Princeton Christian closed its doors today after being a school for 60+ years. I had asked Mrs. Ferrer if I could go back once it was empty and before it closed its doors forever to take photos of the building and classrooms and keep it as a memory. I got busy going back to school and work that it was just difficult to do so. But then I realized, what purpose was it going to serve to take pictures of it?
The Butterfly Moment
They say a Butterfly Moment are short but meaningful moments in your life, where you have been led to, to fly. I was “FORCED” to go to a private school in sixth grade. I hated the idea of having to wear a uniform and having to go to a different school from all the kids I went to elementary school with, but I had no choice. And in this school is where I was shaped and developed to being who I am today. Reality is, a school is not made by the buildings but by the people in it, that impact your life in one way or another.
So here’s a trip down memory lane and I think this is when you’ll realize where my love for photography started.
I’d say 8th grade was the year I finally felt “at home” in school. I had finally found friends that I “clicked” with and people I would talk to for the rest of my life. It was in Mrs. Shipp’s class that I realized my favorite subject was science.
And then in 9th grade, when I was finally feeling comfortable in a school, we lost a bunch of kids to public schools (South Dade and Coral Reef primarily). Luckily, I found a friendship in other people like the girls below.
But, in 9th grade we lost people again. I had to go out of my comfort zone and become friends with new people that came in. This is when my personality really started to come together. It was in Mrs. Lamache’s Yearbook class my Junior year that I realized I had a passion and patience for design and photography. This is when I really learned I was good with designing on a computer and that I loved to photograph moments and people.
It was in chapel where we weekly heard a message and even though we all were “bored” back then, I know some things had to stick with many of us.
It was on our Senior year where we all traveled together to California without our parents and thought we were invincible and smarter than the adults lol.
And then it was in Jesus’ backyard where I chose to walk WITH my friends instead of at the school for my graduation because the people below were not allowed to walk at our real graduation. (Don’t ask why lol!)
Unfortunately, this probably was the final largest class Princeton had. But man we made it memorable and so did the teachers!
It was in Mo’s Bible class, our Sophomore and Junior year, that we realized life is tough and it throws you for a loop. We watched him go through a tough personal time but he always tried his best to keep himself together to teach us out of the Bible. He’d try to make us question ourselves by starting every class with a “Question of the Day” and some of his stories are still embedded in my brain; like the one of his friend that he ran into while he was rushing on the train that later passed away. Mo was definitely a trooper when he decided to be involved in the JSB (Prom) Planning committee with eight freaking girls that had so many different ideas, opinions, drama, and hormones. But hey, I’m sure God was preparing him for his future wife and daughter! lol!
It was in Mr. Rice’s Anatomy class that I realized I wanted nothing to do with dissecting an animal again! I loved science, but maybe NOT THAT much! Mr. Rice also was filled with so much wisdom and honestly, so much patience to put up with us, including on our Senior Trip! Or when people, LIZ, asked if fish come up to breathe because she saw it on Finding Nemo! LOL! He also always told me “I know you really love science and meteorology but you’re REALLY GOOD in the creative field”. I should’ve listened to him 5 years ago! lol! It was also in Mr. Rice’s class that we practiced our dance routines for Homecoming, because our class ALWAYS had to win! Mrs. Jones, who I will never forget after Homecoming our Senior Year, who came up to me and asked me if I was in a car that was speeding on the way home because she was right behind me and was worried for me. What other teachers care for you like that?
Oh, Mr. Corum, I absolutely hated history, but he (or his looks) definitely made it worthwhile! LOL! Just kidding… maybe, maybe not! LOL! I know at some point you must’ve known almost ALL the girls in our class had a crush on you, and kudos to you for still looking good 12-13 years after we’ve graduated (No Offense to his wife Anita! You look GREAT too!) but if there’s one thing I learned from you and still tell a lot of people is how narrow minded we all can be! I will never, EVER, forget the time you got so frustrated with us during our World History class and you made us take out a piece of paper and pencil to draw the world map as we remembered it. As you walked around the classroom, you noticed the same pattern in the people that were born or raised in the US their whole life, we all drew North America as being the biggest continent on the planet. People like Muhle and Dylan (who were raised in Africa) we’re amongst the few that actually drew the map according to scale. And that’s when you told us, how narrow minded we were, that we needed to expand our horizon and realize there’s a greater world out there. I blame my addiction to traveling on you, you always talked about backpacking through Europe! lol (by the way Manny, you look like such a creep). And Mrs. Nelson you put up with so MUCH drama in our cheerleading squad from Boy drama to Girls who just couldn’t get along, to half of us quitting because we didn’t agree with who you had chosen as a captain only to later come back on the squad and even have a boy (Babak) on it. LOL! I’m so sorry we were crazy back then!
Mr. Klausman, your Speech class made me break out of my shell. You don’t even know how much that class and all your advice helped me learn how to speak in front of people and not be as shy as I was. Your Bible Class is also still one of my favorite memories at Princeton. It was in your Bible class that I memorized some of my favorite scripture.
And Ms. Frances and Mrs. Ferrer (aka as Misssssssssss) you guys let us get away with so much! Even though you “disciplined” us and threatened us with demerits for hanging out in your office when we didn’t want to be in class, you still had such a soft spot for all of us. I mean, let’s be real, what other administrative secretaries at a school let you get away with installing hidden cameras all over the office to prank another student and have YOU BOTH along with Mr. Paynter in on it!?!?!? LOL! I love you guys so much!
They say Home is People. Not a Place. Well Princeton was about the People not the Buildings. Even if the school closes its doors forever, the people are definitely what made that school. From the students, to the teachers, and the friends that still remain. Thank you all for what you guys did for us throughout the years. Even when we disliked all the rules and didn’t agree with a lot of things you all helped shape us up into who we are today.