21 things, 2 months: Senior counts down to graduation with a bucket list and blog

May 28, 2010 — by Christine Bancroft and Denise Lin

Rick-rolling the announcements. Trying the notoriously spicy chicken at Smoke Eaters. Visiting the Mystery Spot and Hicks Road. These are a few of the 21 missions, some more daunting than others, that senior Lauren Henderson has set out to accomplish before she says goodbye to Saratoga High.

Henderson, who is attending Seattle University this fall, documents the count-down on her blog, “21 Things, 2 Months,” on Tumblr and YouTube channel under “laurenslistof21,” to document her progress.

The list of 21 things to complete before graduation includes such simple tasks such as eating a caramel apple (something she hasn’t done since elementary school) and having a lemonade sale. Her more difficult goals include an attempt to recreate the parade scene from the iconic high school movie, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and inter-tubing down Saratoga Creek.

Many of Henderson’s friends have remarked that her blog is similar to MTV’s 2010 show, “The Buried Life,” which follows four men as they accomplish goals from a bucket list of their own.

“I haven’t seen the show,” said Henderson. “But since making this, I found out about it. I was just thinking about things I want to do. We have two months left before graduation. I just sat down with my friends and we just decided to make the list.”

Her blog features videos with narration about the days’ exploits and coverage of the tasks themselves, some of which can only be completed in California. On May 13, while all freshmen, sophomores and juniors were taking STAR testing, Henderson and a group of friends went to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk to cross off four tasks from her list—eating a caramel apple, trying to surf, eating a deep fried Oreo and getting a fake airbrushed tattoo.

Unfortunately, she ran into obstacles when she arrived. In particular, the Boardwalk hadn’t yet opened for the summer, so many rides and booths were empty, and the beach had no surfers. Luckily, she did manage to try a caramel apple; the stand was one of the only things open at the time.

“It was good,” Henderson said, laughing. “It was really good. But now I have to cross off a bunch of stuff from the Boardwalk; they only had like, three things open. So I haven’t been able to do that stuff yet.”

So while the trip to the Boardwalk was fun, but unproductive—fried Oreos, surfing, and fake tattoos will have to wait for another time.

She has been able to tackle No. 9 on her list, however. Henderson, armed with friends, went to Hicks Road, the spooky street rumored to be a location of strange occurrences and the home of a community of albino people who come out at night. However, the street did not live up to its reputation.

“We went up for probably 30 minutes, and the road is really long so we didn’t go all the way, but there was nothing,” said Henderson. “The only thing that was scary was this dog and it was totally white; it was just standing in the road. I felt like I just about died, but that’s it. Nothing else.”

Between goal No. 14, Rick-Rolling the morning announcements (interrupting the announcements with the song ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ by Rick Astley), and goal No. 21, recreating the Ferris Bueller parade scene, Henderson has a long road ahead of her. She only has a short time left before graduating, and as of May 20, she only has completed three of her goals, but she is enjoying herself along the way.

“Selling the lemonade was really fun,” Henderson said. “And it was pretty easy. I’m still trying to figure out how to Rick-Roll the announcements; I have no idea how I’m going to do that yet. I’m under a tight schedule, but I can do a lot of them at once and I’m looking forward to it. I have to do a few more, but I need my friends to help me as graduation comes nearer.”

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