by LUCI HITTLE '22
As a member of the class of 2022, I’ve seen three groups of seniors come and go. Now it’s our turn to graduate, and it honestly feels a little surreal. This group of students has experienced the rise and fall of InfoTech, a tornado during the Walk, and countless pages of annotations… not to mention the small matter of a three-year pandemic. That being said, we’d like SUA’s younger students to carry on our legacy, so if you can’t tell me what EME stands for, it’s in your best interest - no, your duty - to read along and educate yourself. To the best of my Covid-addled recollection, I’ve compiled a list of senior traditions that absolutely must be maintained.
Way back in 2018, we celebrated the start of the school year by holding a potluck picnic in the newly-established East Green. It was a lovely time to bond with classmates and enjoy sunshine, and I think every class should get to experience it!
This tradition has made something of a comeback with “Upperclassman Door,” a rule that requires all underclassmen to enter Keller through the back door, but the class of 2022 remembers the time before Covid, where the beginning of lunch bell was punctuated by cries of “Senior Door!” If a particularly brazen sophomore made an attempt to duck through the door, it wasn’t uncommon for them to be yanked backwards by their bookbags. As a freshman, I went through the back door even when there weren’t any seniors around! This abject terror was formative, and I sincerely believe that we should keep it going.
Turning out the lights
Most SUA students thank their teachers when they leave the classroom, but it’s also customary to flip off the lights as we exit. This action signifies a respect for the metaphorical “light of knowledge,” as well as giving the teacher in question a chance to take a nice little nap.
Feeding the squirrels that live in the walls
These little guys are just as much a part of SUA as its students. If you hear a scratching sound in the walls, that’s just their friendly way of reminding you that they’re hungry. Drop some apple slices or a handful of almonds in front of a heating vent and they’ll find it.
Ever since 2017, January 26 has been honored as “Riverdale Day” in honor of the first episode’s air date. In recognition of this historic event, students came to school dressed as their favorite characters, Mr. Moran performed Cole Sprouse’s iconic “Weirdo” monologue on the morning announcements, and “maple syrup attacks” were commonplace. After the date fell on a weekend for a few years in a row, the celebration fell out of favor, but I hope that it’ll be reestablished so that we may one day truly understand the triumphs and defeats… the epic highs and lows of high school football.
“The Great Yawn”
Every year on the first day of school, teachers and students gather on the front lawn and let out a single, mournful yawn as the ten-minute bell rings in commemoration of the sleep both parties will lose during the year. In terms of sheer catharsis, this event rivals Greek tragedy.
The front door curse
Anyone who goes through the wooden front doors by the office is supposedly fated to get sick the night of prom, unless they perform the secret countercurse. This ancient ritual can only be found in the archives and a clue is hidden somewhere within this article. You have 3 hours… good luck!
The annual sacrifice of a sophomore to Angelo
I started at SUA in 1 B.A. (Before Angelo), but he thankfully blessed us with his presence a year later in exchange for one of our finest tenth graders, plus whatever he can snatch out of our lunchboxes. Now that we’re entering 3 A.A. (After Angelo), he has come to collect thrice. Though we are of course grateful for his fierce protection of our school and his hypoallergenic cuddles, I can’t help but wonder who will be next. Still, it’s an important ritual that deserves to be recognized, and I think the small price of a sophomore is worth it!
Dyeing Mr. King’s hair
Did you know that Mr. King is naturally blond? Seniors are responsible for giving him that fresh Van Gogh look by touching up his roots once a month. Want to match his shade? I’ll let you in on a secret: he uses Manic Panic in “Electric Tiger Lily.”
Luci Hittle Day
Every March 15, in celebration of my birthday, the whole school shows appreciation to me in the form of gifts and compliments. I don’t know why we stopped doing this and I expect it to continue after I’m gone, in honor of my mark on each and every one of SUA’s impressionable young minds. For future reference, you can mail gifts to me at Warren Wilson College or venmo me @lucigoosie.
So there you have it: my favorite Bulldog secrets and traditions! Looking back, some of these customs might have been vivid dreams, or possibly just wishful thinking. Regardless, you should try some of them out! Go forth as harbingers of chaos and make sure this place doesn’t get too normal after we’re gone.
Your favorite senior