Word From the Real World: Moshan Guo Reply

If I could only use one word to describe college, it would be serendipity. From arriving at the campus on move-in day to cramming Sociology vocabulary words at 3 a.m. to going stargazing with my friends in the middle of nowhere, freshman year at Colby College for me has been a roller-coaster of a ride.
My name is Moshan Guo, a rising college sophomore transferring to Columbia University this fall. I call myself a preparer; in the summer before entering college, I tried to prepare the best I could for this upcoming new life by ordering dorm necessities like laundry hampers or looking into classes I was interested in taking. I spent countless nights too excited to sleep because I could not wait to experience being the cool college student without curfew or parents by my side telling me what to do. But I was not prepared for adjusting to college; no one had warned me about it.
I cried through my first semester, homesick and stressed from coursework. I would go to class in the mornings, be the most active participant in class discussions, eat alone in the dining halls and then return to my dorm room, where I spent the remainder of the day doing homework and video-calling my best friend from high school. I had almost no social life on campus and instead tried to devote the rest of my time to extracurriculars like volunteering or visiting professors’ office hours.
But it was also on this lonely, quiet campus that I learned to grow, both academically and spiritually. As editors before me have emphasized, college, even after taking IB classes, is challenging. There were weeks when I would go to Miller Library right after classes to study and return to my dorm after 4 a.m. for only four hours of sleep. Although I found myself aware of what quality of work professors expected from me, living up to their expectations was often stressful. As my social circle expanded, especially since the start of the second semester, I found myself bonding with other students over the common woes we shared. There were plenty of times when several of us would work together on a study guide for Biology or help each other with editing essays for Chinese Feminism class.
The majority of you, like me, will initially find yourselves to be isolated in college. If there is one thing I regret about freshman year, it would be stepping outside of my bubble too late in the year. At one point, everyone around you will seem to be having a great time making new friends and excelling at their coursework, while you are the only one struggling to find friends or do well in class. But I promise you that the majority of the people are also struggling with you. It was only after I opened up to my new friends that I realized like me, everyone else around me was nervous about making friends and facing pressure from coursework. Once I stepped out of my bubble, I started spending a lot less time in my dorm and spent more time with friends, even if it was just studying countless hours together in the library. There were times when we impulsively decided to watch a movie at 1 a.m. despite having class the next day or drive down to Waterville for a quick meal at McDonald’s.
The point is, much of the memorable parts of my freshman year come from time spent with friends. I realized that I could get a lot more work done with the help of fellow classmates, even if it meant having endless distractions or side-conversations here and there. College is a miraculous platform in which you will find people coming from very different backgrounds who still share common interests and worries with you.
Coming back to the city for college for the next three years may be daunting; I will once again have to go through the tasks of finding new friends and integrating myself into the campus community. However, I am determined to make the best out of my experience. Freshman year has indeed allowed me to witness the highs and lows of being a college student. But most importantly, it taught me to persist.

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Advice for Lockers Reply

Every student at BSGE has an assigned locker, but many do not use them to the full extent that they should. Here are some tips for using your locker!

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Cracking the Puzzle of Hamilton’s Hype Reply

Teenagers growing up in New York City are given the opportunity to be exposed to the many shows on Broadway. While this fun and memorable experience has always been available, no show has garnered as much popularity as Hamilton as outside of the musical theater niche—especially in young people. Its accomplishments, which include winning “Best Musical” as well as ten other Tony Awards, have people wondering what is so great about Hamilton and why the hype still has not calmed down even after two years since its Off-Broadway debut.

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Cell Phone Thief Gets into Accident, Delays Hundreds of Commuters Reply

A thief snatched a BSGE student’s iPhone on a train in Woodside and then tried to run away by escaping onto the subway tracks, only to be struck by another train. The entire ordeal delayed many rush hour commuters across Queens and into Manhattan. At around 7:40 a.m. on Tuesday, April 5th, the man approached the 13 year-old student, an 8th grader at BSGE, and took his phone. As he was trying to leave the car, several people tried to stop him. In order to get away, the 33 year-old culprit punched a man in the face then jumped onto the express train tracks, where he tried to run away. Although police were unable to pursue him, moments later he was sideswiped by a Manhattan-bound F train and mildly electrocuted by the third rail.

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All About the Extended Essay Reply

At the beginning of the school year, BSGE 11th graders begin their year-long assignment: the Extended Essay. Although this assignment may sound tedious and intimidating, it is a crucial part of the IB program. “I was overwhelmed at first because it sounded like a really complicated paper,” said Angelica Benares ‘16. This essay, put simply, is a mandatory independent research paper on a topic of interest with a maximum of 4,000 words.

At BSGE, students are required to choose their discipline from one of the three IB Higher Level classes— History of the Americas, English Literature, and Visual Art. However, every year there are a few exceptions to the rule: a very small percentage of students choose Standard Level topics, such as Biology SL or Math SL. The difference between IB HL and IB SL is that HL is generally more difficult and in depth than SL. Because in HL classes students are able to learn more difficult material, they are encouraged to write their Extended Essays on topics belonging to those disciplines. The few exceptions to this rule are students who have very strong interests in the SL subjects and also have extracurricular connections to them. For example, a student who attends a Biology class and lab at a community college every weekend may be able to choose Biology as their discipline for the Extended Essay. More…

Junior Council’s Rocking Karaoke Night Reply

photo 1Junior Council hosted BSGE’s first ever Karaoke Night on Friday, January 15 a fundraiser for senior activities, such as prom, purchasing yearbooks, and senior trip. The event was held from 3 to 6 p.m., with tickets sold for $4 (and $5 at the door). Hours before the event, council members were busy putting decorative ornaments on the walls and setting up the microphone and speakers. “It was chaotic, but it worked out,” said Junior Council Secretary, Ryan Zhuo ’17. The team set up a small snack stand and even opened up a photo booth for visitors. Starting at 3 p.m., groups of students started to assemble in the cafeteria, the place the event was held at. By 3:30, the cafeteria was packed with students and teachers, including Mr. Stone, the supervisor of Junior Council, and Ms. Hunter, the trigonometry teacher. As a way to show their support and to participate in the event, many juniors came to Karaoke Night. Junior Claire Bergerson ’17 said, “I thought it was a really laid-back and relatively non-judgemental atmosphere. I know how hard everyone worked to put it together and I really think their hard work paid off and everyone had fun.” Many students sang, including seniors Jamie Carroll ’16 and Gabriel Steinberg ’16, who performed the “The Lazy Song.” Junior Martin Lazos Bobadilla ’17 sang “Milkshake” by Kelis, which Claire thought was “very impressive.” Along with this, almost all of the teachers who attended the event sang, including Mr. Stone, who sang the Pokemon theme song, and Dr. Helfenbein, who sang “Cadillac Ranch” by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. “It was great,” said Ryan, “because I got to see a lot of teachers and peers I’ve never seen singing before finally sing.” More…

What’s the deal with CAS group projects? Reply

Juniors and seniors in BSGE this year have been introduced to a new assignment that they have to complete as part of the Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) requirement for the IB Diploma Program. The CAS Group Project, which in BSGE must center around the theme of human rights in order to maintain a global perspective, is an 8-week long project that can happen either during the school year or over the summer. Aside from the human rights requirement, which is relatively broad, students can choose to do anything that falls under one or more of the three CAS sections. Below are some sample group projects that juniors are currently working on:

Group Name: “The Five”

Supervisor: Mildred

Jonathan Kim, Aadarsh Devkota, Kenneth Sue, Jotham Kim, Nicholas Jung

The group is forming a band in order to make music to promote happiness and joy. It will also compose cover songs in order to encourage others to believe in oneself. More…

School Security: Time to Get Serious?

Source: Newsday

Source: Newsday

A mass shooting took place in an Oregon college, resulting in the deaths of 10 people. On Thursday, October 1, Christopher Harper-Mercer, the 26 year-old gunman, entered his writing class in Umpqua Community College armed with six guns and fired a shot to the back of the room. He then forced his fellow students to the center of the classroom, where he deliberately spared the life of a student and gave him an envelope for him to pass on to the police. He fatally shot nine victims, one of whom was the assistant professor, and finally himself. More…

The Most Dangerous High School In the U.S. Receives Hope

Strawberry Mansion High School, a school in Philadelphia, was once named one of the most dangerous high schools in America by NeighborhoodScout. This school, with a total population of around 435 students, is located in a poor neighborhood with a high crime rate. Over 40% of the residents live in poverty, and the neighborhood has the highest frequency of homicide, rape, and assault in the city. Students file through metal detectors before entering the building every morning, and the officers and security guards watch for razor blades in tin foil and knives in backpacks. Before some students even enter classrooms, they are required to empty their pockets to ensure that they are not hiding any weapons. 94 security cameras line the hallways all over the school to monitor the students. More…

Costume Drive!

photoMr. Anderson’s advisory is recently holding a Costume Drive that will last from October 8 to October 23. Students are encouraged to donate their old Halloween costumes to the Salvation Army, an international charitable organization with a mission to help those in need. Students who want to donate can bring their costumes to their advisories. They can contact Mr. Anderson, Akifah Ahmed, or Jason Wilkins for more information about the drive.