TCT’s The Countless Thanks 2018: Ashlyn Korpak
My lunch table – for taking me in
I so desperately wish I could write about each and every one of you individually; however, there’s a lot of you, and I’m just not allowed to write that many. So, I hope you realize how much I appreciate each and every one of you (yes, even you John).
I never would have expected to find such a home at a banal cafeteria table; but, from the first day of school, I was swept into the vibrant love surrounding that dull table. You pulled me into your circle but didn’t push me into conversations. Life continued as if I had always sat with you, and for that, I am eternally grateful.
Rachel and Lindsey: you two are so incredibly kind-hearted. After two years of high school, I got my first Ranger-grams/Flower-grams from girls who barely knew me. And yet you took the time to acknowledge me as your friend.
I want to thank you all for making me laugh and smile. I can look around at lunch and smile at the friendships surrounding me. You all so obviously love and care for each other. A quality that is only strengthened as you have matured throughout the years together.
Christian, Ben, Abbey, Erynn, Natalie… – for being some of the best freshmen I know
Oh, my freshies… A few of you I have known for a long time, and a few of you, I only met a few weeks ago. Yet each and every one of you has undoubtedly made an impact on my life. I remember what it was like to come into high school as a freshman and feel the pressures of being the youngest in the school. You have carried yourselves with grace and matured in leaps and bounds since your first day here. I am so proud of you.
My ASL class – for being a goofy group of kids
It’s been interesting as the years have progressed to watch a random group of kids who honestly couldn’t give a crap about sign language dwindle down to this amazing group of students. You guys are such a unique group of people that have a real knack for cracking me up. I’m so honored to be able to learn and grow with you all.
Aaron – for talking to me
Every person who was a part of the play this year has my gratitude for making it such a special performance and an amazing experience. But I want to specifically thank you, Aaron. We didn’t spend much time together during the week; yet, our conversation Saturday night meant a lot to me. I’ve admired you for just about as long as I’ve known you, so it meant a lot that you would take the time to really, genuinely talk to me. I was blown away by your passion for doing what you love, and I think the way you are going after what you want is so inspiring. Especially as I work up the courage to go after the image I have for my own future. So thank you for being your friendly, welcoming, passionate self. You’re going to do amazing things, Aaron.
My Editors – for being you
You three are indescribable. I honestly can’t find the words to express the difference you have made in my life. I am monumentally blessed to have had the privilege to know the three of you and I dread the day you leave me here alone. Writing this is going to make me cry.
Sus… I remember admiring you, thinking you were perfect. I know you better now; I’ve seen that you’re human too. And I admire you even more. You handle yourself with a grace and compassion that I will always be trying to emulate. Thank you for taking the time out of your week to meet with me for breakfast. You recognized a need I had to talk with someone, and you graciously did everything you could to fulfill it. The gift of love and understanding you have bestowed upon both The Central Trend room and the theater department is something we will never be able to repay you for… something I will never be able to repay you for.
Reena… As far as strong female role models go, you are undoubtedly one of the best. Being around you has been a lesson in how to balance being strong and being vulnerable. You hold to your values and what you believe yet you are quick to hug, quick to admonish, quick to praise, quick to comfort. Your love for the girls in the TCT room is practically palpable. I admire the way in which you have stepped up and led TCT. You may doubt your people skills, but I promise they’re better than you think.
Nisha… Your friendship has made me speechless on more than one occasion. Apparently, this is one of those times. Do you remember the first day we actually met? Mr. George had come up with one of his crazy schemes and paired us up to write the perfect feature. I remember being intimidated by the project but you had this air about you, this calm, friendly openness that had me smiling around you almost instantly. I honestly don’t remember much between that project and you being my calendar buddy. As crazy as last year was, having you as my co-managing editor of assignments, as my friend, made all the difference. When people drove me crazy, you just gave me a hug. When I contemplated my future in TCT, you hugged me and said it was going to be okay. Through it all, you’ve been the hug and “I love you” that I needed. So Nisha… I love you.