Shadows running rampant


Shadows take a tour of the campus

It’s that time of year again.  The lunch lines are longer, the classrooms are more packed, and the hallways are thinner.  Yes, it’s shadow season.

To the untrained eye, shadows are harmless, innocent eighth-graders, looking to broaden their views of high school life; however, days at Elder seem to change when 50 shadows are thrown into the mix.

It is extremely unnerving walking into your Geometry/Trig class only to find an eighth grader awkwardly staring at you while sitting in your seat. Likewise, as a freshman walking into Z lunch, the only thing I would look forward to was my daily two sacks of fries.  Words can’t explain how heartbroken I was when I walked into the cafeteria to see a line longer than the list of people who weren’t exempt from Mr. Alig’s final exam.  Most days when this happened, I accepted defeat and knew that my daily dose of fries would be cut short.  It made me sick.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that grade-school students are eager to come to Elder, but when I can’t even buy two cookies for $1 on dollar day at the snack-bar, because the line wraps around the entire cafeteria, I get a little upset.

Now, of course I’m not suggesting that we end the shadow program.  It is much needed for the growth of Elder’s incoming classes, and it’s a great opportunity for those who are still unsure about their high school futures.

Zach Dugan is an eighth grader at St. Dominic, and he shadowed his older brother, junior Matt Dugan.  I asked him about his day and his expectations.  “The lunch line was really long and it was really loud when they did [the E-L-D-E-R Cheer].”  He also told me that he was surprised by the amount of people in the cafeteria and hallways.

Ms. Maura Gettler is the new Admissions director, so she puts a lot of time into making sure that the shadows experience all of Elder.  I asked her about a normal day for a shadow, and she said that they “check in, meet their host, then go to their homeroom.  They’re introduced to their teachers and will sit in with classes with their hosts.  They then go on a campus tour, then lunch.  Next, they’ll meet with a teacher and talk about academics and getting involved.”

Shadows take a tour of the campus
Photo: Ms. Gettler
Shadows take a tour of the campus

I asked her about the number of shadows on varying days.  “It’s kinda crazy,” she told me, “most days are between seven to ten, and on really big days we max out at thirty-five.  Right now we have more than 200 scheduled.”