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Bonfire at the Beach!

Hey guys!

So the week before commencement, we had a church bonfire atDockweiler Beach. I feel like the past month has been spent trying to say our goodbyes to the ghosts. (It’s tradition: they’re "ghosts" after Ditch Day. The juniors become the new seniors then, too.)

I can’t imagine graduating from this place and having to leave. Looking back, being on the quarter system and having such a collaborative culture meant I got to do so much more than each semester in high school. Being eleven weeks long, each term was shorter, but it was still a fifteen-week semester’s worth of learning and exploring and maybe even eating, heh.

Many of the seniors I asked said they enjoyed their time here and have many great memories, but they also felt that the time had come for them to leave. What will this place be like without them? I had never been to a four-year school before and wasn’t sure what to expect at the beginning of the year, but it was really great to share this year with these people that felt like older brothers and sisters.

They have great futures ahead of them, and I’m excited to hear about their experiences next year up in the Bay Area or on that other coast or across the ocean in Germany… but I’m also grateful some of them will be around, working at startups or researching as a graduate student here at Tech.

We spent our second-to-last Friday evening around a bonfire with the sound of waves in the background. Ebb and flow, ebb and flow, come and go. The fire crackled and laughed and danced, providing a halo of warmth in the quickly darkening, chilly night. We sat around the fire in fellowship, simple quiet friendship like the first humans did, and our hot dogs cooked until swollen and bubbling and seared from the heat. Lisa likes hers slightly burnt. Aluminum-wrapped sweet potatoes take longer than corn to cook. Peter lost his keys in the sand. The sun sets over the Pacific Ocean, so don’t try watching the sunrise over this coast. What are sets? What are lectures? Four long years–seniors are the strong survivors of four long years, wiser and calloused and made more ready than ever to be leaders in their fields. Will I ever be like them?

And then, there’s this:

But anyway, it’s been a good year. Remembering all the late nights and long talks and looking at the stars and raiding open kitchen, remembering all the tough quizzes and boba runs and weekend trips, it’s been a good year. Maybe my last post from this term will be an off-the-top-of-my-head list of things I learned. This one’s for the seniors. Thanks for the Ditch Days, real and fake, thanks for the advice and reassurance and love. Thanks for the support and the food. Thanks for letting me be your frosh.

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."–Romans 15:13

Keep lookin’ up,


Jenny Sheng