Seamus' Memories: IIs to XIIIs

June 14, 2019

During my first day at C&C, I was waiting to enter the building, and Kate Turley, Scott’s predecessor, was outside. There are rocks outside the school behind the sitting area, and I was playing with them. Kate told me to stop playing with the rocks, and I weakly tossed one of them at her. When she told me to stop again, I threw another rock. That’s one of my parents favorite memories from my younger stages.

The IIIs was an interesting year for me. I remember walking up and down the 13th Street stairwell and singing C&C classics. I really looked forward to the IIIs the summer before because Harrison Rich, a student who had left the school in the Xs, told me that the IIIs had apple juice, and I was so jealous of him, getting to have the greatest drink I knew at the time regularly. I know that IIIs don’t get apple juice anymore, but I used to always dip my graham crackers in apple juice, and that was snack heaven, truly snack heaven.

The IVs was a new experience for me, as it was the first time I was given some independence. There was a lot of knitting and weaving that year.  I remember getting caterpillars and watching them grow into butterflies, which was mesmorizing to watch as a four year old. I also have memories of parents coming in to teach us cooking techniques like sushi-making. That was delicious, and it was the root of my culinary interests. Carol Samatowitz, IVs Group Teacher at the time, was a tougher teacher than what I knew in the past, but she was a great example and a great role model. 

I had so many good times in the VsN. That year marked the peak of my interest in blocks and the beginning of learning how to write properly. At the end of the day on Fridays, teachers Nina and Julie would start a dance party, which was basically a really fun way to get our group to clean up at the end of the week. A favorite memory of this year was when we made applesauce ourselves, which was a really fun process to do as a group, and I felt a lot of pride in the applesauce, since I made it myself. I am happy that that is still a tradition for Vs students. 

The VIs year was full of exploration. We learned about fish in the Hudson River. we took more trips than I can recollect to different places, and we made so many collages. I also remember that this was my first year when writing was a key part of the curriculum, and I loved writing about my family and trips. My greatest memory of course is when we had our restaurant for one day. I chose to be a cashier and help count the money, but when the day arrived, I got a terribly timed bloody nose, and my T-shirt was covered in blood. When I emerged from the bathroom, I had missed the main event, but Erin, sympathetically, gave me broccoli soup and an eclair, and that is still the best eclair I have ever eaten to this day. 

The VIIs was my last year before homework became a part of my life, and I enjoyed it to the fullest. I enjoyed my last year of block building, and I made larger and more intricate structures than ever before. My favorite memory was building the Brooklyn bridge, as the gradual process built up this anticipation in me, and it super fun. I loved making the caissons to support the bridge, I loved putting my own wood ship below the bridge in the water, and most of all, I loved showing my parents and sister around my bridge. 

The VIIIs was my first year with a tiny bit of homework, and I remember acting as though a times table was equivalent to a college essay. we had three or four tables, each table made up of three or four students, and we were eating snack. That day Roly Levy, current XIII, had brought in pretzels and hummus. Everyone was enjoying the crunchy snack, everyone except William. William was hesitant to the eat the pretzel and hummus. William is known in our class for having tons of different allergies to different foods. He cannot eat nuts, sesame, and chickpeas. While William was vacillating between eating or not eating the pretzels and hummus, I made a hummus-covered pretzel and handed it to him, assuring him that he would be fine. He ate the pretzel, and a few minutes later, rushed out of the room. I thought that he had just gone to the bathroom, but when I saw William heading into an ambulance outside, I thought differently. He had gone to Jillian, the Science Teacher at the time, and she had given him a shot him with an epipen, and he went to the emergency room. That was definitely a more serious matter at the time, and I thought that I was going to get into a lot of trouble. Thankfully, William was okay, and he returned the next Monday.

The IXs was a great year. My favorite topic to study throughout all of my years at City and Country was definitely the Oregon Trail because of all of the activities that came out of it. I remember this lottery game where your family would go through terrible conditions on the Oregon Trail, and you picked a situation or outcome out of a hat, and whatever happened in this parallel universe would happen in the play, which turned out to be really crazy and fun. 

My favorite memory from all of my years at C&C is definitely the Country Trip. There was delicious food, awesome sport activities, lots of positive energy, tons of fun educational adventures, and lots of independence. There were five things that contributed to the greatest school trip of my life. The only thing I couldn’t handle on that trip was the snoring of Marco Fennell. 

The Xs was my first transition to a more academically-focused environment, and the Spanish and Math on top of that made everything seem much more rigorous. However, with an increased load of work came more fun experiences. My favorite memories, however, come from all the times at the end of the day when someone didn’t give a song to Molly, and she would play Bruce Springsteen. At the end of the day every day, the XsM (now XsMo) would play a song picked by a student while we cleaned up. However, when someone would forget to send their song to Molly for the end of the day, Molly would always say that they lost their chance, and she would proceed to play songs from her favorite artist Bruce Springsteen. This happened so often to the point where we memorized certain song lyrics. I often wonder if any current XsMo students can relate.

The XIs was also a great year. We read many books about ancient China, and learned about different Chinese religions, such as Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism. The studies into Florence were also a very interesting, and my main takeaway from all of that was that the Medici family was loaded, and the Catholic Church despised change. 

My favorite memory from that year was the play. We did our own spin on A Midsummers Night’s Dream, and with Zelda Gay’s support, the play turned out to be magnificent. The play was entertaining to watch and entertaining to create.

The XIIs year was the very first year when I thought, “Oh wait, high school is a thing!” I remember taking a practice test in the XIs, and thinking about how hard and time consuming that was. We studied the ancient Greek world and Greek mythology throughout the year. My most vivid memory from that curriculum was making an Apollo rap song, which makes me cringe to think about now, but I enjoyed making it. I learned a lot about our country that year, as in the XIIsP, almost all of our work outside of Greek studies was current events-oriented. I learned about politics, terrorism, media ethics, and how other countries view the United States. I loved picking up the IVs every afternoon. Not only was it really fun to get to know the younger student body, but also I thought about when I was in their shoes when I was four, and it was the first time I thought about graduating the following year. 

This year has included so many things: a sea of emotion, a battle to get into the top high schools, a debate about our own community’s ethics. This year has been a new experience for me as a student. In the XIIIs, the workload is increased substantially to a point where we are prepared enough for high school. 

What I have noticed is that our previous teachers started treating us differently. Instead of treating us as though we are just past students, they treat us as if we are old friends. This is probably because we are graduating soon, and this is their version of saying bye. I can’t even mention my most memorable moment of this year, because graduation will definitely fill that spot, and that is still a few days away. 

In retrospect, I have enjoyed my twelve years at this school to the fullest, and I appreciate everyone who has helped me become the student and friend I am today.



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