When we Lifers got together, it was just like old times

Yesterday, the Country Day Lifers (students who have attended the school for at least 12 years) met to choose which teachers to honor this year. This year’s Lifers are seniors Emma Williams, Ethan Ham, Skovran Cunningham, Lauren Larrabee, Lara Kong, Dominic Stephen, Maxwell Shukuya, Micaela Bennett-Smith, Christopher Liston, Isabella Tochterman, Alex Bushberg, Grant Miner and Caroline Mehta.

At the Feb. 4 morning meeting, the group announced that physics teacher Glenn Mangold will be one of their honored teachers along with former fourth-grade teacher Helen Diepenbrock. Later in the year, a picture will be taken with Mangold, Diepenbrock and the Lifers in front of the school sign on Latham Drive. It will hang in the front office.

Below, Williams describes the Lifers’ meeting.

I was a fairly quiet child in Pre-K. I was the one sitting in the corner nibbling on a cookie while a couple of boys rammed each other with toy trains.

I wasn’t shy, per se, but I enjoyed observing my peers rather than joining in the commotion.

And after roughly 14 years here at Country Day, I’ve had plenty to watch. There’ve been countless relationships that have come and gone and even more friendships that have faded away.

Over the years, though, our class has fragmented and solidified into distinct groups. That’s not to say I’ve forgotten the names of past best friends, but we’ve naturally drifted into groups of like-minded peers.

We may see each other every other day at morning meeting, but only very rarely do I talk with each of my fellow seniors.

And so I wasn’t sure what to expect when we met up over pizza to discuss our favorite teachers. I remembered a lot from my lower- and middle-school days, but I was afraid my classmates might not, leaving us to ramble about vague memories and possible teachers to nominate.

To my surprise, though, we all seemed to slip back into that “old friends” jive. In just minutes we were remembering the horrors and highlights of our past, recalling the teachers we missed and the ones we wish we’d never had.

In fact, most of the time was spent reminiscing rather than debating which teachers to honor. (That was settled after a very animated, very quick vote.)

We may not talk to each other every day (or even once a month), but we’ve spent so much time together and shared so many experiences that our reunion was almost familial.

Now that we’re going to grow even further apart with distance and new college friends, I can only hope that when we come back as freshmen for next year’s Freshman Panel, our reunion will be just as enjoyable.

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