Opinion editorials, reviews and personal essays
By Gabrielle Zhu
After a few hectic weeks of assessments, parent-teacher conferences, and preparation for the school musical, the Fall Formal gave students a much-needed reprieve from work. The event took place in a small, dim club called Celia by Pulse in the far reaches of Puxi that Prom Committee rented out for the evening. Apart from a noticeable lack of seniors, high schoolers from across grade levels filed into the underground club.
Dressed in high heels, dresses, ties, and suits, few students actually opted to dance. Most simply gathered into small groups to chat and compliment each other’s outfits. With the many discussions of community and school spirit around SAS, this, perhaps, best highlights the collective high school identity. Even with music blasting so loud that hearing people talk became difficult, students generally preferred to talk instead of participating in any form of dancing. To SAS high schoolers, this may be an expression of community.
In the two hour timeframe, one table started up a game of poker (with chips but no betting). Others picked up drinks and stopped in front of the streamer backdrop to take photos. None seemed to mind the presence of the multiple chaperones in the room. Fall Formal gave students a chance to unwind with each other without as much of the stress that comes with being in a school environment. By the end of the night, the majority of students who attended left the formal laughing and smiling with their friends.
The consensus on the event seems to be that, though not necessarily the most memorable, it was enjoyable.
By Jessica Wu
In just two weeks on November 10-12, the SAS Pudong Model United Nations program will be hosting its sixth annual SHASMUN conference. Every year over 300 participants from a variety of different schools spend a weekend devoted to simulations of the debate and procedure as found in the United Nations organization to discuss and create solutions to pertinent global issues. Regardless as to what role they hold – whether it be delegate, chair, director, administrative staff, or guest – all have their own part to play in making SHASMUN a successful and enjoyable MUN conference.
As the Deputy Secretary General of SHASMUN VI and Season 1 MUN, Tiffany Chan believes that “MUN allows you to learn the discipline of adopting perspectives that may be completely opposite of your own.”
“The best part about MUN is that it’s not an absolute zero-sum game like public forum debate; it’s an active collaboration and discussion that has people working towards a common goal.”
To give a better understanding of this event, Tiffany explained this year’s theme, The Slanted Mirror, as something she had thought of to represent the delicate nature and inherent partiality of all truth, especially in the realm of international relations and global politics. There will always be different perspectives and different “slants” on reality, and the responsibility falls to individuals to go and seek out the full truth in its entirety, however unconventional or unexpected it may be.
By Kenneth Shu
The ACTs—the painful speed trial of questions upon questions—just occurred last week. Its brief 4 hours was the culmination of months of hard work, weeks of classes, and hours of nonstop stress eating.
So what is it exactly?
For those of you who don’t know what the ACT is, though I highly doubt that is the case, then here’s a short introduction. In terms of standardized, it’s the easier version of the SATs but with much less time, so there’s a greater emphasis on quick thinking versus robust understanding. The test has 4 main sections: English, Math, Reading, and Science. Each section has its own set of questions and timeframe, tailored accordingly to demonstrate a degree of rigor and to make your life very miserable. However, the ACT is much easier than its SAT counterpart, but it requires the participant to work much faster than otherwise, leaving barely a margin for error. So if you make a careless mistake, or spend an extra minute longer on that one question, then there is a much higher chance of you messing up or not finishing the section entirely.
As such, it can still be a very stressful event for its participants.
As previously stated, the ACTs is a fast paced event. In just roughly 3 hours, discounting the writing section, the test takers are expected to answer a combined total of 215 questions: 75 from the English section, 60 from Math, and 40 each from Reading and Science. The participants are expected to answer these questions continuously and quickly if they expect to finish the sections on time, creating a messy scenario of burned hands, smudged papers, and exhausted minds. This, in addition, was done so with barely a break between the four sections, which further complicated the situation. As stated by Jessica Wu, a fellow test taker exasperated and made near-deceased by the test:
“They should give us breaks between each section, not just in the middle, like I was not prepared to go from reading to science.”
Yet this exam is only a one-time thing. The ACT, or any standardized test for the matter, is much like a marathon. You prepare for it, you take it, and you finish it in relief and ecstasy and vow to never do it ever again. That is, of course, assuming that you don’t mess up the first time around. Otherwise this cycle repeats itself and its back to the classes, mocks, and looks of disapproval.
For the many SAS students who took the test last week, the hard part is over, but the anxiety just began. Between now and the next few weeks, computers and supervisors would tirelessly comb through the many thousands of digitized answer documents. Analyzing each smudge filled blot, grading each essay, and mercilessly ruining anybody who didn’t use a 2B pencil. They would be determining each test taker’s score, and hence, their academic future. All bets now lay open, as each participant waits for their fearful score. Pondering their ticket to success, or their ticket back to the cycle of misery.