Signs Point to Controversy

Billboards were proposed near Dexter schools to gain additional revenue; board tables discussions

By: Nick LeBlanc and Caden Koenig

To kick off the year, Dexter Community Schools created a proposal to increase revenue for all of its constituent schools. The proposal is for two electronic billboards that would project advertisements.

According to dexterschools.org, the billboards are predicted to generate over $40,000 each year (twenty thousand each). The billboards are planned to be placed on the corner of Shield and Baker Road and on Dexter-Ann Arbor Road, east of the current traffic light. To go along with the two billboards, the proposal also included a request for one pedestrian-actuated warning system — a crosswalk much like the one already on Shield Road, where lights flash to warn passing cars of pedestrians. This would make the trip shorter and safer for students who walk or bike to school. Lastly, the school would get free advertising at anytime on both of the billboards.

If the billboards do become a reality, according to dexterschools.org, every advertisement has to follow Board Policy 9700, which states that there cannot be any advertisements that promote alcohol, drugs, sex, religion, political opinion, violence, or R-rated material.

The reason for the proposal of these signs is that they would help the school district immensely with funding for certain academic necessities that run out near the end of the school year, such as lined paper. In addition, planners have been fading out due to lack of funding, leaving students without the commodity that has been consistently provided at the high school in previous years. Some teachers at the high school have discussed the positive outlook on the billboard project’s ability to provide revenue for the school.

“Wherever the revenue ends up, it will hopefully loosen up money from the general fund for other student-driven initiatives,” DHS math teacher Paige Lumpiesz said.

However, as always, there is opposition to this proposal too. People feel like the light pollution could be annoying, the billboards could be distracting, and some don’t see why the school system can’t just pursue a grant.

Some opposition may be unwarranted, however, because according to the proposal, the billboards have no light effect on any nearby houses due to their low-light nature. The proposal continues by saying neighboring houses with porch lights on will have more of an effect than the billboards. The argument that they may present a distraction is viable. The distraction to drivers is a possible danger because there are constantly new drivers going to and from the high school, and they could grab the attention of experienced drivers too much as well.

As of early March, discussions between concerned citizens and the school board in regards to the new billboards have been pushed back until later in the year.

The Day After

On March 16, 2012, the Dexter community quickly came together to overcome a natural disaster that affected many

By: Nick LeBlanc and Caden Koenig

The peace that preceded the tornado was followed by shock. Dexter’s bubble finally popped.  A community that once stood in silence came together. Adversity was a rare thing for the 4,127 citizens of Dexter to face, as nothing serious has ever happened in the small, peaceful town.

Before the sun rose that day, the streets of each neighborhood were packed with insurance companies, disaster relief companies, and newscasters getting prepared to deliver a story about  a village in southeast Michigan.  News about the tornado reached all over the nation reaching even to Hawaii.

Dexter exemplified a close knit community. Local businesses and restaurants donated food and other goods to the devastated areas. Busch’s played a key role in helping families by donating cases of water and having a cookout that night. To add to this, Mill Creek Middle School and Creekside Intermediate both combined with The Red Cross, and opened up their doors for people who needed a place to stay that night

Gloves, long pants, boots, protective eyewear, tools.  All were used to collectively gear up the people of Dexter.  Adults and kids alike came from all over the district to help the unfortunate families in Huron Farms, Horseshoe Bend, and numerous other businesses and households.  Kids ventured out into the neighborhood to help clean up the possessions of others like drywall, insulation, siding, furniture, roofing shingles, and, sadly, more.  Despite the chaos of the tornado, citizens of Dexter were at their friendliest.  People walked around with food and water for the affected and for the workers.  Businesses, like Busch’s by Huron Farms, opened their pantry to help feed families that lost their ability to fulfill the task of preparing something as basic as food.

The winds that the tornado produced equated to those consistent with an EF3 tornado; easily ripping through the seemingly insignificant village.  Over one hundred houses were hit and thirteen were completely totaled.  In total, the damage took a

In all, while the people may have had different opinions, goals, and lifestyles, in the end the community came together and put aside their differences.  This is because we’re all human and deserve love during times of grief.  By coming together during the tornado the people of Dexter shows why we live by one phrase: Dreadstong.

Pizza, Nosebleeds, Chaos

Then seventh graders, two editors remember how a 5:15 greenish sky distruped the calm, forever impacting their lives

by Caden Koenig and Nick LeBlanc

Caden Koenig:

Remembering back, as a seventh grader all the days seem like a blur. As a seventh grader the experiences of the whole year feel like one memory. This is with the exception of March 15th and the few days that followed it.

The day started as an average Michigan day: 70 degrees and sunny… in March. All morning, the weather was celebrated with T-shirts and shorts. It was a fantastic surprise considering the prior days were 40 degrees at the most.

Now, like I said, most of my memories blur as just being an average day and so was the beginning of this day. In fact, I even remember walking home with friends.

It was about 3:30 pm and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. The day slowly progressed with my friends, and I was likely playing basketball or football outside.

Around 4:30 the clouds quickly started to roll in and the sky got darker and darker.  My parents had ordered Jets pizza for dinner.

We planned to eat on our patio in our backyard. By the time my dad went to get the pizza, 10 minutes later, the Severe Weather Warning Alert blared through the television. Immediately following, the tornado siren from the village started echoing.

At about 5:15, the sky was a green tint, the thunder was loud, the lightning lit up the sky with every strike, and my dad and I were eating Jet’s on the porch. However, this did not last long due to a mix of the uncomfortably high wind speeds, and my mom freaking out about us being outside. So, we rushed to the basement with our candles, flash lights, and pizza due to the power outage.

By 6:00, it was over. The shock set in almost instantly. The roads were flooded. Trees were uprooted. Clothes, rugs, and furniture lay throughout the neighborhood. My family and I sat on our porch for hours unsure what to do.

I had always looked up to my parents when I didn’t know what to do, but at this moment it seemed like nobody knew how to act.  It seemed surreal, not only that night but the days that followed as well.

Nick LeBlanc:

Calm. The sky, the temperature, the people.  All was calm. The birds chirped welcomingly till it became a normality to the ear. The pleasantly curious warm air tiptoed through the trees and reached as the breeze caressed human skin. Kids walked and played as the seductive nature lured kids to embrace the day.

I took my time on the walk home that day.  Fully indulging in the surprising beauty of the day. Even the sight of my colleague, Caden Koenig, leaking blood from his nasal cavity wasn’t enough to take away from the grace of the day. Besides the spontaneous nose bleed and the warm winter day (yes, March 15th is still considered winter), the day was normal.

After my arrival home, things settled down as I waited for my father to return home to take me to baseball practice. That’s when the peace of the day began to change. Seemingly out of nowhere, an overcast of distasteful clouds took to the sky.  The welcomingly chirp of the birds was halted.  Kids went back inside as a brigade of dark clouds approached from the distance.

Being a curious kid, I was constantly checking the sky behind my deck.  As per usual, when a storm was in sight, I made constant, annoying suggestions claiming there was a tornado.  As cliché as it sounds, I was actually right for once.

The wall of wind was in the distance, but since I knew the approximate travel of the storm, I felt the urgency to tell my brother and father. While my brother and I decided the best idea was to run into the basement, my father thought the best idea was to inspect the tornado from up close. After realizing that the cone of wind was indeed a tornado and in our neighborhood, he finally came to the conclusion that maybe he should be in the basement.

We looked out the windows in the basement and all we saw was the gray of the storm. We heard the wind rushing against the house and the hail bombarding the siding. Eventually a tree fell and blocked our view of everything, even the ominous gray color.

The sun came out. It seemed calm again, but after the shock dissipated, it was clear that nothing was calm. My friends and I decided to walk the neighborhood.  Police, people, and the remnants of destroyed houses were a common sight around evry block.

The calm scene that was set earlier was gone. The new scene had rolled in: chaos.

Athletes in the Crowd

A preview of a few spring athletes to watch as well as a look back at the distinguished career of a winter wrestler

By Caden Koenig

Darby Baird:

As a senior captain, Baird expects a solid season coming from the lady Dreadnaughts. “I see my team winning about 75 percent of our games if we take this season seriously,” Baird said. This is her fifth year playing lacrosse and she plans to continue on in college. “I plan on impacting the team by being a captain and making sure we keep our sportsmanship during our games whether or not they are hard or easy.”

Matthew Sinelli:

Entering his final season as a baseball player, senior Matt Sinelli will be an impact player for this upcoming season. Sinelli is a utility player, which is a big key to why he is such a valued player on the team this season. Last year, the baseball team won the SEC and was one of the top 10 teams in the state. Sinelli, being a part of this, is now able to step up as an experienced leader to help continue Dexter baseball’s consistently winning seasons. “We will all have to do our part, but there is no doubt that we can win the SEC again,” he said.

Continue reading “Athletes in the Crowd”

Athletes in the Crowd

An inside look into a few of the varsity athletes playing their sport this winter

By Caden Koenig

Tony Seidl

Starting possibly his last season of basketball that could end a career that started way back in second grade, senior Tony Seidl expects to be a leader on the boys varsity basketball team. “I’d like to impact my team by being a leader, being loud, and talking during the games,” Seidl said. “I am most excited for Chelsea week because it will be two good teams, and the rivalry makes it even more fun.” This year’s team is very experienced with multiple seniors and juniors returning with playing experience. This season’s expectations are to continue Dexter basketball’s winning tradition.

Drew Golin

Coming off a state championship last year, junior Drew Golin and the rest of the men’s swim team fully expect to be in contention for a state title once again. Despite being ill right before states last year, Golin still gained six points for the Dreads and wants to get more this year. “This year, I need to move up from that; I got sick last year so I expect to get more points,” he said. The swim team expects to have another long run that starts with a SEC title and ends with a repeat championship.

Brandon Wright

Brandon Wright is the leading scorer on this year’s hockey team, which currently sports a 2-5 record near the season’s midpoint. As the senior captain, Wright aims to get the underclassmen on the team more involved. “As the captain I try to create a better atmosphere for the younger kids,” he said. Finishing off a full 12-year career of hockey, Wright has multiple goals. “For the team, I expect to at least go .500 this year; a lot of teams are bigger and faster than us, so we have to be smarter. For myself, I need to step up in scoring and help spreading the puck,” he said.

Mckenna Graham

Head Coach Mike Bavineau and assistant coach Lauren Thompson have called upon some younger players to join the girls varsity basketball team this season. One of these underclassmen is sophomore Mckenna Graham. “I am most excited for the season because it will be a good experience to be on varsity,” Graham said. “And it will help us grow and develop for next year.”  Despite losing a heavy senior class, there is optimism for a solid season with the younger team.

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

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.

Hidden Gems: Pieology & KouZina

By Jedidiah Howell and Caden Koenig

Subway, when it first started, became a pioneer for food service when we recognized its impact on ordering food. Subway set the bar for sandwiches, and now we see new people pushing that bar higher. In search of restaurants with a similar serving style, we headed to downtown Ann Arbor. This brought us to Pieology and KouZina.

Pieology

Only hearing about this new pizza place made us curious to how it would work with having a subway style order. Worries arose such as how long will it take? How much food will there actually be? Is it expensive?

Immediately walking into the restaurant some worries left as we scoped out pizzas from different tables on the way to the line. On the wall one menu stands with the best combinations of their pizzas, but they also let you create your own.

Photographer - Jed Howell
Photographer – Jed Howell

Along with the easy ordering process the atmosphere was nice. It was very modern and relaxed resembling a Chipotle-type vibe.

A big aid to the comfortable atmosphere was the customer service. The employees were easy going and well trained. After ordering and paying for our meal the waiting began. The music in the background and the comfortable booths made our five minute wait feel much shorter.

The fresh ingredients gave each bite its own flavorful experience. The only downfall to this pizza was that the eight pieces only lasted us about two minutes. To be fair there were three of us; however, for some it may be small for two people. This could change how the prices resonate.

At the $12 price point, one pizza would make a perfect lunch date or quick snack, but for a full dinner you may consider looking elsewhere.

The pizzas were very tasty, but if you are purchasing multiple pizzas the price starts to add up quickly. The overall restaurant was fantastic and we expect to be back soon. It seems Pieology has mastered the subway-serving style of one of the most beloved foods: pizza.

KouZina

As a fairly new restaurant in the Ann Arbor area, KouZina is relatively unknown, but we expect that to change. The first thing we noticed when we walked into KouZina was the modern, industrial style that occupies the space.

Another profound feature when entering the restaurant was the noise of the blaring music. The music was our only complaint concerning atmosphere. Once we got over the annoyance of the loud techno beats the experience was quite pleasant.

Photographer - Jed Howell
Photographer – Jed Howell

The ordering process began with the choice between a gyro, bowl or salad. We opted for the bowl mainly for sharing purposes. We were then helped down a line with a variety of toppings that we could add to our entrée.

In the end, we had a decent amount of food for under $10. The ordering experience was comparable to that of Chipotle or Subway. Personally, we thought the food was great; however, this was our first experience with greek food. We did find that we had an abundance of rice when comparing toppings.

The service was great as they were very quick allowing us to get in and out of the restaurant in less than twenty minutes. They were also quite friendly and helpful.

Our overall experience was positive, and we would definitely recommend for a lunch or quick dinner out.

The Social Hierarchy of DHS

By Caden Koenig, Joe Ramey & Claire Ward

As new seniors feel entitled to the crown of the school, views on the average day changes every year. This change is meant to fit the mold on how the seniors imagined their final year of high school. So, with this comes the basic rules of Dexter High School’s social hierarchy.

Freshmen:

Wow, congrats! You guys survived your tween years and lives as middle schoolers. You have finally made it to high school.

The next four years are going to be some pretty fantastic years. But since you’re coming into our (Seniors ’17) school, we would like to set some guidelines.

Of course there are some obvious ones that don’t need to be mentioned, but I will name a couple just to get the ball rolling.

First, we would like to talk drinking fountains. They are helpful if you have a water bottle or even need to wet your whistle. But turning the fountain head towards the person so when they push it, not realizing what had been done, get water on their shirt and pants is despicable. Most people spot the prank before it happens, and c’mon, you are in high school now.

Next: the hallways. We have five minutes between each class. This time is great to talk to your friends, get a drink of water (as previously stated), and say hello to your significant other (more to come later). One main common mistake everyone has to adjust to, especially freshmen year, is that blocking the hallway isn’t okay.

Blocking the hallway includes, but is not limited to the following: stopping in the middle of the hallway, creating a long line at the drinking fountain, and sitting outside a classroom that is locked. This is high up there on things you can do to annoy other people at DHS, but there may be one that tops the list.

Public Displays of Affection (PDA). Trust us. We get it. Most of the relationships you experience are short and full of puppy love. Now, everyone has gone through this stage, so we all try to understand and remember. Nevertheless, we also know you can wait until 2:51 PM to have that makeout sesh (session) with your significant other. We all would appreciate it.

As far as the things you can do. As you enter high school you are given a lot more freedoms at school. Teachers start to trust you and you start to get privileges you haven’t experienced at school yet.

For example, nobody dismisses your table for lunch anymore; once you get to the lunch room, you can eat. Believe it or not, this is just the beginning. You have a bigger selection of classes, more extracurricular options, and a wider variety of teachers to help and provide different teaching styles.

Starting high school is a big step in your life. And take it from the seniors writing this article, it goes by super fast. So soak up every fantastic, stressful, boring moment you get in the four years you are about to start.

Sophomores:

The less than notable year that is your freshman semesters of high school are over. You are now a real, functioning facet of our high school that we (and most other high schools nationwide) like to call sophomores. Your days of Earth Science noodle structures and spoonfed criteria are over.

Now that you’ve passed your easy breezy first year of high school, you are no longer the bottom of the totem pole. The Pythagorean theorem is a thing of the past, right? Wrong! Don’t make the mistake of failing to challenge yourself this year. Take advantage of the provided classes that can set you up for success in your dreaded junior year. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is carrying over your lazy tendencies from freshman year to your sophomore year. Don’t be that student.

Along with freshman year tendencies, your actions shall NOT carry over. Your decision to make your mark freshman year is one of (hopefully) deep thought and time. Whether that mark was positive or negative, the same shenanigans you pulled freshman year will not fly. You’re a different person, a year older, and you represent our school. If you do decide to take the route of immaturity, leave it all in the classroom. Another one of the biggest mistakes you can make is taking it to Twitter.

Read a book for God’s sake. Like the ones you (didn’t) read freshman year English. Organize! Keep that backpack clear of all trash. You’ll need the space for the textbooks that you should be carrying around and using to your advantage. There’s no complaining when all of your resources are in front of you. Don’t be that guy who’s too scared to ask Mr. Heuser for help on an essay. He’s like the coolest guy ever. Take your time and ask the questions that need to be answered. After all, you’ll need to know by next year.

Prepare, prepare, prepare. The three things you are called to do your sophomore year. Just as you would prep for a hurricane or other natural disasters of sorts, you are to prep for the coming storm. Your junior year; and that storm is brewing.

“On to the next one” – lyrical genius ‘Jay-Z’

Juniors:

Brace yourselves. This year really will suck. I know, I know, that sounds like the most cliche thing in the world. At the beginning of junior year, things seem okay. They can even seem pretty good. Then all of the sudden you have two papers on Tuesday, a Pre-Calc test Wednesday morning, an APUSH project due Thursday, and a basketball tournament over the weekend. These are usually the times where you find yourself laying face-down in your bed, too overwhelmed to even eat. You don’t want to get to this point, so here are some helpful tips to prevent having a mental breakdown every other hour.

Get a planner, keep the planner on you at all times, and actually use it. Time management is so important when you have what seems like a million assignments. You want to stay ahead as much as you can. When you get an assignment, start working on it the earliest chance you get. Do not put off studying until the night before, and don’t wait until 10 on a Thursday night to start a paper due in class the next day. Do your big assignments the same day you get them, and get as much done as early as possible. You can do that 10-minute vocab assignment at lunch; you can’t write a full essay.

Every spring, juniors prepare for the SAT/ACT. You should too. Take a prep course, review your basic math and reading skills, and actually get a decent amount of sleep the night before. Knowing the material is important. What’s more important, though, is not stressing out about the standardized test too much. Your future really does not count on the SAT. Yes, the SAT is important; however, you can retake it, and once you get to college it won’t mean anything. More and more schools are making the decision to not require SAT/ACT scores as sometimes they aren’t accurate reflections of the student. That being said, you still have to try. Many schools still want to see your score. Just try not to stress yourself out about it too much.

With all the stress, you can’t forget to have some fun. Go to the football and basketball games. Go out to the corn maze. See the school plays. Do what you enjoy doing. This year may be your hardest year academically, but plenty of things can be done to lessen your stress.

But, congratulations! You made it to the upperclassmen years of high school. No longer can people tell you, “you were a freshman last year; you can’t say anything about hating them” or “you’re literally 12” because you aren’t anymore! Just make sure you know where you belong; you aren’t seniors yet. If a senior wriggles in front of you at the game, don’t yell and complain. They don’t care that you’ve been there since 3:30. They’ve been in your place before and have seniority.

This is the year you get to have fun, but not too much fun. You’re finally free of the shackles freshman year places on you and that follow you (aka haunt you) as you complete sophomore year. Concentrate on school work, get stuff done, but don’t let it stress you out to an unmanageable point.

Seniors:

Guys, we made it. We’ve suffered for three years to get to this point, but we’re finally here. This is the year we get to rule the school. Here’s a little advice on how to spend your final year in grade school.

Make the absolute most of it. Go to every football game, every basketball game, dress up on spirit days, go to school plays, go to Homecoming and Prom (especially Homecoming — it can be as much fun as you make it, so make it amazing), build relationships with your teachers, and mend old relationships with classmates. Pretty much do anything you want to do (within reason, and don’t be rude about it either).

This is your last year with the protection of a house to come home to each night, and having all your closest friends around you all the time. You don’t want to wake up on graduation morning and realize you regret how you spent your last year in Dexter. Pretty soon all of us will be spread out around the country, maybe even outside of the country, and will be forced into a world of financial management and all-nighters writing term papers.

Work hard to get where you want to be in the fall of 2017. If that happens to be Stanford, you’d better already have your application essays written (if this is where you want to go, I have no doubt your applications are almost already completely finished and you’ve already had multiple interviews with admission reps). If that happens to be WCC, start getting your application together, because the process can be long. The point is, this is the last year you have before you aren’t guided through life. Now is the time to bust a little ass to give yourself the best opportunity to thrive once next September comes around. Working hard doesn’t stop after acceptance. You can’t just screw around after declaration day. You still have to work to maintain your grades; colleges can always revoke acceptance.

With all this newly found seniority, occasionally check yourself. Just because you’re a senior doesn’t mean it’s cool for you to push around the freshmen, or make fun of them for being confused as to where the fifth floor is. The poor little guys looking like Nemo on the first day, alone in a big open ocean, is just trying to find someone they know. If you see a freshman — or anyone for that matter — looking completely lost or helpless, give them some help. I promise, it won’t bring you down in social status.

This is our last year. We have 278 days from today before we are officially Dexter High School graduates. Whether that number seems large or small to you, it will go faster than you believe. We have 278 days to make the most of. Here’s to us. The only thing left to say is that this year is going to be L17.

Social Norms Of Social Media

The key to improving your social media reputation

By Caden Koenig

When MySpace was released in 2003, it started a craze of social media. Today, MySpace is no more, a mere dinosaur of technology. At first, the new, countless different social networks ran amuck with no rules. The lawlessness lingers to this day. But for the average person, there are some unspoken rules when using the big three (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter); the social norms.

As each social network has become popular, there are now different rules on how to conduct yourself upon these individual networks to blend into the norm.

Double posting, depending on what network, can be a dangerous game.

Let’s start with Instagram. If you have not found out yet, many people are adamant about not posting twice in a day in fear of judgment of another follower’s opinion. This has now evolved into a rule about double posting. Now double posting is few and far between on Instagram unless it comes from one’s spam account (which we’ll will talk about more later). A frequent poster on Instagram will be seen with a new post maybe 3-5 times a week, which is still daring. Maybe the reason is that the post is a photo and not as common as a concise, typed up representation of your thoughts.

Spam accounts are a new fad in the Instagram world that seem to defy these rules. Spam accounts break most social norms because they are the account only a select few are allowed to follow (since most are private) and they are used to post, rant, and even flaunt new apparel. The majority of posts that make it to one’s spam feed are full of photos people consider not good enough for their real Instagram account but good enough to share on social media.

Next is Twitter. There is no judgment placed upon multiple tweets or retweets in a day. Many prefer this to tweeting rarely. This norm does not apply as much to Twitter because a simple tweet does not make as many waves as a picture most likely elaborately filtered and edited before being posted.

As the first norm now hits the last of the big three, Facebook, the rule appears nonexistent. Now that it is common knowledge that parents have taken over Facebook, posts of any sorts in any quantity are welcomed by the caring parents that grasp onto the new technology.

Next, there are the minor rules that, for the most part, go unnoticed or unfollowed. These include following-to-follower ratio, excessive commenting/ retweeting, or the normal posting hours.

Many find the “ratio,” as it is commonly referred to, as not much of a rule, but rather a way to flaunt your status of how cool or interesting others think you are on your social network. Really, this means nothing. Disregard it because anybody who wants followers can get them and you can follow as many people as you want.

Next is excessive commenting or retweeting. It is not necessarily frowned upon to be so active, but the constant retweeting of unnecessary videos or commenting inside jokes you have between the commenter and the poster may agitate a few.

The recommended posting hours are usually somewhere in the afternoon to night time (roughly 2-8 p.m.). Posting sometime in this time period will most likely get you the most likes and activity out of your followers.

Double posting, depending on what network, can be a dangerous game.

No matter the judgment one may receive from being active and posting to entertain all of their followers, this norm trumps all: no politics.

Never, ever, ever should the average person discuss their political views on social media. While some people probably enjoy reading this type of post, trouble always comes from it on all three platforms.

Talking politics leads to arguments between people who would never dare say the things they are posting if they were face to face. Truthfully, and frankly, few people really care. It is your opinion and you stand by it, but all your followers don’t have to have the same opinion. It’s like the old saying that people would tell each other before you could argue about it behind a screen, “Never talk about money, religion, or politics.”

Following these recommendations will boost and most likely improve your social media reputation.