Tribute to students, past and…FUTURE :)

In a blink of an eye things change and happen – I know this after 40 years of life, I am still NOT amazed at all of how fast things can occur. It is important for me to record the smallest of details, so I can remember how great life is because of the contributions each of you make on a daily basis. Usually, you get attached after a long relationship of fun – in Delaware, it felt like I was ripping my arm out of the socket leaving so many investments – investments in creating a running series, establish a strong network of students in my XC(Cross Country) program where we sat down, ate, celebrated wins, celebrated wins despite losses to stronger teams but not stronger individuals than my girls and guys on the XC team, we ate dinner together, we preserved memories forever in creating unique yearbooks, I laughed so hard thanks to the quiet moments I was able to share with these students. We worked community service for individuals that needed help through Key Club, we raised money and made people aware of how deadly cancer is by being a huge force in Relay for Life every year we travelled to Washington D.C. to participate in the Cherry Blossom Kite Festival for the Aquarium, this is just the tip of the iceberg of what we did in 6 years, students. So you can imagine the tears I shed when I left and left them and this history behind. Then I decided, a very hard decision personally (not academically) to move to Mexico…

I found myself in a strange situation. I shed tears at the beginning, somehow, someway, I felt this connection I had worked SIX years to establish in Delaware, immediately around each of you. This was difficult for me, I felt I was betraying my students in DE, how could I feel this way, so quickly without getting to know you over a long period of time? Somehow it snapped so quickly, and now I do not want it to let it go or pass. Yet, passing it is, here we are in November, and the time I will be able to reflect on these daily occurrences will be passing and then poof! – gone, you will be off to share these amazing talents with the world? Talents? What talents? Well let me show you….Camila – the ability to smile and change everything with your strength and contain dreams that ultimately become Repentino. yet more than that, Repentino. has become the dance floor where we have all been able to take a part, did Camila plan that? In her smile is the answer. – Clau – being not afraid to show strength and being there when needed without anyone knowing at all, and that smile that can change anything!, Sara Herrera, again, a smile that removes all the bad, yet, an energy you bring to everything that is contagious, Salomon – a dry humor sometimes, yet sharp as a knife and talented as a trapeze artist with technology, and yes a smile that when appears, makes everyone feel good about what they are doing, Alia – her self-confident smile that always sneaks up around one side of her face then spreads to her whole face in a matter of seconds a to, she wow’s everyone within her reach, and a smile that tells you one thing “I am confident, successful and I will wow you” in short- this ability to just not take anything but success as an answer, being so confident you are able to take charge in any situation and a smile that you know there is a laughing coming next (priceless), Kim – always playing the role of roadie to Repentino. until making it “official” and adding her title as a staff member after already being a valuable contribution, you can see her heart in the efforts she puts forth, and her smile contains this “I know this is going to be a success” persona, which spreads to those around her, Rosario – I truly can see her smile and laugh and also her creativity that expels itself into so many parts of the magazine, your support at Open Mic is an amazing PR itself, Sofia V., this artist in hiding, packed scheduled yet willing to sacrifice her time for Repentino. she promises to be there and she follows through letting you see into her heart of commitment to Repentino. then that unique smile she has that doesn’t give you the full 100% smile, yet tells you there is more to come to her than you first perceived, Alexa – few people can put their heat on paper in illustrations, yet you make this sacrifice over and over and we benefit from your selflessness, and a smile that just assures you we will be surprised at the next image you create, Natalia C. – can you imagine anyone else carrying the creativity, laughter, ingenuity, and spontaneous energy than Natalia? I am waiting for the net practical joke when Natalia smiles yet, I feel weird asking for another smile as you just want another after seeing one, Sophia M.- I love her smile because you instantly get a shot of confidence and calmness that is so often needed in crazy moments – she is the strength that does not have to be explained, Alice – Alice is so diverse with her brash statements, positive energy and excitement and energy that matches my own, her smile tells you there is going to be something coming up that you will not want to miss, Tau Tau, her ability to smile amid the roughest of times is impossible to not be contagious, and her energy to capture and record with Alice the moments that make Repentino. Repentino. is priceless, Sophie I., a ball of energy that sometimes comes out in a MAJOR rush all at once and then sometimes pulls back and waits then comes out in a flurry of ideas, she always represents someone young in heart and energy, yet mature in sticking with things even when she is disappointed at the outcome, she is an amazing source for a smile that makes you just want to smile back and say “I agree” although you might not have anything at the moment to agree upon, you want to say it because her smile says so, Miguel – a boldness in statements and actions that are needed for a reaction from others on staff, his smile changes the landscape of all plans and is a must need for the ongoing adventures we find ourselves in – Maddie and Elizabeth – one is calm at the outset and almost withdrawn it seems until you see her in action, the ability to turn everything around with plans and action that gets things done, the other not knowing what the word “can’t” means and just asking in quick snippets what needs done, doing it, and all of us sitting back wondering, how was that done so quickly?, when both smile you know you are in good hands because they did already what you were going to ask them to do that needed done…:) (exactly) – Eva – hidden talents pour out of her STILL and her smile just makes you want to jump and say, “What next?!” – Ana – have you ever met someone technically not supposedly “official” staff yet so supportive? She has never been anything BUT staff as her smile exudes patience, calmness in the middle of any storm, and just pushing ahead to what is next, knowing there is a NEXT :), Camille M. that just has a 100% all or nothing smile and is willing to give any advice you would desire, l you need to ask, her inviting personality and creative style aren’t evident at first, but that is the awesomeness of knowing Camille, Michelle, a smile that is reserved yet quiet, call her a part of the “brat pack” (Camille, Miranda, Michelle) yet behind her quietness is a wisdom and poll of ideas that you simply do not want to ignore and you see it, “You’re Stephanie’s sister” comes out and there it is a again, a smile that you can connect to!, Miranda contains this quietness that trips you into thinking she has a small amount to contribute yet, you see her put her ideas and suggestions together with others and then she cracks a smile and you know, there is much more depth to her than a quiet demeanor, a smile that says, I am capable and a constant”, Natalie C. – this quiet and humble staffer appears in and out – without the hint of a trace, and yet moves things forward somehow without you knowing it, and her smile screams, “Wasn’t that GREAT?!” and you walk away asking, “How did we get so lucky to have her?”
And my dilemma has always been, I have always wanted lots of kids, (I come from a family of 16, so, you get the idea….) but I certainly could not justify being with someone for the sake of a)just wanting children and b)not being single, you know how that comes out when you force a relationship, or think it is correct and well, not even close….and then I realized, I am THE LUCKIEST person on this earth to be surrounded by all of you, the tears you might spy out of the corner of your eye, and in mine? Yeah – I am trying to be a tough guy and not think about the time when I see you travel on that road to success away from me but again, as I have said before, I have you right now for this amazing ride we call Repentino., and I am indeed the luckiest person in the world because of it. 🙂 Keep that smile, it is what keeps Repentino. afloat and alive – all of you are just AMAZING.

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About Harry Brake

Employee of ASF in Mexico City, Librarian, Media crazy! :)
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