The Pioneer Press The Student News Site of Dearborn High School Sat, 14 Dec 2019 02:57:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Dearborn Citizens Reject BRICS Bond: What are the Consequences? Fri, 13 Dec 2019 18:01:01 +0000 On Nov. 5, 2019, after a long and heated campaign, the BRICS bond, which would have allocated $240 million for infrastructure for Dearborn Public Schools, failed by a margin of 470 votes. This vote split Dearborn, many saying it would be a wonderful idea that would promise a better future for Dearborn schools and help their crumbling infrastructure, whilst many also said that it would be a waste of money and would not fix any of the problems that the district is currently facing. It is important to understand how people from both sides feel, but also, most importantly, what administrators plan to do in order to move forward and address current problems the district is facing.

Director of Communications for Dearborn Public Schools, David Mustonen, said he was disappointed by the results of the vote, and that many problems the district wanted to solve with the BRICS bond will be delayed. 

“The District was disappointed that the bond proposal was defeated by about 500 votes. The outcome was unfortunate because now all the work that needs to be done will be delayed for at least two years. So just one of many examples include Haigh Elementary. There were plans to add 4 classrooms and cafeteria space to address capacity issues. The funds for that project are not available so that work will be delayed,” Mustonen said. 

Overpopulation is a huge issue for many in the Dearborn Public Schools district, and combating overpopulation via creating more classrooms was one of the goals of BRICS. The proposed bond aimed to allocate $21 million for increasing capacity in schools. An example of the overpopulation issue is in DHS and Fordson High School. The ideal capacity of DHS is 1800 students, but it currently has around 2100 students. It is even worse for Fordson. Their ideal capacity is 2300 students yet they currently have 2800 students enrolled. The average classroom size of these schools, according to a 2018 Arab American News report, is 30, which is well above the national and state average. However, it is important to note that BRICS would not have allocated any funds for capacity to the high schools in Dearborn. It only allocated capacity funds to 11 schools, 8 of them being elementary schools. But now that the BRICS bond had been rejected, no schools will be able to receive funding at all, and the overcrowding problem is expected to get worse, especially for eastern Dearborn, which has an ever growing and concentrated population. 

Despite the defeat, the district is still committed to finding some way to raise more money for some of the schools which are in need of repair. Mustonen said that the school district will try getting another initiative on the ballot for next year and this time they will work on trying to correct some lies that were spread about the BRICS, as well as being more interactive with the citizens of Dearborn. 

‘’The Board of Education will provide the administration with direction on next steps. Most likely, but not yet decided, a new proposal will be placed on the November 2020 ballot. Before any new proposal can be placed on the ballot, conversations will need to take place with all stakeholders to help in developing a new plan that includes ideas and suggestions from those who are just now coming to the table and are now interested in the Dearborn Public Schools.’’ Mustonen said. ‘’During the weeks before the election there were inaccurate statements made by those opposing the bond and it will take time to correct those statements and rebuild trust within the community.’’

“The District was disappointed that the bond proposal was defeated by about 500 votes. The outcome was unfortunate because now all the work that needs to be done will be delayed for at least two years. So just one of many examples include Haigh Elementary. There were plans to add 4 classrooms and cafeteria space to address capacity issues. The funds for that project are not available so that work will be delayed,””

— David Mustonen

However, even if the school district  gets another initiative on the ballot, there are some chances that it would fail. According to the Dearborn Public Schools website, interest rates are climbing and they fear that if they delay then the costs to pay for a bond would increase. Along with that, the school website reports that according to Engineering News, construction costs are increasing 5% every year. Another concern for the DPS as they wish for a ballot to be voted upon in later years is the millage. The millage, which is a local property tax, is set to expire before the next referendum, meaning that instead of getting money from a predefined millage with no tax increases, if the board wants another bond, then they will have to do it with a tax increase. Given that the bond failed when taxes were not even going to increase, it is likely that since taxes are likely going to increase the next time, that this vote will fail again, at an even greater margin.   

Some other reasons for why one would have voted no for the BRICS bond was that they thought their taxes would increase. For example, Dearborn resident Hamoudi Al-Said, said he voted “No” on BRICS because he thought it would increase his taxes.

 “ I support our schools, but $250 million is just far too much. Where is that money coming from? It’s coming from our pockets. I already pay too much in taxes, the school district need to find another way to get it.” Al-Said said. It is important to know that the bond would not have increased taxes on Dearborn residents. Instead, it would have allocated more money from the millage rate in order to pay for the bond, and it would not have increased the millage rate. However, Zahra Ahmad, another Dearborn resident who voted “No” on the BRICS bond, said she felt suspicious of the school board. “They say they’re not going to raise taxes, but I just don’t believe them. When it comes to government, you can’t really trust them. They’re always lying to you.” Ahmad said. 

Personally, I supported the BRICS vote. I do believe that our schools need improved infrastructure. I also believe that fake news and misinformation was a major reason why this vote failed. Thousands of citizens said they distrusted the government and they told each other their taxes would increase, despite the fact that they would have kept the millage rate the same. Many “No” voters were misinformed. They fell for lies spread amongst each other in a similar way that people were falling for lies in the 2016 election cycle. In this age of unregulated social media where people seek confirmation bias and get their news from others on social media that they agree with, lies are easy to spread, and they come with consequences. Because of fake news, our schools will have less funding to fix their crumbling infrastructure, and sadly, with less funds to fix the schools, that money will have to come from somewhere else.

Mrs. Kubicek, a teacher at DHS who was involved in the BRICS campaign, said that since the BRICS bond failed, the school district will have to look elsewhere to get their funds, which could lead to a reduction in teacher salaries. 

“The school has a general fund, it is given to us from the state. This fund pays for things like teacher salaries. Dearborn currently has an issue with their bathrooms, with the BRICS bond they were planning on fixing it. Other schools need to repair roofs, swimming pools, they need to fix that immediately. Now that the BRICS bond has failed, the district still needs to address those issues, and since now we won’t have the bond, they will have to take money directly from the general fund, which will affect teacher pay, school supplies, etcetera.” Kubicek said. 

I do understand what many people on the No campaign want. It would be nice if the district focused more on improving our academics and expanding opportunities to students. Just as the Yes campaign has many complaints about the poor infrastructure in our schools, DHS is also falling behind academics wise, many of the text books we have in this school are old, torn and outdated. Many classes lack textbooks, some classes don’t have textbooks at all. I also feel bad that compared to other schools, DHS doesn’t offer as many opportunities, for example we lack many AP classes, which disadvantages those who wish to earn college credits in high school. For example, schools like Brighton High School, offer far more AP classes than Dearborn, including AP World History, AP European History, AP Calc BC, to name a few, and Novi High School offers several classes like AP Spanish, AP French, and AP Physics C. And along with that, teacher salaries are still far too low given the work that they do every day. But it is important to know that this is a bond, bonds cannot be used for salaries or text books, and because the voters have blocked so much money from going into to Dearborn Public Schools, then it could actually lead to the schools being shorter on money and having to divert money from their general fund towards infrastructure, taking away from what would have gone to things like new supplies and teacher salaries, therefore, many people who voted No actually are accomplishing the opposite of what they wished for. I hope that the school district will submit a new bond and that they will do a better job of educating the general populous. The school board needs to combat fake news if they will submit a new bond for next year, or else it could harm Dearborn Public Schools, and the future generation of Dearborn students. I also believe that us students need to educate many adults who fall for fake news on a daily basis, telling them the truth, telling them to look for more credible sources, and if they, or even if you did not support the BRICS vote, then make sure it is for actual reasons and not because of fake news.

]]> 0
Cans For A Cause Wed, 04 Dec 2019 16:57:47 +0000 The fifth annual “Battle Against Hunger” was held from Nov. 18 to 24 this year. Battle Against Hunger is a week-long fundraising event in which multiple Dearborn schools in the district compete to see who can raise the most money and canned foods for low-income families that are struggling. It first started off between Dearborn High School and Fordson and eventually Edsel Ford and other elementary and middle schools in Dearborn became involved.

Last year, over 200,000 food items, amounting to almost 12 tons, were donated to provide for thousands of families in Dearborn.

This year’s campaign raised over 59,000 cans district wide. Two non-profit organizations, Zaman International and the Amity Foundation, have agreed to assist in this approach.

The way people now view Fordson and Dearborn is horrible. We have made ourselves look like we are at war with each other when we should really be one big family”

— Angela Altomonte

DHS Senior Lily Fakih said that having the fundraiser between different schools as a contest would be more effective than just DHS doing it.

“We didn’t want to just have Dearborn High involved because we wanted a more lasting impact on the community,” Fakih said. “We realized that one way we can really get the community involved is through competition.”

FHS Junior Zeinab Alghanem said that the fundraiser helps supply food for students who depend on the free lunch given to them at school.

“Much of our students rely on the food the school provides and when they leave for break they don’t have any food,” Alghanem said. “We decided to step in and as a community, push the effort to make sure those families and students get food over the break.”

FHS teacher Angela Altomonte, an organizer of Battle Against Hunger, said that the fundraiser does so well because students get a first hand experience in how to run a campaign.

“I think it is successful because not only are we helping people in the community, we can see how much we’re helping them, but also the students are going out and seeing the work that they have done during the week and what it looks like,” Altomonte said.

Altomonte said the idea that DHS and FHS are rivals is not good and that the two schools should be supportive of each other.

“The way people now view Fordson and Dearborn is horrible. We have made ourselves look like we are at war with each other when we should really be one big family,” Altomonte said.


]]> 0
Swinging against the odds Thu, 10 Oct 2019 01:23:08 +0000 The girls golf team this year is facing an indeterminate future, with only four girls on the team. Last year, they had nine girls and qualified for the state championships in Battle Creek for KLAA. The team is facing a decline in size, and at this rate, there is uncertainty as to what the future holds for girls golf at DHS as well as for different sports at and beyond Dearborn.

Head coach John Cialone explained that girls golf teams in MHSAA need to report four scores from their team to officially compete in a match. With that rule in place, most teams play every girl on their roster and then are able to take their four best scores to compete for a win. That’s the game.

Cialone said that having four girls is a big struggle. 

“Most teams have five or six, oftentimes more, so they can pick their best four players to compete that day,” Cialone said. 

Since there are only four girls on the entire team this year, Cialone said he has no options, and that it’s harder to enter high enough scores to win against teams with multiple people to choose from with varying levels of experience.

“We can’t [pick]. We only have four girls, and on many days, we have less than four which means we can’t compete at all,” Cialone said. 

The team actually has to forfeit an entire match if one girl isn’t present. They automatically lose a match that they could have won, and they don’t even get to play the game that they signed up and tried out to play for their school. This has caused a dramatic shift in the team’s performance, coming off last year’s season in which they soared through Regionals and qualified for States. 

Sophomore Carley Wehab is returning to the team this year for her second year playing golf. She said everyone on the team is very dedicated, and they’ve all been working hard at practice, but the lack of mobility in the roster alone just doesn’t allow them to be their best. 

On Aug. 22, Dearborn forfeited the team’s first match against Detroit Renaissance. On Sept. 16, they forfeited their match against Fordson, a team that they beat by almost 100  points last year. And on Sept.17, when they finally got their fourth member and were able to compete, they lost their first scored match against Livonia Stevenson, a team that they have had close matches against in the past, by almost 100  points. Last year, they were 4-2. This year, they currently hold 0-3. On Sept.24, the team forfeited against Livonia Franklin. Cialone said there isn’t much that the team can do at this point to gain new members. “I ask everyday,” Cialone said. , “I have the girls ask other people. I ask other people. It’s just not something that’s really popular around Dearborn High right now.” 

The interest is just not there. The team is even coming off of a great season last year. The team finished third at Regionals and qualified for the state tournament, placing eighteenth in the entire state, all in the first division. DHS girls golf alum Elayna Bowser won Michigan Women’s Amateur Golf Championship. The interest is not there.

Cialone said Bowser’s previous experience at the Dearborn Country Club sets her apart from other golfers he has seen. He said there were girls with a similar amount of experience, but that they too are losing interest. 

“And what the solution is, I really don’t know, other than that if kids don’t start something when they’re young, if they don’t have that experience, are they really gonna go out for the high school golf team? Most won’t,” he said. 

Sophomore Kathleen Majeska follows through with her shot during the second hole at Dearborn Hills Golf Course in a forfeited match against Livonia Franklin on September 24th. Only 3 girls from Dearborn were there to compete, so they had to forfeit the match regardless of their hard work.

The National Golf Foundation reported that, “Golf participation in the U.S. peaked in 2005 at about 30 million golfers, according to the NGF, at a time when Tiger Woods was at the height of his popularity. That number dropped to about 24 million but has held steady at that level for the past five years,” according to John Meyer of The Denver Post, earlier this year.

Fewer and fewer kids are growing up around golf. Rupert Neate of The Guardian said that the average age of golf players in the US was 44 as of 2016. 

“We also have one of our girls who would have been one of our top golfers this year who isn’t playing because of her workload and her participation in other sports- soccer and swimming,” he said. 

That girl was junior Stella Doverspike, who, like Bowser, grew up at the Country Club, playing golf. She started golfing at just five years old with her family at the Country Club and played competitively throughout her first two years here at DHS. Yet she is not playing on the team this year. She said with the combination of the loss of last year’s seniors, the time commitment, and her progress in other sports, golf was the logical sport to drop in order to not be overcommitted. 

“I knew that the team was struggling, but I just couldn’t commit to it this year. I felt really bad leaving the team, but my ultimate choice was to not come back. I hoped that the team would maybe get some more girls, and I tried to spread it around because it’s a team that I would really like to see succeed, and the fact that we went to states last year should have brought new people, but unfortunately it didn’t work,” Doverspike said.

Wehab, returning to the team this year for her second season of golf, said she has noticed people losing their interest in golf and shifting their interests to other sports, such as volleyball and swimming. She also said she feels golf is overlooked because of its focus on patience as well as its difficulty and that it is more of a mental game than an active one.

“I don’t really see that many new people joining this year,” Wehab said. “I feel like people may think that it isn’t as fun or active as other games. I just think people would just prefer something like basketball or soccer.”

Cialone said that at the start of this season there were six members in total.  Two girls quit after making the volleyball team. He said he understands and respects the other sports, but it’s causing this to be a particularly difficult season. 

“That’s their choice to pick the sport that they wanna play; it’s just unfortunate for girls golf,” Cialone said. 

Some would argue that high school students don’t have the time, and some kids are overcommitting by participating in many clubs, sports, social activities, and their jobs. . Golf is becoming more and more obsolete, and at this point, there’s no telling what the future holds for golf at Dearborn High, or golf as a sport in general for that matter.

In comparison to prior years, participation is at an all time low, and at this point, there are fewer girls on the team than there are girls from DHS  on Dearborn Unified Figure Skating or DHS boys on Dearborn Unified Hockey.

The DHS gymnastics team faced a similar situation years ago, when the decline in numbers ultimately led to the dissolution of the team. The remaining girls then merged into Dearborn Unified Gymnastics, yet the number of girls even on that team has been at a sharp decline as well. At this point, there were only two remaining Pioneers on the team last year, and the rest of the small team is composed of girls from Edsel and Fordson.

Sophomore Malak Alataby was one of those girls, and she will be returning this year as well. She said that she actually enjoys the smaller team and working on a team with girls from other schools in the district.

“It’s pretty fun, but all the pressure is on us during competitions, and when we compete, our points individually matter more than on bigger teams,” Alataby said.

Girls golf appears to be heading in the same direction at this point in time. 

“A Unified team might not be a bad idea,” Cialone said.

It’s pretty fun, but all the pressure is on us during competitions, and when we compete, our points individually matter more than on bigger teams”

— Malak Alataby

This is not a Dearborn girls golf shortage. According to Cialone, there are multiple other teams in the division that are facing the same problem, and some schools that have it even worse, and that aren’t even competing because they only have three players. 

“Edsel and Fordson have some numbers, but they don’t compete either. They play by different rules, and when you do that, you’re eliminated,”Cialone said. “But that’s how Fordson plays, that’s how Belleville plays, that’s how John Glenn plays, so it’s not just Dearborn that’s suffering, it’s other districts. Wayne Memorial doesn’t even have a team,” he said. 

“I really hope that more girls take up the sport in the future. It is so fun to do with your friends and a team, and I hope it becomes more known and gets the recognition it deserves,” Doverspike said.



]]> 0
Deprivation of Color Wed, 09 Oct 2019 01:20:59 +0000 On Sept. 4, 2019 the story broke out that Michigan has become the first state to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, more popularly known as Juuls . This ban is implemented by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and will forbid any sale of flavored nicotine vaping products. This ban does not ban all vapes, unflavored and tobacco flavored e-cigarettes are still legal and permitted to use for people over the age of 18 as of September 2019. However, people under the age of 18 are still banned from buying any form of vaping devices. Governor Gretchen Whitmer has initiated this ban and it was passed by Michigan state agencies. this ban for six months where it can be continuously renewed; however, according to an interview she had with MSNBC, she hopes for it to become a law. 

Why The Ban Happened 

The ban was put into place after the MDHHS realized a rise in teen health issues that are caused by vapes. Since e-cigarettes have not been around as long as other nicotine products, there hasn’t been as much research and coverage on how they really affect someone’s health. Unlike cigarettes, no one was certain of the long term effects these products have. However, recently, there has been an outbreak of teens being hospitalized from vapes. There is still a question as to why they only decided to ban flavored vapes. According to an interview MSNBC conducted with Whitmer, 81% of teens who vape start off with flavored products.

Related Deaths

The number of serious lung problems caused because of e-cigarettes are tremendously growing every single day along with deaths. According to CNBC, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said, as of Sept. 24, 2019, the deaths in the United States caused by vaping has grown to 9. The illnesses linked with vaping around the nation has grown to 530 cases. Over half of the 530 cases were younger than 25 years old.

We [Dearborn community] are smart, and with sufficient public education and awareness I hope these products will be avoided. I would advise anyone thinking of using vaping products to first read the latest medical findings about health problems caused by vaping”

— Susan Dabaja

New Sickness

Early August, the Federal Drug Association (FDA), researched more on the vaping problem and what it’s actually doing to the health of all the people vaping on a daily basis for a long period of time. More specifically, how vaping and seizures are related. The FDA had gotten 127 reports of seizures or other neurological symptoms that happened to people that vaped between the years 2010 and 2019. Some of these other neurological symptoms include things like fainting or tremors. The number of cases reported to the FDA from April to August of 2019 increased by 92.

Effects on the City of Dearborn

      Here in Dearborn, vaping has become a very common trend, along with the rest of the nation. With the ban against flavored e-cigarettes in Michigan, this will affect a lot of businesses, as well as changing the habits of many Dearborn residents.

Ali Hamade, manager of the local shop Vape Zone on W Warren Ave. has been manager there since they opened in 2016. Hamade said that the recent vape ban has really taken a toll on sales, and is making them discount all their merchandise to sell as much as they can before they can’t anymore. “The ban has effectively about eliminated 80% of our sales. We can no longer sustain to keep a vape only shop open as the ban does not allow us to sell the majority of the products on our shelves,” Hamade said. “As a result, we are forced to put a store wide sale beginning at 50% off to get rid of our entire stock within a week before the ban takes place.”

Council President Susan Dabaja has served in her role for two terms now for the City of Dearborn. Dabaja said that if anyone is considering starting to vape, they should research the negative effects involved. “We [Dearborn community] are smart, and with sufficient public education and awareness I hope these products will be avoided. I would advise anyone thinking of using vaping products to first read the latest medical findings about health problems caused by vaping,” Dabaja said.

Dabaja said Dearborn residents should be using social media platforms to inform teens of the risks that come with it.Social media is used by most, if not all, teens. There should be a huge social media campaign educating them about the harmful and even fatal effects that vaping has had on people. These problems may be even more dangerous to your health than those caused by regular tobacco use. It’s just not worth the risk,” Dabaja said.

Adam Martin has been a principal here at Dearborn High since 2016. Martin said that there could be two possible reasons kids are no longer getting caught with vaping products, ““I don’t know if that’s a product of the ban or that’s a product of last year. Last year we had a lot of it going on,” Martin said. “I don’t know if kids just figured out smarter ways to have it here and avoid getting caught, or if they just determined ‘Hey it’s not worth bringing, it’s not worth the risk.’”

Trump’s Plan

On Sept. 4, 2019, the same day Michigan’s ban became public, the Trump administration announced that they were going to ban the sale of most flavored e-cigarettes in the United States. According to The New York Times, President Donald Trump said, “We can’t allow people to get sick. And we can’t have our kids be so affected.”

Juul CEO steps down

As a result of worries and unanswered questions about the long-term effects of vaping, on Sept. 25, 2019, Juul Labs Chief Executive Officer and former CEO Kevin Burns stepped down. That same day, the company announced that they will stop all advertising for their products in the United States. Juul also announced that they will abide by any ban of vaping products come and will not try to challenge Trump’s ban. 



]]> 0
Social Media Detox Mon, 07 Oct 2019 20:42:56 +0000  About two years ago I deleted social media thinking I was doing it for time management. However, about two weeks later, I noticed shocking results. Not only was I saving a lot of time and living a more productive life, but I also felt a positive vibration and a sense of freedom. I felt free to be myself. There wasn’t a magnet pulling me toward the trap I was constantly falling into. My life was finally in my own hands. I didn’t care about anyone else’s life, I only cared about mine. I found myself quitting the harmful habit of making adjustments to my life in order to resemble what I had seen on social media. I was finally the one in front of the steering wheel, steering myself in the direction I choose, instead of social media in front of the wheel taking me down a detrimental road. 

I stopped comparing myself to others…

On social media, every individual’s life seems perfect. In the past I would scroll through Instagram and when I saw a pretty picture, I would click on the page and look at the user’s “perfect life.” As a result, I immediately started to compare my life to those portrayed on my screen. I would ask myself, ‘Have I had these kind of moments before? Am I missing out on so much? Do I have enough friends? Do I need to change my lifestyle so it can be like this?’ Believe it or not, I am a person who is aware that a person’s life is typically not the same as it is presented on social media, but I still find myself falling for this trap. Imagine someone not even aware of this. If I can fall into this trap while being aware of this, Imagine a younger child scrolling through social media, imagine what goes through their head.

I realized I had an addiction…

One day my friends were checking their weekly screen time hours on their phone. They all had 24 hours or more a week. I was surprised by their results. I started teasing them and telling them they go on their phones way too much. Then I decided to check my own use. My screen time was just as much as some of my friends, or even more than some other friends. In that moment I acknowledged that I was embarrassed by the fact I was spending four hours, and sometimes more, a day just on my phone. ‘What is it that I spend 4 hours a day on? What am I doing that is taking up so much of my life?’ I was spending about 28 hours a week mostly on Instagram, Snapchat, and Whatsapp. What do these three all have in common? Well, those are the apps where people display their lives. Sadly, I realized that I was spending so much time comparing myself to others instead of using that time to better myself. I told my friends how I felt. I told them this isn’t normal. I asked them, “What is it that we are doing with our lives? What is it that I am doing with my life?”

Believe it or not, I am a person who is aware that a person’s life is typically not the same as it is presented on social media, but I still find myself falling for this trap”

— Fatin Saad


I deleted all my social media sites…

I went home that day and deleted all my social media accounts. I did not want to continue living like that. I noticed results almost immediately. The first thing that happened was my grades improved. Since there was nothing to distract me I would study days before a test because there was nothing else to do. I would do my homework right when I got home and  finish it early and then I would get to go to bed early. I realized how many times a day went on my phone. I would pick up my phone as a force of habit and try to go on instagram or snapchat. Then I remembered that they’re gone. I felt relieved. That magnet I talked about was gone. There was nothing pulling me in the trap. I never wanted to go on those apps but I always felt like I had too. Sometimes I didn’t even realize what I was doing. It was an addiction and a really bad one.

My days felt longer…

I didn’t realize how much time I was wasting until I deleted social media. I never thought it was possible to do so many things in a day. I started reading more. I never thought I had time to read. I started working out more. I started spending more time with friends. I was doing things I actually wanted to do. I was finally focused on my own life. 

My overall mood changed…

 I  gained so much energy. I didn’t know it was possible to feel so alive. I felt free. I was living my life. I was so focused on my life. I started working on improving my self. I was working out, reading, learning, and growing as a person and discovering new things about myself. I wasn’t changing myself to be like others. I was working on myself to be the best version of me. I learned so much about myself when my focus wasn’t on other people. I learned that I love to exercise,I learned that reading can be fun, I learned that I love yoga and running. I learned that I am a morning person. Before, doing my homework would take me 3-6 hours everyday.

My message for you…

 There is no one as diverse, and as beautiful, and as singular as ourselves. Remembering that melts away the idea that other people are better than us or other people are more beautiful than us. You can’t be anyone else and no one else can be you. Once we take a step back from social media and stop comparing ourselves to others, we start realizing all the qualities that we have that can’t be compared to anyone else. We can’t be anyone else but ourselves so why even try? Why not just own everything about ourselves that is so different? Why not embrace the flaws? Because guess what, you are the only person who has these separate flaws all together. There is no reason to be online comparing ourselves to other people when we have our own life to live.


]]> 0
Strokes Of Brilliance Fri, 04 Oct 2019 16:05:24 +0000 Art comes in many different forms. It presents itself as music, drawing, and even dance. It is something that anyone has the ability to appreciate and admire. A person doesn’t have to be an artist to make art, it can be created at any level of experience.

DHS social responsibility teacher Jean-Paul Abou-Dib has had a passion for art since he was just six years old. Ever since then, he has worked endlessly for thirty-three years improving upon his remarkable talent and making it his own. He has had many instructors throughout the years who have influenced his early work, but as he evolved as an artist, he found a great deal of influence and motivation through his personal experiences.

Near the main office, Abou-Dib painted a mural of the original Dearborn High in 1893 with his cousin Antoum Kahl. This piece of art is a great representation of the growth of Dearborn High since its establishment.

What is the importance of art to you?

“I think the creative process, whether it’s the visual arts, performing arts, or musical arts, is the empitis of human spirituality. I really do believe it. Creativity is a pentacle achievement of human intelligence and I think without it, like someone else said, ‘Science gives the world understanding but art gives it meaning.’”


What inspires you to make art?

“Good conversation. If I go to a museum and I see a beautiful painting and a drawing where I study the artistic qualities, I want to sort of duplicate that if it’s something I haven’t done before. If I’m walking in the park or something, and I see a tree, I start looking at the composition of the tree and how the branches branch out. Then I start making out the negative spaces and the relationship between that and the positive spaces. So, inspiration can come from just about anywhere.”


How long did it take to paint the mural?

“The mural took me about 450 hours actual hours of working time between me and my cousin, who is also an artist. I hired him to do the job with me and he did a tremendous job.I don’t think I could’ve done it without him, actually.”


What are other projects you have worked on as an artist?

“I’ve done multiple commision work.I’ve done portraits for people. I’ve done other murals for businesses. Mostly independent portraits for people. Anything from family members to old houses they used to live in, so it runs the entire scope.”


What do you enjoy most about art?

“The creative freedoms and the degrees of liberty with which I can work. The idea that when I’m working and creating something, the notion of time doesn’t even exist to me. It literally ceases to exist in my consciousness. When I sit back and reflect on what I did, it’s a feeling that’s unrivaled by anything else.”


How did you begin to make murals and artwork in general?

“Ever since I just picked up a pencil since I was five, I’ve been doing all kinds of work: whether it’s representational work, whether it’s drawing people, whether it’s completely abstract work. I pretty much try to find what the client wants and I try to work within the parameters that they want, but also staying true to my integrity as an artist. I’ll go with whatever style I’ll find inspiration in. I don’t like to cage myself in any particular style.”


What is your all time favorite piece of art?

“I like Guernica by Picasso. I like most of Picasso’s blue period. Some of my favorite artists from the 17th century are Rembrandt Van Reijn, Franz Hals, Diego Valesquez and Artemisia Gentaleski.”


What is the hardest part of creating a painting?

“For me it’s finding inspiration. So there’s two components: finding the inspiration to do it in the first place and really truly understanding and listening to the painting when it’s telling you that its complete. Sometimes I have a tendency to overwork the painting, so listening to it when it tells me ‘do not touch it anymore’, that’s the hardest part for me, to just set down my analytical brain and just surrender to the painting”


Do you feel like pictures speak to you?

“Absolutely, there’s no question. Just like I think the strongest expression from human to human is body language, much more so than words. I transfer that to a painting, drawing, print, or sculpture. When it says something, it says it vociferously; meaning super loud and commanding.

Below are pieces of artwork Abou-dib has created:

]]> 0
October Horoscopes Fri, 04 Oct 2019 16:05:04 +0000  

What to expect this upcoming month…

Capricorn ( December 22 – January 20)


  • A life changing month
  • Location change
  • Go with the flow
  • Seize opportunities
  • Be patient



 Aquarius (January 21 – February 19)


  • Dream come true this month
  • Very busy month
  • Make space for opportunities
  • Be open to new options



 Pisces (February 20 -March 20)


  • Focus and you’ll have a good outcome
  • Don’t rush the process
  • Take your time and choose what’s right for you
  • You’re gonna have problems either friendship or relationship wise
  • Clarify your point
  • Have faith in yourself



  Aries ( March 21 – April 19)


  • Major boost in career
  • Welcome opportunity to reignite a relationship (a romantic one, or a strong friendship)
  • Seize the moment



    Taurus ( April 20 – May 20)


  • Huge turning points 
  • Marks a new chapter
  • Upcoming decisions that’ll take place


 Gemini ( May 21- June 21)


  • New news
  • Unexpected invitation
  • Like to be flexible
  • Do what feels right



  Cancer ( June 22 – July 22)


  • Success and fulfillment this month
  • A wish come true
  • Changing month



Leo (July 23 – August 22)


  • May be regretting a move / reward
  • Give yourself chances
  • Keep your options open



Virgo (August 23 – September 22)


  • Romance is all around you
  • Something new is starting
  • Regretting decision



Libra ( September 23 – October 23)


  • You’re stuck over a decision
  • Think outside the box
  • Think before you make an action



Scorpio ( October 24 – November 21)


  • Keep options open
  • Multiple options for you
  • Don’t settle anything down till you’re sure



Sagittarius ( November 22 – December 21)


  • You have a choice this month
  • Avoid shortcuts
  • Focus on being led by your best hopes
  • Follow what feels right



]]> 0
Add your headline here Mon, 16 Sep 2019 15:06:03 +0000 There are two ways to add a photo to a story in WordPress.  One is to set the photo as a Featured Image for the story, and the other is to insert the photo into the body of the story’s text.  Your SNO site is designed to make use of the Featured Image method.  Photos inserted directly into the body of the story will not show up on the homepage, the category view page, or the search page.

Make sure your photo is properly sized before uploading it to your site. Then add any new story and scroll to the bottom of the Edit Story page and find the set Featured Image box on the right-hand side; click on the set featured image link.

Click on Upload Files in the upper left-hand corner, then click select files or drag and drop the picture you would like to be the featured image for this story. The picture will upload and a set of fields/boxes will appear to the right. Fill in the Caption and Photographer boxes.

Sample Student
Write a caption.

There are two ways to add a photo to a story in WordPress.  One is to set the photo as a Featured Image for the story, and the other is to insert the photo into the body of the story’s text.  Your SNO site is designed to make use of the Featured Image method.  Photos inserted directly into the body of the story will not show up on the homepage, the category view page, or the search page.

Make sure your photo is properly sized before uploading it to your site. Then add any new story and scroll to the bottom of the Edit Story page and find the set Featured Image box on the right-hand side; click on the set featured image link.

Click on Upload Files in the upper left-hand corner, then click select files or drag and drop the picture you would like to be the featured image for this story. The picture will upload and a set of fields/boxes will appear to the right. Fill in the Caption and Photographer boxes.

]]> 0
Create a custom header Mon, 12 Aug 2019 22:08:11 +0000 Your header graphic should have your logo, organization name, tagline, and any other essential information about your program. Your graphic should be sized to 980px wide, and the height should be between 100px and 200px. You can upload your header graphic in the Custom Header Graphic section of the SNO Design Options page.

]]> 0
Customize the look and feel of your site Mon, 12 Aug 2019 22:08:11 +0000 The look and feel of this site is created by a combination of style and layout choices. To help get you started, your site came with a preselected style, but you can change this preset style to create a different baseline look.

You can change the fonts, background, general appearance, and even your site’s favicon and bullet points by using the tools provided under General Design and Layout.

Each widget on your site can be assigned to one of five widget styles that you can customize. In addition, SNO widgets can each be assigned custom colors and styles in the controls for the individual widget on the Edit Widget page.

]]> 0