Honoring the Class of 2020
For anyone reading this, what did you enjoy about your senior year of high school, if you’ve gotten that far?
I valued the final months in connection with close friends who I would soon be parted from.
I sat under the Jacaranda tree on my campus during its last spring, knowing that was its last spring. I tucked fallen purple petals in my pockets and contemplated acts of civil disobedience to save it, knowing I couldn’t save it regardless.
I pulled my first all-nighter, reading King Lear and a biography of Shakespeare plus writing a comparative essay all in the space of 24 hours. When I got an A- on the paper, I knew I was ready for college.
I traveled on airplanes with friends to tour universities as prospective freshmen. I wore the sweatshirt of my chosen college to school every day.
I was grateful for the honors I’d worked hard for and made sacrifices to achieve from my school and community organizations. My peers voted me “Student of the Year,” which felt odd because I didn’t think most of them knew I existed.
I enjoyed the romance of the ocean meeting the sand. I didn’t fall in love there, but love was realized there for me nonetheless. I took 59 cent tacos to Marine Street and played a game of eating them before the gulls noticed me.
I signed yearbooks in which friends who knew me best saved entire pages “Reserved for Kimbi” because they understood brevity wasn’t my thing, and they wanted all of my words.
I dressed in a cap and gown draped in gold cords. When I went to shake my coach’s hand, he embraced my whole forearm. That handshake, trembling with Parkinson’s, was one of the strongest, most heartfelt touches I’ve ever experienced.
Those memories are irreplaceable.
Class of 2020, you deserve better. You deserve the best. I KNOW it in the depths of my heart and soul. I honor each of you, including my daughter.