Goodbye, Phil

[/caption] Nick Lopez Staff Writer A lot of people knew Phil Yogore. When we needed help with a computer, he was the “Go To Guy” in the IT lab. I personally always saw him whenever I needed a set of headphones or if I needed help switching my screensaver. His last work day was on Sept. 9, 2009. His departure from Latin School was abrupt, quick, and without explanation. Mr. Brown, Director of Facilities at Latin said, “Phil did a lot of volunteer work which I really appreciated, and I know students appreciated him, too.” Phil was clearly someone who was well respected in the Latin community. The reasons for his departure are private information, unclear to the student body. I tried to contact Phil for an interview, but he told me that he couldn’t say anything until November 9, a full two months after he left Latin. Whether or not he personally decided not to speak to me or that this he is required to refuse an interview has yet to be discovered. Still, readers for the moment can be assured that there will be a follow up to this article in November. I had a chance to interview the students who would hang out with Phil in the IT lab. They wished to keep their names anonymous for the sake of their own privacy. One of them says “I stopped by at least once everyday to hang out, say hi, and occasionally brought food.”  It seems that they were always having a mini-party, celebrating that they had computers. Personally, I always wondered why they were always in the IT lab with Phil instead of the computer lab like the rest of the students. I now know that they were in there not to work, but to have fun with their computers together. Another student in the IT lab says, “He had a good sense of humor, and looked out for people like a mentor. To us, he was like the student counselor.” Phil was a hero to the students who would take the time to get to know him. While he would spend time with the students, he seemingly never put off his responsibilities as the Computer Lab Monitor. When students or teachers’ computers need assistance, he would do what he could to help. One time in particular, he helped me when my homepage on the Internet was set to always go to a giant picture with the words “Failure” in red (this was really discouraging, since it happened during Finals). When the students interviewed were asked to speculate on Phil’s departure, they refused to comment. I suppose they didn’t want to possibly betray Phil by revealing things that were personal and private. After all, no one is perfect. Both Mr. Brown and the students have one feeling in common: they are “sad to see him go.” The last thing a student told me about him was “Sometimes, when I walk into the lab, I say “Hey, Phil” and I have to remember that he is not there.” The students in the IT lab all practically lost their best friend. Phil always liked to be himself and didn’t mind if anyone else thought he was weird. When he was around, you could see all the action figures he arranged over his desk like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Darth Vader. Right now on the Latin School of Chicago website, they have posted openings for a new Computer Lab Monitor. I hope that whoever takes Phil’s old position reaches out to Latin School of Chicago students like Phil did. Phil was a vital part of the Latin community and we will miss him either as a colleague, mentor, or friend. Wherever he goes, we all wish him good luck.]]>