Home sweet home

Home is where the heart is, and during the school day students can find both at their locker. With just the right sequence of numbers, each 5 x 1 foot panel opens the only space in the school they can call their own. Before, during, and after school, the locker serves as a refuge from the daily grind dished out by Ames High School 180 days a year. A good home cannot be just anywhere. The main hallway, English hallway, and cafeteria neighborhoods were not considered due to congestion in those areas. It takes the right combination of convenience, comfort, and kindness from neighbors to make a home all that it can be. With that in mind, the search for Ames High’s best locker neighborhood began. The first neighborhood up for consideration was the foreign language hallway. Located on the second floor, these lockers are literally above the rest. Light shines in from windows at each end of the hall, that, when coupled with conversations in exotic tongues spewing from surrounding classrooms, creates an intimate atmosphere. But the area has one major flaw. “It sucks because it’s upstairs,” said junior Matt Saxton, whose locker is located in the foreign language hallway. “To effectively get up there, you have to pass through the two busiest places in the school.” This is a reference to the front and back lobbies and their accompanying staircases. He certainly makes a valid point, but what neighborhood could sidestep these potential pitfalls? The answer can be found in an isolated community between the athletic wing and the main office, home to junior Jill Joerger and a handful of other select students. Being close to the main doors makes these lockers particularly useful at the beginning and end of each school day. That is not all the neighborhood has to offer, either. “My locker is next to Thomas Jewell and Abbey Johnson, so I have pretty good neighbors,” Joerger said. For many students, however, this location leaves a little to be desired. “It’s in the middle of nowhere,” said sophomore Greg Wheelock, who, like Saxton, has a locker in the foreign language hallway. Wheelock prefers a more central location for his locker. “The back lobby area would be nice,” he said. “It’s right in the middle of everything. If you’re on the way to your classes it’s right on the way.” Karl Hamouche can confirm Wheelock’s analysis. For four years, Hamouche has enjoyed the famed convenience, comfort, and kindness of the far science hallway. “My locker is the best. It’s an equal distance from all of my classes,” the senior said. Being situated directly across from Mrs. Sullivan’s room puts Hamouche in the path of fame. “Every once in a while I get to see Mr. Walter, occasionally in a bunny suit.” If you were not fortunate enough to be placed in this neighborhood, there is still hope. Hamouche’s locker is on sale for $10 right now, and for those not interested in ownership, some arrangements have been made to incorporate outsiders into the community. Senior Tony Chung has rented out his locker, across from Mr. Junck’s room, to Saxton. “I don’t use my locker,” Chung said, “but I like knowing I’m part of a good neighborhood.”