Neirad https://neirad.org The Student News Site of Darien High School Mon, 24 Aug 2020 22:07:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.1 DHS is Returning to School Differently than Expected https://neirad.org/7900/breaking-news/dhs-is-returning-to-school-differently-than-expected/ https://neirad.org/7900/breaking-news/dhs-is-returning-to-school-differently-than-expected/#respond Wed, 19 Aug 2020 01:12:06 +0000 http://neirad.org/?p=7900 The Board of Education decided in a meeting on August 10 that the Darien Public Schools will return to the classroom via a hybrid learning model.

Connecticut has been faring well as states continue to reopen and return to normalcy. With Fairfield Country recording only a 1.4% test positivity rate, many Darien residents have been eager to send students back to school.

“The administrative team has been working hard throughout the summer to develop plans for each of the required instructional models,” said Darien High School Assistant Principal Ms. Kate Dimoulas. “Our number one priority,” she said, “has been the wellbeing of our DHS family.”

An original reopening plan, released on July 25, proposed a full in-person return to the classroom and prepared a bare-bones outline for both hybrid and remote learning. Now, a hybrid model will be followed until September 29, after which an in-person return is expected. Superintendent Dr. Alan Addley said in Monday’s meeting that this will grant the district the opportunity to “test some systems.”

The DHS Hybrid Plan functions off of an A/B rotation schedule where all students will learn remotely on Fridays to allow for cleaning and professional development. In order to ensure social distancing and safety, students will attend school in alphabetical cohorts. Students with last names A-K (the “Blue” group) will learn in-person on Monday and Tuesday, followed by L-Z (the “Wave” group) on Wednesday and Thursday. Students learning remotely will attend via live streaming and/or Zoom meetings.

Our masks will never be able to hide the smiles in our eyes as we celebrate the beginning of the 2020-21 school year!”

— Principal Ellen Dunn

DHS Students will attend four 85-minute classes per school day, a change from the previous schedule of seven 48-minute classes. Passing time has been extended to 10 minutes and hallways will move in one direction only. In the classroom, desks will all face forward at 3 feet apart, and face coverings will be worn at all times. During passing-time, students will be allowed to take a “mask break” outside if they have time between classes and can maintain 6 feet of distance from others.

“While the hybrid model may present unique challenges,” said Ms. Dimoulas, “I know that the decision to start in hybrid puts a safe start to the school year at the forefront.”

DHS has also adopted some new policies in order to limit the capacity of the building. Students with parental permission will enjoy “Open Ends,” allowing them to arrive for their first class and leave after their last, and seniors who have their entire lunch period free will also be allowed to leave campus.

The DPS Calendar has been adapted to begin with two half-days where all periods will meet on September 3 and 4.  The “Blue” group will attend on September 3 and the “Wave” group will attend on September 4. A virtual orientation for Freshmen and new students will take place on September 2, and they will soon have access to an orientation website, where information and resources regarding the transition to high school, academics, clubs, sports, and more will be available.

“There will be challenges to overcome, and our Blue Wave Pride will light the way,” said Principal Ms. Ellen Dunn in an e-mail to students. “Your love for learning, laughter, and spirit have been missed at DHS, and our masks will never be able to hide the smiles in our eyes as we celebrate the beginning of the 2020-21 school year!”

 

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The Next Generation of Gaming Consoles is Coming! https://neirad.org/7867/student-life/the-next-generation-of-gaming-consoles-are-coming/ https://neirad.org/7867/student-life/the-next-generation-of-gaming-consoles-are-coming/#respond Fri, 10 Jul 2020 18:15:17 +0000 http://neirad.org/?p=7867 The Sony PlayStation 5 and Microsoft Xbox Series X have both been announced and are expected to be available soon. These represent the first entries in the ninth generation of home video game consoles and should provide a big step up in performance from the prior generation.

But what console is better?

The PS5 and Xbox Series X share a lot of the same system architecture. These two consoles will be based around a custom AMD ‘Zen’ CPU (in gaming, the CPU mostly gets used for the

The Sony PS5

overhead of the operating system and sometimes physics calculations), and ‘Navi’ GPU (The Graphics Processing Unit or GPU is what actually does most of the work in a game console), which are modified versions of components that you would expect to see in a standard gaming computer. With consoles and gaming computers having so much in common, Sony and Microsoft are going to have a hard time convincing consumers that their console is the best device for gaming. In fact, the computational capabilities of the PS5 and Xbox are the closest they have ever been. The Xbox technically has a slightly ‘larger’ GPU (it has more processing units), which given that they are on the same ‘Navi’ architecture should result in better performance, but Sony hopes

Microsoft Xbox Series X

to make up for that with a faster SSD (an SSD is similar in functionality to a hard drive, it stores your games). This will allow developers to stream ‘assets’ (the models that make up a game) off of storage in real time, without having to copy them into RAM, which is traditionally a slow and potentially computationally heavy process that results in loading screens or stutters.

AMD’s Navi is supposed to launch as a series of graphics cards for PC shortly before the next gen consoles are available

With overall system performance expected to not be clearly better on one console or another due to the decision of Microsoft to focus on raw GPU power and Sony to focus on storage speeds, the criteria for evaluating which console is better now comes down mostly to cost and game library.

Price is not yet known, but both consoles are expected to be significantly more expensive than the prior generation. The PS4 launched with an MSRP of $450 and retailer leaks such as this one  suggest that the PS5 might cost as much as 600 pounds (although Sony did hint that the ‘all digital’ version that lacks a disc drive will be cheaper.) This increase in price may stop some people from adopting the ninth generation of consoles at all. Max Scalise, a junior, when asked if he was planning to get the new Xbox or the Playstation stated, “My friends and I are planning to stick with our current systems, because it’s not worth all the extra money to upgrade.”

A decent selection of games have been announced for both consoles, but the general consensus seems to be that Sony has done a better job of highlighting exciting new games. Rikita Nandanwar, a senior said, “There are some pretty imaginative games for the PS5 that I

Spider Man Miles Morales is expected to be one of the biggest exclusive launch titles of this console generation

like. I like Stray which is about a cat in this futuristic setting. Then there’s Kena : Bridge of Spirits, which has Pixar like visuals and reminds me of Ori and the Blind Forest. Then there are the most anticipated games, like Ratchet and Clank and Spider Man: Miles Morales. All the games look amazing visually.”

Are you planning to pick up one of the next-gen consoles? If so, which one are you picking and what made you choose that one?

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The Health Formula https://neirad.org/7796/student-life/the-health-formula/ https://neirad.org/7796/student-life/the-health-formula/#respond Thu, 11 Jun 2020 15:16:21 +0000 http://neirad.org/?p=7796 Eat Healthy!

Which is much easier said than done. There are millions of books on what to eat and what not to. The University of Michigan School of Medicine discovered that putting lots of restrictions on one’s diet can lead to eating disorders and body dysmorphia.  

It is more important to focus on creating a balanced diet. The Family Doctor website said to make a goal to eat meals that have carbohydrates, fats and proteins.  To keep one’s body energized, vitamins and minerals found in all food groups is needed. The United States Department of Health and surfaces says, eating healthy gives one’s body the fuel it needs to be its best. 

Darien has many local restaurants that have healthy and balanced meals. Roost is a great option; they are continuing to serve take out salads and other delicious meals. Bodega is right in town and is not as healthy but makes delicious tacos. Palmer’s Market also has many prepared foods that are healthy. They have lots of options including salads, soups and full meals. Aux Delices has lots of prepared food as well that is very good especially their caesar salads. These restaurants are local to the Darien community and in these uncertain times they need one’s support.

Drink Water

Also easier said than done. You have definitely heard this before but there are so many benefits. Medical News Today said, water helps with digestion, skin, oxygen distribution in the body, homeostasis, brain function, airways efficiency, regulating body temperature, regulating blood pressure, mineral/nutrients use, kidneys efficiency, weight loss and, exercising ability. 

You should drink 8, 8 ounce glasses of water per day.”

— Healthline

 

It is proven that one should drink 64 ounces of water per day. Mayo Clinic found out that when one feels thirsty it is because their body is already dehydrated. 

I find that having a good water bottle helps to motivate one into drinking more water. There are many on amazon that even have little markers on the side of the bottle indicating how much water one should drink by that time in the day. It is about finding something that works for you because there are so many options. Whole Foods in Darien has a good selection of them and so does Palmers Market. 

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Exercise

This is actually very easy. Since everyone has more free time now one can take 30 minutes to exercise. Working out does not have to be a big commitment one can go for a walk. According tot he website, FamilyDoctor.org, just moving one’s body for a few minutes every day makes a difference.  Doing something is always better than nothing at all so walking is a great option. 

When one is working out if it feels challenging that is a good sign meaning one is getting stronger. Gyms are still closed but Youtube has millions of at home workout videos that are created by fitness professionals. 

Darien High School recently finished creating the running path; there is space to park a few cars and the two mile long trails are located on Nutmeg. Waveny Park in New Cannan is a great place to walk or run. There are many trails at Waveny Park and it is dog friendly. 

Happiness

Again easier said than done. Treating your body well will only get you so far mental health is the majority of one’s health. In order to be happy one should spend time every day doing something they love. 

According to “How to be Happy”, author Tara Parker-Pope states it is important to use this newfound free time to enjoy hobbies one would not otherwise have time for. Make sure to surround oneself with people who make them happy. It is unrealistic to try to be happy all the time but instead aim to bring happiness into one’s life. Attempt to find happiness with oneself and bring that emotion into one’s life.

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The formula for health is all about balance between the different aspects of ones life. Balance between doing what is right for your body and what is right for your mind. The health formula is about creating a way that works for one to be the healthiest they can be. 

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The Guilt of Enjoying Quarantine https://neirad.org/7666/student-life/the-guilt-of-enjoying-quarantine/ https://neirad.org/7666/student-life/the-guilt-of-enjoying-quarantine/#respond Thu, 11 Jun 2020 13:11:58 +0000 http://neirad.org/?p=7666 Vinita Mehta of Psychology Today in her article “What are the Psychological Effects of a Quarantine?” led with a story about a woman who had to self-quarantine for two weeks: “‘Now I know what an inmate feels like.’” But what if not everyone feels this way? Is it possible that there are positive effects on the mind in quarantine?

Sydney Roland and her dog Riley Roland

To examine the effects of quarantine, I interviewed some family members and friends in my grade as a sophomore. I asked them “What are some positive psychological effects of quarantine? How has quarantine positively impacted your mental health? How do you think that quarantine affects the mind?” I essentially asked the same question but reworded it as a sort of psychological experiment. The last question opens interpretation for them to talk about negative effects. But all four I interviewed chose to speak about the positive effects. 

Some of the responses to my interview questions, can attest to the positive effects of slowing down. Sophomore Sydney Roland said, “Quarantine has affected my mind positively in that I have learned what I really enjoy doing when my schedule is not packed to maximum capacity. I have been able to spend more time with my family, read for enjoyment, and improve my artistic skills. I think that quarantine has allowed me to take more time for myself and take breaks from work because I don’t have so many things going on. Being outside in my backyard and not at school has also improved my mental health.” 

Me (the left) with Julianna Han (the right)

Sophomore Julianna Han responded: “I honestly think quarantine has affected my mind positively. Before quarantine, I felt really lost and my mental and emotional health was not great. I was self conscious about small things and cared a lot about what other people said about me. Having a lot of alone time in quarantine helped me become stronger mentally and emotionally. I strongly believe I will feel like a better person when I come out of a quarantine.”

The studies of the effects of quarantine on the mind and one’s mental health center around the financial problems and indirect sources of bad mental health according to Mehta. So naturally, everyone is supposed to hate quarantine, right? We should want to be at school, killing ourselves over a paper, or staying up late because we had a nine hour track meet. Essentially, most of the problems revolve around adults, who usually have manageable schedules, with work and their families. But what about the teenagers? We want to learn to choose to be happy during quarantine because that is the only way we will get through this.

Me and Tammy Nguyen on Christmas

Sophomore Tammy Nguyen said: “During quarantine, I have more time to learn things about myself and what I really enjoy. I feel less stressed from school work and can spend more time with my family. It also helped me realize how much some small things I cared about really don’t matter in the big picture. Also I get to spend time doing things I enjoy which I wouldn’t have had time for before and I get to spend more time outside.”

Moreover, Mehta discusses the indirect sources like financial problems creating anxiety and depression. Out of the four people I interviewed, not one expressed anxiety. But rather, they expressed being released from anxiety. No one is openly admitting that quarantine has a positive effect on their mental health because of how much devastation it’s causing for other families. This guilt itself is creating another psychological layer of shame, causing suppression of anything positive, which is exactly what we need.

I found my brother Dashell Scura’s response particularly interesting: “Some positive effects would include much less stress and more relaxation due to the much more manageable school hours and work loads. Getting more sleep during quarantine has been very helpful towards my mental health because I am now feeling much more natural at ease and the days are filled with much less anxiety. I think quarantine just helps one’s mind take a reboot and step away from everyday life and truly allow time for one to reassess.”

My brother Dashell Scura and me in the Bahamas

All of the students I interviewed expressed some sort of “reboot”, as Dashell put it, in their mental health. Whether quarantine allowed them to reassess their values and weighing those priorities or simply allowed them less anxiety over school or more time to spend with their family than they’ll probably ever get to spend in their lifetime, quarantine has positive psychological effects.If this is true then, why is everyone talking and writing about the negative effects.

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used to create them.”

— Einstein

What we need to hear is the positive effects of our mental health. Because everyone is telling us to think about this as a devastation, some aspects of quarantine should be embraced. At DHS, we have a chance to appreciate and take advantage of the more relaxed grading system and other blessings that quarantine has given us.  

Do These 6 Things if You’re Quarantined at Home

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Ways to Stay Calm Over the Summer https://neirad.org/7783/uncategorized/ways-to-stay-calm-over-the-summer/ https://neirad.org/7783/uncategorized/ways-to-stay-calm-over-the-summer/#respond Thu, 11 Jun 2020 13:00:06 +0000 http://neirad.org/?p=7783 With school being over in under two weeks, many have been left with the question of what to do next. So many camps and activities canceled, it really seems like there is nothing to do. However, it will take a lot of creativity to come up with fun things. In my house, we cleaned the first weekend. We watched movies the second weekend and now have been on our own to come up with new ideas. I love the idea of coming up with themed dinners but that only fills one night and now we are looking at a whole summer ahead of us. It is now important as ever to take care of your mental health and make sure that you are doing okay. Here are some of my best tips to stay sane in these crazy times. 

I think that journaling is really helpful for people because they get to take stuff off their minds by writing it down”

— Sophomore Meg Nedder

Start a journal! It is so important to document these crazy times. One day you will definitely want to look back on all of these memories. The University of Rochester Medical Center says Journaling helps control your symptoms and improve your mood by: Helping you prioritize problems, fears, and concerns. This practice is so therapeutic and stress relieving. Plus, filled journals are so cool to keep and continuously read back on. Barrett Bookstore has a great selection of journals and pick-up is super easy. Just call ahead of time on the phone and they will put it on a book cart behind the store. Sophomore Meg Nedder said, “I think that journaling is really helpful for people because they get to take stuff off their minds by writing it down.” and that could not be more true. 

These are some bracelets I have made with beads from Beadworks

Bead bracelets. One of my favorite calming activities is beading. It is super easy and you are always left with a great final product. Bonus points if you shop local at Beadworks in South Norwalk. My sister Charlotte says they have the coolest beads around and the shop is so pretty and fun. I love making bright colored bracelets so my wrist always feels cheery and makes me smile. 

Rock Stacks in Woodland Park

Meditate. So cheesy to hear it from parents and teachers but it can be a super helpful skill when done correctly! Who doesn’t want to be zen all the time? This practice is so helpful and can be used in basically every situation. Sophomore, Meg Nedder, also emphasized how important mediation is to her. There are so many apps that are easy to use and make meditation seem less intimidating.

Run. nothing clears your mind like a great run. Entrepenuer.com says it almost feels like sweating the stress out. This is such a great activity because it gets you moving but also has very satisfying results. I would totally recommend Cherry Lawn park. They have an awesome trail that is typically empty. Junior, Shea Ehrart said, “I went for a run in woodland park and it was a great way to clear my head and get in a good excessive while enjoying the nature” 

Learn to embrace this change. Yes, these times are so weird but the more normal they feel, the happier you will be. It has never been more important to focus on your mental health and make sure you are doing okay. This will pass and so will this summer 🙂

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Youtubers Are Not The Same During Quarantine https://neirad.org/7642/pop-culture/youtubers-are-not-the-same-during-quarantine/ https://neirad.org/7642/pop-culture/youtubers-are-not-the-same-during-quarantine/#respond Thu, 11 Jun 2020 12:20:17 +0000 http://neirad.org/?p=7642 Youtubers. We’ve all watched them, from vlogs, gaming, cooking, there’s all sorts of Youtubers. Youtubers have shaped our world today! Well maybe not. But we watch them a lot. It’s actually a job that pays a lot of good money if your channel is successful. But are Youtubers content different now that COVID-19 has hit our world, are they running out of ideas, are they getting crazier!

Let’s first talk about the vloggers. Vloggers are people that film their life and what they are doing and then post it on the internet! We’ve all heard of these famous vloggers, Logan Paul, Casey Neistat, David Dobrik. Not only are they vloggers but they are vloggers that film outside. So how do they keep their channel from dying. Well first, let’s talk about Paul. We’ve all heard of him, maybe because of 2016 where he blew up or back in 2018 where his career fell apart because he “accidentally” showed a dead body on his trip to Japan on Youtube. But he did make a good comeback this year. His vlogs are normally outside but now that there’s quarantine, he is making content in his house, and the things he does in his house are things that you should not be doing at home. For example, on one of Paul’s vlogs, he tied a rope to his chandelier and just swung on his chandelier. His content is a little extreme but it does get a lot of views. David Dobrik and Casey Neistat’s vlogs are similar in terms of how their content has not changed much as far as approach. They still film outside with respect to the rules of social distancing and wearing a mask. So vloggers are actually doing well for themselves.

For gamers, it’s easier; it’s actually even better for them. You’re stuck at home, what are some things that almost everyone would do? Go online of course! And gamers have an advantage here because most people on the internet like to watch gamers stream their favorite games. On YouTube, you can actually stream video games for everyone to see live. And on those livestreams there’s an option for viewers to donate some money to the streamers. So gamers are making a lot more than they did before this pandemic.

So what do the people of Darien High School have to do with Youtube? Well people mostly watch it to feel entertain or to just relax. Watching Youtube makes us feel less stressed and forgot about all the bad things going on especially during this pandemic. So when we are in school we mostly just want to get our mind off homework and distress ourselves and most of us just go on social media like Youtube and forget about it. Of course, there are times where we could be a little too distracted and start procrastinating and that is why we need to manage our time. Youtube for most students isn’t just an entertainment platform but it helps them understand the real life because vloggers show what is going on outside, gamers show people how to interact and talk, the list goes on.

Overall, Youtube is just an infinite hole with infinite amounts of content. Even during quarantine! Youtubers can still be able to create the content that they like to provide for their viewers like, skits, gaming, and vlogs. Coronavirus is not stopping them from creating good quality content. This is also inspiring normal people to start growing and creating their own channel and make a little bit of money to buy the right equipment to professionally start Youtube.  Are you bored? Go watch some Youtube videos then.

 

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Teen Businesses Taking Spotlight in Quarantine https://neirad.org/7804/uncategorized/teen-businesses-taking-spotlight-in-quarantine/ https://neirad.org/7804/uncategorized/teen-businesses-taking-spotlight-in-quarantine/#respond Wed, 10 Jun 2020 16:46:36 +0000 http://neirad.org/?p=7804 As the lockdown continues on, many DHS students have started online clothing accounts to sell their clothes. These accounts make it easy to resell clothes that they don’t want anymore. This is a great time to make some money during quarantine, also a great way to clean out your closet. 

Selling clothes on Instagram has never been this easy, Its as simple as taking photos of your clothes that you would like to sell, setting a selling price and then washing the item and dropping it off. This is an easy contact free approach to making money, and it is easy to do. Venmo and other payment apps also make this process very easy, the buyer can send money right away with the press of a button. Junior Julia Pombar says that “The clothing accounts give people the opportunity to buy clothes at a cheaper price”. While most of these clothes are used, they are washed and offered at cheaper prices than originally bought. Not only are these clothing accounts on the rise for DHS students, but they have also connected people from around Fairfield County who are buying and selling clothes.

Rather than dropping them off yourself, these websites give members the ability to sell clothes nationwide. With these apps, students can upload images of their clothes to sell and receive payments online through the program. Apps like Depop and Poshmark make it easy to sell your closet and interact with other sellers. Poshmark is described as a place where you can set your own prices and negotiate with buyers. Manish Candra, the CEO and founder of Poshmark describes the process after selling an item, “Poshmark emails you a prepaid shipping label—the buyer pays the shipping—and you just print it out, slap it on any box and have your mailman scoop it up”. This simple process makes it accessible to almost anyone, not only is it a great way to sell, but also a great way to shop at more affordable prices. Many DHS students find these apps as a great way to buy clothes, as they are “Much cheaper than in stores” says junior Taylor Benoit.

Poshmark is a very popular option for those looking to sell clothes, as seen here, sellers are able to package and send their items right after they are purchased.

These clothing accounts are not the only way students can make money, they are also starting many online businesses, with social media like Instagram and Snapchat.  Homemade jewelry, baked goods and artwork are also items being sold on Instagram and other apps by students. A great way to do so is through Etsy, Teen Vogue describes that there is about 1.7 million sellers on this app making it easy to find ways to get creative. With only an additional fee of 20 cents, Etsy makes it easy and fast to sell your own items. 

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To All Freshman: Seniors Are Not Going To Bite You https://neirad.org/7787/student-life/to-all-freshman-seniors-are-not-going-to-bite-you/ https://neirad.org/7787/student-life/to-all-freshman-seniors-are-not-going-to-bite-you/#respond Wed, 10 Jun 2020 14:00:43 +0000 http://neirad.org/?p=7787 “The seniors are going to kill us! They’re going to murder us in the hallways and attack us on the bus!” Those are some common things many freshmen are told regarding the senior class before entering high school. Well, that’s what I was told at least. Did I believe it? Not really. Well, maybe a little. Boy, was I wrong.

If you ask me about my senior buddies, I will respond to you with a huge smile and will then proceed to ramble on about how amazing many members of the Darien High School Class of 2020 have made my freshman year, and how they have left a permanent mark on me.
I’ve always been the type to connect to and feel more comfortable with people who are older than me. I’m someone who gets a little nervous around people my age, but for some reason, upperclassmen have always made me feel more secure and at ease.

The night before Freshman orientation, I got a call from one of my Link Leaders. She left a message on our answering machine. She said her name was Perrin and that she was excited to meet me at orientation. Immediately, I could tell that I was lucky and that Perrin was someone special, and I was right.

Flash forward to orientation day. I was a nervous wreck as I walked into DHS with my mom. I had no clue where I was going or how anything was going to work. I had never been more terrified.

After getting our iPads set up, the freshmen were marched into the auditorium and were told to find and sit with our Advisory and Link Leaders in preparation for Mrs. Dunn’s welcome presentation.  After a bit of searching, I managed to find my Advisory and Link Leaders in the sea of students and staff. I introduced myself to Perrin and Kaitlyn and we chatted for a bit. Right away, I felt much less nervous.

My Link Leaders were and still are absolutely incredible people, and I’m so blessed to know them. They have made me love our Advisory sessions and really eased my worries about high school. They have changed me in so many ways. I look up to them and want to change lives someday like the way they changed mine.

Thoughtful birthday gifts from Perrin Trask and Olivia Maniscalo.

Coincidentally, Perrin and I wound up in Introduction To Media Studies class together first semester, and Kaitlyn and I wound up in Digital Journalism class together second semester. Being able to have time with both of my Link Leaders outside of Advisory helped me to get to know them better and become closer with them.

That brings me to my next point. Before coming to DHS, I had heard from friends and neighbors that electives were a great way to meet new people, upperclassmen in particular. When I signed up for the Introduction To Media Studies and Digital Journalism classes the summer before Freshman year, I had no idea how amazing my time in Mrs. O’Hare’s classroom would be.

During Introduction To Media Studies first semester and Digital Journalism second semester, I was lucky enough to meet so many amazing upperclassmen. As this article is focused on seniors, I’ll zoom in on them. The seniors in those two classes immediately became some of my best friends, and I felt and continue to feel so connected to them. We’ve shared many inside jokes and laughs together. Seeing them in class, in the halls, and around town have made my year so special. Every single one of them has been here for anything I need, whether I have a question or just need to rant about my day. They have offered me the best advice and cheered me on through everything.

I take so much pride in being able to say that I have friends who are seniors that have looked out for me, a tiny freshman with glasses and no high school experience whatsoever. Some of them consider themselves to be my loyal bodyguards and protectors. I’ve even gotten a few escorts up to journalism class before, after running into one of my friends in the hallway. My friends shouting, “Make way! I’m escorting a freshman!” makes me feel so carefree and grateful. Most of all, it has made me feel like I belong in the DHS community.

My birthday this year held many amazing surprises, but one of the standouts by far was a surprise drive-up parade consisting of five of my senior friends, Perrin, Ryan, Gwen, Lily, and Olivia. They came cruising down my street in their cars bearing gifts and kind birthday wishes. I got to talk to them for a few minutes from a distance. Getting to spend a little time with them in this uncertain time, even if we were more than six feet apart, means more than I will ever be able to describe. 

My senior birthday drive-by.

The fact that five of my upperclassmen friends took time out of their days to surprise a freshman on her birthday says something huge about many of the seniors in the DHS community. I was beyond touched, and as soon as the parade pulled away, I cried tears of joy and couldn’t thank my friends enough for what they had done. I still can’t. I can’t even put what I felt that afternoon into words. That drive-up parade on my fifteenth birthday is something I will never forget and will cherish forever.

Chances are, at least one senior you meet will change your life.”

To my senior friends who have changed my life this year, thank you. To every senior who has smiled at me in the hallway, thank you. To every senior who gave me directions when I had no idea where I was going, thank you. To every senior who reached out to me and somehow reassured me it was going to be okay, thank you. To all of the DHS seniors, every single one of you, thank you for welcoming me to DHS, making me into the person I am today, and for changing my perception of upperclassmen. I love every single one of you, and will always appreciate you. You all have inspired me and shown me the type of person I want to be when I’m your age.

I know that this situation, especially for our seniors, is not at all ideal. I know that your second semester of your final year of high school has pretty much gone down the drain. I know that this time is so uncertain. I know that nobody really knows what’s coming next. However, all of that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be celebrated, thanked, and appreciated. You all deserve the world, and your colleges have no idea how lucky they are to have you as a part of the class of 2024. I wish you all the best of luck and know you’re going to do the most amazing things in the future.

And, to all current freshman and future freshman: NEVER believe any of the negative things someone says about the senior class, because they’re wrong. I can attest to that.

Chances are, at least one senior you meet will change your life.

 

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Bye, DHS https://neirad.org/7711/uncategorized/bye-dhs/ https://neirad.org/7711/uncategorized/bye-dhs/#respond Wed, 10 Jun 2020 12:49:28 +0000 http://neirad.org/?p=7711 A letter from the Electric Class of 2020

To Darien High School, 

Thank you for 3.5 years of fun and growth. Thank you for teaching us that confidence comes from within ourselves, and that we are all humans, perfection is impossible. Thank you for preparing us for what lays ahead next whether it may be attending college, taking a gap year, or starting work. You truly outdid yourself. 

I cannot put into words how much this school has meant to me –  the school spirit, especially. Every single football, hockey, and lacrosse game was guaranteed fun and if you didn’t have a good time at those, then get a better seat on the bleachers! Walking by the fields every morning and seeing the neon yellow field goals somehow always encourages me to either wake up or put a smile on my face, reminding me of how much I love school. 

Staff

The cafeteria at DHS is another story. This place is crazy but this place is also THE SPOT. Everyday I sat before school from 7:20 to 7:36 talking to the early birds;, we had our own little mini squad. During every free period, I would stop by the caf on my way to the library or totally settle in at one of the tables in the caf to hang out. Lunch was honestly the highlight of my day, I got to see literally everyone. My sisters down a couple levels lower, my best friends by my sides, and my school friends surrounding me as I wolfed down my sad and typically crushed lunch. Anyways, thanks DHS caf. You rock, but I’ll always miss the old caf (any junior and senior would understand that).

The library is the most underrated place to hang out EVER. The librarians are amazing human beings and I love them lots. Not only have I gone to the library to hang out with Ms. Savage, but I’ve gone and actually gotten work done. It’s magical. 

A packed DHS student section fills the air with flour during the national anthem- one of the school’s more time-honored sports traditions (Credit: DAF)

Jim is a statement piece of DHS, and a very necessary one. You walk in the door and he after Pat, Rick, Angie, or Mr. Davis (all amazing people who are incredible at giving parking tickets) is the first person you see. Always smiling, Jim will never let you pass him without an exchange of at least a few words. Over my four years, Jim has not only seen me come with the most pathetic notes to leave from my mom, but he’s made fun of me for them. He has become a friend of mine. He is the GOAT and that is an undeniable fact. If I were to go around the entire school and ask people about what they thought of Jim, I have a strong feeling one of their first words would be “lollipop”. Thanks for everything Jim, the Class of 2020 really loves you!

Mr. Mazzone is sort of a newbie in the DHS faculty, but man oh man this guy is great at his job. Every single day at lunch Mr. Mazzone would come and hang out and talk to me and my friends, casually, which is pretty awesome. He told us early on in the year that he was going to make it his mission to learn us all by name and he most definitely accomplished that; he actually accomplished even more. He learned what sports we played, when our games were, and even brought his family to a few games. He’s a cool guy and our school wouldn’t be such a positive environment without him there. 

The Theater and Art Departments are two parts of DHS that are INCREDIBLE. Oh my gosh. Going to the school plays and musicals for the past four years has been a highlight of my year. The theater department works so very hard  and although the show did not go on this year, we all know how amazing it would have been. The art department also deserves a shoutout (more like 100 shoutouts) for their work. Walking through the halls and seeing murals, paintings, sculptures made by students makes you realize how talented DHS is. Art show week = best week. 

Finally, the teachers. They’re amazing and as a class, the seniors want to thank you for everything you do. You’ve taught us more than what’s in the book. You’ve taught us how to go out in the world and create our own paths, how to be ourselves and not let anyone change that, how to ignore the negativity and focus on our own goals. You are all what made us the people we are today, and the people who will be graduating this August. We love you and thank you. 

All the best DHS,

Class of 2020

 

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Is It Safe to Go Out to Eat? https://neirad.org/7743/student-life/is-it-safe-to-go-out-to-eat/ https://neirad.org/7743/student-life/is-it-safe-to-go-out-to-eat/#respond Wed, 10 Jun 2020 10:59:38 +0000 http://neirad.org/?p=7743
Resturants all around the nation were closed due to tightening COVID regulations. Now, the reopening gradually begins.

States are slowly reopening across the United States. After weeks of stay-at-home orders, 30 states have already started reopening certain nonessential services, sit-in restaurants among them. Just because you can go out to eat, however, doesn’t mean the risks have materially disappeared. This begs the question: Is it safe to go out to eat- and should you?

The short answer: it depends.

Levels of risk in restaurants differ from community to community, individual to individual, and are based on several factors. There are, however, several key precautions that have been proven to significantly lower risk of transmission.

Community

Checking the coronavirus cases and transmission rates in your town before going out is always advisable. Still, the Atlantic Monthly recently found that many states’ reopening plans for public dining areas don’t even meet White House guidelines- checking if your community is one of those could help you make more informed decisions. Regardless of the community, however, experts generally agree that getting take-out is always a safer option as opposed to dining in.

Individual

It goes without saying that anyone experiencing COVID-like symptoms should stay home. However, there are certain other groups at an increased risk of contracting the virus- the CDC identifies them as “high-risk” groups. 

There is no such thing as “zero risk” in these uncertain times: Everything you do will potentially expose you to the virus. ”

Those who fall into these “high-risk” populations include those who are in frequent contact with nursing homes, those with moderate to severe asthma, and those with diabetes or chronic health issues. Even more at risk, says New York Medical College dean Dr. Robert W. Amler, is the elderly- defined as anyone over 65 years of age.

Key Precautions

If you are set on dining out, there are three simple things that can be done to reduce risk. Firstly, use a mask when not eating or drinking to protect yourself from unwanted respiratory droplets that could stay in the air for as long as 14 minutes, the New York Times reports. Secondly, try to find a table outside: While restaurants are being encouraged- and compelled, in some cases- to reduce capacity, studies have found that the virus transmission rates are far greater inside. Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, be aware of your surroundings and ask yourself questions: Are the waiters wearing masks? Are you touching shared surfaces? Are tables 6 feet apart?

There is no such thing as “zero risk” in these uncertain times: Everything you do will potentially expose you to the virus. To mitigate risks, stay home as much as possible; don’t go out unless it’s absolutely needed- at the end of the day, curbside pick-up and delivery options are the way to go. 

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