Commentary: End of year wrap-up
The time that I never thought would actually come has finally arrived. The past six years of my education have all been leading up to this. Graduation and the next step in my life snuck up on me faster than I could have ever imagined.
As I reflect on the time spent at Fresno Christian, I am extremely grateful for all of the memories and people that I have met along the way.
To highlight all of the incredible experiences that I have been able to go through since the sixth grade would be impossible. However, as I look back on my times at FC, three things stand out to me as the most influential aspects of my school life: Community, athletics, and The Feather.
Entering high school, I was unsure of myself like every other freshman. The only difference between myself and students at other schools was that I was going to a place where students are treated like family. From my first day of high school to my last, I was continually greeted by teachers, faculty, and other classmates as if we were family. The relationships go beyond the walls of the school at FC. Being able to attend a school where you could go to lunch with your teachers and get life advice is something that I will never forget.
The warm and intimate feel of FC gave me an incredible confidence boost to try new things and not be afraid of failing. My list of extracurricular activities grew tremendously throughout high school. I was given the opportunities to join clubs and teams such as CSF, The Feather, and play basketball. Service opportunities within our school such as Break the Barriers, Brother to Brother, and serving as a counselor for the JH’s trip to Calvin Crest were also given to me.
One of the first extracurricular activities I decided to partake in was the basketball team. Little did I know that stepping out on the court my freshman year would be one of the best decisions I would make in my high school career. The memories and friendships made on the court are by far my favorites as I look back on my time playing. Through taking summer trips to San Diego to playing in Selland Arena I found my passion in playing basketball.
While basketball was my favorite activity during high school by far, the most profitable and useful has been The Feather. Recalling my freshman English class, Greg Stobbe hounded me every day to join his class, but I never did. I truly wanted to take journalism as a class, but I could never find the time in my schedule until my junior year.
The adventures and opportunities that I have been able to experience through The Feather have been life changing. When I originally joined the class, I had no idea how many skills I would acquire in just two short years. Speaking to strangers and being able to hold a conversation with just about anyone has been the biggest improvement I have seen while taking journalism.
My challenges speaking to people began with my first food review with Justin Houts. I owe so much to Justin for pushing me to get out of my comfort zone and go get podcasts for The Feather. The first review we did together really set the tone for my time with The Feather. I was so nervous to talk to an owner of a restaurant about the history of his family business and his inspirations, but once it was over, I felt good. The satisfaction of successfully interviewing someone in a professional manner changed the way I viewed journalism.
Over the course of the next year as I interviewed random students in New York City and Los Angeles, the Mayor of Fresno, and other notable city figures, I became comfortable with journalism. Every day I came to class was the same. I was working within a system, consistently producing about two articles a week. Little did I know that this would lead to an opportunity that would challenge me greatly throughout my senior year of high school.
In my second year on The Feather, I, along with fellow classmate Jenny King, was promoted to co-editor in chief. Skeptical of how our staff would perform after coming off of an exceptional year winning a CSPA Gold Crown and an NSPA Pacemaker, Jenny and I jumped right in hoping to inspire a team of new writers. While we struggled throughout the year to produce consistently genuine content, we achieved our goal of winning a CSPA Gold Crown for the fifth year in a row.
Now that it is all said and done, I would like to thank Jenny for helping me throughout the year. You have been a great partner to work alongside all year. We did not start the year off as great friends but now we are ending it with lots of memories and hopefully a long lasting friendship. Thank you for covering for me and Nick during basketball season when we could not spend as much time on The Feather. I could not have made it through this year without you.
To Nick, you are one of my best friends. I came to this school in 6th grade with you being one of my only friends in Maria Lazo’s class. You played basketball with me all four years. From joking around during the middle of an intense game to naming ourselves the best shooters in the Valley, you have been there for me the entire ride. Thank you for sticking by me for the six years and always supporting me.
Lastly to thank arguably the two most influential teachers I have ever had: Kori Friesen and Greg Stobbe.
Friesen, I remember the first week of school in world history, you made me move seats to the back of the class because I talked too much. I instantly hated your class because you were always telling me to stop talking. Over the course of the next two years of taking your history classes, you became my favorite teacher. I have never learned so much in a class and had so much fun while doing it. Then we crossed paths again in journalism, I had the opportunity to really get to know you as a person.
Thank you so much for always pushing me to give everything my all and not slack off. You are a great example of someone who will always strive for excellence and never give someone anything less than your best. Thank you for your constant encouragement and life advice throughout the years.
Stobbe, you are by far the most animated teacher I have ever had. In freshman English you always knew how to capture the class’s attention whether it be from screaming, singing, or dancing. While you have been one of the most fun teachers I have ever had, you also have challenged me the most. Although I could not stand you dogging me about joining The Feather, I now appreciate it more than ever. As long as I have been your student, you never let me slack off. You pushed me to have a strong work ethic and pursue things for myself.
Now as I head off into the next step of my life, I look back at my time at FC with gratitude. Unlike many, I feel that I will always appreciate what this school has done for me. I am not leaving this place with any amount of regret or relief, but rather with excitement for what is yet to come.
Phillip Christopher will be attending California Baptist University with hopes to pursue a career in sports marketing.
For more senior reflections, read Senior reflection: Jennifer King.Follow The Feather via Twitter @thefeather, Instagram @thefeatheronline and Facebook @thefeatheronline.