The Warrior•Senior Columns May 20, 2010
Now, I Will Destroy the World by Marcus Lee “If the radiance of 1,000 suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the mighty one.” I am born; I am the flower that emerges from the dirt, willed by the sun to grow into the light. Dar a luz; I am the captain who leads his ship to the promised land from the stormy depths of sea. I am Moses; I am the burning bush. I am the spirit of the Apache. Oh, my unconquerable soul; I am the voice that raises the dead. Did you see me fall, stumble into the path of the righteous man and resurrect from the grave like Lazarus? Or did it look like I was done, with a white flag waving from my backside like the tail of a dog. Oh contraire, “le mort c’est rien, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.” Does my hubris leave a bad taste in your mouth? Does it make you mad? Does it make you want to stop reading? I hereby declare today my last day in the material world; I only live in the world of the ideal, of the beautiful, of the light. Today is the day of the solstice. “E’ meglio vivere un giorno da leone che cent’anni da pecora.” Today, I have traded my sheepskin for a lion’s mane which I wear to crown my victorious heart. You can blame my pride on the public schools which have been like Santa Ana winds to the California wildfires in my belly. Oh, how they spread to my core. In the name of Dibler, Reier, Hiltner, Senior, Powell-Walker, Bruneel, McCabe, Soso, Farrar, Gonzalez, Gonzalez, Menchetti, Games, Woolley, Merletti, Bobadilla, Dinerman, Jackson PhD, Deitchman, Al-Atrash, Chaudhry, Huck, Bredland and my man Altaner I ascribe my internal voice, that speaks only in questions. And with the words that come forth like lightning rods, through the power of my pen, I become ruler of the universe. Go get my eyelids of blue paint. I am the samurai that hides in the shadow of the leaves, silently plotting the redemption of his self-consciousness. I am the young Spartan that defeats his master in combat and is ready for war. So, please allow me to stand atop this mountain of words and reclaim my title: I am a Warrior in the boat of Ra! I am destined for Greatness!
I’m Not Exactly Sure What to Say Here by Danny Golden High school is a time for teens to discover themselves. Some discover a passion for bird calling. Others may decide that they have a future playing the bagpipes. In the past four years, I have discovered something about myself that is truly remarkable in itself; I am the world’s most average human being. ‘Average’ is not usually synonymous with the word ‘remarkable’, which is why I reacted with utter disappointment when I concluded my self-evaluation on October 3, 2009. But, after a solid seven months of reflection, I can officially declare that I am proud of my mediocrity. Let us start from an anatomical standpoint. I stand in at a whopping five foot nine inch frame and I weigh an astounding 162 pounds. When I went to the doctor for my yearly check-up, I was in the 49 and 51 percentiles, respectively. By using my (very average) math skills, I can proudly say that I am an average specimen. Okay, so I am of average size. Does that make me a middle-of-the-road human being in terms of personality? Indirectly, yes. I believe that subconscious-
ly, I have translated my mediocre stature into a mediocre way of living. Some professor at Yale wrote his doctoral thesis on the multiple levels of run-of-the-mill qualities I have festering within the recesses of my soul, but I digress. I guess this is the part when I give examples of my pedestrian persona, so here it goes. First off, I have exactly 15.733 friends, which just happens to be the mean number of companions each person has across the globe. Coincidence? I think not. I also enjoy a nice scoop of chocolate ice cream. Does it come a shock when I say that chocolate is America’s favorite flavor of the delicious, frozen dairy treat? It shouldn’t because that, like everything else I do (or eat or say), is typical. With all of that said, I guess it is clear that I am above average at being average. I have never been a huge believer in moral victories, but I have to admit that it is a relief to know that mediocrity can be an award in and of itself. And on a side note, the word count for this column was to be between 350 and 450 words. My column turned out to be, you guessed it, 400 words. Coincidence? I think not.
Even though I am essentially their boss, the editors of the Senior Columns section assigned me to write an introduction to the columns. After first writing a tender and heartfelt message, the editors complained that I wasn’t being genuine. Fair enough. Still, the truth is I’m going to miss the seniors on the Warrior staff despite the fact that they on multiple occasions drove me to the brink of insanity. - Peter Huck
by Ben Durham Time is elusive. What is it anyway? It is an ominous storm cloud constantly lurking over you; it is a never ceasing ticking in the back of your mind that’s ever pushing down on your shoulders. Throughout the four years in high school there has always been one common theme in my life: Time. It can all be measured out. We have spent four years, 740 days, 5040 hours, 302,400 minutes or 18,144,000 seconds in school, give or take some absences. My teachers would say, “You have two weeks to complete this assignment,” or “You have 45 minutes to finish this essay.” No matter what I did life circles back to the confines of time. It keeps us in check, gives us structure to life. The best moments might only last hours while the tough times could be drawn out for weeks. Everything is centered around time. Of all the ideas thrown around about time there is one aspect of the concept that is for sure; no matter how hard you try, you cannot stop time. When the going gets rough, you might think you can sit
idly and watch the world pass you by while everything works itself out. But you cannot. I thought I could. In the early years of my high school career I thought I could break free from the flow of time. I stood on the sidelines as the years passed me by. I went through high school always saying to myself, “There’s always tomorrow.” For how long? I wanted high school to end, but I did not want to go through with it. I just wanted time to stop. Time does not stop. Despite how much I believed it could it did not stop; it kept going. In a blur. Right then and there I realized time could not stop just as it could not move any faster either. Time cannot be on your side just as it cannot work against you. Time is simply there. Life is not about how much time you actually have but what you do with your time. So you must choose your own course and use all your time well because when all 18,144,000 seconds are finally up, you’ll wish you had 18,144,000 more. So how did I use my time in the final years of high school? I used it to meet people and experience life for what it was. What I did not do was live in a fantasy, absent of time, constantly returning videotapes about what I thought life should be. Time is elusive. It’s an inexorable force. It’s a dehumanized machine that keeps us on course.
The Five People You Meet in High School by Kimberly Wan In high school, you can do a complete 360 and blossom into a handsome swan after a few years of enduring orthodontia and limbs growing at an alarming rate. The experience at first seemed repulsive, but in retrospect, the ride wasn’t so bad, especially because the 500 some kids around me were going through the same exact thing. But out of all the people I have met, only five will stick with me forever. It is an elite group, like my top 8 on Myspace. First and foremost, I will remember that awkward kid. She did things that would essentially make me feel uncomfortable, but for whatever reason, I would still follow through with her plans, whether it be eating Jell-O in English class with her or flying a kite unsuccessfully in the school’s parking lot. Along similar lines of awkwardness, I will always remember that awkward teacher. I will remember how he avoided me when he believed I was crying when truly I had something in my eye, and would say things in class that would make me shake my head. Twice. But in the end, he advised me to use the left side of my brain, which didn’t help me, but was kind advice nonetheless. Then there’s the other type of awkward (yes, I find awkwardness in many forms) which belongs to the individual that defines her own perception of cool. She dresses how she feels; one day she wore cougar pants, complete with a life-size tail. The next day she pinned a terribly outdated beanie baby to her shoulder. I guess the only sad part was that I could name the beanie baby. Ahem, Strut… But this ancient knowledge dates back to the days of PM kindergarten, I promise. Which brings me to the kid who I became reunited with in high school after believing she resided in Oblivion for the longest time (and when I say Oblivion, I mean Rockville). When I saw her again after years of separation, Peaches & Herb started to play, and all was right in the world. On the other hand, then there’s that kid that went to school with me for thirteen years, but I don’t really know him. Thirteen years is a long time to get acquainted. All I know is that his mom, Janice, was in the PTA; everything else about him is an enigma to me. As now is the time for everyone that I’ve spent the past third of my life with to move on to diverging paths, I would like to depart with these words by my dear friend Mitch Albom: “But all endings are also beginnings. We just don’t know it at the time.”
The Warrior•Senior Columns May 20, 2010
The Magical World of My Dreams This Note to Self is Long Overdue by Maria Romas
The summer that I turned eleven-years-old, I wanted a letter from Hogwarts. I knew it was irrational, and would never have admitted to anyone at the time what I was waiting for. But, I can honestly say that I hoped to get one, inviting me to attend school with Harry Potter. I wanted to cry that fall when I had to go to Rosa Parks instead of my dream school, and still wish to this day that the magical world of JK Rowling’s imagination was a reality. Once I accepted that I was not going to meet the real-live Harry Potter, I decided to improvise. My sisters and I would play games in which I made everyone pretend Harry was there, as one of our friends; we even spoke with British accents. I played Potter board games, reread the books a million times and jumped at the chance to do anything related to the characters. I was personally offended when I met a person who did not like the books. In essence, I became obsessed. On July 21, 2007, the day the seventh book came out, I was pacing around the house waiting for it to arrive by mail-order. The mailman dropped it off, and I ran outside laughing gleefully at the prospect of reading more of Rowling’s amazing work. Before I could start, though, my mother took the book and read the epilogue, saying that she needed to make sure she didn’t need to call a psychologist or anything. I then sat and read the entire thing, devouring the pages like I had been starved for them. When I finished, I sat there, sad. A piece of my childhood had just ended. I was growing up, and I didn’t want to. I still wish that Rowling will write another book related to Harry Potter. I have accepted that the series is over, but still classify it as my favorite of all time. Coming to graduation, with the culmination of high school and all the activities that go with it, I am feeling that same sense of overwhelming sadness. Of course, I am completely ready to head off to college and start a new chapter of my life, but a part of me is scared and wants to remain that little girl, waiting by the window for an owl to swoop in with her letter to Hogwarts.
W h a t I ’ve L e a r n e d i n t h e P a s t T h re e Ye a r s by Eric Van Gelder
What is the name of the 3rd extra in “All the President’s Men”? I couldn’t tell you today, and I couldn’t tell you back in 10th grade when I was taking Journalism, and there was a similar question on the Current Events test. However, after spending a year in Journalism and two years in Newspaper there are a few things I can tell you: 1. Taylor Janney is a star. It has been really hard over the years to deal with having someone constantly outshine you in Newspaper. From her singing and dancing to the paparazzi following her every move, I have adjusted to the constant flashbulbs of the cameras and endless questions from reporters. In addition, I have been quoted numerous times in People magazine as “a source close to her.” Sure, it may not be the most reputable kind of work, but if I can’t make a living as a journalist, something has to pay for my subscriptions to every newspaper in the world. So, I have learned that being a tipster to a celebrity gossip rag pays well. I too can be in the spotlight, even if my byline is “anonymous source.” 2. Baby sheets: a preliminary copy of a newspaper section’s page, a type of draft; something that can be placed on a bed where a young child will sleep. 3. Wikipedia is amazing. One reason being that I can research anything. Some of you may have read about this in my editorial on why Wikipedia is so amazing and if you didn’t here’s my opinion again. Also, I can edit these godly pages so that even if only for a second before an administrator deletes it, when I search for December 20, it says, “Eric Van Gelder, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist is born.” No, I do not get a kickback every time I promote Wikipedia. I really just love it. 4. Mr. Huck really likes to be able to set his red pen down when he reads articles. This satisfies him because he feels that people have worked hard and put a lot of effort into their article drafts. So, whenever he reads my articles to revise them, I always make sure to give him a blue pen to edit it so that his wishes are fulfilled. 5. Even though I may complain, procrastinate, and email the webmaster of the Online Warrior a hundred times with questions and problems with the website, I’m going to miss being a part of the newspaper. Where else am I supposed to print out homework assignments without using my own printer ink?
by Mellownie Ho
Dear 14-year-old self, First of all, stop wearing that same sweater every single day. It’s creepy and it makes you look like such a freshman (you could at least buy two or three other ones to spice it up a little). Also, you are extremely awkward (painfully so). Dance at Homecoming instead of just standing around. Talk to new people (you want to make new friends, dummy). Treasure the kids you’re hanging out with right now. They’re the best people you’ll ever meet, and you’re gonna miss those Disney movie marathons and Beanie Baby lunch dates more than anything. Eat now while your metabolism is still obnoxiously fast and lay off the junk food junior year (chocolate won’t make Dibler’s class any more forgiving). Speaking of food, splurge on the French exchange. Bread and crêpes are subpar en Etats-Unis. Running will make your legs fat and take over your life (free time? What’s that?). Do it anyways — it’s the best thing you’ll do in high school (but skip indoor track. You won’t realize how miserable cold weather is until it’s too late). Keep taking violin lessons (you might as well be decent at it) and take journalism early on. Newspaper is pretty cool, as is the little man whose life revolves around The Warrior. Learn your French conjugations right (or else you’ll be swimming in them later), GET YOUR LICENSE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE (SERIOUSLY, MAN!). Sometime during junior year, you will develop a serious procrastination problem that will cost you hours of sleep. One day, whilst attempting to do homework, someone will link you to hulu.com. Do not click on it. You can’t afford to get addicted to House and K-dramas. Be nicer to your siblings and do special things for your parents’ birthdays; you’ll regret not doing more before shipping off to college. Spend more time with Steve. He’s sicker than you think, and he’ll be gone before you can say a proper goodbye. Most of all, realize your self-worth. Don’t beat yourself up over the little things (it’s not worth the stress and distress). You won’t feel like the smartest or wittiest (and certainly not the coolest) at times, but get over it. You’ll be alright, kid.
Love, Your older (and somewhat) wiser senior counterpart.
‘As We Go On, We Remember All the Times We Had Together’ by Melissa Berkowitz
As seniors, we know what it’s like to casually, deliberately, bump into freshmen just to make them know their place. We took pride during sophomore year telling the freshmen that their classes were in the portables, just to let them know who’s boss. Or what about the pool on the third floor? I'm sure you’ve heard of it, but just never have gotten the chance to take a dip yourself, huh? Well, freshman year…we were there once. Uncomfortable, miserable. We were made idiots of and then laughed at by the upperclassmen to the point that we never felt at home here, right? Isn’t it funny how times change? Freshman orientation. I still remember it perfectly, especially wandering around with my best friends from Rosa Parks and seeing all these Farquhar people. I followed my new schedule to my new classes with new classmates. Notice that everything is new. Rosa boys went straight to greet the Farquhar girls as Farquhar boys went straight to meet the Rosa girls. It was a maze trying to weave my way through these unfamiliar hallways to find my friends from middle school. High school didn’t even start yet and I already was dreading the next four years.
I’m reminiscing on this now because as Senior Year is rapidly ending, I think back and wonder why I had these ridiculous fears and doubts about high school. It’s strange to think I thought the kids from the two different schools would stay divided like soldiers at war. But, there are no teams, no sides; we’re all friends. Rosa and Farquhar boys hang out as well as the girls. We’ve all dated in and out of our former middle schools. We’ve all mixed, switched and flipped friends. Sherwood really grows on you and becomes a second home. We spend almost 35 hours a week here for four years. How can we not love it? And it’s really sad to know it’s about to be over. Most of us are leaving and going to college, and what I’m trying to say is that we will all remember the impact Sherwood had on our lives. I know I will. I would’ve never had a clue what college was right for me if it wasn’t for going to a large high school like Sherwood. Getting thrown into an environment with thousands of strangers teaches you to adapt, step outside the nervous person you’ve been, and be the person you are meant to be. I found myself at Sherwood; it’s as simple as that.
“No! Wait! You can recycle that!” by Lexi Evans
If you’ve ever walked past the newspaper office you’ve probably heard me yell this across the room at least once. As an avid recycler who spends most of her time in a room plastered with pages and pages of strewn papers, I have become accustomed to frantically yelling such phrases. It was my sophomore year when I decided I needed to be my Biology teacher, Mrs. Dinerman’s best friend. I realized we would need more in common, so I joined the Green Team. Fascinated by her passion for the environment, I did as much as I could with the Green Team to help out. It was Mrs. Dinerman who inspired me to dedicate the rest of my life to spreading awareness and education about the environment. I spent much of my remaining time at Sherwood conducting climate surveys, to improve our carbon footprint, and I’m confident that I succeeded. My most rewarding
work at Sherwood would be our heating usage’s decline to a more responsible level; a feat that everyone can enjoy (hooray for no more 97 degree classrooms!). Leaving Sherwood to fend for itself is a scary endeavor. Sometimes I find myself staying up at night, wondering who will fill my shoes when I’m thousands of miles away in Colorado. So here are a few suggestions that should keep Sherwood standing for a few more years: Recycle, recycle, recycle. Those blue bins around the school aren’t just here to show how much school spirit we have. Chug that Diet Coke during math to stay awake? Throw it in the blue bin designated for plastic bottles. Finally finished that difficult English paper only to get a C? Throw it in the big mixed paper bin. You can still crinkle it up and shoot it like a basketball if you want! Make it a game; practice your aim and make sure it doesn’t go in that ugly greenish black bin.
Remember, Sunlight is your best friend. Not only is it a great source of Vitamin D, it is also a sustainable source of lighting for classrooms. In the spring everyone dresses for the sunny weather, why not appreciate inside? Most classrooms are blessed with a wall of windows and multiple light switches. This gives teachers the ability to customize how much natural light is used. A sunny day could mean that a teacher would only have to use one set of lights, or maybe none at all. Upon my departure I ask one thing of my fellow Warriors left for another year: Please keep recycling. Just because I’m not there to yell at you doesn’t mean I don’t know what you’re up to.
The Warrior•Senior Columns May 20, 2010
The Secret Life of the American Superstar by Taylor Janney
You may not have realized this, but Sherwood has been graced with the presence of a celebrity for the past four years—me. I may look like your ordinary high school student wearing jeans and a jansport, but be warned: this is only a cover for the world’s greatest talent. Every morning, I do, in fact, wake up feeling like P. Diddy. (I brush my teeth with toothpaste, however, as-opposed to a bottle of Jack.) After waking from my deep slumber in my king-sized bed, my personal chefs, Emeril and Paula, send up a tray of luscious fruits alongside an array of meats and scrambled eggs to fortify me for the long day of classes and other banal tasks. As I gracefully glide out of bed, my dresser Calvin hands me my day’s outfit and sees to it that I dress to impress. I head out the door and hop into the limo which escorts me to the lovely Sherwood High School. I’m dropped off at 7:23—just in time for me to make a fashionably late entrance—just ask Mrs. McKeldin or Mrs. Senior. I go through the day just as every other normal student would, period after period, until that last toll of the bell. I like to consider myself a genuine Hannah Montana; I get the best of both worlds. I rehearse a bit for the spring play after school, just so that I can show some support for the local arts. It’s nice to give back to your community when you become a star—it shows the media that you are indeed grounded, even if it is completely untrue. I meet the limo Friday afternoon and head to BWI to catch the next flight out to LA. I land in fabulous Cali to tackle the mayhem that awaits me. First, I hit up the hottest pre-party, and then I attend the A-list bash of the night, be it Paris’ second 25th birthday party, or Lindsay’s “Congrats You’re Out Of Rehab Again” mixer. Then I party hop to different after-parties, ranging from Britney’s raver to cocktails at George’s place. The next morning it’s all about filming. I have three current projects: a new Nicolas Spark’s book-made-movie with love interest Zac Efron, a drama where I play opposite Meryl Streep, and a comedy alongside Adam Sandler. Not to mention the various commercials I have in the works; rumor has it I am in the running to become the next Snapple Lady. I know Sherwood will miss such a fabulous celebrity to grace the halls. Perhaps someday I will look back and admire the petty life I left behind somewhere between the newspaper office and the Ertzman.
Preparing for Takeoff, I Examine My Runway by Kevin Hogan It all seemed very surreal to me. I think it was those fluorescent lights, the way their artificial glow hit Monday-morning eyes felt so alien, and so forced. But I rarely gave it a second thought as I traversed the halls, instead succumbing to the pulse of a rhythmic gait that, after four hasty years, had become hypnotic. My mind was elsewhere. It was in that physics packet that I would need to rush to finish during lunch. Or in that grueling track workout I would have to face come 2:30 in the afternoon. Or in those few words I wished I had never said yesterday. As my mind constantly siphoned through the responsibilities and stresses that filled my plate, I seldom found a moment to truly reflect on everything that was happening around me and inside of me. And now I am left to wonder how my high school experience turned a timid, scrawny freshman into a young man with confidence, conviction and even a bit of facial hair.
Who really knows when they find out who they really are? I used to think I did. When I came to Sherwood to start my freshman year, I was so sure of everything. I thought I knew who I was, who I wanted to be and where I was going. As I have matured, I have come to realize that freshman year I had no idea about all of those things. I still don’t. How can a person know who she is without the experiences that change a person’s life? I have discovered that I have a lot to learn about myself. Over the past four years I have experienced love and hate, true happiness and true
saxophone. Then, two honor societies and a club. These facets of my high school life incessantly threw tasks at me, which often forced me to govern my days with urgency and efficiency. I would hustle through breakfast, hustle to school, hustle to class, hustle to practice (and then really hustle during practice), hustle home, hustle through my work, and hustle to sleep. But then I remember another part of high school, a
part that was separate from this constant struggle to clear my burgeoning list of obligations. I remember that time when I started laughing uncontrollably at one of my friend’s jokes about a minute after everyone else had stopped. I remember the pure joy that I felt when I crossed the finish line after eight excruciating laps and saw a personal best displayed on the watch that timed my race. I remember when I saw her smile at me out of the corner of my eye, and I wondered for hours what it could mean. This is what really happened to me during high school; it is moments like these that are responsible for forming the person that I have become. Of course, the hard work that I have put in through the years has served me well in many ways and will continue to serve me well. But decades from now, when I reminisce about my high school days, I will want to think about those priceless moments that founded my identity.
I’ll Leave You With These Last Few Words by Alicia Romero To all those adults who told me that high school passes just like that, I can say that for once in your long lives you were right. Here I am sitting with less than a month left of school, and once June 9th comes I will be out of this place for good (unless precalc brings me back as a 5th-year senior). I’ve always been pretty independent, but it is hard to believe that after this summer I won’t see many of the people I have been going to school with for 13 years, and that more than ever before I will have to make my own decisions. These four years flew by but didn’t fail to make an impact on me, one greater than I would have expected. Someone repeatedly told me that this is “just high school.” In just high school I have discovered that life is a battle between love and logic, a tug of war between the two in every aspect of our lives. I contradict myself constantly when I think about this battle we have between love and logic. I am only 18-years-old, yet I feel like these four years taught me that the pull between the two will never be easy and will always be present. This year that struggle was worse than I could have ever anticipated, though I doubt even a warning would have saved someone as passionate as me. It scares me to admit that I am afraid of how real some things were that happened to me while I was in high school, mostly this year, and that for this reason I am afraid that I will carry them with me to college whether I want to or not. And can logic really save me? How do you just erase the good and the bad and force yourself to make the right decision? It is so hard, much harder than I could express in 450 words. But this difficulty was so worth it. You eventually learn that you can’t blame other people for doing what is best for them, because they have to focus on themselves before they could ever do anything good for you. And maybe it took me months to realize this, but I am grateful for all things that happened over these four years and know now that things will make sense in their own time. Maybe these memories are a part of me and I can take them to learn from the past and hold on to the moments that made me smile. I do not regret anything, and I am happy. So for me, it wasn’t just high school, and for that I am thankful.
Trying to Find Out Who I Am by Sarah Levine
So what really happened in these last few years? Well of course there were all of my classes. And then there was my distance running. And then there was playing the clarinet, which became playing the
sadness. I have discovered pieces of myself. I can’t hide the fact that a part of me is still an 8-year-old little girl. Yes, I still listen to the Jonas Brothers as a senior in high school. I will still wear their shirts to school. I am still proud of that fact. It’s a piece of who I am. I am 17 years of age. When I love someone, I love deeply. I try to understand the people I care about on as intimate a level as someone will let me see. Children mean the world to me. They are pure and innocent and have a certain happiness about them that cannot be duplicated. These are things about myself I have discovered my past four years,
through my experiences here. I’ve been involved with the musicals at Sherwood for the last two years. It has given me a chance to bond with people that I wouldn’t think twice of when passing in the hallway. But they changed my life. I have also decided that even though I’m a senior, some freshmen really aren’t that bad. I haven’t done anything huge here, and my name at this school will soon be forgotten after I am gone. But Sherwood has helped shape who I am, and I am grateful for that fact. Going off to Connecticut next year,
I will be about nine hours away from home. I think of this as an advantage to get a fresh start in a new place. I see it as an opportunity to try different things on and see what fits right. My Hebrew teacher once told me, “The meaning of life is what you make it.” I want to leave this message with the seniors of Sherwood as we go off on a new adventure. The next step in our lives is huge, but don’t forget this place where we all started to learn and grow together.
The Warrior•Senior Columns May 20, 2010
At this Point, it’s ‘Fight On!’
What’s Actually Important in School
by Rachel Kim
by Rachel Witkin
I’ve decided to let myself go. No, seriously. Makeup? Eh. Nail polish? Ehh. Pants? Heh, eh. It’s been four years of solid work, of studying until the break of dawn in hopes of ending up in a place that I really enjoy being in. And what a tumultuous four years; in a sense I proved not only to everyone else but to myself that just because you “mess up” (euphemism) pretty substantially, it doesn’t mean the end of the world. It doesn’t mean the end of dreams for college or success, and it doesn’t mean failure (nightmare!). Redemption! People would be surprised at how much they can push themselves through stress, and how much they can handle. That doesn’t just mean scholastically. You can even improve your relationships with your parents, friends, and yourself. Rectitude! After playing Ms. Fix-it for two, three years, I’m tired. I’m ready to par-tay. I’m excited to actually relax a bit, but only a little bit, since I’m pumped to go learn in college. It’s time to forget about pleasing everyone else and go be on my own on the other side of the country and bask in the beauteous Californian sun. When I was around three, my family went to the beach with a few other families. My dad wanted to go see The Drifters but no one wanted to go, so he took me. And I danced in a little yellow dress with a cute little cow on it, twirling around and jumping excitedly, dancing with my dad. I’ve been through a lot in the past four years of high school, a lot of stressful, disheartening events and positive, enlightening ones, and I’m not the youthful little girl who wore a yellow cow dress to a Drifters concert. Instead, I’m a bit wiser, a bit humbled, and a bit less of an idiot, and I go everywhere in a bright daisy-yellow trench coat. I still like to twirl around and jump excitedly. To my family: I’m sorry for the arguments and grey hairs. I love you. What have I learned? Inconvenient and debilitating events happen but the real challenge is rising above them. Your parents really do try to act in your best interests, and you should spend more time with them. If you have a sibling that left before you, the house gets a lot more lonely. Sometimes you do things that are considered deviant or inconsiderate. People who forgive you are really the most courageous of us all. So really, I’ve let myself go. I’m cruising on out. I forgave myself finally after everything, and now it’s time for some peace, exploration; now it’s time for work and fun. Maybe a little more fun.
I’m one of those people who dread the passage of time. I’m that strange one who loves high school, and isn’t counting the number of days until graduation. When I first got to Sherwood as a short little freshman, if you asked me how I would spend my high school career, I’d tell you that I’d get straight A’s, that I would spend my extracurricular time swimming and do absolutely nothing else. Yet, due to an amazing year of Freshman Chorus and a recommendation to take Journalism, my life at Sherwood had become so much more than just going to school and preparing for tests. I immersed myself in music, and realized what a special music department Sherwood has, where every student, no matter their talent ability, was welcomed into the loving family. I finally got up the confidence to try out for Rock ‘n Roll Revival, where somehow I managed to learn how to step-touch and even rock out while playing the keyboard at the same time. I tried out for Chambers, where I found myself singing on random street corners in Italy with the most amazing people. In Journalism, I let go of my shyness and found a home in the newspaper office,
Jen and Lil
writing scathing editorials on the ICC and the tyranny of varsity football. You can find me there during almost all my free time, where I will either be yelling at InDesign or laughing at one of Mr. Huck’s cynical comments. Throughout these four years, I realized that Sherwood was something special because of the valuable activities I was able to become so involved in. Today, I still think Sherwood is amazing; after all, what other school has something as creative and as well-done as Rock ‘n Roll? But now, as I see the direction the school is heading in, I can look at graduation, and say, yes, I am getting out of here before the arts programs are completely destroyed due to budget cuts and “core” classes. I’m glad that I spent four years in a music department that offered me so much, and that I actually took some classes where the main purpose wasn’t to gear me towards taking a useless standardized test. I learned how to work with others and to concentrate on creating beautiful music. I still resist the thought of change and leaving. But, through those classes, I am finally able to leave Sherwood knowing what’s important in life. Hopefully, those that come after me will still be able to say the same.
4 Lessons to Remember from High School by Abhishek Malik Through my four years of high school, I’ve learned plenty of important lessons both in and out of the classroom. For you curious and confused underclassmen, here are a few tips to remember when roaming the hallowed (and sometimes slippery) halls of Sherwood.
by Lilly Johnson For most seniors, it’s time to spend our final days at Sherwood. I see it as not only the last time in these halls, but the last time I see the students I’m graduating with. I guess the last four years here have been better than I thought, because it finally hit me how truly hard it’s going to be to leave. I might never talk to some people ever again, even some I consider my friends. It’s almost impossible for me to imagine leaving one person with whom I’ve had one of the best friendships. Jenny Kolb and I have something that I consider very rare. There are other people I consider to be my best friends, but it’s just different with Jen. It’s different because we have never really been part of the same group of friends, but we’ve always managed to find time to hang out or talk on the phone. I would never get annoyed with Jenny and talk about her behind her back (don’t lie, everyone does it). With Jenny, well, I would get annoyed with her and tell her straight to her face and, trust me, she does the same. There is just an understanding between Jenny and me. I know I could trust her with my life, and hopefully she can trust me the same way. Anyone that knows her knows that Jen is crazy overprotective and, yeah, gets annoying sometimes, but whenever you really need her, she will be there for you. She has been there whenever I needed someone, from
talking on the phone every night all through ninth grade about our crushes to the endless amount of drama that I came to her with my senior year. I may take advantage of what she’s done for me, or poke fun at how dramatic she can be, but I want her to know how much I appreciate her friendship. No matter what happens the day I leave Sherwood, I know that I will never be leaving my friendship with Jenny behind. I know I’ll never find another friend even remotely like Jenny Kolb. As I leave, I am going to miss a lot of things. Most importantly, I’m going to miss eating with Jenny at lunch to avoid an awkward situation, passing four-page notes to each other in the middle of math class (which we soon learned to destroy after reading), and going over to her house to study but instead finding ourselves memorizing the lyrics to Jewpac’s raps. I know my friendship with Jenny is really special and hope everyone gets to experience such a friendship, but I mean, let’s be honest, a friendship like ours doesn’t come around too often.
1. Be confident. In order to succeed at anything, you must believe you can do it. Instead of thinking too much about the possible consequences of failure, just go ahead and do it! You’ll be surprised at the results. When I was thinking of joining newspaper, I knew I wasn’t as prepared as the rest of the students who took a full year of Journalism. Rather than waiting a year and playing it safe, I decided to just give it my best shot. Ultimately, it all worked out in the end as I found journalism came fairly naturally to me and I truly enjoyed writing and reporting. As my dad always tells me, when you’re having second thoughts about doing something, just ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” More times than not, the possible awards outweigh the risk of failure. 2. Don’t load your schedule with AP classes and countless extracurricular activities. Initially, it seems like a good idea since you think you will like the challenge and wouldn’t mind the boost on your college applications. In reality, you will likely just wear yourself out with so much studies and things to do after school. As Aristotle once said, “It is better to rise from life as from a banquet--neither thirsty nor drunken.” Moderation is the key! Just limit yourself to a few APs and extracurriculars a year. Personally, I took only four APs in high school and I still ended up getting into my top choice school. 3. Have fun! Life isn’t all about school and grades. You should balance out all the school work with some pleasure. Go out with friends. Do some crazy things. You probably won’t have much more of a chance to just be a kid and enjoy life without having to worry about work, bills, and all that other adult stuff. We only have four years of this. 4. … But not too much fun. You should focus on school now so you will get into a good college and be set for the rest of your life. Trust me: a couple of months of hard work hitting the books and focusing in class will really pay off when it comes down to college admissions season. Best of all, once you get into that dream school of yours, YOU’RE RIDING IN THE GRAVY TRAIN, BABY!!
The Warrior•Senior Columns May 20, 2010
a Moment Reminiscing, Way Too Cool for School Spend the Rest of Your Life Living by Moriah Ellenbogen
In case you don’t know me, I’m the cool kid on the staff. I’m the one who, instead of going to some crazy party at 2 AM, would much prefer to watch “The Lion King” in a friend’s basement. I’m the one who enjoys writing poetry in her spare time, the one who didn’t realize until a few weeks ago that there was a difference between spring break and beach week, and the one who has never skipped a class in her life. Oh yeah—I ’m kind of awesome. And I leave Sherwood with no regrets. So I suppose now would be the time for me to embrace all of the cliché hints of nostalgia and traditional words of advice. I should probably say something to the freshman class like, “be yourself,” (although I stand by my opinion that that’s not always a good thing) or “remember to prioritize.” But the truth is, they don’t care. And I couldn’t care less. All I have left to say is, “Adios Sandy Spring!”
by Ariana Rodriguez-Gitler
Still, the moment is bittersweet. I will miss Mr. Deitchman’s knack for finding the perfect thing to say, Dr. Jackson’s dependable advice, and of course, the newspaper staff. But I certainly will not miss eating lunch on the floor. I don’t think that I’ll ever again think about all those students who think that stupidity is okay if you’re good-looking, and I fully intend to avoid rising and shining before the sun for the rest of my life. And so, now that I think it through, the moment is actually much more sweet than it is bitter. After four years of mindless math problems and reading checks, it’s all over. (We’re just gonna’ pretend for a moment that I actually am done … college? what college?) So where’s the coolest kid in school headed, you might ask? Ohio. Freaking Granville, Ohio man. It’s a town made up of 3,000 people, and it’s home to a college with 2,100 undergrads. And since I received an outstanding mathematics education at Sherwood, I can say that I am 95% confident that equals 5,100 people. 5,100 awesome people. So, Sherwood, as you continue to do what you do best, just know that Moriah is partying it up (probably on a farm somewhere), know that she’s watching the finest Disney classics with all of her new friends, and know, first and foremost, that she’ll be ‘keepin’ it real.’
We’re graduating. (Insert clichéd statement here: These have been the best four years of my life, I’m going to miss this school, it won’t be the same without you all, etc.) But let’s face it. What does graduating really mean? Yes, it’s about finishing school and getting your diploma, but it’s also about moving forward, about taking the next steps. So after we reminisce with the people we grew up with and say a temporary, maybe permanent, goodbye, shouldn’t we look to the future instead of dwelling in the past? I think so. As a sophomore, a few of my friends began lists of things they wanted to do before they die. I was inspired to start my own, even before “The Buried Life” came on MTV, although those guys have helped me add to my list. No matter what you’re doing for the next four years (college, work, travel,) it’s a new stage. In four years, most of us will be 21, complete adults with no restrictions (except not being able to rent a car). With that in mind, here is my abridged list of things to do before I’m 21: 1. Send in a “Post Secret.” I’d like to make an anonymous confession. Hey, it could be published. 2. Go on a road trip with friends. There is so much to see in this country that you would never even know exists until you pack up your car and drive off with your friends across it. I don’t even care where I go, as long as I don’t end up as the inspiration for the next slasher film. 3. Learn to drive stick. It could take me a while to find a manual car, but why not? 4. Stay up to watch the sun rise. Many of us have had long nights and maybe even an all-nighter or two over the last few years. I’ve had my share, but I’ve never stayed awake all night without the pressure and stress of something that has to get done. So it’s time for me to enjoy the peacefulness of late night changing to early morning as the sun peaks out from behind the horizon. The list I began three years ago kept me dreaming, kept me moving towards my goals, whether trivial or momentous. I’d like to believe that in the future I’ll be thinking the same thing. Who knows how or when I’ll be able to cross my aspirations off my list, but I hope I’ve done them all (and that if you make a list, you finish yours too,) especially number 5: Fall in love. Enough said.