Christmas Movies and Chill

Not in that Christmas spirit yet? Try watching these movies!

Warm up the hot chocolate and huddle around the crackling fire – Christmas is coming soon and so is the perfect occasion for movie night! It’s everyone’s favorite holiday, hands down, due to three big reasons: delicious snacks, good music, and most of all, the most heartwarming selection of movies. So start watching Christmas movies now and be ready to be smug in the knowledge that you’re not missing out on any celebration time. Thankfully, there are enough Christmas movies out there that you could watch one every day from now through December 25 and still not run out of options, but here are the top five that everyone channels into every year.

 

  1. Home Alone

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Ah, one can never go wrong with the classics – this one being the absolute golden oldie. Home Alone always has one of the most viewings any time of the year, as it takes on a special significance at Christmas time being with your family. After all, it is the most favorable time to be indulge yourself with some freshly-popped popcorn and Kevin McAllister, as he tries to defend his house against a pair of foolish burglars, and the antics he pulls will definitely crack you up.

 

  1. Elf

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Year after year, this movie just never gets old, as it is a classic feel-good Christmas movie you can’t help but love. Buddy the Elf is, along with Ron Burgundy, Will Ferrell’s finest comedy creations, and he’s listed to be one of the most adorable movie characters in Christmas movie history. Unless you’re a cotton-headed ninnymuggin, there’s nothing about this movie not to love.

 

  1. The Holiday

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A British hottie to swoon over should be a must for every holiday movie. Not only that, but also the shining cast which includes Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, and Jack Black gives this movie the perfect mix of touching and hilarious. The Holiday is a story about about Amanda Woods (Cameron Diaz) and Iris Simpkins (Kate Winslet) who decide to swap houses for Christmas in order to get away from their normal lives. Of course, along the way, they get to conveniently encounter Graham Simpkins (Jude Law) and Miles (Jack Black) respectively. Grab a nice, fluffy blanket to put around you, and get ready to indulge yourself in a cozy romance movie you can get away with watching just because it’s Christmas time.

 

  1. Love Actually

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Yet another classic. Love Actually focuses on nine intersecting love stories mixed with another amazing cast that brings you on either a bundle of extreme mushiness or a festive heart-warmer. You’ll laugh, cry, and feel all sorts of intense feelings of sentimentality inside as the movie dawns to an end. When pushy holiday shoppers and noisy little children running around the department store start getting to you, it’s good to remember that “love, actually, is all around us.”

 

  1. A Charlie Brown Christmas

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Animations certainly cannot be forgotten when it comes to serving a good ol’ holiday cheer. Like The Snowman, this production was made for TV, yet that hasn’t hindered it from winning a place in our hearts for over 50 consistent years. Sometimes getting caught up in the materialism of the holidays is tempting, but Charlie, Linus, Lucy, and a little fir tree help us remind the true meaning of  Christmas.

 

Alas, the festive period is now well and truly upon us. And to get into the spirit of the season, these family flicks will get you in the holiday mood, year after year. So grab a cup of warm eggnog, cuddle up near the fireplace, and soak up some holiday cheer with the best Christmas movies of all time.

 

– Ashley Kim (’18)

Featured Image: Miracle on 34th Street

Departures and Arrivals: A Review

We’re glad this play arrived, but we’re sad to see it depart.

Who’s ready for an amazing night full of laughing, crying, and bonding of special individuals bring everyday airport stories to life? From Thursday to Saturday, the KIS Theatre Department brought on the 2015 Fall Play named Departures and Arrivals into action, after three months of intense preparation. In 22 separate vignettes set in an airport departure and arrival lounge, the play captures a spectrum of a delightful variety of travelers awakening to a contemporary limbo. I, as an excited guest, was lucky enough to grab the ticket for the opening night of the show, Thursday on the 12th of November.

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Ticket and program for Departures and Arrivals.

The play featured 17 talented student actors and actresses under the director Ms. Lauren Cuellar, composed of Emma Kang (9), Skylar Kim (9), Jisoo Hope Yoon (9), Jessica Kwon (9), Danny Jung (9), Jared Son (9), Daniel Kim (9), Joonjae Kim (9), Jee-In Kwon (10), Joey Park (10), JD Choi (10), Noah Kim (10), Jae Won Shim (10), Eunice Na (11), Alex Kim (11), Scott Kim (11), and Subin Hur (12). Also, there were four stage managers in total, along with multiple backstage members dealing with lights and sounds. Some members had plenty of theatre experience in the past, while this show was the first time ever for the others. Nevertheless, the cast was able to write some of their own scenes to be integrated into the play – an aspect different from the original production.

Departures and Arrivals
Did you catch the “cameo” by a KIS theater alumni Jeongmin Cho (’15)?

The overall concept is pretty simple: the show presents an indeterminate length of time in a typical public airport space, depicting 22 different daily events that occur in the area. There were even one constant episode of soap-opera-esque scenes between two female and male flight attendants, divided into four parts. Every aspect of the physical theatre set, ranging from the very familiar signage overhead directing the audience to Departures and Arrivals, set of stools set around to create the airport lounge feel, metal detectors, luggages, and so forth, was all an integral character to the show.

Departures and Arrivals
Departures and Arrivals

Throughout the course of the play, the audience was introduced to silent actions, back-and-forth of conversations and interior monologues all of which told us fragments of the dynamic lives of the passengers and crews who pass through the lounge. The tone also varied from insanely comic (provoking belly laughs) to fiery-passionate, subdued melodrama to deeply moving reality, astonishingly straightforward to furtive innuendo. Even snippets of different soundtracks played during scene transitions heightened the atmosphere, effectively grasping the audience’s attention the whole time.

Departures and Arrivals
A lot of Daniel Kim’s (9) acting was actually impromptu — talk about a skilled actor!

One of the greatest strengths of the play was the costumes of the students. So many different characters featured in the show meant that each actor and actress had plenty of room to show off their emotions by embodying different styles and personas. Therefore, the austere yet efficacious costume changes and signage worked flawlessly to capture the detached environment of an airport, which contrasted with the quirky and whimsical personalities of the acting individuals. It was evident that the crew had a limited source of costumes available for the actors/actresses, but the way they reused and restyled each outfit to fit all the different characters told me that they had put a lot of thought and practice into every single element of the play. Furthermore, when it came down to the transitional scenes, changing spotlights and continuing character motifs, both the cast and crew did a consistently exceptional job in maintaining continuity to not break the flow of the show. Also, the pre-recorded voiceovers were perfectly in-sync with the mouthing of the actors and highlighted their impeccable acting as well as their dynamic face expressions.

Departures and Arrivals
Surprise! This skit drew some laughter when the character revealed to only have one eye.

All in all, this play was an ambitiously sensational, textured, and engaging production definitely worth seeing and investing in two precious hours of my busy schedule. Regardless of the risky decision to go upon a wide emotional palette that could have gone chaotic more or less, the show resulted in a captivating, phenomenal performance with a delightful explosion of standing ovation.

– Ashley Kim (‘18)

Featured Image: JohnDavid Choi (’18)

Battle of the APs: AP Biology or AP World History?

AP World or AP Bio—that is the question.

AP World or AP Bio?

It’s a question that KIS students are all too familiar with; every year, sophomores are confronted (or rather inevitably confronted) with this dilemma. With two, rather heavy, choices to choose from, we, as sophomores, must carefully consider advice from upperclassmen, unreliable rumors, parent’s suggestions, and most importantly, whether we would enjoy and be able to handle that certain AP course. Ultimately, with our minds somewhat-set, we sign up for the course that will define our entire sophomore year with a trembling hand.

Now with the school year already on its third month, Blueprint has brought to you a comprehensive analysis comparing the two AP choices backed up by answers from our very own students.

The Argument for AP Biology

Having a somewhat more positive prestige, AP Biology seems to be the more preferred course among sophomores. It is a well known belief that AP Biology is the “more relaxing and easier-GPA” course taught by a more “chill” teacher, Mr. Hopkin, and that it is a better way to enter the terrifying world of APs. Now that two months have already passed since the start of the school year, sophomores should have experienced more than what they have simply heard. There have been a variety of responses from students taking AP Bio. Some seem to be pleased, even complimenting the joy the course gives.

Mr. Hopkin gives a thrilling lecture on glycolysis to a few sophomores. (Clare Kwon, ’18)
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Students observe the growth of turtles in the middle of class. (Clare Kwon, ’18)

Many students have nothing but compliments for the class. They have truly learned the importance of enjoying what you learn.

“AP Bio is such a fun class! The subject itself is very interesting. Unlike most subjects, it connects to what we see in our daily life. So, it’s fascinating when I learn how things work inside other organisms and myself.”— Sarah Mirae Kim (’18)

Yet, quite inevitably, there are struggles along the way, too (that are still somehow positive).

“I would have to admit that AP Biology is a challenging class. Especially because it’s my first AP course ever, I’m struggling over the tests. However, there’s also fun to it. Bio is life, so we’re literally learning more about life!”— Alice Yoo (’18)

“It’s a fun and challenging course, as the materials go a lot more in depth than what we learned last year. Lots of memorization is required, and at the same time I have to understand, which makes the course even more challenging. Taking notes is also a bit time-consuming, but as for now, it’s still doable.” – Anonymous

Maybe, the belief about AP Biology is quite true. With more positive responses, it seems that the start hasn’t been as painful, although some have trouble handling a never experienced amount of work.

The Argument for AP World History

On the other hand, AP World History is known to be the opposite—a complete GPA killer. Thus, the number of sophomores taking Mr. Yanuszeski’s AP World History classes is actually far less than those taking AP Biology. There has already been many reported cases of mental breakdowns, tears shed, and of course, outrages from the students. Starting the year with a million historic knowledge and mind boggling similarities and differences between various civilizations, AP World History classes have already written three essays.

Mr. Y
The course may be rough, but Mr. Yanuzeski’s enthusiasm is an encouragement all on its own. (Clare Kwon, ’18)
Sara Kim ('18) reviewing her notes (Clare Kwon '18)
Sara Kim (’18) studiously reviews her notes. (Clare Kwon, ’18)

But what do the students have to say about this course so far?

“Well, I would say most of the students taking the course are struggling quite in this subject, especially the essay writings, because we’ve never done anything quite like it before. Also, history has always been a subject where it is fun, but there’s a lot of memorizing along with it, which is always a challenge too.” – Anonymous

“AP World? Challenging, arduous, but rewarding.” – Amy Kim (’18)

“I have a weird love-hate relationship with this course. I love the subject because the course itself offers so much fruitful knowledge, but I want to cry when I realize that I have around 10,000 years of history to study for our lovely exam in April. AP World History is like a train. It never stops, it just keeps rolling. If you fall behind, Train Yanuszeski will not wait for you.” – Sara Kim (’18)

With the overabundance of effort, care, and attention needed, essays seem to be the greatest labor and agony of AP World History. Nonetheless, the feeling of triumph after finishing an essay or completing a unit, catching the train of AP World is incomparable with any other pleasure.

The Verdict

Whether taking AP Biology or AP World History, we still have to put in endless effort. In the end, it is not always about the grade or the exam score; it is the process, the experience, and the knowledge we gain that really matters.

Stay strong sophomores!

 

– Yoo Bin Shin (’18)

Edited by: Faith Choi (’16)

Featured Image: Clare Kwon (’18)

SEOMUN XVIII: A Successful Step Towards a Brighter Future

Although the start of Thanksgiving Break marked college essay writing for seniors and vacation time for the underclassmen, a few hundred students from around the world took this time to gather at the Coex Convention Center. No, it certainly was not to entertain themselves, but instead, to represent countries and to debate on pressing, worldly issues. They arrived with fervor to participate in the 18th annual Seoul Model United Nations (SEOMUN) conference, proudly hosted by Korea International School.

Familiar and unfamiliar delegates from various schools immediately filled up the seats of the Grand Ballroom, patiently waiting for lights to appear on the stage. The opening ceremony began with an introductory video by  SEOTV, followed by speeches from each executive secretariat members. As is tradition, SEOMUN’s keynote speaker this year was Mr. Daejong Yoo, Director General for International Organizations from the MInistry of Foreign Affairs. He and Ban Ki Moon used to closely work together — “He was Mr. Moon’s right hand at one point,” Secretary General Olivia Kim (’16) explained. In his speech, he accentuated the significance of this year’s theme of “Freedom from Fear”, connecting such topic to recent incidents such as terrorism.

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Guest speaker, Daejong Yoo, giving his insightful speech in the Opening Ceremony. (SEOULITE)

Followed by speeches from adviser Mr. Farley and editor-in-chiefs of SEOTV and SEOULITE, Secretary General, Olivia Hajung Kim (’16) made her way to the podium for a few wise words:

“We’re connected on so many different levels. We’re born with the full capacity to empathize, born with the natural inclination to care for one another, born with the irresistible desire to understand and help one another, born to live on one another’s welfare, one another’s happiness, and not by one another’s misery or failure. It’s up to our will, and it’s up to our conviction. We can make a difference. As trite and commonplace as it may sound, the podium is yours, so go ahead and take it.”

At last, the sound of the gavel marked the beginning of the three day journey of SEOMUN 2015.

Centered upon an overarching theme of “Freedom from Fear,” all thirteen committees of the conference were assigned varying global issues all with unifying aims. Many issues emphasized the vital need of government transparency and the protection of civil rights. Then, it was the duty of the delegates to dissect these issues from inside out—to tackle the issue through the various perspectives of the various countries they came to represent. Keeping this responsibility in mind, all delegates passionately engaged in lobbying sessions right from the first day to cooperate in formulating original, pragmatic, and creative resolutions.

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Chairs of the Six Party Talks discussing the resolution. (SEOULITE)

After hours of collective drafting, delegates began debating, critically discussing the plausibility of each resolution. Regardless of the years of experience, all delegates bravely took the podium, proposing ways to attain peace in the international community.

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Delegate of Iran from Security Council sharing her view of the resolution. (SEOULITE)

In addition to debating upon resolutions formulated by delegates prior to the conference, each committee was also confronted with unexpected crises, ranging from Ban Ki Moon being captured by ISIS in the Security Council to Kim Jong-Un declaring the invasion of the Republic of Korea in the Six Party Talks. Each crisis was performed by members of the student officer and the executive teams, and it became pretty clear that these veteran MUNers had more up their sleeves than just debating and public speaking.

For all delegates, chairs, and secretariats, regardless of the roles they played, SEOMUN XVIII was definitely an indelible experience. Young minds were able to explore prevailing issues and gain a broader view of the international community, as well as make unforgettable memories with new friends. More inspirational than it has ever been, this year’s distinguished SEOMUN conference came to a very successful end.

Anticipating the next wonderful SEOMUN conference, good bye, SEOMUN XVIII.

 

– Yoo Bin Shin (’18)

Edited by: Faith Choi (’16)

Featured Image: Jaye Ahn (’16) 

Underrated TV Shows You Need to Binge Watch This Break

Need to kill some time this winter break? Here are the best underrated TV shows of all time.

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(USA)
  • In A Nutshell:
    • Shawn Spencer, an uncannily observant and lazy man, gets hired by the Santa Barbara Police Department to help solve crimes under the premise that Spencer is psychic. Together with his partner-in-crime and best friend Burton Guster, his ex-policeman father Henry Spencer, and police detectives Carlton Lassiter and Juliet O’hara, Spencer uses his “psychic powers” to deduce hints and help catch criminals. Not only is Psych hilarious and fast-paced, but at times is insightful and even scary.
  • Total Watching Time:
    • 8 Seasons, 121 Episodes
    • 22 minute episodes
    • 2662 minutes of 44.3 hours

 

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  • In A Nutshell:
    • Neal Caffrey is a world renowned white collar criminal, jailed for bond forgery by FBI Detective Peter Burke. After realizing the two could mutually benefit from a new Criminal Informant program, Caffrey is released into Burke’s supervision and helps the FBI to catch other high-class thieves. Although Caffrey consistently proves to be a useful asset for the FBI, Burke is always suspicious of Caffrey and his lifelong friend Mozzie. Caffrey, a clever guy, always finds ways to twist his situation to his advantage and it is always unclear what his ulterior motive is.
  • Total Watching Time:
    • 3 Seasons, 81 Episodes
    • 40 minute episodes
    • 3240 minutes, 54 hours

 

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(FOX)
  • In A Nutshell
    • Brooklyn Nine-Nine (also called B99 by fans) centers around Detective Jake Peralta, a hotshot detective with the highest arrest record who does not care for the rules of the precinct. However, Peralta’s life is turned upside down when a new captain, Captain Ray Holt, comes to the 99th precinct. Holt, being gay and black, has a lot to prove to the homophobic and racist elite police community and forces Peralta to respect his job. Other major characters include Detective Amy Santiago, who is a hardworking, suck-up detective close to beating Peralta’s record, Detective Rosa Diaz, an intimidating, down-to-business police-woman, Charles Boyle, a naive cop who idolizes Peralta and Gina Linetti, a free spirit civil worker and dancer.
  • Total Watching Time:
    • 3 Seasons, 52 Episodes
    • 22 minute episodes
    • 1144 minutes, 19 hours

 

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(HBO)
  • In a Nutshell:
    • A hilarious comedy full of sarcasms and innuendos centers around the Pied Piper tech startup run by introverted coder Richard Hendricks. Hendricks and his nerdy friends hope to make it rich in the increasingly competitive Bay Area. After Hendricks codes an incredibly powerful search algorithm, he is torn between selling his work for 8 figures or selling part of the company to a strange, but rich venture capitalist in exchange for funding and ownership. Insightful humor shows the crazy lives of those who work in tech start-ups and accentuates the character’s nerdy characteristics.
  • Total Watching Time:
    • 2 Seasons, 18 Episodes
    • 30 minute episodes
    • 540 minutes, 9 hours

 

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(All3Media)
  • In A Nutshell:
    • An edgy TV show on teenage sexuality, mental health and drug abuse, is split in two three different generations. In each one, the series focuses on a gang of friends and the difficulties they each overcome, whether it being struggling with anorexia, coping with the loss of parents and friends, or pining for a girl. The group members although drastically different, each bring an essential part to the team. The TV series is unique for every episode is filmed in the point of view of a different character. This change in perspective adds a twist to the program.
  • Total Watching Time:
    • 7 Seasons, 61 Episodes
    • 45 minute episodes
    • 2745 minutes, 45.75 hours

 

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(Hulu)
  • In A Nutshell:
    • This relatively unheard of show follows Tim, a father fighting for his son Marcus, in a custody battle. After applying to what he thinks is a civil service job, Tim is recruited to be a trainee spy at MI5. Marcus, an extremely mature and intelligent schoolboy, outwardly despises living with his father, but as the show progresses, he begins to realize how great his quirky father is. Spy hits touchy topics such as divorce in a humorous manner and never fails to entertain with its eccentric characters.
  • Total Watching Time:
    • 2 Seasons, 17 Episodes
    • 23 minutes, last episode is 44
    • 414 minutes, 6.9 hours

 

– Juyon Lee (’18)

Featured Image: Huffington Post

South Korea’s Biggest Protest in 7 Years

A violent rally or an excessive use of suppression?

Saturday, November 14th, police fired water cannons and demonstrators swung metal pipes. Shortly, the once peaceful Gwanghwamun Square fell into a state of chaos, the largest protest against President Park’s presidency.

With the recent decision of the government to replace history textbooks, more than 130,000 people from 53 different activist groups, gathered in downtown Seoul, to protest grievances against the current decisions of President Park Geun-hye’s government. Protesters proposed eleven different requests for the government dissents from labor reforms in favor of chaebols.

South Korean protestors stage a large rally against the government outside the City Hall in Seoul on November 14, 2015. Tens of thousand of people took to the streets in central Seoul in a massive protest against the conservative government's drive for labour reform and state-issued history textbooks. AFP PHOTO / JUNG YEON-JE (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
Tens of thousand of people took to the streets in central Seoul in a massive protest against the conservative government’s drive for labour reform and state-issued history textbooks. (The Huffington Post)

At 4:00PM, after finishing rallies at different areas throughout the city, protesters started to assemble into Gwanghwamun Square. However, the Square was completely obstructed. Already organized since 1:00PM, in order to prevent the entry, the police had started creating a barricade with buses.

Thus after about thirty minutes, as demonstrators attempted to enter through the barricade, the protests started to become chaotic, and clashes between demonstrators and police grew.

Police use water cannons to block South Korean protestors following a large rally against the government in downtown Seoul on November 14, 2015. Tens of thousands of people took to the street in central Seoul in a massive protest against the conservative government's drive for labour reform and state-issued history textbooks. AFP PHOTO / JUNG YEON-JE (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
Anti-government protesters revolt against barricades deployed by police. (The Huffington Post)

According to The Korea Herald, there were about 22,000 police officers and 700 buses mobilized to suppress the protests. They fired cannons of water containing liquid tear gas and blue paint to identify and disperse the marching protesters. On the other side were some radical protesters who struck back by assaulting police officers, smashing windows, and pulling down buses.

As a result, the police arrested 51 people for attacking barricading forces, and over thousands of protesters were injured due to the suppression of police. Furthermore, Baek Nam-gi, a farmer who took part in pulling the rope tied to a police bus, had to undergo brain surgery after the police hit him with the water cannon. One hundred thirteen police officers were injured by the protester’s assault.

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Protesters use ropes to pull away government vehicles while police fire water cannons at the crowd. (Business Insider).

After the protest, a dispute has formed regarding the issue of whether this happening was a consequence of an utterly violent rally or of an excessive use of force by the police.

Claiming the crowd rather excessively aggressive, the Minister of Justice, Kim Hyun-woong argued,

“Our concern became reality as violent, radical protests took place at the heart of Seoul. We allowed legal, peaceful assemblies to a great extent, but some protesters committed violence by using illegal weapons like steel pipes to beat the police.”

On the other hand of the controversy, Maeng Haeng-il(73) “accused President Park administration of breaking the Constitution by stifling freedom of expression and mobilizing the police for its own sake” (The Korea Herald). He said,

“I feel like we are in the 1970s again. President Park is doing exactly the same thing as her dictator father did during his presidency. Democracy is backtracking. The traffic disruption cited by the police is just an excuse (for the crackdown).”

However, the reason for both the protest and its quarrel was the selective views of the people, unwilling to look at the issue in a broader angle and instead blindly accusing the other side. Both the citizens’ decision to protest with violence and the decision to use excessive force for suppression were unquestionably not lawful and upright decisions.

 

– Yoo Bin Shin (‘18)

(Featured Image: The Korea Herald)

KISTIVAL 2015 Review

The holly jolliest KIS event of the year.

With the jolly spirit of the holiday season in the air, students’ laughter fills the whole conference hall. T’is a joyful day, for today is KISTIVAL! Wednesday, November 25, 2015 was KIS’s 8th annual KISTIVAL, an event in which dozens of clubs put together a day of festivities to celebrate the holiday season.  KISTIVAL is open to all KIS students and staff to relax and enjoy the array of food and games prepared by the clubs.

(NHSTV)
(NHSTV)

At 3 pm, chaos ensued at the ticket booth. Student organizers were running around with gigantic posters and were preoccupied with cooking utensils as a mass of bodies gathered in the conference hall. By 3:30 pm, most club leaders had entered and were busy decorating their club booths. At 3:50pm, the hall was brimming with students trying to buy their raffle tickets and enjoying the delicacies provided by different clubs.

(Justin Kwon)
(Justin Kwon)
(Justin Kwon)
(Justin Kwon)

There were around forty different club booths with forty different activities and goodies laid out for everyone to enjoy. They ranged from beautiful bookmarks adorned with calligraphy and a game of throwing trash balls to delicious Oreo milkshakes. Students scoured the rows of booths as sellers and as customers, the hectic atmosphere adding to the Christmas spirit that had already filled the conference hall. At 5:26 pm, students were given an extra treat when the KIS’s advanced dance team took to the stage and gave a tremendous dance performance. Under the dazzling spotlight, the dance team garnered a chorus of oohs and aahs with their moves, culminating in a thunderous applause and whistles. The visual feast continued after the dance performance ended as the long-awaited highlight of the day, KISTIVAL’s Next Top Model, began.

(Yunji Chung)
(Yunji Chung)

There were five teams with two models on each team with a total of five guys and five girls. Models were given twenty-five minutes to decorate and dress themselves in the most appealing manner to the audience.  There were three teacher judges: Mr. Persaud, Ms. Chang, and Mr. Selbo.  Both teachers and students were amazed by the confidence and poise with which the top models walked down the runway. Students even had the chance to enjoy photo time with the models in their special Christmas outfit.

(NHSTV)
(NHSTV)

As the intense excitement of the KISTIVAL’s Next Top Model ended, KISTIVAL’s closing event, the raffle prizes, began. The prizes this year for the raffles were iPad mini and Bluetooth headphones.  Unlike previous year’s random selection, however, students were provided with a special hint for the number codes this year. When the raffle numbers were announced, there were screams of joy and groans of disappointment. Two very fortunate students jumped up and down with joy as they claimed their prizes.

(NHSTV)
(NHSTV)

T’was another merry KISTIVAL and a sincerely needed diversion for students who have been under four months of academic duress. Though the fun has ended, the students’ spirits remained high as Thanksgiving break was just around the corner. Thank you students and staff for successfully continuing the KISTIVAL tradition once again!

 

– Eunice Na (’17)

The Anonymous Group

Anonymous vs. ISIS?

The tragic evening of November, Friday the thirteenth, 2015 shocked the world. A series of violent terrorist attacks in Paris has taken away the lives of 129 people and 200 people injured.  The ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) claimed responsibility for suicide bombings, mass shootings, and hostage-takings.  ISIS is renowned for its random, violent attacks around the world, however, it has been a rare case for this terrorist organization to attack such a major city.

Because of the volatile nature of ISIS, hardly any country or organization stood to confront the ISIS directly.  A few days after the attack, however, the Anonymous announced its intention to retaliate for the attacks.

(Glitch News)
(Glitch News)

The Anonymous, otherwise known as the “Anons,” is a decentralized group of hackers and activists. The group is an international network, and mostly just an “internet gathering” that has no specific structure or principle on which it is run.  Anyone can join the group, and for the most part, the group just operates with each individual’s’ intent.  The group first came to being in 2003 and ever since then, this online community has widely served a purpose of both entertainment and activism to raise awareness.  There have been notably successful cases, and in fact, they often accuse the government or huge corporates of their wrongdoings and leave it open for the public to judge.  The public’s opinion vary very much regarding this group.  While some call the Anonymous cyber terrorists, others call them the “freedom fighters” or digital Robin Hoods.  Nevertheless, the general public seems to stand on a common argument that the group has been significantly influential.

(CKNW)
(CKNW)

Thus, when the Anonymous uploaded a video and a twitter post about its intoleration of further ISIS attacks, its words carry more meaning than mere words can. In fact, its attacks against the ISIS have begun since January and it has been successful in shutting down 149 of its websites, flagging more than 100,000 Twitter accounts, and reporting more than 5000 propaganda videos.

Well, then what can Anonymous do to ISIS?  For one thing, they have already taken down 5500 plus Twitter accounts, but what the group is truly aiming for is to disrupt the organization’s recruiting mechanisms.  It has been known that ISIS mainly communicates through emails, Web chat, Skype calls, and YouTube videos, and even Telegram. The Anons have already shut down many of their recruiters’ accounts and have started publicizing the information about the recruiters and leaders of ISIS.

The Anonymous’ announcement that they “will launch the biggest ever operation” now holds much credibility and support. Whether this will mark the end of ISIS, currently the largest terrorist organization, or not is still doubtful but it is for sure that the world is more and more gearing towards the destruction of ISIS.  And when this does happen, we shall never forget the Anonymous group, which has played a significant role in attacking ISIS.

 

– Eunice Na (’17)

Throwback to the Boardgames

Indulge in reminiscence of your childhood’s classic boardgames.

That time of the year has come, with the leaves changing and falling, temperatures slowly plummeting – but more evidently, more of us are starting to stay at home more often to avoid the chilly weather. In this current day with technology as our very best friend, it would either be our phone or computer placed in our hands when staying home. Yet it is sometimes better to go back to the basics. For those longingly reminiscing the past of hand-held cards and tangible dice, here are some classic board games you undoubtedly miss from your childhood.

(aminoapps.com)
Into the Past (aminoapps.com)

Here we go!

1. Clue

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The suspense. The thrill. Every second of Clue was kept quiet and kept secret. It was your very duty to piece together the who, what, where of a murder mystery. The suspects are Mrs. Peacock and Colonel Mustard, now it is for you to decipher the enigma.

2. Sorry!

Sorry
Classic (boardgamegeek.com)

Presumably, everybody plays Sorry! differently. You have to get all four of your own pawns from the start to home by drawing cards. It is as simple as that, but why was this game always so puzzling? 

3. Candyland

candy-land
Yummy! (bbs.clutchfans.net)

Ah, the memories. Despite the game being no different from other racing board game, Candyland was somehow always our favorite. It was probably the visual satisfaction—the joy of gaping at the word, “candy” because not allowed digesting it.

4. Battleship

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Tense Mind Battle (boardgamegeek.com)

Another classic game, Battleship was a simple guessing game originated from WWII. Although mostly based on luck, this was one of the games that winners felt most pride and losers were most upset.

5. Taboo

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Frustration (galleryhip.com)

In this game, you had to explain a set of words but with a frustrating “taboo”, a restriction of using the most relevant and obvious words. At the same time, most likely unaware of your struggle and tension, the sand in the hour glass rapidly vanished.

6. Mastermind

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Make it or Break it. (theboardgamefamily.com)

Yes, just like the name reads, Mastermind. This was a game where you became Alan Turing. You were to solve a visually simple four peg pattern but with 1296 different possible patterns in just twelve tries.

7. Operation

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Buzz! (cakecentral.com)

You were either appalled by your first encounter of a patient or thrilled, first dreaming to become a doctor. Although rules were as simple as just to remove an ailment from the patient’s body using a tweezer, it was at the same time risky with extremely small openings and a fearful sounding buzzer.

8. Guess Who?

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Deductive Reasoning (hasbro.com)

Playing Guess Who?, you had to find the best question to flip as many characters that do not correspond with the answer. I remember my first question was always, “Is your character a boy or a girl?”

9. Tumblin’ Monkeys

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Caution is key. (target.com.au)

This game required caution, sound judgement, and alert strength in hands. The pressure was on you to pick and carefully pull out a stick dropping the minimum number of monkeys. But it was certainly impossible to drop none because even monkeys also fall from trees.

10. Mouse Trap

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Looked Fun But… (getchriscrossed.blogspot.com)

Although the name seized my attention, Mouse Trap was quite frankly not that exciting to me. It was too much for a five year old to put together simple machines to create a Rube Goldberg mousetrap. Or was it just me and my stupidity?

 

Instead of spending your time—every second to be cherished—with those electromagnetic waves that do you no good, why not dig into the darkest and dustiest part of your closet to find one of these classic board games that had been untouched for years and get that communication going?

– Yoo Bin Shin (’18)

Six Songs to Fall For This Autumn

Here’s an autumnal list of soundtracks perfect for the sweater weather season.

Autumn: more known as the season of toasty marshmallows and bonfires, digging out your mufflers from the back of the closet and indulging into the glorious, glorious carbs just waiting to make you fat. As summer dawns into fall, our tastes for music change as well — the transition is the only explanation for the groovy autumn playlists pulsating in our phones. And while the perspective of good music never changes, there are some songs that just feel more appropriate to the atmospheric vibe as we move from the sandy beaches to the maple orchards. To get you in the leaves-falling, fireworks-popping spirit, here are tracks that celebrate autumn of all its delicious glory.

 

  1. Green Day – “Wake Me Up When September Ends”

This band draws some delightfully bleak parallels between autumn and death in the lyrics. More focusedly, Green Day correlates the season with the death of the legendary singer Billie Joe Armstrong’s father. Therefore, fall, to him, is so unbearably disheartening that he wishes to skip it completely, and asks to literally “wake him up when September ends,” just like the desolate song title.

 

  1. The Weeknd – “King of the Fall”

Just how fall is it? Drinking a spiced, iced pumpkin spice latte out of a venti cup explains everything. The wistful singer associates the appearance of the season every year, yet never promises to be sober in the first place to get into the overall feel of a moody autumn day.

 

  1. Eva Cassidy – “Autumn Leaves”

For those days of the month when self-indulging in a lugubrious anguish seems the only option for a comfortable afternoon, Eva here is gladly willing to enrich you with a strong dose of empathetic sorrow. After all, there’s nothing like a twinge of collective blunder to begin the season, no?

 

  1. John Mayer – “St. Patrick’s Day”

We can listen to some good old John Mayer during any season, but this song in particular is perfect for autumn especially. He confesses with heartfelt vigor about finding his true love in this season that will help him endure the cold and lonely months of winter… or rather, using the weather as an plaintive excuse to stay with his loved one. Despite the lyrics, this is a great song that really captures the mood of the upcoming winter.

 

  1. Yellow Card – “October Nights”

This mellow track describes the pleasant balm of crisp fall afternoons cuddled against girlfriend, adopting a romanticized simplicity and painting a cozy picture of sweet love bloomed in the season of autumn – going on a date to a pumpkin patch says it all.

 

  1. Ed Sheeran – “Autumn Leaves”

Another song titled “Autumn Leaves” – and this time sung by our favorite acoustic-meets-pop singer songwriter Ed Sheeran. Typically, the best fall songs are about daydreaming, sleeping, or wandering around aimlessly. This track is no different – in the classic Ed Sheeran style, this passionate song soulfully captures the feeling of melancholic yearning of your love leaving. Very autumn-esque and moving, a melody that goes wonderfully with a steaming mocha latte and a nice knitted sweater.

 

Little things like a good song and good company are what sums up fall best. What’s your style of nostalgic, reminiscent autumn tracks?

 

– Ashley Kim (’18)