by Kats T '13

Getting Into BSGE

My sister, Jolijt, had been prepping
me for months. She was telling me
what to say and how to say it before
I even went to the open house.
I was already worried about taking
(and hopefully passing) the test,
much less the interview. I really
wanted to get into BSGE.
The test was fair, with
some simple questions, and others
not so simple. What had people biting
on their nails were their nerves,
not the questions. It helped to have
my friends there with me, and we
consoled each other when we were
back in the cafeteria. Most of my
friends passed the test, and I comforted
the others as much as I
The interview was the real
hard part. After being told again and
again what I could say (and what I
couldn’t say) by Jo, I felt ready and
confident. Ok, who am I kidding? I
was as nervous as ever. This was
strange for me, because I don’t get
nervous easily. What really helped
was when my friend Teresa came
out. She told me it was nothing like
my sister’s interview. Yeah. I was
jumping up and down with excitement
after that one.
We gathered into a medium
sized group of about six people.
Teresa had told me we had to pick
a partner, so I looked around and
mentally chose a girl who looked
like she was nice. I only recognized
one kid in my group as the girl that
had sat across from me during the
test. My only comfort was the mechanical
pencil someone had lent
me, and I gripped it as hard as I
could. I followed the woman upstairs
into a room I thought to be a
math class.
Ms. Sonia Silva was supervising,
and she coincidentally
picked my partner to be the one I
had already silently chosen. The
principal, Ms. Johnson was watching
too, which made me even more
nervous. Ms. Silva gave us the directions,
and we sat down to work. I
read the instructions over and over
in my mind, to make sure I didn’t
mess anything up. I could tell my
partner, whom I now noticed to be
Sarah Pinkhasov, was doing the
same thing. What we had to do was
clearly explained, and Sarah and I
set to work.
We were to build the tallest
freestanding structure possible with
a manila folder, scissors, and tape.
Sarah and I clicked, and I knew we
would work well together. We had
to draw our building first, which we
did successfully. Unfortunately, after
setting to work, we soon realized
that our drawing wasn’t exactly
going to work. So we improvised,
and the result came out better than
the original plan. Our manila folder
was standing as high as possible,
and we used the scissors to help
hold it up. The tape was made into
some form of an arch, attached to
the top of the folder with strips of
manila. Sarah had decided to decorate
the building with what we had,
so we cut little designs into the
folder. Ours was indeed the tallest
building in the room, and Sarah and
I were pretty proud.
I tried to use my older
sister’s advice as much as possible,
except through my actions instead
of my words. Since no one was actually
interviewing us, you had to really
express yourself and leave an
impression on the teachers. So I
tried to be myself as much as I
could, laughing, talking, and having
fun as I love to do. I made sure that
Sarah and I each had an equal
share in making the ‘building,’ and
we combined our ideas as best as I
could. It really helped to have a person
you work well with to show off
good teamwork, so Sarah and I
were perfect. We tried to show off
our group-work as best as we
could, since her and I both knew
teamwork is a big part of BSGE.
The weeks after the interview
might have been the most
nerve-racking part. I kept my nerves
on track, and actually forgot about
the test for the first couple of
weeks. But when the letter came, I
almost screamed. I ripped open the
letter, and paused to regain my
cool. Opening up the folded paper, I
sighed the loudest most disappointing
sigh possible. My mom looked
at me anxiously. I groaned again.
The letter said there was a parentteacher
conference later that
month, and that all parents are advised
to go. It was about my sister.
Jeez. What a build-up to nothing.
Despite the false alarm, I
was still on the edge of my seat
waiting for that letter. When it finally
came, I studied the envelope before
giving it much thought. I wanted to
make sure that this wasn’t another
pointless letter that didn’t concern
my results at all. It wasn’t. The envelope
was addressed to me, with
my name on it next to a ‘Baccalaureate’
seal thingy. I looked at my
mom in a way that said, ‘This is the
real deal.’ This time I was trained,
and ready to open the letter. I slid
open the licked seal, and took out
the paper as calmly as possible. I
unfolded the paper and read the
first word. I jumped out of my chair
and screamed (softly). My mom realized
what the scream meant, and
she started screaming, too. We
jumped up and down and hugged
each other. As suddenly as the
screaming started, it stopped, and I
flicked the cool switch in my brain
back on. As calmly as ever, I looked
at my mom and began to read the
to her. “Congratulations…”


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