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by Justin H '17

Model UN: A Model for the World?

Model UN – a club that many have heard of, but few know anything about. Unlike most activities, there are no regular weekly meetings, no advertisements to be in a certain place at a certain time to join. But occasionally a school will hold a Model UN convention, such as the Dalton School in the Upper East Side did on April 23rd, and BSGE will be well represented.

Three juniors and five seniors, along with supervisor Ms. Meisler, attended said conference, where students from many different schools attempt to solve world issues in eight to ten hours. Each school is assigned one or more countries to represent, and for the weeks leading up to the conference, the students learn about their country’s strengths and issues so they can be accurate representatives. In this case, BSGE was assigned Australia, Belgium, and the Philippines, but due to a lack of people, the Philippines ended up being ignored. During the conference, there are many subcommittees that focus on world issues such as climate change and disease control, and each participant joins one of these subcommittees to represent their country. Hours of spirited debate ensue. Eventually, proposals are created, voted on, and announced to the rest of the conference, sometimes with awards for countries and/or schools whose representatives stand out.

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by Justin H '17

Nearby Gymnasium Helpful for BSGE Sports

Credit: nydailynews.com
Credit: nydailynews.com

This past basketball season has seen vast improvements to both the girls’ and boys’ basketball teams, thanks to the availability of a new court. It is the gymnasium of Most Precious Blood, a Catholic school taken over by the NYC Department of Education. They agreed to override Most Precious Blood’s principal, who wanted to prevent BSGE from using the gymnasium, so it became accessible to the teams on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoons. In previous years, both basketball teams had to practice outdoors, weather permitting, and either play their home games in the Long Island City YMCA or in the stadium of the opposing team. Unfortunately for the boys’ team, however, their games were scheduled before the court was acquired, so they could not hold any home games there this season.

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by Justin H '17 by Moshan G '17

Junior Council’s Rocking Karaoke Night

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.”

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by Justin H '17

All’s Fair at the Club Fair

In a successful attempt to raise money and help clubs all over the school advertise their existence, the BSGE Business Club hosted a club fair. It took place on Tuesday, November 10, in the school cafeteria. From 2:30 to 4:30 the club ran for students only, and then it continued from 6:00 to 8:00 during the open house for families, too. When asked about the process for creating the event, Carolyn Wang ’16 explained that the BBC first came up with the idea last June, and started planning to make it a reality by the end of September. She said that the most important concern the club had was to make sure that there would be enough people participating for the event to be profitable. Due to the vast number of new clubs this year, that did end up being the case.

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by Justin H '17

Human Rights Class: A Last Look

Human Rights is no longer taught at BSGE, starting this year. One of the many changes that went into effect in September is that Health has replaced Human Rights as the weekly “elective,” and Physical Education has replaced Health as a main class. Human Rights, taught by Peter Wilson, has been a distinctive feature of ninth grade ever since this school opened, but scheduling and homework concerns have trumped tradition.

There are two main reasons for the change: scheduling issues and parent pushback. Ninth graders in past years have had gym/yoga only for half of the year, which when combined with the fact that juniors only have it once a week meant that BSGE students weren’t getting enough physical activity overall. Health, which used to replace it, now has its own slot in the schedule so ninth graders can be more active. The other reason is that recently, parents of ninth graders have been complaining that their children receive too much homework from what is theoretically an “elective” course. Together, this ended the class.

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by Justin H '17

The Buzz: Which teacher are you most similar to, and why?

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“I’m closest to Mr. Mehan because I like math and he likes Doctor Who and he likes to joke and I guess we’re pretty alike.” – Janice Ng ’21

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“Ms. Nikkolos because she is very fun and outgoing. She finds the good in people.” – Shaima Mannan ’20

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by Justin H '17

BSGE Students’ Summer Plans

As this school year winds down, many BSGE students have started thinking about what they want to do over the summer. Students from all grades have interesting plans.

  • Scott Seigel ‘20 is going to study history at the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY).
  • Emma Van Bergen ‘19 will travel to Oxford University to study photography and conspiracy theories
  • Ben Bagbek ‘18 will be a teen advisor for Junior Scholastic, writing opinionated articles on various topics.
  • Emily Costa ‘17 plans to experience a Chinese language and cultural immersion program in Beijing.
  • Angelica Benares ‘16 will participate in and help lead a youth seminar in Rome about conflict and resolution.
  • Beverlee Chin ‘15 obtained a paid internship lasting for the next four summers with Crown Media/Hallmark Channel. This summer, she will be in their Ad Sales Marketing department.
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by Justin H '17

The Straight Word on Posture

A regular school day in BSGE includes around 285 minutes of sitting, not including a gym or yoga class. Within that time, how we sit in our navy blue with a slight tint of green chairs is a topic that is very much overlooked. So, just what does a “good posture” look like, and why is it so important?

According to the American Chiropractic Association, posture is defined as “the position in which we hold our bodies while standing, sitting, or lying down.” Good posture, also called “neutral spine,” is when the back has three natural curves. The neck and lower back should curve slightly inwards, while the upper back should turn outwards. When your back curves properly, your muscles are more efficient and less likely to be strained, your bones and joints maintain their proper alignment, and your ligaments become less stressed and less prone to damage. However, when these curves are too slight, too exaggerated, or in the wrong direction entirely, your posture is poor and can have negative consequences on your health, causing back injuries and pain.

www.ihpra.com
http://www.ihpra.com

Good posture looks slightly different depending on if you are sitting, standing, or lying down. Sitting, it involves uncrossed legs, flat feet, knees below hips, a straight back, and forearms parallel to the ground. Good posture when standing is knees slightly bent, legs shoulder-width apart, arms hanging naturally, shoulders pulled backwards, and a straight neck. If you are lying down, the way to keep good posture is to be on your side or back, rather than on your stomach.

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by Justin H '17

Personal Projects: Fundraising Edition

Two personal projects this year were more visible to the school than most. These are the fundraising projects, one by Isabelle Mah ’17 and the other by Najwa Jamal ’17. You might have seen ads for different kinds of sales around the school, such as a burrito sale or a Christmas-themed bake sale.

Photo Credit: Isabelle Mah
Photo Credit: Isabelle Mah

Isabelle raised money for the Wild Bird Fund, the only wildlife rehabilitation center in New York City, with a goal of $500. She did three different fundraisers in school for it, one joint sale with Najwa and two burrito sales. Though a burrito sale is an odd choice, Isabelle explained that “it was a fun and creative way to raise awareness about my project and fundraiser without following the usual norm.” This certainly worked, as the three fundraisers made $276 for Isabelle total, more than half of the way to her goal. The rest and more was made up by an online campaign, which, although the project itself has ended, remains open until the end of March for people to donate to, and can be found here: https://fundly.com/lets-help-raise-awareness-about-nyc-birds

Photo Credit: Isabelle Mah
Photo Credit: Isabelle Mah

Najwa’s personal project is for Services for the Underserved, an organization that helps mentally challenged homeless people in NYC. She chose this organization because she sees many homeless people,

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by Justin H '17

Inside Scoop on the Knitting Club

One new club at BSGE this year is a knitting club, supervised and started by Ms. Shen. She started it because she is interested in knitting and wants to share her interest with the school. The club meets in the library immediately after school every Thursday, and has members from a variety of grades. Meetings officially last until 3:45, but most people usually leave by 3:15. Most members work on knitting scarves, because those are easiest for beginners to make. However, some have been making headbands.

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During a typical meeting, members sit in the lounge area of the library. Ms. Shen described them as knitting while they “talk about issues that are interesting in their lives. Stress is totally off their minds. It’s so relaxed…a real fun environment.” If you’ve ever wanted to learn a new skill, a place to relax, or both, the knitting club might be right for you.

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by Justin H '17

Peer Tutoring at BSGE

For the past two years, BSGE has had a peer tutoring program, where students seeking help in any subject can find an upperclassman willing to explain it to them. A lot of students were asking for individual help that their teachers could not provide during 8th period, so guidance counselor Tim David-Lang asked a few older students if they would be willing to help. According to Tim, the idea of “students helping students with schoolwork” was incredibly popular.

There are two methods for tutors and tutees to meet. If someone who wants help goes to the library on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday between the end of school and 4:00 pm, he will probably be able to find at least one tutor willing to help, such as Michael Lembert ’17 or Nikhil Kumar ’18. Unfortunately, most students are either unaware that this option exists or refuse to use it. This leads to most of the tutors’ time spent waiting for someone to arrive asking for help. When asked what he would say to convince people to show up, Michael replied, “You may not want to admit it, but we can help you help yourself.” Even though there is much more waiting than tutoring for them, Michael and Nikhil have no plans to give up. Nikhil explained, “I feel like I’m obligated to help other people out because even if I couldn’t get the help, they deserve it.” If you need a one-time explanation on a topic you don’t understand, try finding a tutor in the library to explain.

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by Justin H '17

Making Money: The DECA Buisness Club

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Every year at BSGE, there are many new clubs, and this year is no exception. One such club is the DECA business club, which is a nationwide program that BSGE is trying to register as a high school chapter for. The point of DECA is to raise money for the school thorough various school-based enterprises (SBEs). In our case, the DECA club is trying to join the larger DECA community by creating a school store, which would sell things like food, school supplies, and school spirit products such as shirts and sweaters with the BSGE logo. In addition, they are planning to create their own website, and are offering to be hired by other clubs for services such as designing posters to advertise. The club plans to raise $2,000 or more by June. Although Ms. Johnson’s approval is needed for almost anything they plan to do, such approval will not be difficult to get.