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Hidden Gems at the Upper School

By Makenna ’23

When thinking of Harvard-Westlake, many people focus on the distinct attractions of the school like the all-encompassing cafeteria, the plethora of library books, or, on a darker note, the often- exaggerated “hundreds” of pages of homework per night. However, people forget to mention the many features of Harvard-Westlake that make our school special. At the upper school campus, there are several secluded spaces and special features not used to their full potential. All of them are great for a relaxing moment or a quiet place to study. 

To start off, there is a place many students don’t find out about until weeks after starting school. Since all students take English, they typically have Rugby written on their schedule. Or perhaps if a student is in acting, they would take a visit to the Drama Lab. Just outside of that building, however, there is a beautiful section with tables surrounded by luscious trees and bushes. Accompanied with it, is a rock statue and a concrete pathway to walk on and enjoy the nature. This place is rarely visited but has great ambience to read, do homework, or have lunch away from the crowd. And don’t worry if this place becomes more known because there is an even more remote place around the corner. If you go just inside Rugby and continue straight, you will find an area with an isolated piano and staircase. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you’ll hear the tunes of a pianist practicing. If you take the staircase up, there is an enchanting secluded tower with a spiral staircase leading to a great view. Just outside is a very hidden circular table to work in private.

Another underused spot is the bean bag nook in the library right under the stairs leading to the second floor of the library. These relaxing sofas are perfect to close an eye for a second, take a break from the chaos, or grab a book from the abundant selection. 

Walking farther up the stairs and past the library, you’ll find the captivating St. Saviour’s Chapel. Even though most know about this chapel, it is hard to reach since it is situated above all the main campus action. Chapel services are offered via zoom each week for those who want to attend but besides that, this historical building is honestly just an underutilized place on campus that is amazing to look at. And while you are at Feldman-Horn looking at the chapel, Magis Spun Rotating Chairs are placed for amusement and comfort. The first time I tried this chair, I was in shock that it was impossible to fall out of, even getting spun backwards a thousand times. 

Lastly, take a trip down the back driveaway to meet the entrance where all students enter and exit. Along the side is a garden students are rarely aware of. Native plants of California thrive in this environment with tending by Mrs. Eisenkolb and students who volunteer. Interestingly enough, some spices used to cook in the cafeteria come straight from the garden!

Clearly, Harvard-Westlake is a unique place with its many hidden features and hopefully now you are a little more aware of the secret gems at the upper school that most students miss. 


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Tags: Last modified: October 19, 2021