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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

TCT’s The Countless Thanks 2023: Emalea Rooke


I would like to start off my Countless Thanks with a thank you to the world. Earth is my home, and I rarely appreciate it as much as I should. I am so grateful for all of the experiences I have had in my life, and for all of the experiences that I will continue to have; none of them would be possible without the Earth.

Still, my experiences wouldn’t be as fun or plentiful as they are if it weren’t for the people that are in my life. So, without further ado, I present my 2023 Countless Thanks.

To my mom, for being endlessly supportive of me,

From smiling at silly, mismatched outfits to entertaining me moving to another country, you have always been first in line to love my ideas. I know that I would not have gotten very far with my dreams without you, and for that, I am very grateful. Thank you for never giving up on my wishes, for listening to what I have to say, and for helping me achieve the presumably impossible. I love you.

To Norah Schaafsma, for being you,

I never expected you to become my best friend; I didn’t even expect us to become relatively close. Still, you surprised me when we did, just as you continue to surprise me. Thank you for always putting so much effort into me, even when you don’t have much effort to give. Thank you for loving me and all of my mistakes. I remember, just the other day, I was doing math homework and said to my mom, “I miss Norah.” You must have read my mind because you called me ten minutes later, and I had never been happier. I hope you know the joy you’ve brought and continue to bring into my life just by being you. So, thank you, Norah, for being Norah. I love every part of who you are, and I am so grateful for our friendship. 

P.S. I am so unbelievably proud of you for passing your driving test; Come pick me up!

To Katy Dykstra, for helping me grow,

In March of 2022, I became your friend. I am so thankful for that. You encouraged me to stand up for myself; you showed me safety and certainty. You taught me how to grow. Thank you for your patience; I know that it doesn’t always come easily. Thank you for wanting to help me become the best version of myself. Thank you for trying your best to understand me, and for working hard to make sure my anxiety is minimized. You challenge me, and because of you, I’ve evolved into someone more like myself. I will forever look forward to more movie nights and late-night laughter with you. You are, and always will be, one of the best things to come out of high school. I love you, and I can’t wait to continue to watch you succeed; I know you’re going to be incredible.

To Easton Wilson, for being a literal BFF,

You have been my best friend forever. You will always be my number 1. I wish that I could see you in person, but I am so happy to at least get to text you. I am so grateful that our distance didn’t separate our friendship. I can say, without a doubt, that you are one of the most incredible phenomena in my life. Thank you for always being there when I need you most. Thank you for sending me those pins on Pinterest every single day. Thank you for loving me unconditionally. Thank you for never leaving, for never giving up on me, and for always being excited about my accomplishments. Sometimes, the idea of having a friend stay my friend through all of the times I’ve moved sounds insane, until I remember it isn’t because I have you. So, thank you, Easton, for being the exception.

To Alysse Calabio, for being infinitely understanding,

My occasionally flimsy sleep schedule and your consistently late one have led to the creation of some really sweet memories. I love having our occasional texts right before bed, and the few hangouts we’ve had at night make me feel so special. I just wish I had met you sooner because you helped me heal a part of myself that I didn’t know needed healing. Thank you for always being forgiving, even when I don’t necessarily deserve it. Thank you for never giving up on me, and for always being there, whether it be to have a girl’s day, edit a paper, or sit on call when I’m anxious. I love you so much, and I hope that I can show you the unconditional love that you have always shown me.

To Cassandra Talaba, for being an unexpected friend,

It is insane that I have known you for almost a year now. It feels like our friendship should be so much shorter and so much longer at the same time. Getting to know you has been one of the most natural things in my life, and I am forever grateful for you. Thank you for the memories from the first time we hung out. Thank you for the strawberry candies, and the soup, and for bringing me to the wishing pool in the mall. I know you can’t help it, but thank you for never making me overthink, either. You are a magical human being. Thank you for introducing me to your friends, and for spending the New Year with me. I will never forget that one of my favorite years began standing next to you. 

To Sarah Hughes, for always reassuring me,

I am so glad to have rekindled our friendship from 8th grade. You have been so impeccably kind to me, even when I’m a mess. Thank you for finding me that one night at the Senior Dinner Dance when you knew I was panicking. Thank you for always calling me when I need it. Thank you for texting me and making sure I feel validated, and for never getting tired of telling me that my massacres of text messages are okay. I appreciate knowing you, and I always will. 

To Milo Rodriguez, for bringing out my inner child,

The number of pictures on my phone that I have of you is insane. I think that your giggles are permanently encased in my memory; I see them every time I look through my camera roll. The best part is that I know you have the same amount of me. Thank you for bringing my smile out at the best and worst times. Thank you for being practical and goofy. Thank you for helping me when my car wasn’t working, for all of the sleepovers, and for all of the joy. 

To the entire FHC theatre cast and crew, Ms. Dykstra, and Lexi,

Thank you for being a newfound family for me during tech week. Thank you for the gifts, the words of kindness, the forgiveness, and the encouragement. Thank you for everything, and thank you all for giving me a chance. And a special thank you to Gia Monterusso, who had to deal with my morbid lack of skill when it came to buttoning up dresses, Audrey VanSkiver, who filled the minutes we had together with lovely conversations, and Micah McClarty, whose charisma I will miss dearly when next semester rolls around.

To Dayna Straub and Ella Hunnewell,

Thank you for making theatre possible for me. Thank you for answering my endless questions. Thank you for treating me like family.

To my friends in AP Art,

Thank you for helping me feel included. Thank you for inviting me to Friendsgiving, and for letting me eat lunch with you guys. Thank you for listening to my gossip, and for dealing with my awful social skills. Thank you for greeting me with a smile and laughing at my jokes. You have all made my fourth hour a home.

To my friends from Chicago,

Thank you so much for making me feel welcome, loved, and anything but lonely. Every memory I have with you all makes me feel so happy. I will always remember pizza bagels and sitting in a rickety stairwell; I will always remember walking down the streets of Chicago just to find a Mexican place that was open at 9 at night. Thank you for the late nights. Thank you for playing games past curfew (and for hiding in the closet with me when we got caught.) Thank you for your incredible art critiques. Thank you for the jokes, the support, and the constant forgiveness. You guys have helped me grow as a person, and you guys have reassured me that I will never truly be alone. 

Jay—thank you for your fun facts. Thank you for your empathy. Thank you for walking me around to see all of the art at the final exhibition. Thank you for lending an Apple Pencil to my roommate, and for laughing with me when I almost forgot to give it back. Your intelligence and forgiveness are something I strive for.

Milo—thank you for your laughter. Thank you for your compassion. Thank you for always showing that you cared. Thank you for drawing the best sheep I’ve ever seen. You emanate the joy and humor that I want to see in myself.

Ken—thank you for your practicality. Thank you for your creativity. Thank you for being quiet with me when neither of us knew what to say. You hold an inspiration and politeness that I hope to one day reflect.

Anne Lee—thank you for being the first person to befriend me. Thank you for being so forgiving when I made mistakes. Thank you for the Starbucks runs and the photo shoots, and for giving me a chance. And thank you for late night talks, and for offering me to stay with you when I was having dorm troubles. Thank you for showing up and just being present. Your dedication and loyalty to fashion, friends, and chickens enthrall me; I hope that one day I can be as devoted as you.

Basil—thank you for teaching me something new. Thank you for teaching me about your culture. Thank you for not shaming me for being uneducated. Thank you for asking if I wanted to sit with you when we went out to eat. Thank you for your vulnerability. You have experienced so much; you inspire me to learn about the experiences of others and the experiences of my own life, too.

Alex—thank you for your advice. Thank you for sitting and listening to gossip, and for dying my roommate’s hair late at night with Anne Lee, Ken, and I. Thank you for washing my pot before you gave it back. You are an all-in friend, and that is the kind of friend I want to be. Thank you for helping me realize that.

Thank you for everything, guys. I hope we know each other forever.

To Kayla Compton and Squid Fentzke,

I am so thankful to have found a bond with the two of you. I feel like we were always destined to be friends; the world kept pushing me in your direction—I saw you at the same social functions, with my other friends, in the hallways—but I never felt confident enough to get to know you. Now that I have that confidence, I am certain that our friendship has begun at the perfect time. Thank you for already showing me love and support, and for giving me guidance I sorely need. Thank you for inviting me to hang out without hesitation, and for showing excitement at the idea of seeing me outside of school. 

Kayla—thank you for your sarcasm. Thank you for sitting at Sapporo with me for hours and just talking. Thank you for showing compassion towards all of my situations. 

Squid—thank you for your creativity. Thank you for trusting me to help you out. Thank you for always giving me honest feedback.

 I hope to make endless memories with the two of you, and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us all. 

To Litany Gaines,

I originally had you in the thank-you with Kayla and Squid, but you wanted your own section. So, just know that all of the above applies. I would also like to thank you for inviting me to go to the movies, go thrift store shopping, and go to the holiday markets. I hope those plans never change. Something about you makes me feel like you’re going to be important to me for a long time, and I’m excited to discover why. Thank you for giving me the chance to know you.

To Soeun Lee, Jenna Lowell, and Mekha Daniel-Poulose,

Thank you for holding out with me and my sub-par Spanish. Thank you for always helping me, and for feeling more like friends than classmates all of the time. Because of you, I can confidently announce that I have the best tablemates in second hour.

To Mikayla Bush,

Thank you for editing almost everything I write for The Central Trend, even when I don’t get it to you until the night before it’s due. 

To my grandparents,

Thank you for helping to make my dreams come true. Thank you for the occasional phone calls. Thank you for all of the things you taught me how to do when I came to your house in the summer. I love you guys.

To all of my teachers, past and present,

Thank you for always seeing the promise in me, and for encouraging me to do my best. Thank you for always being understanding. I will miss having your guidance when I graduate.

To all of my other friends, 

Even if you didn’t get a specific mention, I hope you know how important you are to me. Everyone I know holds a special place in my heart, and I would write essays about every single one if I could.

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About the Contributor
Emalea Rooke
Emalea Rooke, Staff Writer
Emalea Rooke is a senior entering her first year on The Central Trend. Since she was little, Emalea has always had a passion for bringing her imagination to life with creative writing, and she is excited to expand her writing skills this year. Other than writing, Emalea enjoys reading, drawing, and spending time with friends. She is the head of costumes for FHC Theatre this year and hopes to use the knowledge she gains in college for Fashion Design. Favorite Song: "Banana Pancakes" by Jack Johnson Favorite Video Game: Red Dead Redemption Favorite Flower: Carnations Favorite Accessory: Her sun-shaped nazar necklace

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    Noah GonzalezNov 21, 2023 at 11:46 am