By: Joseph Nguyen
“There’s a lot of freedom, but also responsibility, that comes with being a student here.” – Emelie Soy
d.tech is a brave new world of former automobile repair space and mismatched chairs, marked by the signature nonexistence of concrete walls. So what do incoming freshmen and transfer students have to say about the space that we’ve known and become accustomed to for over two years? What do they think, when comparing our “jank” school campus to a traditional layout or even a homeschool environment?
Freshman Andrew Hiebert talks about why he came to d.tech and the similarities between it and his middle school: “North Star Academy, the middle school I went to, had the same philosophy (as d.tech.) There’s the same trust in students to get things done and act like adults. Teachers won’t hand feed you, and will let you use your own skills to do your own work.” Hiebert was also incredibly intrigued by the DRG, and immediately, his entire demeanor is transformed; he is much more expressive, he is much more alive. He says: “The DRG, and d.lab by extension, is all about working like an adult, creating and working in groups, which is useful in the corporate world and in my dream profession, to assemble and design planes. When you’re designing anything, you have to be able to apply your speciality. I can’t design the same plane over and over, so I have to customize the plane for each customer. (For example) d.tech doesn’t need planes to be fast, it doesn’t need anything that a plane usually does, so I have to build a plane for d.tech with it’s own unique design fitted to d.tech.”
Transfer sophomore and former BHS freshman, Geran Benson, offers his perspective on d.tech’s morning routines: “There’s always someone playing piano, and whenever I come to school in the morning, there’s always a group of kids playing Smash.” (For those out of the loop, Super Smash Bros is a popular Wii game.) He continues: “Compared to BHS, you come to school early, you wait, and then school starts.” He also gives his opinion on the move to Oracle: “While it will be really cool to be at a state-of-the-art building, it won’t be as much fun as being in a scrappy warehouse; there won’t be as much freedom.”
The last student to offer her opinion, Emelie Soy, transfer sophomore and formerly homeschooled since the second grade, muses about why she decided to change from California Virtual Academies to Design Tech: “I had been with them since I was in middle school. I wanted something different, and we heard about this school called d.tech, and they seemed to have good values, so I was then put onto the waiting list.” Soy gives a flourish with her hands. “And here I am.” When asked about what Soy enjoyed about d.tech, in reference to CAVA, she says, “It would definitely be how lenient and laid-back d.tech is. There’s a lot of freedom, but also responsibility, that comes with being a student here.”
There is much to be found in the opinion of any incoming student enrolling in d.tech. It is, after all, a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and not just because it’s high school. D.tech teaches her students what other schools do not: creativity, reiteration, and perhaps the most venerated quality in any d.tech student, empathy. It is exciting to see what the future has in store for Design Tech High School, and if that can build lasting memories for our new and current students.