Sitting upright in her bed on a Wednesday morning, junior Caroline Judd lies awake due to cars passing by on Clayton Rd. As Judd gets settled into her new house, loud street noises frequently make their way into her room. “Often times I can hear people listening to the radio in their car on the streets. I always try to figure out which song it is,” Judd said.
As cars pull into the parking lot, senior Ryan Crowley practices his marimba solo in the band room storage closet. Crowley is preparing “Parody,” by Jesse Monkman, for the district Solo and Ensemble–a contest he has participated in for the past three years. “[Practicing] gives me something productive to do in the morning because the percussionists, we can’t take our instruments home, so you have to find time to practice whether it’s before or after school,” Crowley said. “It can be relaxing if you treat it the right way, and it’s a nice way to start the day.”
Experimenting in the darkroom, junior Maya Hassan examines her film through a negative sleeve in Photo II class. Hassan took Photo I her sophomore year and enjoyed the class but did not have room in her schedule to take Photo II until her junior year. “I love the darkroom,” Hassan said. “I have seen in movies where people go into the darkroom and then they put the paper in liquid, and I thought that was really cool. I also like editing pictures on Photoshop; I think that is also really cool to see the before and after using enhancements.”
Sophomore Mathieu Sze dances passionately to music blaring in the English hallway. English teacher Shannan Cremeens plays music outside her room every Friday between classes to uplift the student mood. “Personally, [I believe] music is the great equalizer,” Cremeens said. “[It] brings everyone together.”
On a crisp Saturday morning, sophomore Jonah Gaskill and senior Peyton Gaskill row in an eight-man racing shell as part of their daily practices at St. Louis Rowing Club. “Despite the freezing temperatures and hard practices I still love going out on the water,” J. Gaskill said. “The whole team is out there doing the same work you’re doing, and there’s no place I’d rather be.” The rowing club trains year round and is currently preparing for their main racing season in the spring.
Conversing with classmates, sophomores Fatima Shabab and Josh Rushing participate in a speed dating activity during their AP World History class. Teacher Kristen Collins (not pictured) assigned each student a historical figure to research and portray. “Suleiman the Magnificent was mine. My favorite part of the assignment was being able to dress up like the figure,” Rushing said. “[Creative projects] are a lot more enjoyable, because you have more control over how you tackle it.”
Focusing on the music, sophomore Salma Ahmed and junior Theresa Monteleone play with the Symphonic orchestra during class. The Symphonic orchestra attended a 12-hour festival at University of Missouri-St. Louis Jan. 8. “The conductor [Darwin Aquino] was super helpful; he really helped us with dynamics and showed us techniques to improve our tone,” Ahmed said. “He was really funny too and made us feel welcome.”
Laughing on the bus ride to a swim meet at Lindbergh High School, senior Alyssa Theroux enjoys the comradery of her teammates. On the way back to school after every meet, the girls swim and dive team sings a song once they reach Clayton Road. “My favorite part is when we sing the chant: ‘Clayton Road, take me home to the place where I belong…’” Theroux said. “Bus rides are always fun, they’re a great place for team bonding.”
In midair, junior Claire Lynn completes a one and a half twist dive at a home meet Thurs., Jan. 10. With swim and dive conference and state coming up, Lynn used this meet to practice higher level dives. “I’ve been working on some new dives to work up to conference and state, and I did them all, so I was happy about that. Right now, I’m just trying to improve them to get a state cut,” Lynn said. “I went to state last year, but I was one of the last people to get accepted, so I’m really looking forward to going back, improving my place and being more competitive with the other divers.”
Practicing outside during a seven-hour winter guard camp on Jan. 5, senior Alison Clay pauses in between spins. Clay walked away from the day with four bruises, three new tosses and over half of the show learned. “You have to challenge yourself to try new things, and then be brave enough to catch them,” Clay said.
At Chesterfield Presbyterian Church, high school seniors and college students gather for a self-defense seminar. The seminar was put on by Thrive STL as part of their DateSafe program. “I wanted to go because I think it is wise to be educated on that kind of thing. The world we live in, as sad as it is to say, is not safe so I think it is needed, especially now that I’m about to go off to college,” senior Natalie Butler said.
This story was originally published on Pathfinder on February 4, 2019.