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2017-2018 Alba S '23 Movies/T.V.

Riverdale Review

In 2017, a year in which most people have Netflix, Hulu, or one of the many streaming services available, everyone seems to be binge-watching 20 different shows at once.  September has brought around new episodes of captivating shows, such as Stranger Things and The Flash. One new, well-known show is Riverdale, a production created by the CW. The CW is a network that tends to focus on television adaptations of famous comics from the 1940s. Riverdale is a recreation of the Archie Comics, and surrounds the lives of four teenagers from a small suburban town who attend a drama-packed local high school. So naturally, many people love it.  

 

Soon after the release of its first season, Riverdale received mostly positive attention from the media, and currently has an 88% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Riverdale and many of its actors were nominated for eight Teen Choice Awards, including Choice Breakout TV show and Choice TV Drama. Its actors Cole Sprouse, Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes, and Madelaine Petsch each won an award in different acting categories. Although KJ Apa did not win his nomination, he won the Breakthrough Performance Award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films.

 

Despite promising reviews, not everyone appreciates the many differences between the show and the original comics. An eighth grader who chose to remain anonymous says, “The Archie comics were the original, and it’s not as deep and as dark as Riverdale”. This is probably because the Archie comics focused on humor, superhero, and crime genres. While the show has elements of crime and action, it revolves greatly around drama and romance. However, most people love the show because of its drama and action, like Lizbeth Mendoza ‘21. “It keeps you on the edge of your seat,” she claims.

 

All in all, Riverdale is a great show for anyone who loves mystery and action-based shows. The entirety of the first season is already out on most streaming platforms, and the second one is about halfway through, airing on The CW every Wednesday night. So the next time you are flipping through TV channels with nothing good to watch, you may want to give Riverdale a try.

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2017-2018 Archives by Melyssa I '20 Culture Entertainment and Culture

Fidget Spinners: Why They’re So Popular and What People Actually Think About Them

What comes to mind when you think of fidget spinners? To the students of BSGE, they bring on mixed opinions. Approximately 66 students were surveyed for their opinions on the toys; whether they completely hated, liked, or were indifferent to them. Here is what they had to say:

Given the current backlash fidget spinners receive, a surprising 40.9% of responders said that they liked the toys, while 30.3% claimed they disliked the spinners, and 28.8% were indifferent on the matter, neither liking nor disliking them. When asked if they have ever owned a fidget spinner, the majority of responders (68.2%) said that they had, and only 31.8% said that they hadn’t. An even bigger difference percentage-wise happened when the responders were asked if they’d ever used the spinners, in which an overwhelming 89.4% of people said that they had, and only 10.6% said that they hadn’t.

Why did they respond in this way?

When asked why they liked fidget spinners, the vast majority of people simply said it was all down to the fact that they spun, with Brandon C. ‘18 simply responding with, “They spin.”. Multiple others said the same. A sizeable amount of people also claimed it was because of their initial purpose to help children with ADD/ADHD, and on this, Kayla P. ‘20 says, “They can really help people with attention/movement issues.”

On why they disliked fidget spinners, almost all the responders said it was because they were “annoying”, with many specifically citing how distracting they could be. Edward S. ‘23 and Agomoni S. ‘23 said, “They keep you occupied”, and “They’re a complete waste of time and don’t help anything”. Many responders also noted the noise that the spinners made to be irritating, with Sara H. ‘18 saying, “They’re useless and annoying to hear spin”. Alexis W. ‘22 stated, “They do make noise sometimes and it gets really annoying when people use them in class.”.

Despite the controversy and conflicting opinions, Arif E. ‘20 sums it up when he says, “I mean, they are harmless toys. They can understandably be pretty fun to play around with,” since that’s all fidget spinners are; popular toys of 2017.

 

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2017-2018 Archives by Janielle D '19 Entertainment and Culture Health

Eczema: Not Just A Punch Line

October was Eczema Awareness Month, and as someone who has continuously struggled with it since birth, I have been quite literally itching to talk about it. 

Skin issues run in the family; my brother and sister had eczema, my aunt had skin rashes as a kid, and my nephews deal with it as well. Until my first nephew, my eczema was the worst my immediate family had ever seen. The raw blistering rashes plagued my face, neck, stomach, elbows, legs — my whole body. At such a young age, I was exposed to countless steroidal creams, moisturizers, and even oral steroidal medicine to subdue the pain. Of course, time was only the most consistent and effective remedy.

Growing up was difficult, with the trauma extending far past my skin, leaving scars that couldn’t be seen in the physical keloids on the inside of my elbows. As a young child, I couldn’t understand why it was so itchy, or why my mom would get mad when I succumbed to the temptation to scratch. Obviously, it was because I was literally tearing away at my skin and putting myself in more pain, and she didn’t want that. What mother would just sit back while her daughter ruined her body, even if it was involuntary? We tried everything past the medicine: wearing gloves or socks on my hands–yet the friction of the fabric would always find a way to relieve the itch— or placing warm damp towels on my rashes. Sure, the itch was overpowered by the pain of the temperature and water, but the water would just make it itchier. I even resorted to hitting it instead of itching. Nonetheless, the itching persisted.

It wasn’t until I started going to school that I finally realized that this wasn’t normal. I thought every kid was like this. Don’t get me wrong, many kids are; the countless “Oh you have eczema? I had that when I was younger, but I grew out of it”s got redundant quickly. The point is that no one around me was like that. Every other kid I knew swam in the ocean without the salt water torturing him or her. Every other kid I knew wore spaghetti strap tank tops without glaring red patches on his or her shoulders. Every other kid I knew didn’t stutter and feel isolated when someone pointed on his or her arms asking, “What’s that?”

I don’t think I ever consciously started linking all of this to my skin until about third grade when I transferred to a different school because of its Gifted and Talented program. My first year the school still had uniforms, so I was able to hide behind long sleeved white collar shirts until it got to late Spring, when it was too hot to function. I remember one instance so vividly; it was one of the first times I stopped caring about hiding because it was compromising my comfort—as if eczema itself doesn’t do that. One of my close friends pointed at my rashes during lunch and asked me, “Why don’t you hide it?” I have no idea what I said to play it off, but that was one of my earliest memories of actually feeling bad about not having skin like other kids’.

As I progressed through elementary school, my physical appearance stopped being a top priority; hello chapped lips and awkwardly shaped glasses. By pushing back how badly I felt about my skin, I was able to find who I was in something else: my grades. I grew up as the “smart kid” – the stereotypical Asian girl who had glasses, played some musical instrument, and got 100s. Who cared about my skin if everything else about me was perfect? I didn’t. By distracting myself—and hopefully everyone else around me—from my skin, I created an obsession for perfection in every other part of me. Looking back on it now, it was one of the biggest roots of my continuous struggle of accepting that I’m “good enough.” I know a 97 is good, but a 100 is great, and a 105 is even better. While I’ve recently identified this perfectionism as compromising to my mental health, it is still an uphill climb.

Even after fifth grade graduation, sixth grade at my zone school, and seventh and eighth grade at BSGE, my skin was still quite bad. I wasn’t blistering on every inch of my skin, sure, but I was still in constant and excruciating pain. Even simply stretching out my arm would be unbearable. Even with mounds of moisturizer to soothe it, the skin was so raw and dry that it would crack the moment it was taut. Everyday tasks such as taking a shower were made ten times harder. I would have to cup the back of my legs with my hands and bend my elbows while doing this, which resulted in an awkward crouching position, in the shower to make my skin slowly accustomed to the water, which sent sharp and sudden pain when making the slightest contact with any of my rashes. Even when my skin became accustomed to it, washing it with soap was a whole other story.

It was just so frustrating. I knew it was bad for me, so why couldn’t I stop? Why did I consciously relieve the itch temporarily just to bring myself to exponentially greater pain later on? I knew what was wrong with me: I had eczema. But what was wrong with me? I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t just use that information to stop and be normal. Even to this day, I mentally yell at myself for scratching. It’s something that I should be able to stop doing, yet I just can’t.

In addition to the obsessive perfectionism and internal self-punishment, the insecurities regarding my skin still linger. Eczema still plagues me, even if it’s just on the back of my neck, inside my legs, and inside my elbows, with the seasonal rashes on my upper chest, back, and shoulders. The steroids have left their permanent marks on my body, from the keloids on my skin to my lack of a growth spurt; all thanks to the medicine I ingested a child. There are so many outfits I wish I had the confidence to wear, had my skin not decided to be so ugly. There are days I wish I could wear makeup without the skin under my eyebrows and my eyelids being flaky. This isn’t even mentioning the number of future situations I’m afraid that I’ll deal with – what if a boy stops liking me because of my skin? Sure, it sounds stupid written down, but I’d like to tell myself that it is a valid fear after 16 years of “Is that contagious?” and “You can always cover it up!” and “You’re still pretty!”.

While a lot of my problems were internalized and self-inflicted, so many of my insecurities and issues with myself were rooted in how other people had viewed me during crucial developmental points of my life. I’m not saying that we’re ever going to stop curious children from trying to learn more about people whose skin doesn’t look like theirs, but by late elementary school and even middle school, you’d think this ignorance would have been expelled already.

The stigma around eczema specifically ranges from being associated with bad hygiene to being the basis of jokes and roasts. It’s something that leaves so many children and teens with long-lasting problems linked to body dysmorphia and other mental illnesses. From simple things such as having a more inquisitive tone as opposed to a disgusted one when asking someone about their eczema, or to larger ways such as supporting eczema cure research, we could minimize these effects. If you’re ever interested in learning more, there are some interesting articles on nationaleczema.org that range from basic information to physical self-care and mental self-help.

How could you do this if you’re someone who deals with eczema? In my opinion, reaching out to other people you see struggling is one of the most effective ways. I will never forget the one time a freshman—at the time—direct messaged me on Instagram when I was in seventh grade, telling me how she understood how I felt and that it does get better with time and treatment. This is almost my way of repaying the universe for bringing her to me; now it’s your turn.

 

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2016-2017 Archives by Daleelah S '19 Entertainment and Culture Style

Controversy and Cultural Appropriation

Fun in the Sun Friday was the final day of Spirit Week for the 2016-2017 school year, but it didn’t end up being very fun for many people.

Quite a few students came in that day wearing “traditional” Hawaiian apparel, such as leis, luaus, and grass hula skirts. In response, plain posters with text on them were put up in the school’s staircases. They included phrases such as “Hawaiian culture is not your theme” and “Hawaiian culture is not your costume.”  Rather than sparking a conversation, the posters ended up creating controversy and exposing deeply contrasting viewpoints. Generally, students that had come in wearing these items felt personally victimized and targeted, and maintained that their outfits were harmless and not at all an instance of cultural appropriation. This raised debate throughout the school about what does or doesn’t constitute cultural appropriation, a phrase which many people understand differently, and the moral values of which are fairly complicated and debated on by anthropologists and sociologists alike.

First, there needs to be an understanding of what the term “cultural appropriation” implies. The word “appropriation” has traditionally been used as a synonym for institutional or widespread theft. The cultural aspect of this has normally been defined as when “members of a dominant culture take elements from a culture of people who have been systematically oppressed by that dominant group.” In the case of Fun In the Sun Friday, the dominant culture would be mainland American culture, while the oppressed culture would be native Hawaiian culture. It’s important to distinguish the two, given Hawaii’s history.

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2016-2017 Archives by Janielle D '19 Culture Entertainment and Culture

What Do You Meme?

Memes: there is no escaping them. From the Instagram explore page and Twitter relatable accounts to company marketing advertisements and BSGE bake sale posters, memes are used to reach a wide audience, with purposes including entertainment and advertising. While the iconic Pepe and Kermit the Frog memes made their viral Internet debut in the 2010s, memes have been around since the 1940s, connecting people around the world.

The word “meme” was first coined in 1976 by Richard Dawkins, who described it as “an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.” Under Dawkins, memes were analogous to genes and were considered a “unit of culture” that reproduces itself. Inspired from Dawkins, the study of memes, known as memetics, arose to act as an evolutionary model of the transferring of information within cultures. Despite its scientific beginnings, memes have taken a different route that most people can understand.

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2016-2017 Archives by Mrittika H '20 Entertainment and Culture Food

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds strawberries; squished and jammed
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • Whipped Cream
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2016-2017 Archives by Novaleen A '20 Entertainment and Culture Movies/T.V.

Top Anime of 2016

Anime, or Japanese animation, come in various genres, just as American TV does. It is prominent in today’s society and is very frequently talked about. In BSGE, there are many anime lovers, introduced to it for various reasons. Kai Wahlin ‘22 is “partly Japanese, so Anime is cool.” Aayman Abdellatif ‘18 says, “I grew up watching popular anime like Dragon Ball Z, Naruto, Shaman King, etc so my love for anime grew to include less mainstream anime such as Akuma No Riddle, Baka to Test, [and] Erased. BSGE students were asked about their favorite anime of 2016, with many responses from different genres.

yuri on iceYuri!!! On Ice  is a sports anime produced by MAPPA, directed by Sayo Yamamoto, and written by Mitsuro Kubo. It is about figure skating, in which the 23 year old Yuri Katsuki faces a major defeat in the Grand Prix Final. He begins to believe that his career as a skater is coming to a close. Until, a video of him performing a routine of the Russian five-time world champ- Viktor Nikiforov goes viral. Viktor comes to Japan out of nowhere to become Yuri’s coach. Stupefied, Yuri accepts his idol’s offer, beginning to train for the Grand Prix Finals. 

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2016-2017 Archives by Lalla A '20 Entertainment and Culture Food Health

The Reality of School Lunch

Every day, students at BSGE line up, wondering what’s for lunch. Some days it’s chicken, hamburgers or mozzarella sticks. In any case, there is a general consensus that the quality of the food is low, with it being at times undercooked, stale, or even frozen chocolate milk. It’s not just in BSGE though. Schools across the city have students complaining about food quality and the the fact that it can be greatly improved.

The official school food website states, regarding the meals for NYC schools, “nutrition standards always meet, and many times exceed, USDA Nutrition Standards for School Meals.” While this claim may appear impressive to some, the standards are do little to focus on serving food that students are willing to eat. For example, the USDA states that schools should “offer fruits and vegetables as two separate meal components.” This does not discuss what may be done to improve them or make sure that the food served tastes good. Furthermore, there have also been claims from students in NYC that they had found pieces of metal in the chicken tenders, according to CBS news. This report was made recently last month, with the city now removing the option from lunch. Other students have reported moldy pizza and choked on bones where they shouldn’t have been, CBS news continues.

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2016-2017 Archives by Samantha V '18 Culture News World

What it is Like to Live in a Developing Country For Two Weeks

Two weeks in the Philippines. This may not seem like a lot of time for a vacation, but it was perfect for an eye-opening experience. While I was in the Philippines, I learned about how different the local lifestyle was from the my lifestyle in New York. There were many moments when I felt extremely grateful for how privileged I was, but there were also many times when I wished I could have these Filipino experiences everyday.

The first thing I noticed was how much traffic there was. While New York has its fair share of traffic, it is nothing compared to the never-ending traffic on the streets of the Philippines. Almost every hour seemed to be rush hour and it was almost impossible to get anywhere on time. Whether taking a car, a tricycle, or jeepney, commuting was definitely a struggle. Mass transportation such as trains weren’t used as often because they were inconvenient and inefficient. There were a limited number of stops and the trains didn’t reach many areas. This causes more people to drive, which in turn creates more traffic. From talking with family members, I learned that they were used to the traffic and it has become a part of their everyday life. They learned to always expect traffic, so they tend to leave a lot earlier just to get to work or school on time. A possible solution that was passed in 2003 was the Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program, more commonly known as coding. Still used today, what the program does is that it restricts certain vehicles from using main roads at specific times based on the last digit of its license plate. Even with coding in use, traffic is still very prominent because of the lack of mass public transportation.

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2016-2017 Archives by Anokha V '19 Culture Features News students U.S.

A Personal Experience of the March on Washington

On January 21st, 2017, my mother, friends, and I chanted “We want a leader, not a creepy tweeter!” loudly throughout the streets of Washington D.C.

Less than twenty-four hours after country musicians strummed their guitars for America’s new president, I marched with more than two million women, men, and children across the globe protesting Donald Trump and what he stands for. With the recent election and inauguration of Donald Trump as America’s 45th president, tensions have been high, to say the least. Each day has introduced new scandals and potential constitutional violations. From taking down the pages on climate change and LGBTQ rights on the White House website on his first day in office to waging a full fledged war on the media, Donald Trump has been a very controversial figure. However, this article is not meant to focus on Trump or his supporters, but on the Women’s March on Washington. While I went to the Women’s March primarily to protest Trump’s administration and the man himself, the Women’s March was used by many to advocate for women’s rights. The idea for the Women’s March originally sparked when a retired attorney from Hawaii, Teresa Shook, created a Facebook page for 40 of her friends, attempting to create a small march in protest of Trump’s election. Overnight, 10,000 people had RSVPed for the event, and that’s when the movement gained momentum. The march had its fair share of controversy, however. When it was originally conceived by Ms. Shook, she named it the Million Women’s March, which was a march organized for black women in 1997. This naming drew some backlash, and felt quite racially exclusive, so the march was handed over to female activists Linda Sarsour, Carmen Perez, and Tamika Mallory, and named the Women’s March on Washington. From there, the march became the monumental event that it became known as on January 21st.

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2016-2017 Archives by Jacqueline C '20 by Lisbeth A '20 Clubs/Activities Entertainment and Culture Health Sports Student Life

Putting the “Fit” in “Fitness”

From its original four seniors to the present eight, the Fitness Club has begun to grow, yet most students don’t know it exists. It was established to create a comfortable forum in which people can not only get their essential physical activity but also enjoy the experience with their friends in a judge-free zone.

The club leader, Mohammed Roshid ‘17, wanted to “work out during the week and inspire people to join the gym … [and] to try and get fit.” He explains that incorporating a fitness club into the building makes it possible for those who have a difficult commute to their local gym to work out. He does this for those he shares a similar story with. Mohammed explained that in the past few years he began going to the gym with his older brother, but found it difficult to make time during school days to work on his routine. Thus, he was inspired to motivate others with similar struggles to work out at school. Frequent club member Ryan Zhuo ‘17 expresses the same challenge.  He said, “My gym is too far from [my home] so coming here makes it a lot easier.” Not only is this club a great way to encourage physical activity, but it’s also very convenient. In fact, Ryan continued that the convenience is what he “likes most about the club.

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2016-2017 Archives Books by Helen T '20 Entertainment and Culture Opinion Student Life

Views on Curriculum Based Books

Everyone has some taste in books, whether it ranges from nonfiction to complete fantasy, but what about books given to students by their teachers? English teachers assign readings based on their lesson plans, and there are many opinions about reading these books for class and assignments.

In BSGE, books that are read by many students this year include Of Mice and Men, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Things They Carried, The Metamorphosis, The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea, and Black Boy. In books such as these, students are expected to read closely and keep in mind specific aspects of the story that are beneficial to finding the meanings or the theme of the book. Depending on the teacher, there may be quizzes or assignments based on it as well, and possibly a final assignment once the class has finished reading the book. Many English teachers have different views on how they feel the curriculum based books