• Humans of CPS

Seniors of CPS (1/30): Clementine B., Nina F., Noemi R., Sammy L., Lauren F., Felipe B.



(From left to right, top row to bottom) Clementine Brannigan, Nina Feldman, Noemi Romero, Sammy Lin, Lauren Fisher, and Felipe Barandiaran (Seniors) - Interviews Conducted by Anna Chard, Phoebe Shin, Celia Lehmann Duke, and Nora Wagner


This week, your Humans of CPS Team interviewed six lovely seniors— Clementine, Nina, Noemi, Sammy, Lauren, and Felipe, to kick off the semester of Seniors of CPS interviews. These interviews were conducted all on different days— Inauguration day, sunny Monday lunches, and rainy afternoons— but they all held the same purpose: to share out fun facts about our seniors and memories from their past four years at College Prep. We hope you enjoy!



Q: What is something unique about you or a fun fact that your classmates might not know?


Clem: I legitimately enjoy math class? I can sort of pick locks. That’s much cooler than math class. I’m terrible at it though, that’s where the “sort of” comes in. It’s really fun; you hear the pins clicking and it’s very satisfying. Then it opens and you feel proud because you can do things.


Nina: I feel like I’m pretty open as a person; there isn't much that I keep secret. I think that I really like art, and that’s not something that I generally do talk about. I like to make art a lot— all different kinds: lots of drawing, painting, pottery, and generally creative and artistic things. I don’t spend a lot of time doing it because of other pursuits and other things that take up my time (as everybody has at this school), but it’s something I really enjoy doing. I guess that it’s something that most folks at College Prep don’t know about me.


Noemi: Okay, fun fact: I’ve never actually seen Inception, but I kind of reference it a lot. Maybe not the most fun of fun facts, but it’s true!


Sammy: This is sort of a stretch, but in my immediate family, I’m the first to be born in the United States— my mom was born in Tanzania, and my dad was born in Taiwan, so I guess technically I’m the first one born here! I was born in Walnut Creek. Also, I’m always up for an adventure! Right now, I really want to go skydiving.


Lauren: You know, I don’t really think I’m hiding any unique skills. I say what I’m passionate about, and I don’t really keep things hidden. The only thing I feel like I maybe haven’t mentioned to friends or classmates is my interest in fairy tales, folklore, and mythology, and what it says about the people who write it— what they believe in and what their systems of power are— because I find those really, really interesting. I also really like rock climbing and bouldering. It’s so fun to just pull yourself up the rock face by your fingertips. Part of it is that I have… it’s not really a fear of heights, so much as it is that I’m a little too fascinated by them. I don’t like standing on high ledges because I always feel like I’m going to jump off of them or something. I think, “What exactly would happen, say, if I didn’t drop a rock, but I dropped my entire body off this ledge?” I watched The Matrix a few days ago, and Morpheus is like, “Just jump off the building,” and I’m like, “If I could jump off the building and know I wouldn’t die, that would be the best feeling ever.” So rock climbing to me is like the reverse of that. I bring myself up to that height— the height doesn’t come to me— and I can just repel down without it being dangerous. It’s a safe way to explore my interest in heights without feeling like I’m going to die from it.


Felipe: Something that I don’t talk about that much is that I play classical guitar. So a classmate of mine, Max, his dad is like really into guitar and I’ve been taking lessons with him since I was really little, in kindergarten. I guess it’s not that unique because Max does it, but it’s really cool. Yeah, it’s not a type of music that’s that common, especially with our generation. Most people just like hip-hop and more popular forms of music.



Q: If you could say one thing to your grade as you begin to close out your CPS journey, what would it be?


Clem: I really don’t want to do the cheesy, “Thanks guys, you’re the best, have great years!” But I also feel like I can’t be like, I don’t even know all your names! So I guess my statement is, Have fun. That’s such a hard question. Class of 2021, our graduation this year might be really unpleasant, but next year, we’re class of 2025, so keep that in mind. Okay, perhaps I need something better. Class of 2021, peace out. I had a good four years. Thanks for interacting with me. That made things better.


Nina: If I’m going to be sentimental and sweet, I would say that I’m super proud of everybody for getting through this past year and next year— I’m proud of folks for doing that. And it’s insane! It’s pretty wack. I’m, you know, not a fan at all (obviously). I think it is pretty admirable that we’re all able to rise to this “unforeseen challenge.” You know, I remember sleeping outside during Sophomore retreat on one big tarp. That was a unique experience, and it felt very bonding… that one’s probably going to stick with me for a while.

I think I’d also say that, on this day of inauguration, there is so much stuff that we have left to change and to fix for our generation to survive and to continue to be here (on so many levels). I really hope that we can all continue to push for that change and not turn a blind eye to it. Even though we do have people who might be pushing for more progressive change, it is not nearly enough; we need to keep up that momentum and that change and that pushing because it is really necessary if we want to live to see another generation.


Noemi: I think it would be that I’m just super grateful for everyone in my grade. My grade is filled with a lot of kind people, and a lot of passionate people. I’m just so grateful to have been able to share this space with them for the past four years.


Sammy: I’m super grateful for all the small moments that have accumulated during my time at CPS— the friendships and the education that I’ve gained here are invaluable. Conversations with both my close friends as well as random acquaintances contributed to heartwarming and magical moments at CPS. Also to the teachers and my advisors as well, they were a super big part of it. I feel like some of my favorite memories at CPS were when my friends and I spontaneously decided to get lunch with your friends because you have a free period afterwards. I remember one time during finals— I think it was after our Chemistry final— we all went out to the Chocolate Dragon - and enjoyed some hot chocolate and chatted, and that was really fun. I remember some days when I’d sometimes be at CPS until later, and with friends or whoever was still there, we’d go watch a sunset somewhere. I think it’s small moments like that, honestly.


Lauren: To my class, really I just want to say good luck. It’s been a very strange, turbulent year— we didn’t really expect it. In a way, it feels like junior year never ended and like I’m not even really going off to college. I’m just in some weird space where I’m in school, and I don’t know what grade it is, and I don’t really know what year it is, but things happen. So good luck in college, and, you know, going back to fairy tales and folklore, go start your hero’s journey: cross your threshold, face your ordeal, emerge with your reward, and find yourself at the end of it when you go off to college and you emerge out the other side. You’ll find yourself when the moment comes, and I wish you well in life because we’ve had experiences together, especially this one, so yes. Good luck.


Felipe: It really sucks that like the climax of our high school is a bit lame in a way, but I'm also really proud of everyone that everyone has kept a good attitude throughout, which is honestly impressive to me.


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