Although I have only been at City and Country for three years, every year has been full of memories and funny moments, which I wish I could write all about. But sadly there is a limit, so I chose only my top memories from City and Country to write about.
The first time I really felt like a member of City and Country was at my sister’s graduation in 2016. Hanna, William, Willem, Roly, and Seamus all had siblings in my sister’s group so they came to the graduation. I sat in the front row on the left of Hanna with William and Roly on her right while Seamus and Willem sat behind us. It was the first time I got a glimpse into what my years at City and Country would be like.
During the graduation, it seemed like my sister’s whole class performed songs for the parents (which took a long time). My sister played piano, other girls played guitar and sung. All of this happened on blocks in the left of the yard under a white tarp. However, the most memorable song that was played was Aiden’s. It was not that I enjoyed listening to it the most, but that it was funny. Because of the humidity, he continuously had to retune his violin. He would step out, play a single note, try to tune it, turn toward us (the audience) and say he had to go tune it. This happened three times before it was finally tuned and he began to play. My future classmates and I laughed. It was the moment which everyone wishes their instrument would not be out of tune, yet Aiden’s violin was out of tune three times.
I have only been at City and Country for three years, yet I consider the XIIIs one of the best. Even though we had to apply and get ready for high school, have vocab and map tests every Friday, and write 7-page essays, this year has been very fun. At the beginning of the year, the whole class took the traditional trip to Washington D.C. Towards the end, we found out which high schools we would be going to. However, I think the best memory I have at City and Country was our trip to Chicago. Every year the XIIIs go on a trip, either to New Orleans or Chicago to study African American history. But for the past four years, the XIIIs had gone to New Orleans, so we went to Chicago.
Most of our time in Chicago was spent in the hotel ordering Chicago deep dish pizza, swimming in the pool, and watching Black Mirror. This was because the time we took a trip to Chicago, was during the Polar Vortex when it was -50° with a windshield.
I can still remember crystal clear how we ran to a bus from our hotel for a tour when it was -20°. When we were driving, the windows had a layer of ice fogging up our view so Trayshia told us to scrape it off with our room keys. However, the problem was that as soon as we scraped off all the ice and snow, a new layer would appear. So the majority of the bus tour was all of the XIIIs continuously scraping ice off the windows and not paying attention to anything our guide was saying.
My roommates for Chicago was Gitana and Daisy B. Directly above us were Declan, Roly, and Willem. Every single night they would stomp and jump around their room from the living room couch to the bathroom and to their beds repeatedly just to annoy us. To get back at them, we would repeatedly call them and one time we took the ironing board and hit it against the ceiling. This continued until our very last night in Chicago.
In addition to the stomping, we also watched Black Mirror in the boys’ room upstairs. My roommates and I plus Chase, Parker, Seamus, William, and Jack all gathered on the couch with the lights off eating snacks. We occasionally would change the channel to Forged in Fire, which William droned on and on about and Gitana would say how her grandfather watched it. Every chance we had to go into each other's rooms, we would do this because even though Seamus would be rolling on the ground and lying on someone, we always had a good time.
By only having nine girls out of our class of 22 kids, we have learned to stick together even during lunch. For out lunch, Nathalie and I always explore all the food places nearby and make a goal of eating at all of them. However, we are both lazy and ultimately just go to the Asian food place on the next block instead of walking three blocks to Benny’s Burritos. But since Parker loves sushi, she usually gets sushi and meets us at the restaurant, sitting down next to us, taking out her sushi and eating it with a fork.
I also give kudos to Trayshia for organizing a girls affinity group on Tuesdays. Even though we can be annoying, she still puts in the effort to get us together to support each other. For the affinity group, we sit at a table in a room above the lunchroom, and read Michelle Obama’s book, Becoming while eating lunch. While reading, we listen to the audiobook of Michelle Obama reading so we can follow along and eat.
From the XIs to the XIIIs, I have had great teachers. Daniela always supported my artwork, Pete would let us watch CNN 10 and play basketball with us, and Ann and Trayshia always let us know that they are here for us academically and personally. All my teachers have been different, but they all told me to try the best I can and not to care about what anyone else thinks. As Trayshia always tells me, “When they say you wear your hat too low, only wear it lower.”
Although City and Country can be sensitive and shelter students too much, they really teach us how to get by in the world and overcome obstacles. I always know I am welcomed back to City and Country after I graduate and am so happy that I can take everything I have learned with me and intrepidly walk into high school.