It was a cold fall evening; right after I had gotten home from one of my varsity football practices, and that was the moment I knew that I would be staying at Fenn for another year. Think about living life with no memories at all. If I imagined my life without Fenn, it would almost feel like this. I have created so many memories that I will cherish forever at Fenn, and who knows, next year during Ninth Grade I will probably make even more. This year, by far, has been my most successful year of writing. Right off the bat I started to struggle. Literally, I almost missed the first assignment, and it has been like this all year; a constant struggle to get it done. But, once its done, it is impeccable, and now in ten minutes, I could write the same amount that would have taken me an hour to do last year, with the same, if not, better quality and grammar. If I could put a scenario to this year, here is what it would be. Let’s say I never properly learned how to swim (I did learn to swim properly at a very young age. I am also an extremely confident swimmer and have been on a swim team or two, but lets say that I did not for this scenario.) So, every day my parents would bring me to a pool or the ocean or something, and they would just throw me in there, even though I did not know how to swim. This way, if I wanted to live, I would have to swim, until it got to the point that year that I became a very talented swimmer. This was kind of like Fitz's class for me, except, his class was not as harsh as this scenario and he would always offer help if I really needed it. I will also never forget winning the Fay hockey tournament, which would defiantly be one of my highlights of this year and Fenn memories in general.
This has been my writing experience from my one-year in the upper school, but for this essay, to start off, lets throw it back all the way to the beginning, back to fourth grade. There have been so many teachers that have had to put up with my antics in and out of class, and I only found it fitting to start off with the first teacher who had to put up with them, Mr. Smith. As soon as I came to Fenn in the fourth grade I knew that I would have an amazing time in Mr. Smiths class. He was by far the funniest teacher I had then, but he was also one of the nicest. He was always there when I needed help, and he is always there for me now if I need it, even though I am in Eighth grade. I will always remember the class picture that we took on field day, and how I looked like such a fool. Also, he has the same sense of humor. I remember around two years ago or maybe it was one year ago, a couple friends and I were goofing off. Afterwards, Mr. Smith came up to me and said, “I taught you back in fourth grade, and your maturity hasn’t changed since.” Fifth Grade was still the same. I remember missing a number of school days due to my Grandpas 80th birthday party in Virginia at the Homestead. I remember the hot water springs and skeet shooting for the first time. I also remember how in Ms. Wei’s room we would move the desks around so we could dance in the middle of the desks. I also remember this intern, Mr. Mckeown, coming and getting fired because he would always bully us when we played gym soccer. He was also incredibly rude at times and was always quick to give out recess recalls. I remember I got one for my shoe falling off in gym soccer.
On to the middle school; middle school was probably some of my best years at Fenn. I remember in the beginning of sixth grade, I would struggle to get my work in, and I would not really put enough effort into it. Then, one teacher really helped me through it, well, two actually. One was my advisor, Mr. Morrison, who would always offer help when I needed it. He also gave me amazing advice by saying, “don’t think of yourself as a dumb jock, think of yourself as an intellectual, because you are one.” At that time, I was not very sure what an intellectual was but I knew it was good and I will always remember him saying that. But, Mr. Carr was the one who really got me working. He talked to my parents, talked to me, and told me what I needed to do, straight up; no ifs, and or buts. I was in his science class and I was struggling. When time came for the final exams, which we had back in sixth grade, I aced it and that was what helped me learn that I could do it. I could get good grades. Also, on that topic, I have still never really gotten over the fact that my grade was the last sixth grade to have to take final exams.
Seventh grade was not the best. As soon as the year started I could tell that I might not be the best match for my advisor, Ms. Youksee. If there were one person in the school who was the exact polar opposite of me, it would be her. In this essay, I mean no disrespect to her; she was just not a right fit for me. Soon, Ms. McCarthy found that out also. Here is the story, I had misplaced my Spanish binder, and it had gotten to the point where I had not been able to find it for about a week and I was starting to miss assignments. One day, Ms. Youksee, my advisor, the person who is supposed to help me, comes up to me and said, “Christian, I found your binder.” And I said, “That’s awesome, thank you can I please have it?” And here’s what she said: “No no, I know where it is, but I’m not going to tell you because you need to find it on your own. You need to learn how to find it.” I shrugged it off and kept on searching. Another week had gone by and I had been searching vigorously but still had not been able to find it. I went up and begged her to tell me where it is but she still would not tell me. My grade was dropping lower and lower in Spanish because I didn’t have this binder, and Ms. Youksee would not tell me where it was. It got to the point where Ms. McCarthy found out and helped me find it. Ms. Youksee said she was trying to teach me responsibility, but I felt it was a weird way of teaching it. I also remember the highlight of that year being when I got a 93 on her math exam. But, nevertheless, that year was still great, and I will never forget the Washington DC trip, although it was delayed because of snow and some parts of it were shortened. It was still amazing.
Like I have had said before, I have had so many amazing years at Fenn, and sure, there have been my ups, and there have been my downs, but, the good has by far, out weighed the bad, and I am really looking forward to next year. I can only imagine what is to come. I know that I will have a great advisor because we can choose our own advisors. The smaller class will mean fewer distractions, and, as ninth graders, sports will be amazing because everybody looks up to you. But there will also be more responsibility. I remember when I had just arrived at Fenn and I was in fourth grade, how I looked up to the ninth graders. They also looked so big, and somehow, I had this feeling, that I would be sitting in those senior seats someday. Back then, those were the seats in Robb Hall, so I won’t be sitting in those exact seats, but I will soon be sitting in my own one in Ward Hall. Hopefully some fourth grader will look up to me as I did to the ninth graders when I was in fourth grade. Yes, it will be very different next year, with so many of my great friends leaving, and no longer going to school with me every day. Who knows if I will ever see any of them again, but you know what they say, “Nothing gold can stay.” But sometimes, when the gold leaves, you just have to move on. What might come after the gold may even be better that the gold itself, but you never will know unless you give a damn and get over the gold. But always be open, just incase the gold comes back one day.