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by Erin C '14

World From the Real World: Erin Camia ’14

This past year has been a lesson in learning that things are never impossible. It is possible to survive moving away from home and its comforts. It is possible for a New Yorker to have fun in Cleveland. It is possible for a BSGE graduate to completely switch gears and become an engineering major.

None of these things were particularly easy to learn, however. I felt ready to return to my parents forever when early in the first semester, I had a terrible ear infection that required a visit to the ER one night. I spent a few hours crying on the phone with my parents, partly because of the pain and partly because I realized adults have to take care of their own health. I eventually got the help I needed and even better, began a friendship with one of my best friends when she accompanied me to the hospital and bought me ice cream afterwards.

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by Erin C '14

BSGE Production of Macbeth Set to Hit the Stage

The Baccalaureate Theater photoCompany’s production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth will debut in June after months of rehearsals and preparations. Director Olivia Witting ’14 will stay true to the original script of the centuries-old tragedy, but has made use of modern costumes to create a new age version of Shakespeare’s work.

Witting and her father, Steve, who has been helping his daughter with her directorial responsibilities, chose this specific play for the Theater Company to perform. They got in touch with 12th grade English teacher Mr. Potter last summer and asked which plays he had chosen to teach during this academic year. Olivia said, “Since we were studying Macbeth in class, I thought the actors could get insights into their characters.” The majority of the cast is made up of 12th grade students and thus the actors have studied the tragedy in-depth. They have also had the chance to write about it during the IB English Exam last month.

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by Erin C '14

Analyzing the College Process

After the senior class of 2013 decided what colleges they will be attending, they were able to reflect on the long and arduous process they underwent for over a year. Students at BSGE have a unique opportunity during the college admissions process because they can work closely with the college counselor, Peter Wilson, and attend his summer college workshop. However, attending BSGE also makes some of the admissions process more difficult. As the school year

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by Erin C '14

Pros & Cons: Turnitin.com

Screen Shot 2013-05-07 at 3.53.57 PMWhen students enter seventh grade at BSGE, their teachers introduce them to a website called, Turnitin, the self-proclaimed “Leading Plagiarism Checker.” The process involves a teacher creating a class that students can enroll in using the proper class ID and password. Students can then submit assignments by uploading files to the website. While the website offers services like GradeMark and PeerMark, which allow teachers to put up the grades for the assignments and students to review their peers’ work, respectively, the teachers at BSGE usually choose only to make use of the OriginalityCheck. This service includes the site comparing the submitted assignment to all other assignments and works that it has in its database and finding similar sections of writing. For both students and teachers, Turnitin’s main purpose is to ensure that work has not been plagiarized, though it may be inconvenient in other ways.

Students at BSGE seem to view the website as a nuisance, though not because it proves to be an effective tool against plagiarism. Sayeed Akbar ‘14 said, “I think the main disadvantage is that

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by Erin C '14

Progress Reports Out for BSGE As Well

Every year the DOE issues a Progress Report that grades schools on an A to F range. This year, BSGE has received a B for the middle school and an A for the high school. The school as a whole received a B last year as well. For both types of progress reports, the DOE grades the school in three categories, which include Student Progress, Student Performance, and School Environment. The high school is also graded on Career and College Readiness. In the middle school report card, Student Progress and Student Performance are dependent on the student’s grades in the Math and English state tests. In comparison, the same categories for the high school progress report are

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by Erin C '14

Understanding Community Service Hours

From the time students enter as seventh graders up until the day that they graduate, they are constantly reminded that extracurricular activities are extremely important. As students in the middle years program, they are required to complete community and service hours. These community and service hours can be completed through a range of activities. School clubs, such as The BACCRag or Helping Hands, allow students to earn their hours. Other activities that offer these hours to students are volunteering at parent-teacher conferences, helping teachers organize their files, and other extracurriculars that are not involved with the school. There are some restrictions

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by Erin C '14

We’re Number One!

BSGE has once again ranked high on US News and World Report’s list of the nation’s best high schools, and this year the school has been named the 21st best high school in the country. BSGE is also the top school in New York State according to the report. On May 8, teachers and students alike walked into school and immediately began conversations about the news. People walking into school that morning were even more excited to see a NY1 reporter outside and interviewing members of the BSGE community. Everyone at BSGE was proud to learn that their school had accomplished this.
The US News and World Report ranks schools on a number of factors, including test performance and how well the school prepares students for college. There are a number of steps that the report goes through to judge the high schools. The first two steps measure how well the students perform on tests, and if minority students, who statistically perform more poorly, are faring better in those schools. According to US News and World Report’s description of their methodology, “For those schools that made it past the first two steps, a third step assessed the degree to which schools prepare

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by Erin C '14

Japan Charity Raffle At BSGE

Ms. Matani’s tenth grade advisory organized a raffle in an effort to raise money for the victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.  On that day, a 8.9 magnitude earthquake occurred off the east coast, about 250 miles northeast of Tokyo. It was so powerful that it shook the earthquake-resistant skyscrapers of the city.  It triggered a tsunami that caused even more damage along the coast of Japan. This resulted in large waves that reached about 6 miles inland at some places. According to the Japanese National Police Agency, 15,057 deaths have been confirmed, 5,282 people were

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by Erin C '14

Review: King Lear Performed at BSGE

Ms. Nikkolos’s 9th grade advisory has staged their own version of the Shakespeare classic “King Lear.” In the play, the elderly King Lear wishes to give his kingdom to his three daughters. Of his three daughters, two only love him for his wealth. The third daughter, Cordelia, actually loves him, but he disowns her, which he later comes to regret. This is another Shakepearean tragedy, and it does not have a happy ending.
The students in Ms. Nikkolos’s 9th grade advisory have performed an abridged version for the other 9th grade students. It is short enough to fit in one advisory period. The students performed

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by Erin C '14

2011’s Yearbook Truly Represents

The 2010-2011 yearbook definitely captures the spirit of this year’s senior class.  Beginning with a Dr. Seuss quote on friendship, the idea that close friendships have developed are evident throughout the book. It seems that each page is loaded with pictures of friends having fun. The yearbook also emphasizes all the good times that the seniors have had throughout the year. Pictures of events like Lounge Night, Spirit Week, Senior Trip, and the trip to Denmark are included.
Features that are usually in yearbooks can also be found in this one. School pictures of each student can be found next to their chosen baby picture. Pictures of clubs, groups, and sports teams take up a few pages. Two pages full of “Remember when…” quotes from students are funny for any reader and a great chance for the seniors to reminisce about their years spent in BSGE. This yearbook has all the features necessary for

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by Erin C '14

Teacher Layoffs May Be On the Way

Budget cuts have been tough on New York City public schools, and the Department of Education has announced recently that it intends to lay off many teachers. Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed budget cuts that would take away 1.4 billion dollars from the city’s schools. With the current laws, any layoffs will be based on seniority. This means that the newest teachers would lose their jobs first, instead of the teachers that have been teaching in the New York City public school system longer. Teachers and parents aren’t happy with the layoffs or with the rules of seniority.  Students seem disinterested for the most part, but do have an opinion about what decides if their teachers will keep their jobs or not.
Fortunately, this will have a minimal effect on BSGE. There aren’t

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by Erin C '14

Yu-Gi-Oh Tournament

On Thursday, February 17, the Sophomore Council hosted a Yu-Gi-Oh tournament which drew more than 20 participants from BSGE. The Yu-Gi-Oh game is a customizeable card game based on a cartoon show of the same name.  Players design their decks to duel other players. The game also allows players to trade or sell their cards. Yu-Gi-Oh has become a very popular game for many BSGE students.  The cafeteria after school is a popular place for them to play the game. The Sophomore Council decided to promote their hobby and host an event at school.
There was a $3 admisison fee to cover the expenses and raise a small sum for the Sophomore Council for future events.
The tournament had a double-elimination format which allowed for a long tournament and a lot of opportunities for the participants to play. After a few hours, the winner was decided. Sophomore Arian Florez defeeated Sophomore Matthew Terriberry to finish in first place. Both Arian and Matthew won prizes, which were Yu-Gi-Oh cards.