By Prachi Kale
In February, junior Sarah Reich and senior Dylan Huang created the Tumblr page “A Titan Is…” The page features photographs of various students holding a whiteboard on which they have written what they believe a Titan is.
Reich and Huang created the page after attending a school board meeting where Reich heard a parent ask, “What even is a Titan anymore?” According to Reich, the meeting inspired her to convey a message to students that they were all unique individuals and valuable members of the Titan community. “I realized after the meeting that the community didn’t realize how strong and connected the Gunn community was,” she said. “That’s how I came upon the idea for the project. I thought it was a simple way to address a complex issue.”
Huang believes that this project gives a voice to the Gunn community and that it has had an overall positive effect. “It’s a way for students to feel a sense of unity in our community as well as give a chance to students to simply express themselves,” he said. “What was inspiring was that people took this project and made it positive on their own. I never asked them to specifically write down any adjective or phrase. Most students would just decide to send a bright and happy message.”
Reich agrees that the students have greatly shaped the direction of the project. “I almost think the community has done more for the project than the project has done for the community,” she said. “By that, I mean that students have really impacted the community by doing a very simple action of taking a photograph.”
Sophomore Tone Yao Lee also believes that “A Titan Is…” has connected the student body in supporting a single cause. “It really warms my heart to see all the nice things people have to say about Gunn,” he said. “It also surprised me in a good way because I never knew that some people felt that way about what a Titan was. I believe “A Titan Is…” has definitely brought us all closer together as we get to see pictures of different students and their beliefs.”
According to Lee, the project has been so inspiring that neighboring Palo Alto High School has also started a project, “A Viking Is…”.
As far as continuing the project, Reich prefers to keep the project close to its roots. “I appreciate its simplicity, so I want to keep it as basic as possible,” she said.
Huang hopes that “A Titan Is…” will continue on throughout the years. “I hope to personally continue this project until I graduate and [then] lend the duties onto another Gunn student for the next year,” he said. “Hopefully this project will be ongoing for as long as someone is willing to do it.”