The Student News Site of Taipei American School




The art of manipulation



Tired of not getting what you want? Sick of never having your way? Fear no more! We have exactly what you need. Whether it’s bumping up a 89%, or raising your allowance a few hundred nt, we’ve got you covered.

Blue&Gold presents…The Art of Manipulation


Say your goodbyes to feigning attentiveness in class, studying for tests and doing homework. I have the secrets to getting those Bs, Cs, Ds, or even Fs to magically transform into an A+ in the blink of an eye.

The tricks of the trade? Learning how to persuade those in power: your teachers.

After close investigation, I have found out what some of our teachers here at TAS would be willing to accept in exchange of letting failing grades slip by.

Freshmen, I’m pretty sure you’ve all heard about that long and annoying Asian Studies research paper coming up in second semester. Don’t worry, there’s no need to do any research at all, because Mr Brown has whispered in my ear that he will be taking hong baos as an alternative. Do take note, however, that he is “only accepting blue and purple colored currency.”

Indeed, history is a pretty tough subject. Mr Magill is always telling you to study for history. But really? I’ll bet that any of the following excuses will be music to his ears (and guarantee that A+): “I was trying to study, but President Obama phoned to request a young person’s views on the government shutdown crisis,” or “I was trying to study, but the San Francisco Giants game was on TV,” or even “I was trying to study, but I was so engrossed in the new Stalin biography that I just couldn’t put it down.”

Besides history, if you aren’t passing science class with flying colors, again, don’t fret. I’ve got the formula to scientific success, but Ms Chen may be a little harder to persuade than you think. Nevertheless, she has spoken of her wish to be greeted with an indulgent breakfast consisting of “a mound of fluffy scrambled eggs, crispy hash browns, a stack of thick bacon and a tall iced latte from some obnoxiously snobby coffee shop.”

Hello, good grades.

-Jocelyn C.


Oprah Winfrey once said, “Lots of people will want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” According to the daytime TV guru, that someone is what you would call a “true friend”. But really, Oprah? We think that a true friend is someone who knows how to get what he or she wants (a.k.a. that limo), without you even realizing.

Mastering the art of manipulation not only brands you as a friend but also makes you a true artist. Sketching a portrait or composing an ode won’t give you that limo ride. However, if you become a master of manipulation, rest assured, you will.

A  student of this art learns to utilize personal assets. Use your natural looks. When approaching a sticky situation, all big eyes and whiny voices must be employed carefully. Regarding her own practiced puppy face, manipulation expert Stephanie Cheng (10) says, “I frown, I pout my lips, and I open my big eyes!”

Being too direct and selfish about your desires may endanger a friendship, and we wouldn’t want that, would we? That’s where subtlety comes in. “Sometimes, when Stephanie wants to eat my food, she’ll say ‘can I have a bite’,” says Serena Chen (10). “She’s very subtle.” By using the phrase “a bite” instead of directly asking if she can have some food, Stephanie proves to be a master of subtlety, and thus, also a master of manipulation.

Different manipulators have different tricks up their sleeves. Stephanie, for example, has another one: logic. “If some of my friends want to go upstairs to the library and I don’t want to, I always make observations like ‘the commons is closer to your next class and the library is not necessarily quieter’. Usually, my friends will decide to stay with me,” she says. As you tread the road of manipulation, make sure you explore and develop your own unique set of skills.

A last word of wisdom? “Every artist was once an amateur.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

-Emily Y.


Relationships are all about trust, honesty, communication, and respect Wait, who am I kidding? I’m here to give you legitimate relationship advice that actually works (trust me).

Human beings are prone to making mistakes, so don’t be too hard on yourself when you do something wrong. I mean, it’s not even your fault if you think about it–after all, no one’s perfect! So when that time does arise and you do make a mistake, be smart about it! Either refuse to take responsibility for what you did, or deny that you did anything wrong in the first place.

The truth will just hurt your relationship. No one wants to be told how unflattering their latest haircut looks, how terrible their friends are, or how uptight their mother is. Honesty is definitely not the best policy.

What’s more, contrary to what you might believe, relationships are really all about the individual. Who cares what your significant other has to say? You are in this relationship to make yourself happy and your significant other is in this relationship to help you achieve your happiness.

Let’s say, the two of you are arguing on the phone. The “I love you”s and the “I miss you”s eventually turn into frustration and anger.  So what do you do? Daniel Hsieh (12) suggests “threatening to hang up the Skype call or not texting her in the morning … which I usually do.”

Ultimately, the foolproof tactic is bribery. When asked about her boyfriend, Andrea Hoang (11) says that “he’ll threaten me. If I don’t do what he wants me to do then he’ll raise the price by 1000 NT to let me hug him.”

As Françoise Sagan once said, “Money may not buy happiness, but I’d rather cry in a Jaguar than on a bus.”

-Vivian L.


You have been ogling that new golden iPhone 5s for weeks. Yes, the golden one in the glass display at the Apple Store. You need a new phone but you also need your parents—and their credit card. Some kids are able to twist their parents around their little fingers. How to they persuade them to buy all those expensive things? Here’s how:

1. Employ psychological warfare. The more you ask for, the better! Request as many items as you can, especially with clothes, because parents are more willing to compromise, knowing that you are settling for less. If you have siblings, divide and conquer! Each of you can take down a parent and make it impossible for either to say no. With some practice you’ll soon start seeing—and wearing—the benefits of this effective technique.

2. Perseverance pays. “No” never actually means no. You can, and will, get a “yes” if you are persistent. Ask a hundred times, using a whiny voice. Parents hate being embarrassed in front of strangers, so throw temper tantrums as needed, preferably in public, by yelling “You promised!”, while stomping your foot and yanking your hair.

3. Don’t forget about timing! Approach parents when they’re sleepy or drowsy to decrease the likelihood that they clearly recall what they agreed to. This presents you with the perfect opportunity to convince them that they did indeed give you permission to purchase everything you asked for. If you aced your math test, inform them to put them in a good mood prior to turning in your long list of requested items

4. Push the limits. Folks may tell you to be subtle, but the correct way to break parental stubbornness is to go to the edge of hysteria. Break out in tears, pound a wall or door or desk with your fist, then start hyperventilating (take rapid deep breaths which, by the way, may actually cause you to pass out), say you will drop out of school, as life is practically pointless without that new phone and those new shoes.

 Next time you see something you want, don’t despair; use these tactics for 100 % results.

-Berry S.

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