Finding a second home among friends

By Mary Rose Fissinger

My high school career in 400-600 words. A daunting task, which is mostly the reason I’ve waited until the morning the paper has to be finished to write it. I got here at 7:50, even though I don’t have class until 10:15, so I could force myself to get it done or else face the wrath of adviser Kathy Neumeyer one last time.

Despite the (now familiar) ridiculous situation of being back in Weiler a mere 8 hours after I left it the night before, I’m happy I came. It’s proving the perfect place to write the all-important Senior Column. It is undoubtedly the place on campus where I have spent the most time; calling it my “home” would be entirely accurate. I am often other places: classes, the track, the quad, the cafeteria, but I am just visiting them. I come home to Weiler. There’s no place I feel more comfortable than at a Weiler computer (preferably one of the coveted island ones) with a large cup of coffee by my side.

If Weiler is my home, then the Chronicle staff is my family. Once a month, I spend over 30 hours with them over the course of four days. They know how hard I can work, how long I can procrastinate, how good or bad my jokes can be (usually bad, if you ask them), how long I’m willing to argue with Daniel Rothberg, how stupid I’m willing to look in order to be comfortable during the long hours here (certain outfits come to mind), how many cups of coffee are enough (if the number exists, I haven’t hit it). The fact that as of tomorrow, my Chronicle career will officially be over kills me.

However, Chronicle is not the only family I’ve become a part of these four years. It would be a horrendous injustice to my high school career to fail to mention my cross country team, my first family here. We’re infamous for our closeness, and frequently referred to as a cult. It’s not really surprising, though. Note to readers: struggling through 12 mile practices together in August heat is a sure-fire way to produce true friendships. Try it sometime.

And then there’s my math class. We all, for some reason that most people (ourselves included sometimes) will never comprehend, actually wanted to take the legendarily difficult Precalculus Honors 10 class. We are few enough in number that we’ve been together all three years at the Upper School—through Precalc, Calc BC 11 and now the lovely reward that is Advanced Seminar in Mathematics Honors. Another great way to make friends: take Suzanne Lee’s Calculus class with them. See numbers on the top of your quizzes that you always thought of more as your dad’s age rather than a grade you could receive on a math quiz.

I don’t mean to highlight the difficult times. True, cross country practices and double period Calc tests weren’t always fun, exactly, but I wouldn’t give them up for anything. They and the people I shared them with have defined my time in high school and me by extension. When I leave for college in the fall, I will be leaving multiple homes and several families. But I give them those labels for a reason: they will always be there for me when I return, symbols of where I’ve been and what I can do.