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.

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.

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.

New Extended School Year

Michigan public schools feel students need more days in the school year. 
By Joe Ramey

Next year, Dexter High School, along with every other public school in Michigan will be implementing an extended school year.  

A five-day extension to the end of the school year will meet the state requirement for hours in school a year.

A state law saying public schools are not allowed to start before Labor Day has hindered the possibility of keeping the last day of school a consistent date.

Continue reading “New Extended School Year”

A Helping Hand

A new link class where students assist other students will arrive a DHS next fall
By Joe Ramey

An all-in-one class is hard to find nowadays. A class that provides help for both sets of students, help for others, training, performing and of course counts as a class credit.

This class was created with the intent to provide a possible moral boost and a morale builder, and has the possibility to provide multiple advantages reasons to join for all parties.

The class is Peer to Peer, a class where a student follows around another Dexter High School student with special needs for one class period. They will help them with all of their needs including physical, social and mental. The students taking the class are their mentor for the hour and guide them on the right path with whatever they’re doing. They would be their “link.” Link refers to the connection between the special education student and the class by the students of the class. It sounds similar to SNAP club that already exists at DHS, but it has many differences along with academic advantages.

Continue reading “A Helping Hand”