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Seniors of CPS: Sydney G., Kate L., Daniel K., Aidan H., Niles F.

(From left to right, top row to bottom) Sydney Griscavage, Kate Laudy, Daniel Katari, Aidan Hogan, Niles Fitzgerald (Seniors) - Interviews Conducted by Phoebe Shin, Rina Huang, Nora Wagner, Araddhya Tibrewall

This week, your Humans of CPS Team interviewed five lovely seniors— Sydney, Kate, Daniel, Aidan, and Niles for our fifteenth week of Seniors of CPS interviews. These interviews were conducted on different days throughout the week—some in person and some on Zoom (like old times), 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?

Sydney: So um, when I was in fourth and fifth grade I was—actually well, pretty much my entire childhood life, I mean still now but more so then because I had such an abundance of time—I was a really big reader. I would go to the library—mostly during the summer because I really had an excess of time then—and fill up like several…what are those called—shopping bags that you can…reusable? I feel like there's a different term people would use. Anyway, I would fill up several of those with books and lug them over to the librarians, and have them help me check out as many books as you're allowed to check out on a library card, and then I would go up and hide in my room and just pore over all the books, and then repeat the cycle, obviously, over and over. That’s not the fun fact, that’s just context! For the fun fact—in fourth and fifth grade my favorite book to check out from the library was this massive book of Italian folktales. It was probably like, 500 pages—it might have been 800 pages. It was ridiculous; it was a massive volume of Italian folktales that covered all the classics—it was like the witch in the woods, the king who makes a grave error and then everyone pays the price, princesses hidden in dangerous places—so exciting. Yeah, I love that book—I love the mystery. I think the folktale is so interesting—they’re just so fun: just that mild magic.

Kate: Um…what kind of fun fact? …I speak three languages pretty fluently—Spanish, English, and Chinese. That works, I think!

Daniel: I’m not sure how few people know this, but I have a black belt in Taekwondo, and actually in a couple of weeks, I’m going for my second degree for my black belt, so that’s exciting!

Aidan: I love architecture. You know, when I was trying to get into CPS, I wrote one of my essays about learning Arabic every year and learning about architecture.

Niles: I really like cooking, I guess? People know that a little bit, but not a lot of people know that about me. Yeah, cooking!

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

Sydney: I have to go with the freshman year—well, my freshman year, but it was a class of a bunch of people in different grades—drama show. We had a drama show and we had an improv show—both were related to drama. Truly, they were very surreal experiences—I’m sure anyone else in the class could attest to it. We just spent several months learning this weird story play written I think by Tolstoy, but that could be a misreference. The whole theme of the play was that it was supposed to be super disjointed and bizarre and random, but then at the end we all sang like, a song about everything coming together. But it didn’t come together—none of it came together at all, it didn't make any sense! It was so fun—the improv show too. It was fun to get to like, play off each other and actually put our improvisational skills to use. Yeah, it was good; it was fun; it was weird. I like those weird experiences where you're like, “What is going on?! Why are we pretending to be a farmer in the midst…” and then all of a sudden there would be a random scene where we’d all have to yell… It’s very hard to explain. It was one of those—you just had to have been there. Like genuinely, there is not a better use for that phrase—you actually had to have witnessed this thing to understand the madness of it.

Kate: Honestly, I think this is on my mind because it’s so recent, but after Senior Ditch Day, it was so fun seeing how many people showed up to the volleyball game—I mean, it was enough people that everybody got COVID—most of our grade was there! You know, we’d all been out in the sun, I know people had headaches and sunburns, and we were all super tired, but everyone showed up to support and it was just so cute to see the bleachers full of seniors! And to see how excited everyone got after we won.

Daniel: I feel like it’s hard to name a specific memory—but I really liked all of the times in junior year, second semester, when we were all just hanging out with each other for the first time in ages. Maybe senior sunrise too, that was a cool experience. It was just great to have the class together as a whole, and see everyone in a fun setting.

Aidan: I think something that really still stands out to me is the first night at freshman retreat, when we were all around the big campfire, and people were singing and doing skits. Yeah, I remember that well.

Niles: Probably freshman year, NCS playoffs for the tennis team. It was the first time I played tennis that competitively—I mostly just played at summer camps, and joining tennis at CPS changed that for me. But yeah, going to the NCS playoffs and playing with the upperclassmen—who were all like two years older than me, but I felt like I became close friends with them, so that was a fun experience. And it felt like even though I was a freshman, everybody wanted me there and it was a very welcoming experience, so I’ll remember that. Something else is…honestly, this is really broad, but just going to school with friends. *laughs* I’ve made really good friends at CPS, and they’re definitely relationships that I want to continue after high school. So yeah, a little broad, but definitely something I’ll remember.

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

Sydney: Okay, this is hard for me because as you can probably tell from the rest of this, I am a person of very many words—I would love to do a combination deal. I think—this isn't the grandest word—but I think I would go with sweet. Like, truthfully. I like “sweet” too because you can have that sort of abbreviated “sweet,” where it's like "sweet!" I guess you won't be able to tell because this is in writing—I’m speaking it now where it's sort of like, “Yeah, that was a really good time!” But you can also really ruminate—okay now I'm giving a lot of words, so maybe this is kind of cheating. Yeah, it's been wonderful. Well, that’s also another word. Sweet, I'm going with sweet.

Kate: *Sighs* Can I say rollercoaster? A lot a lot of highs, a lot a lot of lows…I don’t think I would change anything though, I don’t have any regrets.

Daniel: Interesting, maybe? I’m not sure that captures everything, though. I mean, I guess you can’t capture it with one word, anyways. Yeah, I’ll go with interesting.

Aidan: I’m trying to figure out how to phrase this in a non-hyphenated word. Maybe something like boundary-pushing? It sounds negative, but I feel like I’ve just grown a lot as a person. Does that work? Here, now I’m doubting myself! …I think I’ll say growth. That’s the main thing, just that I’ve really evolved over the years, and I think growth is more positive than boundary-pushing, which sounds a bit negative. And it’s actually one word, not hyphenated!

Niles: One word…probably…formative? Yeah, formative.

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

Sydney: First and foremost, I'm looking forward to getting out of my room. I’m stuck in quarantine right now because I have COVID, so that is a very short-term future goal. This is day five for me, so sometime in the next week I will be free! But, I'm sure this is supposed to be about long-term stuff, so I would say probably getting to pick, or I guess be a part of really specific classes about stuff that I'm really interested in. I don't know, one of the things that I've enjoyed—at least in my later years at CPS—is being able to pick more specific classes still within a subject. I think obviously there are some overarching classes that are just basics that you have to take in college but a lot of it…Like, I’m probably looking to do a lot of English stuff, and a lot of that would just be seminar-type stuff about specific things that I'm interested in, which is exciting. So, I'm excited to study new stuff, interesting stuff, niche stuff, and stuff that intersects things that I'm interested in. One of the things that's cool that I've heard about colleges is like, if you're a really math-y person but you obviously have to get all your other credits for all your other courses, there are specific classes within each section––like there are English classes that are really sort of about math, or like history classes that are actually really about science, or something. A lot of the classes focus on the intersections of them, because you can't really separate any one type of learning or type of knowledge from the other.

Kate: This is just a little thing, but I’m really excited to go visit people in college. To see my people, and have them show me all their spots and see everyone’s friends, and I just can’t wait to see where everyone else ends up, I guess.

Daniel: Definitely college, and being out and free. More than that though, I’m really looking forward to senior retreat and getting to see everyone together one last time.

Aidan: Honestly, I think I’m just looking forward to being able to take a deep breath, for the first time in a while, you know, without college hanging over my head. But also taking the time to really reflect on the past four years, and being able to treasure those memories.

Niles: I’m looking forward to spending time with my friends over the summer. I feel like over the past few summers, I haven’t really made an effort to do things with my friends, because I knew that I’d still see them next year and I’d be with them. But this year is obviously different, and I think I need to kinda force myself to hang out with them and spend more time with them. Like, we’ve been planning a couple road trips and stuff, and I want to focus on those relationships. Yeah, so I’m looking forward to spending time with people that I won’t get to spend time with later in the year.

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

Sydney: Probably just thanks. It's been great—I know that's like, classic, but I really am just thankful. It's been a fun four years. It's been weird and really unconventional—I mean, I’m doing this interview from my room, which is not how I expected the end of senior year to go, but that's okay. I think that we’re all going to do well out there, so thank you. And good luck! Have fun, live it up—work hard, play hard.

Kate: It’s been a wild ride, thanks for everything.

Daniel: It’s been a great four years! I feel like every time I discover a new part of CPS, I’m always astounded by how great everyone is. Even the people that I haven’t spent that much time with—I’ve run into them in some class, or some way, and everybody is just consistently great.

Aidan: That one threw me for a loop! I’m trying to think of something that isn’t so cliche…I think it would be that you all are all constantly amazing. Like, everyone has so many layers of so many interesting things—no one is boring, and everybody sort of has their own thing. Everyone has so much passion, and I think it’s so incredibly cool, and that’s something that I won’t forget.

Niles: I’ll miss you guys.


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