Starbucks With Sam

Sam Cohen  Since Topshop was planted on Michigan Avenue and One Direction replaced the Jonas Brothers it has been clear that the British have been widening their influence on American pop culture. Latin itself has had quite a history of British flare; Latin graduate Bethy Read always displayed the latest British fashions walking the hallways, and Junior Jacob Pharaoh and Senior Amy Balmuth have kept us informed on all British slang and swagger. Yet this year a new It Brit has entered our community and his name is Harry. No this Harry is not a wizard, nor is he a superstar (only in the technical way!) with the last name Styles. Harry Scholes is a new sophomore whom I had the pleasure of getting to know over tea (how apropos!) at a community coffee house across the way. Harry moved to Lincoln Park this summer when his Dad’s job determined a move to Chicago for his family. He described his new home as shady and quiet. By shady he simply meant surrounded by trees and shaded from the sun (not in terms of the American slang word shady as in looming and mysterious). I assumed he was from London ( I know.. not cool) but I asked to be sure he was not from Brighton or Edinburgh or some other city. May it be known that he is in fact from London. I wondered what he would like the school to know about him beneath the label of being “the mysterious new British guy”; he surprised me when he chuckled and said that he didn’t mind living under that title for now. Come to think of it… I wouldn’t mind living with that title either! When I asked Harry to compare his old school to Latin he said it is like comparing apples to oranges but continued to do so anyhow. He explained to me that his old school was very “British”. He described to me how the teachers would wear robes on special occasions and how there were in fact House rivalries (no magic involved). The relationships between staff and students were quite funny, he said. “We called our teachers Sir but would always have a laugh flinging casual insults at each other and such.” Harry told me how his English teacher Mr. Woods and him get along quite well because Mr. Woods has lived in London and worked in a British school. He explained, “Mr. Woods lived in London so we have a laugh and have cheeky banter.” I was excited to hear this because Mr. Woods is my English teacher as well and I love to converse with him too! Harry and I already have so much in common! English happens to be Harry’s favorite subject along with history. Despite his love of history Harry admitted he is a bit nervous to take on American history and apologized adamantly about The War of Independence and assured me it was all one big misunderstanding. Harry’s favourite (see what I did there?) historical figure is Winston Churchill whom he admires for his wit. He is less of a math and science fan. Harry is currently taking Latin and Chinese. “That’s another thing that is different here” Harry said, “You guys take one language and master it. In England we take many and don’t learn any of them very well!” As we delved deeper into conversation I wanted to get to know Harry Scholes beyond the academic realm. I found out he is a rocker, an actor, and a carnivore. Harry has taken up playing the guitar, something he very much enjoys doing. His playing has influenced his taste in music. Though he likes all types of music the genre he enjoys playing most is classic rock. The last concert he attended was Coldplay at the United Center. I told him about my favorite band The Kooks who happen to be British as well! When Harry is not rocking out he is on stage practicing for one of his two upcoming performances: The fall play Alice in Wonderland or the student run production Almost Maine in which he plays the love interest of both Junior Jake Schlossberg and Junior Kaya Romeo in a series of vignettes. As a foodie, hearing Harry say the word vignettes made me think of vinaigrettes which led me to ask him the following question: “If the cafeteria could serve one meal for the rest of the year what would you like it to be?” He assured me that he would never wish for such lack of variety. It would be too boring. I revised my question to be a week-long meal but he absolutely insisted he would never eat the same meal for such an extended period of time. Harry loves the variety the cafeteria has to offer and is generally not a picky eater. He said he would eat just about anything, aside from objects such as tin cans or sneakers, yet has an affinity for meat. When I questioned Harry about his hopes and dreams and future goals he laughed and responded “I don’t really think beyond tomorrow…I would like to go into something fun where I can lounge and still make money.” Word. While Harry says he is not much of a tattoo guy he would get a mohawk on a particularly moxy whim. As far as dreams go, Harry does not have many on account of his insomnia. Of course I had to ask Harry what he would change about student government or student life at Latin. Harry suggested a song of the day to be played in the hallway between passing periods. He would also like to bring the fun of friendly competition to Latin with House competitions to the likes of his old school. I had a lovely time getting to know Harry. It is so exciting to welcome new people into the Latin community especially when they are as friendly and fun as Harry. If you have not had the pleasure of meeting Latin’s new It Brit I suggest you stop and chat with him the next time you see him in the hallway or are drying your hand beside him in the bathroom or are behind him in the pasta line. Cheers! Sam]]>