More Than Meets the Eye

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As senior Allison Riggs walks through Grant High School’s upstairs hallway, she notices the repetitiveness of the school lockers. When she finally reaches her own, it’s clear that it’s unique.

Hers is wrapped like a present with Santa Claus-themed paper, ribbon and shining Christmas lights on the border.

Riggs’ intention for decorating it, she says, is to cheer people up and bring the holidays to Grant. Most students at Grant say the customization of lockers is uncommon. Mostly, they are used for storing books, jackets and other essentials.

Choir teacher John Eisemann says when he went to Grant from 2002 to 2006, lockers were much more commonly used. “It was part of what was cool about being in high school,” he recalls.

Eisemann remembers using his locker for everything. “We stored books, we stored coats, projects, instruments, deodorant, you know, stuff we needed,” he says, explaining that lockers were a way to be social, as well. “Everybody knew where each other’s lockers were.”

Today, the dynamic has changed. The majority of students don’t use lockers at all. Since many students use their backpacks to carry their things around from class to class, lockers aren’t as necessary as they used to be.

But they aren’t obsolete yet. We found eight people who need their lockers and count on the space for special reasons.

Kennidee Teal

Grade: Senior

What’s inside? “Camera, photo paper, contact sheets, and my negatives.”

“Photography is an interest of mine. I took it last year and decided to take it this year, but I’m still working on it because I’m not like an expert or anything. I use my locker all the time because, personally, I hate carrying around 50 million books in my bag. It’s heavy and so I like to lighten the load. I share it with four people also, so yeah, there’s a lot of stuff in there from everybody.”

– Interview by Toli Tate

Grace Kowitch

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Grade: junior

What’s on the locker? Photos of herself

“Decorating my locker is my favorite hobby…at school. Outside of school, I’m a teenager, so you know, (I) do homework, play piano, watch TV. (The photos) are mostly of me in Sunriver with my family. I decorated my locker all three years.”    

 – Interview by Finn Hawley-Blue

Diego Thomas

Grade: senior

Hobby: Photography

“I only have four classes throughout the year, so I really don’t need to bring anything to school other than like my notebook for class. When I use my locker, I usually put my camera supplies, my tripod, photo stuff, but other than that not too much. Maybe hang a jacket up when it gets too hot in this godforsaken building.” 

– Interview by Finn Hawley-Blue

Craig Williams

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Grade: freshman

Favorite sport: Basketball

“I first started using it just to store things like my book stuff or things I didn’t want or didn’t need. And then I started using it during basketball season…When the school opens at like 5, ‘cause that’s around the time that I get here for practice, I come to my locker, get my shoes out of my locker, and then go to practice.”

– Interview by Lael Tate

Heather Hunt

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Grade: junior

Motto: “Great things never come from comfort zones.”

“I like to be reminded of happy stuff because school is stressful sometimes. The quote…I wrote last year before Grantasia because I had never danced in a program before in front of that many people and I was really nervous. I’m a person who likes to stay where things are comfortable and I don’t like to put myself out there. I just leave that up there to remind me that you can’t stay with what’s easy.”

– Interview by Finn Hawley-Blue

Allison Riggs

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Grade: senior

Favorite holiday: Christmas

“I decorated my locker with wrapping paper and ribbons and Christmas lights that are battery operated so they can be on. It’s just a good way to cheer people up because I know sometimes holidays can be rough. I can’t really have a Christmas tree at home so I try to bring Christmas into school. People always ask how I have lights because they think it’s plugged in somewhere, but I obviously don’t have an outlet in there.”

Elsa Hoover

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Grade: sophomore

Favorite candy: Anything gummy

“I bike to school so I usually have a helmet, a heavy jacket, schoolwork. I have like Japanese gummies and stuff. I can just like walk by and if I want a snack or something sweet, I can just grab some. My friends like to stop by and take some. Sometimes, I will try to get some weird stuff. I keep it well stocked.”

Shae Van Butler

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Grade: freshman

Mode of transportation: Longboard

“So I was longboarding to school one day, and it was pretty wet. There was a bunch of water whipping up on the bottom of my board along with some leaves. When I got to school and put my longboard in my locker, and my science project that I turned in was in the bottom of my locker, and the water seeped down my longboard onto the project and encrusted it to the bottom of my locker and I had to tear it off into pieces…(My parents) were not very impressed with my work because they couldn’t see what I had done or my grade, even after all the work I had put into it.”          

Finn Hawley-Blue
About

Finn is starting his third year as a staff member on the magazine. Since early childhood, he has had an acute interest in art. For his freshman and sophomore years at Grant, he took darkroom photography, which inspired him to apply to the magazine last year. This year, he is taking an array of art classes and will serve for the fourth year in a row in student government. His dream is to go to an art school somewhere far from Portland.


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