Lily Berlin, BSGE’s Youtube Star

BSGE’s very own, Lily Brickman who also goes under the alias of Lily Berlin on stage, is an up and coming young artist. Her rendition of “Someone Like You” by Adele has gotten over thirty thousand views on YouTube alone and it doesn’t stop there.  Recently, Lily’s video was featured on an Italian Newscast a few months back Lily began singing when she was in fourth grade. She joined her schools chorus group and from there her love for music blossomed. Lily explains that she loved singing from then on and it became a little hobby of hers. “I didn’t sing for anyone, or for anything. It was pretty surprising how I just began to love it, so suddenly. From fourth grade on, it was my number one passion,” Lily said when asked why she began singing.
Most young artists have an idol- someone they admire and look up to for inspiration or just because they’re amazing people. Lily is no exception to this pattern. Her favorite artist is Adele. “She has an amazing voice, and she sings about meaningful things. The majority of the songs I sing are hers. I’ve seen interviews with her; and she has an amazing personality, too. She’s funny, and smart. She’s a fantastic role model for people of all ages.” But Lily doesn’t just like the Pop/Rock genre (which is what Adele’s album “21” is classified under) she’s interested in a variety of genres. I’m a fan of all genres. There More…

The Hunger Games!

Happy Hunger Games! But was it really, though? Last month marked the big screen premiere of Harry Potter 2.0- err, the Hunger Games, and people went capital C crazy. I couldn’t walk through the hallways without hearing “OMG HUNGER GAMES” or something about how “hot” Josh Hutcherson is. People were staying up all night to watch the midnight premiere and hustling to read the whole series before the movie came out, which seems a little counter-productive to me- if you’re not already a fan of the books, why not just wait a week to see what happens in the movie? Why put in the extra effort to read the books super fast when you can just watch it and be surprised? But I digress. For some reason, I never got into the Hunger Games like most people did. Yes, I did read the first two books, and I did get pretty excited to watch the movie, but I was never a hardcore fan of it. I think my expectations, of both the books and the movie, were what led to my ambivalence towards the whole series.
But about the movie. The first problem I had with it was with its shaky camera work. Seriously, I spent half the movie with a raging headache and whiplash because whoever was holding the camera was suffering through a More…

Word from the Real World: Jolijt Tamanaha

Towards the end of my senior year at BSGE, one of my friends, Kristopher Kesoglides said: “college is what you make it.” Now that it is the end of my freshman year at Washington University in St. Louis, I can confidently say that he couldn’t have been more right.
Seniors, you can spend the next four years hating where you are. It’s easy, I’ll tell you how: arrive knowing you’re going to hate the school, judge your classmates immediately, and blame everyone else for everything that goes wrong.
Or you can spend the next four years indifferent to where you are. It’s even easier: don’t sign up for activities, only talk to people who talk to you, and take classes you know you’ll do well in.
Or you can spend the next four years loving where you are. That’s a lot harder and I can’t tell you how. But I can tell you that I love it at Wash U.
Some people are unbearably strange and others are unbearably annoying. Some classes are so boring and others are so difficult. I’ve spent many weekends doing nothing but trying desperately to catch up on work.  Yet, I absolutely love it. I avoid the annoying people, entertain myself by staring at the strange people, drop the boring classes, and work through the difficult ones. I’ve made friends who are fascinating, loving, and fun. I’ve had amazing experiences. And I still get three more years.
It’s not always sunshine and butterflies. Sometimes I love it less. Right now, I’m sick of studying for finals, sick of writing essays, and sick of my tiny dorm room. But it’s still only partially cloudy (please excuse my nauseatingly corny extended metaphor).
So Seniors, please don’t stress about where you’re going. You’ll love it if you let yourself love it. Have a great summer everyone. And congratulations to the Seniors!

Seniors Reflect on the College Application Process

As the school year is wrapping up, seniors have some time to look back on the college application process after submitting their final choices. They thought that one of the hardest parts of the process was the beginning of the school year. “The first few months of the college process, it’s really hard because you have all your college essays to do on top of all your schoolwork,” explained Sofia Chelpon ’12.

However, for many, the offers they received made things even harder. “The hardest part for me was deciding where to go in the end, because I ended up having to choose between a lot of schools that I wanted to go to,” she added. Ram Bhadra ’12 felt that sometimes the results were difficult to accept. “I think the hardest part would be when you work so hard toward getting into a really good college, and you don’t get into your dream school,” he said.

One challenge seniors will face in the next few months is making the switch from high school to More…

BSGE’s 2012 IB Art Show Reply

The BSGE Senior IB art exhibit is a main product of those working on the IB art show in which artwork is displayed, graded and sold through auction. The art show occurs every year in the month of April. However this year might be the last time because next year will be different. Students will submit work digitally online next year. According to Ms. McCabe, the teacher in charge of the show this year, “this will allow for there to be multiple art shows or exhibits at different times of the year. This is the last year in April but dates are set by IB.” The art show grand opening and reception, held on April 17th, went over extremely well. Students felt that it was very professional and the pieces were impressive, showed a lot of hard work. According to Robert Gajda in the tenth grade “I was surprised how many pieces each student had and I really loved how much color there was.  The finished pieces in the show are only part of the work the students completed during the 2-year course. In total students chose 12-18 pieces to display. A big part of the IB art course is a sketchbook that contains written research and plans for their More…

Staff Member of the Month: Ms. Vanessa Rabines Reply

Where are you from? What is your background?
I’m Peruvian American. I guess that’s what you would technically call it. My parents are Peruvian and I was born here.

Do you have any siblings? how many? do you get along with them?
Yes, I have two siblings. An older brother and an older sister. We get along very well.

Really? Are you lying?
Yes, really and no I’m not lying. I mean me and my sister used to fight, not me and my brother when we were younger, but we’re adults now.

How would you describe the kind of music you listen to? Favorite band?
I don’t think I have a favorite band, I like to listen to chill music: r&b, soul, something that’s pleasing to my ear nothing raunchy or loud.

What would you consider to be ‘raunchy or loud’?
Something that I can’t understand basically most of the music from now.

Why did you choose to work here?
I technically didn’t choose to work here, I had worked at queens vocational for a year, then got laid off, then when I was reassigned back to the board of ed I was sent here.

What do you think of the students? Be honest.
To be honest, I enjoy working with this group of students because if More…

Pi Day Celebrations Reply

This March 14th, 2012 BSGE celebrated Pi Day like none other with Pi Day songs, games, presentations, food and of course, pie. Pi Day is a holiday committed to celebrating the mathematical constant of Pi, or 3.141596… It goes on forever. “Pi Day is the best day of the year. I love eating pie on that day. I learned how to find the circumference of an actual pie” commented an excited 9th grader, Christopher Birsan. Students got creative by writing new lyrics to familiar songs by artists such as Adele and Drake and turned it into a mathematical songs. Hopefully the BSGE tradition of celebrating Pi Day will keep on going. When asked for a comment on Pi Day, Mr. Mehan and Ms. Lambrini did not have a comment.

Private vs. Public Schools Reply

Some seventh graders who came from private schools think that their transition to BSGE was big but manageable. Private schools have been believed to be more organized and strict compared to public schools. Some also feared that they may feel out of place a little with the new setting. “at first it was hard but, what made it easier was that both of them were small  settings and friend from my old school helped me to adjust.” said Eleni Zamagias
According to seventh graders private schools seem to have a better approach in organizing their events compared to public school, and specifically BSGE. Many private schools seem to think about their events ahead of time while BSGE seems work down to the wire. Many of BSGE’s events seem to be informed to the students through announcements made at the end of the with the written notices being sent some time later. “My old school seems to have informed us earlier of More…

What Makes a Good Teacher? Reply

Good teachers are the main part of getting a great education. They provide the necessary support and guidance in an individual’s academic career and take on the role outside of mentor. Being that a teacher inevitably plays such a large role of a student’s academic career their qualities will ultimately manifest themselves into the welfare of the students. This arises the question of what specific attributes of teachers are optimal to the education of students and which are not. Being that the teacher body is as disparate in their attributes and as the student body, it is hard to generalize the attributes of a good teacher. Some teachers are cute looking, some are funny, some have hairy eyebrows and some wear outfits that pleasure me. Nonetheless the BSGE student body does have a stance on what is believed to be the attributes of “the ideal teacher”
One characteristic of teachers that always seems to emerge is how exactly the classroom is run. The fact of the matter is that most people like to attend a class centered on group work as opposed to individual work. The chance for group collaboration may create a sense of confidence for each individual in the group when tackling unfamiliar material or may simply give chance for all the members to contribute without being scrutinized by the teacher. Simply put by seventh More…

7th Graders Reflect on Their Time at BSGE Reply

7th graders in BSGE think that the teachers are better than the teachers they had previously in 6th grade. “The teachers in my old school didn’t really look like they knew the stuff.” Jay Schleyer commented. “The teachers are nicer and they really try to get you to learn the concept and all the information while the other teachers may not know the difference of if you’re falling behind or not.” Leeana Johnston added. 7th graders had liked BSGE teachers better because they feel that the teachers were more helpful and supportive. “Well they really tried to help you if you fell behind and they really, like, they seem that they just really care if you passed or failed.” Leeana Johnston said.
Not only did the teachers change when 7th graders started going to BSGE, the schedules have also been different from the 7th grader’s old schools. “I like the 70-minute classes a lot.” Jay Schleyer admits, “We learn so much more in a day than we normally would with 45 minute classes. The A/B schedule is a little confusing for me. At the end of a long vacation, I’m going crazy, frantically calling and texting students, asking them, ‘ is tomorrow an A day or a B day?’ But in some ways, is More…

Earth Day 2012! Reply

On Sunday, April 29th, members of the BSGE Helping Hands Committee participated in an Earth Day event at Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, along with students from other schools. They spent a day fertilizing trees, planting vegetables, grass and herbs, and making compost. Originally the event was planned for Sunday April 22nd, which was the official Earth Day, but it was rescheduled a week later due to bad weather. In previous years, the whole school has taken a weekday off and gone to the park, but because of scheduling problems with the organizers, both this year and last year the event was limited to only Helping Hands members. Regardless, Earth Day 2012 was a success, and the students helped prepare the park for its upcoming season.

Spanish Spring Breakers Reply

On April fifth, 12 students from the sophomore Spanish classes took a trip to Spain. Being the first BSGE trip to Spain, the planning of the trip was a lot of work for teachers, students, and parents alike. The class, led by Mr. Giraldo, had planned for this trip since October of 2011. With the help of Ms. Johnson, Mr. Giraldo was able to get in contact with a few travel agencies and tour companies in Spain, and was able to put together a schedule for each day that they stayed. Having to get up as early as 5:30 A.M., the students had a busy schedule, having to leave the hotels in time for the tour buses and “a lot of program activities all day,” according to Mr. Giraldo. The goal of the trip was “for the students to be able to use the [Spanish] language in real life situations,” according to Mr. Giraldo. Ordering at restaurants and shopping were two types of events during which the students could utilize their learning of the Spanish language.
Though planning took a long time, it was fairly easy for Mr. Giraldo to contact the parents because he “had a good relationship with them” and, knowing most of them, he was able to talk to them easily and answer their questions via email. Isabella Hernandez ‘14 described her parents’ reaction to the opportunity to go to Spain. “They said, ‘You need More…

SAT Subject Tests Reply

Recently tenth grade students have been recommended by the math and humanities teachers to take the Math level 1 and World History SAT subject tests. However, they do not bear the same priority as the SAT taken in the junior year, the SAT II or SAT subject tests have increased in significance in application to college. These are 60 minute multiple choice tests, scored with a similar system as the SATs, (each question that is right is given a point, each question wrong is deduces the overall score by a fraction of a point, and each question left blank receives neither a penalty or credit) that span a range of academic subjects from Physics to certain foreign languages. The College Board estimates that every year nearly five hundred thousand students take the SAT subject tests. As for the number of BSGE sophomores taking certain exams this year there are More…

Students Transferring From BSGE During High School Reply

Recently, a number of students in the 11th grade were questioning their being in BSGE, and tried, some successfully, to leave the school. To understand better what may cause students to leave the school, students from each grade were interviewed and asked their opinions of BSGE. Julian Benayoun ’12 said that what frustrated him was “The magnitude of the homework that we get on a daily basis. I don’t like when these assignments interfere with one another and when these homework assignments count so much towards your grades in school.” Alejandra Cruz ’13 said she is frustrated with “the amount of work that is being consistently piled on. For example, when there is a big paper due, and at the same time, many homework assignments that need to be done. The pressure that we get for IB tests and Extended Essay is also a lot.” Five other students interviewed had similar opinions as Alejandra and Julian and felt the most frustrating aspect was the workload. Overall, the work involved in school continued to surface as the most difficult aspect of the school.
Alejandra Cruz ’13 said “at the beginning, I did want to leave, but now, I feel like More…

Regents Exams Reply

New York City eighth and ninth graders are required to take an examination, the algebra regents, that assesses their level of understanding in algebra. BSGE eighth graders are taking the algebra regents along with the ninth graders from other schools, because they took algebra class a year ahead. The algebra regents take place on June 14 this year, and students are allowed to arrive at school, the place of testing, later than usual, since the regents begins at 1:00pm. New York City eighth and ninth graders will be taking the regents for the first time in their school career, and it will be a transition from the More…

Thoughts on Lockers Reply

Locker policies and use elicit strong responses from both students and teachers at BSGE.  Students in BSGE complain that the people around their lockers are annoying and loud. “Sometimes they are so loud. I just want to relax in the quiet but people scream in my ears instead,” Adrian Kulesza comments. In some locker rooms people crowd around one area, and it affects the number of times students go to their lockers. “Kind of because I have to say excuse me, or wait for them to get out of the way,” Emily Liang says.
Even though students around lockers may be annoying, it doesn’t stop many students because they have started to rely on them. “I have to ignore the people that are loud because I do have to drop off things at my locker every day; usually I get there before them though.” Adrian Kulesza says. Putting heavy textbooks/binders can reduce the weight of More…

Deciding Which High School to Attend Reply

Eighth-graders citywide received the results for next year’s high school placement on March 1st.  Of the high schools these eighth-graders applied to, many placed their hopes on being accepted by some of New York’s specialized high schools. After they took an admission test to these specialized high schools in October, a select few will be attending Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, Brooklyn Tech, and LaGuardia next year. Students were overcome with either glee, grief, or a mixture of both to be leaving or staying next year.
When asked about why these students chose to depart from BSGE, the most common answer was because of our school’s lack of amenities and clubs. BSGE offers some clubs, but nowhere near as many as the amount of clubs specialized high schools–and bigger high schools in general–offer. Being a small school, it’s understandable why More…