Senior’s Farewell


Oliver Long, Columnist

Well, here we are. My very last North Star article. I suppose it’s nice to have a soapbox to share my experiences here on. It’s been a ride, but I’m about ready to move on–to UWO, so not too far on. I can’t say I envy those who’ve chosen to spend their lives corralling unruly youths and trying to jam precious knowledge down their gullets, but you seem to enjoy it. Maybe I’ll comprehend why one day. A few exemplars of the trade, who I’d like to thank:

Samples: You and your cohort of misfits have been my closest circle of friends for the past three years. Stupid in-jokes, a great many snacks, and exposure to a lot of perspectives I hadn’t considered from my perch as the Most Privileged of Dudes. I learned in your room that history is complicated, and there’s always more nuance to the situation. And, well, history is just life but older. So try not to pass judgment before holistically understanding the situation: in class, one gets a bad grade on a paper; in life, one ruins relationships. (Oh, and thanks for taking us to see Hamilton. That was pretty neat.)

Dillon and Buerger: My god biology is cool. All those parts fitting together, fragile and intricate–and all the cool/horrifying stuff that happens when it goes wrong. I still remember that time sophomore year Buerger took his lunch period to explain how shoulders work to me. And ooooh, the joys of the bacteriology-pathology unit of CAPP Bio… My current, tentative life plan is to slowly progress toward medical-doctor-hood, and that’s primarily your influence. So cheers on that.

Pollack: Well, I still hate literary analysis. But I did enjoy talking about old books and historical context of those old books. Between acting out the plays, interpretive Emily Dickinson paper crafts, and Dick Proenneke… I can’t say if you connect with all your student, but you certainly connected with me.

Cummings: Writing for the newspaper has been a good time–I just type words about things I think are cool, then people read them! How neat is that? And I do extract satisfaction from correcting others’ grammar and being thanked for it. Thanks for watching over this enterprise. (Also I’m told I won a student journalism award for one of my articles? That’s neat. Had your hand in it, no doubt. Thanks!)

(Also also, the Grammar Stalinists absolutely should have won the 2016-17 Grammar Games. Refs were blind, man!)

There are plenty of others whose company I enjoyed, and several I did not. All told, however, I felt respected by the staff here–an individual instead of merely a squalling larva to be steeped in information until it becomes someone else’s problem. Having never attended another high school, I cannot say whether this is unique to North or simply the culture of high schools against lower grades. However, I can say with confidence that the first time I truly, reliably enjoyed school was here. And that’s as good a note to leave on as any, hm?

Oliver plans to attend  UW Oshkosh, likely transferring to Madison. The current tentative plan is to do premed stuff and then go to medical doctor stuff. Then maybe pathology or epidemiology but we’re getting ahead of ourselves here.