On Sunday Sept. 22nd, 2019, seniors Meghan Osekowski, Meghan Kantenwein, Dominique Raught, Kaylee Madey, and Natalie Marshall painted their parking spots with the help of their friends. Ranging from brilliant sunflowers to jokes about freckles, the first round of students artistically demonstrated their personal interests, recovering from their academically-driven schedules. “The main goal is to be creative, have fun, and to set up something that the grades below me can continue in the future,” says senior Hadley Holcomb, the mind behind this addition to the school. As “we, as a school, are really open to creative students and give them ample opportunity to express themselves,” seeking support in this project has been fairly simple for Hadley: “Most of the hard work took place over the summer. Things got stressful once school started and the painting date got pushed back a fair bit due to the school board’s schedule. This change caused a lot of struggle in arranging a time for students to paint. That particular part is still stressful.”
Following that weekend, during Mod. FG of September 24th, Mrs. Cahill announced that senior painting would be set to continue the evening of Sept. 24th and Sept. 25th. Senior Lauren Pflueger groaned: “Why are they telling us this now? We still have to get paint after school.” Meghan Osekowski chimed in: “We sold out Home Depot’s paint supply on Sunday so . . .” implying that there may be some frustration among participants. A primary concern circulating students has been the total cost of parking this year (including project participation). With $25.00 going towards buying a pass, $60.00+ for paint and other supplies, and $15.00 as donation for the project, some seniors wince as they watch their wallets deflate. Moreover, participants have been realizing the time consuming nature of painting their parking spots. “It took just over four hours,” says Mara Bett, assistant painter for Meghan Osekowski.
But there is justification for the costly nature of the project: “The money that it costs to paint a space is going directly back into the project itself. The money is being saved for the end of the year to buy black paint to cover over the spaces for the upcoming seniors. I have no control over what the price of the permit is — that was already in place and there was no way I would be able to have the school buy paint for every student,” says Hadley.
Still, these facts did not deter senior Lexi Archey from painting a recognizable Spongebob meme on her designated piece of asphalt: “I think that the project is definitely worthwhile. The project has been optional anyway, so cost shouldn’t matter if you aren’t willing to show your creativity. It took me a total of six hours to paint, but it was totally worth it. I had so much fun.”
Regardless of the potential cons, students have been enjoying themselves throughout the process, appealing to the purpose of the project. From memes to patterns, the designs vary just as our student’s personalities, but our student body has never been kinder to each other, gifting compliments regularly:
“I am biased to Meghan’s spot since I helped paint it.” – Mara Bett
“My favorite spot is definitely Hadley’s because it is super relatable, but simplistic as well.” – Lexi Archey
“I think that they all look amazing, but I think that Lexi Archey and her Spongebob parking space are pretty darn cool.” – Hadley Holcomb