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The Student News Site of San Marcos High School

Knights News

The Student News Site of San Marcos High School

Knights News

Image of Empty Bowl banner in SMHS Courtyard April 26
The Tradition of Empty Bowl
Cover art made on Canva.
Feminism at San Marcos High School
Infographic made on Canva by Mia Batcher and Christiana Samuel depicting sports and senior scholarships.
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The Tradition of Empty Bowl

Filling hearts, bowls and stomachs with hope
Image of Empty Bowl banner in SMHS Courtyard April 26
Emma Ventzke
Image of Empty Bowl banner in SMHS Courtyard April 26

The campus is dark and desolate on March 15 at 11 p.m. as shadows run towards room 732. On Friday night most students are bundled up tightly ready to go to bed or just starting their night. However, for sculpture students this Friday is their chance to spread some good in the world. Inside this lit haven, bustling students bump into each other, pugging, molding, painting, and throwing.  Brady Stout’s class is filled with bowls and caffeinated students trying to make it through the night. Since 2007, the midnight bowl event has been a tradition dedicated to producing bowls from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. for San Marcos High School’s Empty Bowl. 

Every year San Marcos High School hosts a fundraiser led by the Ceramics and Sculpture teacher, Brady Stout, where student-made bowls are sold for $10 each and filled with food provided by local restaurants. All the money collected is then donated to the North County Community Services Food Bank.  Each bowl that is sold provides 40 meals. Students use this fundraiser as a way to let their imaginations run wild; creating bowls of different shapes, sizes and textures.

Although preparing for the Empty Bowl requires a lot of hard work and patience, students love sculpture class and have developed a passion for this field.  “I love sculpture class, when the teacher offered up midnight bowl I didn’t hesitate to sign up. I stay up all night anyway but this was just a cool way to hang out with my friends and raise money for meals.” said Fher Gonzalez (12). This was the mentality of many students as the classroom remained energized and productive throughout the entire night. 

“I love sculpture class, when the teacher offered up midnight bowl I didn’t hesitate to sign up. I stay up all night anyway but this was just a cool way to hang out with my friends and raise money for meals.”

— Fher Gonzales

Big bowls enter the kiln and exit fired into the perfect portion for the school fundraiser. This is just halfway through the dedicated process students participate in to help provide meals to North County San Diego and just halfway through midnight bowl. With everyone working on their own quota, around 3,200 bowls are ready to be moved through the oven and thrown back onto the table to be dressed in colors. On the other side of the room, dusty bottles of acrylic paint line up on the corkboard tables in Mr. Stout’s lively classroom as Senior Lily Reyes prepares for the next step in making her bowls, hoping to finish before the night ends. Large thick bristles brush over the fired clay leaving a chalky colorful pattern behind. “I got more tired once the sun started coming up but each bowl woke my brain up trying to figure out the colors that would compliment it.” said Lily Reyes. 

As the night concluded, bowls lined up to be fired one last time. The next day students filled up Stout’s classroom crowding around the table full of colorful finished bowls. In the past month that table has multiplied with the addition of fresh bowls being added day by day. With the Empty Bowl fundraiser only a week away, students have much to say when it comes to sharing their work.  “I love encouraging my friends to buy my bowls and with the price and food it really doesn’t take much to convince them,” senior Jocelyn De Jesus said.

   In the past month, De Jesus has sculpted eight bowls, each one more unique than the last. On top of the  three projects she’s working on, each bowl still manages to make it off the table and into the kiln in two to three days. Depending on the size of the dish, about a pound of clay goes into each bowl, using approximately 3,000 pounds of clay for this fundraiser.  3,000+ bowls, 2 classes, one goal; to bring food to 120,000+ tables across North County. On Friday, April 26, Empty Bowl was held in the courtyard.

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About the Contributor
Emma Ventzke
Emma Ventzke, Writer
Emma Ventzke is a Senior at San Marcos High School. She joined Pendragon because she enjoys writing and hopes to gain credits for VAPA

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