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2018-2019 BSGE by Kevin W '20 Clubs/Activities News

BSGE Snow Ball

By Alexandra L. ’20 and Kevin W. ’20

Like most public New York City high schools, a school dance is an event that many students seem to look forward to. BSGE’s Snow Ball was no exception to this. Started by the Helping Hands subcommittee, Smile Train, Snow Ball was held on February 1st in order to raise money for children in developing countries with cleft lips and cleft palates. “Smile Train has been a Helping Hands subcommittee for the past two years, and every year we try to top our amount raised the previous years. We thought a dance would be a great way to do that,” says Aoife Kenny ‘20, the founder of the subcommittee. The dance was planned to be from 6 to 10 pm, and with tickets sold for $6 beforehand and $10 at the door, the promise of good music and food lured people to purchase.

Come the night of the 1st, the cafe-gymnatorium was decorated to the  max. String lights hung along the walls and tables, balloons were taped and strewn across the floor, and paper mache flowers dangled from the ceiling. As the party began, kids from grades seven through twelve gradually streamed into the lobby, and into the dance. Food was available for purchase at the end of the room. However, SnowBall was the first BSGE dance where no outside students were allowed, and this took a hit to the ticket sales: “Unfortunately, no outside people were let in, so we had to turn a lot of people away at the door, and even some people from BSGE who wanted to come in with their non-BSGE friends left,” said Anab K. ‘20. Nonetheless, the auditorium slowly began to fill with people, especially after 8 pm, when the basketball game at the nearby YMCA ended.  While it wasn’t as full as it possibly could have been, people still enjoyed their experience: “I was expecting more of a turnout, but it was fun regardless,” said Mollie S. ‘21. In fact, because there weren’t as many people there, the room didn’t get as overheated as some of the previous dances. According to Rachel Z. ’20, “The music was good, not too loud, and it didn’t get super hot, which is always good.” All in all, the Smile Train did make a profit out of the event and while it may not have been the most successful BSGE dance, those who attended were able to have a good time even with there being less people than they had expected. Although this dance was not hosted by Junior Council, it was organized by some people in the 11th grade, and it was a great way to demonstrate to the juniors the hard work it takes to make a school dance happen, as they will need to do this again to raise funds for Senior year. “We appreciate everyone coming– even if you didn’t buy a ticket but just donated, you helped fund a surgery that may change a child’s life,” said Rahoul Kumar ’20.While this is an event the Smile Train committee hosted, many other events such as Candy Grams, Open Mic Night, or general bake sales, are all events that make way for us BSGE kids to support good causes, and more importantly, to support each other.

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2018-2019 Archives by Anokha V '19 Clubs/Activities Student Life

Senior Trip 2019: A Weekend of Bus Breakdowns and Cacophonous Karaoke

On January 11th, BSGE’s senior class embarked for three days filled with a haunted hotel, shots to the head, and blown-off tires. The eagerly anticipated trip occurred in Honor’s Haven Resort in Ellenville, New York, one of the six towns in New York without a Starbucks, to many of the over-caffeinated seniors’ chagrin. For one weekend, students were free from the constraints of the first-semester of senior year, able to ignore impending college deadlines and IB assessments. However, In typical BSGE dysfunction, the tire of the coach bus blew off forty minutes into the voyage. Yet seniors didn’t let this dampen their spirits, and proceeded to share snacks and play games while waiting. Finally, another bus arrived, and the trip resumed. However, on the first night of the trip, one could peek into hotel rooms and view people hunched over their laptop screens, colorful art slides reflecting in their glazed over eyes. Graciously, Ms. Tramontozzi extended the due date for these slides until after the weekend. That’s when senior trip really began.

Saturday morning began at 8am, where the seniors sat together at the round tables, feasting on their fluffy eggs and crispy bacon. The sounds of heartbreak quickly filled the dining room once they learned they would not be served coffee. Desperate to satisfy their Mimi’s Deli addiction, some spent $4 on upstate iced “lattes.” Newly energized, the seniors continued their trip at the roller skating rink. Some were more successful than others, particularly Christina who mastered the artful Heel Toe. Coming back with bruised bums and sore thighs, the seniors finally faced the well-known bouncy castles of the Winter Festival. Later, they attended a two hour hike around the resort. Some seniors momentarily parted from the group, tentatively exploring some abandoned houses with rotting wood and a lone Entenmann’s box. After a group photo at the bottom of the hill, and some quick pushes on rope swings in the area, the seniors headed back to the hotel, their noses red but their hearts warm. That evening, seniors gathered in the auditorium for some heartfelt renditions of classic Karaoke songs. Taking to the stage to perform Everytime we Touch by Cascada were Stella, Matthew, Malika, Fariha and Jennifer, the high paced bop done justice by their singing. Following that performance were Joanna, Janielle, Anokha, Ona, Wei, Grace, and Annie, who artfully performed Love Story by Taylor Swift, complete with mock proposals and endless jumping. Another memorable performance was the heart-string tugging Country Roads by Matthew, Kai, Christian, Leon, Christos, Stefan, Justin, and of course, Mr. Caccamo. Finishing off the session on a touching note, Eliana, Marc, and Rodrigo sang ‘Hey There Delilah’ their voices reverberating throughout the hall as the BSGE audience waved their phone flashlights through the air. That night, seniors gorged on chocolate and vanilla ice cream, drowning their bowls in sprinkles and chocolate sauce, then burning off all the calories with some sweaty dance circles in the karaoke hall. At midnight, around half the grade participated in an exhilarating game of Manhunt. People took to the hills, running through darkness, their shadows and foggy breath perhaps the only visible things in the pitch black night. Crawling over dried goose poop, or hiding in fetal position under lawnmowers (*ahem* Kai), they crouched with baited breath, desperately hoping not to be revealed by someone’s sweeping flashlight. The fear was only heightened by hair-raising tales told to Mr. Mehan by the trip manager about the history of the hotel. In the distance, the frozen lake was said to contain the charred bodies of children and teachers, burned in a fire a century ago by some vengeful town dwellers against the teaching of science in their schools. After a few rounds, it was time to return back to the hotel. Throughout the hallway resounded the sounds of the munching and crunching of chips, and giggles from raucous games of Cards Against Humanity and Uno.

The next morning came with perhaps one of the most awaited events of the weekend: Paintball. Covered head to toe in camouflage gear, participants trudged to a lawless terrain, armed with paintball guns and their iron will. Braving through butt-shots, back-shots, arm-shots, and some head-shots, the Class of 2019 went to battle, playing Capture the Flag, Mr. President, and King of the Hill. In Mr. President, Mr. Caccamo relied on his trusty team to protect him, and protect him they did. Word to the wise: If you are proposed with a game of Civil War, do NOT participate.

After a fulfilling weekend in Ellenville, New York, the seniors returned home to the Big Apple. On the ride home, most everyone slept soundly, exhausted by the thrilling weekend’s events.

By Anokha V. ’19 with contributions from Joanna K. ’19

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2016-2017 Archives BSGE by Rakiba S '22 Clubs/Activities News Student Life

The Blood Drive of 2017

With the motto of, “Donate blood now…people can’t live without it,” plastered on posters across the school, some may wonder what exactly went on at the blood drive. This blood drive was sponsored by the Helping Hands Committee, meaning that the general group of people in Helping Hands sponsored the blood drive rather than any specific committee. Peter Wilson, the advisor of Helping Hands, was the one who facilitated the blood drive on the day of. This blood drive was the first blood drive of 2017 and was hosted in partnership with the New York Blood Center. On March 17, from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM, a bus known as the bloodmobile was available with staff, donor beds, and refreshments to ease the process. Helping Hands’ was to collect at least 35 pints of blood for New York City hospitals and other medical facilities to use.

Approximately 45 appointments were made BSGE students, despite the cold weather on the day of the blood drive. However, of those 45 appointments, only 25 were accepted. Despite how enthusiastic students in BSGE were to donate blood, factors including blood type, blood iron level, weight,  height, and countries recently visited affected whether or not one would be accepted to donate blood. Peter mentioned that during the dozen years Helping Hands had sponsored the blood drive, around 65 people would sign up during warm weather, but of those, about one-third to one-half would be rejected.

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2016-2017 Archives by Lalla A '20 Clubs/Activities Student Life

The Civic Discussion Club

We live in a time of great change. Faster than anyone thought possible, society has been evolving to better suit today’s modern culture. Every day, a new topic is brought to the table along with the controversy surrounding it. Issues such as LGBTQ rights, woman’s rights, the Black Lives Matter movement, abortion, and health care never seem to be too far away. The wars and conflicts in the Middle East are becoming more and more apparent in BSGE students’ everyday lives. Technology has been advancing beyond a level people can easily comprehend, while lives become more reliant on it, as well as new threats such as global warming now loom over humanity. There has never been a time when society has more rapidly been changing than right now. It’s hard to fully comprehend everything that’s been occurring, especially since the news spits out one thing after another. There barely is any time to discuss and fully think about what is happening. This is the reason Daniel Sahr ’20 has created the Civic Debate Club, “so students can learn about current events and issues.”

The club was created after he experienced a series of political discussions with friends and classmates. It has, Daniel said, “the ultimate goal of preparing the members to be able to formulate opinions and ideas based on information and facts, and work with other people to find effective ways of presenting.” Especially with the recent changes facing the country, the club serves as a way for people to become more “politically active in forming and defending opinions.” According to Olivia Wegrowski 20’, the club has “helped me see people’s viewpoints on significant issues we have and opened my eyes to those issues as well.”

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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 by Ritwika B '22 Clubs/Activities Student Life

The Robotics Club

With robotic technology advancing rapidly, robots will be a large influence on our world today, making everyday tasks easier for us humans. As well as doing simple chores for us, robots will also provide interaction for people, especially the elderly. Further, these benefits of robots apply not only to humans, but also to animals, which is something many don’t realize. As such, BSGE’s Robotics Club, though not very well known, has an important role in the world.

The club works on programming robots to portray educational themes. They have completed several previous missions, which challened them to create differently functioning robots. According to Eric Karhan ’19, the leader of the club, they are currently preparing for the Lego league competition and will compete against several other schools. The theme of the competition is animal allies, and the Robotics Club chose bees as their animal, since the bee represents BSGE. Specifically, the club focused on beekeepers, people who take care of bees and keep them healthy. This shows an interaction between humans and animals having a positive impact on the animals. When bees sting the bee suits of beekeepers, it is very expensive to clean, and the suit is attractive to bees, which can hurt the beekeepers. Thus, the club’s goal is to use robots to create a cheaper and stronger alternative, preferably white instead of the yellow, since bees aren’t attracted to white.

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2016-2017 Archives by Rakiba S '22 Clubs/Activities Student Life

BSGE’s Senior Trip

The senior trip. What is it? Though images of trips to exciting places as one’s time in school approaches to an end come to mind, most BSGE students don’t know what happens during the senior trip.  Questions abound, even ones as simple as where the seniors went and what they did.

The seniors left for their trip during the middle of the day on Friday, January 21 and returned on Sunday afternoon, January 22.  They went to Honor’s Haven Resort, one of many resorts in the Catskill Mountains. This has always been a school tradition at BSGE, even if the activities that occur every year vary. 72 of the 88 seniors in BSGE went on the trip, along with them came several teachers as chaperones, including Mr. Rabinowitz and Mr. Mehan. Those who did go were met with a fun and action-packed experience.

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2016-2017 Archives by Rachel R Z '20 Clubs/Activities Student Life

BSGE’s 2017 Winter Concert

On Friday January 20, BSGE’s cafegymatorium was packed with excited parents, teachers, and students, all looking forward to the annual winter concert. The 7th grade, some of the 9th grade, the school orchestra, and several soloists performed specially chosen pieces, including one written by the 9th grade class themselves. These soloists included Lynca Saito ‘21, who played Chopin Nocturne, Erica Lei ‘20 performing River Flows in You, and Ethan Yung ‘19, with the piece La Campanella.

winter1

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2016-2017 Archives by Helen T '20 Clubs/Activities Entertainment and Culture Movies/T.V. Student Life

BSGE’s Movie Night: When Dory was Found

On the afternoon of Movie Night, students sat in groups, huddled with popcorn, candy, and soda, as they begin to watch the movie. The sounds of the opening of Finding Dory fill the room and the lights dim. The one hour and forty five minute movie came out on June 17th, 2016, but was available for play during Movie Night, which took place on Friday, December 9th. Tickets for admission were $5 before the event, while at the door they were $8. All the raised money went to the Toy Drive, the fundraiser in which advisories raised money to buy sick kids gifts for the holidays.

“When I first heard of Movie Night, I was interested, as no one had done it before,” said Danielle Gutkovich ’17. The movie played was determined by a school wide online survey, which asked for a vote on one of the movies from a list which included Kubo and the Two Strings, Middle School: Worst Years of my Life, Secret Life of Pets, Finding Dory, Hotel Transylvania, and more. By plurality vote, “Finding Dory” was the selected movie. Fabbiha Islam ’20, one of those who planned the event, said that “The idea of movie night had been the idea of another classmate, and the idea seemed like a good one, so everybody had voted to organize a movie night.”

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2016-2017 Archives by Krista P '22 Clubs/Activities Student Life

The Fantastic Femtastic Team

The clever wordplay in the Femtastic Team’s name, conceals a serious club beneath the surface. They are a newly established group that already has a many members. Their flyers have been posted in many places around the school, such stairwells, hallways, and the cafegymatorium. Further, the founders Riya Saha ’17, Isabelle Mah ’17, and Caitlin Tsang ’17, sent out an email to further inform us about this recondite club. As a result, on the day the club started, many people flocked to room 300.  Caitlin, Isabelle, and Riya, proved willing to share information about their femtastic team via email.

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2016-2017 Archives by Lisbeth A '20 Clubs/Activities Student Life

BSGE’s Dodgeball Club

Every Friday after school, students can be heard cheering as they pelt each other with dodgeballs in BSGE’s cafegymatorium. The dodgeball club has become a huge success, attracting about 100 students from grades 7 to 12. When asked his opinion of this club, leader Malcolm Sherman-Godfrey ‘17 said, “it’s exceeded my expectations.” Originally, the club was a way to gain Activity hours for CAS, which is a requirement for the IB Diploma. Juniors and seniors joined out of the convenience and freedom that the club provides, unlike in official school teams which require regular commitments from the student. However, after several months of dodgeball, the club has started to attract students as a genuine interest rather than an obligation.

On Friday, December 16, 2016, the club held a dodgeball tournament to raise money for charity, in which students created their own teams consisting of five players. Admission cost $10 per team. One of the tournament’s objectives was for students to engage in a more competitive, physical activity. Many students were excited for the tournament on Friday, ready to have their names signed up to participate. Others showed up as onlookers.

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2016-2017 BSGE by Jacqueline C '20 by Sharupa A '20 Clubs/Activities News Student Life

The BSGE Toy Drive: For the Less Fortunate

The holiday season is a time when students expect to relax with their families and receive gifts, but the children in the HIV/AIDS ward of Elmhurst Children’s Hospital aren’t as lucky as the students in BSGE. Most of them are from low-income families, so their parents can’t afford to get them presents for the holidays.

BSGE’s Helping Hands’ Committee organizes the yearly toy drive to buy gifts for these children. In previous years each advisory has been assigned only one child to raise money for, but this year an advisory can have up to three. In order to meet their goal, the advisories raise money for their children, making sure that they get gifts they want for the winter holidays.

Bake sales have been producing money for the toy drive during every lunch period.Alice Aronov ‘18 explained that they are “the best way to raise money in our school because everyone buys” from them.  She continued that they also give “a teamwork kind of initiative.” Ms. Meisler added, “[a] bake sale is always good because everyone can contribute something and everyone feels like they’re doing something for someone else.” Meril Mousoom 21’s advisory was assigned two boys, both in preschool. One wanted a Hot Wheels “Ultimate Garage” and the other a Captain America backpack. Bake sales allowed her advisory to raise $167 dollars and they “…currently have enough money to buy presents for the kids.”