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by Maya J '16

Earth Day 2012!

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.

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by Samantha C '14

Spanish Spring Breakers

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

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by Sebastian A '14

SAT Subject Tests

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

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by Ricardo A '13

Students Transferring From BSGE During High School

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

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by Vivian Y '16

Regents Exams

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

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by Isabelle M '17

Thoughts on Lockers

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

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by Vivian Y '16

Deciding Which High School to Attend

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

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by Maya J '16

BSGE’s Silent Vow

On April 20th, 2012, some BSGE students participated in the Day of Silence, a silent protest against LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered) name-calling and harassment, particularly in school. The silence copied the silence LGBT teenagers must face every day because they aren’t accepted for who they are. The Day of Silence takes place every year in many schools across the nation, and is organized by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN).
Students were not required to take part in the event, but those who did signed up to be either silent or supporting. A supporting student wore a placard stating that he or she supports the cause, but was allowed to speak during the school day.
Students who took a vow of silence remained silent throughout the entire school day, from

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by Erin C '14

We’re Number One!

BSGE has once again ranked high on US News and World Report’s list of the nation’s best high schools, and this year the school has been named the 21st best high school in the country. BSGE is also the top school in New York State according to the report. On May 8, teachers and students alike walked into school and immediately began conversations about the news. People walking into school that morning were even more excited to see a NY1 reporter outside and interviewing members of the BSGE community. Everyone at BSGE was proud to learn that their school had accomplished this.
The US News and World Report ranks schools on a number of factors, including test performance and how well the school prepares students for college. There are a number of steps that the report goes through to judge the high schools. The first two steps measure how well the students perform on tests, and if minority students, who statistically perform more poorly, are faring better in those schools. According to US News and World Report’s description of their methodology, “For those schools that made it past the first two steps, a third step assessed the degree to which schools prepare

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by Mahaut B '16

It’s a Small World (Part 3)

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by Joshua K '13

Reflections and Advice On the Personal Project

So, what’s there to expect from the Personal Project?
For those of you that don’t already know what the Personal Project is, it’s exactly what its name implies, a personal project. The Personal Project can be thought of as the final test to pass the IB Middle Years Program and receive the diploma. Even though the IB Middle Years Program is no longer available in our school, students are still required to do the Personal Project in order to move onto the 11th grade. Don’t think of it as a drag, however, because it’s not as bad as it seems. Yes, you’re given a couple due dates which you’re required to have completed a number of tasks, but you have a lot of flexibility throughout the course of this assignment. To be specific, you’re able to choose

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by Joshua K '13

Do the SATs Really Matter?

The SATs, who doesn’t know about them? We all know that millions of high school students take these tests each year in order to impress top universities. Many students take SAT prep, spending up to thousands of dollars for SAT instruction, not including the costs of SAT prep books. The average SAT scores (25th/75thpercentiles) for Harvard and MIT are 2090/2390 and 2080/2330, respectively. Those are some pretty high scores, considering the 2011 national average SAT score is only 1500. Most students freak out when they look at these statistics and probably think that they have no choice but to study hours a week to hit 2200+. The truth is that the SATs