When school in Hungary went online in response to COVID-19, we at Varga—students, families, staff, teachers, and administrators—stretched our practical imagination. Students found new ways to plan and organize their day. Teachers tried out different formats for online sessions and assignments. I thought an online literary journal would be in order; students and colleagues agreed. Over the course of seven weeks, Folyosó came into being. On May 11, 2020, we published the spring issue; we look forward to many more.
Folyosó aims to have fun while tackling serious subjects. The word “folyosó” means “corridor” in Hungarian; it has the same root as “folyó” (river) and “folyóirat” (journal). At Varga, the corridor is often a place of passage, greeting, conversation, art exhibits, colorful umbrellas, and concerts. But it is also a passageway to tests, lessons, and the outside world. Moreover, the corridor at Varga holds generations of history, which can be glimpsed in the class photographs on the walls. This journal reflects some of that history.
The Varga Katalin Gimnázium has a longstanding literary tradition, with writers among the faculty, alumni, students, and parents; with the literary journal Eső; and with visits from writers such as Béla Markó, Vince Fekete, and Krisztián Grecsó. Literature is integral to our celebrations; when we commemorate a national holiday or school occasion, students perform poems, plays, and songs. Folyosó adds to the bounty by giving students a chance to present their own work to readers around the world–and to play with forms, language, and ideas.
Some students featured here are seasoned writers and artists; others are new to this venture. I chose each piece for an intriguing quality: maybe wit, a twist, a detail, an attitude, a quality of thoughtfulness, an alertness to cadence and story, or something enjoyable or moving.
Each issue will feature an interview with a Varga student. The first interview is with Dániel Lipcsei, a folk dancer and member of Class 11.C.
For now, Folyosó is in English; within the coming year it will become bilingual (Hungarian-English). In 2021 we will begin to publish student work from around the world. Whatever else may come in the future, today we are excited to offer you the inaugural issue of Folyosó!
English and Civilization Teacher
Editor of Folyosó