By Devlin Harris ‘21

As 8th grade Devlin walked through the North Gym doors for an Open House, he never could have imagined what would transpire in the coming years.

I did not want to go to Brother Rice. I went to a summer camp at Brother Rice when I was little and I hated it. However, my aunt knew many people in the Rice community so I had to go to at least one event there before I crossed it off my list. I moped through the doors and met my guide. He cracked jokes and took me on a tour of the school. It was outstanding. My mood had changed and I signed up for a shadow day as soon as I could. Suddenly, Brother Rice was one of my top choices. As I left, my guide said one thing that has stuck with me since that day, “You might not believe me, but four years flies by faster than you can imagine.”

Flown it has.

As I prepare to graduate, I look back at life as a Crusader, specifically my wacky senior year. It began with an email stating that due to COVID-19 protocol we cannot have everyone in school together. We got split into two groups and were allowed to come back into the building on a rotating schedule. Thankfully, a majority of my buddies were in on the same day as me.

On days when I was at home, I had to log onto Zoom calls and Google Meets. There were definitely fun days at home but it was nothing compared to being in the classroom. I NEVER thought I would find myself saying “I miss school.” Even now it sounds weird, but it’s true!

A normal senior year was not possible. However, Brother Rice has done an amazing job keeping us students safe whilst still providing a good education. One thing that was a plus about the pandemic was the amount of free time I have had. I had extra time to research colleges and then visit them. That was a blessing, especially when it came time to work on college applications. Those things are the most tedious documents I have ever filled out.

The more I write and the more I think about high school, the more it hits that I will be graduating soon. It’s almost a surreal feeling. It does not seem right; 5th through 8th grade was the same amount of time as high school. That just cannot be possible. I REFUSE to believe that. Time really does fly when you’re having fun. I even had fun in math classes. Math should not be fun, yet Brother Rice found a way to make it fun.

There was not a class that I would not take again besides chemistry; chemistry is proof that evil does exist in this world. From watching great movies in theology with Mr. McAuliffe and Mr. Grogan to writing research papers in English, I have loved every day as a Crusader. Crazy to think that I decided to take the entrance exam at Rice just a few days before the exam.

Brother Rice introduced me to a new sport that I never could have pictured myself playing in grammar school. Tennis. Tennis is more fun than most of you think. There is nothing more satisfying than crushing an overhead smash.

I started as a total beginner. I was miserably bad when I started, but now I am the captain and looking to qualify for state this year. To all of you underclassmen who read this, if you do not have a spring sport, try tennis. I promise you that it is more fun than it looks. It is not hard to learn either, and Mr. Vogt is always looking for new players to play with and teach.

Well, Brother Rice, I guess this is goodbye. For now at least. Thank you. I entered as a not-so-small boy and I will leave with the knowledge on how to be a man (I still have to practice that, though).