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BROADCASTER Gabby Khodadad PR MANAGER Jack Wolfe TREASURER Josh Moore MUSIC REVIEWER Alex Bullock STAFF WRITERS Claire Berlier Emma Chi Chloe Kapsal Aaditi Lele Kathryn Mott Ria Parikh Gabriela Pereda Lindsay Ruskin Ty Simmons Serene Tarabishi



2 Disney Plus 3 Waffle House 4 Recycling 5 Deodorant

20 Advertisement 21 Breakfast crossword







22 Hair dye 23 BLINK parade 24 Homecoming fashion 25 Restaurant reviews

6 Staff editorial 7 Value of animals 8 Conformity 9 Cell phones 10 Advertisement

ADVISER Alexandra Frost Professional Memberships: Journalism Education Association National Scholastic Press Association Ohio Scholastic Media Association

11 Data theft 12 College applications 13 Constellations 14 #speakupAVES 15 Inside cover 16-17 Death of the clique 18 Animal cliques 19 The Deli

EDITORIAL POLICY Although students work under the guidance of a professional faculty member, the content is ultimately determined by the student staff and should reflect all areas of student interest, Sycamore High School 7400 Cornell Road including topics on which there may be dissent and controversy. Students can not Cincinnati, OH 45242 publish material that is obscene, libelous, or is likely to cause “a substantial disruption of Cover photos shot by: the educational process.” Content that may Lydia Masset stimulate heated debate or discussion is not Front cover models: included in this definition. The views represented (L to R) Sam Barans, in our publications do not represent the views Renee Kohrman, Jordan of the Sycamore Community School District or McConnell, Chloe Gordon, the Sycamore High School administration. Our Rishi Verma publications are public forums. Inside cover model: Trisha Chidambaram


26 Liv Berke

27 A.D. Challenges 28 Difficulty of golf 29 Sports calendar

Read more with our website

If you would like to submit a story idea, we are ready and willing to write it! Please send these ideas to




anisa khatana, editor in chief

Greetings, dear readers! And welcome to our very first issue of the year. Our staff this year is teeming with fresh energy, and I am beyond excited to see where we can go with the talents and ideas of our new staffers along with the skill, openness, and positive leadership of our returners. We are hoping you’ll enjoy our slightly updated look, which we assure you will only get better with time. Here’s to new beginnings and wide-open futures. As always, my eternal gratitude for joining us in this journalistic adventure. It truly is a labor of love.

madeleine suh, managing editor

lindsey brinkman, managing editor

Hello, and thank you for supporting The Leaf! We have been working extremely hard to get this issue ready for all of you, and I hope you enjoy every little bit of it! Whether you have so kindly bought this issue to look at every single page, or just to see your friends, I can ensure you that there is something inside that will be worth your time! Personally, I recommend stopping by pages 15–19, as they feature some of your amazing peers and teachers, but in all honesty, I love every page, and whatever you pick will be amazing. Again, thank you, please enjoy and I hope you have a wonderful and positive day!

Hello fellow Aviators! I am beyond excited to share with you the first issue of the 2019–2020 school year. Whether this is your first time reading The Leaf or you have been a four-year supporter, my wish for you is the same: that with each page you gain knowledge about the world, our country, and the students that walk the halls of Sycamore High School. Without further ado, I am proud to present an incredible newspaper filled with hard work and passion. As always, Go Aves!


September 30, 2019


pr manager DISNEY IS A juggernaut when it comes to entertainment, especially when they had the highest grossing film of all time this year: “Avengers Endgame.” However, when it comes to streaming, Netflix is the No. 1 streaming service according to Multichannel News. While Netflix may have the throne for now, Disney is slowly lurking in the corner waiting to strike for the heart. Not only is Disney cutting their licensing ties with Netflix­­—meaning that any Disney-owned films or shows on Netflix will be removed—but Disney is also launching a competing streaming service called Disney Plus on Nov. 12. According to CNBC, Disney will lose $150 million in operating income as it makes the move to launch its own streaming service and cease its licensing deals with Netflix. Disney Plus will clearly include the vast library of shows and films that Disney already

has access to, but will also include Disney Plus originals. “I think Disney Plus will make a huge impact on the streaming industry, with all the movies and properties they have access to,” said Mr. Mark Steedly, marketing teacher. Some of the Disney Plus original shows lined up for release are “The Mandalorian,” “Lady and the Tramp,” “High School Musical: The Musical: the Series,” “Loki,” “Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” “Wanda Vision,” and “The World according to Jeff Goldblum.” While it is easy to compare the new Disney Plus streaming service to Netflix, Disney’s principles are different compared to Netflix. Disney will not feature any R-rated content on their streaming platform and, according to Collider, a movie and TV news site, they will release episodes weekly. This is in contrast to the binge mentality that we have grown

accustomed to with Netflix. With Disney releasing episodes weekly, this will ensure conversation will sustain after the release date. Popular shows like “Stranger Things” and “House of Cards” do not have the benefit of sustained conversation, since everyone can watch the entire show in the span of a weekend. “I think [Disney] would be looking for ways to prevent binge-watching, they are trying to prevent youth from binge-watching,” Steedly said. Another major difference is price. A subscription to Disney Plus is $6.99 per month, affordable compared to Netflix’s standard $12.99 plan. But with such a vast library of films and shows, could Disney Plus dethrone Netflix as the top streaming service? The face-off will begin when Nov. 12 rolls around the corner.

Upcoming Disney Plus exclusives “Lady and the Tramp”: Along with films like “Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin,” and “The Lion King,” “Lady and the Tramp” is thrown into the mix of Disney’s liveaction retellings of their most classic films.

02 03

“The Mandalorian”: Taking place in the Star Wars universe, the show follows a bounty hunter (who has a striking resemblance to Boba Fett, but that’s a story for another time) dealing with the lawless time after the empire’s destruction.

“High School Musical: The Musical: The Series”: Set in the reallife location of where the original movie was filmed, the show follows a group of students who are doing their first ever theatre production of “High School Musical.”

TRENDS ORDER UP. Cutting into a waffle at the Waffle House on Mason-Montgomery Road. While some consider Waffle House’s food to be low-quality, some loyalists hold it in high esteem, junior Sammy Cline included. “[The food] is so good. It’s definitely underrated. People think it’s, like, a truck stop, and [that] Waffle House isn’t that great, but I think it’s pretty good. Their waffles are definitely sensational... it hits the spot at 2 a.m.,” Cline said. Photo courtesy of Anisa Khatana.


Students bond over shared love of Waffle House ANISA KHATANA editor in chief

JUNIOR SAMMY CLINE says the “craziest” hours at Waffle House are between 2 and 5 a.m. Or maybe 6 a.m. “And we always go in between that window. Like, you can’t go before or after—because that’s when the crackheads come out, and it’s really fun,” Cline said. Waffle House, in all its kitschy Americanness, has become something of a cultural landmark— perhaps not exclusively, but most definitely, for SHS students. And while students’ opinions on the quality of its food may vary as dramatically as their opinions on just about everything else, Waffle House has a consistency that is comforting to SHS students who frequent the 24-hour diner chain. “It’s the only place that’s really open… past midnight, so it’s the kind of the place to, like… go hang out. We go there at, like, 3 a.m… It is pretty cheap and the food is not as bad as people say it is,” said Preston Myers, 10. Senior Emily Kavensky has a similar outlook; she says her parents know that she and

her friends have a tendency to escape to the Mason-Montgomery location in the early hours of the morning. “I get really hungry and then I’m like, ‘You know what? Let’s just go to Waffle House.’ Because we don’t have to, like… we can go in our pajamas… It’s homey,” Kavensky said. Myers, Kavensky (who prefers Waffle House to IHOP), and Cline each have their own regular orders, which vary from an order of chocolate chip waffles to a plateful of bacon, eggs, sausage, toast, and hash browns. And to them, the promise of comfort food isn’t the only allure of ordering at Waffle House. “No one really wants to work at Waffle House, but that means that the people who do work there are the same people [every night], so you get to know the same waiters, you know?” Myers said. Cline calls it a “nice community space for teenagers,” even at night, but notes that the restaurant, as any 24-hour establishment likely would, does have its quirks.

“Like, there was this one time… this one guy walked in wearing full blue alligator. It was, like, 3 a.m. and he walked into Waffle House and his shoes were blue, and his suit was blue and it was all made out of alligator skin,” Cline said. But Waffle House’s idiosyncrasies seem to only add to its charm. “We call it ‘Waffle Home,’ because it’s like our second home… My friend Adrian Oliver—he’s a sophomore in college now, but he graduated from Sycamore—he would always take us up [to Waffle House] in his Toyota and it was a tradition,” Cline said. Or perhaps, as is Myers’ conjecture, Waffle House subsists on the fact that it is always open (“I don’t want a Big Mac at 2 a.m.,” he says). At the end of the day (or night), Cline says, “it’s something about the food and the experience.” It is a truth universally acknowledged, that teens in the U.S. love food; Waffle House, it seems, has succeeded in pulling the student body together over that simple fact.



The average American goes through more than 250 pounds of plastic waste a year

The average person generates over four pounds of trash every day and 1.5 tons of solid waste per year


By mid-century, the oceans will contain more plastic waste than fish, ton for ton



If U.S. recycling levels reach 75 percent, it will be the environmental and CO2 equivalent of removing 55 million cars from U.S. roads each year

Designed by Harsitha Kalaiarasan



Sweating. Everyone does it, but not everyone handles it in the same manner. Most choose to use brands such as Axe, Dove, Degree, Secret, Old Spice, Gillette...the list could go on and on. However, what most people don’t realize is that their everyday “deodorant” is not what they think it is. And although, according to The American Cancer Society, there is no dirrect link between antiperspirants and cancer, it is still better for your body to use a natural deodorant—the less chemicals, the better.

What is the difference between a deodorant and an antiperspirant?

Brand s deod of natura l o do no rants tha t t blo swea ck your t duc ts

Deodorant: a substance applied to the body to mask body odor due to perspiration


’s of


Antiperspirant: a substance applied


to the body to prevent perspiration itself, usually by blocking sweat glands





ty & P lanet



How do antiperspirants work? UNDER NORMAL CONDITIONS





LEAFING THROUGH THE MASSES: Why do you think cliques are so prevalent in high schools? “I would venture to

AN ENDURING CLASSIC. The famous “Mona Lisa,” redrawn to represent the mysterious figure as a stereotypical “emo” teenager, set against the backdrop of a library. Teens dubbed “emo” or “edgy” are not conventionally represented as studious— just one example of the follies of clique confinement. Because the groups society places us into and the presumptions that come with them can be suppressing, it is important to remember that one can always be active in multiple circles or lifestyles. In the long run, people have a tendency to appreciate that which was originally shocking or defiant—humans included. Cartoon by Anisa Khatana.


“High School Musical” was a defining movie for many of us in childhood. The music, the dancing, the romance—what more could a twelve-year-old ask for? But aside from the bells and whistles, the movie also imprinted the idea of cliques into our impressionable minds. You had the jocks, thespians, nerds, skaters, and the “popular” girls. There exists a common thread between the aforementioned categories; they are characterized by exclusivity and a homogeneity of thoughts, ideas, and ways of living life. Truthfully, it was not just “High School Musical” that featured the stereotypical cliques. We were fed this idea of classifying ourselves and others in every form of media. Be it books, shows, social media, or even among other animals, “cliques” have persisted, although the form and name by which they have existed has greatly changed over time. The most obvious place to look for cliques (as evidenced by the movie’s catchy title) is high school, and more specifically, in the familiar halls of SHS. The existence of high school cliques is almost a trademark and an idea that has made a lot of people a lot of money (Zac Efron, I’m looking at you). While traditionally the idea of “cliques” examines the group, it is beyond doubt that labeling is most impactful on the individual. Calling someone a “VSCO girl” designates them to a group solely based on appearance, and ignores their actual personality and contribution. Similarly, defining someone as a “jock” incites a slew of other judgements, prompting incorrect and even harmful conclusions about the individual. What seems on the surface to be harmless grouping can prove to be suffocating, forcing people to organize their lives around society’s perception of them. This experience can cause the individual to feel lost and question their identity: “Who am I really?” The whole concept of cliques fails to take in the most unique aspect of all of us: our ability to be dynamic people and change the course of our lives at any given moment in time. Whether you fit into one category or a thousand, it is apparent now more than ever that labeling is unnecessary. The power is within you to live your life as you please and to celebrate the death of the clique.

guess that finding one particular friend group seems to be a part of the teenage idealogy,” said Matthew Silverstein, 10. “Students find a level of comfort in bonding with people that are similar to them and once these bonds are forged, they are afraid of being excluded,” said Mrs. Beth LeBlanc, English


“I think that general groups of people allow different sides of your personalities to be shown,” said Krishna Suresh, 11.

“A lot of high school kids feel so pressured to fit in that they forget their own opinions and go with the popular opinion instead of forming their own,” said Laney Simons, 9. Photos courtesy of Deeya Prakash and Laney Simons



September 30, 2019

Society views pets differently than other animals ANISA KHATANA editor in chief

“ANIMALS KILL OTHER animals, so why shouldn’t we?” “Humans need meat to survive.” “Stop the Yulin Dog Meat Festival!” “Eating meat makes us human.” “Dogs are a man’s best friend.” “Vegans are crazy.” All of these lines are likely to have been uttered by the meateating, pet-cherishing majority in America. And since that already sounds accusatory, I will clarify now: you are not reading a call for vegan world domination. Rather, I plan to investigate the disparity noticeable in the lines above—because while all of them outline relatively common mentalities, two of them seem to contradict the rest. In other words, why does American culture tell us that it is okay to kill and eat some animals (e.g. pigs, cows, chickens), but not others? Psychologist Dr. Melanie Joy, Ph.D., Ed.M., puts it aptly in the title of her 2009 book, “Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows.” At first glance, it seems rather obvious: our animal bias is systematic. Somewhere along the way, livestock like pigs, cows, and chickens became the basis of the American diet, a dog or a cat a normal addition to the happy domestic family. But what justifications exist for this phenomenon? Joy, a Harvard-educated professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston (and vegan), calls it “carnism.” “People use defence mechanisms that I call the three N’s. They try to invalidate the counter-system by shooting the messenger, who is the

vegan,” Joy said in an interview with The Independent. The “three N’s” to which Joy referred are “normal,” “natural,” and “necessary.” In essence, Joy’s explanation for this disconnect is simply that we have learned to justify it to ourselves. It is also important to note that our reservations about animals are also cultural, or perhaps geographical. Though now less popular, horse meat has a history of culinary glory in France. In South Korea (and other Asian nations), dogs were historically seen as edible farm animals, though young people are now leading efforts to decrease dog consumption in the country. So if Dr. Joy says we’re just making excuses, and the rest of the world has different ideals, the only true justification that comes to mind is how disconnected Americans are from where their food truly comes from.

Of course, it makes total sense to be more attached to the dog you’ve named and grown up with than to the idea of a pig confined in a factory farm 1,000 miles away. But what doesn’t

make sense is tweeting about how barbaric the attendees of the Yulin Dog Meat Festival are while waiting in line at the Chick-fil-A drive-thru. Again, I am not asking the entire world to quit meat entirely, and I am certainly not condoning or encouraging the slaughter of dogs or cats for meat. Rather, I am asking America to be a bit more conscious about the norms of meat consumption in our country. At the end of the day, humans are animals too.

All photos courtesy of Leaf staff




Why being like others is not always a bad thing DEEYA PRAKASH opinion chief

IF THERE WAS a jar of 60 Skittles, and

are mortified for the entirety of the ride, and vomit as soon as you are back on solid ground. my entire English class told me there were Conforming is not so good here, is it? But 30 inside, I would probably agree. If my entire say you end up enjoying the ride, and this swim team skipped practice, I would probably experience begins hacking away at the wall you skip too, leaving the coaches in a state of have put up regarding your fear; this is where it confusion. And, contrary to what I tell my may not be so bad. mother, if all of my friends jumped off of a For me, conforming has been a two-sided coin. cliff, I would probably follow. Conforming is an I began Montgomery Elementary as a timid epidemic, and unfortunately, I am one of the affected. YOUNG PEOPLE ARE ESPECIALLY PRONE TO CONFORMING IN One of SITUATIONS THAT ARE UNFAMILIAR OR UNKOWN. THIS COULD DRIVE the major aspects of THEM TOWARDS DECISIONS THAT THEY WOULDN’T OTHERWISE MAKE. conforming is peer pressure. MRS. LAURA MINIARD, AP PSYCHOLOGY TEACHER This has influenced me bookworm, way more excited to delve into the dramatically, so much so that I have recently Harry Potter universe than carry a conversation had to take a step back and ask myself: is this with a human being. Five years whizzed by, and really me? I became comfortable as an introvert. Imagine a setting in which you are part However, when the four schools converged of a group, and they are all going on a at Greene, my sheltered case became warped. rollercoaster. Being deathly afraid of the drops I was an unfamiliar face in a sea of unfamiliar and swerves, would you rather sit outside, faces. being the designated string-bag-holder for “I think that young people are especially 30 minutes (maybe longer if they are riding prone to conforming in situations that are the Diamondback), or climb aboard the “fear unfamiliar or unknown… this could drive them express” simply to avoid exclusion? If you are towards decisions that they wouldn’t otherwise the latter, like me, do not fear; it is only human. make,” said Mrs. Laura Miniard, AP “Teens spend an increasing amount of Psychology teacher at SHS. This could not have time with their peers, and the feedback they been more true for my circumstances. get from their friends and classmates may My isolationism changed when I met a select tune the brain’s reward system to be more group of people, social butterflies that could sensitive to the reward value of risky behavior,” carry conversations from miles away. I slowly said psychologists Laurence Steinberg, felt myself becoming a little more outgoing, and Jason Chein and Dustin Albert as per the years passed as glass finally shattered. Now, I’d Association of Psychological Science. like to think that I am generally social. This noticing translates to this: there is a This conformity which occurred made me a certain part of the brain that reacts positively better person. For starters, I am able to carry when the individual “fits in,” and reacts a conversation with an adult (aside from my negatively when he/she does not. This can be a parents) without crying, I have friends (I hope), good and bad thing. and I actually enjoy moments away from fantasy Take the roller coaster example. Say you


universes and attractive fictional characters. I laugh more, I smile more, and generally enjoy life, and would not change that aspect of middle school for anything. There are some other aspects I would like to alter, but we need not speak of those. Glancing at the other side of the coin is always more difficult, but I have also been negatively affected by conformity in several instances. One of the prime examples is cursing. As soon as I entered high school, the people around me began to express their anger in stronger words, making the eighth-grade-goodytwo-shoes part of me cringe. But I’ve grown accustomed to this language, and it does not faze me nearly as much as it should, and I even use them myself. I am not proud of it, but now I catch myself unconsciously swearing in stressful or upsetting situations, something that I thought unthinkable for a large period of my life. The curse words garner more laughs and relatability, and I guess my brain lives for that. There are more extreme cases of this kind of negative conformity. Miniard points out that “freshman year of college is always a dangerous year in that many students see the upperclassmen smoking or drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, and being young in a place where they just want to fit in… may start trying and experimenting with these.” This can be extremely dangerous. Essentially, what I want to convey is that conformity is not always a horrible thing, and is experienced by everyone. After realizing how much peer pressure has affected my actions, I understand that it has molded me into a very different person, and I would not recognize myself if 10-year-old me was glaring at presentday me. Sometimes, that is okay. Sometimes, it is not. So self-reflect. Close your eyes and ask yourself: is this who I want to be? Or is this who everyone else wants me to be?


GEN-Zs FILM THEIR WHOLE LIVES Do we hide behind our phones? CHARLOTTE WEISS feature chief

No phones at concerts?


capture these moments, I will not remember them. generations, technology has evolved, becoming Perhaps another reason we film what we more and more important to us everyday. do is because the technology is there in front Unlike Baby Boomers, Gen-Zs have grown up of us. We see so many other people with technology, whether it YOU ARE SO filming, we almost feel pressured to do be BlackBerrys, television, WORRIED ABOUT the same: if they are doing it, why not or smartphones. Plenty of us? That we need to utilize the high students in SHS grew up with OTHER PEOPLE iPod touches or even had KNOWING YOU HAD definition camera on our smartphones that we spent hundreds of dollars on. their first iPhone when they THAT EXPERIENCE. While at a concert, writer Valerie were just ten years old. MRS. MELISSA WOLFE Alexander of The Huffington Post, paid But maybe we are spending close attention to the glows from phone too much time on our cameras after realizing months ago that she was electronics. I am all for people connecting with not truly experiencing New Year’s and instead someone across long distances that they rarely worrying about taking pictures for social media. see, but do we need to take pictures at every “Sure, there were periodic sparkles of light, concert, football game, or dinner? but there were also constant glows, from those “Rather than experiencing the moment in and capturing the entire event,” Alexander wrote. of itself, you are so worried about other people So, next time, remember to live in the knowing you had that experience,” said Mrs. moment and not worry about taking pictures Melissa Wolfe, English teacher. with your friends or filming the whole thing. Do I know that I am guilty of taking videos or not waste your life away with your face stuck in pictures of experiences instead of living them. your phone. Maybe I care a little bit about what I post on Instagram, but I also worry that if I do not


To try and combat concert-goers from filming the whole show, musicians such as Carrie Underwood have banned phones at their concerts to make sure their fans live in the moment and do not worry about taking pictures. I think there are two sides to this rule. It makes sense that forbidding phones would limit the amount of people there for the pictures and help them appreciate the music more. But concert pictures on Instagram promote the artist, probably earning them some money. Could the lack of pictures on social media reduce the income of these musicians? I would want to take pictures and videos of me and my friends or of the artist so I can remember the experience. I understand living in the moment, but will it hurt us in the future when we want to look back at the time you went to a concert? With all of these pros and cons, I feel that if I was a musician, I would ban phones and really interact with the audience that is 100% there for me and not to put on a show for their followers.

Brands affect teens’ personalities JOSH MOORE treasurer

NINETY DOLLARS, one hundred and sixty, a whopping two hundred. When these prices are read, items like a cheap laptop, a nice chair, or a designer coat most likely register in one’s mind. A plain white T-shirt might be the last thing you would ever think of buying with over a hundred dollars, but have the youth in our day and age created justification? It can be hard to tell someone’s motives when buying expensive clothing in 2019: is someone sporting an expensive label because they genuinely enjoy the style? Or are they just displaying their wallet through a text-box on a shirt? While other expensive brands may focus on patterning and stylistic expressions, the commonly associated Supreme brand creates contrast at times simply by slapping a cool font on a colored shirt. Arguably one of the most associated Supreme designs is the simple logo enclosed in a red box implanted on a white background. Even for the simplicity of the style, shirts and other accessories encompassing this design philosophy can price from $120 to $200,

according to the official Supreme website. These arguably outrageous prices create a social conjecture that purchasing Supreme clothing is just a way to visually parade or “flex” the amount of money someone has. However, more often than not you will most likely see someone wearing an outfit that is pattern oriented rather than a plain shade. The material used for these pieces are not commonplace either. “People are just generally and genuinely attracted to expensive tastes, but it can be for a bunch of different reasons. Yeah, buying a plain white shirt for a hundred dollars seems extreme, but when you sport that label, you’re associating yourself with a general vibe that Supreme represents,” said Charlie Hallock, 11. There’s nothing wrong with expensive tastes, but the problem is drawn when those who do purchase at higher prices are fixed higher on

the social scale solely based on the clothes they buy. An example of this involves Woodchurch Highschool located in Merseyside, England, who took it upon themselves to ban students marked with specific fashion brands from entering the building due to the disconnect between those who possessed the brands and those who did not. “‘The pupils spoke to us about the pressure on families and the pressure on themselves to wear particular branded coats’” said Rebekha Phillips, head teacher of the school, in an article by BBC. Whether or not the school handled the situation correctly, students should not have to walk into school ashamed, especially at a time in their lives when they are greatly emotionally influenced by their surroundings. So by all means, keep wearing Supreme. Just do not act like it.




Best. Year. Ever. MAKE THIS A YEAR TO REMEMBER! Design events, connect with friends, and curate your Jewish life at









FEATURE September 30, 2019

BHAAVYA JHA broadcast director USING INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK, and smart home devices is pretty common. In fact, “360 million people are now active on Facebook,” according to Facebook Newsroom. A wide amount of people use social media platforms on a regular basis, posting pictures, tagging friends, wishing each other happy birthdays and whatnot. But, to what extent is personal information on social media platforms secure? Of course, people may argue how they are not celebrities and how some “hackers” who “steal” data have nothing of their interest in normal people’s profiles. However, this argument should be held and discussed further upon. A company named Cambridge Analytica, according to Vox, is “a political consulting and data firm that became synonymous with the unchecked power of Facebook to peer into our minds and, many believe, ‘persuade’ us into voting a certain way.” Yes, the same company that broke headlines for working with President Donald Trump’s campaign for election in 2016. And this should not be the least of one’s worries. In fact, what should be concerning, is how this company allegedly gathered so much data that, to a limit, it could control the candidate people would vote for. “Cambridge paid to acquire the personal information through an outside researcher who, Facebook says, claimed to be collecting it for academic purposes,” said New York Times. Thus, companies can pay money and get personal data. But they do so to create profiles of users and eventually use it to influence behaviors. Students do not use Facebook as much. Actually, “76 percent of American teens age 13–17 use Instagram, while 75 percent of teens use Snapchat,” according to The AP-NORC. “‘Some of these apps [like Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok, and FaceApp] store their data in a country that does not have high privacy standards for its citizens, so users should not expect them to be any more willing to safeguard their privacy,’” said Gary Davis, a consumer security expert at McAfee, to Fox Business. Next time you press the button to accept the terms and conditions, be sure to read the writing closely before clicking “accept.”

HTTPS vs HTTP Contrary to popular belief, HTTPS and HTTP are different. The second is less secure, so look out the next time you browse.

BEWARE OF PUBLIC WI-FI Anything sent using a public network can be intercepted by someone on the same network. Consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) when you are using public networks.

TURN OFF YOUR LOCATION Location services collect a lot of information and could possibly send it to third-party softwares, which is unsafe.

DO NOT SEND SENSITIVE INFORMATION DIGITALLY Sending things like tax information or passwords through text or a digital platform can be risky, so it is best to avoid it.

READ EVERYTHING CAREFULLY Be sure to read permissions and privacy policies before hitting the accept button. Quite often, details are hidden.




CASSIOPEIA -Named after an arrogant Greek queen -Contains two different nebulas: Heart Nebula and Soul Nebula -Has a distinctive “W” shape

ORION -Named after Greek hunter, Orion, who was said to be extremely handsome and always carried an unbreakable bronze club -Rigel is the brightest star in Orion and the sixth brightest star in the sky -Clearly visible in the night sky from November to February

URSA MAJOR -Means the “great bear” or “larger bear” in Latin -Largest constellation in the northern hemisphere and third largest in the sky -Contains one of the most famous asterisms known as the Big Dipper -Can be seen all year long

LEO -Represents the Nemean Lion in Greek mythology, but is represented in many different cultures -Is easily visible between March and May -A member of the zodiac constellations -The pointer star of the Big Dipper points directly at Leo



#SPEAKUPAVES SEEKS TO STOP STIGMA SHS offers mental health support HARSITHA KALAIARASAN design editor

SHS IS CHANGING, and not just through its physical renovations. The district-wide mental health initiative is one of these changes, headed by Mrs. Lisa Zelvy, the district’s Pupil Support Supervisor. For Zelvy, the first step was encouraging students and staff to begin conversations around mental health. “We want a community where every person feels safe and supported in speaking up when they are experiencing a struggle. Life happens. We know every person faces challenges. There is no need for us to face those alone,” Zelvy said. The campaign has manifested most markedly in the form of signs around the school bearing the hashtag “#speakupAVES,” encouraging students to take a moment to evaluate themselves and the people around them. The campaign is the first of many mental health initiatives to come in the future. This year, a school-based therapist has been placed in each building in an effort to make services more accessible to students. “In 2017, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital saw over 8,000 children in the emergency room for a psychiatric emergency, such as anxiety, depression, or aggressive behavior. And we know that only 25-30 percent of kids actually access the care that they need. So, specifically for our students, we hope this gives them courage, hope, and the strength to speak up,” Zelvy said. There are many resources and opportunities available for students and staff to learn more about mental health, but counselor Mr. Brian Sweeney hopes that what happens from here on out is “student-driven.” Accordingly, a student group has materialized with the goal of continuing to address and educate on the topic of mental health, with various ventures in the works. With the movement beginning, Zelvy has one goal. “If just one student, staff member, or family is inspired by this campaign and speaks up, resulting in access to care that supports them, our campaign goal has been met. Of course we would love this to impact more than one person. We are hoping to stop the stigma associated with mental health, and keep this conversation going,” Zelvy said.


POSITIVITY. #speakupAVES posters now emblazon the walls of SHS. When students are feeling stressed or even when they’ re feeling good, the messages serve as reminders to check in with themselves. “Life happens. We know every person faces challenges. There is no need for us to face those alone,” Zelvy said. Photo courtesy of Harsitha Kalaiarasan.


September 30, 2019


LINDSEY BRINKMAN managing editor

CLIQUES EXIST, and they always will. From groups of students whose shared interests force them to spend time together and thus be associated with each other to quotidian lunch table groupings to groups of students who may have a similar “aesthetic,” the vast majority of SHS’ student body is or has been associated with a particular classification. It’s natural to want to fit in somewhere—it can be healthy to find people to whom you relate, especially during high school, when students are struggling to seek out the practices and beliefs that they identify with. Labels help us make sense of the world, and putting things into categories is how

MADELEINE SUH managing editor

we process the wild mess that is the human experience. But these designations—clique culture— become unhealthy when we project cliquerelated labels onto other people. Especially in a school as big and diverse as SHS, where most students only interact with a small minority of the student body, it is easy to (consciously or subconsciously) place strangers into a particular group, to write them off because their “circle” may not intersect with yours. But when we take the time to truly get to know the students around us—especially the ones that we don’t interact with—we realize that all of these labels are nothing more than social constructs. It is the concept that inspired the

classic 1980s film “The Breakfast Club,” whose poster was the inspiration for this issue’s front cover. Death of the Clique is not a concept that presumes to mark the end of cliques at SHS, but rather a call for a change in attitude. The following Q&As are an illustration of the fact that most SHS students see themselves as dynamic individuals rather than members of a particular group, and the harm that the labels we assign other people—no matter how they manifest—can do. In adopting a less prejudiced attitude, we give people societal permission to break out of their shells and become the people they are individually meant to be rather than the people that they believe society wants them to become.


How do you think other people perceive you? I think people just look at me and just assume, oh he’s smart so he just naturally knows things or he just doesn’t work hard or just stereotyping me as kind of an introvert or a loner. Not necessarily with my friends or the people that I know—most people I know respect me for who I am. How would you identify yourself? How do you perceive yourself? I don’t think I like to identify myself into any particular group or whatever. I just like to have fun and try different things, just see what I enjoy doing and just try different things out. I wouldn’t say I fall into any specific group or anything. How do you think the disconnect between what other people think and what you think has affected you? I think at times, especially in younger grades, I would internalize that, and think that I am this way or I am only strong in school and have no social life. Sometimes, I would let that get to me a little bit but now, I’m pretty much past that and now I feel pretty happy with who and where I am.

CHLOE GORDON, 10 How do you think other people perceive you? All of the boys in general, whenever they see my Hydro Flask, they’re always like, “oh, sksksksksks” and I’m just like, “oh yeah, okay.” Also, I feel like at first, a lot of people think I’m really shy, which I am, but I love getting to know new people and I love talking to new people and I feel like once I get to know people, they think I’m pretty outgoing, and I love making people laugh and smile. How would you identify yourself? How do you perceive yourself? I think of myself as a little like [a] puppy, dog-loving person, and I like rainbows and I don’t know, I try to be a really happy person, and I can because I like making other people happy. How do you think the disconnect between what other people think and what you think has affected you? Well, in seventh grade, I was really shy, and I used to let people control who I was, but in 8th grade or 9th grade, I kinda broke out of that shell and stopped caring what other people think of me. I mean, I’ve gotten comments on my nice outifts and stuff like “Why are you wearing that?” and I’m just like “because I want to.” But people have gotten nicer, and they’ve changed themselves, which is nice.



How do you think other people perceive you? I think people will look at me and look at my jersey and say, “Oh, he’s a football player and he acts this kind of way.” I think it’s interesting because people will generalize you or categorize you just by I mean, like, obviously, I’m wearing a jersey, but I think people will kind of overlook the actual character characteristics that I have only because I’m wearing a jersey. Also, I feel like if you’re going to say something about Jordan McConnell, I think one of the first things you’re going to say is, yeah, he plays football. How would you identify yourself? How do you perceive yourself? I would describe myself as a football player, but I think there’s a deeper meaning behind it. I think I’m a regular person, just like anyone else. I go to school. I’m tired. I don’t want to be here, just like most people—well, I’m joking. But I feel like there’s more to Jordan McConnell than just Sycamore football. For example, I love school. I really do. Like, I know, a lot of people don’t want to be here. And sometimes I don’t either, but most of the time I really genuinely like being here. Like, coming here and learning and seeing my friends and talking to teachers. I think that’s the best. How do you think the disconnect between what other people think and what you think has affected you? As a freshman and sophomore, I would classify myself as only a jock or only an athlete. And now that I have grown up, I kind of realized that that’s not all that matters. I’m different than other football players. I mean, we’re all in the same category, but we’re different than each other. And I feel like people need to get to know people, especially athletes. Yes, we’re athletes but get to know us because we’re different. I feel like it’s helped me learn who I am, or [that I] forgot who I am. Only because there’s two different ways you can categorize me. And me, I’m an athlete, and then on the side, I’m also a student or a friend to people, but in my eyes, I’m a friend and a student first and then not.

RENEE KOHRMAN, 11 How do you think other people perceive you? I think most people perceive me as like, the shy art kid just because I’m really shy. I don’t talk much in class, and I don’t really do anything other than art. How would you identify yourself? How do you perceive yourself? I don’t really see myself as a stereotype or part of a clique or anything. Because in movies and stuff, there’s always the jocks and the rich mean girls, and people like that. And that’s just not really a thing here. Like, yeah, there’s different groups, but not cliques. And personally, I don’t really see myself as any of them. How do you think the disconnect between what other people think and what you think has affected you? I think since most people perceive me as shy and kind of standoffish, just because I don’t talk much, like I went on the [AP European History] trip and someone was like, oh, your voice is much higher than I expected,” and I asked if that was a good or bad thing and they said, “I just expected it to be lower because like you’re so quiet all the time.”

SAM BARANS, 12 How do you think other people perceive you? People probably think I’m obnoxious. Because, I mean, although this is about cliques, and I’m part of the theatre clique, I’m also that one kid who is super extra, like I’m that one kid who gets his work done way ahead of time and asks obnoxious questions and people do not perceive theatre kids in a positive light a lot of the times because we’re theatre kids. We’re obnoxious. Everybody knows. How do you think you identify yourself? A freelancer. Once I start doing something, I keep doing it [until] I get a sign to not do it. Like, any particular group—because I’ve tried to hang out with a lot of groups of people—and the people I eat lunch with is a pretty diverse group of people, not gonna lie. I don’t know, I just try to do a lot of things. Like the mental health initiative, I’m a part of that. I work a lot, that’s probably one of the biggest things about me; I love my job. I love working with kids, and I love teaching people math. Like today, I don’t have a rehearsal, so I'm going to help a friend with math and then we’re gonna go on a run and then I’m going to go to work. That’s, like, my ideal evening. How do you think the disconnect between what other people think and what you think has affected you? I also think another thing with theatre kids is we’re often associated with a bit of out-of-place confidence and I definitely think that's a true stereotype. I can’t think of a theatre kid who doesn’t have some level of unnecessary confidence. So I don’t think people’s perception of me is something I think about too often. That’s not something I spend my time thinking about. A lot of theatre kids just a) don’t care what a lot of people think about them outside of theatre or b) are just completely unaware that people think they do bad things, [and] have no clue or perception at all of the other people viewing them in a positive or negative light.



The shocking elitism in animal species LINYA GUO

entertainment chief WHEN WE HEAR the word “clique,” we immediately picture a scene from “Mean Girls” or any other stereotypical high school setting. However, the forming of cliques seems to be more natural than we think; animals, too, form cliques. One of the most notable examples of cliqueforming is seen in dolphins. Similarly to humans, dolphins create their cliques based on abilities and skill levels. According to a recent study by scientists at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute (HBOI) at Florida Atlantic University, dolphins both avoid other dolphins that they dislike and cluster with those that they like, exhibiting behavior of avoidance and preference. Some dolphins also have certain knowledge and qualities that are only passed down in their cliques; for example, researchers from Georgetown University found that there were certain dolphins that used sponges on their beaks to protect themselves while hunting. The knowledge of using a sponge was only passed around in a certain clique; from a study of the relationships between the “spongers” and “non-spongers,” the researchers found how “spongers were more cliquish [and] had more sponger associates and stronger bonds with each other than with non-spongers.” Another clique-creating species is the baboon. The cliques of baboons are the closest to humans; they form them based on personalities


and similar interests. A study conducted by the University of Cambridge and the Zoological Society of London found that baboons stuck together based on character traits; the shy baboons stuck together, while the curious and adventurous baboons formed their own cliques. And just like dolphins, baboons pass skills exclusively in their groups. With the common assumption that humans are the only clique-creators, many are surprised at the elite societies of animals. “That’s very weird; I always thought animals would be more inclusive creatures than humans. It kind of makes me think of the natural instincts of forming cliques,” said Heather Song, 12. Senior Emil Barr was also astonished. “I was surprised, I think it shows a lot of sophistication and intellectual development on the animals’ parts that they do sort of form into social groupings. [It] shows that there’s a lot more going on than what we think of animals and that they are a lot more intelligent than we think,” Barr said. The knowledge that animals also form cliques shows the natural tendency of creatures to exclude and include others based off of personality, interests, abilities, and more. Many may argue that this gives more understanding, or even leniency, to cliques; others, however, may state that humans should already be aware of the harm that can come from cliques.




associate web editor Wherever you are in the process of finding your own path in high school, you’re probably long accustomed to the phrases “get involved” and “follow your passions.” But what do you do if you are not even sure what your passions are? For me, the process of figuring out my passions was a long experiment of trial and error stemming from one basic step: I tried a bunch of different activities. Although a seemingly daunting task, I realized that to find what I truly love to do, I first had to figure out the activities I don’t like. Afterwards, I grouped the activities into three groups: my priority passion projects, my freetime hobbies, and my dislikes. While the dislikes group is pretty selfexplanatory, my priority passion projects are my scheduled extracurriculars whereas my free time hobbies are, just like the name says, done in my free time. Since both consist of activities I enjoy, the two categories often overlap; the split primarily emerges when I need to prioritize. For instance, I discovered my liking for the realm of fashion but while Fashion for the Cure is one of my priority passion projects, activities such as collaging inspiration boards or sketching dresses would simply be a free time hobbies. Now in the begining of this grouping process, I would found myself doubting whether I truly liked something or if I only liked it because my friends did it. If you also find yourself in that questioning stage, ask yourself: Why am I participating in this activity or subject? What is my favorite aspect of this activity or subject? Answers consisting of more than “because my friends are doing it,” are a pretty good indicator that you truly do enjoy the activity, whether or not your friends did it. Meanwhile, there is nothing wrong with liking the same things as your friends. Rather, you just should not have to sacrifice the things that you truly like for the sake of approval from others. At the end of the day, as you contemplate the original question, finding your passion is simply trying various activities and then doing what feels right to you; choose the thing that makes you smile just thinking about it and just do it. So, what are you waiting for? If you are in need of a little more encouragement, consider engineer, physician, and former astronaut Mae Jemison’s wise words: “It’s your place in the world. It’s your life. Go and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.”


The Deli proves universal nature of cliques MADELEINE SUH managing editor

GABBY KHODADAD sports broadcaster

MANY HIGH SCHOOLERS are under the impression that cliques, whether good or bad, disappear after graduation. However, that is not always the case. SHS math department has their own little “clique” called “The Deli.” “The Deli came about when the staff lunches were both increased by the cost...and cut our soup by 70 percent in size. Portion sizes went down, costs went up, we had to...make changes to our lunch plans,” said Founding father Mr. Greg Ulland. From that moment on, the cafeteria has seen a decrease in sales from the faculty—the math faculty, that is. The Deli is essentially a gathering of mathlete teachers who bring in lunch for themselves and the rest of the mathletes. Each week they rotate who brings lunch based on “the schedule.” The one-stop lunch stop was started by football coach Mr. Scott Dattilo, Mr. Stan Kanecki, and Ulland. Other “regular” members of the pack include Mr. Jeremy Pletz, Mr. Seth Petery, Mr. Sean Crowe, Mr. Aaron Akeley, and Mr. Ben Tilton. Ms. McKenzie Wall and Mr. Randy Lothrop are also a part of The Deli; however, “they are more avocado toast people so they are never full members,” Pletz said.

“Mr. Tilton brings a different flair to [The Deli] because he has different eating habits. So he’s not always a big fan of all the lunch meat. We have actually had tofu and lentil tacos in The Deli,” Pletz said. The lunches change by season; in the warmer months, the lunch menu consists of cold cuts. In the colder months, crockpots will appear. Within The Deli, these teachers have “bonded through our natural love of sandwiches that we all have inside of us as men and I think that has really brought out the most masculine side of us,” Ulland said. “But then there is an art to making a sandwich that is something that we all needed to tap into that was a little bit more abstract than our brains were used to. And so by becoming better sandwich artists, we have increased our ability to connect with children.” Ulland said. The fellow math teachers, predominantly male, believe The Deli would fit under the definition of a clique; however, they did not create their famous “restaurant” to fit under that definition. “I think [the word] ‘clique’ has a bad connotation, but [The Deli] is exclusive. There are some people we absolutely would not allow in there, because we would question the quality

of food they would bring in. So, there is almost a pre-interview process and if the word ‘baloney’ comes up, they are automatically not in,” Pletz said. Ulland and Pletz have a short message: “For everyone who feels left out, they are also missing out on the bad parts of The Deli, which is getting ridiculed, so they are not missing out on anything. As for the exclusiveness. I don’t think it’s right for all teachers. So, they are welcome to try it, but they might not enjoy themselves the way we do.” For Mr. Ulland, The Deli continues to live throughout his life, as he starts with each of his pre-recorded math videos with the words “welcome to the drive-through” from the inspiration his peers gave him through The Deli. “I look forward to seeing my friends every day. Legit. Lunch is really important to me,” Ulland said.


Photo courtesy of Jeremy Pletz


APRIL 19 MAY 3, 2020






an all expense paid trip.* Open to Cincinnati high school seniors with at least one Jewish parent.



INFO SESSIONS October 10th, 7pm at the Mayerson JCC October 17, 7pm October 24, 7pm November 3, 5pm All In-home presentations Contact Jourdan Stein at or 513.761.7500 x1294 for more questions and the locations of the info sessions.

*This trip is generously funded by The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati, and organized by the Mayerson JCC, in partnership with the Nancy & David Holocaust and Humanity Center. Grants are administered by the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati. March of the Living grants are not need based and are offered to Cincinnati Jewish high school seniors who have not already used their high school Israel travel grant.




September 30, 2019


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Across 3. Jam and ________. 6. A classic American breakfast food that is often eaten with eggs 12. These pastries are sweet dough with cinnamon sugar rolled within. 13. Eaten with milk; examples include Cheerios and Mini Wheats. 14. This French food is similar to a flat pancake that is eaten with different things, such as nutella. 15. Made from oats; you can add brown sugar, raisins, or even apples. Down 1. This dish comes in multiple different forms, including scrambled and fried. 2. This classic childhood snack is pastry crust filled with sweet frosting. 4. Delicious with cream cheese and can come in flavors from plain to cinnamon crunch 5. This drink can come in different flavors including apple and orange 7. Served with syrup and commonly comes in a stack. 8. Usually eaten in the South with gravy 9. This breakfast food has small squares to catch the syrup that is drizzled on 10. The most popular brands of this are Yoplait, Chobani, and Oikos 11. Most commonly eaten with yogurt and sometimes put on acai bowls


ENTERTAINMENT September 30, 2019

MY OH MY, LOOK AT THAT DYE Students, staff express themselves through hair

LINDSEY BRINKMAN managing editor WHEN MOST PEOPLE see someone with dyed hair, their mind often jumps to specific thoughts, such as “oh, they must be goth,” or other labels to categorize the person by one simple thing: their hair. However, what some people fail to see is that dying your hair can just be a form of self-expression. It is no different than wearing specific clothes, painting your nails, or wearing makeup. Hair dye may be more permanent, but that does not mean it defines the person into one specific category. A study conducted by Clairol found that 75 percent of American women dye their hair. Now although there was no specific data on what color, based on everday observations, it can be assumed that most women are dying their hair a natural color. However, even if they were to choose to dye their hair something bright, that does not always mean they automatically fit in a certain label. For SHS students and staff, dying their hair is just an extra way to be creative. It allows them to stand out and to be unique. But that does not mean that they are one type of person or another. They may just be having fun with life. After all, it is just hair. So, the next time you see a student or staff member with colored hair, try not to label them or put them in a box. Keep an open mind, and remember that it is just another form of selfexpression.


“Dying my hair allows me to express myself, because I feel like as, an African American, I dont want basic hair. I want to be funky or different from other people. I just want to have that full vibrant color,” said James Wilkerson, 12.

“Hairdye to me just means fun. Whether it’s super subtle where people get highlights, lowlights, or all kinds of stuff, or dying it a fun or different color. For me, and my currently pink hair, it is just my way of having some fun,” said counselor Mrs. Megan Brenner.

“It is kind of just an accesory in a way. With fashion you can express yourself through what you wear or jewelery, but adding a hair color to it just adds onto your look,” said Renee Kohrman, 11.

“Pretty much it means I am having fun. Although I don’t have dyed hair now, I liked having fun with it. That is pretty much all there is to it,” said art teacher Mrs. Kat Rakel-Ferguson.

million Americans used hair color in 2019 22




trends chief ON THURS. OCT. 10, over two thousand artists will flood the streets of downtown Cincinnati, performing in illuminated costumes and riding on colorful floats. 40 of these participants might be people you see every day. 40 SHS students and staff will march in the BLINK parade, which takes place at 7:15 p.m., dressed in costumes they created out of plastic bottles. BLINK is a free art, light, and projection-mapping event that will span over 30 blocks in downtown Cincinnati and Covington, Ky. from October 10–13. The original idea for the costumes came from 2019 graduate Grace Creek, who made a chandelier of plastic bottles for her AP 3-D Art class. A group of art students decided that this idea could lend itself to a costume, and began working in the spring on submitting prototypes to be considered for marching in the BLINK parade. The students partnered with science teachers Mrs. Mary Palmer and Mrs. Jennifer Scheidler and decided that instead of purchasing plastic bottles, they would collect used bottles in order to not contribute to the

All photos courtesy of Leaf staff

worsening issue of plastic use. Each of the 40 costumes requires around 100 plastic bottles. The theme for the costumes is “Shine A Light On.” Mrs. Kat Rakel-Ferguson, SHS art teacher and one of the staff members involved in the project, said that the students and staff working on the project hope to “shine a light on the pollution and dangers of plastic on the environment, especially in the oceans and waterways.” The costumes have fish and other marine life made out of recycled cardboard entangled in the bottles in order to highlight the impact of plastic on the oceans. Some of the bottle strands are sprayed with glitter spray paint to add a waterlike effect, and small lights are intertwined throughout the bottles to make the costumes glow. The group also plans to make a few tiara designs to intertwine with bottles in their hair and paint their faces. They will have bubble wands to create more of an illusion of water and music with a bit of choreography. “I’m really excited for this parade because it’s a great way to involve our art department and

students in such a popular event like Blink, and even our own homecoming parade... It’s really just an easy way to get involved in an activity at school that is then showed off to the city at such a large event,” said Jaquelynn McGraw, 12, a participant in the project. The group is not wearing the costumes solely for BLINK. They will also march in the SHS homecoming parade the following night on Fri., Oct. 11. After that, Ferguson said the group hopes to return to the original vision and turn the costumes into chandeliers, which may become decorations and auction items at Fashion for the Cure. “[I am excited about] the fact that this is an art-based event that will draw millions... of people who will come into our city from all over the world, and that art has that power to bring everyone together in a joyous way,” Ferguson said. If you are interested in marching in either of the parades, stop by room 145 for more information. For more about BLINK, visit their website at





Page by Lydia Masset



LINDSEY BRINKMAN managing editor

Mazunte Taqueria: Located in Madisonville More likely than not, the long line to order your food and the trouble of finding a seat to eat are worth it once your food arrives. If you are into Mexican street food and tacos, I highly recommend Mazunte. This restaurant is as authentic as it can get in this city. The toppings they add to the tacos are so unique and give a flare to the meal that, I can guarantee you, you will never get at a Taco Bell. If you need a suggestion, I shall recommend you to the steak verde salsa—a sweet and tangy salsa made from green tomatoes.

Coffee Please:

Toast and Berry: Located in Montgomery, on Montgomery Road across from Kroger This brunch restaurant is newer to the Montgomery area, however, it has been getting some great business and has a variety of a menu. Toast and Berry are very unique. This breakfast joint uses berries in almost all of the meals they cook. Also, it has such a fun and upbeat atmosphere inside,however, their service is not always up to par. If you want a refreshing breakfast I say hop on over to Toast and Berry.

A Tavola:

Located in Madeira

Located in downtown Madera and OTR

A quaint little coffee shop that is perfect for getting your homework done and catching up with a friend. You might as well bring in your pup, because it is pet friendly. That is the biggest perk of this little place. I haven’t found a go-to order yet, but if you are in the mood for hot chocolate you can’t go wrong. They also provide an array of sandwiches, which is perfect for a calm lunch.

A Tavola is well known for its pizza; however, what I like about this restaurant is that you can order anything on the menu and you will instantly fall in love with it. I personally love their pasta, especially the paccheri with ricotta. The ricotta adds a cool touch to the warm homemade pasta, and the two blended together make the perfect meal. For dessert, you must get their gelato. I recommend the chocolate and hazelnut because I adore Nutella, but the stracciatella is also very good if you want a bougie version of chocolate chip ice cream.

Taste of Belgium: Various locations, with the closest being in Rookwood This is by far the best breakfast place in the city. Their waffles—ohhhhh boy are they good. You must order a waffle. You will regret it if you do not. Their signature is the famous chicken and waffles. The chicken comes with hot sauce on the chicken. I am not a hot sauce fan but it adds so much flavor to the chicken and it is not even that spicy. All things considered, you will love anything you order.

Tahona Kitchen + Bar: Located at Summit Park This restaurant is very similar to Mazunte Taqueria. However, in my opinion, if you are more of the “go green” type you will most likely like Tahona more than Mazunte. Tahona, even though it may not be the case, feels like it is a healthy taco shop. Don’t get me wrong­­—it is still tasty. But I do not believe it is as authentic as Mazunte. Tahona also lacks the same level of flavor as Mazunte. Tahona uses a variety of unusual toppings but they all do complement one another. The tacos you must try are the chicken tacos with a corn tortilla. In addition what is nice about Tahona is you can mix and match different tacos.



September 30, 2019

Sophomore Liv Berke serves the ball at home against West Clermont, is a middle hitter on the girls JV Volleyball team. Berke says the best parts of playing volleyball are the competition and the people on the team. “I think it’s helpful because, like, we trust each other a lot. We know how to work together. So it helps being close with your team... you can win a lot more games,” Berke said. But while having the support of her teammates is invaluable, certain difficulties of the sport are inevitable. During last season, Berke suffered a concussion while diving for a ball. “It was really bad. It makes you realize how much you want to play when you have to watch everybody else play the sport that you love to play, and you just sit there and do nothing,” Berke said. Photo courtesy of Megan Radakovich, contributing photographer




September 30, 2019

Aviators show new Athletic Director how we compete MADELEINE SUH managing editor

Photo courtesy of Clark Robinson


are welcoming Mr. Mark Harden as the new head Athletic Director. Within his first few weeks on the job, he has already displayed his big plans for the Aves. First on Harden’s agenda was to change the environment and build relationships with as many student athletes as he could: making sure that SHS’s players know who their Athletic Director is. Although classified as a rookie at Sycamore, Harden has been in the educational field for 25 years, working as an English teacher, coach, and most recently, the Dean of Students for 10 years at Fairfield High School. As a very active kid, his love for sports only increased during his high school experience. Primarily focusing on his passion for golf, he continued to play through college. Additionally, he competed on his high school basketball team for several years, leading him to later choose to coach for both these sports. He credits his call to teaching to those who taught him as a child. He praised his teachers, coaches, and parents that, together, made his high school years positively memorable. “The teachers and coaches that I had were so important in my life… I’ve said this to many people, I’ve never really gone to work a day in

my life. I’ve just kept going to school. It was the challenge, Harden attempted several five-meter penalty shots while staying afloat. natural thing for me just to fall in the footsteps Senior Bob Wise plays on the boys waterpolo of the people who are super important in my team as the starting goalie. He emphasized life,” Harden said. that Harden was fun to be around and although While he was unsure of his path in college, he seemed “uncomfortable in the water,” he he soon after decided to switch from a business continued to be positive, major to pursue this new career. joking around the whole “What I really realized after THE TRUTH IS I WAS AN time. a couple of accounting and ATHLETE, I COACHED, I When not scheduling, business classes [was] that while KNOW WHAT STUDENT organizing fundraisers, or I like business… to be truthful ATHLETES GO THROUGH. preparing for the Aves’ with you, I didn’t want to do big games, Harden enjoys anything other than teach,” MR. MARK HARDEN spending time with his Harden said. children and wife. However, And he has already made an he truly can’t hide his passion for what he does impact. In his first few weeks here at SHS, he as he regularly coaches both his kids’ basketball immediately put on his game face in the pool, and baseball teams. on the court, and around the turf. “You know, I think sometimes we can be seen Harden’s creative idea to accomplish his as these old guys who just tell you what you can goal of interaction rapidly grew into a series of and can’t do,” Harden said. challenges, quickly catching the student body’s Harden has been approached by many attention. These “A.D. Challenges” included with questions regarding the future of “A.D. a quick face-off between Harden and each fall challenges.” He hesitantly promised to continue sport team. for both winter and spring seasons and He laughed as he talked about his experience hopefully will even incorporate them again next with the boys and girls water polo teams. He year with a new spin. As for now, he continues got to know so many more student athletes to leave his footprint on the future of Sycamore “maybe not in a way that was normal.” For this Athletics and all its programs.




Why the classic sport is harder than you think DEEYA PRAKASH opinion chief IT IS EIGHT A.M. on a Monday morning, and I step up to the tee box with my driver in hand, analyzing the hole. Par 4, about 390 yards to the pin, trees going down the left side, and a pond on the right. Translation: hit it straight or face the consequences. With my heart pounding, I rely on my muscle memory and, keeping my eyes on the small white orb, hit the ball, watching it fall in a perfect parabola as it lands in the middle of the fairway. I’m smiling, but I know that the next shot will not be as simple; I will have to note the slope, factor in the wind, scan the distance, select the appropriate club, observe the lie, take the bunkers out of play, and approximate a landing spot to ensure I am putting from a makeable distance. Then, if all goes to plan, I will have to mark my ball, read the putt, feel out the stroke, estimate the break, lock in the speed, line up the ball, and snap my mark back onto my hat. Then, I will putt, and hopefully walk away with a birdie. Or a par. And that is just the first hole. When asking what exactly the sport of golf is, it is a relatively easy one to explain. Just get it from one place to the other. The same objective as many sports, such as football, soccer, and

lacrosse. Easy, right? Wrong. Golf is so much more than girls scrambling across a field or 200 pound men running a ball to a strip of grass. And I know that some athletes must be bristling right now, and I get it. All sports are difficult when analyzed under a microscope. But the fact remains that even with the wrong contact lenses, it is easy to see how difficult golf is, and why people still hail it as “the old-


retired-man’s sport” appalls me. And that is why I am here to shatter all of your preconceived notions, and inform all of you what it really takes to play golf.

to choose a different-sized baseball every time you had to pitch while standing on elevated ground. Difficult.

Different turf

Perhaps the most unique aspect of golf is this immense mental strain that is required to excel. A wise golf coach once told me that the longest golf course you will ever play is the six inches between your ears, and he could not be more right. Say you hit a great shot; you are now happy with yourself. But on the next hole, you have a similar opportunity, and you end up shooting it 30 yards over the green. Now, you are fuming—how could I have hit it perfectly a mere 15 minutes ago and yet messed it up now? The more frustration that builds up in a golfer, the less confidence goes into each shot. You may be upset and therefore carelessly read a putt, leading to a missed opportunity. Now, you are putting for seven strokes when, if you had been focused, you could have finished with five. And in a sport where less is more, less negativity = more success. If only I could abide by this myself; it is easier said than done. The 6 inches between my ears is a complex place. I could go on and on about how complicated our sport is, but there is so much about it that I love. The rolling of a putt as it drops into the hole. The smiles of your teammates as you win medalist. The pride on your coaches face as your shot falls perfectly onto the green. The sunset on a golf course, the image straight out of a Bob Ross painting. The love that the sport continues to give, despite the occasional hate I throw towards it. “It is such a rewarding sport. Nothing beats the feeling of a good round,” said Emma Brown, 12. Brown has been golfing for Sycamore for six years, and hopes to play golf in college. So though I have lost too much sleep, practiced for too many hours, and shed an ocean’s worth of tears, the difficulty of the sport will never measure up to the support I have felt from golf. I hope I have at least altered your perception, but at the end of the day, I would not trade these challenge for anything in the world.

Unlike most sports, golf is unconventional in that the playing ground is always different. We do not constantly tee up on a 100 yard field or a 25 meter swimming pool. No two courses are alike, and it takes an immense amount of mental flexibility to be able to navigate each and every one of them. Every course has fairway, rough, a green, and a flagstick, but that is about where the similarity ends. However, playing the same course every day can also be challenging. Matt Star, SHS’s Varsity Girls Golf Coach, points out that “the same course can and does play drastically different from day to day.” The course crew may not have raked the bunkers, or the flags might be in different spots on the green. You never know.

Mother nature

If the temperature is wet, dry, windy, or even just hot or cold, the golfer has to be able to take these into account while hitting a shot. Is the wind blowing from left to right, shaping the ball flight? Is it coming at our faces, limiting distance? Is the temperature too cold, thereby causing the ball to not fly as far? Is the green wet, meaning putts will go slower? It all depends on the day, and one of the biggest challenges that I personally feel as a golfer is justifying a bad round; was it due to my abilities as an athlete, or the factors that were out of my hands? Do I have the right to be upset with myself if the wind decided to gust as soon as I made contact with the ball? The practical answer is no, but lines blur when you are frustrated.


One of the skills required in the game of golf is being able to read. No, silly, not like reading books or articles, but analyzing certain distances, lies, or slopes. If you have seen a golf bag, there is a good chance you have noticed that there are always multiple clubs. Each club goes a different distance, and it takes a certain ability to understand which club to use for each shot. However, the distance is not always the sole factor at play. Being on slanted ground (and there is way too much slanted ground on golf courses) where the ball is slightly above or below your feet affects the golfer’s swing, and can even affect a club selection. Imagine having

Frustration nation


OCTOBER SPORTS CALENDAR A guide to supporting the Aves at sports events in October CHARLOTTE WEISS feature chief




(H) Girls Varsity Volleyball vs. Lakota West






(H) Boys 4 Varsity Soccer (A) Boys Varsity (H) Varsity Football vs. Golf @ Sharon vs. Oak HillsSenior Night Woods Colerain



(H) Girls Varsity Soccer vs. West Clermont

(H) Girls JV Tennis vs. St. Ursula


(H) Girls Varsity 8 Soccer vs. (A) Girls Varsity Princeton- Senior Volleyball vs. Night (H) Varsity WoPo vs. PrincetonSenior Night


10 (A) Girls Varsity Volleyball vs. Mercy McAuley












(H) Varsity Football vs. Middletown

(A) Boys and Girls Cross Country GMC





(H) Varsity Football vs. Farfield-Senior Night

(A) Varsity Football vs. Hamilton





Photo courtesy of Charlotte Weiss

For championship games and more information regarding the time of events, visit 29


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