One of the most recognizable and unique parts of living in St. Louis is constant asking of this ubiquitous question: “Where did you go to high school?”
I have to admit, as an outsider in the high school department, I find this amusing. Since I didn’t attend high school in the St. Louis metro area, I can never satisfactorily answer this question. Having lived here for over a decade now, however, I have come to realize how important this question is. There’s something about the way the school districts are set up around here that allows you to guess a lot about a person based on the answer to that simple question: “Where did you go to high school?”
One of my favorite of the Stl250 “Cakeway to the West” installations (the one outside the University City Lion Gates), deals directly with this important issue:
Not only does this cake ask the question, but it allows people to answer! Much of the cake is chalkboard, and there’s even a chalk receptacle attached, so that you can fill in the answer to this famous, often-asked question. I, of course, didn’t bother, because nobody around here would be familiar with my suburban-Chicago answer. But I love that this cake not only highlights one of the truly iconic things about growing up in St. Louis, but is also an interactive piece of art, allowing passerby to leave their mark and answer the question, “Where did you go to high school?”
What a fun way to celebrate the 250th birthday of a great city!