The Academic Decathlon team has always held a special place in my heart, from when I was coaching it. Each one of those students, Sarah, Ola, Selina, Morgan, Katie, Brooke, Michael, Scott, and Sasha manage to brighten my day over and over again. Two of them, Sarah and Ola, have been part of the team since for four years now, and have contributed tremendously to the team’s success and to building the social environment that helps make the team work. I have also taught both of them since they were in seventh grade. Since earlier this year I made Ola my student of the week, it is time now that I talk about Sarah Reed.
The great secret about Sarah Reed is that she has a fantastic, intelligent, and wicked sense of humor. Many people see her studying, practicing, reading, or knitting, and have no idea of what they are seeing. Indeed, one of the reasons to read literature is to keep an eye out for people like Sarah. Knowing her sense of humor and her avid interest in reading a variety of sources, I am not entirely convinced that Sarah has not learned from Madame Defarge for her knitting, secretly encoding messages in all that she knits. Indeed, I could see Sarah in the role of Atropos – or possibly Lachesis – from Greek mythology, weaving a grand joke into the tapestry of life. While Sarah does not have the same sensibilities as Madame Defarge, she does have a brilliant mind and a deep sense of humor. At some point or another, every teacher has caught Sarah quietly, or not so quietly, giggling at a joke the rest of the class has missed.
Sarah manages to keep that sense of humor even in the maelstrom of a schedule that would make most mortals quail, focusing on academics, an incredible commitment to music, the challenges on work required for Academic Decathlon, and cross country too. With all of that, she manages to give every one of her endeavors the attention it deserves. At the end of the day, she can always be heard to say, “well, that’s alright then.”