Maddie Yamada

“I wish there was a way to know you're in the good old days before you've actually left them.” I stumbled upon this quote during quarantine and while the words settled in my mind, memories flashed in front of my eyes like I was experiencing them once again. I thought I’d imagine being at the Golden 1 Center, reliving the sweat, hugs, and tears after becoming state champions. Or traveling the world with my best friend. But the smaller, yet sentimental memories reminisced with me more. Memories like playing football with Mr. Gablehouse at the end of sophomore year, or at the end of basketball practices when my teammates depended on me to make a free throw, to making that last s’more at our final outdoor ed trip. 

Do you sometimes catch yourself in the middle of class smiling because of something stupid someone did or when a person made you laugh uncontrolably? This memory of playing football is one of those memories. Mr. Gablehouse is one of the most uncoordinated people I have ever met, no offense, but it’ll put a smile on your face. Before he left, he brought us all together one last time to play football…and it really made the moment special. That was just one of the fun things that happened that week. He finally allowed Jacob to bring Guitar Hero, so a few friends gathered in the middle room to watch and play. We also got to play Just Dance in AP World with Mr. Ito, dancing to Ra Ra Rasputin and Cotton- eye Joe. Mr. Gablehouse brought us together just like basketball does with my teammates and I. 

If you know basketball, free throws should be one of the easiest things to do. The reason people miss is because they’re under pressure. Sometimes the basketball team would have to make a certain amount of free throws to end practice. If we missed, we’d run, and we'd run until we made all the free throws needed. We do this because a free throw could be vital in a game. We could be down by one, there’s no time left in the game, you were just fouled and now everyone is counting on you to make your free throws. But of course, no one’s perfect and sometimes we miss. But other times you're the hero, like at the end of these practices. I think these moments are special because we are all so vulnerable, we’re putting all our faith in one person to make it. Everyone is exhausted, like how’d you be at the end of the game. So you focus, you take a breath, and see it going in. 

The naturalists on our Outdoor Ed trip asked us a silly question to receive our chocolate and graham cracker after roasting our marshmallow. It was a reward after doing our skits. I honestly don’t remember what our skit topic was (but I remember winning). We picked roles after a hike to the beach then practiced our roles right before performing. There was such a pretty sunset when we started to practice. Sometimes we don’t remember every detail. That night, I only remember Gabe singing Bruno Mars, Chavez finding a squirrel trap, wishing on shooting stars, and just being so content with life surrounded by good people. 

Some people wouldn’t find these memories interesting.They would probably brush over that moment and remember the bigger picture. I was taught that the little things are important. These memories felt like building blocks, like with Mr. Gablehouse, he was sending his children off for the next chapter without him. Shooting free throws at the end of practice prepared us for when it really counted. And being in the moment with my fellow classmates was just the start to our last year in high school, not knowing what the following months had in store for us. 

I hope you cherish every moment with friends and family more because the school year is winding down. I’m not experiencing my senior year how I imagined. It’s crazy to think that three years ago, we were all so young, so immature, so eager to start our high school journey, we barely knew each other, but we’ve gotten so close within these years. These moments will soon fade as we create new ones in the next chapter of our lives, college. But some of them will last a lifetime.