Same places, same faces

Josie Abugov

On our walk from the senior lot to our classes, Nicole Kim told me that she sometimes feels like she can see the quad from decades ago. Far away, it is eerily the same. During an English class presentation, Sakura Price discussed the poem, “Last Year at Marienbad” and what Nicole said about the quad reminded me of a line, “Even memories one forgets linger in the space in which they occurred” in the context of spaces that generated memories for me.

A few months ago I left my car keys in Weiler during second period Chronicle but didn’t realize until I was in the senior lot late after school and had to angrily trek across a near-empty campus. As I walked down the stairs toward the parking lot, I remembered Jarett Malouf frequently walking me to the same parking lot throughout sophomore year, where I got picked up before I could drive. Walking down the Chalmers stairs at 5 p.m. felt exactly like sophomore year again.

There’s no other way to describe my experience in Weiler 106, the features room, during junior year other than a vortex. I, alongside the other features juniors, spent hours seated at Dell desktops, our eyes glued to the images we photoshopped and the pages we spent editing. During April layout last year, I remember spending hours pixel-by-pixel adjusting the color of a photo of a Juul, from a darker gray to a more acceptable slightly lighter gray.

After the Juul was finally the right color, I went to the Weiler bathroom, looked in the mirror and legitimately thought I looked like I had died a few hours earlier. Today, during layout, I looked in the same bathroom mirror, and though I appeared decidedly less dead than last year, the subtle bags under my eyes instantly brought me back to junior year.

If I think deeply about the upper school campus, it’s easy to connect a specific place to a distinct memory. The silent study is a black hole of sophomore year academic anxiety. The drama lab reminds me of the choir program’s spring Cabaret. I’ve been in the Rugby hallways and down the Chalmers stairs countless times, and yet I still attach certain moments with each of these locations. I can’t help but imagine what memories from high school will reemerge for future me as I walk onto the upper school campus for the first time in years.