Kindness, Manners, and Civility

540559_569893683023874_1101977967_n Rachel Stone Co-Editor-in-Chief I remember the first time someone told me I didn’t “seem like a Lifer,” and I remember taking it as a compliment. I don’t remember who made the comment, only that, when I asked my classmate why she said what she did, she had shrugged and replied something along the lines of: “you don’t seem the type—I thought you were an Anshe Kid.” To Sophomore Rachel, discovering motorcycle boots and Arcade Fire for the first time, any association with something other than my 12 years of Latin School education was utterly exotic. I hadn’t realized the problem in disassociating Sophomore Rachel with lower school iterations of myself; as far as I was concerned, whomever I was throughout lower school had a right to remain in the past. I had never really been part of the social fabric of my grade to begin with—not enough to feel the certain connection and confidence that Lifers seem to posses— so I didn’t think my gradual disconnection was a big deal. However, on Friday, February first, when the Latin Lifer class of 2013 swaggered over to the Lower School to take its obligatory picture on the roof, I re-evaluated my response. As I walked the hallways I had raced through before I was old enough to realize freedom was more than the absence of lines, I realized how the Upper School was just as self-contained as the Lower School. We had come full circle and didn’t even realize it; all of the college-talk and grade anxiety had made me forget I was actually leaving Latin forever. I would never go to school with some of the people who would always mean “Latin” to me, and I wasn’t sure why it hadn’t occurred to me before. We ambled into classrooms, looking more foreign in our old school than I had thought was possible. “Is it everything you remember?” asked Mrs. Brakebill from the front desk. “The scale’s off,” I replied. As we walked through the vestiges of memories, imagining our own recollections superimposed upon the too-short lockers and too-bright colors, I remembered 20-minute recesses and the time Michael Begel got a concussion. I remembered the time we all emigrated from our ancestral homes during Ellis Island Day, and the time I fell madly in love with a boy in Mr. DiMaggio’s class. I remembered Kindness, Manners, and Civility, I remembered pledge of allegiance before every assembly, and I remembered our first convocation, when the senior class escorted us to the Moody Bible and we heard the Alma Mater for the first time. None of us knew how much we would be going through together; we didn’t know that we would be the “older kids” one day, the graduates, the alumni. We didn’t realize what we had ahead of us: the lost teeth, the learning, the locker bays. As we left the Lower School for perhaps the last time, I realized it was the mutual ignorance, the idea that we all were completely unaware of this—together—that defines us.]]>