Word from the Real World: Lydia Stetson ’15 Reply

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.

Secondly, I’d like to dispel some myths about college life that I previously believed.
College is not easy. Often in BSGE your teachers like to say, “College is going to be so smooth after BSGE,” or will tell those stories you’ve heard a hundred times about alumni coming back with tears in their eyes about how grateful they are that BSGE put them to the top of their class at their new university. It really depends on where you go for college and what you’re studying. Some of my graduating class members who are attending SUNYs claim to have loads of free time and seem to finish their homework in 2 hours or so. However others who also go to SUNYs say the homework load and pressure hasn’t changed since BSGE. These students tend to be those in five-year programs or have complicated Math/Science majors.

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Letter From the Editor: Goodbye Bacc Rag!  Reply

“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! 

Sincerely, 

Lydia Mariko Stetson  

Goodbye Class of 2015 Reply

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 More…

BSGE Spirit Week 2014-15 Reply

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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 More…

What It’s Like to Be a Senior Taking IB Exams Reply

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). More…

From BSGE, to Baruch, to Goldman Sachs: Alumnus Gautier Godard 1

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.

Photo Credit: Gautier Godard

Photo Credit: Gautier Godard

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.  More…

Know Before You Judge: BSGE’s College Acceptance Board Reply

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. More…

BSGE’s Most Successful Basketball Season Reply

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.

Photo Credit: Jamie Carroll '16

Photo Credit: Chaimaa Riad ’16

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. More…

Effect of Ferguson Decision On BSGE Family Reply

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. More…

Fundraising at the Fall ’14 Parent Teacher Conferences Reply

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.

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Photo Credits: Angelica Benares ’16

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.” More…

College-Related Tensions for Seniors Across the City Reply

During the Fall Semester, high school seniors around the country, and quite possibly the world, undergo a shift in moods within their graduating class. The cheerful and open environment that they once held with their peers from 9th to 11th grade has now disappeared with the appearance of the looming college application process. At least, that is what most high school seniors go through – except at BSGE.

When asked about their thoughts on the current level of tension within the Class of 2015, most BSGE seniors felt that there was an absence of said tension. Max Fischman ’15 commented, “Our grade is so close to the point that we are really supporting one another in the college process rather than trying to gain an upper hand.” Another senior, Marcos Delgado ’15, agreed, saying, “I feel like most BSGE students I know are actually encouraging of one another when it comes to the college process.”

This supportive feeling throughout the senior class is quite unique, especially when it comes to other New York City high schools. Former BSGE student and now Bronx Science senior Andrew Piliero explained the current negative interactions between seniors in his high school. More…

Ebola in NYC: How BSGE Gets Involved Reply

On October 23rd, 2014 it was announced that emergency room doctor Craig Spencer, 33, who returned to New York City after treating Ebola patients in West Africa, was tested positive for the Ebola virus. This is the first case of Ebola in NYC and the fourth case in the United States.

Unsurprisingly, New Yorkers reacted with great fear after hearing news that Spencer traveled to The Gutter bowling alley in Williamsburg, The Meatball Shop restaurant in Chelsea, Manhattan’s Highline Park and took the A, L and 1 train after developing symptoms for the virus. Despite evidence showing that Ebola is not an airborne virus, many residents of New York, including BSGE students, have become extremely cautious of contact with people who may be ill.

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But it is not only New Yorkers who have taken extreme precautions after the recent Ebola outbreak. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey governor Chris Christie imposed a policy on Friday, October 24th stating that all healthcare workers returning from West Africa after treating Ebola patients should be put it in a mandatory 21-day quarantine. More…

BSGE’s Boys Soccer Team Beats Van Buren 3-0 Reply

On Saturday, September 13th, the BSGE Boys soccer team claimed victory against Martin Van Buren High School’s team with a score of 3-0. It was the first scrimmage of the year for BSGE’s team, with players’ nerves running high with excitement.

The game was split into two forty-minute parts, with BSGE Senior Ilan Wiernik ’15 making two goals in the first half and hitting the goal post twice. In the second half of the game, BSGE Junior Matteo D’Alessandro ’16 scored a goal as well. The entire team, consisting of fifteen players, was all accredited to making excellent passes, with a certain BSGE Senior, Ian Ryding ’15, making three assists.

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Club captain of the team, Steven Becker ’15, shared a few words on his thoughts about the game. “I knew our team was very strong and full of skillful individuals, but after seeing how More…

The Buzz: What are BSGE students doing this summer? Reply

Joleyne Herrera: To find a job, because I’m broke. Lol.

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Olivia Witting’ 14: I’m planning to work at this theater in New Hampshire. I’m going to be assistant to the director, running shows, sitting during rehearsals, building scenery, making costumes and stuff. I’ve also been doing that for the last 6 years. I am also going to go to Stanford in September and my parents are moving to L.A More…

Juniors and Seniors Host IB Done Party Reply

On Friday May 30th, the Junior and Senior Council co-hosted BSGE’s last party of the year: IB Done. The party’s name was a play on words with BSGE’s International Baccalaureate (IB) Program name, as most of BSGE’s past parties have been like. The party had a summer theme, a party tributed to the end of IB Exams of 2014 for Juniors and Seniors. But the party “IB Done” could also be interpreted for underclassmen as an end of the year party celebrating the conclusion of stressful assignments, teachers and classes.

This was the first time in BSGE history in which a party was hosted by two grades. The reason behind this is that for every BSGE party, money comes out of the school’s pocket in order to pay for security guards and chaperones for the party. Because of the recent budget cuts for schools, the Junior and Senior Councils were told that they had a limited amount of parties. Instead of fighting to the death for one of the party dates, the two councils came together and decided to split the work involved in hosting the party and also split the profits.

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Junior Council Hosts Flapjack Fundraiser Reply

On Saturday morning, May 17th, BSGE’s student organization Junior Council hosted the school’s second “Flapjack Fundraiser” from 8 – 10 am. The first Flapjack Fundraiser was led by the BSGE girls’ softball team, Lady Sting, a few months earlier. For Lady Sting, the event was hosted to raise money to purchase softball equipment such as uniforms, bats, helmets, gloves, nets, etc. The Junior Council also hosted the event with fundraising in mind, however, they wished to raise money to lower the cost of prom, graduation and other Senior dues.

The student organization is familiar with fundraising tactics, having hosted the February “ib Brick” dance party, an all-day bake sale, and May 30th “ib Done” party which is in conjunction with the Senior Council.

Junior Council

Junior Council

The Flapjack Fundraiser was hosted at Applebee’s Restaurant & Grill on 35th Avenue, a block away from BSGE. Students, staff, parents, friends and other family members flocked to the doors for unlimited pancakes, bacon, coffee, tea and juice. Students from all grades came to the event to support the Juniors while enjoying a hearty breakfast with friends. More…

Cool Alumni Series: Stephanie Aristakesian Reply

Stephanie Aristakesian always had somewhat of an obsession for Hollywood and fame. Even her BSGE teachers could see that from her 10th grade Personal Project: “How to Meet the Jonas Brothers.” (Unfortunately she never achieved her goal of meeting the JoBros. However, she did meet American Idol star Sanjaya Malakar.) Fortunately for this 2011 BSGE graduate, she is pursuing her dream as Executive Director of the Concerts Committee at the University of Southern California where she is currently majoring in Communications and minoring in Business Administration.

Stephanie & Diplo

Stephanie & Diplo

Aristakesian is a current Junior at USC and has made many accomplishments in her career as Executive Director. In 2013 she brought Jason Derulo, Heather McDonald (Chelsea Lately), Steve Rannazzisi (The League) and R3hab. She couldn’t believe she could ever top her accomplishments after putting together USC’s “Welcome Back” concert, which had an attendance of over 6,000 people. But on April 5th, Aristakesian brought world-famous DJ and rapper Diplo to perform at USC’s Spring Fest. The concert was a success; even Diplo himself raved about the concert on his Instagram and Facebook account.

Diplo Performing at USC

Diplo Performing at USC

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PTA and Student Groups Fundraise at Spring PTC 1

At the Spring Parent Teacher Conferences that occurred Thursday, March 27th and Friday, March 28th, BSGE took advantage of the mass amount of parents coming in and decided to make some money. The Lady Sting Softball team, PTA and Junior Council were all selling items for parents and students to purchase in support of the school.

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Lady Sting Softball team held a bake sale on both days with baked goods like cupcakes, cookies, brownies and more. These sweet treats kept parents, students and teachers awake through the large list of meetings for three hours. Younger siblings of students who were dragged to the conferences were also in favor of these treats. In the end, the softball team made around $200, according to Lady Sting player Rena Kitagawa’ 17. More…