Dreads Joining the Military

These seniors are doing more than going to college classes next year; they’ll be representing Dexter in the armed forces

By Alex Strang

 

The majority of students at DHS upon graduation will attend a four-year college and then either go get further education or enter the civilian workforce. A few seniors from the class of 2017 feel a greater calling. Whether they want free college, a more exciting job, or to serve their country, these three seniors felt a calling to join the military. Continue reading “Dreads Joining the Military”

Rated R

The Dexter community makes an effort to eliminate a harmful word through the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign

By Joe Ramey

 

“I used to use it – the word retard. It was just normal,” explains a Dexter High School student. “It was just a social saying. Older kids said it, so I had some influences.”

When this student used the term retard, he was not only using someone’s disability as a comparative adjective to something else, he was desensitizing the word, allowing for it to become popularized and a working facet of people’s vocabulary.

Continue reading “Rated R”

Remember the 40’s

Dexter icon Louie Ceriani is doing his best to help keep memories of Dexter’s roaring past from being forgotten

By Truman Stovall

People remember Dexter for the tornado and maybe its involvement in the Civil War, but with time turning every recollection of the past hazier every day, it’s important to keep strong memories alive before they’re lost forever.

In the 1940s, Dexter had a population of around 800 people. Despite the downtown area being nearly the same size as it is today, filled with various shops and manufacturing facilities, it still felt cramped. From high school kids walking to the confectionary store to eat burgers, drink Cherry Coke, and listen to jukebox music, to having difficulty finding a parking spot on the weekends as the whole town went bar-hopping between each of the four-or-five locations, it was easy to run into a familiar face.

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Rock ‘n Roll Making Cents

DHS Students enjoyed a concert from Gooding that mixed in financial tips with head-banging music

By Nick Elliott

When senior Brad Larson thinks of rock and roll, many things come to mind: Stage-crawling fans, smashing guitars, roaring crowds, and radical solos. What happens when you switch out the rush smashing guitars to something dull like balancing a checkbook?

On Friday, April 21, the rock and roll band Gooding came to DHS to answer that question for Larson and the rest of the students.

Mixing finance and rock might come off as a rather unattractive combination. Yet Gooding was able to make something that is inherently boring into an interesting experience for more than 150 students who ventured to the CPA to take in the concert.

Starting out with a brief video introduction, the band quickly jumped into the music. Gooding played several songs that got some students to stand up, clap, and sing along to the beat.

“I went to get out of second and third hour, and I was expecting some knockoff, third-rate local band, but I got a pretty well-traveled and respected group that I hadn’t heard of,” junior Connor Povenski said. “It was a really good concert. For such a big-name band to take the time to come to a local high school, that was really important. It really impacted me.”

After the approximately 45-minute concert ended, the majority of the band receded backstage. The lead singer, Gooding, stayed on stage to talk about important financial issues.

No stranger to financial woes, Gooding reflected on his personal financial troubles before talking about money myths and how many of the “rich” people students see on TV are broke and bankrupt.

Growing up, he had no knowledge of money. He came out of high school knowing more about geometry than how to balance a checkbook, and he only learned about a credit score long after he ruined his.

By looked into mistakes he had made, he wanted to use his passion for music to help others avoid the same mistakes.

“As long as you’re willing to work, everyone should have the same shot,” Gooding said.

When Gooding finished sharing his financial expertise, a Q&A session was held. Students in the crowd asked their own questions about finance, eager to hear the replies.

To conclude the event, the band came out and played one last song. Gooding then took time to sign autographs and talked to several students.

Gooding brought music and learning to DHS, but they were not alone in their efforts. Through the charity Funding the Future, the efforts Andrea Duda with Raymond James, and the Michigan Council on Economic Education (MCEE), the tour was made possible.

Financial management teacher Paige Lumpiesz felt Gooding had a “great message about personal finance” that can help people avoid financial “pitfalls.”

Rise Of The Real

Senior McKenna Sgroi focuses on individuality with unique lyrics to pursue his life-long dream of rapping

By: Marissa Rafail

Sitting next to McKenna Sgroi in class, you’d assume he’s like every other student at DHS. When he leaves school and stands in front of the microphone, the real McKenna shines through as he raps to his own music.
The senior dedicates most of his time working towards his long-term goal of becoming an artist and producing music. Recently having released his first studio-produced single “Rise of The Real,” Sgroi is already eagerly working on his next song with an underground artist from Ann Arbor, Eon Zero.
“Making music is a therapy for me,” Sgroi said. “It was the only thing able to shine a little light on a dark situation in my life. Music is what got me through it, and that’s why it means so much to me.”
His love for music dates back to his early childhood. From Eminem to Chris Webby to Dr. Dre, Sgroi grew up with a developing passion for music. At age thirteen, he got into rapping himself. His motive behind making his own music was to create a unique sound that shows who he is as an artist. After a few months of rapping and freestyling by himself, Sgroi took the second step towards making his music more official.
“Two years ago, my cousin said he knew about a studio I could visit, so I went with him and have been going back two-to-three times a month since,” Sgroi said.
Since Sgroi writes his own songs, his inspiration for his music and lyrics can come from anything, including his moods or the music itself. While writing, he makes sure the lyrics are different because he doesn’t want to sound like every other rapper. With the goal of individuality in mind, Sgroi lets the beat of the music help guide his songs.
“Anything can spark ideas for lyrics,” Sgroi said. “I’m always thinking about them, and if I’m in class and think of something, I’ll write it on my hand, paper, or in my notes so I won’t forget them.”
Throughout his journey in the music world, Sgroi met one of his favorite artists, Chris Webby, and talked to him about his passion for music on two different occasions. Meeting one of his idols and talking to him about music only strengthened his passion.
“He was surprised that I rapped at first, but he really just told me not to give up and that even if it’s not good now, it will be,” Sgroi said.
From showing friends his lyrics, to letting them get sneak peeks on upcoming music, Sgroi makes sure his friends know whats going on and leans on them for support.
“For where he is in life, his music is really good,” said Kyle Rook, Sgroi’s close friend. “His lyrics have a really good flow, and he puts a lot of time and thought into them.”
Sgroi plans on continuing to go to the studio in the future and to keep progressing with his lyrics and releasing new music. With long term goals of making money off his music and turning musical production into a profession, Sgroi’s determination and perseverance are helping guide him into the music world and achieve his lifelong dreams.

Memories from Members of DHS

Five years after the Dexter Tornado, two students, a teacher, and an administrator reflect on the how the day has changed their lives

By Megan Sarns and Julia Bell

Having formerly lived in Florida, sophomore Kara Young and her family are used to ominous weather conditions.

“We had hurricane after hurricane near our house,” she said.

So, when a storm started rolling into Dexter on March 15, she didn’t think much of it. The family was actually getting ready to go to church for weekly “Thursday night dinners.”

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ALFK – Black Lives Are (Still) Relevant

The Black Lives Matter movement hasnt gone away.  Nothing will stop it any time soonYou still need to fight.

By Claire Ward

There is a war waged on people of color in this country. Statistically, over 250 black people were killed by police in 2016, and while blacks only make up 13 percent of the US population, almost half of the incarcerated population is black. Institutionalized racism was brought to light during the 2016 Presidential Election, and our current president brings to light the power of racism as a joining force against humankind. African Americans were granted full freedom legally in 1890 under the 13th Amendment, then further protected from legal barriers by President Johnson in 1965. The fight for freedom has been a long one, and it’s no where close to over.

It’s hard to talk about race in a place as white as Dexter. It’s hard to talk about race being a white person with a lot of privilege (if you’re still confused about privilege, send me an email) who hasn’t really had a chance to experience racism firsthand. It’s hard for me to sit here and say black lives are tough when I don’t live one. Sometimes, the hardest things to say are what need to be said the most.

Living in a community like Dexter, we are guarded. Sure, we can read the news and stay caught up on current events, whether nationwide or worldwide, but we don’t experience a lot that others do. Those in a big city have more chances to see violence, racism, and discrimination; the list goes on as the population increases. Yet, at the same time we are almost more exposed to racism than those in big cities. Cities are accepting, filled with people of all genders and races and religions. Here in Dexter, we are divided into the accepting of all, and the accepting of some (with conditions for why you can’t accept certain groups). This division can be felt more strongly due to the size of the school. We split into groups with similar beliefs to us, and a smaller population means these groups seem smaller and smaller.

I have seen blatant racism countless times at DHS. I have seen it in students, in media, in parents. From slurs yelled out in anger, to discrimination from social groups because of the shade of someone’s skin. I have seen racism in Ann Arbor, in East Lansing, in Detroit, and probably every city I have ever been in. Maybe this is because of the groups I’m in, surrounded by white people and very underexposed to different cultures. Maybe it’s because I’ve spent my life working to acknowledge and fight racism, in turn making me more cognizant of the racism, using the privilege I hold to benefit others. Whatever the reason, the fact is it’s still there.

We have a system set up against people of color. Plea bargains are often offered to those who are faced with criminal charges, leading to 97 percent never reaching a trial. Innocent men and women fill penitentiaries simply because they cannot afford $40,000 bail, and may be faced with a longer sentence after going through the court process. It is easier for someone to spend three years in jail (where the government would rather have them) than anywhere else. Many people don’t know that companies like Victoria’s Secret, JCPenney, and Microsoft use prison labor to manufacture goods. Inmates can be paid to do work for less than a dollar, while prisons and the government make an $11 million profit on them. “Non-profit” companies, such as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), lobby politicians to make laws (like the Federal Crime Bill in 1994 that doubled mass incarceration) that make it extremely challenging for the African American population to escape prison. These companies go on to profit off of the prisons.

Black lives are constantly viewed as worth less than white lives. It has been 398 years since the first African was brought to the US in slavery. It has been 155 years since the Emancipation Proclamation. It has been 147 years since the right to vote was granted, but only 52 years since their right to vote was protected by law (which still isn’t guaranteed through voter registration laws). The black population has been fighting constantly, and have never caught a break in their battle for equality.

So next time you go to purchase something from a department store, do a little research and see just who your money is going to. Check yourself before you join in on your friends banter about African American culture, or partake in a peaceful protest against injustice in your community.

Black lives still matter. Just because the mainstream media isn’t telling you that anymore doesn’t mean it isn’t relevant. This fight is far from over, and it’s time we all use our privilege to aid in the resistance.

Being Transgender at DHS

2016 graduate Marcus Maier shares his experiences of coming out as transgender during his senior year at DHS

By Megan Sarns

In our October issue, we published an article about the fight for transgender equity at Dexter High School and efforts to make Dexter Community Schools safer for everyone. In continuation of that piece, Marcus Maier, who graduated from DHS in 2016, wanted to come forward and share his personal story.

“Ever since I was younger, I always told people I wished I was born male,” Maier said. “When people say it’s not a choice, it’s really not a choice. It’s just there.”

Continue reading “Being Transgender at DHS”