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From Factory to Fine Arts: 106 years of Edgar Hall

Postcard from, about 1912

Postcard from, about 1912

The Edgar Hall building which currently houses part of Ohio Wesleyan University’s Fine Arts department sits on the border of two historic districts in Delaware.  As part of the Sandusky Street Historic District, it was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.  The Ohio Wesleyan buildings were [Read more…]

Ten Fall Events in Delaware County

Delaware, Ohio Fall Events For Sweater Weather



It’s that time of year again where Delaware folks start their preparations for the fall weather and traditions that come with it! If you’re looking to try something new that’s family friendly and has that fall spirit, keep your calendars marked for these upcoming events.

Alum Creek’s Fall Campout – October 2nd
Make your way to Alum Creek’s Campground and enjoy an evening of pumpkin decorating, hiking on haunted trails, trick or treating around the campground, and several games and contests. This is a great event for families and anyone who wants to experience Halloween early!


Image result for alum creek state park
2015 5k Pumpkin Run & 1 Mile Walk – October 3rd, 8am
In support of Live Strong, there will be a 5k race and 1 mile walk at OWU’s Selby Stadium. Entry fee is $30 for the run, and $20 for the walk. There will also be a kid’s sprint at 9am with a $5 entrance fee.



Photo courtesy of
Race for the Soul – October 3d, 9am
The Columbus Zoo will be hosting their 9th annual Race for the Soul to bring awareness for the needs of people all throughout Central Ohio such as food, clean drinking water, medical attention, and emotional support. There will be a kids run at 8:45, and a 5k run or 1 mile walk around the zoo at 9. Entry fee is $15-40, depending on whether or not you have a zoo membership and what race you run in.
Powell Oktoberfest – October 3rd, 12pm-10pm
The Village Green Amphitheater Pavillion will be hosting their annual Oktoberfest featuring live German music and entertainment, food trucks, and activities for all ages.

Flyer courtesy of

Kilbourne Community Fall Festival – October 3rd, 8am
Enjoy a full day of fall fun and activities starting with a delicious breakfast from 8-10am; followed by a hog roast, petting zoo and games along with crafts and a flea market (9am-4pm) Also. enjoy stories and historical displays relevant to the local area.
Oakland Nursery’s Fall Festival – October 10th-11th                                                                                                                                                                     Oakland will be hosting their 35th annual Fall Festival at all their store locations this year! There will be a haunted house, a petting zoo, balloon art, pumpkin painting, and sales on merchandise. Don’t miss out on this fall-filled event.


Photo courtesy of



Miller’s Country Gardens Fall Festival – October 11th, 12pm
Take a hayride through the pumpkin patch and explore the corn maze at this great fall event at Miller Country Gardens in Delaware. There will also be Pumpkin Express barrel rides, face painting, balloon sculpturing, live music by “In A Jam”, and great food by Sock Hop Soda Shop.

Campfire at Stratford Ecological Center – October 16th, 6pm-8pm
Make your reservations quick for this great night of fall fun and camping out. This is a great event for smaller kids. There will be a wagon ride through the Stratford woods, popcorn and cider, hiking, and storytelling.

Photo courtesy of

Central Ohio Symphony’s Debut Concert – October 17th, 7:30pm
The Central Ohio Symphony is entering into their 37th year of fantastic music and performance. Their season debut concert will be shown at the Gray Chapel in Delaware. Tickets can be ordered at

Leed’s Pumpkin Farm
Located in Ostrander, this is a place I always looked forward to visiting every fall when I was a kid. There are fields of pumpkins to go picking for, hayrides and petting zoos, ziplines, and great snacks. I definitely recommend this place for all ages. They are open every Saturday and Sunday through October 31st.

Photo courtesy of


Flipped Switches and Some Reflection

It’s been a good half a year since I’ve been in high school, and it’s odd, but I’m almost an entirely different person.  It’s not like I’m too different personality-wise—nothing much has changed there.  It’s my habits.  And probably not in the way you think.   There’s this general assumption that freshmen in college go crazy, but I seem to have done just the opposite.

This is a small thing, but I started cleaning my room.  Almost obsessively.  It began in the middle of the summer.  I couldn’t bear the thought of all the junk from fifth grade stuffed under my bed, so I cleaned it out.  A few days later, I was tired of my closet looking like a warzone, so I cleaned that too.  You can walk in it now.  You can see floor.  It’s been months since I’ve cleaned it, and you can still see floor.  In fact, I cleaned my room this morning.  I’ve become so good at keeping it clean that cleaning it only takes a few minutes.

It seems like it’s something that anyone can and should do, but it still strikes me as weird.  Up until a few months ago, I was content to let my laundry pile up on my floor until my entire wardrobe was no longer in the closet.  I was perfectly fine leaving papers and things helter-skelter across the floor, and if you wanted to find something: good luck.  There were shoes that I lost for weeks at a time simply because I couldn’t sift through the mess to find them.

But here I am out of high school, and it’s like some switch flipped in my brain.  Like all of a sudden, I need to keep my room clean, and I don’t want to be in it if it isn’t.

And cleaning isn’t even the half of it.  Suddenly I find myself bothered that ninety percent of the shirts I own are camp shirts and show shirts, which aren’t necessarily very flattering.  This is mostly my fault.  I absolutely detest shopping for clothes for a multitude of reasons.  I have my taste, and it doesn’t really tend to change with the trends, so finding things I like is frustrating.  Additionally, finding things that fit (and fit well, for that matter) is nigh impossible.  And lastly, trying things on is too difficult.  Let’s be real: I’m lazy.  Shopping usually leaves me emotionally drained and wanting to sleep for five hundred years.

Yet I stand in my newly cleaned closet looking at my small collection of clothing that are not camp shirts, and I find myself wishing I had money to shop.  I have to be careful not to wear the same thing twice in the same week, and I have to get creative with my layering.  It seems that college has made me take a little more pride in my appearance, at least on the days when I wake up late enough to have the motivation to look cute.  Early mornings I’m too tired to care, and I tend to make questionable decisions.  Like wearing green and black argyle socks.  At six thirty it sounds like a great idea, but by four in the afternoon I wonder if I got dressed in the dark.

I don’t know what to attribute all these changes to.  It seems to me that as soon as I got out of high school, something inside me clicked, a circuit lit up, and suddenly I’m making better decisions.  I don’t know if it’s just something about high school, or maybe it’s something about college.  Either way, I’m okay with it.  It’s been a pretty wild ride, in its own right, and I’m excited to see what happens next.

Welcome to Africa


Think about the word “Africa.” Now what do you visualize? The Red Sea? Games of Cricket? Drums beating to the sounds of African sambas? Could you ever imagine the word “Africa” holding a more personal, local definition? In Delaware, Ohio, that’s exactly what the word has.

Africa was the name of a community of runaway slaves who lived in log homes, were employed by anti-slavery farmers, and settled in the southern Delaware County area. In 1824, a man named Samuel Patterson began to hide runaway slaves in his home, which was located in what is now north of Westerville. These slaves were mocked by pro-slavery neighborhoods, who referred to their community as “Africa,” and so East Orange was renamed. Country gentlefolk had erected small cabins there as temporary housing while building permanent homes on their estates. After a time, the woodlands north of Westerville harbored a cluster of these abandoned cabins, as folks began to move into their newly completed houses. To this time, the village has disappeared, but several of Patterson’s homes still stand in this vicinity. Africa is said to be the only town named after the Underground Railroad.

Photo of Maker #6-21, photo from

Photo of Maker #6-21, photo from

What’s even more astounding is the fact that Ohio had an extensive network of trails used by anti-slavery activists, free Blacks, and churches to help fugitive slaves flee from the South to Canada. Ohio had one of the most active Underground Railroad operations in the nation; some sources estimate that 40,000 slaves escaped to freedom through Ohio. The Ohio Department of Transportation designated portions of U.S. Route 23 and State Route 4 – one of the most frequently used corridors on the Underground Railroad – as a commemorative highway to be known as River-To-Lake Freedom Trail. This trail follows the present day alignment of 23 from the Ohio River at Portsmouth, north through central Ohio.

An Ohio Department of Natural Resources site has a page called Ohio’s Underground Railroad to Freedom which talks about slave coming across the Ohio River from the south. The site says: One of the most famous Underground Railroad routes in central Ohio was Africa Road. This was the setting of one of the most extraordinary chapters in Underground Railroad history.

Why do you think central Ohio was such a good pit-stop for these runaway slaves? And what else do you know about secret slave routes in the Delaware area?


Excessive Homework ~ An Educational Problem?


Who is the stereotypical American teenager?

The glorious stereotype of the average high school student was born countless times ago from various audiences: a picture of care free bliss worked with paint brushes such as amounts of unique social swagger mixed with remnants of TV dinners. The teenager in America has a bubble of his own, at least, as seen by people of other aged classes, in almost every aspect of life, including entertainment of all kinds and the culture thereof. Seemingly, that same stereotype played a large, yet subtle role in crafting the modern educational system of America. Activities and character builders such as standardized tests and homework, in their modern forms, were birthed out of the interest of America’s future. As the world got smarter and information became more abundant with the birth of technology, the new abundance of teachable material exceeded the sheer time available. As this time progressed, homework, especially, took on a different form and purpose, being more weighing on time and grades than ever before in an effort to reinforce material that could not be accurately reinforced in class. Though, adding more homework to a student’s workload may not be the right answer to America’s education problem. As studies and experiences have shown, modern American students receive too much homework on a nightly basis, hindering social and all around, fruitful development.

While some argue that homework, even in substantial amounts, makes a student’s brain stronger and more apt to learning, the evidence on the matter points, more so, to excessive homework promoting mental tiredness and a near-sighted learning experience. Denise Pope, a senior lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, co-authored a study focused on the post-school effects of homework on students, a study which was published in the Journal of Experimental Education. “Our findings on the effects of homework challenge the traditional assumption that homework is inherently good,” expressed Pope concerning the study (Pope para. 2). Of 4,317 students out of 10 well-achieving high schools in various “upper-middle-class” California communities, 56% considered homework a “primary source of stress” while less than 1% considered homework a non-stressor. For these students, the combined time required to complete homework was 3.1 hours per night and many of the same students reported sleep-deprivation being the most impactful result of an oversized homework load. Lack of sleep, naturally, sets students up for a constant cycle of back-peddling in school, seeing that the brain, school’s daily target for struggle, really only gets a break during sleep. Even more so, long term disadvantages can result from too many short term stressors such as an obscene workload. Near-sighted learning often results from hindering amounts of homework, an effect that has students “playing the game” of school rather than taking away lessons that will aid them in the workforce, a process that leaves students always grasping, but never reaching, their full potential. Though, in the short term, this mindset, paired with the frustration coming from sleep deprivation, diverts kids from actually learning in school to, instead, do what they can to pass and focus on things that can benefit themselves, like their social lives.

While some would say that teenagers naturally do well to maintain their heavy school and social lives, studies show that too much homework, especially, limits social development. Harris Cooper, Ph.D., who is a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University, argues that, especially with younger teenagers, learning may not be fully accomplished with homework that exceeds a few hours per night, as seen on Lauren Miller’s article “High School Homework: Are American Students Overworked?” on “[Students] will miss out on active playtime, essential for learning social skills, proper brain development, and warding off childhood obesity” (Miller para. 5). With the previously mentioned mindset so often developed by teenagers to simply “play the game” of school, mounting plans of college and employment often divert students away from healthy development socially. With the combined time constraint and worry-filled mental extravaganza associated with homework exceeding 2-4 hours each night, students neither have the hindsight nor the correct mental state to correctly/subconsciously develop their social lives, commodities which have proven to serve employees just as well as sufficient head knowledge in the workforce.

As well, too much homework creates a worry-filled state of mind for a student, sapping from the student the main reason for school: learning and the love of learning. All around America, all curiosity, glory, interest, color, and strength is constantly zapped from schoolwork because, suddenly, homework becomes a threatening force at a student’s well-being when added at obscene amounts. As previously mentioned, 56% of the students in the California study expressed homework as their primary source of stress. Being something so feared and worried about, an adolescent cannot be expected to face it head on and take it at face value, picturing it as something he can control. That attitude and something feared mix like oil and water. If a student does not love learning, he will not learn as well as they could, and that will decidedly hinder his impact in college and beyond.

Finally, too much homework promotes lower overall grades for a high school student. With the cocktail of all the factors previously mentioned in play, American students are receiving lower grades than students from other countries with less homework, across the board. Finland, a country that uniformly gives out substantially less amounts of homework than the United States, ranked at the top of the world in the PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) standardized test in 2006, scoring more than 20 (mean) points higher than the second-place country. The United States was not in the top ten achieving countries. Additionally, while the average United States’ fifth grader has 50 minutes of homework per day, Finnish students rarely do homework until their teen years when more life-applicable subjects and assignments require it, according to a graphic presented by Finland, though, is not the only country that has taken a step back on the role that homework plays. In fact, the United States is, subjectively, the only socially powerful country to place a heavy emphasis on homework. Voices from other countries like Finland show a new direction the world may be taking in the realm of education and the United States is definitively falling on the wrong side of the coin. Per the 2012 PISA, the United States ranks 31st in mathematics, 24th in science, and 21st in reading, all below international averages and falling substantially even from their own scores in the 2009 PISA, dropping 6 ranks in math, 4 ranks in science, and 10 ranks in reading. Finland ranked above average in all three categories and currently looks down on the United States in the realm of education. A country which prides itself on being a step ahead, the United States is definitively falling behind in education mainly because of an abundance of homework.

In conclusion, the uniform, oversized homework load placed daily on the modern American student hinders his perspective on school and promotes mental fatigue. To even more of a detriment, too much homework on students has been revealed as a limitation to social development, a catalyst to a worry-filled mind, and, cumulatively, a hindering force to a students’ full potential, a potential that is reflected in the grade book. While a high school student may put on the façade of happy-go-lucky, he, more than likely, faces more grown up problems than he ever thought he would face in high school, learning to juggle a demanding workload. While the stereotypical American is characterized by his patriotic attitude, known by the fact that he can get the work done when no one else can, the future of America is being hindered by a harsh educational system and cannot meet world class standards. For the first time, a new stereotype can be placed on the United States of America: underachieving.


Love Letters to the Dead warms hearts


The story is about a girl, Laurel, with an English assignment: Write a letter to a dead person. Laurel decided to pick Nirvana lead singer, Kurt Cobain because her older sister, May, loved him and like Cobain she also died young. And before Laurel knew it, she had a whole notebook full of letters to the dead – people like Heath Ledger, Janis Joplin, Amelia Earhart and Amy Winehouse – though she never submitted a single letter.

Everything in the letters is about starting high school, starting new friendships with upperclassman, learning to live her life with a broken family, falling in love for the first time and May’s death. But Laurel starts to question how to mourn over someone who she hasn’t forgiven?

It not until Laurel has written the truth about everything that’s happened to herself that she can finally come to closure with what happened to May. Within each letter and thinking about the past, Laurel starts to come to her senses to see the kind of person her sister truly was – lovely, amazing and very and deeply flawed. It’s within this realization where she finds herself and her path as a new highschooler.

“Love Letters to the Dead” is a beautifully written novel by, Ava Dellaria. It’s a story about a girl’s journey through the challenges of life with a deep and often heartbreaking beauty. Each letter reveals more and more about Laurel and how she thinks, how she feels.

Each character is told in a vibrant way that makes it difficult for readers to not personally connect with at least one character. With each letter the reader is given something to truly think about on the topic of life and the challenges it throws at us.

I recommend this novel for high schoolers, especially the kids that need a little push on the right road. Reading this book changed my outlook on life, that not everything is glamorous and that we will face challenges sooner or later. It’s a novel that is perfect gift for the holiday season.


Thoughts from the Zoo Lights


The two wonderful young women I got to go to the Zoo Lights with: Mariah and Brittney.

The two wonderful young women I got to go to the Zoo Lights with: Mariah and Brittney.

I have a handful of memories that are from so long ago that they seem like they were only a dream.  One of them happens to be of my fourth birthday.  I remember blowing out the candles on my cake and silently making my wish: to see some Christmas lights.  I’m a December baby, so it wasn’t too ridiculous a thought.  It might have been that we planned on going to the Zoo Lights, but decided not to since the weather was too cold.  The thought of Christmas lights was somehow implanted on my small brain that evening, and that was the one thing I wanted.

After dinner, we shuffled out to our van and went for a drive.  The next thing I remember is driving past house after house, each decked out in what seemed like thousands of colored bulbs.  I sat gleefully in my car seat, bouncing my legs as I exclaimed, “My wish came true!”

As you can imagine, these were simply houses with strands of lights outlining their roofs and clothing their trees.  I can only imagine what four year old me would have done had she actually gone to the Zoo Lights.  I’ve recently had the joy and privilege of going to the Zoo Lights as a youth leader with Delaware Grace Brethren Church.

All small groups (or Bible studies) from the youth ministry planned to go and meet at the zoo. Two ladies from small group I help lead came: Mariah and Brittney.  I picked them up at the church, and then we headed down to the zoo for our fun filled evening.



The Zoo Lights are incredible. I don’t care if you’re eight or eighty, they’re still cool.  Seriously, almost every tree is covered in lights, there are some lights made to look like animals, and it’s practically a childhood fantasy.  As I walked along the paths with Mariah and Brittney, I had to take a moment and reset my mind back to that four-year-old mindset.  There’s a part of me—the whimsical childish part—that seemed to have all but died.  I had to mentally refocus to realize I was walking through something amazing, something novel.

A lot of laughs and a few meaningful conversations later, our tiny group joined a larger group of youth from the church, and we walked around the zoo, laughing and having a fantastic time.  We finished off the evening hanging out and warming up in the food court.  It was great to get out of the cold, but what was even better was being with friends and talking.  My favorite part had to be the part spent talking around the table, and the chats I had with Mariah and Brittney even while we were in the freezing cold.  The Zoo Lights shine brightly, and they’re fantastic, and we ought to appreciate them.  But just as each light shines, each person can hold a light inside them, bright and unique.  We only have to take time to see it, and to cherish it.


Books and Journalism, Learning to Evolve


Nothing beats the smell of a fresh, new paper-backed novel. However, with classic novels evolving into e-readers and other forms of technology such as kindles, it’s no secret that today’s digital revolution has cleaned out our bookshelves.

Barnes and Noble claims it now sells three times as many digital books as all formats of physical books combined. Similarly, Amazon sells 242 e-books for every 100 hardback books. This isn’t surprising, although what does this mean for the future careers of brilliant authors and writers?

With the era of digital publishing and reading, the future for author advancement is coming to a close. Authors depend upon their future profits, therefore they sink themselves into debt on the chance of a brand new hit. In reaction to the reduction of their living wages, lots of today’s writers have decided to abandon the mainstream altogether. Authors want to be in print, and appear in bookstores, not on our phone screens.

As for journalism, there’s a big rumor floating around that journalism is “dead.”

Only silly folks can believe such a tale, journalism is not dying. It’s evolving, and journalists are just now learning how to evolve with it. People all over the world still have enthusiasm for telling stories, and that alone is enough to keep journalism alive.

Being a high school writer on my newspaper staff, I’ve witnessed the enthusiasm and excitement today’s generation of young writers have for journalism. Early November, I traveled to DC for the National Journalism Convention where thousands of highschool students from all over the country came together to celebrate and learn about the growing evolution of journalism and its branches.

Social media holds some credit to the journalism boom. Because of today’s technology, news is traveling faster and faster and becoming more accessible. Just minutes after something remarkable happens, the details are posted within minutes online. People crave news.

Although newspapers aren’t doing very well, the content that’s found in them can still be accessed, just in a different form. Journalism has undergone some major transformations in past few years, from traditional newspapers themselves, to radio broadcasts, to television, and now to the Internet. The mother of all information.

Journalism isn’t about the form that it takes, it’s about the facts, opinions, views and stories that are available to the public. Journalism, like any other industry, has to adapt and move with time. Thanks to the Internet, journalists and writers now have several opportunities to be read and noticed. By including images, links, audio, videos, these writers can find their own creative outlet to utilize their stories even better.



Some people don’t believe that journalism can thrive without newspapers, but maybe journalists just need to learn when it’s time to step away from tradition. Society doesn’t need newspapers, it needs the material that’s published in them. This content is just in the process of being presented in a more modern way.

For books and journalists, storytelling will never die, it’s just shedding off some old skin.

What do you think about the decline of newspapers? Can journalism survive without newspapers? Can authors and journalists learn how to present their stories in a new technological era?



Christmas Fun in Central Ohio

Looking for something fun and Christmas-y to do in central Ohio?  Good news!  Here are four fun festivities that you can partake in this month!

The Central Ohio Symphony is performing at Gray Chapel this coming Sunday, the 14th at 2:00 and 4:30.  They’ll be featuring music from Disney’s Frozen.  It would be a fun family friendly time to hear some great holiday tunes. More information and ticket pricing be found here.

Marmon Valley Farm holds their annual Country Christmas event, where guests sit in a covered wagon and take a ride around the farm as actors depict the Christmas story.  This is something that I once did with my family, and it was a cool experience.  One of my favorite memories is of a Roman Centurion calling after the wagon, “Do your taxes!  Stay in school!”  It’s overall a fun thing to do with the family.



Tours begin at 6:30 pm on Fridays and 5:00 pm on Saturdays.  Tickets are $6 for children and $7 for anyone over 12 if they are bought in advance.  If they are not bought in advance, they’re two dollars more.  You can find more information and upcoming tour dates here.

The Living Christmas Tree concert at Grace Polaris is always one of my favorite things to do.  It usually takes the form of musical, telling the Christmas story along with the story of some modern characters.  The show is always top notch, and so much fun.  I have good memories from when I was a very small child of this show.  And it’s different every year, so it’s so much fun.

Their next shows are the 12th, 13th, and 14th, so if you’re interested, check out the ticket pricing and more information here!  Tickets are around 10 to 15 dollars.

The Ohio Theatre has several showings of the Nutcracker ballet.  Tickets are a bit pricier than the other events listed here, but I’m sure it would be worth it.  I can’t imagine this would be great for very small kids, but I know it’s something I would personally love to do.  Tchaikovsky has got to be one of my favorite classical composers, and I’ve seen several film adaptations of the story, but never the ballet.  I think it would be a worthwhile thing to go see.  You can find more information about upcoming shows and ticket pricing here.




Council hears concern for homeless in meeting



Mayor Riggle, Finance Director Stelzer, Auditor Yost and Manager Homan stand together after the award is given.

In a special ceremony during the city council meeting, state auditor Dave Yost honored the financial management of Delaware. Yost presented a state certificate for excellent financial reporting to Finance Director Dean Stelzer, who accepted the award on behalf of his staff. Stelzer was joined by Mayor Carolyn Kay Riggle and City Manager Tom Homan, and Yost noted that Delaware was part of the five percent of cities that receive this award.

During the section for public comment, resident Amanda Henning spoke to the Council about the urgent need to help Delaware’s homeless community find shelter from the coming winter cold. Henning works at the Delaware County District Library, and said she knows 15-20 local residents who stay in the library most if not all day to have shelter, but after they close must sleep outdoors.

“I think, if we’re honest with ourselves, any one of us is a lost job, a lost relationship, a few bad decisions away from being in a similar situation,” Henning said.

Amanda Henning addresses council on the need to provide shelter for the homeless in Delaware.

Amanda Henning addresses council on the need to provide shelter for the homeless in Delaware.

Vice Mayor George Hellinger responded on the importance of the issue – one of life and death, he called it – and said that while most city finances go to “needs and wants,” few of them have this kind of impact on residents.

He’d already spoken with Manager Homan about a city response; Henning’s comments to the council followed a weekend discussion in a community forum on social media about the cold’s effects on those outdoors.

Councilman Joe DiGenova prepares to give the invocation.

Councilman Joe DiGenova prepares to give the invocation.



In the invocation, councilman Joe DiGenova also reflected on events from this weekend – specifically the 73rd anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that brought the U.S. into World War Two.

“I don’t think there’s enough emphasized at present in our media and in our education in the school system as far as what that really meant to the American people and the freedoms we have today,” DiGenova said.

The city council also looked at several ordinances concerning land and building developments, including approval – as the proximate city – of a territory acquisition for Jerome Village and a new commercial authority for Berkshire Township. They also approved an amended plan for MI Homes’ development north of Silversmith Lane.