Bizarre memories

West students share their peculiar stories.

Kiera Holtkamp ’24


“One time, my family and I went to the Saint Louis Zoo. This was about a month and a half ago, so I think it was December. We went into the penguin exhibit, and the glass was really low, and a penguin swam up to me and I decided to poke the penguin. Then out of the corner of my eye, this big man starts yelling at me, and he’s like, ‘Ma’am, get out! Get out!’ I got kicked out of the penguin exhibit at the zoo for touching a penguin.”



Srimaan Aravamudhan ’23

Bloody Ketchup! 

“I was sitting in my car two years ago, and I was parked somewhere, waiting to pick up somebody. I had these ketchup packets that I bought from Wendy’s. I was bored, and I was twisting the ketchup packets continuously. And then they exploded. My mom saw it and got angry at me. Not all the ketchup [came] off because it soaked into the car’s walls and the stuff around it. It looks like bloodstains; like I killed somebody in my car.”



Aaron Das ’25

Taped Skin

“I was in kindergarten, and I was doing this project for Mother’s Day. I was going back to my seat, and I tripped [on someone’s leg] and hit my head on the table. I had to go to the office for my mother to pick me up. When she came, I gave her the [Mother’s Day] gift, and then we went to the hospital … They taped [my skin] back together [at the hospital] basically. [Once my skin healed,] I had to peel it off and it hurt really badly.”




Mayar Aliwaisi ’26

Stuck in a Cycle

“I was in fourth or fifth grade, and my mom asked me to do the laundry. The laundry room was outside of our apartment, so I took the laundry out, and I put it in the washer. The laundry room was big, so I had to walk into it to get to the washer. [Then] some worker outside locked it. I tried to open the door, but it wasn’t opening, so I [started] panicking. I was like, ‘Oh, what do I do?’ because it was on the eighth floor. At that moment, my brain went blank. So then, I just knocked on the door, waiting for someone [to let me out].” 



Emma McPearce ’23

Double Trouble 

“I had sleep paralysis when I was 11 and I couldn’t move and I also couldn’t breathe, and then I passed out because I couldn’t breathe … When I was 15, I was putting on a seatbelt and then I broke my collarbone. Well, I had a cyst in there, [that the doctors] didn’t know [about]. And then there was this huge crack just from putting on a seatbelt.”