Senior Stories


This is the last Issue of Focus that will be released before the Class of 2020 graduates, so we asked some of the seniors to share their favorite memories from their years at FCS. Thank you to everyone who took the time to write something, and we hope reading these stories will bring back some fun memories. 



A moment in my senior year that was super special and funny to me was planning the song ‘Last Christmas’ with that huge group of guys. It was so fun to see how excited everyone was to make this song and dance good and I really appreciate moments like that. The fun that we had doing it and the support/hype we got from our grade in return makes me thankful for the class of 2020 every day of the week. - Julia Dani


My favorite FCS memory was going to ocean city sophomore year or any day sitting outside in the adirondack chairs. -Lilah Epstein


We had a picnic outside sometime in the spring, we all brought some food and shared it outside on the grass behind the FCC. Definitely one of my fondest memories. -Elizabeth Forsyth


My favorite FCS memory happened on a rainy day, a Friday night. At the FCC, I struggled with physics for four hours after school, trying to understand potential and voltage. I mixed up those concepts very poorly, and the test was next Monday. These concepts reached my limit of understanding and occupied most of my brain. My thoughts became very complicated and futile. Tears fell silently. Wow! Then I saw Anna, who seemed to be heading out of the building. She saw me and asked what happened. After hearing what bothered me, she took me to her room. In the next hour, all the questions I encountered were solved. When I went upstairs, my friends in the reading room also stayed for me! Although they planned to go to dinner an hour ago, they wanted to wait for me so that we could go together. What a day it was, full of despair and happiness at the same time. -Vicky Liu


It’s always hard to say goodbye to something that has shaped you into becoming who you are. Throughout Valentine’s Day, I couldn’t accept the fact that it was my last year, and now probably the last time we would sing together. However, when we got to our last songs, there was a burst of energy in Ms. Quinlan’s classroom that I will never forget. I felt every emotion at the same time, performing one of our most energetic songs of the day. It was a way to remember every small joke or performance that the Foxtones had together, and will be a moment I will cherish forever. -Ben Miller


One day I got rice in the cafeteria, and if you know me you know I cannot eat rice without soy sauce. Like A LOT of soy sauce. ‘Hannah do you want a side of rice with your soy sauce?’ - Everyone who has ever seen me eat rice. Anyway, on this particular day, I couldn't find the little soy sauce squirt bottle, so I went up to the cafeteria line to ask someone about it. Before I uttered a single word, one of the staff looked at me, said ‘You need your soy sauce?’ and proceeded to hand me the gallon jug they keep in the fridge. They told me to just bring it back to the table with me. It was the best day of my life. It's moments like this that helped me remember how truly special Friends' Central is. The staff know me so well, I didn't even have to ask for the soy sauce before it was offered to me. What a loving and attentive community we have here, it really is one of a kind. #rollsauce” -Hannah Rossio


My science core team trip in ninth grade! I got to see the Green bank telescope and help operate one of the smaller ones. We stayed up all night getting data from different planets and stars. Being able to do real science and ‘see’ into space as a ninth grader was incredible. That experience really showed me that I want to do a career in science!  -Lindsey Schweitzer


Drawing by Lavina Wang

I remember the first time I saw Chris Guides throw a football. It was a sunny day in my ninth grade year before I knew Mr. Guides. I was out in the oval, and someone had taken a break from his toss with a friend to give Mr. Guides the ball. His partner-in-catch raised his hands, beckoning Mr. Guides to pass. This was before the string of airborne incidents that led to the restrictive no-flying-objects policy that is now in place in the oval, when balls were thrown and frisbees were tossed without Mr. Mac batting an eye. Mr. Guides, appearing modest as ever—almost shy, insisted that he not throw the ball. 

‘No, cmon,’ he said, as humility waned to dry humor, ‘Really?

Somehow, out of the barrage of boyish complaints that came in response to Mr. Guides’ unwillingness, an utterance shone to the foreground and directly to my passerby ears. What was that I heard? College? We-know-you-can-throw-and-essentially-you-owe-it-to-us-to-show-us-the-skill-you-possess?

I can’t remember it exactly in my old age. Something about college.

Suddenly, he uttered the fateful command. Two words that would change my life, even as an onlooker.

‘Go long.’

Mr. Guides adjusted the football in his hands and, as he stepped back into an athletic stance, kept signaling for his receiver to stand further away. That stoic two-word statement again and again.

‘Go long.’

My interest was giving way to disbelief. Would this lanky, glasses adorned man really do this? Could he? In fact, both of the above. He wound up, looking extremely comfortable (of course, by my football-inept standards) and launched the ball into the air. This part is where the facts are disputed: I can’t say that it sailed ‘overhead’ because it was too high to be anywhere near a human head, yet I also can’t say it was up in the trees because it had no trouble with the vast limbs of Felsen Commons’ arboricultural scene. After years of consideration, I’ve concluded that the ball must have sailed above the oval, clearing heights previously known only to the tallest points of the Penn oak. 

Small expressions of amazement filled the oval, as necks craned to track the incredible flight. Finally, the ball came thundering down into the arms of the young receiver, who, as he looked up from the ball clutched in his chest, smiled in awe. That’s a lie. He didn’t catch the ball. No, No, it bounced around in the erratic way that footballs do, and I watched Mr. Guides wince at each bounce, fearing for any damage the ball could inflict on the middle schoolers walking towards the library. As the ball slowed to a halt, Mr. Guides transformed back to the teacher I had seen around campus. He straightened up his shirt sleeves, adjusted his glasses, and resumed his signature walk from the FCC to the cafeteria. As this shining moment came to end, and I flailed about in shock and excitement, the friend with whom I had been walking told me that Mr. Guides had played college football. I took another look for Mr. Guides, but he was disappearing into the now-gone ‘senior door’ of the old cafeteria, probably to let loose a couple of wisecracks at the seniors sitting on the windowsill. He faded from my vision, the portrait of a multifaceted man. - Jackson Snider


Junior year, I had co-op duty during late lunch. My friends and I were playing a card game at our table when time came for me to start helping out. One of the teachers on co-op duty as well walks over to our group and asks what card game we’re playing as I’m getting up to stack chairs, so we tell him it’s the game ‘heart.’ He tells us he loves that game, and once he realizes I’m leaving my spot to help with co-op, he sits in my chair, picks up my cards and starts playing for me. This carried on for almost all of co-op, and my friends were cracking up playing cards with this teacher who also had co-op, as I moped around cleaning tables. -Tristan Szapary


I remember my first color day, in 5th grade. I was on the yellow team, and our song was called ‘Yellow Team is the Dream Team’ and it was to ‘Girl on Fire’ by Alicia Keys. I still remember all of the words! I had so much fun, and my team one, which just made the whole experience even better! After that, color day was my favorite day of the year. -Jane Whellan


Good luck next year to all the seniors!




© 1845-2020, Focus, the official newspaper of Friends' Central Upper School

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