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Seniors of CPS: Noa S., Patrick B., Andrew L., Eli S.

(From left to right, top row to bottom) Noa Shenkar, Patrick Berbon, Andrew Liang, Eli Singer (Seniors) - Interviews Conducted by Phoebe Shin, Rina Huang, Nora Wagner, Araddhya Tibrewall

This week, your Humans of CPS Team interviewed four lovely seniors—Noa, Patrick, Andrew, and Eli for our sixth week of Seniors of CPS interviews. Coming back from Intraterm, these interviews were held throughout various parts of the four-day week, 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!

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

Noa: Uh, I have a dog named Cody – he's a labrador-retriever mix. We got him in 2012, so he's about eleven now.

Patrick: I like walking. You know, a saunter. The walk down to the Bart station is pretty good.

Andrew: I guess that I lived in a lot of different places? I was born in Chicago, moved to China, and then lived in New York, San Diego, New Jersey, and now in the Bay Area. And I think that’s kind of interesting in the way that it’s shaped my experiences and how I view my life in different ways.

Eli: I think maybe that I've been doing origami since I was like six or seven. And even though I’ve stopped recently because the local competition in San Francisco closed because of COVID, I've still been doing it a lot and it's something that I've enjoyed through a lot of my life—and I feel like a lot of people don't know that about me!

Q: Looking back at your experience at CPS, what is something you will never forget?

Noa: I think the retreats—the sophomore retreat! And also the people—I think the kids here are very nice, and I think that's really made my experience in high school a lot better.

Patrick: I’m never going to forget the feeling of wanting to go to school. Not that I’m incredibly exuberant over it. It’s more of a passive excitement, but still! It’s something that I never experienced before going to CPS.

Andrew: This isn’t a specific thing, but I think about a lot of the deeper and more personal conversations that I’ve had with people over my years at CPS—just getting to know different people very well and learning about their experiences is something that has stuck with me. And like physically, too, you know, like, sitting on a roof talking to people about random things late at night, or sitting on a bench, or walking up and down Seneca and just talking about things, talking about life—whether that might be academic, or personal. I think I spend a lot of time thinking about those sorts of conversations afterwards, and I think they’re really cool.

Eli: Definitely the people. I think they've changed me so much over the four years—it’s definitely going to be the thing that stays with me most.

Q: What is one word you would use to describe your four years at College Prep?

Noa: Uh, exciting.

Patrick: Luminous. Or luminescent? Whatever word encompasses the properties of brightness.

Andrew: I’ll go for a cool one—let’s go with metamorphosis. I think that before coming to CPS I was a very different person than I am now, and a lot of that has to do with the culture, and a lot of that has to do with the unexpected experiences that I went through coming to a new school. I think a lot of my previous experiences have been really well defined by the school district that I was in for around 7 to 8 years, so I think I’ve changed a lot coming to CPS, in ways that I couldn’t have imagined.

Eli: I was going to say rollercoaster, but Thea took that one last time—but something along those lines. It's been an amazing ride, and I've gotten like—just thinking socially—I've just changed so much, and I think it's really helped me grow, and the people here have really helped me grow, so I’ll just stick with rollercoaster.

Q: What are you looking forward to in the future?

Noa: College? Graduation? I mean yeah, I would say college—do you mean future at CPS? Yeah, college!

Patrick: More integration by parts—I hope Norm reads this, you should specifically cc him on the email. Sunsets are pretty nice. More of those, more nice days. I guess this is stuff that I’ve already experienced, but it’s hard to think of examples of good experiences that I haven’t experienced. Like, to know that they’re good, I have to experience them. I’ll get back to you on this one, in, like, a year. I’ll email you a list: a list of new experiences!

Andrew: I’m looking forward to pursuing things for the sake of making me happy. I think part of that is self-exploration, like, finding out what are the things that actually make me happy, and in what ways they make me happy, and really pushing myself to my full potential. And these can be in things like debate, different classes that I enjoy, badminton, and developing friendships. But I think I’m at a point in my life where I’m only pursuing things that I care about, which means that I’m really excited to see where they go once I give my full dedication to that.

Eli: I’m definitely looking forward to college—wherever I end up. Just because I look forward to the independence that I'll have there, and the chance to try all these things that have been interesting to me, but that I haven’t had the chance to try.

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

Noa: Thank you for being so welcoming to me as a transfer student!

Patrick: You are all wonderful people. Being with you for the past four years has added a lot of “wonderful-ness” to my life. So, thank you.

Andrew: I think I would say that our grade is really cool. And I think this is a little bit of an understatement, but I think the way in which we’re really cool is that we really are so different, as individuals—we have different ways of looking at the world, different perspectives, different passions and interests—but we’re able to come together in a way that’s very meaningful and symbiotic. I’ve compared our grade to an ecosystem before, where everyone has a distinctive niche that they’re part of in that ecosystem, and that makes for a collaborative environment where we aren’t competing with each other, and we want each other to do well. Which I think is really cool, because I didn’t really think it was possible when we have the same goals of getting into college and whatnot, but CPS has taught me otherwise. And I really appreciate that.

Eli: I know this one’s a classic but stay in touch! I just definitely want to stay really close to everyone I’m close with right now—even people I'm not close with.


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