Farewells can be the most bittersweet moments. There was Lou Gehrig on July of 1939, considering himself the luckiest man on the face of this earth. Then the legendary game changing Michael Jordan in ‘93, ‘98, and one last time in ‘03. Sports throughout the world lose legends every year, but outside of the sports world, there is a physically petite but emotionally immense farewell that ensues annually. It may not change the world, but it changes the lives of individuals.
The farewell of high school seniors.
Don’t get me wrong, this is not meant to be a column that should get you teary eyed nor should it make you feel emotional. This is a simple thank you to the seniors that have affected my life, and there is no way to express my gratitude any other way but to write about them.
There is always that one common question on surveys that asks “who is your role model?”. I have sat there and thought about that question for hours multiple times in my life. I can’t just give a simple cheesy answers like the 22-time Olympic medalist Michael Phelps, or our very own president, Barack Obama. I have to give an answer that truly comes from within me, and that answer is Connor Layden and Jimmy Shaw.
Look up these names on the High School Insider page and you will find some of the finest journalistic pieces of work I have seen in high school with their names on them. Even doing so, this only represents a partial side of them. Looking at their articles and their videos can only scratch their surface, but trust me, there is a hole much deeper to dig, and what you can find there can produce more gold than any mine in the world ever will.
These two men have taken the bare task of single-handedly starting HS Insider at our school, Mira Costa, and for this, I give them my full respect. They are not only some of the best videographers and writers in the system, but the stories behind what they do is what inspires me.
As Drake would say, these two individuals truly started from the bottom, and now they are here. Before this started, they were part of the video team for the school newspaper, La Vista. Nobody looked at them as if they were important, they just saw two guys that were too lackadaisical to write and instead just wanted to make videos. But that didn’t matter to them. They continued to do what they did best, and it led them on the best path possible. They are now working for a small but expanding branch of The Los Angeles Times. All those people that looked down on them for what they did, they are now completely quiet and refraining from comments. There was no other way that Jimmy and Connor put them to silence but with their videos and their written words.
What makes them my role models is what they did for me. I was a staff writer assigned to write about our school district’s “board meetings”, which after a year of doing, seemed to me more as childish and senseless drama. But, they saw how I could write, and they took me under their wing and invited me to join this HS Insider team. I saw what they were capable of doing, I dug that hole to find out more about them, and I don’t regret a single second of it.
I thank you two for doing that, because the small amount of surface that I’ve scratched with this team has never made me more excited on pursuing my passion for journalism. You two have opened my eyes to the real journalistic side that I have been wanting to see for years now.
Every memory we have had in room 102 and outside of those walls will forever be engraved in my brain, and every single thing you guys have done for me will shape me into the man that I hope is like the man within you guys.
Connor, I hope you kill it at Syracuse University, and Jimmy, I hope you kill it even more at University of Michigan. I know for a fact that Mira Costa will have the chance to be honorably represented in those two schools, and even beyond those walls to wherever your path leads you.
These words could never be enough to express my feelings towards this, but I think it will do for now.
Now with the roles reversed, I am the one sitting here writing this column teary eyed and feeling emotional, so I will say a final good luck and a thank you to the two finest men I know, Jimmy and Connor.