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Ask the Rex

Ask the Rex is an anonymous platform in which students submit questions and editors on The Rexonian team answer them.

Logo designed by Lara Abuali ’23.

Is freshman year as easy as people say it is? Because from what I’ve seen it definitely is NOT.
Everyone has different high school experiences, so don’t feel bad if you feel like you’re having a hard time at first. Normally, the people who say freshman year is easy are people who already finished it. That doesn’t mean that they didn’t find it difficult, it just means that in comparison to whatever year they are currently in, freshman year was easier. It doesn’t mean that it’s an easy year, it just means that it’s easier in comparison. For example, you are probably only finding freshman year difficult because you are comparing it to what you have already experienced, which is middle school, but next year when you’re a sophomore and things get slightly more difficult you’ll realize that freshman year wasn’t as bad as you thought it was. The best thing to do is make sure not to compare your experience to anyone else’s experience. Also, know that people are here to help if you reach out.

I have lots of work to do. Study hall isn’t enough for me to finish my work, and I can’t focus after study hall, and I don’t have time to do my work before study hall. There is no time for me to do my homework, so what shall I do??? Help me!!!
The best thing to do in this situation is to prioritize. Is there anything you can ask for an extension for? Or anything that isn’t due for another few days? If not, try to set goals for yourself. For example: “I want to be finished with math homework by 8:30 so that I can start history homework.” This will help keep you motivated. Another thing that has really helped me over the years was figuring out if I focus better in the morning or at night. In my case, I focus better in the mornings so if i have a lot of work that I know I can’t finish during study hall, I go to sleep early and wake up to finish my work. This is really helpful because you work best when you’re rested. The best advice I can give you is to learn when you’re most productive.

We need to know what conditioner Mr. Ian uses and where he gets it from.
Although I think this is an entirely reasonable question, Mr. Ian did seem a little surprised when I asked him about it. So as it turns out, Mr. Ian isn’t entirely sure which conditioner he uses. He apparently just chose it because the turquoise bottle looked cool. After a few more questions, I came to the conclusion that he uses the herbal essences, argan oil of morocco conditioner. If you want hair like Mr. Ian’s , this conditioner is available at Family Basket, Carrefour, and most grocery stores.

Looking for an upperclassmen to take me to prom!!! I am pretty I swear.
Unfortunately I don’t know who you are, so maybe this was a wrong choice in platforms for your attempt at a prom date. I wish you the best of luck at getting a date to prom and I hope that if you do get asked by an upperclassman you come forward and let us know so that we can celebrate. In all seriousness though, prom will be more fun when you go with people in your class, so don’t rush it.

Meet the New Mathematical and Computational Thinking Teachers

The Rexonian interviewed all the new math teachers to introduce them to our King’s community.

Mr. Chris Hague
I did a little theater in middle and high school but my career ended there. I still love to sing but really only pursue it when singing along to Taylor Swift, Usher, and T-Pain on the treadmill.

Mr. Doru Hutanu
I was teaching at a day school, and was looking at some boarding schools. I was very happy King’s is in the same time zone as my home country Romania, since I wanted to be closer to my family.

Mr. Jake Guth
My favorite subject other than Math would have to be English Literature. I think you can learn a lot from books, regardless of whether they are fiction or non-fiction.

Ms. Jessica Kaminsky
I am excited about working with students from a variety of backgrounds. I also love visiting Amman on the weekends and checking out new restaurants and coffee shops.

Ms. Lauren Howard
The last time I camped at Dana Nature Biosphere, I was invited to sit with a group of Jordanians and share in the dinner they’d prepared. It was a great microcosm of the culture here.

Mr. Obada AlSaqqa
I’ve always loved to teach. It’s my passion. My favorite subject besides math is physics! But I also love Arabic and calligraphy, which is why I am doing the Arabic Calligraphy minor.

Mr. Sanad Haddad
My goal is to introduce King’s students to new technologies, trends, and sciences that will benefit them for their entire lives, and to prepare them for a future of innovation and technology.

Ms. Yara Tadros
I was drawn to His Majesty’s vision for this school. What I find very interesting about this school is its unique teaching method and the deep connections formed with the students.

Teachers Strike in Jordan

Teachers on strike. Photo courtesy of The New Arab.

On 6 October 2019, the Jordanian government agreed to raise salaries of public school teachers from 35% to 60% beginning in 2020. After years of protest, Nasser Al Nawasrah, Deputy Head of the Jordanian Teachers Syndicate, announced the beginning of a mass teacher strike on the 8th of September 2019 and refused to call it off until the government guaranteed them higher salaries.

Three days prior to the announcement, public school teachers from all over Jordan met at the capital, Amman, to demonstrate against their low salaries, which are approximately between 360 to 450 JDS a month.

Public school teachers have been demanding a pay raise for years prior to the strike. In 2014, the government promised the syndicate, otherwise known as the Jordan Teacher’s Association (JTA) a 50% pay raise, but did not implement the policy, Teachers were also unsatisfied with previous compromises suggested by the government, such as Education Minister Walid Maani’s offer of a 50% raise with the condition of cutting benefits. The strike continued for a month; it involved the participation of around 100,000 teachers and prevented 1.5 million students from attending classes.

The government argued that the teachers’ demanded an excessive amount, around 116 million JDs over considering Jordan’s public debt of 29.5 billion JDS, inflationary spiral, and lack of resources.

Prime Minister Omar Al-Razzaz offered a compromise on the 29th of September, in which monthly salaries would increase by JD24 to JD31, depending on whether the teacher is an ‘assistant,’ ‘first,’ or ‘expert.’ Al Nawasrah responded, “We donate these breadcrumbs to the government.”

By the 30th of September, parents had filed a lawsuit against the absent teachers, attempting to place more pressure on both the JTA and the government to reopen schools for their children. The Ministry of Education tried to open schools back to students despite the strike, both by declaring the strike illegal and instructing schools to find substitute teachers. The JTA refused to discontinue the strike and did not teach classes until they were given a pay raise.

Al Nawasreh finally ended the strike with an announcement: “The teachers got their demands.”

The Culture of a New Dorm

New Dorm, Shaula. Photo by Rakan Abu Tayeh, ’20.

As the percentage of female students increases every year, the school decided to open a new girls dorm, Shaula. The dorm houses 25 residents and is headed by faculty member, Holley Ledbetter.

There had been an idea of a new girls dorm in the school’s mind for a few years prior to 2019; as more girls enrolled into the school, there became a higher need to find females further accommodation.

The cause behind the creation of Shaula stayed in the minds of the dorm proctors and faculty as they established the theme, name, and expectations of the dorm; hence why female empowerment and inclusivity are two significant virtues that Ledbetter constantly emphasizes to the girls of the dorm.

“The vision for Shaula is one of inclusivity, kindness, and a shared excitement over one other’s successes,” says Ledbetter.

Nevertheless, Ledbetter acknowledges that the beginning of a new dorm is not without challenges. “Starting from scratch hard, but we had great models to follow in what Alnilam, Janah, Atair, and Murzim have been doing for years now,” she says.

The first step taken by the proctor team was choosing the name of the dorm, who around the end of the 2018-2019 school year, decided on Shaula. Shaula, like all other dorms in the school, is the name of a star constellation found by an Arab. It directly translates into the ‘raised tail of the scorpion’, hence the use of a scorpion as a mascot for the dorm. Following that moment, decisions regarding other features of the dorm became much easier.

In spite of that, moving through those early stages of the dorm was challenging, what with jokes of a colonized Meissa South and the stigma of a new dorm. However, Ledbetter now believes “Shaula is establishing itself with kindness in the landscape of King’s Academy.”

Going forward, Ledbetter is hopeful for the future of Shaula and its residents, “We want to be a dorm that sets itself apart from King’s Academy, but is still, very much, a part of King’s Academy.”

King’s Academy Hosts the First Ever King’s Fest

On Friday, 18 October 2019, Fanar AlDerzi ‘21, Ahmad Younis ‘21, and Kareem Madanat ‘21 successfully hosted King’s Academy’s first ever King’s Fest, and the school’s biggest charity event on campus.

“King’s Fest” is a student-led fundraising event that integrates King’s Academy prominent functions, including Arts Week, Madaba Games, annual Senior Carnival, and King’s Bazaar. AlDerzi said, “I think that’s what grabbed people’s attention. It’s basically a day for everyone with different hobbies and likes in one place. You have Madaba Games, arts, performances, carnival games, bazaar, booths, it’s really integrating everything.”

Enjoying King’s Fest. Photo by Fathia Aulia ’21.

The main goal behind the fest, however, was to collect donations to fund public schools in need of maintenance. Upon entering the fest, the administration gave guests and students the option of directly donating money. The hosts also coordinated with Sugar Daddy’s Bakery and Wazzup Dog to provide JD1 to JD3 coupons for the baked goods or hot dogs. Furthermore, the crew welcomes prominent charities Tikiyet um Ali and King Hussein Cancer Foundation to each open an information booth both. All proceeds from the event went to charity.

The crew also welcomed young children from Al Aqsa Orphanage, and made sure to provide the children with a variety of different carnival games, like an inflatable climbing castle walls and slides, henna, painting, and many more. The event concluded with many heartfelt performances; however, it was the final performance that truly embodied the community-driven essence of King’s Fest: the three hosts, ElDerzi, Younis, and Madanat performed a rendition of Vance Joy’s “Riptide” before inviting all guests to sing along with them on the stage.

Drawing and Painting at King’s Fest. Photo by Fathia Aulia ’21.

However, the team has future plans to augment “King’s Fest”. AlDerzi expressed his hopes in giving the fest even more momentum next year; “Next year, I want to make it earlier. On that day, there was Mr. Ryuji’s 1000 Gifts of Dance, the sports tournaments, the [Aziz Maraka x Adonis] concert. This is just a warmup, next time, it’ll be bigger; there’ll be more activities”.

At the end of the day, the crew was able to achieve the goals of the fest. They managed to create a communal event that truly celebrated the diverse interests and circumstances of all people; an achievement that has been commended by guests, students, and faculty alike. The second annual “King’s Fest” will take place in the fall of 2020, and hopefully will meet and exceed the crew’s expectations.

2018 Boys Varsity Basketball: How Long Can The Lions Roar?

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The 2016 Varsity Basketball Team, after winning the AAC tournament.

Sprints, sprints, sprints. That was the theme of the boys varsity basketball team in 2015. Coach Daniel and Mark led the disgruntled team to a .500 record throughout the season, with 0 tournament placements and a lot of conditioning. Every missed layup meant a suicide. Every lost game meant a lap. Every mistake meant you run.

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NBA All-Star Selections; Did we get it right?

NBA All Star

Posted by @NBA on Instagram

Earlier this week, the NBA All-Star reserves list were released for the East and West, just one week after the starters were announced on the NBA on TNT broadcast. The rosters are now complete, and they’re far from perfect. Under the new system, the captains, LeBron James and Stephen Curry, pick their teams from the pool of selected players, first from the 8 starters (Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, Demarcus Cousins, James Harden, Giannis Antetekumpo, Kyrie Irving,  Demar Derozan, Joel Embiid), followed by the 14 reserves (Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Karl Anthony Town, Jimmy Butler, Lamarcus Aldridge, Russel Westbrook, Damian Lillard, John Wall, Bradley Beal, Kyle Lowry, Victor Oladipo, Kevin Love, Al Horford, Kristaps Porzingis).

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5 Tips to Consider When Traveling Alone

“Just go with the flow” is the quote that I had in my mind every time something didn’t go as expected during the 52 days I lived in the Iberian Peninsula. The summer before, I went on a trip to the United States to explore the world of universities, including New York, Washington DC and Boston with my 18-year old brother for 31 days. Based on that experience, I thought that I was independent and capable enough to travel alone. Traveling wasn’t just about going to popular tourism sights and eating cultural food, but rather was about feeling the unique atmosphere of each city and making friends with people that I’ve never met before. Read More