Chinese Singing Contest

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By: Rency Luan

The RHS Mandarin Singing Contest is an annual event organized by the dedicated students of Richmond High.

In the exciting event, 20 students attended and 10 made it to the finals, which took place on March 10th. The contestants were evaluated by the judges based on their singing abilities, volume and tempo control, pronunciation and the accuracy of the lyrics, stage presence and audience interaction and also the choice of attire.

The event was only made possible by the unconditional support of teachers such as Mr. Allison, Mr. Fitt, Mr. Tam, Mr. Hockley, Mr. Fugu, Ms. Chen, Mr. Ma and Mr. Wong. As well, special thanks to the student organizers, Winnie Ren, Rency Luan, Kertty Guo, Ryan Chang, Jessie Wang, Claire Zhao, Grace Luo, Chelsea Shen and Jasmine Han for their undivided effort in coordinating this event!

Congratulations to the top 3 winners of the 2016 RHS Mandarin Singing Contest: Rebecca Yu who sang the fiery song, “Tornado”, Louise Lau who beautifully performed, “She Said”, and Jun Wen Chen who delivered a passionate rendering of “In the End You Didn’t Want Anything’. Of course, all of the performers were incredibly talented and sang their hearts out. If you love to sing and love mandarin, be sure to come to the auditions next year!

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Happy New Year Colts! Before we embark on 2016, let’s take a look back at some of the last cool school events of 2015!’

Entertainment Corner: Netflix Shows Dominating TV World

Entertainment Corner:

Netflix Shows Dominating TV World

By: Laura Luo

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ABC? BBC? NBC? Netflix has got everything covered. With an impressive amount of television shows on stream, cable or no cable people won’t have to miss their shows again. But Netflix is not just a broadcaster of television shows- like most other channels on television, they also make some of the most amazing original series. Fans of House of Cards would understand; with a 9.1 rating on IMDb, and a deep and dramatic plotline, it is considered one of the most well thought-out television series and one that should definitely not be missed. Of course, there are also Orange is the New Black and Marco Polo, two new series that are keeping the audiences at the edge of their couches. If you are flipping through pages on your Netflix looking for something to watch now, keep reading.

First one I will be talking about is Marvel’s Daredevil. It’s a story that follows a blind lawyer with heightened senses, Matthew Murdock, and how he developed to be the iconic hero who roamed the streets of Hell’s Kitchen fighting crime.

While fanboys and fangirls are waiting for the new Avengers movie, Avengers: Age of Ultron, to come out on May 1st (don’t miss the epic three hours of action!), and the return of the Captain America spinoff Agent Carter, fans can watch Daredevil after they finished the weekly episodes of Agents of Shield. Netflix released all thirteen episodes of Daredevil this month, on April 10th, so you don’t have to anxiously wait for new episodes to come out every week. It is also great that the show has a satisfying run-time of nearly an hour long with no commercial time added.

You don’t have to be a comic geek to love this show, nor do you really need to know all the background info of this red suited superhero. The show will explain everything to the audience in depth with exciting and heart-wrenching scenes.

   Don’t let the comic part fool you because this is definitely more than just a ‘kapow’ kind of show. It holds complex subplots of characters dealing with disabilities, harsh changes, difficult decisions and friendship and relationship struggles.

   Receiving a 9.2 on IMDb, and also redeeming Daredevil’s character after its disappointing 2003 cinematic remake, Mr. Charlie Cox (actor of Daredevil) will definitely make you fall in love with this dynamic character once again.

Sure, it is not a super cheery show like DC’s now running show, The Flash, but it is just as intriguing and maybe even a little bit more.

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The next show I will introduce to you will be a lot more light-hearted- it’s a comedic satire of modern society, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

This show is filled with all sorts of different characters, all put altogether to make a hilarious show. Some of the content in the show may sound offensive due to its sarcastic/satirical representation of our society today, but it is by no means a show to be taken completely literally.

This show follows a girl name Kimmy discovering reality and the world (New York, in particular). What makes it interesting was that she was kidnapped when she was young and was forced to live her entire childhood in a ridiculous cult. The first season so far is her trying to live her life again, and picking up everything she has lost in the years she was locked up in the cult.

In her newly found life, she had her first roommate, Titus, who is a hysterical, openly gay man aspiring to be an actor, she had her first job, working as a nanny for a rich woman named Jacqueline, and finally going to school again and meeting the smart and loving boy of her life, Dong.

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The show revolves on stereotypes and not so subtly brings up societal problems happening today. People’s dreams being crushed by the harsh reality, racism being overlooked by society as a general, serious problems being glossed over by media and so on…

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt also has its complete season (thirteen episodes) released out on Netflix right now. This show, unlike Daredevil, doesn’t require you to sit that long in front of the screen if you are not into long runtime. UKS only has 20 to 30 minutes long of runtime. Right now it has a good rating of 8.3 on IMDb, thank you to Tina Fey for co-producing such an amazing show.

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Summer is coming up really soon. Mark up your calendars, stock up a few tubs of ice cream and write down what you need to catch up during the long break. Try out a few Netflix original series while you are at it, because they are just as outstanding as normal television network shows. What shows are you excited for?

Science Corner

Staying awake has proven to be a huge challenge for many teenagers.  Fellow Colt Alice Man offers an innovative idea to help students combat this pressing problem!

Fuel for the Soul

During Spring Break, I spent my time at a music camp. I rehearsed for eight hours a day, slept late, and woke at sunrise, yet I did not feel tired. In fact, I felt surprisingly awake, more awake than I have felt ever since September. This seemed strange to me, and so I decided to do a bit of research into it. Looking into how playing an instrument affects your brain, I stumbled upon this video that I found very interesting and made me think of a few questions.

http://ed.ted.com/lessons/how-playing-an-instrument-benefits-your-brain-anita-collins

According to this video, “while listening to music engages the brain in some pretty interesting activities, playing music is the brain’s equivalent of a full body workout.” A full body workout is very physically tiring, so I would assume that a full brain workout be mentally tiring as well? With some more research, I found my assumption to be somewhat wrong.  Although playing music does use a lot of energy, the energy is replenished through the act of listening to the music. According to Valorie Salimpoor, a neuroscientist at McGill University in Montreal, when you are playing or listening to an instrument,

‘You’re following these tunes and anticipating what’s going to come next and whether it’s going to confirm your assumptions or surprise you, and all of these little cognitive nuances are what’s giving you this amazing pleasure. The reinforcement or reward happens almost entirely because of dopamine.’

If you haven’t heard of dopamine, it is a neurotransmitter which rewards the brain with pleasure and motivation when the brain gets something it likes or needs for survival. And because of its function, dopamine is commonly known as the “feel-good chemical.” The countless hours of music probably made me more motivated and happy, thus I was less prone to fatigue.

Another factor of my awake feelings may be the stunning nature at the camp. You might have heard people say that being in nature and seeing the color green are good for you, and they are completely right. Psychologists Stephen and Rachel Kaplan, PhD, were studying this phenomenon and realized that nature takes away the feeling of fatigue and replaces it with mental clarity and healing. Rachel Kaplan explains that fatigue is often caused by the overuse of directed attention. When you are in nature or a place of fascination, you can allow your directed attention to rest because you automatically focus on movements or objects without needing to force yourself. This allows your mind to relax and heal. These positive effects of nature were shown in a study of the early 1980’s, in which a researcher visited a small hospital and compared recovery times between gallbladder surgery patients who did, and did not see views with nature. At the end, a conclusion was reached that people exposed to natural scenes are happier, more comfortable, and have an improvement in their physiological well-being. As Richard Ryan, lead author and a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester had once said, “Nature is fuel for the soul.”

So if you are ever feeling sluggish, go outside, look at squirrels, or listen to some music. I guarantee you’ll feel better afterwards!

I-What? An Introduction to the Diploma Program by Real IB Students

By: Claire Zhao, Cathy Yan

Interviews by: Angela Dai

On April 1, the grade 11 IB diploma students went on a fun and rewarding field trip to Simon Fraser University to do some preliminary research for their Extended Essays.

  What is an Extended Essay? What is CAS? What is TOK? How to do well in IB? These are just a few questions, amongst a myriad of others that younger students have asked about the IB program.

Today, the Colt Monthly wants to take the opportunity to tell aspiring IB students about IB. You won’t get tips like this from a pamphlet!

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Choosing Your Courses

Because IB is a 2-year course, course selection for grade 11 is very important. The decision you make will most likely determine what you will be studying for the next 2 years, so we suggest you do some research beforehand.

Look carefully at course syllabus to see what topics each course will be covering, what key skills the course hopes to develop, etc, to see which courses are really right for you. Never jump to conclusions!

A Crash Course in EE, CAS, and TOK

IB is not all about studying; the goal of the program is actually to transform you into a balanced and knowledgeable member of society. To help you achieve this aim, there are three unique sections to the IB program you must complete in addition to your regular courses: the EE, CAS, and TOK.

EE, or Extended Essay, is a 4000-word essay written on a topic of your choice, intended to help you develop the research skills needed in university. It is technically due at the beginning of your grade twelve year, but you are expected to complete it in about three months. However, if you choose a topic you are genuinely passionate about and do not procrastinate, the EE will feel much shorter than it is.

CAS stands for Creativity, Action, and Service, and is referring to the extracurricular activities you must do in order to earn your diploma. Examples include volunteering, playing in sports teams, etc. Remember: IB wants well rounded individuals who lead a healthy, active lifestyle, give back to the community, show creativity and take initiative, not a bunch of bookworms who don’t do anything but study. In addition to collecting 50 hours for each section, you will be required to regularly write reflections on your activities. Don’t do the activities just for the hours. Do activities you really enjoy and the reflections will come naturally. Preferably, you will also continue to participate in activities and update your reflections even after completing your hours.

TOK, or Theory of Knowledge, is a little ambiguous, but basically it’s about how knowledge is acquired-the different ways of knowing, different areas of knowledge, and how it all relates to each other. You’ll be doing quite a bit of writing and presentations for this course. It may seem strange at first, but once you get used to it, TOK may be one of the most interesting courses you take.

Commonly Asked Questions:

Is there a LOT of homework?

Homework load varies from course to course. Of course, in general the workload is greater than what you were used to in previous grades, and the material is quite a bit harder.

Will my grades drop by like 20 percent?

   

   Most grade 10’s have probably heard this rumor. Once again it really depends. Not denying that there are students who’ve dropped by 20% (or more), but there are also students who do just as well, if not even better in IB than in previous years. It really depends on your study habits and how you manage your time. Of course, most students do drop in at least some of their subjects when they enter IB, to varying extents. But keep in mind that to drop is completely normal and don’t be discouraged by it.

Do IB students get like 3 hours of sleep every night?

Another common rumor. Likewise, there are definitely IB students who only get 3 hours (or less) of sleep. But there are also those who get the full 8 hours every night-not because they are geniuses, but because they are good at managing their time. These are the people who do their work throughout the week and don’t cram the night before. They are also the people who don’t check their Facebook every few minutes when studying.  Of course, that’s all easier said than done. Unless you are one of the highly self-disciplined few, you will most likely lose some sleep when you enter IB.

Good Advice from IB Students (with analysis):

“Beware of the Sciences, especially HL courses.”

(^This is quite true. IB Sciences are genuinely much harder than Science 8, 9, and 10, especially Higher Level courses, and that big leap tends to throw people for a loop. So be prepared! In addition, you will be doing a lot more lab work and writing a lot of formal lab reports, which is something we don’t do a lot in previous years. The labs are often a lot more complicated than the simple labs done in grade 8-10, and getting used to writing formal lab reports can be a hard process. )

Study hard, manage your time, be organized, get some rest, and communicate with your teachers.”

(^Your teachers will play a very important role in your IB journey. Remember: They are there to help you, so don’t be afraid to talk to them and ask questions when you are confused.)

“Don’t use twitter”

(^While social media can be a great platform for peer-helping, it can also be a source of great distraction. While we don’t advise shunning social media completely, it is important to keep some distance. Checking your phone periodically while studying dramatically lowers your efficiency, and your sleeping time)

“Hang around people who are a positive influence.”

“Get off to a good start.”

Overall, going into IB will be a pretty big change for most people. Just keep in mind that it’s not so much about getting the highest grades as it is about being a well-rounded person. Hopefully, this article helped to demystify some aspects of the program, and will help you achieve success in the following years.