Letters from the Class of ’23: Megan Riordan


One Sunday in early April 2019, I received a text in my “Dance gurls” group chat, including me and 13 other girls. The text read, “Hey Megan r u going to Latin for high school?” I responded, “Yes!” That exclamation point was not fully assured—I was more nervous than excited—but I was looking forward to graduating eighth grade. Dasha responded, “I have a friend who goes there already and is probably gonna stay there! She’s awesome, can I give you her number?”
Her friend texted me just minutes after that. “Hi, Megan! This is Dasha’s friend that goes to Latin. Congratulations on your acceptance! -Madison” We exchanged a few messages back and forth, talking about the upcoming curriculum night and her offering to answer any questions I had. She ended the conversation with, “You’re welcome. Goodbye.”
I didn’t talk to her again until one morning in the freshman locker bay in late September or early October before gathering when I finally worked up the courage to say, “Hi, are you Madison? I’m Dasha’s friend.”
From that point on, we were friendly with each other as friends of friends should be, but I did not consider her a friend, and I don’t think she liked me very much either. (While writing this, I talked to Madison to confirm these feelings. She said, “I really didn’t like you that much. I thought you were boring.”)
I cannot believe how far my friendship with Madison has come in four years. I have enjoyed seeing the ways relationships and choices have ebbed and flowed, trading a peer for a best friend. I credit an end of sophomore-year fire drill that pushed us to chat as we made our way back inside for two great years of two-hour-long phone calls, getting lost at Mt. Pisgah (twice), jaywalking for ice cream, our “fight” in the locker bay during Common Learnings, our senior boxes, and so many more memories. So much has changed in these four years, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Whether it was Mr. Baer talking about stakes for our character in Playwriting and Directing that ended up helping me with my anxiety, talking to Mr. Legendre when I always joined the chemistry zoom five minutes early, or Ms. Ilkhchi’s hatred for banana man because he did not have pants, I am so grateful for all of my incredible teachers throughout my time at Latin. While I can’t name them all, I am going to miss all of the wonderful conversations I have had in Ms. Durant’s office, Mme. Cousin’s endless encouragement, all of the laughs in AP Stats when Ms. Neely would confuse my name with Sam Morgan, and Ms. Dorer’s love. I had such an amazing time on Project Week in London with Ms. Plewa and Mr. Faulkner. I am so appreciative of Mr. Cruz and Mr. Joyce for helping me improve my writing, and Ms. Lemieux and Ms. Sutter’s support with CIDA (Latin’s Chronic Illness and Disability Alliance).
Speaking of CIDA, I am so grateful for Maeve, Julia, Mr. Kanai, and Dr. Lawrence. I did not join CIDA my freshman year. Coming to a new school and meeting all new people, I didn’t want everyone to know that I had cystic fibrosis. Joining sophomore year coincided with my health getting worse, pinnacling with my gallbladder getting removed at the end of the school year, so having that space, albeit virtual, was so helpful for me mentally. I also appreciate Isabella and Ayanna for coming to all of the meetings this year. We have shared so many laughs, including a duel and an interrogation, ending with our picnic for our last meeting, complete with crab sugar cookies and an amazing sunflower blanket. Four years later, I like to think I have gained a “take the risk or lose the chance” mentality. If you are considering joining a club or affinity group next year, do it!

I want to thank Anaitzel, Bri, Cole, Madison, and Will for being the best cast. There is no one I would rather take a green-room mirror selfie with. As we all go towards different stages and enter our own second acts, I will cherish our many shop call experiences, our senior tunnels, cast dinners, and the many, many late-night rehearsals.
For future seniors, I want to leave you with this quote from Frank Alan Schneider: “If you panic during your monologue, it goes to hell in a handbasket.”
Take a deep breath! You got this!