A sweeping look at the American High School campus
When students refer to school as prison, they are not exaggerating terribly. Students are held there legally without the right to leave campus, there are supervisors acting as guards making sure students do not leave campus, and the school follows a tight schedule. However, students knowingly or unknowingly stumble upon places that are serene, exciting, or even sentimental.
The AHS campus is split into a few sections: the main building, featuring the rotunda and multiple wings, the library/gateway area, the portables, the new buildings, the gym and multi purpose room, and areas used for PE such as the pool and the weight room.
A journey through American usually starts in the rotunda, which is an access point to most places at the school. Freshman Shreya Daschoudhary says, “There is so much going on over there. They have music during lunch, which is cool.” The rotunda is not just a way to get from class to class, but also a place to participate in activities such as International Week and Rush Week.
Journeying out from the rotunda to the 700 wing, there is Theatre 70. Many students have seen this theatre through their annual plays and musicals, but few students get an inside look. Saira Mathur, a sophomore featured in last year’s musical All Shook Up, explains how intimidating the stage is behind the scenes at first.
“One of the stage managers was like ‘it’s down that way’ and I was like ‘which door do I go through? There’s three doors!’ I pulled on a door and I think it was a little bit too downstage but I still got where I needed to go, but one of my friends went through another door and she opened it and it hit her in the face,” says Saira Mathur (10).
Further down from the hustle and bustle of Theatre 70 are various classrooms. While these seem like the most mundane places at American, they have stolen pieces of students’ hearts at American.
“The art room is my favorite place because I love art and it makes me feel at home,” says Raina Kakani (10). Kakani is an officer for AHS’s Art club and spends time in Mrs. Olson’s room completing activities such as pumpkin painting and pin making.
One side of the 700 wing is often referred to as the ‘Band Hall’ and is often occupied by students in the band program, even when class is not in session.
“My favorite place is the band hall. Sometimes it’s fun when you are waiting for the band and people think of weird things to do,” says Haley Nguyen (9). Students often choose to have their locker in the band hall and hang out there before school, brunch, and lunch times.
Leaving the main building can be an intimidating experience. The main building has a very structured layout to help students to get from class to class, but there are classes outside this building that take a bit to get used to.
“The portables look like haunted houses sometimes, like when you go through them at night,” says Khushi Thanki (10). The portables usually stand on their own, but are arranged in groups.
Getting past all the portables is the area around the library. The library is often filled before school and at lunch with students, but right outside is relatively empty for such a crowded school like AHS.
“It’s silent and I like it when people are just walking by and give it a coffee shop kinda feeling,” says Rohana Rudresh (9).
Not all of the high school is accessible during school hours. Some benches and places to sit near Fremont Blvd. are off-limits due to the limited number of adults on campus to protect students.
American High School is a special place. While some students may be right in their comparison to the campus as a prison, others refute the claim that AHS has the power to only be misery and chaos in someone’s life.