Mr. Von Ehr – for loving chemistry as much as a teacher should
First of all, thank you for being a “maestro.” From when you jumped on a table out of excitement to how generous you are with doling out your time to utterly confused students, third hour with you is never boring.
With every new topic or explanation of how to balance equations, pure passion seeps out of every word. I don’t think I’ve ever learned so much so rapidly from a single class; now I can proudly call myself a young chemist. This past summer, I dreaded the idea of taking chemistry. I had heard about the rigorous coursework and tests that make you want to give up, but I haven’t experienced that solely because you care when you teach, and I appreciate that. Thank you for giving it you all in and out of the classroom. You’re the biggest chemistry nerd I know.
Payton Field – for endless positivity
Even though you may not be in class every single day, I know you’re living out your dream with dance. Your persistence of challenging yourself no matter how much is on your plate is awe-inspiring. Though this was my first full year on staff, and you barely knew who I was, you welcomed me with open arms and recently, you gave me Sour Patch Watermelons. You never fail to smile or laugh even in the most difficult times, and you bring the mood in the TCT room up a few notches with your positive outlook on life. The kind comments—ones I usually would despise—that you dole out improve my day just a smidgen more, and I am grateful.
Denny from the mall – for simple smiles
I don’t know when I started seeing you at the mall this often, but you never fail to say hello to me. Whether it is a playful joke or just your bright and inspiring smile, your quick conversations with me bring a jovial boost to my mood.
Your banter is phenomenal; even if it appears you had a bad day, I’ve never once seen it impact you or the way you treat others. As you’re walking away, just finished with our conversation, I know you’re about to brighten someone else’s day. You radiate pure, undeterrable joy and determination to make every second last, and for that, I thank you.
Daci Kiera Funaro-Richards – for going to Build-a-Bear with me… and putting up with me
I frankly don’t know how I got so lucky to be your friend. You are one of the most interesting and inspired people I’ve met in my fifteen years of life. To be honest, I used to be scared of you; when you joined our school in eighth grade, you quietly sat in solitude during choir no matter what. Soon, you came out of your shell and showed your true self, and I am thankful for that.
You’ve picked me up off the ground way too many times for you to still see me as a sane person; I think we bond over that. You are my personal cheerleader in the sense that you comment on my TCT posts, read them beforehand, and never, ever fail to tell me I’m worth something. Your kind words and forever friendship mean the world to me. Every weekend you’re in town—not stolen away to Muskegon—we’ve managed to spend time together, and I don’t know how you’re not tired of me yet. I say random things, don’t make sense often, and can have nostalgic urges like going to Build-a-Bear, but you never judge.
Thank you so much for being my best friend. Thank you for letting me into your home for countless weekends and sharing your mom’s humor. Thank you for being you.
The kids I babysit – for giving me that childhood joy and inspiration
I really never imagined myself as a babysitter. Kids are rambunctious and wild, but also peculiarly interesting. This applies to you all. You guys, all four of you, never cease to amaze me with how well informed you are, but yet you all still have a pinch of that youthful wildness in you that I used to be afraid of.
Whether it’s rolling out pizza dough or playing with Legos, I’m thankful that every Wednesday is spent playing with the best kids I know. Laughing over makeshift trampoline dances brings a sense of joy to my soul that I haven’t had since I was younger. Even if one of you has fallen down, lost a toy, or can’t have it your way, the way you recover astounds me. You all truly never let the worst affect you, and I hope that the more days I spend with you, I’ll pick up that trait, too.
Thank you, kids, for showing me life is about the little things. I can’t wait to dance to Baby Shark with you guys again.
Sarah Wordhouse and Abby Wright – for just existing
You two are practically one and the same, so much so that I confuse your names if I don’t think hard enough. Both of you never let a second go by without caring for me, and I appreciate that.
Sarah, you’re practically a mother of mine; even if you can’t drive, you take care of me in so many ways. From offering food to offering support, you’re always there on the couch. Every time I think of you graduating, I secretly hope that somehow you get held back so I can have just one more year with you; however, I know your future will be fruitful, and I’m so proud of you for chasing your dreams. Thank you for everything, Sarah.
Abby, I can’t believe how lucky I am to have met you. Without TCT, I don’t know if we would’ve ever talked, and I don’t think my life would be the same without you. We can constantly relate over the woes of school, and I wouldn’t want to do that with anyone else. Honestly, you were one of the reasons I dared myself to join staff because even if I’m drowning in interviews to transcribe and stories to tell, I treasure the hour we spend together in sixth hour. Thank you for being a wonderful person inside and out, Abby.