Inside Scoop on the Knitting Club Reply

One new club at BSGE this year is a knitting club, supervised and started by Ms. Shen. She started it because she is interested in knitting and wants to share her interest with the school. The club meets in the library immediately after school every Thursday, and has members from a variety of grades. Meetings officially last until 3:45, but most people usually leave by 3:15. Most members work on knitting scarves, because those are easiest for beginners to make. However, some have been making headbands.

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During a typical meeting, members sit in the lounge area of the library. Ms. Shen described them as knitting while they “talk about issues that are interesting in their lives. Stress is totally off their minds. It’s so relaxed…a real fun environment.” If you’ve ever wanted to learn a new skill, a place to relax, or both, the knitting club might be right for you.

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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…

Throw BACC Thursdays: Chris Potter: Quite the Crusader Reply

The BACC Rag will repost an old article or interview (from our archive of almost a thousand stories!) each Thursday to help share great stories from the past that would still resound today. 

Mr. Chris Potter, current English and Theory of Knowledge teacher, is a former Holy Cross collegiate basketball player.

First things first: who offered you scholarships to come play for their schools?
No that many in the end . . . I whittled down the schools that I was not interested in and that were actively recruiting me . . . Holy Cross, Fordham, North Carolina.  I was recruited, although they don’t offer scholarships, by both Princeton and Brown.

A few of those names definitely stick out—so why Holy Cross?
I had an interest in going to Holy Cross before the whole recruiting process started.  When it came right down it, I thought I might as well use the scholarship opportunity to go to a school I really want to go to anyway.

You are certainly a tall man at 6’4”, but players today are even bigger. How do you think the game has changed over the years?
When I look at the current game, I just see, physically, the differences in terms of body building . . . When I played, the general body type was very tall and thin.  You have to be so much stronger today; in the 70s that wasn’t a requirement.

Today’s game is full of athleticism—ever had the privilege of dunking on somebody?
In college I only dunked the ball once, and that was on a fast break.  I wasn’t a great leaper to begin with . . . But I’ve never felt the humiliation of having someone dunk on me.

What was your most memorable moment in college?
When I was a junior, Holy Cross was in the More…

BSGE’s Lack of a Physics Class Reply

BSGE is known for being one of the best high schools in New York City. With only 478 students from 7th to 12th grade, many students would agree that it is good to have a smaller, more intimate school environment where everyone knows, well, everyone.  However, there are some drawbacks, for example, having such a small school building makes it difficult to walk in the hallways in between periods and having lockers that are accessible throughout the day.  Many of us would agree, though, that one of the biggest problems is a lack of variety of classes.

One very important subject that our school is missing is a high school Physics class.  There are two major reasons why we lack Physics at BSGE.  First, we don’t have a Physics certified teacher working at the school.

Secondly, and perhaps a more difficult to solve reason, is a scheduling problem.  Because of the structure of the IB program, the only year students could take Physics at BSGE would be in the 9th grade, whereas most other high schools offer physics to students in the 11th grade. At BSGE, students take Regents Chemistry in 10th grade, either IB SL Biology or SL Chemistry in 11th grade, and no science class in 12th grade. There is no room in students’ schedules for a science class in 12th grade because of IB requirements such as Theory of Knowledge. The problem BSGE has encountered in the past is that by 9th grade students generally have not learned enough math to grasp Physics in the 9th grade. Despite this, school like Stuyvesant have a  More…

What You Didn’t Know: The Negative Aspects of Oxygen Reply

What do most people think about when they hear the word oxygen? Maybe they think about trees, nature, and air. They’d be right to think about the air being represented by oxygen, in fact that is why the sky is blue, but to think that oxygen is a “good” healthy and clean gas is not a very accurate perspective.

Oxygen is the most common element in the Earth’s crust, and the second most common element in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Oxygen is responsible for the first major extinction, known as the Oxygen Holocaust. It was an event that killed off hundreds, even thousands of species of microorganisms that were the first life on Earth. Each species with its own potential at evolving into a more complex organism. The Oxygen level had been a mere 3%, but it was still quite potent.

The picture describes Free Radicals as a pollutant. While in some cases this is true, oxygen’s free radicals are often of organic origin.

The picture describes Free Radicals as a pollutant. While in some cases this is true, oxygen’s free radicals are often of organic origin. (Source: Holistic Vanity)

So, why was oxygen so fatal? More…

Fantasy Sports in BSGE Reply

Sports enthusiasts frantically grab their computers awaiting their turn to snag the best possible player to build a championship worthy team. From fantasy basketball to fantasy auto racing, people around the world can take part in these Fantasy Sports and compete against their friends. As avid fans of their preferred sport, participants can preserve the comfort of their lounge chair, while feeling as involved as any sports manager.

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Fantasy Sports are games in which people act as owners and build a team that competes against other fantasy owners based on the statistics generated by the real players on professional sport teams. The basic parameters for competing in a typical fantasy league like basketball and football are quite simple. More…

“SELMA” Tickets Free for Students Reply

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.

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Study Drugs & Energy Drinks: “It’s Not Healthy But It’s Helpful” Reply

The workload at schools such as BSGE can get quite heavy. Students go to school and work all day, come home, start homework, and often finish just in time to get a few hours of sleep. There is almost no time to spend it with friends or any other after school activity. The more years that pass, the more work there is and the less sleep students get. Staying up late at night to finish all the homework assigned can be a struggle for some. Thus, it is common for high schoolers and college students to seek ways to keep themselves awake through the night.

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Caffeine, energy drinks, and even drugs are frequently consumed by students to keep themselves up for hours. These substances, though seemingly helpful, can be extremely dangerous. An anonymous BSGE student says, “Even though I don’t like admitting it, I do things to keep me up later. I only use energy drinks but I would be willing to use other ways. I know it’s not healthy, but its helpful.”  Some of the common energy drinks are Five Hour Energy, Monster and Red Bull. These are available in almost every convenience store and are easy to get a hand on. Although these drinks don’t seem very harmful, NBC reported otherwise. After only consuming two cans of 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

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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…

Technology in Public Schools vs. BSGE Reply

The New York City Board of Education holds the largest school system in the country with over 1.1 million students and 1,700 schools. Because of this, we have the largest budget than any other school district in the nation.

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Although this may seem like we have enough money to buy iPads, new laptops, Smart Boards and other advanced forms of technology, this is not always the case. In BSGE, we hold a limited amount of devices for teachers and students to use.

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Fact or Fiction: No Parties At BSGE?

By now we’ve pretty much all heard the rumor that there aren’t going to be any dances OR parties this year at BSGE. Everyone’s reaction is pretty much the same, “that’s terrible.” Everyone also has the same question… “why?”  Well the answer is that it’s a collective administrative decision.

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Ms. Johnson says, “The Department of Education requires that adult supervisors be present at all student events and activities.  For activities and events that occur during the school day, like trips, teachers are available to supervise because it occurs during their work day.  But activities and events like parties that occur after the school day require the school to pay teachers for the hours they supervise the event because the event takes place after the school day.” More…

Visiting Artist: Catherine Tafur Reply

On Wednesday, December 10th, the art studio was filled with eager juniors and seniors partaking in BSGE’s first Visiting Artist event of the year. Ms. Schwarz arranged for her friend, Catherine Tafur, to present her work, inspiration, and process to the IB art students. Tafur’s presentation included seven paintings from her current exhibition at the Porter Contemporary Art Gallery: The Assassination of Osama Bin Laden, Hillary Rodham, Revolution, Rana Plaza in Savar: Death of a Thousand Workers, American Disco, The Bucket, and Drone War. These pieces addressed social issues such as feminism, the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, and the 2013 Savar building collapse. Although many of her pieces are based on current political issues, she described her inspiration as “whatever keeps me up at night, things that I want to understand.” Tafur’s work is very surreal; it is made up of various patterns, shapes, and vivid colors that “pop” in your face. Every single aspect of her pieces is symbolic, each holding a significant meaning that adds to the overall effect.

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Juniors Visit the Fisher Landau Center for Art Reply

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)

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Seventh Grade Sleep Survey Reply

Sleep. We need a lot of sleep. We all want sleep because we are all tired at the end of a long day. We all need sleep because we need the energy to go through a day of learning and work. However, do we all get sufficient amounts of sleep?

According to many sources, a person should receive about 8-9 hours of sleep to be able to get enough rest in order to fully restore their body for the next day, and fully become energized for what is to come. Additionally, the National Institute of Health states that in today’s fast-paced society the average person only sleeps about seven hours per night, which is below the 8 hour minimum.

Is this how much sleep kids in high demanding schools such as BSGE, whose bodies are very dependent to sleep each and every day receive? Thirty random seventh graders were surveyed, and according to those results, 7th graders, for the most part, do not receive enough sleep. More…

The Issue of Bullying Within BSGE Reply

We should all know that bullying is in fact a problem in our society, and it is even more evident in places with greater amounts of people living there. Bullying affects many things in one’s everyday life, so it is especially important to have bullying under control. Not only are you subject to physical bullying, but also you are mental and emotional bullying.

A lot of people may or may not have experienced bullying directly, however it is a very important issue. Interestingly enough, a recent study came out to show that nearly one in every five kids in New York City public high-schools has been a victim of bullying. As surprising as that may sound, the problem of bullying does not seem to be too widespread in BSGE. Or is it?

As agreed by most sources, bullying can be classified as unwanted, aggressive, repeated behavior among people. These interactions usually involve power imbalance. This may seem as a rare sighting in BSGE, however many times, victims of bullying will stay silent because of their feeling of isolation and helplessness.

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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…

Making Money: The DECA Buisness Club Reply

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Every year at BSGE, there are many new clubs, and this year is no exception. One such club is the DECA business club, which is a nationwide program that BSGE is trying to register as a high school chapter for. The point of DECA is to raise money for the school thorough various school-based enterprises (SBEs). In our case, the DECA club is trying to join the larger DECA community by creating a school store, which would sell things like food, school supplies, and school spirit products such as shirts and sweaters with the BSGE logo. In addition, they are planning to create their own website, and are offering to be hired by other clubs for services such as designing posters to advertise. The club plans to raise $2,000 or more by June. Although Ms. Johnson’s approval is needed for almost anything they plan to do, such approval will not be difficult to get. More…

Effect of Ferguson Decision On BSGE Family Reply

The Washington Post recently came out with poll results stating that “48% of adults approved of the decision not to indict the police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teenager.” The poll referred to the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old unarmed black male who was murdered on August 8th, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. Brown was shot by 28-year-old police officer Darren Wilson, who was announced as not indicted by a St. Louis County grand jury on November 24, 2014.

The Ferguson jury decision caused much uproar across the country, including in the BSGE community (both student body and alumni). The Bacc Rag collected photos and videos of some of the ways members of the BSGE family spoke out against the Ferguson decision. 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…