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Fun and Farewell: Senior Breakfast and Picnic 2019

Tiffany Wu

Johnathan Hampton, Writer

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A new year ushers in a new generation of avid seniors who will, in just a few weeks, take the adult world by storm. But before they make this momentous leap, Bob Jones plans on giving seniors a few memories before declaring its final farewell. On Thursday, April 25th and Friday, April 26th, students were invited to attend the annual Senior Breakfast and Picnic, a tradition that Bob Jones has perpetuated for years.

“The Senior Breakfast [and picnic] are just a time for the seniors to come in and sit down and just relax and enjoy the food,” explained Mrs. Van Dam, one of the main coordinators of the two events. The Breakfast, which was held in the school cafeteria, took place on Thursday. The event featured Chick-fil-A cuisine along with a fruit salad, water, and Mrs. Van Dam’s favorite, “the absolutely delicious” cinnamon rolls made by Bob Jones’ own culinary team.

After students ate and mingled in the cafeteria, they were then directed to the auditorium to view the Senior Slideshow, a compilation of student photos from elementary school all the way to senior year that was coordinated by SGA president Jimmy Carter. “Working on the slideshow, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the transformation of all my peers, and I really enjoyed seeing their reactions to it,” Carter said.

Without a doubt, an atmosphere of nostalgia filled the auditorium as students viewed their lives being played out from past to present, child to young adult. A lot of students felt the slideshow was the highlight of the breakfast. Laurel Hannah thought that “the slideshow was great” and that “Jimmy did an excellent job.” Fellow student Leslie Chu agreed. “I think it turned out really good, and the music really made it emotional.”

In all, the Senior Breakfast proved to be an entertaining yet nostalgic event for seniors, but Bob Jones did not plan on stopping there; the following day, seniors were freed from their fourth block class and were grouped in the Eastview soccer field to partake in the Senior Picnic. From food to fun inflatables, the picnic offered yet another realm of enjoyment for Bob Jones’ generation of rising adults.  “This year we have some kind of inflatable ax-throwing game, and there’s an obstacle course, and bungee basketball,” explained Mrs. Van Dam. In addition to these recreations, students were served Jimmy Johns Subs, which, according to Mrs. Van Dam, included “a regular-sized sub with chips, cookies, and a pickle.” Students also received this year’s version of the senior t-shirt, which sports school principal Sylvia Lambert’s all-time motto, “Game on, Bob Jones!” on the back of it.

With the day saturated with fun and excitement, there is no doubt that most seniors thoroughly enjoyed the event. “[The Senior Picnic] was amazing! I had so much fun!” raved Claire Dieselberg, one of the many seniors at the picnic. “The inflatables were fun, and the food was really great. My favorite part was going down the slide and getting rug burn and also playing tag. It was a great experience.”

Fellow senior Grace Palenapa felt the same: “It was a lot of fun, honestly, like they had a whole bunch of inflatables and stuff, and everyone was [either] playing tag or getting chased around by the Gator [ a slow-moving four-wheel vehicle used mainly for transporting materials. Teachers were playing a safe game with the students called Gator Tag].”

The Senior Breakfast and Picnic were indeed a success, but none of it would be possible without the earnest efforts of Mrs. Van Dam and SGA, the school’s student government organization. SGA president Jimmy Carter said the main focus of the two events was to give seniors a memorable experience before they leave school. He wanted “everyone to feel emotional and to be able to look back on the past where [he or she] came from.” This goal was always kept in mind during the making of the Senior Slideshow and the coordination of the Breakfast and Picnic.

To say that seniors were emotional from these events may be an understatement; as the latter days of high school come to an end, seniors are experiencing a wave of poignant emotions. Some, such as Lindsey Lancaster, are excited to begin their next chapter in life. “The closer we get, the more I think I’m getting excited about college,” she explained. Georgie Karahalis shared the same opinion, saying that the approaching graduation was “definitely exciting.” Still, despite the hype surrounding graduation, there exists a bittersweet nuance for some seniors. “I’ve spent four years of my life here [at Bob Jones],” admitted senior Minh Nguyen, “so it’s kind of sad leaving this place.” Though Lindsey is excited about college, she also feels sad. “Only a few [of my friends] are within an hour distance [from the college I’m going to], so I’m not gonna be able to see them for a while…it’s kind of depressing.”

For these students, senior year has been filled with rich memories and a multitude of experiences. Though the prospect of leaving Bob Jones is saddening for many, there still lies ahead the exciting future for graduating seniors. And though their days are numbered, the mementos created during these two events will be engraved in their hearts, along with the other experiences high school has had to offer to them.

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Fun and Farewell: Senior Breakfast and Picnic 2019