By Seamus Quinn ‘21

For the first time in my life, I am at a loss for words.

I doubt that any article I could write, be it 5 pages or 500, could accurately describe the past four years of my life at this wonderful school. And also for the first time in my life as a senior in high school, I mean “wonderful” in an earnest, non-sarcastic way.

When I first began thinking about high school in eighth grade, I went to various open houses all over Chicago. St. Laurence was a bit underwhelming as it was going through a major upheaval at the time, and Providence’s open house was just a strange experience for a myriad of reasons which shall not be mentioned in this article. St. Rita, Mt. Carmel, and Marion Catholic were all far away, and I wasn’t sure what the ride situation would be from my home in Orland to their campuses.

That means that my choices ultimately boiled down to Marist and Brother Rice. Now, I had to think long and hard about these choices. Would I rather go to a school that would be filled with people from the St. Mike’s class of 2017 that I couldn’t stand with the same cliqueness permeating every classroom, or would I choose Brother Rice?

The minute I walked into Brother Rice’s Open House I fell in love with the school. The students, the teachers, and the administration were all so welcoming and kind. I could tell that this was a school where one was not a number, but rather a valued member.

Immediately after leaving the open house, I made my decision right there in the parking lot. The rest, as they say, is history.

The summer going into freshman year, I joined the Brother Rice band and participated in the annual summer band camp. It was here that I met most of my friends, with that number growing every year as new people come in. And in case he ever decides to read this article, I want to give a shout out to the man himself, my brother from another mother, Frankie Mesec.

Frankie was the first person I talked to at Rice and despite how he remembers it, it was I who came up to him in the hallway, not the other way around.

Since that fateful day, I have made a strong bond with one of the nicest, most outgoing guys I have ever met, and it is because of Rice that it happened.

Brother Rice made me love school. I know it sounds weird and nerdy, but it’s true. Before Rice, I used to dread waking up in the morning. Yet once I enrolled here, I was bouncing out of bed happy as can be, excited to see my friends and for what surprises lay in store.

I could write a million pages about the fantastic lessons and sayings I have learned here, but since we don’t have time for all that, I’ll just list a few fantastic ones below:

  • “All rise!” -Mr. McAuliffe every day in class
  • “IT’S GRAMMAR TIME”- Ms. Pacetti when it was indeed grammar time
  • “Good Lord that is the most Irish name I have ever seen in my life! I’m gonna call you Lucky Charms from now on.” -Mr. Albanese when he first met me
  • “Cry HAVOC!!!!!…..and let slip the dogs of war!” -Mrs. England during our reading of Shakespeare’s “Ides of March”
  • “Do NOT write this down! Stop writing!” -Bro Hayes
  • The Causal Chain Speech -Mr. Dolan on the first day of APUSH
  • “This isn’t Burger King! You can’t have it your way!” -Coach Gleeson on why life isn’t fair
  • “JOHN! C! CALHOUN!” -Mr. Dolan on the angriest man in politics
  • “Eddie, those weren’t even lines. You just groaned the whole time.” -Ms. Pacetti to Eddie Martin during our “Lord of the Flies” plays freshman year

These are the sayings I will be quoting in college and probably for the rest of my life. Thank you, Brother Rice, for amazing teachers with amazing one-liners.

But what I really want to thank Brother Rice for is two things that have become major staples of my life now: Journalism and Drama.

I’ll begin with journalism and a huge shout out to Ms. Pacetti. I love writing. I love letting my voice be heard. Journalism allowed me to do both of these things. Anyone who has read my work knows that I have strong opinions and a humorous view of the world. Ms. Pacetti’s journalism class has allowed me to voice my opinions in a pseudo-appropriate manner with plenty of sarcastic and funny witticisms and has inspired me to major in journalism during my studies at Butler University next school year.

Thank you, Ms. Pacetti, for putting me on a great path towards a great career.

I would like to give a shout out to the man who saw something in the pimple-covered face of freshman Seamus when he auditioned for “Fargo” with a Jack Nicholson monologue. Mr. Rolence, thank you for running the Drama Club and letting all of us expand upon our acting abilities. I have had four years of great fun acting in every show here at Rice, despite the fact that every character I have played ends up dying in the end.

In all seriousness, thank you for these past four years. It has been a great experience working with you and bringing fantastic stories to life. The Drama Club is going to soar to amazing heights in the future, and I cannot wait to see what you and its members concoct for next year.

Thank you, Brother Rice. Thank you for the best four years of my life. Thank you for amazing friends and teachers. Thank you for a warm, welcoming environment where one can feel at home. Thank you for making me a “Man of Edmund” and for helping me navigate my way towards college. I am forever in your debt.

But to close this already sentimental article, I would like to direct my remaining words to those that I leave behind: the freshman, sophomore, and junior classes, and my fellow seniors as we head our different ways.

Above my front door is a magnet bearing an old Irish curse, which says: “May those that love us, love us. And may those that don’t love us, may God turn their hearts. And if he can’t turn their hearts, may he turn their ankles, so we’ll know them by their limping.”

I have never once seen anyone limp around the halls of Brother Rice.

My fellow seniors, may God help you in your journey through college and beyond.

Juniors, may God help you on Ms. Donelly’s English final.

Sophomores, may God help you in general.

Freshman, welcome to your home away from home.

Gentlemen, the stage is set, the lights are lit, and the curtain has risen. The play that is your life is ongoing, so seize the day, live it to the fullest, and be the character who yearns to be exceptional.

My fellow Crusaders and my brothers, I salute you.