Letter from the Editor: The magic room and the girl who can’t read a map


Shrayes Gunna

The Sidekick executive editor-in-chief Anjali Krishna cultivates a deeper appreciation for D115 and The Sidekick way as she connects with other staffers face-to-face again. Being back in person after a year of virtual learning allows her to openly communicate and build stronger relationships with her staffers.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about Coppell High School as a building lately. 

My first few memories of it are vague – I only knew a couple hallways from attending middle school band events. I distinctly remember the old cowboy structure, though its location was confusing to me. 

I am notoriously bad at directions; I recently directed my friends to DFW Airport instead of the Shake Shack in Las Colinas. I find it quite odd to remember when I was even worse. I once couldn’t find the back room to the high school’s auditorium to set up my bassoon although I’d been there a million times before or find F Hall although I went for my weekly lessons. It was a lifetime ago, or it feels like it must have been because I know the building so well now.

D115, our newsroom, is special to me in the way Buddy Echols Field must be to our athletes. The room is where I play my toughest game, a newsroom simulator for high school students until it doesn’t feel like it’s just a newspaper or a publication. It becomes something with infinite joy within its successes and equal sorrow for its losses. 

I didn’t get that last year. D115 was just a room where the work I was doing online could be done more efficiently, but a room I was never in. Our newsroom virtually wasn’t really a newsroom, but D115 gets to be one this year, and we get to be in it. We get to be part of something, a collective identity, and the room is a part of that. 

I love how we term stepping into the room when we don’t have to be there. We call it “popping in,” and it’s so oddly joyful, though it’s a random and straightforward term, to describe our staffers’ tendency to mill around the room in passing periods and use it as a meeting place for their friends after school. What makes it a newsroom to me isn’t just that we come in, get our work done and shout across the room for each other’s acknowledgment instead of texting for it miles away. 

What makes it a newsroom is the people that work there. More specifically, the people that treat it like a place they want to be – those that make it their space, bring their friends and discuss their terrifying stan Twitters in the presence of the people who assign them work. Perhaps a lot of it isn’t proper newsroom etiquette. I’m perfectly fine with that.

Last year on The Sidekick was fantastic. Our staff and leadership team were packed with people who loved the program and had the talent to make it unforgettable. Yet we never did have D115 as our base, and we never got to know each other within the walls of a place we liked to call ours collectively. 

I know high school well now. After it being a looming presence, it became the grounds on which my life occurred for the last four years. I know with an unwavering surety, that to walk down the main hallway, take the last possible right and open the first door on the left leads to a place with a little more magic than the rest of the building.

Follow Anjali (@anjalikrishna_) and @CHSCampusNews on Twitter.