The next time you take the well-trodden path out of the cafeteria, through the doors of the Wright Community Center, and into the April showers, lift up your head from your omnipotent iPhone 13 and pay attention to the students exiting before you. Once in a while, as the WCC doors swing closed, you will see a student deliberately swerve to the right and exit. Or they might pause and backtrack a few steps to press the handicapped button, then leave. Most often, though, you will see a particularly determined student, exhibiting the Lakeside character of true perseverance, defending their place on the Varsity Football team by tackling the still-closing Door in a futile effort to reverse its impending motion.
I speak of the dreaded Door of the WCC, the leftmost one when exiting the building. This unique Door is almost as frequently cursed as the new block schedule. But what inner workings belie the Door, what causes its blatant disregard for Lakesiders’ respectful wishes to exit at will? What is the secret beyond the Door?
Theories abound about the Door’s erratic behavior. The maintenance team has confirmed that the oversized metal box on the top of the door frame hides a conscious entity, stating that the Door “has a mind of its own.” The consequence of this revelation is worrisome, and very much like the House paintings guarding the doors to Hogwarts dormitories.
The school administration has received a myriad of complaints from students and faculty that have been bullied by the Door. Mathematics teacher Ms. Lenhart even reported that, “It hit me! And pushed me! And it didn’t let me through!” Chad D. ’20 also commented, “It’s like getting bullied simultaneously on iMessages, Instagram, and Snapchat isn’t enough… you have to be tormented physically too, and by the Door!”
To investigate this ongoing issue, our journalists talked to the school maintenance crew for inside information, braving repeated and painful slams as they tried to gain hands-on experience with the Door. The secret mechanism behind it is an electrical motor, able to change not only the force with which it hits you, but also the speed. In other words, the Door can choose either to lightly tap your shoulder or to viciously pound your face — depending on a variety of factors such as your grade, your Lakeside house, and its mood in that particular moment.
In addition to this, the maintenance team also revealed the highly classified information that the silver Door-closer box indeed hides a consciousness, an intelligent computer chip, to be exact. The Door can receive, interpret, and act based on sensory input. The startling fact is that the Door can make decisions, just as we humans do. One maintenance crew member has hinted that gradually, over its decade-long career, the Door has begun to exhibit alarming signs of sentience. Perhaps It has already become a Skynet-like superintelligence, autonomously conducting psychological and physical tests on our feeble selves in preparation for a campus-wide coup d’état. We will never know until it is too late.
Despite the troubling new facts that we have uncovered, we are still able to present a piece of good news. When the Door swings shut, even as you tremble helplessly in its path, salvation is still possible. This is the secret beyond the WCC Door. Simply extend your foot against the door and gently rest it there, and maybe give a deferential bow; out of perhaps kindness, or pity, or maybe both, the Door will pause momentarily and swing open, letting you out into the temporary safety of the outside.