by Jacob Lewis, Opinions writer
graphic by Emily Cheng
Early last year, I, a young, innocent and carefree freshman, engaged in a conversation with an upperclassman that entirely redefined my perception of South. Carina Bagdasarian, at the time a junior, shared an epic odyssey of her ingenious seizure of a mouse that had evaded capture all day in her math class.
After a great struggle, she finally trapped the mouse between a wall and two binders, at which point the entire class brought it outside to set it free.
The story itself was humorous and presented lightheartedly, but I was shocked. In that moment, I learned what all wide-eyed freshmen at this school inevitably learn: the fantastic students and teachers that contribute to South’s formidable reputation are not the only entities that populate the building.
We are joined each day by another lifeform, one that is much less welcome. I am referring, of course, to the plethora of rats and mice that have taken up residency in this school.
Spend enough hours here and you will certainly discover one of these abhorrent creatures. The first time I saw one at school was early last year in the universally-beloved advisory. Everyone was sitting on their phones, completely aloof, when a mouse suddenly scurried across the room and wove its way between tables and chairs.
There could have been no better way to get a room of teenagers off their phones. Screams and shouts of horror ensued. Everyone lifted their legs high up into the air, putting as much distance between themselves and the floor as possible.
Since my encounter, I have heard stories of rodents in every part of the school. Sophomore Elad Levy told me about a time that a rat found its way into the closet in his health class, upsetting everyone so much they had to move to another room.
As I heard more and more stories, I realized that not only are we forced to coexist with the rodents at our school, but they maintain the upper hand against us. We established this school for the purpose of human use, but it is the mice and rats that have truly staked their claim here.
At this point, they are not invaders on our territory, but quite the opposite. We have let them in, and now we must pay the consequences.
Ryan Normandin, Math and Physics teacherThey are always around watching, waiting to strike until they think no one’s going to see them. There will be ebbs and flows, ups and downs, but the struggle of man versus mouse is eternal.
Kelly Henderson, English teacherA little naturally-existing metaphor for the disinvestment in our public education system scurried toward me and … ran his dirty mouse feet over my left shoe. Thankfully, I don’t grade barefoot.