Valentine’s Day In My Shoes

The author explains the annoyance of sharing a last name with a national holiday

Tyler Valentine

Everyone has their day throughout the year: a birthday. I have been blessed with the last name Valentine, which practically makes Valentine’s Day my holiday, and a second birthday.

The day, for me, is filled with way more joy than any average person’s Valentine’s Day purely because of my name. My family celebration of Valentine’s Day is more on par with that of Christmas because I am the one that invented the holiday that has been around for thousands of years. Yeet.

February 14, or Valentine’s Day, is a day for you to show your loved one how much you love them and what they mean to you. For others, without a significant other, their time that would typically be spent on a girl is spent on showcasing how dry your sense of humor is by cracking the same age-old jokes about my last name.

Jokes include asking me to be their Valentine, or if my family had something to do with the creation of Valentine’s Day have become regular. I understand if you’re my friend, or even if we are acquaintances and you can’t help but say something, but if I haven’t talked to you in over a year, please do not put me in an awkward situation by asking me to be my Valentine. I guarantee you haven’t had a more awkward encounter than having a random person ask you to be their Valentine, all I can do is awkwardly look at them and force a laugh. I know what you’re thinking “People are just being sarcastic; they don’t actually think that.”

When the best thing about it is that there are some people that actually think it is possible that I came up with Valentine’s Day. There are numerous people with the last name Christmas, or Easter, and that doesn’t mean they are related to the historical features.

Since second grade, I have heard the same jokes every single year. The attention was much appreciated back when I was eight, but it is beginning to grow old. Sure, it might have been a clever comment back then, but now it just makes the day annoying. I know it may be hard, but it would be much appreciated if you can keep the comments to yourself this year.

Just Another February Day

Who really wins on Valentine’s Day? The multi-million dollar industries more than the couples who express their love

By Jed Howell

Each year in the weeks leading to Valentine’s Day we are bombarded with advertisements of expensive diamonds, fancy chocolates, and flower bouquets that couldn’t possibly fit in a vase. All of these items come with a hefty price tag, but for what? So that on February 14th your significant other remembers that you love them? As if you don’t the other 364 days of the year. Not to mention the profit that companies make off cheesy cards and  heart shaped chocolates that cost nearly nothing to produce.

Personally, my problem with Valentine’s Day is the idea of having a designated day of the year to show affection. If you love someone enough to enter a relationship with them, then you should be affectionate as often as possible. Valentine’s Day is also more stressful than any normal day. Unrealistic or unclear expectations often result in catastrophe. I’m sure we have all agreed with our significant other that we would not exchange gifts when, in reality, they were expecting some sort of gesture. This day creates a feeling of manufactured or artificial love that couldn’t possibly be expressed any other day of the year.

The other problem with Valentine’s Day is the business side of the holiday. It has been estimated by the Greeting Card Association that each year more than 190 million Valentine’s Day cards are sent. This statistic excludes cards exchanged by children. Businesses thrive on the idea that a paper card with a heart on the front can prove that you care about someone. We have literally put a price on love, $133.91 to be exact. Yes, that is how much each American spends for Valentine’s day on average.

As consumerism tightens its deadly grip on yet another holiday, we may officially place Valentine’s Day in the category of “Hallmark holiday.”  The day of love has been tainted by price markups and big business.

We Are United

As a result of the election, tensions have risen between Americans throughout the United States including DHS.

By Nick LeBlanc

We’re not robots. Seems like an obvious statement. We have a heart, legs, and arms.  The outstanding thing is that, with our advanced minds, we have the ability to learn about the world around us in ways no other creature can. We can aspire to be anything we want.

However, such a mind can lead to thoughts that are detrimental to its beauty.  Hate, division, arrogance to name a few.  After November 8th, some of these negatives have become more prevalent.  The issue is the lack of unity driven by hate from each side.  Hate cannot drive out hate: only companionship can.

Before the election, the only thing that was talked about was the statistics.  There was never a mention of the social aftermath that would ensue.  Obviously, people will always disapprove or approve of a candidate, but in this year’s election, it has led to something destructive.  For those who disapprove, it is more destructive than productive by dividing yourself.  For those who approve, it is more destructive than productive for attacking others instead of working towards unification amongst all.  The introduction of Donald Trump into the government doesn’t change the fact that our country is ruled by the people for the people. Us. Not Donald Trump.  Approach every second like it’s an investment, and put your energy into things worth obtaining.  Then the United States will truly be great.

With that being said, you can’t let something hold you down. You can’t let your defense for something or someone summon hatred within your mind, because the potential for success within our beautiful country is so high that such thoughts would only destroy such a value that we often take for granted.  With such a widespread division at Dexter High School and nationwide, people need to come together so we can reach our potential and positivity in life as Americans.

The worst thing we can do as a people, and as a student body, is attack one another over our different views.  Such actions would merely add fuel to the flame.  No, what is needed is unity.  We are Americans.  Whichever man or woman sits in that Oval Office would never be allowed to purposely attack fellow Americans who help this country be the best in the world.  So why should we? We help each other, we love each other, and some even die for each other.  No matter who is the head of the executive branch, I am proud that I live in a country where freedom rings, because behind the worry, behind the love, behind the hate, we are all one people: Americans.

Too Old To Trick-Or-Treat?

Tyler draws the line between acceptable and unacceptable ages to trick-or-treat on Halloween

By Tyler Valentine

It’s getting to be that time again. The leaves are starting to fall, football season is in full swing, and the age-old question arises: what do we as high schoolers do for Halloween? There are two types of people when it comes to Halloween; those that dress up to trick-or-treat, and those that attend social gatherings. But who is to say which is more age appropriate? Is it frowned upon for us high schoolers to go door to door asking people for candy?

Sorry to crush your dreams, but there is such a thing as being too old for trick-or-treating.

To prevent any accusations of pedophelia, I think you should know you can’t trick-or-treat if you’re 6-foot and have a beard. That being said, this point comes at different times for different people.

It is acceptable to trick-or-treat as long as you look young enough to do so. If you were that kid that had a beard when he was in middle school, I’m sorry, but you got unlucky and your Halloween adventures should’ve been cut short.

But if you are in high school and still look like you should be trick-or-treating *cough* Nick LeBlanc *cough*, then you are in the clear.

Personally, I haven’t gone trick-or-treating since about the 7th grade, and that’s the way I like things. It’s not that I’m too cool to trick-or-treat or anything, I’m honestly just too lazy to walk around for hours, even for free candy. I’m more of a sit-at-home, eat-all-the-candy-that-is-meant-to-be-handed-out kind of person.

I respect the perseverance of those that still dress up and go door to door every Halloween for candy despite the weather we’ve had the past few years.

I remember when I was a kid, I didn’t have to dress up as an Eskimo for Halloween due to the weather. Recently the weather has not been too nice to those who wear “adult” costumes.

This year, Halloween unfortunately falls on a Monday. With the combination of a Monday night Halloween and more than likely terrible weather, I assure you I will be in my bed sipping some warm cider, snacking on donuts, and watching the Disney Halloween specials.

I promise you, Halloween is still fun without trick-or-treating. Be cautious of possible outcomes if you trick-or-treat around kids looking like a full grown man.

Wait… We’re Seniors?

After 12 years of schooling, this will be our final hurrah. Let’s make Year 13 one to remember

By Tyler Valentine

Alright guys, this is it. It’s the last time most of us will see each other for the rest of our lives.

We’ve been going to school together for 13 years and it all comes to an end here. Quite honestly, I’m not ready yet. I think back to our freshman year and how the seniors seemed so mature. I look at us as seniors now, thinking about how we still look like freshmen.

The past 13 years have been quite a rollercoaster of ups and downs. There have been many firsts since we started going to school together. While we were in fourth grade, Barack Obama became the first African American to become president. In seventh grade, a tornado hit the whole town. In 10th grade, Dexter officially became a city. The summer before our junior year, gay marriage was legalized. American hero, Bruce Jenner, has transitioned and now goes by the name Caitlyn.

In less than a year we will be dropped off at a new school, and we’ll have to learn how to live on our own. I’m almost 17, and I have yet to figure out the right cereal to milk ratio. That aside, it’s now time for us to step up and take on the responsibilities of the senior class.

We lead the student section. We are the ones underclassmen go to for advice. The choice is ours to make it a great year or not. Though I am stressed beyond measure, this year is going to be the best year of school in Dexter.

We are front row for every football game, we have the opportunity to take a reduced schedule, and most importantly, we have senior skip days.

I probably just lost any confidence people had in our senior class, but I promise, follow our lead this year; it’s going to be L17 (get it? It’s like lit, but we’re class of ‘17, so it’s L17).

The Ukrainian people deserve better than Putin

In a country that is starving, one man was living large, almost like a king in his palace.  While the people in the Ukraine ar stuck in poverty and making approximately $4,000 a year, their former president Viktor Yanukovych was sentencing his people to ultimate poverty.

 He was money laundering from his own people and lying about everything.  At first the president fled to his “friends” in Russia who he initially thought would help him take back power in his country.

Hearing this on the news when I woke up one morning really ticked me off. Why would one country help put back a tyrant and just a horrible human being back in power?  This would just return a evil man back to his corrupt ways of abusing his people and getting rich off the deaths and starvation of his people.

Thankfully a few days later I heard that Russia was not going to help this tyrant.  However a few hours after hearing that, Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, decided not to help Yanukovych.

I was told by my humanities teacher that Russia had put soldiers in the Ukraine and wanted the Ukraine for itself.  This further complicates the situation, and I’m not so sure if this is a better option.

The Sochi Olympics showed the world how corrupt Russia truly is as is evident in how poorly they facilitated the games.  I’m not so sure one corrupt government replacing another corrupt government is a good idea, as history has shown.

I would hate to see the people of the Ukraine, who finally kicked out their former president/elected dictator, be taken over by the Russian president who might just do the same thing to the Ukrainian people and continue their long-existing poverty and starvation.

Boys, take the hint

Boy meets girl.  Boy falls in love.  Girl avoids eye contact and all other forms of interaction.  Classic tale, right?  Boys, if you ever find yourself in a scenario like those described below … take my advice and take the hint.  Perhaps you will recognize some of these stories, and perhaps you know that they have have a happy ending.  But remember, that’s exactly what makes them only a story in the first place.

If you lived in a post-apocalyptic era in which you were both forced to fight to the death in an arena with 22 others. If, when you declared your love for her, she shoved you into a potted plant.  If in the arena she dropped a nest of deadly hornets on your camp.  If you find out your best chance of survival is to convince the nation that you’re in love.  If either of you could LITERALLY DIE AT ANY SECOND, and she STILL has reservations about kissing you,

take the hint.

If you two were both on this huge boat about a century ago.   If said-boat suddenly hit a large body of  ice and was sinking.  If the only thing between you and your freezing cold watery graves was a wooden door you had to use to stay afloat.  If she won’t scoot over just a little bit to make room for you and save your life,

take the hint.

If you were both at a ski resort on New Year’s Eve and you think you two just made this huge connection because some random guy FORCED her to sing karaoke with you.  If the clock struck midnight.  If all of these other couples are kissing.  If she would (supposedly) never see you again.  If she makes up some lame excuse about having to “go find her mom,” this is not the start of something new.

Take the hint.

If you met her at a ball.  If you had been dancing all night.  If you think that you’re making this big connection.  If suddenly she said she had to go but didn’t really give you a clear reason why.  If when you tried to follow her, she was in so much of a hurry her (very pricey) glass shoe fell off.  If to get away from you she didn’t even stop to grab her (but seriously even though shoes were 20 percent off she still paid way too much, but it was just like they were made for her, you know?) glass shoe.  Before you even consider scouring the entire kingdom for her,

take the hint.

If you had to scale a Ferris wheel to convince her to go out with you in the first place.  If she and her family moved away 364 days ago.  If you’ve been writing her a letter a day ever since without so much as a “k” or “:)” response,

take the hint.

Boys, no means no.  Girls, you’re welcome.  Now hopefully you won’t have 10 unread messages and 16 pending Snapchats when you check your phone. Hopefully you will be able to walk down the street without constantly checking over your shoulder and hopefully there will be no more pebbles hitting your window in the dead of night.

Find it in your heart to love Miley like I do

I was in bed, eating my peanut butter Pop Tart and a glass of cold milk when I checked my Twitter feed late on Aug. 25.

And then I saw them. Tweets that I couldn’t handle. Everybody hatin’ on Miley.

“LOL WTF MILEY WTF.”

“Ew Miley WTF.”

“Miley you have no booty WTF ew.”

Well you know what? I don’t hate Miley. Miley may be on a bit of a roller coaster at the moment but she’s fantastic. So stop hating.

I’ve loved Miley since her first season of “Hannah Montana,” and I’ll love her until the last season of “Real Housewives of LA” or whatever trashy reality show she ends up on at the end of her career.

Miley first was put on the map with Disney Channel’s, “Hannah Montana” which happens to be one of the best TV shows ever.

The show brought me laughs and pure joy as a young girl lived a double life that I  could only dream of, just trying to make the best of both worlds. Hannah Montana/Miley Stewart taught us that we can be whoever we want to be with songs like “Who Says,” “Rockstar,” “I Got Nerve” and “Life’s What you Make It.”

Once Miley was done with Disney Channel, I was crushed. But then there was a sign of hope. Miley starred in my favorite chick flick ever and started her new music career with a bang. “Party in the U.S.A.” quickly made its way onto my MP3 device, where it stayed on its own playlist for weeks. I repetitively listened to “Party in the U.S.A.” until I had it memorized both forward and backward.

With genius lyrics such as, “I put my hands up, they’re playin’ my song, the butterflies fly away. I’m noddin’ my head like Yeah! Movin’ my hips like Yeah!” this song was easy to love, sing along to and get super pumped up with. In fact, I usually listen to “Party in the U.S.A.” before all of my golf matches to pump up in preparation for some stern competition.

Yes, recently, Miley has taken a rather eccentric, unhinged path as she decided to cut her hair short and dye it blonde. Yes, this is different, a bit erratic, but it’s no reason to hateS.

Miley is doing something we like to call in the celebrity business “a publicity stunt.” She is gaining unheard of attention in order to promote her new album “Bangerz” featuring amazing songs like “We Can’t Stop” and “Wrecking Ball.” She began a consistent streak of twerking whether it be in music videos or on Robin Thicke on stage at the MTV Video Music Awards.

Miley is attracting public attention and many haters in the process. But I’m here to tell you haters to stop being so jealous. Miley is making millions off every weird thing she does. When you twerk, you can’t even make a dime.

Miley is amazing. She’s already been Hannah Montana and the new Miley Cyrus we see today. I’m here to ask you to find it in your heart to love Miley and remember that no matter how angry she makes you, love her.

She’s forever my girl.

It's 2013 and we still can't …

There’s gotta be some sort of demographic out there, of unemployed Ph.Ds who aren’t quite smart enough to work on the cure for cancer, yet too smart to settle for assistant brain surgeon or something.

Instead of reading Intelligent Life or Mental Floss, maybe they should look at the inconveniences we’re dealing with as members of the middle class.

There are so many smart people out there (so I’m told).  They can’t be doing anything that important to let these dark times go on for much longer.

Thank you, unemployed scientists, for waiting for my permission.

Yes, you may get started on the Enlightenment Era of the 21st century.

Look, I even made you this list of ideas so you can get started as soon as you finish reading that article on how Ununpentium, element 115, may join the periodic table.

It’s 2013 and we still can’t …

bring our phones in the shower with us

I actually have a conspiracy theory that this is possible and there are phone cases in circulation that could make our dreams come true.  The only thing stopping their mass production is that our parents are keeping them off the shelves because they know their water bills will go through the roof.

Nonetheless, let’s take a minute to imagine how incredible this would be.  We could listen to music, watch tv, send emails, browse twitter and pinterest, facetime.  But let’s keep it clean you guys (pun intended).

warm up leftover french fries without them getting limp and soggy

On more than one occasion I’ve tried to take on this dilemma myself.  I’ve sat there in front of the microwave, watching my leftover fries turn to mush, racking my brains for a better solution.

But I’m a big enough person—probably from eating all those fries—to know when to admit defeat.  So I’m throwing this out there.  Put it on the political agenda.

We can put in artificial hearts and send a robot to Mars for pete’s sake, we should be able to figure this out.

turn left off of Shield Rd after school

If you’re unfamiliar, or bad with street names, imagine turning right out of the school parking lot and turning right again at that 3-way stop and driving aaallllll the way down to the end zone of the football field.

Still with me?  Are we all here? Yeah, we’re all here!  Every.  Single.  School.  Day. Every bus, teacher, and about half of the students.

It’s like a tailgate, except the smoke is coming from the drivers’ ears rather than the grill.  I have a simple solution: install a traffic light.  We’re a cityhood (or something) we need to step up our game.

discover a tactic to peel bananas without making the top all mushy

If I wanted bananasauce I would be shopping in the baby food aisle at Busch’s, thank you very much.  Although, now that I think about it, I really don’t have the right to be complaining about the hassle that is peeling a banana.

I’ve developed an allergy to bananas.  I’m not even kidding.  If you feed me a banana, the consequences will be dire.  Like, my ears get super super itchy.   Nonetheless, my childhood was a pain when it came to having a complete breakfast, and banana peelage is an issue that should be addressed.

pause and rewind the radio

Do you know how many times I rewound and rewatched JT’s performance at the VMAs?  Three times.  If you round down.

I’m no history buff—maybe I should pick up a copy of Mental Floss—but I’m pretty sure radio has been around longer than television.  It can’t be that complicated.  If I want to jam to Barenaked Ladies’ One Week for the duration of the car ride, I should have that frivolity.