VOLUME 4, ISSUE 1 (OCTOBER 2006)

INTRODUCING THE BARD SOUNDING BOARD!

We hereby announce a monthly advice column: the Bard Sounding Board (BSB). Questions can be about anything, from love to school to family problems. You can e-mail your questions to wglovins@bhsec.net (include “BSB” in the subject line) or place them in Dr. Mazie’s mailbox just outside the attendance office (room 222). We will choose a few questions to answer in each month’s issue. All types of questions are welcome and encouraged.

 

 

RABBIT FOOD

Elizabeth Goldfarb ’07

Breaking news: I have discovered an ever-growing population of vegetarians at BHSEC. For these souls, deprived of many nourishing food groups, I have found an answer! Salad is an excellent option for those who desire a lighter meal or something easy to make. Even the Prometheus-hating raw vegans (it means exactly what it appears to) dare not shun this excellent dish.

To start with the incredibly simple, all one needs is tomato, cucumber, and salt. The definition of a salad is very loose, defined as a usually cold dish of vegetables covered with a dressing. Well, if you squeeze a lemon over your salty tomato and cucumber, a salad has been born.

I will now evolve into the higher orders of salad making. Mesclun (aka gourmet salad mix) is a very easy base for most salads, and is available in all supermarkets (yes, the one on Avenue D, too). It contains arugula, frisée, mizuma, oak leaf, radicchio, and sorrel (thanks Cook’s Encyclopedia) among other young leafy greens. You can buy it either loose-leafed or in a sealed bag, but, either way, in remembrance of the dangerous spinach, I recommend washing. I must entreat all who read this article to NOT use iceberg lettuce! You may inquire as to the root of my vehemence. Iceberg lettuce is empty calories. There is no nutritional value.

To this base, you may add: tomatoes (sliced, wedged, or you can use the cherry kind), cucumbers (I recommend kirbys, they’re petite), carrots, and celery. Non vegetable options include mushrooms (usually remove the stem part; the flavor is rather woody), and cheese.

The cheese brings ton mind of a high-end ensalada that I had when I was in Spain. Fruit may not commonly be paired with vegetables, but it makes an excellent combination. The concoction to which I refer involved mesclun, raspberries, and goat cheese with a light vinaigrette. Feta cheese also works well in salad, so does parmesan (shaven, not shredded). For those vegetarians who need sources of protein, tofu is an excellent addition.

I used to be enamoured of the Creamy Ranch dressing, but I later realized that I could make my own that tastes just as good. The dressing (I say this running the risk of sounding ridiculous) defines the salad. If you buy Japanese dressing, the salad will taste like something from a sushi restaurant, no matter what’s in it.

The easiest homemade dressing is along the French proportions: 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar. Balsamic vinegar is the strongest, while rice wine vinegar is much more mild—use at your own discretion. Dressings can contain any number of oddities beyond this, from mustard to maple syrup. It’s worth experimenting with, and I’d recommend salting your veggies before adding the dressing (unless salt is an ingredient).

This is my third year without a lunch period that matches my natural hunger. Third! As a follow-up to my article of yesteryear with foods to eat in class, I submit these salads. The most important thing is to keep the dressing separate, and in a sealed container. If you don’t, the salad will wilt. The leafiness itself can be stored in a tupperware. Also, resist the urge to add meat or fish, as these will not keep unless you have a thermal lunchbox, and I don’t know why you would inflict that on yourself.

Welcome back to BHSEC for a year of learning and eating! All comments, suggestions, and assignments covered in vinegar to be sent to the editors.

 

 

“THE LAST KISS”: DIRECTED BY TONY GOLDWYN

Olivia Bernard ’07

“The Last Kiss” is composed of themes that have been recycled over and over again by various authors, filmmakers and songwriters. A young man nearing thirty, in this case named Michael (Zach Braff), is having trouble with the idea of settling down. His girlfriend, Jenna (Jacinda Barrett), is pregnant and ready to marry him. He, on the other hand, is ambivalent because marriage is very “final”. Hence, instead of embracing his predictable, yet comfortable life, he has an affair with a carefree college student (Rachel Bilson) and spends the majority of the movie trying to rectify his mistake.

While all of the actors play their roles reasonably well, Tom Wilkenson, and Blythe Danner are, undeniably, the pros of the film. They are Jenna’s married parents who have been together for thirty years and lost both surprise and passion in their relationship, to put it simply. In all honesty, I would have preferred to see a movie focused around their story rather than Michael and Jenna’s; it would feel much more mature and less whiney.

One thing that can always be said about Zach Braff, however, is that he has an unfailingly good taste in music. Most of the songs on the soundtrack are not only catchy, but contain lyrics that speak directly to the story and the characters of the film. For instance, the line “What have I become/ truth is nothing yet/ a simple mistake starts the hardest time,” from Snow Patrol’s “Chocolate” seems to be especially prevalent in the film. It is appealing to see excellent, previously lesser-known musicians getting featured on the big screen. Given the popularity of the “Garden State” soundtrack, we can presume that if a band has Zach Braff’s stamp of approval it will be playing on everyone’s iPods.

The movie definitely has some interesting points to get across, such as the fact that humans generally lead predictable lives, and, to many people, it’s scary to think that the rest of life is “planned out”. But the ideas don’t feel fleshed out or adequately explored. In addition, Paul Haggis’ script contained an excessive amount of clichés or didn’t sound like anything that someone would actually say.

I went into the latest Braff film with incredibly high expectations, the sort that are nearly impossible to exceed, and “The Last Kiss” didn’t even come close. I really wanted to like it, but I left the theater feeling unmoved. The sad thing is that this film had a lot of potential; here, the director has a collection of immensely talented actors, good music, and some honest things to say but doesn’t manage to put a developed film together. Maybe after a few extra months at the drawing board “The Last Kiss” could be worth ten dollars, but currently, it is barely worth the three bucks one could spend renting it.

 

 

A MORE PERFECT WORKSHOP

Will Glovinsky ’08

Something was different with this year’s Writing and Thinking. Past workshops carried the aura of mass force-feedings of cornerstone liberal arts philosophy in which second and third helpings were compulsory. It always seemed that the ‘Anthology’ would be more suitably labeled the ‘Canon’ in which the single greatest annual variation was the color.

But this year college students were in for a surprise. Instead of opening the packet and reading Patricia Hampl’s “Memory and Imagination” and J. Robert Lennon’s “Three Pieces for the Left Hand” with their olive skinned nuns and poetic policemen, they were set to work with Chapman’s Homer, Christopher Logue’s “War Music” and other texts pertaining to the Iliad. Yes, something was definitely different — and better.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate “Memory and Imagination” — I heartily agree that we choose what to remember and how to do so. But we can read Hampl’s essay only so many times before every word is permanently etched in our brains, nullifying her claim that all memory is subjective.

In past years many 10th graders and college students groaned at the monotony of Writing and Thinking. Both Bard College and Simon’s Rock only require incoming freshmen to Write and Think, so one can imagine how four years of workshop could provoke more snores than insights. One student who spoke anonymously remarked that past workshops were “boring and repetitive” but were better than immediately starting classes.

College students interviewed about this year’s workshop generally agreed that the new Anthology was superior to its predecessors. “I like the idea of applying what we’ve learned in Writing and Thinking to the books we’ve read,” said Jackson Lynch, Year 1.

Zoe Noyes, Year 1, said that she thought that this year’s Anthology was an improvement because of its stimulating pieces. She said that she “really liked The Shield of Achilles,” a poem by W. H. Auden but thought that the trip to the firefighters memorial was not very enjoyable or interesting. She also noted that she had not “talked about the Iliad at all in Seminar so it was good to discuss it in workshop.”

(Curiously — or perhaps not so curiously — several students specifically expressed relief that Sandra Cisneros’ My Name was not included in the new Anthology. It was this excerpt that often led to the infamous and often parodied question: What color is your name?)

One would presume that the ultimate objective of Writing and Thinking is to apply methods learned in workshop to other texts beyond essays and short stories, so it is fitting that college students, who have already spent two (or three) sessions refining their believing and doubting skills, now have the opportunity to examine Homer with these lenses. Of course, we are far from Writing and Thinking Nirvana (disclaimer: I did not coin this phrase, but I like it). The next logical steps would be to crack down on repetition in the anthology for high school students and ensure that Writing and Thinking groups stay intact through the first two years to further decrease rereadings. Although we are following a time tested template set by Bard and Simon’s Rock, we should not be afraid to stray from the formula to alter Writing and Thinking for our own purposes. It is more important that workshop be engaging to students rather than adherent to tradition.

 

 

THE WHO AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN

Meagan Chen ’07

The Who are still alive, despite the deaths of John Entwistle and Keith Moon. This was ultimately proven during the first of two shows at Madison Square Garden on September 18th. Touring with The Who this time around are Ringo Starr’s son, Zak Starky on drums, Pete Townshend’s brother, Simon Townshend on rhythm guitar, and keyboardist John Bundrick.

The opener, Peeping Tom, frustrated the audience to say the least. With their awful rap-metal performance they didn’t seem to pay much attention to the core demographic – late 40s through late 50’s. Throughout their set, I was wondering whose decision it was to have this band, of all the bands in the world, open up for The Who, and afterward I needed to assure my father that no music of that sort would be playing on my iPod any time soon.

The Who started off with “I Can’t Explain”, surprising myself, my father, and almost everyone else, who thought that they would open with a more widely known song like “My Generation”, or even “The Kids are Alright” (which they didn’t play at all).

To accompany all the songs that The Who played from their “old” albums, there were films projected onto the background showing notable moments from the 60’s and 70′. The films were extremely distracting and took a lot from the experience of seeing the band. I would have been content just being in their presence with strobe lights behind them.

The sound wasn’t especially great, as a lot of the guitar riffs and chords sounded like blobs of music, but from where I sat the vocals could be heard almost crystal clearly.

On every big single that The Who had released (“My Generation”, “Baba O’Riley”, “Who Are You”, “Won’t Get Fooled Again”, “You Better You Bet”, etc.), there was not one person in Madison Square Garden still sitting. Everyone knew the words, including the child of about 5 or 6 years old sitting a few rows away from me.

To much personal displeasure, The Who didn’t play any songs off of “Quadrophenia”, and only “My Generation” from the album of the same name. However, they played a fair amount of new songs mixed in with their older ones, the notables being Townshend’s “Stockholm Syndrome” and a mini-opera, titled “Wire & Glass”.

But by the end of the night, The Who had succeeded in living up to their legend. Just as they did in their halcyon years, Roger Daltry swung his microphone and Pete Townshend windmilled his arm around the guitar. Their encore, from the rock opera “Tommy”, was “See Me Feel Me”. The band did not disappoint.

The Who’s upcoming album is due out in October and is titled “Endless Wire”.

 

 

(SOME OF THE) BEST ALBUMS OF SUMMER ‘06

Sarah Marlow ’08

The Avalanche: Outtakes and Extras from the Illinois Album– Sufjan Stevens

After the success of his 2005 album, Illinois, Sufjan Stevens decided to return to the studio and finish off some tracks that had been abandoned. The final product, The Avalanche: Outtakes and Extras from the Illinois Album is nothing short of amazing.

In typical Sufjan fashion, most of the songs are of the folksy-melodic genre. However, some have a more techno-pop ala The Postal Service feel, reminiscent of his 2001 album The Year of the Rabbit. Another trend that is consistent with Stevens’ other work is the presence of religious references: he makes countless references to priests and sermons throughout the album.

For history buffs out there, Stevens references many formerly famous residents of Illinois who are not your average song subjects. For example, “Adlai Stevenson” is an ode to its namesake, governor of Illinois and two time Presidential candidate. As a fun (or not fun) fact, the song discusses an incident in which a young Stevenson shot a playmate: “Evidence, evidence/ I’ve heard of it/and what is the answer?”

Other notable features of The Avalanche are the three different remixes of one of the best tracks off Illinois, “Chicago.” You may have heard it recently in Little Miss Sunshine. Regardless, the acoustic, adult contemporary easy listening and “multiple personality disorder” remixes are well worth a listen.

Even if this album is just a very successful procrastination of the next 50 States album (The Avalanche is Sufjan Steven’s most successful work to date—it reached 71 on the Billboard Top 200 and 6 on the U.S. Digital Charts), or “shamelessly compiled” for its commercial value, it’s still worth a listen. In fact, you should listen to it. Even if you don’t like it, you will learn some invaluable facts about the great state of Illinois.

News and Tributes- The Futureheads

The Futureheads’ News and Tributes is the British quartet’s second album, with which they have successfully managed to maneuver around the notorious “sophomore slump.” However, in doing so they have completely redefined their sound. Gone are the Futureheads of their eponymous debut album of uncoordinated screams and rough recordings. The new Futureheads are not exactly prim and proper, but they are definitely more polished. And this is not necessarily a bad thing.

According to various sources, “News and Tributes,” refers to the British Airways crash in 1958 that killed eight of “Busby’s Babes,” young Manchester United football stars. The title track (which is one of the best on the album) epitomizes the anguish of waiting for the “news and tributes [that] come leaking in,” an anticipation to which we can all relate to this day. In a sense, the whole album is about those news and tributes. For instance, “Back to the Sea,” seems to be about moving on and not wanting to look back to old times.  Another tribute of sorts is “Skip to the End,” which brings back the old Futureheads, with their discombobulated guitars and nonsensical bridges.

The Futureheads’ progression over the past two years is astounding. For their sake and ours, I am very happy that these four didn’t burn out in their prime like Busby’s Babes; that would’ve been tragic. Appreciate football. Appreciate life. Appreciate the Futureheads. Listen to this album.

Return to Cookie Mountain- TV on the Radio

New Yorkers TV on the Radio have created yet another gem with their third full-length release, Return to Cookie Mountain.

For a majority of the tracks, the band returns to their soul roots rather than the R & B/ rock combo that held a majority of Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes. This change is definitely welcome, as they manage to tone down these other influences without barring them completely. Generally, Return to Cookie Mountain is much easier to listen to than TV’s previous albums; I’m not sure if this is a ploy to make their sound more appealing to the public or not. If it is, it should be very effective.

One notable track is “I Was a Lover,” which is a very strong opening track with underlying anti-war sentiments (“I was a lover before this war…”) but also holds traces of life unfulfilled (“We’re just busy tempting/like fate’s on the nod/ running on empty, bourbon and god”).

It’s quite surprising that TV on the Radio haven’t been more successful, especially given the recent (and well deserved) frenzy about Gnarls Barkley. TV on the Radio pioneered their eclectic, mixed-genre, inscrutable work before Gnarls was a glint in Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse’s eyes. I think that Return to Cookie Mountain might just be the album that propels TV on the Radio to the cult-like status of Gnarls Barkley. Of course this may be an outrageous prediction, but does that make me crazy?

 

 

SPRUCING UP 525 EAST HOUSTON ST.: BHSEC GETS NEW LOOK

Michele Lee ’08

We have all seen it around the school: the blue poles, the scaffolding and the shroud encompassing almost every inch of the building. The reconstruction in and around our school began in June and is continuing outside school hours. But what exactly is going on?

One of the more noticeable improvements is in the auditorium. The original 1913 chairs have been removed (some were auctioned off last year) and replaced with free-standing plastic chairs. Hardwood floors have been installed and are waiting to be uncovered; a new sound and lighting system is in the works as well. Upon completion of this project, the auditorium will be used for dance classes, theater classes and other functions that require ample floor space.

Beyond the auditorium, the renovation will include all of the rooms ending in -02, the exterior of our building and the bathrooms — which means that the girls’ restrooms will finally be rid of the puddles of putrid water. On the facade, workers are taking off the multiple layers of paint that have accumulated over the decades.

Outside of the rooms whose numbers end in -02 (i.e. the music room next to the girls’ bathroom) new supports are being added for an elevator shaft. The elevator will help disabled students and expedite deliveries. Predictably, it will not be available to the general student body or faculty.

One project that the renovation does not include is the addition of any structure on the roof. While there have been some rumors about such a structure, Ms. Sawick clarified the matter in an interview, saying that a gym on the roof has not been discussed thoroughly by the administration and will not be built anytime soon.

She said construction has gone very smoothly, albeit more slowly now that school is in session and working hours are confined to weekends, early mornings and nights. One incident did occur on September 21st, when an office was covered in a half-inch of dust. (The explanation is that contractors drilling one morning churned up large amounts of dirt particles which were sucked in by air conditioners.)

Ms. Sawick has said that BHSEC is paying for some of the work with a $500,000 donation from former Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields for Innovative Education Program, which was awarded at the 2005 graduation.

Ms. Sawick said that the reconstruction will optimistically end by December. Those familiar with construction know how these projects tend to lag behind schedule, but we can certainly hope that by winter the construction will be done and our school will no longer look like it is undergoing asbestos decontamination.

 

 

LETTER FROM THE NEWSPAPER ADVISOR

Dr. Steven Mazie

Welcome to the inaugural issue of the BHSEC newspaper for the 2006-2007 school year! Thanks for reading.

Some changes are in the works this year. After publishing under the same banner for five years, we are continuing the good work previously overseen by Mr. Gelber but retreating from the dull vista of “The Horizon.” We haven’t been able to agree on a new name — the alliterative “BHSEC Bugle” and “BHSEC Bullhorn” both drew mixed reactions from the editorial board — so we throw the question open to you.

If you have a proposal for our name, please email it by Wednesday, October 18 to mchen@bhsec.net. The author of the winning entry will win a specially selected prize.

We hope your input won’t be limited to ideas for our name. We’d like to make the BHSEC newspaper a true forum for students and faculty alike to discuss the ins and outs of scholarly, extracurricular, athletic, artistic and cultural life at Bard. Toward this end we will be publishing polls and surveys probing public opinion in the halls of 525 East Houston and focusing more of our attention on “local” issues with news stories and opinion columns that probe the reality of life in and around our early college. We will also be launching a regular feature in which staff writers will respond to student questions. Finally, we would love to expand our Letters to the Editor section. We will try to provoke you into sending us mail. Letters may be addressed to wglovins@bhsec.net.

In this first issue, you will find a report on the myriad changes being made to our building, a review of the Writing and Thinking Workshop 2006, a profile of Dr. Arturo Hale (our new physics professor), an essay on the experience of students who hold part-time jobs, an interview with a formerly home-schooled 10th grader, and a few album reviews — among other stories. In next month’s issue and those to come, you can expect:

– a feature on the international students attending our school this year

– a story on the BHSEC Academy, a summer program for middle school students

– an analysis of “family dynasties” in the halls of BHSEC

– what the new 9th grade class thinks of the BHSEC experience

We invite you to read, to respond, and to take part in the vitality of the free student press. With the excitement generated by the Club Fair last week, we look forward to giving more BHSEC students from all grades the opportunity to participate in this project. All interested students should attend the next meeting on Tuesday, October 10 at 3:20. We meet in the library.

Happy reading!

 

 

ONCE HOME-SCHOOLED, NOW AT HOME AT BHSEC

Melanie Steinhardt ’09

Meet Molly Roybal-Goch, a new tenth grader transferring not from a poor high school, or an institution in another state, but straight from her own home in New York City. She’s a typical high school student, with long dark hair (bangs trendily dyed green) and tons of Sharpies hanging from her messenger bag. But Molly is different: she has been educated at home since she was five.

Molly’s parents decided to home-school her because they were disappointed with the quality of all the public elementary schools in her area. Private school was not an option. But Molly decided to switch into a real school when she found something missing in her life. “I lacked the feeling of permanence. I felt like I was being cheated out of the real teenage experience. It was like having only a bite of food when you really want the whole meal.” So she applied to Bard, was accepted, and is now one of us.

“When I was homeschooled,” Molly says, “I was told that I was so smart all the time. But all I thought was ‘Put me in the real world and I’ll crash and burn.’” Fortunately, this prediction did not come to pass. Molly thrived from her first day at BHSEC, penning stunning prose in Writing and Thinking Workshop and fitting right in. She’s “pleasantly challenged” by the top math class, is extremely happy with chemistry, and enjoys the chance to try out different tongues in her Introduction to Language course. “I love the feeling of a real standard and permanence,” she says. “I’ve grown a family here already, and if I have a teacher I don’t like, I feel good that I can deal with them because I have them the rest of the semester whether I like it or not. This might sound like a bad thing, but I love it. I really love it.”

But Molly’s life has changed drastically with BHSEC social scene. She talks about how her parents didn’t want her to become a loner, so they started her in many extracurricular activities at a young age. She’s always had fifteen or twenty friends, a good group considering she was never placed in an environment filled with children her own age. “I was used to making friends with anyone who was there,” Molly explains. “I never had this chance to pick and choose my friend. I never had so many options. I also realized once I got here how many people I’m not compatible with.”

She also notes something that most of us take for granted: “Now I see my friends every day, as compared to the twice or three times a week I would see them when I was home-schooled. They get to see a lot more of my personality, and notice if I’m in a bad mood, something I’m not really used to. It changes the whole dynamic of the friendship.”

Molly’s biggest shift in lifestyle is explained in four easy words “Less sleep, more coffee.” Since that’s basically the motto of the average BHSEC student, Molly fits in perfectly. She also says that her time management skills have greatly improved since she got here; since there’s so much work she’s forced to plan out her time more efficiently. She uses the BHSEC planner and is completely happy with her new life at Bard.

 

 

WORK/STUDY: WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER GETTING A JOB

Chloe Steinhoff-Smith ’07

No successful BHSEC student is a stranger to hard work. We all know what it’s like to make sacrifices in our social lives in order to compensate for our rigorous academic ones. When we reach the early college program and college applications loom ever-closer, it becomes even more crucial to maintain at least an acceptable GPA, and we are encouraged to fit in a few extracurriculars as well; colleges apparently appreciate them. However, our dedication to academics does not liberate us from the facts of our circumstances. Along with several after school clubs and homework from a full course load, some students are brave enough to take on a part-time job.

Legally, students under the age of 18 can work up to 28 hours a week. A study conducted by the University of Minnesota in 2003 shows that students who work 20 hours a week or less gain increased confidence, improve their time management skills, and perform better in school– now and in the future. But is it the same for BHSEC students? Can we really sacrifice an afternoon, half a Saturday and an entire Sunday without damaging our precious GPAs? Can we stay sane with even less time to spend with our friends? How much money can we really make, and is it worth it?

A sales associate at the trendy clothing and bag chain, Brooklyn Industries, makes $11 an hour. Part time employees who are still in high school usually work somewhere between 15 and 20 hours a week, which usually means an afternoon during the week, half a Saturday, and a full day on Sunday. At this rate, a student could save approximately $6,700 by the end of June if she doesn’t spend a single cent or take any vacations. This is more than enough to pay for the little luxuries which some parents are unwilling or unable to give their kids. “That doesn’t sound too bad,” says a Year 1, who doesn’t have a job. “What would you be doing then anyway? Probably nothing. You’d probably be sitting around with your friends debating whether or not to do something that would probably turn out to be stupid, and you wouldn’t be making any money.”

“I actually got a job to make my senior year a little better,” says one BHSEC alumnus who worked as a waitress during her senior year at BHSEC. “My family has always been careful with money, but when I got a job, if there was something I really wanted that cost more than my parents were willing to spend, I can use the money I made from work and they can’t say anything about it because it’s mine.” When asked about the constrictions on her time, she commented, “I thought it was going to be really hard, but I actually remember feeling like I had more time. I finally learned how to budget it, and I found my self sitting around and watching TV a lot less. I guess it felt like more because every minute is spent doing something productive.”

While it may seem like too much for the already overworked BHSEC student to take on a part time job as well, it seems that 15-20 hours of extra work every week won’t necessarily cripple us. In fact, it can provide a sense of financial and physical independence that can provide a valuable foundation for the future. Filling idle time with hard work may seem like an antiquated ideal, but the extra cash as well as newfound freedom can be very rewarding.

 

 

PROFESSOR PROFILE – DR. ARTURO HALE

Zane Smith ’08

This year BHSEC welcomes Arturo Hale to the science faculty. Some might know Dr. Hale from his co-teaching last year with Ms. Gamper and Dr. Berenson. He will teach physics to Year 1 and Year 2 students.

Dr. Hale grew up in Mexico City. He attended private school before entering college and says he was “lucky that [he] went to a very good school.” The classes were made up of 40 students, which to spoiled BHSECers seems impersonally large, but to Dr. Hale “it seemed normal.” The school was “not very interactive, in the sense that the teacher talked and the students took notes.” Every day “teachers would ask someone at random to explain what they did in the last class and that was part of your participation grade. It was what you call in education, ‘direct teaching’.”

Because he attended an accelerated high school, Dr. Hale found himself ahead of his peers when he began college in Mexico City at El Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana. “I took physics in 9th and 10th grade and by the time I reached 12th grade I was learning Calculus-based physics. I even revisited my 12th grade organic chemistry class in my second year of college.” Dr. Hale was always interested in the sciences, specifically chemistry and physics. “Unfortunately when I learned biology it was not taught in a scientific way. Basically, it was just memorization. There was no intellectual challenge.”

Dr. Hale came to the United States in 1983 to attend graduate school. He studied in Minneapolis at the University of Minnesota, where he earned his doctorate in chemical engineering. How did he make his way from the Midwest to BHSEC? There was a lot of chance and a lot of luck involved, he said.

Dr. Hale is currently attending Teacher’s College at Columbia University to get his masters in education. As part of the student teaching program, Dr. Hale “visited many highly rated schools like BHSEC, Millennium High School, School of the Future — I can’t remember the rest, but those are the three that stood out to me in terms of the quality of teaching. After the three I like this one the best because of the diversity of the student body. I am a strong supporter of public education and I know that BHSEC’s diverse student body is not by chance; the admissions office works very hard to bring diversity to BHSEC.” Dr. Hale also enjoyed his assistant teaching in the science department last year. “One thing I like,” said Dr. Hale, “is that all the students are down to earth.”

Dr. Hale goes beyond opening himself up to the classroom and lets the students open themselves to him. “My own philosophy is to let the students learn on their own as much as possible.” He admits that it can get tougher in certain subjects, especially Physics with Calculus. Because it is a complex subject and time is a factor there will be a balance of slow classes and fast ones. “When we get to the subject of Optics and Sound I want to have experiments where students actually discover something on their own.”

Although he is new to the school, Dr. Hale’s educational background and teaching philosophy appear to make him a perfect fit for the BHSEC community.

 
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