To be Wally:

the return of Wally Hill


Ea Perkins

This is the official cover photo for Wally, the anonymous and opinionated SENIOR columnist for the Chatterbox.

Greetings fellow eagles!

I’m Wally Hill. Some of the upperclassmen may have vague memories of my existence gracing the pages of the Chatterbox’s opinions section pre-COVID, but it’s been a while, so I’ll reintroduce myself.

At the discretion of the Chatterbox’s editorial board, every year I am summoned from my cave in the Himalayas through an ancient seance-esque ritual and merge my consciousness with that of a SENIOR Chatterboxer. Past Wallys seem to consider this process a possession in which I have Ratatouille style control over my Chatterboxer, but in all honesty, it’s more of an Avatar the Last Air-Bender reincarnation type of situation in which I am merely a spirit who bestows my powers upon said Chatterbox SENIOR. 

Although “Wally” is the face of this operation, I am not necessarily my own entity. Each Wally is our own person with our own life and experiences. We may call upon the wisdom of the past Wallys, but ultimately we each forge our own paths in our journalistic pursuits. That being said, one of the greatest powers I have as Wally is anonymity.

My purpose is to provide honest, unfiltered occasionally satirical criticism of relevant issues in our school, community and world. Armed with my anonymity and coming off of a hiatus, I have a new life. My work this year will be some of the first or last (or both) memories many of you will have of me, which sets the tone for the next generation of Wallys. With that pressure, I have to decide what type of Wally I want to be; I have a nearly clean slate, but what to do with it?

Immediately upon manifesting as my current SENIOR, I anxiously sought the wisdom of the past Wallys. I read through years worth of articles, almost every published and unpublished thought a Wally ever had as far back as 2011. 

I found the Wallys of the classes of 2011 and 2015 to be incredibly insightful in the topics they wrote about.

Wally, ‘17, had an eventful year covering the death of Harambe, Donald Trump’s election and former principal Jeff Brokamp’s retirement. 

Wally, ‘18, was incredibly sharp witted, brutally critical and created much of the outlandish Wally Hill lore (ie. spending my summers meditating in the Himalayas).

Wally, ‘20, had a bad case of senioritis and generally wrote about their experiences in applying to colleges and other senior centric issues.

As I read countless articles by my predecessors, some written as long ago as before I even learned how to read, I grew increasingly anxious as I tried to mimic their styles and personalities thinking I would disappoint if I were not exactly like every other Wally before me. Just as I was about to spiral into an identity crisis, almost as if it were divine intervention, Wally, ‘14, spoke to me through a comment left in their final letter, “I think in the future I need to write for me and not for anyone else. I don’t mean that in a selfish way, but ‘the most personal is the most universal’.” 

 I know I am not the “future I”  Wally, ‘14,  was talking about, but as I continued reading through the works of the different Wallys I realized no two Wallys are the same, and I don’t need to be any of them. The best way for me to decide what type of Wally I want to be is just to be Wally, and we’ll all spend the rest of the school year finding out what that means for me, together.

You can expect to see me in every issue of the Chatterbox, and although Wally, ‘14, said, “I need to write for me and not for anyone else,” I value your input as my audience, so feel free to send a telegram, smoke signals or pray. My email,, is the fastest way to reach me though.