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Oracle staffers switch places for a day

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Written by:Ellen Lee and Lucy Oyer


There really is no place like home. Whether it be yours or mine, no two are alike.

As I rushed back home, I felt a pang of nervousness in apprehension for what was next on my agenda. I spent most of the time on the road asking myself how I ever got myself into such a situation,  I would be returning to Lucy Oyer’s home, without Lucy Oyer.

After I verified with Lucy that I was in fact at the right house (she recently moved), I called Lucy’s mother, Ms. Friedman, who cheerfully answered and sent Stephanie Zhang to let me in. I put on my biggest smile in hopes that it would hide my somewhat obvious discomfort and entered the house as “Lucy Oyer.”

I started my evening in the limelight as dinner was ready the moment I arrived. To say the least, dinner was amazing, I couldn’t have asked for better homemade chicken burgers. Stephanie and I took turns taking breaks from our constant chomps to participate in conversation. The dinner conversation consisted of college, current classes and Lucy, completely predictable topics, yet nonetheless very interesting.

Once Stephanie left and dinner was over, I was at a loss of what to do. Ms. Friedman showed me where Lucy’s room (or my room for the night) was, and the only idea that appealed to me was sleep. Ms. Friedman kindly offered to bake me cookies, but I found myself wanting to hit the hay more than anything. Oct. 1 marked the first day in three years that I was in bed before nine, and boy did it feel amazing. After a brief Skype call with Lucy, I cuddled with her beloved stuffed animals.

In the morning, Ms. Friedman greeted me with bagels and OJ. I thanked her for having me, and then drove to school for Analysis Honors, Lucy’s first class of the day. Analysis Honors was very painful. The lesson plan of the day was a challenging repeat of concepts that I hoped and prayed I’d never see again.

After thursday, I proceeded to Lucy’s A period class, Graphic Design.

We spent the domain of the period learning about InDesign, the program used to make this very newspaper, while playing some Taylor Swift music. As I am quite familiar with InDesign, I found the lesson to be a little uninteresting, but having a class to design advertisements and other art projects was a great break from rigorous academic classes. Having Taylor Swift in the background didn’t hurt either.

Finally, we decided to switch back lives during brunch. Not that I didn’t love taking Analysis Honors, but moreso because Lucy couldn’t miss AP Bio. Although I don’t feel that I got an extremely accurate scope of what a day in the life of Lucy is as I didn’t eat lunch with her friends nor go to her tennis practice, but two classes and a night alone at her home were more than enough to show me that her life is much different from mine. But I definitely wouldn’t mind coming over here and then to enjoy the delicious homecooked meals of Lucy’s mom.

Mexican takeout. Homework. Facetime with my friend. Quick episode of Parks and Recreation. Sleep. All in all, it was a pretty normal Monday night for me. That is except for the fact that it was spent at my friend’s house, and that she wasn’t there. No, instead, her parents graciously played host to me for a night as I experienced life in her place.

As I first walked up to her house that evening, I will admit I was a bit intimidated. I had met Ellen’s parents only a few times, and now, I was about to spend the night at their home. When Mrs. Lee opened the door and let me in, I was quite nervous, but she was so kind and welcoming that any apprehension I had was quickly put to rest. I then went up to Ellen’s room, which more or less resembled a giant laundry heap (sorry, it had to be said). Her mother apologized many times for Ellen’s messiness and helped carve out a clear space on the floor for me to set my things.

I sat up there doing homework until her parents called me down for dinner, and by that time, Mr. Lee had also arrived. The conversation at the dinner table was mostly limited to a few easy topics we could all relate to: college, school and Ellen.


Overall, it was certainly less awkward than I had expected, and there were only a few brief lulls in the conversation. Afterwards, I headed back up to Ellen’s room where I stayed for pretty much the remainder of the night doing homework, video-calling Ellen and generally wasting time on the Internet.

In the morning, I woke up at the crack of dawn to get ready for my zero period statistics class that Ellen had refused to attend in my place. Mrs. Lee had kindly prepared a hearty breakfast for me, and I left for school after getting ready and thanking Ellen’s mother.

Zero period was in my own class, but after that, I attended Ellen’s E and A period courses while she too attended my first two classes of the day. In AP English, the class was discussing a book I had not read, so I mostly just sat back and listened to the always entertaining, handsome and dashing (and other adjectives he suggested to describe himself) Mr. Hernandez. He related “The Scarlet Letter to numerous movies that only a very small portion of the class had actually seen.

In AP Psychology we took some notes on Mr. Collier’s presentation and then ten students were selected to play an interesting game where they had to do something with limes. I’m not exactly sure what that had to do with psychology, but nonetheless it was pretty cool.

At brunch, Ellen and I finally met up and exchanged the notes we had taken in each other’s classes, ending our long day.

Since I only lived a small part of her life and we didn’t hang out with each other’s friends or go to each other’s after school activities, etc, I don’t hink I got a great sense of what it’s like to be Ellen. The experience, however, was certainly interesting. But no, I don’t think that we will be making this a permanent thing.

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Oracle staffers switch places for a day