Arlingtonian vol. 2 2021-2022

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OCTOBER 1, 2021










Buying Young

Digital Learning Curve

An increasing number of students are investing in the stock market.


Online Academy students return to the classroom.

Devious Destruction TikTok trend sparks vandalism in the new high school.


Say Cheese!

Seniors find creative ways to express themselves through their senior photos.

Finding a Niche

Students find ways to express their creativity and connect with others .


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How’s Health?

A look at the UA health curriculum and what it means for students. SPORTS


A Step Backwards

Columnist discusses the new Texas abortion law.

Finally Free

Film delivers on action and acting but lacks strong plot and character building.

Certified Donda Lover

Columnist reviews Kanye West’s new album.



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hen I created this cover, I wanted to use both elements of the spotlight story, “How's Health: A look at the UA Health Curriculum and what it means for students,” and the fact

ARL Athletes: Carson Gresock and Giorgio DeLibera


Changing For Better or Worse that Halloween is soon approaching. I think the diagram on the cover could represent either. I also love the look of old vintage diagrams of plants, and old maps that teachers used to

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pull down at the front of the classroom. The textured paper behind the skeletons is inspired by that.




ast—that is how I would describe the past month and a half. A year ago, everything felt longer. Classes were blocked, lectures were pre-recorded, tests were pushed further into the year, and for most of the week, our longest commutes were from our bedrooms to our kitchens. But now the heavy homework loads are back; practices, club meetings and games keep us busy until the sun goes down, and I am finding myself drinking an extra cup of coffee in the afternoons in order to keep up. But fast doesn’t mean less rewarding. We have been able to connect far more deeply than we were connecting a year ago. In the walls of UAHS, we have been sitting with friends at lunch, collaborating with our classmates during class time and innovating in our various student-life organizations. Our involvement in sports, clubs and activities is just as vital as our work in the classroom. Whether we are trying to win a field hockey game, engineer the best robot or put together an issue of Arlingtonian, our collective goals help us find community and meaning in our day-to-day lives. So this week, I encourage you to dive into the list of clubs and sports on the Student Life Canvas page and to think about things ARLINGTONIAN EDITOR IN CHIEF that make you tick. At the same time, I am here to affirm that it is OK to slow down. It is OK to take a break. It is OK to ask for grace, and it is OK to go to bed at a reasonable time. We are all human. Find time for yourself to wind down and spend time with your family. Remember, your teachers and administrators are human too. Reach out to them, share what is going on in your life and explain how they can help you be the best learner you can be. I hope you use this issue of Arlingtonian to pause and reflect. Check out page 14 to learn more about how you can get involved. FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM @UAARLINGTONIAN



ARLINGTONIAN VOLUME 85 | 2021-2022 October 1, 2021, ISSUE 2 EDITOR IN CHIEF


Matthew Doron James Underwood COPY EDITOR

Brooke Mason ARTS EDITOR


Ava Adamantidis STAFF WRITERS


George Bernard Antonia Campbell Ellie Crespo Luke Eriksen Elena Fernandez Fia Gallicchio Gracie Helfrich Sophia Hudson Iris Mark Safia Malhotra Greta Miller Ava Stanhope Carly Witt



Jack Diwik Julia Molnar

Lauren Buehrle Ryan Efird Elizabeth Goth Grant Overmyer Gia Stella PHOTO MANAGER

Bella VanMeter

Molly Hench Ava Neville Megan McKinney Stella Petras Caroline Kegg BUSINESS MANAGER

Parker Badat BUSINESS



Héloïse Dutel Sarah McCulloch Bridget Mitchell Jayden Banks

Austin Henley Hayden Kegg Lauren Leff Krish Mawalkar Alexander Wilkins Zac Yoakam


Daphne Bonilla Ryn Card

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EDITORIAL POLICY Arlingtonian is a studentproduced newsmagazine published by Journalism III-A students at UAHS. The publication has been established as a public forum for student expression and for the discussion of issues of concern to its audience. It will not be reviewed or restrained by school officials prior to publication or distribution. Arlingtonian welcomes letters to the editor, guest columns and news releases from faculty, administrators, community residents, students and the general public. The Arlingtonian editorial

board reserves the right to withhold a letter or column and return it for more information if it determines the piece contains items of unprotected speech as defined by this policy. The Arlingtonian staff raises and pays all printing and production costs through advertising sales, donations and fundraisers. The Editor in Chief shall interpret and enforce this editorial policy. To read our full editorial policy, visit our website at

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Buying Young

An increasing number of students are investing in the stock market. BY GEORGE BERNARD, ’23. GRAPHIC BY MOLLY HENCH, ’22.


hen the world went into lockdown in early 2020, mobile stock trading platforms started to see a massive influx of new investors. Among the millions of people signing up were high schoolers. From day traders exercising options during lunch to those who simply own a few shares of a company they like, trading among high schoolers is growing. In the past few years, with the rise of Robinhood, an easy-to-use, mobile trading platform with no commissions, and other mobile trading platforms, buying and selling stocks has become significantly easier for new investors. Senior Zac Yoakam is one of those new investors. Yoakam trades multiple times a day on one account and has a second account for long term growth. On his day trading account, he trades less stable stocks that he believes have a significant upside potential. Although he trades often, he said that he has “only about one or two big trades per year.” He uses a different strategy for his long-term account that produces more consistent returns but limits how much he

can make. “I invest in blue chip [stocks] that I think will be profitable in the long-term,” Yoakam said. Blue chip is a general term to describe larger, more stable companies such as Apple or Starbucks. Through 2020, he saw some big fluctuations on his accounts from down 20% at the beginning of the pandemic to up over 100% by year’s end. Before the pandemic, he was seeing annual returns in the 20-25% range. Although he trades with real money now, he started with a paper money account when he was younger. “My aunt set up a competition between my sister and I to see who could make the most money and the winner got $100. That is what initially got me interested in the stock market,” Yoakam said. He plans on going into the financial services industry in part because of his experience gained in the market. “If I don’t go into the financial services industry, I want to go into economic studies of the market because I’m

interested in the field,” Yoakam said. Senior Austin Henley is another student that invests in the stock market. He trades less often, usually weekly or monthly. The trading platform he uses is Robinhood. Although he has only been trading more recently, he started in the market many years ago. “I bought two shares of McDonald's in sixth grade and held on to it for several years and forgot about it and ended up selling it three years ago. I then got a Robinhood account a little over two years ago,” Henley said. Junior Zachery Windisch owns a few Tesla shares and bought two shares of Roblox when it first went public in March of this year. He doesn’t actively trade on the market; he simply holds onto a few stocks to sell for a profit in the future. All three students technically do not own their portfolios as the minimum age to own or trade stocks is 18. They work around this by using an account under their parents’ name. Henley said he learned how to trade from his parents. As trading becomes more accessible, many high school students are trying it out while building a skill set vital to growing wealth. Students interested in learning more about the economy can enroll in AP Economics next school year, or can join the investment club.

To read more, find the full version of this story on

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Time for Fall Fun

A few of central Ohio’s best fall-themed attractions. BY BROOKE MASON , ‘22. GRAPHICS BY MEGAN MCKINNEY, ‘22.


he fall season of 2020 was less than exciting for most Upper Arlington residents. This year, fall and Halloween themed attractions are back open—with various safety precautions—and ready for guests.


Leeds Farm is a family-owned and operated farm that has been growing and selling pumpkins since 1988. From Sept. 18 through Oct. 30 the farm opens its doors to guests looking for a nostalgic fall day. Admission for ages 3 to 54 is $15, and the farm is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. All tickets need to be pre-purchased. The farm’s main attraction is the thousands of pumpkins grown each season. Senior Julia Brill visited the farm last fall and picked out a variety of pumpkins. “It was really fun just to get in the fall spirit,” Brill said. There is a wide range of fall themed food available at the farm’s North Barn Calf-A. The Calf-A is operated by local bakery Pies From the Heart. Offerings at the Calf-A vary each weekend but will generally include caramel apples, several flavors of pie, donuts and cookies. The Calf-A also sells food and drinks and a specialty apple cider. Hayrides are included within the price of admission and depart from the west side of the farm pond every 20-30 minutes. The hayrides move through the farm’s woodland property that is made up of shagbark hickory and maples trees that turn vivid colors in the fall.



Previously known as 13th Floor Columbus, Fear Columbus is an elaborate and immersive haunted house production. This year they are featuring two attractions: The Summoning and Aftermath Anarchy. The Summoning attraction’s storyline involves a dangerous cult and the demons they have summoned. Guests travel through the house of the cult and end up deep in a demon’s lair. “You will come face to face with these cult members and the demons they have brought to this world,” a Fear Columbus employee said. “The experience features expertly detailed sets, a state-of-the-art sound system, all-new lighting design, new costumes and new characters.” Aftermath Anarchy features a post-apocalyptic city in total chaos. Guests walk the streets of Rapture, Fear Columbus’s fake city, after patients escape from the city’s asylum. “This attraction might even feel more like an action movie than a haunted house at some points,” the employee said. The attractions are open weekends Oct. 1 through Oct. 29 and open weekdays later in the month. Tickets start at $19.99 and get more expensive due to limited availability. Tickets also must be prepurchased.


Freeman’s Farm is a sixth generation family-owned farm that is open to the public from Sept. 18 through Oct. 23. The farm also opens its Fall Market during the month of October. “We do not charge an admission fee, since we don’t offer a lot of activities, since we consider ourselves more of a historic farm,” Lois Freeman, current co-owner of Freeman’s Farm, said. “We like to leave our surroundings as natural as possible and provide a calm, low-key atmosphere for our guests.” The farm is open Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Guests are encouraged to take advantage of the natural scenery for photos. “We have many photo board opportunities and our scenic atmosphere is a great place for great fall family pics,” Freeman said. The farm’s Fall Market is open the same hours on the weekends and is also open weekdays noon to 7 p.m. The market offers a wide variety of pumpkins, gourds, squash, corn shocks, mums, fall candy, apples, fall crafts and decor items.


Digital Learning Curve Online Academy students return to the classroom. BY ELLIE CRESPO, ‘22. GRAPHICS BY DAPHNE BONILLA, ’22.


ast fall, districts across the country were in a frenzy to rapidly create online-only education programs for their students. After a long summer of uncertainty, the realization that many students would not be able to re-enter the classroom amidst a global pandemic hit school districts. As concerns mounted, digital-only programs were pushed out by schools. These programs proved themselves to be an essential asset for students, their families and teachers during an unprecedented disruption of the typical academic year.

For Upper Arlington, that meant creating Online Academy (OA)—a remote learning option—to accommodate K-12 students who were not comfortable with returning to inperson school. OA started the school year off with 917 students, making it the second largest “building” in the district. Its creation can be credited to Upper Arlington Schools’ Chief Academic Officer Keith Pomeroy, who produced and oversaw the digital education

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program alongside a team of devoted teachers. In a normal academic year, Pomeroy’s responsibilities would include updating curriculums and providing educational departments with additional resources. However, with the need for an online program, his duties shifted dramatically. “We were basically building a school from the ground up… we were creating procedures that didn’t exist before,” Pomeroy said. “Creating attendance procedures, trying to support kids... it was pretty all encompassing. I was fortunate to have a great team of teachers working with me.” Though the idea of an entirely online education system for UA had never been attempted prior to last school year, Pomeroy was not unfamiliar with digital education. “I was the chief technology officer in this district before I became the chief academic officer,” Pomeroy said. “So I have had significant involvement in learning management systems in different aspects of online education for a big portion of my career, but I’ve always kept a foot in the curriculum and

the technology world.” Although this experience helped establish the groundwork for OA, Pomeroy and his team had to adapt to the changing needs of OA students. Within weeks of OA’s launch, students became concerned about the rigor level within their online courses provided by Acellus—the original digital education provider chosen by Pomeroy and his team. “I was only in Online Academy for, if I remember correctly, maybe one or two weeks. But what I noticed is that the level of difficulty that I was expecting from my AP classes was not representative in the online classes,” senior Summer Powell said. “I was just legitimately worried about passing the AP test. You can’t replicate the type of practice that you get in class with a teacher on an online platform.” When parents brought this problem to the district’s attention, Pomeroy and his team took action. “We, as an entire team, did an analysis of what providers were available to us. We did a pretty extensive check of the diversity, equity and


inclusion side of those products to make sure that we weren’t seeing additional concerns on that end,” Pomeroy said. “So we selected what we thought were the best products for each different content area at the secondary level.” After the adjustment, the majority of OA high school courses were provided by Edgenuity and Accelerate, becoming the main digital education platforms for language arts, global language and science classes. Even after the transition from Acellus to a system that utilized multiple content providers, some students still felt that certain OA classes did not meet their needs. “It was a really mixed bag. Some of the classes were really good, and the teachers were phenomenal. Some of them were some of the poorest classes I’ve ever seen. I learned almost nothing in some of them,” senior Bella Stabile said. As the year went on, Pomeroy and his team became increasingly concerned about the emotional health of OA students. Unlike their peers in Enhanced Distanced Learning and Hybrid Learning, they did not have regular social interactions, which further FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM @UAARLINGTONIAN

exacerbated the already existing stress that OA students were experiencing. “It was kind of more lonely, I guess, because we wouldn’t have [the] social interactions [we] normally would have,” senior Caitlin Courtright said. “I missed [even] just [eating] lunch with my friends.” Accompanied by his advisory team, Pomeroy worked to ease this stress through school-sponsored clubs. For example, OA teacher Curt Bixel formed an Among Us Club while OA teacher Stephen Stern was the advisor of a book club. “For me, the clubs were [really] important,” Pomeroy said. “You could see [the students] when they were together, connecting in that way on Zoom, that camaraderie was really important. [When] you had clubs or had opportunities like that, it was

critically important to support beyond the academic need—a socialemotional need.” “I [was] a part of Mock Trial last year, which was online and I competed in two competitions for that. So, I got to interact [with] Ms. Vergis and other peers. That was some of the only social interaction I got,” senior Max Bailey said. Since OA ran on a work-at-yourown-pace system, students had the freedom to complete their assignments on a timeline that worked for them. However, the lack of strict deadlines made it difficult for many students to keep up with the program. “I found it hard to keep up with the work,” junior Simon Molnar said. “But overall I loved the amount of freedom and time I had.” Edgenuity, one of the main OA providers, had a feature that would show students what percentage of the course they’d completed and what percentage of the course should be completed. If a student was not keeping up with the curriculum, their progress bar would show up in red.


“The program would tell you how far behind you were, which can be good if you’re one or two assignments [behind], but if you’re a kid who really fell off, then it became this [large] burden sitting there,” Stern said. Some students became overwhelmed with overdue assignments. “The first semester, [things] got pretty out of hand and I was fairly behind for a little while… I felt like I was drowning the entire first semester,” Bailey said. “In class, if you’re confused on something, [you] can raise your hand or talk to the teacher after [class]. But online, you have to kind of just figure it out or email the teacher.” It became a priority for Pomeroy and his teachers to assist students who had fallen behind in their online courses. “When we saw someone struggling either academically or through isolation, it would show up in different ways, and so we were trying to put plans in place and do everything we could to get people to connect with us if they were struggling… We did things like [create] mandatory study halls or things like that

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if kids were struggling,” Pomeroy said. OA teachers followed suit, strategically reaching out to students who had noticeably fallen behind. “Part of it was to make sure that I’m communicating with them [and] anybody that’s part of the orbit of that student. I made sure that they were part of the communications so that [the student] would [know] that there’s at least a group of people that were willing to help them [get] through the course,” OA teacher Mark Boesch said. Apart from the students who struggled with pacing, many others experienced varied levels of teacher interaction from course to course. “For the courses I had on Edgenuity, teacher interaction was rare except when an assignment [received] feedback,” sophomore Sophia Stabile said. “On the other hand, my German course on Acellus was phenomenal. Every week there was an optional meeting to go over the week’s work, every assignment received feedback and there were schedulable tutor times with the specialized Acellus German

teacher.” Although OA is set to outlast the 2020-21 school year, most of its students rejoined their peers for in-person learning this fall. Only 43 K-12 students still remain in OA this semester. This adjustment comes with its own set of unique challenges for the students who are transitioning out of the online education program. “[In] ASL, I feel very behind… I didn’t really learn the grammar and I also never really got to practice… And I practiced a lot more than a lot of people did and, and I’m still more behind than in-person kids,” Bella Stabile said. OA students are becoming reaccustomed to the social interaction that comes with in-person school. “My transition from OA to in-person has been rocky. I think not as much academically but more so socially,” sophomore Alea Ramsey said. “I think interacting with my peers was challenging at first because I hadn’t had much interaction apart from my family for almost a year, but it was easier to adjust over time.”



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Upper Arlington United

UAU coach and founder Matar Faal and his journey from Gambia to America. BY SAFIA MALHOTRA, ‘24. GRAPHICS BY STELLA PETRAS, ‘22.


ambia is a relatively small country in Western Africa with a population of roughly under 2 million people. It’s known as the “Smiling Coast” due to its shape on the map and its kind, welcoming people. It’s also the home of UAU’s founder and coach Matar Faal. Faal was born and raised in Banjul, Gambia’s capital city. He grew up swimming in the clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean, climbing mango trees and catching fish for dinner. But most of all, he grew up surrounded by the sport of soccer. Faal’s journey from a kid in Gambia to an international soccer player began when he was a kid. “My friends and I would play [soccer] with no shoes, and we would usually play in the street,” Faal said. Faal played for his middle school and high school teams before being scouted for the Gambia’s mens national team—“The Scorpion”—when he was 17-years-old. He played there for two years before being scouted once again for Nottingham’s D2 Team. Faal moved to America in 1994. He was reunited with his family, who had moved there prior to his arrival. He lived in the Bronx, N.Y. for about 5 years and intermittently traveled throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East. He continued to play soccer for fun on the side in recreational leagues and

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neighborhood games. For Faal, one of the hardest parts of moving to America was leaving behind his childhood friends who helped him flourish and become the person he is today. Yet, to him, it was worth it in order for him to achieve his dreams and live a life he’s proud of. “An amazing part [of being in America] is learning the culture and being able to have so much freedom and create many opportunities.” He met his wife, Tracy, in New York, and together they moved to Upper Arlington to raise their three kids Wally, Laila and Amina. He coached for Santos Futbol Club for 20 years until he realized his passions did not align with theirs. Faal then created his own club: Upper Arlington United. “When I came to America, I knew that I wanted to share my soccer skills with the younger generation. Soccer is such a beautiful sport to play,” Faal said “My dream for this club is to create long lasting memories, [make] sure every kid is having fun, but also [teach] them valuable lessons in soccer but also in life.” UAU now has over 20 teams, almost triple the number of teams as last year. It’s a place for kids to enjoy kicking around the ball with friends, surrounded by coaches who are passionate not only about the sport but also them. It’s an environment where kids aren’t afraid to be themselves or work towards being the

best they can be in various aspects of their lives. UAU focuses on creating a “fun, friendly environment with emphasis on skills.” The kids are growing up with a true love and passion for the sport. “I’ve been coaching for a very long time and I think my favorite part about coaching the kids is seeing how quickly they develop and how they are able to learn things very quickly,” Faal said “I’ve coached many different types of players. I have coached players who have had years worth of soccer experience and end up going pro, and I have also coached kids who have had no type of experience but they are ambitious and willing to learn. Seeing their growth in soccer, but also in life, is one of the best feelings.” Matar has taught kids to not be afraid of who they are and to accept and embrace themselves, not who society has tried to force them to be. He works to provide opportunities that he was not given as a child and said he hopes one day to start a soccer organization in Gambia to give young kids opportunities to play soccer in America. “I do not have any regrets in life,” Faal said. “My greatest accomplishment is being able to come to America with nothing but being able to create something out of it.”


Devious Destruction

TikTok trend sparks vandalism in the new high school. BY ANTONIA CAMPBELL, ‘22. GRAPHIC BY DAPHNE BONILLA, '22.


ver the past few years, a common goal among many teens has been to become TikTok famous. TikTok users tend to post the most entertaining and shocking videos they can to go viral on the app. But recently, the trends that have caused fame have been more harmful than anticipated. The “devious lick” trend has been huge on TikTok over the past few weeks. The trend includes posting videos of yourself stealing school property and damaging school restrooms and classrooms. Many students from all around the country have participated in this trend, destroying school property in the process. Students at UAHS are no exception. Students at the high school have been taking advantage of the privacy that the new, all-gender restrooms provide. They make vandalism easier to act on and easier to get away with. “Most of it we’ve seen in the restrooms. We’ve seen it in places where people can be secluded,” Principal Andrew Theado said. “The vast majority of students are amazing and doing the right things and we recognize that. We just want to make sure that we put a stop to [the vandalism].” Teachers, students, administrators and other members of the UAHS community are disheartened by the recent trend. “It’s disappointing because it’s a brand new, beautiful building, but it’s expected, because you have kids who think it’s funny,

and then of course there’s the TikTok craze now which is kind of crazy because you record the vandalism and that’s how you get caught,” custodian Scott Moon said. Until teachers and students recieve special tape for the walls, they are not allowed to hang art on the walls of the new building, which could leave students feeling artistically trapped. “It is not okay to vandalize the building. If some folks want to open space somewhere, we can put a white board and if people want to draw and create images like we had in our Learning Center with the chalk, we can do that,” Theado said. “If there is something that is not being offered to the student body that we need, talk to your class officers and maybe we can get something in place. But it is not appropriate to vandalize the restrooms or any part of this building.” The administration is attempting to put a stop to the vandalism as soon as possible. “We are working with our custodial maintenance teams to get it cleaned, [and] we are working with our new camera system and with some students who have come forward and shared information. We’ve been able to catch


TikTok videos under #deviouslicks or #diabolicallicks. Data courtesy The New York Times.


some of the students, but we’re still looking for more folks who have been doing this,” Theado said. Students are encouraged to come forward and tell a teacher or administrator if they witness vandalism or stealing taking place. “I think they have to utilize the cameras but more importantly the kids that know. If you know something, now you have devices in place so that you can do stuff anonymously, so you need to speak up and take ownership of your school,” Moon said. To people who have already vandalized, science teacher Jordan Walker encourages them to reflect. “Learn from it, grow from it and try to realize why it maybe wasn’t the best choice,” she said. “If you’re just wanting to make waves, there are other ways to make waves that are more positive than this.”

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Say Cheese!

Seniors find creative ways to express themselves through their senior photos. BY SOPHIA HUDSON, ’22 AND ELENA FERNANDEZ, ’23. GRAPHIC BY AVA NEVILLE, ’23.


he glorious year the senior class has been counting down to for twelve years has arrived; class of 2022, it’s time to shine. Although the school year has just started, the rush to the finish line has already begun. In today’s world, creativity has no limits, and senior photos are no exception. Members of the class of 2022 have already taken part in photo sessions throughout the summer and fall in hopes of finding that perfect shot to use for #seniorsunday on social media. In years past, there seems to be a mold that many students follow in regards to locations, outfits and even poses. However, a new wave of expression and originality fill each page of the Norwester Yearbook from last year. Senior Ava Riley spoke regarding her recent photoshoot with Peter’s Photography.

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“I wasn’t really nervous, but I was super excited to have my pictures done. I definitely had a vision of how I wanted [the pictures] to look, and I really feel like it came to life,” Riley said. Riley was inspired by Kylie Jenner’s 2020 photoshoot where the celebrity wore head-to-toe red-colored clothing against the same colored background. “I felt that it was unique but still classic enough that I won't hate it in ten years,” Riley said. Local photographer and UA alum, Meghan McGuire of Oh Miss Meghan Photography said she is not a fan of her pictures from her senior year in 2014. “I look back at my pictures and totally cringe. I wore this red, white and blue outfit. It was just way too much, so 4th of July,” McGuire said. McGuire’s goal when taking photos is to have “no regrets” which typically means classic colors, neutrals and avoiding crazy patterned clothing to ensure a timeless look. “Of course you want the photo to show who you are and give a glimpse into what you love and value. So it is always good to have a variety of these classic pictures, but also ones that portray who you are in this season of life,” McGuire said. Although senior pictures can be exciting, there are students who dread getting their photos done for fear that they won’t find the right shot. To relieve additional stress, many photographers have in-depth instructions that they may send before the session, including what to expect the day of the shoot.

Riley said her experience with Peter’s Photography was easy, quick, and fun—from the initial meeting discussing her ideas, to the two hour session and the meeting a few weeks later to decide which photos were the ones. “Everyone was super supportive, and it didn’t feel awkward at all. I just talked about what I liked, and the photographers made it happen,” Riley said. Although Norwester does recommend a typical headshot style photo for the senior class photos, creative pictures are encouraged for the “Creative Seniors” section of the yearbook. Over the past year, the number of submitted creative photos have decreased, and the number of selfphotographed pictures have increased. For UA graduate Mackenzie Haines, her iPhone 12 was the perfect option when it came time to take her senior photos. “We didn’t feel like we needed to hire anyone. I know my phone takes really great pictures, and I loved the idea of being able to do what I wanted to do without feeling uncomfortable in front of someone I don’t know,” Haines said. “My sister and I spent a few days together throughout the school year taking them, and we saved a ton of money. Plus, because phone cameras are so advanced now, there isn’t a difference in my photos or anyone else’s. I really loved how they turned out.” Regardless of which option members of the class of 2022 may take, senior pictures are an opportunity to showcase personalities and personal interests, and they are something to look back on for years to come.


President McCabe

UAHS Student Council Co-President discusses her plans for the school year. BY GRETA MILLER, ‘23. PHOTO BY BELLA VANMETER, ‘22. GRAPHICS BY CAROLINE KEGG, ‘24.


n a sunny September morning, senior Lucy McCabe has a lot of things on her to-do list. In addition to working part-time at a smoothie shop and being a basketball cheer captain, McCabe is co-president of Upper Arlington High School’s Student Council. Together with senior Grant Overmyer, she is responsible for leading the school’s roughly 30-plus-member Student Council team. “A lot of people think that Student Council is about changing the school, but honestly we do not do much about that. We do more charitable things,” McCabe said. One of McCabe’s priorities is the Homecoming dance because ticket sales from the dance account for a large portion of Student Council’s revenue for the year. The group spends a considerable amount of time planning, organizing and creating the Homecoming dance so that they can then allocate those funds throughout the school year to charitable causes such as grants for student clubs, blood drives, food drives and holiday gifts for families in need. McCabe’s connection to student government and charitable efforts has been a long one. She was a class officer all three years of middle school and transitioned into Student Council as a high school freshman, remaining involved all four years. “The process of getting involved in Student Council depends on your year in high school,” McCabe said. As a freshman, the process is a little less formal considering teachers recommend a few kids. Sophomores, juniors and seniors, however, must complete an application and be voted FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM @UAARLINGTONIAN

into Student Council by their gradelevel classmates during the spring of the previous year. There are eight to nine members selected per grade. Becoming a co-president is a little more complicated—a candidate must be a rising senior in Student Council, have a running mate, write and present a speech to the entire student body, and then receive the most votes from all four grade levels. The years on Student Council have been well worth it for McCabe. She said she believes her gradually increasing responsibilities in the group have provided her with valuable leadership skills that have helped her to grow as a student. While she said the hardest part of being copresident is remembering to maintain her composure, being that she is always on display, her favorite part of being co-president with Overmyer this year is getting all members regardless of their ages involved and part of the decision-making process. She sees the value and importance of listening to everyone’s opinions and working with different personalities. “I like that it is not just Grant and I making the decisions,” McCabe said. One of the copresidents’ top efforts this year will be letting the entire student body know more of what Student Council

is doing throughout the year. They have recently created an Instagram page—@uahsstudentcouncil—and welcome new followers. The group’s upcoming activities—including quarterly donation drives and noteworthy accomplishments­­—will be posted on the page. This social media presence will allow non-members to be more involved in Student Council’s activities and the good that they do. “I love Student Council. I think it has really made me feel a part of something at the school, and I think it is really fun. Ms. Brown, the Student Council teacher leader, is super sweet, and I feel like I have made a lot of friends from it too,” McCabe said.

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Finding a Niche

Students find ways to express their creativity and connect with others. BY IRIS MARK, ‘23 AND GRETA MILLER, ‘23. PHOTOS BY BELLA VANMETER, ‘22.

AAPI COMMITTEE The Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Committee is a student organized club that helps cordinate outreach events to celebrate Asian American heritage. The club spreads awareness about injustice and discrimination, amplifying and advocating Asian voices in Upper Arlington and abroad. Junior Elizabeth Liu founded the club at the end of last year, but it did not become official until school started in August. “After the Atlanta shooting in March, I wanted to do something here locally to help students feel safe and included. I helped to organize a small celebration for AAPI Heritage Month in May, and after that, myself and a couple other students decided this should be a permanent fixture at the high school,” Liu said. “We are planning on doing outreach to middle and elementary schools, as well as creating speaker events here at the high school involving AAPI activists in the community. We are also working on creating fundraising events for local AAPI organizations around Columbus.” To join, email Elizabeth Liu at

CROCHET FOR A CAUSE While making crafts may not sound like service work to most, junior Avery Pine finds a way to release creative energy while also contributing to the community. Pine is the president of Crochet for a Cause, a group that sells the pieces they make and then donates the money to a charity of their choice. “I wanted to help a cause while doing something I loved to do,” Pine said. Everyone is welcome and no prior experience is needed to join. “My favorite aspect is that I get to have fun with friends while doing something I love,” Pine said. To join, email Avery Pine at

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STUDENTS FOR CHANGE Students for Change fundraises money for organizations that make positive changes in the community. “[It’s] all a great group of people,” Senior Joe Driscoll said. Driscoll leads the club and said they’re working on many different projects for this year. “My freshman year we did a thing called ‘Breaking Bread’ where we [had] foods from different cultures. [We] donated the money to Freedom A La Cart to help women who have been sex-trafficked to get back into normal society.” Driscoll has been in the club all throughout his high school and said the best thing about it is the friends he’s made along the way. To join, email Joe Driscoll at

ART THERAPY CLUB Art Therapy Club aims to create a relaxing environment in order to better the mental health of participants. Senior Stella Petras rebooted the club last year and now leads it with fellow senior Lauren Thompson. The club is entirely student-directed with suggestions from the advisor Donna Cornwall. There are no big events planned as of now, but normal activities range from painting to collaging and other mediums of art. “I want to share my interest in art with other people, and mental health is really important to both me and Lauren,” Petras said. “This gives us the opportunity to share what we care about with other people.” To join, email Mrs. Cornwall


TOAD TALKS TOAD talks is a new club with the goal to connect high school and elementary school students over reading and talk of diversity. Juniors Ann Bixel and junior Lucy Cheng started planning the club last year with Dr. Kassoy, a counselor at Wickliffe Elementary, and set up over summer break. They plan for it to be as student-directed as possible. “Currently, there aren’t many big projects or events planned this year as TOAD Talks is a new club. Our end goal is to reach the other elementary schools with this program, but [we] decided to start small as a pilot,” Bixel said. “Throughout our years in Upper Arlington, we felt like there wasn’t enough conversation [about] diversity. We wanted to provide an opportunity for that, starting at a young age. It is our hope that the elementary school students will take what they have learned and discussed [and] share it with their friends and families, spreading acceptance and awareness throughout the community.” To join, email Ann Bixel at FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM @UAARLINGTONIAN

▲ THE CLUB FAIR Model United Nations, Film Enthusiasts & Analysts Club, Speech & Debate Club, Students For Change, Science Olympiad Club and Computer Science Club were among the dozens of clubs represented at the club fair on Sept. 17.



A look at the UA health curriculum and what it means for students. BY MATTHEW DORON, ‘23; JAMES UNDERWOOD, ‘23; ELENA FERNANDEZ, ‘23 AND CARLY WITT, ‘23. PHOTOS BY BELLA VANMETER, ‘22 AND SARAH MCCULLOCH, ‘23. GRAPHICS BY LUCY O’BRIEN, ‘22 .

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or years, middle school students in UA Schools took four quarter-long exploratory arts classes each year: art, life skills, tech-ed and health. In May, 2021, however, Hastings Middle School and Jones Middle School announced that a new system would be implemented allowing students to choose semester-long electives to take for two periods in their nine-period day. This change originally arose out of a staffing imbalance last school year. “We had more staffing per student in the related arts at the middle [school] level than we did at the elementary,” Associate Superintendent of Learning and Leadership Andy Hatton said. One consequence of the change is that students who choose not to take health class will not receive one quarter of health class every year, as they had in the past. Some students disagree with the decision to make health class optional. “I think they should require health,” junior Jane Doe* said. “I think it’s really important to know how to take care of yourself, whether that be your physical health or your mental health.” Hatton said that students would eventually still receive a health education. “I can tell you we’re going to make sure that health is required at least once over the course of those three years,” Hatton said. “We definitely value the health component.” While the health class requirement may be reinstated, health remains optional for the 2021-22 year. This change, which is one of several reshaping the UA health class experience, calls into question what the health curriculum teaches.

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SUBSTANCE MISUSE One of the central components of the middle school health curriculum is drug education. According to Hastings Middle School health teacher Allison Tomlin, substance abuse is covered in every level of middle school health. “We have a layer of substance misuse prevention across all three grade levels,” she said. In sixth grade, students are taught about medicine safety and the causes of opioid addiction. Seventh grade health focuses on alcohol and vaping. “We know that those are the two substances that… become a little bit more readily available to [students] as they get older,” Tomlin said. Then students learn about the science of addiction in eigth grade. Over the past several years, studies have shown that teenagers are more likely to vape than to drink and that teenage drinking rates have decreased. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism report lower teenage drinking rates in recent years, while a 2019-2020 Food and Drug Administration study found that the number of teenagers who said they vaped nicotine doubled from 2017 to 2019. Tomlin said that as a result, the curriculum has been changed to address vaping alongside more traditional drugs. “Eight years ago, we weren’t even having those conversations [about vaping], or we were mentioning it as a positive thing: ‘This is something that people use to step down from a tobacco addiction,’” she said. “And now, in the last six or seven years, we’ve been hitting it home that, ‘Hey, here are some things that we need to talk about around [vaping], because we know [that teenagers are] very susceptible to advertising and peer pressure.’ We try to respond as quickly as we can to those types of things, but vaping is something we’ve definitely been on top of at the middle school level.” Students at the middle school level must also be prepared for high school. “We try to cover all of that because we know when [students] get to the high school they only have one more semester of health, and that could fall their freshman year or it could be their senior year. So we just want to make sure that they’re equipped with those tools to be healthy decision makers as high school students,” she said. Junior Jill Smith* said her health education did not affect her decision to begin vaping. “I took health in-person my freshman year and I think they tried to teach us about drugs, drinking and sex,” she said. “But most of the time, it was just the teachers showing an outdated video.” Smith began vaping the summer before her sophomore year, several months into quarantine. “The first time I hit a vape was the summer going into FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @UAARLINGTONIAN


sophomore year through a friend, and I owned a few over that summer and then stopped once school and other activities started up again,” she said. “And then this summer I did the same thing, where I vaped over the summer and then once my last one ran out, after school started, I stopped buying any more.” She also said that her deteriorating mental health was the reason she started vaping. “Before quarantine hit, I would have never thought about even hitting a vape, let alone owning one. Quarantine really made my mental health decline, and so I looked for other ways to feel happy or just [to] feel something, and vaping was one of the most accessible things I found.” MENTAL HEALTH In recent years, mental health has become a larger focus of the health curriculum due to concerns about stress from social media and school. “I would say that we’re talking about [mental health problems] more, which is great,” Tomlin said. “So I think a lot more students feel comfortable talking about what’s going on in their lives. Because we’re talking about it, people aren’t silent anymore about the things that they’re going through.” She said that she tries to get students to be vulnerable about their mental health struggles and teaches coping strategies for maintaining mental health. “I think a lot of kids want to know that they aren’t the only ones going through a certain thing. So I’ve based a lot of my instruction on open conversations that we have, just letting kids share about their lives and what’s going on.” Doe said she was concerned about the students who took health several years ago that haven’t been taught the updated curriculum. “[When I took health], I think there was a lack of content about mental health and just relationships in general; it was mostly physical health, which of course was important, but personally I’d like to see more content about other relationships and communication and just overall well-being,” she said. SEX EDUCATION According to standards documents published by the Ohio Department of Education, “[each] district should consider ageappropriate content and develop their own curriculum based on the needs of their students and community.” “Ohio is rare in this setting,” UA Schools Chief Academic Officer Keith Pomeroy said. “This is left to what they’ll call ‘home rule.’ So it’s a local decision for each district.” Ohio is the only state without a statewide health curriculum. While the state has comprehensive math and language arts standards, there is no health curriculum. While this lack of statewide curriculum pertains to the entire subject of health, it can become especially revelant on the FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM @UAARLINGTONIAN

topic of sex education. Despite the lack of curriculum, the law requires that abstinence be taught. “[The state] didn’t give us prescribed standards, [they didn’t say] ‘teach this at this grade level,’” Hatton said. “But when you do teach it, it has to be abstinence-based.” While Ohio requires that students be taught about abstinence, the curriculum is not required to be medically accurate or comprehensive. Students also do not have to be taught about consent, sexual orientation, gender identity or contraceptives. “We’re abstinence-based, [so] obviously we’re not getting into the ins and outs of contraceptives and those types of things,” Tomlin said. “Everything we’re providing curriculum-wise is based on abstinence.” Pomeroy said there is a difference between an abstinencebased curriculum and one that is abstinence-only. “The [UA Board of Education] was clear [when reviewing the curriculum several years ago] that abstinence-based is the approach they would take. So there is a difference between abstinence-based and abstinence-only. It’s not an abstinenceonly approach, it’s an abstinence-based approach,” he said. Doe said she believes abstinence should be promoted but that students should be taught other options. “I think it’s important to educate [students] on what their options are,” she said. “Obviously, whatever action you take has different consequences, so I think whatever has the least negative consequences for a person should probably be promoted by the high school, but I think that they should put all the options on the table and tell you what the consequences of your actions are going to be.” Though Doe said she believes the curriculum should provide options, she also said that she supports a strong emphasis of abstinence. “I probably do agree that they should probably promote W W W . A R L ING T O NIA N. COM | 1 9


abstinence… I think maybe for the school district to promote that is probably the right thing since, objectively, it has the least amount of negative consequences,” Doe also said. Other students disagree with the abstinence education requirements. “I hate abstinence-only education,” senior Alyssa Greene said. “If kids want to have sex, they’re going to have sex. And realistically speaking, most kids—teenagers—want to have sex. So by teaching them, ‘Wait till you’re older’ or ‘Don’t [have sex] at all,’ it’s dismissive, and the kids feel like they lost… the safety of an adult conversation when the adult just brushes it off, like, ‘Wait till you’re older. You’re too young.’” Greene said she supports every student’s right to choose whether or not to be abstinence, but believes the curriculum should emphasize choice. “Abstinence is a great choice for the individual, if that’s what they want to do, but you should not treat the entire student body with the expectation that that’s the choice we’re all going to make,” she said. “And we should educate for the majority. Otherwise you’re just going to create more issues.” In the past, UAHS’s required health class covered topics including “human sexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, proper contraception and birth control use, rape, and sexually transmitted diseases, in addition to abstinence,” according to a 2000 article published in Arlingtonian. “Handouts for [the course] included locations to purchase latex condoms, as well as step-by-step instructions on how to properly put on and use the contraceptive device,” the article stated. That curriculum upset some UA residents, and a local group called “Concerned Parents for an Abstinence-Based Sex Education” (CPABSE) was founded in 1994 to fight against the curriculum. In 1995, the Board of Education replaced it with an abstinence-based approach. At the middle school level, a long-time supplement to the eighth grade health curriculum called “Respect Yourself” was discontinued. For several decades, “Respect Yourself,” a program performed by UAHS students, taught eighth graders about abstinence and choices regarding sexual activity. The facilitator of the program at the high school, UAHS theater arts teacher Greg Varner, said that the Board of Education had to approve the script, and the program had to strictly follow

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those guidelines. “It was board-approved, same as [a] curriculum would be,” he said. “We always tried to honor [that] this is what they want, because this is what is being taught.” He said that the program ended during the 2019-2020 school year. “I had an email that said ‘we’re discontinuing it until further notice’. I don’t know the reason, I just know that was a decision made.” Since 2009, Section 3313.6011 of the Ohio Revised Code has required that “[i] nstruction in venereal disease education... shall emphasize that abstinence from sexual activity is the only protection that is 100 percent effective against unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease, and the sexual transmission of a virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome [HIV/AIDS].” The code also requires that a sex education curriculum “stress that students should abstain from sexual activity until after marriage.” Over the summer, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed into law an appropriations bill that contained updates to this section. The updated version now requires that if a school or school district teaches sex education outside of promoting abstinence and emphasizing the effects of having a child out of wedlock, the school or district must “notify all parents or guardians of that instruction, including the name of any instructor, vendor name, if applicable, and the name of the curriculum being used.” The school or district must require parent or guardian permission before teaching any of the “additional instruction.” “No district or school shall offer that instruction to a student unless that student’s parent or guardian has submitted written permission for that student to receive that instruction,” the section states. The code also now requires that the Ohio Department of Education conduct an annual audit of all school districts’ sex education curriculums and publish “the name of any organization or program that provided materials to a school district regarding venereal disease instruction.” The department is also required to have their findings “prominently posted” on the Ohio Department of Education website. One area that some students would like to see in the health curriculum is information for LGBTQ students. Greene said that sex education should incorporate information for LGBTQ students. “This guy [talking about sexually transmitted diseases] was like, ‘Yeah, it doesn’t matter if you’re gay, straight, or whatever: this applies to all relationships.’ And it didn’t,” she said. “It was abstinence, which doesn’t work for anybody, but by simply talking about safe sex in general, and then adding queer sex and queer people to the dialogue [right now]; there is a lot of erasure that happens.” FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @UAARLINGTONIAN


ROOM E1506 ▶ Health students listen to a lecture in class.

She said that a lack of education about queer sexual health harms both queer students and their cisgender, heterosexual peers. “For queer students, the impact is obvious: the blatant ignorance that we walk out into the world with. For non-queer students, it’s a little more of a gray area. It contributes to [straight students] not understanding queer people,” Greene said. “So the best way to fold queer education into health class would be to simply start.” Where the curriculum deals with relationships, Tomlin said that there is room for representation. “I think there’s definitely a space to make sure that everybody’s relationships are feeling honored and valued because they are, and they should be,” Tomlin said. In previous years, elementary and middle school health classes were separated by gender at certain times, but Pomeroy said that practice will be retired this year. “As we look at puberty and maturation, we’ll be focusing on biologically male and biologically female [content], and we’ll be looking at how [to] adjust how we introduce those concepts,” he said. “In the past we have tended to separate by gender, and we’ll be doing that instruction directly in homerooms with kids.” Moving forward, students will not be split up by gender, Pomeroy said. “The major change there is that we’re not taking you out of a classroom and making you make a decision about whether you’re going to one location or another; those are all going to be taught in the homeroom, and we’ll give access to biologically male and biologically female resources.” Pomeroy also said that the elementary health curriculum has been changed with instruction on puberty and maturation beginning in fourth grade, instead of in fifth grade. “In elementary school, when [puberty] was originally taught, it’s typically, say, a fifth grade classroom. That’ll be also dropping down to fourth grade. We’ll be introducing FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM @UAARLINGTONIAN

[those concepts] in fourth grade because we believe that it needs to be introduced earlier,” he said. “We believe fifth grade is too late to introduce these topics.” These changes, both regarding the curriculum and how it is taught, will continue to be evaluated and changed as the district determines. LOOKING FORWARD Over the past several years, many changes have been made to the health curriculum and the way the information is shared with students. Pomeroy said that the curriculum is continuously evolving. “As we continue to look at information with our health standards, we’ll continue to make updates along the way,” he said. Tomlin said that she hopes that the middle school students who do take health are prepared for high school. “My hope [is] that they feel pretty prepared moving into the high school as far as being a responsible and healthy decision maker,” she said. *denotes a source who requested anonymity

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STAT LEADERS Field Hockey: Emily Barker (11) 5 goals, 2 assist Girls Tennis: Megan Basil (12) Back to back 6-0 wins against Davidson Football: Carson Gresock (12) 576 rushing yards, 9 TDs Girls Soccer: Ceci Dapino (12) 4 goals Boys Soccer: Miles Bonham (11) 5 goals, 2 assist Girls Cross Country: Maggie Malone (10) Team leading 21.06.02 in Pickerington XC classic Boys Cross Country: Thomas McMahon (10) Team leading (16.46.7) in Pickerington XC classic.

UPCOMING GAMES 10/2 : Girls Volleyball, Field Hockey 10/4: Girls Tennis 10/5: Girls Soccer, Girls Volleyball 10/8: Football 10/9: Girls Soccer 10/11: Girls Tennis 10/12: Girls Volleyball, Boys Soccer 10/13: Girls Water Polo, Field Hockey 10/14: Boys Soccer 10/22: Football 11/19: Girls Basketball 11/24: Boys Basketball 11/30: Girls Basketball 12/4: Wrestling

Boys Water Polo: Patrick Ray (11) 23 goals, 15 assist



In their fourth game of the season, the varisty football team beat Westerville Central High School 49-0 on Sept. 10. Students showed support by wearing USA-themed clothing. BY JACK DIWIK, ‘22. PHOTO BY BELLA VANMETER, '22.


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school day and leaves town for three to four days during weeks he has games. The flexibility online classes provide is necessary for DeLibera’s pre-professional soccer schedule. He takes Honors Biology, Government, Geometry and Sophomore Literature on Edgenuity, a program UA Online Academy students used during the pandemic. He attends Designing with Materials in person every morning and works on his online coursework in the Golden Bear Boulevard until lunch. “When we’re traveling, they keep the schedule packed,” he said. “We always [have] to keep on top of everything.” To keep the pressure of game days at bay, DeLibera has found ways to relax before heading to the stadium. “I get pretty nervous before games, but I try [to] mess around and not take stuff too seriously,” he said. “I just try to chill out and watch something funny.” Even though his schedule requires him to miss out on most of the school day and some school functions, DeLibera said he still likes to get involved. “I was planning on going to Homecoming, but it looks like I’m going to Chicago that week, so I’m pretty sad about that. But, I do try to get to a lot of sports events,” he said. DeLibera credits soccer for giving him longtime friends. “[At] my first ever practice playing soccer for a real team, I met all my friends that I hang out [with] to this day. So it’s just awesome,” he said. Although he does not have the average high school experience, Giorgio is content with his unique path. “It’s definitely difficult because sometimes you miss out on things you wish you were at,” he said. “But, you just [have] to adapt to it and realize this is what you want to do.”

ophomore Giorgio TEAM DeLibera arrives at school HUDDLE ▶ each morning just like any other student athlete. But, when the DeLibera talks fourth period bell rings, DeLibera to his Columbus doesn’t head to the sub line or a Crew Academy fourth period class—he goes to the teammates. field. DeLibera, a center attacking midfielder for the Columbus Crew Academy team, began playing soccer at a very young age. He joined the club, Sporting Columbus, at seven-years-old. A few years later, he joined the Columbus Crew Academy, a younger team associated with the famous Columbus professional soccer team. “They get people on my team to see how they can deal with more of a professional environment,” DeLibera said. DeLibera attends practices and weight training during the 24 | ISSUE 2 | O C T OB ER 1 , 2 0 2 1






enior running back Carson Gresock’s senior campaign began with a roaring start in a come-from-behind win against Reynoldsburg. Gresock shattered the Upper Arlington single-game rushing record with 384 rushing yards. He also had four rushing touchdowns. “I came into the locker room and I went on my phone and it said there’s a tweet and I was tagged in it. It said that Carson Gresock officially broke the single-game rushing record. I wasn’t sure that I had had it [during the game], but I figured I was close,” Gresock said. Despite his record-breaking performance, Gresock relished his team’s 20 point comeback victory. “It was the best. You come down 20 points you know there’s gonna be a whole lot of emotions throughout the night and just to finish off with the last-second touchdown to win the game, it doesn’t get any better than that,” he said. Gresock also mentioned the supportive energy of the student section and fans— who were not able to attend games this past year. “It definitely helps get the adrenaline going and get you going. It’s awesome, especially when you’re running towards the student section they usually start going crazy. Without fans, it’s not really a Friday night experience,” Gresock said. Naturally, after a game like that, teams will focus on containing the star running back, but Gresock isn’t too concerned. “I’m really confident in our guys, especially this year. We have really good linemen so I’m pretty sure they can handle everything they throw at them,” he said. Gresock also mentioned that the Golden Bears’ rushing attack will open up the passing game for quarterback Simon Monin and receiver Sam Cannon. “He [Sam] will be able to beat teams FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM @UAARLINGTONIAN

deep so hopefully they actually can stack the box against so we can hit the run and the pass,” Gresock said. “That would be the goal.” Gresock’s four years have not been a conventional high school football experience. Gresock transferred to Upper Arlington as a freshman. “It was tough going to a new school not knowing anyone. Also it was the first year of high school which is already tough,” Gresock said. In addition, the Upper Arlington football team has had three different head coaches the past four years. Gresock had to learn a whole new playbook not only in his freshman year but also in his sophomore and junior years. “I’ve loved all the coaches I’ve had here. It’s definitely different. They’re all unique and they all do different things well. But it’s very tough to adapt every single year,” Gresock said. Coach Justin Buttermore is the only coach Carson has had for more than one year.

“He’s really good with the playbook. He’s outstanding with plays defensively; I think he’s mastered the defensive side of the ball. He’s also a really good dude. Not all coaches are good dudes. It’s nice to have a good coach that actually cares about players [and is] willing to help with anything,” Gresock said. Coach Buttermore has been a large part of Gresock’s recruiting process. “He definitely tries his best to reach out for me and get me where I need to be. It’s also very tough with COVID going on. Scholarships are really hard to get in general and with COVID it makes it even harder,” Gresock said. Around the country, certain states have put laws in place allowing high school kids to play another year of high school athletics. Gresock is not only competing with 2022 graduates for scholarships but also 2021 graduates. Gresock currently holds no offers but hopes to be given the opportunity to play in college in any division.

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A Step Backwards Columnist discusses the new Texas abortion law. BY GRACIE HELFRICH, ‘23. GRAPHICS BY CAROLINE KEGG, ‘24.


ur country has fought many battles; the war on terror, the war on drugs, but what about the war on abortion? It is a fight that is without a doubt continuing on into this new decade with us. The most recent battleground is in Texas, with the statewide abortion ban that went into place on Sept. 1. This ban is a direct attack on not just women in need of abortions but on all women. It is a step backwards on the journey to equality. Gender equality can not be reached until women have the same power over their bodies that men do. The night before the law was put into place, clinics were rushing to see patients down to the minute before Sept. 1. The panic and fear those women were feeling is a feeling no man could ever feel. Governor Abott of Texas could never relate to those women, yet on May 19, 2021, he signed Senate Bill 8—The Heartbeat Bill—into law. This action was his way of showing that he calls the shots when it comes to what the women of Texas do with their bodies. He’s taken his power and used it to enforce the most restrictive abortion measure in the nation. The law bans all abortions after six weeks of pregnancy regardless of rape, incest, sexual abuse or age. The six-week mark is supposed to refer to when the fetus begins to have a heartbeat. However, doctors point to the fact that some embryos don’t even have a heart at that point in the pregnancy; there can be fluttering detected within the fetus during that time, but it isn’t necessarily a heartbeat. Regardless of heartbeat detection, 85 to 90% of procedures occur after weeks of pregnancy due to the fact that most women become aware of their pregnancy between four to seven weeks. Some women have no idea they are pregnant at six weeks. The time to make the decision of whether or not to get an abortion is not available in the time frame given under this law. The backlash of Senate Bill 8 was far and wide. Citizens across the country took to social media to share concerns and petitions. The backlash reached so far that the law was brought to the U.S. Supreme Court to check the constitutionality of the law; the Supreme Court decided to not block the law with a 5-4 vote. This is a major move conservatives have made to get closer to reversing Roe v. Wade, a 1973 decision by the Supreme Court protecting the right to privacy in regard to abortion. This can not happen. It would be a step backwards not only in the fight for reproductive rights but for all women and all people as well.

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Finally Free

Film delivers on action and acting but lacks strong plot and character building. BY FIA GALLICCHIO, ‘22.



done and looks realistic. All of this makes the world of Free City incredibly immersive. However, in terms of writing, worldbuilding is lacking. How the world of Free City works isn’t explained, and it hurts the ending. Near the end of the movie, there are many plot elements that don’t make sense because specific details were never hinted at, and some of them require a very flexible suspension of disbelief. It’s unclear who this movie is really for. Older audiences will likely notice the writing issues; however, the sexual jokes will fly over younger audiences’ heads. “Free Guy” has good action and is fun to watch, but the writing is lacking. There are better movies out now, and with streaming services there is a much wider range of movies available.


uy is just a regular NPC, or non-player character, living in the hit video game Free City until a chance encounter with a player leads to his entire world changing. Ryan Reynolds brings this lovable and naïve character to life in the new movie “Free Guy”, directed by Shawn Levy the director of “Stranger Things.” The movie opens on a riveting action scene that doubles as exposition and foreshadowing. In the beginning, “Free Guy” is similar to “The Truman Show”; the characters do not know they are in a video game. However, the reveal comes quickly, and many of the trailers for the movie already gave away the surprise. The beginning of the movie flows well, but later on the pacing slows down and feels much more sluggish. However, when the action picks back up, it’s very entertaining and fun. The acting is amazing and brings the characters to life. Guy is likable and by far the most interesting character. Antwan, played by Taika Waititi, serves as the main villain in the movie; he’s the charismatic CEO of the company that created Free City. While he’s a fun and threatening villain, he’s also very cliche. The rest of the main cast includes Millie, played by Jodie Comer, and Keys, played by Joe Keery, also from “Stranger Things.” Millie and Keys are two indie game designers who are trying to uncover the secrets of Free City. There are also a large number of side characters the movie tries to get the audience invested in, but these characters are not given enough screen time to be fully developed. Whenever there’s an emotional moment with

one of these side characters, it doesn’t feel rewarded. The movie doesn’t spend enough time developing these characters for the audience to care about them. Several influencers appear throughout the film, such as Twitch streamer Pokimane and YouTuber Jacksepticeye. These influencers aren’t professional actors, but they don’t do a bad job and didn’t detract from the overall movie. Many pop culture references appear within the movie. Most of these center around gamer culture, which might make the movie dated in a few years. The rest of the humor in the movie is mainly reliant on sexual jokes, which might not be for everyone. While the writing is flawed, there are some noticeably positive things in this movie. Everything in the set design is well thought out, and the backgrounds of many scenes contain humorous gags. Additionally, the CGI is extremely well

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Certified Donda Lover

Columnist reviews Kanye West’s new album and explains how he has kept her on the edge of her seat this year. BY ANTONIA CAMPBELL, ‘22. GRAPHICS BY DAPHNE BONILLA, ‘22.


anye West loves to spark emotion. Whether it’s anger, joy or excitement, West enjoys getting a reaction out of people, and he has done just that over the past couple of months. Kanye’s tenth studio album “Donda” was released August 29, but there is much more to the story. In July 2020, Kanye teased “Donda”, an album to commemorate his late mother Donda West who passed away in 2007. He never followed up on it until a year later; Kanye deleted all of his Instagram posts which sparked much excitement from fans on social media. He then began dropping more hints through social media that the album was coming. At the end of July and throughout August, West hosted three different listening parties for “Donda” at the Mercedes Benz stadium in Atlanta. However, Kanye hadn’t even finished the album when the listening parties took

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place and was so inspired by the Atlanta stadium that he had a bedroom set up in the stadium so that he could stay there and finish the album. There was much controversy surrounding the release of the album: Kanye’s public conflicts with rapper Drake, Kanye’s claims that his record label released his album without his consent and Kanye’s decision to work with controversial singer Marilyn Manson as well as rapper DaBaby. These controversies have given “Donda” more attention, which West could have done on purpose. As far as the album itself, I believe it was just what Kanye fans wanted and needed. I have observed that people who are familiar with West’s music and his personal life really enjoy “Donda.” Whether or not you like Kanye’s personality or agree with his actions, the musician resonates with many people for a reason. He’s a human being just like the next person, and although he is surrounded by fame and wealth, he experiences hardships and relays those struggles in his art. In recent years, we’ve seen Kanye struggle with his mental health. We’ve seen his marriage fail, and we’ve seen him attempt to find his way back to religion. “Donda” gives insight into Kanye’s mind as he’s gone through these hardships in a beautiful and impactful way. My current favorite track on the album is “Jail” as it delves into Kanye’s divorce from celebrity Kim Kardashian. I find it truly riveting how he captures the emotions of an undoubtedly depressing experience through intense electric guitar and belts of desperation; I think it was a great opener to the album. The energy of “Jail” felt similar to tracks off of his 2010 album “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” which I enjoyed. This is another exciting factor of “Donda”: the way

that most of the tracks are very different from one another and how the songs feel similar to tracks off of his past albums. I feel that this is a nuance that listeners of the album are taking for granted, as many fans, including myself, were worried that after West’s 2019 album Jesus is King, he would never return from gospel rap. Not to mention that the features on “Donda” were fantastic with artists such as Playboi Carti, Young Thug, The Weeknd and more making appearances. My personal favorite was the return of an iconic duo: Kanye and Jay-Z on “Jail.” However, I found all of the features to be quite fitting and none seemed to take away from the album. As of now, it seems “Donda” listeners seemingly want to dislike the album, but remind yourself of the purpose of the album: “Donda” is a tribute to Kanye’s mother as well as a testament to his recent misfortunes. It wasn’t meant to be upbeat and enthusiastic like the Higher Education trilogy that so many compare his recent music to. We will never see that version of Kanye West again because Kanye West is not that man anymore; his music has matured and changed along with him. I predict that the album will grow on most people because even without knowing and relating to the deeper meanings, the album has great production and instrumental, and fans of Kanye will continue to encourage people to give “Donda” the credit it deserves.



Columnist reviews Cameron Mitchell's new restaurant. BY LUKE ERIKSEN, ’22. GRAPHICS BY LUCY O’BRIEN, ‘22.


ameron Mitchell is no stranger to the food scene in Columbus, but his first Mexican restaurant, El Segundo, recently opened in the Short North on high street. My expectations for El Segundo being a Cameron Mitchell restaurant were exceedingly high, but I can say with confidence that El Segundo delivered in every way possible. The decor gave a modern feel to the Mexican restaurant. With sombreros hanging from the ceiling, the dimmed lights and bottled Mexican tequila on the walls, the atmosphere was ideal whether you are out for a good meal or hanging with friends for drinks. The menu isn’t enormous as traditional Mexican restaurant menus are, but every item listed on the menu was tempting to order. For appetizers, I ordered Mexican street corn and ceviche. The Mexican street corn came on the cob. There were six pieces stacked on the beautiful blue and white plates; the presentation was phenomenal. The slaw on the corn was creamy and soft. I loved how the corn on the cob was cut into smaller pieces. Ceviche contains raw shrimp and

lobster that are cured in lime juice with cilantro and avocado. The citrus juice cooks the raw fish making it a savorysweet and a delicious appetizer. The ceviche is served in a bowl with a side of chips. The shrimp and lobster were fresh and went well with the cilantrolime flavors. The whole meal was phenomenal but this was perhaps my favorite part. Finally, the last appetizer, chips served with 3 salsas including tomato, salsa verde, and a smokey, adobo pepper salsa. All three salsas were delicious and each complemented each other. The adobo pepper salsa gave a smokey heat while the salsa verde provided a smooth and chilling flavor. Each taco meal comes with three tacos, a side of rice and a side of beans. El Segundo currently cannot mix and match tacos, but they opened very recently so this could change in the future. Fortunately for me, I was with three others at my table, so we all ordered tacos and swapped to try each one. I tried the fish tacos, barbacoa tacos and chicken tacos. The barbacoa tacos came in a corn tortilla shell topped with cheese and cilantro. I have come to find that keeping tacos simple with only a few toppings is better than the popular customizing tacos

which include several toppings The barbacoa was juicy and tender, while the cilantro and cheese added just enough flavor to create a simple yet satisfying taco. The fish tacos were my personal favorite of the three. It’s rare to find highquality fish tacos in a setting far from the coast. The fried cod was added with a buttery crunch underneath the aioli slaw. Fish tacos have always been one of my favorite kinds of tacos, and El Segundo provides one of the best I’ve ever had. El Segundo’s tacos were exceptional and are a personal favorite of mine. It would be difficult to say anything negative about El Segundo even if I wanted to; Cameron Mitchell does it again with another fine dining experience. Without question, El Segundo is Lou Approved.

◀ SHORT NORTH Glowing lanterns hang in front of the restaurant. PHOTO COURTESY SUSAN POST


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By the Numbers

Explore this issue through statistics. COMPILED BY GEORGE BERNARD, ‘23. GRAPHICS BY LUCY O'BRIEN, '22.


cashiers work in the Bear Hub during lunch. While the split lunch has reduced the length of lunch lines, there are still many students who purchase at the beginning of their lunch.


rushing yards, 92 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns by Carson Gresock on Aug. 20. Gresock broke records thanks to his performance during the game.


minutes are dedicated each week to the Bear Connection period. Students meet with their Bear Connection every Friday and will remain in the same group each year.

357,000,000 is the number of streams Kanye West’s "Donda" recieved in its first week. The album held the No. 2 spot on Billboard’s chart, only surpassed by Drake’s "Certified Lover Boy."


is the average cost of a lunch at UAHS. The free lunch is made possible by a federal grant.


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CHANGING FOR BETTER OR WORSE How the changes we experience make us who we are. BY EDITORIAL BOARD. GRAPHIC BY AVA NEVILLE, '23.


hange is inevitable. We all make small changes to our lives every single day whether it’s taking a new staircase to a class, eating something new at lunch or listening to a new song in the car. Our lives have changed immensely in the last two years. We all wear different clothes, watch new tv shows and we’ve experienced a pandemic. As we enter this new, unprecedented year in a new school, there’s many changes that we will be experiencing and expected to adapt to. Everyone has different reactions to change: some people accept it and adjust without hesitation, while others back down and are scared. The middle school health class FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM @UAARLINGTONIAN

experience is changing. New laws are being passed. New clubs at UAHS are being created. New music is coming out every month. Change is an everlasting part of humanity and we experience it all throughout our lives. Every person we encounter in a day or a week is experiencing some sort of change. Health class is a big part of the middle school experience, and the switch in how it’s taught causes all sorts of changes in the lives of the students, teachers and parents. Laws that will forever change people’s lives are being put into action. The changes we experience shape us to be who we are and teach us how to deal with the problems and obstacles that we encounter.

The changes we are experiencing now will soon be the changes we are used to. We used to not be accustomed to wearing masks or distancing ourselves, but now, it’s our normal. Even though those changes didn’t come easy, we are slowly evolving our lives to fit them. The seasons are also changing. We go from hot, summer days to chilly, fall mornings in an instant, and we switch up our activities, clothes and what we eat and drink for those time periods. Our lives are constantly changing and in motion. We can make decisions on how we want to approach those changes and what we learn and take from them.

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