Personal Column: ‘Editor-to-be’ bids fond farewell to SHS

June 6, 2008 — by Aadrita Mukerji

Junior Aadrita Mukerji: Bear with me...

I’ve never been much good at goodbyes. When I left Valley Catholic Middle School at age 12, a grand total of eight people knew I was moving to California. When changing schools in the middle of fifth grade, I told my classmates about the move on the day it happened. The funny thing is, I never remember leaving. Saratoga High is my eighth school, and somehow I can’t remember my last day at any of the other seven. But something tells me I’ll remember this one.

Let provide some context for this column before moving on: My family is moving to London—England, not Texas—this summer, and I’m going to spend my last year of high school at the American School there instead of as a senior at Saratoga High. It’s a move we agonized over for ages (and ages and ages and ages), and as much as I hate what’s happening, I can at least understand my parents’ reasoning—so you can stop worrying, Mom and Dad; I’m okay. Eventually, I think I’ll see the merit in this move and may even be grateful for it; I’m just not quite there yet.

But then I think about everything I’m leaving, everyone I’m leaving, and I’ll admit I get more than a little choked up. I won’t—my fingers are stalling as I type this, as if they can change the truth by refusing to put it in print—I won’t get to be editor-in-chief of The Falcon next year. This paper has been my bright spot throughout high school; the day I was named next year’s editor-in-chief was one of the happiest of my life, and the thought that I can’t be a part of it next year physically hurts. I wish the best of luck to next year’s editors, Michael Chen and Dorey Schranz (who will be taking my place). People say some thoughts are the stuff of dreams; this is the staff of dreams. Next year, guys, through the flurry of cover sheets, hollering for copy editors, impromptu Photoboothing and Thursday deadline nights, I hope you’ll remember to send a copy my way. If I’m being clichéd, I might as well embrace it senior will style and list the juniors with whom I began this odyssey: MC.EC.KS.BT.KL.AJ.KL.JY.GQ.AS. NB.DS.AC.JT.BJ.AT.TT.TY: We’re finally on top—make it epic.

I’m prepared for the incredulous looks this is going to get me, and I’m gonna suck it up and say it anyway: I love Saratoga. When I think “SHS,” I don’t see money or cliques or academic pressure or bubble-dom. I see sidesplitting locker cave lunches, profound thoughts around the track, sunset on Skyline, the brilliance of the J-room, weekends of debate tournaments, mountain/molehill prom drama and Otis Spunkmeyer’s chocolate chip cookies. That—not the SATs or the stress or the 3 a.m. emotional crises—is what sticks. I’ll remember every teacher I had, though I know some won’t remember me and others will wish they didn’t. I’ll remember care packages of pizza and Gatorade, overdressing for swing dancing and sneaking into Borat. I’ll remember smiles on the faces of the people I love. A quick challenge for all self-professed Saratoga haters: Try leaving. You’ll see what happens.

Yes, I don’t get to be a senior at Saratoga High. I don’t get Beach Day or a license or a “Friends” page in the Talisman. But I do get these last few days, and I did get the last three years. I don’t get to have Kucer, but I do have Drennan; I don’t get to skip STAR testing with my friends, but I do get to stress with them about college apps; I don’t get senior mag, but I do get this column. I’m going to bawl like a baby at graduation this year—not that I wouldn’t have anyway—because part of me feels like I’m graduating, too. I’m still a Class of ‘09er— I just finished a year early.

And now I’m going to stop rambling and try and get to my point concisely: Thank you, Saratoga. Thanks for the memories, the experiences, the lessons, everything. There are, I believe, four days of school left; three of them will be ordinary, and the fourth will be my last one here. Thank you for making sure that I’ll remember it.

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