Courtyards and Connections: The History of Clark 137


Julia Cox ’23
March 12, 2020

One of the most unique aspects of Scripps are the small, historical dorms that allow for connections between students, with the rooms themselves having been home to generations of students. Because your room seems to belong exclusively to you and your roommates while you’re living there, it can be weird to remember that people have lived there before you and will live there after you’ve moved out. The person in the room truly transforms the space, making every room different each year. How do rooms and dorm life change over time? Four Scripps students, three of whom lived together in room Clark 137 from 2016 to 2017, and one of whom lives there now, discuss their experiences in that room and in Clark itself. Scripps student Hannah Downing currently lives in the room along with two roommates. Sophie Boczek ’20, Luena Maillard ’20, and The Scripps Voice co-editor-in-chief Priya Canzius ’20 lived in the room three years ago.

The most unchangeable feature, the structure and design of a room strongly influences life in the room. For those who lived in Clark 137, they said that the placement in the hallway, positioning of the windows, and size of the room all played a role in their experience.

“The general aesthetic of the room is nice. It feels like an actual living space, not like a sanitized hotel or a prison like I know some other dorms are like,” Downing said.

While Downing enjoys the layout of the room, Boczek and Maillard both discussed discomfort with it being a forced triple.

“With all three beds and desks we barely had enough room to stand, which resulted in us spending the majority of our time on our beds,” Maillard said.

The pair stated that the relative discomfort in the room encouraged spending time outside of it.

“The best part was the proximity to people who I liked, was getting to know, and were going through the same new experiences as I was. It was the best way to spend your first year at college,” Maillard said.

Clark 137’s former inhabitants said that another advantage to living in the annex of Clark is the proximity to the courtyard, while a disadvantage is the time spent getting to the room.

“I would wake up to birds chirping and blooming flowers. That courtyard has pomegranate bushes as well as a banana tree,” Boczek said.

Though this advantage comes at a price—the length of walk to get to the room itself—it comes with benefits as well.

“For the most part, it’s pretty quiet. I get a fair bit of privacy, which is nice,” Downing said.

Interestingly enough, despite varied dorm life experiences for the rest of the Clark dorm from year-to-year, those living in Clark 137 describe the feel of their dorm life similarly. All four interviewees reported the distance negatively affecting the feel of dorm life in Clark as a whole, while the closed-off location of the annex has allowed for a sense of community to be built. The residents stated that they found ways to feel connected to others living in Clark despite the isolated feeling.

“Dorm life can be rough, but it’s important to find a part of your dorm or hallway that is ‘yours.’ For me, it was the gross plaid couch by the water fountain,” Canzius said. “I would do homework there every day and it was a great way to establish normalcy and to see people in my hall every day.”

Maillard also shared this sentiment of enjoying the area around Clark 137. Despite the disadvantage of living in a closed-off part of the building, residents in the area were creative in finding solutions to make friends in Clark.

“We were good friends with the people on either side of our room, and it was a sweet little community,” Maillard said.

Although there were negative comments about the room’s location, there seems to be a common positive thread within the experiences. Despite the seclusion from the rest of the hall, the location historically seems to cultivate friendships both with those living in the room and within the hallway.

“I really enjoyed my time living in Clark 137, or “1-3-7 heaven” as we called it between the three of us,” Maillard said. Hopefully, Clark 137, like other freshman triples, will remain an ideal place for first-years to adapt to college and make friends that will remain for the next three years.

Image Credit: Wikimedia

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