The calendar may read September 21, the first official day of fall, but for the 300 students at Walnut Hill School for the Arts, the season is well under way. Theater productions are being cast, impromptu a capella groups can be seen and heard around the quads, and student artwork is already popping up on campus, sometimes in the most unlikely of places. Packing tape sculptures on park benches, anyone?
“I’m glad I’m back at school, seeing my friends again, and hanging out with them,” says one student, hugging her friend for emphasis.
But beneath the frenzy of “back to school” attitude that permeates the air, what does it truly mean for it to now be autumn?
For one thing, the weather is changing. “It drizzles much more here than at home,” says one student, studying abroad from her native England. “Really?” her friends exclaim in surprise and disbelief.
“At Walnut Hill, fall means we care less about what we look like when we dress for outdoors,” says another student, “and more about what we should wear to keep warm.”
“The campus gets calmer,” notes her friend, “after the stress of the beginning of classes.
Fall also means holidays, and there is a lot to say about those at Walnut Hill. Halloween is huge here [see Snapbuzz Tom’s blog].
“I like Thanksgiving,” says one student, “because you get to be home with family and eat lots of food – food that I usually don’t get to eat!”
All Walnut Hill students agree that fall brings a real beauty and enchantment to the natural scenery on campus.
“I love the changing leaves, the colors,” one young man describes.
“And the smell, the earthy smell!” adds a classmate. Other students’ heads nod in agreement.
“It’s just so pretty,” gushes another. Clearly the tangible transformation of the trees at Walnut Hill resonates with the student body.
The leaves in question, however, continue to cling tightly to their summer colors. Students walk down tree-lines paths still lush with an early September green, a crispness in the air the only hint that autumn has finally arrived.
It won’t be long now until this campus is painted in vibrant reds, oranges, and golds. But for now, the sounds of music wafting across the lawns and students moving steadily from class to class are the true heralds that at Walnut Hill School for the Arts, autumn has indeed arrived.