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BHSEC’s Student Newspaper

The Bardvark Volume 17, Issue 1

“All the young dudes carry the news,” - David Bowie

September 2019

Op-Ed: No Tryouts Necessary Why You Should Join a Sport– Even if You’re Positively Sluggish Jayna Rohslau, ‘22

Some people say that although it may be difficult, it’s best to face your fears head on. But then again, those people make it sound so easy. On Tuesday, the BHSEC girl’s tennis team played against Louis Brandeis High School for the first time in all of recorded history. The fact that they had won a landslide victory the previous day did not seem to lend confidence to the Raptors, who had determined sets to their jaws, in addition to their natural drive to win some sets. Their opponents did not seem deterred either. Armored in blue to contrast the blood-red of BHSEC’s uniforms, the Lady Bulldogs seemed fully conscious of their home-turf advantage and were prepared to use it. When the raptors initially arrived to the courts of Brandeis’s upper west side location, they were distraught to find that their foes were already preparing to make war. Hitting the balls in suave and sure strokes among themselves, they seemed to ooze intimidation. And boy, was I glad I wasn’t playing. While BHSEC’s tennis starting lineup stressed themselves Photo credit: Outside Online out over strategy and game plans, my fellow alternates and I focused on a much bigger challenge: getting snacks. Prior to joining tennis, my experience with tennis had been limited to a year in third grade, and most of my friends had seldom if ever picked up a racket before the season started. And so when the teams were both done warming up and the match play started, we were generally left to do as we pleased. In this instance, doing what we pleased meant going to the deli two blocks away, and eating our puny little hearts out on ice cream and Japanese rice crackers covered with seaweed. Other times we did homework at matches, or played tennis casually amongst ourselves. But heaven forbid that we actually play against a flesh-and-blood bona fide opponent, and heaven and hell forbid that we have to keep score. Cont’d Page 3

The College Admissions Scandal: The Movie

Photo credit: New York Times

Edona Cosovic, ‘21

Do you remember the college admissions scandal that broke out early this year? Do you remember all of the drama that circulated out of a very intense and important scandal? Well, it’s not over yet. There is now a movie made by Lifetime called The College Admissions Scandal which is premiering on October 12th. It portrays many aspects of the scandal, but most of the characters are made up and not based on Lori Loughlin or Felicity Huffman (who are the actual women a part of the scandal). Thus, it leaves Americans with an awful taste in their mouths on what this movie truly represents. We all know what happened in the scandal whether we followed the news or not. Parents paid a lot of money to get their kids into the top schools around the country: Yale, Georgetown, and USC. No Cont’d Page 4


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Writing and Thinking Sinziana Stanciu, ‘20 The school year began once again with the fearful glances of the freshman and the relaxed yet soon to be anxious Year 2s. Mixed into writing and thinking workshops, students from all grades were combined into random groups for four days of thought provoking discussions around an anthology curated by BHSEC professors. Every student is curious (and hopeful) about who they’ll end up with because these activities are always intriguing. Friends reunited in the hallways after a few months of being apart, people hugged, yelled and jumped for joy. Bard came alive with the laughter of new and old students hoping to make their mark this year. Amidst all of the happiness, there was also critical thinking in the temporary classes, and some new workshops added to facilitate unconventional discussions. As a Year 2, this year’s writing and thinking have been particularly reminiscent of all the other ones I’ve had over the years. I chose to use the same notebook all four years (9th graders please do this) and it has allowed me to reflect on my time here. Honestly, seeing how I’ve grown in the past few years astonishes me, and I’m sure that many other y2s feel the same. I was grateful for the different workshops we did this year, especially one which involved going outside to East River Park. Every writing and thinking workshop had the opportunity over these four days to admire natural beauty, and we did this using the most essential devices for young people today: our smartphones. With the iNaturalist app, we examined the plants within the park, which our schools has the advantage of being so close to. Students had fun walking around, examining the leaves and writing about them. Most of the other works that we wrote about came from the anthology. This year one of the pieces that stood out to me the most was a rap song. The faculty at BHSEC is evidently attempting to be more inclusive of the music that students listen to through the use of Jay-Z’s song “The Story of O.J.” This effort paid off, in my particular writing and thinking I had a very interesting discussion surrounding the symbolism of O.J. Simpson and the lyrics paired with the music video. It provoked interesting discussions about African American communities, race, and investment. BHSEC is trying to stay on the pulse of the teenage community in more ways than one, and they proved this by creating a workshop activity around the theme of “you.” This new workshop asked students to take pictures of themselves around BHSEC and then write pieces to go alongside such pictures. When it was all taped together in a vertical format, each student had a representation of themselves through BHSEC. Put together in the Auditorium, we had essentially created an anthology of BHSEC. Students carefully crafted pieces to provoke thought and discussion in the temporary gallery. This year writing and thinking truly embodied our school’s motto: a place to think.

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Letter from the Editor Darya Foroohar, ‘20 It is finally my last year at BHSEC, something that seemed like it would never come to pass. But seeing as I’ve gone from being a timid, clueless freshman to the Editor-in-Chief of the Bardvark, I guess I haven’t done too badly over the course of my soon to-be four years here. I know that when I am gone, memory of me will soon fade from even the most admiring underclassmen. My college acceptances will be erased from the whiteboard in the CTO, my sneakers will make their way back from the gym office, and my name will be taken off the Writing Center tutor list. My peers will be experiencing the same erasure as the school we have all learned to call home learns to let us go. The only thing that will remain, however, is the Bardvark. BHSEC’s newspaper has been a welcome sight throughout my time at Bard, especially as a freshman (even though I wasn’t yet sure how to write for it). I would walk into the library and read Op-Eds on the Presidential election, reviews of nearby restaurants, and updates on the third floor bathroom renovation. When I started writing for the Bardvark, it made me feel more tied to the BHSEC community, as I got to know the many facets of Bard life while also putting my own spin on the Bardvark’s coverage. It became my outlet for my love of opinionated writing, and I was determined to do everything I could to help it succeed. Now, as Editor-in-Chief, I look forward to ensuring the Bardvark’s continued success in publishing every month, as well as increasing its readership and the diversity of its articles. I aim to cover a wide range of topics in every issue, from school news to global events, as well as increase the number of comics and illustrations, which are always fun to read. But all the work I, along with the other wonderful members of the editorial staff, put into this paper will be greatly enhanced with your eager readership (pick up your copy in the library!) and submission of articles. Even if you think you’re a bad writer, even if you don’t know anyone who writes for the Bardvark, you are all still very much welcome– write about what you’re passionate about, and watch it get published! If you’re interested, we meet the first Wednesday of every month in room 302, or, if you simply can’t wait for that, send us an email at bardvark@gmail.com. I’m looking forward to this year and I can’t wait to see what you all write about! Best, Darya.


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Op-Ed: No Tryouts Necessary (Cont’d) From Page 1 This wasn’t my first encounter with sports teams either, which you might consider surprising given how challenged I am in the athletic department. I find it surprising as well. The PSAL sports calendar is divided roughly into Fall and Spring, and last year I did track in Spring and I had absolutely no issues with it… other than coming to the realisation that I can’t run. Which, contrary to popular belief, is actually no problem because if you think about it, track is really just about running in circles(or oblong ovals) and if you run the fastest in a circle what do you get? Just a pat on the back. And yes, this does make me feel better about the sad fact that it takes me more than 16 seconds to run a 100 meter. I’m the human equivalent of the slippery creature, that mucus secreting gastropod known as the land slug. Which brings us to the question of why, pray, a land slug such as myself would even think of joining sports teams. And even more to the point, why I would attempt to convince others to join in too. After all, aren’t sports intended only for the cream of the crop of the school, the human equivalents of lions and tigers and bears? And I’ll even admit it, PE class is a burden when you move at a range of .0006 to .03 miles per hour, and your next period teachers don’t understand that this is your reasoning for why you’re always late to class. And yet, the answer is surprisingly simple. Let’s go back to the tennis match, between BHSEC and Louis Brandeis. The day is pristine, beautiful, gorgeous, all the synonyms for those three words that you can possibly imagine, and then some. Meanwhile, the teams on both sides are stressing about how they’re going to possibly beat their opponents when I mean I think I can take her just look at her but looks can be deceiving is running through their brains, and ugh I have so much homework I can’t think straight, or in one particular instance, the sun is so bright I can’t freaking see. Such concerns went unnoticed by the alternates, who worried about homework, sure. But homework was so far away in comparison to ice cream at the deli, and talking to other people infinitely more enjoyable. The fact of the matter is that at BHSEC, there is pressure on everyone to do well at school and clubs and better than everybody else. But when you are the human equivalent of a land slug, you are already worse at sports than everybody else, and therefore there shouldn’t be any pressure since you don’t have anything (save for your dignity) to lose. So there’s that. I still didn’t want to play. It is a testament to the might of the BHSEC tennis team, that of the three singles and doubles matches taking place on Tuesday, all were won. From there, perhaps intoxicated on victory, someone thought it would be a particularly bright idea to have an exhibition match between two of the lesser players. Which were, unsurprisingly, one girl from the Louis Brandeis team. Oh, and me. The funny thing is that as much as I didn’t want to play initially, even in the first game I found myself getting invested in the match. That’s the other thing about sports: there’s a reason that most require you to commit three to four days a week, and although you may be terrible to begin with that just leaves all the more room for improvement. And whether you identify as a slug or not, I’m sure you are familiar with the experience of working hard to get somewhere. Back to the question of why. When I joined tennis as well as track I went in with fairly low expectations, hoping to get athletic PE(i.e. No gym class) the following year. What I didn’t expect was to make great experiences, from the immense satisfaction of completing a 400 to getting bubble tea after practice. And what’s more, I didn’t expect to have fun. You know what I’m trying to say. It may be too late to join a Fall sport, but winter is coming. And after Winter, Spring. Oh, and if all this wasn’t enough to convince you: athletic PE. Need I say more?


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Street Beat: Meet Hayan Kassam - The Community Commissary Sylvie Goldner, ‘21

Every day students and local customers line up with their egg and cheese sandwiches, bags of chips and 25 cent candies that have been picked up in handfuls from containers underneath the long countertop. As you approach the front of the line with your meal in hand, you can hear the percussion of a cash register being pulled in and out, while a man behind the counter calls out “2.50, 8.75, 3.00 dollars.” Once you arrive in front of the counter, you are greeted with a quick smile (you have to look to catch it) from Hayan Kassam, who has worked at the Columbia Street Deli (or, to BHSEC students, “the deli”) for 25 years. After Kassam collects the price of your purchase, you are then left to head back to school while munching on your delicious everything bagel or package of rainbow gummy worms. Hayan Kassam has been working in this neighborhood long before BHSEC, and is now a fixture of the local community, where he exchanges stories with customers and shares updates on each other’s lives. Hayan is from Saudi Arabia, where many members of his family currently live. Nevertheless, the distance does not get in the way of their maintaining a relationship. Kassam explained, “I FaceTime and WhatsApp them, which makes it easy to stay in contact.” Kassam has four children, two boys and two girls whose ages span from four years old to college age -- along with another baby on the way. Last year, he took a trip to visit his family across the Atlantic. In the middle of explaining his family reunion, a customer approached the counter and paid back a quarter that Hayan had credited him the last time he was in the store. Instances like this occur all the time, as Kassam shares a special, trust-based relationship with his customers that has been cultivated Image credit: Sylvie Goldner, ‘21 over many years. When I asked Kassam about his hobbies and interests outside of work, he excitedly revealed, “I like three things. I like to draw and paint people’s faces, play poker, and swim.” He then added, “I also like to play pool. The game where you hit the balls across the table. It is a lot of fun.” When I asked Kassam about his most memorable experience working in the deli, he at first did not respond as he pondered his answer. Eventually he replied, “A lot of things have happened. I meet what feels like a thousand people a day. There are some good people and some bad people. People always want you to be happy with them, but on some days you can’t be. When people give you a hard time they change your personality. But in the end, I remember the good people more.” As a group of BHSEC students were walking into the deli, Kassam remarked on the group as being kind, “I like your school. They respect me and always behave well.” But then he paused for a moment and quickly added, “But I don’t like when the kids smoke outside the store -- they are killing their lungs.” Hayan Kassam, a member of our community, who you can find behind the cash register but is always willing to give back.

2019 US Open Ends with a Five Set Thriller and the BHSEC Manhattan Girls Tennis Team Starts Season off Strong

Fuschia Steward, ‘21 Rafael Nadal defeats Daniil Medvedv Tennis star and world number two Rafael Nadal fought off the young, and at the time, world number five Daniil Medvedv in the 2019 US Open Tennis final on Sunday, September 8. After a four hour and 49 minute battle, Nadal raised his 19th Grand Slam trophy. Best known as the “King of Clay,” he closed the gap between him and his rival, Roger Federer, who holds 20 Grand Slam titles, in the chase for the all-time record of most Grand Slams in men’s tennis. However, the victory was anything but easy. His first serve percentage was below 40% in the first set, which is far under what any professional tennis player would aim for (a good percentage for top ten players is around 75%). Nevertheless, his first serve percentage increased as the match went on. His opponent, the controversial up and comer 23 year old Medvedev, made an incredible comeback in the third set after losing the first two 7-5, 6-3. In the beginning of his journey in the tournament, the crowd was booing him for his attitude, outbursts, and treatment of the ball people, but by the final match they were cheering for him. Tension boiled as he battled back from two sets and a break down to force a deciding final set. He was defeated with the final set score of 6-4. But, the young star who turned pro in 2014 already holds five singles titles and has a bright future


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(Cont’d from page 4) ahead. After the match (final score: 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4), Nadal said “It was an amazing final. Daniil is only 23 years old and the way he was able to fight and change the rhythm of the match was amazing. He will have many more opportunities like this.” Their epic final concluded this year’s US Open but it wasn’t the only highlight. Bianca Andressu defeats Serena Williams + Other Results Two days before, on September 7th, a fierce match took place on the women’s side. Former world number one, Serena Williams, faced the 18th seed, 19 year old Bianca Andressu. Andressu defeated Williams earlier that year in the Roger’s Cup after an injury forced Williams to drop out. Her win was historical, as it made Andressu the first Canadian to win the Roger’s Cup in 50 years. In their second meeting at the US Open, history repeated itself and Andressu prevailed. The final score was 6-3, 7-5. Williams admitted that she struggled during the match and was not pleased Photo Credit: FanDuel with the outcome. “I can definitely say I’m not really happy, but I have to take it one moment at a time, [...] I honestly didn’t play my best.” Andressu’s first Grand Slam win prevented Williams from tying the record of most Grand Slams in women's tennis. Margaret Smith Court holds the record with 24 slams today. Meanwhile, Serena has 23. In men's doubles, Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah defeated Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos 6-4, 7-5. On the women's side, Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka defeated Ashleigh Barty and Victoria Azarenka 7-5, 7-5. In mixed doubles, Jamie Murray and Bethanie Mattek-Sands defended their title by defeating top seeds Michael Venus and Hao-Ching “Angel” Chan 6-2, 6-3. Diede de Groot and Alfie Hewett, wheelchair players, also defended their championships. Groot had a victory over Yui Kamiji, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 and Hewett defeated Stephane Houdet 7-6, 7-6. If you would like to know more about the US Open tennis results, there are additional articles on the official US Open website (usopen.org). Girls Tennis Team Updates Though the US Open has come to an end for the year, the girls tennis team is just getting started. On Tuesday, September 10th, the team had their first official match against the High School of Economics & Finance and won 4-1. On Friday that same week, they played their second match against Seward Park Campus and won 5-0. They played the same team the following Monday and held their lead with another 5-0 win. Following that, the team continued to prevail with a 6-0 win (including one exhibition match). The team looks forward to the rest of the season, and are off to a great start thanks to their successful match results. The girls’ tennis season ends late October, and they hope to see you at the matches!

2018 Bard High School Early College Girls Tennis Team

Sophie Fleysher 2019


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Meet the 2019-2020 Editorial Board! Editor in Chief: Darya Foroohar Darya has written for the Bardvark for three years and was the Layout Editor during the 2018-2019 school year. She is super excited to be EIC this year and will make sure the Bardvark continues to reflect the voice of BHSEC students in every issue they may wish to speak on. Aside from being the editor, she also consistently writes for the Bardvark, and has a Newsies Honorable Mention for a Op-Ed she wrote in 10th grade. Outside of the newsroom, she participates in many other BHSEC clubs such as Model UN and the Ultimaidens, is the captain of the girls’ cross country team, and writes poetry and music in her free time. Photo credit: Isaac Rosenthal, ‘23

Layout Editor/ Photo Editor: Sinziana Stanciu

Sinziana Stanciu is a Y2 student and the Layout Editor for the Bardvark! She joined the Bardvark in Y1 and realized how much she cared about the news at her school. Some of the other activities she has participated in at Bard include Law Club, Debate team, Quizbowl, Girls Basketball and Model UN. She is deeply passionate about the law and intends on becoming a lawyer. She has worked in multiple parts of the legal system of NYC. Sinziana is also bilingual and has studied Mandarin for 6 years. She likes listening to music of all types (except country) and exploring new parts of NYC. If you see her in the hallways say hi, she always likes to meet new people. Image credit: Sophie Fleysher, ‘20

Online Editor: Evan Farley Evan is a Y2 who likes to politik and eat. Inquiries about Cross Country, Model UN, and Student Union are welcome. Complaints about the website are not. Follow me on Twitter @evanf555.

News Editor: Lula Konner Photo credit: Amal Biskin, ‘20

Lula Konner is a 10th grader at BHSEC. She loves reading, listening to music, acting and dried mango. She is very much looking forward to being a news editor for the Bardvark this year!

Image credit: Lula Konner, ‘22


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Image credit: Sylvie Goldner, ‘21

News Editor: Sylvie Goldner

Sylvie Goldner is a Year 1 at BHSEC. She eats ice cream every night, is afraid of her cat, prefers wearing sunglasses indoors versus outdoors, believes our pets are treated better than human beings, has a killer Quizlet (search sylviegoldner), and aspires to be Bob Dylan... because who does not?

THE BARDVARK

Image credit: Jayna Rohslau, 22

Opinions Editor: Jayna Rohslau Jayna Rohslau is more than happy to be the Op-Ed editor for this year's Bardvark, and is excited to contribute as a member of the staff now in addition to being a writer. When she's not scribbling away in some notebook or scrambling to make her deadlines, Jayna finds enjoyment in reading, exhausting her wallet by buying clothes, and spending time thinking about how she's going to exhaust her wallet by buying aforementioned clothes. Tragically, since the school year's begun she hasn't had a lot of time for her hobbies and is already burdened by a ridiculous amount of homework(as well as the notorious unpredictability of the f train!). Which is BHSEC in a nutshell of course, so she really shouldn't be complaining. Oh well, at least now she has the 2019-2020 Bardvark to look forward to, and to distract her from the depressing reality of her everyday commute.

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Image credit: Alexander Ganias, ’20

Illustrations Editor: Alexander Ganias

To whomever readeth this bio, Tis I, Alexander Ganias: Illustrations Editor for the Bardvark. I love sports, classical music, friends, family, and Castlevania. I play baseball, basketball, piano, and mandolin (kinda). I will write mainly on the school sports, but now I oversee what YOU submit in terms of comics and artwork. So submit away without fear!! Love you mom <3


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Volume 17, Issue 1

The College Admissions Scandal: The Movie (Cont’d) From Page 1 No matter how you say it, it's an awful situation to resurface. When I first heard of the scandal, I was in shock that celebrities would go to such crazy extents to get their children into college. However, no teacher I spoke to was surprised about this fact. They all found it amusing how they “finally got caught” because “these kind of things have happened for years.” We have all found this unfair because people work really hard to take part in the admissions process, while these celebrities can just pay for their kids to get in, which is not a luxury many have. What is the most gruelling is to watch this whole timeline unfold once again in a movie. For many it is just another movie that is as Lifetime states, “A Ripped from the Headlines Feature,” but for many, it hits close to home. If you are a high school student starting the college process, or even a parent of a high school student, watching someone pull the opportunities out from underneath you must be unsettling. Many students have to face a reality where the opportunities they thought were available to them, may be unfairly taken away. The film, although unsettling for some is also a good way to see that despite all of the celebrities’ best efforts to buy spots at colleges, the law caught up with them. This is because in the end, like in real life, people disregarding their status face consequences. Although the consequences may not be the most brutal, it does come to show that celebrities and their money cannot control the world. The movie however still brings into question whether or not the college admissions process is even fair. This is because despite these parents being caught paying their way through the admissions scandal, there are still many that have yet to be caught which makes everyone (including myself) feel uncomfortable knowing that we may be put at a disadvantage due to the most affluent people hoping to cheat the entire process. These stories have finally started to fade in our minds, but this movie is bringing back all of these harsh realities which is not worth all of the mental anguish it has caused. Further opinions can only be formed after the release of the movie, so go check it out!

NYC Climate Strike Draws 300,000 to Battery Park Darya Foroohar, ‘20 On Friday, September 20th, at 11:30 a.m., BHSEC’s halls were much more empty than they had been a mere ten minutes before. Outside the school, however, 350 students began their march down Houston Street, where they would travel to Foley Square to join tens of thousands of other students who had walked out of school to protest climate change– and the lack of any effective policy change being implemented to combat it. This global climate strike was the brainchild of 16 year-old activist Greta Thunberg, who traveled by boat from Sweden to participate in the NYC rally and give a speech to the 300,000 people who marched from Foley Square to Battery Park. After ascending the steps of the J train station, which emerged onto Foley Square, BHSEC protesters were surrounded by over 60,000 others who had also walked out of school (and those numbers grew by the minute). As they joined the crowd, they were enveloped by the roar of cheers following speeches by climate activists on a stage many were unable to see due to the sheer number of people present. Cameras and microphones were abundant, as were the handmade protest signs that lifted up a little higher every time a new chant began. After the initial speeches, protesters made their way to Battery Park, chanting, singing, and taking pictures of the historic event they were a part of. People in buildings crowded the windows to get a glimpse of the parade of people– mostly Photo credit: TIME Magazine teenagers– advocating for climate justice. Students climbed on cars, lampposts, and steps to lead chants with bullhorns and cupped hands alike. Students from schools all over the city marched side by side, united in the moment by their universal goal of combating global warming. Battery Park was packed by the time the rally started, and continued to fill as each speaker was introduced. From the back of the crowd, the stage itself was almost impossible to see, but the enormous speakers positioned around the outskirts of the park amplified the speakers’ voices, so that everyone could hear. While waiting for


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 (Cont’d from page 8) Thunberg to speak, protesters rested on the grass, climbed trees to get a better view of the stage, and complemented each other’s signs. The protest morphed into a socially aware concert as musicians Jaden and Willow Smith emphasized the need for immediate policy change regarding climate action in between songs.The music drew more people into the Park, but the message advocated by the performers reminded everyone why they were really there. Greta Thunberg spoke at 4:30 p.m. to a sea of people, thanking them for being there and helping the Fridays for Future movement, but telling them that the fight would not be over after the rally ended. While her star power increased the rally’s attendance, important messages were shared by local activists such as Xiye Bastida and Alexandria Villaseñor, who have been leading forces in the climate movement in NYC. Additionally, the crowd was reminded to stand in solidarity with indigenous, Black, and brown activists, especially as they were standing on stolen land. his message is extremely important for the movement going forward, as many activists of color face the most risk and receive the least amount of recognition, The global climate strike was a success in terms of numbers and energy, but there is still much that needs to be done regarding climate change. Raising awareness in strikes such as this one is supremely important. However, unless the strike is followed up by direct policy change and action, such as lobbying to pass climate legislation, joining organizations that combat climate change, or voting for politicians who will not compromise with big business, it will have been for nothing more than a cool photo-op.

BHSEC Fall Sports Alexander Ganias, ‘20 Sport. It never ceases. As you are reading this article, the Major League Baseball postseason and the Major League Soccer postseason fields are slowly being finalized. The NFL has already started its fourth week with the Eagles and Packers playing on Thursday Night Football. The NHL preseason is starting to kick into gear, and the NBA will soon follow suit. There is never a moment where you won’t find a sporting event on TV or radio. Sport has left a lasting impact on American and global societies… but you don’t care about that. You care about BHSEC, and wouldn’t you know it, they have sports too. Bard’s fall season is full of athletics: cross country, girls volleyball, girls tennis, girls and boys soccer. There are so many sports taking place at once that it is enough to make your head spin. All of these teams are coming off successful seasons, and a review of each team sport can be found below. Volleyball (Girls): The girls volleyball team, in their 5th season under Coach Carly Arpaio, finished last season with an 8-4 record, which was enough to merit a playoff berth; however, they met defeat in the first round against Townsend Harris. This season the team has witnessed significant changes as five seniors who were a part of the team graduated last year (the most of the fall teams). But if that sounded bad, the team will lose as many as seven seniors at the end of this season. However, before the end of the year there are still many games to be played. While the roster has lost many players, the connections between the players on the team have not been lost as Jennora Blair (Y2) shares, “[w]e have a lot of team chemistry. We’re good friends. And hopefully our chemistry translates into games.” The volleyball team is still very early in the season, with only a couple of games under their belt, but since this a slightly shorter season (ten games as opposed to twelve) the results are slightly more important in the grand scheme of things. The confidence levels are high however, and it’s extremely plausible that we’ll see another playoff caliber season from these girls, and maybe even some playoff wins as well. Cross Country (Girls and Boys): The next sport on the docket is Cross Country, for both boys and girls. The boys finished a surprising run (get it?) to the City Championships by placing a meager 21st out of 25 schools, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. For them, this was the first time they had qualified for the City’s in the program’s history, and although they did not earn the highest place, their qualification for the race made it a successful endeavor, and one the boys’ cross country team wishes to improve upon. The girls on the other hand did not qualify for the City Championship, but that does not diminish their overall successful season, which consisted of multiple positive showings in tournaments throughout NYC, and numerous personal records. The girls did lose some seniors, but that’s no reason why they can’t have another excellent season. The girls have already started out strong with good times, and even some medals. With a lot of familiar courses still in their sights, the cross country teams have the capacity to surprise some people.


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Soccer (Girls and Boys): To the common student, playing a sport right when the school year begins seems like a stressful endeavor, and one they wouldn’t want to take part in, but the studentathletes never waiver: “Obviously starting in the summer is tough…” said Christopher Lanza, coach of the girls soccer team “but the[y’re] always committed.” Both soccer teams are coming off playoff appearances from the previous season. The boys just snuck into the playoffs with a 5-6-1 record, whereas the 11-1 girls team not only clinched a berth in the playoffs, but a share of the division title. The boys dropped out in the first round, and the girls reached the quarterfinals before bowing out themselves. Obviously both teams are on different ends of the success spectrum, but it doesn’t phase them in the slightest. The goal is to get better: “[w]e are looking to improve our discipline and composure on the ball as well as our work rate and defensive shape…. These two things are crucial to our success,” said boys captain Henry Reyes (Y2) when asked on how the team will improve. Michaela Rein (Y2), the girls captain, said much of the same, while adding that “We lost some great seniors last year, but we got some great new freshmen, and all of our returning players have been playing excellently”. Seeing how both teams started out their respective campaigns, it’s safe to assume that we’ll have some interesting seasons from both sides. Tennis (Girls): That just leaves tennis, the most successful team in terms of playoff prowess. The 2018 girls tennis squad finished with the second seed, the highest seed of any BHSEC team last season with a bracketed playoff (girls soccer got the 7th seed, boys soccer received the 29th seed, and volleyball earned the 24th seed). The team also reached the semifinals of their tournament for the second straight year, which was the farthest of any of these four teams. It’s needless to say with back to back semifinal appearances under their belt, the team is looking for that extra push to finally break through. But what would be that extra push? According to Sonia Chajet Wides (Y1), it’s all about keeping their energy up: “It gets tough when the season goes on and people start to lose their focus. But everyone is playing and communicating well, we could definitely win a championship.” We hope the words ring true, as the girls tennis team looks for their first Adivision title in school history (they’ve won two B-division titles). With a 3-0 start to the season, it looks like they’ll be back in the playoff hunt soon enough. BHSEC athletics will forever be a staple in the community of this great educational establishment. The amount of time and effort the student-athletes put into their work in the classroom and on the field is worthy of recognition. Look out for an article previewing the winter teams in the coming months. But for all the teams playing now, may the wins be plentiful, may the teamwork be exceptional, and may the ball never lie.

Volume 17, Issue 1

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Summer 2019 Music Review

Ozzy Wagenseil, ‘22 For this review, I will be using the source https:// www.billboard.com/charts/hot-100, to which I will listen to the top 10 songs so far of the week and review them on based on lyrics, singing/rapping, and beats. And at the end, I will calculate the average ranking of that song based on those three categories. This list is also in the order that the website lists the songs. 10. “Goodbyes” Post Malone featuring Young Thug: First off, if you have not listened to Post Malone’s new album, I strongly recommend it. But besides that, this song is mildly okay compared to some other songs on this album. You have the same Post Malone singing voice, and Young Thug has… his sort of singing. But the beginning of Young Thug’s verse does not sound bad at all. I do enjoy the somber beat the song displays as it is melancholic and has a nice mix of pop and rap. However, the lyrics are at best stereotypical of a song for those who are trying to forget someone. This theme is best displayed with the lyric, “I want you out of my head, I want you out of my bedroom tonight (bedroom), There's no way I can save you (save you), 'Cause I need to be saved, too, I'm no good at goodbyes.” Lyrics: 6/10. Singing/Rapping: 6/10. Beat: 7/10. Average: ~6/10. 9. “Talk” Khalid: I don’t listen to Khalid that much, but this song gives me a good impression of what he is like. The beat is the best part of this song in my opinion. It is very simple and that is what Khalid is trying to aim for. He makes you just want to feel relaxed and wanting to talk. His singing is very nice paired with nice beat like this, and with a very good rhythm too. The lyrics are okay; nothing that differs from other songs nowadays. The song gives no clear intention of what Khalid wants with his implied love interest. He uses lyrics like this in order to show how he feels about his love interest: “Penthouse view, left some flowers in the room, I'll make sure I leave the door unlocked, Now I'm on the way, swear I won't be late, I'll be there by five o'clock.” Overall, this song is a good listen. Lyrics: 6/10. Singing/Rapping: 7/10. Beat: 8/10. Average: ~7/10. (Cont’d page 11)


THE BARDVARK

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Volume 17, Issue 1

8. “I Don’t Care” Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber: For one thing, the beat is one of the best elements of this song. Many of Ed Sheeran’s beats are very memorable and fun to listen to, and this song does not break off from that tradition. On the other hand, it reminds me of “Shape of You,” which is disappointing as I want to hear something different from Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber. The lyrics, however, are interesting to listen to, giving you a sense of being at a party. This may be best displayed in the first verse when Ed Sheeran sings, “I'm at a party I don't wanna be at, And I don't ever wear a suit and tie, Wonderin' if I could sneak out the back, Nobody's even lookin' me in my eyes.” Lyrics: 7/10. Singing/Rapping: 6/10. Beat: 8/10. Average: ~7/10. 7. “Circles” Post Malone: The debut song for Post Malone's new album is very good. The beat, for starters, is a nice guitar melody with the perfect blend of Photo credit: Wikipedia drums and other instruments, providing the song with a new Post Malone style. The lyrics of the song, while slow and dull, do provide the song with a good and memorable chorus. The chorus goes such as follows: “Seasons change and our love went cold, Feed the flame 'cause we can't let go, Run away, but we're running in circles, Run away, run away.” These two parts of the song make up for the singing that is subpar compared to Malone’s other songs, but it really is a great song despite its few flaws. Lyrics: 7/10. Singing/Rapping: 7/10. Beat: 8/10. Average: ~7/10. 6. “No Guidance” Chris Brown featuring Drake: This song has such a crisp vibe to it, which is mostly thanks to the beat. It has a lovesick emotion to it that is very relatable, hence why this song feels very smooth. However, Drake’s singing is superior to Brown’s. While Brown’s singing is over the top and trying to show off, Drake just sings in a natural smooth tone that blends well with this song. And of course, the lyrics are just trying to be smooth and slick while talking about men hitting up a girl. The best example of this is, “Lil' baby in her bag, in her Birkin, No nine to five, put the work in, Flaws and all, I love 'em all, to me, you're perfect.” Lyrics: 6/10. Singing/Rapping: 8/10. Beat: 8/10. Average: ~7/10. 5. “Old Town Road” Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus: Why don’t I hate this song? The song has very dumb lyrics but I like them anyway. Best seen in, “ got the horses in the back/Horse tack is attached/Hat is matte black/Got the boots that's black to match” and “Cowboy hat from Gucci, Wrangler on my booty.” The lyrics are so dumb but who doesn’t love them? The singing is actually pretty good, but the rap has a simple flow to it, which is mildly disappointing. And, finally, the beat for this song is just really catchy. It’s just a simple guitar melody that is not that hard to play but it is so simple and meaningful at the same time. Just a good song that will be fun to listen to in the future, not to also mention the combination of country and rap being a surprisingly good combination. Photo credit: Genius Lyrics: 7/10. Singing/Rapping: 8/10. Beat: 9/10. Average: ~8/10. 4. “Ran$om” Lil Tecca: Oh jeez. On one hand, I really do enjoy this song a lot, and it is very melodic. But it really is a shame how low I have to rank this one. The lyrics are really basic, to be honest. One line that perfectly displays this poor lyricism is, “I started from the bottom, you could see the way I stunt, I want all the diamonds, I want that sh*t to weigh a ton, The opps they tryna line me 'cause they hate the place I'm from, But them ni**as don't know me, they just know the place I'm from.” He literally rhymed the word “from” twice, so of course, it’s not good. The rapping is standard mumble rapping, so of course, you expect nothing much from it. And finally, the beat is quite nice. It does not stand out from many other rap type beats so that is why it is not ranked higher. Lyrics: 5/10. Singing/Rapping: 5/10. Beat: 7/10. Average: ~6/10. 3. “Bad Guy” Billie Eilish: This felt very uncomfortable to listen to. No disrespect to Billie Eilish and the great singer that she is, but she uses her talents at an underwhelming level in this song. Her singing is just simple whispering (“Don’t Come Out the House” copycat…) which is disappointing as she could use her incredible vocal range more. The lyrics are typical for her style, and also very simple. This is best exemplified with the line “So you're a tough guy, Like it really rough guy, Just can't get enough guy, Chest always so puffed guy.” However, the beat was very interesting and oddly pleasing. I liked the simple kick drum sound to it, and the beat switch at the end also scaled things up and made for a good beat for this song. Lyrics: 7/10. Singing/Rapping: 6/10. Beat: 8/10. Average: ~7/10. Photo credit: Wikipedia


Volume 17, Issue 1

THE BARDVARK

2. “Senorita” Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello: I'm sorry to say this, but I just do not like Camila Cabello’s voice at all. Either that or her song “Never Be The Same” really just left a bad taste in my mouth. But besides that issue, this song does have some good elements. The singing could be better, but it is pretty good as Shawn and Camila do show off their vocal ranges with high notes and display the mood of the song with real compassion for one another. The beat is something that everyone can listen to; it provides a nice sound for the theme of romance and love for another person. The one thing that I find fault with is the lyrics. Sure, they show true love and romance, but can be very basic, something best displayed from this line: “Sapphire moonlight, We danced for hours in the sand, Tequila sunrise, Her body fit right in my hands, la la la.” Lyrics: 6/10. Singing/Rapping: 7/10. Beat 8/10. Average: ~7/10. 1. “Truth Hurts” Lizzo: To be completely honest, I did not think this song was great at first. But I finally heard all of it, and I really do enjoy it. The lyrics are very Photo credit: Wikipedia creative and I like the complete confidence she has with her delivery. Specifically, the beginning verse when she says, “I just took a DNA test, turns out I'm 100% that bitch, Even when I'm crying crazy, Yeah, I got boy problems, that's the human in me, Bling bling, then I solve 'em, that's the goddess in me.” She has a raw passion and I love it. Another thing I like is her rapping/singing style, both of which are perfectly on the beat with the song. And finally, I find the beat not bad, but it could be better. Lyrics: 8/10. Singing/Rapping: 8/10. Beat: 7/10. Average: ~8/10.

Page 12

Op-Ed: You’re an Public Servant

Evan Farley, ‘20 Picture this: You have been working for the NYC Parks Department for 7 years, designing concepts for parks all around Brooklyn. You work more than you should and attend meetings pretty frequently, well after working hours have elapsed. At these meetings, people yell at you for the work you have done. It does not matter how much work you have put into the project and all the considerations you have taken into account when grappling with the bureaucracy of the NYC Parks Department. Not only that, but you work side by side with a consultant who is getting paid more for part-time work on this two-month project than you make in six months. But he is not giving the PowerPoint presentation you meticulously put together; his extra pay does not constitute a hazard bonus, apparently. So it is just you, standing in front of the projector in an elementary school auditorium that is way too hot, and where nobody can agree on anything except the fact that you have done a terrible job with the project for which you got a master's degree. Or, perhaps, this: you’re the community affairs director for a state assemblyperson, one of the four people who work full time in the tiny district office. Three or four times a week, including most weekends, you have to go to an event to represent the representative who has been doing the same job for close to two decades. It's not looking like there is any path to higher office, either. A lot of people at these events do not even know what the state assembly is and much less who their representative is. But the people who do know are never happy ones. The constituents with the niche interests about some controversial policy get angry at whoever will listen, and there you are. It barely pays the bills but it fills the soul. No disclaimers have to be made at the start of the meeting that: “I’m a for-profit developer but I promise you my company wants the best for the community, and that is what is motivating me here.” The daily grind is more brutal than a Chicago sausage machine but there are few conflicts you must juggle. Quarterly reports focus on the quality of life rather than the quantity of cash. At the end of the day, public service has the potential to make the daily life of people even a little bit better, and what else is there for which to strive?

A Y2 Reflects on Life at BHSEC Shanjana Babar, ‘20 I always thought that my senior year in high school was a long time away, and yet here I am, working on college applications and getting ready to graduate from BHSEC this year. I simply can’t believe that three years of high school have just gone by and that this is my last year here. BHSEC has certainly been a challenging and interesting experience for me; I have learned many things both in class and about myself as a person. From this position I am able to reflect back on the past three years at BHSEC, and any useful insights gleaned. The very first day of ninth grade was a little daunting to me. New people, a new environment, and everything was different than middle school. I was so scared and anxious about making friends and schoolwork. I had heard so many rumors from different people about how hard BHSEC was, how the workload was really difficult to manage and how hard the teachers graded assignments. However, when I went through my first few days of classes nothing seemed as bad as I expected it to be, and in the end everything was okay and I made it through. (Cont’d page 13)


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Volume 17, Issue 1

Y2 Reflection (Cont’d) (From page 12) Classes were, admittedly, challenging for me at first because of the workload, which was a really big transition for me from my middle school. However, as I went through my years at BHSEC I realized that despite the heavy workload, the professors here are very approachable, and everyone is really respectful to one another in class and out. This is how I realized that BHSEC is different from many other schools. It is different than many other schools because professors here actually care about our thoughts and everyone respects each other’s ideas. Additionally, I have learned many skills that will benefit me later in life. One skill I have learned from my past few years at BHSEC is how to manage my time. I have learned that I should not spend too much time on an assignment that should not take me too long to do, and also how to work on my assignments before the deadline so that I can workshop multiple drafts with my professors. Another skill I have learned from my past few years at BHSEC is how to take advantage of the resources available to me, such as the writing center. The writing center has helped me a lot over the past few years at BHSEC, as going into ninth grade I was not a very good writer and the essays we did at Bard were a little hard for me. Going to the writing center and getting help from peer tutors and Ms.Randall helped me a lot.  I have also learned how to be more independent and responsible for my own learning. One thing I regret about my three years is that I wish I was involved in more extracurricular activities at BHSEC. I was on the Science Olympiad team, but I wish had I joined more clubs and activities, both inside and outside of school, during my years here. One piece of advice I have for ninth graders is that yes, BHSEC is challenging, but at the end it will all be worth it, and before you know it you’ll be applying to college. Even when I look back today at all the assignments and projects I did, I can’t believe that I was actually able to do those things. BHSEC is a once in a lifetime experience so make sure that you make it a wonderful experience that you can look back to later in life. I wish everyone the best of luck in the coming years at BHSEC!

JOIN THE YOUNG DUDES! THE BARDVARK Editor-In-Chief, Darya Foroohar, ‘20 Layout Editor, Sinziana Stanciu, ’20 News Editor, Lula Konner, 22 News Editor, Sylvie Goldner, ‘21 Opinions Editor, Jayna Rohslau, ‘22 Digital Editor, Evan Farley, ‘20 Photography Editor, Sinziana Stanciu, ‘20 Illustrations Editor, Alexander Ganias, ‘20 Faculty Advisor, Dr. Mazie

The Bardvark is always looking for new writers, photographers, artists, satirists, cartoonists, and puzzlers!

We meet the first Wednesday of every month in 302! Email bardvark@gmail.com Or check out our awesome website at thebardvark.com

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September 2019  

The Bardvark's first issue of the year!

September 2019  

The Bardvark's first issue of the year!

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