Archive for the ‘Advice’ Category

by Merari Hernandez, 8th Grade Reporter

October 24, 2010, the big day that thousands of eighth graders in New York were waiting for—the second day of the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT), a test that determines one’s acceptance into any of the eight elite high schools in New York City.

A handful of eighth graders from 214X applied and took the test. But of the few, only three proved worthy, and came out victorious. On February 11, the brave eighth graders who took the test received letters containing the words that foretold whether or not they would be attending a specialized high school in September. Reda Bouzidi, Charles Smith and Tyrone Thomas, all students of class 801, were the three who opened the letter to see that they had what it took to compete with the other thousands of diverse eighth graders across New York State who took the test.

“I thought I failed. I guessed on the last twenty questions because the time was limited,” said Bouzidi, who was accepted into the High School for Math, Science, and Engineering at City College.

“After taking the test, I felt anxious. I knew I passed, but I didn’t feel it,” Thomas stated, thinking back to that day in October.

Both Smith and Thomas were accepted into Brooklyn Latin High School, but neither of them will be attending due to distance. Thomas will be attending a private school, St. Raymond’s, and Smith plans to attend an all boy’s school in the Bronx.

While the three of them passed, neither of them even knew about the test’s format nor requirements for specialized high schools until seventh grade. Prior to the SHSAT, Bouzidi planned on attending a private high school and Smith thought he was going to a Catholic high school.

To prepare for the rigorous test, Thomas attended a program, Specialized High School Institute; Bouzidi bought and used Kaplan’s SHSAT Test-Prep book; and, Smith used a SHSAT handbook he received from a teacher.

Girl Talk

Posted: March 13, 2011 in Advice, Girl Talk, Middle School, Students
Tags: ,

Girl Talk is a column that gives feedback and advice to real girls. Questions can be submitted to:, or to the PAZ Office, Room 212A.

Dear Girl Talk:

I sometimes feel alone, and like there is no one who can understand me. My grandmother does not listen to me and tells me that I am just like my mother. I never really knew my mother… and my family only talks about the bad things she did when she was my age. I feel alone and like no one in my family will ever get to know the real me. My friends in school do not know how I feel. I usually pretend to be happy. But, inside I am sad.


Miss. Understood

Dear Miss Understood:

I am sad to hear that you feel lonely and misunderstood.  Maybe your Grandmother does not know how you feel about being compared to your mom, and she may need to hear firsthand from you about your feelings. My advice is to write your feelings in a journal. Imagine the things that you may want to say to your Grandma and share with her the impact… or your feelings after she compares you.

You may want to use an “I statement” when you communicate to her your feelings. For example:

Grandma I feel sad and misunderstood when you compare me to my mother. I would like you to get to know me for who I am, and for you to listen to the way I feel. If you can do this I will feel happy and listened to.

Misunderstood, I have learned that the best way to feel understood and listened to is to start by sharing your feelings and listening to the feelings of others. Have you asked yourself, why is your Grandma is comparing you to your mother? Time to have a talk with Grandma. Don’t forget to write to me and share how things turned out.


Girl Talk

(Advice with a sprinkle of magic.)

Dear TinkerBell:

What do you think about bringing items from home to school?


I ❤ Toys

Dear I ❤ Toys:

Please use good judgment at ALL times.  If you think you shouldn’t bring something to school from home, please DON’T!  Better to be safe than sorry!  You may think it is okay to bring toys to school, but I’m sure your teachers do not appreciate the distraction. Toys are for you to play with when you get home.  Also, if you bring them to school, they can get stolen.

Never, ever bring anything from home that is DANGEROUS! No lighters/matches, sharp objects, weapons, etc.  If you bring any of these things to school, you will find yourself in lots of trouble!

TinkerBell wants you to be Happy and Safe! Xoxoxo!

With a sprinkle of fairy dust,



(Advice with a sprinkle of magic.)

Dear Tinkerbell,

How can we avoid getting into trouble in the bathrooms and by the water fountains in school?

TinkerBell Says:

  1. Make sure you ALWAYS have a pass.
  2. Do not yell, play, or fight in the bathroom or near water fountains.
  3. Remember to be respectful and give everyone a chance to drink water. (Count to five when it is your turn; once you get to five, you’re turn is done.)

Girl Talk is a column that gives feedback and advice to real girls. Questions can be submitted to, or to the PAZ Office, Room 212A.

Dear Girl Talk,

I like 4 boys in my school. And I really like all of them so much. What should I do?


Girl Who Likes 4 Boys

Dear Girl Who Likes 4 Boys,

It sounds to me like you are really in touch with your emotions girl! Liking is a good feeling to have, and in life you may like more than one boy at the same time—This is normal. If I was you, I would take my time and get to know each one of them and then figure out which one you like the most, and who likes you back. You may even find that after getting to know them all, you might not like them as much as you thought. But don’t lose focus of you girl!


Girl Talk

Dear Girl Talk,

What would you do if you were picked on in school?


Sad Girl

Dear Sad Girl,

Chances are that most people in your class have been picked on sometime in their life… and, now you’re experiencing this. First of all, if someone was picking on me, I would tell my teacher, or a family member that I trusted to give me positive advice. Being picked on is a form of bullying and it is not allowed in our school. I would also speak to Ms. Augustine, Mr. Puckering, or Ms. V if it was happening during afterschool; they would refer you to peer mediation. Sad Girl, it is not okay for others to put you down. Many times those who put others down are students who themselves have low self-esteem. Put your head up Sad Girl, talk to an adult you trust, and let those who are picking on you know that you are NOT THE ONE! You are a strong, powerful girl who will no longer take it.

Powerfully Supporting YOU,

Girl Talk