By Allison Hamburger
A few weeks ago, I lost my pencil case. (Fascinating, I know. Bear with me.) After searching places I had potentially left it, it occurred to me to check Lost and Found, but I had no clue where it is located.
So I asked. And I soon realized how foreign the situation felt. After attending the Upper School for two years and Harvard-Westlake for almost six, the words “Excuse me, where is the…,” once so familiar, now felt incredibly out of place coming out of my mouth.
I like to think my ego has not been obscenely inflated over the years, but it was undeniably humbling to ask for directions once again. For months, underclassmen have approached me with questions about where to find the Business Office or what time the period ends. The number of my own discoveries has petered out, perhaps making me somewhat jaded. But, really, there is no reason to be.
Even as we become more and more familiar with our surroundings, unknown details still exist, and they always will. There is truth in the idea that we can never know everything, clichéd as the saying is. And that’s pretty nice to know.
As students, we ask questions at school all the time. Not knowing is what keeps our academic lives worthwhile. Discovering where the Lost and Found is may not be nearly as intricate or engaging as learning calculus, for example, but it is new knowledge nonetheless, and makes life just a touch more interesting. A small but new detail can break the mundane, even for a moment.
My actual trip to the elusive Lost and Found, which is in the corridor outside the bookstore, was inconsequential. My pencil case was nowhere to be found among assorted notebooks, sweatshirts and backpacks, though I did wonder how one could lose a backpack.
Sure, I do feel a little bit naked each time I now reach for a pen. But the loss was a pleasant reminder that, as knowledgeable and aware as anyone may feel, there are still questions to ask and Lost and Founds to be found.