(From left to right, top row to bottom) Damon Fitzpatrick, Chloe Sun, Malena Vermut-Young, Julia Liu, Gabriella Bensadoun (Seniors) - Interviews Conducted by Phoebe Shin, Rina Huang, Nora Wagner, Araddhya Tibrewall
This week, your Humans of CPS Team interviewed five lovely seniors—Damon, Chloe, Malena, Julia L, and Gaby for our ninth week of Seniors of CPS interviews. These interviews were conducted throughout the busy week before Spring Break, some in between thrilling assassin killings, and some after an amazing Global Fair, but they all held the same purpose: to share fun facts about our seniors and memories from their past four years at College Prep. We hope you enjoy, and have a great Spring Break!
Q: What is something unique about you/a fun fact that your classmates might not know?
Damon: I’m really into birds…I do a lot of birdwatching. I watch them all the time. I don’t know, I just enjoy them—and I don’t really tell a lot of people about them.
Chloe: Oh my god, I was just thinking about this this morning—I was scared I wouldn’t have anything to say! I think it's that I used to do serious competitive figure skating, since I was seven. The way I turn is how I turn on ice! But, I stopped in eighth grade I think, because high school was too much and I was really far from my rink. But I turn like I turn in ice skating—like when I do the coupé turns there's like a back scratch spin that's like it, and that's exactly how you do it!
Malena: Okay, first of all I feel like I share everything—there's not anything that people don't know…That's a good question! Let me think, wait. Yeah, let's go back to that one.
*at the end of the interview*
Well, when I was seven, I rode my dog down the stairs by accident. I don't know, that was kind of my go-to for essays in middle school, like “tell a story about your life” and I would just do that. It was by accident though, not on purpose! I guess like, I used to live in Wisconsin, but I feel like a lot of people know that—but maybe people don't know that! I guess one unique thing about me is I used to live in Wisconsin for quite a long time.
Julia: A fun fact is that…I’ve been told that I eat cupcakes really weirdly—I lick off all the frosting first and then eat the rest of it. No particular reason why—the frosting is just the closest thing, so I guess that’s why I eat it first? I’m also too lazy to take off the wrapper, as well.
Gaby: There probably isn’t anything that nobody knows. I don’t…I don’t know! Well, I really don’t like extremely warm weather. Yeah, that’s the best thing I can come up with. *laughs*
Q: Looking back at your experience at CPS, what is something you will never forget?
Damon: Um…something I will never forget. I think just all the Spirit Weeks. I really love them; they’re so much fun. I’ve always been a big participant in the different events that we do—I’m always on the dodgeball team. I did the basketball stuff when we had that, and you know, just being able to be part of those events is just really fun. Everyone’s spirits are on fire that week; you just feel like the school is really coming together. It’s just a great time of the year. (Damon, you may be a big participant, but have you ever really won dodgeball?) We won this year first semester, and we almost beat the seniors in the second semester last year.
Chloe: I don't know—I think I don't remember a specific event, but I think I won't forget the friendships I've made. I think it is the friendships and the new people I've met—I came to this school knowing only one person from middle school—so definitely the friendships…When you write this you need to write this better! *laughs*
Malena: Probably walking to Seneca. I know this is supposed to be emotional or something but that is ingrained into my mind. I don't know—I should say like, “oh friends!” or something, but like walking to Seneca twice a day—that's never ever…yeah.
Julia: I think I’m mostly thinking about recent stuff, since, you know, they happened recently *laughs* The boat prom that we had was really fun, I think that was one of my favorite dances! I was also just working on the yearbook page for that day, so it’s been in my brain. This Intraterm was really fun as well—I went to Disneyland and it was very cool.
Gaby: This isn’t tangible, but definitely the friends I’ve made and the experiences I’ve had with them. School is fun…I enjoy learning; I like my teachers. But without my friends, it wouldn’t be anything close to how it’s been. I’ve gained some amazing friends during my time here. Just hanging out with them and being able to spend time with them has been the most memorable and important part of my experience here.
Q: What is one word you would use to describe your four years at College Prep?
Damon: Formative. I don’t know, coming into high school, I wasn’t really well-equipped to handle the workload and expectations of CPS, but over the four years, I've developed skills and become a more complete student. Going into college, I feel prepared.
Chloe: Motivating. At first I would’ve said challenging—because any kind of new experience is challenging—but I thought that was too negative, and I think there are a lot of positive sides to being challenged in school. I think one part of that is just having the motivation to…to become the best version of myself.
Malena: Okay wait, am I allowed to be negative or is this supposed to be positive? Okay honestly…what's that word, I can't remember. It's that word that's like tumultuous but less exciting than that. Like tumultuous and bland at the same time—it’s tumultuous but not in an exciting way. Maybe I'll describe it better—it’s like, there's been a lot of personal change since I came here, but at the same time…wait what was the question? Alright, but at the same time, honestly, it's just school. Like, I come here to learn and I go home. You know? It's whatever.
Julia: Discombobulated, maybe? Because, it didn’t really feel like anything I expected, especially because of COVID and everything. So it almost doesn't feel real that I’m a senior now, but it’s been fun.
Gaby: Interesting! Yeah, probably the word interesting. The good and the bad. All of it together—it’s been really interesting! It’s been captivating. Captivating—I like that one better. Let’s do that one!
Q: What are you looking forward to in the future?
Damon: Yeah…I guess at this point, it’s all kind of winding down. It’s just enjoying the remaining time I have left with my friends at this school, making the most out of it.
Chloe: I’m looking forward to, I think a lot more independence, and determining how I live my life. I think that school is super structured, but then going into college and going into the real world is a lot more independent, so you have to make a lot more of your own choices. So, I'm excited to learn more about that, but also to have the freedom to do what I want!
Malena: Oh! I’m so looking forward to going to college. I’m going to a bigger school than this—I guess I'm excited to meet new people.
Julia: I guess I’m looking forward to…I’m not sure actually! I haven't really made very many plans for the summer yet. But I’m looking forward to college, since I’m going with a lot of friends and people that I know, so I think it’ll be fun and nice to not have to worry about being in a new place all by myself.
Gaby: Seeing what happens, honestly. When you’re at this school, you spend four years worrying about the very next step. Like getting into a good college, going there, just getting to that next step. I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about what it would actually do for me, or where it’d get me, or where I’d be after it. I still don’t really have any idea of what I’m going to do. So, I don’t know. I’m just kind of curious to see where it all goes. Following the storyline! Yeah, seeing what happens.
Q: If you could say one thing to your grade as you begin to close out your CPS journey, what would it be?
Damon: Hmmm…. I love you guys. I’ll keep it short.
Chloe: I think I want to say that these four years have been a lot of fun, and to thank them for the things that they have taught me, and the fun adventures we have been on together!
Malena: To my grade or to the school? Like, maybe don't put this part in, but pull the stick out of your ass! I don't know if I want that coming from me, but just like. I want to say this without making it sound negative—I don’t want people to read this and think, “whoa jeez, Malena has a lot of bad things to say.” But just like, take a deep breath, relax. It's gonna be okay. When it's on paper they can't see it’s in a condescending tone!
Julia: I know a lot of people say thank you, since I’ve been reading all the other interviews, but I would also like to say thank you! It’s been really fun, and I think we have a really great class, and it’s been a very enjoyable four years.
Gaby: A lot of people probably said this, but thank you. I feel like I know some people very well, and I know other people much less well, but no matter what, I know and appreciate every single person in my grade. Every person in my grade has had an impact on me at some point or another. It’s why I’m graduating and it’s why the person I am.