Teacher of the Month: Ms. Meifen Xia Reply

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Ms. Xia is the new Chinese teacher at BSGE and she teaches eighth, tenth, and eleventh graders.

Where are you from? Shanghai, China. I was born and raised in the city.

What did you parents do? They are in China now. My father is a chemist and he was like a magician; he was able to answer any questions I had. My mother is a designer and she didn’t speak a lot, but she would take care of us. I grew up with two older sisters.

What was school like when you were in high school? I went to a specialized high school about 30 years ago. I remember taking a math test every Monday after school, because my teacher didn’t want to waste teaching time in class. It made me unafraid of any test. Also, the classroom was much different because girls could not sit with boys. We were not encouraged to date in high school. I knew only one couple in high school who secretly dated and no one found out until college. More…

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Which Zodiac Sign Does Your Teacher Have?

No longer something which is read commonly in the daily newspapers, zodiac signs have been appearing on social media such as Tumblr blogs and Instagram posts. When people think of zodiac signs, they usually think of the daily horoscopes which predict how their day will go, and you might have noticed the “Capricorn” needlepoint hanging in the art room. But what exactly are zodiac signs?

Zodiac signs are assigned to a person based on their birthday and whether or not it falls within a month and date range. A zodiac cusp like BSGE Music teacher Ms. Nikkolos, who is both a Scorpio and a Sagittarius, is when their birthday falls in between two zodiac signs’ month and date ranges, so they qualify as two zodiac signs. As Ms. Nikkolos said, zodiac cusps have “the best qualities of each sign.” A person’s zodiac sign is used by some to determine their personality and love compatibility. More…

Junior Council Aims to Make Prom Tickets Free

On Friday, September 19th, 2014, BSGE students from the graduating class of 2016 gathered in Room 300 for the first meeting of Junior Council – a student group with the aim to raise money to lower the cost of prom tickets. The group meets each Friday of the month, excluding extended holiday weekends. Each meeting will run from 2:20 to 3:30 pm and are supervised by Ms. Hunter, the 11th grade Math teacher.

Prior to the first meeting, Angelica and Beatriz B. ’16 created a Facebook page for students who are interested in finding out more information about Junior Council. Along with the official Facebook page, e-mails and phone numbers are ways that the Junior Council has been proactively keeping in touch with each member. Students who are not in Junior Council but would like to be updated on upcoming fundraising events and possibly contribute to future bake sales are invited to join the mailing list by contacting a council member.

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10th Grade Spanish Class Cooking Field Trip Reply

BSGE’s Spanish teacher, Mr. Giraldo, started the school year with a plan of three field trips for the 10th grade. The first trip was an international outing to Spain and France during Spring Break. The second trip he planned was to the Museum of Modern Art to view a special exhibition on Hispanic artists. Mr. Giraldo’s students briefly studied famous Hispanic artists like Frida Kahlo, Picasso, Fernando Botero, and Salvador Dali to prepare for their trip to MoMA. They learned about the history of these artists and the many styles of art that were exemplified in their works. Students were paired with partners to create Powerpoint presentations on the artists that they chose to study. Unfortunately, the trip to MoMA was cancelled because of conflicting schedules.

However, Mr. Giraldo had planned yet another trip for his students. It was a trip to A La Carte, a cooking school located in Lynbrook, NY. Since Mr. Giraldo teaches two separate groups of students in the tenth grade, his B-day students went to the trip on Tuesday, May 27th, and his A-day students followed after on Friday, May 30th. To get to A La Carte, students met Mr. Giraldo and the chaperones, English teacher Ms. Meisler and school aid Ms. Noboa, in the lobby at 8:55am. Students and chaperones took the MTA subway train and Long Island Railroad.

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Photo Credit: Mr. Giraldo

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Pest Threat at BSGE Reply

On May 9th, 2014, the principal of the Baccalaureate School for Global Education, Ms. Johnson, was informed that a student in the eighth grade had head lice. Ms. Johnson sent an email to parents within the same day with further information about the head lice. The student was asked to temporarily leave school until their head is free of lice, complying with the “no-nit” policy that is followed by school systems throughout the nation.

The situation is troubling as anyone can get head lice if More…

A Year at Minds Matter Reply

Minds Matter is a nonprofit organization that works with low-income high school students to help them prepare for college. The level of effective college preparation that Minds Matter offers is reflected in their 100% acceptance rates for graduates accepted into four-year colleges and universities. It has several locations nationwide, including one in New York. This year, Central Park East High School is the chosen location for Minds Matter to host its program every Saturday, except on holiday weekends. Students, called mentees in this program, engage in writing and critical thinking classes during which they read articles and hold debates. Students are also given their own SAT math textbooks because they have math classes as well. On some days, mentees take practice SATs to track their progress. Typical sessions last from 10am to 2pm, with a break for lunch at around 12pm.

The first day of Minds Matter for sophomores is the orientation event, when mentees get to meet the team leader and mentors who were assigned to them. Each mentee is assigned two mentors. While the team leader is in charge of organizing assignments and group activities, the mentors help More…

Reinventing School Lunch Reply

Eating lunch food from the cafeteria does not have to be limited to how they are served on your tray. Here are some fun ways to spice up your school lunch!

  • Mash up Sun Chips with your fist or a heavy binder until you can feel little crumbs. Put the crumbs between your sandwich for a nice and satisfying crunch.

  • Squirt a lot of salad dressing into a section on your tray as a dip for carrots and cucumbers.

  • Make a “Chip Butty Sandwich,” a type of British sandwich, by taking a pre-wrapped sandwich and removing the contents. Put fries in between and add ketchup. More…

A Free Period for Nap Time? Reply

Teenagers need as much sleep as toddlers. According to sleep guidelines from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, it is recommended that toddlers get 11 to 12 hours of sleep in a day, and teenagers get 9 to 10. There is a trend in the statistics of sleep requirements that, as we grow older, we generally need less hours of sleep to function. This is due to the fact that growth hormones are released when we snooze, which we need less as we age. In addition, we do our most critical brain and physical development during our youth.

Unfortunately, teens are biologically wired to be tired during the day and active during the night. Puberty affects our circadian rhythm, the natural clock found within us, and we can no longer drift off to sleep at childhood bedtimes. Our drowsiness is delayed to later in the night, which is not ideal for teens who have to More…

Why Hats Are Banned: An Inside Look Reply

Heat leaves the body quickly through the hands, feet, and head. As the colder months are rolling in, fuzzy socks, gloves and hats protect us with their cozy properties. But, one of them is banned: hats. Why are hats banned in classrooms when they’re not illegal on the streets?

The NYC Department of Education Discipline Code states in rule B09: “Wearing clothing, headgear, (e.g., caps or hats), or other items that are unsafe or disruptive to the educational process is prohibited.” It is classified as an infraction: an uncooperative or noncompliant behavior. However, it’s a level one offense, the least serious one out of five possible levels.

The rule leaves room for interpretation. “Unsafe” and “disruptive” are vague words to work with. In the past, hats were banned in school areas with high gang-activity. Specifically with snapback hats, they were popular as a way to sport gang identity through key colors or symbols. Despite the previous association of hats with gang activity, the analysis of what hats stand for can be taken too far. Anowar Bashal ‘16 said, “Hats can represent team names. I was told not to wear a hat once, and it simply said New York. I don’t think they should be banned.”

Another student agrees that this dress code rule should be lifted. “It’s not fair,” said Brianna Carty ‘16. “What if we’re having a bad hair day?” Carty is a fan of wearing beanie hats to accessorize her hair, among many other students who enjoy donning this slouchy, laid-back statement piece.

“Hats define me and it’s my style,” said Alvaro Bermejo ‘16. Bermejo is iconic for the hats he frequently wears to class, and the teachers who just as frequently confiscate or order him to remove his fashion statement. Several times, he had his hat confiscated from him. “It angers me because people should be allowed to wear what they want. Schools should be about education, not what you wear. Hats aren’t distracting unless you have a sombrero that covers the student behind you.”

But at the same time, students understand the setbacks of wearing hats to school. Not only can large hats obscure the view of the person sitting behind, but they can also hide your face. “They might be sleeping and the teacher might not see,” said Kara Larochelle.

“Sometimes, hats cover the head in a way that makes it dangerous for the school environment,” said Stephanie Pichardo ‘16. Hats can make it harder to identify someone, so a criminal can disguise himself with a hat and enter the school building. For the same reason, masks are annually announced as prohibited around the Halloween holiday because they cover the face, and hide the identity.

“One person hid something in his cap so everyone in the city can’t wear them. We’re a good school, its’ not fair” said Nikolaos Filooulos ‘15. “Beanies are for love not for hate.”

A Very Serious Article About Gum-Chewing Reply

The plastic in classroom wastebaskets cling with chewed up gum of every color of the rainbow. Better there, as a trash can decorum, rather than a surprise on the underside of a table.

The gum war between teachers and students is a daily battle. Some students choose to chew gum despite the ban in classrooms, gambling on their ability to chew discreetly. Others enter the classroom and promptly spit into the trash can as an unwritten instruction of the agenda.

“You have any gum?” comes the dreaded whisper from the student next to you. Taking out your gum pack becomes a game of More…

Homemade Lunch Ideas Reply

It’s not uncommon for BSGE students to dislike the school lunch served everyday. There are the highlights of school lunch, such as mozzarella sticks and fries, but there are also days when the cafeteria boosts less popular meals. For the vegetarian students in our school, the edible options diminish even further to sad salad greens and boring peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Even if you are a student that believes school lunch is an acquired taste and you celebrate mystery meat, you may forget to collect your lunch tickets as the time rolls around. Here are some handy lunch ideas that will be quick and virtually painless to make at home.

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Rolling and Backpacks Don’t Go Together Reply

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An artist’s rendering of one of the “wheelie bags” seen around BSGE

Are you one of those weird people using backpacks that actually go on your back? We must look like a bunch of pack mules to the students who use a rolling backpack with wheels. While we
laboriously bear the burden on our curving spines, resembling the hunchback of Notre Dame more and more, the elite rolling backpack crew swiftly make their way through crowded hallways and stairs. It seems like their backpack acts as a sort of divider as students dive out of the way like sheep herded to the sides. The unfortunate ones More…

Panera’s Discriminatory Policy Reply

Panera, a cafe located on 35th Avenue, is where students normally like to rendezvous after school. Its convenient location near the school makes it a short walk away, and its plush chairs and good food make it an inviting place for conversation. However, plastered on the glass front of the store these days is a sign that actually prohibits any socialization–for kids, that is. The sign states a new policy that Monday through Friday after 3pm, people under the age of 18 are not allowed to enter without an adult. “This is the only Panera in the whole chain that has this rule,” Sofia Caraballo ‘16 noticed. “There are four schools around Panera and we are the main source of money for them. They’re going to lose their business.”
On December 7th 2012, several groups of students from BSGE tried to hang out at Panera after school, something that they would typically do every other Friday. The rules have clearly changed, because they were not permitted to enter. The sign was stuck outside for as long as anyone could remember, but as usual the students ignored the sign, pretended to be illiterate and More…

Desperate Times Call for Desperate Lockers Reply

Rushing towards the locker room, panting while you sign language the teacher through the door a plea to let you in while a class is going on. Clustering outside of closed locker rooms in the morning, creating a pleasant fire hazard to start the day. The percentage of students who actually use our lockers are nodding along to these everyday BSGE situations.

One would think lockers are highly sought after, considering the limited amount and the growing student population; however, a surprising number of students don’t actually use their lockers.

Ergisa Xhuveli ’16, poses next to her locker on the third floor.

“I remember how I used to use my locker at the beginning of seventh grade. But More…

Welcoming Ninth Grade New-Bees Reply

Former eighth grade students transferred from BSGE to a different high school this year, like Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, Brooklyn Tech, Frank Sinatra, and Laguardia to name a few. The students who stayed make up two ninth grade streams, and new ninth graders transferred in to BSGE to fill in the void of missing students.

New 9th graders mingling with BSGE veterans at lunch

The new students (“new-bees”) travel together in a stream of their own, Stream 9-1.  “I think the new-bees should be put into our streams,” says Nicholas Wong ‘16. “It allows them to get to know more people.” One student, who would like to remain anonymous, says, “It’s like some of them are in their own bubble. They don’t have many opportunities to talk to people outside of the new kids because they don’t have the same classes as us.” Most of the new ninth graders are More…

Regents Exams Reply

New York City eighth and ninth graders are required to take an examination, the algebra regents, that assesses their level of understanding in algebra. BSGE eighth graders are taking the algebra regents along with the ninth graders from other schools, because they took algebra class a year ahead. The algebra regents take place on June 14 this year, and students are allowed to arrive at school, the place of testing, later than usual, since the regents begins at 1:00pm. New York City eighth and ninth graders will be taking the regents for the first time in their school career, and it will be a transition from the More…

Deciding Which High School to Attend Reply

Eighth-graders citywide received the results for next year’s high school placement on March 1st.  Of the high schools these eighth-graders applied to, many placed their hopes on being accepted by some of New York’s specialized high schools. After they took an admission test to these specialized high schools in October, a select few will be attending Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, Brooklyn Tech, and LaGuardia next year. Students were overcome with either glee, grief, or a mixture of both to be leaving or staying next year.
When asked about why these students chose to depart from BSGE, the most common answer was because of our school’s lack of amenities and clubs. BSGE offers some clubs, but nowhere near as many as the amount of clubs specialized high schools–and bigger high schools in general–offer. Being a small school, it’s understandable why More…