Senior Column: Find a passion to pursue


Jonathan Morris, Outgoing Features Editor

I never expected Shir Madness to become such a large part of my life. I really only joined it because my sister had. Funnily enough, something I joined without much thought has become a defining hallmark of my high school experience, taken on great significance in my life and has taught me valuable lessons.

Although cliche, Shir Madness is a family and accordingly runs the gamut from some of the proudest moments of my life to incredibly difficult struggles. I recall standing on the stage of the Kennedy Center, examining the rows of people dotting the audience and the many passersby who paused on their way to other performances. That truly was a once in a lifetime opportunity. At other times, I’ve felt like a professional mediator dealing with the numerous issues that can arise with a group of twenty or so teenagers. Both of these experiences are important in their own right.

COVID-19 demonstrated how important this group was to me. Suddenly singing, something that had brought us immense joy, was now an efficient spreader of a deadly disease. For a moment I felt a bit lost. Eventually, I learned how to continue making music, albeit virtually. It has been a laborious process, but it is a labor of love that has provided this community with continuity, a common goal and has kept a group that subsists on in-person interaction from fracturing altogether.

While singing might not be your forte, it is vitally important to find something that is. CESJDS has a wealth of opportunities for all of us to take advantage of. I’ve been fortunate to see many sides of that through Shir Madness, working on the Lion’s Tale, Reflections magazine and the musical. As a lifer, I will forever be grateful for the experiences I’ve been afforded and all of the incredible students and faculty with whom I’ve gotten the chance to learn, sing and grow up with. Oh, and Daphne? You really should have tried out.