The Lion's Tale

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An open love letter to JDS

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An open love letter to JDS

photo courtesy of Freed Photography

photo courtesy of Freed Photography

photo courtesy of Freed Photography

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If you ask anyone in the Class of 2019 who loves you, JDS, the most, they would most likely say me. Well, it would be a tough choice between me and Maya Cohen-Shields, but it would be close. 

Our relationship started like many romantic relationships do, with a friendship. However, I didn’t realize you were more than just a school until junior year. Surprising, right? Junior year, the notoriously worst year of high school, was when we took our relationship to the next level. 

Even though I had known you for so long, I wasn’t sure if we were ready to label it. I can’t put my finger on the exact moment that I knew it was love; It was a build-up of moments and experiences. 

First, the people you brought into my life helped me see my love for you. You provided me with teachers like Ms. Wassner, Ms. Bergstein and Mrs. Levitan, who taught me when and how to participate in a discussion. You gave me the most fabulous Dean of Students, Mrs. Landy, whom I never see without hugging. You introduced me to Ms. Luther, the person that I run to with good news. And, most importantly, you connected me to the most wonderful friends.  

My passions, including volleyball, a capella, dance, volunteering and design are all a product of the opportunity you provided me and the encouragement you never failed to give. I can honestly say that I am the person I am today because of what you taught me. In stressing empathy, I learned leadership skills I use every day. In providing academic support, I found new ways to engage myself in material. In providing community service opportunities, I became absorbed in working with others to better my surroundings. 

Like any other relationship, it was hard at first to recognize everything you have taught me. I was blinded by the challenges you brought me in workload. However, you were there for me at my worst and at my best, helping me to grow over time. It’s not that all of a sudden last fall you shaped me into who I am. It was a long process that began 13 years ago when my little feet stumbled into Morah Rhonda and Morah Sarah’s classroom. 

Inevitably, we now have to part. We knew this would happen one day, although it came fast. As I walk through your halls, I have so many memories attached to every inch of your building. You were my first love. And you know what they say about first loves? They are the ones you will never forget. 

This story was featured in the Volume 36, Issue 4 edition of The Lion’s Tale, published on January 25, 2019.

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