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SIS Herald#7 #sisgeckos


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A newspaper totally made by our very own senior class of 2015.

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SIS Herald#7 #sisgeckos

  1. 1. Upcoming events… ‣ 2/12 Valentine’s Grams" ‣ 2/13 Healthy Heart Walk" ‣ 2/13 Parents Night Out" ‣ 2/18 Senior Portraits" With the new dress code being enforced, I felt as if I was on TLC’s “What Not to Wear”. However, I’ve begun to realize that this dress code is not as bad as it sounds. The SIS dress code isn’t designed to make students buy a new wardrobe or make students feel insecure about what they wear. Having this dress code is just another way for… …to be continued on page 4 Uniforms? Yes or No? Dress Code: Girls High School Volleyball Friday, January 23, 2015Once a Gecko, Always a Gecko! Life in High School This year, SIS instituted the dress code, and along with that, a new round of discussion on whether students should wear uniforms has become a main topic in students’ daily life. There are some proponents of uniforms in SIS, including the other journalists, point to the misinformation that uniforms are beneficial in many different aspects: such as the limited enhancement of a “school spirit,” formalities, and the idea that students will not be ostracized. …to be continued on page 5 High school is not what it seems: courses are harder and school days seem astoundingly longer. Once graduated from middle school, your view of school will change drastically in a positive and/or negative way. Spending 4 years of life preparing yourself for college can be painful, but it will definitely benefit you in the future.
 Everything begins in freshman year; you are introduced into new courses and new teachers. The change of pace may be a little intimidating; but with a little time, you will adapt. Unlike middle school, once in high school, you are responsible for your own work. No one will tell you what work you are missing unless you ask the teacher and you are required to answer any in- class questions. The biggest and only concern once entering high school is the workload. You are given more than twice as much work than that of middle school. Though it may seem as difficult, freshman year is actually the easiest year of high school. This is the year… … to be continued on page 4 This year’s volleyball season has been full of excitement, unexpected losses, and much deserved wins. At the start of the season, there was a two week try-out session for girls who were interested in playing volleyball. Girls were to show up to practices and participate in all the drills that were being run by Coach Athena. At the end of the try out, players were picked, two teams were formed, and captains were chosen. The varsity team has eleven players with all senior girls and one unexpected freshman name Julia who made the cuts. In the Junior Varsity team, there are 14 players ranging from freshman, sophomore, and junior girls. Emily Frink, Sakura Imaya, and Cerinn Hwang are the three players that share the position of Captain. They lead to victories in the season so far. As the captain of my team, I was prepared to train and lead my fellow teammates through a very competitive volleyball season. At the beginning of practice, all the girls were very rusty and had not played volleyball in a long time. Training began with a jog to the airport, and after the run, both teams stretched… …continued on page 6
  2. 2. #sisgeckosSaipan International School- MP, 96950 Basketball: SIS Boys are Defeated by MCS, 44-39 The rate of senior absences is going up quickly, not just in SIS, but in High schools all over the CNMI and United States mainland as well. Is this a result of underfunded school systems; or a new fad amongst unmotivated teens? No, this is something much worse. This absence of students marks the annual arrival of the midterm epidemic, leading to dozens of lazy and indifferent seniors, grudgingly dragging themselves from class to class. What is this disease that has infected the senior class? What many may call a case of “second semester” is formally known as “Senioritis.” Symptoms include a drastic loss of interest in anything academic, dark circles under the eyes, sleeping in class, superabundant yawning, lack of book bags and other school supplies, sleeping during lunch, a fixation on wearing only oversized baggy sweatpants and hoodies, sleeping in the car, excessive swearing, sleeping in the bathroom, extreme emotional changes , sleeping in the hallway, constant eating, and, in extreme cases, missing school. Nicole, a SIS senior suffering from the disease, describes her life with senioritis: “I try so hard to get to do something but I end up procrastinating. It’s horrible but lovely.” Yong Kwang, another to-be-graduate describes his experience of living with senioritis as “My senioritis started the moment I was a senior. When I heard former seniors say how senioritis can hurt and can't be avoided, I didn't believe them. Now I know. I'm not different than any other seniors. It's not that I'm not doing homework; it's just that I'm sleeping late. It's just the way it is I guess.” While no one is safe in the long run, for the meantime only 12th graders seem to be affected. The only known cure is graduation. Though there is much research going on, we have yet to find a vaccine against the disease or an immunity booster to help people get through the disease with minimal damage. The closes solution that studies have been able to come to find is that solid study habits and an academic drive may help lighten the affects of senioritis. Save yourselves underclassmen, establish good study habits now, and strive for excellence. Only then will you have a chance of living a senioritis-free life. BY: VICTORIA CHENTSOVA The Unavoidable Epidemic Saipan International School failed to withstand Mount Carmel School’s relentless attacks and lost the game in 39-44 during the 2014-2015 MISO Boys Basketball games at the MHS Gymnasium. Even though the Geckos were without the dominant center, Jehn Joyner, absent due one of his soccer games, for the first two quarters, all the starters did a very great job in organizing their offense and consolidating their defense with the strategies that they had practiced for days. Constantly taking advantage of turnovers made by MCS and performing nice passes, our players focused on the intensity of the defense and quality of the offense, quickly gaining a 6-point lead with Chris Cepeda and Bob Kim on the attack. However, in the second quarter, MCS started their full-court defense which overwhelmingly added pressure on SIS’s maneuverability. Thus SIS’s offense was gradually halted. MCS, after initiating relentless fast breaks, finally retook the lead 22-18 by the end of the second quarter. Later, in the second half, SIS’s pace was efficiently increased, and they made an excellent offense. On the other hand, MCS, successfully resisted the offense and kept the lead with fantastic teamwork until the end of the game. “If we could have had more successful layups, the results for the two games we lost would’ve been very different,” said Mr. Beyer, the coach of SIS. Apparently, the SIS players still did not reach their best conditions then. In order to avenge our defeat at the hands of MCS, our team’s emphasis has changed, and players are practicing their jump shots and layups. BY: JIABAO XU
  3. 3. When was the last time you watched a good movie? The year 2014 was filled with inspiring and thrilling motion pictures that received praise from audiences and critics and had much success in the box office. Movies such as Godzilla, The Fault In Our Stars, Transformers Four: Age of Extinction, Guardians of the Galaxy, Annabelle, and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, are among the many that were played in theaters nationwide and were top picks to see throughout the year. The following recommended movies are for those who still want to entertain themselves with quality films that were aired in November and December of 2014. Unbroken (PG – 13) Directed by the Academy Award winner Angelina Jolie, the film Unbroken documents the life of Olympic runner and war veteran Louis Zamperini, played by Jack O’ Connel. The film features his Olympic victories in his early years and his struggles in World War II when he and two other crewmen experienced a near fatal plane crash, survived on a raft for 47 days, were rescued by the Japanese Navy, and were later incarcerated in a prisoner-of-war camp. Actors Domhnall Gleeson, Garrett Hedlun, and Takamasa Ishihara are featured in the movie.
 If you are interested in war and survival themed movies, this is the movie for you. Senior Victoria Chentsova highly recommends this movie because your heart will race, tears will fall, and you will be thankful for your life.” This movie portrays an original narrative of a war hero’s experiences. It is also credible to our Saipan community since we are closely related to the World War II influence. Big Hero 6 Big Hero 6, rated 89% on the movie site Rotten Tomatoes, is a film about a young robotics prodigy #sisgeckosSaipan International School- MP, 96950 Movie Recommendations specialist robot Baymax. He creates a band of six heroes with Hiro’s friends GoGo, Honey Lemon, Wasabi, and Fred to defeat the “evil man in a Kabuki Mask” in the American- Japanese fused metropolis. 
 Critics praised it for the phenomenal graphics; hence, this film was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film. Baymax is a very iconic character that tenderly captured the hearts of many fans – especially senior Sophia Tenorio, who proudly says “Baymax is bae.” The anime-inspired movie lets viewers enjoy the action-packed, tear-jerking, and laugh-inducing plot of goofy yet relatable characters. Camp X-Ray Starring the Twilight Saga icon Kristen Stewart, Camp X-Ray is about a female soldier assigned at Guantanamo Bay. Her station at the detention camp brings about various struggles with the Muslim inmates, and also a wary friendship with an incarcerated young man who was unjustly arrested for eight years. This somberly realistic movie does not have a “class happy ending,” but it enlightens viewers about the happenings at Guantanamo Bay and the tough situations made out for female soldiers. The film details how difficult but worth-while it is to connect with someone who is not on your level. This dramatic action movie brings out the best of Kristen Stewart’s acting career, and she does not disappoint. Camp X-Ray received a respectable 72% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Now that you know some good movies to watch, grab a bag of popcorn and sit back while you enjoy a good quality film. These films will not only appeal to your visual senses but also pull at your heart strings and enlighten your mind. Enjoy! BY: TIANA M. RANJO
  4. 4. Dress Code: continued from page 1… ! …for SIS to ensure that students are more cautious about what they wear. Unlike previous years, the line now between “acceptable” and “please change your clothes” has been concretely established. Several SIS faculty members, as well as various students, have agreed that we needed to have a dress code. Headmaster Mr. Bray feels that this dress code is an appropriate balance between casual and studious. However, the majority of students find the dress code to be ineffective. After a month of enforcing the dress code, several students believe that it isn’t being followed. Other students believe that the new dress code is offensive to parents since they are the ones who see what we wear first. Female students even feel a bit uncomfortable in class because they want to avoid male teachers “checking them out”. Obviously, no dress code is going to be perfect – but having no dress code is not the solution. I know everyone is “all about that bass” but please, no trouble. BY: MINORI YOSHIDA Life In High School: continued from page 1… ! … to express yourself, and let your true personality show. You will make more friends, go out more, and actually have fun. The best advice you should take into consideration as a freshman is to enjoy yourself because once you become a sophomore you will be introduced into your first AP course.
 Sophomore year is where all the difficulties begin; this is the year when you take your first Advanced Placement course (AP American History). You are introduced into a college level course and are expected to understand the material that you are reading. For those of you who are still trying to learn English, you do not have to take the course; however, you will still take a regular history class. Though sophomore year is a lot harder than freshman year, sophomore year is a lot more exciting. Depending on who your homeroom teacher is (We had Mrs. Ayeras), you will have a really fun year! Junior year... There are two things I can say about junior year; study and do your work! Junior year is the hardest year in high school! You are required to take two AP classes and your workload is significantly increased. The teachers are somewhat friendly and your friends are always there but the workload is exhausting! The best advice as a junior is to listen to your teacher and maybe hire a tutor or ask your friends if you don't understand what you are learning. If you take that advice, you’ll probably survive junior year. Now for senior year: the last year of high school. Compared to junior year, senior year is far easier in course work and you’ll definitely have a lot more time to study for your classes. The only problems that you will encounter during your senior year is the stress to find a college and something called SENIORITIS. It is the last year of high school and your will to continue will constantly decline. The only way to avoid senioritis is to actually believe that it’s worth doing all your work…this might not work though because most everyone gets senioritis. BY: HATSUKO BEARDEN
  5. 5. Uniforms? Yes or No? continued from page 1… ! However, uniforms’ advantages are completely outweighed by the disadvantages since uniforms cannot show students’ personalities, the majority of students in SIS do not approve of uniforms, and uniforms will cause inconveniences. First and foremost, wearing uniforms might sometimes limit students’ personality. Students would like to be able to have their own dressing styles, and thereby express themselves with how they dress. Most of the students do not want to wear the same clothes as others every day. Students want to show their differences but not similarities. Also, some designs of school uniforms are often old-fashioned and ugly, since clothes that are designed to be worn by all shapes and sizes of student fit no one really well. By instituting a uniform policy, schools are taking away students’ individuality. Secondly, the majority of students in SIS do not approve of uniforms. If SIS requires uniforms, the cost of parents sending their children to school will go up. Since students are constantly growing, parents need to buy different sizes of uniforms along with the growing of their children. That will be a huge amount of money. Even with uniforms, parents would still need to purchase regular clothes for students when students are not in school. So why don’t we let parents only pay for students’ regular clothes and let students wear those clothes to school? Furthermore, most students at SIS don’t even approve of uniforms! When students do not like or want something, they are not going to take good care of it. So why don’t we let parents not waste of money and use the money to buy something that their kids would like? Meanwhile, uniforms bring unnecessary inconveniences to students. If uniforms are required in SIS, students will be inconvenienced when they have the class change between regular classes and P.E. or yoga classes. As we all know, uniforms for girls are usually skirts and for boys are pants. Students need to change when their classes are changing from regular class and P.E or yoga. But when students wear uniforms to school and need to change during the short 5 minutes break during classes, the restrooms will be overcrowded. Restroom is the only place that students can change because SIS does not have special locker room for students. It would not only spend class time but also bother other students who actually have to use the rest room. To sum up what we’ve discussed above, requiring uniforms is not a smart thing for SIS to do. It takes away students’ individualities, ignores students’ feelings, and causes students’ inconveniences. BY: IVY YANG Math Court The final regional round for CNMI M a t h c o u r t 2014~2015 will t a k e p l a c e o n January 31, 2015. The venue is yet to be determined. Any high school student who has placed in this school year’s regular events are qualified for the regional round and are required to group into teams of three. There are 6 of our students representing SIS: Donggu Hyon, Dong Hee Im, and Jee Hyun Lee in SIS Team A and Daniel Lim, Kyle Chung, and Myung Jae Cho in SIS Team B. This competition will be divided into 4 rounds. In the Sprint round, students are given 60 minutes to solve 30 multiple choice questions individually. Four points will be awarded for each correct answer and one point will be deducted for each incorrect answer. No points will be deducted for unanswered questions. In the Team round, a team of three will work together to solve 10 questions in 20 minutes. Ten points will be awarded for each correct answer and no points will be deducted for unanswered questions. In the Target round, students will be given 4 sets of 2 questions to solve individually. Ten points will be awarded for each correct answer and no points will be deducted for unanswered questions. They are given 10 minutes for each set. In the Relay round, a team of three will work together to solve five sets of relay questions. The first person will pass his or her answer to the second, who will use it to solve the second question. The second person will then his or her answer to the third, and this answer will be used to solve the third question. Answers are collected twice. If the team submits a correct answer in 3 minutes, they will be awarded 20 points. If the team gets the answer correct in 7 minutes, they are given 10 points. No points are deducted for wrong answers. BY: JEE HYUN LEE
  6. 6. Girls High School Volleyball continued from page 1… ! …and underwent conditioning. After conditioning, players would find a partner and “pepper.” Drills were all based on footwork, bumping, setting, and spiking. We began the training with simply the basics of bumping. Once we were finally getting that, we moved to setting and then finally to spiking. There were many girls who improved their skills in just the very first week of training! Both teams had been training with each other at the beginning of the season; but when Christmas Break came, the teams were split up so that they could start practicing and flowing with their actual teammates. Both teams had their first game the week school started. Varsity played Saipan Southern and won. Junior Varsity played against Kagman High School and won. As of now, all the teams have played each other and we are now going into our second round of the season, where all the teams play each other again so coaches can rank teams for the championships. The team to beat right now is Marianas High School (MHS) which is ranked at the top. Saipan International, Grace Christian, and Mount Carmel are battling for the second position in the championships, since GCA beat SIS, MCS beat GCA, and SIS beat MCS. To me, going to the gym is the best time to bond with my teammates. We go to the gym, hang out, and do each other’s hair. When we warm up before a game, we go outside and have fun with, but we also practice seriously. All players have improved a tremendous amount. Varsity began training with a different court formation than they were used to, which caused confusion and frustration at first, but now the team has become more synchronized. We are getting better at giving a good bump to our setters so our spikers can crush the other team. The main aspect the Varsity team has improved on is communication. Our communication is great and we are all keeping our tempers in check. We love encouraging and cheering for our teammates. Junior Varsity has amazed me on their improvement. Many of the players on JV have never played before but they can already make great passes and spikes. At the beginning of the season, JV just learned the game of volleyball and also learned how to play with one another. Playing in the gym was a new experience because of the noisy crowd which caused much discomfort for JV; but now all are comfortable with the noise and are ready to begin the second round with more wins. Both teams have played tremendously well. All the players have improved their skills since the start of the season. Both teams have many wins against other schools and hopefully the season brings more wins for Saipan International School. BY: PHALAI FRINK Whether you are reading for your AR class or for the sole purpose of enjoyment. Here are a few book recommendations that never seem to disappoint the readers. And luckily for those who take AR class, these books are found in the AR. ! 1. The Maze Runner s e r i e s b y J a m e s Dashner- A post- apocalyptic trilogy that follows sixteen year old Thomas, who along with a group of other boys are trapped within a mysterious intricate maze band together to form a group called the Glade dedicated to finding a way to escape the madness that is the maze. Grade Level: 5.3 Points: 15 ! 2. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini- A heartbreaking story of the devotion and friendship between a wealthy child and his servant. Grade Level: 5.2 Points: 16 ! ! 3. The Fault in Our Stars by John G r e e n - A heartwarming love story between two cancer patients H a z e l G r a c e Lancaster and Augustus Waters. Grade Level: 5.5 Points: 10 ! Now with these recommendations, sit back, relax and PUT DOWN YOUR PHONE AND PICK UP A BOOK! BY: SOPHIA TENORIO Book Recommendations
  7. 7. Although we do it every day, we still cannot like waking up to drag ourselves to school. To mitigate this suffering, maybe we need to shake up our time table for a change, or not. There is no doubt that Saipan International School follows standard workday schedule of the morning person; we are expected to come to school by 7:45. Ideally, students would sleep from 23:00 to 7:00 and come to school well-rested, but for some people this routine is more dreary since they are so-called night owls. ! C i r c a d i a n Rhythm ! Why do so many of us struggle to wake up early a n d s t i l l remain night owls? It may be due to the fact that our duties as students often keep us doing our homework late at night or due to circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythm is an internal clock in our body that tells us to go to sleep and wake up according to its cycle. Unfortunately, this internal clock does not take into account our school schedule. According to University of Washington Medicine Sleep Centre, our circadian rhythm is dictated by the suprachiasmatic nucleus in our brain. The morning person’s cycle would be shorter than 24 hours and the evening person's schedule would be longer than 24 hours. It is known fact that many CEOs are morning people, and a study from the University of Texas at Austin shows that a morning person has a higher GPA than others. Although it is possible to change our sleep cycle with the right method and patience, it is difficult to defy our natural rhythm. These scientific facts may justify why SIS needs to start its classes later than 7:45. Mr. Bray was not averse to the idea, recognizing “Teenagers naturally tend to have an evening person’s sleep cycle. Their brains don’t wake up until 10.” However, the change is unlikely to happen anytime soon, since the schedule school is designed so that the parents can drop off their children early and go their ways to work, etc. Nonetheless, if the class time actually changes, students may be able to work more efficiently with a wiggle room on their schedule. BY: JINY YANG Set the Alarm Clock Later One of the most exciting events at SIS for high school students is Prance. Prance is a big event in which all high school students can gather together and make good memories. This event is held in the second semester, typically in March or April. This year, prance will be held on April 11th. This year, our theme will be the Oscar Awards. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! The excitement is real. Students are actively talking about Prance and what they are going to wear. Several girls have already purchased their dresses – including me! Prance, however, is not only for high school students. 8th grade students are allowed to attend this event if high school students invite them as partner. People also can bring other high school students, however, prior authorization is needed. There are lots of people who think the ticket for Prance is expensive. But they can get discount if they come as partners. Student Council (STUCO) is trying its best to make Prance an enjoyable time for everyone. They list what students want and do not want and discuss them together to make Prance better. If students want to know more about or have questions about it, then they are free to attend Thursday STUCO meeting. BY: ESTHER JIN JOO Prance
  8. 8. Happy New Year! Here comes another year of experiences and more good memories! According to the tradition, one of the things we always do is make New Year’s resolutions. I asked around the high school to see w h a t s o m e people were up to. One of the seniors Tiana Ranjo, said her N e w Y e a r resolution is to graduate, make new memories, and stay friends with everyone in the school. How sweet! Another senior, Chris Park, had an educational resolution which was to get a 4.0 GPA. Vince, currently a sophomore, wants to be a contestant on a television show called “Show me the money.” Sakura Imaya’s resolution is to make new friends in her trip to Peru with the sophomore class. And lastly a freshman, Inpa’s resolution is to get a date to the prance this year. Well I hope everyone may follow their resolutions, and happy New Year everybody! BY: LYNETTE VASQUEZ New Year. New Resolutions Seniors suffer from Senioritis Juniors get scolded by Mr. Bray Sophomores poke at a fish they’re dissecting Freshmen model their hoodies
  9. 9. The Gecko Times was brought to you by the students in the Digital Journalism class taught by Mr. and Mrs. Bray. ! Supervisors: Mr and Mrs. Bray ! News Paper Editor: Joey Nigh ! News Paper Layout Design: Nicole Arenovski ! Writers: Jia Bao Xu Jiny Yang Victoria Chentsova Phalai Frink Hatsuko Bearden Sophia Tenorio Lynette Vasquez Tiana Ranjo Ivy Yang Minori Yoshida Jee Hyun Lee Esther Jin Joo Saipan International School PO Box. 503121, Saipan, MP, 96950 Tel: 670 2889660