Friday, September 23, 2011

2011 Senior Tribute

Thanks all of you for being so patient with me as I took forever to get this posted.  I've been thinking about you guys all summer long, thinking about what I wanted to put in this tribute.  So here it goes, hold on tight!  :)
To my beautiful morning girls, I've known so many of you since you were crazy, wild, but very sweet little 7th graders.  Olivia, Breeana, Angeline, Vivian, Abby, Florence and Jessica.  And it seemed like I waited FOREVER for you all to come back to me as seniors.  But come back to me you did, cuz we formed a very special connection that 7th grade year...
You, Olivia Hill, are like a breathe of fresh air, always so positive and energetic, confident and sure of yourself, always knowing which direction you wanted to go.  I could count on you every morning to greet me with your warm smile, and be enthused about all our projects.  But more importantly, you never let me down on an assignment, you always gave me your very best, and that says so much about you as a person.  You have also given me so much original thought on all your pieces.  You are a beautiful woman, genuine and so gifted. I've loved you since you were a little girl, and I will miss you very much.
Breeana Johng, superstar of Whitney High, terrific designer/artisan, self-motivator, Class of 2011 Valedictorian.  From 7th grade onward, you have blown me out of the water with your tenacity, your design style, and the amount of extra time you are willing to spend on each of my assignments.  You are an exceptional student!  But even though you are a fierce competitor and a go-getter, you do it with with kindness, patience and grace.  I can feel your inner beauty, it radiates from you 24/7.  It has been an honor and a  pleasure to be your teacher.
Hilary Chan and Alex Park, who would have ever thought to put the two of you together.  I would!  It makes perfect sense to me, the mischievous boy with the good girl  LOL.  Happens that way all the time.  So Alex, even though you cut my class more then you were there, I enjoyed every second of getting to know you, you are a positive, fun-loving person.  And so smart, teaching you was a breeze.  Plus, you showed me some artistic talent, and you really improved your drawing skills. You have a good heart, and a conscious, and I so appreciated all the times you texted me to let me know where you were and why you weren't in my class.  LOL
Hilary, what an incredible designer and craftswoman you are, you have so much talent and it comes so naturally to you.  I loved being your teacher, and always looked forward to seeing your end results.  And I will never forget our summer adventure with Brittaney Lee when we drove out to Capistrano to see Lori and her beautiful fiber pieces.  I wish you and Alex the best, both of you are lucky to have found one another.  Alex, you be damn good to her, she is a very special woman, to be treasured forever.
Jason Kwon, probably the most gifted and hard-working of all my drawing 2-D seniors.  My heart soared for you when you told me you'd been accepted to Art Center, but then quickly broke when you told me you wouldn't be able to attend due to funding issues; especially after you had worked so hard to get there.  But knowing you and your parents, you will find a way.  I'm so excited to see where your art skills will take you in the field of car design.  I look forward to hearing back from you as you travel along your journey.  So keep in touch!  :)
And speaking of Brittaney Lee, here you are, creating many of the most gorgeous fiber pieces to ever come out of Whitney High.  You girl, are crazy talented, everything you touch and craft is so very unique and wondrous.  I adored working with you, and even though you were pretty darn quiet and didn't say much, I could FEEL your passion for the arts.  You speak thru your art work.  You love it as much as I do.  I felt a very close connection to you from the moment you turned in your first art pieces, you reminded me a lot of myself at your age, only you are much more of an angel then I ever was LOL.
Oh my God, Albert Choi and Vivian Vo, you two make my heart so happy.  Let me start with you Albert.  Your senior year was the first time I worked with you and it couldn't have been a more excellent adventure.  Your great big smiles every morning, your willingness to please me cuz I let you into an Intermediate class without taking the beginning one cuz it was full.  I knew you needed me to graduate.  One of the best decisions I ever made was to let you do that.  You were one of my favorite people from last year.
Vivian, I waited forever for you to com back to me, I adored you in 7th grade and I adore you today.  I still remember every year, seeing you in the halls and bugging you about when you were going to take another class with me.  You probably got so tried of me pestering you.  So a little birdie told me that you and Angeline knitted all summer long.  I love that!!  I hope you continue to use the craft skills I taught you and I hope they bring you back wonderful memories.  Love you two!
Tiffany Wang, you just came out of nowhere and bowled me over with your innate design skills and abilities in that first ceramics class your junior year.  And then to come back your last year, take two more beginning classes in drawing and crafts, and again, excel in two completely different genres.  I think I blogged more of your work then I did any of the other seniors last year.  And by the way, if you ever decide to sell or give away your quilt or wood giraffes, see me first PLEASE!  LOL
And Alex San Pablo, why did you wait till senior year to take an Art Class????  You are another with innate skills and design talent.  I so enjoyed getting to know you and have you in my 3-d class.  Thank you for working so hard for me and making such beautiful pieces for display.
Michael Clark, what a pain in my you know where you were, (yeah, you know you were, don't give me that look like you don't know what I'm talking about LOL).  Getting you to finish and turn in an assignment was like pulling teeth, but then all you had to do was smile at me and it would melt my heart.  What a sweet, wonderful person you are, and your 3-d creative thoughts and structures were brilliant.  Keep in touch cuz I want to see what you are going to build with those engineering classes you will be taking in college.  Good Luck!
Shalu Singh and Gabby Centeno, trying to keep you two from talking too much in class was one of my biggest challenges last year.  LOL   But you two were so cool to work with and get to know.  It's funny how I managed to capture the two of you working so hard and looking like two angels.  Ha! Ha!  I will miss you both very much!
My sweet ceramics babies.  Every year I don't think I can love a class more then I loved the year before, but man oh man, did I fall in love with you guys.  Even you, junior Hanna Woo  :)
Especially you Chareena Eleazar, you came back to me for a second year in clay and I'm so glad you did.  You made many fabulous pieces last year and you were so easy to work with.  Thank you for being so patient with me as the beginners took up most of my time.  You are such a creative, gentle young woman, and I wish you the very best with that handsome young man of yours.  Love you.
Raffaello Sampaga,  I could never say your name correctly, thanks for not holding it against me  :)  You were so adorable and such a good sport as I would tease you constantly about your craftsmanship.  And your sweet smile was the best!
Voted best looking guy by all the 7th grade girls, you were the school heartthrob in your red soccer shoes.  Alfredo "Freddy" Perez, even my daughter had a big time crush on you  :)  I hope you get a chance to continue on in the arts cuz you have great design ideas.  And it must run in the family cuz so does your little sis who I got to work with last year too.
Teachers aren't supposed to have favorites, but it was hard not to with you Robert Franklin. You captured my attention from day one. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you. Loved your quirkiness & the fact that you danced for Subway on the street corner. Wish I could have done a drive by and seen you in action.    
Look at you go in this pix Christine Castillo, this is how you were with every assignment.  Totally focused, in the groove, making me so happy.  I just wish all my students had your focus skills.  I loved getting to know you, you are such a cool, sweet person, and so very cherished by all your classmates.  You are also a gifted designer and craftswoman, and I so hope you make the time in college to take more art classes.
And what would I have done without you Harry Trieu when my blog went down for over 3 weeks.  I was totally freaked out and couldn't post and you spent hours helping me to get it  back up.  Thank you so much for your time and effort.  You are revered by all the teachers here. What would any of us have done without your computer know-how.  Plus you've got some crazy craftsmanship skills too, it was a pleasure to be your teacher.
Andrea Acosta and Andy De Avila, what a great pair you were, such close-knit friends, it was a beautiful thing to see.
Andrea, you were one of the very best T.A.'s I ever worked with, so responsible and capable.  Thank you for working so hard for me.  You also came to me with great design skills and the clay loved you.  I know you will be a fantastic teacher.
Andy, you were another one who challenged me daily.  Trying to get you to stop talking and back working was no easy task.  But when you did finally turn something in, wow, exceptional pieces!  Know that because of you I added a new rule to my Beginning of the Year Rules Handout.  It says something about me not accepting work more then two days late.  Should of had that one in there a long time ago.  :)  Thanks for the push!  LOL
Here are my boys!  A couple more favs from the ceramic class, James Poupongtong and Kevin Pasquel.  You both brought so much fun and good humor to the class, plus made many great pieces between the two of you.  I sure hope you guys manage to get a couple clay classes in college.
Talk about fun students, that's you Jesus Calderon,  Mr. Clay.  The medium loves you.  You put more wonderful details into your work then I thought was possible.  You must take more art classes cuz design is in your blood.  Your hugs everyday were the best, as is your sweet nature.  Gosh, I'm gonna miss you.
Matthew Ramos, (above right) where were you all those years when you should have been taking art classes with me.  You're another one who waited till senior year to fit me in.  I would have loved at least one more year with you.  You are so super artistic, it just flows out of you and into the clay.  I adored everything you made!  It was such a pleasure to work with you.
And who could forget Kevin Aquilo and Paul Kim in their junior year here dressed up for Halloween.  What a crack up!
Kevin, you made me so crazy and frustrated cuz you had so much natural talent but very little focus skill to go with it.  Doesn't mean I don't love you :), just means I can't wait to see what you are going to do with all that artistic talent once you mature a bit more.  And you better do something wonderful with it or I'm going to kick your butt!!!!!!!!  LOL
Paul, I first met you in your 8th grade year when I had to tell you every other day to quit riding your bike and skateboard on campus.  You too,  made me crazy, and you weren't even in my class.  But when you finally enrolled in my class in your junior year, what a diamond in the rough you were, so much exceptional talent.  The pieces you produced that first year for me were wonderful.  What a shame then in your senior year you weren't able to continue here at Whitney.  That was a hard blow for all of us.  But hopefully you have found your path and it's leading you in the right direction now.  Know that I love and believe in you!!
Photo above by Kyoung Lee
The walls of the art room filled with your gorgeous pieces at Open House.
The magical moment I walked into the gym on Graduation day and saw all of you waiting for the processional in your cap and gowns, I almost started crying then and there.  What beauiful children you all are.
Me and my boys, Jesus and Freddy.  Look at how good you guys clean up!
Michelle Guam, beautiful woman, sleepy woman.  Keeping you awake was another of my challenges I faced each and every day.  But I grew to respect your artistic talents.  As I teased you often, can you only image what you could have made if you were more alert?  You are a sweetheart!
I was so very proud of all of you as you marched onto the field for Graduation.  I think I was clapping harder then anyone else.  But one of the most heartfelt memories for me was when you all put your arms around each other for the Alma mater... 
and joined hands during Ashley Morris' song with her friends.  Ashley Morris, you had to know I would save you for last, cuz I feel I have known and loved you and your family the longest.  You are so precious to me and I respect you so very much.  I feel you are an amazing young woman who is destined to touch people's and animals life's in very special ways.  You have dreamed of being a vet for so long, and you've got such a long, arduous journey, but you will excel and thrive, just like you did here with us.  So don't be scared, cuz I know you are.  It's very difficult to leave such a loving, safe environment.  I don't know if I could have done it at your age, so are a much stronger individual then I ever was.  So off you go... but don't stay away too long, cuz I will miss you sitting on my classroom floor at my feet telling me all your secrets, and me telling you mine.  I love you so very much  :) 
You were a bright, strong, and loving group Class of 2011, I will never forget your smiling faces...
but it's time for all of you to fly away Eagles.  But you know what they say about Eagles, if you keep them caged they will never be yours, but if you set them free and they come back, they will be yours forever (the wise words of my husband Jim).  I hope you return one day because I feel as if all of you belong to me.
And with you go our beloved Principal, Patricia Hager whom we will all miss very much.  Thank you Patti for always believing in me and my program, your support over the years will never be forgotten.  You respected and trusted me to do my best, so you got my best. You totally got who I was and my relationship with my students.  You were a great friend, a wonderful boss and a very funny lady.  I know you don't like the mushy such, but I will miss you very much and so will the kids.

 I wish all of you an exciting and SAFE adventure as you travel down this next road. Make me PROUD.  May you find the job in life that makes you happy to go to work to everyday, and the person to share your life and love with.  And know that you will live in my heart forever.  So stay in touch and send me pix for my walls.

John Balagtagas, you are a funny guy, you made me smile every day, and it was great getting to know you.  Your ceramic pieces were some of the best in the class.  You my friend, are a superb craftsman and have exceptional skills and need to take more art classes.  I'll see you every Friday this year as my newest Technical Assistant.  I'm paying you the big money, so don't be late LOL


No comments:

Post a Comment