The Bell That Rings for the New School Year Reply

All of a sudden the bell rings, and it sounds like a flat lining heart monitor. That blasted bell is a stopwatch that starts counting three minutes until the next period begins. Teachers tell us stories about that bell. They say that the sound can be annoying and is a vexation to class. This is the first time it has rung successfully. Now BSGE is stuck with this bell as long as it keeps ringing all day, every day. But overall the bell helps teachers keep in line with the new schedule even though it can badly startle students who are not expecting it.

Teachers had different reactions to this change.  Ms. Nikkolos said, “They tried before and it didn’t work. If they could get it to work, they’re geniuses!” She showed  disbelief, since the bells never worked successfully before.  On the other hand, Mr. Anderson said, “I have no problem with it. It’s just getting used to the scheduling of it”.  He showed neutrality, neither strongly hating it nor loving it greatly. More…

Letter From The Editor Reply

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. More…

Thanks BSGE PTA! Reply

As Bacc Rag editor this year, I would like to thank the PTA for continuing to support our publication. As in years past, the PTA helped us print our issues, which we consider a crucial part of what we do as a newspaper. Physical distribution remains one of our main priorities in sharing news. We are so grateful to have the support of the school, and look forward to another year of writing and printing. Thank you so much for everything!

– Maya Juman ’16, Editor

 

Lady Sting’s Playoff Run Ends in City Quarterfinals Reply

DSC05467This year, BSGE’s varsity softball team had their longest and most exciting playoff run yet. During the regular season the team was undefeated, finishing 15-0 in their PSAL Queens B Division, led by captains Nina Don ‘16 and Rakia Islam ‘16. Lady Sting was seeded #1 in Queens, and was given a first round bye. In the second round, the team defeated Robert H. Goddard High School 10-9 in a 6-run seventh inning rally. BSGE was then granted the overall #3 seed in the city out of the remaining 16 teams. After beating Sunset Park High School 8-1 in the third round, Lady Sting advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time in BSGE history. Despite losing 3-0 to the High School for Math, Science and Engineering, Lady Sting still finished the season as one of the top 8 teams out of the total 133 in B Division softball, an accomplishment that the players, the coaches, and the many spectators and fans are truly proud of. More…

A New Cafeteria Mural for CAS Reply

IMG_5372The vast majority of BSGE students eat lunch in the cafeteria, and many spend time there after school for various extracurricular activities. Thus, for a group of five determined seniors, repainting the cafeteria mural seemed like the obvious choice for a CAS group project that would impact the entire school community. Isabelle Lee ‘16, Alvaro Bermejo ‘16, Joly Zakaria ‘16, Akib Rahman ‘16, and Sara Asprilla ‘16 wanted to replace the long-standing mural with a brighter, fresher design. With the supervision and input of the art teachers, Peter Wilson, and Vanessa Rabines, the group put in 20 hours of after-school work over the course of 2 months, sanding and repainting the original mural and creating the new design on the wall. More…

BSGE Travels to China! Reply

IMG_3890During spring break, a group of BSGE students and teachers embarked on a trip to China, which was our school’s first trip to a country in Asia. This year, the school decided to give an opportunity to students interested in Chinese culture and language to experience the country firsthand. The group consisted of 23 students and 4 teachers—Ms. Mihalache, Ms. Silva, Mr. Giraldo, and Ms. Xia. During their 10-day stay in China, they visited a total of three cities: Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai. More…

Rocking Out for CAS! 1

The new CAS group project requirements have led many BSGE students to explore interesting ways of fulfilling the Creativity, Activity and/or Service requirement through teamwork. One such project is a rock band created by Jotham Kim ‘17 and seven other juniors. While you may not have heard of the band itself, you may have noticed signs for a Rock Band Club, which is linked to the CAS project. The club involves members of the CAS project teaching other interested students to play instruments and produce music. The eight juniors host their own practices and performances separately. More…

BSGE Fitness Room Gets a Makeover Reply

The second floor fitness room is used by most BSGE students who have gym for their physical education class. Some students even like to go to the fitness room after school and work out then as well. The room has recently been renovated, with the addition of a mirror and the rearrangement of equipment. However, there are still more changes to come.

Margaret Pasach, the parent coordinator, explained the process of renovating the room. “The PTA worked on getting money from the councilman, because the machines were in disrepair. And he came through. They’d been working on it for 2 years. They were able to bring in enough money to redo the fitness room.” The floors were repainted a bright blue, and mirrors now line the wall behind the weight racks. Some machines, however, were removed, like the equipment for lateral pulldown, and a dysfunctional machine that is supposed to work out the legs but now only serves as a rest station. Over the summer, new machines will be added, like new bicycles, since many of the current bicycles are not entirely functional. More…

BSGE Team Comes Third in Pi5 Math Competition Reply

On Saturday, May 7th, 20 students from the BSGE Middle School Math Club went to compete in the New York Pi5 Math Competition, led by Mr. Mehan. The competition is a publicly held event open to students from grades 6 through 8 in any of the 5 boroughs. This year, the competition was held at The Armory (at 168th Street) in Manhattan.

Students formed four teams of five, working together to solve math problems of varying levels of difficulty to earn points. The more difficult the questions were, the more points those questions were worth. The point values ranged from 100 to 500 points. There was a total of 45 minutes per team to answer as many questions as possible. “The quicker and more accurately you answer, the better the chance you have of advancing in the competition,” said Christie Choi ‘20, who represented BSGE at the event. More…

Model UN: A Model for the World? Reply

Model UN – a club that many have heard of, but few know anything about. Unlike most activities, there are no regular weekly meetings, no advertisements to be in a certain place at a certain time to join. But occasionally a school will hold a Model UN convention, such as the Dalton School in the Upper East Side did on April 23rd, and BSGE will be well represented.

Three juniors and five seniors, along with supervisor Ms. Meisler, attended said conference, where students from many different schools attempt to solve world issues in eight to ten hours. Each school is assigned one or more countries to represent, and for the weeks leading up to the conference, the students learn about their country’s strengths and issues so they can be accurate representatives. In this case, BSGE was assigned Australia, Belgium, and the Philippines, but due to a lack of people, the Philippines ended up being ignored. During the conference, there are many subcommittees that focus on world issues such as climate change and disease control, and each participant joins one of these subcommittees to represent their country. Hours of spirited debate ensue. Eventually, proposals are created, voted on, and announced to the rest of the conference, sometimes with awards for countries and/or schools whose representatives stand out. More…

Six Things To Do Over the Summer Rather Than Binge-Watching Shows on Netflix Reply

1) Free Summer Concerts

From May 20 to September 2, Good Morning America and the Today Show will be holding free summer concerts at least once a week. Both GMA and the Today Show will be holding their concerts every Friday, but the GMA ones will be in Central Park and the Today Show will be holding their concerts in Rockefeller Center. All concerts are open to the public, but some require you to reserve the free tickets. These concerts are a great way to boost your energy for the day and are just an inexpensive fun event to enjoy with friends and family. With performers such as Blink 182 and James Bay, you are sure to find an artist you’ll want to see. Afterwards, you could just relax in Central Park or walk around the city. For the lineup for GMA concerts, go to: http://www.centralpark.com/guide/activities/concerts/gma-concerts.html. For the lineup for the Today Show concerts, go to: http://cititour.com/NYC_Events/2016-NBC-Today-Show-Summer-Concert-Series/23434.

2) The Magnum Ice Cream Bar Shop

After going to a morning concert, you are sure to be in need of an energizing snack. The Magnum shop in Soho is definitely a tourist attraction, but that doesn’t mean it is any less of an attraction for us natives. Magnum is a company that creates ice cream bars and this shop is a place where you can customize these chocolate bars. For $7, you could get a fully customizable ice cream bar with up to three toppings. From dark chocolate chia seeds to rose petals, there is a wide variety of toppings and an infinite number of combinations. This is a great snack for a hot summer day and it is just a fun experience watching your beautiful creation come to life. For more about this ice cream shop, visit: http://www.amny.com/eat-and-drink/magnum-ice-cream-and-dipping-bar-pop-up-to-open-in-soho-1.11679050.

3) Bryant Park Film Festival

If you aren’t much of a concert-goer, then maybe you could go out for a movie instead. For the entire summer, HBO will be showing films in Bryant Park every Monday. The movies will be showing from 5:00 P.M. to 11:00 P.M. and are open to the public for free. Movies such as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and The Omen will be showing all summer long. Grab a picnic blanket, some food, and a handful of friends and enjoy a nice movie on the lawn. This is a great way to just relax and enjoy New York City scenery and summer weather. For information about what movies will be showing, go to: http://www.bryantpark.org/plan-your-visit/filmfestival.html.

4) Alice’s Tea Cup

Speaking of movies, with the recent release of the movie, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Alice’s Tea Cup is a fun place to check out. With the original restaurant on the West Side and “Chapters” II and III on the East Side, Alice’s Tea Cup is easily accessible. The Alice in Wonderland-themed restaurant makes every person revisit their childhood. Complete with Alice-themed decorations and pastries, this restaurant is perfect for fans of the books and movies. The restaurant offers amazing tea and overall is a great place to hang out and get lost in Wonderland. If you’re really feeling like a little kid, you could ask to wear one of their many fairy wings while at the restaurant—they’ll even sprinkle “fairy dust” on you! For more information about finding Wonderland, go to: http://alicesteacup.com.

5) I Survived the Room

An adrenaline-packed activity that is great for groups of friends, I Survived the Room is an intense game that is all about testing your limits. I Survived the Room has two rooms to choose from (and one open only on Fridays). A group of friends is placed in a chosen scenario from which they have an hour to escape. You must learn to work with your friends to find clues and solve riddles to escape the room, but if you fail to do so, then game over! The whole scenario feels real, especially with actors who play special roles. It is a bit scary, but definitely worth it because it is interesting to see how your group can work together to solve a hypothetical situation. For more information about how to book a room, go to: http://isurvivedtheroom.com.

6) Smorgasburg

Although a bit further away from the city, Smorgasburg in WIlliamsburg is definitely worth the trip. Every Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M., Smorgasburg is filled with vendors of food, vintage clothing, antiques, jewelry, and many other knick knacks that appeal to all types of people. Great weather, friendly vendors and a variety of handmade and vintage goods make this flea market a popular spot. Most of the vendors at Smorgasburg are running their own small businesses, and many love to chat with customers. Smorgasburg is also a great place to discover new foods because of all the unique twists put on everyday snacks. Concoctions like “Raindrop Cakes” and “Takumi Tacos” can all be found at Smorgasburg. For more information about the market and its vendors, go to: http://www.smorgasburg.com.

Helping Hands’ Eco-Partnership Reply

Helping Hands, a fundraising organization in BSGE, has long been known for collaborating with organizations that wish to help the environment. Surprisingly, Helping Hands’ most recent eco-friendly project is with the successful makeup company L’Oréal.

L’Oréal is in the process of moving into a green building in Manhattans’ Hudson Yards, and has contacted Helping Hands to make 1500 keychains for their employees by reusing unwanted art supplies. All of the supplies are being provided through Materials for the Arts, which some BSGE students may be familiar with. More…

Teacher of the Month: Mr. Mac Reply

 

IMG_4112What were your favorite sports in high school? Why?

I enjoyed golf and tennis because they were individuals sports where I was competing against myself or one opponent, but I also loved playing basketball too for the team experience.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Rhode Island, which is about 40 minutes south of Boston.

Other than sports, what other interests did you have as a kid?

I truly fell in love with taxidermy. Have you ever stuffed a dead cat? It’s a passion of mine! More…

BSGE’s Night Out in Flushing Reply

For the second consecutive year, BSGE students, parents, and faculty purchased tickets to see the Mets at Citi Field on Friday, May 20th. For every $25 spent on a ticket, the school made $5. 85 members of the BSGE family sat together in a block of seats at the baseball game, and although it was a smaller turnout than last year, the school successfully raised $425. Although it was a chilly day, May 20th was an exciting game. The Milwaukee Brewers scored first, but the Mets ultimately won 3-2. Everyone in attendance also took home a free shirt from Citi Field. More…

A Run-Through of Ramadan Reply

Aside from just another Monday to get through, there’s nothing particularly special about June 6 for most people. But for Muslims, it marks the start of a month-long holiday known as Ramadan. During these 30 days, Muslims fast (go without food or drink) from the break of dawn to sunset. This year, that means fasting from around 3:45 AM to 8:30 (both shift slightly throughout the month). Thus, for those of us living in New York City, the fast lasts around 17 hours of the day.  Because the sun rises and sets at different times during the day depending on where you live, people around the world fast for different periods of time. Those in Europe, for example, fast an average of 20 hours, while those in Australia fast around 10 hours. More…

Lead in BSGE’s Pipes? Reply

After some routine water quality testing, BSGE has recently found a hint of lead in the water pipes of the school. The lead was only found in second floor pipes, and has been specifically located in the water fountain in the yoga room.

“We had some guys come and run some tests and figure out what to do from there,” said the school’s janitor, Darnell Murray Jr. Some may wonder if these tests were run as a result of the water crises in other areas like Flint, Michigan, where high levels of lead were found in the universal drinking water of the city. The lead found in Michigan was a serious health hazard. But BSGE’s test was part of a routine examination. “In our case, it only came back positive in one location [room 214].” More…

BSGE Ranks #32 Reply

5th in the state and 32nd in the nation: BSGE’s US News and World Report rankings are in. Last year, the ranking was higher in the nation, at 28th place, yet the ranking in the state stayed the same.

So what do people think of this? Some people thought that this was significant to this school, and this ranking often affects people’s decisions to stay or leave. Reid Papafloratos ‘21 believes that there may be an obvious reason for the decrease in ranking this year, saying that “A lot of the specialized schools are taking away a lot of our eighth graders, soon-to-be ninth graders.” He’s hopeful that next year the rankings will go up when the new ninth graders come in.

On the other hand, some people don’t think the ranking is necessarily a good representation of the school as a whole. Mr. Mahajan, who has been a French teacher at BSGE for many years, has seen the effect of rankings on his students’ mindsets. “It’s nice to rank high, but sometimes you attract the attention of students that may not be really committed to our mission,” says Mr. Mahajan. “If that means that we get less of that and students are staying here for high school, then maybe a lower ranking is better.”

Tim David-Lang, the school’s guidance counselor, agrees. He believes that it’s not the rankings that determine the school’s excellence. As a result, relying on rankings to decide which school is best for someone isn’t the right decision. “A lot of us suffer from what’s called confirmation bias, so what that means is that when we’re looking to make a certain conclusion, we’ll go around and cherry-pick the information that we want,” he explains.

So what do you think about this year’s rankings? Do they matter at all?

HS for Math Science & Engineering’s sixth inning charge helps upend Lady Sting, 3-0 Reply

The sixth inning proved decisive as HS for Math Science & Engineering broke a scoreless tie with a three run sixth. Those three runs were all they needed as they held on for a 3-0 in seven innings on Wednesday at Big Bush Field.

Claire Bergerson baffled Math Science & Engineering, striking out seven batters. Bergerson allowed one earned run on three hits and one walk over seven innings but still took the loss, her first of the season.

The game was a scoreless pitchers duel through five innings. Lady Sting Math Science & Engineering didn’t relinquish the lead after scoring three runs in the sixth inning when it scored on an error, a groundout by Hillary Rodriguez, and an RBI single by Taylor Faulds.

Lady Sting had its chances throughout the game, stranding two runners on base in the third and fifth innings. In the fourth inning, third baseman Jaime Carroll was thrown out at home trying to stretch a triple into a home run.

This was Lady Sting’s first loss of the season, finishing 17-1, which knocks them out of the quarter final round of the playoffs. This is the furthest any Lady Sting team has made it into the playoffs. HS for Math Science & Engineering moves on to the semifinal round and will play Scholar’s Academy.

Click here to download box score

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The Renovation of Dutch Kills Playground Reply

Running, playing, throwing, catching – Dutch Kills Playground is used daily by BSGE students for gym class. It is located next to P.S. 112 and regularly visited by children, adults, and seniors living in the community. The park has not been renovated for 20 years until now, when Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer and Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski announced on April 12, 2016 that they acquired $4.5 million in funding from Mayor DeBlasio to renovate Dutch Kills Playground.

“Our children come to this playground every day, and they deserve a modern, up-to-date park to use during recess, gym class, and with their families and neighbors on the weekends. Our parks and public spaces are an integral part of the fabric of our communities,” Van Bramer said.

More…