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2016-2017 Archives by Janielle D '19 Culture Entertainment and Culture Student Life

Tips for New Bees

Transitioning into a new school is difficult, especially one as demanding and rigorous as BSGE. In order to make that transition smooth, all new students should remember these seven suggestions:

  1. Be polite; stay to the right!  If you’re not on the right side, you’re on the wrong side.
    • The school hallways are very small, so the general rule is to stay to the right so that you help minimize the amount of traffic (especially with only three minutes between classes).
  2. Say hello to your new best friend: your locker.
    • Not everyone is privileged enough to have a ten minute commute to and from school, and no one wants to injure their back with tons of binders and notebooks everyday. Before leaving, think to yourself: do you really need your whole binder? Can you just bring a few sheets home to complete your work? Get everything you need to finish homework and study, then leave the rest in your locker! Your back will thank you later.
  3. Stay organized and on top of things.
    • If you didn’t know, there are calendars on the first floor for teachers to write big assignments on so that we are not bombarded with too much work within one week. However, this does not always work in our favor. There will be weeks in which you’ll have three tests, five quizzes, and a paper due, and it will be solely up to you to get everything done. With this amount of work, life will be much easier if you actively use a planner – whether a physical book or your phone’s calendar app. This way, you will be able to correctly prioritize and optimize your time and energy.  If you don’t have a planner, you can buy one from Margaret Pasach, the parent coordinator, for only $5.
  4. Communication is key!
    • While it would be nice to understand everything on the first try, that will not always happen. It’s fine to struggle; everyone does. But you don’t have to be embarrassed or or ashamed! Many teachers are available after school to answer your questions. It’s reasonable to feel like you’re bothering them, but remember that teaching is what they do. They want to make sure that you understand what’s going on, and they cannot read your minds to know whether or not you need help if you don’t say anything. If your teacher isn’t free, you always have classmates that you can go to for help!
  5. Don’t be afraid to get involved.
    • If it wasn’t already obvious, BSGE has a plethora of clubs and extracurricular activities that are available for everyone to join! Joining these clubs is a great way to make new friends, especially ones who are in other grades, while doing something after school that interests you. To see the clubs schedule this year, check the front page, and if you don’t see anything of interest, you can always try to start a new one!
  6. Sleep is not for the weak. It’s for the productive and successful student.
    • This one ties into the third tip because it’s important to plan out everything accordingly, especially sleeping. Without enough sleep, you run the risk of being too tired to concentrate during class. If that happens, you’ll not only get in trouble, but you will also possibly miss important information. Especially as growing teenagers, sleep is essential to growth and health, and it isn’t wise to miss out on that because you didn’t manage your time well. Sure, there’ll be a few days in which your workload is too heavy, forcing you to only get three hours of sleep, but try not to make it a habit!
  7. Grades are important, but they’re not everything.
    • Everyone wants to have straight sevens, and it makes sense: the pressure to get good grades is extremely high. However, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s really important. School is supposed to be a place to learn , and while grades do matter, achieving that goal is far more important. Aim for those sevens, but don’t stress out too much if you fall short.  It is extremely difficult to get perfect grades, and that’s okay. Just don’t forget to learn from your mistakes and have fun!

Keep these tips in mind to make your experience here as pleasant as possible.  After all, you are at school for ten months a year: you might as well make the most of it!

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by Maya J '16

BSGE’s Middle School Math Competition Success

0319161235aBSGE’s middle school math team has been succeeding in numerous city and state math competitions this spring, led by Mr. Mehan. 8th graders Rachael Cheung, Christie Choi, SiLiang Lei and Christy Guan, as well as 7th grader Ahmed Shekani participated in the MathCounts citywide chapter competition on February 6th at IS 74, where the team won 2nd place. They moved on to the state finals, held at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in upstate New York on March 18th.

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by Anokha V '19

The Ever-Changing Face of BSGE Admissions

While every student at BSGE has gone through an admission process, we might not have all taken the same test. Over the last few years, the 7th grade admissions test has undergone some transformations.

Around 500 to 600 students register to take the 7th grade admissions test every year (however, this doesn’t guarantee that all those students will actually show up to take the test). In the next round, around half of the people that took the test are invited back for an interview. After the interview, around 80-100 students are accepted, depending on the number of streams the school is projecting to fill. 

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by Camilla K '18 by Luke M '18

A MasterChef Among Us

image1A TV celebrity roams the narrow hallways of BSGE and his name is Josh Reisner ’21. Josh was a finalist in the competitive television show “MasterChef Junior.” A temporary home to the top 16 young chefs in America, MasterChef Junior features desperate culinary battles for a chance to win a prize of $100,000. Josh, aged ten at the time, made his mark in the competition during Season 2. With skills rivaling those of professional adults, Josh worked hard, made friends, and learned much more about cooking. During an interview, he spoke about his experiences on the show and his plans for the future.

Q: How was your experience at MasterChef?

A: I liked the filming process as well as the experiences I had after it was over. It made me to like cooking more and realize that it is something that I am passionate about.

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by Matthew D '19

7th Grader Models for Target, Macy’s, Old Navy

image1 (1)Most BSGE students don’t have the slightest idea that a real model is walking in their midst. Gregory Briggler ‘21 has been featured in advertisements for large retailers including Target, Macy’s, and Old Navy – big achievements for somebody who is only 12 years old.

Gregory started modeling because his mother signed him up when he was 9 years old. His first shoot was for a British company called Next. He’s a versatile model. “I model fashion made for every season,” he said.

The average BSGE student has a fairly large workload – is modeling a distraction? “It doesn’t affect me that much, since I manage all of my schoolwork well,” Gregory told us. “Sometimes I’m free so I can catch up with friends that I don’t talk to that often.” When asked about what he does with the money he makes, Gregory said, “I usually spend it on things I need, like the computer that I recently bought. After getting something, I try to find something else to save up for.”

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by Winston P '20

7-1, 7-2, and 7-3… and 7-4?

BSGE grades typically are split into 3 “streams,” but this year the standard trend was broken. Many older students are wondering why there are three seventh grade classes. The Department of Education gives more funding to larger schools, and since we already have a small student body, we must maintain our size to get the proper funding we need.  This is because of the number of 8th graders transferring out of BSGE for high school last year. Usually, around 20% of our students leave, but last year, 50% of the Class of 2019 left. The natural answer would be to accept more kids in order to keep the same amount of funding, and thus a new 7-4 stream was created.

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by Abdullah S '20 by Abhay B '20 by Adnan I '20 by Raunak A '20 by Winston P '20

Welcome Class of 2021!

Going to a new school is hard, going to a different school without graduating from your old school is even harder, but add on the fact that you’re in a challenging school, and it will probably a tricky transition. However, you’ll survive (we know that from experience), especially when you know all the special tips that 8th graders on the Bacc Rag have for you!

  • Making study guides for tests is a really good idea.
  • Try to stay on top of the material you are covering in class.
  • Do your homework the night it is assigned! Teachers will often assign projects and tests unexpectedly, and having a bit of flexibility will come in handy as things get tough.
  • Organize your homework and test dates all in one place, so you don’t have to flip through five separate books; buying a planner from the school or using a personal notebook would probably be the best.
  • Get add-ons like Productivity Owl (for Chrome) and Leechblock (for Firefox) to help with your productivity.
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by Allen W '20

Lasko’s Lovely Labs

With the school year drawing to a near end, BSGE seventh graders are getting a taste of the kind of work they must do further on in their BSGE career. A good example of this would be the recent two lab reports assigned in science class. Unlike anything a seventh grader has ever done before, the lab reports certainly had an effect on how students viewed their workloads, be it a positive or negative one.

Starting off with an in-class lab experiment, students must collect reliable data, and then produce a report that interprets, draws conclusions from, and reflects on their collected data. With the entire process and report being a rather lengthy process, some students who are still adapting to their new environment and workload see this as a good thing, while others are happy to get this leg of the race over with.

Despite some of the negative opinions on the report and its process, the majority of seventh graders consider it beneficial to their future academic career, writing abilities, and even time management skills.

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by Moshan G '17

BSGE Wins the MoMathlon

The BSGE team wins first and fourth place in the MoMathlon Tournament
The BSGE teams win first and fourth place in the MoMathlon Tournament

On Monday, March 9, BSGE’s middle school math team tasted victory in the annual MoMathlon Tournament. The tournament, sponsored by the Museum of Mathematics, took place at Queens College on Kissena Boulevard. A total of 23 teams from different schools participated, comprised mostly of 7th and 8th graders. The schools included BSGE, 190 Russell Sage, 185 Edward Bleeker, and the Institute for Collaborative Education. The BSGE team, supervised by Mr. Mehan, had members who were chosen to compete based on the students’ achievements in the official Math Club meetings at BSGE. The meetings took place through the Math Olympiads, Rocket City Math League, New York State Math League, and the Mathematical Association of America. The cumulative achievements of the students in these meetings helped determine the team members who would participate in the tournament. “The kids were very excited about the opportunity. The smiles were on their faces at Queens College,” recalls Mr. Mehan.

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by Alice A '18

Tiny Humans’ Views on BSGE’s 7th Grade Entry Exam

On Saturday, January 31, hordes upon hordes of prospective seventh graders flooded into BSGE in order to take the admissions exam that could perhaps be the first step into their acceptance in the Baccalaureate School for Global Education. The test, which consisted of a verbal and a math section, received mixed reviews from the students who nervously took it.

The children taking the test came from a mixed background of public, private and parochial schools. The children felt that the different schools they came from put them at either an advantage or a disadvantage for the test. Some students, such as a 6th grader named Kevin, from a public school, said that “The majority of the test was taught in school.” This made the test easier for him, saying, “The test was fifty-fifty, meaning that… some of it was hard but some of it was not. The hardest parts were in the ELA when I had to answer questions about grammar and also I didn’t understand some of the math formulas.” Other children felt that the test was very difficult because the content was not taught in a private school. A student from a yeshiva said that, “For some of the questions, I did not know how to go about the questions as I didn’t learn them before and had to resort to process of elimination and guessing.”

Interestingly enough, despite BSGE’s high standing on almost every high school ranking list, BSGE is not the first choice of many students. It has come to the point where students have been signing up for the exam and simply not actually coming on the day of the test. This happened on quite a few occasions and the reasoning behind the students’ “ditching” was that they would rather go to Hunter High School, a well regarded, well

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by Allen W '20

Fewer Students in BSGE: What Does That Mean?

Two years ago, there were 109 students in the BSGE seventh grade. Now there are 85. Does that mean that BSGE’s graduating class sizes are getting smaller each year? Is our reputation suffering? This is what some people think when they hear these numbers. It seems like it, but the truth is much more straightforward.

In the 2011-2012, and 2012-2013 school years, there were four streams of 7th graders which allowed for a much bigger overall number: 99 and 109 respectively. For the last two years there have only been three streams which accounts for the smaller number. During those years with four 7th grade streams, there were only 2 streams of 11th and then 12th grade to ensure that there were enough rooms for all the classes.

One student, Katia B. ‘20 said, “the amount of

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by Ashley W '16

“SELMA” Tickets Free for Students

On Monday, Janlarge_w2uuoiXk7HdICSSTMrQuj98tgAwuary 19th, America celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Although many students celebrated with a day off from school, a group of 27 African-American business leaders in New York spread awareness with free movie tickets for 7th, 8th, and 9th graders. This group created a fund that offered 27,000 New York City middle/high school students the opportunity to watch the movie, “SELMA,” for free. Starring David Oyelowo as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “SELMA” takes place in 1965, the year of Dr. King’s campaign for equal voting rights. The movie depicts his three-month long march from Selma, Alabama (hence the movie title) to Montgomery, Alabama, that led to the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the greatest victory of the Civil Rights Movement. The movie also shows Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s brothers and sisters’ involvement in the journey for equal rights.