TCT’s The Countless Thanks: Lauren Batterbee
Grand Rapids Ballet—for being my second home
Thank you for everything you’ve done for me. You pushed me from my little, eight year-old self bouncing around like a kangaroo, to a sixteen year-old dancer with turnout and the ability to turn. Thank you for giving me friends to last centuries. Thank you for making me miss you. Attila and Mindy Mosolygo—Thank you for pushing me to become the dancer I am today. Thank you for rehearsals and classes I will never forget. Thank you for the laughs—whether they be at my expense, or laughing along with me, or at something else—and the memories. Thank you for putting up with my struggles and sicknesses every Nutcracker. Thank you for telling me to look outside and take in the beauty of the snow and sunsets. Thank you for giving me amazing opportunities throughout the years. Thank you for life lessons beyond ballet. Thank you for being my inspiration. No amount of words could contain my gratitude.
Julia Brown—for watching strawberries get chubby with me
One car ride and I knew you existed. One orientation and we become friends. Without ever really talking to you, I decided we would be friends. In part, because I didn’t know who else would be in my ACE class, but also because my brain just knew you would be a good person to have around. Thank you for the four years of memories (this is the fifth). Thank you for asking how I am. Thank you for going on walks with me and filling me in on your life. Thank you for being my bio partner in 9th grade and learning osmosis together. Thank you for agreeing to make our own amoeba sisters—not that we ended up doing it but we have plenty of time. And for having fun with me in AP Chem 215. Thank you for decorating my notebooks and planners with random writing. Thank you for being my friend.
My family—for sixteen years of not leaving me in a box on the street
Thank you for the late night FaceTimes. Thank you the help with my homework—no matter how stupid the question. You have supported me through everything I do. You have let me travel in the summers, and I am sorry for leaving you, especially Geoffrey. You have taken me on adventures, to different cities, states, and even countries. Thank you for the common quirks that I probably inherited from each of you. Thank you for hanging out with me, no matter how old you are; you aren’t afraid to be seen with your weird, kid sister or daughter. Thank you for forming me into the being I am today.
Liza McCarthy and Rachel Marco—for the fireside chats
Eleven, twelve years, now is it? Through years of different classes and even different schools, we have stuck through and stayed friends. Meeting you guys in kindergarten was one of the best things in my life. Thank you for sledding with me. Thank you for listening to all of my ranting and not getting annoyed. Thank you for the letters and the birthday cards. Thank you Liza for following my suggestion and joining TCT—even though we aren’t in class together and wouldn’t be anyways. I am glad I get to read your stories and you get to feel the love of staff. Thank you Rachel for sticking with French for all of these years with me; it would be boring and lonely without you. Thank you for making us the Timon, Pumbaa, and Simba of the world.
Tananya Prankprakma, Lani Quach, and Brian Travis—for all of the memories and struggles
Thank you for giving me support and tidbits of your lives despite all of you being in the opposite side of the alphabet. Even when everything was “normal” for two weeks, I only had a class with one of you, yet you still kept in touch. Thank you for sitting at the top of the bleachers—when assemblies were allowed—and letting me look on with disgust and humored my attempt of walking out with my eardrums intact. Thank you for the House on Mango Street power group—Tananya and Brian. Thank you for helping me survive through APUSH and WHAP and for not knowing about me being the saboteur–man, that was fun. I miss having you guys in my daily life. Thank you for accepting me.
Chem class—for 1/12th of my day
Thank you for helping me the many times I am a confused little pigeon. Thank you for accepting me and my seating arrangements, interesting hats, and random bursts of energy. Thank you Mr. VonEhr for the jokes; they make my day. Thank you for making one third of my school day not as torturous as it could be. Thank you for the three months of joy we already have and 6 months remaining that will be just as fun, if not more.
French class—for being our weird dynamic
Three years of my life have been taken up by you guys. Although we have lost members and gained others, the dynamic of the class remains. Thank you for making me laugh and not laughing at me. Thank you for teaching me the strings in 9th grade, switching from online to in person. Thank you Madame for teaching us french in an exciting way and for putting up with us. Merci for a great three years.
Mr. George—for keeping me, despite the tragic event I caused last year
Thank you for allowing me into your one free hour in your busy, busy day. Thank you for accepting my craziness, rolling with it, and being an outlet for my interesting facts. Thank you for letting me try to cheer you up when you needed it. Thank you for never getting annoyed with me, even when I constantly bother you. Thank you for making this year work, and making sure I kept all of the classes I wanted. Thank you for improving my writing skills and helping me to become the person and writer I am. By the way, did you know that the first known use of the word “gratitude” was in 1523?
TCT veteran staff—for not forgetting me
Two opposite sides of the day, we sit in the same home, just not surrounded by the same people. Thank you for continuing to include me and talk to me.
Allie Beaumont—Heyo, weirdo. Thanks for joining me in first hour and not leaving me to be talking to Mr. Ed Nibbles and slowly turn insane. Of course, Mr. George would be there to stop my decline to the asylum, but sometimes he leaves the room or is gone. Hopefully I won’t die next semester, but who knows. Thanks for joining in on my weirdness and adding to the fun of the morning.
Kelsey Dantuma—Thank you for saying you miss me whenever I see you. Thank you for sharing your life with me and for random hugs last year. Thank you for talking to me even when I was outside of the circle. Thank you for your selfies and for responding to my texts. Thank you for reading my first poems and not hating them. Thank you for being such a unique person.
Lynlee Derrick—Thank you for talking to me last year. I thought all the veterans on staff hated me, and I was scared of you all, but then, you gave me a compliment and started talking to me and I started to feel like part of the family. Thank you for asking me to make you a valentine, and, no matter how bad it looked, accepting it. Thank you for helping Nat and I through the infant stages of “our baby,” the print edition. Thank you for being understanding with all of my struggles with features and lateness due to my other sixth hour. Thank you for still including me despite me not being in your hour. Thank you for being an amazing editor and an even better human.
Savannah Elenbaas—Thank you for joining me and Tananya last year during WFP. You made it even more interesting and fun. Thank you for coming back so, even though I don’t get to see you, I get to read your beautiful stories and see your thoughts through them and the group chat.
Avery Jordan—Thank you for your amazing stories that I can read and get to know you. Thank you for your voice, loud and clear in the group chat, because I haven’t really gotten to know you but I can through these ways. Thank you for not being afraid to say what you believe.
Linus Kaechele—Thank you for your senior year warnings and for wanting to hide in my suitcase last year, two weeks before America went into shambles. Thank you for the fun day of the Hunger Games Simulator where once I was only defeated by Emma Hansen (even though I know you had no control over that). Thank you for trying to get me to join shows or go to shows even though I usually have a show for ballet around the same time. Thank you for being you and writing impossibly amazing stories.
Natalie Mix—I met you freshman year, but I definitely didn’t meet you until sophomore year, or even this year. I am so thankful for you and your ideas that usually match up with mine. Thank you for listening to Christmas music with me 104 days before Christmas. Thank you for the monsters of us. Thank you for getting sidetracked and telling me stories like the ones I read. Thank you for being a great, though occasionally forgetful, co-editor for the print edition. Thank you for being a great, wild friend.
Lydia VanDeRiet—Thank you for being a friend in my seventh grade (your eighth grade) gym class. I didn’t have any friends before I started in that class and you made it fun. Thank you for accepting me last year into your lunch table; I hadn’t seen you since that year and having you in lunch and TCT was so much fun! Thank you also for finding pictures for my random requests; you are so good at photography!
Veronica Vincent—Thank you for talking to me after your chem class during the few brief days we were in the building at the same time. Thank you for being an awesome person to write my first profile on, and for making me realize interviews aren’t as terrifying as I believed they were. Thank you for being an amazing friend for a year and a half and for who knows how much longer.
Abby Wright—Thank you for being an amazing editor for the entirety of my existence on staff. Thank you for being approachable, and nice, and coming up with incredible things to do for us to improve. Thank you for helping Nat and I attempt at starting up the print edition. Thank you for loving my articles and writing yours so I can love them, too. Thank you for being an incredible person who I will miss next year.
Sophie Young—Thank you for randomly texting/emailing me, asking me to edit something. It makes me feel so good, even though it was probably out of need, but still, thank you. And thank you for helping me out with other problems I have and for becoming a good friend.
Emma Zawacki—Thank you for your nicknames—even though we all have the same one—on the group chat. Thank you for accepting my dislike of circles last year, and despite that, still talking to me, maybe I was preparing for this year when the circle wouldn’t be an option since I was iced out. Anyways, thank you for coming up with the name of Chad for our little baby squirrel who has since gone missing. Thank you for your help with everything and for being amazingly, uniquely you.