By Aaron Faier, Staff Writer
While some were eager to leave the Payton building and move to remote learning, others have had a much more difficult time with the separation. “It’s like having your heart ripped out. I never realised how much the Payton building meant to me until I had to leave it,” said Rhea Mote ‘21. “I was having stress dreams where I was reaching out to touch those dreamy beige bricks, but I could never quite reach them.”
While most have not experienced these symptoms of post-Payton depression, triggered by not being in close contact with the Payton building, for those who have, it has been very challenging to cope. However, one junior seems to have found the cure. According to Corina Virous ‘22, the solution appears to be replicating the Payton building inside your home. “I slept so much better once I started using the Payton bell tone as white noise,” she said. “Back in school, I always found it annoying, but now it relaxes me, and is actually helping to cure me!”
This led her to test out other Payton building features to prove her theory correct. “I bought a 6-inch thick locker for my bedroom, and while, just like at school, I can’t actually fit anything in it, it has helped me a lot,” Virous said.
She published her findings in a scientific journal, and many other students started catching on. “As soon as I saw that article, I went straight to Menards to buy a pair of water fountains where one works and the other doesn’t, just like the second floor in the East building! I missed the taste of Payton water,” Warren Teene ‘23 reported. “I’m not sure if it was the chemicals or reconnecting with a part of the Payton building, but I’m feeling great!”
Some students have even gone so far as to redesign their houses to remind them of the Payton building. When Hans Initizer ‘21 (from Chicago Public Schools tier 4) and his family decided to add a new wing to their estate, he knew just how to make the connecting hallway. “I thought it would be cool if I made it kind of ‘z’ shaped, so whenever a large amount of people are going back and forth, we could all get stuck for five minutes,” he said. “I think it forces people to slow down and appreciate life. Or not.”
Others have decided to renovate their bathrooms. “Yeah, I got a beige floor, and a 6-foot-6-inch high beige wall, and I added a puddle on the floor just so I could have the real experience,” Vick Seene ‘21 said. However, this is not just a Payton trend. Other CPS students are hitting the stores to make their homes look like their high schools. As a result, the Chicago area now has a shortage of cold, utilitarian cinder blocks, an “astounding” result according to one Home Depot employee. “We never sell out of our ugly cinder blocks,” she said. “All it took was a global pandemic and years of unimaginative construction!” Chicago Public Schools has declined to comment on the ongoing shortage.