I have come to associate landmarks and sites in my life with memories, and having spent three years on the Studio City campus of Harvard-Westlake, I have become particularly fond of a few spots on campus.
Some of these spots are well known to the student body as places of leisure, but others are a bit more unknown, the nooks and hideouts of the school where I can escape the frenzy that envelops the school environment.
At the base of the Seaver stairs, near the shady shrubbery, my friends and I occasionally congregated around a curb that bounded the open space of the quad. It resembled a street curb, so sitting on it during free periods felt oddly urban. Even when we were actually struggling through coursework, it felt as though we were just hanging out and having a good laugh on the curb.
Up at the top of school, in the ceramics room of Feldman-Horn, I often would go to work on the potter’s wheel. Turning a pile of gritty clay in a bowl or vase was invariably the highlight of my day. Concentrating hard to keep the mass of clay from wobbling off center or flying off the wheel, I could focus on abstract ideas and use my hands to express them constructively.
Outside, by the far end of the track, I focused my attention on another craft, pole vaulting. I got to hang out with one of my best friends, whom I had been vaulting with for more than six years.
It was a place of levity, not just because we were flying through the air, but because of the endless supply of jokes we shared and made with our coach. Never taking anything too seriously, we perfected our form (he did this much better than I did) and had a good deal of fun.
I probably have spent the most time at school in the newsroom of Weiler Hall. This room was almost always abuzz with hypnotic noise of typing keyboards and always seemed to be kept at a temperature well below freezing. It has been the site of many late nights, rushing to finish the newspaper and correct all the errors before the computers shut down.
More importantly, I got to know some of the closest friends I have made in high school in this room. We commiserated over the layout weekends that left little to no time for work or sleep and the series of English essays that seemed to always land on these weekends. We rejoiced together over the finished paper. This unique mixture of overwhelming stress to create a quality paper and the camaraderie of the journey made this room one of the most special in my time here. Sometimes after layout, under the dark starless sky, I snuck out to the roof of Weiler with a pal or two, retreating from the hysteria of the newsroom and looking out over our vacated campus made peaceful. It seemed as though the school belonged to us amateur journalists for the time being.