New school year recalls the old and new at La Jolla High

By Catherine Sulpizio

As the seemingly endless days of summer draw to a close, I, as well as my fellow T.K. students, am starting to feel the nerve-tinged excitement that must only come with the start of senior year. I have been daydreaming about summer since the midterms before spring break, yet after T.K. days of La Jolla sand and turf, the fast approaching first day did seem a little more appealing than I’d ever admit.

Registration brought back nostalgic feelings of other first days — there is an electricity in the air as you see old friends and classmates for the first time in months, especially when you know (this reunion) is the last of its kind. It was my first registration, so I followed my friends who expertly moved from station to station with the skill that comes with three years of experience.

It isn’t a particularly loved rite of passage, but it’s one that has been repeated for a long time. And there are other, better-received traditions, like the senior benches — which have been painted and repainted; since T.K. (or my journalism class’s) ceremonial cutting of the newspaper bindings and the infamous “jump or dive” game for new swim team members. These are the rituals that carry from year to year, branding us as true La Jolla High students.

My first year here brought confusion as I sought to learn the little things you accumulate after years, not months. For example, my friends’ memory for the irregular bell times escaped me (which I had had to painstakingly copy into each of my notebooks to remember), as well as their knowledge of the best times to visit the counselors and nurse.

In my eyes, the 90th anniversary of La Jolla High highlights those little nuances. Those eccentricities that are unique only to La Jolla (7:26, period 5, and definitely not after lunch!), are the single thread that runs, not only between our classes and our grades, but also between past and present generations.

The weeks after school starts I like to see summer’s lingering traces in my school’s hallways, like on my friends’ even tans or their perfectly frayed shorts. It’s the carrying over of old into new — change. This year, my final year of high school, carries that significance more than ever. For that reason it is fitting that my senior year also marks the 90th anniversary of something much older than me.

I am a newcomer, perhaps, but that has only heightened the experience. First days of school, last years of school, old traditions tirelessly repeated, new decades of a school — all of these phenomena weave old and new together, blending the past and the present into infinitely different experiences.

Catherine Sulpizio is a senior at La Jolla High School. She and her classmates will be reporting for The Light as the school marks its 90th anniversary.