My definitive ranking of every staircase in East Lake High School

When hard hitting journalism is demanded, yours truly delivers.


My daily staircase séance, which includes but is not limited to: Solitude, Seclusion, and Starbucks.

Brendan Wells, Web Editor

Friends! The controversial bullet train that is my nature of my writing rolls on this week, as I go where few journalists (none actually) have gone before, and rank each and every staircase in our beloved high school of East Lake. This goes without saying, but I am delivering a “trigger warning” before I climb (;)) into this highly contentious issue. So, without further ado, here is my definitive ranking of every staircase in East Lake High School.

 6. Building 2- The absolute worst, for so many different reasons. What I label as “the smart people staircase” finds itself at the bottom of my list for a multitude of factors, but just know before anything, this one is BAD. I was raised to never judge a book by its cover, but the mysterious brown stains on the walls surrounding this staircase have seriously made me rethink the morals I’ve held since before I could even spell staircase. Looks aside, though, the personality of this one leaves quite a lot to be desired as well. Probably the most crowded staircase on campus, the litany of laptops and models of cells that are making their way into building two dominate what is already a confined space, making the climbing experience one that further depresses my already less-than happy mood. And while I feel kind of disgusting even mentioning it, the couple that does God knows what at the bottom of this staircase every day (every day!) during lunch is enough to make sure I steer clear of this seriously scary set of stairs each time school is in session.

5. Outside the office- Essentially one large traffic stop of humanity, the fact that this one isn’t sitting firmly in last place is a testament to how much I hate the building two staircase. The amount of people that stand in place here, the cardinal sin of staircases, is appalling. Large groups also seem to congregate right outside the bottom of this staircase, slowing the walking process by a few precious seconds which matter in the 5-minute passing time long run.

4. Building 3 to building 9 staircase, gym side- The next two staircases on my list are “sister locations,” with one being close to the gym, and another closer to the cafeteria. They’re pretty much exactly the same, but I’ll place gym side a little lower because the aforementioned mysterious brown stains make a glorious return on this staircase. Finally, the sheer amount of middle school stude- excuse me-freshmen–making their way to building 9 to have their ears pierced by the obligatory “Hola Clase!” of Spanish One serve as a reminder of what my spirit once was, unbroken by consistent 6:30 AM rising times and chugged Redbulls in the student parking lot. I long to live their simple lives.

3. Building 3 to building 9 staircase, cafeteria side- Every time I make a list of any kind, there always seems to be one item that is so painstakingly mid, it hurts. This staircase seizes that title for this list. I could pretty much copy and paste everything from the previous entry on my list, but I’d rather not exemplify my incredible laziness in writing. The main downfall of this staircase is the administrator standing outside of it, who delivers a robot-like, almost pre-programmed statement every day, “get to class.” I have but one question, Mr. Robot. Where do you think I’m going?

2. Super-duper special secret staircase in building 2- First, I’d like to say that there is a massive gap between my 1st and 2nd place finishers and the rest of the list. One of two Super-duper special secret staircases in the school, the one in building two is everything you could possibly want. It’s quiet, clean, and couple free, a rare combination found in the staircases of East Lake high school. If I had to say one negative thing about it, though, it’d be its location, despite it not really being the staircases’ fault. The first classrooms you see when reaching the top just so happen to be chemistry classes, and the flashbacks from the course that dominated my sophomore year nightmares with moles (not the cute kind) and elements usually keeps me away from this staircase. However, as far as ELHS sets of stairs go, this one gets my highly desired stamp of approval.

 1. Super-duper special secret staircase in building 9- The pinnacle of East Lake High School staircases. The super-duper special secret staircase in building 9 is objectively flawless. It features minimal crowds, as not many are aware of this hidden gem that lies on the cafeteria side of building 9, and while I love the mystery and seclusion of this staircase, I believe Talon readers (we love all 14 of you!) deserve to know about the wonders of my safe space on campus. Walking up, you’ll be greeted by Mr. Loftus and Mrs. Hynes, and while this may be traumatic for some, I was never that good at math, so they seem lovely. Walking down, you can either enter downstairs building 9, which I have no issue with, or you can walk through maybe my favorite door in East Lake High School (that’s a list for another day). The door to leave the super-duper special secret staircase in building 9 takes you right out by the cafeteria, but the way the sun beams down in this location is unlike any other on campus and is more than enough to place a smile on my face, convincing me that today might not be so bad after all. 

Whew. We made it. Thank you for bearing with me as I cover a topic that many ponder on but few have the courage to speak out about. From the hellscape that is the building 2 staircase to the little slice of paradise that is the super-duper special secret staircase in building 9, we’ve officially been all around the school and back. Regardless of your personal favorite staircase on campus, they all hold the same purpose and serve it well; get to class on time, lock in, and take another step upward to a brighter and better future.