First and Final Year – Reflections on a Reich Life


Nathan Reich, Staff Writer

My final year in public high school … and coincidentally my first.

What can I say? Words fail me as I reminisce about all the good times I spent the three years before I came here. I grew up in Paraguay, South America, and my life was basically sunshine and roses. I became fluent in Spanish, and I had several great groups of friends, both Paraguayans and other Third Culture Kids (like me). I went to public Paraguayan school in the morning and in the afternoon completed an American homeschool curriculum, simultaneously going through two educational systems up until my junior year. I played guitar, soccer, and minecraft. Things were great.

After junior year, my parents moved back to the U.S. It lined up perfectly for me to start my senior year here, at Wheat Ridge High School, and so I did. It was great, considering that I was a senior coming in knowing less (culture, not content) than a freshman.

Fortunately, I found nothing but friendliness and acceptance throughout the school–even among the freshmen. For example, one of them invited me to eat lunch with him and his buddies, and another even helped me open my locker the first day of school.

People from all walks and cliques of the school not only allowed me to join them but included me in activities, conversations, etc. These groups ranged from the band kids to the GT kids to the AP students to the soccer team to the drama kids to the newspaper staff to the…you get the picture. I would like to take this time to formally (well, as formal as you can get while wearing socks and flip-flops) thank each and every one of you for opening yourselves up to me and including me into your groups.

I will remember this year for 1) the friendliness of the students and staff, and their accepting nature, and 2) all the stuff I learned, such as the definition of the word “thicc,” how to make Mr. Couch mad (socks and flip-flops, once again), how to vote somebody into being prom king against their will (sorry, Aidan), why I don’t want to teach in Colorado (TABOR , PERA modifications, and education funding in general), and how to look really good in a man bun (that’s a coincidence; I didn’t actually learn that in school).

As my time here draws to a close, I’d like to reflect on all of this…ah, what memories. Dirty carpets. Smelly students. Sagging pants. Lazy seniors. [Insert adjective of choice here] homework. The list goes on.

To those of you who are so fortunate to be called my friends–I mean, who I am fortunate to call my friends–thank you for your friendship and time spent with a “new kid” like me. To those of you who don’t know me: now you do. To the staff: thank you for educating me. I feel a little bit smarter than I did when I started, and a little bit more prepared for college and whatever follows. Thank you for the time and energy you pour into us students. I speak for myself, and hopefully (though not necessarily) for other students when I say that your work and effort is greatly appreciated and inspirational. Let me know if you ever get another student like me…I mean as misbehaved as I was. To The Haystack staff: I hope you all can come up with story ideas without me. Remember, for interviews and passing out newspapers, channel your inner Nathan. I appreciate the time spent with you and working alongside you. To those of you who scoffed at my outlandish tastes in footwear…I would like to say I’m sorry, but that would sadly not be true. I hope you find better shoe models among the future seniors.

To pretty much everyone: have a great rest of the year and may my legacy be never forgotten. Whatever legacy that may be …