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Editor's Goodbye

posted May 26, 2011, 3:09 PM by Unknown user   [ updated May 26, 2011, 3:14 PM ]
By Christian Romo

5/26/2011


During my freshman orientation
way back in 2007, senior Joe DePinto snatched a $20 bill from his wallet (it may have been a $100 bill, I can’t remember) and proceeded to inflame it with a BIC liter. The moans of disappointment from the crowd, who would later become this year’s graduating class, drowned out Joe’s explanation that four years without involvement at St. Francis High School is tantamount to burning money.


It’s strange looking back and remembering only two things about that orientation. The first was meeting my first friend at this school, Marc Magallanes, an occasional contributor to Knight Life, and the second was the stench of burning greenbacks inside the theatre. I didn’t want to become that person who didn’t get involved because, as much as we don’t like to admit it, what we do in high school ends up defining who we are through the eyes of our peers.

 


It’s not all bad. I’m fine with people describing me as the guy who runs the newspaper, as I believe soccer players are fine with people first defining them as athletes, and as I believe the drumline performers are cool with their respective labeling. It’s how people see us; but once we learn to see ourselves from a different perspective, we start recognizing the important aspects to get out of our high school experience.

 


I love theatre. I joined the cast of Beauty and the Beast this spring because I assumed that I would have no better feeling during school than performing on stage for a professional-grade production. By the time opening night had finished, there were at least a dozen experiences I had in between the start of rehearsals and the start of production that had a greater impact on me.

The people I’m going to miss most often had no hand in my education in the classroom. I will remember the people I’m supposed to remember, like Father Tony or Mr. Eulalia, but the ones I will cherish played a much different role in my education. Chino provided me with morning nourishment, a wonderful Spanish-speaking partner, and some much needed comic relief in between classes. Coach Williams, who never taught me a three-point stance or directed me in a hit drill, often engaged me in some of the most challenging and rewarding conversation on campus. Mr. Bidwell wasn’t my senior year religion teacher, yet I learned so much stirring and useful spiritual information from him on a retreat. I found Kim Rodriguez, the crossing guard, to be the most joyful person on campus when she wasn’t cursing at bad drivers.

 


As you younger classes will eventually find out, the graduating classes receive cards that give them free admission to every home game for the rest of their lives, as if it is going to be the ultimate connection to our alma mater. But what I’m going to miss the most isn’t the games or the stage productions, it’s eating outside every day. I often took for granted how lucky I was to be eating lunch on a beautiful outdoor campus under the protective shade of a massive oak tree until I moved to the senior lawn. For an entire year I got to eat lunch on grass with some of my best friends telling bad jokes and reminiscing about cartoons and old flames. If my college experience or my professional life can offer me something similar, I feel that I am going to be a happy person in my professional career.

 


Music is something for which I have a passion, but the soundtrack of my high school career won’t include any of the thousands of songs I accumulated on my iPod. I’ll be humming along to the tunes of “Mal Bicho”, “God Save the Queen” (the original to praise the Lord, not the Sex Pistols), “Waka Waka”,  “Christmas in Africa”, “Firework”, our Spanish 2 listening skills tribal pounding theme song, Clarence Clearwater Revival, “Kids These Days”, and the bass of “Soulja Boy” in the bio lab.

 


My favorite nights won’t be the ones we’re told to remember, like the Homecoming dance or when we beat Loyola (though that will be cemented in our legacy). I will instead remember parkour during Othello rehearsals and talking with friends while waiting for our rides on cold nights in the winter. I will remember talking 1980’s Orange County punk with Mr. Dierking and sitting still during story time on our last day of English class. I will remember standing in the locker room during halftime of the St. Paul game as a glorified water boy and seeing Brian Basic write “FINISH” on the whiteboard in red marker.

 


If there is any regret I hold, it’s that I wish I had gotten to know the people I connected with during my senior year much earlier. We will all be off to college in a few months, and as much as we would like to avoid this, it will be most likely that I’ll only keep in touch with less than a dozen of my classmates. If you ask any of my peers what I did at St. Francis, they’ll probably say the newspaper and a lot of AP classes, and if they know me better they might mention theatre or sports medicine. If you ask me what I did at St. Francis, I will tell you nothing that will interest you. Just know that it means the world to me. 

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