IKON’s Debut Kills the Chart

IKON has finally come alive for real with their new debut song, “My Type.”

Immediately, IKON’s debut warm-up single “My Type” surpassed three million views on Youtube since its release last Tuesday. Considering that this is only a “warm up” single, it is a wonder how much potential they possess as rising K-Pop stars.

A medium tempo hip-hop track overlaid with gentle, smooth vocals, “My Type” evokes just the cute, lovable image of a group of boys blinded by first love. And on top of the upbeat hip-hop vibe with its simple but sweet lyrics, the scenes in the music video from eating hamburgers to dancing subtle comical dances, iKON displays their light and silly sides, effortlessly winning over the hearts of their hungry fans.

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IKON wins over their fans in the music video (Chosun news)

As YG’s new seven-member boy band after BigBang and Winner, IKON has already been well known to the public even before their debut. Through competitive survival programs like Win and Mix & Match, each member got to show off their own remarkable musical talent such as composing, singing, rapping, and powerful dancing. Moreover, rapper Bobby’s first place victory in Mnet’s hip-hop program last year had also stirred much interest and attention from the public.

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Survival programs “Win” in 2013 and “Mix & Match” in 2014 (Soompi)

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Bobby in Show Me the Money (Soompi)

Now after one year of restless waiting since Mix & Match, IKON’s formal debut has generated much sensation to be broadcasted even in the KBS news. IKON’s already enormous fandom is stretching across Asia. “My Type” swept all seven of the local music charts—Melon, Olleh, Bugs, Genie, NAVER Music, Monkey 3, and Soribada, as well as the overseas iTunes chart in Hong Kong, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

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iKON featured in the KBS News
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IKON sweeps the Melon Chart

The founder of YG entertainment, Yang Hyun suk, also expressed in the Ilgan Sports:  “I was very happy when iKON raised up to number one on the charts. I’m so thankful to all the fans who’ve been showing their support,” also referring  ‘My Type’ as “an appetiser with a sweet and sour taste that stimulates the hunger.”

IKON’s fist debut concert “Showtime” on October 3rd will be held at the Seoul Olympic Gymnastic Hall. The tickets were completely sold out in minutes on the day of the opening sale. IKON will release “Debut Half Album Welcome Back” on October 1st, followed by “Debut Full Album Welcome Back” on November 2nd. With melodies written by B.I, Choice37 and Kush, lyrics written by B.I, Bobby, and Kush, all the songs in the album are self-composed. In addition, at least four more music videos and eighteen new songs are to be expected in the next three months.

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IKON (ygfamily.com)

With an astonishing outcome compared to most rookie idol groups, IKON, like its name, seems to shine with ambition to be the next icon of K-pop.

 

– Sammie Kim (’18)

Schools Wasting Money on Technology in Classrooms Says OECD

A recent report by the OECD states technology’s inability to improve classrooms and can actually hinder student’s learning

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Look familiar? (Albany Law School)

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an international organisation, recently released a report on the effects of technology in classrooms. This report stated the inability of technology in classrooms to help students and overuse of technology in class actually hindered student’s learning.

“Despite considerable investments in computers, Internet connections and software for educational use, there is little solid evidence that greater computer use among students leads to better scores in mathematics and reading,” the report said.

In 2014, roughly $1.9 billion was spent on technology in education worldwide and it is expected to exceed $2 billion at the end of this year. This shows significant change from just five years ago, where only about $385 million was spent according to CB Insights, a venture capital firm.

This extreme amount of money spent on laptops, iPads, SmartBoards and much more, naturally leads many to be curious on how effective technology in classrooms really is. OECD tried to answer that question with a two year long study.

It was stated in the OECD’s report “Students, Computers and Learning” that those with excessive computer use during the day had the lowest results regardless of their socio-economic class. Furthermore, since the beginning of the technology buzz, it has been reported that the skill level of rising ninth graders in fundamental subjects such as reading, writing and mathematics has dropped drastically.

“One of the most disappointing findings of the report is that the socio-economic divide between students is not narrowed by technology, perhaps even amplified,” says Andreas Schleicher, OECD’s head of education. Many attribute this to the amount of technology available at home. Those with more exposure to technology were able to perform better in the technology centric classrooms.

It was also repeatedly pointed out that countries with the lowest amount of technology use in classrooms, South Korea, Shanghai and Hong Kong, are also today’s leaders of education. It was reported that in South Korea, on average, less than ten minutes were spent on computers or other such Internet connected devices, while Shanghai was just under 10 minutes and Hong Kong close to 12 minutes.

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(Education News)

So the question is: Is KIS’s computer policy advantageous for students? Many will quickly answer “Yes!” With responses which highlight the limitless knowledge the internet provides, as well as its versatility (textbook, calculator, notebook, etc.), students will go on and on in the ‘advantages’ of personal laptops. However, many students admit it can often be distracting with unchecked access to videos, social media and games.

“It is true that classrooms with high technology have more distractions. The question is does one value higher information flow over being off task for a higher amount of time. I believe the trade off is worth it,” says, Mr. Hopkins, a science teacher.

Julie Suh, a KIS sophomore, has a different stance. She says she “find[s] it easier to study and retain information when [she] writes with a pen and pencil” rather than on a computer.

Technology in classrooms, however, is not all bad. As the world becomes increasingly technological, it is a vital skill to be able to proficiently use certain technology. Exposure to it at an early age will prove to be advantageous in the workforce. Furthermore, it creates a more engaging environments for students. The incorporation of educational games and videos can make dull lessons more exciting.

OECD states that technology in the classrooms is not the problem, but the use of it should be more regulated. It also reports that blindly spending money on technology in education is useless. Regardless, technology is starting to become an important aspect of education.

 

– Juyon Lee (’18)

Introducing A Block

Everything you need to know about the new A block, new to the 2015-16 school year.

It’s the beginning of the school year and you’re already worried about the amount of workload you have. With multiple APs, music, and language courses – and not to mention the additional burden of college applications and standardized tests – it’s difficult to keep track of your tight schedule. But still, you find everything easier to cope with than expected. Why? It’s all thanks to the extra breathing room the autonomous block presents.

Emily Kim: Autonomous Block
Matthew Kim and Kyle Shin (’16) enjoying A block

The newly implemented autonomous block, also known as the “A Block,” is a free period that provides both space and time for students to cater to their needs. Seniors have their autonomous block during A and E block, juniors during D and H block, sophomores during C and G block, and freshmen during B and F block.

The length the block is equivalent to that of a regular class: 1 hour and 20 minutes. So every other day, with the exception of Fridays, students essentially have only three classes. This special chunk of time can be spent in whatever way fits the student. They can study for a test or quiz, complete unfinished or get a head start on homework, work on group projects,  hold conferences with available teachers, or even (secretly) catch up on sleep.

Emily Kim: Autonomous Block
WOW!

Various locations are available for the block. The conference hall is a favorite for many with its comfortable sofas, and the newly constructed learning lounge is another relaxing environment where students can stretch out on bean bags. A quiet alternative is the library, where those who want undisturbed, quiet time can go to focus.

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JS Huh (’16) studying hard during A block

The autonomous block is very much in its beginning stages. So far, responses are enthusiastic. With the block’s flexibility, students can explore and search for areas of person enrichment and development. Considering the often busy, hectic schedule we all have, perhaps it’s not a bad idea to have some time of self-reflection and exploration.

 

– Emily Kim (’16)

The Biggest Cross-Country Team in KIStory

“Run like you stole something!” –Mr. Y

Cross-country is known for its 10 kilometer sessions every practice and countless cases of shin splints throughout the season. During every practice, Captain Jerry Kim (12) witnesses his runners complaining: “I’m so quitting this tomorrow,” until the very last day of season (what an irony!). Despite the daily adversities, KIS currently has the biggest team in KIStory.

 

So let’s see why some students are crazy enough to join this team:

  1. Free Karaoke Experience

Running (for some, sprinting) 10~13K everyday means not only increasing your cardiovascular abilities, but also expanding your lung capacities. You can even hear it! Everyday after practice, all runners gather at the fitness center and sing out their sore muscles while taking an icy shower. It’s hard to imagine how you won’t grow close after an intimate session of karaoke. Quite an interesting experience to jump into don’t you think?

“Imagine ten high schoolers singing “I Miss You” by Bum Soo Kim. That’s us in the fitness center shower room everyday.” – Jerry Kim (12)

  1. Join the Biggest Fam-Bam

While SFS has 40, YISS has 40 and SIS has 30, KIS has an astounding number of 65 runners this year! More people means more support, right? All cross-country runners share post-practice stretches, “cool-down” jogs, and the overall experience all together. Though many athletes have been injured lately, the whole team still endures one another’s pains together in the fitness center. Also, there’s a rumor that H505 has ice treatments to enjoy during your newly embedded autonomous blocks.

“By running in cross-country, we don’t get to know our limits. We get to know that there is no limit.” – Terry Lee (12)

  1. Going Bananas for Bananas

“If you’re not a fan of water and bananas, join cross-country. The two will be your lifesavers.” – Joy Youn (11)

Every cross-country member knows that they run for bananas. KIS is the only KAIAC team that provides potassium-packed bananas to every single player, after every single practice. The feeling of achievement these bananas bring exceeds the daily pain, encouraging the runners to push their limits a little further.

  1. Crazy Coaches

“Run like you stole something!” – Mr. Yanuszeski

KIS cross-country team is known for its crazy coaches – Mr. Yanuszeski, Mr. Bunting, Mr. Reschke and Ms. Yousey. Most of them ran in high school and in college, and they sprint through the entire training session. On top of their above-and-beyond physical abilities, they are “laid back” and great partners to talk to before and after practice. Talk about having excellent examples!

“Mr. Bunting wears shoes that look like socks and has a water bottle that looks like a bag…” – Yoo Bin Shin (10)

  1. Potential Guam Trip

If you are the lucky top 7 of either gender of cross-country, you get to compete in the Guam race! Running alongside international runners, making new friends, enjoying delicious meals, all while enjoying the beautiful scenery of Guam – who wouldn’t miss that?

 

– Lina Oh (’16)

African Art Hotter than Gold

The value of contemporary African art is skyrocketing prices and demand from investors worldwide. Art pieces bought back in 2008 have increased up to 10-fold in value today.

“You could buy a piece of good art for 20,000 Naira [about $100 at current conversion rates]. Today it would sell for millions,” Prince Yemisi Shyllon, reported to be Nigeria’s largest private art collector commented.

A leading factor of the increasing demand and value of African art is the exponential growth of African economies and the rising wealth of the middle class. More and more Africans are investing and spending their time and money in appreciating art and their culture. As we’ve all learnt in AP Economics, as the demand increases and the demand curve shifts to the right, the price undoubtedly increases.

These investments made in Africa have also caught the attention of the global market. Contemporary African artists have started fueling international exhibitions as their works continue to rise in fame. And this domino effect of holding auctions has raised much awareness especially in Europe and the US.

According to director of contemporary African Art auctions at Bonhams, Giles Peppiat, there are two principal reasons for this sudden awareness of African art: “Until about 15 years ago there was no email, there was virtually no internet and you can’t do these sales without modern communication. I also think it has to do with the general globalization of the art world. People are now much more used to seeing other cultures’ art at auction.”

These are some of the pieces that have been sold at unbelievable prices:

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‘Senufo Female’ Statue
An extremely rare ‘Senufo Female’ Statue curved by Ivory Coast-based artist, Master of Sinasso, sold for a record $12 million in November 2014. It was part of a $41.6 million worth of collection sold by an ambitious African art collector, Myron Kunin, at the Sotheby’s in New York.

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‘Muminia Lega’
The Muninia mask, a previously unseen masterpiece, was auctioned off at Sotheby’s France for about $4.4 million, one of the highest price in history for an African mask.

Through these auctions, Africa has its golden opportunity to showcase African art to the world, as the fundamental role of art should not be overshadowed despite the investment appeal.

Africa’s booming contemporary art market is without doubt on its way to creating a legacy, and spectators are looking forward to what more can be presented to the world.

– Hyun Jung Choi (’16)