Have you ever wondered where the best place to watch a sunrise is? Where to find something new and exciting at the school that you haven’t ever seen before? Maybe you have a lot of free time on your hands and you just want to explore Providence on a deeper level. Whatever the reason is, there must be something that intrigues you about the school that entices you to find out more. If so, I present to you the original Hitchhiker’s Guide to Providence Academy.

J.R.R. Tolkien once said, “Not all who wander are lost.” This was fairly accurate regarding my arrival and exploration of Providence. Upon being new to the Providence community and transitioning from a particularly small school, I tended to get lost, and so I wandered around a lot. Through being lost (or not lost), I was able to cover a lot of ground as I wandered aimlessly around the school building looking for classes and bathrooms. Another way that I explored the school was through “hitchhiking” or following people around the school and simply letting them take me wherever they were going. As I traveled the school and explored it on a deeper level, I realized it may be of some use to others if I recorded my findings and put them out for all to see. Thus, the Hitchhiker’s Guide to Providence was drafted and devised for your reading enjoyment.

This Hitchhiker’s guide is designed to inform you of the most intriguing and interesting details of Providence Academy. As the opening number for The Greatest Showman states, “It’s everything you ever want, it’s everything you ever need, and it’s here right in front of you,” if you’re willing to read it. Providence is filled to the brim with exciting and interesting sights, if you open your eyes and look for them.

The Sunrise

The first thing is the sunrise. Some students get here early enough and are lucky enough to go into school with the backdrop of the rising sun behind them. The beautiful wash of pinks, oranges, yellows, and hints of blues is a very pleasant and relaxing sight first thing in the morning. The question is, where is the best place to view this display of majesty and intrigue?

The window at the top of the Freshmen stairwell with the Minneapolis skyline in the distance

The best spot to view the sunrise would probably have to be from the stairwell at the far end of the Freshman hallway. If you stand on the top stair and look directly out, there is a window with a perfect view of the rising sun. And what’s more, you may even be able to catch a glimpse of the Minneapolis skyline in the distance as it is bathed in an array of bright hues of tangerine, rose, and orchid.

The Gallery

Another noteworthy sight is the gallery. The gallery is right outside the school’s  chapel, and it has plenty of excitement to offer with artifacts from ancient Egypt, ancient Greece, and ancient Rome. The gallery includes sights such as a complete Greek panoply, or set of armor, an Egyptian mummy, and a Roman beer mug. Some of the more peculiar finds in the gallery include the head of an old statue of the Greek god Asclepius, and a headless bronze statue of a Roman noblewoman. The window on the back wall of the gallery also offers a good view from the front of Providence as it overlooks the main parking lot and beyond the school grounds.

Greek Panoply

Art in the Atrium

If you’re looking for a little more modern art, check out the Atrium with the studio art students’ masterpieces. The Atrium is designed with lounge areas on opposite sides for the Juniors and Seniors as well as a wide open space that contains the college counselor, student counselor, and administration offices, as well as the ARC study hall and the art studio. Its prominence in the building and the open space make it the perfect place to display students’ handiwork and showcase their masterpieces.

On both sides of the Atrium and in the middle area, you’ll find beautiful artwork created by students in the Studio Art I, II, and III electives. The pieces vary from faceless figures in a downward position to David Bowie and Jimmy Page, and many more.

A bright depiction of famous rock stars in the atrium

The Stairs and the Halls 

If these sights aren’t enough, the wide expanse of the school is enough to take your breath away both figuratively and literally. The narrow yellow hallways seem endless at times, and the number of stairs in the building is incredible. With all of its ups and downs and lefts and rights, it leaves one to wonder how many steps a Providence Academy student takes in a day. For an entire day, I (Valerie Fish, ’21) counted each and every step I took from class to class and the results I found were really quite interesting. By the first bell, I had already taken 350 steps from my locker to my first period classroom. By the time I reached fourth period, my steps count was a walloping 860 steps. At the end of the day, I totaled out at 2,835 steps around the school for transition periods alone. That’s the equivalent of walking a perfect figure eight around the Atrium, which is 147 steps, about 19 times.

If you’re willing to take the time, Providence can be a really fascinating place to explore and find new and exciting parts of school. It can truly give you a whole new perspective on the school that you may have never imagined was even possible. From armor to steps to sunrises, there are plenty of things at Providence that will keep you wondering what you will find next.


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