The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School


The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School


The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School


Guy Cardwell

Theogony celebrates our only male senior editor: the columnist, future economist Guy Cardwell.
Guy Cardwell plays frisbee.

Guy Cardwell is eighteen years old, an editor on Theogony, captain of Alexandria City High School’s Boys Ultimate Frisbee team, and a competitive chess player. He’s heading to the University of Virginia this autumn, where he plans to major in Economics, but that may change. It’s after school on a Friday, and he left Ultimate practice early for this interview. He’s drinking tea at ESP Tea & Coffee in Old Town, Alexandria. When I ask him what he’s passionate about, his first explanation for his love for Ultimate Frisbee is the “scientific nature of endorphins.” 

Guy joined Theogony his junior year as a Staff Writer, where he wrote articles about anything from Lady Bird to economic inflation (Guy’s a bit keener on the second.) And although Guy’s serious voice and penchant for chess might suggest an interest in STEM, he considered majoring in philosophy before he ever did economics (he cited “diminishing returns” for a philosophy degree as to why he veered to Economics instead.) When he was younger, he spent time reading Camus and researching fields like gender studies.

Andres Huenneke, left, takes a selfie with Cardwell at a field prior to playing with a local pickup group. Huenneke and Cardwell play frisbee together for the Alexandria Ultimate team.

“There are definitely interesting concepts that I intuited in the past, and now I look at economics and it’s explained with a graph. I made this social argument that the employer-employee relationship is kind of unfair [without collective bargaining] . . . and that was explained with a graph in a monopsony model. If you add unions, you can achieve allocative efficiency,” he explained.

Guy was born and raised in Alexandria. His birthday is January 21. He made a point to tell me he doesn’t believe in zodiac signs, but that makes him an Aquarius. Both of his parents worked for the Peace Corps — his older sister was born in Panama — and he has family across the United States: from North Carolina to California to New York. Although most of his family has deep roots in the  United States, one grandmother is British. He first joined the ACHS Ultimate team in his freshman year, after his older brother founded it. Guy is close to his siblings, who both graduated from ACHS.

“I don’t like me as a kid that much. I feel like I’ve learned to be nicer and more empathetic,” he said. Guy also values an intense person; a lot of his friends are intense people, he said. Although he might forget someone’s name, he can remember a face; he tries to be observant. And, above all, he always makes an effort to try new things.

Cardwell sits at the ESP Tea & Coffee in Old Town, Alexandria.

“I first met Guy through ultimate, and his passion and dedication for this sport is unlike anyone I’ve ever seen. He’ll practice virtually every day, going to pickup and training with the best of the best, never letting anything stop him,” said Micah Crane, one of Guy’s closest friends. “Through this work ethic he has become (potentially) the best player on the team and one of the best in the area. I’ve also had the pleasure of sharing a couple of classes with Guy, and his brightness in these classes and sense of humor were always a great part of the day. I’ve been lucky to share my high school journey with you, buddy.”

Guy’s favorite article he put in the paper wasn’t about economics or frisbee. It was a “hard-hitting” opinion piece on the School Board’s new Grading Policy. His favorite news source is the Washington Post; every morning, he wakes up and reads a copy of the physical paper.

Cardwell poses with members of the Ultimate team at tryouts. Back from left: Micah Crane, Guy Cardwell, Oscar Grajales. Front from left: Nora Curry, Andres Huenneke, Lev Dienstfrey, Leo Dienstfrey.

“I really love the [Washington Posts’] advice column,” Guy said. Guy’s affinity for advice columns is clear. He runs a Theogony advice column of his own. Although he concedes that he “doesn’t know if it’s good advice,” it is “fun.” He’s a fan of columnists like Carolyn Hax “and many other fifty-year-old women who give advice.” 

Guy’s not really a music person, he tells me. Classical music “just doesn’t have the vibes.” He’s not really a podcast guy, either, although he’ll occasionally tune into a Freakonomics episode. He does like a few movies, like Rango, Whiplash, and Hacksaw Ridge. As far as television goes, he mentioned Ozark, The End of the F–ing World and Attack on Titan. 

“I like movies that are complex; movies that you don’t have to figure out but are open to interpretation,” he said. 

Then again, Guy does value directness, in himself and others. When I asked him what he valued about himself, the first thing he said was honesty. “I think honesty is good. I try to be honest. I notice when I lie, and I feel bad,” he said. “I don’t mean being honest in being mean–some people are jerks and they’re like, ‘Oh, I’m just being honest.’” 

“Guy is the most unintentionally funny person I’ve ever met,” said sophomore Liam Brown. “Something about the way he says stuff just makes it ten times funnier than it would be if someone else said it.” 

You might recognize Guy. He’s kind of hard to miss. No, he doesn’t play basketball, although he tried in middle school.  At 6’6, he says his height gives him an advantage in playing frisbee. Part of the reason he chose UVA? It has a good frisbee team. 

Cardwell looks to the right, mid-game with another player.

As Guy heads off to UVA, he recounts his memories in Theogony. Once, he spent a class period with a substitute teacher talking about his ‘vision for an ideal America’ after the sub overheard him arguing with a classmate about land value taxes. He also says he enjoyed the friends he’s made on the staff, and hearing them talk about what’s going on around the school. Outside of Theogony, he says his favorite teacher has been Mr. Zahn; his senior-year English teacher.

“I’ll definitely miss Guy’s interesting article ideas he gave me when I had no idea what to write about,” said junior Harper Travis, an editor on Theogony

“We’re in good hands. You guys work so hard and are so skilled in random things that I wouldn’t expect. Theogony is pretty lucky to have this type of editing staff, people who are super passionate about it,” he said.

As the interview wraps up, Guy tells me the tea was overpriced. He gives it an eight out of ten. He talks about his own cooking–apparently, he’s a decent chef. A pescatarian; he mentions that. The cafe blasts music. The interview lasted just over an hour, so it’s around seven o’clock at night. He starts talking about his pet turtles (who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting): Rosie, Pedro, and Pippin. I ask Guy what the meaning of life is.

“It’s what you make it. Create your own meaning.”

Yahney’s Note

Guy, I’ll miss our advice column. I concede to you being correct on land value taxes, and maybe even the Ben and Jerry’s debate. Maybe. I enjoyed loudly arguing with you in the A200s throughout the past two years; it’s going to be weird not looking up a full ninety degrees to hear your perspectives on things. I’m lucky to have you as a friend. Have fun at UVA. Make a podcast; I’ll tune in!

Part of the series of Theogony‘s senior editor spotlights. To read about the rest of our graduating editors, go here.

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