By Colin Jun
PD Day was planned on Friday, but nobody expected we would have the two-day break on November 5th and November 6th. The announcement of November Break became official on October 15th through the school email sent to the parents. Our school is not the only institution subject to this break. All schools, offices and firms in Shanghai will also have the days off. The decision was made by the Shanghai Municipal Office, as the China International Import Expo is scheduled to happen from November 5th to November 10th. According to Shanghai Journal, the Shanghai Municipal Office explained November Break would allow citizens to be less impacted by expo or traffic caused by the exhibition. The arrival of President of China also contributed to this change in schedule. President Xi is arriving in Shanghai on November 5th to attend the first China International Import Expo.
The response of students about November Break was positive as it provides a break time or revision time to the students before the huge assignments (such as the extended essay).
Min Jun Kim, in 12th grade, expressed his feelings towards November Break, saying “yahoo! It is so exciting.”
Max Cho, a 9th grader, said, “I like it. Although it is sad, I have to stay in Shanghai.”
Some people are already planning how they will use their sudden holiday.
Brian Kim in 12th grade said, “I will use this time to write my statements as the due date is coming. I will also focus revising on HL subjects.”
Of course, not all people are welcoming this change in schedule and November Break.
“Your normal life pattern is distracted,” one teacher said. “I don’t think this is great for us. For local people, this change in schedule will be good as it provides time for them to take a look at the expo. But for the teachers, the changed schedule does not provide time to take a look at this expo.” (According to Shanghai Journal, China International Import Expo is open to the citizens only on November 9th and 10th.)
SAS decided to make November 5th an official holiday (moving PD Day to Saturday) and November 6th as the virtual learning day. On November 6th, the students are supposed to study their class materials through Schoology or other online platform assigned by the teachers.
For IB students, the due date for Extended Essay is still November 7th. Therefore, students may use the break to finish up the extended essay. For seniors, the due date for some university applications, such as universities in Hong Kong and the University of California, will come soon after November Break so some students might use the break to catch up on applications.
By Cynthia Wang
OCTOBER 16th - A new club managing position has been filled by high school social studies teacher Matthew Clapp.
Having joined SAS Pudong just last year, Mr. Clapp is excited to take on this position, citing several club-related positions that he has held in the previous schools he worked in. "I've always been involved in other schools that I've worked in," he said, "whether as a club advisor or [a manager] for a group of clubs.
So far, Mr. Clapp has hosted one meeting during break last Friday with representatives from all clubs. He introduced a spreadsheet where club executives can fill in their club name, executive officers' names, faculty advisor name, and regular meeting location. They also can categorize their club as a service, charitable, or interest club - a new procedure that Mr. Clapp believes would assist in organizing existing clubs and making the system more sustainable.
"Just trying to help make sure that we have a vibrant, rich club program," Clapp said, "but at the same time, one that is sustainable, one that's going to last for current students involved."
Clapp also confirmed that plans are underway for a new club approval system as to avoid overlap and club sustainability, specifically pertaining to the issue of clubs dying off as senior executives graduate.
"That's my hope for the second half of the year," he said, "just trying to figure out how we can make this program sustainable so that clubs continue and that we don't have ten clubs doing the same thing. We want to eliminate some of the overlap, consolidate clubs if that’s needed, while at the same time allowing kids to really find what they are interested in and have a club that they could call their own."
Clapp says that he is "excited about the position, excited to see the ideas that students bring to the table," and is hopeful that "a better sense of community [can be built] through the club work."
By Cynthia Wang
OCTOBER 6th 2018 – At around 8:15 AM, the doors to the big gym opened as Mrs. Barinni swept out, quickly sorting through students and designating test takers to their respective rooms.
The vast majority of students were taking the SAT with Essay in the big gym, while students taking SAT Subject Tests were allocated to the side gym, leaving the SAT without Essay students to Ms. Betzabeth’s room in the Spanish hallway.
As students entered the gym, many were anxious, more of them cold. Junior Grace Chen said that she could only think about how the gym was “so cold.”
Senior Steven Shi said, “I really hope I do well,” echoing the prayers of all test-takers as they began their tests.
“I felt quite anxious,” says Junior Karen Hu, “and I repeatedly questioned myself: Will it be hard? I think I’m going to fail.”
When asked about his feelings after the test, Shi said, “I felt nothing. Being in the midst of college application season, I have become numb to all these “challenges.” The SAT is not a beast and if you start early and put in some effort you can finish in a few months with a score you desire.”
Shi advises sophomores and juniors to begin preparing early, warning them against procrastination, matching the words of Hu. She said, “The only way to be prepared is to be patient. Do a bunch of SAT practice tests and make sure you persist in your practice for a long period of time.”
Juniors Deborah Chiao and Grace Chen say that they will definitely retake the SAT with Essay, both setting their eyes upon the upcoming March SAT. Shi, on the other hand, is fairly satisfied with his scores.
“It was a box I had to check, and I did. I’m moving on to the next step: college essays."