Lauren Batterbee – for making the world a little less lonely
The day that I took my fateful first steps into my MC-2 6th hour, I think my life actually changed. Maybe it was because of how painfully we suffered together as all those weirdos came in to bother us, but since then, your spirit has been alive in my life every day. I love the way you eat your daily peanut butter sandwiches and the way your notebooks are filled with your neat, minuscule handwriting, and I’m so thankful that I get to see you and all your quirks every day. Thank you for being weird with me; you’re a genuine comfort to be around. And thank you for being with me in all other aspects of life, whether it be signing up to take WFP with me or internally crying together through the ridiculous EdPuzzles in French. You’re a rare and wonderful person, and I hope that there comes a day where you finally give yourself enough credit for what you do. I love you lots, Butterbean.
Tony DiMeglio- for your endless dedication to Model UN
It’s been a bit of a frantic scramble trying to keep MUN together this year, but you’ve given it your all. I don’t know where it would be without you stopping by the class to teach and running gross can drives. The MUN program here would simply be hopeless without your endless dedication. None of what we do would be possible without the passion with which you take on everything you do. So much of what I’ve done, in MUN or otherwise, wouldn’t have been possible without you. Thank you for always stopping by in 6th hour when I need a break and for cheering me on in everything that I do. I’ll miss you when you head off to take on the world.
The Quach family – for wishing my dad and me a happy Chinese New Year
Auntie Binh, Uncle Thong, Lani, and Kayla—I don’t remember clearly what happened when you guys moved to Shanghai all those years ago (in my defense, I was pretty young). All the evidence I have is the sudden disappearance of you guys in our pictures and a vague sense that my playdates became fewer and far apart. Of course, I would wonder from time to time how you guys were doing but never enough to drive by your house to see if you guys were back. I truly cannot thank you guys enough for seeing our old car and knocking on our door on that cold Chinese New Year afternoon. I can’t imagine where I would be without you guys today. Auntie and Uncle—thank you for driving me everywhere when my dad has work, even though your schedules are just as busy with two kids. Thank you for sharing memories from long ago and being some of the few people with which I can relive the fondness of those times. You guys are always ready to help out no matter what, and I can’t ever repay you guys for what you’ve been in my life. From the bottom of my heart, thank you, thank you, thank you.
Lani Quach – for tolerating me again and again
How much do you remember from before you left for Shanghai? One memory stands out in particular: you, me, and my neighbor sitting in a shower with the lights off and the door blocked because nobody wanted to go home. I don’t know who came up with that idea or whether you remember it or even if it ever truly happened, but it sticks out. I imagine I must’ve dragged us into it and that our other interactions were similar in cause and weirdness because that’s how it’s been the second time around. My first year at the middle school in eighth grade, people always got us confused, partially because we’re Asian and that’s just a required struggle apparently, but mostly because I was always following you around. Since then, I feel like I’ve put you through so much more, from my wild sleep-deprived deliriousness to kicking you awake at states. But you’re still here. So thank you for not only tolerating me but for going through everything with me, whether it be robotics, APUSH, or anything in between. And thank you for the Chinatown boba recommendation. I’m sending big love your way.
Ella Satterthwaite – for being large, containing multitudes
Sorry for picking such a common stanza of Whitman to reference, but I think it fits you well despite that fact. Besides, the words I come up with aren’t enough to describe you and how much I love you. You’re truly boundless, both in what you do and simply who you are. You always take the time to listen and care no matter how busy you are; I don’t think I’ve ever said a word to you that has gone unexplored. The things that you’ve done after just a brief conversation warm my heart in the truest way, whether it be listening to Mitski or reading Norwegian Wood. Thank you for always doing more, and thank you for what has come of it. For Model UN, for your cookies, for your countless hoops, and for just about everything you do—thank you. I will never not be in awe of you, Ella. Your kindness and intelligence astound me every day.
Brian Travis – for brightening my days
I have hardly seen you this year, but I forgive you for taking AP Stats (mostly). More days than not, you’re just a passing face in the hallways, but even then, you don’t fail to lift me up. I think you prove that the small things really count. From pointing out my phone’s Mitsuha wallpaper to giving Stardew Valley a chance, every action is enough to make me a little brighter. Thank you for all of our small interactions and for your pure excitement for even the simplest things. You’re one of the brightest people that I know. Stay brilliant, my friend.