| Detroit Country Day School |
22305 West Thirteen Mile, Beverly Hills, MI 48025
The Power of Community
The recent school shooting at Oxford and the DCDS response
Are the COVID restrictions too strict? See what the editorial board has to say.
Photos courtesy of Nicholas Kalkanis
By THE DAY TIMES Community will always be the greatest source of support that one can find in life. In times of incredible struggle and tragedy, it remains the unwavering beacon that one can always turn to, and the bedrock that can always be relied upon. This past week, the full strength of community has been on display at Oxford High School. On Tuesday, November 30th, tragedy took place in Oxford, Michigan, when a student shot eleven people, killing four of his classmates. The student -and his parents- is now in custody and facing dozens of criminal charges. The news quickly spread around Michigan and the country,
read “Oxford Strong.” The rock also has four hearts to represent the four students who were killed. “I think it’s great that we repainted the senior rock to honor the students in Oxford. It gives a great sense of community that we all support each other,” said senior Lauren Mocur. On Thursday, when reports spread across Michigan of threats of potential widespread school attacks, many districts closed. DCDS, however, elected to remain open and provide students with a space to voice their concerns, along with the flexibility of missing no homework/test/quiz days on Friday and Monday.
Finally, on Thursday, in the wake of the threats against many schools in our area, Mr. Dempsey hosted two forums for the DCDS Upper School community. Hundreds of students and faculty gathered in the Student Center and in the PAC to voice their concerns and listen to our school leaders. “First and foremost, our hearts go out to the victims, their families, and the entire Oxford community. As a school, our thoughts are with everyone affected by this tragedy,” said Head of School Mr. Rich Dempsey. “As a community, we’re hurting, but
Studens play key leadership roles in the DCDS community, impacting our live daily. Meet them here!
pg.7 See the Holiday Movies that are getting everyone in the Holiday Spirit!
with support flowing in from all over immediately thereafter. From fundraisers to the University of Michigan football game, people all over the country have moved to stand in solidarity with Oxford in their time of incredible need. GoFundMe accounts for the families of the victims -Tate Myre (16), Madisyn Baldwin (17), Hana St. Juliana (14), & Justin Shilling (17)- have already collected over $100,000. In the Big 10 Championship on Saturday, U of M football players wore a patch on their jerseys with the number ‘42’ -for Tate, a beloved football player- with 4 hearts to symbolize the 4 late students. In addition to the national solace, the DCDS community has aimed to support Oxford in every way possible. Recently, seniors have repainted the senior rock from their class theme to
The Day Times | December 2021
Meet the everyday Heroes in the DCDS Community. Meet your 2021-22 Men’s Varsity Swim Team!
THE NEW SENIOR Rock Reads “Oxford Strong” “I felt comfortable in class because we were given the opportunity to express our opinions, without having to worry about school work,” said senior Arnov Khatri. Additionally, the Mental Health counselors provided a safe space in their office for students to get hot chocolate, cookies, and to express their feelings about the tragedy and the uncertain situation growing throughout Southeastern Michigan. “Since it was a lighter day at school, it gave students the opportunity to think about what happened and be able to process it, without being stressed and having so much work,” said senior Jacquelyn Yoo.
what’s going to get us through this is the community pulling together. To be able to listen, and to be able to talk, with trusted adults and advisors will remind everyone that we’re all in this together, and that we will move forward together,” said Dempsey. Ultimately, the tragedy that befell Oxford will never be forgotten. It’s important to connect with your neighbors and be the support for others in their time of need. The Day Times wants to encourage everyone to reach out to their family, their friends, and especially someone who you wouldn’t normally talk to, who may not have anyone else. In a time of immense grief and uncertainty, community -the bonds we have with each other- is the only thing we can rely upon.
THE ROCK ALSO has 4 hearts, one for each of the late students
Vol. 98 | Issue 3
2 Opinions The Day
Editorial staff Editors-in-Chief: Clara Yuhn Nick Kalkanis
Managing Editor: Mariya Khan Content Editor: Safia Siddiqui Vivek Santhapur Layout Editor: Aren Shah Anthony Ge Jonathan Abraham Senior Editor-at-large: Connor Adams Beren Akpinar Annika Chinnaiyan Caden Kuang Tanmai Nimmigadda Senior Staff: Emir McGreevey Chiara Sessa Aayush Dagar Sara Qasim Zhilng Yang
Section Editors: Will Beachum Connor Kalkanis Arya Chalasani Sam Sampath Tanisha Khare Hiba Assadullah Kaitlyn Hopkins Ryan Ignatowsky Zach Rodger Grace Lui Josie-Marie Pachla Tess Harris S TA F F W R I T E R S : Andrew Brentano, Abigail Burdette, Armaan Dev, Alex Eby, Steven Fu, Kian Kiarash Miles Kohn, Riley McAlpine, Arvin Pandiyin, Raj Rao, Achyut Reddy, Ammar Siddiqui, Jiale Wang, Jui Won ADVISORS Heather Huhn Matthew Sadler The Day Times will serve the best interests of the Detroit Country Day School community by preserving the freedom of press through honest and accurate reporting. Readers are encouraged to submit letters to the editors, guest articles and original comics regarding topics covered in the paper. The Day Times reserves the right to edit content for clarity and space.
When will students eat in the Student Center? DCDS students desire a return to normalcy for lunch By TESS HARRIS and JOSIE MARIE PACHLA Opinions Section Editors For the past two years, lunch at DCDS has relegated students to their classrooms. Before, students ate together in the student center and socialized. With the majority of the student body vaccinated, many are wondering if lunch can make at least a small change in the direction of normal. Early in the school year, students were given the opportunity to eat outside, with many students jumping at this opportunity to socialize outside away from the cramped classroom. However, due to litter and colder temperatures, eating outside is becoming less of an option. Should students be resigned to eating in their classrooms, or should they be given the freedom to eat elsewhere? Students spend 80 minutes in their classroom and spend another thirty for lunch - that’s nearly two hours. Many students such as Junior Ben Luu would appreciate a change in scenery. “Spending so much time in the same room is such a drag. Not to mention most people don’t talk, so we end up just sitting in silence,” said Luu. Students also feel that restrictions on lunch have hindered their ability to socialize and spend time with their friends. Senior Sia Pradhan misses being able to socialize during lunch. Since it is her last year of high school, she wishes she could regain some of the normal social aspects of the high school experience before she graduates. “Eating lunch outside of our classrooms would be a great time to see the friends that we don’t have classes with. It would also be nice to get a little bit of normal, especially for the seniors,” says Pradan. Though we cannot eat outside due to the cold, there is an alternative for students who would rather eat outside their classrooms: aside from the lunch line itself, the student center remains mostly empty during lunch. Currently, students in free blocks or food-free classrooms are allowed into the student center. In addition, students in the student center must be separated into two people per table.With these guidelines, students are further distanced than they may otherwise be seated in their classrooms, making the option potentially more COVID safe than eating in classrooms. No matter how nice it would be to eat outside of the same classrooms, many find the prospect to be unrealistic. Interim Upper School Director John Williams has considered the possibility, but ultimately finds it unlikely to happen. “I would love for students to be able to eat in the student center, but it would be very difficult to do. Students would be limited two to a table due to the current CDC guidelines, which require us to make students stay six feet apart if unmasked indoors. With this arrangement, we would have to have six lunch
periods per day in order to accommodate the entire school’s population,” says Williams. Many students also have concerns in regards to the behaviors of their peers and how much they can trust them to adhere to guidelines. Sophomore Hannah Redman doesn’t think it’s a good idea because students won’t be safe. “I wouldn’t feel comfortable eating in the student center because not only were there a lot of people there, but many of the people in the line either weren’t wearing masks or were wearing masks improperly,” says Redman. All things considered, it would be undeniably beneficial to the student experience at DCDS to be able to eat lunch in places other than students’ classrooms. However, no matter how beneficial it would be, it would ultimately pose a risk to student wellbeing, and would be difficult to implement in the first place. Students understand this difficulty, but would love it if the administration still considers the proposal. Even if this option wouldn’t be the best, any and all change in the direction of normal is appreciated by the student body.
THE LUNCH LINE in the Student Center.
Coping with tragedy as a community
Students react to how the school responded to the Oxford school shooting By ARYA CHALASANI and JOSIE MARIE PACHLA Section Editors
On November 30th devastation took over southeast Michigan when a school shooting occurred at Oxford High School. Four were killed and seven others were injured. Several copycat threats appeared on social media the day after the shooting. Schools throughout Michigan reacted in different ways towards the threats. While the majority of southeast Michigan decided to close their schools on Thursday, December 2nd, Detroit Country Day decided to keep all three schools open, continuing school with heightened security. Students at the upper school had mixed feelings towards the decision to continue school. Many students experienced extreme stress, whether it was because they felt unsafe, or because they could not handle academics during such an emotional time. “I didn’t feel safe in class and kept glancing at the door with continued paranoia. Because I was so stressed, I couldn’t focus on school, and learning new material in class only made it worse,” says Junior Lexi Clark. Several other students felt similar while in school on the 2nd. “It was evident that some students weren’t able to be in a place where they could prioritize their mental health because they were being asked to study and take tests. If someone isn’t feeling safe or secure they are not going to be able to work on school as efficiently as they usually would,” says counselor Carri Griffin. Other students felt differently. “We can’t live in fear over something that could happen anywhere and at any time. Unless the threat is directed towards our
Published six times a year, The Day Times is produced by the students and teachers of Detroit Country Day School. Contact The Day Times at: Detroit Country Day School 22305 West 13 Mile Road Beverly Hills, MI 48025-4435 (248) 646-7717
STUDENTS TRY TO destress in the counseling office.
school, there is no reason to close down. If we live in fear, we are not really living,” says Senior Isabel Aviles. Many students also felt that Country Day provided the right facilities to cope with the situation. “The forum held by Mr Dempsey provided an opportunity for some closure and relief from the horrific situation. The discussion between students and teachers helped provide a sense of comfort and community,” says Senior Sunny Challa. At the forum, Mr. Dempsey provided reasoning to the students for why we had school on Thursday. “Knowing that there are threats online and on social media would only add to the anxieties if students were to stay home today. We felt that it is important not to be alone in this struggle, but rather to be together at a place that we know is safe,” said head of the school Mr. Dempsey. On December 3rd the administration kept school open again, declaring it to be a no homework day, and told the teachers they weren’t allowed to teach new material. Mr. Dempsey made it very clear that if teens weren’t comfortable coming to school, they could stay home because they wouldn’t be missing new information anyways. But students still had concerns the night before going to school. “I don’t want to go to school tomorrow, but I know that if I don’t go I’ll miss material, and be behind the rest of my class,” says Junior Lola Bagby. Many students and staff thought Friday went very well because most of the teachers were very understanding and gave the students a light day. In addition, the mental health counselors provided a safe space in their office for students to get hot chocolate, cookies, and to express their feelings about the tragedy. A range of emotions flowed through the student body the week of the shooting, whether they were feelings of sadness, fear or stress. Most of these emotions occurred two days after the shooting, the day when people woke up in the morning to learn about countless threats and to learn that over half of the schools in southeast Michigan had closed. It was difficult to walk into school that day and see administrators and security in the hallways. It was difficult to see the distress in the eyes of our classmates who have relations with individuals at Oxford. It was difficult to pay attention in class, while thinking of the danger that occured so close to us. It was difficult, too, seeing some people try to act normal keep busy with schoolwork to cope. We hope our teachers and administrators continue to support us through this time. With our varying needs, emotions, fears, anxieties, and coping mechanisms, this is also going to be a difficult task.
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The Day Times | December 2021
Vol. 98 | Issue 3
Photo courtesy of Michelle Belke
Columbia Scholastic Press Association Crown Award 2017 Columbia Scholastic Press Association Gold Medalist 2011,15-17, 19, 20 Michigan Inter-Scholastic Press Association Gold Award 2011,13, 18, 19 American Scholastic Press Association First Place 2012-13, 2016-17, 2017-20 American Scholastic Press Association First Place with Special Merit, and Most Outstanding Newspaper 2010-11; 2014-15 The Day Times is a member of the American Scholastic Press Association, Michigan Interscholastic Press Association, National Scholastic Press Association, and the Quill & Scroll Society.
| The Day Times
Photo courtesy of Tess Harris
Photo and Graphics Editor: Kunwoo Kim Kennedy Tidjani
The Day Times |
Senior Column: Feelings of disapointment cannot take over your life
Photos Courtesy of Annika Chinnaiyan
By ANNIKA CHINNAIYAN Senior Editor Being a student at DCDS for almost six years now has been the most exciting but challenging experience in my life, and I have grown in so many ways that I would never have imagined. Since seventh grade, I have been terrified of disappointing the people in my life. If I scored poorly on a test, I felt that my parents and teachers would be disappointed in me and give up on their hopes for me. Similarly, if I had to cancel plans with my friends, I felt that they would be disappointed and would stop wanting to hang out with me. It is these small and insignificant things that made me lose track of the important parts of my life. Even today, when I score the best grade in the class or have an amazing day with my friends, I forget to applaud myself for doing well or having fun. The feeling of disappointing people has taken over areas of my life and I have stopped enjoying a lot of the great things that make me happy. However, this year, I am working to change this constant feeling. Many of my friends suffer from the same emotions, and I know that a lot of other students at DCDS are going through it too. As a senior, I have gone through three full years of ups and downs in academics, athletics, relationships, and more, and I am tired of losing sight of the good parts and putting all of my thought into the bad parts. One thing I have started to work on is improving my relationships with my teachers, which has revealed that they really do not care about the bad grade. They want students to learn from their mistakes and grow as young adults who are about to enter the real world. I found out that the “I don’t want to disappoint my teacher” feeling was made up in my head, and my teachers are the ones who are pushing me to be a better version of myself. Likewise, disappointing my parents has always been such a detrimental feeling for me, but, again, it is all in my head. My home has always been supportive and loving, and my parents have always been my cheerleaders for my achievements. Even for the times I am not successful, they are there to help me do better in the future. Over the years, I have learned that it is not worth it to put yourself down when something goes wrong and to make sure that the feeling of disappointment does not take over your life. Life is so short that if you are putting all of your energy into sad events, you will not be able to live each moment fully.
News/Opinions Keep it long or cut it short
Students opinion on 80 minute classes
By ANTHONY GE Senior Layout Editor In the last two years, DCDS has shifted its daily class periods to 80 minutes as a COVID precaution. As we fluctuate in COVID-19 cases in Michigan, general trends show that we are returning to normalcy, as this year’s policies give us more freedom to attend sports and other activities such as Homecoming. As we progress into next year, students have different opinions on whether or not to keep the 80 minute class periods. Some students believe that the periods are too long, clogging up their day and making them feel awfully bored. “The classes are too long to maintain a good focus, and I think we should shorten them for students next year. At the same time, we should also get more frequent breaks,” says Senior Khaled Kefri. Yet, other students insist on keeping a long duration to ensure that they learn as much as they can within each class period. Junior Numan Nakkash has mixed feelings about the periods, saying that the longer class periods give him more time to work on homework because there are fewer classes. “If I have a free block first or last block, I can come in or leave extra early. However, the fact we only meet 2 to 3 times a week causes issues because
teachers don’t have as much time to lecture so the tests and quizzes end up being harder because we spent less time on the unit,” notes Nakkash. Mathematics teacher Mr. Gregory Johnson also recognizes the positives and negatives of 80 minute classes. “We have more time together to go through more material and more time for the lesson; the flipside of that is we meet less often because of it and sometimes, especially in math or in other classes that require practice, sometimes you don’t get practice between all the things we talk about. I think doing something that makes us meet more often during the week would be more beneficial,” says Mr. Johnson. It is also important to note that the schedule right now rightfully works to limit spread among different classes for reducing COVID-19. Based on a majority of the student opinion, we should aim to reduce the daily class periods by at least 20 minutes and meet more frequently. It can be difficult to focus in long classes, which hurts productivity and engagement. By having more frequent breaks in class, or shortening our time, we can appreciate the material in our classes and not feel overwhelmed by listening to the same subject repeatedly.
DCDS’ global experience
Students have virtual overseas opportunities By CONNOR KALKANIS News Section Editor
FROM LEFT: CHINNAIYAN; posing with family.
Flex Passes: protective or possesive Day Times editorial
The editorial is included in every issue of The Day Times and is written on an important topic in the DCDS community. It represents the opinion of the majority of the Editorial Board, which is comprised of the Editors-in-Chief, Managing Editor, the Senior Editors, and the Editors and Interns of each section.
On November 30th the DCDS administration introduced flex passes, and as a whole they were received with mixed views. The new regulations required students to gain passses from their advisors or teachers in order to leave their designated room during flex. These passes must be complete with the time the student left, the preferred destination, and the teacher’s signature from whom they were supposed to meet. Many students and teachers feel that these new passes place unnecessary restrictions on students. With the current Covid-19 regulations, students must have lunch within their classes, and for many they are relatively alone in a period that is intended to be for socialization and relaxation. For many, flex was able to remedy the lunch situation, by giving students a portion of the day where they were allowed to unwind with their friends who were not necessarily in their courses or advisory. New students who wanted to be able to interact with students of the DCDS community outside of their advisory and classes
were additionally given the opportunity to do this during flex periods. While DCDS students understand that it is important for advisors to note the location of their advisees during this period, they also feel that flex is one of the only periods during the current schedule that they are given the freedom to work with the people of their choosing. A potential compromise that would put less pressure on students while still ensuring the safety of the school would be giving students the ability to work in the library or the art commons during flex period with a supervising adult. Students could potentially tell their advisors they would like to study in a different location and have it checked by a teacher that was watching the room. Overall, students agree that the community’s safety is the administration’s first priority. But we feel the intended purpose of flex passes could be reached using different methods to give students more space.
The Day Times | December 2021
Country Day’s Global Initiatives program allows students to connect with people from around the world and learn more about global cultures and languages. This is the program that takes students on foreign exchange trips, hosts global dialogue meetings with people from around the world, and strives to incorporate global awareness into DCDS’ learning curriculum. The Global Community program, the portion of the larger operation that handles foreign exchange trips, was forced to briefly stop when the pandemic first hit, mainly due to the worldwide halt on travel. However, with restrictions gradually easing up, another exchange trip could happen this spring. Mrs. Riley, the Director of Global Initiatives, hopes to take the group to Spain and Italy during the Spring break, through exchanges with Country Day’s sister schools in those two destinations. In addition to Country Day’s students going abroad, there are also plans for exchange students from Italy to visit Michigan in the first part of April, and for students from Spain to come to our school in the latter part of April and beginning of May. There has been some level of concern about returning to travel, but for the most part, students are eager to get back into the program. “A lot of students have been asking about the trips, so I know that there’s an interest. We just have to make sure everyone feels comfortable and safe with travel and that we mitigate as many of the risks as possible” said Mrs. Riley, Director of Global Initiatives. The school also needs to be conscious of COVID protocols regarding bringing extra students into classrooms. “The visiting students always spend a lot of time in our classrooms, but we have to avoid having too many students in each classroom due to social dis-
tancing rules. Right now we don’t allow outsiders into the building, either, so if we’re actually able to have foreign students come late in the spring, we must keep the numbers low” said Riley. In past years, the Global Initiatives program has invited speakers from around the world to share their stories with the students at Country Day. “Christo Brand, who was the warder for Nelson Mandela, wanted to share Mandela’s positive message about love and the goodness of humanity even though he had to overcome tremendous adversity. Viet Thanh Nguyen, the Pulitzer Prize winning author, was a bit edgy and controversial, but he spoke about the importance of perspective and inclusion. As a Vietnamese refugee who arrived in America at the age of 3, his perspective on being an American is vastly different from someone whose family has been here for generations. We all need to listen empathetically to different perspectives” said Riley. As upperclassmen and alumni will remember, these guests used to speak to the student body in person in the school’s performing arts center. However, speakers like Nguyen and Brand had to give their talks over zoom last year, with students listening from their advisory classrooms. While everyone is glad that they still had the chance to hear their speeches, students and teachers alike are hopeful that speakers such as these will come to the campus and talk to the student body in person later this school year. Riley and others involved with the Global Initiatives program have been hard at work planning some great events and trips for later this year. With foreign exchange students from Italy and Spain visiting Michigan in April and May, students from Country Day travelling abroad, and the possibility of speakers coming to the campus to give talks in person, this year is shaping up to be a very eventful one for Global Initiatives.
Vol. 98 | Issue 3
The Day Times
DCDS students to perform I Hate Hamlet in East Lansing By BEREN AKPINAR Senior Editor-at-Large that I will get to see that put on again. We will also be doing some workshops on many different things, and I can’t wait to learn some new things or get some refreshers on those things,” said Caitlyn. In March, the school will get the opportunity to experience the Winter Musical Monty Python’s Spamalot. Until then, the cast and the crew of I Hate Hamlet revisit a familiar setting that is embodied within the play. Throughout the weeks that lead up to the upcoming Thespian Festival, Mr. Harmer, the play’s director, plans to experiment with different combinations of the cast to finalize who will perform on stage. Much of the cast and crew are excited to start rehearsals and see how this year’s Thespian Festival will benefit them. “It’s a place that you can go and talk to tons of people ... they give you their advice on specific areas of tech and stage management. They are there to enhance your skills and teach you crash courses in something new that you might not have known of. It’s like an all you can eat buffet of theater knowledge,” said Senior Alexander Matthews.
Alongside its many fun activities, the Thespian Festival creates an atmosphere for many actors to enhance their performance and broaden their horizons in order for them to achieve their ambitions. Overall, the festival poses a great opportunity to be engaged in the world of theater while developing as a thespian in all aspects. Junior Veer Agarwal, a cast member of I Hate Hamlet, echoed this idea. “I want to improve on my performance last year at this festival, and also hopefully do a couple of cool workshops,” said Veer. At Indiana University, students get the chance to participate in the grand International Thespian Festival that brings multiple theatre departments together. Providing a space to connect with friends and cultivate new talents, the International Thespian Festival is surely a one-of-a-kind experience for many students interested in theater.
Photos courtesy of Kunwoo Kim and Will Beachum.
Even though the fall play I Hate Hamlet by Paul Rudnick finished off its performance at the end of October, it still resonates within the school environment. In fact, the play could potentially be the main focus of the theater department throughout the entire year along with its other theatrical productions. The cast and crew’s perspective showcases the genuine, unique nature of the performance that will eventually be performed at the Michigan Thespian Festival. On December 10th and 11th, students will travel to East Lansing and experience the wonders of the Michigan Thespian Festival. The festival is a combination of fun workshops, coupled with special guest interviews, scholarship opportunities, and competitive events. Shows from a vast array of schools are submitted to the festival and are performed in a competition to determine who might move on to the International Thespian Festival in June. Freshman Caitlyn Davis talked to us about what she is looking forward to at the festival. “I’m most excited about spending time with everyone participating, and I also can’t wait to watch students perform in different categories - not just students from our school, but students from different schools too. We get to bring our show, I Hate Hamlet, and I am so happy
VEER AGARWAL (LEFT) and Caitlyn Davis (right) pose in front of the Eisenberg Studio Theatre.
MEMBERS OF THE cast and crew of I Hate Hamlet gather to take a group photo outside.
DCDS students on PSAT testing
Benefits of the National Merit Scholarship Program
MRS. SULLIVAN AND Mr. Greenwald pose in front of the college counseling office.
Over two million students took the PSAT this October. This yearly test given to sophomores and juniors allows students to get an idea of what kind of questions they can expect to see on the regular SAT. This test greatly resembles that of the regular SAT, with an even distribution in scoring between the Math and English sections; the only difference being that the test is scored out of 1520, instead of the traditional 1600 on the SAT. The PSAT test also offers scholarships to juniors who get a high enough score, depending on the region they live in, through the National Merit Scholarship Program. Here are some DCDS sophomores’ and juniors’ takes on the PSAT. Cameron Rocco had his first go with a standardized test last year with the PreACT, and he felt that the questions between the two exams were very similar. “The test wasn’t that different from what I took last year with the PreACT…. The question difficulty was consistent and the types of questions were also basically the same, the only difference being that the PSAT had much more math, which I liked,” said sophomore Cameron Rocco. Cameron’s schedule is filled with honors classes, and he feels that taking these courses helped him on the exam even though he did not prepare at all. “Tests in school are timed and difficult, creating an environment similar to that of the PSAT with an exception to the amount of time needed to complete the test. I feel like I did decently on the math and reading sections,” said Rocco. “School did a great job in ensuring that we are well prepared for these standardized tests. Because this is my first PSAT test, I wanted to see what kinds of questions were asked. I did average on this test, but I will definitely see improvement as I plan on taking Kabir’s Prep,” said Rocco. Contrasting with Rocco’s comments, Junior Aeres Zhou reflects on his experience in a slightly different manner. “The test was pretty easy… probably because of all the hours of
The Day Times | December 2021
studying I did over the summer. The reading was probably the most challenging [section], and the other sections I barely had to check,” said Zhou. Aeres, taking multiple AP and honor classes, is already a top student, so it seems strange that he spent weeks and months preparing for a test designed to prepare students for a future exam. “Juniors prepare for the PSAT mainly due to National Merit,” Aeres clarified. Well, what is National Merit? As DCDS college counselor Mrs. Sullivan explains it, “National Merit Semifinalists are selected from the pool of high school juniors … who scored in the top 1% of their state [in PSAT]. [National Merit] Finalists can earn a college scholarship. Some colleges do not grant a scholarship for semifinalists but many do.” Due to the scholarship opportunities that come from the PSAT, competition exists amongst the students. However, while the National Merit title, scholarship, and high PSAT scores are all very helpful, they don’t make or break an application. “Like any standardized testing, a strong score on the PSAT can add to a student’s profile, but I don’t see National Merit status as having an enormous impact on college admissions,” said Mrs. Sullivan. She notes that in the past, there have been countless students who were admitted to highly selective colleges without National Merit due to their high academic and personal profiles. Mrs. Sullivan adds that as time passes and colleges place less emphasis on standardized testing, it’s more important for students to work to be well-rounded individuals, both inside and outside the classroom. For some sophomores and juniors, the PSAT is a time of stress and anxiety. However, for many others, it’s an opportunity to showcase their academic talents and to better prepare themselves for the SAT or ACT. In the future, the PSAT and all
Photos courtesy of Kunwoo Kim.
By STEVEN FU and ARMAAN DEV News Staff Writers
standardized testing will continue to be a prevalent part of high school education and testing.
Vol. 98 | Issue 3
The Day Times
SPECIAL EDITION: LEADERSHIP
Student / Leader
How DCDS students take hold of opportunities to grow
By CLARA YUHN Editor-in-Chief The DCDS community is built around the diversity of its students, faculty, course offerings, and extra curriculars. One of the greatest strengths of DCDS is the ability to foster a student’s personal growth and give them the opportunities to experience new things. Whether it be a new sport, a new art class, or participating in the guitar club, DCDS offers so many pathways to explore during their time as a student. From the moment you step on campus as a freshman, you are greeted with club shopping day, fall sports tryouts, and class leadership elections. These are just some of the opportunities presented to the youngest members of the high school to get involved in the community. As the young freshmen grow into well-rounded seniors, students at DCDS adopt their leadership roles and take them very seriously. Jackie Sarafa, a current senior at DCDS, has found a passion in the Community Service Club. “As a three year board member of the community service club I believe I’ve made a difference through the Country Day community because of my persistent encouragement for others to donate and give back to our community. I hope that the club continues to help the community in any way possible through fun new ideas such as the Doggy Drive, or our connection with underprivileged children living only a few miles from us. The club has given me a new sense of humility, which I believe is an important trait of a leader. I am very thankful for my time on community service because it has made me a more empathetic leader,” said senior Jackie Sarafa. The community service club is just one of the clubs that has the betterment of the DCDS community in mind. SAGA, the Sexual and Gender Acceptance Club, was instituted five years ago to give members of the LGBTQ+ community a safe space. Members of the club are there to support each other and be leaders in the school community, raising awareness and creating acceptance for members of the LGBTQ+ community. Tess Harris, a sophomore at DCDS, has found a home amongst the members of SAGA. “Being a leader of SAGA puts me in the unique position to create a safe space and I’m proud to have that impact on the community. Mr. Sadler has been a huge help in guiding our direction, and we have a lot of ambitions for what we want to accomplish this year. Ultimately the goal is making the school as accepting and welcoming for all members of its community. Being a leader in SAGA has taught me how to lead in a way that’s more independent. We come up with the agenda and determine what we want to do with our time, which has been a learning experience all together,” said sophomore Tess Harris. Another club that was created by student leaders is the Black Student Alliance. Vivian Williams, a senior club leader, talks about her experience. “I feel I have made a difference in the DCDS community by creating an affinity group for African American students
and allies, the Black Student Alliance. I helped create the club my freshman year and I hope to leave the legacy of an African American DCDS community that is comfortable in the school. From when you enter DCDS to when you graduate, DCDS provides its students with the resources to be a leader such as class projects, debates, clubs, and the faculty support,” said senior Vivian Williams. Student government at DCDS is taken very seriously by all who choose to participate. School dances, field day, fall fest, winter fest, and many school fundraisers are planned and executed by the Class Boards of all four grades and Student Council. Elections take place every fall for positions on each board. There are the Class Boards, the Disciplinary Review Board, the Honor Council, and the Student Council. The Disciplinary Review Board and Honor Council decides consequences for those who violate the academic integrity of DCDS. Nick Kalkanis, the Student Council president for the 2021-2022 school year, has been a part of student government for a majority of his DCDS career. He has practiced his leadership throughout middle school and into high school. “I owe DCDS so much credit in preparing me with the skills and lessons from Student Council for the rest of my life. If it weren’t for all of the speeches, elections, and connections I’ve made with people all over our school, I wouldn’t be who I am today. My number one goal on Student Council has always been to strengthen and unify the DCDS community. For me, Student Council has been one of the most fulfilling and rewarding experiences I’ve had in all of my time in high school. Whether it’s planning fundraisers, dozens of student events, or even policy proposals to change our school, I believe that our high school experience is whatever we choose to make it. I want to say thank you to all of the faculty, the Student Council, and most of allthe Class of 2022, for an incredible four years!” said senior Nick Kalkanis. Athletics is a huge part of the DCDS community. Young kids in the lower and middle schools look up to the high school school athletes and hope to follow in their footsteps. Each season brings new opportunities to display leadership. Ryan Lynklip, a member of the men’s varsity soccer and lacrosse teams, takes his role of leadership very seriously. He is not only an excellent athlete, but he is also head of the “Barnyard” and a Class Board member. The Barnyard is the student cheering section at all sports competitions for DCDS. Ryan is a well-rounded student athlete that is very involved in the DCDS community. “I have really enjoyed my time leading the Barnyard this year. Not only is it rewarding to help bring together the school and boost school spirit, but I have found myself much more involved in DCDS athletics. Class Board has given me a lot of opportunity to be a leader within DCDS over the years. From making announcements at Wednesday assemblies, to organizing
and planning field day and school dances, I have had many opportunities to lead the class and help make our experience as fun as possible. DCDS has done a great job preparing me to be a leader. I have had many chances to practice leadership. For example, in the summer, DCDS hosts a leadership seminar to show what it means to be a leader and help improve your leadership skills,” said senior Ryan Lynklip. The art program at DCDS is second to none. There are so many different art courses offered and pathways to explore for the young artists at DCDS. Sia Pradhan found her passion in the film studio. She started off freshman year exploring the different avenues in film and really developed a passion for creating short films and movies. As she has matured throughout high school, the opportunity arose to be an executive director in the film studio at DCDS. “As an individual who starts off shy, I never saw a leadership position as a true possibility. I’m super lucky that my passion for film led me to an opportunity to explore the leadership side of myself and further my love for the art. I’ve made a difference as executive director in the film community by mentoring underclassmen and focusing on teaching them about why film means so much to me. Additionally, I’ve worked with my counterparts to extend the reach of the program through various contests, announcements, and silver point productions. Mr. Salamin has helped me grow not only as a filmmaker, but also as a leader and a person overall,” said senior Sia Pradhan. Mentoring the underclassmen is a topic not talked about enough. Being good role models for the next generation of leaders in the school is something that DCDS does very well. All the students want to leave the Country Day community better than they found it. Encouraging the younger high school students to get involved in clubs and class leadership positions sets up the DCDS community for success in future years. Every school year brings new challenges and changes to the community. New teachers, new classmates, and new opportunities arise with the start of school in the fall. What makes DCDS so special is its ability to build strong, independent leaders year after year. Not everyone has the same passions or same set of skills as seen by the students highlighted above. DCDS acknowledges that every student is different and needs to be given the opportunity to foster their specific talents and passions to their fullest potential. Leaders are not built overnight. It takes time for a young kid to learn how to take hold of an opportunity and inspire others in their community. By graduation, each DCDS senior is well-rounded and ready to take the world by storm.
Photo courtesy of Matthew Sadler.
Mens Sana in Corpore Sano
FROM LEFT TO right: Nick Kalkanis, Sia Pradhan, Jackie Sarafa, Vivian Williams, and Tess Harris pose for a photo. The Day Times |
Vol. 98 | Issue 3 | December 2021
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Spiderman 3: No Way Home
Photos Photos and and information information courtesy courtesy of of www.marvelcinematicuniverse.fandom.com www.ign.com and www.youtube.com
By ZHILLING YANG Entertainment Intern
The highly anticipated Spider-Man 3: No Way Home will be released on December 17, 2021. The most exciting part of this new Spiderman movie is the idea of the “multiverse” - a concept that says there are multiple universes with similar people in each universe. For example, through the multiverse, you would have another version of yourself that may be slightly different. Fans speculate that the multiverse will bring multiple different versions of their favorite characters to this movie. Many popular Spider-Man villains will appear in this movie and they will all be from past films with the same actors. This has gotten many fans excited to see their favorite villains back on the big screen, especially Dr. Otto Octavius, played by Alfred Molina. Reportedly there will be five iconic Spider-Man villains in the movie: Doctor Octopus, Lizard, Sandman, Green Goblin, and Electro. The story will take place directly after the events of Spider-Man 2: Far From Home, where Peter’s identity gets revealed after his fight with Mysterio. Now, Peter is unmasked and he cannot separate his normal daily life as Peter Parker from being a famous superhero. From the trailer, we can also see Peter Parker is “public enemy # 1,” and he is being criticized by the public wherever he goes. That is because in the post-credit scene of Spider-Man: Far From Home, J. Jonah Jameson, the editor-in-chief of the Daily Bugle Newspaper, broadcasted evidence that Spider-Man had murdered Mysterio, and that Peter Parker was Spider-Man. Note that the public has not yet realized Mysterio was actually the villain; instead, they thought he was the hero. Because Spider-Man’s identity has been revealed, he seeks help from a superhero that deals with magic known as Dr. Strange. From the trailers, we know Peter asks Dr. Strange to cast a spell that would erase the memory of Peter being Spider-Man from people’s minds. Dr. Strange decides to do the spell; however, something goes wrong and the “multiverse” opens up. Fans are very excited to see what will happen as a result. Even more, a lot of evidence shows that the other two former Spider-Men from past movies may make an appearance in the film. These are Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s versions of Spider-Man from past Spider-Man movies made by Sony. Jaime Fox, who is confirmed to play villain Electro in the new film, posted a fanmade picture of the three Spider-Men on his Instagram. Jamie Foxx quickly deleted the picture after it was posted for only a few minutes. Although it was fanmade, fans were excited because it was posted by an officially casted villain. As a result, fans started leaking set pictures, clips, and even trailers of the movie to find even a speck of evidence that the three Spider-Men will be in it. From watching the trailer, all we know is there are five confirmed Spider-Man villains and the concept of the multiverse will be heavily involved. There isn’t official confirmation that Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s versions of Spider-Man will appear in the movie, but it has definitely been hinted at. We will find out what happens on December 17th!
By MILES KOHN and VIVEK SANTHAPUR Entertainment Intern and Senior Content Editor This year has been a great year for Netflix. Popular shows, such as Squid Game and You, have appeared on Netflix this year, making the streaming platform even bigger by drawing attention. The year isn’t over yet; however, as Netflix has tons of great shows releasing close to the December holidays. From short films to longstanding television shows, there is a lot to choose from on this massive platform in the upcoming weeks.
Photos and information courtesy of www.whats-on-netflix.com
The Witcher is a fantasy series based on a book series with the same name. The show was originally going to be a movie, but because there was so much content, they decided on a show instead. The first season was released in December of 2019, while the second season began production in late 2020. The series follows Geralt of Rivia, played by Henry Cavill, who is a monster hunter, also known as a “Witcher.” The series starts with a flashback and then goes back to the present, which, at this time, is 1263. The show has gained a lot of popularity and is expected to do well for the second season.
On the international level, we have the Spanish show Money Heist. It follows the lives of a group of criminals who pull off high profile heists across Spain. The series started in 2017 and is set in the Spanish city of Madrid. An elusive man by the name of the Professor wants to set up an elite group of heisters who would rob the royal bank of Madrid for an estimated 984 million Euros or 1.1 billion dollars. The first half of season five came out in September, and the final half of the series will come out in December of 2021. One of Netflix’s most anticipated shows, Cobra Kai is having its fourth and final season on December 31, 2021. Cobra Kai is a spin off of the popular Karate Kid movies from the 80s and 90s. Because of this, the show brought in fans with a wide age range as many older viewers wanted to see their favorite characters again while many younger viewers wanted to watch some action packed karate. The show follows the life of Miguel Diaz decades after the original Karate Kid movies. Miguel is getting bullied and seeks guidance from Johnny Lawrence to learn karate. Jonny Lawrence was one of the villains in the original movies. Lawrence ends up creating his own Karate Dojo, but this catches the attention of Daniel Larruso, who was the main character in the original Karate Kid movies. Daniel decides to make his own Dojo and the two have a rivalry. The show follows this feud between the two and their Karate Dojos and fans are excited to see how the feud is settled in the final season.
December 2021 | The Day Times
Issue 3 | Volume 98
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Holiday movies to watch this winter By RILEY MCALPINE Staff Writer
We can all agree that when the holidays roll around, you just want to make yourself a cup of hot chocolate, grab a blanket, put on your PJs, and curl up on the couch and watch that one holiday movie that makes you happy. We asked one person from each grade what their favorite holiday movie is and why. There was a wide variety of answers from the classics to a few unique movies. Some people watch these movies with their family as When we asked Lauren Mateer (9th grade), she was quick to respond with her answer: “Daddy’s Home 2 is my favorite. It’s, in my opinion, one of the best comedy Christmas movies of all time!” Daddy’s Home 2 stars Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell. The movie is a sequel to Daddy’s Home, about a stepdad trying to give his stepkids a great Christmas. But everything starts to go wrong and become a competition when the real dad comes home for the holidays. Maria Nona (12th grade) answered with a more classic holiday movie that she loves to watch with her family: “The Grinch would be my favorite for sure. I love the plot of it and I associate many good memories with the movie. My family and I would always watch the movie together around the holidays.” The Grinch, starring Jim Carrey, is about a Dr. Seuss character trying to ruin Christmas for the people down in Whoville. Stephen Tortora (10th grade) likes comedy as much as the next person and chose Elf as one of his favorites. Keeping his response short and man who grew up in the North Pole and thinks he is an elf. Due to his difference in appearance, he is then told that he is not an elf and is sent some-
Photos Courtesy of Imdb.com
Last but not least, Charlie Dolan (11th grade) answered with a very unique movie in mind: “The Holiday is my favorite because I always watch it with my mom and it brings up great memories that I share with her.” The Holiday, starring Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet, is about a “dumped and depressed” (IMDB), woman who swaps homes with an “unlucky in love” (IMDB) woman in another country. Both women are surprised about what their new lives entail. Perhaps this list will inspire you to sit down for a movie this holiday season, whether you’re watching on your own or as a tradition with friends and family.
New Year’s resolutions
By KAITLYN HOPKINS Section Editor As 2021 comes to an end, students are approaching the new year with positive and hopeful attiin order to make improvements for the upcoming year. We asked a few DCDS students about their
more. I didn’t get to do that in 2021, and there are a lot of places I wanted to travel to while I was still in high school, but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to because of the pandemic. I hope there are
Photos Courtesy of coppellstudentmedia.com and rubysinn.com
excited to explore my options before I graduate.” We hope that Annika gets to go to as many places on her bucket list as she can. lution is to get healthier and try to be more productive in school and in my sports.” We are sending our good luck and positive energy to Sloane and hope she is successful in 2022. he is setting a goal to focus more on his happiness, and less on the stressful parts of his year. “In 2021, I spent the majority of the year focusing on the monster that was junior year. I wanted to almajors and never really enjoyed myself or had that much free time, so this upcoming year I want to enjoy the rest of my time in high school.” His goals for 2022 as a senior are much different, and we wish Deaglan all the happiness as we approach the new year. We hope that these goals can provide a sense of optimism in the DCDS community and we can’t wait to see what 2022 has in store for everyone. We wish everyone a happy holiday season. The Day Times | October 2021 December 2021 | The Day Times
Vol. 98 | Issue 2 Issue 3 | Volume 98
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Senior Spotlight on Lily Higgins
Higgins excels in leadership roles, arts, and community service By HIBA ASADULLA AND JIU WON Features Section Editor and Features Staff Writer
HIGGINS POSES WITH the swim team at their league meet.
Photo courtesy of Grace Liu
team. While Higgins does not plan to continue swimming in college, striving to follow a more academic path, she holds many fond memories and will certainly miss her time competing. In addition to being captain of the swim team, Higgins is also captain of Country Day’s Ski Team, a member of the DRB and Spectrum, an avid participant in school plays and productions, and a competitor in many DCDS science fairs. This heavy schedule demands a lot of commitment, organization, and time management skills, which Higgins has mastered through her time at DCDS. “Having a busy schedule has really taught me about hard work and discipline. I know that I need to get all of my school work done, as well as a bunch of extracurriculars like sports, so making time anywhere I can throughout the day helps,” said Higgins. In addition to in-school activities, Higgins is also heavily involved in community Photo courtesy of Tanisha Khare
Every year, a new group of seniors grace the halls of Country Day, bringing their unique strengths to the school. Each student is truly exceptional, leaving their legacy behind to inspire future classes. One senior who will undoubtedly be remembered for her kindness, compassion, and intelligence is Lily Higgins. Through her leadership roles and her love for community service, Higgins has left her mark on Country Day for many underclassmen to strive for. Swim plays a vital role in Higgins’s career at Country Day. Higgins, current co-captain of the swim team, has wanted this position since freshman year, as she loves helping others, planning, and leading. A couple of her responsibilities include planning bonding activities, making informational packets, and overseeing the creation of apparel. That being said, her biggest responsibility is working with the team: cultivating a friendly and inclusive environment so that team spirit is bolstered. “This role requires a lot of communication, not just between my co-captain, Ainsley, and I, but also between teammates, including swimmers and divers. It has taught me hard work, diligence, and competitiveness. Swimming requires a lot of time, and you’re always pushing yourself to the max. It has taught me to go until I can’t go anymore, then to keep going,” said Higgins. Despite the demands that this sport places on her, the bonds that she has built with her teammates make all of this work worth it, and she is eternally grateful for her time on the
HIGGINS LOOKS TO future oppotunities to lead in the community. service and finds importance in helping others. For example, The Mask Squad, a project that Higgins started in March of 2020, stemmed from a very personal experience. “My grandmother passed away right before the first COVID shutdown in March, and she always taught me to treat meanness with kindness, which really resonated with me; since we were living in a period of mean times, I decided to do something nice. Given that we could not travel anywhere for spring break, I pulled out the sewing machine that my grandmother gifted me and began making masks. I then found out Beaumont was accepting masks, so I got people to help make even more. I ended up donating over 3,000 masks to Beaumont,” said Higgins. Higgins also volunteers at Beaumont as her de-
sire to be a pediatrician influences many of her community service endeavors. “Volunteering at Beaumont was such a great experience. Over the summer, I worked in the pediatric unit; I mostly played with kids and cleaned up. I got to hang out with kids of various ages and realized that no matter where the kids came from, they just all wanted to talk. They would open up to me so much. It felt extremely rewarding,” said Higgins. Through her time at Country Day, Higgins has gained insightful and powerful knowledge that she hopes to relay to her fellow peers and underclassmen here at the Upper School: “Do not listen to other people’s criticisms; don’t let anyone give you unnecessary anxiety. If you study hard, then you will do well, no matter what others say. Do not let anyone underestimate you. If someone puts you down for your passion, then that’s all the more reason to show them they’re wrong. Again, just treat meanness with kindness. I feel like that’s the most important advice I can give,” said Higgins. Higgins is an outstanding and incredibly compassionate individual and embodies the values of an ideal DCDS student. It is no secret that Detroit Country Day students have numerous responsibilities and follow a rigorous schedule. However, Higgins has persevered and set a clear example for future classes to follow. Through her leadership roles, the Mask Squad, and her love for community service, Higgins has demonstrated just how exceptional she is. We wish her all the best in her future ventures, fully confident in the continuation of her success!
Secret Heroes of DCDS
A line of individuals behind the scenes that make DCDS complete By Achyut Reddy Staff Writer
December 2021 | Issue 3 | Vol. 98
right now can be delayed from three to four months,” said Lunemann. Apart from the issues Lunemann faces from his work, he loves his job and the DCDS community. “My dad taught here in 1965 and I went to school here for 1 year.” Lunemann said. “I came here in 1985 as a summer help just painting the building and doing repairs and ended up sticking around. Thirty-five years later I ended up managing a department and it’s kind of like a home to me.” Sometimes we take for granted that we go to school every day expecting to not be bothered by outside intruders. This is all thanks to our diligent workers in the security field, for the tough hours they put in every day to keep us safe. Every time people enter and leave the building, security will make them check-in, or make sure they have already been checked out. “I have always been working in security, and I was a secret shopper before I came here to DCDS,” says Liz Marie, Supervisor of Security. Most security guards here at DCDS have to work eight hours or more every day, but Marie works every weekday from 7 AM to 6 PM and faces challenges of working extra hours to keep the school safe and secure. With the extra practice of security drills, they face several challenges in maintaining DCDS safety. “Once in a while we have drills, so we have to be prepared for anything that could happen which sometimes are problems of organization. We have to know what is happening,” said Marie. Not only do our security guards hold a big responsibility in keeping the students safe, but they also feel big connections to the DCDS community. “I really enjoy helping out. The community is really friendly so I really enjoy it,” said Marie. The roles of the people who help DCDS to run behind the scenes are a huge part of the safe environment of DCDS. Their challenging roles in our community allow us to perform and continue our lives as students and faculty members, and they deserve a huge amount of appreciation and support.
Security Supervisor Liz Marie
Facilities Manager Jim Lunemann
Plum Market Manager Kristine Lee
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Photos courtesy of Kunwoo Kim and Matthew Sadler
As Detroit Country Day students start getting immersed in their school and social lives, it is important to not forget the people who allow DCDS to run behind the scenes. The essential workers are the backbone of our health and safety to help keep our school and facilities safe and clean. As their work has increased due to the pandemic, they deserve even more appreciation and spotlight. One of the essential workers that keep students fueled in their daily academic lives are the workers in the cafeteria who feed with healthy and different lunch options each day. “We feed roughly about sixteen hundred to seventeen hundred students a day across all campuses. Along with trying to feed all those people, we also face supply chain issues like everyone else. For example, the chicken tenders were canceled this week, and we weren’t able to get milk cartons for the lower school. We have to be able to move on and dime when things change” says Kristine Lee, the head chef at DCDS Upper School. While facing persistent challenges of feeding DCDS, Kristine enjoys her work and feels passionate about the DCDS environment and family. Kristine loves her work and loves to provide for the DCDS students and faculty. “I love it. I helped start the program, and I really love it as everyone has been great and it is a big family,” said Lee. Other types of essential workers that help keep DCDS clean and safe are the custodial and maintenance departments. They allow the school to be a safe environment for students that enter the building each day to attend class. “We make sure all the units are running one-hundred percent. We’ve changed over to special filters which are the highest merv[air quality] rating you can get for the units. Basically, we make sure the units are bringing a certain percentage of outdoor air to reduce the spread of covid between the students” said Jim Lunemann, facilities manager at the DCDS upper school. On top of the protocols, they face issues on supply and face challenges of getting the best quality materials for the students. “It’s mostly just having to get filters in stock. Everybody wants better filters. We also face shipping problems as everything
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DCDS’ college counseling team
College Counseling Team shares tips and tricks on how to be successful with college applications By ANNIKA CHINNAIYAN Senior Editor
One of the most important and stressful days of senior year, November 1st, has passed and the DCDS college counselors have been there for every senior each step of the way. November 1st was the deadline for Early Decision and Early Action applications, and seniors have been working hard towards this date for months. DCDS students have thrived under the grueling pressure of college applications and become stronger writers, applicants, and leaders. The DCDS college counseling team has helped students excel in their studies and work towards their future. Seniors have met with the team and their designated counselor multiple times to work on essays and applications, but they have also been an amazing support group. Mr. Greenwald, the head of college counseling, shares his favorite moments as a college counselor: “There are so many great things about my job that it’s impossible to sum it up into one thing. Getting to know the students and families is so important, and I enjoy developing these relationships that ultimately allow me to better serve their needs in this process. My favorite moments are when a student chooses a college that was not initially on their list, but after researching/visiting, they discover that it’s a perfect match for them,” said Mr. Greenwald. Although the college counseling team mostly works with helping juniors and seniors prepare for their future endeavors, underclassmen are advised to start seeing Mrs. Sullivan periodically in order to begin their process early. “Students should see me at least once each year, but I recommend twice: in the beginning of the year to lay a plan for activities and discuss the context of their courses, and before scheduling so that we can make an effective plan for the next year. I have met with most freshmen and sophomores to develop a tentative four-year curriculum plan. We update this plan as students’ interests and situations change,” said Mrs. Sullivan. Make sure you take advantage of all of the programs that DCDS has to offer! The college counseling department is full of fantastic advisors that make the team so special. Many students have been able to make some of the best relationships with these counselors, and this department has be-
Counselors’ advice to seniors:
come a safe space for them. Mrs. Penkala, a junior-senior counselor, shares her favorite aspect about her team: “Our team is special because we have lots of experience, but also because we care deeply for every student with whom we work. Truly, your dreams are our dreams. Working with young people is a tremendous pleasure,” said Mrs. Penkala. In addition, Mr. Greenwald explains how the team is different from other schools and allows DCDS students to prosper in numerous ways: “The DCDS College Counseling Team is truly the best around. We bring a wealth of experience, from both the high school and college side, and have been in leadership positions in both state and national organizations that have helped us build a strong network of contacts. What makes this group special, however, is the sincere concern that each member has for the students. We want to be a welcoming place where students feel supported and where we can help them find a college match for the next four years of their lives,” said Mr. Greenwald. Ms. Stahl joined DCDS a few years ago, and her insight from being both a teacher and a college counselor from different schools has greatly impacted the DCDS community. She and the rest of the college counselors have made such a difference for students, and in return it is important to make sure to show gratitude. Ms. Stahl shares her favorite aspects about the team and gives special advice to the entire student body: “We are truly a team. None of us work in isolation. We are constantly sharing knowledge and information and supporting the work of our caseloads. And our Administrative Assistants are informed and eager to assist. Come for the cookies and candy and stay for the support,” said Ms. Stahl. The help students get from the college counselors is truly exceptional and is one of the aspects that makes DCDS unique. Check out the college counseling department and introduce yourself to this fantastic group of counselors!
Photos Courtesy of Kunwoo Kim.
MRS. SULLIVAN “Believe in yourself. No selection process is bigger or more important than you are! College admission is just one of many hurdles. No one college is perfect for you!”
MR. GREENWALD “Don’t make college the focus of conversations with your friends or extended family, and do your best to avoid situations where the merits of other students are being discussed. It may make you feel better for a minute or two, but these toxic conversations just feed into the stress and can lead to hurt feelings and resentment.”
Not so disposable
A creative way to hold onto high school memories forever By AAYUSH DAGAR Features Section Editor
Photos Courtesy of Sara Qasim and Serena Nyambio.
The brief flashing of light when someone takes a photo is a familiar feeling to all. Photos have become an important way to capture moments in time, and so individuals strive to take photos in memorable places. Photos taken from a disposable camera are known as “dispos,” and this practice has taken over as a big trend over the last year. As this trend has spread, senior Sara Qasim was one of many to be captivated by the movement. “I was inspired by the famous media star and vlogger, David Dobrik,” said Qasim.
As Sara and her friends started to post dispos, others wanted to collaborate with them. Senior Serena Nyambio, now one of the main creators of the account, joined early when she requested to help in the process of taking and developing the dispos.
themselves on their looks because they cannot immediately see the photo after it’s taken just because of how dispo cameras work. This is a great thing though because it allows people to be themselves and allows us to capture beautiful moments.” Carrying a deeper meaning and purpose behind them, dispos give high schoolers an opportunity to hold onto their high school memories forever. Every picture reminds individuals of specific moments in time and opens a door to good feelings and happiness. The process of putting together dispos is exciting and thrilling. Seeing the picture develop and come together is truly remarkable. As for the seniors who started this Instagram account, they have not only given themseleves a way to hold onto to their high school memories forever, but have also paved the way for other students to share memories through dispos.
BRANDON ALSHAB AND Tulia Henderson smile for the camera in their Halloween costumes. LUKE GROVES AND Brando Mann pose for Halloween in their costumes. Qasim discussed this with her friends, namely seniors Kennedy Tidjani and Johnathan Abraham. Together, they started the Instagram account “disposnotdispos222” in their junior year. The group wanted the account’s content to revolve around DCDS and its students. They often walk around, camera in hand, taking photos during home football games, holiday events like Halloween, or even during regular school days.
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This Instagram account has positively impacted the entire DCDS community. Many students from all grades follow the account to see if they have gotten featured. “Tagging our friends and other DCDS kids’ personal accounts adds to the magic because, that way, we let people know that they are part of the account too,” said Jonathan. This bodes well with the group’s goal of trying to promote a sense of community. There is something magical that happens when you take a dispo, since people come together all excited and ready for the bright camera flash,” Sara relayed. “They do not criticize
GRACE FOWKES AND Ainsley Shilling pose for the camera in their Halloween costumes.
Vol. 98 | Issue 3 | December 2021
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Swimmin’ Students take to the pool A season preview for the Men’s Varsity swimming team
By ALEX EBY and ZACHARY RODGER Sports Interns and Staff Writers
As the fall sports season starts to wrap up at Detroit Country Day, the winter season is rapidly approaching. One of these winter sports, Varsity Men’s Swimming, practices as soon as Thanksgiving break ends. Aidan Khaghany, a senior captain of the DCDS Varsity Men’s Swim team, touched on the strict practice regimen. “A normal week for us is 3 mornings a week at 6:00 am. Then we have practices from 5:30-7:30 every day after school and practice from 8-11 on Saturday,” said Khaghany. Khaghany further described the difficulties associated with swim. “Swimming is an incredibly hard sport which does not allow for much sleep and time for work. However, the immense schedule and workload shape every member of the team to become better people by teaching us discipline and the results of hard work and time management,” said Khaghany. While the team spends countless hours training together in the pool, Aidan also touched on the special sense of camara-
THE 2020-2021 Men’s Varsity Swim Team
derie outside of the pool. “What I look forward to most is hanging out and partying with my team. Although practices are challenging and demanding, it’s worth it in the end, knowing I pushed myself to my limit. Our swim parties are top tier and one of the best parts of our season is how close we are as a team,” said Khaghany. Khaghany discussed the team culture in and out of the pool. “The bonds on the swim team are stronger than most. Because of the hardships we go through together, we become closer. My past captains have taught me so much about leadership, and I feel as if it is my duty to do the same for the underclassmen,” said Khaghany. Being a part of a high school swim team demonstrates passion for the sport, but that passion derives from earlier experiences. Another senior swim captain, Abhinav Reddy, spoke about the importance of swimming since the beginning of his life. “I have been in the pool for as long as I can remember. Whether it be competing at a young age or swimming for leisure
MEN’S VARSITY SWIMMERS of the past
with friends, I always wanted to be around the sport. Most kids find passion at a young age in other activities like soccer, tennis, or football, but for me, it was always swimming. I hope to always be a swimmer and be surrounded by the sport,” said Reddy. Reddy shared his hopes for the team this year. “Our aspirations are to make it to states and place for as many events as possible. Sadly due to our small team, it is impossible for us to win States as a whole, but we will compete for all states and spots in the top 8 for every event we can,” said Reddy. Last year, the team placed well considering the number of swimmers on the team. They only had four swimmers at states and did considerably well by placing top eight in multiple events and relays. This season, they look to continue their success and make strides as a team. The DCDS community wishes the Men’s Swim team best of luck this season!
CADEN KUANG, ABHINAV Reddy, and Aidan Khagany
Redefining “sports” with blue point options An interview with several “alternative” forms of sport By ZACHARY RODGER Sports Intern With the increasing emergence of electronics into everyday life, the introduction of the E-sports team along with other competitive team tournaments, like Quiz Bowl, are changing the landscape of high school athletics. Andrew Gu, a junior at DCDS, has participated in quiz bowl competitions since the beginning of high school and is an avid esports competitor. When asked how he classifies a sport, Gu said, “Most sports have some objective, just like a video game, or in school where the objective is to finish homework and not get detentions. In all seriousness, a sport is not just a game. There are also team mates and shared goals.” Many obvious similarities exist between physical
ESPORTS TOURNAMENTS ARE surprisingly popular.
The Day Times | December 2021
and academic competitions. Liam Hounsell, the founder of the E-sports Club, touched on the difficulty of esports compared to traditional sports. “I think all sports (including various e-sports) have different requirements and difficulties. For example, track is rather easy because all you have to do is run compared to being a quarterback in football. These two sports still get the same recognition. That’s the same game in esports. If you want, you can play Call of Duty with no specific intent. Or, you can spend thousands of hours practicing and memorizing things for League of Legends, yet both of these are viewed asDCDS QUIZ BOWL has a long history of success. Pictured here is the State Champion team e-sports. Overall, I personally thinkfrom 2014 en’t been able to judge how good we are doing,” said Hounsell. that each sport/e-sport has its own Gu summarized his opinion on these alternative types challenges and requirements to be successful,” said Hounsell. Sports involve hours of work ahead of competition of sports. “I would ultimately consider practicing a video game, for a participant or team to find success. Gu spoke about the e-sport, or quiz bowl at home as a sport. Maybe they’re not physical practice necessary to perform well during quiz bowl matches. “I would say on the weekends, I do a couple of games. sports, but the components, like practice, the objective to win, and Each game is roughly ten minutes or a bit longer depending on the high degree of difficulty should qualify them as sports,” said Gu. Andrew is entering his third year of quiz bowl comthe difficulty of the questions. It is also always a good idea to do petition and looking to constantly improve as an individua couple of practice games right before a competition,” said Gu. Housell also revealed his practice routine. al player, while also helping the team. In the 2020-21 school “Every time I play to practice, I do a 15-minute warm- year, the Detroit Country Day Quiz Bowl team placed first up, whether it’s casually playing the game or a separate app for in the state and fourth in the country at the high school nawarm-up, such as an aim trainer, followed by a two-hour ses- tional championship tournament. Coached by Dr. Mcsion of playing. I then do somewhat of a warm down reviewing Nellen, the Quiz Bowl team has a long history of success. The E-sports Club is in its first year of comwhat I could have done better and make plans for next time. “Right now, our e-sports teams are still doing place- petitive play, but there is a national competition. Good ments to see how good they are and once they have gotten a performances in the regular season and playoffs can rank (like a division rating for sports) they will start to practice book teams a trip to the national tournament in May. more. We do around two hours of practice, but so far, we hav- Good luck to the quiz bowl and esports teams this year!
Vol. 98 | Issue 3
The Day Times |
Tumbling to success
The Detroit Country Day Cheer team influences players and fans alike By CONNOR ADAMS Sports Section Editor
Photos Courtesy of JEmir McGreevy
The atmosphere at a typical Detroit Country Day football game has screaming fans, the rowdy Barnyard, and of course the amazing play of the dedicated athletes on the field. However, one key element unites these qualities into one cohesive experience: the Detroit Country Day Cheer team. A part of every football game, the Cheer team consistently provides support for the DCDS Football team regardless of wins and losses. Their support galvanizes the players to fight through physical and mental adversity while leading the fans in the stands. Jordan Dong, a mainstay member of the Barnyard, and Arnov Khatri, a consistent fan of the week, elaborated on the importance of the Cheer team for fan morale. “The Cheer team is sort of like a captain for the Barnyard; they really encourage everyone to participate in the chants. It helps unite all of the fans and fosters a sense of community. All of the flips, routines, and
THE SENIORS OF the Cheer team pose for a photo.
chants also add another layer of entertainment to the game,” said Dong. Khatri echoed Dong’s statement. “For me, one of the most memorable parts of every game is some of the Cheer chants. I can’t imagine going to a football game without hearing a Jacket Rumble or seeing someone flying through the air. It really is a part of the Detroit Country Day football game experience,” said Khatri. However, the cheerleaders also serve to inspire the players on the field. Brian Singleton, a member of the Men’s Varsity Football team, elaborated on the importance of this support. “Yeah, the Cheer team is super important for the football program. Hearing their support on the field always provides a big boost in the crucial moments of the game. Also, knowing that someone is going to be there for you no matter what is huge for our mentality as a team,” said Singleton. Led by senior leaders Emir McGreevy, Maggie Gates, and Isabel Cleary, the Cheer team braves treacherous conditions every Friday night to support the team. McGreevy described the commitment each member of the Cheer team possesses despite the inclement weather on game nights late in November. “The commitment each person has to this sport is awesome. Whether it’s 30 degrees on a late Friday night or a sunny 70 degree day, every single person pulls through and puts on an outstanding performance. I’m really going to miss cheering for the football team every game with these girls,” said McGreevy. Gates expanded on McGreevy’s comments. “I’m so proud of the girls this year. It’s been very difficult to adjust to the COVID-19 protocols while still trying to perform at the highest level. Later in the season, especially with the cold weather, it was very difficult to execute some of our more
THE CHEER TEAM celebrates a touchdown with a photo. complicated routines like a toss or a tumble, but the girls never failed to deliver,” said Gates. Although the Detroit Country Day Men’s Varsity Football season has ended, this conclusion does not spell the end for the cheerleading team. In the winter, these Cheer athletes transition to a different form of their sport: competitive cheer. Unlike sideline cheer, competitive cheer does not center around supporting another sports team. Instead, the Cheer team will attend competitions to be judged on the difficulty as well as the execution of their routines. Under the leadership of McGreevy, Gates, and Cleary, the competitive cheerleading team is guaranteed success in the future. Good luck girls!
Senior Spotlight: Serena Nyambio
An inside look into one of the most prestigious athletes at DCDS By CONNOR ADAMS Senior Section Editor
NYAMBIO SETS UP to “bump” the ball. next season at the prestigious University of Michigan volleyball program. She detailed her excitement for the upcoming season, as well as the next step in her education.“I’m most excited to be playing in the Big 10 Conference with the best in the country. It definitely will be a challenge to balance school work with volleyball, but I look forward to the challenge,” said Nyambio. Nyambio has not achieved this incredible level of success alone. She credits those who helped her grow as a person and athlete. “My parents always pushed me to get to the next level. All of their training, time, money, and confidence ensured that I made it to where I am today,” said Nyambio. With this support system and relentless work ethic, Nyambio will be sure to continue her academic and athletic success at the collegiate level for the University of Michigan. The Detroit Country Day School Community wishes her the best of luck for the future!
Photos Courtesy of Serena Nyambio
Every year, DCDS hosts a wealth of impressive athletic talent that reaches the pinnacle of high school sports. These ranks include professional athletes like Shane Battier and Chris Webber. With the vast array of support from an illustrious athletics department, many athletes excel in their respective sports to gain national recognition, state championships, and even college scholarships. One of these athletes, Serena Nyambio, dominates the volleyball court as a middle blocker. Her efforts on the court earned her All-American recognition, as well as a scholarship for the University of Michigan next year. Nyambio fell in love with volleyball at a young age. “My parents were the first people to introduce me to volleyball. As soon as I stepped onto a court, I fell in love. I really can’t imagine my life without volleyball,” said Nyambio. Nyambio’s love for volleyball only increased over time as she continued to hone her skills. In any sport, playing at the college level often requires athletes to train non-stop throughout the year, and volleyball is no exception. Nyambio detailed how she stays involved and competitive in her sport. “There really is no off season [for volleyball], because after the DCDS high school season ends, I go straight into the club and travel season until July. Then, the high school season starts again in August,” said Nyambio. Nyambio also described her favorite aspect of playing volleyball at Detroit Country Day School. “I really enjoyed getting so much closer to the girls at the school. It was really fun to make new friendships with people I had never met before. Playing on the volleyball team has definitely helped me feel closer to my classmates and school community,” said Nyambio. With the completion of her senior high school season, Nyambio has her sights set for
NYAMBIO POSES WITH her family to celebrate her commitment to the University of Michigan.
The Day Times | December 2021
NYAMBIO (MIDDLE) PREPARES to return an opposition serve.
Vol. 96 | IssueVol. 4 | March 98 | Issue 20203
Where Are They? Guess the location of the objects shown in the pictures. Which classroom do they belong to?
U.S. College Map
4 Chain Rule
“LoL” Teemo Hat
Ways of Knowing & Areas of Knowledge
Living Word “Claustrophobia”
December 2021 | Issue 3 | Vol. 98
| The Day Times