Remember when… I couldn’t think of a headline?

By Christine Rheem

•     Remember when you actually got to parking night in the middle of the night and snagged a first-lot spot?

•     Remember when Rex tackled that naked guy?

•     Remember when you got really excited about a club, and then you realized the huge sacrifice of not leaving during lunch to go to a meeting?

•     Remember when you had that one class that lasted an eternity?

•     Remember when slacking came like second nature the minute senior year started?

•     Remember Mr. Thaden?

•     Remember Boundball?

•     Remember when EASTSIDE didn’t exist?

•     Remember when your entire grade went to the movies and took over Timberlyne?

•     Remember when you had the time of your life at Shakori Hills? Remember when you saw your teacher at Shakori? Read more of this post

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A thank you letter…

By Jamie Emmerman

Wow. It’s almost over.

            High school: that notorious time for every teenager that for me, and for the rest of the Class of 2011, is almost definitively, and irreversibly, over.

            But after the 5,760 passing periods during which I supposedly walked East’s halls, after the 780 days I ideally woke up and went to school, after the 29 classes I curiously entered for the first time in August of every year, after the 22 issues of the ECHO I’m proud to have my name appear within, after the eight report cards I consistently and futilely hid from my mom, after the five college application fees I anxiously paid, after the three SATs I was so nervous to take, and after the one enrollment deposit I made at Emerson College—high school seems like it wasn’t so bad after all.

            This sayonara isn’t going to be so much of a reflection, but more of a thank you letter. A thank you letter to my parents, to Chapel Hill, to East, and most of all, a thank you letter to my friends and classmates. Each of these aspects, influences or people were responsible in their own way for shaping the last four years of my life, and for that, I believe I owe them some gratitude. Read more of this post

“Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?”

By Mitul Mehta

Senior Mitul Mehta feels the sting of a bad pick-up line.

One’s goal upon entering high school is simple: to succeed. Getting good grades is part of it, but we also want to succeed socially. I have been at East for my whole high school tenure, and have seen my fair share of awkward conversation moments. So I have decided to compile a list of pick-up lines which will help you break the ice when conversing.

 

Do you believe in love at first sight, or should I walk by again?

Pardon me miss, I seem to have lost my phone number, could I borrow yours?

If you stood in front of a mirror and held up 11 roses, you would see 12 of the most beautiful things in the world. Read more of this post

The simplest memories prove the strongest

By Jake Weinshank

Senior Jake Weinshank vacations with his family.

With my hand at the wheel, the fresh evening air rushes by my face as the boat slides effortlessly over the glassy water. The only sounds that can be heard are the roar of the engine, the rush of wind in my ears and the rippling water as I leave the world in my wake. The concentrated glow of the spotlight and the stars are the only means of illumination as the boat glides over the water in the flats just outside of Key West, Florida.

As I slowly pull back on the throttle, the engine’s roar becomes less and less pronounced until my world is enveloped in silence. The anchor is tossed in the shallow waters, followed by the familiar “plunk” sound as it enters the water. Again silence descends upon the boat.

As I settle into a seat at the boat’s bow, I become aware of the rhythmic sound of the water lapping at the boat’s hull and the sounds of the natural world from a nearby mangrove island. The soft chatter and laughter as my parents talk to my sister and her husband, as well as the quiet breathing of my slumbering one year old niece, comforts me.

I lean back and begin to think about soccer, school, and my daily life. Then my thoughts digress to how happy I am to be with my family. This feeling of family flows into the natural world, because both seem so pure, so worthy of defense. Soon I get up, quickly regain my sea legs and take the few small measured steps over to my family. I join in on the chatter and laughter as we look out onto the seemingly boundless ocean.

This is what I know to be true: giving pays off

By Brie Broyles

Senior Brie Broyles enjoys her time with friends in Nairobi, Kenya.

“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” –James 4:13-14

Yes, that’s a Bible verse, and no, I’m not going to preach to you about what you need to do for your soul to be eternally saved or anything along those lines. But whoever you are—whether student or teacher, freshman or senior, parent or school administrator, custodian or random passerby who doesn’t know what East is—you are human, and there is one common, universal truth that applies to everyone of every religion, culture, age and gender: life is short, so we must live it fully.

Here is what I know to be true: the right perspective is the most important thing we can have, because how we view our own lives determines how we affect others’. It’s likely that, whoever you are, you’ve eaten today, and you’ll probably eat again later today. You probably have a different outfit to wear for tomorrow, and I’m sure somewhere you’ve got a blanket on a bed in a room under a roof. Food, shelter and clothing are things we completely take for granted—you’ve surely heard that before—but stop to really imagine for a second: what would it be like to wake up not knowing if you’re going to eat that day? Do you know what it’s like to search for a place to sleep? It’s intense, but it’s reality. We’ve got to be aware of the fact that life as we know it, in a freeAmerica, is not how the majority of the world’s people live. We have a great education basically handed to us. We can be sure of opening up the fridge and finding food there. We have the freedom to drive around on clean roads, in running cars, under beneficial and enforced traffic laws meant for our safety. Read more of this post

Who cares? So what? The answer may be in the sidebars

By Julia Cohn

Around this time last year, I was learning how to be the Features editor. One of my first ECHO assignments was an article in the Features section, and I quickly realized I had found my niche. The nature of Features lends itself to articles which are comprehensive reports and often supplmented by other forms of additional information, like sidebars. My personality has always led me to hunt for more while I am doing research and to make connections between seemingly unrelated ideas. Because of this personal quality, I naturally gravitated towards Features and was elated to be chosen for the editorial position I really wanted. The section fits well with how I have come to view the world: everything is connected. Read more of this post

Students too often snub childhood in favor of grades

By Henry Gargan

Senior Henry Gargan embraces nature and friendship.

It has been said that we are all defined by our experiences, but I’d like to think it’s what we aspire to be that makes us who we are.

            Still, I was originally going to use this piece to advise underclassmen to use their high school experience to define themselves. But I realized that for too many people, the high school experience has become a cutthroat proving ground for the “real world,” which we as high school students have collectively decided revolves around outdoing our friends in AP classes taken, service hours logged, clubs joined—anything that will make our college transcript shine more brilliantly than the next. What makes high school such a bummer for so many of us is that it requires all of our time and none of our passion—we glumly traverse the quads thinking only of what we must do, without pausing to consider what it is we wish to do. Whether or not you’ve climbed a really awesome tree lately should be of greater concern to you right now than how many more AP classes you’re taking than your friends. I’d like to recommend the big oak at the top of the hill near the benches. Read more of this post