Student poem captured magic of New School space

For decades, the New School community has enjoyed a special space on Dawson’s 8th floor, which fosters a communal vibe. As we look back on the history of New School, here is a poem that captures the essence of that space.

Just after the start of the pandemic, student Ada Santavy (Class of 2020, Pure and Applied Science) wrote a poem entitled “The Room”, an ode to “a space with couches and gentle lamplight, a space filled with calm warmth, and a place where, surrounded by my classmates, I loved to write. I took that space for granted.”

There’s something about this room

that makes it easier to write.

Maybe it’s the warmth.

The heat of fifteen bodies cuddled on chairs,

breathing air warmed by lungs, by skin,

by clothes made for outside cold,

colder than the embers of this room.

Maybe it’s the warmth.

Maybe it’s the lighting.

Warm lamps between the chairs, between the bodies,

bodies glowing in the flameless firelight,

calm, almost sleeping, and still

wildly alert.

In each corner, with different shades,

the lamps lean in to the conversation,

and their lights tell stories.

Maybe it’s the lamps.

Maybe it’s the people.

Backgrounds scattered across a map,

a symphony of accents,

a forest of ideas

flowing in a river of discussion.

One warmth, one glow, one welcome.

One family pooling in the glowing room,

drinking tea and telling stories.

Maybe it’s the people.

I write better in this little room,

tucked in a distant corner of this building.

It’s the warmth, the lamps, the tea, the people.

It’s the stories of the room.


(Excerpt from “The Room” by Ada Santavy. Full poem can be read here:

Last Modified: February 8, 2024