Word from the Real World: Maya Juman Reply

Being on my own is weird. It’s also the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

I’m Maya Juman, a BSGE (and Bacc Rag) alum, and now a freshman at Yale University. I’ve been in college for two months and have already experienced so many incredibly new things of all sorts. I have my first real job. I’ve battled two bouts of “freshman plague,” as everyone refers to the perpetual sore throat/cold passed around freshman housing. I’ve learned the hard way that eating grilled cheeses and taking breaks to play pool in the basement at 2 am is an ineffective, albeit fun, way to get work done. I’ve done better on a midterm than I anticipated. I’ve done much, much worse on a midterm than I anticipated. I’ve traveled home on the Metro-North, which oddly enough was the first time college truly felt real. I’ve located the best New Haven pizza (Pepe’s white clam pie, of course). I’ve been evacuated from my dorm at 1 am because a freshman two floors above me broke a sprinkler and flooded all our rooms. I’ve tried things I never thought I would, like working out at 7 am, beekeeping, and taking a poetry seminar. I’ve located the best study spots in each library, the best place to watch the Wild Card Game with other Mets fans, and, perhaps most importantly, the dining hall with the most expansive cereal selection. More…


Letter From The Editor Reply

It has been a great privilege of mine to contribute to the Bacc Rag as a writer and editor over the past five years.

I remember so clearly the first time I, a tiny, terrified eighth grader, was sent to interview upperclassmen and teachers for an article. One of my first assignments was asking several seniors to reflect on the college application process, and I recall thinking about how far away college seemed, and how scary the seniors were, and how long it would be before I would finally graduate from BSGE.

It definitely went by faster than I could ever have imagined. Graduating seems surreal, but so does leaving behind this newspaper, which, although at times can be crazy and dysfunctional (I know the staff will agree with me) is so full of life and spunk. I’ve poured my heart into the Bacc Rag during my time at BSGE, and I can only hope that I have done half as much for this newspaper as it has done for me. More…

Thanks BSGE PTA! Reply

As Bacc Rag editor this year, I would like to thank the PTA for continuing to support our publication. As in years past, the PTA helped us print our issues, which we consider a crucial part of what we do as a newspaper. Physical distribution remains one of our main priorities in sharing news. We are so grateful to have the support of the school, and look forward to another year of writing and printing. Thank you so much for everything!

– Maya Juman ’16, Editor


Lady Sting’s Playoff Run Ends in City Quarterfinals Reply

DSC05467This year, BSGE’s varsity softball team had their longest and most exciting playoff run yet. During the regular season the team was undefeated, finishing 15-0 in their PSAL Queens B Division, led by captains Nina Don ‘16 and Rakia Islam ‘16. Lady Sting was seeded #1 in Queens, and was given a first round bye. In the second round, the team defeated Robert H. Goddard High School 10-9 in a 6-run seventh inning rally. BSGE was then granted the overall #3 seed in the city out of the remaining 16 teams. After beating Sunset Park High School 8-1 in the third round, Lady Sting advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time in BSGE history. Despite losing 3-0 to the High School for Math, Science and Engineering, Lady Sting still finished the season as one of the top 8 teams out of the total 133 in B Division softball, an accomplishment that the players, the coaches, and the many spectators and fans are truly proud of. More…

A New Cafeteria Mural for CAS Reply

IMG_5372The vast majority of BSGE students eat lunch in the cafeteria, and many spend time there after school for various extracurricular activities. Thus, for a group of five determined seniors, repainting the cafeteria mural seemed like the obvious choice for a CAS group project that would impact the entire school community. Isabelle Lee ‘16, Alvaro Bermejo ‘16, Joly Zakaria ‘16, Akib Rahman ‘16, and Sara Asprilla ‘16 wanted to replace the long-standing mural with a brighter, fresher design. With the supervision and input of the art teachers, Peter Wilson, and Vanessa Rabines, the group put in 20 hours of after-school work over the course of 2 months, sanding and repainting the original mural and creating the new design on the wall. More…

BSGE’s Middle School Math Competition Success Reply

0319161235aBSGE’s middle school math team has been succeeding in numerous city and state math competitions this spring, led by Mr. Mehan. 8th graders Rachael Cheung, Christie Choi, SiLiang Lei and Christy Guan, as well as 7th grader Ahmed Shekani participated in the MathCounts citywide chapter competition on February 6th at IS 74, where the team won 2nd place. They moved on to the state finals, held at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in upstate New York on March 18th. More…

Lady Sting Softball Off To Strong Start With 2016 Season Reply

1918183_10204212323627360_8065897584736457814_nBSGE’s varsity softball team kicked off the season last week, dominating their first two PSAL games against the Young Women’s Leadership School, 20-0, and Long Island City High School, 21-1. The official games began after several weeks of non-league scrimmages against Division A and B teams, which Lady Sting ended with a record of 4 wins, 2 losses and 1 tie. Lady Sting is looking to win its division for the second consecutive season, and advance to the playoffs once again. Captain and shortstop Nina Don ’16 shared her thoughts on the start of the season. “I feel like it’s going really well. Our team is getting smarter and stronger after every game – even the freshmen are learning really quickly, and I hope this continues throughout the season.” More…

The Force Awakens – And So Does a New Breed of Star Wars Reply

Source: starwars.com

Source: starwars.com

I grew up on Star Wars – and yes, I am aware of the faint laughter I hear from “original” 1970s fans as I say that. But I’m as real a fan as a teenager in 2016 can be. My parents thankfully raised me on the original trilogy, and so when I heard that George Lucas had sold Star Wars to Disney, I cringed. I rolled my eyes at promotional merchandise and trailers and the spherical orange wannabe R2-D2.

But of course, on December 17th, I found myself at the premiere of Episode VII: The Force Awakens, robe-clad with lightsaber in tow. More…

BSGE Receives Its First 7 in IB Art! Reply

"ghost in your garden" by Adela Goldsmith '15 (Acrylic on Color Film, Feb 2015). See the rest of Adela's work at http://www.nyclabart.org/ahrt/portfolio.php?portfolio=AGoldsmith2015)

“ghost in your garden” by Adela Goldsmith ’15 (Acrylic on Color Film, Feb 2015). See the rest of Adela’s work at http://www.nyclabart.org/ahrt/portfolio.php?portfolio=AGoldsmith2015)

Smith College is filled with many bright young women pursuing art, but BSGE alum Adela Goldsmith ’15 can proudly say that she is one of the few who have earned a 7 in IB Higher Level Visual Arts – and not just any 7. Adela is the first BSGE student to receive a 7 in what many juniors and seniors believe is the most challenging IB course offered at our school.

Adela, whose work features a mix of dark imagery (run-down houses, severed hands, and tombstones) and bright, eye-catching colors, said that it was “cool” to get BSGE’s first 7, although the college credit she received for it is not stopping her from “taking a bunch of art classes anyway.” When asked about the general theme for her body of work, Adela explained that she focused on “decay (very broadly), but also how it relates to the human experience, and the relationship between the natural and the man-made.” She intends to stay involved in art through college, with a potential major in Art History and a Museums Concentration; “possibly careers in curating or museum education,” she said. More…

A Big Thank You to the PTA! Reply

On behalf of the entire Bacc Rag staff, Lydia and I would like to sincerely thank BSGE’s PTA for their support throughout the school year. This year, we printed more issues than ever before, and it would not have been possible without the PTA. We are forever grateful for your help; thank you for your continued support for our publication! We hope to continue to improve next year with the encouragement of the BSGE community.

– Maya Juman ’16, Editor

Lady Sting Ends 2015 Season Reply

Photo Credit: Lauren Katzenstein

The team, coaches and alumni at the annual barbeque. Photo Credit: Lauren Katzenstein

BSGE’s varsity softball team has concluded what many consider to be its most successful season yet. Despite being eliminated by Robert H. Goddard High School in the first round of PSAL’s B Division playoffs, Lady Sting won its division, Queens B I, for the first time in BSGE history, with a season record of 15-1. Lady Sting was ranked #2 in Queens entering the postseason. “The 2015 season was the best season that BSGE has ever seen,” said co-captain Nina Don ’16. “It was fun. We played more efficiently than we had in previous years. It went well especially considering we lost some experienced players last year.” More…

BSGE Visits Costa Rica! Reply

For this school year’s spring break, BSGE organized a 10-day trip to Costa Rica. 14 students – 6 juniors and 8 sophomores – joined the trip this year, which was led by Mr. Mehan, Mr. Lakhaney, and Ms. You. The group departed early in the morning on April 1st, and returned on April 10th, two days before school started. After last year’s expedition to Spain and France, which had a cultural emphasis, this year’s trip focused more on adventure and nature, while allowing students who take Spanish to practice their language skills. However, it also incorporated elements of community service, as the students completed almost 10 hours of volunteer work during the trip.
2015-04-02 14.10.21


Lady Sting Secures 2015 Playoff Berth Reply

BSGE’s girls’ varsity softball team, Lady Sting, has started the season strong, despite multiple game postponements in March due to snowy field conditions. Led by coaches Virge Ramos and Aly Lakhaney, and team captain Nina Don ’16, the team has a current record of 9-1, and leads its division. After winning 7 regular season games, the team secured itself a spot in the Division B playoffs for the 5th consecutive year. At this point, winning additional games will help Lady Sting earn a higher ranking and a better position in the playoffs, and the team is hoping to finish the season strong. Lady Sting’s final 5 games are all the week of May 4th, after which the playoffs begin the week of May 18th. More…

Junior Council Hosts Spring Fling Reply

Photo Credits: Beatriz Benares '16

Photo Credits: Beatriz Benares ’16

On Friday, April 24th, Junior Council hosted a successful Spring Fling dance in the cafegymatorium from 6-10 pm. The dance, which juniors had been planning, selling tickets for, and organizing for weeks, helped raise a lot of money for the committee, which works toward ultimately reducing the cost for prom and other senior expenses. Tickets were sold at $8 ahead of time and $10 at the door, and between ticket sales, donations, and snack/drink sales, Junior Council raised a total of $1071, making the party a fundraising success. More…

Teacher of the Month: Darlene Bullock Reply


Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Brooklyn, down on 19th street in the lower portion of South Brooklyn. It was good, because I grew up around all my family, my mother’s side of the family primarily. I grew up with six brothers and sisters, so it was a lot of fun.

Where did you go to college?

Pick one! I went to St. Francis College. I went to, for about three years, Long Island College Hospital for Nursing. I also completed my Master’s degree at St. John’s University, and I attended Queens College for my administrative license and degree.

Why did you decide to become a history teacher?

Well, I’ve always loved history, and I worked for American Express for 19 years, as an employee and then eventually as an administrator. And then I got bored with it, because I knew it well, and I decided I’d like to teach, because I used to teach some of the people in my company. So I decided to leave American Express and go back to school to become a teacher. I really enjoy it.

Where did you teach before BSGE?

Well, I’ve taught in several different environments. I taught, as I said, at the company, as a trainer, and I also taught at Catholic school: Bishop Ford High School in Brooklyn. I taught science there, based on my nursing license. I’m an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse). I then worked at Newtown High School for ten years as a social studies teacher. And from there I became an AP for three years at Martin Van Buren, and now I find myself here at BSGE, which I love, by the way. More…

Lady Sting’s Softball Season Kicks Off Later than Anticipated Reply

Lady Sting's first scrimmage against Bryant HS. Photo Credit: Mr Lakhaney

Lady Sting’s first scrimmage against Bryant HS. Photo Credit: Mr Lakhaney

It’s been a long and bitter winter for New Yorkers, and the brutal weather has affected student athletes who participate in spring PSAL sports. The girls’ varsity softball team, Lady Sting, has been working hard all winter throwing, hitting and running drills in the cafegymatorium, the only available indoor practice space. The snow covering the team’s home field, Big Bush Park in Woodside, prevented outdoor practice until early March. Despite the rain that cleared the last patches of snow from the field last week, on Monday March 16th the Public Schools Athletic League issued a statement cancelling all softball games and scrimmages Monday through Friday of that week, due to some lingering snow on certain fields across the city. This resulted in the cancellation of three scrimmages for Lady Sting and the postponement of their first official game against Robert F. Wagner, all of which were scheduled to take place at Big Bush. Team member Peyton Heron ’16 expressed her frustration. “It doesn’t make sense – our field is totally clear. We need the practice outdoors.”


Lady Sting Hosts Second Annual Flapjack Fundraiser Reply

Photo Credits: Beatriz Benares '16

Photo Credits: Beatriz Benares ’16

On Saturday, February 28th, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., BSGE’s varsity softball team hosted their second “Flapjack Fundraiser” breakfast at the nearby Applebee’s on 35th Avenue. Members of Lady Sting sold $10 tickets for the event throughout February, and many students, faculty, alumni and parents attended the breakfast to show their support for the team. The players, who wore their jerseys for the morning, took orders, served pancakes, bacon, sausages, and beverages, bussed tables, greeted people at the door, and sold raffle tickets at each table. Many of the girls felt that the fundraiser was an improvement compared to last year’s.

“It was a lot more organized than our first one was,” said Nina Don ‘16. “Especially in the kitchen.” Lady Sting was happy to welcome back BSGE alumni who returned for the occasion, including former captain Lauren Katzenstein ‘14. Several teachers also attended, including Mr. Lakhaney, who will be joining the team this year as a coach. “It was fun being in an environment with students, teachers, parents and alumni all just having a good time and eating pancakes.” Mr. Wolov said. “It should happen more often.” 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…

ACT vs. SAT: Which one should YOU take? Reply

It’s that time of year again: the temperature has dropped below freezing, we are finally seeing snowfall on the weather forecast… and the dreaded first mentions of the word “SAT” have appeared among juniors. The class of 2016 will be the last grade to take the older SAT before major changes are implemented next Spring. For those who have not already taken the SAT or ACT in October, November or December, the standardized test, in one form or another, is now very much on the horizon for 11th graders.


Although many students consider the SAT the obvious choice for standardized testing, the ACT is also accepted by colleges and universities, and neither test gives an applicant an advantage. Instead, it is important to pick the test that you feel you are better suited to. Since the tests measure different skills, some students feel that one test is better for their way of thinking than the other. While the SAT has infamous vocabulary questions and trickier reasoning, the ACT requires content memorization but is easier to decipher. While the SAT may be better for a student with a long, focused attention span and strong logical reasoning, the ACT’s advanced math and science sections may be better suited to a student strong in these subject areas. More…