box, I can transcend time.
I am the first person to do so. I am the
inventor of the time machine. Perhaps
the tale of me and the Magic Box shall
become an everlasting legend.
The moment I plugged the
device in, I was greeted with dozens of messages. This was startling; I
haven’t sent any messages through time
yet. But I knew what happened once I
opened the messages. The first message was “Hello world!”, followed by
“Research Log #54”, a log praising the
machine written in the same style as my
logs. That author was undoubtedly my
future self. He said he received a “Hello
world!” message, and even mentioned
sending the research log back in time
as a second experiment—an idea I had
long ago. Next was “Research Log
#54b”, where another future version of
me writes about receiving a message
from his future self. He experimented
with sending a message to a point in
time before he received “Research Log
#54”, and verified that it failed due to
Research Log #68f
With this device, my productivity has increased ten-fold. I no longer have to sit at the development corner
for hours, designing and worrying over
petty issues. All our plans are ready to
go. The Magic Box told me precisely
what I needed to know to increase its
transmission capacity. I can now send
photographs and audio instead of mere
text messages. One upgrade leads to the
next. I received an incredibly detailed
blueprint for a remote access add-on.
Now I can receive messages on the go,
and with a click of a button I can use
the Magic Box. The Magic Box and I
are now inseparable.
Life is boring. Nothing surprises me. I never have to send a message, I
can sit back and the Magic Box will tell
me everything I need. Is this what omniscience feels like? People glorify the
gods, but never speak of their boredom.
Research Log #83q
Research Log #100
It appears I have started conducting social experiments. On the road
I receive descriptions of the sights I’ll
see, and exact transcripts of the words
I’ll hear. The same cars park by the
road. Conversations with me flowed
the same way every time as long as I
answered them in the same way. How
predicable people are! They are enslaved to time, sacks of chemicals that
behave according to strict, exact rules. I
am the chosen one. Time does not control me; I have tamed time. It is now my
tool, a powerful weapon that is solely
mine. I can use it to my advantage,
guide my fate, and do whatever I want.
I am but one instance of myself
among infinitely many, spread across
a continuum of parallel universes, accounting for the infinite possibilities in
life. I possess the power to change the
actions of others, but not my own.
Perhaps that’s why they punish people with terrible luck: just for
laughs. Even if they already know what
will happen.
I continue on in this leftover universe,
along with the depleted Magic Box.
Those copies of me who performed
the first experiments must’ve learnt the
truth long ago. I wonder they are doing
now; I will never know with certainty.
That past me who received my warning; I wonder how he will respond? He
has yet to learn that his success is built
upon the shoulders of future versions of
him, and will continue to live on more
ignorantly than any of them.
I cannot escape consequence;
I cannot escape cause and effect.
A future version of me caught
on my thoughts, and outlined another
experiment for me. It’s a prediction of
the stock market—ah, how clever of
Research Log #99x
To others, I am the one of the
luckiest people in the world, making
just the right investment decisions and
winning lotteries several times. They
can never see the world from my perspective. I know exactly which share
to pick, which ticket to buy. I know
exactly how greedy I can get and how
often I should exact my plans before
anyone becomes suspicious. I learn
the exact point where it becomes boring and pointless to continue. In fact,
continuing beyond attracts unnecessary
attention. A truth no one but I can see.
So I have nothing left to do.
The Magic Box cannot annul
this. Today, I pressed the button to send
a message, expecting the universe to
dissolve, undo my actions, and deposit
me into a new universe while leaving
me the satisfaction of completing them.
It accomplished nothing, and now I am
locked in a dark room, fearful of the unknown future.
Perhaps I have long gone mad.
My Magic Box may be nothing but a
fantasy, my past years nothing but a
hallucination. Time travel is impossible, and those who disagree are simply
in denial over their fates.
Perhaps the Magic Box is real.
My messages were sent to a past version of myself separate from me, and
By Rachel Wang
The fertile farmland of Uganda's Kasese is one
of the biggest banana growing areas in this east central African country. A group of landmine victims have
formed a cooperative association to make rope out of
banana fiber and sell it for a profit. After using water
to soften the leaves, the members of the Kasese Landmine Survivors Association split them into small pieces
depending on the color and the thickness of the rope
they want to make. Once the banana fibers are weaved
together, they sell it to various clients. The banana fiber
project started two years ago, and since then the prices
have almost doubled. Some workers can now earn $4 a
day—in a country where nearly 40% of the population
lived on less than $1.25 per day according to UNICEF
in 2011. Wilson Bwambale, the coordinator for this
non-profit Anti-Mines Network, says that the benefit
to the workers isn't just cash, “the rope project brings
them together."
The Worldwide Growth in
On Tuesday, September 30, Microsoft announced its Windows 10 operating system in San Francisco. While the announcement was not a complete
launch of the new system, Microsoft focused on the
major changes between Windows 8 and Windows 10.
These changes include the return of the Start Menu,
which was removed in Windows 8, and multiple desktops, the ability to create and swap between different
desktops. However, as the Windows 8 Start screen
worked well for touchscreen tablets, Microsoft stated
that the new Windows system will adapt automatically
depending on the device used. Exact release dates have
yet to be announced, but Windows 10 will probably see
a full consumer release by 2015.
Bananas plants give
landmine victims a
new way to life
By Dochia Ting
World Event in 5 Minutes
Microsoft introduces
Windows 10
By Jasmine Jiang
A recent market report on eLearning, learning
conducted by electronic media, revealed that there is
a rapidly increasing demand for eLearning products.
This high demand for eLearning products is predominant in Asia: seven out of ten countries with the highest
growing demands for such products are in Asia. Some
countries in Africa have also been exposed to the eLearning market, and have started to adopt the ways of
eLearning. This global trend is due to the digitization
of learning material, the launching of online learning
sites, and the shortage of teachers. As stated by the report,
“it is now possible to see the contours of a global eLearning ecosystem.”
By Minji Suh
The 2014
The 2014 Asian Games in
Incheon, South Korea, from September
19th to October 4th. During this time period, approximately 13000 athletes from
45 Asian nations and regions competed
in 36 events, including swimming, soccer, baseball, and etc. One of the most
popular contests in the Incheon Asian
Games was the match between China’s
Sun Yang and Korea’s Park Tae-hwan in
By Grace Zhou
Nobel Prizes
The Nobel Prizes are awarded each year to intellectual achievements that are considered to “have conferred the greatest benefit to mankind”. The prizes are awarded in six fields: economics, peace, literature,
chemistry, physics, and physiology/medicine. This year, the Nobel Prize
of peace was awarded to 17-year old Pakistani girl Malala Youzafzai, a female education activist, and Kailash Satyarthi, an Indian children’s rights
activist. The prize of economics went to Jean Tirole, who won for his work
on market power and regulation of powerful firms. The Nobel Literature
prize was given to French author Patrick Modiano for his works on the
theme of memory, loss, and identity. The prize of physics went to Shuji
Nakamura, Isamu Akasaki, and Hiroshi Amano for the invention of blue
light-emitting diodes, which enabled bright and energy-saving white light
sources”. The prize of physiology and medicine went to John O’Keefe and
Norwegian couple May-Britt and Edvard Moser for the discovery of the
brains “inner GPS”. Finally, the prize of Chemistry was given to Stefan
Hell, William Moerner, and Eric Betzig for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy. All the prizes will be handed out on Dec
10th, the anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death.
men’s 200-meter freestyle race, in which
Sun Yang won the silver medal and Park
Tae-hwan the bronze medal. China had
the largest team of 900 athletes and dominated the medal standings in the games.
The closing ceremony was held on October 4 in Incheon Asia stadium, where the
Asian Games flag was transferred to the
next venue: Jakarta, Indonesia.
UK Universities Fall in World Rankings
By Kyra Chong
This year, a falling trend seems to exist for UK universities among the world rankings. Only ten of the twelve
UK universities that were in the top 100 of the international
league tables last year are still there. Apart from Cambridge,
Oxford, Imperial College, Durham, and University College
London, quite a number of top universities fell in its rankings.
According to BBC, Phil Baty, editor of the Times Higher Education rankings, and Dr Wendy Piatt, director general of the
Russell Group of leading universities, investment in education
is needed in order for the universities to maintain their positions. Leading Asian universities have billions being pumped
into their research-intensive higher education, which is starting
to pay off. If the UK does not start to see the importance of
investing in their higher education to achieve growth, they will
be outmaneuvered by other countries that do.
MIDI Music
Written By Darren Sung
If you’re free and
you want to party, or
simply want to enjoy
some good music,
then the Midi Festival
is your place to be.
The semi-annual Midi Music
Festival returned to Shanghai for an
amazing three-day performance starting October 1st and ending October 3rd.
With a total of 9 stages and more than
200 artists, the all-day Midi Festival is a
series of breath-taking performances that
will blow you off your feet.
The Midi Music Festival started
out in the year 2000 as a show case event
for the students of Beijing Midi School
of Music, but quickly became a huge
event for Chinese alternative and rock
bands to play live at. Starting in 2004,
the Midi Festival has been held in public
parks and other open-air venues, and has
been a role model for other music festivals to be held in the future. Now, the
Midi Festival is held many times a year
in Beijing, Shanghai, and many other cities.
Although known as a rock and
alternative stage, there are many traditional performances like 《情探-阳
告》which is a Cambodian show involving cultural dancing and singing. In
addition, the Midi Festival holds a stage
just for children, so audiences can not
only enjoy the performances of adults,
but also those of determined youngsters.
Bands by teenagers including 指人儿
and 火精灵 have members with an average age of 13. Although they may not be
as experienced as the poppy DJs or the
wild rockers, they bring what they have
to the table, and are just as entertaining
as any of the other groups.
But the most exciting performances aren’t held by those that showcase only one musical style, but by those
that mix and match different genres.
These genres range from traditional and
folk music from the Song and Tang dynasties, to the heavy metal and dubstep
of the modern era. The fusion between
these types of music is completely fresh
out of the pot, and generally enjoyable.
There are two types of tickets
available for audiences. The first is ¥150
for a one-day entry. The second, designed for ambitious music lovers who
strive to experience the performances
of all 200 artists, is ¥350 for three days.
The three-day ticket, though, requires
that you camp in the area overnight,
and be constantly enveloped in music.
The morning is usually intended for
the teenage bands and the traditional
performances, while the afternoon is
left for rock, heavy metal, and alternative artists. For night visitors, the Midi
Festival has prepared many unique and
animalistic DJs to bring your favorite
night club out under the stars, including DEXTER, Subject Zero, Chris Jobs,
and Shanghai Ultra. But keep in mind, if
you want to leave some memories or buy
some souvenirs, you should bring lots of
money, as all sorts of gifts, ranging from
imprinted blankets to traditional grass
shoes, are sold on site. If you’re visiting,
you definitely won’t want to miss out on
this chance!
The Midi Festival is held every
year in May (1~3) and October. If you’re
free and you want to party, or simply
want to enjoy some good music, then
the Midi Festival is your place to be. It’s
definitely worth the while, memorable,
and most importantly, lots of fun!
The History of
Carpe Diem
Written By Wendy Fan
“Carpe diem” is a Latin
aphorism originating from Horace’s
first book of lyric poems, Odes. The
original line, line eleven, “carpe diem
quam minimum credula postero”,
translates to “pluck the day, trusting as little as possible in the future”.
In Latin, carpe is the second person
present active form of carpo, meaning “to pick, pluck, pluck off, cull,
crop, gather” according to Charlton
Lewis’ An Elementary Latin Dictionary. While dies, meaning day, is in
the accusative case: diem. Together,
“carpe diem” translates to “pluck the
day” or “enjoy the day”, but is commonly transcribed colloquially as
“seize the day”. As popular as “carpe diem” is now, as a catchphrase
or motto, the word went through a
period of disuse until Lord Byron
integrated the phrase back to Modern English. In his Letters written in
1817, published in 1830 by Thomas
Moore, carpe diem is included in “I
never anticipate, —carpe diem— the
past at least is one’s own, which is
one reason for making sure of the
present.” Although this inclusion
brought the aphorism to light, “carpe diem” was ultimately popularized
and sent into mainstream culture by
1989 film Dead Poets Society. The
film achieved critical acclaim, winning an Academy Award and other
prestigious nominations. One of the
most famous lines in the movie immortalizes the phrase, when English
teacher John Keating, portrayed by
Robin Williams, urges his students:
“Carpe Diem. Seize the day, boys.
Make your lives extraordinary”. Together with the film, “carpe diem”
inspired millions and future generations. Although today, it may just
seem like the more sophisticated
way of saying “YOLO” (“you only live
once”), the aphorism has nothing to
do with justifying reckless behavior. “Carpe diem” is more inclined
towards working hard for a fulfilling
day and life while the teenage cultural connotation has “yolo” more as
a denial for handling responsibilities.
Since the concept of making the
most of one’s day is not a foreign
concept in most cultures, “carpe
diem” has evolved to take on personal definitions for every individual.
Instead of a “yolo” mantra, why and
how should one “seize the day”?
In Shakespeare’s collection of poems, “Carpe Diem” makes an appearance. It is
also included in Twelfth Night, Act Two, Scene Three, where the Clown, also bard,
sings a tale for three lords who choose “a long song” over a “song of good life”
(cautionary tale). Here, “carpe diem” can be as simple as enjoying the “present
laughter”. Spending a day in pursuit of “true-love” seems to be as fruitful and fulfilling a day can be.
“O Mistress mine, where are you roaming?
O stay and hear! your true-love’s coming
That can sing both high and low;
Trip no further, pretty sweeting,
Journeys end in lovers’ meeting—
Every wise man’s son doth know.
What is love? ’tis not hereafter;
Present mirth hath present laughter;
What’s to come is still unsure:
In delay there lies no plenty,—
Then come kiss me, Sweet-and-twenty,
Youth’s a stuff ill not endure.”
Slightly more existential than Shakespeare, popular band Green Day questions
why we “seize the day”. To “celebrate”, to learn, to “die”? It seems that in the
current age, “carpe diem” has become a “battle cry” or empty motto people live
by. The real essence of having a fulfilling lifetime for even just a day seems unreachable. How many, or how few, actually realize the goal of celebrating, “living”,
“killing”, “forgiving” what they have in mind? “Carpe Diem” questions the mindless
trend of many for following “carpe diem”: it doesn’t provide an answer.
“Gonna seize the day
Bottle rockets and celebrate,
celebrate, celebrate
Carpe diem, a battle cry
Are we all too young to die?
Ask a reason and no reply
Are we all too young to die?
Making a living
Making a killing
What's worth forgiving?
“Youth isn’t wasted on children. They enjoy every
minute of it. If your life is too predictable, don’t go
postal. Take a ridiculous ride back to whatever it
was that gave you joy as child…”
– Nick Vujicic, Life Without Limits.
People often relate youth to
a carefree and irresponsible period
of their life, thus the saying “youth
is wasted on the young.” But Nick
Vujicic argues that it is the youthful
that ultimately seize the day during
play. Playing, Vujicic elaborates in
his book, is not only an essential
part of a healthy lifestyle, but also
the easiest way to have a fulfilling life. Nick Vujicic, a man with
no limbs, inspires thousands in his
inspirational seminars. He believes
having a fulfilling life isn’t necessarily related to being irresponsible.
Plucking the day can be as easy as
focusing on a single task. “Take a ridiculous ride back”! “Throwbacks”
don’t just exist in photographs and
long forgotten inside jokes, it can
be part of the present. Have fun
seizing the day, and Vujicic sees no
problem with jumping on the bed
while you’re at it.
Although the word “Carpe diem” may be in Latin, thousands of years old,
and hard to pronounce, it’s still definitely a worthy goal to aspire to. Before you
chant carpe diem (pronounced correctly, of course), think why and how.
Written By Jasmine Jiang
Trick art challenges the
way you see the world,
defies your perspectives,
and brings you much
Walking on the ceiling. Being
five times larger than your friend. Sitting
in a vault of money. Tiptoeing on the
edge of a balcony of a one hundred-story
building. Shaking hands with Obama.
Yes. All of this can be done, and—wait
for it—it can all be done at one single
place, the 3D Art Museum in Shanghai.
This museum presents the quintessence
of trick art, an exciting and intriguing
form of art.
This increasingly popular type
of art has already been displayed in
numerous trick art museums all over
the world, from Japan to the US, even
though being relatively new. Lyndsey
Chung from 9(9) remarked that, “It was
intriguing and creativity when I found
out the paintings there were actually 2D
art, when I thought they were 3D from
pictures prior to my trip.” Even if the
name of the 3D Art Museum in Shanghai
may suggest that the museum consists of
real 3D objects, it is nothing of the sort.
In reality, most of what is in the museum are 2D wall paintings that play with
perception, which is known as trick art.
Trick art creates the illusion that the objects of the paintings are physically there
and are not just two-dimensional images.
Human beings have the natural instinct
of wanting to perceive and judge things
correctly. However, it is also habitual for
the human brain to jump to certain conclusions and make assumptions based on
our sensory stimulation, which can cause
the brain to falsely make conclusions
based on what we see. These psychological facts are exactly what trick art artists
take advantage of to create sensory illusions, and cause us to perceive that a balcony of a one hundred-story building is
physically there instead of it merely being a painting. Usually, the paintings require the visitor to pose next to it, so the
2D painting can be brought to the level
of 3D art through comparison; therefore,
challenging our perspectives as a 2D art
transforms into a seemingly 3D painting.
The Shanghai 3D Art Museum
also features trick art that are not paintings, but rely on props. For example, the
artwork “Monster’s Dinner” uses mirrors to generate the effect of a floating
head on a plate. They work with the same
general principle—using visual tricks to
get the viewer to believe in something
that defies our natural understanding of
the world.
According to the Takao Trick
Art Museum of Japan, recent studies
show that trick art causes changes in the
brain “due to the excitement caused by
the challenge to the basic human instinct
of wanting to judge what is observed
correctly,” causing it to be a truly brainstimulating and fascinating type of art.
Successful trick art needs to
look as real as possible in order to deceive the human eye into believing the
2D image is a 3D image. Needless to
say, the shadowing of the art, the colors
and the shapes have to be immaculate.
The angling of the camera is also important if one wants to capture the essence
of trick art in the photo; the Shanghai
museum marks the best spot for capturing the photo using a sticker to mark the
spot on the ground. Usually it involves
much interaction with the visitors of the
museum. One is able to capture a photo
where one is handing a rose to a squirrel,
meditating next to Naruto, or pretending
to be in a painting.
Trick art challenges the way
you see the world, defies your perspectives, and brings you much amusement.
It takes something supposedly flat and
brings it to the next level, challenging
the way viewers once saw the world. In
addition, since trick art is so new, contemporary and not all over the Internet,
it multiplies the fascination it brings to
people. The gallery leaves Shanghai
at the end of year, so do not miss your
chance—bring your imagination and
fascination and you will see a world behind art you have never been in contact
with before.
written by jessie wang
Pilates focuses mainly on the
control of body movements,
balance, coordination, toning, the building of muscles
and breathing. Pilates requires people to do central,
focused, and effective movements.
Have you ever thought about
toning up your body? Have you craved
some effective exercises to help you do
so? I believe a lot of us have. But maybe
cardio exercises are too intense, or perhaps you don’t want to bulk up like a
cardio bunny; and yoga is probably too
slow, and takes longer time to see results.
Then what is something in between that
can tone your bodies without wearing
you out too much? Pilates.
Pilates is a fitness system develSHSID|TIMES
oped by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th
century, and is practiced the most in the
United Kingdom and the United States.
Pilates focuses mainly on the control
of body movements, balance, coordination, toning, the building of muscles and
breathing. Pilates requires people to do
central, focused, and effective movements. Just like yoga, it requires control
in breathing—a balanced circulation of
oxygenated blood to every part of the
body. Many Pilates movements need people to hold theirs legs or arms up against
gravity to really build the strength in
their center cores—which Joseph Pilates
called the ‘Powerhouse’. Only when the
center cores are built up, can the abs and
muscles really be revealed—remember,
everyone has abs, it’s just being covered
up with a surface of fat, and once the fat
is burned and transferred to lean muscle,
the abs underneath will be visible.
If you’re convinced, and want
to give Pilates a try, here are some basic Pilates moves that you can do. Swan
prep is a great move for the beginners,
and it highly resembles the Cobra position in yoga. To do this spinal stretch,
you need to lay on your stomach with
your arms close to the sides of your
body, and start stretching your abs and
lengthening your spine. Another move
that is easy and super effective is called
the ‘Hundred’. To do it, you just need to
lie on your back and bring your knees
close to your chests, and then lift up your
head and shoulders and lengthen your
arms and reach towards your knees with
controlled strength. Both of these exercises engage your entire body and put
almost all your muscles at work—they
help build up your abs, lengthen your
spine, tone up your arms and your legs
and strengthen your shoulders. If you
just want to target a specific area in your
Who doesn’t want a healthy body
that is fit and lean?
bodies, here are a few options: Single
and double leg stretches for your legs,
the bridge pose for your lower backs,
the hamstring kickbacks for your thighs
and waists, plank for your legs and your
center cores. There are so many different
Pilates moves you can do to target every
part of your body and shape them into
healthy forms.
Who doesn’t want a healthy
body that is fit and lean? But there are
positive ways to achieve it, and negative ones, too. So many people try to
lose weight or try to get leaner bodies
by starving themselves, or forcing themselves to throw up after eating. Some
others just whine and cry and complain
about their body shapes all day without
doing anything about them. These are all
very negative actions and attitudes. Pilates, on the other hand, is a positive way
to achieve a healthy body. You have to
work for it, put effort into it, stay strong
and have belief throughout the exercises.
In the end, you will get the healthy body
that you deserve. Not by starving yourselves or with endless complaints, but by
hard work and positive attitudes.
From Toprock to Power
Moves; Dance to Culture:
Written By Dave Zhang
Ever since hip-hop originated in Bronx, New
York, American culture underwent a great revolution
much like that of the jazz scene fifty years ago. The first
b-boys and b-girls were not actually called b-boys and
b-girls; breakdancing hadn’t been invented yet, and they
were all just kids at a party. Today, hip-hop and breaking
(slang for breakdancing) is a multi-million dollar industry
spanning the entire globe, with b-boys and b-girls gathering periodically at major dance conventions. The kids
at that party are now in their fifties and would be proud
about the evolution of hip-hop culture.
Picture this: it is the mid-seventies, Grandmaster
Flash scratching his turntables, Afrika Bambaataa writing
lyrics for his inventive rap songs, and the Beastie Boys
playing at every party in town. An outgoing adolescent
with nothing else to do decides to join his friends at a party down the street. He walks inside and feels the beat of
the record rocking away while everyone else is crowded
around in a circle watching someone moving around on
his hands and feet. This youngster in the circle is one of
the few new-age dancers, later called breakdancers.
Some time after breakdancing became popular
in parties, breakdancers started incorporating moves from
acrobatics and other forms of movement.
Eventually, after taking creative liberties
from different fields of art and dance,
breakdancing evolved from a party
dance into a whole new genre of dancing. Young people could watch Michael
Jackson doing the moon- walk, see
the neighborhood kids
skipping rope on the
sidewalk, take some tapdancing lessons on the
side, and try to imitate
these styles of movement for themselves.
The result was a subgenre of breakdancing
called “c-walk”, which
was specifically focused
on footwork; no hand movements, and little body movements. This allowed more people to
build upon the foundation of c-walk,
and invent new moves (most of which
are popular today) like the shuffle, which
was made popular in LMFAO’s Party
Rock Anthem. But the greatest change
of all came from the acrobatic side of
breakdancing. Breakdancers who were
daring enough tried to incorporate highflying flips and spins into their move
sets came up with all sorts of freezes,
power moves, and groundwork variations. They started out with simple handstands, which quickly became popular as
there were different ways to pose with a
regular handstand after a dance routine.
These became more inventive, spawning a whole other series named freezing.
Today, we have simple freezes like the
baby freeze (which is for babies, since
it is so easy) to more advanced freezes
like the air chair, where a breakdancer
lifts himself up with only one hand. As
for the kind of breakdancing often seen
in commercials, it typically features
power moves involving spinning around
on a body part or flipping upside down
to wow the crowd. These flashy moves
were invented as b-boys played around
with acrobatic tricks. They were instantly
popular since they displayed a high level
of expertise and required much practice
to perfect. Old-school moves include the
headspin, the windmill, and the flare.
Popular moves today like the 1990/2000,
the halo, and the air flare have taken their
place, though old-school moves are just
as admirable as these new ones. The
main difference is the level of extremity that was brought into the game from
acrobatics. These popular moves involve
spinning on one’s hands more often than
spinning on one’s head or back. Simply
put, the moves that b-boys perform on
TV now are much more extreme and
power-straining than the headspins that
old-school breakers did.
The culture of breaking has diffused all
over the world.
The culture of breaking has
diffused all over the world. Breakdancing conventions and competitions are held in many countries
each year. Some of the biggest conventions are sponsored by companies
like G-shock and Red Bull. Breakdancing is also becoming more common on
reality TV shows that showcase dance
like America’s Got Talent and So You
Think You Can Dance. Movies have
been made revolving around the culture
of breakdancing.
Breakdancers who were
daring enough tried to
incorporate high-flying
flips and spins into their
move sets came up with
all sorts of freezes, power
moves, and groundwork
So you want to give breakdancing a shot? You want to be able
to move like the b-boys and b-girls on
TV? It could never be easier, with the
help of video recording and the internet.
Learning a new move is now as easy as
watching a 5 minute tutorial video. And
o n c e you get good at it, maybe you
could be the one to bring in
a new era of breakdancing.
Just know that despite being
a highly popular sport now,
and that a stronger, faster, and
more experienced breaker might be right
around the corner waiting for a dance
showdown, in the end it is the personality and the character that you bring to the
scene that helps win the battles.
September and October 2014
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Shanghai High School International Division
400 Shang Zhong Road
Shanghai, China 200231
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