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  • Nikhita Lavu

Shattered Shell

As a freshman at Parsippany Hills High School, I was afraid to venture out into the unknown abyss, otherwise known as high school. However, upon meeting the drumline instructor of the Vikings marching band, Alejandro “Paco” Gallo, I began breaking out of my shell.

Paco’s lessons on hitting the gong “as if you’re playing Whack-a-Mole” and his silly attempts to lighten up the mood during practice, allowed me to open up to my peers and teachers. I gained the confidence to speak up in class, express my opinions even if they weren't the consensus, and run for board positions. Maybe it was because he was one of the younger teachers, or maybe it was his lively personality, but either way, I was able to freely talk to Paco, more than I could with any of my other teachers. His carefree spirit taught me to never take anything for granted, especially high school, because of how fast time flies.

Now a senior, I am grateful to have had him as a teacher, because I would still be the timid girl who hardly raised her hand in class, if it weren’t for Paco. In just two years, I transformed from an apprehensive nobody into someone who is confident and proud of her abilities, and I can only imagine how much more I will grow as I venture into the rest of life.

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