TCT’s The Countless Thanks 2018: Reena Mathews
Selina Franovic – for your authenticity and all the laughs
You decided that you liked me and wanted to be my friend way back in seventh grade, when I was an annoying, obnoxious middle schooler, so I think that says enough on its own. In the midst of all the growth and drama and change of teenagehood, you have always been unadulterated and authentic, sticking to your beliefs and morals no matter who does or doesn’t like it. And that’s a quality I’ve had a hard time finding in high school, so thank you for being someone that I always know will understand my perspectives and opinions. You’re so sure of yourself and what you believe in– often times things I believe in, as well.
And, of course, thank you for five years of laughs that leave me gasping for air in the middle of eighth grade English, college-level calculus, and the aisles of our beloved 28th Street Target. Where we share so many similar values, we also share the same sense of humor that has left me cackling in my loud, ugly laugh in all the worst (and very public) places and times. So thanks for all the Instagram DMs, all the silent car rides followed by anything but silent calc classes, all the obnoxious antics in various Targets and Meijers and D&Ws, and everything in-between.
Alexander Hahn – for the hugs and kindness
The first time we actually properly met, you went in for a warm hug, pulled away, and said, “Sorry, I never caught your name.” I remember being so amused and taken aback by your open affection before even knowing my name, and I think that says a lot about you. You, Alexander, are a rarity in high school. You are so readily friendly and kind and open, and I admire that so much, especially because those are qualities that are not so popular amongst sixteen-year-old boys. So thanks for the unending kindness, the calming, comforting words, and the best hugs.
I’m really glad you decided to start saying goodbye to Mr. George every day after school.
My piano teacher, Sally Mitchell – for seven years of music
This one’s not school related, but Ms. Mitchell deserves it. Music has always been a part of my life, but piano holds a special place in my heart, and that’s thanks to Ms. Mitchell. So thank you for teaching me the love and joy of music and piano for the past seven years. Thank you for being so sweet and patient with me. Thank you for putting up with me and my forever urge to play too fast and never count. Thank you for letting me play what I want, even if it’s not jazz. Thank you for always understanding when I’m tired and can’t get my fingers to do what I want them to or when I’m stresssed and overwhelmed and piano practice has maybe taken a backseat. Thank you for the lifelong gift of music; I can never repay that.
First Semester TCT Staff – for the hard work and love and laughs
We just had an over twenty-person addition to the TCT staff, and if they end up being anything like the staff we started out with this year, I’ll be more than happy. I went into this staff not knowing most of you, yet our little eight-person gang grew so close in just a few weeks. I am so, so happy and proud with the dynamic and work ethic of this group. Not only have you all been so dedicated and hard-working and talented (!!!), but you all are lovely and hilarious and brighten my day every sixth hour.
Ashlyn, of the staff, I’ve known you the longest. We trudged through the dark days of WFP, and now here we are three years later. Even though you give me food when I feel sick and comforting words when I’m stressed and the warmest hugs when I’m sad, I still feel so motherly towards you, and you’re still my baby freshman. I’m so proud of you for how far you’ve come and the way you’ve been stepping it up this year. Keep up the good work, and never let that fiery spirit of yours die.
Courtney, you’re almost frustratingly perfect. You talk about staying up until 4 am, yet you always look flawless, which is annoying; stop doing that. But more than that, I admire you so much for your consistency and passion. I can’t way to see how far that spirit and drive takes you in life. And your love for reading is so adorable and endearing. Thank you for lighting up Room 139 with your bubbly positivity and passion.
Sarah, you’re also annoying. Your outfits are actually perfect, and I may or may not stalk your Instagram on the regular. I’m so glad I got to know you this year. I love your spunkiness and spirit and kindness. You and your I don’t know how many siblings are all so inherently, purely good. Your parents are really killing it. Thank you for being so truly good and bright and strong, even when you’re really going through it. Also, thank you for the Trop smoothies; I really appreciate that.
Abby, you and your columns about struggling through school make me giggle, and I love you for it. But actually, you’re like twelve, yet your writing talent is beyond your years and blows me away time and time again. Thank you for giving that to TCT, thank you for your cute outfits, thank you for being so sweet and sassy, and thank you for being so funny and doing those little things during class that no one else ever catches that make me cackle.
And finally, Lynlee— not really sure where to begin with this one. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone like the one and only Lynlee Derrick. You are so beautifully strange and utterly hilarious; it astounds me every day. One moment you’re plunking grow-in-water toys into a giant bucket and the next you’re writing those dang columns that I feel too dumb to understand because you just think and feel and write that deeply. You truly intrigue me, and I LOVE you for it, even if you’re going to cringe when you read that word.
I just wrote like 500 words about the regular staff of TCT, so I guess I should acknowledge the Sports Report.
But actually, no matter the playful rivalry between the staff and Sports Report, I am grateful for all of you guys. This year’s Sports Report grew considerably and had several newbies, and all of you were so immediately committed and enthusiastic. The Sports Report brings an energy to Room 139 like no other, so thank you all not only for the hard work, but for the liveliness, positivity, and happiness you bring to TCT.
And I can’t not shout out Molly Donovan, the Sports Report Editor, who has been such an incredible leader to the Sports Report and led them to so much success. Under her leadership, the Sports Report racked up a whopping 14,000 views (and counting) on their Top Five series. That is absolutely unprecedented in TCT history. So thank you Molly not only for absolutely killing it, but for being such a good friend and person for all these years and always letting me rant to you and feeding me M&Ms when I get riled up.
Second Hour AP Spanish: Kaitlyn Piontkowky, Christina Chiazza, Grace Clinger, Doris Dagama, Maddie Vonk, Emily Kostbade – for the heart-to-hearts and the AP Spanish bond
Spanish is maybe not my strong suit, and the same can probably be said for most of you, but somehow we’ve all found ourselves in AP Spanish (sorry Señora). Even if Spanish isn’t my favorite subject in the world, I have to say I’m grateful I’ve stuck it out. It may or may not be growing on me, and I have a great time tripping over my words with all of you. And, I’m definitely grateful for our interesting little seven-person class. I can’t say I’ve ever had a class dynamic like this. Our presentations make me cackle every time, and I love the discussions we have, from insecurities to boys to roasting Doris. Thanks for helping me when I need it and giving me one of the most unique class experiences I’ve ever had. (I feel weird typing this in English.)