Home Coming

If everyone who is doing college the normal way gets to go home for fall break, why can’t I do the same? That was Hannah’s and my commuter philosophy, so we decided to do so. So we went back to Saint Gertrude.

I’ll be honest here, for a while I was kinda like “omg college is so great I’m having so much fun here I’m not going back yet”….then I got the Saint Gertrude mailer and omg I almost cried I missed it so much. 

“OMG I HAVE TO PARALLEL PARK I HAVEN’T DONE THAT IN SO LONG” Hannah’s bittersweet recollection at our lunch date of the morning fight for street parking was just the beginning of our intense Saint Gertrude moments. We could actually find spots this time, though (pull-ins!) since we came in the middle of the afternoon. And we walked up to the best high school in Richmond together, but we were missing green kilts and Sperry’s. Mrs. Kopecko had to check us in and give us alumna tags. I don’t think I can even describe how it felt, this was a school where I could gossip with my teachers, get help on scholarship essays the day before they were due and sent out, and use my fifty pack of markers and collection of food recipes in every class. And for every stress or panic attack you had in the senior parking lot, there would be three or four girls ready to console you with hugs, kind hearts, and more than likely a cookie or two. I’m no longer in this bubble, and coming back makes me miss it so much. 

Mr. Gill’s wife had the baby. Mrs. Gallo and Mrs. McAleer share a room. Mrs. Hoggatt and Mrs. Stratton retired. Mrs. Carrig is the Dean of Students. A young man is teaching. He was wearing argyle gages and has a the Higgs-Boson particle tattooed on his arm. Red & White is in the senior hall. My little sis is a junior. There are a new set of freshman who aren’t Black & Lime, Orange & Blue. (Hey Christina I saw your sister!!) These changes aren’t bad, but they’re not part of the Saint Gertrude I ran around just months ago, when I counted down to the days of black and gold. It was great that some things haven’t changed, like Mrs. Brickley’s room or Mrs. George’s cute attitude. 

I always knew I was going to miss Saint Gertrude, but I didn’t know it would be this much. This picking out real people clothes everyday is hard, sometimes I poke around for that green polo, just to reminisce to back when getting dressed in the morning took all of five seconds and real clothes were reserved for tag days (and planned ahead months at a time). I mean, Mrs. Chase, my sophomore year chemistry teacher asked me how my art was going, and I was so surprised that she remembered that I loved art, I was quiet in her class–what other school does stuff like that happen? 

It’s funny that at my birth, my father, a Benedictine Cadet, announced that I would go to Saint Gertrude. I fought him over that until I went to the open house in seventh grade and fell in love with the school. Saint Gertrude holds a special part of me-something that VCU can never take. I’ll just keep replaying Song Contest on youtube, missing my uniform, writing more blog posts about the school, counting down the days until I go back as a teacher. 

If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone

‘Cause I’m going to make this place your home

-Phillip Phillips


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