Dr. Seuss’ words, repeated to me on the threshold of graduating elementary school and then middle school, have again begun to swirl around my mind. That book was the main inspiration for my first-ever Inside Chappaqua article back in 2010, but Dr. Seuss’ messages and motivations have stuck with me and made more sense as I’ve grown and matured. It seems rather silly, doesn’t it? A seventeen year-old obsessing over a children’s book. That’s the wonder of it all, though; our younger selves had no idea of the impact those stories would have on our lives.
Sure, there’s a huge, terrifying, wonderful world outside of Chappaqua. I read all about it in the Magic Tree House books, going on adventures and first learning about history through the eyes of two young children not so different from myself. The books of my childhood shaped who I am, the messages within staying with me and taking on new meanings as I’ve gained more experience in the world.
From Potter to Gatsby, Tolkien to Hemingway, books have always been part of me. I know that between the covers of a book I will always find escape and a place in which I can lose myself and forget about “real life” for a while. This lifelong love of reading has fueled my excitement for the first-ever Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival this October.
I am beyond thrilled to reprise my role as Inside Chappaqua guest editor-in-chief and to again work with the original “Dream Team” of Greeley writers, all of us about to enter our senior year. I thank them for their incredible work and not hesitating to be part of both this and our first issue in September 2011, and wish them all the best this year, in college and beyond. A huge “thank you,” of course, to Grace Bennett, for again providing this extraordinary opportunity, and to my family, for always being there for me. Their constant support and belief in me has increased my confidence and shown me that I have the ability to accomplish anything I put my mind to.
And thank you, Chappaqua, for being an open, enlightening community in which youth can grow and flourish. Our formative years here will no doubt influence the decisions my classmates and I make going forward; Chappaqua has played a key part in shaping who we are, and now it’s time to put all of that into the “real world.”
Our experiences growing up and the messages we’ve absorbed will stay with us forever, and help us to rise to unexpected and exciting places.
Oh, the places we’ll go, indeed.
HGHS Class of 2014