boots to fill – an appreciation post

There’s a day left in the semester. I should be studying for my many exams coming up, and yet here I am – reminiscing.

Reminiscing about the person I was before this class, and who I am now. However, nobody cares about my own personal growth, so I won’t talk about that specifically.

I can attribute so much of what I’ve learned and who I’ve become to the amazing grade 12s in our class, and so I’d like to pay a little respect to each one, as I’m sure all of us feel much the same way.

In alphabetical order, and in the colour I associate you with (I don’t care what colour you want to be):


As my fingers click down on these keys, I can remember counting them with Abhay and hoping that I wouldn’t be the one getting absolutely obliterated by his slaps.

Having you in two of my classes this year was totally amazing. Every time you raised your hand, there was something deeply intelligent and thought-provoking that came out of your mouth. I noticed pretty early on that you have a truly special commitment to self-improvement: even Hunnisett marvelled at how you always had that hunger and desire to get better. I feel like this is reflected more even in your passion for martial arts: you’re constantly looking to perfect your mind and your body, as well as your singing skills – even if you aren’t as committed to improving your beard. I look at you and I hear your voice and I read your writing and I realize that there is still so much left to learn and so much to learn from you specifically. Not only do you advocate self-improvement: you exemplify it. Abhay, you are an overall outstanding individual who somehow managed to tolerate my constant pecking and jokes, and I will miss seeing your lack of a butt for three hours a day.


I’ll say it time and time again: if someone doesn’t have a deep respect and admiration for Maria, he or she either doesn’t know her or is a piece of trash human being.

I remember being intrigued by everything you said; there was so much intelligence, humour, and wit within you every time you spoke to the class as a whole. Once I got to know you better, I began to understand how much of a special human being you really are. Everything about you is geared towards humbleness and excellence; you always seek to outdo yourself but will never admit your own successes if you think it might make you seem annoying. That said, I truly love and respect your confidence: from the way you look and speak to the general public, to the more personal and emotional conversations you and I have. You’ve shown me that there is no lack of appreciation and love in the world, and that the point of life is to do things the right way: the way that makes you work harder but gives you the happiness that everyone in their life needs. You’ve given me the Maria that everyone in their life needs and I deeply regret only getting to know you in your final year. But alas, there is still a little time to go, and I hope that we can keep our relationship more permanent than the status of my PP.


Mia was my number one fan.

I remember the first few weeks of class and noticing such a stark contrast between me and you. I remember seeing you cry during your Pechakucha, and being so confused as to why you would show your emotions like that in front of the class. Most of all, however, I remember how you changed my life. One day, I came in with a really big burden on my chest, and it wasn’t something I could’ve just told anyone. You were the first person I told because I thought you’d be able to relate, and you have proven to be one of the best confidants ever – never once did I feel judged when I told you anything because you knew that it was okay to be emotional. I also owe it to you that I now show a more emotional side to myself than before. This is because when I opened up to you and showed myself as vulnerable, you never hurt me, which prompted me to try and echo this in my writing and life. So, in a way, you are actually responsible for bringing out the romantic side of me, because you were always there to support me and laugh at my jokes. I can’t count how many times the best part of my day was when you’d reach over and draw a smiley face on my page, and I’m sure you’ll succeed no matter where life takes you. Though I’ll miss you, I’ll always be here to provide some chocolate-covered granola bars.


Getting to spend three hours with Nimrat every day was a truly enlightening experience.

During that time, I never once heard you complain about a class or a test coming up because you had the confidence in your ability to get it done. I noticed very early on that you have a special studious ability – the ability to put your head down and work; whether it be for a test, assignment, or Hunni’s TA work, you always did everything to the best of your ability. You remained focused at all times on understanding the world around you, particularly through literature. But what made you so special is your ability to answer questions using every bit of knowledge, I can’t count how many times you’ve supported your argument and added insight and clarity to a discussion with something powerful and unique. You would bring in the most insightful ideas that no one could think of, and factor in themes and case studies that truly supplemented everyone’s knowledge. From you, Nimrat, I’ve learned how to analyze the world around me and to use every single piece of information that I can possibly gather to come to conclusions and to keep on learning more and more and diversify in my quest for knowledge.


All of you have taught me lessons that can’t be lost. And now, it’s up to me and the rest of next year’s 12s to preserve the magic of AP and the magic of you four that changed our lives. We have massive boots to fill as we look to mentoring the grade 11s and possibly 10s next year, but your teachings will remain true forever. It saddens me that we are nearing the beginning of the end, but all of you have bright futures, and I am proud to have been able to admire you for these past five months.

Though I shall address this with my name, I do know that I speak for everyone when I say that we are eternally grateful for all of you and the moments shared within this class that would’ve been impossible without all of you.






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4 thoughts on “boots to fill – an appreciation post

  1. Zaid (tan superman himself),

    I didn’t think you would have any more surprises at this stage in the game, but once again you have proven me wrong. Your writing is essentially free from clutter, completely streamlined and more polished than I have ever seen it. It is clean and beautifully written, but best of all, it sounds like you. I read this in your voice, and that made it even more outstanding. In regards to the content of the writing, I am honoured to have been part of the reason for something so phenomenal. Every time you send me a message or leave me a comment, I feel like the most amazing human being in existence. Thank you for always building me up. My confidence was something that took a bit of a hit this year, and your words had a big hand in pulling me through. I am so glad that I make you feel appreciated, because you certainly do the same for me. I have loved getting closer with you this year, and I have absolutely zero doubt in my mind that this friendship will last well after I make my grand exit. I’m not about to miss all the amazing things you get up to without me.

    In closing, I will leave you with my final words of appreciation for you. If I could, I would write them in bright, gorgeous, intense, joyful yellow. You are immensely intelligent, and absolutely overflowing with wit. Everything you say in class and out of it makes me rethink everything, or laugh until my sides hurt. You are one of the most open-minded and wise people I have ever known. Don’t let the world take that from you. Your quiet confidence and kind honesty are worth their weight in gold. I know I’ve said it before, but it’s all true. You are a once in a lifetime kind of person, and I’m so grateful to have known you.

    Though you feel you have big shoes to fill, I have no doubt that you will grow to match what the four of us disasters created, and then far surpass it.

    Love forever,

    1. M A R I O :

      I’m deeply offended by the fact that you thought that I had no more surprises left for you, as I thought that if I could continue to surprise myself, I could surprise you. Truthfully, I wrote this piece because I was surprised at how much I’d learned along the way from you, and I seriously can’t thank you enough for being my homie and reading all of my work. You leaving a comment here definitely means a lot, and I’m glad that my genuinity showed itself onto this page.
      Maria, I don’t need to wish you all the best because we both know that you are going to do your best no matter what. It’s sad that I won’t get to be in your class anymore everyday, but I know our friendship will still remain strong.

      Lots of Lactic Acid,
      Zaid the Dad

  2. My dearest, most beloved Zaid,

    I will be honest, this is also going to be an appreciation post for you. I really don’t know if you are aware of your own ability to affect and inspire those around you. I know you won’t be able to accept this yet, but your appreciation and gratitude for what’s around you makes me feel safe knowing there is someone like you in this world. As for this post, it wasn’t required, nor did anyone ask of this from you, yet you still choose to go out of your way and spread your kind words to us, grade 12s. I am so undeserving. The level of depth and your way with words allowed us to get to your point concisely and insightfully. You were able to truly capture each of us in a paragraph, hehe. I remember my first comment on your blog in which I said how prevalent your voice is in your writing. It’s as if I am speaking to you, or how I can hear your voice whenever I read your writing. In the span of this semester alone, your voice has already gotten so much stronger. I really can’t wait for you to take over the world one day.

    The only area for growth I can actually point out is the line that reads, “Mia was my number one fan,” to which I am vastly offended because this statement is completely untrue. I AM your number one fan and I will continue to be.

    Zaid, you don’t even know how much you have taught me this semester. I know I could have been better for you and Petrina, but you both never needed me to be successful. I am just so proud to claim that we were in the same gamily froup, like that’s my kid. I have so much more to say, but I will let you know at a later time. I truly wish I knew you for longer before I had to leave. You are genuinely one of my favourite people.

    Love (and yes, I say love because I mean it),
    mia 🙂

    1. To my (always) number one fan Mia,

      I will also be honest: I can’t imagine myself being in this class without you sitting beside me every day. I learned countless useful lessons from you regarding organization, personal writing, and most importantly how to show emotion. Even if I never learned a TikTok from you, I hate to say that I guess I might be missing your constant dances (only a little bit).
      I truly wish we got to meet each other sooner, but sometimes that’s just how the crumble cookies. Anyways, I’m glad that I had the chance to meet you because you molded me a little bit into you – which is always good.



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