2016-2017 Archives Emma K' 18 Features Opinion Student Life students

Shorter Periods: Blessing or Curse For Grades?

Progress report time has come and gone, and soon January report cards will arrive. Students tell themselves that when they receive grades, it is a time to reflect on their work over the past few months and find ways to improve. This year, the first time that BSGE has had forty-five minute periods, it is relevant to see exactly how this has affected the student body.

Despite grades usually decreasing a bit at the beginning each year as students adjust to the newfound difficulty of our classes, the change had the potential to be good or bad for students. Students were immensely split on this issue, with just as many responding “yes,” “no,” and “somewhat.” More surprising were the justifications, such as one student who responded, “The periods themselves are enough to cover the material we are learning in class, and it goes by a lot faster than the 70 minute periods previously. Thus there is no real difference in the actual teaching material, maybe except for less homework review but that is not essential.” However, some students find said homework review time necessary, such as Sarah Mathai ’18, who said, “The lack of homework review in some of my classes is troubling. I enjoy going over everything so I can better understand the topic.” Others think that the lessons themselves are now rushed and the teachers are not being given enough time to simply go over the class material. This is especially prevalent when discussing math classes, which BSGE students are accustomed to having 280 minutes of a week, but instead only have 225.

by Annie C '18 Emma K' 18

Comic Con 2015!


The race to get tickets for Comic Con 2015 commenced on September 20th. People lined the streets of Downtown Manhattan just to have the chance to get a ticket. According to the NYCC Twitter account, the first people arrived at the store at 3:56pm the previous day as the tickets were being sold at 10am. People showed up in everything from unique cosplay outfits to pajamas. The anticipation was raving. By the end of the day, 4 day and Saturday tickets were completely sold out. All that was left was Sunday and Thursday tickets that sold out around Friday of the next week. With that, all the tickets to Comic Con were sold out and the fates of poor souls who had not had the chance to get tickets were sealed. The only hope left would be scalpers who this year in particular, were being cracked down on. (This year and the previous year, a new type of Comic Con tickets that require a check-in system were implemented. They are magnetic and are able to be scanned by the staff even without a bar code. They ensure that counterfeit tickets are be rejected.)

Emma K' 18

What’s The Deal With Engrade?

In BSGE, Engrade is an essential part to a student’s day whether it’s constantly checking for test grades or homework. Engrade was established by a high school student in 2003, and over the years has grown to more than 4.5 million users across the world. This really demonstrates how essential online grading really is in this day and age. Many of us see the use of it while others find that it causes a lot of stress.

More recently, teachers have taken percentages off of the scores shown on engrade in order to reduce this stress while still being informative. For a lot of students, this only seems to be more frustrating. Percentages were a way to monitor exactly where they were in a grade percentile, although a simple solution is going to the teacher and asking for a grade summary.

When asking some students about their experiences and opinions on online grading, mixed reviews were received. “It’s only good for when your grades are rising, but if you get one or two bad grades on tests you see it plummet and this puts a lot  of pressure on students” said an anonymous 9th grader, showing the real pressure it has on students. Others students favor Engrade such as Nadja M. ’18 who said “I really like that I don’t have to copy my homework for some classes because it is waiting on Engrade for me.”

Teachers seem to have a very similar perspective on this technology. When asking Ms.Lambrini, an active Engrade user, she responded: “The only online grade-book that I have used is Engrade. Besides posting grades, I use it to post homework assignments, write comments, record attendance and communicate with students and

Emma K' 18

BSGE’s New Semester Resolutions

For many of us, we really aim to improve our entire school experience. Here are some things fellow BSGE’ers aim to accomplish in the next semester:

“I’d like to procrastinate less!” – Katie D. 15’

“A 7 in French would be nice!” – Sasha S. 19’

“I want to raise my grades, especially in advisory.” – Portia V. 18’

“My goal is to do my homework before watching TV shows when I home.” – Sarah M. 18’

“I think my new semester resolution is to not stress as much over school.” – Daniel S. 20′

“I’d like to finish my novel by the end of the school year.” -Loli A. 17’

“Getting exercise more often would be nice.” – Mr.Laskowski

No matter if you did poorly or well in the Fall-Winter semester, there is hope to do amazingly in the coming semester! Best of luck to everyone.

Emma K' 18

NYC’s Own “Purr-fect” Cat Cafe

On December 15th 2014, Meow Parlor opened its doors for business. It is established as New York City’s first permanent cat cafe, which is basically a coffee shop where people can be social, study or simply have a latte with the company of a bunch of cuddly cats. The very first cat cafe opened in Taiwan in 1998, but soon spread to Japan where it gained much popularity and publicity. Now, it has finally reached the Big Apple.

It was founded by Christina Ha and Emilie Legrand who partnered up with the organization “Kitty Kind” who would supply the cats. All the cats that are featured in the cafe are available for adoption.

Emma K' 18

BSGE’s Version of School Spirit

As we all know, BSGE contains a lack of school spirit. Some of us don’t even know what the school colors are (they’re blue and white, by the way). Many of us do care about this and think that it does negatively affects our attitudes towards school.

According to studies, school spirit creates a positive relationship between teachers and students. Positive school spirit creates an overall sense of well being throughout the school community as well. It has even been proven to increase motivation to do better in school. Children that inhabited schools with a great sense of school spirit had a greater sense of belonging than those who did not. It also demonstrates pride within and outside the school. School spirit can be demonstrated through school apparel, school colors, or even just having traditions that are practiced.

So is school spirit really that vital to BSGE students? Despite the statistics, some people are very unconcerned about our lack of spirit. Kai S. ’19 commented, “I really don’t mind that our school had a lack of school spirit as long as I get my education!”

Emma K' 18

Humor or Assault? – Sam Pepper Scandal

In early September of 2014, famous YouTube star Sam Pepper posted an alleged “prank video” on his channel of 2.4 million subscribers. The video featured Pepper grabbing the behinds of seemingly random and unsuspecting women on the streets of Los Angeles. The video was met with immediate outrage. Viewers claimed that Pepper’s actions were considered acts of sexual harassment and that it violated YouTube’s policy on sexual content. Within hours of the video being posted, “#reportsampepper” became a worldwide trend on Twitter.

"DigiTour tweeted a statement about YouTube prank channels two days after Pepper’s fake hand video was uploaded." - BuzzFeed News
“DigiTour tweeted a statement about YouTube prank channels two days after Pepper’s fake hand video was uploaded.” – BuzzFeed News

The video was soon removed from YouTube. A little while after the first video, Pepper then posted another video of the same concept. However, in this video a female was displayed grabbing the behinds of various males. There was an even bigger uproar over this video, especially after Pepper was conscious of the previous video’s backlash. People responded with comments such as, “…good to know he’s an equal opportunity creep”.

Pepper explained that he was using this as a social experiment. He wanted to see people’s reactions to sexual harassment towards women versus sexual harassment towards men. Pepper claimed that the video’s intention was to shed light on the fact that sexual assault happens equally to both men and women.