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When Senior Year Ends Suddenly – by Stone Kemp

April 18, 2020

Another Way for week of April 17, 2020

Stone on his 18th birthday.

When Senior Year Ends Suddenly

Guest Columnist Stone Kemp

Stone Kemp is my guest columnist this week, a great nephew. Stone was a senior at White Pigeon, Michigan this past year and grew up in this small school where all 13 grades total under 800 students. Stone initially wrote this as a Facebook post and gave permission to share it here, in honor of all the seniors who are missing so many end-of-the-year festivities due to COVID-19. He has been accepted at University of Michigan.

Now that school is officially over [announced April 2], I wanted to just share my love for White Pigeon these past 13 years. White Pigeon, you’ve done so good for me. I’ve loved every aspect of it.

I started off in preschool with Mrs. Crespo. I remember hanging out in the “play kitchen” with my friend Blaine and we had contests of who could burp the loudest. I never won.

Then came Kindergarten with Miss Kincaid. So fun. I remember being nervous about going to school, and not wanting to leave my mom. But I made friends to help me along the way. I grew more comfortable through time.

I got to first grade and had Mrs. Hershbach. Honestly, I don’t remember too much about that grade. For second grade I was lucky enough to have Mrs. Crespo again and I began to have a “girlfriend.” It was a good time.

For third grade I had Mrs. Gray and I remember all the drama between the boys and the girls, especially when Kobie and Karey broke up. Oh boy, the whole class was divided then. Ha! Fourth grade I was with Mrs. Miracle and I remember she would always read books to us in her very fun pirate accents. I remember the spelling tests every Thursday and how my mom would take us “advanced spellers” to the lunch room and we would do quizzes and get candy if we did good.

Fifth grade was the golden year. I had Mrs. Vicki Chupp DeMeyer and we had so much fun in that class. During recess, it would always be DeMeyer’s class versus Schmeiling’s class playing football in the yard. We usually won. We also went to fifth grade camp as a class, and I remember getting pranked by our two teachers.

Sixth grade began my middle school life with the awkward moments, the raging hormones, the stinky middle schoolers (deodorant anyone?). It was a good time though and we went to Chicago on a field trip. That was so fun!

Stone, as a middle schooler, enjoying conversation with his Great Grandma Miller on a beach vacation.

Seventh grade year was a breeze and eighth grade got a little tougher. Claycee West and I got moved up to high school Algebra I, so we got a head start on “high school life.” Freshman year was wild. I missed the first week of school because my family had a vacation planned before Labor Day and that’s when the school decided to move the start date before Labor Day. I remember I quit football that year to run a Bible study. It was such a good, good time. I was dating a junior at the time and I was just a little freshie so I thought I was pretty cool. Sophomore year I got chosen for homecoming court and ran cross country, and did my only year of track.

Junior year was one for the books. Coach Shawn Strawser convinced me to come out and play varsity football and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. We had such a good year and beat Mendon High for the first time in 20 years and made it to the playoffs. I also had to do the SAT but scored a decent 1250 and was proud of myself for that. Also they picked me prom prince which was so awesome.

Senior year. Oh where to start? I got homecoming king with Reyna Fielis and that was really cool. My football season was cut short due to a knee injury, but it worked out I could play basketball. Senior year was full of so many lasts. So it was very difficult to comprehend our senior year suddenly being over. I’m just now realizing how hard it is going to be for a little while.

I remember we seniors planned to skip school on Friday, March 13. We wanted to all go out to breakfast and do fun stuff. Well I remember waking up that day and saying that we should be at school because we would be getting three weeks off due to COVID. So I dragged myself out of bed and went to school. I remember that we weren’t doing hardly anything that day so I and a couple others left school during fourth hour. We went to Rachel’s and had lunch. I’ll never forget that.

So I skipped part of my last day of school, never thinking we would miss the rest of the school year. But here we are and it will be okay. God has a plan for everything. But like I was saying, thank you, White Pigeon. Thank you to all the teachers and staff and parents and lunch ladies and principals and coaches and janitors and endless speakers we had. And thank you to my peers, my best friends, my teammates, my WP family. You forever hold a place in my heart, White Pigeon. You’ve done good for me, now it is my turn to make a name for you guys.

Stone and his great grandma enjoying a boat ride along with Stone’s sister, Megan.

God bless and I hope to see everyone, hopefully, at graduation.

Your thoughts or responses to Stone’s post?

Do you have kids in your family graduating from high school or college this year?

What do you remember about your senior year of high school?

What teachers do you remember and celebrate from your elementary school days?

Comment here and share your responses to Stone’s essay.

***

Or send them to me and I’ll make sure Stone gets them. Send to me at anotherwaymedia@yahoo.com or Another Way Media, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA 22834.

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This isn’t the first time I’ve written about the village of White Pigeon, Michigan. See this fun story about my parents’ love story and how a small nut shop there was a special place.

 

5 Comments
  1. Stone, you’re a writing rock star in my book. Wow! 😀

    My oldest grandkids are sophomores. Who knows what will happen in their senior year? No more pandemics, we hope.

    Their lives, like yours, are in God’s hands! No more pandemics, we hope.

    • Thanks for sharing this sweet response, Marian. Yes, we certainly hope no more pandemics by that time. I thought the spirit Stone conveyed here of “we are here and it will be okay” was so encouraging for all of us, come what may.

  2. Beverly Silver permalink

    A beautiful memory and credit to an apparently wonderful school! It makes me think about my school days, elementary on up, and Maybe I will try to put down some memories. That was a long time ago, but some memories linger . Good job , Stone! Thanks !

    • I’ll respond and am making sure Stone checks out these sweet comments. I think it is interesting what we remember and what stands out from those long ago school days (for us!). Blessings, Beverly.

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