Claire Gerloff’s Most Fascinating People of 2013

When I was 8 or 9, I discovered Barbara Walter’s Most Fascinating People of the Year. The excitement of the countdown drew me in everytime- Who would be number 1? Will it be Britney Spears or the Olsen twins this year? (Unfortunately, no, only in my mind). Ritually, I would cuddle up in my parent’s room and watch the program and scribble down the list in my notebook although I barely knew the people on the list. Well, since Barbara Walters and her quasi-British accent are retiring after this year, I thought I might take a stab at her next replacement and make my own Most Fascinating List.

  • Mrs Emily Elliott is finishing her first calendar year as principal at Saint Edward’s and second school year. She’s brought all kinds of new and fun ideas, like making the after school activities program kaleidoscope year-round and installing a leadership program for the eighth graders. She’s also brought in some cool faculty and staff (including my friend Cinthya!) and is a mom of three. But what impresses me more than that is not just that she takes a personal interest in all people- her students, her workers, and their families. You go Mrs. Elliott! Also, she’s friends with Shaka Smart omgwhatldfkknlgdknsfnbsdl
  • James lists his top pet peeve as “people who mix Greek and Latin roots and prefixes together” followed by his “two cats and pet fish”. This year, James hung up his Catholic school uniform and headed off to Thomas Jefferson for their IB program, which he loves. James is full of knowledge, his repertoire ranges from chemistry to politics and history, and he never ceases to try to be better than me.


  • VCU people, I have discovered, are amazing. The whole Monroe Park campus has a collective, accepting vibe of “we don’t judge anyone because we’re all weird here”. They don’t typically bother people, but at the drop of a pin they’ll be out to defend their peers and their views and beliefs to the latest reactionary preacher (sometimes they’ll do it dressed like Jesus).
  • All of my VCU friends are perfectly perfect in every way, but I think I’ll talk about my Orientation Friends for a moment here. Brad is one of the sweetest people I know, and has the best recipe for cinnamon cake ever. He and I are twins, history majors from Bon Air, so I’m really happy to have a friend to be history nerds with and take classes together. My Sweet Frog buddy, Lindsey, has a heart of gold. She’s a nursing student who makes care baskets for kids with cancer- you can check out Butterfly Kisses Care Baskets on Facebook. And Summer, my art school amiga, is overall awesome. She dresses well, makes incredible art, and if you ever get the chance to talk to her, do so- she’s hilarious.

  • This wouldn’t be an eyes of the universe post without mentioning VCU boys. Art students covered in tattoos, nerdy engineers, or normal people, whether I’m trying to date you, wanna be friends, or speak to you in line at Schafer, VCU guys are awesome. You shattered all my previous notations of boys and replaced them with something beautiful: cool boys who like good music, care about meaningful things, fun to be with, and have laid back vibes. Oh and they’re cute and maybe liberal…

  • Okay, last thing about VCU: I’m super interested in my professors. Another downside of not going to Saint Gertrude is not knowing my teacher’s lives. La mia professoressa Vera is only 35, has a five year old daughter, married at 27- which is an anomaly is Italy. Tell me more-can we get espresso e pane e nutella and talk about our lives?!  And Gavin, who taught History 101. He cancelled class one day and told us he “was called into Europe”. I’m sorry you teach at Virginia Commonwealth University what in the world would call you into Europe?!? I’m fully convinced he does something high profile on the side.
  • Back to the world that is Saint Gertrude High School, I’m sure Mr. Gill’s baby is being pampered. The little boy was born in September, after much excitement was stirring around the school since everyone found out, 7th mod pre-cal last year even had a baby shower with food and gifts. Mr. Gill is one of the most beloved teachers there, so I know his child is being treated better than the royal baby in England. When Hannah and I saw pictures of him in Mr. Gill’s classroom, we awed and wished for one more math class with him to hear about the child.
The royal family of Saint Gertrude

The royal family of Saint Gertrude

  • Pope Francis, as we know, is the best thing to hit the Catholic Church since Pope John Paul II and maybe a little bit better. I think he’s doing good in the Church- bringing it back to it’s origins of humility and acceptance of all people. I love the way he presents himself, in a humble world rather than the opulence that has marked the Church since the Medieval times, advocating for the poor and others who don’t have a voice. Plus he’s the first South American pope and I think it’s awesome he’s the first non-European pope in a long time. I speak broken Spanish and fluent English, and he’s fluent in Spanish, so maybe we can get a few words in when we go on that lunch date that is totally going to happen.Unknown-1
  • And finally, if Edward Snowden wasn’t such a criminal, he’d be kinda attractive.

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See that Barbara Walters? I could totally do your job. I’d have no regard for rules though. Just 10 people? Pshh I’ll do 12. And ranking them? Honey, that’s a lot of effort. I’m fascinated by all of them a lot, there’s no way I could tell you which one piqued my interest the most. Well then, I think I’ll go plan my 2014 for hanging out with more VCU friends/searching for love on campus/popping in and visiting Mrs Elliott/going home and talking to James/going back to Saint Gertrude to visit and catch up on everyone’s lives especially baby Gill


One thought on “Claire Gerloff’s Most Fascinating People of 2013

  1. Okay. I don’t think you understand how nice this was to read!!!! You go along doing your job and thinking, “why am I doing this?” “I think I am doing a good thing, but does anyone notice?” This was amazing, Claire!!!! I felt so wonderful reading this. I am so humbled that I was in the same blog post as Pope Francis and James. 🙂 Thank you for including me. I am very flattered!!!! I may have to have you be a guest writer on my blog. You are a great writer! You go, Claire! Watch out VCU. You have an amazing student roaming your campus! EE

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