First off, I’d like to say that I’ve only been in college for a month. So my Word from the Real World as of now is still quite new, still fresh with the freshman excitement that 7th graders might be experiencing in BSGE right now.
“UGH, I can’t WAIT to get out of here!” is the usual response you would receive from a graduating senior at BSGE. The intense workloads and demanding deadlines are enough to make any rising college student groan. But there was always something tugging me back, sealing my lips and making me hesitate to cooly recite this many-said phrase. The Bacc Rag.
I remember sitting in room 304 as then editor-in-chief, Jolijt Tamanaha, leaned over the table in her beaten up cowboy boots and hair tied back to instruct a 7th grade Lydia to always include quotes. Six years later, I find myself mouthing these exact same rules to the incredible thirty-two person staff that meets in that very same room every Wednesday at 2:15 p.m.
Who would have known that the most rewarding part of being editor-in-chief of The Bacc Rag would be working with such an intelligent, comical, endearing, hard-working and caring group of people? As nerdy as it sounds, I’m going to truly miss Moshan and Justin’s witty banter, Murtaza and Elio’s cheerful attitude, Anokha and Daleelah’s animated series of questions, Annie’s sassy comments, Abdullah’s updates about giant squids, Emma’s ever-changing hair color, Hana and Samantha’s band-geekiness, Yue’s adorable quirkiness, Allen’s reassuring words, and so much more. And I will of course miss the time spent with Mr. Lakhaney and next year’s editor, Miss Maya Juman, who have given me endless support throughout the year, which I am so very thankful for.
The Bacc Rag was an experience for me to grow as a person through interaction with such capable young people, and it was a chance for me to realize my dream career field of journalism, which has helped me establish a position as contributing writer for the Queens Ledger/Brooklyn Star newspaper, and a promotion to Senior Producer of the Youth Channel at the Manhattan Neighborhood Network. It has allowed me to build a future.
But now as we wrap up in the present, the final issue of the 2014-15 school year, and the final issue for my time here, I cherish and cling to what most people at BSGE know me as: “the Bacc Rag girl,” and hope to carry this name with me to graduation and thereafter. Until next time, The Bacc Rag!
Lydia Mariko Stetson
To give one last final goodbye to BSGE’s Class of 2015, The Bacc Rag collected quotes from seniors about their final thoughts and feelings on graduating from BSGE, and a few teachers on their closing comments to the seniors.
“Bittersweet, I am looking forward to my future but I cannot help but feel sad about leaving the people I grew up with and walking away from the homey environment I grew up in.” – Sarfi Chowdhury
“I’m really excited about graduating. I feel as if this is the time were my life is actually going to start- basically I’m going to be able to venture out and experience new things that I weren’t able to experience in bsge. I honestly think I’m going to miss the staff because I formed good relationships with many of them. I’m definitely not going to miss staying up all night completing assignments for IB.” – Ajile Sullivan
“Okay I remember the first day of BSGE was kinda like scary, I remember Ms. J saying
The last Spirit Week of BSGE’s 2014-15 year is coming near! It will start on Monday, June 8th and end on Friday, June 12th. Monday’s theme is “Multicultural Monday” in which students and staff are welcome to represent a country, preferably their own. This can range from painting the colors of a country’s flag on student’s bodies and faces, wearing the traditional garb of that culture or simply wearing the colors of a country’s flag.
The following day is “Sting Tuesday,” which has never been done before in the history of BSGE’s chosen Spirit Week days. On this day, students and staff should wear gear that shows their BSGE spirit. They can wear the popular “Eat Sleep Sting Repeat” shirts, or the BSGE sweatpants/hoodies, BSGE’s athletic team jerseys and uniforms, BSGE senior sweaters, and if you don’t have any school clothes, simply come in with the school colors: blue and white!
Hump Day will be “Sportswear Wednesday,” which some complain is too similar to Sting Tuesday. However on Sportswear Wednesday, students and staff are invited to come into school with workout clothes. Sport team jerseys, running clothes, soccer cleats, tennis skirts… Anything you would wear to the gym or to a sports game, wear to school! Ms. Johnson does remind students to follow the dress code.
Thursday will be the popular “Throwback Thursday” that is celebrated almost every year. On this day, BSGE will be transformed into a time machine, in which students and staff will dress up
For BSGE’s class of 2015, IB exam season began April of 2014 with test prep running heavy for their Standard Level Chemistry and Biology exams in May. This stressful period has once again returned for seniors, with their first exam being English Literature Higher Level (HL) from May 4th to the 5th. These exams will then be followed by Mathematics Standard Level (SL) and Spanish SL exams from May 12th to 13th, History of the Americas HL on May 14, 15 and 18 and finally French SL exams on May 18th and 19th. For those unfamiliar with the International Baccalaureate curriculum – which is much harder than AP, just so you know – receiving an IB Diploma, the much coveted and respected diploma that helps students be internationally recognized by their education, is only attainable by completing 150 CAS hours, earning between a Grade A and Grade E on the Extended Essay and performing well enough on the IB exams to get a minimum of 24 points total, among other rules and requirements. These exams consist of three Higher Level subjects and three Standard Level subjects. For BSGE seniors’, their HLs include Visual Art, English Literature and History of the Americas. Their SLs are Mathematics, Science (Bio or Chem) and Language B (Spanish or French).
Congratulations on your internship at MetLife! What is your position?
Thank you, the position I was giving was called Business Planning & Strategy, which was essentially an Operations function within MetLife’s Global Employee Benefits (GEB) division who – after the acquisition of Alico – leveraged its insurance capabilities to sell insurance products to multinationals.
What are your responsibilities?
The day-to-day consisted overwhelmingly in handling big data and working in tandem with upper management to create dashboards and/or reports that would help them efficiently complete their daily functions. After meeting people within the company, I was put on bigger projects which aimed to enhance division-wide efficiency. These projects were the most rewarding, as they allowed me to get a better feel for how the division worked, gain a deeper understanding of the products, and work with cross-functional teams which gave me insight into other positions available within MetLife.
Each year the very same process occurs beginning in January and ending in late June when passerby hover around the blue bulletin board that inhabits the lobby. The list of seniors and their accompanying college acceptances, paired with the amount of financial aid they received from each university are stapled on the wall so that students, staff, parents and virtually anyone walking into BSGE can see and comment. These displayed words and numbers are frequently met with either admiring acclaims, “Wow, she got into Stanford AND Columbia!” or critical remarks such as, “This person only got into CUNYs… This person didn’t receive any money from this school…”
Overall, it creates a very controversial environment, which was not intended when the idea of posting seniors’ acceptances on the wall, was born. The purpose of the college board was to glorify and congratulate Seniors on all the amazing schools they were gaining acceptance to, and to show how much money they received to attend these schools – an especially important factor in our current economy. It was a way to bring positive light to BSGE, and also a way for prospective students and parents to get an idea of what kind of schools BSGE’s seniors were gaining acceptance to.
But as most ideas with good intentions evolve, this board has received such negative connotations that many Seniors experience discomfort at the thought of having their name and college acceptances on the board.
BSGE’s 2014-15 basketball season was concluded during the first week of February, with the girls’ last game on the 5th and the boys last game on the 6th. It was an exciting season to say the least, with the girls finishing with 6 wins to 11 losses and the boys with 6 wins to 12 losses. Both teams performed its very best in BSGE basketball history, in terms of total losses, wins and standings.
The girl’s team, which has always performed quite well in the past, beat six different teams this year (Wagner, Aviation, American Studies, Frank Sinatra, High School for Construction, and Metropolitan Campus), which contrasted with the boys who although won six games as well, only beat four different schools (Frank Sinatra, Cambria Heights Academy, Information Technology High School and Academy for Careers in Television and Film) because they beat Frank Sinatra and Academy for Careers twice.
Throughout the season, the ladies showed an immense amount of skill and effort both on and off the court. Jamie Carroll ’16, who came out with a 6.909 PGP (a technique designed to measure a player’s overall contribution to a team’s victory) and a free throw percentage of 50, explained her immense satisfaction with the team’s performance.
The Washington Post recently came out with poll results stating that “48% of adults approved of the decision not to indict the police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teenager.” The poll referred to the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old unarmed black male who was murdered on August 8th, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. Brown was shot by 28-year-old police officer Darren Wilson, who was announced as not indicted by a St. Louis County grand jury on November 24, 2014.
The Ferguson jury decision caused much uproar across the country, including in the BSGE community (both student body and alumni). The Bacc Rag collected photos and videos of some of the ways members of the BSGE family spoke out against the Ferguson decision.
On Thursday, November 20th from 5 – 8 p.m and Friday, November 21st from 12 – 3 p.m, BSGE hosted its bi-annual Parent Teacher Conferences. The conferences, which are held once in the fall and once in the spring, are designed so that parents can discuss their child’s grades with teachers and gain a better overall understanding of how their child is performing and how he or she can improve. However, this year it seems that students – specifically juniors and seniors – viewed the conference as a chance to haggle parents for their money. On both days of the conference, members of the Junior Council sold raffle tickets for $2 to raise money to lower the cost of prom. Items in the twelve separate raffle baskets included movie tickets, chocolates, mugs, a lamp, and more with an approximate value of $50-$70 for each individual basket. These items were donated and bought by the parents of juniors and Ms. Hunter, the Council’s supervisor. Ultimately, the Junior Council’s raffle ticket sales made $964, making the event a huge success.
Angelica Benares ’16, a member of the Junior Council commented on the raffle’s favorable outcome. “Word on the street was that certain faculty members were doubting the success of our raffle. When I found out we made $964 I was happy not only because we made a lot of money, but also because we proved them wrong.”