The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 27, 2003


Au revoir, mes amis

I had just unwrapped a package of newly-developed Kodak special print pictures and looked into the smiling faces of each of my friends. I smiled at them and with a glance at just one of them, a thousand memories came rushing back. I remembered walking into school for the very first time and being scared beyond belief that one of the giant eighth graders would crush me beneath their extremely large sneakers. School has changed in many different ways since then, and I am now the one scaring the kindergartners. I now know how to spell, write, figure, and I know just about all of the United States Constitution.

Eighth-grader Tom Phillips shows off his diploma following the graduation ceremony. (Photo by Mike Quayle)
All of my pictures came together in one book. The book was blue brocade and was a small present that meant the world to me. For in this book I filled up every page with my treasured memories of friends from school. This book would allow me to look back upon all of these moments and remember the people I have grown up with.

In every picture I looked at I realized that every boy and girl has a unique personality. Who cares if they have been best friends since first grade and share all the same clothes? Each is a very different person. Difference and friendship are what everything at our school is based on. No one expects someone else to act a certain way or dress in certain attire. We all have separate ideas, plans, and views on everything. If you ever sat in on a Socratic discussion in Mrs. Ewer's eighth- grade English class, you would notice right away that separate ideas and views are what make our class the most interesting.

The eleventh picture in the pack reminded me of how carefree we must be to get through school. No one in our class rejected acting like a completely insane fan member or a macho singer in our seventh grade play "Bye Bye Birdie." We took the roles with our heads held high and knew that not everything must be taken seriously. As people have used the ability to laugh to their advantage for centuries, so has our class. How else do you suppose we got through the MCAS and last week of school?

Lately, most of us have realized where we actually are going next year. We are no longer going to be in our small school, where whenever you look around, you are surrounded by familiar faces and people who have known you since you were five. Even though we are all ready to move on, just think about everything that you have gone through at this school, everything you have encountered, everything you will miss.

Our photos give us insight to everything we have learned. Just one picture holds a hundred moments alone. A picture. A story. A tale of genius and a tale of faith, and a tale of friendship. All these stories and all these pictures come together to form a book. A book of memories and a book of individuals.
Special education teacher assistant Jon Willard dons the huskey mascot costume that is the 2003 class gift to the school. (Photo by Mike Quayle)

It is every individual in this school who gives meaning to a small school in a town that no one knows the name of. I will never forget the kid who runs track and always beats the rest. Or the one who will always fight for what is right. The girl that wears the headphones, but listens to Bach. Or the boy that can score more points in one basketball game than the coach thought possible. Even the one who thinks they're invisible to the rest of the world (even though they really are noticed) and hides their face in a book. I will never forget the one who doesn't speak in more than one word sentences, yet makes everyone laugh. Or the kid who is nice to everyone all the time. Or that friendly face in the crowd that lets you borrow his science book when you've forgotten yours. And the friends you spend Friday nights watching scary movies with. Do you remember the person you were never really friends with, but the mutual feeling of liking each other was always there? The kid that you lent your most precious CD's to? The kid who has won a hundred medals for simply playing the instrument they love most? The teachers that taught you why an airplane can stay in the air? The teacher that made learning every single amendment fun and taught you the importance of each? The teacher that answered all your questions? And especially the teacher that taught you how to think deeper, even when you thought you already knew the text? All of these people are what make up our story, our book. How can you write a story without characters? You simply cannot.

We have all gone through pajama days, beach days, no-backpack protests, field day competitions, bake sales, band concerts, sports games, yearbook signings, and crazy hair days. We have all gone through bad days, bad grades, cold, gray, rainy days, good days, good grades, and beautiful hot, sunny days. And now, in theory, we separate from this school. But in reality we will never divide as a group because we have memories, we have jokes, we have laughter, we have tears, and we have the pictures.

Our book of memories contains 2,394 days, 14,364 hours, 861,840 minutes, and 51,710,400 seconds we had together. That is roughly 11,562 laughs together, 5,005 bruises, 4,569 bumped heads, and 12,682,000 smiles together.

Like our good friend Dr. Seuss once wrote, "You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed. You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead. Wherever you fly, you'll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest." With all of the knowledge and experience that everyone here has given each other, that will come true for every individual in this amazing class, in this amazing school. Bonne chance. Good luck!

2003 The Carlisle Mosquito