Ways of Ending

Author: Elane K.

There are ways of beginning that involve memory, and others that involve sound, and still others that involve light.

SSP has been a storm of light: sudden, consuming, and incredibly bright. The kind of event that can only be lived and loved. Just five weeks ago, I had no idea how quickly I’d settle into the rhythm of SSP: reading, rereading, coding, sleeping (sparingly), laughing, playing-but-mostly-working, debugging, debugging, debugging. 

Earlier today, after a 40 minute break (!!!), two of our wonderful TAs, Katie and Michael, took the stage to give their TA Talks, which covered linguistics and worldbuilding, respectively. Think phonemes, cosmologies, existential crises, ancient foes, and a bone-deep sense of panic when you realize that you can’t whisper the word “zebra.” After days spent skimming the OD packet and nights busy with Python wrangling, the rhythm was clear: the rest of the day and much of the night was spent working on adding to the meat of the OD code, finishing the MPC report, and eying Windows users longingly from afar. 

figure a: <3 <3 <3

SSP has taught me the importance of collaboration, of intermediate values, of taking an individual struggle and allowing it to become a collective effort. The truth of SSP is evident in how no one is left behind. How, for every frame, we give the pieces of brightness on our computer screens a number, a provisional name, a face, a home. There is always something I can get wrong the first try and love by the second. 

Excerpting a favorite novel: “[O]nce the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through….You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”

I am infinitely grateful to my fellow Sourdough Star-ters, to the NMT campus, to Dr. Rengstorf and Dr. Anderson, to the fantastic TAs (love you Katie, Abby, Tristan, and Michael!), to Ms. M, and to my extended SSP family. 

To all the pieces of warmth that we string back together and hang on the wall—look, that big one there is SSP. To more lines of running code and comparatively fewer debug sessions. To more mid-day naps, SSP parody songs, parallelograms. To storms that echo and sing. To storms that end like they start: brightly. To more summers like this one, full of light. 

Hi there! I’m Elane, and I’m a high school student based in California. I enjoy Studio Ghibli soundtracks, creative writing, and my mom’s cooking. Talk to me about lime skittles and my fear of mushrooms. I’m very happy to meet you!