Arlingtonian Vol 86 Issue 5

Page 1

Inside Capstone

A deep dive into a long-time graduation requirement at UAHS.





4 UA Attracts National Attention Following Release of Hidden-Camera Video

How Upper Arlington became an unlikely battle site in the culture wars last month.

5 The News, In Brief

An overview of current national issues.

6 UA and Ukraine

The Ukraine conflict and its impacts on members of the Upper Arlington community.

8 The New Sound

A look into the artists and albums releasing at the beginning of 2023.

9 A Tale as Old as Time

A closer look into this year’s production of “Beauty and the Beast.”

10 The Balancing Act

An exploration of the gender imbalance within the education system

11 DnD @ UA

UAHS has its own Dungeons and Dragons club.

SPORTS 12 Sports Dashboard

Upcoming games and a look at UA’s girls lacrosse coach.

14 ARL Athletes: Finn McHugh and Hayden Hollingsworth

Arlingtonian sits down with two rising stars on the UAHS athletics scene

SPOTLIGHT 16 Inside Capstone

A deep dive into a long-time graduation requirement at UAHS.

22 Missed Connections

UA students submit anonymous messages to peers

OPINION 24 The Second Semester Senior Slump

Columnist discusses her position in life as a second semester senior.

25 Polarity of Politics

Columnist discusses political polarization in the United States.

26 Skoracki’s Scribbles

Eight in Eight

28 Wingstop vs Wings Over

Columnist reviews and compares the two popular restaurants

30 A Spectacular Downfall

Columnist George Bernard commentates on the saga of George Santos.

EDITORIAL 31 No Cap(stone)

The administration should shift to less college-centric alternatives to Capstone.

2 ARLINGTONIAN Issue 5 • February 17, 2023



It’s hard to believe, but we’re already halfway through the quarter. For seniors like myself, this is a strange time of year, as Greta Miller points out in her op-ed on page 24. We are expected to have one foot in the present — here at UAHS — and one foot in the future — college, work, trade school, or whatever our post-high school plans may be. This struggle to balance when our attention is constantly split between present and future makes it all too appealing to disengage from high school. Call it senioritis. But I urge seniors to make the most of this final semester of high school, continuing to put forth an effort. Even though we will soon leave, we are still here now. So continue to create and strengthen connections with others at UAHS. You can do so right here within the pages of Arlingtonian. Read Matthew Doron’s profiles of two rising star student athletes on pages 14 and 15. Or, you can learn more about the work your classmates are doing in the arts on page 9, where Thea Postalakis describes the musical. Besides senioritis, another hallmark of senior year is Capstone, the senior-year project that is a graduation requirement at UAHS. On page 16, Matthew Doron, Iris Mark and I take a deep dive into the Capstone course and what students think of it. Whether you’re a senior who’s already completed their capstone or an underclassman for whom the project is years away, I encourage you to consider what Capstone’s role at UAHS is and could be.

Capstone isn’t just a box to check on your way to getting a diploma; it arguably sets the tone for the entire UAHS educational experience. If Capstone encourages students to freely explore their intellectual interests, then so, too, will UAHS as a whole.



Laila Dillard


Ceci Croci

Katy Trombold


Edith LeBlanc


Jayden Banks

Hannah Heavner

Hailey Hoffman

Violet Houser

Camryn Johnson

Emerson Katz

Sarah McCulloch

Julia Oakley


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Arlingtonian is a studentproduced newsmagazine published by Journalism III-Arlingtonian 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.

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ARLINGTONIAN Volume 86 • 2022-23 EDITOR IN CHIEF James Underwood DIGITAL EDITOR IN CHIEF Greta Miller MANAGING EDITOR Carly Witt COMMUNITY LIAISON Matthew Doron COPY EDITOR Thea Postalakis MULTIMEDIA EDITOR Gracie Helfrich ARTS EDITOR Caroline Kegg STAFF WRITERS Ali Abubakr Emily Ayars George Bernard Ryan Cho Ezra Liu Safia Malhotra Iris Mark Katie Messner Adelaide Petras CARTOONIST Lukas Skoracki MULTIMEDIA CONTRIBUTOR Mary Kate Basil GRAPHIC ARTISTS Lindsey Acker Noé Beaudoin Chloe Harris Mallory Johnson Scarlet Poor Luke Rockey Parker Sanford Cynthia 3

UA Attracts National Attention Following Release of Hidden-Camera Video

How Upper Arlington became an unlikely battle site in the culture wars last month.

On Jan. 17, a conservative group known as Accuracy in Media published a piece on its website titled “Ohio school administrators reveal tactics for tricking parents.” The piece included hidden-camera footage of UA Schools Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Director Matt Boaz speaking about diversity in the district’s curriculum.

In the video, Accuracy in Media personnel pose as prospective UA parents wanting to ensure their children’s education will discuss topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

“Well I kind of want to know that y’all are having some conversation around —” a female voice can be heard saying, with her putative husband continuing, “the tenets of it: diversity, equity, and inclusion, social justice.”

“Those conversations are happening, absolutely,” Boaz, who denied a request for an interview for this piece, replies.

The video includes numerous clips of Boaz discussing Critical Race Theory, an academic framework which explores how race intersects with social concepts.

“You can pass a bill that you can’t teach CRT in a classroom. But if you didn’t cover programming, or you didn’t cover extracurricular activities or something like that, that message might still get out,” Boaz says in the video. “Oops. There will be a way.”

The clips of Boaz are interspersed with narration and commentary from the president of Accuracy in Media, Adam Guillette.

“These radicals are being paid by your tax dollars to deceive you,” Guillette narrates, following Boaz’s statements. “These public school administrators are devoted to promoting social justice in classrooms.”

In an interview with Arlingtonian, Guillette criticized Boaz’s words.

“Out of all of the districts I’ve investigated in America, the things we heard from Mr. Boaz were probably the most outrageous and shocking,” he said.

The day after the release of the video, interim UA Schools Superintendent Kathy Jenney issued a statement emphasizing that CRT was not in the curriculum, and that the district would “continue to examine the circumstances surrounding the video and the statements made therein.” Through a district spokeswoman, Jenney declined to be interviewed for this piece.

The video immediately drew strong reactions in the Upper Arlington community. Tensions reached a boiling point on Feb. 7, at a public Board of Education meeting.

The meeting took place at the Upper Arlington Municipal

Center and was jam-packed with community members. About half of those in attendance had to watch from a TV screen in the foyer outside the actual meeting chamber, which was at capacity.

At the nearly three and a half hour long meeting, numerous community members spoke before the board on the video, and more broadly on diversity, equity and inclusion within the district.

Community members voiced a variety of opinions. Some criticized Boaz’s words; many others defended him. Some criticized the hidden-camera nature of the recording, which was made under false pretenses.

Guillette declined to confirm how exactly he obtained a meeting with Boaz, or to speak to the use of a hidden camera.

“Our team of investigative journalists use a variety of different tactics to make contact with people at all times. And I don’t recall the tactics that were used on that particular day,” Guillette said. “This is an ongoing investigation that includes many, many different states. So we definitely don’t want to give away some of the tactics if it’s going to interfere with our ability to effectively operate in other states.”

Guillette did say, however, that Accuracy in Media did not seek to actively single out Upper Arlington.

“We didn’t choose Upper Arlington per se,” he said. “We’ve investigated countless districts. We never have any specific targets in mind.”

Reaction to the video was not limited to Upper Arlington, however. News outlets across the state and country picked up the story. Cathy Pultz, president of the Upper Arlington Education Coalition and a board member of Protect Ohio Children, appeared on Fox and Friends to criticize Boaz. On that program, Pultz, who could not be reached for comment, described being “shocked” at the video.

Due to the large community response, another email was sent to parents on January 25 by School Board President Lori Trent, informing them that Boaz requested leave time that “does not require Board action.” Despite the tensions flared by the video, Trent emphasized civility in her statement.

“This video has prompted a variety of strong reactions from people in our community and across the country,” Trent, who through a district representative declined to be interviewed, wrote in her email. “Let’s work together hand-in-hand with mutual respect and civility in order to make our district and community even stronger.”


The News, in Brief

An overview of current national issues.

National politics constantly circulate in the media, allowing the average citizen to catch glimpses of various issues without truly understanding them. It is necessary to be informed of what is happening in the country, yet most people don’t have the time to do in-depth research. Whether people are aware or not, the country is brimming with issues regarding everything from its inner workings to human rights. Here follows an overview of a few of the most prominent current political affairs.


California Republican Kevin McCarthy was elected House speaker (Republican majority leader in the House of Representatives) on Jan. 7. McCarthy was elected after 14 unsuccessful rounds of voting, the longest contest in over a century. The lengthy process highlights divisions within the Republican Party, with some moderate party members holding out against the more conservative McCarthy. McCarthy demonstrated his right-wing position by expressing gratitude toward former President Donald Trump. This statement won over some conservatives but caused moderates to fear for the party’s future. McCarthy and his allies have made plans to cut spending and provide members more opportunities to propose amendments on the House floor, among other actions.


The Biden Administration announced a new immigration measure that seeks to reduce illegal immigration. The policy allows the United States to turn away asylum seekers from Cuba, Nicaragua and Haiti if they cross the U.S.-Mexico border without official authorization. Some are regarding President Joe Biden’s border crackdown as xenophobic and unfair to poor and working-class immigrants. As an attempt to mitigate this, Biden announced that he would allow up to 30,000 immigrants from these countries to legally enter the U.S., but this is still widely criticized, as legal migration requires purchasing a plane ticket, passing a background check and acquiring paperwork. Already, since the regulation’s implementation, hundreds of migrants have been forced to return to Cuba and Haiti.


Roe v. Wade, the court case guaranteeing the right to an abortion, was overturned in June of 2022 by a 5-4 Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Since then, there has been outrage from the pro-choice side manifesting as protests and attempts to change legislation. California has enacted a mandate that college student health centers must carry abortion pills, and other Democratic states plan to follow suit. New York’s legislature passed an amendment that would codify the right to an abortion in the state’s constitution, but the final decision is left to voters. Maine, Minnesota and Illinois have also passed various laws to protect abortion patients and doctors. Additionally, the Supreme Court conducted an eight-monthlong investigation with a goal of identifying who leaked the Dobbs decision draft before the official decision was released. The results were inconclusive.

JAN. 6

The committee regarding the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, has concluded that former President Trump was responsible for the insurrection because he perpetuated the idea that the 2020 Presidential election was unfairly decided. The committee’s report claims that there is evidence to accuse Trump of crimes such as obstruction of an official proceeding, conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiring to injure an officer, aiding an insurrection and seditious conspiracy (which is a similar but lesser offense to treason). Other members of the Trump Administration were labeled as participants in the conspiracies of the supposedly stolen election. Six officers have been suspended from the U.S. Capitol Police for their acting out of the department’s Rules of Conduct on Jan. 6. 29 additional officers are under investigation. Several rioters have been identified, including 18-year-old Bruno Cua. Some view Cua’s involvement as a symbol of the consequences of misinformation, as young people are easily impressionable. Additionally, the cost of repairing damaged from the riots has surpassed $30 million and is still rising. 5

UA and Ukraine

The Ukraine conflict and its impacts on members of the Upper Arlington community.

On Feb. 24, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced in a televised address that he had approved a “special military operation” for the “demilitarization and denazification” of Ukraine. Hours later he launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine by land, air and sea, effectively commencing the largest attack by one state against another in Europe since World War II.

The war has since continued, approaching one year on Feb. 24, 2023. More than 8 million people are currently displaced within Ukraine, and another 7,969,000 refugees (90% of which are women and children) have fled to surrounding countries. Altogether, 27.3 million people need assistance in Ukraine and in 19 surrounding countries.

While the war remains physically limited to the territories of Ukraine and Russia, its global impacts are massive: billions have been affected, including those within the Upper Arlington community, such as sophomore Dan Chrisman, who recently returned from visiting family in Ukraine.

“While I was there I saw rockets fly over, and I could hear shells go off. There’s drones outside at night, helicopters, fighter planes. So it was kind of nerve wracking being in an active war zone,” he said. “Returning home made me realize how lucky I am just to be able to go to school every day, or sleep in a bed, or have food. It was difficult for me to relax and stop worrying about missiles or air raids.”

Chrisman has multiple family members still living in Ukraine, as well as multiple family members who left the country when the war started.

“Most of the women moved west or to Poland. My grandparents just didn’t want to leave, and the men couldn’t leave. Kids were being separated from their fathers and mothers and having to be sent down to the Netherlands [or] Poland,” he said. “But a lot of [my family] just decided they didn’t want to leave. Because that’s their home, that’s where they’ve lived their whole life and they don’t want to leave.”

In order to enter Ukraine, Chrisman had to fly from Columbus to Charlotte, North Carolina, then to

Frankfurt, Germany, and to Kraków, Poland. He then took an approximately 20-hour-long bus ride from Kraków to Kyiv, Ukraine, a second bus to Sumy, Ukraine, and finally a train to Trostianets, where he met his family. The journey from Columbus to Trostianets lasted three days.

“It was a learning experience because, you know, there’s no direct flights to Ukraine,” Chrisman said. “At the border, I was taken off the bus and questioned for about 30 minutes by these soldiers. And I thought I wasn’t getting back on the bus. I thought they were going to turn me around and send me back to Poland, because technically all men over 18 in Ukraine are not supposed to leave, even if they’re not even a citizen. So they were wondering why I was coming in.”

Despite these factors, Chrisman felt it was important to visit his family in Ukraine.

“I just thought that this is kind of my last chance to see my family because I think if the Russians come back, they might not be able to push them out again,” he said.

WAR ZONE Scenes from Trostianets, in northeastern Ukraine, where Chrisman visited.
6 ARLINGTONIAN Issue 5 • February 17, 2023

Chrisman is not the only member of the Upper Arlington community impacted by or involved with the Ukraine Crisis.

Social studies teacher Kim Brown teaches a course called “Beyond Tolerance,” which “helps students consider fundamental issues of citizenship, responsibility, and decision-making in a democracy.” Students Chloe Friedman, Hanna Andersson, Abby McDonald, Layla Swartz and Ayva Lasley took this course last year, and, through the course, founded the club “UA for Ukraine.”

This club was especially prevalent during the 2021-2022 school year, wherein they raised nearly $14,000 through fundraisers and donations that was sent to Ukraine via the global non-profit organization Americares.

“We started UA for Ukraine because we wanted to help

our friend [who was] a French exchange student. She had friends in Ukraine and she was really worried about them, so we wanted to help her make her friends feel safe,” Andersson said. “We wanted people to know that the world is listening to them. So this way we could not only help our friend, but we could also impact people overseas and make them feel heard.”

UA for Ukraine hosted numerous fundraisers and outreach events in order to spread awareness about the state of Ukraine, as well as raise money to help those struggling in Ukraine. Proceeds from a bake sale, t-shirt sales, drink collaborations with UA Rise and the 2022 Upper Arlington High School talent show constituted a portion of the $14,000 raised by UA for Ukraine.

“One of the main goals was to spread awareness about the issue which connects to our curriculum in Beyond Tolerance, about how you have to stand up to injustice, you can’t just be a bystander,” Friedman said.

One of the major motivations for the creation of UA for Ukraine was to spread awareness within the Upper Arlington community. UA for Ukraine visited the elementary schools to inform them of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, and provide them an opportunity to help support those struggling because of the war.

“It was very emotional, the outreach was incredible. I think it was very inspiring, especially at the elementary school level,” Andersson said. “Because we went to the elementary schools and introduced our fundraiser, penny wars, and when we came back and collected their money… it was insane. Wickliffe alone raised over $1000, and it was so cool to see these elementary schoolers making an impact on their community.”

UA for Ukraine was received readily by the Upper Arlington community. They worked with different clubs and classes in UAHS to raise awareness within the high school, and extended their outreach past the high school to the general public of Upper Arlington as well.

For example, the group partnered with an IB Business class to research relief agencies and collaborated with a UAHS art class to design and produce pendant keychains that were sold across the district. They also worked with UA Rise to promote drinks and Ambassadors of Change to create pins in support of Ukraine.

“We underestimate how young people can understand these tough issues, but they have a lot of empathy,” Friedman said. “They really just wanted to help, so they did a lot of incredible work.” 7

The New Sound

A look into the artists and albums releasing at the beginning of 2023.

Music helps people feel any emotion, music videos bring a visual of our favorite songs, and the artists that create them make people feel seen and appreciated. Waiting for new music from an artist can be exhausting, but thankfully there are four popular musicians bringing a new tune to 2023.


Former child actress and musician

Miley Cyrus has announced her new album, “Endless Summer Vacation,” which is set to come out March 10. This will be Cyrus’s 11th album. The lead single off the album, “Flowers,” was released Jan. 13, along with a music video. The single has a rock feel, with pop elements as well. Cyrus has proved to be a versatile artist, with her albums ranging from country and folk to full rock, and she has performed covers of songs by Dolly Parton, Blondie, Frank Sinatra, Metallica and David Bowie. Cyrus’s last album came out in 2022, and the world is eager to hear more.


Lana Del Rey’s highly anticipated tenth studio album, “Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd,” is coming out March 24. Del Rey has gained a following through her soft voice and sweeping ballads. The last album she released was in 2021, titled “Blue Banisters.” The new album was set to release March 10, but was then pushed back two weeks to the 24th. The album has been produced and co-written with Drew Erickson, Zach Dawes and Jack Antonoff, all of whom have previously worked with Del Rey on her other albums. Many fans are excited to hear her new music, as one never quite knows what to expect from her.


Iconic heavy metal band Metallica is set to release their 12th studio album, “72 Seasons,” on April 14 this year. “72 Seasons” has 12 tracks and clocks in at 77 minutes long. The group’s first album came out in 1983, and their most recent was in 2020. Listeners of all ages, fans new and old, are excited to hear what the band has coming out. With the album announcement came a two-year tour as well, starting in Amsterdam in April of this year and ending September, 2024, in Mexico City. The tour will play two shows in each city, and a portion of ticket sales will go towards their foundation, which has raised $13 million so far. $5.9 million has gone to grants in career and technical education programs in the US, $2.5 million to food insecurity and more than $3.2 million to disaster relief efforts. Metallica has proved their longevity in the music industry, and there’s no indication they’ll stop growing any time soon.


Paramore has also announced a new al bum, coming to listeners Feb. 10. The album, titled “This Is Why,” is the rock group’s sixth studio album, and their first al bum in six years. The album will con sist of 10 songs, and Paramore is set to go on a fouryear tour beginning on Oct. 2 in California, which will include festivals like Austin City Limits and When We Were Young. The band is also donating portions of their ticket sales to several organizations, like Kansas Abortion Funds, Shelter Safe Canada and Support and Feed.

8 ARLINGTONIAN Issue 5 • February 17, 2023

A Tale as Old as Time

A closer look into this year’s production of “Beauty and the Beast.”

The performing arts program has always been a big part of UAHS, and many students are involved each year. This year, “Beauty and the Beast” made its debut on the UAHS stage.

Students have been rehearsing every week to prepare, starting in November.

“I’ve been doing musicals here at Upper Arlington since I was a freshman. And I was super excited about ‘Beauty and the Beast’ because it’s always been my favorite Disney movie,” senior Avery Golowin, who plays Belle, said.

New director Tim Browning has acted and directed all over Columbus, including at Short North stage and the Actors Theater of Columbus. Browning commented on one of his main teaching styles.

“I never lose sight of the fact that I’m working with high school kids, but I just treat these students as I would any professional actors and push them the same way… the kids have really stepped up,” Browning said.

This extra push has helped students with their acting processes throughout.

“The directors make it really simple and easy [to memorize lines]. Mr. Browning gives us lots of creative

freedom, which sometimes makes it difficult because I’m unsure of what I should do with myself,” junior Gracie Clark, who plays Babette, said. “But he always corrects me at the end of the day and makes sure I know.”

Another vital component is the balance between school and musical rehearsals, and managing busy schedules.

“It can be difficult at times, but you have a lot of support from your directors and stage managers,” sophomore Elliot Hattemer, who plays Cogsworth, said.

Golowin shared this sentiment, along with her own strategy for this balance.

“I’m really just managing my time, and making priorities on what I need to do every night and having a clear schedule,” she said.

Browning has noticed this drive in the students.

“Their level of commitment is really high,” he said. “They care a lot about being great, and it’s so nice to see.”

There also comes a great enjoyment and a form of connection within the musicals, past and present.

“I’ve made my absolute best friends in this program,” Clark said. “You spend so much time together and it’s so nice to get to know everybody.”

Browning noted that this musical in particular is special for him now.

“The more I interacted with the music and the script, I just definitely fell in love with themes, the characters and now the actors who are involved and it’s become this deeply meaningful, sort of project for me now,” he said.

The joy of this show and performing resonates with the students as well.

“I just really love per forming, being on stage just makes me happy. It’s a good way to express yourself,” Clark said.

The performances are Feb. 16-19 and tickets can be bought online at

GRAPHIC BY MALLORY JOHNSON ’24 ▼ PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT Cast and crew of the 2023 musical at a rehearsal earlier this month. 9

The Balancing Act

A exploration of the gender imbalance within the education system.

Historically, males have made up the majority of the educated population. Teaching careers were once considered for men and a woman attending school beyond basic education was unheard of. But when the public school system was established around the mid 19th-century, the gender divide shifted dramatically. Doors opened for all genders and social classes in schools, and career opportunities in education appeared for women.

Now, at UAHS almost 200 years later, the divide still exists but has taken on a new meaning. While the separation is less prominent than it was in the 1800s, society has begun stereotyping classes and departments towards one gender.

“When I was in middle school, we had ‘home ec,’ and we did sewing and cooking,” junior Kathryn Brooks said. “And I remember a lot of boys saying, you know, this is a girl thing.”

Students can feel pressured to have a certain opinion or view on classes based on the stigma surrounding them and their gender. Dameion Wagner, a UAHS English teacher who is teaching a women’s literature course this year, has seen how this preconceived notion has affected his classes. Of all the students enrolled in this semester course, only one is a male student.

This is the first year women’s literature is being offered as a course, earning students half a language arts credit. The class covers women’s contributions to literature and exposes students to an evolving viewpoint in genres such as fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

“We’re reading literature by female writers, learning how to apply a variety of ways to see and then answering the questions, what does it mean, why does it matter?” Wagner said.

Women’s literature isn’t the only class that is unbalanced by gender. Brooks, who serves as the president of the Computer Science Honors Society Leadership Team, has found a polarity in the number of women interested in computer science and other STEM courses and clubs throughout her high school career.

“This year, I am one of three girls out of a class of, I think, 25 [students] for AP Computer Science A,” Brooks said. “The first time I ever walked into an engineering class I was greeted with a lot of guys who just kind of stared at me. Going through high school with these engineering classes, I’ve learned that you know, that’s okay, I can stand my ground

[and] be fine with that.”

A possible source to these statistics that display an imbalance of both genders is a stereotype that begins in middle school. An example of this is at both Hastings Middle School and Jones Middle School, technology and engineering is a course offered to students that is taught by all male teachers.

“I was quite interested in tech ed, but it was taught by two male teachers,” Brooks said. “And so going into it, it kind of had that essence of it’s kind of a ‘guy thing’, because in tech ed, we had to build stuff with wood and all that. So it was definitely kind of rare if you were seeing a girl that actually enjoyed doing it.”

But there is change being established in an attempt to modify the stigma around gendered departments.

“Recently we went back to the grade schools for Hour of Code, and we’re teaching kids, ‘Hey… there’s something for everyone in computer sciences,’’’ Brooks said.

By expanding the offering of courses in all departments, Upper Arlington is also taking the steps necessary to allow the minority gender to step up and advocate for equality in all aspects of education.

“The teachers at our school do a really great job with supporting everyone, no matter your gender or race,” Brooks said.

From a staff member’s perspective, the additional courses offer insight that they can reflect on and base their own experiences off of.

“There’s a desire to see ourselves in the courses and the things that we read and teach,” Wagner said.

The gender imbalance within education systems has been around for decades but for many community members, the blame is placed more on the departments themselves rather than the school systems.

“It’s more about society, rather than some kind of purposeful planning,” Wagner said.

Gender imbalance no longer has the prominent effect on students’ education as it once did almost two centuries ago but it still exists.

“We should be reading good literature, male or female,” Wagner said. “And part of what we think about is why is that term ‘woman’ even before the word literature to begin with?”

10 ARLINGTONIAN Issue 5 • February 17, 2023

DnD @ UA

UAHS has its own Dungeons and Dragons club.

As dice hit the table, cries of either joy or disappointment are heard from the Dungeons and Dragons club. Meeting every Wednesday at the south commons during the school year, the Dungeons and Dragons club, or DnD club, is a place where DnD players can meet together to participate in campaigns.

“Dungeons and Dragons is a tabletop role-playing game where you take on the persona of a character of your creation,” club member Dei Martin-Miller said. “It uses stat charts and dice rolls to decide how well your character does things, which keeps the game balanced as well as give your characters abilities.”

There are many ways to create new characters, with players being able to choose the character’s class, race, abilities, familiars and other main factors that could be used to build their characters in the future. This provides variety in each character, allowing players to try out different ways to play.

However, characters are not immortal, as one unlucky encounter can kill a player’s character. “If a person’s character dies, in our campaign, our [dungeon master] might decide to use their powers to alter it so that the character does not die by taking mercy on them,” Martin-Miller said. “I’ve been forced to change my character this campaign. It’s not too difficult, especially if it’s early on.”

As characters can only do actions by rolling a dice, there are many different ways that a certain character can either fail or succeed in a task.

“If you are in combat and roll a 20, it is really good, and you get to do a miraculous feat of damage, and the opponent is down, hopefully,” Jax Seibert, another member of the DnD club, said. “If you get a 1, that is very bad, because you could end up hurting your teammates or yourself, or end up breaking something important.”

Despite the reliance on luck, there are many different factors that can help increase a character’s chances of success. One of the main ways that players can be more successful in encounters is how they made their characters, with the main factor being their class.

“Generally there are different classes, like wizard, fighter, barbarian, et cetera, that determine their specialization,” said DnD player Isaac Fosler-Lus-

sier, a junior. “For example, fighters use weapons, druids use nature magic, wizards use arcane magic, et cetera. It’s kind of like different characters provide different assets for the party.”

These classes are the specialization point for each character. In general, fighting classes are more adept at fighting and strength, stealth classes are better at hiding and sneaking around, while intelligence classes can perform many feats of magic. This makes players think about how to go about different situations in a manner that suits the character’s abilities.

Once character creation is complete, players can get involved in a campaign led by a Dungeon Master, or DM.

“DMs are the storytellers of the game, narrating what’s happening, responding to the players actions, and basically controlling any non-player characters, making sure everything runs,” Fosler-Lussier said. “Without the players, the DM might as well write a book or something, but the players provide sort of the variability and a lot of the chaos in the sessions.”

The campaigns that DMs run can last for different amounts of time, ranging from one session up to multiple years. “The last campaign lasted the entire year, I don’t know how long this year will go,” Martin-Miller said. “But, there is always a chance of a TPK, which stands for total party kill, where everyone dies, and that’s the end.”

Although DnD club is not open for new people currently, once the current campaign ends, anyone will be welcome to join. 11


As the winter sports season comes to a close, UAHS basketball, swimming, wrestling and gymnastics teams all compete in tournaments before the end of February. The beginning of March will bring the start of the spring sports season and the end of seniors’ winter season.


Feb. 18: Girls Varsity Basketball (OHSAA sectional final) @ UAHS

Feb. 21: Boys Varsity Basketball (OHSAA sectional playoffs) @ UAHS

Feb. 23: Boys/Girls Varsity Swimming/Diving (state swim) @ Canton

Feb. 25: Boys Varsity Wrestling (OHSAA sectionals) @ UAHS

Feb. 26: Girls Varsity Gymnastics (Little Districts) @ Worthington Kilbourne

▴ HEAD TO HEAD UAHS Boys Varsity Wrestling faced Olentangy Liberty High School at home on Jan. 19. PHOTO BY VIOLET HOUSER ’24
12 ARLINGTONIAN Issue 5 • February 17, 2023

Return of a Lax Queen

UAHS alumna returns to coach the same team she once won championships with.

Coach Laura Sandbloom has returned to Upper Arlington High School to coach the very same team she won multiple state championships with: the UAHS girls varsity lacrosse team.

By the time she graduated UAHS in 2006, Sandbloom, née Burke, had already been an All-American athlete, won two state championships and had been recruited to The Ohio State University for their women’s varsity lacrosse team, where she lettered for four years and which she captained her senior year.

“[It] was really awesome to win two state championships with friends I made that I wouldn’t have otherwise. That’s what I think is so wonderful about all the different sports and clubs and extracurriculars: it brings kids together who may normally never have been friends,” Sandbloom said.

Once she graduated from The Ohio State University in 2010, Sandbloom moved west to Jackson Hole, Wyo., where she worked for a whitewater rafting company and coached a local lacrosse club. While working for the rafting company, Sandbloom met her husband. After four years in Jackson Hole, Sandbloom and her husband moved to Denver, Colo. Sandbloom became an assistant coach at a private school outside Denver called Colorado Academy, where she also became a teacher after earning her teaching degree.

When she was an assistant coach, the Colorado Academy girls lacrosse team won five state championships. The COVID-19 pandemic began as Sandbloom took over as

head coach, but her team won two state championships the subsequent two years. However, Sandbloom emphasized that the number of championships is not the factor to consider when evaluating the success of a team.

“It’s easy to count them and say, ‘Look at this result,’ but it was a lot of hard work. It was a lot on the girls’ part. It was a lot of collaboration between coaches and parents and kids,” Sandbloom said.

After the birth of their second child, the Sandbloom family contemplated moving closer to their family, either in Seattle, Wash., or Columbus.

“Family brought us back here. I like the Midwest a lot. I think it’s a culture of hard workers. And I don’t think I realized [that] when [I] grew up here… it’s hard to see what your hometown is like until you leave,” Sandbloom said.

She eventually applied to be the head coach of the girls varsity lacrosse team and was approved by the Board of Education for the position in De cember 2022.

“I feel very connected and pas sionate about the program because I know what it was able to help me do. It set me up to take more chances in my life than I probably would have,” she said.

Sandbloom said her ap proach to coaching reflects her focus on team success over indi vidual accomplishments.

“I will continue to espouse the idea of ‘team over self’… I think we have tons of talent, so figuring out where kids fit best on the field, how they work best together, ‘team over self’ kind of

embodies that vision for me,” Sandbloom said. “I always talk about ‘one heart, one goal’ and just the joy you feel when you’re in a team and you do something together versus trying to go it alone.”

Sandbloom said she also prioritizes mental health in her coaching style.

“For me, the last few years and COVID has made us all reevaluate what being mentally fit is,” she said. “That’s something I bring to how I approach coaching. If you’re not mentally fit, if you’re not taking care of your mind and your body then it’s hard to be a good teammate.”

She reflected on this opportunity to “enmesh the traditions with new




Q: What brought you to the UAHS varsity wrestling team?

A: Well, really, there was this one open spot at 113 pounds, I figured it was a good idea just to stay there before I dropped down to a weight class with some more people in it.

Q: Did you wrestle at all before high school or is this your first start in the wrestling world?

A: No, I started wrestling in the seventh grade after I took a break from the younger youth group wrestling. So I’ve been wrestling for a while.

Q: What makes you keep coming back to wrestling? What’s your favorite aspect of it, why do you like it, why that sport instead of other sports?

A: I like it because it’s an individual sport to me and I always like supporting my team. It is a team sport in a different aspect too, but I like it because I can really just leave it all on the mat. I like the physicality of it, I like the mental aspect of it, it’s just tough and I really like it.

Q: How do you think the season will go from here? With sectionals and the rest of the season?

A: Well I definitely think it’ll get tougher. The practices will definitely improve. It’ll keep being a bit harder but I have to keep working for it.

Q: How is being a freshman on a varsity team?

A: I’d say it’s a pretty different experience. I hold myself to a better standard. I try to work harder. It’s tougher, you’ve got to work harder so you can keep up with those varsity-level guys, because you’re sometimes wrestling basically grown men.

Q: Do you think it’s been a positive experience so far?

A: Definitely. I love wrestling, winning or losing, so it’s always a positive experience for me.

Q: What are your goals moving forward? What do you think your future looks like at UAHS wrestling?

A: I don’t know, I just want to keep working hard in the offseason. This season, I want to be the first freshman to qualify in 35 years for the state tournament. So I definitely have to work hard for that and I just want to keep going up and place higher.

Q: What’s been your favorite memory from wrestling?

A: Winning the Lee Spitzer tournament… My brother, he also won it as a freshman too so I liked it because I got to live up to his legacy, he was one of the captains for the team… about six years ago.

Q: What’s something people might not know about you?

A: I really, really, really love — like I can’t stay away from it — food. I love food. Fruits are my favorite. I love fruits; specifically, I love strawberries.

Finn McHugh on being a freshman, varsity wrestling and strawberries.
14 ARLINGTONIAN Issue 5 • February 17, 2023



Sophomore Hayden Hollingsworth talks about varsity swimming and “The Vampire Diaries.”

Q: How has your experience been for you, being a freshman and now a sophomore competing on a varsity team?

A: It was a little hard at first, but I feel like now, it’s come to where I don’t feel like I have to put as much pressure on myself. I feel like since I’ve known these girls for a long time, I’m more comfortable in a way now, but last year, I remember I was just telling myself, “Don’t say anything, keep your mouth shut, just let the process go and see how it goes.” So I feel like now, I can have a little bit of a voice.

Q: So, how has it been so far, both freshman and sophomore year, in regards to competitions and your personal performance?

A: I feel like I’ve improved a lot [since last year]. I try to put the most amount of hours in my training as possible, and I feel like there’s a significant difference from this year to last. I have won a lot of things for swimming, but… I feel like, just the way my training’s gone, it’s shown. The amount of hours you put in is what you’ll receive when you get out of that water.

Q: How do you feel your team has been doing overall this season and for what’s remaining of the season?

A: I feel like we’ve been doing really well. There are some amazing athletes on our team. For the rest of the season, we’re going to keep an open mind and see what we can do, but I know we’ll be able to accomplish amazing things.

Q: What are your personal aspirations? What do you think the future will look like for the next two years of your high school career in terms of athletics?

A: This is a [very] far goal, but I would love to go to the Olympics; that’s my biggest dream for swimming and I’ve known that since I first jumped in the water. That’s an amazing goal I would like to do, but probably just, I know I want to swim in college. [For now], I would really, really like to win a state championship as a team and win an individual event at states. That would

just be amazing and that would just make me so happy.

Q: You said you’ve been swimming since you were five, what keeps you coming back?

A: I think what makes me want to come back more is my friends that are on the team. I just feel like we have such a good, strong bond with our team and I don’t know what I would do without them and probably if they weren’t swimming, maybe I wouldn’t be swimming. I love the sport so much that I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t do it.

Q: What is your favorite memory from being on the swim team?

A: When the team is all together. All of my favorite memories are right there because they are the funniest people I’ve ever met in my entire life. Before, during and after practice, it’s just so funny and they say stuff that makes me crack up laughing all the time and those are probably my favorite memories.

Q: What is your favorite album, movie, television show, or book?

A: I love “The Vampire Diaries” and “The Hunger Games.” I have not read “The Hunger Games” books, but the movies are really good. 15

Inside Capstone

A deep dive into a long-time graduation requirement at UAHS.

The Senior Capstone project has been a part of the UAHS curriculum for more than 25 years. To some students, it is an opportunity to explore their interests before applying them in the world of academia, but to most, it is merely one more hurdle to get over before they reach graduation.

Formerly called “Senior Thesis” and a component of senior English classes, Capstone was designed to serve as a student’s first introduction to scholarly writing.

“Probably about fifteen years ago we had some teachers interested in expanding [Senior Thesis] into what we currently call the Capstone project,” Sean Martin, an English and Capstone teacher at UAHS, said. “Partly because the students had already pushed us in that direction. A lot of students were doing their research paper, but they were also doing these community service projects or personal explorations in the arts,”

At this point, the new version of senior thesis was still a part of senior English classes, but as it developed into a larger project, it became harder to actually teach English curriculum content.

“Several years ago [...] the senior English teachers went to Mr. Theado, and asked ‘Can we kick this out of senior English?’” Martin said.

“At that time I was a senior English teacher and I didn’t want to see the project go away, so I agreed to take it on as another [course], and [for a] couple years I was the only one teaching Capstone.”

Each year, the Capstone project changes slightly in response to student feedback, but the goal remains the same: to provide an opportunity for students to explore their interests before college and introduce them to the kind of writing they will do in a college setting.

A large component of this is research.

“Capstone is sort of a research training course: learning how to use research to complement personal interest,” Capstone Coordinator Greg Varner said.

The Capstone contains three major steps for students. First, they complete a literature review, finding existing research on their topic. They do this based on an essential question and six subquestions they devise during and prior to research.

Next, students complete their own research on their topic. This culminates in the devised research report, wherein students report what they researched and what they found.

Finally, students prepare and deliver a TED-style speech before Capstone teachers and sometimes student spectators.

Only when all three of these steps are completed has a student completed their Capstone. Additionally, the extent to which they follow this process itself is included in whether they pass Capstone.

The structure of Capstone has raised concerns that it no longer provides adequate support or relevance to all students, as not all students are interested in pursuing the higher education that Capstone is meant to prepare them for.

“The current iteration is really research-heavy and diminishes the focus on the exploration piece a little bit, which is not something I’m all that comfortable with because some kids are much more interested in the applied research than the research paper,” Martin said. “I think our current iteration of Capstone is very challenging for [some] students and I think we’re asking them to do something that doesn’t apply to the life skills they’re going to need. So I would say that maybe there’s a mismatch between the current program and what we need for every student.”

GRAPHIC BY LINDSEY ACKER ’24 18 ARLINGTONIAN Issue 5 • February 17, 2023


Current seniors may remember Community School, but the majority of students are not familiar with what used to be another option to the traditional, college-preparatory learning that UAHS promotes.

Started by a team of teachers who wanted to provide an alternate pathway for students, Community School grew to be a center for engaged learning, emphasizing democratic decision making and holistic learning taught by English teacher Melissa Hasebrook and social studies teacher Rob Soccorsi.

“We saw kids who were really, really bright but they weren’t performing as well as they could, they weren’t engaged as deeply as they could be,” Hasebrook, one of the founders of Community School, said in describing the impetus for creating the program.

Designed to be interdisciplinary, Community School was also a

place where small cohorts thrived inside the larger student body. At times, students would be able to vote on which topics to cover for a given quarter.

In its prime, Community School members were still required to complete a final senior project, known as Odyssey, but it differed greatly from Capstone, emphasizing hands-on experience rather than academic writing.

“[Odyssey] required a lot of responsibility but basically what we did was for the final nine weeks of a senior’s year, we canceled their classes. They were excused from all Community School classes, which gave them at least half a day, and if kids were smart and worked ahead, then they were excused from all classes, which most of our kids were. [Then] they would go pursue internships, [trying] to figure out ‘Is this what I want to do when I get to college next year?’” Hasebrook said.

Hasebrook said that during

The 4 Components of Capstone

In order to pass the Capstone course, a student must successfully complete these four components.

1 Literature review

Students must research the existing literature on their topic of choice. Prior to this, they should devise six essential subquestions that their research will center around. Students will write a literature review that addresses these questions.

2 Devised research

In this component, students use what they’ve found in their literature review to study their topic on their own. This can include an experiment or a survey. Following this, they will write an applied research report.

3 TED Talk

In the third component, students prepare and deliver a TED-style talk presenting their findings.

4 Process

The fourth component relates to the process itself.

“ The course is laid out so that you can do it a bite at a time,” says Capstone Coordinate Greg Varner. “And that process is also a grade.”

▼ SENIOR PROJECT Students in a capstone class work on their projects. 19

the course of Odyssey, students were connected and met periodically with a mentor who was familiar with the student’s field of interest.

“I had one student who wanted to learn more about fashion design and sewing. [...] She knew she wasn’t going to do anything with clothing [in college], so she wanted to play around with it while she had that nine week chunk of time. She connected with a mentor who was teaching her how to sew, and she began to sew and picked up thrift store things to rework and turn them into high fashion pieces,” Hasebrook said.

During the COVID lockdown, and subsequent transition between buildings, Community School fell to the wayside, and brought Odyssey with it.

“When we first started planning the building, there was actually a part of the building that was slated to be for Community School, one of the common spaces,” Hasebrook said. “And then there were some issues.”

Community School has to date not made a return.

“We just lost it. It was just gone. [Because] it really [needed] more support than it got,” Hasebrook said.


Marie Fowler, a current Capstone student, is researching how circadian rhythms affect one’s daily functioning.

“I’m trying to find the scientific explanation as to why some people

have different sleep cycles than others,” Fowler said. “Some people stay up really late and they still function fine the next day [because] they sleep in, [or] even some people will stay up and not sleep as long and still function completely fine, from what I’ve found. I think it’s really interesting to see the individual differences.”

Fowler said that the regimented Capstone process has helped guide her research.

“I like the templates we’ve been given and the reminders that we have in class. We even have a ‘forecast,’” she said.

This forecast gives guidance on what students should be doing in and out of class for every day in the Capstone semester.


“I think that it benefits people who are already an organized person, like myself.” Fowler said. that there are guidelines for sources them. Fowler further said that while she feels the structure of Capstone is open and encourages student creativity, the predetermined page count of the literature review and devised research paper may restrict students’ research.

“We were told that the literature review and the devised research paper together are going to be around 20 pages,” she said. “I think that having a page count in the back of your head when you think about what you’re researching makes you think, ‘I have to research a certain way.’”

Senior Meredith Hanosek, who completed her Capstone last semester on the psychology of serial killers, said that this major research aspect would help her in the future.

“It forced you to learn how to write long papers and use multiple sources and cite correctly, and cite interviews, which is something I’ve never done before,” she said.

Hanosek said that students

20 ARLINGTONIAN Issue 5 • February 17, 2023

should be given more one-on-one feedback and individualized support to navigate the Capstone process.

“I personally never got any feedback that I could see,” she said. “I just received a grade and had to ask why I got it.”

Fowler said she thinks an option to Capstone focusing on service projects would benefit many students, but she emphasizes that the decision should be a choice left to students.

“Personally, I like Capstone because it’s solely research-based and I think service projects are really beneficial for one’s learning,” she said. “I think people can learn a lot from doing service in their community, because they feel like they’re contributing to something, but I personally like the research aspect of it because I want to go into a career that involves a lot of research so I think that it really depends on the person.”

Fowler said that she views Capstone as a graduation requirement as “interesting” because “it’s some huge project that you do, just in senior year and it’s like if you don’t pass it, then you have to redo it…so I think it’s interesting that it’s a graduation requirement because not everyone wants to do that sort of class; not everyone wants to perform that sort of research and do a presentation that’s formed around a TED Talk.”

She also said that she thinks the Pass/Fail aspect of the course is unique.

“I [think] it’s interesting that it’s a Pass/Fail course, considering that it’s a graduation requirement, because you only need like a two out of four to pass the class, so I think that is interesting. [It] alters maybe how people do in the class, because you know, some people feel less motivated to actually do decent research and have a good presentation,” Fowler said.


The future of Capstone, while seemingly crucial to the UAHS curriculum, is open to change. The state of Ohio is considering graduation seals as an alternate pathway for students who are more interested in directly pursuing a career instead of attending college.

There is no timeline in place as to when graduation seals will be officially implemented and made available to students. However, Martin is confident that the Capstone project will continue to evolve in a way that is more applicable to all students.

“I think the state is trying to support [these] alternative pathways, [and] the seals students can gain from doing career exploration,” he said. “[I’d] like to see the Capstone project evolve in that way, and I think it will. We’ve had discussions about students who are not necessarily academically oriented [who] can

still have the rich and valuable Capstone experience.”

Another possibility for future development in how Capstone works is finding community connections to help students in their Capstones.

“ I would like to find more liaisons in the community,” Varner said, such that a student interested in a certain topic might have a go-to contact to help them complete research or at least get started.

Ultimately, this kind of handson learning is what makes Capstone special, Varner said, alongside cultivating passion for studying a topic among students.

“ There’s a strange shift that happens in a school when kids move away from doing an assignment, and move into studying something, really wanting to learn it,” Varner said. “And Capstone provides that opportunity.” 21

The Second Semester Senior Slump

Columnist discusses her position in life as a second semester senior.

This is a very weird time. As a second semester high school senior, I feel pulled in many directions. There are so many decisions about the future to be made. There is still high school coursework to complete. There are still extracurriculars to attend. There is so much focus on the future that the present feels strangely weird.

I have found balancing college and scholarship applications with senior year coursework to be occasionally overwhelming. While all high school seniors will take somewhat different paths after high school, I am pretty sure everyone is struggling with balancing their future plan decisions and current academic demands. We have to think about what college, what training, what job, what major or what roommate and still remain focused on high school classes and extracurriculars. It feels like we are living in two different worlds, and it feels weird.

With many applications already being submitted and future decisions made, it is also becoming hard to remain motivated to complete current schoolwork. Many of us just want a break after spending so much time on the future, but it is not possible given that there is still high school work to complete. Occasionally, I am starting to wonder if I really need to read the entire assignment or get an A on the test. I must admit that my drive and acceptable expectations are starting to wane, and that feels weird.

This constant shifting between the future and the present has also never been so prevalent. It is a strange stage in life the stage between youth and pseudo-adulthood. We are still kids attending high school classes, experiencing high school activities and enjoying high school relationships, but we are also expected to be ready for adult-like responsibilities in six months. Some of us will have full-time jobs, enter the military or start college classes. It is a huge change in a short period of time, and it feels weird.

During this stage, I also cannot help but to reflect on my past my good decisions, my bad decisions, things I enjoyed, things I disliked, things I regret and how it all formed me into the person I am today. I find self-reflection to be

somewhat painful, but I cannot help but do it right now. It is how I learn about myself. It is how I form my confidence, my attitude, my perspective and my outlook. It is also how I form new relationships and how I strengthen or repair existing relationships. Simply examining my past also makes me realize that everything I have known so far in my life is soon coming to an end, and that feels weird.

Despite all of these feelings, I recently realized that I am actually excited. All of us seniors are about to experience possible life-changing opportunities, relationships, and accomplishments. The unknown and newness are exciting. The unlimited potential that we all have as 18-year-olds is exciting. We will never be at this point in our lives again. So I have decided that I am going to embrace this stage of growing up, complete my last few months of high school coursework, and enjoy this weird time.


OPINION 24 ARLINGTONIAN Issue 5 • February 17, 2023

The Polarity of Politics

Columnist discusses political polarization in the United States.

In Federalist 10, James Madison spoke of the “violence of faction” and the danger it poses to democracy. He described factions as “a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.” The “factious spirit,” he said, is the consequence of human propensity to form factions, as well as an inevitable product of human nature and political freedom.

Political factions, or parties, were formed during the formation of the American government in the 18th century. The Federalists, led by Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton, wanted a strong central government, while the Anti-Federalists, led by Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, advocated states’ rights instead of centralized power. The dramatic partisan rivalry led George Washington to warn of “the baneful effects of the spirit of party” in his Farewell Address as president of the United States.

Madison believed factions to be one of the most dangerous threats to democracy, due to large amounts of political instability stemming from rivalry between factions. This fear is not unwarranted, as America currently faces unprecedented levels of political polarization — and consequential political instability.

Political polarization occurs when political identity becomes social identity, which leads to the divergence of political attitudes to ideological extremes.

While the American political parties began as purely political institutions, they have come to encompass nearly all aspects of American life. My personal belief is that Amer-

onized certain humanitarian issues (such as LGBTQ+ rights, environmental issues, etc.) to draw voters to their “side,” thus furthering the divide between partisans.

This is done to eliminate the possibility of compromise between opposing party members, as many refuse to compromise their, or their supporters’, rights.

I often find myself falling prey to this phenomenon. As a gay, biracial woman, I often find my fundamental rights a subject of political discourse, causing me to take a stance in favor of the party that supports those rights, which is often the Democratic party. While I do not consider myself a Democrat by any means (I retain a certain degree of dislike for the bipartisan system of American government and believe both parties possess a large amount of corruption), many of my ideologies fall in line with those of the Democratic platform.

Due to this, I find myself prone to judging people based on their political standing, which is something I’m not proud of. Yet, it is difficult for me to imagine ever compromising my political beliefs, as I believe that those beliefs protect my and my peers’ fundamental rights. I admit that I find it very difficult to maintain conversations with people of the Republican party, as the platform of the Republican party retains an openly racist and anti-LGBTQ+ agenda. The party itself has taken a stance in opposition to abortion, same-sex marriage, transgender rights, comprehensive sex education, affirmative action, immigration, universal health care, and other humanitarian issues I believe strongly in.

The strategic beauty of American political parties having weaponized human rights in their political platforms is that it has effectively created animosity between partisans and made it nearly impossible for people to compromise. America was, theoretically, built on protecting the fundamental rights of all humans, yet it is the discourse over which rights are fundamental that has dangerously polarized our country.

The consequences of political polarization are not unknown, and in order to preserve democracy we must learn to compromise. But how do we do that if nobody is willing to do so?


We ate good Crumbl cookies with each other.


We went to dinner and hung out afterwards.


What did you do for Valentine’s Day?

We watched ‘‘Dead Poets Society” and ate snacks.


We got together and watched a good movie.


Skoracki’s Scribbles
EIGHT IN EIGHT Eight students respond to a

Wingstop vs. Wings Over

Columnist compares two popular wing spots.

One wing to rule them all, one wing to find them. Wingstop versus Wings Over Columbus. Also, traditional or boneless wings? These regularly debated issues will be settled here and now. Who will win?

Contrary to popular belief, and my belief until very recently, Wings Over is not exclusive to Columbus. It wasn’t even founded in Ohio. I thought that the full official name was Wings Over Columbus and that there were only locations in this city, but it was actually founded in 1999 in Massachusetts and now has locations all over eastern USA. The closest location to the high school is on 1315 W Lane Ave. Wingstop is a much bigger franchise. Founded in 1994 in northern Texas, it now has locations all over the world. In the UK, Spain, France, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and more. Famous rapper Rick Ross even owns around 30 Wingstop franchises across the US. (His music sucks, though.) The closest location to us is at 3006 Olentangy River Rd.

Now, if I were going out to eat with friends or family, and I had to choose between these two places, I would choose Wingstop. Completely disregarding flavor, the reason that I would choose Wingstop is because Wings Over locations rarely ever have seating. If there is seating, it’s, like, three stools at most. The location on Lane has two high stools and the place is roughly the size of my bedroom, and that’s not a flex. So because of this, Wings Over gets a lot of orders online and through DoorDash. But Wings Over is beautifully scrumptious. I got the six piece traditional wings with Golden BBQ sauce and waffle fries (which are their only fries). The fries were soft and crispy at the same time, and the wings were nicely drenched with sauce. I even ate a bit of ranch. I always thought that people who loved ranch were a bit weird, and I still stand by that, but it was good. Also, traditional wings are far superior to boneless wings. If you’re eating boneless wings, you’re basically eating chicken nuggets and those are for

children. If you like boneless wings, then consider that deep down you might be immature. No offense. But Wings Over was an easy 9/10 and could’ve been 10 if not for the amount of sauce. It was a messy meal, but delicious.

To be honest, I was expecting better from Wingstop. Like I said, in a group setting, I would go to Wingstop just because of the seating, but if I’m ordering delivery, Wings Over is what I’m picking. At Wingstop, I ordered the six piece traditional wings with lemon pepper flavoring and fries, of course. But the fries were trash. Soggy, too thick and weirdly sweet. The wings were good, though. The lemon pepper seasoning was nice and had a cool tang of spice, but the chicken was a little dry. No problem, just a little dry. Wingstop is an average 6/10. Not bad, but not a very memorable meal.

Overall, based on the goodness of the food itself, Wings Over takes the top spot. Maybe I didn’t get the right things from Wingstop, but I’ve heard a lot about the lemon pepper flavoring and the fries, and they were average at best. Traditional wings, of course, also come out on top. Boneless wing lovers complain about how hard it is to eat traditional wings, but it’s that tough journey that makes the destination that much better. Maybe boneless wing enthusiasts are used to having everything in life handed to them. In the end: Wingstop misses out on my approval, and Wings Over is Ali Approved.

THE WINNER ▶ Wings Over takes the top spot
28 ARLINGTONIAN Issue 5 • February 17, 2023




1125 Kenny Centre Mall (614) 929-5264

Open Monday-Saturday 10-6:00, Sunday 12-5:00


A Spectacular Downfall

Columnist George Bernard commentates on the saga of George Santos.

Every now and then, I come across a story that is so absurd that it makes me double-check that I’m not reading The Onion. Usually the headline begins with “Florida man,” but over the past few weeks the story of George Santos has gone from an absurd story to laugh at to pitiful and deplorable.

The saga started when the New York Times reported on Dec. 19 that much of his résumé may be fabricated. They reported that “officials at Baruch College, which Mr. Santos has said he graduated from in 2010, could find no record of anyone matching his name and date of birth graduating that year” and furthermore stated “Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, the marquee Wall Street firms on Mr. Santos’s campaign biography, told The Times they had no record of his ever working there”. N.Y.U. also said they have no record of Santos, who claimed to receive a MBA in International Business in 2013.

They further revealed Brazilian court records that indicate that Santos admitted to and was charged for stealing a checkbook and making fraudulent purchases. He was not tried or convicted, although prosecutors in Rio de Janeiro have stated their intent to revive the case.

Then the bombshell dropped. Vice reported on Jan. 19 that Santos had repeatedly performed in drag in his early 20s. Then it was revealed that Santos lied that his mother was on ground zero during 9/11, when in fact, she lived in Brazil at the time. Next, it came out that his grandparents were not Holocaust refugees as he claimed, they were Catholics who lived in Brazil. He lied about being Jewish, and also claimed to be openly gay for over a decade, when in fact, he was married to a woman until 2019.

The emperor has no clothes. The facade came crashing down spectacularly.

All of this occurred while a similarly scandalous story was developing on the other side of the aisle. With the familiar drip, drip, drip of increasingly damning pieces of information of the Santos story, the compounding story of classified documents being discovered at President Biden’s personal residence in Delaware and his former office in D.C. has caused serious reputational harm to the President. I think there are two significant pieces of information in the story so far. One, that the first documents were discovered six days before the midterm elec-

tions but the public was not informed until January, and two, that at least one document was from when Biden was a senator, meaning that he had it at a minimum of 13 years.

I agree with many commentators that Biden and his legal team have acted responsibly, something that cannot be said of former President Trump, and that Biden is nowhere close to being a serial liar like Santos, however, looking at the timeline of events, the whole thing reeks of dishonesty until the press started covering it.

This leads me to the important part of this piece, the normalization of dishonesty and outright lying in politics is possibly our largest domestic threat. For two centuries, our government relied on the premise that public officials were honest in their positions. That is no longer true. Mitch McConnell and many other republicans seem to have no issue with their complete hypocrisy over Supreme Court nominations in an election year. Democrats have turned a blind eye to insider trading in early 2020 by Dianne Feinstein and others that allowed them to make millions using information not available to the public.

The partisanship that has entrenched itself in Washington has caused much of this. As a result of the slim margins of elections, both parties have resorted to bashing the other while ignoring their own flaws. It appears that party leadership views owning up to their problems as a sign of weakness that will lose them votes.

They are dead wrong.

The American people crave someone who truly represents them. They are fed up with career politicians who are perceived as out of touch with most people, and they disdain the obvious corruption in Washington. The anti-establishment voting bloc is much bigger than people think. This is why anti-establishment figures like Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have enjoyed such surprising amounts of popularity.

This brings me back to George Santos and Joe Biden, as I think that the two stories encapsulate much of what is wrong with our politics: obvious lying and deceitfulness being shielded by fear of giving the other party any sense of righteousness.

OPINION 30 ARLINGTONIAN Issue 5 • February 17, 2023


The administration should make Capstone less college-centric.

With the final quarter in sight and scheduling deadlines approaching quickly, students, especially upperclassmen, are fretting over graduation requirements. Every senior is required to complete a project that demonstrates creativity, independence and thoughtfulness through a research topic of their choice. This allows students to explore subjects they are passionate about and spread awareness to the community. Capstone projects are what the majority of Upper Arlington students complete in order to fulfill this requirement. Senior Capstone involves research, a portfolio and a presentation. However, there are alternatives for students who prefer a different approach to learning. This includes the International Baccalaureate (IB) Extended Essay, which is a self-directed 4,000-word research essay.

Although there is a degree of flexibility and freedom in that students choose their own topics, Capstone and the IB Extended Essay face their own share of criticism. The research-based nature of these options is considered to be college preparatory. Both of these have significant academic components that foster the development of school-oriented skills. There is no option tailored toward students who don’t plan on attending college or who choose to enter the workforce or military directly after high school. It is necessary to provide a variety of opportunities for students,

regardless of their chosen path.

One substitute for Capstone that current seniors may have heard of was Community School. Community School (CS) was a tight-knit group of students who thrive in a different type of learning environment. CS was beneficial to numerous students and provided a safe place to share their thoughts. In the transition to the new high school, CS was eliminated, which represents a severe oversight of its importance and a disregard for the well-being of each and every student. Students were once again limited to two choices, neither of which are the best fit for everyone.

We implore administrators to reconsider the dissolution of Community School and shift the college-centered mindset of Capstone and the IB Extended Essay towards a more inclusive viewpoint. Beyond the community of Upper Arlington, we urge society to take a new standpoint on the necessity of higher education. College isn’t the right fit for every person, and no one should be looked down upon for their individual journey in life; their prior education should not be targeted away from their interests and passions. Especially when many families don’t have the financial means to support a college student, college should not hold so much weight in the high school classroom. Unfortunately, the college-prep focus of Capstone perpetuates this problem. 31
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