The Blood Drive of 2017 Reply

With the motto of, “Donate blood now…people can’t live without it,” plastered on posters across the school, some may wonder what exactly went on at the blood drive. This blood drive was sponsored by the Helping Hands Committee, meaning that the general group of people in Helping Hands sponsored the blood drive rather than any specific committee. Peter Wilson, the advisor of Helping Hands, was the one who facilitated the blood drive on the day of. This blood drive was the first blood drive of 2017 and was hosted in partnership with the New York Blood Center. On March 17, from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM, a bus known as the bloodmobile was available with staff, donor beds, and refreshments to ease the process. Helping Hands’ was to collect at least 35 pints of blood for New York City hospitals and other medical facilities to use.

Approximately 45 appointments were made BSGE students, despite the cold weather on the day of the blood drive. However, of those 45 appointments, only 25 were accepted. Despite how enthusiastic students in BSGE were to donate blood, factors including blood type, blood iron level, weight,  height, and countries recently visited affected whether or not one would be accepted to donate blood. Peter mentioned that during the dozen years Helping Hands had sponsored the blood drive, around 65 people would sign up during warm weather, but of those, about one-third to one-half would be rejected. More…


The Reality of School Lunch Reply

Every day, students at BSGE line up, wondering what’s for lunch. Some days it’s chicken, hamburgers or mozzarella sticks. In any case, there is a general consensus that the quality of the food is low, with it being at times undercooked, stale, or even frozen chocolate milk. It’s not just in BSGE though. Schools across the city have students complaining about food quality and the the fact that it can be greatly improved.

The official school food website states, regarding the meals for NYC schools, “nutrition standards always meet, and many times exceed, USDA Nutrition Standards for School Meals.” While this claim may appear impressive to some, the standards are do little to focus on serving food that students are willing to eat. For example, the USDA states that schools should “offer fruits and vegetables as two separate meal components.” This does not discuss what may be done to improve them or make sure that the food served tastes good. Furthermore, there have also been claims from students in NYC that they had found pieces of metal in the chicken tenders, according to CBS news. This report was made recently last month, with the city now removing the option from lunch. Other students have reported moldy pizza and choked on bones where they shouldn’t have been, CBS news continues. More…

Twitch and Shout: Living With Tourette Syndrome Reply

Not many people are aware of a condition that they may have noticed in somebody they have met. It is called Tourette syndrome (TS), named after the person who discovered the disorder. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes defines Tourette syndrome as “a neurological disorder characterized by repetitive, stereotyped, involuntary movements and vocalizations called tics.” It is fairly common, with over 200,000 cases per year in the United States.

As somebody who happens to be close to a person with mild Tourette’s, I found it disturbing that almost none of the people I talk to on a daily basis know what Tourette syndrome is.

Of course, many parents, at least at first, don’t understand what is happening to their child. “The first time that I saw the change was when my child was about 9 years old,” the mother of the child with TS says. “People reacted by asking questions and staring at my child. I always explained why they behaved in that way, so that they would be able to understand it better.” Later on, she shares, “I felt confused, but satisfied that we finally had a diagnosis for the problem.” More…

Yoga For Academically Advanced Students

In challenging schools like BSGE, we know that students have a lot of work to complete, at school and at home. Unfortunately, this tight schedule doesn’t allow for much exercise, possibly causing some unwanted weight and stress to build up. Daytime school and nighttime homework make it hard for a student to use their free time to the best of their ability. Luckily, there is a solution to this problem that has been around for about 4000 years, and the best part is that it doesn’t take much time out of your day.

This solution is yoga, believe it or not. Although many believe that gym is the more ideal option for fitness, which is sometimes true, yoga is actually a great choice for people with tight schedules. While hitting the gym is best for cardiovascular exercise and building up muscle using weights and exercise machines, yoga is considered by many experts to be the best for overall fitness, mentally and physically. Also, yoga is safer than going to a gym as it does not leave people vulnerable to injuries sustained by using the various machinery and equipment incorrectly. Yoga doesn’t require much equipment, meaning it can be done almost anywhere and it is easier on the body than the arduous efforts needed in gym. Yoga’s effects have been evident for quite a long period of time, and yoga clubs are popular in schools as well as fitness centers across the city. More…

Gym vs. Yoga: Which is better? Reply

It’s been the longest debate in BSGE history, perhaps right after whether there’s a pool on the roof of the school. Which is better, gym or yoga? Gym and Yoga teachers Ms. Jackson and Mr. Powell gave their commentary on the benefits of each class.

Ms. Jackson listed on how yoga helps students with “stress relief, range of motion in the joints, flexibility, strength, and overall strength.” When asked why she would rather have yoga over gym class, she answered: “My personal experience with Yoga is just an overall calm feeling, a kind of ease in my day and regular activities. It helps me to stay more balanced in terms of my temperament and energy level. More…

Pest Threat at BSGE Reply

On May 9th, 2014, the principal of the Baccalaureate School for Global Education, Ms. Johnson, was informed that a student in the eighth grade had head lice. Ms. Johnson sent an email to parents within the same day with further information about the head lice. The student was asked to temporarily leave school until their head is free of lice, complying with the “no-nit” policy that is followed by school systems throughout the nation.

The situation is troubling as anyone can get head lice if More…

A Free Period for Nap Time? Reply

Teenagers need as much sleep as toddlers. According to sleep guidelines from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, it is recommended that toddlers get 11 to 12 hours of sleep in a day, and teenagers get 9 to 10. There is a trend in the statistics of sleep requirements that, as we grow older, we generally need less hours of sleep to function. This is due to the fact that growth hormones are released when we snooze, which we need less as we age. In addition, we do our most critical brain and physical development during our youth.

Unfortunately, teens are biologically wired to be tired during the day and active during the night. Puberty affects our circadian rhythm, the natural clock found within us, and we can no longer drift off to sleep at childhood bedtimes. Our drowsiness is delayed to later in the night, which is not ideal for teens who have to More…

Teachers Should Not be Allowed to Carry Guns Reply

Educators should not be allowed to carry guns because although their job may be to secure their children, carrying a gun is not the most efficient and effective way to accomplish this. When asked about her opinion towards this topic, Lauren Ouaknine’ 14 said, “Teachers shouldn’t carry guns because their job is not to shoot potential intruders. They don’t have any experience to do so and would be more harmful than useful.”  Without any training, the aftermath of any incident could actually be detrimental to the students. As well as this, another danger in mandating teachers to carry weapons is monitoring and regulating their usage. How would the government ensure that teachers would not use the guns for other purposes? If they happened to be extremely aggravated and acted rashly, what would truly prevent them from using their guns and shooting someone? After all, teachers are humans and no feasible approach would be able to stop them from abusing this privilege.

What if all BSGE teachers were required to possess guns and had the right to shoot any potential intruder?  With the increasing number of More…

Understanding Gun Control in New York City Reply

The shooting in Newton, Connecticut drew attention to gun laws after a year full of other  incidents. Many people throughout the country feel that something needs to be done to restrict people’s access guns in order to protect citizens. In the United States the issue of gun law has become an increasingly touchy subject.

There are a spectrum of positions about gun laws and regulations. On one end of the spectrum are people who want guns to be scarcer in public places. There are people who want there to be guns that are used primarily for hunting and recreation. Others argue guns should be allowed for personal protection. There are people who want background mental checks on people who want to buy guns. At another extreme are people who believe there should be increased presence of guns in schools and that increased amount of guns correlates to increased protection.

People who believe that guns should not be restricted point to studies that show “more gun ownership results in less crime” and argue that “liberals push gun control because it increases the dependency of voters on government for protection” (Conservapedia). Conservatives believe that restricting gun control denies one’s ability to protect oneself and that the Constitution gives the right to own guns necessary to keep the government in check. However this can be negated because when More…

9th Grade Flour Babies Reply


In order to warn 9th graders about the dangers of teenage pregnancy, Mr. Powell assigned his 9th grade health class the flour baby project.  9th graders in the project have to carry a five-pound sack of flour that is dressed like a baby to school, to all of their classes, and then back home.  The flour baby is supposed to be treated like a real baby.  9th graders aren’t allowed to cram the baby in their backpacks, or leave them in their lockers.  The project shows how difficult it is to carry a baby around and take care of it, and warns against casual sex.
Mr. Powell gives this project to every 9th grader in his health class.  It ran for one full week, from January 7 to January 11.  When he was in high school, his health teacher assigned him the same project. Mr. Powell explained, url-1 More…

Completion of Ventilation System Tackles Environmental Issues under BSGE Reply

Work on a ventilation system for potentially harmful chemicals below the BSGE building was recently completed. The presence of the chemicals was brought to the attention of the BSGE community on November 14th 2011 when the School Construction Authority (SCA) notified BSGE that in 2008, vapor testing below the school’s basement revealed the presence of two chemicals , tetrachloroethene (PCE) and trichloroethene (TCE) which in high enough concentrations are toxic. The levels of PCE and TCE , used in dry cleaning and industrial degreasing respectively, found in 2008 through soil vapor testing were above the background levels in New York (amounts found that might in the average household in the area) but below the Air Guidance Values for New York (amounts that could cause concern or health risk). More testing done in 2009 reveled similar air values that were once above background levels. Although these values seem harmful since they are soil vapor readings below the schools foundation they did not pose an immediate threat to the BSGE students. Since the ambient air concentrations of these substances were quite low it was no immediate cause for alarm. Nevertheless further testing after BSGE was notified revealed values that were well below both standards.

Unfortunately the reason these values were not disclosed to BSGE community when More…

Some BSGE Flour Babies Met With Unfortunate End Reply

On January 20th, the sidewalks surrounding BSGE were painted white with flour; obvious evidence that the BSGE’s 9th grade flour babies had been disposed of gruesomely. Flour trailed in front of the building to the deli and all the way down to the 36th Street subway station. What started out as a fun Health class project turned into careless acts of vandalism. In the past years, flour babies had been More…

The Science of Love and Obsession Reply

There are so many different ways of defining love. Some would describe it as emotional attachment or undying affection. Some would say it’s the butterflies in your stomach or that fuzzy feeling inside. But, believe it or not, love can be scientifically explained.
to experiments at Rutgers University, being in love causes the chemical, dopamine to be released. Dopamine changes the activity of one’s nerve cells and is heavily linked to norepinephrine. Norepinephrine increases heart rate and is also known to intensify attention span, sleeplessness, and hyperactivity. Such symptoms are very common to what one More…

Seventh Graders Reflect on the HIV/Aids Curriculum Reply

Recently, students at BSGE learned about HIV/AIDS, but many feel that other people should have taught the curriculum, such as specialists instead of teachers. The DOE requires New York City public schools to teach their students about HIV/AIDS. According to, “many young people lack basic information about HIV and AIDS, and are unaware of the ways in which HIV infection can occur, and of the ways in which HIV can be prevented.” Students learned about the disease in advisory from their advisory teachers. Some seventh graders feel like their teachers did a good job, but they would have learned more from More…

To Teach Safe Sex? Or No Sex at All? Reply

Sex. A simple idea but is somehow hard to teach. All around America different methods are being used to teach kids about sex. States have free reign to decide their own ways. Some choose to preach purely abstinence while others broaden students’ education with ways to practice safe sex.
Teaching abstinence can have advantages as well as disadvantages that go along with it.  Cynthia Soto, tenth grade, says,  “It might remind kids that they have other options besides sex.”  However, tenth grader, Jackie Florio, brings up the point that, “kids are going to do it anyway, so teachers really should try to make it safe.” In many states, including More…

‘lol noodz 4 u plz 4wrd’ Reply

Who knew sending text messages could get you in trouble? Well, when you’re sending explicit pictures, videos or messages relating to sex, your right to speech becomes complicated. Teenagers have started this new trend known as “Sexting”. Today’s technology has opened up a whole new medium for typical adolescent “experimentation” which may be more dangerous than many teens comprehend.
Eleventh grader, Alex Gutu has yet to send or receive a “sext” message.  Even so, he thinks people who send these dirty text messages are “stupid”.
Most students who were caught had their phones on during school and More…

Abstinence Reply

According to Planned Parenthood, the definition of abstinence varies per person.  Some people believe that abstinence means not to have genital-to-genital intercourse while others think that to practice abstinence, one must have absolutely no sexual intercourse.
The motives to practice abstinence vary per person as well.  In some cases, authoritative people, like parents, guardians, or older siblings, force the practice upon individuals.
Others are bound by their religion. One BSGE student admitted that the Bible and her devotion influence her abstinence.
Yet others practice abstinence for the sole purpose of protection from STDs and pregnancy.  Ninth grader, Elisavet Makridis said, “We should stay abstinent because your life can be completely changed” and that people should be “careful of HIV/AIDS.”
However you define the term abstinence and it’s motives, it is always a practice that should be considered.

Protection Clarification Reply

For sexually active students, protection during sexual intercourse is essential. Things like STIs (sexually transmitting infection), commonly referred to as STDs, and pregnancies can result from not using protection.
Although it is the most common, condoms are not the only form of protection. Other forms of birth control include cervical cap, diaphragm, female condom, spermicide, and sterilization for both males and females. Of course the only 100% guaranteed form of protection is abstinence.
Some people are unaware that multiple forms of protection only shield from pregnancies, but do not include protection from STIs. Both male and female condoms reduce your risk of infection. Condoms breaking should always be taken into account because this can lead to pregnancies or infections. Any other kind of barrier protection defends against sexually transmitted infections.
Sex play is one of the safest kinds of sex. Using protection, of course makes any kind of sex safer sex.  And don’t forget, use a condom even with oral sex.

HIV/AIDS Curriculum Comes to BSGE Reply

Advisory at BSGE has been dedicated to the New York City DOE curriculum for HIV/AIDS for parts of March and April. This is BSGE’s first year teaching the curriculum. All six grades follow age appropriate lessons about the virus and various methods of prevention. Using worksheets, lectures and role-playing, advisors dove into the curriculum during everyone’s daily 45-minute advisory period.
NYC Department of Education required all students to take part in the HIV/AIDS Curriculum.  According to the DOE website, this curriculum was designed specifically by New York City to “help children and adolescents understand the nature of HIV/AIDS, methods of transmission and prevention, and ways to support friends or loved ones who may be living with HIV/AIDS.”
New York City is dubbed “the epicenter of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.” According to the CDC about More…