Art Exhibit: Stories Behind Sculptures

Art is a way for people to express themselves and their emotions. The high schoolers at UAS did a very good job of expressing themselves through their art this year, especially through the sculptures. Many artworks at the exhibit looked gorgeous, each trying to share something different with their audience. However, there were certain artworks that caught my eye more than others. The photography looked great, but I felt more drawn to the sculptures.

One of the sculptures that caught my eye the moment I walked by it was a ballerina made from wire – sculpted by Lisa Köhler. The ballerina is made from copper wire that looped around in circles – small and large – to form the shape of a ballerina. What is most amazing is that you can see the slim waist, the tutu, and the pointe shoes that are normally associated with ballerinas. She looks like she has just fallen and is reaching out for help.

The main reasons this piece caught my eye is because I can relate to it. Having done ballet for nine years and counting, I have worn tutus and have had my fair share of falls during rehearsals for shows. This piece also caught my eye because it looks mysterious – it seems like something is missing. When watching a ballet show, ballerinas always have smiles on their faces and seem like they are floating. Their leotards and tights are always pure white and glowing. However, this ballerina is wearing copper – a color that looks “dirty.” She has fallen on the floor – the complete opposite of what you expect a ballerina to do. You can also see the wire messed up in some places, kind of getting out of control. This could mean that the ballerina has been dancing professionally for a long time and is now getting old and tired, meaning she can not be as graceful as she used to be. It could also mean that she has lost the joy in dancing and doing ballet. After all, ballet does get painful sometimes with painful pointe shoes ruining our toes and muscle injuries every once in awhile.

Though the ballerina is not connected to any other piece in the art exhibit, I think it may relate to the sculpture behind it. Behind the ballerina is a book cover with a sculpted dress inside, made by Aya Naga. There are mirror shards on the right side of the book cover and there are color splashes on the left side of the book cover. The mirror shards and color splashes go onto the dress. I could see the two items being related because the dress kind of looks like something a ballerina might wear in a show. The mirror shards might represent the pain you feel when dancing ballet – because of the pointe shoes. The color splashes might represent the joy ballerinas feel when dancing.

These are two of the many art pieces in the exhibit that caught my eye. All of the artworks in the reception area look amazing and are expressive – each unique in their own way. I definitely recommend going to the art exhibit and looking around. You may find you can relate to many of the art pieces there.

By: Ruxandra Puscasu

Lead Actress Breaks Ankle 1 Day Before Play

When putting on a play, you hope for the best. But what happens when the lead actress breaks their ankle one day before the show?

From February to April, High Schoolers, Middle Schoolers, and even teachers gathered in the MPH every week to put on the play of High School Musical. Rehearsals were every week Monday-Wednesday, and sometimes even on Saturdays. The set was worked on for over a month. Preparations for this musical were so complex, but they were worth it.

The play mainly featured High Schoolers with Jared as Troy, Alex as Sharpay, and many more. However, it also featured Middle Schoolers (such as Zeena who played Gabriella), and even teachers (such as 8th Grade English teacher, Eric Barrett).

For months, a cast of over 100 students and teachers worked on this amazing play. They were ready to put on this play – one of the best in the history of UAS musicals. Unfortunately, the day before the show, Zeena – playing Gabriella Montez – broke her ankle while walking down the stairs.

“I didn’t know I broke my ankle so when […] I figured out I was gonna have to wear a cast, I was like “oh, crap!”” Zeena said. Ms.Williams, the director of High School Musical stayed quite calm throughout the experience though. “I was like “there are worse things that could happen,” you know? And if this is the worst, then that’s not horrible, you know? And so, I just took a deep breath and I said “ok. We’ve got to figure this out.””

Mixed emotions went through the entire cast of the play. “Of course I was very shocked so I was in class the first night of the performance and somebody texted me from the musical and they’re like “Go to Ms.Williams now.” And I was like “What’s going on?” So I like ran to the MPH. I knew something was wrong and then Ms.Williams was like “You need to practice with Tansin. Zeena can’t do the show.” And of course I was really shocked and [Ms.Williams] was like “You can spend the whole day practicing with [Tansin].”” Jared, playing Troy Bolton, said.

Because the broken ankle, changes had to be made to the play. The biggest change was replacing Zeena with Tansin – the understudy. Problem was, according to Ms.Williams, “we had to actually take the understudy out of class the whole day so that she could rehearse with Jared, and we could go over her blocking, and so she actually learned [the lines that day]… […] she knew some of the lines and thank goodness she went to all of her music rehearsals as the understudy.”

Of course, this change brought surprise and mixed emotions to the cast, especially Jared – playing Troy Bolton. He says performing with Tansin rather than Zeena was different “because I was used to building this chemistry with Zeena as Gabriella, and once Tansin came on as Gabriella, it kind of changed like my mindset to like… This isn’t what I pictured Gabriella […].”

Because Tansin had just learned her lines, she wouldn’t feel comfortable performing them right away. Zeena realized immediately someone had to come to the rescue, and took on that role for herself by being part of the play on the 1st and 2nd performances. Other smaller changes had to be made to the play such as “[Making] scene changes quicker so [Zeena] would get in place on time, so she would have to already be like halfway up the stairs so she doesn’t have to walk far away up,” Jared said. Ignoring her broken ankle and the pain, Zeena went up on stage that day and shone bright as a star as Gabriella Montez.

When asked how she dealt with dancing and running around stage with a cast, Zeena just laughed and said “I just kind of ignored the pain until I got off stage, and then I could scream. But it didn’t hurt that much, so it was fine.”

On the 3rd and last performance, Tansin took the stage as Gabriella Montez. “[…] I was used to building this chemistry with Zeena as Gabriella […] but Tansin still did really well. Like I just tried to imagine me as Zac Efron not Jared with Tansin and so that was one thing that I tried to think of but overall, there wasn’t a big difference between Tansin and Zeena. I felt natural with both of them […],” Jared shared. Of course, Zeena was a little more upset than the rest of the cast when Tansin performed. “I can’t say I was thrilled about the situation, but I was happy that she had a chance to do what she does best, so it was okay.”

Though there were many complications involved in the making of this musical, only one word can be used to describe the feeling Ms.Williams had when she watched her students and colleagues put on the show. “Proud.”

All we as the audience can say is thank you for yet another amazing musical here at UAS.

By: Ruxandra Puscasu

Macbooks, do they help?

Do Macbooks help in our education?

While it is easy to say otherwise, it’s a strong point to say that laptops do help our education much more than they hurt it. Sure, it may distract the student and have them do things they aren’t supposed to, but it can make the lesson more intriguing and allow the student to understand the lesson more by offering support through the use of the internet. The students will also be excited be able to use technology to learn. One of the many benefits of MacBooks in the classroom is that instead of the teacher being the source of information in the classroom, students have the internet to search and learn what the want. Students also prefer to have their own style of note taking. Some students prefer to type their notes rather than write them because it is way faster. Other students do prefer hand-writing their notes, and the classroom must be able to accommodate with both types of students.

A US study showed that students in the classroom are 75% more engaged with what they were learning when a laptop was present rather than without them laptop. They were also able to recall the lesson 40% better.

By: Adam, Billy, and Jeff

Teaching with Speed: An Interview with A Motocross Instructor

I interviewed Daniel Hutchinson (Motocross Instructor) about his early career and  about his teaching career in motocross. Daniel Hutchinson started motocrossing as a child, and was going to have a professional career, but due to a major injury, he quit motocross for a couple of years. Now he teaches kids and adults how to ride dirtbikes.

By: Adam Altamimi

How will Our Ramadan Schedule Go?

During Ramadan, our schedule will begin at 8:30 and our day will end at 1:30. In the school days that we do have Ramadan, the teachers will try to minimize the amount of homework that we receive and they will also try to reduce the amount of exams that we will have during Ramadan.

In Ramadan, we will have 19 school days and there will be 8 weekend days when we will be in school during ramadan. In most classes, the teachers will try their hardest to minimize the amount of work because the majority of the children are going to be very tired, since they won’t have enough sleep at night, and they won’t have enough nutrients.

Student will have limited time in the heat, and the school will try to keep them in doors. The last day before ramadan, which is May the 25th in P.E, we will have the last day of fitness in the gym. Once ramadan begins, students will begin health in P.E. We will be inside a classroom learning, and not going outdoors so that the muslim students won’t get tired, and food or water.

If the non-muslim students wish to eat, then they may go to the cafeteria during lunch or break and the school strongly encourages these students to not drink water in front of any muslim students. There will also be many teachers fasting during school hours as well, to help muslims continue with their fast as well as encourage them to strive and not cheat. When someone eats or drinks in front of them, they will feel the urge to drink and they will feel extremely tempted to break their fast.

As a school we are trying to build the best environment for students trying to fast. Our school starts at a later time, so they have more time to sleep after iftar. The teachers will also try to have a better environment for the students. Their peers will also try to be aware to not drink or eat in front of them.  

By: Jad Christopher Dahi

Crochet Art: Related to Student’s Development?

Whether you know it or not, color has a big impact on how your brain sees the world. It changes our physiology, since it influences anxiety, pulse, blood flow, and when used appropriately, it can even improve student’s behaviour and can escalate their progress in their studies.

Effect of Color on Memory

“A recent study examined differences in people’s recall of words and memory for colors. Results show that people recall color to a higher degree. When people were asked to recall objects versus color, color memory was significantly greater,”  Brain Based Biz said.

“Even when people attempted to remember words or objects, color had the greatest affect on recall,” the article said.

Colors that make a Difference

Here are a few colors and the corresponding impacts they have on the brain:

  • Dark Blue – associated with night, often leads to passivity
  • Blue and Green – calming – blue is the most preferred color across cultures
  • Red and Orange – anxiousness
  • Red – may stimulate excitement and is used to light gambling casinos
  • Pink – interestingly calmed inmates in institutions”

From: Brain Based Biz

Left and Right Brain

The functions of the left brain and the right brain are also crucial to color and the brain. The brain has two hemispheres—a right side and a left side.

“For most humans, the left side is tied to language and the right more to visual perception, imagery, and emotion,” the Spirituality and Western Psychology article said.

Chromotherapy is a type of therapy that some ancient cultures used to heal people.

Red was used to stimulate the body and mind and to increase circulation. Yellow was thought to stimulate the nerves and purify the body. Orange was used to heal the lungs and to increase energy levels. Blue was believed to soothe illnesses and treat pain. Indigo shades were thought to alleviate skin problems.

One study found that warm-colored placebo pills were reported as more effective than cool-colored placebo pills. Anecdotal evidence has suggested that installing blue-colored street-lights can lead to reduced crime in those areas.The temperature of the environment might play a role in color preference. People who are warm tend to list cool colors as their favorites, while people who are cold prefer warmer colors.

Given the recent explosion of color around the school, we recently conducted interviews for information about the crochet art and what provoked this revolution to happen in our very own school.

The project manager said that she started this for three reasons. First, she wanted to make art available for everyone. “The barriers go down when they work on a project with a common goal, to beautify this place.” She wanted this project to be a cause for people to bond together as a whole giving the idea of a community and a whole.

Second, she wanted to show how everyone could do art and tried to break the stereotype that “art was only for the elites.” She wanted to show how whatever you do can make the school campus more brighter and shinier and claimed that some pieces of crochet was shipped from a different country.  

Third, she knew that the art would make our school more clean. “People take pride in their work, and when they take pride, they take ownership.” She believed that this project was the simplest and the most beautiful solution to vandalism. “Look at the mural on the walls and the mosaic bench, it has been around for almost 6 years and nobody harmed it or wrote anything on it, why? because they took pride in it.”

Crochet art, is it just something that looks good in the eyes, or is it something that develops the school as a whole socially and educationally? Perhaps the truth is in the eye of the beholder. 

By: Chaewon Yun and Ana Benet Rivera Pintor

School Days: Are They Too Long?

Are our school days to long? Everyone would have different opinions about this, but I think that we can all agree that having school end earlier than 3:10 can have its advantages and disadvantages.

Of course, if school ends earlier, people would have more free time during the week to enjoy their hobbies, spend more time outside and enjoy more time with their family. Also, we would concentrate more during class if the school day was shorter. At the end of the school day, it is harder for students to study, because of how many hours we spend at school everyday.

If the school day was shorter, we would have less educational time, which means we would have less classes in the day. We would have to shorten classes or have less periods during the day, which could become a problem, because we would have less instructional time during the day. This means it will become much harder to cover all the curriculum before the year ends.

Everyone would enjoy if the school day was shorter, but we would all realize that there are also disadvantages. If the teachers are realizing that the students are having a hard time focusing, then we could have 2 shorter days in the week, and the rest would be normal length days. If we were going to make our school day shorter, it would take a lot of organizing and planning to make sure we are receiving all the curriculum that we should be. It would be worth a try if we were willing to do all the organizing.

I really don’t know how it would turn out if we did decide to make the school say shorter, but it would definitely be something interesting to see. In conclusion, of course making the school day shorter would take a lot of work and effort, yet it would also give us more free time to finish our work and enjoy our hobbies outside of school. I feel like this would take of a lot of out stress, because we would have more time to finish our work, so we would not have to stress as much about it.

By: Celine Hanna

UAS in GWA: Academic Games

The UAS Academic Games ASA is an activity that aims for students to use their general knowledge to compete against each other, about language art, social studies, science, art, mathematics, and special areas. We compete with each other, other schools, and the world. Most recently, we joined the World Scholar’s Cup, and made our way into the Global Round.

On Thursday, April 27th, the UAS Academic Games team traveled to GWA for friendly matches with GWA and DAA. Unfortunately, DAA dropped out last minute, so it was left with GWA and UAS playing against each other. Two Junior Varsity teams and Two Varsity teams attended the event. There are quite a few 8th graders in the current JV teams, and they include:

  • Taline Bawab
  • Vincent Dela Cruz
  • Najat Mustafa
  • Anushka Meron
  • Mya Msuya
  • Chaewon Yun
  • Amoy George

On Thursday, the students arrived at UAS before 12pm, and traveled to GWA via bus. Once there, the students waited for a while and then were led into the game rooms. After about 2 to 3 hours of matches, the kids rode the bus back to UAS, and left to enjoy their weekend.

Results of the Matches:

UAS 1 vs GWA 1: 35 to 55

UAS 1 vs UAS 2: 42 to 50

UAS 2 vs GWA 1: 45 to 53

(UAS 1: Taline Bawab, Chaewon Yun, Amoy George, Mya Msuya)

(UAS 2: Vincent Dela Cruz, Najat Mustafa, Anushka Meron, Jad Youssef)

We recently managed to interview one of the UAS students who went to the competition, Chaewon Yun. We asked her about the experience and how she thought the team did in the games.

She said, “Yeah, it’s really fun! We get to do a lot of stuff and it’s really interesting. Sometimes it’s really intense though, with the competitive aspect being more important to others than others.” She then mentioned that, “Academic Games is more of a group effort than anything else. You all work together to be successful and have fun in the process! I love the team aspect of it, and it’s really helped us be better students, and it’s also brought us all closer.”

“We hadn’t been to a competition like this in a while with the whole World Scholar’s Cup thing, but overall we weren’t too bad. We lost to GWA and our other UAS team, but it was all very fun and it was great to do this again.”

By: Fenghao Ji and Jon Vincent Dela Cruz

School Uniform Policy From Student’s Perspective

     According to the school policy the P.E. uniform is only allowed to be worn on Thursday and during P.E. class. I, myself, find this kind of useless because the P.E. uniform also has a logo on it, and although it is less formal during break or class periods, being formal is not necessarily of the most importance.

I find the P.E. shirts to be way more comfortable and convenient. They allow you to be more active during breaks and feel better when wearing them in class. For the pants side, I think the school pants don’t hold you back as much in comfort, but the choice should still be there to wear P.E pants. They are both types of UAS uniform, so let the students choose. Sure, some people may say that the P.E smells bad because people wear it after P.E, but they don’t even allow us to wear clean P.E shirts on days we don’t have P.E.

It is also not allowed to wear UAS sport team sweaters. I think of this in the same way as the pants. They have the logo on them, and it is easy enough to know that they are from UAS without the logo anyway. They are better in my opinion because it advertises the sport teams and shows that students are doing something active and something to represent our school.

     Overall I feel the need that all uniforms that have the UAS logo should be allowed on normal school days. The policy that we have now should be applied when we have the KHDA or something related at the school.

Making Music in Kuwait

On March 1 2017, the Grade 8 band/choir went to a festival at NESAC in Kuwait. 
This was a special event held for all students from around the Middle East to gather up in Kuwait and share their pieces and skills. According to Music Teacher Ms.Gordon, the UAS students had a lot of fun meeting “other students from other countries and the Gulf area who were interested in similar things to them.” They not only got the chance to make new friends but also combine their skills with them and learn new skills. The conductors were also able to learn some skills from each other and make new friends.

Besides the festival, NESAC had planned some other activities. “I knew we had a couple fun social activities planned. We had one night at the mall (the Avenue’s Mall), we had one night where the US Army Rock band came in, and I thought that would be fun which it was for them,” said Ms.Gordon in an interview with Lodit. “[It was a good experience and opportunity for the students] to meet the students from other countries and the Gulf Area who were interested in similar things to them.” According to 8th grader Jade, during the wonderful time spent in Kuwait, it was a bit difficult to keep up with the band as they were older than the UAS band. Nonetheless, Ms. Gordon, Lana, Lynn, Maha, Ila, and Jade, enjoyed their time there.

“When I got to Kuwait, I realized that they’re not as modern as Dubai, and we’re very used to technology and modern inventions and things like that, but they’re living in the past. And I was surprised about that because I’ve heard that they’re a very improved country technology-wise, but that’s not what happened when we got there,” Lana said during an interview. Though the country itself is “living in the past” and not as improved technology-wise as us, NESAC is when it comes to music. “I was surprised with how much percussion equipment the American School of Kuwait actually had. It’s an older school, it’s well developed, but they have so many pieces of percussion. That was amazing and something to strive towards at our school,” shared Ms.Gordon. Yes, this experience was very exciting for many countries around the Middle East, and especially for our school. But what were the participants’ favorite parts? Ms.Gordon’s favorite part was “Just seeing what a great experience it was for all of our students.” Clearly, Ms. Gordon is not selfish. Jade is looking toward the future, and that shows in her favorite part of the whole trip which was “meeting the other percussionists because as you could probably see in that mini concert the other day, I wasn’t the best, so just being with them really motivated me.” But surely everyone else’s favorite part must have been somewhere along the lines of Lana’s. “My favorite part was just being able to spend time with some friends and doing the things that I love, like singing, and just being with some very nice teachers and friends and meeting new people that were different than the people I’m used to every day. It was a very great experience.”

By: Ruxandra Puscasu and Lodit Goitom Kiflai