Letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

I’m sorry I have taken a couple years off from writing. Maybe if you had a Twitter account or cell phone I could hit you up with my wish list. I know you are always watching, so if you do see this and have a Twitter follow me @DHS_Squaller. Okay, let’s get down to business. Most of the presents I am asking for this year are going to be pretty tough to wrap. I understand that you are a really busy man, but I would really appreciate if you could let me go out with a bang for my last Christmas living at home.

1. This year I have been in a bit of a dry spell; with New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day only a couple months away, I could use a girl. If you are as old as people say you are, then you have kept Mrs. Clause for a while. That’s impressive. Just along with this girl maybe some tips to make it last? (If you have some extra time). Of course, I don’t expect her to be wrapped, so maybe just have her slide into my DMs or something like that.

2. Next, I know I said most of it was going to be hard to wrap, but there are a couple little things I would appreciate if they had a nice bow on them. (I know the other two things that I am asking for are pretty hard, so here are some easy ideas I would love and almost expect to be under the tree when I run down stairs suited up in my onesie). The first thing is a new Mercedes. I know you have the hookup with Mercedes because you’re always in their commercials. Also I think if I walked into my backyard and there was a nice big pool and hot tub combo I would be pretty excited. Finally, the last thing I would take with a bow on it would be a cool-looking jet. I’m not too picky on how big it needs to be. Just make sure my family can fit in it comfortably. I know these are going to be easier for you to get than the other two so just help a brother out; I am only really asking for six things this year, so like, c’mon.

3. Along with everything else, could you go into my PowerSchool and just set all my midterm and final test grades to A’s. I made it through three years of midterms and final tests, so how about this year you come through with spreading some joy. I would be a whole lot more joyful if I didn’t have to take those tests.

4. Lastly, college tuition. As you know, college tuition is expensive. Scholarships help some, but if you could just pay the whole thing, that’d be great. I know this is a pretty easy one; just mail them a check for my tuition bill. You could also just drop it off in my stocking and I could take care of it too.

I know most of these are hard to gift wrap, so you don’t have to wrap them. I mean, I’m 17 now; I don’t need to unwrap them. Just put a bow on anything that you can put a bow on, and for the other stuff you can just make it happen however you want. I know the presents I am asking for are unconventional, but they didn’t make just anybody the big guy in the suit. No, they made you Santa because you get the job done. So, I’m counting on you to pull through with this one.

Yours truly,
Caden Koenig

Thanksgetting

Is Thanksgiving weekend about spending time with family or saving money on gifts?

Black Friday has earned its reputation for bringing all of the crazy people out of their homes for one night. There are two types of people that go out on Black Friday: crazy people and people watchers.
The crazy people mark this day on their calendars as the day they will buy all the items they’ve had their eyes on all year. Within the crazy people there are several different groups.
The first group is the gamers. These are the people setting up camp outside Best Buy hoping to get the new Xbox and walking out bruised and broken inside.
After the gamers, we have the Walmart shoppers. This group is by far the craziest one. This group is made up of determined soccer moms looking to get gifts for their “happy accidents.”
Walmart on Black Friday is not for the weak. These people look like they’re lined up to race for their lives. When the doors open, people are trampled, mace is almost always sprayed by the one mom who doesn’t know when to stop, and every year people walk out of the store disappointed and, in some cases, felons.
Try to put yourself in the shoes of the kid whose mom got hauled out of the store in handcuffs. Probably wouldn’t be the best. Rather than spending Christmas with your whole family, your mom is spending it behind bars because she couldn’t keep her mace in her purse.
I had the chance to interview Seamus McCurren about his Black Friday experiences. McCurren happens to be the unfortunate child of a Black Friday macer.
His mother was dragged out of Walmart in cuffs, after dusting a crowd with mace in hopes to bring an Xbox home to her loving son.
McCurren saw this as an act of selflessness and has developed a Black Friday strategy or “mindset” that can’t fail.  He claims that he is “not afraid to throw a few punches to get to the tip top.”
His techniques, although dirty, have gotten him results.  McCurren was the first shopper to bring home a plasma screen TV in three consecutive years. Instead of spending Thanksgiving with his family, McCurren spends his day getting into “that killer mindset.”
McCurren is a perfect, living example of the downward spiral created by Black Friday. I urge you to avoid this downward spiral at all costs.

Horoscopes

Predicting your near future with the characteristics of your zodiac sign

By: Andy Dolen & Joe Ramey
Aries: As Aries tend to be more on the adventurous side and always full of confidence, it may lead you to find yourself in self-inflicted circumstances in the near future. By the time the next Squall has arrived, you will find a time where you were so involved in your own ego that you missed the LITest DHS Christmas party of the year, costumes and everything. 
TaurusA Taurus is constantly diligent with their work. Although typically generous, they also can be among the most stubborn of people. One day in class, a fellow classmate will kindly approach you to ask to borrow last night’s homework; you, being the Taurus you are, brutally shut them down. The next day, on the rarest of occasions, you forget to do your homework. The only person in the class with who you feel comfortable asking for their homework is the same person who you left hanging the day before. Unsurprisingly, they laugh in your face.
GeminiEveryone loves a Gemini. You are progressive, outgoing, and one of the most popular kids in school.  However, you can and will negate this by the time you’re finished reading this sentence. Geminis often drive themselves into situations that are difficult to get out of. Thinking you’re somewhat invincible, your self-centeredness will cause you to get into a fender bender with an old lady who you were tailgating for driving 20 mph under the speed limit.
CancerCancers are some of the hardest workers when it involves helping others, but when it comes to themself, it’s a different story. Cancers are among the best professional procrastinators. Midterms are coming up soon, but it’s that point when they believe they’re too far way to actually start studying, so they turn their focus elsewhere. Let’s just say, one thing leads to another, and you could be in danger of failing all of your finals.
LeoLeos like to be in the limelight. Although they can be very warm hearted, your  self-centered tendencies have allowed you to dig yourself an imaginary hole that can only be explained as a taste of your own medicine. Specifically, your tendencies will cause you to miss a whole lesson because you were too busy attempting to impress the three girls behind you (with seemingly no positive reaction from them), and you fail a test because of it. Congrats.
VirgoYour critical outlook on most everything in life has caused you to be a person who is constantly in search of friends. Your ideal friends cannot be found because of your compulsive problem of being overly picky and selective. Forcefulness will cause isolation from others, but with the calmness and patience of the Virgo, people will notice your great personality and modesty. Hopefully.
LibraYour constant search for justice and a balanced life within all facets has caused you to try too hard, and in turn, you miss what’s going on around you. You have focused too much on school, and how you can attempt to balance it, and not enough time on a balanced social life.These incessant checkups of everyone else but yourself have caused you to lack self awareness and become a recluse. On the other hand, this search for balance has caused you to do well in school. You speak up about your views in an attempt to create justice between differing demographics or social groups. 
ScorpioYour constant search for information about everyone has caused you to become a bit of a stalker, causing negative connotations to formulate. You have to try and quell your drive to learn more about others, and focus more on what really matters: yourself. This drive has also affected you positively because you don’t stop until you get the correct answers, or at least the answers you want. This helps you academically.
SagittariusYour unparalleled drive to find answers about seemingly meaningless topics has caused you to wander off. Not quite a “meaningless” wander, but one with reason. Confusing, I know, but you will have to take yourself and find your path to newfound success. Whether in school or other activities, stay on your path and do not quit your search for answers.
CapricornYour “know-it-all” tendencies have led you to the believe in your own lies. You were underprepared for your science test and absolutely bombed it. My condolences. Try better next time. These “know-it-all” habits have also lead you to drive your friends away without return. On the bright side, your impeccable managing skills allowed you to produce a solid routine that propels you to academic success more often than not.
AquariusAquarians defy all logic and reason.  They’re not from our world, and on the rare occasion they do decide to visit the rest of us here, their minds are still stuck somewhere we’ve never been nor really care to go. You will find yourself daydreaming in class and absolutely freaking out when the teacher comes and taps you on the shoulder, and incidentally giving them a big shiner.
PiscesPisces are extremely selfless and always willing to help others. However, Pisces find it difficult to say no (which in high school can become a problem). Stacks and stacks of responsibilities and promises build up on your already-packed schedule, and you feel the need to accomplish every one of them or else you will feel guilty. This causes you to become extremely overwhelmed and to begin to fail some of your classes, which is normally very uncommon for you. 

Tech Takeover

DHS students and staff participate in a social experiment that transported them to the pre-smartphone era

By Caden Koenig & Joe Ramey

The era of phones becoming smarter is in the past, the era of phones being substantially smarter than you is now. All of that knowledge, just inside your pocket. Smartphone. A term that has become an everyday word, along with an everyday necessity. These devices are taking over the world, consuming your time along with your life.

The new generation, the “millennials” as they have been labeled, is now starting to assimilate into the real world. This generation was the first people to be around and use technology their whole lives. Whether it was the late 90’s and early 2000’s when camera phones were the rave, growing up with technology has caused them to be the most tech savvy in society today. The necessity to be with their technology is very serious, and most parents and older people do not understand this attachment that people have with their smartphones.

The idea of missing something if you don’t look at your phone every other minute is one of, if not the biggest problems facing teens today within the realm of technology. We were curious. So we put Dexter students and teachers alike to the test to see if they could endure a day without the thing they love most: their smartphones.

“It was actually hard; I didn’t expect it to be,” said Junior Rachel Wittenberg. “It’s not a necessity, but it’s definitely become a big part of my life.” The idea of not having her phone on her all day was a bit unnerving for the junior, and she even said she went looking for her phone a couple of times only to be let down when she remembered she agreed to partake in this social experiment and surrender her phone for a day.

Junior Michael Bergamo had something else to say pertaining to his experience, “It was a strange feeling not having it in my pocket all day,” further exemplifying the idea of your phone being a huge part of your day to day life. He continued by say- ing he actually did receive seven notifications, all of which were from his mom. Needless to say, there were some punishments because of his failure to re- spond. Our condolences to Mrs. Bergamo.

English teacher Zach Lindke also allowed the Squall to apprehend him of his life (phone) for a day. During the interview he had a couple interesting, as well as traumatizing things to say.

“I was so naked without it,” Lindke said when asked if he ever noticed himself going for his phone.

He went on to explain that he created a fake phone from construction paper and used that in place of his actual iPhone. Even going as far as putting a fake text message from his friends asking if he wanted to go get something to eat later, and attaching a rock to the back to make it seem as if the construction paper was the same weight as his phone. A close emulation.

Comical at the least, he then went on to say it was “hard to breathe without it” and sometimes he’d wake up in a panic attack when he couldn’t locate his phone.

“Coincidentally, I don’t think I had any no- tifications at the end of the day,” proving the point that you’re probably not missing as much as you think.

Lindke also went on to explain how he com- pared the lack of a smartphone to a ghost limb. Anomalies along the lines of feeling text vibra- tions that didn’t actually happen or the quiet bellowing of his ringtone when in fact no one was calling him.

Today, smartphones are used to do so much, from buying time with playing games, to taking memorable photographs that when looked back upon revive nostalgia. Last year 68 percent of the world’s population owned smartphones, and that number has only increased since.

To some, it is amazing what this new technol- ogy can do. For others, it is scary how connected we are to everything, but being this connected also has pros. The exchange of information between countries and throughout the world is pretty amazing, and to that we do have to thank technology.

Anticipated Games

BattleField One: Fans of the popular shooter, BattleField, have been kept on their toes since the announcement of the latest edition to the series. Taking place during the first World War, Battlefield One brings back the gritty, battle to the bone feeling that you can’t get playing other shooters. Available on most most major consoles and PC, BattleField One is something to definitely look forward to.

Release Date: October 21, 2016.

“I’m really excited for “For Honor.” I think the combat is very unique.”

-Senior Stone Carignan

Pokémon: Sun & Moon: The new edition to the Pokémon series, Sun and Moon, are some of the most anticipated games of 2016. Taking place in the Alola region, a tropical and exotic area that IGN describes as “Pokémon’s take on Hawaii.” This Pokémon brings a whole new list of exotic Pokémon, along with a twist on the Pokémon we know and love. Available on the Nintendo 3DS, this is going to be a great game.

Release Date: November 18, 2016.

“I’m excited for Pokémon Sun and Moon, but I think they are down grading from Pokémon X and Y.”

-Senior Kitty Walter

NBA 2K17: This game is great for basketball fans stuck inside on a rainy day. In the eighteenth installment of the NBA 2K series, 2K17 promises improvement from its predecessor 2K16. The NBA series is great for people looking to have a good time. There is just something fun about the idea of controlling your sports idols, making insane plays, and bringing your team to the championship. Its also great for a little one on one action with your friends to see who is the best of the best. Available on all major consoles and PC.

Release Date: September 20, 2016.

“I’m really excited for the Star Wars Battlefront: Death Star DLC. Also any more Star Wars games in the future!”

-Junior Reid Snider

Gears of War 4: Do you enjoy fighting hordes of enemies? Using a chainsaw to literally rip your enemies a new one? Well now you can! The new edition to the Gears of War series follows JD Fenix, son of previous main character Marcus Fenix, twenty five years after the events of Gears of War 3. As a new enemy emerges, you and your friends can band together to slice, dice, and shoot your way to victory. Available on Xbox One and Microsoft Windows.

Release Date: October 11, 2016.

WARNING: Game includes intense violent themes.

2016 Apples Almanac

DHS, you’ve tasted and you’ve voted.  Here are apples to pick up the next time you venture to the Cider Mill

By Heather Brouwer and Lisa Zuiderveen

honey_tree

Honey Crisp (8.0)

The rating is very accurate for this apple. Known for its crisp, juicy, and sweet flavor it’s no wonder Honey Crisp is so popular among the masses. Honey Crisp are good for any recipe, sweet or savory. From cheese recipes to caramel desserts, Honey Crisp adds a sweet zing to all of the recipes they are involved with. The aftertaste is a mix between sweet and tart.  Every bite fills your mouth with its juicy sweet combination.

pink_tree

Pink Lady (7.0)

The name Pink Lady is not very accurate for the apple itself. Pink Ladies are a very diverse. Some of them have yellow, red, and a light green skin all mixed together. But even with the confusion of the “pink,”  they are well known for their unique taste. All the diverse colors probably are what makes Pink Ladies have all the great combinations of your favorite apples. If you didn’t know already, many apples are man made. The Pink Lady is a combination of the Golden Delicious and Lady Williams. It surpassed one of its parent apples in ratings (see Golden Delicious below). John Cripps did a good job of making this apple crisp, but it has some sweetness to it with a sharp taste by enhancing it from the parents. If you didn’t recognize the Pink Lady, you may know it by it’s other names: Cripps Pink, Lady in Red, and Rosy Glow.

mac_tree

Macintosh (4.0)

Macintosh apples are small, red, and look deceptively sweet, despite the fact they are horrible snacks.  They only stay crisp for a few days after they are picked, and then they go soft and mushy. Macintosh apples also have very little juice which exponentially adds to their unappealing texture.  Plus, they are more bland than oatmeal without brown sugar.  There is also that awkward aftertaste that makes you wonder why you ate the apple in the first place.  Yet, by taking this apple and cooking it with cinnamon, you magically transform it into something amazing (Think Cinderella before she goes off to the ball).

fuji_tree

Fuji (6.3)

Fujis are typical middle-class apples.  On the apple taste spectrum, Fuji apples are right about in the middle. They aren’t as sweet as a Honeycrisp or as sour as a Granny Smith. They still have some of both components with the sweeter taste being more predominant.  Fujis have a pleasant crispy texture, but they also tend to have a thick skin which can hinder an apple connoisseur’s experience. The aftertaste is sweet, but not unbearable like that of a Paula Red or a MacIntosh. Fujis also have a fairly average appearance: a regular-sized, red and yellow apple. And, just like almost every other apple out there, cooking them in cinnamon makes them so much better.

paula_tree

Paula Red (3.0)

Paula Red shouldn’t even be considered an apple. If anything, it tastes predominantly like a pear. It’s parentage comes from Macintosh, so the hard exterior and interior make sense. There needs to be a name change to make sure no one confuses this with a real apple. Something like apear or pearplle, so everyone knows that what they are about to bite into shouldn’t be considered 100 percent apple.

granny_tree-copy

Granny Smith (5.3)

If you can eat a lemon, then Granny Smith apples are for you.  For most people, Granny Smiths are just too sour. Despite their sour taste, Granny Smith apples are nice and crisp.  Also, their bright green skin is unique for most apples and appealing to the eye. These apples tend to leave behind a slightly tart aftertaste. Aside from eye-watering sourness of Granny Smith apples, these are great for baking into pies at grandma’s house or cooking into apple sauce for a lovely fall snack. Granny Smith apples are also great for caramel apples because the sweetness of the caramel offsets the gut-wrenching bitterness of the apple.

red_tree

Red Delicious (4.0)

There are two types of red delicious: the ones you buy in bulk and the ones you hand pick. Like anything else, red delicious is better hand picked. The ones served in the school cafeteria are disgusting and most likely purchased in bulk. Red Delicious are soft and sweet, which for some is appetizing. For others, the softness is mushy and gag worthy. If they are bruised anywhere, it possibly might be the most disgusting thing you will ever bite into.

golden_tree

Golden Delicious (4.8)

Golden Delicious apples are basically pears.  They taste like pears, they feel like pears, and,sometimes, they can even look like pears.  So, if pears are your thing, pick up a bushel of these next time you swing by the grocery store. When they are fresh, Golden Delicious apples are fairly crisp and don’t leave much of an aftertaste for you to grumble about the rest of the day. However, for many, Golden Delicious apples, and pears, can be exceedingly sweet, and are easily bruised.  Since most Golden Delicious apples in Michigan come from Washington State, you should always be prepared if they’re already bruised when you find them for sale in the cafeteria.

*Ratings of Apples are based off a 64 person taste test

Get to know your DHS Floor Environments

By Joe Ramey & Truman Stovall

First Floor

Bring your sweats and your nice blankie because you will be freezing your bumcheeks off when partaking in classes on, or taking a stroll  through, the first floor of the school. Regardless of the time of year, this floor is notoriously cold, with certain spots being colder than others.

One in paticular is the hallway adjacent to the media center, with windows bordering the walls. This hallway is easily the coldest portion of the bottom floor. With all of the tile flooring, an extra layer of clothing is a necessity. The only exception to this floor is a full lunch room. Vents in the commons allow a concentrated flow of frigid air, usually to one table in particular.

Second Floor

Generally the home of the most thermally acceptable regions you’ll encounter at the school, the second floor is the place to be if you’re looking for a balanced temperature during a stressful school day. Mostly carpetted floors and plenty of windows make for a nice mixture of cool air flow and a comfortable standing temperature.

The second floor has it’s ominous spots though. The infamous cold hallway is the coldest spot in the whole school. An entirly cinderblock and window hallway causes it to be either as cold as it is outside or even colder. Make sure to have an extra layer just in case, depending on the day.

Third Floor

If you end up with a class on this floor in the second half of the day, nothing can save you from becoming a hot, sticky mess. Because the laws thermodynamics as we know them say that heat will travel upward, the collective body heat of every person in the school throughout the day winds up on this floor.

By sixth hour in the spring, this floor essentially becomes Vietnam. Yet some teachers on this floor, with an inconceivable tolerance to heat, refuse to open their windows even on the hottest of days. The air conditioning system is simply not capable of keeping this floor bearable to these suffering students. Just hope you’re not one of them.

Summer Album Reviews: Lil Yachty & Frank Ocean

Lil Yachty fails to impress, while Frank Ocean’s new
album leaves plenty to discuss after a four-year wait

By: Andy Dolen

Summer Songs 2 – Lil Yachty

Lil Yachty, aka Lil Boat, has been buzzing as of late, and it’s mainly due to his collaborations with many big-name rappers such as Chance The Rapper and new hit artist D.R.A.M. When rappers have a glimpse of fame, it’s seen as an opportunity to jump on it, just as Lil Yachty has done with his new mixtape “Summer Songs 2”.

The rapper’s unique tone and verses have had people excited to finally hear an album of his own; however, it was not as hot as expected. Just like Frank Ocean’s new album, Yachty only released his album exclusively to Apple Music.

“For Hot 97” and “All In” are some of the few songs in this album where you can actually listen to the whole song without it being repetitive This is most likely because these are the two songs with the most features from other artists.

Lil Boat’s best songs seem to have a limited amount of lyrics. Listening to Yachty’s kaleidoscopic verses for an entire song become annoying, but when he comes in the middle of a song with a good verse it definitely lights up the track. I’m predicting Lil Yachty remains as mostly a feature rapper with some other big name artists, but may not become his own star for a while. Rating: 2 out of 5.

Blond – Frank Ocean

The visionary artist’s highly anticipated new album was finally released this summer after years of begging and some disappointment by his fans. Four years after Ocean released his best selling album “Channel Orange”, he has decided to show another side of himself and his versatile singing voice.

After listening to Frank Ocean’s new album “Blond”, it was easy to see that Frank was striving for more of a quieter, meditative sound, and it didn’t fail to impress. “Blond” not only shows a sense of the old Frank Ocean, which the world has been waiting to hear for four years, but also shows his true artistic talent, range of vocals, and rhythms in a storytelling-type album.

After years of staying on the down low Frank still decided to keep his music exclusive and initially will only release it to Apple Music subscribers, but this most likely won’t last for long. After this much anticipation, I predict that “Blond” will be in the top three rated albums of summer 2016. Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Latest SPACE Show Was a Success

By George Deljevic

On May 20th, the talented Dexter High School students of the SPACE Club performed in front of a huge audience in the high school CPA.

Acts such as Barry Megler, Stewie Weber, Jake Lamb, Zach Barnes, and singer Kate Emrich redid the hit single “Let it Be.” The talent didn’t stop there, Craig Rafail performed one of his songs and blew the crowd away with his amazing guitar skills.

Continue reading “Latest SPACE Show Was a Success”