December 21, 2007 - Volume XVIII - Issue 4 - Dexter
High School - 2200 N. Parker Road - Dexter, Mi 48130
THE DEBATE ABOUT TRIMESTERS As DHS gets ready to switch to trimesters next year, some
Michigan schools ﬁnd it's not all it's cracked up to be Heather Siller news editor
Starting in the 2008-2009 school year, Dexter High School will switch to trimesters. 12-week terms will occur three times throughout a school year. Trimesters will enable students to take 15 courses per year rather than 12 under the semester-based school year. In addition, there will be ﬁve, 72-minute periods each day instead of six, 57-minutes classes. Principal Kit Moran said this move is a positive one. “As a staff, we decided to go to trimesters,” Moran said. “It’s going to allow us to deliver (Michigan Merit Exam) requirements and a choice of electives for kids.” English department chair Deborah Marsh is optimistic about the change also. “(The transition to trimesters) is a lot of work, but once it’s started it will be really good,” Marsh said. “The students will beneﬁt from the Michigan Merit Curriculum standards and benchmarks while having choices for electives.” But not everyone is as positive about this system as Moran. Birmingham Groves High School and Holt High School both made the trimester transition at the beginning of this school year.
SEE TRIMESTERS, page 2
illustration by Marcia Grace
Now that students could get into the classes they wanted, life in the counseling ofﬁce was pretty dull
Junior dies in car accident near school Tyler Steffey
Junior Tyler Steffey was killed in an accident that occurred not far from Dexter High School. The accident took place on Dec. 11 around 11 a.m. Steffey, 16, was sitting in the backseat of a friend’s vehicle, traveling with two fellow juniors, when the car, according to Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Department reports apparently slipped off of the road and struck a tree on the passenger’s side. It then struck another tree head on. Steffey was transported to the hospital but was later pronounced dead. The driver and other passenger received minor injuries. According to an Ann Arbor News story, all three students were wearing seat belts but the car’s air bags did not deploy. According to this story, it appears weather
conditions did play a role in the accident. Steffey was a varsity football and JV baseball player, and members of the football team honored him by wearing their football jerseys to school the day after the accident in his memory. Steffey is survived by his sister, senior Gina Steffey, and his parents Mike and Deanna. Students created multiple Facebook groups in his honor and special tributes took place at basketball and hockey games during the week of his death. •Further coverage of Tyler’s life will be in next month’s Squall •See page 10 for a column remembering Tyler from his friends Kyle Boren and Scott Crompton.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Photo by Jeff Leonard
Bus driver contract gets a ﬂat tire
“Drivers see that all the other workers have gotten wage increases. I believe the drivers feel they’re not being treated fairly.” -Don Mathis, bus driver
We shouldn’t have to have a mediator for a 1.6 percent increase. That’s ridiculous.” -Doreen Smith, bus driver trainer and union steward
You’d look forward to a Saturday ﬁeld trip even to get close to 40 hours. You don’t have (ﬁeld trips), you don’t need drivers.” -Nancy Ruhlig, bus driver
Maria Brundage copy editor
He gets up early every morning, ready to take someone else’s kids to school. But bus driver Don Mathis does this under a contract that expired June 30. As of now, the bus drivers are the only employee group in the district without a current contract. “We have been negotiating an updated contract,” Assistant Superintendent Mary Marshall said, “and until we have a tentative agreement that is approved by the bus drivers and the Board of Education, we continue to operate under the conditions of the previous contract.” Most of the negotiations are about wages, according to Deneen Smith, bus driver trainer and union steward. “The union and (the administration) cannot come up with an agreement on what the wage increase should be,” she said. Because of this standstill, Mathis said he thinks the bus drivers are being treated unfairly. “All other employees are enjoying wage increases, including teachers, maintenance and staff,” he said. “We’re paid less than our counterparts in other areas.” Driver Nancy Ruhlig agrees. “We’d like to stay up with everyone else,” she said. “We figure we do a pretty darn good job down (at the bus garage) getting people to and from school safely.” And Smith said all the drivers want is what other district employee groups already received. “They want the same thing the teachers got,” Smith said. “It comes out to a 1.62 percent raise or something like that. And they’re looking for longer contracts. That way we don’t have to be back in six months
because we are already halfway through the year. The district has already streamlined routes and cut weekend transportation, so their wages have already been cut.” But according to Mathis, not only don’t the drivers have a contract, the district wants them to take a pay cut for field trips as well. “Last I heard the proposal was to cut pay for field trips by $5 per hour,” he said. And the district is also cutting weekend transportation, which Ruhlig said translates into another wage decrease. “Me, I have a route which I get a little over 30 hours for,” she said. “You’d look forward to a Saturday field trip even to get close to 40 hours. You don’t have (field trips), you don’t need drivers. That’s money taken away from us.” This is another example of drivers being treated unfairly, according to Mathis. “Drivers see that all the other workers have gotten wage increases,” he said. “Not only have they not gotten theirs, but cutting pay for field trips would be a concession. I believe the drivers feel they’re not being treated fairly. I think we’re deserving of the same. We certainly shouldn’t have to give concessions. I don’t believe anyone else is.” But the district is trying to cut costs in as fair a way as possible, according to Marshall. “We need to both treat our employees fairly and be smart about how we choose to spend the money we have,” she said. “My hope is that we can be as efficient as possible in spending money for support services so that we are both fair to our employees and getting as much money as possible directly into the classroom.” The current contract did
expire about six months ago, but Marshall said there were only two meetings scheduled before then. She also said the negotiating group coordinates meetings around the schedule of the representative the union works with. “He negotiates with many companies and school districts, so his time is pretty tightly scheduled,” she said. “There have been times when we wanted to meet again, and he couldn’t meet for 3-4 weeks. His input is very important, so we do work with the constraints he has.” Marshall also said the 11 meetings between the drivers’ negotiating team and the district have been productive. “I feel that there has been a lot of conversation to understand each other’s needs, she said. “We have also agreed on several language improvements.” But Smith said she doesn’t completely understand why the process has taken so long. “We shouldn’t have to have a mediator for a 1.6 percent increase,” she said. “That’s ridiculous.” Director of Transportation Robert Poor declined comment. The next meeting is scheduled in January, and Marshall said this is the schedule the union requested. “I am ready to continue discussion whenever it works for them,” she said. “It’s hard to predict whether we can come to some final agreement at our next meeting or if we will need further discussion.” That discussion will wait until next year, but in the meantime the bus drivers continue to run their routes under an old contract. “Most drivers are OK, but this time of year it’s a little stressful on them,” Smith said. “They start getting upset that their contract hasn’t been settled and all the other contracts have. They feel a little shortchanged.”
Trimesters cont. from pg.1: teachers face issues And teachers at both schools said it has been a difﬁcult switch. At Birmingham Groves High School, the transition to trimesters was made due to a large budget deﬁcit, and as a result of the state’s refusal to reverse Proposal A, an attempt to make funding for schools more equitable by having education funded by the state instead to property tax, according to Birmingham Grove High School English teacher Laura Redman. “The only beneﬁt I see (under trimesters) is that we saved money by cutting teachers, programs, etc.,” Redman said. “(The administrators) want to get feedback from us. My hope is that, with this feedback, they will help us restructure the trimester or do away with it all together and we could go back to the drawing board as far as restructuring to save money.” Meanwhile, the Holt High School staff voted to make the transition to trimesters to enable teachers to deal with the new state curriculum and high school graduation requirements according to HHS English teacher Amy Clark. “We also knew that if we stayed on a traditional six hour day with two semesters, that we’d
lose some elective teachers and students would have fewer choices in their schedule,” Clark said in an e-mail. “The beneﬁt for students (under trimesters) seems to be having only ﬁve classes at once instead of six. That is about the only positive thing I’ve heard from students so far. Teachers who have yearlong classes like journalism have 73 minutes with students instead of 60, so they like the extra time.” “Many teachers who have had to cut their classes down from one semester to one trimester have had to cut a lot more material, or they say they are really cramming things in,” Clark said. “Students seem to feel this too. They complain that they are getting a lot more homework.” At BGHS, Redman said students don’t like the new system either. “Students I have talked to hate it.” Redman said. “They say that there is too much homework too soon and that many teachers, in the shorter time and class periods, have removed the interactive games, projects, etc. that helped them learn the material and are now lecturing instead.” Because of concerns like this, the DHS foreign language department is worried about the
switch to trimesters too. “We are concerned,” said French teacher Kimberly Lund. “But we will be able to offer travel, culture and college prep classes which focus on grammar and syntax. I think it will be important to remember that 72 minutes is an unusual amount of time to expect students to still, so we need to plan.” According to Lund other schools who have made the switch have found that in the foreign language department, students do not retain the information when their classes are not sequential. But Lund said DHS foreign language teachers are working to make sure this doesn’t happen her “I’m committed to making (trimesters) work.” Lund said. “We will learn from our mistakes, and get better every year.” And Advanced Placement English Language teacher Jo Muszkiewicz agrees. Muszkiewicz along with other AP teachers, fought to keep AP classes a year long, with the argument that such classes cannot possibly be completed in two trimesters. “I just need to juggle things and reconﬁgure (curriculum),” Muszkiewicz said. “It’s going to be worth it for the kids.”
photo by Val Argerio
Thrice as nice?: Social studies teacher Cory Bergen teaches an AP Government class. AP teachers say they will have to rearrange curriculum to ﬁt the new trimester schedules.
Friday, December 21, 2007
District surplus nets $1.1 million The district recently added approximately $1.1 million to its savings account. This is the result of money not spent from last year according to Sharon Raschke Executive Director of Finance and Business. Areas that were under budget included staff health beneﬁts ($600,000), teaching supplies that were carried into the 2007 year ($100,000) and utilities ($170,000). There were also other areas that spent less money as well, according to Raschke including, Board of Education, technology and building grounds. Raschke said, “The district board, administration and staff are constantly working hard to balance the limited ﬁnancial resources with providing a quality educational program for all students.” Photo by Deborah Marsh
Debate team ﬁeld trip: After participating in a debate tournament, debate team members including sophomore Henry Seegar and senior Omega Skeean (with trophy) relax on the ride home. The new ﬁeld trip policy may complicate future overnight debate trips according to debate coach Deb Marsh.
New ﬁeld trip policy receives mixed reactions Morgan Quist staff writer
A draft of the new field trip planning guide for Dexter Community Schools has been released and has the potential to alter overnight educational trips for teachers and students. Principal Kit Moran said Assistant Superintendent Mary Marshall can be credited for compiling the new field trip handbook, which he said is being created in order to streamline the guidelines for field trips in the district. Moran also said getting rid of old documents and creating one new set of documents should make things easier for everyone “(In the past) documents would conflict,” Moran said. “Everything Marshall is doing to straighten documents out is good for our school and all other schools in the district. One person would hand in one paper (to attend a field trip), it wouldn’t match up, and we would have to have them fill out another form. It was embarrassing.” Marshall said she continues to tweak the policies based on questions administrators ask. “The handbook is really just a compilation of policies and documents that already existed, just put together and distributed so we can all be better informed,” she said. The new draft of the Field Trip Planning Guide is 18 pages long, with new rules including that no discussion of a trip may
occur until the trip has been approved. This is one part of the policy that upsets debate coach Deb Marsh. “Well, how can we even discuss having a debate season or a forensics season without talking about our meets?” Marsh said. “All of our events occur on weekends. We need to discuss our tournament season so that we can prepare successfully.” In addition, another rule says when a teacher takes kids on overnight trips and stays in a hotel, there has to be a chaperone in each room or someone who stays awake all night in the hotel hallway, which Moran sees as reasonable. “From a parent’s point of view I don’t find this new rule to be excessive,” he said. “I believe more students will attend these field trips, since parents will know that their child is safe.” Marsh disagrees on this as well. “The fact that any overnight trip requires either an adult in each room with students, which I feel is inappropriate at this level, or an adult staying in the hall of the hotel watching the doors of the rooms all night long is absurd,” Marsh said. “All of the hotels that we stay at have night time security and that should be sufficient. The fact that the students on these trips are competing all day and night on Friday and then have to get up early on Saturday to get back to the tournament to compete again leaves little or no time for shenanigans. They are tired and need their rest. We don’t need adults in the hallways.
Additionally, the judges and I need our sleep too because we have to judge or work in the tab rooms all day and night as well. Even if we are supposed to share the supervision over night, it puts an unnecessary burden on us. Seriously, we get to the hotel at 11:15 p.m. and have to be on the bus again at 7 a.m. There is not enough time for sleep as it is.” Marshall said although she supports over-night trips, they need to be consistent in planning ahead. “The overnight trips are often exciting opportunities for students and require a great deal of planning,” she said. “The preliminary plan needs to require approval from the Superintendent. This hasn’t always happened in the past, but we need to get more consistent in this area.” But Marsh said there haven’t been problems in the past, so she doesn’t see the need for change now. “I have spent hours and hours on this issue this year, and the added burden of fighting for programs which have been successful annually is ridiculous to me,” she said. “We have never had a problem in 14 years of debate and forensics here at DHS, and we won’t have one. I won’t allow it. My students understand what is expected of them, their parents are paying money for them to be allowed to even participate, and they want to be able to do debate and forensics. They love the activities and know that if anything bad happens, they won’t have those programs any more.”
Girls swim team robbed during practice Brent Muse Staff Writer
Someone broke into the girls locker room at the high schools while the swim team was at practice on Nov. 15. A total of ﬁve iPods, $73 and one Northface jacket, were stolen. This was one of the last swim practices of the year, and sophomores Nicole Chalu, Lauren Daugherty and Morgan Quist, along with a few other swimmers on the team, were victims of this crime. This is not a reoccurring problem at Dexter schools but does happen occasionally. “As far as this occurring in other schools,” school liaison ofﬁcer Paul Mobbs said, “all the other ofﬁcers and school people I have talked to have the same problems with these types of items being stolen.” According to Senior Jessie Boren, the team was in the showers at the time and one of the girls said she lost her money. After that everyone was claiming they had something missing. Quist had her iPod along with $20 stolen from her and Daughtery also had iPod stolen. “I
felt surprised that it would happen to me,” she said. According to Daugherty, none of her belongings were locked in her locker at the time nor during any other practice. This is a bad idea according to Mobbs. “We would not go to the mall and leave our personal items out and leave unattended and think they would be safe,” Mobbs said. “The best thing I can advise the students is to lock up all items and do not leave them unattended.” Boren also left her belongings outside of a locker unattended and had $20 in her bag but was lucky enough not to get it stolen. “I never lock my things in my locker because I didn’t think that anyone would steal our stuff while we are at practice,” Boren said. Mobbs said he is investigating the incident and is trying to identify the suspect and could not comment much because of the on-going investigation.
“The consequences for being caught could be both school and legal,” Mobbs said. “This would be considered larceny from a building which is a felony no matter what the value is of the items stolen.” Stealing has never been a big problem and for some students getting something stolen can be quite shocking. “When I ﬁrst heard about things being stolen from the girls I was shocked,” Boren said. “At ﬁrst I didn’t believe it because that has never happened to me, and I didn’t think anyone would do that.”
District website redesigned In early November the community discovered a new design for the district website. Assistant Superintendent Mary Marshall was in charge of setting up a committee of interested parents to discuss how to change the web site to encourage better communication between parents and students within the community. Supervisor of Technology Richard Weaver created the templates and some pages and still is changing the web site so more residents will be capable of getting information they need. Weaver said the new design is an ongoing process. He said his main goal is to make sure all community members have easy access to the things they need. He said, “If we are attracting visitors who can ﬁnd the information they need quickly and can link to where they want to go and then ﬁnd up to date information, then we will have a great design.”
Aprill Competes at nationals Senior Bobby Aprill competed in the Footlocker Midwest Champion Championships in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The race included students from all 13 states in the Midwest. In order to qualify, runners needed to run a 16 minute 3.1 mile time or faster. Aprill said the conditions made the race difﬁcult. It was 29 degrees, which came along with rain, snow and ice, according to Aprill. The top 10 runners of the race moved on to the nationals in San Diego. Aprill came in 11th with a time of 15:22, which did not qualify him for nationals. Aprill said he was happy with his performance nonetheless. “It was an overall good race,” he said. “I got to run with the best, and it was an exciting experience that I would do again.”
Squall members recognized At the National Scholastic Press Association/ Journalism Education Association national high school journalism convention held in Philadelphia from Nov. 8-11, two Squall staff members won national ﬁrst place awards. The Squall was the only high school newspaper in the country to win two ﬁrst place awards in the individual competitions. Senior Maria Brundage won ﬁrst place for a news photo she took at least year’s blood drive. And 2007 graduate Rachel Moir won ﬁrst place for an illustration she drew for the cover of last year’s paper. Brundage said, “When I found out I won, it made my whole lot better. What’s funny is I didn’t think it was that great of a photo.”
Friday, December 21, 2007
Freshman bat tles leukemia
Katie Johnson Features Editor
He sits in the back of the classroom and wears a gray Michigan State sweatshirt. He looks around the room and is reserved until he smiles and quietly laughs. He looks tired. And it’s no wonder. “I was diagnosed in the beginning of February of eighth grade,” freshman Andrew Gagne said. “I was a little scared and then sad when I figured out that it was going to be for a long time.” Gagne has AML, or Acute Myeloid Leukemia, which according to the National Marrow Donor Program, is a fast-growing cancer of the blood and bone marrow. In AML a patient’s bone marrow produces unformed cells that cannot fight infections. Typically, a patient’s treatment includes chemotherapy or a bone marrow transplant. According to University of Michigan Hematology/Oncology doctor Susan Urba, leukemia is a fast growing cancer. “About 30,000 new cases of leukemia are diagnosed in the United States each year,” she said in an e-mail. “It accounts for one third of cancers in children younger than 15. There are four main types of leukemia-AML (acute myelogenous leukemia), ALL (acute lymphoblastic leukemia), CML (chronic myelogenous leukemia), and CLL (chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The acute leukemias are the ones that affect children.” Jim Attarian, a graduate of the University of Michigan Medical School and a doctor at Bozeman Deaconess Hospital in Bozeman, Montana said leukemia is usually detected from a blood smear. “When you get a blood smear, the lab result will read a high cell count,” he said. “You’ll see blasphs, which is a cancer cell. Sometimes you can even see them dividing.” Andrew’s mother, Dianne Gagne said Andrew missed about seven months of school because he had to remain in the hospital for so long. “His treatment consisted of five courses of chemotherapy. Each course consisted of various chemotherapy drugs including an experimental drug,” she said. “He has com-
pleted all five courses. He will remain on a prophylactic (preventative) antibiotic for several months and will return to the clinic for periodic blood work and check-ups.” Throughout chemotherapy, Andrew said he tried to keep himself as busy as possible. “I was really tired all day,” he said. “I tried to do a little homework and I had a little physical therapy. I played video games, watched TV and my friends would come up to visit me sometimes.” Gagne’s mother also said someone was with Andrew all of the time. “I stayed with Andrew at the hospital during the day and (his sister) Emily and I spent most weekends at the hospital with Andrew,” she said. “My three brothers also stayed with Andrew on weekends so that I could take a break.” But Andrew said it was still hard for him to be away. “I guess (the hardest part) was being out of school and staying in all the time and feeling sick a lot,” he said. “It was pretty hard because I missed out on the Washington, D.C. trip (in eighth grade).” Although Andrew missed being at school, he said that he tried to stay positive during chemotherapy. “I just went through it day by day, hoping I would get better the next day,” he said. “I got through it knowing that once I got done, I’ll be back to normal.” And Andrew’s mother said Andrew maintained that positive attitude through it all. “Andrew was truly amazing through all of this,” she said. “He battled through the treatments and rarely complained. He is such a strong person. The nurses loved him because he was so easy to take care of. He really remained focused on getting back to his life and all the things he wants to do.” Although Andrew had a positive attitude throughout his treatment, Urba said that sometimes that is not the case with patients. “People react differently to cancer,” she said. “Some try to take it in stride and be optimistic, while others become depressed and anxious, which is certainly understandable.” Attarian agrees and said it can be especially hard on children. “It’s a psychologically traumatizing thing,” he said.
“It’s a really hard thing to go through.” Throughout everything, Andrew’s mother said the main focus was simply supporting Andrew. “Once the doctors explained Andrew’s disease and the course of treatment, the focus became supporting Andrew through the treatments and getting him back to health,” she said. Not only did Andrew receive support from extended family and friends, he also received support from his church. “Our parish prayed for Andrew throughout his treatment and our pastor visited Andrew and administered the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick with blessed oil,” Gagne’s mother said. “Andrew’s catechism class at St. Joe’s held a fund raising breakfast for Andrew at the parish center. The Dexter Little League also held a fund raiser for Andrew on opening day. We have truly been blessed and are so thankful to everyone.” Don Dalgleish, the youth minister at St. Joseph Church, said the fund raising breakfast was held the weekend of St. Patrick’s Day. “Since Andrew is a big Michigan State fan, the Confirmation class decided to call the breakfast ‘State Patrick’s Day Breakfast’ in honor of Andrew and St. Patrick,” he said. “We raised a lot of money, and I believe it was more than any breakfast here at St. Joseph Parish.” For Andrew’s mother, support came in the form of other parents whose children were fighting cancer. “We experienced firsthand children of all ages battling various forms of cancer, some for years,” she said. “I spoke with many parents, and we shared our stories and tried to support each other. We developed an appreciation for the doctors, nurses and child life staff that work so hard to bring healing to the children.” She said she is also thankful for the strides being made in the medical field. “We are so grateful for the research that has been done to develop the available treatments and are more aware of the need for further research,” she said. But for now, Andrew’s main focus is just getting back to full strength. He said, “My goal is just to get back to normal and play sports again.”
Photo courtesy of Dianne Gagne
Spending time with family: Freshman Andrew Gagne spends time with his mother while battling leukemia at the hospital.
Photo courtesy of Dianne Gagne
Keeping busy: Gagne tried to keep as busy as possible during his treatment by playing video and card games, doing homework and having friends visit.
Foreign student experiences America Sugeng Lestarianto enjoys the differences beteween America and Indonesia Caitlin Henderson Business Manager
Lestarianto: Lestarianto ﬁnds America enjoyable but very different from Indonesia.
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Sugeng Lestarianto’s first snow happened during Advance Chemistry about two weeks ago. And he made sure he enjoyed it to the fullest. “I did something ridiculous last time it snowed,” he said, “I went outside with barefoot to see how cold snow really was. Snow is so beautiful. I knew it was snow right when (chemistry teacher Cheryl Wells) grabbed me and ran outside.” But snow wasn’t what made Lestarianto come to America. After graduating from high school in Indonesia, Lestarianto said he chose to come to America because it’s what he calls a super power country. “It shows up in the news every day at home so I wanted to know what it’s like to live here,” he said. In addition, participating in the exchange program helps him apply to college and for jobs because American experience, he said, is looked upon highly in Indonesia. “A lot of successful people in my country join the exchange program,” Lestarianto said. “I want to achieve a lot of experience for a better future.” Lestarianto also said part of living in a different
country is learning about the county’s culture and showing them his. “I am kind of like a fish out of a fish tank (in America),” he said. “Everything from food to people is just so different here. The people in here are a driving community, but in Indonesia they mostly drive motor bikes.” One of the smaller differences he said, is the diet in America. “People, when eating food (in America) usually check how many calories are in something,” he said. “But in my country, where obesity is not a problem, we don’t check calories.” But there were bigger differences too. “All the activities I have done here are totally new for me,” he said. “The school, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are all things I have never done before.” In addition he says he has met many different kinds of people in the US and said it is interesting to see how people go about life compared to life in Indonesia, especially the different country’s attitudes towards sex. “Sex is considered taboo in Indonesia,” he said. “Sex is not considered taboo in America.” Although there are many differences between the countries he said, “I enjoy being here. There are so many new things to do and a lot of new places to see.”
Friday, December 21, 2007
Yarows family says Merry Hanukkah
Kevin Yarows staff writer
When people use the term “the holidays”, it really is the truth, in my house. My family celebrates both Christmas and Hanukkah. My dad’s side of the family is Jewish while my mom’s side is Catholic. When my twin sister, sophomore Kristen Yarows, and I were born, my parents decided to continue both religions and that I would carry on the Jewish religion while my sister would continue Catholicism. For a while, our whole family would attend either church or temple on important religious holidays. During this time, we were able to learn a little bit about both religions. Once it became time to begin religious education, neither of my parents wanted to give up their religion. My dad wanted the Jewish name to be passed down, and my mom didn’t have any objections. So I began Hebrew School while Kristen started Catechism. Instead of competing for which holiday is more important or “right,” we choose to embrace both of them by including traditions from each of the holidays. We do traditional Christmas things such as putting up lights outside, hanging stockings and baking cookies. But we also do some things to combine the holidays a little differently, such as decorating our Christmas tree with menorah ornaments and Stars of David. As Jews, my dad and I do not object to these activities like some interfaith families do. Some Jews in interfaith families refuse to allow Christmas trees in their house because they think it isn’t acceptable by Jewish standards. Some Christians will only give their gifts on Christmas Day because it’s the only way they know. The truth is, originally Hanukkah and Christmas weren’t really so alike. Christmas is a celebration of the birth of the Christian savior and is one of the two biggest holidays in the Christian religion. Hanukkah celebrates the miracle that occurred for Jewish people when one day’s worth of oil lasted for eight days. Hanukkah isn’t even mentioned in the Torah, Judaism’s most holy document.
Illustration by Marcia Grace
Although still an important holiday, it doesn’t have the same religious value as Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur or Passover. Because of their close proximity on the calendar, however, Hanukkah has become “Christmasized” with more emphasis on exchanging gifts, holiday music and decorations. Some Jewish families even go so far as to make a Hanukkah Bush which is essentially the same thing as a Christmas Tree. Usually one day during Hanukkah, my family gets together with friends and shares the holiday with them. We eat potato latkes, play dreidel, light the menorah and share our Jewish tradition with other families. But generally my family doesn’t go over-the-top with Hanukkah accessories and traditions. A normal Hanukkah night consists of saying the prayer for the candles, lighting the menorah and possibly opening a gift. And no, contrary to popular belief, I do not get twice as many presents because I celebrate both holidays. I get just as many presents only spread out across two holidays. My sister and I open presents from our Jewish relatives on Hanukkah and our Catholic relatives (and Santa) on Christmas. For me, the phrase “like a Jew on Christmas” doesn’t really apply. On Christmas we open presents as a family and then welcome over my aunt, uncle and cousin for the traditional Christmas brunch. On the occasion when Hanukkah falls on Christmas, we’ve lit the menorah on Christmas evening without it being a big deal. Many people may not have heard of anybody who celebrates multiple holidays and may ﬁnd it weird. But it never really occurred to me as being different. I knew that most families generally only celebrate one holiday, but since many of my friends only celebrated Christmas, I saw it as a way to experience some of their holiday. So when people say “happy holidays” to me without thinking twice about it, I can take a literal meaning to it. Celebrating both holidays, I’ve come to realize that they each have positive things about them in common. Both holidays are a time to eat good food, celebrate with family and friends and exchange gifts. These holidays should be a fun time for everyone and a way to celebrate important moments in each of their religions. They’re both meant to bring out the good in people, and I am fortunate to get the best out of both of them.
Holidays aren't always happy for everyone Michelle Chirby copy editor
Though the holidays are often glamorized, this time of year is not always as jolly as it may seem. Among the gifts and decorations, the time between Thanksgiving and the New Year is often accompanied by depression. According to counselor Gerry Holmes, students most likely to feel depressed over the holidays are those who have struggled with a death or divorce in the family or those with other family problems such as alcoholism or a ﬁnancial crisis. “For some kids, when they see everybody else having a festive time, it reminds them of how miserable their lives are,” Holmes said. Though holiday depression can affect people of all ages, Holmes said the holidays are particularly hard on school-aged people because they are still concerned with being like everyone else and not out of the norm. “As you get older, you can make your own life and holidays,” she said. “You don’t get as stressed out about it.” For most people, the symptoms of holiday depression begin as soon as the decorations go up around November. “When you think of family togetherness, (those who struggle with holiday depression) don’t think of it in the same terms,” Holmes said. “Typically, they like it when it’s all over with.” Those who are depressed throughout
How to cope with holiday depression • Make a list. To avoid becoming overwhelmed, manage your time. Decide ahead of time what it is you need to get done, and use the whole year to plan ahead if needed. • Set cost limits. Don’t think that just because it’s the holiday season, you have to go into debt. Handmade gifts, creative gifts and cards are just as appreciated and maybe even more thoughtful. • Remember relationships. The holidays are often hard because of lost loved ones. Rather than deny tragedies, talk openly with your friends and family. Build a group to support you and help you remember all the positive aspects of your relationships and the holidays. • Be healthy. Fatty foods and lack of exercise are also reasons some people feel depressed over the holidays. Don’t let the festive feasts, dark days or cold weather be an excuse. Feeling healthier physically can make you feel healthier emotionally. • Seek help. To be sure you don’t stress yourself out, let others share your holiday responsibilities. If your case is serious, call a professional. Ideas from http://www.selfcounseling.com/help/depression/holidaydepression.html
the holiday months may feel hopeless or irritable. Also, they may struggle with loss of appetite, fatigue or even insomnia. “Depending on the individual, depression may be prevalent all the time but more so during the holiday season,” Holmes said. “For others, it may just be the blues and they can pull themselves out of it once the holidays pass.” For students who feel sad during the holiday season, Holmes suggests volunteering
through your church or community. “When you see other people worse off, it makes it seem not so bad and shows that you’re not alone in their grief or loneliness,” Holmes said. “Plus, it gives a warm feeling to make other people’s lives better.” For students who look forward to the festivities, Holmes said it’s best to just be supportive. “All of us who do have happy holiday situations need to remember it isn’t always that way for everyone else.”
Illustration by Marcia Grace
Friday, December 21, 2007
Students, teachers get their pot ﬁx The caffeine in that pot of coffee is the most widely used drug that affects the psychological state of users, but too much can have unwanted side effects
Celia Kuzon Health Editor
She hits her alarm clock and crawls out of bed. And every morning, like clockwork, she goes directly to her coffee pot in desperate need of her morning pick-up. Junior Cassy Mioduszewski is addicted to her morning beverage. “I am dependent on my coffee,” Mioduszewski said. “I can’t function in the morning without it.” And while many students turn to coffee as a motivator to get up and get the day started, Mioduszewski said it is a must for her. “It even makes me late to school sometimes,” she said. Senior Brad Williams is another coffee addict. “It is both the taste and the caffeine that makes me drink it,” Williams said. “It really wakes me up. I drink coffee to look mature.” But while Williams drinks only a cup a day, Mioduszewski said she drinks far more. “On an average day I drink at least three to four cups of coffee,” she said. “It is literally like a drug for me.” Without her coffee Mioduszewski said she feels dead and sick. “I get an unbearable headache, and I feel like I have the ﬂu or something,” she said. Unfortunately, Mioduszewski took her coffee drinking to an unhealthy level. “Over the summer I drank way too much coffee, and I got sick,” she said. “Everything I ate made my stomach hurt.” Mioduszewski later discovered she developed stomach ulcers from drinking too much coffee. “I had to stop drinking coffee for an entire week, and it was really hard,” she said. “I turned pale and felt extremely weak from the caffeine withdrawal.” Teachers also admit they need coffee in order to function throughout the day. Science teacher Beau Kimmey, for example, says he is completely addicted to coffee. “I drink on average four shots of espresso a day,” he said. Kimmey said he is not as dependent on coffee as some, however. But without question he drinks it daily. And Kimmey said he is picky about what coffee he drinks. “Starbucks is evil,” he said. “It is the worst coffee ever.” In fact, Kimmey is so passionate he admits he is a full supporter of the bumper sticker, “Friends don’t let friends drink
Starbucks.” Locally, he said Caribou Coffee is the best. School nurse Aileen Kernohan said coffee is good to drink in moderation. However, drinking too much certainly takes a toll on the body. “At low doses (caffeine) can improve attention and concentration,” she said. “At high doses it can cause agitation, anxiety and insomnia.” Too much caffeine also physically hurts the body if the intake is too high, according to Kernohan, “The physical effects include increase in heart rate and constriction of blood vessels which leads to increased blood pressure,” she said ,adding coffee can also decrease ﬁne motor skills and relax respiratory muscles. Kernohan said a healthy amount of caffeine a day is around 400 mg. “That is equivalent to about three 8 ounce cups of coffee,” she said. Kernohan added, however, that students have to be careful because caffeine is not only present in coffee. “Caffeine is present in coffee, tea, cola drinks, chocolate and cocoa, as well as many other products,” she said. “It all adds up.” Kernohan’s theory on why students and teachers turn to caffeine is varied. “Many people drink coffee because it postpones fatigue, enhances the performance of intellectual tasks and temporally increases feelings of alertness and well being,” she said. Kernohan added that many simply enjoy the smell and taste of coffee. “Socializing over a cup of coffee is common, and soon it becomes a habit,” she said. According to Kernohan, caffeine is the most widely used drug that affects the psychological state of those who drink it. She said, “Coffee is thought to be a psychologically addictive. People get dependent on its use once they start drinking it. For example they always want that morning cup of coffee.” Quitting anything addictive is hard, however, Kernohan said cutting caffeine can be done. “Getting a good night’s sleep every night, exercising regularly, decreasing stress and eating well will all cut down on the dependency,” she said.
Photo Illustration by: Maria Brundage
STDs affect at least half the population Danger of STDs • More than half of people will have an STD at some point in their life. • Less then half of adults ages 18-44 have ever been tested for an STD • Each year one of four teens contracts an STD • Chlamydia is the most common STD ~www.cdc.gov/nchstp/dstd/ disease_info.htm
Alexis Sobczak Staff Writer
Sophomore Caleb Kruzel is a fountain of knowledge about sexually transmitted diseases. Through his job as a peer educator at Planned Parenthood, Kruzel has learned almost everything there is to know about STDs and safe sex. As a peer educator, Kruzel said he goes to schools throughout Washtenaw County talking to students about abstinence, contraception and HIV/AIDS. “The goal is to have an educated person in each high school that other students can talk to,” Kruzel said. “Teens are comfortable talking to other teens.” During November, Kruzel said he went through 40 hours of peer education training. “It was really hardcore,” Kruzel said. “We had to pass a test at the end to make sure we knew everything we needed to know. I’m officially a peer ed now. Anyone can come talk to me anytime.” According to Kruzel, high school students are uninformed about safe sex and sexually transmitted diseases. “(People don’t know) how many contraceptive methods there are. There are many methods of birth control other than the pill,” Kruzel said. “There is a shot called Depo-Provera that prevents pregnancy for three months and is 97-99.7 percent accurate.” Even after unprotected sex, Kruzel said, there are contraceptive methods. “There are emergency contraceptive pills (EPC). They shouldn’t be de-
pended on but they are 79-89 percent effective and can be taken up to five days after unprotected sex,” he said. And Kruzel thinks teaching abstinence isn’t the best way to educate high school students about sexually transmitted diseases. “Fifty percent of high school kids will be sexually active by the age of 17,” Kruzel said. “Not teaching about birth control will result in lots of STDs and teen pregnancies.” However, he said abstinence is the only 100 percent guaranteed way to not get pregnant. Middle school health teacher David Teddy agrees and said students should be exposed to information on sexually transmitted diseases more than once. “The objective is for students to know what they are so they are aware of all of the possible consequences of becoming sexually active, hopefully leading to a better, more informed decision. I believe it is imperative for STI’s to be addressed again in high school, ideally as freshmen entering high school and seniors leaving high school and heading to college,” he said. According to Kruzel, there are two categories of sexually transmitted diseases. Bacterial diseases such as syphilis, trichomoniasis, gonorrhea and chlamydia are curable by prescriptions. Viral STDs such as hepatitis B, HIV/AIDS, HPV and genital herpes are treatable but not curable. “Most people don’t even know (that they have an STD), or they just ignore the symptoms,” Kruzel said. School nurse Aileen Kernohan said some symptoms of common STDs include: pain during sex or
when urinating, sore throats in people who have oral sex, small blisters that turn into scabs in the genital area, swollen glands, fever, body aches and soft, f lesh-colored warts around the the genital area. Since most students with STDs don’t know they are infected, they pose a health risk to themselves and to others. “They pass along this disease without knowing it,” Kernohan said. According to Kernohan, chlamydia is a particularly common STD, and it is also the one that gets overlooked the most. “Chlamydia is known as the silent disease because three quarters of infected women and half of infected men have no symptoms therefore do not seek testing or treatment,” she said. Sexually transmitted diseases are a serious health risk and can cause many problems beyond just the risk of infecting others Kernohan said. “If untreated, some STDs can cause permanent damage such as pelvic inf lammatory disease and infertility,” she said. Kruzel also said people can’t be sure they don’t have a sexually transmitted disease unless they aren’t sexually active or are monogamous. “If you have had multiple sexual partners, its a good idea to get checked,” he said. Planned Parenthood offers testing for sexually transmitted diseases and any information that is given to them is kept confidential. Kruzel said he is also a confidential source for students who would like information about STDs. “That’s why I’m here,” he said. “Confidentially, I will help or give options to students who have any sexual problems.”
Friday, December 21, 2007
Ridley Scott is known for his range as a director. From sci-ﬁ horror ﬁlms like “Alien” From the time the ﬁrst reel rolls and Tommy Lee Jones’ gruff voiceover to gritty war ﬁlms like “Black Hawk Down,” he has now taken a stab at the gangster explains how he sent a teenage boy to the electric chair as sheriff of a seedy Ryan Aliapoulios epic with “American Gangster.” As with many of his other ﬁlms, the process is largely county in Texas, viewers know that the Coen brothers have hit again with “No trial and error, but “American Gangster” usually more than meets expectations. Country for Old Men.” The ﬁlm depicts the life of Frank Lucas, a self-managing, African-American drug The Coens are known for directing cult hits such as “Fargo” and “The Big smuggler who becomes a millionaire in Brooklyn. The ﬁlm is based on a true story, and Lebowski.” With their penchant for graphic violence and quirky dialogue still Lucas is played with dignity and menace by Denzel Washington. The rest of the cast intact, “No Country for Old Men” is just like their old work, but it is much shines as well, featuring rappers T.I. and Common in supporting roles; this is probably more profound in its message. the ﬁrst time since “Training Day” that casting rappers was a wise decision. The ﬁlm, adapted from an award-winning Cormac McCarthy novel, tells “American Gangster” is very much in the style of other classic rise-to-power gangster the story of an ordinary man who ﬁnds himself at the scene of a drug deal gone ﬁlms like “Scarface” or “The Godfather,” but it ﬁnds a way to distinguish itself from sour and ends up in possession of several million dollars of dirty money. This these ﬁlms stylistically. sounds like a great set up for any action ﬁlm loaded with buxom blondes and • No Country For Scott goes out of his way to set up cliched crime ﬁlm scenes before reversing reckless car chases, but the Coens refrain from these things to great effect. • American Old Men Gangster viewer expectations, which really works. All the performances keep the ﬁlm going There are plenty of thrills to be found here, especially in the ﬁlm’s villain too, although sometimes it does feel as if Scott is trying a bit too hard to ﬁt into that played by Javier Bardem. As a psychopathic maﬁa taskman, Bardem stalks the timeless classic category. main character all across the real America of wide-open corn ﬁelds and cheap motels in pursuit One of the movie’s strongest points may be in its clever direction; though the run time is a staggering of the stolen money. Bardem plays the character with a mysterious evil that is more than compel2 hours and 37 minutes, it hardly feels that long since all the elements keep the ﬂow going. ling. The Coens ﬁnd a way to be interested in exploring that evil without exploiting it. Scott has channeled the all the ethical problems from old Sicilian gangster ﬁlms without plagiarizing Essentially, this is what the whole ﬁlm does. All the characters are fully human even though them or being too obvious, and it is a beautiful thing to watch. Lucas’ character motivations are clear; ﬁrst they’re in extraordinary circumstances, and the ﬁlm ends so subtly that viewers will leave the and foremost he needs cocaine to sell, but the respect and well-being of his family are a close second. theater dazed and confused. Without a doubt, this movie is clever and entertaining, but viewers may feel as if something is missing On the surface this is a simple crime story, but the Coens’ real intention here is much more at the end. It’s hard to say what the missing piece is, but part of me kept dwelling on how most of what I pointed at social commentary. Watching the movie is real slice of Americana, since Bardem’s had just watched had been done before. character is a strange reﬂection of ourselves. This leads viewers to wonder how we could have Unfortunately, these are the pitfalls of making a genre ﬁlm, so it really is a minor complaint. It falls people like Bardem’s character living within our country. Luckily, these types of questions are left short of classic, but “American Gangster” is as good as any ﬁlm this year. unanswered for the viewers to assess; to those brave enough to tackle them, this is a great ﬁlm.
Naughty List: The 8 worst Christmas movies of all-time Erin McAweeny staff writer
1. Santa’s Slay (2005)- This horror Christmas movie deﬁnitely strays from the typical holiday ﬁlm. After a bet with an angel runs out, Santa goes back to his evil ways. The movie includes Santa drowning a woman in egg nog, stabbing candy canes into a man’s eyes and choking a man with a wreath. The movie was only released in theaters in Canada, but if you’re lucky, you may be able to ﬁnd it on DVD.
The Gingerdead Man
Painting the world: Senior Geo Rutherford holds her ﬁrst place winning painting depicting the effects of global warming. Rutherford was surprised that she won. “We were just there to pick it up and they called my name,” she said. photo illustration by Nora Green
Students get creative for festival Allison Sutter staff writer
On Dec. 1, junior Luke Longoria and seniors Leah Gibson, Nora Green and Geo Rutherford dropped off their art pieces at the Morris Lawrence Building at Washtenaw Community College. They entered their pieces, along with over 200 other teens from all over Washtenaw county, in the Teen Arts Festival. Art teacher Autumn Campbell encouraged these students to enter their pieces. “It’s a great opportunity for teens all over Washtenaw County to have space to show their art in a public setting and to celebrate their talent,” Campbell said. “Even the students whose pieces weren’t chosen get to attend an art portfolio workshop.” Campbell said the portfolio workshop was for teens to learn about how to compile their artwork into a portfolio that would help them show their pieces to potential buyers or college scouts. Even teens whose art was not chosen to be displayed in the festival were given the opportunity to attend the portfolio workshop, which was run by a professional artist. Entering artwork in the festival is free, but the Teen Center Without Walls (TCW2) provides cash prizes for top artwork. According to TCW2 project coordinator Catheryn Malczynski, “It was the second annual Teen Arts Festival, and it was put on by the Teen Center Without walls and Washtenaw area Teens
for Tomorrow. Both are relatively new programs, only two and a half years old,” she said. “The first two years we got a grant from Pfizer (for the arts festival). Now that it’s over we’re looking for a new sponsor for next year, but we’re definitely continuing it.” Rutherford won first prize place in painting, while Green won first prize in glass blowing. Categories include painting, drawing, mixed media, printmaking, photography, computer graphics design, sculpture/ceramics/glass, jewelry/ metalsmithing, textile/fiber, design/ product making and film or video. Whatever type of artwork entered, the judging is based on creativity, use of materials and how the piece pulled together in the end. Rutherford entered four pieces of art into the festival and said she enjoyed attending the festival in person. “There’s a whole bunch of diverse art. There’s just a lot of variety in what people send in,” she said. “It’s really cool. It’s just uncensored and there are no limits for us.” One of her four pieces, a large painting depicting pollution in the world, received an offer of $840, but Rutherford told the buyer it wasn’t for sale. “No thanks,” she told the buyer. “That’s really nice, but my mom loves it so we’re keeping it.” Green, who entered a painting, and a glass blowing piece, won $75 the sculpting/ceramics/glass category. “I started blowing glass late this summer,” Green said. “I go to the Baron Glassworks in Ypsilanti, and it’s
great.” Green thought the art festival would be a great opportunity to get her work known. “I applied to Michigan, and I got my portfolio accepted, but now I’m just waiting for the written portion,” she said. “I’m really excited.” Longoria also said the Arts Festival is a great opportunity to get his artwork noticed. “It’s a great way to showcase my artwork in any form,” he said. “It’s a good way to get noticed by colleges. I want to go to an art school, and this was a great opportunity.” According to Longoria, not only does the TCW2 provide a festival for teens to enter art, but they hold a Battle of the Bands to celebrate teen bands and give them a chance to win prizes and gain experience. “It’s a great program,” Longoria said. “I’m thinking about entering that as well.” The teen art festival created an opportunity for any teen to get the chance to display any kind of art and to be noticed by colleges and the community. Though five pieces of art per person was the limit, every student who entered even one piece was given the opportunity to learn how to put a portfolio together Malczynski said, “We hadn’t gotten any entries from kids in Dexter last year, but we know that as we continue growing. The program will hopefully be able to reach kids from every school in the county.”
Christmas with the Kranks
2. The Gingerdead Man (2005)- If the plot of a gingerbread man seeking revenge on a girl isn’t enough to scare you away, the acting of main character, Gary Busey, most likely will. After a murderer is sent to the electric chair, his ashes are accidentally baked into a cookie and out of the oven comes a killer gingerbread man. The tagline, “Evil never tasted so good” and “Out of the oven and into your heart” clearly describes the corny, ridiculous theme of the movie. 3. Black Christmas (2006)- Based on past movies such as “Santa’s Slay”, “The Gingerdead Man” and “Silent Night, Deadly Night,” you would think people would give up on horror Christmas movies. Black Christmas seems like a last effort for the scary Christmas movie, and it deﬁnitely follows the path of the others. 4. Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006)Starting with “Santa Clause”(1994), Tim Allen has been in four holiday movies including the “Santa Clause” trilogy. In this ﬁlm, Tim Allen as Scott Calvin breaks some Santa Clause rules and invites his in-laws up to the North Pole while ﬁghting off Jack Frost. The movie relies on the same jokes as the past ﬁlms which results in a boring, bland movie. Unfortunately, based off the success of the the other “Santa Clause’s, movies viewers set their expectations too high for the third and ﬁnal movie. 5. Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)- The oldest movie to make the worst Christmas movie list, “Silent Night, Deadly Night” is the original bad holiday ﬁlm. It was the start of a very long line of horror Christmas movies and deﬁnitely set the bar high for following ﬂicks. It’s a classic for scary holiday ﬁlms and many of its themes can be seen in future bad Christmas movies. For example, the killer in “Silent Night, Deadly Night” is disguised as Santa and the villain in “Santa’s Slay” is also Santa Clause. Without this movie, we may not have the bad Christmas movies we enjoy today. 6. Christmas with the Kranks (2004)- Christmas movie regular Tim Allen makes another appearance on the bad Christmas movie list. This time “Christmas with Kranks” is a disappointment in many ways, but most of all it just isn’t funny. The movie is boring, unclever and also unrealistic. Luther and Nora Krank decide to skip Christmas for a year and must sneak away from their angry neighbors onto a Caribbean cruise. Allen was again a letdown in the movie and will hopefully retire from the Christmas movie business for good. 7. Fred Clause (2007)- Fred Clause is the most recent addition to the bad Christmas movie list. The movie follows the same plot line as almost all past Christmas movies and ends as all unoriginal Christmas movies do. While other bad Christmas movies may still be entertaining, “Fred Clause” is boring and predictable 8. Deck The Halls (2006)- An unoriginal plot and cheesy theme make up this movie. It’s a cliched Christmas movie that takes no risks. Matthew Broderick was promising as a main character but in the end gave a disappointing performance. “Deck The Halls” is a sad attempt at a Christmas movie.
Friday, December 21, 2007
sports ST ero iDS
Charlie Petit Sports editor
Leave Barry Alone The owner of the most prestigious record in sports was indicted on four counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice on Nov. 15. Barry Bonds played in major league baseball for more than 20 years with the Pittsburgh Pirates and the San Francisco Giants. Despite playing great on the field throughout his historic career, Bonds has never had a great public image due to his attitude at most press conferences and smart a-- remarks. This has caused Bonds to be a target in an era where steroid use has blown up into an everyday discussion and debate within baseball. After Mark McGwire and Jason Giambi cooperated with federal investigations about their use of steroids, Bonds, who was still in his prime at the time, was also questioned about steroid use in December, 2003. The prime target of the investigation was the Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative and Bond’s trainer at the time, Greg Anderson. Bonds allegedly lied under oath to a federal grand jury about his known use of steroids and Anderson’s role in BALCO. For each of the four counts of perjury, Bonds will face up to five years and 10 years for the obstruction of justice charge. Anderson spent much of 2007 in jail because he refused to testify against his longtime friend Bonds in the previous trial. So I don’t you think Bonds will leak any information about his former trainer after he spent a year of watching his back and not dropping the soap. We all know a high profile athlete will not be sentenced for a full term in prison, but I still see these charges as being a little harsh for something that came about four years ago. How can a jury even prove that someone knew they were receiving steroids from their trainer aside from a dramatic decrease of genital mass, and that sounds like a personal problem to me. Bonds’ preliminary court appearance was scheduled for Dec. 2007 in San Francisco. Bonds will essentially be facing double jeopardy for something that occurred roughly 1000 days ago. The government is just mad that they couldn’t extract any vital information from Bonds in 2003, and now they want to make an example out of someone with clout, someone like the all-time home run king. Bonds decided to plead not guilty Many people from ESPN and sports in general, think this indictment taints Barry Bonds and his home run record. In a press conference Bonds stood tall about the whole ordeal and said his record isn’t tainted. I agree with Bonds. Major League Baseball has never caught Barry Bonds using steroids, meaning he has never failed a test. In an era of baseball where many players get juiced up on steroids, Bonds stands alone and single-handedly swung his way into the record books. No matter how big you are in baseball, you still have to hit the ball and Bonds proved to the world he is the best at hitting the ball out of the ballpark despite all the hate he’s faced. Like always, the media blows every situation out of proportion, and Bonds has been in the center of this for too long. There were other talks about Bonds’ records getting stripped from the record books and denying inarguably the best left handed hitter ever entry into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. These talks are absolutely ridiculous and are even more corrupt than the decision to not allow Pete Rose into the Hall. When Bonds signed his contracts with the Pirates and Giants, I am sure there wasn’t a clause that said he would be a bubbly man who would live his life according to Bud Selig’s regulations. I will boycott baseball if they are big enough wenches to deny the greatest home run hitter of our time his rightful place in the Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame is for the game’s greatest players, not necessarily the game’s greatest personalities.Stop kicking a man who is already down and do not try him for a crime he allegedly committed four years ago, because that’s a little overkill.
Themselves Into High School Sports
Analysis by Austin Shapiro editor in chief
The American athlete, at any age, is the most overly glorified position in society. No station provides a person with more opportunities. It’s clearly visible in the news where athletes receive preferential sentencing for crimes. It’s visible on the silver screen where the quarterback gets the girl, hangs with the cool kids and is every teacher’s favorite. And it’s visible in every announcement of the newest mega-contract for even marginally successful professional athletes. The fruits of being an athlete are evident to everyone. Including high school athletes. These glorified perks of being successful in a sport are enough to make any teenager dream of stardom. While the majority of athletes use hard work and practice to further their skills, a small faction looks to another source to find a leg up on the competition: performance enhancing drugs. “I take all sorts of stuff,” junior Ryan Anderson* said. “I take Creatine, Protein, Gakic, Leukic, NO Explode, anything to get stronger.” A member of the football team, Anderson began taking performance enhancers two years ago. And he has continued to use the drugs despite warnings by coaches and those he’s seen on TV. “(Head football coach Tom) Barbieri always tells me it’s bad to take Creatine, and he gives all of us articles about the dangers involved in using them,” Anderson said. “But I’ve done research too, and I don’t see the big health risks they tell us all about. I don’t just randomly put stuff into my body before checking it out first.” The chances of injury can be increased by consumption of performance enhancers, but he said he has a program to subdue the threat of injury. “It’s easier to pull a muscle when you’re taking Creatine,” Anderson said. “Everything has side effects, but the drugs aren’t evaluated by the FDA so I can’t be sure of it. I don’t take the recommended amount of each supplement. I take less. And I don’t take all the powders at once so it isn’t as bad.” Not all athletes are sold on the rewards of
using performance enhancers, though. Senior Carl Drummer* stop using the drugs after realizing the effects they have. “I used to take Creatine and Nitric Oxide, but I stopped after reading about the effects they have,” he said. “All those kind of things do is fill your muscles with water so you seem stronger. There isn’t any real benefit to using and the risks involved are huge.” Athletic Director John Robinson doesn’t buy the hype of performance enhancer use in high school either. “The MHSAA does a good job of letting athletes know that steroids aren’t the answer,” Robinson said. “In my eight years as AD at Dexter, I’d say I’ve seen maybe one or two kids who I thought were using.” But that’s not to say Robinson has never seen the effects of performance enhancers with young athletes. Previously, as an athletic trainer, Robinson was working with a man who used performance enhancers. During a workout, the man ruptured his pectoral muscle. The muscle completely pulled off the bone and hemorrhaged, according to Robinson. The athlete’s chest turned black and blue as a result of the injury. Robinson doesn’t deny something similar could happen with a high school athlete, though he deems it unlikely. “I’m not aware of anyone in our program who’s (using performance enhancers),” Robinson said. “But I’m not naive enough to believe that there isn’t anyone out there doing something.” The task of steering athletes away from using the drugs falls mostly on coaches, according to Robinson, as they spend far more time with the athletes and know them on a more personal level. And the majority of coaches, according to Robinson, would recognize a user immediately because of a sudden change in physique and temperament, both on the playing surface and in the weight room. Defensive coordinator Ken Koenig agrees with Robinson but also said the responsibility isn’t only the coach’s. “As a coach, you build a relationship with the student athlete and you interact with them more than say the athletic
director,” Koenig said. “I also feel a large portion of the burden falls upon the parents of the student athlete also.” Confrontation is best done in an up front manner, according to Koenig. He said he comes right out and asks the athlete and tells them he is concerned for their health and safety. Health and safety that, according to Koenig, are jeopardized by the readily available and generally untested drugs. “The one thing that scares me is the use of supplements by student athletes,” Koenig said. “Many of them walk into a health store and buy this stuff and don’t know how to properly use the stuff. And hardly any of it is regulated by the FDA.” But if the threat of teenage users is prevalent, why isn’t there testing? Both professional and college athletes are subjected to random drug testing. Robinson said the answer is a matter of privacy. “There is a lot of yellow tape when it comes to testing public school students for any sort of drug,” Robinson said. “There has been discussion about testing for other illegal drugs, but things get fuzzy when it comes to instituting a policy.” A policy that, according to Robinson, would have to come from the Board of Education. “When something like this is occurring, the decision has to come from the Board,” Robinson said. “I can’t just decide to start testing kids, it has to be a district-wide policy.” If some sort of policy could be implemented, however, Robinson believes the results would be positive. “I think it could be very effective,” Robinson said. “I think drug use, both of performance enhancers and of other drugs and marijuana, would go down if kids thought they could be pulled out of the crowd and tested.” But for now, no such plan is even in discussion. And for athletes like Anderson, the dangers of using performance enhancers are still surreal. “I’m sure there are some long term affects for using the stuff,” Anderson said. “But I’m not really worried about it. It’s not like I’m going to take this stuff forever.” * Names changed for privacy
Creatine: Is the reward worth the risk? Short Term Risks
Long Term Risks
• Kidney disorder
• The greatest risk from the use of creatine in a long-term time scale is that the effects are generally unknown. Most testing has been done only over the course of several weeks or at most a couple months. All that can be said is continuous use is not safe and should not be practiced.
• Increase in possibility of muscle tearing and muscle pulling • Nausea • Stomach Pain • Diarrhea
Information courtesy of http://ezinearticles.com
Nichols, Sacks, Slanks, Sendelbach & Buiteweg Attorneys at Law (734) 994-3000
Friday, December 21, 2007
Powder Puff Football Seniors start a powder puff football team for their enjoyment
Olivia Schefﬂer staff writer
• Nick Crow
Be careful what you say around sore guys after a football game. It just might come back around to get you. In fact, that’s how seniors Ellen Riehle and Emily Wetzel found themselves on a powder puff football team. Seniors Peter Burgett and Nick Crow said they were hanging out with some friends after a football game and a couple girls, including Riehle and Wetzel, started talking about playing football. “They weren’t talking smack about us or anything, but when we said how sore we were, they started talking about how they could play and handle it too,” Crow said. So Burgett said he came up with the idea of a Dexter powder puff football team, and the girls were interested. However, it would just have to be for fun because the schools who have an actual team had already finished their season. But he said he thought it would be cool all the same. “Most girls seem to be clueless about the game and don’t really understand some of the rules and plays,” Burgett said. “We thought that some of the football players could teach them how to play and coach them.” To get the team started, Crow and Burgett said they made a Facebook group and passed out flyers.
Crow said interested students can get to the Facebook group by typing PPFL into the group search bar. The team started practicing in early November and now plays at the football field every Tuesday and Thursday from about 3:30 to 5 after school. However, winter conditions could hinder some people from coming out, the boys said. “Because it gets dark at about 5:30, we can’t play too long,” Burgett said. “Plus it’s getting colder and that could stop some people from coming.” When the team plays, it goes regular two-hand touch football. However, Burgett and Crow hope that if it snows enough, they can change it up a bit. “It would be cool to play some tackle football if the snow is deep enough later,” Crow said. Wetzel and Riehle both think starting a powder puff team is a really good idea. They also said they like when the football players coach them instead of a teacher or older adult. “It’s more fun and relaxing when your friends teach you,” Wetzel said. “(The boys) have been helping us learn the rules and some of the plays. I definitely have learned a lot since we have started, and I think everybody is improving.” Riehle said practices start with a warm up and passing and then the guys show up and the girls scrimmage for a while. After some of the players start to leave, the
football guys will step in and and play a little too. “There are about eight guys from the football team coaching us so they split up to coach us when we scrimmage,” Riehle said. “But after a while, the guys get sick of just watching so they make it more competitive and jump in.” Even though the team just started, the coaches and players said they have high hopes and encourage more girls to come check it out. “So far only about 15-18 girls have been coming,” Burgett said. “We would like to see how long it will last. And if anybody wants to join they should talk to me or Nick Crow so we know how many people we will have.” According to Burgett and Crow, they have had no problems with the team or the organization yet. Burgett said he hopes if a player or anyone else wants something changed about the team, they would talk to him. Wetzel and Riehle both said all the girls get along and there have been no disagreements or issues. “We are all friends with each other,” Riehle said. “That makes it fun,but I think more girls should come and try it because so far, we have only had juniors and seniors.” If more girls don’t show up though, Burgett said that would not stop the team from continuing. He said, “As long as a few girls play and enjoy it, it makes it worth it to me that I can share my love of the game with them.”
• Pete Burgett
• Ellen Riehle
• Emily Wetzel
Students enjoy fantasy sports Kurt Miller staff writer
Managing a professional football team or basketball team is many peoples’ dream, but for sophomore Jono Jebson, it’s a reality due to fantasy sports. “It’s something to do,” Jebson said. “I like sports, and it adds to that.” In a fantasy league, owners participate in a fantasy draft where managers draft the best players of a certain sport onto their fantasy team. Fantasy sports are scored based on statistics. If a player has good statistics in his given sport, he will score a lot of points for his fantasy owner. Although Jebson enjoys playing fantasy sports, it doesn’t take much time out of his life. “I check (my teams) once a week,” Jebson said. “It doesn’t take that much time at all. Maybe ﬁve or 10 minutes.” Senior Mike Babboni disagrees. “I tried (fantasy football), but I didn’t have enough patience,” Babboni said. “I tried to go through the draft, but it just took so long.” Babboni also decided not to do fantasy sports because he didn’t like that it was fantasy, and it wasn’t real. Not all fantasy sports are based on statistics, however. Sports
Fantasy football heaven: Sophomore Jono Jebson makes changes to his fantasy football team. Jebson said he checks his teams once a week.
Bets on Facebook is a game where a participant starts with 20,000 chips and bets on sporting events going on throughout the day. Jebson said he has 110 million chips on Sports Bets. “Every month, you can win an iPod shufﬂe,” Jebson said. “You can also win free jerseys.” I check Sports Bets every day, sometimes even multiple times a day.” With all of the fantasy games out there, Jebson still likes to play the games with his friends. “I play with kids in my grade or my friends,” Jebson said. “It’s more fun to play with people you know.” While Jebson plays the traditional fantasy sports, there are other types of games that people can play. Sophomore David Paolella goes on a site called Protrade that is a sports stock market. “It’s fun to do,” Paolella said. “It’s not real money though.” On Protrade, members buy player and team stocks that are performing well. If a players statistics are good, their price will go up, because many people will buy them. “You can win plasma TVs and Xbox 360’s,” Paolella said. Although, Paolella plays different versions of fantasy sports, he stays true to the traditional fantasy sports. Paolella said, “I still play fantasy football and fantasy baseball.” Photo by Jeff Leonard
SUBURBAN CADILLAC-CHEVROLETSABB-HUMMER 3515 Jackson Road Ann Arbor, MI 48103 (734) 663-3321
Friday, December 21, 2007
Scott Crompton and Kyle Boren managing editor and contest manager
Dear Tyler, We don’t really know where to start. You were one of the best friends we will ever have. We love you so much and you will be in our hearts until we see you again. Scott: I would like to start by saying how much I enjoyed spending time with you. During baseball season, you and I were always together. We bitched and moaned about how much we hated practice every day. We ran those unnecessary laps around that field together, at least 100 yards behind everyone else, because we just f latout hated running and knew how stupid it was. As much as we said we hated it, I loved every second of it. Because I was with you. You had that spark of life that made everything fun. We had some great times together.
We’ll miss you, Tyler Steffey We always found a way to make baseball fun, whether it be running so far behind everyone and just talking, making up new games to occupy ourselves in the dugout, trying to avoid the deadly disease of SARS in the outfield (those darn tuna cans were from Toronto!), or working together while I was pitching and you were catching. We knew how to have a good time. And that’s why I love you so much. You were one hell of a friend. You always knew what kind of mood I was in, and you always knew how to get me into a better mood if I was feeling down for any reason. You were always so respectful of my feelings as well as everyone else's. You always did what needed to be done. Like that one time we were playing poker on my porch with Rob, and it got a little crazy, and we threw the cards and chips everywhere and just walked inside. You stayed out there and picked up every chip and every card. Why? Because that was who you were. One hell of a friend. All those times you got the firewood at the bonfires. Solid proof of your character. You were one loyal kid, and I loved you so much for it. You knew how people thought and how they felt and responded accordingly. I love you man, and I will miss you for the rest of my life. Kyle: Walking in the hall in seventh grade, a goofy kid approached me and said, “Hey dude, orange is my favorite color!
Neat shirt!” With my orange sweatshirt on, I shrugged, and laughed at the funny kid. Little did I know you would be my best friend down the road and affect my life in many positive ways. I didn’t do a damn thing without you. You are my brother. We are conjoined at the hip. My mom said you are a part of the family, and it is true. Every member of my family thought you were the greatest. The most loyal, kind and down-to-earth person in the world. Like that one time, freshmen year, I wanted to go to that 311 concert. No one was interested in the band at the time, and you and I both went even though you didn’t know much about them at the time. You went for me. You are by far the goofiest kid I know, and I love that about you. You cheered me up, no matter what was going on in my life. We could take the most boring activity on the planet, and turn it into a field day. That’s just what best friends did. And I’m so sad I didn’t get a proper good-bye. You have no idea how much I love you, man. I thank God for blessing me with a friend like you, Tyler. I love you. Although you’re gone, you will be with us forever in our hearts. We will all truly be friends forever and you will never leave our memory. There won’t be a day where we don’t think about Tyler Michael Steffey. We will see you soon, my friend.
By Marcia Grace
Joe Sayre staff writer
Smokers try, fail to look cool Hanging out one day during the summer playing disc golf, one of my friends offered me a Black and Mild mini cigar. “Sure,” I thought. “I’ll try anything once.” Taking the ﬁrst puff, I became confused. “Is this it?” I thought. “This is beyond lame.” Not only could I not taste anything, my breath smelled like a bowling alley. I later relayed the experience I had with Black and Milds to another student at lunch. “Yeah, I’m not the biggest fan of Black and Milds,” I said. “ You don’t like Blacks? Are you a f-- or something?” he replied. “All they do is make your breath stink! You can barely even taste them,” I responded. “That’s’ cause you’re not doing it right! You gotta inhale! That way you get a buzz,” he said. My friend’s last comment caught me a little off guard. I had no idea kids smoked Black and Milds to get a buzz. After hearing this my mind wandered to the athletic handbook which prohibits kids who participate in sports from drinking, smoking and drug use, regardless of age. Also, in the handbook, the punishment for kids who are caught with tobacco products is the same for those caught with marijuana. I wondered to myself, “Why are kids willing to smoke Black and Milds and risk losing two weeks of their sports season all for a buzz, which from my friend's explanation sounded like the feeling one gets when they stand up too quickly.” “That sounds really lame,” I told my friend. “Naw, dude, it’s totally badass,” he replied. It was then I knew why kids smoked Black and Milds. It was the same reason why guys do burnouts in the parking lot. The same reason why girls wear furry Ugg boots. Kids didn’t smoke Black and Milds for the taste or the “badass buzz” but to look cool. I can’t blame kids for smoking Black and Milds. It’s so hard to be cool these days. You have to be either good looking, talented at sports, funny or totally badass, and what better, more original way to look like a badass then to slowly give yourself cancer. I hear the ladies dig dudes who don’t have jaws. “Damn,” people will say when they see you smoking, “that kid must not give a f--- about nothin’!” Not! If people want to look cool, they should be original. Huff glue, drown some kittens or maybe assault someone, but for god’s sake, people, smoking is played out. I wonder which is truly more lame: Black and Milds with their complete lack of taste and tendency to make your breath smell like a bowling alley or the kids who smoke them to look cool?
David Pisano opinions editor
Last time I checked, this is Dexter, and we all go to Dexter High School. I say this because there seems to be a lot of confusion among our student body as to what school they attend. Most students are aware they are Dreadnaughts and do a great job of showing it off. There are a few, however, who must wake up some days and think that they are a Pioneer, a Hornet or even a Bulldog. Why else would they wear apparel from Ann Arbor, Saline or Chelsea schools? There have been several unfortunate moments when I have been aimlessly roaming the halls trying to get an education and secure my future, and I have witnessed such travesties. Dexter is a school where a large portion of the students are active sports members or fans, and to knowingly wear a “Chelsea Football” T-shirt would be an absolutely ridiculous idea, right? Right.
Clothing from rival schools not acceptable Sure, 10 years from now the rivalries I was a part of in high school will probably have no effect on me anymore. This is still high school, though, and they do matter. I have found that the culprits are almost always female. I don’t care if your boyfriend plays for a rival school. You still go to Dexter, don’t you? Besides, if your boyfriend is anything of a threat, his shirt shouldn’t ﬁt you anyway. I can almost guarantee that you wouldn’t catch him wearing one of your shirts to his school, unless he’s the type of guy who would actually stand in the Dexter student section with you while we play their team. I don’t understand guys like this, as they are even bigger sellouts than their girlfriends. The truth is, the only person who is impressed by your wearing your boyfriend’s shirt is your boyfriend, so save it for your dates. Saying, “It’s just a shirt. It doesn’t mean I support them,” is not a valid excuse. That is exactly why those shirts are made: to support the team they display. So whether you meant to or not, you are supporting them. There is also the possibility that you are fully aware of what you are doing when you put that shirt on in the morning. People who do this are often surprised and angry when they are heckled about it at school. Don’t be. In such cases, it often becomes a respect issue. Our athletes work hard all season, sometimes with the one goal of beating that certain rival. Show some respect for that. If you don’t, expect to encounter some disappointment from some of your classmates.
You may think these rivals are stupid, but if you do you most likely aren’t an athlete, which is ﬁne. But the person who you got the shirt from probably is so you should still have enough sense not to parade around school with it. Good rivalries are an important aspect of high school life that make it worth the experience. Without rivalries, spectacular moments such as buzzer beaters, come-from-behind wins and overtime shoot outs would lose their value. And you all know how exhilarating it is to rush the ﬁeld after a great game, only to be stopped halfway on the track by the athletic director. Now you may read this article and think, “Gee, this kid has a ton of problems with the way people dress.” And you would be right, to some extent. The thing is, clothing is powerful in our society. People use their clothing to send a message. If you’re wearing a suit, you’re sending the message you mean business. If you put on a shirt with margaritas all over it, you’re saying you are ready to party. If you wear pants or shorts with anything written on the butt, you are saying, “Hey, look at my booty.” Similarly, if you wear anything with a rival school’s name on it, you are basically saying you want them to prevail over us. As an athlete, I take this message as a personal insult. Of course, I don’t expect people to stop wearing such clothing. I wouldn’t even be surprised if a bunch of people do so just to tick me off. If you do, though, just realize what you’re doing, and don’t even try to defend it.
Friday, December 21, 2007
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Austin Shapiro
MANAGING EDITOR: Scott Crompton
EDITORS ENTERTAINMENT: Ryan Aliapolious NEWS: Heather Siller OPINIONS: David Pisano PHOTO: Jeff Leonard SPORTS: Charlie Pettit HEALTH & TRENDS: Celia Kuzon uPAGE: Hunter Lyons COPY: Maria Brundage & Michelle Chirby FEATURES: Katie Johnson
DESIGNERS & PHOTOGRAPHERS
HEAD DESIGN: Candice Wiesner William Sloan, Val Argiero, Nora Green, Leah Gibson, Maria Brundage, Rachel Ariyavatkul
BUSINESS: Caitlin Henderson, Brittany
Sarah Akbarifard, David Bays, Kevin Butler, Shantal Daratony, Alex Everard, Aaron Gilman, Matthew Kaas, Pat Ledwidge, Erin McAweeney, Ian McCarthy, Kurt Miller, Brent Muse, Morgan Quist, Lisa Richie, Joe Sayre, Olivia Scheffler, Kaitlyn Shepard, Alexis Sobczak, Karly Stanislovaitis, Allison Sutter, Emily VanDusen, Kevin Yarows
Dexter High School is one of the best schools in the area. Our staff does an excellent job keeping students safe and out of trouble. But when does too safe prevent student from learning to become adults? That’s the problem with the district’s draft of a new ﬁeld trip policy. This policy draft consists of a plethora of new rules that are needed, but there are a few that contradict our abilities as students. According to the new policy, on an overnight trip, an adult must be present in every hotel room where students are present, or an adult must be in the hotel hallway for the entire night. As adolescents, we are mature enough to act without this condescending presence of an adult. Although we understand the school wants
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I think the biggest shock here is that Nic Miller (“Dreads Disappoint”, November Squall) really felt the need to insult his own school as much as he did. General views towards Dexter football are well known, but to write an article in your own school’s newspaper making a mockery of your own football team, there is just nothing gained from that. What could possibly motivate you to do that? They are your fellow classmates, and they love what they do, regardless of whether or not they are the best. I know that Dexter football is not known for being the best program, but that doesn’t stop me from having a love and passion for the sport. People don’t necessarily have to respect the program, but please try to have enough decency to look past the records and see the people who are a part of the program and love what they do. If you can’t respect Dexter football for its record, at least try to respect it for the people who play it and love it more than anything in the world because its what they love to do and a part of who they are. Sincerely, Andy Whitaker, junior
Student disagrees with Miller’s logic Dear editor, If you are going to print an idiotic, illogical column (Nic Miller’s “Dreads Disappoint” in the November Squall) that personally calls out some of the best students and young men to ever come through this high school, at least check your facts before you do so. 1. The mens soccer team fan bus was funded entirely by a parent of one of the young men on the team. The argument that the administration wasted their efforts in funding the trip was thus false. Do your research next time. 2. It is actually impossible for either the mens cross country or mens soccer team to fail to qualify for the playoffs. In these two sports, every team in
the state makes the opening round of the postseason. Therefore it doesn’t make too much sense to say that these two teams should save their fans the disappointment of ﬁnishing second in the state by never going to the playoffs in the ﬁrst place. Please make a bit more effort in looking up facts for your column this month. Sincerely, Peter Jebson, senior
Column didn’t belong in Squall Dear editor, This is a response to the column “Dreads disappoint” (Nov. 27, Squall). No one likes it when the team falls down. It’s never fun when you come so close, only to fall just short, or far shorter. But that doesn’t mean that the school paper has to abandon all support of our teams and doom them to mediocrity. The venom that is blatantly displayed in this column is all together negative and cruel. When I read this column, I wasn’t infuriated but simply disappointed. It says nothing good about the teams and instead insults them sentence after sentence. One has to remember something when he writes an article for The Squall: most everyone will read it. Your words will reach a much bigger audience than isolated groups of friends or a few parents. It will reach a much bigger portion of the school and will ﬁlter down to many parents, and I hope that all the teachers at least glance at it. As a writer, you have the responsibility to not misrepresent the students who can’t publish an article every month. So what if some of our teams have a bad year? It happens; it’s not the end of the world. They aren’t professional athletes; they aren’t all stars. Don’t put them down with phrases like, “Try not making the playoffs a few years in a row. Then no one will expect anything from you … ” For example, take the article “Cross country just misses” (in the same issue). It talks about one of the same events that “Dreads disappoint” does: the collapse of Alex Hess. This other article doesn’t have to use phrases like, “I guess this may qualify as an excuse for not bringing home the championship,” to get across the point that it was a big disappointment. And it didn’t end it there. It reported that the
on to complete basic tasks like sleeping without an adult watching over us? This policy does not respect us as teenagers. If we are not expected to sleep in a bed without being observed, what are we expected to do? We need to be treated as adults to prepare us for what is to come after high school. What is the reasoning for this rule, besides insulting our morals? If we, as students, are trusted, we can show to the district that we are mature enough to go on ﬁeld trips and stay out of trouble. Parts of this new ﬁeld trip policy insults our maturity and disrespects us. Trust is the key in any relationship. We ask the district to give us some, even when we’re not in the school building.
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runners all learned a valuable lesson and plan to get back on track next year. “Dreads disappoint” just trashes and moves onto the next team. I recognize the sarcasm in this article. The writer may not have meant to insult the teams; may have just been trying to get a reaction. But it didn’t come off that way to me. That sarcasm is a dangerous kind, but if someone doesn’t get it, there’s nothing else there but insults. This letter is a challenge. It’s a callout to all the writers of The Squall to take a moment and read back over your articles (not just for proofreading). Look at what you’ve written and think if that’s what you want to be remembered for. Another example was the article on emos last year. These are not the kind of articles I want in our school paper; they’re not the message I want to send to anyone who picks it up. I’m not saying, “Never say anything bad about Dexter sports.” I am saying that if you feel like spinning off a cynical piece of sarcasm, remember that it’s a double-edged sword. When I read The Squall, the only feeling I get when I read articles like these is a sense of disappointment; not with our teams, but with the people who let this kind of poison spread by getting it published. In conclusion, remember: the athletes and the emos read the paper too, and they’re people with feelings too. You can’t publish words like these and not expect to get some anger back in return, no matter what your intention. So this letter is an attempt to put into words the shame I know I feel (and many others I know), that this is the material our paper staff lets get into print. Just because you can write whatever you want, doesn’t mean you should. Sincerely, Gabe Altomare, sophomore
Students should support their teams Dear editor, Being the captain of the varsity football team, naturally I was upset with the column written by Nic Miller in the Nov. 27, 2007 issue of “The Squall”. The column rambled about how the football team has never made the playoffs, and usually has sub 500 seasons. All of this is true. However, I ﬁnd it highly discouraging that the school and community we repre-
toB the editor
Give your school sports more respect
to keep us safe, this rule second guesses our responsibilities as young adults. The main objective of high school is to prepare students for the real world. The ﬁeld trip policy should coincide with this concept. According to Principal Kit Moran, the district’s ﬁeld trip policy is a work in progress and awaits amending. The major problem with the policy, though, is it is used for the entire school district. There should be a separate ﬁeld trip policy for the high school. High school students are so much different than other schools in the district. Therefore the rules regarding ﬁeld trips should not be as stringent for high school students. If we are expected to go to school for six hours a day, hold a job and excel, why aren’t we counted
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Parts of ﬁeld trip policy insult student maturity
CONTEST: Nic Miller, Kyle Boren,
Illustration by David Bays
sent, something we take to heart, thinks so poorly of us. This being the great country of America, everyone is entitled to their opinion. But, I think that I speak for the 60- some members of the football team when I say that we know how hard we work every day. Most people don’t understand, and they probably never will. That’s ﬁne by us. That being said, we do not have try outs for our football team. Whomever is willing to work hard and do their best is more than welcome to join us. Please try strapping on the pads for a day, and then maybe you’ll realize the passion and the pride that burns inside of us every day. The most disappointing part about this column, though, was the blatant disrespect for athletes, by a fellow athlete. You of all people, Nic, should know and understand the amount of dedication that is needed to succeed in sports. That is why I was appalled at the terrible jab you took at Alex Hess, a young man who wanted to win so badly that he literally ran his heart out. He took leaving everything you have on the course to a whole new level. Not many people are able to push themselves so much that they need to be carried off the course. As a member of the Dexter athletic family, I support all Dexter athletics. I like to think that most of the other athletes do the same. That’s why I thought it was terrible the way our athletic program was bashed by one of our own. Forgetting the football team, two groups of young men worked their hearts outs to represent all of us. Their accomplishments are amazing, so, no, the athletic department was not disappointed like you said they were in your column. Instead of calling people out, you should respect the feats of the cross country team and the soccer team. Nic, I know that this column was supposed to be sarcastic, but that’s not how it came off. I assume you intend to continue with athletics through the rest of your high school career. How would you feel if you missed a game winning free throw against Chelsea? Even more importantly, how would you want your classmates to react? Would you want them to support you and your efforts or would you want them to call you out and blame you for a loss? If you ever do get the chance to become one of the lucky few who get to experience varsity competition, then maybe you will understand the drive that is needed. And maybe, just maybe gain some respect for what we go through. Sincerely, Mike Szymusiak, junior
Friday, December 21, 2007
Left: A nurse helps a student give blood by ﬁnding a vein to draw blood from.
Right: Junior Tate Sanders, senior David Bays and senior Mike Schultz gather around together playing cards, waiting to give blood.
Left: Junior Jason Lomax prepares to give blood by reading required donor information.
Photos by Jeff Leonard, Leah Gibson, William Charles Sloan, Sarah Akbarifard
L e a v e a p i n t , t a ke a p i n t Matt Kaas staff writer
The second blood drive of the year was held on Dec. 5 and NHS raised enough blood to save 150 lives. NHS has been holding two blood drives a year since 1981 and ever since Sept. 11, 2001, they have held three per year. “On average we raise 180 pints a year, and that gives blood to 540 people in Southeastern Michigan,” NHS adviser Cheryl Wells said. “This is the 56th blood drive since DHS started, and we have raised 3360 pints of blood.”
Among the donors ﬁrst time blood giver senior Alex Kish said before giving blood, “I’m not scared of giving blood, I’m not afraid of needles, and I know the blood is going to a very good cause.” After the blood drive, Kish said, “It went really good. It didn’t hurt at all, and I didn’t faint, plus there was lots of food.” “Putting the blood drive together is a difﬁcult task,” NHS president senior Alex Hess said,” It takes a lot of people to do the blood drive, and there’s tons of stuff to do.” Another person who managed the blood drive was NHS blood drive chair
senior Kelsey Johnson, who said, “We have to start planning a month in advance, but in the end it’s all worth it.” All that hard work is a little easier when you have the support of the school behind you Wells said. “I’m fortunate to have the support of the school,” she said. “I’m given the band room each time so we have access to outside, so the Red Cross can just pull up, and it’s easy to load the blood.” The next NHS blood drive will be March 26. Kish said, ”If you didn’t give blood this time, you should really try next time because it’s a good feeling saving lives.”
Right: Senior Mikey Adams refuels after donating blood by sipping on a juice box and munching on a piece of pizza.
3 Right: Junior Tate Sanders lays on the ﬂoor after passing out from giving blood.
Left: Senior Ben Vanderput relaxes in a stretcher as blood is extracted from his arm.
4 Left: Senior Jimmy Hamby sends a text message while giving blood.