On Wednesday morning, car horns blared up and down 9W and Partition Street and commuters threw up their hands in frustration as, unyielding, the senior class of Saugerties High School caravanned in painted cars to the high school to kick off the first day of their last year in school.
As per tradition, over 100 seniors wearing school-blue tie-dyed shirts met in Saugerties Plaza at 7 a.m. to kick off the academic year. The plaza was a cacophony of shouts and laughter. A different genre of music reverberated from every car window at volumes fuzzy enough to pet. A thousand social cliques were born and died every instant, no doubt causing anyone gawking through the glass windows from IXL to get a bit dizzy. The air was thick with hopes and dreams, Axe deodorant and exhaust fumes. This was not your typical hump-day crack-of-dawn at the Saugerties Plaza.
Brianna Plonski only looked a bit tired. “It sucks so bad,” she said of waking up. “Actually it isn’t so bad, it’s the adrenaline today that’s pulling me through.” Plonski, like almost all the seniors, is already looking forward to graduation in the spring. She’s thinking about studying medicine in college, that she might help cancer patients. For now, though, she still has a year of physics and pre-calculus to contend with, and she was excited about today. “Just to get all the seniors together and celebrate the first day of our last year in high school together—we Facebooked it. We made a huge event,” she said, adding, “but usually it’s just known, by all the seniors.”
Mike Dombrowski was surprised by the turnout. “Everybody came. I thought less people were going to come, but it’s pretty cool.” He was one of the few actually looking forward to the school year, though he admitted, “I just can’t wait to go to college. I’m looking at Marist right now for my business degree. I’m looking at entrepreneurship, too.”
While many of the seniors couldn’t wait for the year not yet begun to be over, Josh Olsen was in a more reflective mood. “It seems like time really flew by,” he said. “It seems like the other day I was just starting junior high, and today I’m already a senior. I can’t believe it’s here already. It just seems like I’ve been in this school for a really long time, and now I’m at the top of it, so I’m really excited.”
“But I’m also ready to graduate,” he added.
Despite the raucous atmosphere and overwhelming teen spirit, ominous grey rain clouds circled above. It seemed an ill omen, the sort of meteorological phenomena that might portend failing grades and visits to the principal’s office. The mood did not go unnoticed. “I think it’s crap,” said Sydney Dennis of the weather. “It should be sunny—the sun should be shining and it should be hot—but it’s humid and disgusting.” She added, with no small degree of sarcasm, “It’s a great way to start school.”
With a lesser degree of sarcasm, Harleigh Misai proclaimed, “It’s about to be the apocalypse. In like, two months, we are going to have the zombie apocalypse.” (Was she referring to the village’s Zombie Walk event in October or some other imminent rapture? We’re not sure.)
However, for someone anticipating a zombie apocalypse, she is looking forward to a surprising number of things this school year. “Mainly everything I saw the seniors do last year that I didn’t get to do,” she said. “Senior Prom, graduating, the senior picnic—that’s always fun. And I’m looking forward to college, too, and I actually know where I’m going. I’m going to Marist.”