A slice of Shalheaven: Missing Seniors Syndrome

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By Hannah-Leeba Ellenhorn, Arts Editor

I’d like to preface my rant by disclosing a bit of a personal medical report. Upon self diagnosis (trust me, my Dad’s a doctor) I spent much of the month of April suffering from something akin to Empty Nest Syndrome. I had Empty Hall Syndrome.

The silence in the halls resonated. There could be only two possible reasons for this blankness. Either Shalhevet lost at the Sarachek championships — no, that couldn’t be it – or perhaps, something was missing.

Indeed, it was the latter. While the seniors were out on their Poland-Israel trip, the school was lacking. The school was, dare I say, quiet. Tune your ear in and you could hear the pitter-patter of Muriel’s computer keyboard, while standing next to your own locker all the way at the other side of the school.

To say that the school was quiet would be an understatement. Without the seniors, there was a unanimous sense of melancholy at school.

The class of 2013 filled a niche at Shalhevet like no other grade. They’ve been powerful intellectually and personally. They are outspoken and fearless. They are completely at ease being Shalhevet’s thought leaders.

Rebutting absolutely everything, the seniors have been a group that redefined the term “obedience.” An administrator’s admonition that “It’s time for Mincha” was almost certain to be followed by, “According to the Talmud, I’m not halachically required to go to Mincha,” by any 12th grader with wit.

But it wasn’t just the group’s chutzpah that I missed. The school genuinely looked empty. AP classes shrank by half. One could get by in the hallway without screaming “HOT SOUP.” And the Beit Midrash looked bare, lifeless.

If this is what it is going to be like next year, then no thank you!

It’s been nice to have the current seniors guide the path for us for the past three years and I cringe at the thought of their impending good-byes. Suddenly the radio is full of music that I believe is about the seniors graduating and disappearing to far-flung universities. The halls were alive with sound of seniors . . . until they left.

It’s painful to think that it will no longer be possible to enjoy Eitan Rothman’s inability to walk through a door without crouching down. No longer will you be able to hear laughter at the sheer confusion of the AP Calculus class.

No longer will my brother be able to critique every bit of my existence as he passes by me in the hallway. No longer will you be able to fall for a practical joke made by the group of duplicitous seniors always crowded near the lockers. All of that will be gone.

Each senior has brought something so unique to Shalhevet; whether it’s been academic excellence, dominance in every conceivable co-curricular or humor, this year’s seniors are a class to be remembered.

Don’t get me wrong, though. Being the leaders of the school for three short weeks was pretty darn fun! It felt good to roam the halls knowing that we’ve been here longer than any other students and we know this place 10 times better than anyone.

Now that the seniors are back, the juniors have been pushed back down the totem pole. We are no longer the juniors on top.

Although upset at the swift plummet from leadership, the junior class owes an immense amount of gratitude to this year’s seniors. The responsibilities that come with being the leaders are whopping. The juniors this week are appreciative of the last bit of baby-hood that they can enjoy.

Because this time next year, the classrooms and the student body will be lacking again — without the class of 2014.  Au revoir!

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