Long live the whistle

Photo+taken+by+Nanci+Bush.%0AFrom+left+to+right%3A+Laura+Lopez-Oropeza%2C+Wambui+Wachira%2C+Anna+Boyer+and+Melissa+Ellin.
Photo taken by Nanci Bush.
From left to right: Laura Lopez-Oropeza, Wambui Wachira, Anna Boyer and Melissa Ellin.

Photo taken by Nanci Bush. From left to right: Laura Lopez-Oropeza, Wambui Wachira, Anna Boyer and Melissa Ellin.

Photo taken by Nanci Bush. From left to right: Laura Lopez-Oropeza, Wambui Wachira, Anna Boyer and Melissa Ellin.

Melissa Ellin, Editor in Chief

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When you walk into Solon High School on the first day of school you’re hit with a myriad of sounds: friends excitedly recounting their summers, lockers shutting and the strident, overpowering scream of whistles being blown throughout the school. You’ve just walked into an SHS senior tradition. Every year, senior girls strut the halls in their tie-dyed shirts, leave trails of glitter in their wake and deafen bystanders with the shrill screech of their whistles. What’s not to like?

They’re loud, annoying and incessant, but, in my humble opinion, whistles are a necessity for an SHS student experience, whether you participate or not.

For those who partake in whistling, it’s not (just) about annoying people. It’s how we share our excitement on starting the next chapter in life.

“It unites the class as a whole and gets our mind set to leave and graduate,” senior Emily Livshits said.

History teacher Robert Northrup sees things in a different light.

“Because they sit in my classroom, the freshmen do, and the seniors come in and blow whistles and all the freshmen hate it,” Northrup said. “Even the freshmen that are now seniors that are doing it, hated it when they were freshmen, yet, because it was done to them, they want to keep doing it.”

This holds merit: I was beyond annoyed on my first day. Somebody whistled in my face “by accident,” and I was there far too early, prolonging my agony for what seemed to be eternity. However, over the summer I had a serious internal debate and ultimately decided to use a whistle, because I realized it signified something greater than a grating nuisance.

The whistling is a conversation. Let me explain. When one person whistles, another person responds, and it cycles on. If you see someone whistling, you whistle back. You may not even know who’s whistling, but you instinctively react. The purpose of whistling is being together and celebrating your final year together.

Need further proof? SHS Principal Erin Short said she also finds this to be a great SHS staple. (She’s the principal. Think about that…) Specifically, she said that nobody faces long-term negative effects from the seniors.

“So I think it’s a tradition that should continue, because… the kids aren’t destructive,” Short said. “They’re showing energy and excitement, and when I ask them to stop and tell them I don’t want to hear them until may third, kids oblige, and I think we have a good working relationship with it.”

Additionally, she remarked she hasn’t had a student come to her because of personal noise-related issues. This proves although an initial shock may occur for freshman, there’s ultimately no detrimental harm done. In fact, those freshman overcome their annoyance and eventually, participate. How bad can the whistling really be if it continues? There are plenty of haters out there, but when it comes down to it, there isn’t a substantial reason to ban whistles, and (sorry freshman) it’s not happening anytime soon.

The only negative aspect of whistles is getting them before Party City runs out.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Long live the whistle”

  1. Madi McGirr on September 11th, 2018 10:43 pm

    Great article Melissa! The whistles are so extra, I hated them as a freshman and senior. Glad I’m not there to hear them anymore. I think the reign of whistles will come to an end eventually.

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