A thank you letter to NHS


Catherine Hu, News Editor

Dear Northwood,

You’ve known me for four years, so you probably know better than anyone how proud I am of my Canadian-ness. In fact, anyone who’s ever spoken more than two words to me knows that I’m Canadian.

I remember a lot from Burnaby. I often find myself revisiting old memories of Windsor Elementary School, of the friends I’d left behind, the playground with the staticy yellow slide, the snowball fights on the field, the smell of the books in Ms. Gladwin’s library on the second floor, the orange-red maple leaves in autumn, the bell tower no one had ever visited, the Grinch-themed winter concert, the mahogany paint, the pancake and pajama days, the talent shows, the squeaky linoleum hallways, everything. But the memory I’ve found myself reflecting on lately is of a Tuesday afternoon in my second grade classroom, with its cubbies and carefully placed backpacks and rain boots and umbrellas (because yes, there was real rain in Canada)— where Mrs. Tarves asked us, “What is gratitude?”

Like so many of my classmates, I had barely begun to learn English, and was confused by that strange new word. When she realized we were struggling to understand the question, Mrs. Tarves explained: “Gratitude means thankfulness. For example, I am grateful for my family and for clean drinking water. What are you grateful for?”

I hadn’t realized it then, but that day would become one of the most profound moments of my entire life.

A decade later, I find myself struggling with this concept of gratitude. Even with a semester cut short, how do I fully express all of my gratitude for these past four years in a single article?

Gratitude for the friends I’ve made here, the ones who put up with my dumb puns and talk about literally anything and let me rant about anything.

Gratitude for the teachers and mentors who have always been there to listen to me and offer their support.

Gratitude for the clubs and the experiences that made my time in high school truly worthwhile: Science Olympiad (where I gained a second family and discovered my love for hog-nosed snakes, proxigean spring tides, listric faults and Halyomorpha halys), Odyssey of the Mind (where I met whale sharks in Atlanta and rode the Ferris wheel above the Potomac with my favorite Commut-ists and OMelettes), MUSE (where I found a place in the community and met some very aMUSEing people), and The Howler (where I spent three years of seventh periods in Room 1102 switching between writing articles and screaming at InDesign cut-outs and/or people on Family Style).

Gratitude for the little things, the big things and all things in between. Thank you, Northwood, for giving me four years of everything.