Sunday, November 29, 2015

School Food - Restaurants

Besides food trucks, there's also regular restaurants you can go to.
I would recommend going to these places after school or at least unless you have multiple frees in a row since they are farther than the food trucks.

There is subways, chinese food, pizza, and dunkin donuts.

Near the 4 train subway station, there is subways, chinese food, and pizza !
These are places I usually go after club when I'm too hungry to wait the 2 hour travel time to get some dinner. It's also good to know about these places when you're at school waiting for regents, events like parent teacher conference/college night/etc, and half days!
You can also order chinese food and pizza to the school because the delivery guys know how to get to BxSci ! I have never done it, but I see it all the time. You might have to order a bit early though, so you can get your food in time!

At the Mosholu  train stop (one stop past the Bedford Prk stop on the 4 train), there is Dunkin donuts!

This is legit where I go for coffee and ice cream haa. If you come to school early, you can totally stop by to get some coffee and make it back to school in time. It's about the same walking time/distance to school as it is from Bedford Prk.
If you walk a bit past Dunkin Donuts though, there are actual shops and a Burger King (?? i think - haven't been around since freshman year LOL). It's fun to explore around and see what you're into.

For all these places, I would definitely suggest finding a friend or upperclassman who's willing to go with you because these places shoe which students are in the know and which aren't. It's also definitely helpful if you ever feel the need to get away from school a bit (because you probably will at some point).

School Lunch - Food Trucks

Here's that promised school lunch critique I said I was going to write since day one.

School lunch is the same as every other school. It's the same stuff you get at middle school. cry.

However, Bronx Science luckily has an open campus, so you can go outside and roam around or whatever (as long as you can make it back in time for your next period class).

With this in place, there is a network of food trucks to go to when you don't want reheated leftover "hamburgers" from last week's lunch. To me, there's about four options: Ned's, Michelle's, Jay's, and Tony's. (the trucks go by the names of the owners)

Ned's is my favorite.
It's this green truck closer to the back of the school, near the handball courts. It's a bit far to walk to, but you can trust the food there. The service is friendly and nice! Ned is so chill and doesn't mind some conversation! His helpers are very cool too. There's $1.25 bottled soda LOL. (instead of $2-2.50).
Pro: Friendly and quick service
Con:  Long line. You have to fight for your food! Loudest voice wins (or you just wait until they maybe notice you...)

Jay's has the best breakfast food.
You don't have time make yourself pancakes before school? Don't worry because Jay's has real pancakes to serve! I'm actually amazed how big and toasty their muffins are and the breakfast platters are the best! I think Jay's has real food, but I only go when I'm feeling a "breakfast for lunch" kind of mood. My friend apparently created the diabetes pancake there, where for $7-8 you can get like 7 different types of candy in your pancakes LOL.
Pro: It's the closest truck near the school. It's right out front the entrance.
Con: $$$ it's probably the most expensive out of all the trucks

Tony's halal
I don't eat from here often because it's the farthest from the school. You have to leave pretty early in the lunch period to go and come back. If I ever do get food, I either have a friend get it for me or I go after school. Halal tastes pretty standard, and it feels like real food. Tony isn't the only one who works the food truck. It's pretty much a duo-team, but I don't know them very well. However, they're both super friendlyy and really flamboyant, so I love them!
Pro: Free soda every Wednesdays and Fridays :) [i think this is still a thing? - i don't keep updated tbhh]
Con: you're always going to spend about $5 because there isn't much variety in food choices.

I mention her last because I really don't like her service ;A;. The food is like regular truck food, basically the same as Ned's. However, she is super rude! Michelle is pretty much always angry and grumpy, and she acts like serving you is not worth her time and the hardest thing ever. It's like she didn't know what owning a food truck at a high school meant serving students....
Con: she's ruuuude and i'm pretty sure she has a truck that doesn't meet health requirements

Ice cream truckkks comeeee during the warm season. It's amazing. LOL.

No Regrets

I know I haven't blogged very much on here as I planned to. To be honest, this is about the seventh time I've tried coming up with something to write over the past year or so. It's not that it's hard to write about Bronx Science. It's hard to come up with where to start.

As an incoming freshman, I was super excited about starting out high school that I got distracted from anything else but studying and making new friends. I'm not exactly sure where my sophomore year went. And junior year flew by so quickly.

A large part of being in Bronx Science is trying to manage time between school work, social life, and your hobbies. You get the advantage of being told from the start that these four years of high school is building a profile of who you are to colleges. Of course, you start to freak out and try to do everything. At least, that's what happened for me. I took every AP I possibly could, and even dropped lunch so I could. Somehow, I ended up being vice president of two clubs where I have to somehow manage and entertain 50 people each Wednesday and Thursday. Any free time I have after school would be either for meeting up with my Intel mentor or hanging out with friends. Then at the end of the day, I come home to make food for my three younger siblings, do homework, and pass out. Not always in that order.

I look over to my sister who is in a non-specialized, regular high school just 30 minutes away from our house. She has first period free and wakes up at 8 AM. I come home to see her finish her homework in no time at all, and spends the rest of her evening playing video games and taking naps. Everything about her feels so chill. She didn't even know what an AP class was... It sometimes makes me wonder, why didn't I take this route? I wouldn't have to wake up at 5:30 AM, just to barely get ready in time to make the 6:12 AM bus, so I can get to school super darn early at 7:30 AM (or else take the 6:30 bus and be late to school by 10 minutes...stupid MTA !!). I wouldn't be drowning in homework and I could have more time to focus on hobbies too (like video game and napping haha). My grades wouldn't be drowning either.. lol.

When I take a step back to breathe, I don't regret a single thing.

Not to bash on my sister (i adore her... sometimes), there's a big difference in stories we can share during those family trips to relatives you don't really know. As a senior now (still feeling like a freshy tbh lol), it felt like these years have passed by SO quickly, but I've also done so much. I'm surrounded with people who care about the future and teachers who prepare me for it.

If you come to Bronx Science, you will be told about two things:
It's hell and home.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Bronx Science Life

Woah! I started up this blog in 8th grade after I discovered my high school results, and posted my "secret" of how to get in. Now as a sophomore though, I guess I'll start talking a little bit of what it's actually like to be in!

I'll start off by saying I LOVE BRONX SCIENCE. I don't care about what you hear from other students. This school really is amazing. It's not perfect obviously, since nothing in this world is to be honest. There's going to be those kids who do bad things, the girls who wear short skirts, and the same awful school lunch you know too well from middle school. However, if you look to the other side, you have this ocean variety of incredible friends, an even greater variety of courses available, and the power to decide your future.

I love that power. The way Bronx Science works is so simple. You work hard, and you'll always get rewarded for it. For example, since I get good grades, I get into good classes. I get into good classes, I get great opportunities. Great opportunities leads to greater living. It's like this school sets you on this track, and it's the track that's taking you to the place you've always wanted and dreamed of being at.

For instance, I took the Bronx Science summer courses. It's this really awesome opportunity to take the extra curricular classes like Health and Art over the summer, and open up a class space for something else during the actual school year or to even get yourself a free period. Thus, in Sophomore year (this year), I'm taking two science research classes: computer science and Intel. (To find out more about my Intel experiences, click here). Intel is amazing because I get to work with the co-founder of GirlsDeveolpIt and CTO of the FlatIron School, Sara J. Chipps. I also get to be in a real working environment with the most incredible adults I'll probably ever meet! Most schools don't offer a class like Intel, so I'm really glad I get to be a part of Bronx Science! Computer science is also amazing. I was dabbling in C#, Java, and HTML on my own already, but this class has helped me grow so much! Again, a class that not all schools may offer.

I barely knocked the tip of the ice burg here! Those were just two of my favorite classes. There's so many courses to take.
However, Bronx Science doesn't just hand you these classes simply by asking for them. I had to work hard for it! I don't remember the grade requirements, but I know if your grades aren't high enough, you won't get certain courses (as I've learned when some of my friends didn't get into computer science). As I've learned, generally getting a 90+ avg in each of your classes will allow you to get into any class you want! (Unless it's said that there's a placement tests required). It's not easy, but the effort is so worth it.

Besides the courses, I really love the student body. There's so many kinds of people, it's hard to say "I don't have friends" in this school! As kids are coming from all different boroughs and places, you won't get kids from a certain neighborhood who have a rep. for having a certain style and a specific this or that.

Everyone. Is. Different.
And I love that.

Everyone is serious. Everyone is fun. I don't know how to describe the students without writing another essay here. All I can say is that there's excitement around every corner and in every hallway!!

I like being in Bronx Science. It just feels like every plan I've had for the future has just been set in high-speed motion! I don't want to stop. I won't stop. I really like Bronx Science.

My advice to the 7th and 8th grades trying to get in: TRY YOUR BEST AND BEST OF LUCK!!
But if you don't get in, it's not the end of the world. If you have the determination, you have the ability to succeed just as much as a student in Bronx Science! It's like reading. ]
To be honest, I have the reading pace of like 2 words per minute and another guy may be able to read 20 words per minute. But even if it takes me 4 hours more, I will still finish the same book and know the same knowledge as him!

Monday, April 9, 2012

My Secret to Getting Into Bronx Science

My middle school guidance counselor came walking through the door. In her hand were a stack of white envelopes. It didn’t take a genius to figure out her purpose for interrupting the class; which by the way was Spanish class at the time, so I didn’t mind much. You could feel the tension in the air rise. Everyone was on the edges of their seats, their hearts pounding with expectation. We’ve been waiting since October for this very day, February 29th. Today was the day that would determine the next four years of our lives; the day of our high school results. Before the counselor passed out the envelopes, she gave distinct instructions to not open it until we got home. However, everyone knew that we wouldn’t – no, we couldn’t wait. I mean I knew I didn’t have the will power to at least. As I held that envelope in my hand, I thought back to the summer before; to the time before everything started.

“You know high school isn’t that big of a deal, right?” My dad tried to convince me.

But it was. It is! Everyone told me, high school is just another part of life. They just didn’t understand. High school is more than that. It’s where I’ll be for the next four years of my life; four long years. It’s where I’ll prepare the four years after that; maybe even eight years. High school decides my college. And college decides my career. And my career will decide the rest of my life. It’s one big chain of events. I had to pass the SHSAT. I had to get into a specialized high school!

“Dad, I’m going to get into a specialized high school!” I said with determination.
My dad only started to chuckle, “But do you even know where to start?”

That’s where I was stuck. Several of my friends were going to some sort of tutoring program at the time. It sounded like a good idea. It probably is. But how could I afford that?! It’s true, I’m not exactly poor, and my dad makes a nice amount of money, I suppose. However, I couldn’t have possibly asked for tutoring. It costs too much. I mean there had to be other ways to prepare; other methods of studying! And there is.

“Haha, you’re lucky I’m you dad,” He told me with a cocky smile, “Follow my plan, and you’re sure to get into one of the top schools.”

He told me about his plan with a confidence anyone could believe in. That’s what I loved about my dad. He could say the most brilliant things in such a powerful way that could catch your attention in an instant. (Then again, he could also say the stupidest things in such a way as well). I put all my faith and strength into his plan; having full belief in my dad the whole way through. Well, to be honest, I didn’t have a clue of what to do otherwise.
All throughout middle school, everyone looked down on my intelligence. Nobody believed I could get into even one of the specialized high schools. Everyone laughed when I told them about my desire to make it to one of the 'big' schools. I was determined to prove them wrong. I was determined to do whatever it took to get into a specialized high school!
One problem… I only had one summer to prepare. Although, I was starting to feel the stress, I started the first steps of my dad’s plan. I admit it was difficult. The very first thing I remember him making me do was take one practice test. To be honest, I didn’t get a very high score; I had about half of the questions wrong. I knew I sucked, but I didn’t think I sucked that badly! I started to panic. How the hell was I supposed to become specialized high school worthy in just two months?! There are people who study for years before the actual test, and I actually planned to get ready in two months? I had just about lost all hope. That’s when I thought back to the last few school days before summer began. I told everyone that I would make it to one of the top schools. I didn’t know what I was going to do, but what I did know was that my words were not going to become an empty promise. I couldn’t give up before I barely started!

“It’s always tough in the beginning,” my dad always told me, “But once you get past the first stages, the end result will be well worth the work.”

That first practice test was just to see where I was at. It gave me a good idea of how much I needed to work on; what I need to work on. From the results of my first practice test, my dad evaluated my weaknesses. I was struggling in geometry and linear functions. What I needed to work on most, though, was the speed at which I could solve each problem. For the English section, I recognized that I needed help in the scrambled paragraphs.

The next step in my dad’s “ultimate plan” was to practice problems that I had trouble in; well, problems of everything in general. For English, it’s really hard to say what you should aim for when practicing. Math on the other hand, is a one way street. It’s something you can easily study; giving you almost guaranteed points.
With this, my dad and I decided to drill myself in the math part of the SHSAT. For this, repetition was the key to my success. But what was the best way to practice repetition? That’s when my dad found this ingenious website. And that website would be IXL. I have to give due credit to this website because it might have very well been a crucial factor in getting me into a specialized high school.
IXL is a math-based website that has over 2,000 skills to learn and practice from. It ranges from kindergarten to eighth grade level math. What I love most is that it only costs a membership fee of about $10 dollars a month! I really liked this website because it helped me increase the rate at which I could solve problems. Not only did it increase my speed, but it also helped freshen up on my fundamentals. The SHSAT tests you on some advanced level questions, but it also includes questions you might have learned in elementary school. Though you may know how to solve those elementary questions, the faster you can get through them, the better. IXL helped out a lot in that department. Since the type of questions available has a wide range of levels, I was able to hone my math capabilities.
My dad gave me a list of topics to drill myself on. For the entire first month of the summer vacation, I spent hours each day working on IXL. I mostly worked in the categories I had most trouble in. Once I became skilled in answering those, I began working on increasing my speed of solving other types of math questions; mostly algebra because that seemed to be a major topic on the SHSAT. During this month, I practice about 5,000 to 7,000 math problems each week on IXL.
After honing my math skills, I started to work on the English. I studied transitional words. I practiced different scrambled paragraph questions. Unfortunately, there’s no website that can help you practice English skills like scrambled paragraphs and such. Or at least, I wasn’t able to find one.
The first month of summer vacation seemed to fly by quickly though. Time was running short. The last thing I could do to prepare for the SHSAT was to take simulated tests. I bought a few of those study books for the SHSAT, and each day I took around one to two practice tests. I continued to do so until the very last few days of my summer vacation. This helped me to prepare myself for the actual test. It allowed me to become familiar to the format of the test. It also helped me get used to sitting still for two hours (I don’t know about you, but staying in one place for too long can make me go crazy!).

My entire summer was dedicated to studying. Now that I look at it, my dad’s entire “master plan” can be simplified to three easy steps.
  1. Take one practice tests to evaluate your weaknesses 
  2. Drill yourself in various questions that help strengthen your weak areas and increase your question solving rate. 
  3. Simulate yourself in multiple SHSAT practice test
Going back to the day I received my results, I can't express how happy I was. It was quite hilarious really. They always tell you not to open the envelope until you get home. Ha! As if anyone could wait that long. And being the goody-goody that I am, I didn’t open it. However, since I’m also a smarty-pants, I found a way to bend around that ‘don’t open until you’re home’ rule! I just looked at the back of the envelope, and saw through the paper (Haha. Ingenious, no?). When I tried looking at mine, I saw the “B” and the “R” and the “O”. Since I have like no confidence in myself whatsoever, I didn’t think I could make it into the “second” best (second is such an over rated term) high school. Thus, I thought I got into Brooklyn Technical High school. Not saying there’s anything wrong with Brooklyn Tech. I mean it’s a specialized high school nonetheless, and it respected. I’m just saying Bronx Science is more favorable (hee hee ;D). But then I realized, “Wait! This word is too short be Brooklyn,” so I kept trying to read through my envelope. (I swear, you do not know how badly I wished I had x-ray vision at the moment.) It was Bronx. The paper said Bronx. I was going to Bronx Science! I started freaking out, and kept reading it over and over again. It was crazy. I couldn’t believe it. If I wasn’t in school, I think I might have started crying. The feeling of knowing all your hard work paid off is probably the one of the greatest things a person could ever experience.

“Genius is 1 percent inspiration, and 99 percent perspiration.”