What’s Up, Freshmen Issue No. 5

One of the biggest Freshman projects of the years, the class of ’19 finally presented their dual English-Asian History Project after weeks and months of preparation and research. See what it’s all about!

The biggest project of the second semester for the freshies may be the English/East Asian Studies joint project, in which students are supposed to utilize their humanities skills and create two main products: first, an excerpt from a “published” historical fiction novel based on a picture from World War II, and second, a presentation “pitching” the book to hypothetical “publishers”. Not only is this project important because of the opportunities it offers for students to bring out the full potential of their research and writing skills, but also because it counts as a big grade for TWO core classes. On Wednesday, March 2nd, the freshman class held a convention in which students will present their posters and pitch their ideas about their books to teachers and other students.

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There are definitely many benefits to this project: it has been a long-term project with extended deadlines, and we have had plentiful opportunities to conference with our English and our East Asian teachers about the project. Because this is the first time that freshmen are given so much freedom and independence with a big summative project like this one, many students feel that their writing and research skills have been tremendously enhanced with this project.


Students, however, also find that there are obstacles they face whilst doing the project. Given the large amount of time that they are given, some find it difficult to manage their time efficiently and work in accordance with the schedule teachers recommend. Many fall behind the project because there are no major checkpoints, despite optional conferences and occasional checkpoints by teachers. Another common worry that freshmen have is the extent to which the assignment covers. Although the excerpt is graded by the English teacher and the presentation by the East Asian teacher, the rubric for both are highly correlated. As a majority of the students feel a high pressure to get good grades, this project is causing them stress. A recent controversy that has triggered students is the time that the convention is held. Christina Kim, a fellow freshman, expressed, “I hate how the teachers are taking away our autonomous time.”  With the packed schedule for freshies, teachers find it difficult to find an appropriate time for the convention to be held; however, with the autonomous time, teachers believe that holding it during that time is most efficient for it does not intervene with other schedules.


A recent controversy that has triggered students is on the time that the convention is held. Christina Kim, a fellow freshman, expressed, “I hate how the teachers are taking away our autonomous time.”  With the packed schedule for freshies, teachers find it difficult to find an appropriate time for the convention to be held; however, with the autonomous time, teachers believe that holding it during that time is most efficient for it does not intervene with other schedules.


There are both positive and negative sides of the assignment as students have claimed. It is, however, strongly recommended that the freshies take this project as an invaluable opportunity to develop core skills and to become more independent and responsible with their learning, rather than an assignment wherein they must receive a high grade; this assignment, perhaps, would allow the freshmen—who put extreme weight on grades—to realise the importance of becoming an independent and empowering learner.

Check out this Prezi created by Ms. Jane Clarke to learn more about the project!


– Ariel Hyunseo Kim (’19) and Sarah Oh (’19)

What’s Up, Freshmen? Issue No. 4

Meet all the hidden talents of the Class of 2019 at KIS.

The talents that the KIS 9th graders possess is hindered by an incessant strive on academics: students who hold on remarkable talents are rarely recognized by others because of the focus on grades and academic accomplishments rather than other activities. In order to manifest and uncover the talents that are hidden underneath the blanket, we will be introducing to you to several freshies that are uniquely talented.

Emma Kang: Art

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For all of her life, Emma has been in love with drawing, sketching—art. She is an expert at designing common, everyday objects into comical and adorable characters. Her expertise does not end in sketching and drawing, however: she is also known for her artistic handwriting, as shown in her “Hello Blueprint” writing in the photo above. Just with one simple pen and a piece of paper, she is able to create an entire infographic that is easy to view yet filled with creativity here and there.


Alice Jo: Sports

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A vehement and energetic sports player, Alice has been involved in sports ever since she was able to walk; she took part in cross country, basketball, and table tennis. Alice, in hope of connecting with her athletic father, asserted that sports is an essential part of her daily life and that her joining and completing cross country were her major achievements. She also believes that sport is a “human way to express oneself” and hopes that she would continue on her expression as long as she can remember all the great times with her teammates.


Juebin Roh: Piano

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(2014 KIS MS Charity Concert Part II 7:35 ~ 11:46)

As the KIS Phoenix Jazz piano player with a total of 7 years of experience on the piano, Juebin is a professional at accompanying ensembles, whether it is a gargantuan band, a small duet. Just by watching her in this video from the 2014 MS Charity Concert, you can see her excellent sense of rhythm and musicality while she is playing. Not only is she talented at playing the piano, but she is also known for her wonderful clarinet skills. Juebin plans on continuing her high school music career with both instruments; piano in jazz band and clarinet in concert band.


Sam Seo: Cooking


Dedicating his pastime to cooking for the past 7 years, Sam Seo relishes cooking because it entertains those who consume his food. Although he has not been awarded with any prominent awards, his ardent and zeal for cooking still remains powerful and influential: Sam’s passion proves to us that one’s having a talent does not mean he or she has received innumerable  accolades, but rather means that one has a strong, true devotion and dedication to the subject that he or she is interested in—this is true talent. Sam plans to expand his cooking talent by continuing on his prepping for dinner and believes that it is another term for ‘magic’.


Skylar Kim: Ukulele

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(Can’t Help Falling in Love Cover by Skylar Kim)

Skylar is one excellent ukulele player. Having learned to play the ukulele by herself, she has uploaded several videos on Facebook as well as on Youtube to show her wonderful talent. Along with her beautiful voice, Skylar’s playing of the ukulele is mellifluous and harmonious; her ukulele accompaniment is well-fitting with her sweet voice.



These students are only a select few examples of the tremendous talent that the freshman class possesses. We cannot wait to reveal even more students with unimaginable talents. Please congratulate them and recognize them for their talents.


– Ariel Hyunseo Kim (’19) & Sarah Oh (’19)

The Ludicrous New Slogan: “I.Seoul.U”

I Seoul U?


The slogan created by a Korean student, Lee Ha-rin, or “I.Seoul.U,” has been elected recently in an online poll as Seoul’s new slogan, beating “Seoulmate” and “SEOULing” to replace the former slogan, or “Hi Seoul.” Nine experts, including marketing company CEOs and several professors, who participated in the poll unanimously chose “I.Seoul.U.” 16,000 total citizens participated in the poll to choose the new slogan.

(BBC News)

The popular opinion about this slogan is that it makes no sense and is uninspiring. A slogan is supposed to be a catchy phrase that inspires or convinces one to commit to a certain action. In this case of the slogan of a city, the slogan should make sure that it conveys the implicit meanings behind the city, but also that it appeals to the public and lures tourists into the city. However, because I.Seoul.U is a phrase that does not make much sense in English nor does it seem to convey any hidden meaning that would help to advertise the city, many citizens in Korea disapprove of the slogan. For example, a citizen named Park Chang-won, stated that because of its abstractness, he was not able to “feel any Seoul with the slogan” (“Why ‘I.Seoul.U’ over ‘Hi Seoul’?” 2). Another citizen, Park Jun-kyu, mentioned that he had “no idea what I.Seoul.U” (“Why ‘I.Seoul.U’ over ‘Hi Seoul’?” 2) actually meant.

(Korea Herald)

In contrast to the popular opinion, however, some citizens do possess positive opinions about the slogan. Several South Korean citizens say that this slogan is very meaningful democratically. Because this slogan was selected entirely by citizens, from creating the slogans to selecting the slogan, the slogan signals progress in the democracy of Korea. Moreover, the new slogan can have a variety of meanings; different people can comprehend the slogan in different ways. There are many possibilities of what “I” and “U” could mean and how they can be relevant to one another. Kim Min-ki, a professor at Soongsil University, claims that this abstract aspect of the slogan helps to depict the amount of “dynamics and potential that Seoul has” (“Why ‘I.Seoul.U’ over ‘Hi Seoul’?” 1) as the capital city of Korea.

Does “I.Seoul.U” really deserve to be the new slogan of our capital city?

In my opinion, it is not the best slogan for Seoul. The slogan of Seoul should be coherent enough that anyone can clearly understand what it is trying to convey. However, when the slogan is so vexing and illogical for normal citizens to understand, even English speakers, the slogan cannot be deemed effectual. Tourists will certainly not be able to comprehend the meaning behind this slogan if already many citizens in Seoul have been chastising the government for letting an unclear term or phrase become the slogan of such an important city.


– Ariel Hyunseo Kim (’19)


MIT’s Shapeshifting Table

Introducing a furniture with superpowers.

What do you think of when you think of a table?


Most likely, an image of a rigid and static four-legged structure that stands proudly in the middle of your living room will pop up in your mind.

The MIT Media Lab, however, has created something that will completely revolutionize the orthodox ideas you have in mind.


Transform, created by Professor Hiroshi Ishii and the Tangible Media Group, is a table that senses the kinetic energy of a person who is viewing the table and uses that energy to make rippling movements through the pins on the table. It is designed to tell the story of the conflict between nature and machine through the constantly changing pins in the table, as the movement of the pins are representative of the different motions of wind, water, and sand interactions.


This table aims to combine the static and dynamic aspects of nature into one piece of furniture.The shapeshifting feature of the table supports a variety of uses, such as holding objects, moving objects, generating interactive sculptures, and creating dividers. For example, if you place an apple on this table, the pins would adjust to make a bowl for the apple so that it is dissociated from the other objects on the table.

(Business Insider)
(Business Insider)

With this step in innovation and advancement in technology, it is exciting to think about the possibilities that technology has as it advances. Perhaps superpowers we all dream of such as flying, invisibility, and mind reading will one day be incorporated into technology.


Take a look at these links to further check out how Transform works.





– Ariel Hyunseo Kim (’19)

What’s Up, Freshmen? Issue No. 3

November—we call it the “stress month”—is one month before the first-ever high school transcript is recorded for the freshies. It is the first permanent record that will go on one’s college application and is one of the factors in determining the university that he or she will be attending. Through a survey of fourteen freshmen, it has proven that approximately 64% of the students felt a relatively high amount of pressure. Students seem to be having a hard time with managing their grades,homework load, and busy schedules after school, having extracurricular activities that take up a lot of time. It is distressing to see how much stress and pressure the freshmen class undergo at such a young age, when students should be savoring their lives.


The pressure to maintain good grades, which amounts particularly from parents and fellow peers, builds up to become a leading cause of stress in this month. When such a drastic change in the grading system occurs in the transition from middle school to high school, it becomes a nearly impossible task for students to adjust and adapt to the new system. Susan Cho stated that “trying to maintain good grades puts a lot of pressure on [her], therefore stressing [her] out constantly.” She is not the only one who feels this way; a handful of other students have critiqued upon the amount of pressure they receive from such a harsh grading system. Duke Moon commented upon the fact that he had never “received an A- for PE before,” and how “keeping [a] high GPA” became so much more difficult.


Although the purpose of homework and assignments is to probe and expand students’ learning, freshmen find a direct correlation between their stress levels and the amount of workload assigned. With the amplifying content materials in multiple courses, more than half of the students that were surveyed claimed that they found “too much homework from all subjects”—particularly Math, English, and World Language. These students, similarly, surpassed the projected time frames, casting further doubts on whether homework is truly an effective tool or rather a distressing method to augment the stress degree of students.

(Premed HQ)

If only one out of fourteen students claimed that Biology class assigned the most homework, why is an overwhelming 43.6% of the students most stressed out by Biology? The reason seems to directly correlate with the first cause: the pressure to maintain good grades. The results of the first Biology test distressed everyone in the grade; the majority of the students received a B or lower. Due to this one test, many students’ grades dropped radically. A plethora of students allege that multiple tests from most departments were graded harshly, particularly Biology, English, World Language (Chinese), and PE. More than ever, students have been filing complaints about the harsh grading of select teachers not only to the teachers themselves, but also to the school office.

(Rough City Athletics)

As soon as students wake up, they are forced to go straight to school, where they take three classes minimum and come back exhausted. Then, they may go to several cram schools that take up another three to four hours of their day. When they come back home, it is around 7PM at night; the time they finally start doing their school homework, which takes approximately two hours, and perhaps up to four if there is a project to complete or test to study for. On top of their normal school homework, however, there is an extraneous work load, with tasks from clubs or other extracurricular activities—two additional hours. Let us sum this up—eight hours at school; approximately an hour wasted on going from home to school, school to hagwon, and hagwon to back home; four hours at hagwons; two hours for school homework, and an additional two hours to study for tests. Can they manage these tasks without any break? Most of the time—no. With all this workload–and most of the time, even more than what has been mentioned–students are not able to get just an hour of rest.

In order to abate this stress and pressure, various solutions were suggested by both the KIS faculty and the students themselves. Many students admitted to not having been spending time wisely, and thus wanted to focus on managing their time more carefully. Other students claimed that their hobbies, including playing sports, eating, and doing other activities that are distinct from school work or any academic work in general would decrease their stress levels. Namun Ganbold, another freshman student, proposed a unique solution: “Have less students in each class so teachers can easily do one on one with the students; it is easier to learn that way.”


– Ariel Hyunseo Kim (’19) and Sarah Oh (’19)

The Logical and Eloquent: The KIS Speech and Debate Team

KIS’s very own forensics team was arguably the best in their first fall tournament of the year.

The October KAIAC Speech and Debate Competition, the first speech and debate tournament of the year, was a huge triumph for KIS. Championing the first place rank not only as a school for both speech and debate, our KIS speakers and debaters definitely deserve a big round of applause for having put in a tremendous amount of effort into this competition. Every member of the team worked exceptionally diligently after hours of practice over the past month, working to polish their debate skills and perfecting their speeches.

The Amazing KIS Speech and Debate Team The Amazing KIS Speech and Debate Team

This competition was the first KAIAC competition for many students, especially the freshmen on the team. KIS Blueprint interviewed several students about their experiences in their first tournament.

“I guess for me it was a bit uncomfortable because I didn’t debate with my usual partner (Ariel) and there weren’t really many times to actually talk to my other partner so it was a bit of a struggle. However, I think we did well with the little practice we had together, and the competition wasn’t really intimidating or anything, but it might just be me. A lot of people were polite and friendly! :)”

– Jessica Kwon (‘19), Debate Team, Public Forum

“Because it was my first tournament, I’m not disappointed at all even without placing, because I was able to learn so much from the experience and witness so much talent out there!”

– Hope Yoon (‘19), Speech Team, Poetry

“It was great for me.”

– Marc Yoon (‘19), Debate Team, Public Forum

“It was a really great learning experience for me as I was able to witness and learn a lot of things, not only speech related! I was able to build more relationships with members of the KIS speech team, but also members of speech teams from other schools! Although at times we were frustrated and angry, overall, the experience is something I’ll never forget :)”

– Jenny Chung (‘19), Speech Team, Extemporaneous Speaking

“It was fun! I hated the food, though.”

– Leanne Kim (‘19), Speech & Debate Team, Original Oratory & Public Forum

The Amazing KIS Speech and Debate TeamThe Amazing KIS Speech and Debate Team

Although there were some conflicts that occurred due to unexpected results, the tournament hosted at KIS ran pretty smoothly, due to the help of many behind-the-scenes workers. Timers and tabroom workers, who were voluntary KIS students, helped the judges out with timing the speeches and debates, and also with tabulating all of the results as quickly and as accurately as possible. Team captains ran around the school, organizing and making sure that all of the judges, coaches, debaters, speakers, and timers were in the right place. Mr. Burwell and Ms. Cuellar continuously circled back and forth around all the rooms, checking on the students as well as how the competition was running.

Our debate team achieved exceptionally high results: in Public Forum, Leanne Kim and Marc Yoon placed first, while Amy Kang and Jessica Kwon placed third. Eddie Kim won second place for Lincoln Douglas debate, and for Parliamentary debate, Jerry Kim and Claire Pak placed fourth. Furthermore, many members of the speech team received accolades for their superb performance: for Original Oratory, Amy Kang won first place while Chloe Shin was a finalist. Skylar Kim placed first, Amy Choi second, and Noah Kim a finalist for Solo Interpretation. For Poetry, Matthew Kim won second place, while Hope Yoon was a finalist. In Extemporaneous Speaking, Jenny Chung won second place, and Subin Hur was a finalist. Sara Kim placed first in Prose, while Michelle Park and Sally Lee were finalists. Katie Koo was third for Impromptu, while Sally Hong was a finalist. Finally, Leona Maruyama and Erica Lee placed third for Duo Interpretation, while Tiffany Namkoong and Suahn Hur were finalists.

The Amazing KIS Speech and Debate Team The Amazing KIS Speech and Debate Team The Amazing KIS Speech and Debate Team The Amazing KIS Speech and Debate Team

As a member of the debate team myself, I personally know how hard each of the team members worked to accomplish such great achievements, and how hard everyone who participated must have worked to do so. I hope that in the future competitions, KIS will defend its title.


– Ariel Hyunseo Kim (’19)

What’s Up, Freshmen? – Issue 2

On October 14, KIS 9th grade was filled with laughter, jubilance, and anxiousness. While the upperclassmen were taking the PSAT, the freshmen class had the opportunity to embark on what the teachers call ‘the best trip ever in high school’—Everland. This Experiential Education trip was organised by three 9th grade teachers: Ms. Clarke, Mr. Ryther, and Ms. Cuellar. These three teachers, along with several others, dedicated their time to organize not only a time for advisories to bond, but also a day in which students could utilize the core teachings of KIS to everyday challenges.

What's up, Freshmen? Issue 2—Everland What's up, Freshmen? Issue 2—Everland

This trip was not simply an excitement for the teachers—it was also a source of elation for the students. Through interviewing several freshies, we learned of their anticipation for the trip as well. Susan Cho (‘19) told us that she “expects the EE Trip to have numerous bonding activities, and that she was pretty excited for the trip.” Likewise, Youngsang Ryu (‘19) expressed his ecstasy for the trip, telling us that he was “really enthusiastic about the upcoming scavenger hunt in Everland and that he couldn’t wait until the next morning to go on the trip.” Ryan Koo (‘19) seemed especially enthusiastic about the trip: “I think the trip will be really fun! I’m really excited to attend this trip and take a break from school. I hope that everyone will have tons of fun tomorrow.”

What's up, Freshmen? Issue 2—Everland What's up, Freshmen? Issue 2—Everland

The trip started with advisories designing flags. Over the two weeks before the trip, 9th grade advisories worked on designing a creative flag that could represent their advisory, which would be ranked in order of best quality. The advisories that created the best flags would have an advantage of starting the race earlier than other advisories. Taking a look at the various flags was exciting, especially because the creativity and effort involved in all of them could be easily observed. AhJin Cho (‘19) told us about the process behind creating her advisory’s flag: “We made a phoenix out of our flag by pasting the pieces together. With the leftover pieces we made feathers, wrote our names on it, and glued to the phoenix.”

What's up, Freshmen? Issue 2—Everland

In the beginning of the scavenger hunt, each advisory was given a packet with multiple challenges such as taking photos at specific locations, giving a hug to a random person, riding the T-Express, solving mathematical puzzles, eating a butter-dried octopus in less than five minutes, and many more. These obstacles tested advisories on their teamwork abilities and also their performance of multiple areas of subjects, including math, english and science; however, some were more difficult for others—like riding the T-Express or entering the Horror Maze. Although many were hesitant of riding it, members of all the advisories cooperated, encouraged, and advocated each other to be risk-takers. Several students challenged themselves to face their fears of riding the gigantic roller coaster or of voluntarily stepping into a horridly, dark maze filled with ghosts and jump scares. Susan Cho informed us that she had to “overcome [her] fears” by going into the Horror Maze.

What's up, Freshmen? Issue 2—Everland

The Everland trip has proven not only to be the exciting trip that it was expected to be, but also to be one that truly taught students didactic lessons about teamwork. Jenny Woo (‘19) claimed of learning that “communicating and cooperating with your teammates are very important.” AhJin learned “to understand and follow other peoples’ choices that [she] didn’t agree with at first.” With such valuable lessons learned, the freshmen definitely will be able to cooperate and collaborate better together in the future; and, incorporate such lessons to school group projects and presentations to produce the best results.

What's up, Freshmen? Issue 2—Everland

– Ariel Hyunseo Kim (’19) and Sarah Oh (’19)

What’s Up, Freshmen? – Issue 1

Introducing “What’s Up, Freshmen?” a new series that takes a look into the lives of this year’s newest addition to the high school population, the freshmen.

What’s life like at KIS High School? We’ve heard too many times from experienced sophomores, juniors, and seniors: high school – most of the time – sucks. Not only is there a tremendous workload, but there’s a dizzying amount of work to be accomplished, from college applications to standardized tests like SATs, TOEFL, etc. However, we must see if this gargantuan workload has yet to reign upon our new high schoolers—the freshies!

In order to gain a better understanding of how the new freshmen are doing early in the year, the KIS Blueprint Team will interview five different freshmen every couple months to gain insight on the topsy-turvy life of their first year of high school. By the end of year, we’ll revisit these same freshmen to see just how much they’ve changed, and just how much high school has affected them.  

This week’s six freshies for What’s Up, Freshmen?: Amy and Beth Purdon, Skylar Kim, Muchang Bahng, Chris Park, and Duke Moon.

Keep reading to learn whether or not the high school’s reign of doom has come upon them—yet.

Skylar Kim:

Skylar Kim

Skylar is a loyal KIS student, having been attending the school for around 9 years, starting from kindergarten. She is not only well-known for her frank, humorous, and down-to-earth personality, but also her incredible ice hockey skills.

Let’s take a look at her interview!

How long have you been at KIS?

9 years, from kindergarten, woah, kind of an outlier

What differences do you think are most conspicuous from KIS middle school to now?

I feel like we get a lot more freedom, especially with like free block, obviously, and I feel like we have to take on a lot more responsibility.

What activities/clubs have you joined so far? Are you enjoying them?

I joined GIN, ISTA, which is like International School Theater Association, Speech Team. So, I’m really enjoying my clubs, ISTA gets to go on a trip during the spring break? I’m not sure. I’m really looking forward to being part of the speech team because I feel like it’s really out of my comfort zone. I’m also part of the play now; it’s really fun working with other amazing people. It’s really fun. Ms. Cuellar’s awesome, and it’s fun working with great, amazing people. Come watch the show!

What has been the most challenging/rigorous task for you?


What is your next goal regarding school?

GPA of 4.0, man. I’m trying to do different things, and get out of my comfort zone, and be friends with everyone.

What is your favorite thing that has happened so far in high school?

Sleep deprivation

Rate your current high school experience up until now from 1-10 (one being the worst, 10 being the best).

1! No, I’m kidding.

So far, 8.5? 9? 9, stairs! No, I feel like it’s a pretty good score. Since it’s only been a month I know it’s gonna be ten times more amazing than it is now. I like hanging out with my friends in the Family Room with Ms. Cuellar, and we definitely need more furniture.

Duke Moon:

Duke Moon
(Duke Moon)

Also another loyal student, Duke has been at KIS for around 7 years now. He is well-known for taking on several leadership roles throughout his school career, being both the elementary and middle school president. Duke is one to especially know how middle school has turned out to be in comparison to high school.

Let’s check out his extremely simple interview!

How long have you been at KIS?

7 years.

What differences do you think are most conspicuous from KIS middle school to now?

8 block schedule.

What activities/clubs have you joined so far? Are you enjoying them?

JV volleyball is fun, student council is fun.

What has been the most challenging/rigorous task for you?


What is your next goal regarding school?

soccer varsity.

What is your favorite thing that has happened so far in high school?

JV Volleyball.

Rate your current high school experience up until now from 1-10 (one being the worst, 10 being the best).

9 cuz I sprained my arm.

Muchang Bahng:

Muchang Bahng
(Muchang Bahng)

Muchang may seem like the most ordinary student who goes to KIS if you don’t know him; however, once you get to know him, he turns out to be someone with a heart of gold. Read his interview to get to know him better!

How long have you been at KIS?

1 year

What differences do you think are most conspicuous from your old school / KIS middle school to now?

A lot more freedom

What activities/clubs have you joined so far? Are you enjoying them?

SAT Prep, which I just think is just a free block where I can study for stuff; Lacrosse where I can be part of a sports-like club where I can just condition myself; and Magic Tricks just for the fun of it, maybe if you’re bored or if you want to impress your friends

What has been the most challenging/rigorous task for you?

Keeping up with the homework

What is your next goal regarding school?

Try to make some clubs, maybe, prepare myself for college

What is your favorite thing that has happened so far in high school?

Being a part of the JV Volleyball team

Rate your current high school experience up until now from 1-10 (one being the worst, 10 being the best).

7 because there’s a lot of improvements from middle school, but also there’s like a lot more challenges and a lot more stress coming up on me

Chris Park:

Chris Park
(Chris Park)

Who is Chris Park? It seems there is still so much more to know about him. All we know about him is that he is a talented cello player, and also an extremely intelligent student. Read the interview to learn more!

How long have you been at KIS?

This is my first year

What differences do you think are most conspicuous from your old school / KIS middle school to now?

It is almost the same—but there are more Asians

What activities/clubs have you joined so far? Are you enjoying them?

MUN, Math Competition, Debate, Trio(orchestra group); enjoying most of them, especially Trio.

What has been the most challenging/rigorous task for you?


What is your next goal regarding school?

Not so sure at the moment but I want to do well at MUN conferences.

What is your favorite thing that has happened so far in high school?

Orchestra and Trio. (I’m from Chicago and I met 2 other cellists from Chicago who had the same cello teachers as I did. We formed a trio and it’s been fun already, or I hope it’ll be more fun.)

Rate your current high school experience up until now from 1-10 (one being the worst, 10 being the best).

8! But often times, I want to see my friends from Glenview, IL.

Amy and Beth Purdon:

Beth Purdon
(Beth Purdon)
Amy Purdon
(Amy Purdon)

You have probably seen these glamorous, stunning Californian twins walking around the hallways or cafeteria and wonder—who are those twins? How do we distinguish the two?! Well, these two identical sisters tell us how their first year at KIS is going.

How long have you been at KIS?

Beginning of this year

What differences do you think are most conspicuous from your old school / KIS middle school to now?


What activities/clubs have you joined so far? Are you enjoying them?

We have Cross Country and three clubs each–it’s great!

What has been the most challenging/rigorous task for you?

Running in cross-country

What is your next goal regarding school?

Getting third place in cross country, getting all A’s in class, and learning math

What is your favorite thing that has happened so far in high school?

Autonomous block since we don’t have to go to class

Rate your current high school experience up until now from 1-10 (one being the worst, 10 being the best).

8.8: because 8 is our favorite number!

Although these freshies—along with others—have only experienced just over two months of high school, the interviewee’s responses let us to know how much has happened for freshmen. However, the strenuous and enlightening times are yet to come! Best of luck to all freshmen!

Keep up with Blueprint for the next ‘What’s Up, Freshmen?’ the next coming months!

– Ariel Hyunseo Kim & Sarah Oh (‘19)

5 Apps to an A

Don’t fall back into old habits with these five useful apps.

The best formula to success is produced when two things of different aspects integrate to create an efficient or effective method of doing something. As I have recently found, this goes the same for us, students. Education, which is probably the most important aspect of students’ lives, goes hand-in-hand with the item used most frequently by students: the computer. By combining two important things that students use and consider, education and laptops, success at school is a given.

1. Microsoft OneNote


Microsoft OneNote is one of the best applications I have ever encountered. Not only is it completely free, but also it is an extremely useful organizer and a “smart” notebook. It is available on all electronic devices, including your computer, smartphone, or any other smart device that uses the internet, making it easy for you to access your notes anywhere, anytime. Its useful features that help to organize the notes that you take on the application, or that help with the creation of your to-do lists, are easy to use, and simple to follow. With the assistance of this extraordinary application, your test grades are guaranteed an A.

2. SelfControl


It is a well-known fact that the concentration span of a high school student is not very long. In fact, BBC News claims that “students only have a 10-minute attention span.” The main cause of this lack of focus tends to come largely from distractions, including social media websites or video games. However, with the help of an application called SelfControl, students will be able to use their time more wisely and improve their time management skills. It literally is an effective application that will help you “self-control.” This application will definitely decrease the amount of time you will have for completing your assignments, starting off your projects, and studying in general.

3. TED

Candice Landau
(Candice Landau)

TED is an extremely popular website revolving around speeches and presentations done by well-respected individuals. Speeches hosted by this organization are not only informative and educational, but also intriguing and entertaining. The gargantuan variety of categories for the speeches will certainly intrigue you into learning more and researching deeper into certain topics. The “ideas worth spreading” aspect of this website is something that I completely agree with, given the creativity and information provided by this website.

One speech that is extremely popular and well-known for its informative and poignant content is Sir Ken Robinson’s “Bring on the Learning Revolution!” Although it is a lengthy video of approximately 17 minutes, time goes by so quickly as you will constantly be hooked to the intriguing content of the speech.

4. Khan Academy

National Association for Child Development
(National Association for Child Development)

Khan Academy is another renowned website known for its helpful tutorial videos and practice problems. These highly informative but easy-to-follow video lessons cover a tremendous amount of subjects, from math to science to computer programming. After watching the video tutorials, you can practice and apply those concepts you’ve learned with the practice problems created for you on the website. This website is also recommended by many educators, for being a helpful tool to catch up with your schoolwork.

5. RainyMood


RainyMood is a website personally recommended to me by a close friend. The website provides tranquil sounds of rain that helps to improve your concentration when studying or doing your homework.

According to Hope Yoon (‘19),

“It sets you into a calm mood for studying.”

With the help of this website, you can put your sole focus and efforts into the assignment that you’re working on. Instead of listening to pop music with lots of lyrics and a rowdy melody that can grab your attention away from your work, use this website to listen to the calming and peaceful sound of rain.

Using these five useful applications and websites recommended by your fellow peers, your sorry GPA will soon turn into one magnificent 4.0! Start using them in the beginning of the year so that when your schedule gets busier and busier throughout the year, you can use them more efficiently and more effectively.

– Ariel Kim (’19)

Movie Review: The Beauty Inside

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the prettiest of them all?

If you’re looking for a movie to watch this weekend — perhaps for a date with your love interest, or just with your best friends — The Beauty Inside is the movie for you. This Korean movie, featuring twenty-two talented main actors/actresses, depicts a philosophically enticing love story between an aspiring furniture designer and a furniture retailer. At first, this movie may sound like a typical romance movie, with a female and male character falling in love by chance, then getting married — however, it’s not. Instead, this movie has such a unique and revolutionary plot that distinguishes this film from other ordinary romance movies.

(Asian Wiki)
(News 1 Korea)
(News 1 Korea)

What the viewers will inconspicuously notice about the movie is the eerie tranquility that the film possesses. The colors most used in the movie are a hue of cold tones and light gray, along with other light but slightly sad colors with a hue of blue or gray in them. These colors seem to distill a calm and peaceful but slightly melancholy tone to the film, which make the film’s mood hopefully disconsolate. Most of the characters in the movie and their personalities seem to match this tranquil mood. The two main characters, Yi-soo and Woo-jin, both have extremely peaceful features, particularly the female character’s soothing voice.

(Ask KPop)

However, this tranquility is contradictory and oxymoronic to the disastrous circumstances the film depicts. The odd “disease” that the main character has of waking up with a different physical appearance every single time after he sleeps, in reality, is something that would have been deemed crazy and out-of-this-world. However, in the movie, the peacefulness seems to veil the catastrophe. It is almost as if someone has been taking too many doses of alcohol that reality is being thrown behind the blurriness of the peace created by the alcohol and one’s unconsciousness.

(Drama Story)
(Drama Story)

The romance is what ties the two contradictory aspects of the film together. The warmth of the love between the two main characters shines brightly on the cold, but crazy aspects of the movie. This is why so many audience members have enjoyed watching this movie; not because of the cheesy loveline between the two main characters, but because of the poignant and lovely emotions portrayed through a clever connection between two significant aspects of the movie.

I would strongly recommend this movie to anyone looking for love, or anyone in love. You may watch this movie not realizing the love cells that are existing inside of you, but after watching the movie, you will be able to find your emotions boiling up with the fierce fervor to find someone to love and perhaps create a artistic love story as this film.

– Ariel Hyunseo Kim (’19)

Featured Image: Next Entertainment