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2016-2017 Archives by Daleelah S '19 Entertainment and Culture Style

Controversy and Cultural Appropriation

Fun in the Sun Friday was the final day of Spirit Week for the 2016-2017 school year, but it didn’t end up being very fun for many people.

Quite a few students came in that day wearing “traditional” Hawaiian apparel, such as leis, luaus, and grass hula skirts. In response, plain posters with text on them were put up in the school’s staircases. They included phrases such as “Hawaiian culture is not your theme” and “Hawaiian culture is not your costume.”  Rather than sparking a conversation, the posters ended up creating controversy and exposing deeply contrasting viewpoints. Generally, students that had come in wearing these items felt personally victimized and targeted, and maintained that their outfits were harmless and not at all an instance of cultural appropriation. This raised debate throughout the school about what does or doesn’t constitute cultural appropriation, a phrase which many people understand differently, and the moral values of which are fairly complicated and debated on by anthropologists and sociologists alike.

First, there needs to be an understanding of what the term “cultural appropriation” implies. The word “appropriation” has traditionally been used as a synonym for institutional or widespread theft. The cultural aspect of this has normally been defined as when “members of a dominant culture take elements from a culture of people who have been systematically oppressed by that dominant group.” In the case of Fun In the Sun Friday, the dominant culture would be mainland American culture, while the oppressed culture would be native Hawaiian culture. It’s important to distinguish the two, given Hawaii’s history.

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2016-2017 Archives BSGE by Lalla A '20 News

BSGE’S Lack of High School Ranking

The U.S. News and World Report annually publishes a list of the nation’s, and each state’s, top high schools. For the past few years, BSGE has ranked among the top ten high schools in the state, and among the top 50 in the country. Last year the school was placed at #5 in New York, and #32 nationwide, ranking above Bronx Science and Stuyvesant, among others. This year though, BSGE was not listed among the top ten, or even the top 50 in the state, but rather has lost its high ranking.

This is because of “the lack of IB data,” as stated by the U.S. News and World Report. This year, the newspaper was unable to receive data from the IB, dramatically dropping the school’s rank. As the school is based of the IB program, there was very little data for the newspaper to base the school off of. The most that was gathered was the general statistics, such as number of students and their ethnicities, as well as standardized math and English test scores. There was no mention of the fact that most of the students take IB  exams, which is necessary for an important statistic known as the “college readiness index.” This means BSGE now has a bronze medal with no official ranking, besides being “nationally recognized.”

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2016-2017 Archives by Janielle D '19 Culture Entertainment and Culture

What Do You Meme?

Memes: there is no escaping them. From the Instagram explore page and Twitter relatable accounts to company marketing advertisements and BSGE bake sale posters, memes are used to reach a wide audience, with purposes including entertainment and advertising. While the iconic Pepe and Kermit the Frog memes made their viral Internet debut in the 2010s, memes have been around since the 1940s, connecting people around the world.

The word “meme” was first coined in 1976 by Richard Dawkins, who described it as “an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.” Under Dawkins, memes were analogous to genes and were considered a “unit of culture” that reproduces itself. Inspired from Dawkins, the study of memes, known as memetics, arose to act as an evolutionary model of the transferring of information within cultures. Despite its scientific beginnings, memes have taken a different route that most people can understand.

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2016-2017 Archives by Rachel R Z '20 Faculty Features

Teacher of the Month: Ed March

Where did you grow up?

I was raised in Brooklyn, New York.

What was your previous job?

My last job was working as loss prevention for Prada in a mall.

What kind of student were you in high school?

I was kind of this odd under-achiever; I could’ve done better, but besides that, I did pretty well.

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2016-2017 Archives by Krista P '22 Features students

How to Make Something of Your Free Time

Free time. Those are words some haven’t heard in a long while, yet don’t realize when they experience it. Therefore, when students get any amount at all of time with almost nothing to worry about, tests or homework, they can just relax. But this leads to frequent boredom, staring at phones, debating whether or not to like a photo from 56 weeks ago.  There has to be a better way to spend the time.

Since free time is so rare, few know how to spend it. Spending free time wisely is meant to give a sense of accomplishment and contentedness with yourself.

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2016-2017 Archives by Mrittika H '20 Entertainment and Culture Food

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds strawberries; squished and jammed
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • Whipped Cream
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2016-2017 Archives BSGE by Jacqueline C '20 Features News students

The Flapjack Fundraiser: Making More Than Just Profits

The Flapjack Fundraiser is an annual occurrence at BSGE that not only supports the school’s softball team, but also unifies the school community. This year it was “extremely successful,” according to team member Anela Salkanovic ‘20. The fundraiser provided the softball team with enough money to buy new jerseys and prepare for the upcoming season. It also gave them a chance to celebrate with teachers, parents, and other students in anticipation of their future victories.

The ticket sales are always the biggest producers of the team’s funds, but not the sole basis for the fundraiser’s success. Emily Costa ‘17, one of the team’s captains, explained that “raffles were a big deal” because they profited the team several hundred dollars. She continued, saying that these gains were one of the factors making the fundraiser “at least as good as last year’s…if not better.”

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2016-2017 Archives BSGE by Rakiba S '22 Clubs/Activities News Student Life

The Blood Drive of 2017

With the motto of, “Donate blood now…people can’t live without it,” plastered on posters across the school, some may wonder what exactly went on at the blood drive. This blood drive was sponsored by the Helping Hands Committee, meaning that the general group of people in Helping Hands sponsored the blood drive rather than any specific committee. Peter Wilson, the advisor of Helping Hands, was the one who facilitated the blood drive on the day of. This blood drive was the first blood drive of 2017 and was hosted in partnership with the New York Blood Center. On March 17, from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM, a bus known as the bloodmobile was available with staff, donor beds, and refreshments to ease the process. Helping Hands’ was to collect at least 35 pints of blood for New York City hospitals and other medical facilities to use.

Approximately 45 appointments were made BSGE students, despite the cold weather on the day of the blood drive. However, of those 45 appointments, only 25 were accepted. Despite how enthusiastic students in BSGE were to donate blood, factors including blood type, blood iron level, weight,  height, and countries recently visited affected whether or not one would be accepted to donate blood. Peter mentioned that during the dozen years Helping Hands had sponsored the blood drive, around 65 people would sign up during warm weather, but of those, about one-third to one-half would be rejected.

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2016-2017 Archives by Novaleen A '20 Entertainment and Culture Movies/T.V.

Top Anime of 2016

Anime, or Japanese animation, come in various genres, just as American TV does. It is prominent in today’s society and is very frequently talked about. In BSGE, there are many anime lovers, introduced to it for various reasons. Kai Wahlin ‘22 is “partly Japanese, so Anime is cool.” Aayman Abdellatif ‘18 says, “I grew up watching popular anime like Dragon Ball Z, Naruto, Shaman King, etc so my love for anime grew to include less mainstream anime such as Akuma No Riddle, Baka to Test, [and] Erased. BSGE students were asked about their favorite anime of 2016, with many responses from different genres.

yuri on iceYuri!!! On Ice  is a sports anime produced by MAPPA, directed by Sayo Yamamoto, and written by Mitsuro Kubo. It is about figure skating, in which the 23 year old Yuri Katsuki faces a major defeat in the Grand Prix Final. He begins to believe that his career as a skater is coming to a close. Until, a video of him performing a routine of the Russian five-time world champ- Viktor Nikiforov goes viral. Viktor comes to Japan out of nowhere to become Yuri’s coach. Stupefied, Yuri accepts his idol’s offer, beginning to train for the Grand Prix Finals. 

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2016-2017 Archives by Lalla A '20 Entertainment and Culture Food Health

The Reality of School Lunch

Every day, students at BSGE line up, wondering what’s for lunch. Some days it’s chicken, hamburgers or mozzarella sticks. In any case, there is a general consensus that the quality of the food is low, with it being at times undercooked, stale, or even frozen chocolate milk. It’s not just in BSGE though. Schools across the city have students complaining about food quality and the the fact that it can be greatly improved.

The official school food website states, regarding the meals for NYC schools, “nutrition standards always meet, and many times exceed, USDA Nutrition Standards for School Meals.” While this claim may appear impressive to some, the standards are do little to focus on serving food that students are willing to eat. For example, the USDA states that schools should “offer fruits and vegetables as two separate meal components.” This does not discuss what may be done to improve them or make sure that the food served tastes good. Furthermore, there have also been claims from students in NYC that they had found pieces of metal in the chicken tenders, according to CBS news. This report was made recently last month, with the city now removing the option from lunch. Other students have reported moldy pizza and choked on bones where they shouldn’t have been, CBS news continues.

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2016-2017 Archives BSGE by Samantha V '18 Features News students

Shhh…It’s the Day of Silence

The Day of Silence is an event that BSGE participates in annually. This year, on April 20, students will be given the choice to support the cause by either staying completely silent or by respecting those who are and by just supporting the cause. Both equally show one’s support for the LGBTQ community, so don’t think that someone who is supporting cares less than someone who is being silent. Nationally, the Day of Silence is on April 21, but this would coincide with Helping Hands’ Earth Day trip.

 

This year, the organization that the Day of Silence committee is planning to donate to is the Ali Forney Center. The Ali Forney Center is an area that provides a safe space for LGBTQ youth. They are provided with necessities such as food, medical attention, and shelter, if necessary. It helps young homeless members of the LGBTQ community feel safe and they are given the resources to feel comfortable expressing their sexuality.

 

Showing your support for the Day of Silence is very important because you are showing that you respect those who are forced to stay closeted and can’t express themselves because they are afraid of being judged for their sexuality. Even if you aren’t going completely silent, showing your support by wearing the support cards—that are handed out in the morning—is spreading the word and showing support.

 

A final note that should be made is that staying silent on the Day of Silence should be taken seriously. It is not a day to stay silent for the sake of not having to participate in class. Also, staying silent means no communication with any other person at all. This means no passing of notes, no texting, and no hand gestures. This goes against the purpose of staying silent and it should be used as a day of support, not joking around. At the end of the day, the silence is broken during a “Breaking of the Silence” ceremony where everyone can break the silence at together.

 

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2016-2017 Archives by Samantha V '18 Culture News World

What it is Like to Live in a Developing Country For Two Weeks

Two weeks in the Philippines. This may not seem like a lot of time for a vacation, but it was perfect for an eye-opening experience. While I was in the Philippines, I learned about how different the local lifestyle was from the my lifestyle in New York. There were many moments when I felt extremely grateful for how privileged I was, but there were also many times when I wished I could have these Filipino experiences everyday.

The first thing I noticed was how much traffic there was. While New York has its fair share of traffic, it is nothing compared to the never-ending traffic on the streets of the Philippines. Almost every hour seemed to be rush hour and it was almost impossible to get anywhere on time. Whether taking a car, a tricycle, or jeepney, commuting was definitely a struggle. Mass transportation such as trains weren’t used as often because they were inconvenient and inefficient. There were a limited number of stops and the trains didn’t reach many areas. This causes more people to drive, which in turn creates more traffic. From talking with family members, I learned that they were used to the traffic and it has become a part of their everyday life. They learned to always expect traffic, so they tend to leave a lot earlier just to get to work or school on time. A possible solution that was passed in 2003 was the Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program, more commonly known as coding. Still used today, what the program does is that it restricts certain vehicles from using main roads at specific times based on the last digit of its license plate. Even with coding in use, traffic is still very prominent because of the lack of mass public transportation.