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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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by Moshan G '17

All About the Extended Essay

At the beginning of the school year, BSGE 11th graders begin their year-long assignment: the Extended Essay. Although this assignment may sound tedious and intimidating, it is a crucial part of the IB program. “I was overwhelmed at first because it sounded like a really complicated paper,” said Angelica Benares ‘16. This essay, put simply, is a mandatory independent research paper on a topic of interest with a maximum of 4,000 words.

At BSGE, students are required to choose their discipline from one of the three IB Higher Level classes— History of the Americas, English Literature, and Visual Art. However, every year there are a few exceptions to the rule: a very small percentage of students choose Standard Level topics, such as Biology SL or Math SL. The difference between IB HL and IB SL is that HL is generally more difficult and in depth than SL. Because in HL classes students are able to learn more difficult material, they are encouraged to write their Extended Essays on topics belonging to those disciplines. The few exceptions to this rule are students who have very strong interests in the SL subjects and also have extracurricular connections to them. For example, a student who attends a Biology class and lab at a community college every weekend may be able to choose Biology as their discipline for the Extended Essay.

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by Justin H '17 by Moshan G '17

Junior Council’s Rocking Karaoke Night

photo 1Junior Council hosted BSGE’s first ever Karaoke Night on Friday, January 15 a fundraiser for senior activities, such as prom, purchasing yearbooks, and senior trip. The event was held from 3 to 6 p.m., with tickets sold for $4 (and $5 at the door). Hours before the event, council members were busy putting decorative ornaments on the walls and setting up the microphone and speakers. “It was chaotic, but it worked out,” said Junior Council Secretary, Ryan Zhuo ’17. The team set up a small snack stand and even opened up a photo booth for visitors. Starting at 3 p.m., groups of students started to assemble in the cafeteria, the place the event was held at. By 3:30, the cafeteria was packed with students and teachers, including Mr. Stone, the supervisor of Junior Council, and Ms. Hunter, the trigonometry teacher. As a way to show their support and to participate in the event, many juniors came to Karaoke Night. Junior Claire Bergerson ’17 said, “I thought it was a really laid-back and relatively non-judgemental atmosphere. I know how hard everyone worked to put it together and I really think their hard work paid off and everyone had fun.” Many students sang, including seniors Jamie Carroll ’16 and Gabriel Steinberg ’16, who performed the “The Lazy Song.” Junior Martin Lazos Bobadilla ’17 sang “Milkshake” by Kelis, which Claire thought was “very impressive.” Along with this, almost all of the teachers who attended the event sang, including Mr. Stone, who sang the Pokemon theme song, and Dr. Helfenbein, who sang “Cadillac Ranch” by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. “It was great,” said Ryan, “because I got to see a lot of teachers and peers I’ve never seen singing before finally sing.”

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by Moshan G '17

What’s the deal with CAS group projects?

Juniors and seniors in BSGE this year have been introduced to a new assignment that they have to complete as part of the Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) requirement for the IB Diploma Program. The CAS Group Project, which in BSGE must center around the theme of human rights in order to maintain a global perspective, is an 8-week long project that can happen either during the school year or over the summer. Aside from the human rights requirement, which is relatively broad, students can choose to do anything that falls under one or more of the three CAS sections. Below are some sample group projects that juniors are currently working on:

Group Name: “The Five”

Supervisor: Mildred

Jonathan Kim, Aadarsh Devkota, Kenneth Sue, Jotham Kim, Nicholas Jung

The group is forming a band in order to make music to promote happiness and joy. It will also compose cover songs in order to encourage others to believe in oneself.

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by Maya J '16

BSGE Receives Its First 7 in IB Art!

"ghost in your garden" by Adela Goldsmith '15 (Acrylic on Color Film, Feb 2015). See the rest of Adela's work at http://www.nyclabart.org/ahrt/portfolio.php?portfolio=AGoldsmith2015)
“ghost in your garden” by Adela Goldsmith ’15 (Acrylic on Color Film, Feb 2015). See the rest of Adela’s work at http://www.nyclabart.org/ahrt/portfolio.php?portfolio=AGoldsmith2015)

Smith College is filled with many bright young women pursuing art, but BSGE alum Adela Goldsmith ’15 can proudly say that she is one of the few who have earned a 7 in IB Higher Level Visual Arts – and not just any 7. Adela is the first BSGE student to receive a 7 in what many juniors and seniors believe is the most challenging IB course offered at our school.

Adela, whose work features a mix of dark imagery (run-down houses, severed hands, and tombstones) and bright, eye-catching colors, said that it was “cool” to get BSGE’s first 7, although the college credit she received for it is not stopping her from “taking a bunch of art classes anyway.” When asked about the general theme for her body of work, Adela explained that she focused on “decay (very broadly), but also how it relates to the human experience, and the relationship between the natural and the man-made.” She intends to stay involved in art through college, with a potential major in Art History and a Museums Concentration; “possibly careers in curating or museum education,” she said.

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by Maya J '16

Junior Council Hosts Spring Fling

Photo Credits: Beatriz Benares '16
Photo Credits: Beatriz Benares ’16

On Friday, April 24th, Junior Council hosted a successful Spring Fling dance in the cafegymatorium from 6-10 pm. The dance, which juniors had been planning, selling tickets for, and organizing for weeks, helped raise a lot of money for the committee, which works toward ultimately reducing the cost for prom and other senior expenses. Tickets were sold at $8 ahead of time and $10 at the door, and between ticket sales, donations, and snack/drink sales, Junior Council raised a total of $1071, making the party a fundraising success.

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by Lydia S '15

Know Before You Judge: BSGE’s College Acceptance Board

Each year the very same process occurs beginning in January and ending in late June when passerby hover around the blue bulletin board that inhabits the lobby. The list of seniors and their accompanying college acceptances, paired with the amount of financial aid they received from each university are stapled on the wall so that students, staff, parents and virtually anyone walking into BSGE can see and comment. These displayed words and numbers are frequently met with either admiring acclaims, “Wow, she got into Stanford AND Columbia!” or critical remarks such as, “This person only got into CUNYs… This person didn’t receive any money from this school…”

Overall, it creates a very controversial environment, which was not intended when the idea of posting seniors’ acceptances on the wall, was born. The purpose of the college board was to glorify and congratulate Seniors on all the amazing schools they were gaining acceptance to, and to show how much money they received to attend these schools – an especially important factor in our current economy. It was a way to bring positive light to BSGE, and also a way for prospective students and parents to get an idea of what kind of schools BSGE’s seniors were gaining acceptance to.

But as most ideas with good intentions evolve, this board has received such negative connotations that many Seniors experience discomfort at the thought of having their name and college acceptances on the board.

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by Lydia S '15 by Maya J '16

BSGE’s Most Successful Basketball Season

BSGE’s 2014-15 basketball season was concluded during the first week of February, with the girls’ last game on the 5th and the boys last game on the 6th. It was an exciting season to say the least, with the girls finishing with 6 wins to 11 losses and the boys with 6 wins to 12 losses. Both teams performed its very best in BSGE basketball history, in terms of total losses, wins and standings.

Photo Credit: Jamie Carroll '16
Photo Credit: Chaimaa Riad ’16

The girl’s team, which has always performed quite well in the past, beat six different teams this year (Wagner, Aviation, American Studies, Frank Sinatra, High School for Construction, and Metropolitan Campus), which contrasted with the boys who although won six games as well, only beat four different schools (Frank Sinatra, Cambria Heights Academy, Information Technology High School and Academy for Careers in Television and Film) because they beat Frank Sinatra and Academy for Careers twice.

Throughout the season, the ladies showed an immense amount of skill and effort both on and off the court. Jamie Carroll ’16, who came out with a 6.909 PGP (a technique designed to measure a player’s overall contribution to a team’s victory) and a free throw percentage of 50, explained her immense satisfaction with the team’s performance.

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by Vivian Y '16 Uncategorized

The Buzz: What’s Your Go-To After School Snack?

Izzy L. ‘16: “Pizza if I’m in a rush or volunteering, but if I’m home I make myself a sandwich with toasted bread, almond butter, sliced banana and a drizzle of honey and I always have a cup of tea!IMG_3294

Malcolm G. ‘17: “Tortilla chips, or I make a sandwich.IMG_3298

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by Maya J '16

ACT vs. SAT: Which one should YOU take?

It’s that time of year again: the temperature has dropped below freezing, we are finally seeing snowfall on the weather forecast… and the dreaded first mentions of the word “SAT” have appeared among juniors. The class of 2016 will be the last grade to take the older SAT before major changes are implemented next Spring. For those who have not already taken the SAT or ACT in October, November or December, the standardized test, in one form or another, is now very much on the horizon for 11th graders.

SAT-vs-ACT

Although many students consider the SAT the obvious choice for standardized testing, the ACT is also accepted by colleges and universities, and neither test gives an applicant an advantage. Instead, it is important to pick the test that you feel you are better suited to. Since the tests measure different skills, some students feel that one test is better for their way of thinking than the other. While the SAT has infamous vocabulary questions and trickier reasoning, the ACT requires content memorization but is easier to decipher. While the SAT may be better for a student with a long, focused attention span and strong logical reasoning, the ACT’s advanced math and science sections may be better suited to a student strong in these subject areas.

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by Moshan G '17

The Current vs. Redesigned SAT

During the spring of 2016, a new version of the SAT—the Standardized Admissions Test—will be distributed among high school juniors. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the role of the SAT, this exam claims to assess your college-readiness and is usually taken by 11th and 12th grade students in high school. SAT scores are a crucial part in the college admission process, however more and more schools are becoming SAT optional. Unlike the current SAT, this redesigned SAT contains more questions that are relevant to what you are learning in school and greatly focuses on the skills you need for college and career readiness.

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By creating a new SAT, the College Board wants to fix a major flaw in the current SAT: its majority irrelevance to the high school curriculum. Many of the components involved in this current exam are not taught in high schools, which may prove to be disadvantageous for students because they will have to prep for themselves in order to prepare for the exam. For example, the current SAT reading section contains many obscure words that are rarely used or taught at school. In preparing for the SAT, many students pay hundreds and thousands of dollars to enter prep classes and purchase study books. The new SAT, on the othe

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by Maya J '16

Juniors Visit the Fisher Landau Center for Art

On Thursday, December 11th, BSGE juniors visited the nearby Fisher Landau Center for Art on an interdisciplinary field trip for both Visual Art and English. The Center is located on 30th Street and 38th Avenue in Long Island City, and houses a collection of contemporary American art. The 11th graders walked over after lunch to see works by modern artists Barbara Kruger, Glenn Ligon, Jenny Holzer and others. Many of the artworks challenged the students’ definition of art and abandoned any normal traditions  – using bold, strong words and messages rather than aesthetic qualities to impact the viewer.

Untitled (Pledge), by Barbara Kruger (photo credit to Alejandra Ruiz '16)
“Untitled (Pledge),” by Barbara Kruger (photo credits to Alejandra Ruiz ’16)