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S: Jorge Luis Rojas Piñero

FC: Jorge Luis Rojas Piñero | Colegio Marista / Clase 2011

1: I can't believe that this book has seventeen years of my life, which, basically, includes my whole journey through school. The making of this book was just a constant reminder of joyful, disappointing, funny, and frustrating memories. However, I loved how this book transported me to each moment in my past and filled me with nostalgia. It makes me happy to know that, no matter where I go, I will always have a reminder of my early ages; a storage memory of the most crucial moments of my life. While I read the book and looked at the pictures, I could not help but to grin with a vivid mental image of those first years at school, of the years at intermediate school, and all those rocking memories during high school. Nevertheless, now that we are at the end of this stage and at the front door of college life, I know that I will never forget all of my friends, partners, teachers, and family that influence my life or prepared me to survive in the real world that we are headed to. Even though I am leaving this life behind, which fills me with disappointment, I am satisfied with these past years that I had. This book gave me huge mixture of feelings aside this longing to stay that appeared in my mind. At first, it was a little confusing because I couldn't tell the feelings apart. It was like a huge tornado of feelings twirling around in my head and I was not able to focus and catch one of them, they were just there. As I kept making the scrapbook, these feelings were filtered making me realize that I shouldn't be sad that this stage of my life is already at its end; instead, I should be pleased that I took the most out of these seventeen years. Suddenly, I realized the importance of this book. The scrapbook made me realize that I am fully satisfied and that I am ready to take on the rest of my life that awaits me. I gained security, tranquility, and comfort. Also, I lost any worry I had of finalizing our senior year. Now I find myself confident, looking forward with no regrets and ready to take on college life. | Introduction

2: I am a 17 year old teen who lives in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. Living in a neighborhood called Torrimar for 14 years, I became very accustomed to the place. One of my best friends is actually my neighbor, so I never had a problem with the area. Also, I have been blessed with amazing parents who taught me well and took good care of me. From the very beginning, or at least as long as I can remember, I had one goal in life: grow up to be an athletic man with a stable career. Now I am a fencer and have not only a goal, but also a dream of becoming a world-class fencer. Also, I have a very strong inclination for engineering that will fulfill the goal of a stable job. Obviously, I still have a long way to go on both parts so, how do I think this will be achieved? Well, sincerely there is only one way to do this... a big sacrifice. It is a sacrifice that requires persistence, patience, determination, and a lot of hard work. And I really mean a lot of work. This big dream I have takes a lot of time to develop, meaning that I have to be motivated and ready for anything that might come in the way; after all, it is a long way. On this moment of my life were every decision is crucial to my future, I can only hope for strength so I can endure the whole road to my goal. However, This goal goes accordingly with my personality, taste, and ideas. I view myself as a humorous, caring, passionate, and most definitely happy-go-lucky person. However, the distinguishing characteristic is humorous and passionate. My sense of humor is very unique. I am the kind of guy who laughs for anything and later is unable to stop. Also, I dig sarcastic or ironic humor, sometimes even falling in dark humor, yet I try to avoid it. The reason I try to avoid it is because I feel guilty at the end because; for me, it is morally wrong. | Chapter 1: Who Am I?

3: I also view myself as a passionate person because I have two "hobbies" that I love to do: fencing and drumming. I have been fencing for six years and I can't be a week without it, I even get frustrated when too much time has passed. I really found my sport when I crossed paths with fencing. It was perfect for me just like a ring fits in a finger. I really enjoy it and it is a way to clear my mind off things. Sometimes I find myself talking about it and forget that very few people share this passion, so I just watch their confused faces while the talking continues. On the other hand, drumming is relatively a new hobby, but I have always been passionate about music and a sudden interest in drumming emerged. Naturally, you could find me hearing music 24/7 (obviously exaggerating, but you get the point) while I drum along in my air kit. Then I see random people as they pass by and look at me like if I was insane, but I don't care. I enjoy the moment so I don't need to care what other people think or assume. Aside all of my pastimes I like having a very good time with friends doing anything from going to the movies to just talking on some park or house. I just enjoy the company and try to get the best out of everything. Sometimes I like to take risks and try things that I know will end up in trouble, but my curiosity also plays a role here. Most of the time, curiosity is the one responsible for my troubles because it pushes me to try things just to see the outcome and, mostly without thinking about the consequences. These are the highlights of what constitutes me. If you haven't already realized, I am a very unique person with a big goal to achieve. At the end, I am just a regular guy with his special interest and his special personality; a guy that likes to be with his friends, drum, fence, and wander around.

4: Chapter 2: My Family | I am proud to say that I belong to the Rojas, Pinero family because, I believe, it is a very interesting family. It's a big family too, especially if you include all the people that are not really relatives, but are essential to my parent's success. However, everyone still counts them as part of the family, making this social circle expand. Most of my great grandparents have passed, but the ones that I had the chance to meet them were pretty much handicapped so I couldn't have a conversation with them. Yet, I remember them as being nice and peaceful. My grandparents, they are another story. All four of them are still alive and, with all the respect that I have for them, they believe themselves to be young so they are very happy and outgoing. In a way, it is better this way because I get to enjoy their presence and they become very amusing. Their lively nature makes them say those repetitive and long stories that every grandparent has with a lot of emotion and passion plus they interact with me, my sisters, and my cousins. On top of it all they are very supportive with all of their grandsons. I believe that I am blessed to have grandparents like them, but this is just the beginning of the family. Right below them you find my parents: my mother born in Puerto Rico and my dad born in... Germany? I know it is weird, but there is a logical explanation to this odd match up. My father's father served as a medic in the army making him a frequent flyer. All my uncles in part from the Rojas family was born in a different place for the same reason, however my father was born when he was stationed in a U.S. military base in some small town in Germany. Still, my father is Puerto Rican, where he was raised. Emotionally speaking, my parents are complete opposites: my mother is the reserved, cautious, and more strict parent while my father is the

5: happy-go-lucky, playful, and absentminded one. I don't know how, but they are able to live under the same roof and take care of us with no problem. Obviously, they are always frustrations and little scuffles especially at the moment we are living. I really love them both, making them role models for me. Anyways, my parents are not the only ones that belong to that generation. I have three uncles in part of my father and two uncles in part of my mother, each one with a unique characteristic that makes him or her special. I will start with the Rojas family. The oldest of my father's brothers is named Luis, he is the musician of the family and my god father. After him came uncle Hector. He was like my father's twin; they were always together and they could be any father's worst nightmare. That tag team was the biggest trouble maker around or, at least, that I know of. One day my grandparents started telling us a lot of their anecdotes about life with a double team like that. Finally, the last sister came. It was hilarious because she was the only girl and she always had to take all the pranks that my father and his brother did. She always mentioned of it being like hell on Earth. Also, every time she told us about one of her experiences she used to roll her eyes with a nostalgic look. From the part of my mother I have two uncles: Ana and Luis. Luis, who I admire and look up to because I want to become an engineer too, lives in Cleveland as an electrical engineer in NASA. Ana is like my mother's best friend and has a very unique sense of humor. At the end of the family tree, in other words, my generation we have my cousins and my two sisters. I really enjoy each one's company because there are cousins of all ages: my age, older than me, smaller than me, kids, and even babies. I also have an older sister and brother that never lived with me because they are my father's first marriage. In total, we are approximately 20 cousins and brothers from my uncles and parents alone. Even though I am leaving for college I know I am going to come back because I am going to miss those huge family parties.

7: My family fills my life with love...

9: We shared lot's of memories and experiences together

11: Always with love, laughter and faith

12: Thanks God that my mom and dad loves them very much that gave me the opportunity of being in ther catholic wedding 18 years later.

13: Grandparents | Parents

14: Our love will be forever and | Brothers

15: Forever | our hearts will always be together !

16: Throughout the years we have been always together

18: My mon and dad always at my side

20: I was born in a hospital in San Juan one 5th of September. My parents took a flight from Miami to Puerto Rico just to watch my mother give birth to me. Once I was born, we all flew back to Florida were I spent the first three years of my life learning a weird mixture of Spanish and English. We also lived with my mother's uncle named Violeta, who was basically my nanny during my stay at Florida. During the time living in the States, I don't remember much aside the fact that my little sister was born the last year before we left. In that year I already felt like if I had a huge responsibility with my sister, since my mother kept warning me that a new member was entering the family. That is exactly how it happened. I looked very well after my sister and, even though I did not have a considerable age, I sort of knew what was going on. Suddenly, shocking news came to my house. My father got a job offer back in the Island so, with three years of age, we flew back to my home town. A little while later, my mother also found a job. Well she kind of started an advertising and media company called Mediatek. At my age I found it very cool. I mean, my mother was president of a company. However, I did not understand my mother's job. Adapting was not a difficult task. My social circle was still my instant family: a mother, a father, and my little sister. Anyways, I forgot to mention the new house in Puerto Rico. I remember that this house came with two pets: a bird and a dog, which my mom hated since she is allergic to everything. Aside the allergies, the dog was a mess. It was a golden retriever that peed everywhere, including the counter top and the pool. So, eventually, my mom gave the dog away. Now that I mentioned the pool, I remember that they had to fence it so I wouldn't fall. I even have a vague memory of falling to the pool, which convinced my parents that, with such a big pool, I was going to need to learn how to swim. Yes, I did start to swim since a baby boy and I really did not like it. The teacher was a girl I felt uncomfortable with, but I can't complain because my parents didn't have to worry about me drowning. | Chapter 3: Suddenly, I became me

21: Besides, eventually I started to like swimming. Also, my sister was joined to the class (the class was actually at my pool), creating a bond between us since it was one of the only formal activities that we did together, including my parents. Aside the pool, there was also a swing included with some sort of club house with a slide. I remember that one of the three swings was in a shape of a tiny airplane, where my mother used to swing me for 15 to 30 minutes. At least 15 minutes is what I remember because I tended to fall asleep during the time, so I guess my mother used did this on purpose to make me go to sleep. I really loved that patio, not only because of the swings, but also because it was filled with patches of grass and I used to play with my cousins Paula and Ana, who I knew since before I can remember. At the beginning of my 5th year on earth, I attended pre-school right inside my neighborhood: Torrimar. The school and church's name is San Juan Evangelista. There I learned my first words, colous, and, of course, made my first friends. I already had friends, but they were because my mom knew his or her mom and we technically met there and it was either that or do absolutely nothing. Obviously, I stuck with making friends. Well, anyways, lets go back to San Juan Evangelista. The only clear image of that school that I remember is the chicken, roosters, dogs, and cats wondering around the church or patrolling outside the classrooms. Also, I remember sleeping one-fourth of the time I was at the facilities. We used to bring these cool-looking sleeping bags and we would put one aside the other and sleep while watching a movie. However, a year later I turned six years old, starting a whole new lifestyle.

22: Mamma's Boy | I was born on September 5, 1993 in San Juan Puerto Rico. At the thrid week of life we moved to Miami , Florida

23: What a joy! I was their first kid!

25: My First Years of Life I filled our home with love, laughter and hope!

26: Unforgettable memories in Miami where we spent my first 3 years of my life.

27: My first years of life

28: Once I left my pre-school inside my own neighborhood, it became a big deal to choose a new school. After two months of searching during the summer, my mom said, "how about Marista?" I never really entered the school, but it was very close to home and it seemed promising. However, there was only one thing on my mind: no matter which school I chose, I am going to stay there all the way until senior year. So eventually the joy of summer ended and it was a new world; new people to meet, teachers that actually thought, and a new environment. It was scary at first and, in my point of view, the other kids looked like if they already knew each other. It was only a matter of time when I started to make friends and made my first social approaches. I remembered for the first time in a very long time that my first friend in Marista is Jesús Camuñas. We used to play in that little playground, just a speck in the vastness of the school, and pretended to be characters from Star Wars. Jesús and I became very close friends and even inseparable. We hanged out everywhere: in the playground, during classes, during lunch break, and at 2 o' clock, the time we left school. In my tiny little mind, Marista was the biggest school I had ever seen (obviously I haven't seen another one besides it, but the size shocked me). But besides all these adaptations taking place, I remember having a great time in those worry-free year; I would only learn to read and write. Kindergarten, for me, was reading a book of five pages with two sentences each, writing my name (which is a very common name, making it really easy), painting inside the lines, filling one notebook with consecutive numbers, and another with the letters. | Chapter 4: School bells

29: Later on, I entered elementary school. What a difference! I remember twice the reading, twice the writing, and an intro to arithmetic. As I kept passing those grades, I could feel the difficulty change, which meant less recreational time and more school. Anyways, elementary school in lunch break was incredible. We finally left that little playground at the little pre-school and moved to "the big building." There were six basketball courts of recreational space plus the hallways, which were filled with marbles, jacks, trading cards, playing cards, gameboys, and unnecessarily bulky school bags. I remember that we actually betted on marbles when we played. There was always a kid that came with a bag loaded with marbles, another with one marble and ended up with a bag for himself, and the marble collection of another bunch of people. It was amazing the diversity of marbles, each one with its respective name. There were normal marbles, huge marbles, tiny marbles, light marbles, heavy marbles, colorful marbles, dull marbles, clear marbles, marbles with designs, marbles with 3D designs, and any other marble that you can imagine. With the trading cards it was different. We played Pokémon. The famous little monsters on pieces of paper that also became a series of gameboy cassettes. It was a huge deal for everyone; anyone who didn't knew Pokémon was like a weirdo. However, we also played on the courts not only with basketballs, but also hand ball and all those meaningless ball games that involved a huge wall and a tennis ball. Aside the ball games, we also played hide and seek, police man and the crook, frozen, etc. All these games were the meaning of chaos. I mean, we were running, jumping, hiding, and fighting all around the place. Aside that first foreshadowing of the years to come academically, I really enjoyed these five years of being the best kid anyone could be.

30: PRE- School A great way of starting school life | Pre-Pre- Miami Montesori | Pre-Kinder- San Juan Evangelista | Kinder Colegio Marista

31: Elementary School

32: My first day of 4th grade | Me in 3rd grade | My 2nd grade teacher | My Friend

33: my primary years were of great enthusiasm and many new things for me.

34: Mi Primera comunión

35: My First Communion Day on April 21, 2002. What an experience and opportunity to be closer with God!

38: Once I passed fourth grade, I have to admit, I was nervous at first. I was moving to middle school: a whole different play ground. For some reason, academically, I found fifth grade very easy; as well as sixth grade. It was the easy matching, multiple choice, and true or false test with some easy reading plus some minor projects. The hard part came in seventh grade with the famous science fair; always left for the last minute. Luckily, my science experiments were always practical and easy to perform in less than twenty-four hours. I also had a lot of help from my parents in the decorative part. It was a real pain in the butt. Suddenly, the amount of work doubled and we would soon graduate. Time flew, literally. Time really took the fast lane and took us by surprise. Then the warnings of a harder future came, along with a feeling of awareness that our GPA from that point did have significance. A sense of anxiety empowered me, more or less the whole year. However, outside the classroom was a different story. Much more interesting too. Middle school does have the biggest playground. It seemed as if middle school was huge, even though it had approximately the same amount of student body. The volleyball, basketball, and recreational courts were always filled, including the huge hallways. In my little mind, it was fascinating. Logically, I already had very good friends that, today, are still my best friends, especially Michel Rachid. He came as a new student in fourth grade. Not only did he came as a new student, but also as an outsider. He has lived in Miami till that year and it was very difficult for him to adapt. It was so tedious for him that he had a lot of problems with the class in general. Still, In fifth grade I met him because he also became my neighbor. Besides this new friendship that opened, we had a lot of scuffles. Some of them might have been considered fights, even though we never fought with fists. There was another guy that was basically inseparable from me that was also | Chapter 5: Middle School

39: called Jorge. The causality was that we also looked alike. Also, Pablo was a very good friend that eventually left to the states. Aside all of these good, well built friendships, there was another one that proved the phrase "never judge a book by its cover" true. His name was Victor. He was a very interesting little kid that had the ability of manipulation. It was like if he had some weak point on all of us. If he wanted us to fight, he would do so and succeed. This "friendship," I think, was one of my biggest heartbreaks in middle school. For some dumb reason I believed him and fell for his guinea pig over and over again. The funny thing was that I always fell for it, acknowledged the flaw, and always ended up as his friend. He managed to put almost everyone of my friends against me which, by the way, was the source of many of my fights with Michel. He really made a living hell out of my social life. Eventually I broke free from that friendship and stabilized all of my friendships. In summary, adapting to middle school took a while, especially outside the classroom. Middle school was a jungle of emotions and struggles, but It was an essential part of my life. This section of my life sparked malice in my mind and opened it to other points of views. This permitted me to see the other side of the face that we see every day that, most of the time, was very different from reality. Also, during this time line was that I made the decision of starting a fencing career, that pretty much takes three-fourths of my life. Interestingly, after a long recovery from a broken bone, I decided that fencing was the sport for me. Unaware of the blessings that it offered in the future years to come, fencing became one of my top priorities alongside the GPA since (during this period of time, more specifically towards February of my sixth grade) my big dream appeared on scene.

40: Intermediate School | 5th grade | 6th grade | 7th grade | 8th grade | I was a bigger kid and new experiences and challenges began

42: Intermediate school | I was growing older, I was getting stronger and experiencing new things in my life.

44: My best friends were always by my side, celebrating my birthdays

45: My first real sport gave me new strength and joy

46: with my proud dad | with my wonderful mom

47: a little bit cold | enjoying my time with friends | Always doing different things every day and enjoying my life.

49: Great summer vacations and adventures with my family

51: camp Marist What a great summer in New Hampshire with my best friend Michel Andrés

53: Our Christmas vacations always were a blast. New York, New Hampshire, Colorado and Cleveland

55: Junior PROM | It was a magical night and very exciting because it was my first Prom

56: "Wherever you go, go with all your heart." ~Confucius | Graduation day 8th | A Great Day when my first goals were accomplished with honors and joy! May 2007

58: I really don't want to talk about my first romance; let's just say that the memory lies deep within my personality, where it belongs. Better yet, I will talk about a utopian scenario that lied within my brain back in those days were I naively thought that it was worth it. It was kind of funny the first time I had a girlfriend. I was not looking for one at all; I didn't even like anyone really. However, I realized that a girl named Not really important. Anyways, apparently, she liked me so, like any boy, I went with the flow. Seriously, not my best decision so far. At first, I was really skeptic about the relationship and I had my distance for the first month or two. Like always, for the first actual girlfriend, it is very hard not to get attached. And that’s exactly how it happened. To finish of the elixir of seduction, very ideal thoughts crossed my mind that were not supposed to be considered. I guess it's beginners luck Hope not because, if not, I don't want to be lucky again. Like a young and innocent kid, I thought that every women was gentle, caring, considerate, elegant, and incapable of doing harm. That sounds crazy, doesn't it? To my surprise, she was the exact opposite: rude, harsh, insensible, uncaring, and manipulative. She well new that I was up there on the clouds. I guess she said, "I can do whatever I want with him" because that is exactly what she did. She cared more for her pet than she did to me. But man did she knew how to fake it. It was a plan of genius. Looking at it from an objective point of view, it was the most devious, well-thought, and smart plan I've ever seen. She had me for a doll, a marionette, a puppet (just to avoid using other comparisons). She was probably praised for playing such a game, for gambling with another human instead of money. Maybe, just maybe, frowned upon by many others. | Chapter 6: My First Girlfriend

59: Back to my perspective, I was really blinded. I felt like if she was some kind of guard dog looking over me, but at the same time, I was the one with the chain around my neck. At the time, I didn't see her that way. My girlfriend was like something else, an innocent lady, a decent one by the way, that actually cared for me. So, subdued by the power of seduction and manipulation, I hanged on for a very long time. The signs of "hey! Something's fishy" or "Careful! Not a good sign" were completely ignored. That was the beauty of it all. That was the interesting part. I ignored the signs! I knew something was wrong; that a piece of the puzzle did not fit. Now that everything is over, I can't get myself to understand why? Why was I so nave? While I was fantasizing on the clouds, way up there, she was doing what she pleased. She flirted with any guy that moved, kissed about three of them and on top of it all she always told me at the end. Stupid right? Guess what? It worked perfectly! I forgave and forget. It was a way, a style, a double personality, that adapted to any occasion. It knew how I thought, how I would react, and, like a fortune teller, the outcome of any discrepancy between us. But, the outcome could be predicted by my pets: it would be fixed and ended happily. Besides, I could get some positive things from all of this. Yeah, I had my romance, I had my fun. It's undeniable that I had a good time. It is also undeniable that I learned from it and gained experience, with it came the spark of malice that got implanted deep in my mind for it to develop and grow for the years that followed. In the end, it was really not that bad. However, like any kid filled with illusion, I was emotionally devastated. Logically, I questioned every moment, good or bad, that I shared with such a despicable, cold-hearted, depraved, and malicious woman. In the present day, I see those twenty months, that at the time were moments of joy and romance, as a waste of time, a waste of emotion, a waste of me!

60: ?

61: ?

62: So along came ninth grade, the famous freshmen year. I was very determined to work on this grade because they had told us that the grades counted for college. In fact, I was very anxious, especially with the seniors of the time. At the end, the seniors didn't do anything to us so it was useless at the end. Starting a new style of life (high school), I was sort of moved, but I was able to adapt with no problem. Better yet, I found freshmen year extremely easy. Freshmen year was, academically, a piece of cake; socially, the same as the past years. I already had a lot of strong, well-built friendships that I still have today and started a few others. The class also had the pressure of a need to unite because we were four years from senior year. The teachers kept telling us that four years are nothing so, we had to prepare. Obviously, we ignored the advice, but the class responded accordingly. We were definitely more united and didn't mind speaking to anyone. With a blink, ninth grade was over and we started sophomore year. Since freshmen year was so easy, I laid back a little. Because of this, tenth grade seemed harder because my grades dropped. Also, we were bombarded with a lot of work, especially for the English class. In ninth grade we took Bertha as an English teacher; I really don't remember learning something from her. My God, was she a mess!? She spent more time talking about her personal life than teaching us. Logically, we didn't complain because we did absolutely nothing. We even watched movies and it wasn't necessary to read. With only a well made summary you could pass the exam. It was too easy. When we upgraded to Dianna, It was very agonizing. At the end we managed to get something from this new teacher, aside all the assignments we had. Also, our class was very interesting. We laughed in every class because we bugged the teachers or because they laughed | Chapter 7: High school, early years

63: with us. Alexander and Manuel were the dynamic duo of the class. They could make any class interesting, especially the ones we didn't wanted to take, so in the end, it wasn't so bad. Overall, Tenth grade was a good year. We had a lot of parties, hanged out with new people, further developed my strong friendships, and left my "incredible" girlfriend. So I was single more than half of our sophomore year and, definitely, was one of the best years. Without any warning, we were already in junior year and I remember Daisy developing fear and urge in our minds. It was necessary though. We needed that wake-up call because everything was going so fast. That first impression of Daisy was very unpleasant, but as time went by, her kindness was noticeable. Her classes were actually interesting, even though I don’t like English. Plus, I learned a lot, especially thanks to that dreaded term paper. However, there is one teacher that takes the prize of worst teacher by a landslide. Our physics teacher (only for one semester) was horrible. He couldn't solve his own problems, his test were incomprehensible with a lot of mistakes, and he didn't had control of the class. The only good thing about him was that we laughed so much during his period that we couldn't breathe. Also, his laboratory periods were so uncontrollable. The kind of materials that we used in the lab were perfect to start joking around and, since he was so disconnected with the class, we had a free period basically. During the course of eleventh grade, the class changed completely and we were very united. This was noticed on the birthday that we celebrated to Arnaldo, a cancer patient. Our class was also threatened a lot by teachers. But here is where the magic appears, because we kept pushing the limits on purpose and it involved the whole class, it was some sort of challenge that we did. Then, when the limit was pushed to extremes we all stopped and obeyed. Even though I don't speak with everyone in my class, I could say that I would have anyone in it as my friend. These past three years in high school were very enjoyable and filled with tensions and sleepless nights, but it was all worth it in the end. We have so many good moments the list is endless. Nevertheless, I wouldn't change anything during my first three years in high school and, at least for me and my family, we will remember the great class of 2011.

64: What a great experience was my trip to Europe on 2007! It was so weird to be in real, in those places that were part of the beginning of humanity.

66: I achieved a place in the Honor society

67: Honor | Society | Club

68: Confirmation Day | Michael my brother

69: Luis Rojas, my uncle and godfather | My good friendsRafa and Jose Mario | My cousin Paula

70: . | Chapter 8: At last I'm a Senior | After twelve years in Marista, I'm finally a senior. In a blink of an eye I was already one year away from graduation. It was kind of scary. Now everything I did was crucial to my future: my grades, my extracurricular activities, my standardized tests, my fencing training, you name it! On the other hand, there is also a strong laziness in the atmosphere because, after all those years, you don't want to work anymore. It is supposed to go the other way around. People are supposed to put their last bit of effort on their last "lap." I guess it's because you see yourself so close to the end line that makes you think that the last push will create enough momentum to reach the finish line. However, deep inside, I really cared for everything and was worried for the outcome. Logically, I was also involved in the admission's process for college since last summer. Then you would have a collection of brochures, letters, e-mails, etc. of many different colleges. To my advantage, I have another guidance counselor that guided me with enough time of anticipation to make the applications and simplified a lot of work for me. I had the college essays done by September and the application completed, for every college, by the end of October. Also, I had visited my top colleges during the summer so I already knew where was I going. This process also motivated me to make the last effort I needed to finish with a strong GPA. Unfortunately, once the first semester finished, this effort declined exponentially, especially after the letter of acceptance from Steven's Institute of Technology. The only class that, in present day, I am still able to tolerate is mathematics and physics because they are my favorite classes. Besides all of this academic process, there are also emotional and social dimensions that were affected. Since I was already sure that I was going to study in the States everything became more sentimental. Knowing that my friends that I've had for twelve years, my family, my home, my country were going to be left behind, affected my point of view on every activity that I've had. Everything that I do is the "last one" here on Puerto Rico, so I decided to get extremely involved in school. I didn't subscribed myself in any club because of fencing, but this year I found myself in six clubs and, even though I am not part of the student counsel, I helped them like if I was. In activities like the school tournaments, class activities, and club activities I got very involved and worked in anything I could. It was like a sudden need to do a little bit of everything. Also, the senior year was filled with due dates and a lot of money. The amount of things to pay and hand in were overwhelming, to such an extent, that I forgot about a lot of them trying to focus on priorities and other due dates. Keeping all of this in track with the school work, club responsibilities, and fencing training was hell on Earth. I always have something to do, to the point that my average sleeping time is three hours during week days. I did more work that I could handle and ended up not doing some of the activities. However, I enjoyed every single one of the things I did and took the most experience I could from them.

71: . | Class 2011 | Some of the activities that I did were: the Student Council tournament, the ring ceremony, and the senior tournament. During the Student Council tournament I worked like if I was one of the honorary members. I remember having two shifts and, out of the blue, I had to replace one of the security guards. Later, I ended up working the whole day Friday and Saturday. The job was relatively easy during the day, but when the sun settled down, the job got extremely annoying. Basically, we had to move the people from the soccer field. If I knew it was going to be that hard, I wouldn't have done it. We had to get back up from people that were not on shifts because no one wanted to cooperate. There was a problem with this specific group of students that didn't want to move, I guess they just wanted to show off in front of everyone, but it got to a point that it started to get violent. At this point we just stood back and permitted the vice-president to do the work. At the end of the day, the tournament was a complete success. I really questioned my motivation to participate in this tournament, but the only justification that I found possible was nostalgia. Later on, we had our ring ceremony. The activity was also a complete success. The class was so excited that almost everyone went to the activity, especially for the after party. Anyone could feel the energy and celebration of us from the second they arrived at the party. So, another great party passed by our lives. It was the definition of a good time. Nonetheless, it was not all hanging around and partying. Our senior tournament arrived and, consequently, I was sub-director of security. This meant that I had to be at the tournament from beginning to end. On top of this, they left me without a "walkie talkie" so the job became a little boring. However, that was what I wanted to do so I had to work. It was a weird way of saying goodbye to this amazing school that I've been in for the past thirteen years. So, after this emotional rollercoaster, they hired a bus to take us to "Las Calles de San Sebastian," which was also a big celebration for the huge success. In conclusion, senior year was definitely the best year I've had in Colegio Marista. I had time to hang out, study, fence, get involved in school, and anything else. The class, at the end, pulled through and united beautifully. We celebrated successes, we mourned on disappointments, we cooperated on activities, and we fooled around like never before. This year surpassed my expectations in every sense possible. I met new people from different grades, developed a better relationship with my sisters, with my family, with my friends, and took the best out of those little details that make up a good time. Nevertheless, my senior year is not over; there are still three months to go and I expect savor every single day. After those months, I will be sure that I am ready to leave my beloved island to a new stage in my life: college life. Even though I'm leaving, I will never forget this tiny stretch of land one hundred by thirty-five that I call home.

72: 2011 | class

73: May 2010. We are starting to feel the Senior spirit. The magenta color will follow us throughout the senior year. I am ready to go for it!

74: My family and I went during summer to see some of the colleges I was interested to apply.

75: Stevens Institute of Technology will be my college. I loved it and I was accepted. I will be part of the fencing team. Great!

76: We went to all these collages. All were beautiful.

77: My trip to Hungary for fencing competition

79: My friends will always be by my side, remembering the importance of what friendship is.

81: We are | Ring Ceremony At last we have the senior ring

83: These are some of the memories from my High School period with some of my friends and family.

84: This is my sport, my dream, my future to grow, my faith and my energy!

88: During my senior year, I have been concentrating my energy to school and my sport which gave me the opportunity to get scholarship to College which is my goal and dream

90: Now that I have completed this memorable project, this "time capsule," some natural questions arise from the experience: would I go through all of this one more time? Would I change something in my life? After a long while of thinking and reflecting with myself, I thought on many details that I would like to change. I though on getting more involved in school since ninth grade, on participating in activities that I missed, on experimenting a little more in each grade, on being more bold and risky with my decisions, on meeting more people in and outside the school, and many more. Yet, I think that if I changed any one of this details, my life would have been completely different. For example, if I was more involved in school, there would be a lot of time consumed from fencing and maybe I would not get the scholarship that I earned. This will force me to stay studying in Puerto Rico. Nevertheless, I loved the life I have lived. So, taking in consideration the delicate nature of our future and the evident consequences of our decisions, I would not change my life at all. I might stay with the common question of what if? But, it is impossible to know for sure how it would have been if I acted the other way around. When I come to think about it, I realize that there're always going to be decisions that will make me wonder how would the outcome change. In the end, I've had some very interesting and rewarding seventeen years in my life. So, now that I find myself at the end of this long and spontaneous journey, I am proud to say that, with no regrets, I would live this life all over again. Yes, I would live my life again, no matter how many upsetting moments or "falls" I've had. These undesirable moments are strongly outweighed by the rewarding, joyful, pleasant, and memorable ones. Anyways, it is impossible to live a life free of wrong-doings and mistakes because we are simply human beings. In conclusion, I've had an incredible time throughout these years, enough to live through it again besides all the struggles and frustrations present.

91: We are very proud of you for the great human being you have become. and all you have accomplished so far.. this is a new stage of you life and we want you to know that our hearts will always be with you and we are sure you will fulfill all your dreams ! We love you, mom, dad, Mariana and Amanda

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