2017-2018 Archives Features students

Word From the Real World: Joy Hamlin

Hi all.  This was surprisingly hard for me to write, mostly because I couldn’t think of anything I could say that would be memorable.  So I didn’t bother.  I don’t expect I’ll say anything in this column that you haven’t heard a thousand times already, but I’ll try my best.

Living on campus in college is extremely different from high school, especially a high school as small as BSGE.  You have a world of choices in picking your own classes, there isn’t a clear separation of school time and home time, and you’re far more responsible for taking care of yourself than ever before.  Personally, I found it liberating.  At Stony Brook, I got to get away from my family and be myself.  I was finally able to take a physics class, though some of you lucky students got to do that at BSGE now.  I performed in a short theater piece and was stage crew for a much longer one, fumbling blindly on a pitch black stage trying to move giant flats into place.

One thing I didn’t do, though, was try to join Stony Brook’s student newspaper The Statesman in any capacity.  Editing for The BaccRag is an experience I’m very glad I had, but one I have no desire to repeat.  I originally joined in 8th grade because my father insisted I wasn’t busy enough and so I needed to join another club, and as time passed I kept going.  Eventually I became an editor, as much because I was one of two seniors participating as because it was something I had a positive desire for.  It was very interesting, trying to manage a fleet of young writers to produce decent writing in a reasonable timeframe, but that experience was vastly different than anything I would have done with The Statesman.  Besides, this way I got to focus my time on extracurriculars that BSGE doesn’t have, like theater.

I suppose the advice I have to give is to use college to seek out new experiences.  Most of what made my first year as great as it was were the parts I couldn’t get at BSGE or ever before.  Use college to its fullest.  Do things you’ve thought about for a while but never tried.  Or at least, that’s what worked for me.

2016-2017 Archives by Maya J '16 Features students

Word from the Real World: Maya Juman

Being on my own is weird. It’s also the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

I’m Maya Juman, a BSGE (and Bacc Rag) alum, and now a freshman at Yale University. I’ve been in college for two months and have already experienced so many incredibly new things of all sorts. I have my first real job. I’ve battled two bouts of “freshman plague,” as everyone refers to the perpetual sore throat/cold passed around freshman housing. I’ve learned the hard way that eating grilled cheeses and taking breaks to play pool in the basement at 2 am is an ineffective, albeit fun, way to get work done. I’ve done better on a midterm than I anticipated. I’ve done much, much worse on a midterm than I anticipated. I’ve traveled home on the Metro-North, which oddly enough was the first time college truly felt real. I’ve located the best New Haven pizza (Pepe’s white clam pie, of course). I’ve been evacuated from my dorm at 1 am because a freshman two floors above me broke a sprinkler and flooded all our rooms. I’ve tried things I never thought I would, like working out at 7 am, beekeeping, and taking a poetry seminar. I’ve located the best study spots in each library, the best place to watch the Wild Card Game with other Mets fans, and, perhaps most importantly, the dining hall with the most expansive cereal selection.

by Lydia S '15

Word from the Real World: Lydia Stetson ’15

First off, I’d like to say that I’ve only been in college for a month. So my Word from the Real World as of now is still quite new, still fresh with the freshman excitement that 7th graders might be experiencing in BSGE right now.

Secondly, I’d like to dispel some myths about college life that I previously believed.
College is not easy. Often in BSGE your teachers like to say, “College is going to be so smooth after BSGE,” or will tell those stories you’ve heard a hundred times about alumni coming back with tears in their eyes about how grateful they are that BSGE put them to the top of their class at their new university. It really depends on where you go for college and what you’re studying. Some of my graduating class members who are attending SUNYs claim to have loads of free time and seem to finish their homework in 2 hours or so. However others who also go to SUNYs say the homework load and pressure hasn’t changed since BSGE. These students tend to be those in five-year programs or have complicated Math/Science majors.
by Erin C '14

World From the Real World: Erin Camia ’14

This past year has been a lesson in learning that things are never impossible. It is possible to survive moving away from home and its comforts. It is possible for a New Yorker to have fun in Cleveland. It is possible for a BSGE graduate to completely switch gears and become an engineering major.

None of these things were particularly easy to learn, however. I felt ready to return to my parents forever when early in the first semester, I had a terrible ear infection that required a visit to the ER one night. I spent a few hours crying on the phone with my parents, partly because of the pain and partly because I realized adults have to take care of their own health. I eventually got the help I needed and even better, began a friendship with one of my best friends when she accompanied me to the hospital and bought me ice cream afterwards.

by Anokha V '19

Nepal’s Earthquake: The Aftermath and Relief Efforts

On April 25th, at 11:56 PM, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 claimed thousands of lives in Nepal. As of Friday, May 1st, around 6,300 people were proclaimed dead, and 14,000 people injured. This earthquake claimed 8,836 lives in total (including outside of Nepal), with 21,952 injuries. It took quite long to account for the thousands of people missing, perhaps under rubble and in distant villages. On May 12th, there was an aftershock of 7.3 magnitude, which killed 218 people and injured more than 3,500 people.  The original earthquake had an effect all around Nepal, including Mount Everest. Studies show that the earthquake shrank the the 29,000-foot mountain by at least 3 feet. Due to the earthquake, avalanches occurred on the mountain, killing at least 19 people, and injuring at least 61. This disaster has been the deadliest in Everest history. The effect of the earthquake on Nepal’s tourist industry is also very detrimental. Nepal, a developing country, relies on its historical attractions, such as the Dharahara Tower, which after the earthquake went from 100 feet to a 30 foot pile of rubble. Additionally, due to the fact that many men in Nepal often go far to find decent paying jobs, many women were left to fend entirely for their families after the earthquake. They lost their homes, their animals, and many other things precious to them. However, the most precious things were the children. After the earthquake, an even larger part of these women’s lives was protecting their childrens’ lives.

In order to raise money for Nepal, several advisories have been having bake sales, and Helping Hands has been doing a lot too. Ramisa Bashar ’18 said “Helping Hands has taken the initiative to help Nepal. So we’ve placed boxes in advisories in order to gather money to donate through one of Mr. Lakhaney’s acquaintances stationed in Nepal to work with people there. It’s a very one-on-one sort of thing. We’re also collecting necessities that they may require such as, soap, warm clothing, etc.” 

by Samantha C '14

Word from the Real World: Samantha Calpo

As I sit still waiting for my Psychology lecture to begin, my professor holds out his hands, wiggles his hips and sings, “Now, let’s get this show on the road!” How familiar a dance it was, as it was the same little movement that Jim Napolitano used to do during Math SL.

“When picking your sources, make sure there is no bias,” my Writing teacher says.  I can almost see Jennifer cringing all the way in BSGE at the sound of that.

“I like to make the answers to quizzes all the same letter, and watch students squirm,” my Chemistry professor gleefully admits. (No one likes him.)

“I am a tutor, an upper year, a friend, and a resource. I only want you guys to exceed in what you do and carry on that selflessness to the next generation,” writes my Physics tutor in his two-page email.

These are just some of the lines that I constantly hear throughout my days as a freshman in college.

My name is Samantha and I am from BSGE’s Class of 2014.  I am a current first-year student at The Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education (I must have a thing for schools with long names), which is part of the City College of New York.  Sophie Davis is a seven-year medical program that aims to do two things: medically serve the underserved communities, and increase the presence of primary care physicians.

by Lydia S '15 Tahmid A' 18

Ebola in NYC: How BSGE Gets Involved

On October 23rd, 2014 it was announced that emergency room doctor Craig Spencer, 33, who returned to New York City after treating Ebola patients in West Africa, was tested positive for the Ebola virus. This is the first case of Ebola in NYC and the fourth case in the United States.

Unsurprisingly, New Yorkers reacted with great fear after hearing news that Spencer traveled to The Gutter bowling alley in Williamsburg, The Meatball Shop restaurant in Chelsea, Manhattan’s Highline Park and took the A, L and 1 train after developing symptoms for the virus. Despite evidence showing that Ebola is not an airborne virus, many residents of New York, including BSGE students, have become extremely cautious of contact with people who may be ill.


But it is not only New Yorkers who have taken extreme precautions after the recent Ebola outbreak. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey governor Chris Christie imposed a policy on Friday, October 24th stating that all healthcare workers returning from West Africa after treating Ebola patients should be put it in a mandatory 21-day quarantine.

by Samantha V '18

What’s a 5SOS?

5 Seconds of Summer, otherwise known as 5SOS (pronounced five-sauce) began as a group of boys posting covers to songs on YouTube, but has now risen up music charts around the world. Formed in 2011 in Sydney, the Australian pop-rock/“punk rock” band has come out of nowhere, winning 7 of the 23 awards they were nominated for and performing at two major awards shows. The band’s Twitter account has reached 4.66 million followers and is already starting their ninth tour, “Rock Out With Your Socks Out” on May 4, 2015.

The group consists of four members: lead vocalist and guitarist Luke Hemmings, bassist Calum Hood, drummer Ashton Irwin, and other guitarist Michael Clifford. But what seems to be catching people’s eyes more than the band, is their fandom. You may have seen members of this fandom on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram feeds, posting photos and statuses filled with exclamation points and heart emojis.


An original member of this fandom, Janielle Dumapit ’19, spoke about how she first heard of the band. Janielle had “first saw their covers on YouTube in really late 2011 or early 2012 and [she] was instantly hooked.”

by Daleelah S '19 Uncategorized

Halloween Costumes? Halloween Costumes.

It’s that time of year again – the leaves are changing color, the temperature is gradually dropping, Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts have started offering Pumpkin flavored items, and big packages of candy are on sale; it’s fall, and Halloween is right around the corner.

The Problem: Finding costumes for Halloween.

If you’ve ever flipped through a teen costume catalogue, you’ll understand what I mean when I say that trying to find Halloween costumes can be a real struggle for both girls and guys, but it’s a lot worse for girls. First of all, getting a costume that is school-appropriate is close to impossible because the majority of costumes don’t cover a lot of skin.  The structure of teenage girl costumes is generally the same: mini-skirt and some form of a tank-top or short sleeve shirt. If you feel comfortable and you enjoy wearing those types of things, be my guest. I have nothing against it. In fact, if I could get away with wearing one of those kind of outfits, I might; but it’s hard to wear so little clothing this time of year when it is supposed to be 48 degrees this Halloween night. On top of that, many of these costumes break the school dress code. You don’t want to risk being the “sexy police officer” wearing gym shorts.

by Ashley W '16

10 Points for Gender Equality!

You may know her as the intelligent Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series or the ditzy Nicki in The Bling Ring, but for now, Emma Watson is playing the role of herself as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador. On September 20th, 2014, Watson launched her campaign for gender equality, “HeforShe,” at the Model UN Headquarters in New York City. She delivered a speech in front of an audience of international delegates and representatives, specifically addressing the general population of men. Watson discussed the negative connotations of the word “feminist,” how supporters are often categorized as aggressive or anti-men, and the lack of male supporters towards gender equality.


Watson’s primary goal in “HeforShe” is to gain male support and involvement by opening up to the issue of men lacking the benefit of equality as well. She described the general purpose of “HeforShe” as an “opportunity to extend a formal invitation [to men]. Gender equality is [their] issue too.” In order to create the balance of gender equality, both women and men must be freed from gender stereotypes; as Watson puts it, “if men don’t have to be aggressive in order to be accepted, women won’t feel compelled to be submissive. If men don’t have to control, women won’t have to be controlled.”

With a 9:11 male to female ratio, BSGE has an almost equal population of males and females. Addressing Emma Watson’s speech and its points, The Bacc Rag has decided to investigate the opinions of BSGE’s males on “HeforShe” and gender equality.

Emma K' 18

Humor or Assault? – Sam Pepper Scandal

In early September of 2014, famous YouTube star Sam Pepper posted an alleged “prank video” on his channel of 2.4 million subscribers. The video featured Pepper grabbing the behinds of seemingly random and unsuspecting women on the streets of Los Angeles. The video was met with immediate outrage. Viewers claimed that Pepper’s actions were considered acts of sexual harassment and that it violated YouTube’s policy on sexual content. Within hours of the video being posted, “#reportsampepper” became a worldwide trend on Twitter.

"DigiTour tweeted a statement about YouTube prank channels two days after Pepper’s fake hand video was uploaded." - BuzzFeed News
“DigiTour tweeted a statement about YouTube prank channels two days after Pepper’s fake hand video was uploaded.” – BuzzFeed News

The video was soon removed from YouTube. A little while after the first video, Pepper then posted another video of the same concept. However, in this video a female was displayed grabbing the behinds of various males. There was an even bigger uproar over this video, especially after Pepper was conscious of the previous video’s backlash. People responded with comments such as, “…good to know he’s an equal opportunity creep”.

Pepper explained that he was using this as a social experiment. He wanted to see people’s reactions to sexual harassment towards women versus sexual harassment towards men. Pepper claimed that the video’s intention was to shed light on the fact that sexual assault happens equally to both men and women.

by Abdullah S '20

Colossal Squid vs. Giant Squid – What’s the difference?

In December of 2013, fisherman John Bennett hauled in more then his dinner plate could fit.

He hauled in a 770 pound colossal squid — not to be confused with the giant squid — from the Antarctic Ocean, still hanging onto the fish that Bennett wanted to catch. After eight months of being held in cold storage, the squid was thawed and dissected by a New Zealand team of squid experts on September 15th, 2014.

This was a major discovery for the scientific world, especially since it is the “only second intact specimen [of a colossal squid] ever found,” according to Fox News. The female squid was also found to be carrying eggs, an exciting addition.


When asked about the recent colossal squid discovery, many BSGE students were more knowledgable of the giant squid rather than the colossal squid. For example, Thomas Breen ’20 spoke about his experiences with learning about giant squids.

“I have read a lot about the giant squid, and when I was younger I read a lot of folktales about the giant squid, like it was this huge creature that destroyed ships, and was huge.” Breen said with excitement. He added, “I remember reading it somewhere that sperm whales are sometimes found with scars all over their bodies with fights with giant squid.”