Move over Midway: Spoof paper circulates Lab halls

A+student+holds+on+to+a+printed+copy+of+the+U-High+O%E2%80%99Hare%2C+a+student-run+humor+newspaper+that+has+been+circulating+U-High+since+December.

Matthew McGehee

A student holds on to a printed copy of the U-High O’Hare, a student-run humor newspaper that has been circulating U-High since December.

Ryan Clark, Opinion Editor

Seeking out O’Hare instead of Midway this time around? You might get more than what you bargained for, perhaps even an airplane trip straight to cackles and comedy.

The U-High O’Hare, a new student-created humor newspaper for the high school, began in December with the modest aspiration of seizing control of the school news.

“We were like, ‘Oh, we should take over Student Council.’ Can’t really do that, that’s difficult,” said Henry Koyner, one of the group of friends in the Class of 2023 that created the O’Hare. “Next best option, take over the media! So we were like, ‘We got to overtake the Midway.’”

Fortunately, the O’Hare’s founders fitted their arsenal with little more than jokes and generous access to the library printers. Since its inception, the publication’s staff has distributed copies to students and teachers with articles like “Students go Missing after Sneaking Around the 5th Floor of Judd” and “The Harrowing Tale of Lower Sunny” that incorporate elements of school culture in a comic fashion. 

The paper’s name itself is a joke, a riff on the U-High Midway sharing its name with the Midway International Airport. 

Henry describes the O’Hare as operating through a “pseudo-club” with six or seven members who meet during lunch on Tuesdays. Usually, writers for the O’Hare will brainstorm on Tuesdays and write over the weekend before printing. 

While the newspaper intends to be lighthearted rather than pointedly satirical, and the writers don’t want to provoke controversy, subjects have included school coronavirus policy and cafeteria payment rules.  

“We’re not trying to maliciously poke fun at anyone, but if you want to be funny, you have to poke fun at something,” Henry said.

For the O’Hare staff, entertaining others with their writing is its own reward. 

“I think it’s nice to be able to collaborate with your friends and sort of put something out there with all of them that at least it seems like people are enjoying,” Henry said.

The jokes about life at Lab also help to create a sense of a shared perspective among students.

“It’s nice to have a little inside joke with the school, it kind of makes it feels that there’s a lot more school unity that sometimes feels a little lacking at Lab,” Ana Cucalon, a junior, said. “It’s honestly really funny and just very exciting every time I get it.”

It’s nice to have a little inside joke with the school, it kind of makes it feels that there’s a lot more school unity that sometimes feels a little lacking at Lab.”

— Ana Cucalon

For junior Liam De Jong, another writer for the O’Hare, seeing his English teacher, Sari Hernandez, enjoy their work was particularly gratifying. 

“It’s not just the students that are enjoying it, it’s also the teachers that are also enjoying it, which makes us want to continue doing it more,” Liam said. “It kind of just gives me satisfaction that my work is in something that people are reading and enjoying.”

It kind of just gives me satisfaction that my work is in something that people are reading and enjoying.”

— Liam De Jong

Ms. Hernandez, who enjoys satirical comedy on television, was happy to read some in a student publication.

“I just appreciated the different angle that it took and that I actually would laugh out loud,” Ms. Hernandez said, who was particularly delighted with one of the O’Hare’s newer comedic targets. 

“I love the most recent one that mentioned the English Department and how we only teach sad, depressing books,” she said, “because I have had students ask me in the past, they’re like, ‘When are we going to read a happy book?’”

In the future, the O’Hare hopes to become a weekly publication and continue their running gags, like those about the fifth floor of Judd. The O’Hare also encourages anyone interested to send submissions or ideas to [email protected].