Where’s the Snow, Bro?

By Andre Johnson

After living in Guanajuato, Mexico for 13 years, Freshman Victor Lara came to live in Michigan and hoped to see snow for the very first time in his life.

Guanajuato is a city in central Mexico that at noon on February 10 is a warm 62 degrees.  In Michigan at the same time it is 25 degrees. As for snow, neither has any at this time.

After living in Guanajuato for 13 years, Freshman Victor Lara came to live in Michigan and hoped to see snow for the very first time in his life.

In November, he got the chance but the native Michiganders kept saying to just wait because that was nothing.

So he waited. And waited.

Like Victor, we began to ask if we are going to experience winter this year or did it forget to come?

Living in Michigan, every year snow is a given. Being a Michigan native, snow is just a thing to me but there are people from my school who couldn’t wait to see snow.

Chinese Language teacher Ms. Cilantro was very excited to see the first snow.  A guest teacher from China, she says she loves the first snow because it is “good luck.”

Finally, we got lots of snow.  Dozen of small flakes falling from the sky and sticking to the ground. While the only thing on my mind was a snow day from school, I could only imagine how happy Victor would be to see it fall. I could not wait to see him in school, following the snow day of course, so I could ask how he enjoyed it and what did he do. Another question I had to ask was if it was everything he expected and was he bothered by the cold.

We would be able to get a photo of Victor in lots of snow but then we got the call with the two best words any high school student wants to hear:  SNOW DAY!

Not a problem.  We would get a photo of Victor when we came back to school.  Little did we know that we would have the rest of the week off due to extreme cold.

When we finally got back to school a week later, it was 50 degrees outside and raining.  All of the snow was gone. Seriously?

While some may seem to be wondering where the snow is this winter, others rejoice and enjoy the time without it while that is still an option. Some hate the snow because they feel as if it never brings anything good.  

The feature photo of this article showcases Kesete Tesfagabher who came this year from Eritrea, South Africa.  Kesete, who saw snow for the first time this year, is no longer impressed.

“I never had to wear a coat in South Africa.  Snow is not for me,” said Tesfagabher.

Fellow Journalist Devin Gamache did take full advantage of the snow and slapped on some warm boots and his Cannon Rebel T6 in order to capture some snow photography.  In the photo story below, he describes his process.

Snow Day!

Layers

Layers  

There was so much natural light because the snow is a natural reflector. I loved how the light illuminated this paper birch tree.

A cold journey

Bridge Less Traveled  

Often the camera’s meter tries to compensate for all of the light on a sunny day of snow which makes the snow appear grey. Making sure the snow was actually its true white color took some tinkering.

Shadow

Shadow  

Following the light led me to the color of this faucet which was a beautiful contrast to the snow. Getting the cool shadow was another benefit of the cold day. Nature Photographer Moose Peterson reminded me that “Cold air is clearer and there are often ice crystals in the air that cause light to diffract; you get really brilliant, pretty-picture colors.”

Hello Friend

Hello Friend 

It is so peaceful after a snowfall and after walking around, I was surprised to see this little guy. I was trying hard not to get any footprints in my photos and did not think I would have to avoid squirrel prints.

Summer Memories

The Memories of Summer

Once again the contrast of the dark and light makes for a beautiful photograph. It is also the contrast of a symbol of summer and the imagined laughter of children to the very quiet and empty playground of winter.

 

Update on Feb 12, we now have lots of snow and Thurston is off for a snow day.  Michigan, you are just so sneaky.

 

Go Ray Ray!

By Trinity Pryor and Alyssa Dickerson

The great teen movies of the 1990s have a common factor: high school dances. The cliche is a bunch of teens dancing in what seems like a giant mosh pit. Rock music is playing in the background and everyone is jumping together with their heads nodding. In the past three years of high school, we thought this was just a thing of the past. No one jumps on each other or pushes people as a form of entertainment anymore… or so we thought.

On the evening of Saturday, September 22, we two girls from Thurston High School made our way up the steps of the University of Detroit Jesuit High School. We were surrounded by young men in expensive suit coats who pay thousands of dollars of tuition. Naturally, we expected these young fellows to dance like we do at Thurston, or even more calmly than us. Where we’re from, music is met with kids screaming the lyrics, dancing with the newest popular moves, and the occasional group circle . At UofD however, we were in for a totally different ride.

There was of course a select handful of kids we’d consider “Thurston High Schoool normal,” that’s because they danced how we were used to. However, less than 30 minutes into the dance, we saw a crowd surfing small boy who had to be just a mere sophomore. You read that right. Boys willingly picked him up and passed him over the heads of about 50 others until he finally was put back down 20 seconds later.

“Go Ray Ray, Go Ray Ray,” was the catchphrase of the night cheering on a boy who would dance in the middle of each circle and was the highlight of the whole dance. The dj cheered him on and would tell everyone to be “as hype as Ray Ray.” 

We began to wonder who our Ray Ray is at THS?

As we talked to the Student Senate president of U of D Jesuit, Edmund John Black lll, we got the scoop of how the dance was planned. Black put so much into the homecoming dance because this is currently their only formal of the school year.

“You’ve got to understand our Homecoming dance is pretty much our only school dance, besides prom of course (which is exclusive to seniors), so I suppose crowd-surfing underclassmen are to be expected,” said Black.

One thing that is a downer to U of D’s hoco is the fact that they don’t have a homecoming king or queen. It makes sense since it is an all boy school but you would think they would make some arrangements with their sister school, Mercy.

All in all, it is safe to say that U of D’s homecoming was a night to remember and was one of the most fun homecoming dances we have ever experienced.

And just so all of you know, we plan on going “Ray Ray” at Prom 2019.

We’re Bringing Fun Back

Tim hit the mark alright.

Dunk a Rudy!

Game Day or not, senior Tim Owens gathers all of his strength before throwing a power shot at the bulls-eye of the dunk tank sending the principal into the chilly waters.

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By Trinity Pryor and Alyssa Dickerson

When the yearbook students interviewed the three administrators and asked them about pep rallies, all three of them said they wanted to bring fun to Thurston.

If any of you have heard of the economic theory of trickle down, you might know what we mean when we say that school spirit just may have a trickle down affect at Thurston.

First of all, did you see our Thurston staff?  We are all used to Ms. Rozema going the extra, but this year, the entire staff seemed to “go Rozema.”

We had a principal who happily became “Dunk a Rudy,” and Ms. Harris did not bat an eye while she sat at the top of the dunk tank at the tailgate.  Teachers gracefully took pies to the face at the pep rally even when they were Mr. Madigan who did not actually sign up for all that.

Seniors came in full force with school spirit, but then the freshmen came out of nowhere dressing up on spirit days and crushing it in the window painting competition.

Defend the Nest became our mantra and spirit was in the air.

Behind the scenes, student council made it all possible.  Thanks to their dedication, the pep rally, game, tailgate, and dance were a smashing success.

Thanks to President Maddy Zerial, we had noise makers and a student section.  She also may or may not have thrown a pie at a police officer.

We are told it has been SIX YEARS since THS had a pep rally.

That’s pretty much how long Thurston has gone without the feeling of spirit in the halls. Sure, people dressed up for spirit week in pajamas or class colors, but we seniors do not remember school spirit that came anywhere close to how it was this homecoming.

Pajama Day.   This one is a given for participation. It’s one of the easiest days to participate. You would think in the years past, this would be the day everyone would dress up the most, but usually people failed to show up to school in their cozy pjs.  Not this year though. Walking into the school, you saw football players in onesies and students wearing crazy slippers with bright colors. One thing that is particularly different about this year is WHO participated. The class of 2019 is notorious for losing dress up days. This year, as seniors, the class of 2019 had the most students dressed up. That’s a milestone in its own. What’s even crazier is the amount of staff who traded in their professional attire for onesies and slippers.

Meme/ Vine/ Character Day.   Year after year student council fought for this day and their wishes came true. Many said no one would participate or questioned what a meme was, but this was the day that was full of participation and fun. Students walking around with mannequin heads with hoods, couples dressed up as dynamic duo disney characters, and students taking pictures and videos of people they never talked to before was the norm. This day was the spark that brought Thurston students closer than ever before; the school spirit was through the roof.

Game Day.   You could feel it in the air. Almost every student was anticipating the night’s football game against Romulus. It was Eagle v. Eagle and the school was eager to find out if Thurston could “defend the nest.”   Students and staff filled the halls with navy, white, and pink for the pink out/ eagle pride themed game. Excitement soared even higher as classes were dismissed one by one to the competition gym for the first ever pep rally in six years. It kicked off with the marching band playing the fight song then was followed by fall sport teams running through banners, full with excitement, as they were introduced. There was a teacher versus student tug of war, a feature of Thurston’s Drumline, and even a segment where teachers were pied in the face. The fun continued after the last bell of the day with a tailgate inside the football stadium at 4 p.m. There, students danced to a DJ, bought snacks, and were able to dunk Mr. Rudy and Mrs. Harris in a giant dunk tank. What tied the night together was the amazing homecoming game. The student section was ⅔ full by pregame. The amount of support that surrounded the atmosphere was great. Not only did the cheerleaders cheer on the football team but they also supported the marching band and got the crowd fired up. The King and Queen, Yurel Chattam and Natyla Buxton were announced at halftime after two amazing performances by the Varsity Cheer Squad and the Eagle Marching Band. The night ended by a wipeout score of 35-6 by our own Thurston Eagles, making up for the heart wrenching blowout by Romulus three homecomings ago.

Homecoming 2018 was definitely the year of change. Everyone can feel the level of school spirit rising and students can finally start to say that they’re experiencing high school to its fullest. It is safe to say that after this extravagant week, every single person who goes to Thurston High School is proud to be an Eagle even if a few might not want to admit out loud that they are having fun at school.

Some New Threads

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By John High

Photo Credit Rena Laverty

We hardly ever associate football fields with fashion. Fashion is often associated with celebrities, Hollywood, and the red carpet. However, fashion is being brought to the 100 yard green turf field. Marching out in the fall of 2018 will be the Lee M. Thurston Marching Band in their brand new grey plumed blue on black uniform under the direction of Edward Lucius.

Throughout the 2017-2018 school year, Band Director Mr. Lucius worked diligently towards a mission set out to redesign the uniforms for the Marching Band that will make a bold statement without going out of trend. Mr. Lucius who is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters in Educational Leadership has directed bands at Thurston since 1989. He positively impacts his students by teaching them the importance of leadership through his wisdom of life lessons while teaching the art of music.

“Mr. Lucius is the teacher who will hold you accountable for whatever you are doing wrong. He doesn’t just teach you about dots on the page; he will teach you lessons that you can take with you in your journey throughout life,” said Valentina Giraldo, 8th grader. 

The Lee M. Thurston Marching Band has evolved since Mr. Lucius’ arrival in 1989. Before that, Marching Band never performed outside of Thurston.   Previously, the band learned new shows for every football game, hardly moved, and members did not need their music memorized. Years later in 1995, the marching band joined Michigan Competing Band Association (M.C.B.A.)  which is a non-profit organization that aims towards the importance of instrumental music in Michigan schools all across the state. M.C.B.A. runs a competitive marching competition during the fall of each year. Schools that are members of this organization are placed into groups called “flights” which are based on school enrollment.  Here they compete against other schools in front of adjudicators, but most importantly, competing with themselves to perfect their prime show throughout the season for the cleanest run through at the end.

The Thurston Marching Band has primarily competed in Flight 3 competition and have qualified and attended State Championships which takes the top 12 bands in each flight for the past 22 years placing all over the scoreboard. The Marching Band performs a diverse range of shows from theatrical such as Phantom of the Opera (1999), intellectual such as Labyrinth (2010), and conceptual shows such as The Universe (2016).

In 2015, the band broke their school’s history by receiving 3rd place at State Championship held at Ford Field with a score of 90.425 in their co-commissioned show Take to the Skies.

The program is awe inspiring but the last time the Marching Band was granted new uniforms was in 2006. The current uniforms are dingy, faded, and worn out. Shakos are damaged with irreplaceable parts and broken chains. 

“There are sentimental values in the old uniforms.  In them we have done very well and made our school and community proud. People became accustomed to seeing us in them; the new uniforms start the new leg of the marching band’s new journey, and I look forward to it,”  explained Lucius.

The quest marched off by designing a uniform for the marching band using the company Orefice LTD, a Michigan based company which specializes in band and choir uniforms and accessories.  Once a sample was created, it was then presented to Superintendent Brian Galdes with meetings on several occasions.

With the Board of Education’s support, new uniforms discussion took place on ways to save money and what needed to be purchased. The result was a proposal not to start from scratch, but instead by replacing the worn down coats, shakos, plumes, and gauntlets while reusing the current shako boxes, bibbers, and garment bags which are in good condition.

The grand total was $33,000 with the decision to purchase new bibbers in a couple more years.

On January 8, 2018, the South Redford Board of Education approved the proposal for the marching band uniforms.

 I just want to thank Mr. Lucius for all of his hard work to get the students these well needed marching band uniforms and thank you to the board and Mr. Galdes for approving the purchase. It is very appreciated not only by the students but also by the band boosters,”  said Kimberly Sternbenz,  Thurston Band Booster President.

Students are highly eager for the upcoming season to be the first to wear the new uniforms.

“As a veteran member of the marching band with a couple of years left, I am immensely excited to perform in our new uniforms,” said Sophomore Evan Hubbard.

Many members remember watching older siblings march in the uniforms.

“I’m actually really excited about the new uniforms for this upcoming season. I’ve marched for four years now and have been in those uniforms for what feels like an eternity. I’m really excited to see what they look like and how much they’ll match,” said Junior Devan Robinson.

Fans, parents, and alumni of the Thurston Marching Band may not be able to recognize the group in the fall of 2018 as they march on to the field in their brand new grey plumed blue on black uniform.

I am very excited to see the new uniforms on the field! I marched in the “old” uniforms for five years and even though it will be strange to see a “new band” on the field, I am very excited for the younger students. I know how hard Mr. Lucius has worked to get these new uniforms and I’m happy that it is finally happening! I look forward to coming back as an alumni and still being blown away by the marching band, even with a new look,”  Senior Caitlyn Cooper.

What Does Diversity Mean to Me?

By Dallas Thomas

When we were thinking of a headline for this article, the journalism students jokingly wrote on the board that I would be writing a piece about how “I am just a black girl who loves China and happens to have white parents.”

Honestly, diversity to me is being able to learn from all different kinds of people.  It is  not just about race.  We are all unique and diversity is how we all can celebrate our uniqueness.

In a nutshell, I am African American and I’m adopted. When I was just two weeks old, I was taken into the home of a loving family.  We are the Thomas’s.   My parents and my six older siblings always have a deep connection. I never called my parents by their names because ever since I was an infant, I only knew them by “mom” and “dad.”

I never once asked why am I not white like my mom, dad and my siblings because I never saw color and neither did they.

As I got older people, some people would look at us and often gave my parents a second look.

I laugh when I recall the reaction of a co-worker when I said that the white police officer in the the Mcdonalds’s drive thru line was my dad.

In 2006, I was officially made a Thomas, but I always knew that I was a Thomas since I went home with them at two weeks old.  Being adopted  is a blessing and being able to do things that many foster kids without parents can’t  do  is truly amazing.

My family has always taught me to celebrate the differences in people.

My mom is the Director of Operations for Quest Inc, an organization that provides “support services for persons with special needs to promote inclusion, maximize independence, and improve quality of life.”

My mom’s clients are just another reason I value every person’s uniqueness.

Since eighth grade, I am a part of the Foundation for Global Youth Citizens of Redford.  As part of this organization, over and over again my family hosts Chinese students who come and live with us for a month or so.   In return, I got to go to China my freshmen and sophomore  years for a whole semester at a time.

While in China, I never got home sick because a part of me felt like I was there before. My parents are very open-minded about allowing us to go abroad for education.  My older sister spent a semester in Germany as well.

When I tell other Americans that I went to China twice for three months each year, I would always get the questions “did they eat dog” or “did they all look the same”?

When someone asks this, I can tell that they have never been out of their hometown and never opened their eyes to the world.  Instead, they only see what is on tv or on social media.

I cherish my ties to China, and still to this day I keep in touch with all of my Chinese friends, brothers and sisters.

So what does Diversity mean to me?  It is me.  I am living it and celebrating it each and every day.

Detroit’s Comeback

No Stopping This

Can't stop the Rebirth
Plain and simple, the spark is ignited and Detroit will not stop until it reaches full greatness.

OPA!

Opa!
Although Greektown was actually first settled by Germans in the 1830’s, Greeks began to settle in the neighborhood in the early 1900’s to establish businesses and amazing food. If you have not tried the “flaming cheese” at Pegasus, you are missing out.

By Ryan Walthall

Photo Credit Dorian Bauman

They say that Redford is the gateway to the suburbs since we are right next to Detroit, which has not exactly made us proud.  If anyone has visited downtown Detroit lately, they would quickly see that our “neighbor” is not looking too shabby though.  Not at all shabby really.  In fact, stepping into “the D” may confuse visitors since they may begin to think they are in a city like Miami, okay minus the warmth and palm trees, but at least we are starting to get a step closer to the tune of Chicago.

Plain and simple, Detroit is on a comeback! But how? Why now? Who is making this possible?

One cannot talk about the rebirth of Detroit without talking about Dan Gilbert.  Dan Gilbert describes himself as “Family man. Retired pizza delivery guy” on his twitter.  The multi-billionaire and Quicken Loans founder is often referred to as the “savior of Detroit.”

In an interview with Channel 4, he refuses to accept that title.

“No one person, and no one company, I don’t care if you’re us or General Motors or the Ilitch’s, it’s impossible,” Gilbert said. “It’s got to be community. It’s got to be the neighborhoods. It’s got to be the unions. It’s got to be council, the mayor, governor, business community, the citizens of Detroit. All we want to see is the best Detroit possible. We can’t have the best Detroit unless the neighborhoods and the city are growing together.”

When people hear the word Detroit, they immediately think of all of the trials and tribulations that the city has been through. People see the hurt, the pain and all the bad. Detroit is immediately pushed aside because of its past.

Despite hardship, Detroit is rising up from the ashes. Like a phoenix, Detroit is reborn. Detroit’s past is stepping stones for its future.

2005 Thurston Alumni, Stevie Ansara, chooses to live in Detroit because it inspires this videographer and musician.

Former Thurston High School student Stevie Ansara (class of 2005), might be called a Detroit expert. Stevie is currently a film producer at Woodward Original, one of the many places that Dan Gilbert has invested.

Gilbert, in Ansara’s opinion, is “One of the many pioneers who has really reshaped Detroit in the last couple of years.”

Ansara chose to live in Detroit  because he finds it inspirational.

When asked about his favorite characteristics of Detroit, Ansara responded that he loves “The food scene…and the art scene, there is always something happening down here.  It’s the place to be.”

There is indeed always something to see and do in downtown Detroit.  From the hundreds of architectural buildings to the many landmarks, parks, and festivals, there’s always something to experience.

A stop on a visitor’s list should be the amazing Detroit Institute of Arts or D.I.A. The building measures 658,000 square feet and includes more than 100 galleries. The museum has housed some of the finest artists ranging from Monet to Frida Kahlo.

Another stop on that list should be the Detroit Riverfront. Enjoy another side of Detroit, and take a stroll on the Detroit Riverwalk. Enjoy views of the Detroit River, live music, and fresh treats.

With so much to do, there is no way you’ll find yourself bored on the streets of Detroit. From the skyscrapers to the small drawings on the side of buildings, your eyes will never stop wandering.

So much is in the works for the future of Detroit.  Many were disappointed when Detroit was not chosen as the next Amazon location, but the city has no reason to be ashamed.

In the near future, the Michigan State Department of Natural Resources will apply for millions of dollars to revamp Belle Isle.

The historic Hudsons site is marked to become an area for apartments, retail, and performing venues.

The M-1 Rail is a streetcar system planned to connect the suburbs to the city.

Rebuilding along the Riverwalk is already underway.

Former Detroit Mayor and Businessman Dave Bing is working with Detroit Future City (DFC) which is a non profit organization with a 50-year Strategic Framework.  The framework is a “highly detailed, long-term guide for decision-making by Detroit stakeholders, from elected officials to residents.  It was released in 2013, after an ambitious three-year effort, drawing on the best local and national talent, as well as the insights of more than 100,000 Detroiters, to reimagine a better future for Detroit.”

Detroit is now the place to be, and everyone should take a bite out of all it has to offer. Right now it is more of an appetizer, but as the years continue, it will be a city to feast on.

Eagle For Life

By Ryann Davis

Flip through the 1995 Thurston Vita Yearbook, all 288 pages of it, you will see many of the same Thurston landmarks: “the pencil,” the eagle statue in senior courtyard, and even some of the same teachers we have now.

You will also see float building, parades, spirit assemblies, window painting, and a plethora of school spirit!  Wait a minute.  Where is that now?

If you look even closer, you may notice a senior named Gina Pasfield.

Throughout the 1995 yearbook, you see this smiley girl who is obviously all about school spirit.  Being a cheerleader, a class representative, and a former yerd (that is what we yearbook students call ourselves), it was her job to do so.  

Fast forward to 2016; Gina Pasfield, now Gina Escurel, an English teacher and supervisor of the Gardening Club, still tries to promote school spirit amongst Thurston students.

Comparing the time she was a student to today, she noticed that there has been a decline in the activities that help promote school spirit.

“We had A LOT of students participating in everything from window painting to spirit week to pep rallies…However, there were also more opportunities for school spirit activities than there are now.  I would like to see some more of these spirit activities/traditions come back to Thurston,” said Mrs. Escurel.

Since being hired as a teacher in 2014, she has made it her personal vendetta to bring back Eagle school spirit.

No matter the holiday, she and her garden club students dec out the THS hallways.  Her group transformed the courtyard for homecoming and in December she organized window paintings for all the clubs at Thurston.

The window paintings was a huge hit where groups such as Not In Our School, SAGA, Yearbook/Journalism, National Art Honor Society, the Christian Club, Link Crew, and many others claimed a section. With activities such as window painting, Mrs. Escurel hopes she will encourage students to have more spirit and pride in their school.

“The decorations around the school (and the window painting) is just a way for kids to take pride in their school. It gives my Garden Club members an opportunity to do something creative and bring school spirit, but also (hopefully) allows other students to enjoy the decor and feel a sense of pride in their school.” said Escurel.

Senior Erendira Marquez is a member of the Garden Club.

“Mrs. Escurel is a very radiant and beautiful person like no other.  She always looks out and cares for others who want to make Thurston a better environment.  She is so laid back and easy to talk to.  She hears us out and is just a very amiable person,” said Escurel.

High school is more than just academics. Ms. Escurel is a school spirit warrior and is dedicated to bring that school spirit back that she had when she was a student at Thurston.gina1 gina2 img_6004

Photo by Andrea Cruse

A Lesson Learned

Photo by Andrea Cruse
Keep your eyes on the Road!

By Ariel Franklin

Lying to parents?  We all do it right?  One glance down at your phone while driving, what is the big deal?  It is not like a few seconds is going to kill you.  Or so I thought before being proven wrong was almost fatal.

After a long day of adventures with friends,  I came home at 12:00 am but still wanted to be out driving knowing it was way past my curfew. I begged my mom to let me go hang with a group at Buffalo Wild Wings down the street, but honestly that’s not where I was going. Because of the great kid I usually am, she let me go and just said to make sure I keep in contact.

As I left the house, I felt like I shouldn’t leave because I was really sleepy, felt a bit sick, and was lying about where I was going. As I went back in my head about what to do, I just could not accept that if I did not go, I would not be apart of something fun and so, I headed out.

While I drove, I looked down at my phone to send a very quick text to a friend to see if she was at the party.  I then remember suddenly feeling a huge object run into my left side of my body. My head banged against the steering wheel as if my head was a ball, and the steering wheel was a bat. My car did a fast 360 degree spin and was ran off of the road. I blacked out for at least 15 seconds and then woke up panicking. I was in so much shock. Was I just in an accident?  I was only a few minutes from home and I looked at my phone for only a few seconds.  How could it be?  Now I was a statistic.  Thankfully not a dead one.

I of course know not to drink and drive, but “texting while driving is 6 times more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk” (AAA).

Here are the facts.  Texting while driving is not harmless.  Even if we see our parents do it, we need to spread the truth:

“Approximately 660,000 drivers are attempting to use their phones

while behind the wheel of an automobile.

Nearly 330,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused

by texting while driving.

11 teens die every day as a result of texting while driving.

94% of teen drivers acknowledge the dangers of texting and driving,

but 35% admitted to doing it anyway.

21% of teen drivers involved in fatal accidents were distracted by their cell phones” (AAA).

Since cell phones can do just about anything now, it has become second nature to pick it up at any time and that is not okay. Distracted driving, especially texting and driving is very dangerous and causes lots of pain for not only the driver but their families. Even if you feel like no harm will be done, it’s not true! While driving, you must think of other people’s lives as well. Is a text really worth a life whether it is your own life or someone else on the road? Don’t text and drive.  We hear it all the time.  I learned it the hard way and am so thankful that the accident was not much worse.   No message is that important that it can’t wait until it can be sent safely. I am alive to write this plea to you fellow teens, it is not worth it.  Put the phone away until you are not driving or you may not have a second chance like I did.

Trump is President; Now What?

By Charelle Fluker

“There will be Hell Toupe,”  “Deportations to Begin,”  or in a Buenos Aires newspaper simply “Good Luck America” were some of the headlines around the world when on January 20,  Donald Trump officially took office and with that, of course there is controversy in America. The 45th Executive in Chief of the American land faced problems of even having people come to his inauguration to perform.

When artist Chrisette Michelle accepted the invitation to perform at an inauguration party, she was threatened to be shunned  from fans.  So many of these so called fans expressed opinions of her being a “sell out.”

Many Americans of the black community made clear their views on Trump, but it is important to point out that not all views were against him.  

Actor and Comedian Steve Harvey is one example of from the black community who is keeping an open mind.  

After Harvey visited Trump to discuss the many issues of inner cities,  he told reporters that “I walked away feeling like I had just talked with a man who genuinely wants to make a difference in this area.”

Harvey received extreme backlash from the black community but he said, “the only way we’re going to unify our country, is to talk with each other.”

Like Harvey, Kanye West wanted a meeting with the now president of the United States.

According to Trump, when asked what he and the rapper Kanye otherwise known as “Yeezy” discussed, he said,  “Life. We discussed life.”

On the day after the inauguration, women around the world staged a sort of “counter-inauguration.” The protest started as an invitation on facebook but spread quickly in the women community.  It was not so much about working with Trump, but rather to protest.

Elizabeth Warren, a democratic senator, spoke in Boston.

“We also believe that immigration makes this country a stronger country,” Ms. Warren said. “We will not build a stupid wall and we will not tear millions of families apart.”

Controversy is definitely huge since Trump took office.

Hollywood actor Shia LaBeouf  even started a live broadcast in protest of Donald Trump’s presidency. The stream is called #HeWillNotDivideUs located in Queens, New York and will be streaming 24 hours, 7 days a week for the next 4 years to show pedestrians lively protest and show their dislike for President Trump.

“He will not divide us.”  But are we divided?

I am a high school senior and to see such racial and sexist tension at this high rate is extremely embarrassing to me.   I know as an African American woman that there are still problems we face as Americans but to see how publicized they are, is absurd. I am entering a higher education institution this fall and I am actually afraid of what is going to happen. I was not a supporter of Trump, but I am interested in seeing what President Trump is going to do for every American not just those who voted for him. I have high hopes for America and its politics since I am looking foward to majoring in political science. I hope things get better and we can find a common ground. I wish good luck to President Trump for his presidency and I also want my fellow Americans to keep hope alive during his term. God bless America and its fellow citizens.

Welcome Back Thurston Choir

 

By Abby Krull

When cuts are made to programs in schools, the music program is often one of the first programs to reach the chopping block.

But not at Thurston.

In fact, on September 9th, 2016, Thurston High School Students walked into the school’s new choir class for the first time in 5 years.  Walking into the class, students knew nothing about their new teacher, not even his name, but he introduced himself as Mr. Schoenherr.

Mr. Schoenherr is not only teaching choir at Thurston, but also at Pierce Middle School.  New to this semester, Schoenherr will be teaching two choir classes at Thurston with a second hour added.

For the first semester,  the choir has learned to match pitch and read music.  Since then, they’ve had three concerts, including a performance, accompanied by Redford Union’s choir, at St. Roberts Bellarmine for the Martin Luther King Breakfast Ceremony to celebrate equality for all.

“We’ve had a strong start to the year, and we are still improving as we go.  A lot of my students did not have much experience with music or singing, but we have accomplished a lot this first semester.  I’m very proud that I have had opportunity to teach and mend such great students,” said Mr. Schoenherr.

Although there were some students with little experience, student Trevor Pevovar took charge of leading the choir in many ways.  When Mr. Schoenherr had out of school emergencies, Trevor made sure the choir was continuing to practice and perfect their performance.  

“It’s one thing to be apart of the choir, and it’s completely different to actually lead the choir and have to be responsible for keeping the choir together and working proficiently,” said Trevor about leading warm ups and practicing song.

Thurston’s first hour choir is currently preparing for their upcoming performances.  The choir has the amazing opportunity to perform at MSVMA District 12 Choral Festival in March and MSVMA State Choral Festival in April.  

When Chorus America gathered research in 2009, it revealed that music programs highly benefit student growth.

“The data in this report confirms that, in addition to providing great musical performances, choruses advance many of the positive qualities associated with success in life for children and adults,” said Ann Meier Baker, President and CEO of Chorus America. “These benefits are particularly relevant in addressing the challenges in society today.”

In a recent article called The Benefits of Music Education,  Laura Lewis Brown highlighed the plethora of benefits of choir.

Children who were given music lessons over the school year tested on average three IQ points higher than the other groups” she explained about a study group of six year olds who had choir class.  

Dr. Eric Rasmussen also explained, “There’s some good neuroscience research that children involved in music have larger growth of neural activity than people not in music training. When you’re a musician and you’re playing an instrument, you have to be using more of your brain.”

Thurston can’t wait to see how the rest of the the year goes for the school’s new choir program, but one thing we know for sure, the addition of choir will be so beneficial to South Redford Students.