BSGE’s Senior Trip Reply

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. More…

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2016 Senior IB Art Exhibitions! Reply

IMG_2527On March 14th and 16th, BSGE seniors had a chance to display their 2 years of hard work on the walls of the nearby Aurora Gallery for parents, friends, and teachers to admire. This year’s IB art show was especially groundbreaking, because it was the first year that two art exhibitions were arranged, instead of one. This was partially due to the size of the Class of 2016, as well as new IB requirements for more art to be displayed. Half the grade presented their work on Monday while the other half did so on Wednesday. The exhibition counted as a large part of the Internal Assessment for the IB Art exam. “Because of the new IB Visual Arts exam criteria, these two exhibitions were the largest BSGE has ever hosted, and were the most ambitious,” stated Ms. Schwarz. For many twelfth graders such as Inarra Sorathiya ’16, the art show was rewarding. She said it was strange but gratifying to see all her artworks together and after she had worked hard preparing her pieces for months. While personal satisfaction was one fulfilling factor, having others there to admire the students work was also very validating. Khadija Zulfiqar ’16 enjoyed having her work on display for her parents to see. Gabriel Steinberg ’16 felt a highlight was having friends from other schools come in and see that he “actually does work.” More…

What’s the deal with CAS group projects? Reply

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. More…

BSGE Receives Its First 7 in IB Art! Reply

"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. More…

BSGE Class of 2015 Receives Record Number of IB Diplomas with 49 Reply

BSGE’s class of 2015 received a school record 49 IB diplomas, smashing the previous record set by the class of 2014 who received 40. In addition, they set a record with 77% of those graduating receiving the diploma also breaking the previous year’s record of 69%.

Commenting on the achievement, 10th and 11th grade English teacher, Ms. Connie You, said that the students “did incredibly well but that’s something we can’t really take credit for since there were so many strong students with great work habits.” Because the students were so well prepared, Ms. You added, she didn’t have the usual “heart bumping moment when looking at the IB exam results.”

Achieving these results reflects the progress of both the staff and students. Ms. Jennifer Dikes, 12th Grade History teacher and IB Diploma coordinator said More…

BSGE 2015 Graduates’ College Destinations Reply

Laura Agosto will attend Baruch College.

Alyssa Alvarado will attend Hunter College.

Nicholas Anastasio will attend University at Buffalo.

Mariana Arias will attend Queens College.
The Dream US Scholarship recipient.

Sumbul Baig will attend Long Island University’s Pharmd Program.
Merit Award recipient. Assemblywoman Catherine
Nolan’s Lamp of Learning Award for Community
Leadership and Academic Merit recipient.

Steven Becker will attend Binghamton University.

Christopher Birsan will attend Baruch College.

Grace Camia will attend the University of Southern California.
New York state 2015 Series Scholarship for Academic Excellence recipient.

Grant Cannon will attend Gordon College.
Harold John Ockenga Scholarship recipient.
Department of Education of the City of New York Cooperation in Government Certificate of Recognition for Exemplary Service and Outstanding CitizenshipRecipient.

Gavriela Carver will attend Cornell University.
New York State 2015 Series Scholarship for Academic Excellence recipient. City Council Citation Speaker’s Achievement Award for Demonstrating Academic Excellence and Commitment to Public Service recipient.

Noelani Certuche-Moreno will attend Penn State Abington.
Provost award recipient. Bunton Waller Scholarship recipient. More…

Goodbye Class of 2015 Reply

To give one last final goodbye to BSGE’s Class of 2015, The Bacc Rag collected quotes from seniors about their final thoughts and feelings on graduating from BSGE, and a few teachers on their closing comments to the seniors. 

“Bittersweet, I am looking forward to my future but I cannot help but feel sad about leaving the people I grew up with and walking away from the homey environment I grew up in.” – Sarfi Chowdhury


“I’m really excited about graduating. I feel as if this is the time were my life is actually going to start- basically I’m going to be able to venture out and experience new things that I weren’t able to experience in bsge. I honestly think I’m going to miss the staff because I formed good relationships with many of them. I’m definitely not going to miss staying up all night completing assignments for IB.” – Ajile Sullivan

“Okay I remember the first day of BSGE was kinda like scary, I remember Ms. J saying More…

What It’s Like to Be a Senior Taking IB Exams Reply

For BSGE’s class of 2015, IB exam season began April of 2014 with test prep running heavy for their Standard Level Chemistry and Biology exams in May. This stressful period has once again returned for seniors, with their first exam being English Literature Higher Level (HL) from May 4th to the 5th. These exams will then be followed by Mathematics Standard Level (SL) and Spanish SL exams from May 12th to 13th, History of the Americas HL on May 14, 15 and 18 and finally French SL exams on May 18th and 19th. For those unfamiliar with the International Baccalaureate curriculum – which is much harder than AP, just so you know – receiving an IB Diploma, the much coveted and respected diploma that helps students be internationally recognized by their education, is only attainable by completing 150 CAS hours, earning between a Grade A and Grade E on the Extended Essay and performing well enough on the IB exams to get a minimum of 24 points total, among other rules and requirements. These exams consist of three Higher Level subjects and three Standard Level subjects. For BSGE seniors’, their HLs include Visual Art, English Literature and History of the Americas. Their SLs are Mathematics, Science (Bio or Chem) and Language B (Spanish or French). More…

Two Senior Students’ Artwork to be Featured in Queens Borough Arts Festival Reply

Grace Camia, Institutional Abuse, acrylic on masonite, 2014

Grace Camia, Institutional Abuse, acrylic on masonite, 2014

Grace Camia and Gavriela Carver, 12th grade, have artwork selected for the first annual Queens Borough Arts Festival. All Queens NYC public school art teachers were asked to submit two artworks each to be considered, and Grace and Gaby’s work was selected by the jurors.

This new arts exhibition is organized in part due to the recent NYC DOE initiative to re-vitalize art education in our schools. Mayor de Blasio and Carmen Farina have channeled funds and programming into the schools to implement new opportunities for students. The Queens Borough Arts Director, Janet Velazquez Cela, did attend our 2015 Senior IB Art Exhibition, and at that time noticed many of BSGE’s talented art students’ work.

Their work will be a part of our visual arts exhibition from June 10-June 19th at Queens Theatre in the Park. In addition, we are hosting an opening reception to celebrate the artists and student performers on Friday, June 12th from 5:30-8:00pm.

Gavriela Carver, Inked, mixed media sculpture, 2014

Gavriela Carver, Inked, mixed media sculpture, 2014

From BSGE, to Baruch, to Goldman Sachs: Alumnus Gautier Godard 1

Congratulations on your internship at MetLife! What is your position?

Thank you, the position I was giving was called Business Planning & Strategy, which was essentially an Operations function within MetLife’s Global Employee Benefits (GEB) division who – after the acquisition of Alico – leveraged its insurance capabilities to sell insurance products to multinationals.

Photo Credit: Gautier Godard

Photo Credit: Gautier Godard

What are your responsibilities?

The day-to-day consisted overwhelmingly in handling big data and working in tandem with upper management to create dashboards and/or reports that would help them efficiently complete their daily functions. After meeting people within the company, I was put on bigger projects which aimed to enhance division-wide efficiency. These projects were the most rewarding, as they allowed me to get a better feel for how the division worked, gain a deeper understanding of the products, and work with cross-functional teams which gave me insight into other positions available within MetLife.  More…

Recap of Seniors IB Art Exhibition

On Wednesday, March 25th, sixty-five BSGE seniors each showcased five artworks they created as part of the IB Visual Arts program. This took place at the Aurora Gallery, less than 3 blocks from school. The exhibition took around a year and a half to complete, for seniors had to produce a minimum of 12 artworks for their IB Art submission. In the start of their junior year, each student chose their own personal theme for their artworks, which ranged from beauty, nature, social class, emotion and more. Each senior chose five pieces of art that they felt communicated their theme best. Everyone was welcome to attend the art show, and make bids on possible artworks they would like to take home.

PC: Alexandra Calpo

PC: Alexandra Calpo

More…

Know Before You Judge: BSGE’s College Acceptance Board Reply

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. More…

BSGE’s Most Successful Basketball Season Reply

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. More…

ACT vs. SAT: Which one should YOU take? Reply

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. More…

Themes Behind BSGE Seniors’ IB Artworks Reply

Name: Nicholas Tan

Year of Graduation: 2015

Date of Completion: Sept 2, 2014

Title of the Artwork: Disintegration

NTan2015_0004064

1) What is this piece depicting? What was your inspiration?

My artwork is a sculpture comprised of two parts. The first section depicts a human skeleton on bare

soil, having its bones chomped apart by a series of three centipedes. The longest of the trio has a man-

like head. Behind the skeleton’s skull lies the second portion, which consists of a looming vulture

standing in a nest of overflowing flora. I came to this bizarre idea by linking human concepts to

animalistic, disgusting imagery. Being that my IB Art theme is “The More…

The Current vs. Redesigned SAT Reply

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 More…

Class of 2014 Receives Record 40 IB Diplomas Reply

BSGE’s class of 2014 received a school record 40 IB diplomas. Of the 63 students who graduated in 2014, 56 completed all of the IB requirements and 40 received enough points to earn the IB diploma. 2014’s class also had the highest percentage of graduating seniors receive the diploma in BSGE’s history (see table below).

Ms. Jennifer Dikes, IB coordinator and 12th grade history teacher, commented that it was “sheer awesome that they did so well. I’m really proud of them.”

Ms. Dikes added that what differentiated this group of students from past groups was their attitudes toward attaining the IB Diploma. “Almost all of the students understood that More…

Fundraising at the Fall ’14 Parent Teacher Conferences Reply

On Thursday, November 20th from 5 – 8 p.m and Friday, November 21st from 12 – 3 p.m, BSGE hosted its bi-annual Parent Teacher Conferences. The conferences, which are held once in the fall and once in the spring, are designed so that parents can discuss their child’s grades with teachers and gain a better overall understanding of how their child is performing and how he or she can improve. However, this year it seems that students – specifically juniors and seniors – viewed the conference as a chance to haggle parents for their money. On both days of the conference, members of the Junior Council sold raffle tickets for $2 to raise money to lower the cost of prom. Items in the twelve separate raffle baskets included movie tickets, chocolates, mugs, a lamp, and more with an approximate value of $50-$70 for each individual basket. These items were donated and bought by the parents of juniors and Ms. Hunter, the Council’s supervisor. Ultimately, the Junior Council’s raffle ticket sales made $964, making the event a huge success.

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Photo Credits: Angelica Benares ’16

Angelica Benares ’16, a member of the Junior Council commented on the raffle’s favorable outcome. “Word on the street was that certain faculty members were doubting the success of our raffle. When I found out we made $964 I was happy not only because we made a lot of money, but also because we proved them wrong.” More…