Reminiscing the past while facing the future

Reminiscing+the+past+while+facing+the+future

Kat Sarafianos

443 Rock Bridge seniors are graduating this year. They’re leaving their home of four years and advancing to different places with different people to do different things. But they were different to start with: at Rock Bridge they took different classes, had different friends with different interests and even ate lunch at different places. Yet despite each distinction between each graduating Bruin, one similarity shared among all of them is that they’ve all experienced things at RBHS, they’ve made memories. Their entire lives, only 17-18 years, are made of memories formed in childhood and adolescence and reflect their growth and change as humans. They’ve worked and struggled in terms of academics and collegiate acceptance, but also relished and experienced the carefree, naive moments exclusive to youth. Their last year of controlled freedom is one of indulgence in ignoring classes that can’t hurt them and observing lessons that they ignored before. This is a reflection and celebration of the years they lived.[TS_VCSC_Image_SVG image=”274626″ content_image_size=”medium” style=”imagesvg1″ color_fill=”#ffffff” grayscale=”true” trigger=”image” link_container=”false” lightbox_size=”full” text_title=”Ashweeni Matrala” color_title=”#2bb673″ color_text=”#333333″ color_button_text=”#333333″ color_button_back=”#ffffff” content_tooltip=”true” content_tooltip_position=”ts-simptip-position-top” tooltipster_offsetx=”0″ tooltipster_offsety=”0″ lightbox_group=”true” lightbox_effect=”random” lightbox_backlight=”auto” lightbox_backlight_color=”#ffffff” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”0″]“This is a story about many things. I guess this was December, so it was right around Christmas time and we were at a friends graduation and he was moving so we decided we were going to do a secret Santa, but some how it got misconstrued to something much dirtier, and people bought interesting presents to swap. There were quite a few very questionable items, including a blow up doll of a naked Tiger Woods that was anatomically correct, I hope your getting what I’m alluding to. There was also body chocolate involved; and not to get into anymore specifics, but it was just a mess. But the night was young, and we decided to leave said house which was in good relation to downtown, but we didn’t realize that there was like 30 people at the house who were all going with us, and it was like 8:30 at night. So we’re all walking around, and for some reason someone decided to grab the Tiger Woods’ doll. So the image to get in your mind is we’re walking around at night downtown with 30 teenagers and one of them has a naked Tiger Woods blowup doll on their shoulders. The doll was fully blown up and everything, like all parts of the doll. We have no idea where we’re going, and it’s cold outside and it was just weird because it’s just a mob a people being idiots and all of a sudden we hear a loud noise in the distance and we’re thinking, “what’s that? That doesn’t sound good.” Then out of nowhere we see this car careening, like breaking a hard right and then just swerving down the road. The entire front bumper is off. It’s leaking oil and whatnot. Smoke’s coming out of the hood. Airbags were deployed. Windshield was smashed, and the two guys driving just stop the car. They get out and we’re trying to see if they’re okay, and they just look up and see a blown up naked Tiger Woods’ doll on someone’s back. So they just walked away leaving this smashed car in the middle of the road and with this scenario of a crashed car, 30 teenagers and a blowup sex doll at night. It didn’t look good. Oh, and this entire time the person was trying to hide the sex doll by shoving it down, but there was no way you could hide it. But actually, when we were leaving the party later, we were driving up the same road and we noticed a taxi that had been hit on the side of the road. So we pieced together that this car had hit the taxi, like a complete hit and run, and then swerved away, drove down a side street and ditched the car and ran away. It was a very Kafkaesque night to say the least.”[TS_VCSC_Image_SVG image=”274625″ content_image_size=”medium” style=”imagesvg1″ color_fill=”#ffffff” grayscale=”true” trigger=”image” link_container=”false” lightbox_size=”full” text_title=”Andy Kegli” color_title=”#2bb673″ color_text=”#333333″ color_button_text=”#333333″ color_button_back=”#ffffff” content_tooltip=”true” content_tooltip_position=”ts-simptip-position-top” tooltipster_offsetx=”0″ tooltipster_offsety=”0″ lightbox_group=”true” lightbox_effect=”random” lightbox_backlight=”auto” lightbox_backlight_color=”#ffffff” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”0″]A continuation from Mr. Vantrala’s story “After that had gone down, we went back to the house and went our own separate ways. But four of us had decided we were hungry and so we went to Taco Bell, we took two cars. We went in and there was a man down on his luck, a vagrant if will, who looked as if he were sleeping at one of the Taco Bell tables. He started  muttering and hacking all of a sudden, and at this point  two of our crew had gone home because their parents didn’t want them to get murdered at a Taco Bell. So then, it was only the two bravest souls of the group braving Taco Bell for nutrients and the vagabond started pacing around and had begun to direct insults towards us. Now at this point we’re in front of the cashiers desk and another lady had ordered in front of us and we were in the corner waiting for our food. She was between us and the homeless man and we were using her as a human shield so that if something did happen she would be there to defend us like a momma bear hopefully. So she gets her food and leaves, and we curl up even closer in the corner because we no longer have that shield. The guy is getting louder, making noises like, “chhhhhkshhsshhhh,” and sounding like he was coughing up a lung so it may have been the start of a zombie outbreak that we were concerned of. So eventually we do get our food, and for obvious
reasons we don’t want to eat it there, but were also worried about him following us out of the establishment. So for the sake of our own safety, we run out to our car, lock the doors and then drive to another parking lot, half a mile away just to eat our Taco Bell. We didn’t get murdered, and we didn’t contract any diseases-that we know of. So it was a successful night.” [TS_VCSC_Image_SVG content_image_size=”medium” style=”imagesvg1″ color_fill=”#ffffff” grayscale=”true” trigger=”image” link_container=”false” lightbox_size=”full” color_title=”#2bb673″ color_text=”#333333″ color_button_text=”#333333″ color_button_back=”#ffffff” content_tooltip=”true” content_tooltip_position=”ts-simptip-position-top” tooltipster_offsetx=”0″ tooltipster_offsety=”0″ lightbox_group=”true” lightbox_effect=”random” lightbox_backlight=”auto” lightbox_backlight_color=”#ffffff” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”0″ text_title=”Delaney Tevis” image=”274965″]“When you go into senior year, you’re doing all the activities and school work you’ve been doing your entire high school career, but you have this added layer of applying for colleges and scholarships. That’s very stressful and time consuming and so when you find out the results of said work, its very exciting because they are essentially what you’ve been working for your entire life. So about two or three weeks ago I was sitting in quiz bowl practice, and it was ivy day. Ivy day is the day when all the college results for all the ivy schools come out and I  had forgotten about it, but Vicor Topuria  came running in and said, “Delaney did you check? Did you check? Did you get in?” and at first I didn’t know what he was talking about and then I remembered the decisions were coming out, so I immediately pulled out my phone and logged into my account at Harvard. It was the only ivy I had applied to. When I logged in, it took me to this generic home page and then the first thing on the top of the page was “check your results, your decision is now available.” So Victor was staring over my shoulder, and I was suddenly very nervous because I didn’t want him to read my rejection letter, so I shooed him away and covered my phone really tightly and clicked the link to open my letter. The first words I read were Congratulations and I was like, “No, this isn’t happening.” I read the letter and then I read it again and again, and when it had sunk in I stood up and yelled some explicit language you can’t write on the school website. The whole quiz bowl team was there and it was very exciting and (my team member) Jet made me call my mom on speaker phone and tell her. At first my mom thought I was joking with her because it was the day before April Fools and she thought I was playing an early  joke, but when she finally believed me she started screaming. Honestly I’m still kind of in shock, I didn’t think I would get in, but when you find out something like that it really validates all the work and effort you’ve put in. It’s the beginning of a new time in our lives and I’m nervous for it.”[TS_VCSC_Image_SVG content_image_size=”medium” style=”imagesvg1″ color_fill=”#ffffff” grayscale=”true” trigger=”image” link_container=”false” lightbox_size=”full” text_title=”Jett Ballou-Crawford” color_title=”#2bb673″ color_text=”#333333″ color_button_text=”#333333″ color_button_back=”#ffffff” content_tooltip=”true” content_tooltip_position=”ts-simptip-position-top” tooltipster_offsetx=”0″ tooltipster_offsety=”0″ lightbox_group=”true” lightbox_effect=”random” lightbox_backlight=”auto” lightbox_backlight_color=”#ffffff” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”0″ image=”274964″]”I also went on the quiz bowl trip to Chicago. We had rented a short bus, and we met at Rock Bridge really early in the morning. So we went to Walmart before we really started driving and were going to get supplies and Irwin was driving and dropped us off at the door. As I walked off, like I was walkin down the stairs of the bus, Irwin handed me 10 bucks so I reached back to get the money, but you know how buses have fans in the corner of the door? Well, my hair got caught in the fan when I was leaning back and a huge section of my hair just gets spun up into the fan. So Irwin’s just like,’Oh, crap!’ and we’re trying to get my hair out of the fan, but we’re in the middle of the roadway and cars are getting backed up. So Irwin was just like, “We have to move!” So everyone got off the bus to buy things and Irwin drove the bus, with my hair still in the fan to a parking spot. So I was just standing there while he drove around the Walmart parking lot try to find a spot. So we tried to pull out my hair and it was not working, so Irwin went in to Walmart to try and borrow scissors. So me and Delaney were left in the bus and Delaney like, ‘Is the bus still on?’ Because Irwin forgot to stop it, and we turn the bus off and the fan stops. Like the fan had been on the entire time my hair was caught, but it jammed the gears so much it couldn’t so when we turned it off it just came right out. But I had lost a good chunk of my hair at the root and it was still caught in the fan. And I had this huge weird bump on my head from where my hair had been tugged. Every other time during the trip that I had to get on and off the buss I made sure my hair was in a pony tail. Oh and the hide and seek tag Robby was talking about, that was my idea. Robby: No it wasn’t! Was, too! Robby: No you didnt! Bro was, too, because the girls were going over to the guys rooms and I was like, ’Hey, by the way, I saw this group of Chinese people playing hide and seek and what if we play hide and seek?’ and Robby was like, ‘Yeah, let’s do it,’ and then we invited everyone else to play.” [TS_VCSC_Image_SVG image=”274629″ content_image_size=”medium” style=”imagesvg1″ color_fill=”#ffffff” grayscale=”true” trigger=”image” link_container=”false” lightbox_size=”full” text_title=”Michelle Wang” color_title=”#2bb673″ color_text=”#333333″ color_button_text=”#333333″ color_button_back=”#ffffff” content_tooltip=”true” content_tooltip_position=”ts-simptip-position-top” tooltipster_offsetx=”0″ tooltipster_offsety=”0″ lightbox_group=”true” lightbox_effect=”random” lightbox_backlight=”auto” lightbox_backlight_color=”#ffffff” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”0″]“I moved to Rock Bridge the beginning of my junior year, and I had just come off a gap year that I spent in China. So I had AP US History and Ap Lang. with Mr. Thorton and Ms. Clemmins, and I think it was sometime in January where we were just talking in class about my gap year, and Mr. Thornton just goes, “Wait, aren’t you from China?” So I was born in St. Louis near Chesterfield, and I had moved here and then spent a gap year in China, but he thought I was actually  Chinese, and I think he had been giving me pity points all year because he thought my English was really good for someone whose  first language was Chinese. I made fun of him for the rest of the year.”[TS_VCSC_Image_SVG image=”274623″ content_image_size=”medium” style=”imagesvg1″ color_fill=”#ffffff” grayscale=”true” trigger=”image” link_container=”false” lightbox_size=”full” text_title=”Rosie Eldursi” color_title=”#2bb673″ color_text=”#333333″ color_button_text=”#333333″ color_button_back=”#ffffff” content_tooltip=”true” content_tooltip_position=”ts-simptip-position-bottom” tooltipster_offsetx=”0″ tooltipster_offsety=”0″ lightbox_group=”true” lightbox_effect=”zoomIn” lightbox_backlight=”custom” lightbox_backlight_color=”#2bb673″ margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”0″]“One time, my friends and I went to Wendy’s during lunch, but we didn’t have enough seats so I had to sit in the Trunk. I was with…wait can I say their names? Never mind, they won’t care. I was with Humera, Yasmeen, Saja, Nadia and Mariyum. Everyone got to their seats first so I had to go in the trunk. But Nadia crawled over with me and sat with me in the back because she didn’t want me to be alone. I thin
k she felt bad. But we had fun in the trunk, Yasmeen was driving really fast and we kept bumping back and forth between the seats and the trunk. I remember everyone kept screaming and giggling. She also had a really dirty car, Yasmeen had a pillow in her trunk and she also had trash like old tea bottles and empty chip bags. It was fun, though. When we finally got to Wendy’s, I remember I couldn’t get out so Yasmeen had to help me and Humera kept taking pictures of me. It all turned out OK. I ended up getting a Frosty.”[TS_VCSC_Image_SVG image=”274653″ content_image_size=”medium” style=”imagesvg1″ color_fill=”#ffffff” grayscale=”true” trigger=”image” link_container=”false” lightbox_size=”full” text_title=”Emily Vu” color_title=”#2bb673″ color_text=”#333333″ color_button_text=”#333333″ color_button_back=”#ffffff” content_tooltip=”true” content_tooltip_position=”ts-simptip-position-top” tooltipster_offsetx=”0″ tooltipster_offsety=”0″ lightbox_group=”false” lightbox_effect=”swipe” lightbox_backlight=”auto” lightbox_backlight_color=”#ffffff” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”0″]“Last spring break I went to New York with my aunt and we were talking about college and I was kind of considering the University of California Berkeley, but it wasn’t at the top of my list, University of Michigan was and  Wisconsin was my back up. But the more I looked at Berkeley, the more I realized it was my No. 1 school, like I felt like, “I have to go to Berkley.” But Berkeley is also the hardest of the three to get into, and I was really nervous when I turned in my application. There were three essays in the application, and one is about your family background and I’m Asian American, but I didn’t want to write about it because I feel like that didn’t affect me as a person. I feel like my environment and who I was around in high school and elementary school are the influences that shaped me to be who I am. The other essay was one about an experience that taught me something and the last essay was a personal statement that was supposed to expand more on who I am as a person. My cousin went to Berkley, well my three cousins, but my favorite cousin, Paulina, who’s from California called me and asked me to send her my essays. She helped me think of new ideas and expand upon them, and I ended up writing about being a Vietnamese-American, how my parents came over during the Vietnam war, and making it into state band. She helped me make my essays stronger, but when I turned in my application I was still feeling pretty bad about it. So it was March 26th, I remember the day, and it was the Thursday over spring break and on the Berkeley website it said your application will be ready the evening of Mar 26, 2015. Going up to that date, I would check every single day hoping that maybe my discussion would be up, but at the same time knowing they wouldn’t be up. Then the night of, I knew I had a track meet two days later and I didn’t want them to affect my mood or anything so I thought, ‘I’m just not going to check. ‘ But the night of I had my friend, Maddy Mueller check. So it was seven in the evening and she kept refreshing the page and the decision was still not up and I was panicking because I wasn’t even at the computer because I didn’t want to look myself. But we realized that California is two hours behind, so we thought, ‘Maybe it’s gonna be their evening.’ So we checked at nine o’ clock which is their seven o’ clock, but it still wasn’t up. Finally, it got posted at 11, which is not evening Berkley, just saying. So it was like 11 o’clock and she was supposed  to look and not tell me the results and I would look Saturday after the meet and she would say congrats or just be like ’aw its OK.’ So I was texting her, and I was like,  ‘Is it up yet, is it up yet?’ and she was telling me to calm down. She clicked refresh again and then she sent me this text that just says, ‘….’ and then I was like, ‘What, dude? Is it up yet? Did you check?’ and she sends me a smirky face emoji, and I was wondering if a smirky face is a good thing and she told me, ‘check.’ I was so worried and nervous, but finally checked and I was like, ‘Oh, I got in.’” [TS_VCSC_Image_SVG image=”274652″ content_image_size=”medium” style=”imagesvg1″ color_fill=”#ffffff” grayscale=”true” trigger=”image” link_container=”false” lightbox_size=”full” color_title=”#2bb673″ color_text=”#333333″ color_button_text=”#333333″ color_button_back=”#ffffff” content_tooltip=”true” content_tooltip_position=”ts-simptip-position-top” tooltipster_offsetx=”0″ tooltipster_offsety=”0″ lightbox_group=”true” lightbox_effect=”random” lightbox_backlight=”auto” lightbox_backlight_color=”#ffffff” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”0″ text_title=”Robby Schmidt”]“Last year, [the quiz bowl team] made it to quiz bowl nationals, so we got to go to Chicago, and we stayed in a fairly fancy hotel, and we were eliminated within the first day. We didn’t have to worry about getting a good night’s sleep or anything, so we stayed up playing  hide and go seek tag until about three in the morning. So the hotel was designed kind of strangely. Like it was a 10 floor high building and square, but the elevators were in the middle and each floor had walkways connecting to the elevator so you could look up and see the ceiling, but there were lines where the floors were obstructing it so it looked like a weird waffle. You could also see the lobby and all the floors from the top, so I just stayed on the tenth floor so I could see where everyone was. It’s not cheating by the way. Everyone says that’s cheating, and it’s not. Oh, there was one time during the game when I was ‘it’ and Luke Chval got tagged by me, but he denied it and just ran away. But I knew I tagged him, so I wasn’t going to be ‘it’, so for a really long time no one was ‘it’ and we didn’t know who was ‘it’ so every time we saw each other we ran away. But the thing is, Luke was ‘it’. I know he was ‘it’. He was just in denial, and you know what, he has never admitted to it since! Eventually, we just made Salad be ‘it’ even though he was a senior at the time. We just bullied him into it. I tagged Luke, he says I didn’t. If you were to talk to Luke today about it what would he say? He’d deny it. He’d be like, ‘No, brah.’ He was also really mad we were limited so early. I was just happy to play hide and go seek tag.”