Word from the Real World: Maya Juman Reply

Being on my own is weird. It’s also the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

I’m Maya Juman, a BSGE (and Bacc Rag) alum, and now a freshman at Yale University. I’ve been in college for two months and have already experienced so many incredibly new things of all sorts. I have my first real job. I’ve battled two bouts of “freshman plague,” as everyone refers to the perpetual sore throat/cold passed around freshman housing. I’ve learned the hard way that eating grilled cheeses and taking breaks to play pool in the basement at 2 am is an ineffective, albeit fun, way to get work done. I’ve done better on a midterm than I anticipated. I’ve done much, much worse on a midterm than I anticipated. I’ve traveled home on the Metro-North, which oddly enough was the first time college truly felt real. I’ve located the best New Haven pizza (Pepe’s white clam pie, of course). I’ve been evacuated from my dorm at 1 am because a freshman two floors above me broke a sprinkler and flooded all our rooms. I’ve tried things I never thought I would, like working out at 7 am, beekeeping, and taking a poetry seminar. I’ve located the best study spots in each library, the best place to watch the Wild Card Game with other Mets fans, and, perhaps most importantly, the dining hall with the most expansive cereal selection. More…


Letter From The Editor Reply

It has been a great privilege of mine to contribute to the Bacc Rag as a writer and editor over the past five years.

I remember so clearly the first time I, a tiny, terrified eighth grader, was sent to interview upperclassmen and teachers for an article. One of my first assignments was asking several seniors to reflect on the college application process, and I recall thinking about how far away college seemed, and how scary the seniors were, and how long it would be before I would finally graduate from BSGE.

It definitely went by faster than I could ever have imagined. Graduating seems surreal, but so does leaving behind this newspaper, which, although at times can be crazy and dysfunctional (I know the staff will agree with me) is so full of life and spunk. I’ve poured my heart into the Bacc Rag during my time at BSGE, and I can only hope that I have done half as much for this newspaper as it has done for me. More…

Thanks BSGE PTA! Reply

As Bacc Rag editor this year, I would like to thank the PTA for continuing to support our publication. As in years past, the PTA helped us print our issues, which we consider a crucial part of what we do as a newspaper. Physical distribution remains one of our main priorities in sharing news. We are so grateful to have the support of the school, and look forward to another year of writing and printing. Thank you so much for everything!

– Maya Juman ’16, Editor


Lady Sting’s Playoff Run Ends in City Quarterfinals Reply

DSC05467This year, BSGE’s varsity softball team had their longest and most exciting playoff run yet. During the regular season the team was undefeated, finishing 15-0 in their PSAL Queens B Division, led by captains Nina Don ‘16 and Rakia Islam ‘16. Lady Sting was seeded #1 in Queens, and was given a first round bye. In the second round, the team defeated Robert H. Goddard High School 10-9 in a 6-run seventh inning rally. BSGE was then granted the overall #3 seed in the city out of the remaining 16 teams. After beating Sunset Park High School 8-1 in the third round, Lady Sting advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time in BSGE history. Despite losing 3-0 to the High School for Math, Science and Engineering, Lady Sting still finished the season as one of the top 8 teams out of the total 133 in B Division softball, an accomplishment that the players, the coaches, and the many spectators and fans are truly proud of. More…

A New Cafeteria Mural for CAS Reply

IMG_5372The vast majority of BSGE students eat lunch in the cafeteria, and many spend time there after school for various extracurricular activities. Thus, for a group of five determined seniors, repainting the cafeteria mural seemed like the obvious choice for a CAS group project that would impact the entire school community. Isabelle Lee ‘16, Alvaro Bermejo ‘16, Joly Zakaria ‘16, Akib Rahman ‘16, and Sara Asprilla ‘16 wanted to replace the long-standing mural with a brighter, fresher design. With the supervision and input of the art teachers, Peter Wilson, and Vanessa Rabines, the group put in 20 hours of after-school work over the course of 2 months, sanding and repainting the original mural and creating the new design on the wall. More…

BSGE Travels to China! Reply

IMG_3890During spring break, a group of BSGE students and teachers embarked on a trip to China, which was our school’s first trip to a country in Asia. This year, the school decided to give an opportunity to students interested in Chinese culture and language to experience the country firsthand. The group consisted of 23 students and 4 teachers—Ms. Mihalache, Ms. Silva, Mr. Giraldo, and Ms. Xia. During their 10-day stay in China, they visited a total of three cities: Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai. More…

BSGE Fitness Room Gets a Makeover Reply

The second floor fitness room is used by most BSGE students who have gym for their physical education class. Some students even like to go to the fitness room after school and work out then as well. The room has recently been renovated, with the addition of a mirror and the rearrangement of equipment. However, there are still more changes to come.

Margaret Pasach, the parent coordinator, explained the process of renovating the room. “The PTA worked on getting money from the councilman, because the machines were in disrepair. And he came through. They’d been working on it for 2 years. They were able to bring in enough money to redo the fitness room.” The floors were repainted a bright blue, and mirrors now line the wall behind the weight racks. Some machines, however, were removed, like the equipment for lateral pulldown, and a dysfunctional machine that is supposed to work out the legs but now only serves as a rest station. Over the summer, new machines will be added, like new bicycles, since many of the current bicycles are not entirely functional. More…

Investigating BSGE’s Water Quality Reply

Even if all water fountains are created equal, their quality can change over time, and we wanted to investigate the water quality on every floor of BSGE. There are two water fountains on each floor, one tall and one shorter. We found that all the smaller fountains were of lower quality when considering three factors of temperature, murkiness, and pressure.

The first floor water fountains are an interesting case. The two fountains are in front of the security guard’s desk, excluding the one in the lunchroom, which has been out of order, as well as the cafeteria’s water cooler. The water from the smaller fountain has a colder temperature than the larger one, at 16 degrees Celsius. However, the larger one, at 17.1 degrees Celsius, has much clearer water than the smaller one. Although the small water fountain did not have really murky water, it was relatively unclear. In terms of water pressure (how much water came out of the fountain and at what speed), the larger fountain wins. It sprays water at a more forceful rate, with a larger arc of water.  If you had to make a choice between the two water fountains on the first floor, the larger water fountain would win due to its pretty cold water and much higher cleanliness than the other one. More…

BSGE’s Middle School Math Competition Success Reply

0319161235aBSGE’s middle school math team has been succeeding in numerous city and state math competitions this spring, led by Mr. Mehan. 8th graders Rachael Cheung, Christie Choi, SiLiang Lei and Christy Guan, as well as 7th grader Ahmed Shekani participated in the MathCounts citywide chapter competition on February 6th at IS 74, where the team won 2nd place. They moved on to the state finals, held at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in upstate New York on March 18th. More…

Lady Sting Softball Off To Strong Start With 2016 Season Reply

1918183_10204212323627360_8065897584736457814_nBSGE’s varsity softball team kicked off the season last week, dominating their first two PSAL games against the Young Women’s Leadership School, 20-0, and Long Island City High School, 21-1. The official games began after several weeks of non-league scrimmages against Division A and B teams, which Lady Sting ended with a record of 4 wins, 2 losses and 1 tie. Lady Sting is looking to win its division for the second consecutive season, and advance to the playoffs once again. Captain and shortstop Nina Don ’16 shared her thoughts on the start of the season. “I feel like it’s going really well. Our team is getting smarter and stronger after every game – even the freshmen are learning really quickly, and I hope this continues throughout the season.” More…

This Week’s News in Brief Reply

BSGE’s Football Team Remains Undefeated
BSGE’s Boys Football team recently completed another undefeated season. The team has never lost a single game in the 14 year history of BSGE. No member of the team could be found for comment.
Staff-Only Zip Line Under Construction
An unnamed source among the staff recently confirmed that teachers are secretly working on a zip line to take them from the 4th floor teacher’s room to a bar two blocks away.
Only 14% of BSGE Students Aware of Petting Zoo on the Roof
Despite outreach and awareness campaigns from the Petting Hands committee, most students remain unaware that there is a fully functioning petting zoo on the roof of our school’s building. The zoo recently added a female alpaca named Maxim. Admission is $5 for students but free on Fridays. Club president, Louise Belcher, said that members of Petting Hands remain optimistic that students would take better advantage of the zoo, especially with the scheduled arrival of a wallaby next fall.

NYC Public Schools Celebrate Lunar New Year Reply

On February 8th 2016, all NYC students had a day off from school to celebrate the longest and most important holiday in Chinese culture: Lunar New Year, more commonly known as Chinese New Year. Chinese New Year is celebrated to honor ancestors and to bring families together to feast.

2016 is the first year that the day was recognized as a school holiday. In the past decade, city, state, and federal officials and community groups had been fighting for Chinese New Year to be added as a school holiday in NYC where one in six of the 1.1 million students are Asian. “Under the prior city (Bloomberg) administration, there was a real lack of willingness to consider this issue,” State Senator Daniel Squadron, a supporter of a legislation in 2009 to recognize Chinese New Year as a school holiday, told NBC News. More…

The Force Awakens – And So Does a New Breed of Star Wars Reply

Source: starwars.com

Source: starwars.com

I grew up on Star Wars – and yes, I am aware of the faint laughter I hear from “original” 1970s fans as I say that. But I’m as real a fan as a teenager in 2016 can be. My parents thankfully raised me on the original trilogy, and so when I heard that George Lucas had sold Star Wars to Disney, I cringed. I rolled my eyes at promotional merchandise and trailers and the spherical orange wannabe R2-D2.

But of course, on December 17th, I found myself at the premiere of Episode VII: The Force Awakens, robe-clad with lightsaber in tow. More…

The Marvelous Math Club Reply

There are over twenty clubs currently functioning in BSGE. Students, based on their hobbies, can choose to attend clubs with themes such as French, Yoga, Fashion, Math and many others. For me, as an addict to Sudoku-like puzzle and logic games, Math Club was an obvious choice. Hence, as soon as Middle school Math Club opened, with Mr. Mehan at its helm, I was on board, along with 50 other Math enthusiasts. The club offers engaging and challenging mathematical activities that can build skills and logical thinking.

Every Wednesday from 2:15 P.M. to 3:15 P.M. Middle School Math Club opens its door. Mr. Mehan, in his typical engaging manner, makes all the sessions enjoyable and exciting. When asked about the benefits of joining the club, Mr. Mehan explains, “students [in math club] are exposed to different kinds of math problems that they may or may not be exposed to during school. Most importantly, I just want students to have fun socializing while doing math.” More…

Progress Report Grades and Parent Teacher Conferences Reply

Even though learning the content is said to be the most important part of classes, students still feel a nervous anticipation as report cards and parent-teacher conference come closer, no matter the grade.

It seems expectations are different for each student as well, especially for the first semester of the school year. Mohammed Rahman ‘20 explains that he thinks he will do pretty well, but when asked what specific grade he expects to get, he said “an average of around 4s and 5s.”

“I mean, it depends on your definition of ‘great’…For this semester, I just want to pass, really… ” says Jonathan Chen ‘21. “I expected…fives and sixes, but nope! I got hit with threes and fours.” More…

Running Club: Activity and Teamwork Reply

A new club this year for running seems to have been a big success among students. Running club encourages students at BSGE to work hard to reach their physical goals and have fun at the same time.

Running club was created by tenth grade student, Kohen Rahman with the help of guidance counselor Tim David Lang and gym teacher Mr. Mac, and the approval of Ms. Johnson. “I started the group because I love to run,” Kohen explained. “It is a form of physical exercise that is so simple, but not many people actually get around to doing it.”

The club has provided students with a chance to get outside and do something they never really had the motivation to do. Its was great experience for anyone who enjoys running, regardless of prior skill level. “It is something that also alleviates stress, which we, as students, get a lot of in BSGE,” said Kohen. More…

Open House for Current 7th and 8th Graders Reply

Students, parents, faculty and alumni gathered in the cafeteria for the school’s first open house for current BSGE 7th and 8th graders on November 10th. That evening, teachers and alumni from the school spoke to 7th and 8th grade students and their families about the school, the IB program, and why they should consider staying at BSGE for high school instead of transferring.

Every fall, middle school families begin to think about applying to high schools. Open houses are conducted in other high schools for students and parents to learn about what they have to offer. This is not something BSGE has done prior to this school year. “What ends up happening is parents get a lot of information about other schools and are not getting information about our high school,” explained the guidance counselor, Timothy David Lang.

This night was a chance to speak to current 7th and 8th grade parents about the high school program here at BSGE. In the front of the cafeteria stood a panel of speakers, consisting of current BSGE students, alumni, IB coordinator Jennifer Dikes, Tim David Lang, and college counselor Peter Wilson. More…

7th Grader Models for Target, Macy’s, Old Navy Reply

image1 (1)Most BSGE students don’t have the slightest idea that a real model is walking in their midst. Gregory Briggler ‘21 has been featured in advertisements for large retailers including Target, Macy’s, and Old Navy – big achievements for somebody who is only 12 years old.

Gregory started modeling because his mother signed him up when he was 9 years old. His first shoot was for a British company called Next. He’s a versatile model. “I model fashion made for every season,” he said.

The average BSGE student has a fairly large workload – is modeling a distraction? “It doesn’t affect me that much, since I manage all of my schoolwork well,” Gregory told us. “Sometimes I’m free so I can catch up with friends that I don’t talk to that often.” When asked about what he does with the money he makes, Gregory said, “I usually spend it on things I need, like the computer that I recently bought. After getting something, I try to find something else to save up for.”

Students Reflect on a New School Year Reply

We are two months into a new school year at BSGE, and it’s obvious that everybody has already started to think about the next break that they’ll have. However, most students have also begun to consider how they are going to succeed academically more than they previously had.

Time management plays a huge role in getting decent grades. Akifah Ahmed ‘21 explained, “I manage my time by timing myself while I’m doing my homework, which makes it easier for me to do my own things in my own time later on.” Agreeing with Akifah, Lakshya Rajoria ‘21 commented, “I organize my time by finishing all of my homework by 9:30 PM. I also try to do both A-day and B-day homework on the weekends, since I have enough time to catch up on my schoolwork.” More…