Student adorns wall to bring joy

Anya Eydelman and Zoe Bendoff, Page Editor and Staff Writer

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After comparing the spacious and beautifully renovated classrooms to her AP Psychology classroom, room C202, senior Rachel Patris recognized that a change could be made. This room was home to a wall whose peeling paint was held together by chewed gum. As complaints rolled in from Patris’ teacher and classmates about the run-down wall, Patris jumped online for inspiration to transform it into something that could be appreciated.

According to Patris, she is always looking for new ways to improve the school. She spent hours researching affordable materials until she came across festive mats for sale at Five Below to hang on the wall.

Senior Natalie Poklop said Patris asked her to assemble the finished product on April 12 to do something nice for AP Psychology teacher Aimee Wool and their classmates.

“We just had these little push pins and hung up tapestries,” said Poklop. “[Wool] had this big Glenbrook North blanket, so we put that in the middle.”

According to psychology teacher Jon Robin Walker, a teacher who uses room C202, when his students first walked in to see the decorated wall, there was an added “bounce in their step” upon taking in the surprise.

“[Rachel] sees something and wonders why doesn’t somebody do something about it, and then springs into action and [goes], … ‘I’m somebody and I can do something about this,’” Walker said.

Patris said working to improve the school is fulfilling, even if the outcome doesn’t directly benefit her.

“To do good in the school does not necessarily mean that you are always going to have something be reciprocated,” said Patris. “The wall is beautiful, but I am graduating, and it [won’t benefit] me when I leave this school.”

Wool said the initiative Patris took to create something beautiful for others to enjoy was representative of her natural demeanor.

“I think [decorating the wall] reflects her as a person and her as a student,” said Wool. “She is somebody who embodies kindness and positivity. [There have] been at least one or two occasions throughout the year when she wore this giant dinosaur suit playing music just to make people smile, and I think that’s what Rachel is to our building. She just wants to make people smile.”

Patris said showing school spirit is important to her whether it is to make her classmates laugh, or to support an event.

“I hope that I’ve made enough of a difference here that someone else, even if it’s just one person, steps up and continues that idea and concept and priority of community and care for one another in this school,” said Patris. “That will fulfill my hope and my pride and promise of leaving GBN better than I found it.”

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