The Student News Site of Shorecrest Preparatory School

The Chronicle

The Student News Site of Shorecrest Preparatory School

The Chronicle

The Student News Site of Shorecrest Preparatory School

The Chronicle

Home in a Person

Written by Max Baschinsky

 

     Few people can reflect on their 26 months of high school, littered with dozens of classes, and pick out just one favorite. But for me, it’s easy. Without a hint of a doubt, mine is 3D design with Jake McDevitt, Bryce Bell, and Graham Floto.

     I could write pages upon pages upon pages about our trials and tribulations in Casey’s studio, but none quite resonated with me as much as the 7-day war. 

     Admittedly, January was hard for me. Lots was happening in school and out of school, and it felt like I couldn’t catch a break. In turn, my self-esteem deteriorated to the point where I questioned: what was happening, am I enough, do I matter? Those thoughts occupied large corners of my brain, however I refused to show them (at least outwardly). 

     Many of my peers glossed right over the even-keel, happy facade I put on, and expectedly so, because we, as a class, have learned (tragically) from experience that it’s almost impossible to discern the discrepancies between a truly happy-go-lucky kid with an overwhelmed teenager crashing and burning out, losing control of their metaphorical car mid-turn. But one kid didn’t. Graham didn’t. But that’s not even what sets him apart from every teenager I met. As incredible as recognizing my distress was, the way he responded was even more ingenious and showed what made Graham, well, Graham. 

     Sometime in January, I remember being hunched over the table in the back left corner, desperately cramming some information in my frazzled brain for a math quiz. I had already been destined to fail, considering I started studying for the first time 30 minutes prior. My heart was racing. My pupils dilated. My hands were shaking. It’s like I was not just losing control of my situation, but losing myself at the same time. Something needed to give.

     Enter the sound of clay shattering, so brittle that the noise could probably be heard through the walls. I looked up, and there was my lone creation of the year, the infamous chocolate chip cookie with exquisitely detailed chips, texture, and undulations of a given chocolate chipper at Panera (it was a piece of total garbage), in pieces spread across the floor. 

     I looked up and there was Graham, not upset, not guilty, not with a shade of remorse for this, but instead chuckling. And you know what? To hell with my project. In that instant, he made me laugh harder than I could remember I had…maybe ever. I’d trade any piece of art, any piece of effort, any test score, any homework, just to invoke that laugh one more time. 

     This so-called “incident” didn’t just revive me, but it sparked a mission, a passion, like a dying flame of a fireplace before the wood stokes hues of orange or blue. I felt back. I was back. Graham had brought me back.

    While Graham did make me feel whole again, he was going to pay for this attack on my artwork. When shattering my masterpiece, Graham made a huge blunder, considering his attack on my “troops” (pieces of art) sparked the 7-day war: a grueling battle between him and me where projects were shattered, projectiles soared, clay was put in backpacks, and homework was ruined. 

     Although we took a break in our fighting because of Graham’s declining health during the flu season, we ended with a treaty between the Russian and Vietnamese forces, signed and mitigated by ChatGPT.

     In hindsight, I don’t remember how I did on that test I was cramming for, but probably not too well. In hindsight, I don’t remember the drama plaguing me, except that it only made things worse. In hindsight, I don’t remember every detail about Graham as much as I wish I did right now. But what I do know, and will always appreciate him for, is that he made me feel better when I didn’t ask him to. He wasn’t expected to, but he did when I needed him to. For at least a second, Graham made it all go away like few others could, and I know it’s not just me who thinks that.