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2016-2017 Archives by Anokha V '19 Features students

From Poland to America: Bartolomie Halibart

Meet Bart. Bartolomie Halibart, our tenth-grade Polish transfer student, has added lots of character to the grade. Bart, as most people call him, came from Krakow, Poland. He left Krakow, the “most beautiful city in Poland”, to arrive in New York City on June 26th, 2016. However, it’s not his first time here. Previously, Bart lived in New York City from 2002 to 2007, then moved back. He used to live on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. On this Bart remarked, “They call me Brooklyn Bart.” He is to be a man of many monikers: another form of his name is Bartolomiej, which combines his English name and Bartłomiej, his Polish name.

Currently, Bart resides in Ridgewood, Queens with his parents, his sister Katarzyna or Katherine, and his Yorkshire terrier Dexter. He described his commute to school in detail, with more knowledge about the subway map than many of his fellow classmates. New York was well missed by Bart: he proudly stated how great it was to be back. Bart had much to say for his second time in the city.

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2016-2017 Archives by Janielle D '19 Features students

The Face Behind BSGE’s Favorite Deli

BSGE students see her every day as she hands them their iced coffee, BLT, or change. Though she seems to just be the face behind the cash register for most, but there is much more to her and the deli than its french fries and bagels.

Holly, whom people may know as “Mimi” or “the deli lady,” owns the family-run Mimi 36 Deli Grocery, which is also known as the deli across the street from BSGE. She moved to America from South Korea in 1986 and notes the differences between the two countries. “There are a lot of jobs,” she said, referring to America. “And Korea is very fancy, but over here it’s a little regular.” Even though she observes that there is much more litter in America compared to South Korea, she still enjoys being here, saying that it is very nice to live in the States.

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2016-2017 Archives by Fariha H '19 Faculty Features

Teacher of the Month: Ms. Tramantozzi

Where did you grow up?

Yonkers, NY.

Have you always been interested in art?

I think even when I was very young, I always really liked drawing and I always liked making things (like projects or anything that I could make); but I think I began to think seriously about it in high school when I started getting positive feedback. I started to get recognized for doing art from my friends, some teachers, and my dad. I didn’t think that it could be something I could pursue in my life until someone said that I could. I didn’t even know that it was a major in school because I didn’t have it in high school. It definitely came from people’s encouragement (like from my friends and family).

What made you enjoy art making so much?

I don’t think I ever had to think about that, but I think that when I discovered that it could be a language that I could use to communicate that was different than words, art became more interesting for me. So, I might have been shy when I was younger, and having this other language to express myself was something that was very interesting to me. Then when I learned about other artists and saw the ways that they would express themselves that were different from me, that caused me to become more and more interested.

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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.

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2016-2017 Archives BSGE by Lalla A '20 Features News students

The Truth on What’s on the Roof

The roof of the school is a mystery to many people. Looking up towards it, it isn’t clear what is there. Some of the younger grades  say that there is a pool, while most say there is nothing there at all. One student, Kayla Powers ’20, believes that, “there is this greenhouse and this house thing and someone lives there.” Another one, Grace Lim ’22, said that when students “look up, they see something weird.” It’s seems absurd that there would be anything on the roof to begin with, that it serves a purpose besides making sure that the rain and wind don’t get in. While there is no greenhouse or pool, there is, in fact, a man who lives on the roof.

The roof hosts a cozy apartment loft, complete with a kitchen, a living room, and a bedroom. According to Ms. Johnson, the man who lives there is the landlord of the school building. BSGE was originally his pocketbook factory, and a little more than a decade ago, he rented out the building to the DOE, who then converted it into a school. In the past he has even given the school some pocketbooks to sell at auctions.

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2016-2017 Archives by Samantha V '18 Features students

The First Few Months of IB as a Junior

A few months into the school year, almost every single student at BSGE is drowning in work. With the new schedule’s 45-minute periods, the transition into the new school year is taking a lot longer than expected. For juniors, this transition is made more difficult because it is the first year in the IB Program.

The IB Diploma Program is meant to push students to work to the best of their ability. It prepares students for college by teaching them extensive academic and time management skills. Being a part of the IB Program means completion of the Theory of Knowledge course, an Extended Essay, a total of 100 Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS) hours, and meeting specific grade requirements for IB exams. Not all students are IB candidates by the time they end junior year, and an even smaller number actually receive the IB Diploma the summer after senior year. Even though colleges cannot know whether or not a student will eventually get the IB Diploma when they apply,  merely taking the courses and going through such a rigorous process shows how hardworking a student is. The IB Program seems to be intimidating and stressful, but in the end it is all a matter of how the student manages their time.

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2016-2017 Archives by Maya J '16 Features students

Word from the Real World: Maya Juman

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.

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2016-2017 by Meral A '18 Faculty Features

Teacher of the Month: Mr. Yanek

yanek
What is your cultural background?

I am a New Yorker, through and through.

Where did you grow up?

Franklin Square, New York.

If you could live in any other place in the world, where would it be and why?

New York is my first choice, but if I couldn’t live in New York I think I’d be pretty happy in Mexico City. It’s like New York, but it has public toilets. It seems like enough of a big city for me and it has a good vibe.

What type of kid were you in high school?

I got good grades, but deep down I was a fool.

If you were a student and had yourself as your teacher, would you meet the standards you hold for your students?

With a vengeance.

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2016-2017 by Lisbeth A '20 by Reshmi A '21 Faculty Features

BSGE’s New Assistant Principal

Among the many recent changes introduced to BSGE is the arrival of a new assistant principal, Ms. Maria Mamo-Vacacela. She has been appointed as an Interim Acting Assistant Principal, meaning that before Ms. Mamo-Vacacela gets permanently hired she has to undergo a trial process. Ms. Johnson explained, “She is with us now, you can think of it as a probation period to see if it is going to be a good fit. Then, she gets interviewed for the position. Afterwards, teachers, students, and parents get a chance to say, “‘yes’ or ‘no’.” According to Ms. Johnson, Ms. Mamo-Vacacela is being tried for the position because “the responsibilities placed on principals have increased, and we may eventually need more help, especially if our population will grow.”

When asked about her education, Ms. Mamo-Vacacela said laughingly, “I’m a Queens girl.” After having graduated from Christ the King High School in Middle Village, she pursued and received B.A. degree in Mathematics at Queens College. Ms. Mamo-Vacacela also holds a master’s degree in multicultural education from the College of Mount St. Vincent. She perceives this specialization especially fitting here, at BSGE, because of our school’s diversity.

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2015-2016 Archives by Maya J '16 Features students

Letter From The Editor

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.