December Departure: My Last Newspaper Article Before Graduation.


     It’s hard to think that I’d ever even have to begin this letter so soon, but the time has come. As I sit here in Mrs. Wallace’s room, I am surrounded by journalism students who are working, cracking jokes, and even sometimes slightly agitating each other. Earlier today, my AP literature class enjoyed each other’s company, and it made me realize how much I am going to miss each and every one of them.

     As a freshman, I had nervous sweats everyday up until sophomore year. During that year, I made some pretty cool friends and met some stellar acquaintances and teachers, as well. I remember that my favorite class was Honors English 9 with Ms. Cochran. In this class, I learned a lot about writing that would prepare me for future English classes. In this class, I became a stronger intellect compared to middle school, and the world of literature opened before my eyes, as I formed a new obsession with rhetoric, stories, themes, and all things literature. In my freshman year, I learned that just because you think you’re an outcast, you’re probably not, and there are people out there that do love you and will love you. Some people that taught me this are my friends to this day. One of the most memorable things that comes to mind regarding this year (freshman) is what my friends and I called “The Knights of the Round Table,” (which was really a round lunch table filled with book nerds and weirdos that we were, of course, meant to be a positive thing, fyi). It was comprised of me, Charlie Finger, Ashton Hall, Carly Lance, Emilee Salyers, Katelyn Adcox, among some visits from Carmen Byerly, Bailey Fritz, Harley White, Brittany Mayfield, Abbi Massey, Katelyn Stafford, Kayley Pickens, and some others that I might have forgotten to list. There exists a group chat with the original members, where we occasionally share nerdy tumblr posts, rants, things of our daily lives, funny emojis and gifs, and interesting news articles to talk about. To make it even more nerdy, we each came up with (no joke) feudalist-ish titles i.e. Court Jester (that’s me) for us, as we were sorta the “Knights of the Round Table.”

     Sophomore year was a year in which I bloomed even more. This was the year I joined journalism A.K.A. one of the best decisions I ever made in my high school career. Some cool friends I had met before, Bailey Fritz and Charlie (Marissa) Finger, introduced me to this class and persuaded that I join. Then I met Mrs. Wallace, who was and still is my second mom and inspiration/role model. It was with her and the blessing that journalism was to me that I burst out of my socially reclusive bubble. I also made some more friends/acquaintances at this time. Some words like: rocket, profile, spread, ladder, cover, module, opener, tag, crop, and portrait became part of my vernacular and gained new meaning. This year, I even applied to become the newspaper editor for journalism, and I made it! I held this title until this day, of course. Though, it is time that I pass the torch.

     My junior year was difficult. This is when I took some of my hardest classes like algebra 2, chemistry, AP composition, and AP psychology. Junior year was a big bloom for me with some aspects of edgy fashion (though I’ve toned it down because of senioritis), and cool music. This is also the year that I began to get more in depth with politics and try to understand the world around me better. Though the friend group sort of got spread due to different classes and lunches, we still keep in touch and know deep down that we are friends. AP composition had some cool memories too involving some cool acquaintances like Thomas McCurry’s and Brandon Vandergriff’s antics. This was also the year that the whole English department saw “The Crucible” play adaptation at Clarence Brown Theatre, and later ate lunch at the mall.

     Senior year is only one semester long for me, as it is apparent that I’m graduating early, but the memories that were made will always be in my heart. Then, even though we had talked in previous years, Jessica Ilgner and I formed an unbreakable bond. We became sort of a dynamic duo of artistic alternative kids who cracked jokes as much as we could together. Jessica was also in my AP literature class. Moreover, my AP literature class with Wallace was like a second family, and my last days with them together was filled with boisterous laughter, bad puns, afternoon tea, secret santa gifts, memes, inside jokes, food, and general, warm fellowship. As I write this, the remnants of my afternoon tea are in my cup, the deadline of journalism is being met, and the memories of my high school career continue to flood my brain. I’m definitely going to miss a lot of my colleagues, and I really, genuinely hope our paths cross frequently in life, if not become intertwined. For the future, Mrs. Wallace will always be my second mom, my AP family will always exist to me, photography skills will be utilized, the inside jokes of 4 years will be comical to me, and I will continue to expand my group of friends and become an even more social butterfly. Thanks, LCHS. I came here as a scared, anxious freshman, and left as a social, eccentric senior.

P.S. I may not have mentioned all of the great people that were in my life through these four years, but believe me, you’re definitely not forgotten. Each and every friend, acquaintance, colleague, or teacher (whatever our amount of closeness) have impacted me positively and you guys will always be friends to me, no matter the distance, our differences, or how many times we talked. I hope you guys know who you are, because you guys were and are great. I am very grateful for any form of friendship that you have given me, and I want to make it apparent that it has not gone unnoticed.