You are walking down the hallway, trying to avoid the daily traffic congestion. You see the same posters from last week: another advisory bake sale, blood donation, club to eventually join… and a poster about shorts? Recently, BSGE’s walls have been adorned with posters mimicking the nature of the “In case of fire, do not use elevators, use stairs” sign by the elevators. Instead of advocating for fire safety, however, the poster states, “In case of severe heat, do not use shorts, burn for the sake of boys not being distracted instead.” The posters appear to be making a statement against the dress code in terms of the length of females’ shorts. Several copies have been taped to the hallway walls, girls’ bathroom mirrors and stalls, as well as the staircases. Four BSGE students were interviewed and chose to remain anonymous. They all agreed that the dress code being based off of the concept that “boys will be boys” is ridiculous and sexist. However, there were some discrepancies in their opinions on Tanksy and their posters. Some students described the posters as “courageous,” “striking,” and “a battle for student justice.” Whereas others agreed that the cause was just, but felt that the means were a bit “disrespectful” to “the people who are setting us up for our future education and lives.”
We all know the story: the basketball jock falls in love with the science geek over a karaoke duet, the two overcome their differences to star in the school musical, and then everyone breaks out into a huge song and dance performance. Unfortunately, BSGE is not East High and actual high school is not High School Musical (1, 2, or 3). So then how does dating in our school work? Is there hope for a love equivalent to Troy and Gabriella’s? Five BSGE students were interviewed on their prior experiences or general observations about dating in school, and all are anonymous for the sake of privacy.
“Crowded,” “constrictive,” “restrictive,” “open,” and “awkward” were all used to describe dating in BSGE. Four students stated that boys are usually the first ones to make the first move. Even though girls may be the first to “initiate the flirting,” boys are the first to ask for phone numbers and set a date. Everyone agreed that relationships usually begin through a combination of texting and face to face interaction. But one student warns to be wary of picking up the wrong cues, because nowadays, asking someone to spend time outside of school “does not always make an official relationship.”
Three interviewees thought that the movie theatre is an ideal first date spot, because movies “take away the awkwardness of a first date.” The top recommendations are scary movies, because there is “an opportunity for cuddling,” and a movie series, because they are “gender neutral” and allow “both the guy and the girl to get excited for something they both like.” The other two interviewees believed that getting food together in a cafe, or going for a walk in Central Park were ideal first date spots. Whatever you choose to do, remember that a first date is for “really getting to know your significant other” and building off of that initial crush.
On Monday, January 19th, America celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Although many students celebrated with a day off from school, a group of 27 African-American business leaders in New York spread awareness with free movie tickets for 7th, 8th, and 9th graders. This group created a fund that offered 27,000 New York City middle/high school students the opportunity to watch the movie, “SELMA,” for free. Starring David Oyelowo as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “SELMA” takes place in 1965, the year of Dr. King’s campaign for equal voting rights. The movie depicts his three-month long march from Selma, Alabama (hence the movie title) to Montgomery, Alabama, that led to the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the greatest victory of the Civil Rights Movement. The movie also shows Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s brothers and sisters’ involvement in the journey for equal rights.
On Wednesday, December 10th, the art studio was filled with eager juniors and seniors partaking in BSGE’s first Visiting Artist event of the year. Ms. Schwarz arranged for her friend, Catherine Tafur, to present her work, inspiration, and process to the IB art students. Tafur’s presentation included seven paintings from her current exhibition at the Porter Contemporary Art Gallery: The Assassination of Osama Bin Laden, Hillary Rodham, Revolution, Rana Plaza in Savar: Death of a Thousand Workers, American Disco, The Bucket, and Drone War. These pieces addressed social issues such as feminism, the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, and the 2013 Savar building collapse. Although many of her pieces are based on current political issues, she described her inspiration as “whatever keeps me up at night, things that I want to understand.” Tafur’s work is very surreal; it is made up of various patterns, shapes, and vivid colors that “pop” in your face. Every single aspect of her pieces is symbolic, each holding a significant meaning that adds to the overall effect.
The temperature has dropped and the winds have risen again, this can only mean one thing:
It’s officially sweater weather!
Here’s a bucket list for those who want to make the most out of this fall:
☐ Have a pumpkin spice latte
☐ Cuddle up with the bae (or yourself, you are a strong independent bae)
☐ Carve a pumpkin
☐ Go apple picking
☐ Wear as many layers as possible
☐ Go to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade (or watch it on TV)
☐ Volunteer with Helping Hands at Sunnyside Senior Center
☐ Break out the leggings and Uggs combo
☐ Light a candle from the Bath and Body Works’ fall collection
☐ Wear a bucket hat
You may know her as the intelligent Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series or the ditzy Nicki in The Bling Ring, but for now, Emma Watson is playing the role of herself as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador. On September 20th, 2014, Watson launched her campaign for gender equality, “HeforShe,” at the Model UN Headquarters in New York City. She delivered a speech in front of an audience of international delegates and representatives, specifically addressing the general population of men. Watson discussed the negative connotations of the word “feminist,” how supporters are often categorized as aggressive or anti-men, and the lack of male supporters towards gender equality.
Watson’s primary goal in “HeforShe” is to gain male support and involvement by opening up to the issue of men lacking the benefit of equality as well. She described the general purpose of “HeforShe” as an “opportunity to extend a formal invitation [to men]. Gender equality is [their] issue too.” In order to create the balance of gender equality, both women and men must be freed from gender stereotypes; as Watson puts it, “if men don’t have to be aggressive in order to be accepted, women won’t feel compelled to be submissive. If men don’t have to control, women won’t have to be controlled.”
With a 9:11 male to female ratio, BSGE has an almost equal population of males and females. Addressing Emma Watson’s speech and its points, The Bacc Rag has decided to investigate the opinions of BSGE’s males on “HeforShe” and gender equality.
Where did you grow up?
Right here in NY, Manhattan.
What inspired you to become a teacher?
I had a lot of good teachers who I admired as a student. I like talking about history, I like working with kids, I like working with other people. It’s a pretty good line of work to be in.
Where did you go to college? Major?
I went to Bowdoin College. I majored in history and concentrated in European History.
Where and what did you teach before you came to BSGE?
Well right before I came to BSGE I was in graduate school at Teacher’s College in Columbia. Before that I actually taught everything in an elementary school for a couple of years.
I think it’s a fun subject to teach because there are always points of connection
BSGE’s Film Club has officially made it into the Top 50 of The Great American No Bull Challenge! Founded by author and entrepreneur Shawn Edgington, the No Bull Challenge is “a social action organization that inspires teens from around the world to take a stand against bullying and to promote digital responsibility, leadership and social action through filmmaking.” In order to promote non-preaching curricula in bullying for teachers, the winning films and scripts are used as free educational resources to teachers worldwide. The various prizes for the winning students are: a mentorship with Emmy Award winning filmmaker Lee Hirsch, a text-a-tip program for the winner’s school, video cameras, scholarships and a trip to the Sundance Film Festival, where the winning short film video will be submitted.
Kenilworth Jr High in California, Minnetonka High School in Minnesota, and Haven Middle School in Illinois are just a few of the schools that have banned young girls from wearing leggings or yoga pants to school. These schools have required girls who want to wear leggings or yoga pants to also wear fingertip-length shorts, a skirt, or a dress on top. Girls who are seen wearing tight legwear are sent home to change, given a warning, or asked to change into more “appropriate” wear in school (something that happens at BSGE as well). Due to the nature of leggings to accentuate certain body parts, the general reasoning behind this ban is that educators view tight pants as “inappropriate” for school and a disruption to education. Sometimes school officials say that if girls’ clothing is inappropriate it makes it harder for boys to concentrate in school.
The response from parents and administrators vary nationwide; parents of students in Minnetonka High School praise the principal’s ban, describing the trend of leggings as “troubling” and a “bad influence,” whereas the parents of students in Kenilworth Jr High describe the ban as “sexist” and “unfair.” Girls in Haven Middle School protested the ban on March 18th by wearing leggings to school and having over 500 students sign a petition. Although BSGE has not participated in this ban, several students yield strong opinions towards the topic. Natalia B ‘16 says, “It is sexist to prohibit us from