Without meaning to, I have begun to reflect on my time at City and Country School as my final year comes to a close. I have been lucky enough to go here my entire life, and while this small progressive school may not be for everyone, my experience here has been fantastic.
My years here started relatively well, excluding me getting punched in the face during my first year at C&C. Although this was clearly not a positive experience, I will admit that he was a surprisingly strong two-year-old. Besides that, making friends in my early years went well. I have even known some of my current friends since the IIs or IIIs.
One of these friends is Max Beyer. We first met in the IIIs, which was both of our second years. However, my earliest and most notable memory of our friendship came in the IVs, when we were in Carol’s group. Carol, of course, no longer teaches at C&C. By the time we kids had reached the mature age of four, we knew all about love. By then we knew all about crushes, and I would be lying if I said people did not think about that. You might think the crushes just extended as far as giggling and holding hands, but you would be wrong. It became routine that IVs would hold wedding ceremonies during Roof Yard! While there was no entertainment or refreshments, the weddings felt quite extravagant to my four-year-old taste.
Max in particular was the star of many of these weddings. If I recall correctly, he got married two or three times within the span of one year. Pretty impressive if I do say so myself. For whatever reason, just watching the weddings was not enough for me. By Max’s second marriage, I had a plan. Max needed to feel pain. He needed to feel betrayal. I had to crash his wedding. So while Max and his bride-to-be were up at the altar, I got up and ran around like the attention-seeking little kid I was. I offer my sincerest apologies to Max, as he never ended up marrying that fiance. I like to think my control over impulses has improved since then, even if it still feels like yesterday.
Two years later came one of my favorite groups at City and Country School: the VIs. I already loved blocks, and creating a replica of Grand Central Station was a major part of our curriculum. It felt incredibly special to go to an awesome place like Grand Central and recreate it. For one of the first times, the focus was on realism as well as creativity. However, there was something else I looked forward to the whole year: the VIs cafe. Preparing to serve delicious treats to the C&C community was a blast in and of itself. I had a great desire to be a waiter, since I could not wait to see how our customers felt about the food. I vividly remember sitting down with my teacher, Erin Teesdale, to apply for the position of waiter. Luckily I got the job, and I was bubbling with excitement by the time the big day came around.
However, things went south. I got strep throat the day before Colors Cafe opened its doors. I stayed home that day, wondering what was going on back at school. I do not usually get sick, so this was one of my first times missing school and staying home. I realized that I truly missed C&C. I missed my friends and teachers. I missed the colorful hallways. I missed waiting outside my classroom’s door before school began. And in that moment, I was missing something I had looked forward to for a long time. That evening my parents received a slideshow of photos from the cafe, showing pancakes being made, students and faculty being served, and my friends operating our restaurant. Not until that moment did I realize that our cafe was only open for one day. It had not even fully sunk in until the next day, when my classmates and teachers told me about the cafe. Now whenever I smell the aroma of the VIs cooking for their cafes, I let it linger for a moment as I remember what happened that day eight years ago.
From that day on, I knew this school was special to me. If you asked me why, I still might not be able to tell you. But I can describe a feeling that sums up why C&C matters to me. When ever I am not here I feel something is missing. Even when I am stressed out, I feel a desire to be within our halls and classrooms. I want to run around the Rhythms Room. I want to show up early to school so I can wait outside. I want to be here. It may not be an incredibly easy transition into the second school I have ever been to, but at least C&C has taught me how to adapt. I look forward to moving on, as my time here has come to a close for a reason, but I will always have a place in my heart for the school I have gone to for nearly 12 years.