TCT’s The Countless Thanks: Kelsey Dantuma
Mason Yarnell, the new kid who moved in next door around eleven years ago.
Mason, you truly are my platonic soulmate—sometimes even I struggle to find where you end and I begin. We have had our week-long ‘break-ups’ many times, but otherwise, we have been inseparable since I entered the first grade. Sometimes I get so angry at the world when I remember that you’re leaving me to be an optometrist in less than a year—Mason Yarnell the Optometrist. It’s crazy that it seems like just yesterday we were in it for the long-haul on a sweaty summer night, tumbling down a hill to avoid car headlights. Like we were just jumping from snowbank to snowbank, desperately outrunning the other tributes in our make-believe Hunger Games. Like we just discovered the secret tunnel tucked away in the marsh behind Central Woodlands; you, me, and Ashley’s little secret. Life without you a walk of 23 feet away seems absolutely impossible, but I know we’ll figure it out, somehow. Thank you for continuous laughter no matter how bad things get, for the Little Caesars Crazy Bread, endless amounts of gas, and, most notably, never leaving even when things got hard.
Lauren and Fiona, mami and mom.
Mami, thank you for always humbling me—actually, this one applies to you, too, mom. But, you always hold me accountable for my lack of impulse control and general understanding of how the world works. You make me want to be better, to care enough to clean my room. And, even when everything, actually everything, goes wrong, we still make it work to have a good time. Mom, thank you for your level-headedness; for always knowing what to say. You get me on a level that I don’t think most people understand—you too, mami. And, even though it leads to arguments sometimes, I love that we all are so strong-willed and I wouldn’t want it any other way. You are my people; you go along with every piece of my life and you fill up all the cracks and empty spaces. I look forward to our weekends together, wherever they take us, and I promise, mom, I’ll drive at my first opportunity and we can all go and get McDonalds and cry in the parking lot or something because you guys are my family.
If someone told me during improv that we would be where we are now I probably would have written them off. Now, it feels like I’ve actually known you guys forever. I am so grateful for the fact that you both accepted me with such open arms. Holly, never stop being you in your infectious confidence and honest demeanor. I envy your gift for touching people’s hearts after one conversation, and you inspire me to show more of myself to people. Grace, you are one of the kindest souls I have ever met. Your laugh is absolutely contagious, and, when I grow up, I want to be you. Both of you are so set in yourselves, and being around you guys brings such a warm energy into my life through your aspirations for adventure and our conversations about, occasionally, hating men.
Linus Kaechele, for hating me at first.
Thanks for giving me a chance to prove myself through a growing bond that I cherish so much. I think we understand each other on a much deeper level through how much our lives crossover. When I heard you were joining improv, I was absolutely ecstatic with the prospect of doing a scene with you. Of course, we absolutely killed it as jock and nerd at the second performance, as well as every other moment on stage together besides that. Having you in TCT has been such a light in my life this year. My fellow Managing Editor of Online Assignments, in truth, I would be crumbling under this weight without your 6’2 self to help me balance the relentless flow of “here’s what we have to do next.” I love you to pieces, and wanted to thank you for putting up with my moody, often neurotic self at the end of the school day (note me spending an entire class period erasing and rewriting the same three words).
Avery Jordan, for thinking exactly what I am thinking.
In reading your Countless Thanks, I am in total agreement with everything you said. I feel like we came from such opposite ends of what’s considered the ‘social scene’ at Central, but we match perfectly all the same. It surprised me at first, how similar we are, but something told me to be closer with you on staff this year. Honestly, without our new friendship, I would probably be pretty lost all of the time. You make my lungs wish they never existed from the way I have to gasp for air in between laughs from your comments in the group chat. I couldn’t imagine life on staff without you, and I look forward to getting even closer.
I never came into the intro class expecting to be as committed to TCT as I am today. However, your charisma and amazing writing has inspired me to keep pushing forward even when it’s 2:45 A.M. on a Wednesday. Lynlee, you have become such a constant in my life as we have progressed through this school year, and I couldn’t imagine things, or the room, without you. Thank you for driving me home when I know you have better stuff you could be doing, I don’t know, like saving the world or other every day you stuff. You always take the time to listen to me no matter how ridiculous my problem may be, both of you. Abby, tears were in my eyes when I learned about the hybrid schedule and realized you wouldn’t be in the room on my day. Thank you for hugging me after I failed my drivers test, and for urging me to go rock my green pants (although my style could never compare to yours). Both of you are so inspiring every single day. Your drive and motivation encourages me to do my best work for the sole purpose of not wanting to let you down. And, in those moments where I may miss a story or submit something completely different than I was supposed to, you handle the situation with grace and understanding. Being an editor is not easy, and I just want you guys to know that I see that and I see all you do—I appreciate and love you guys to the moon and back.