Sometimes you just can't hold it in anymore

     THE FUTURE BECKONS But the past is not to be ignored.

Class of 2000 Well, the class of 2000 has finally stepped across that fateful stage and taken their diplomas in hand. After twelve years of being couped up in the American school system, we've finally made the last lap, jumped the last hurdle, and conquered our final [insert cliche] before throwing ourselves headlong into the fears and possibilities of the "real world."

Because graduation is a wonderful time to relect on our respective pasts and futures, I've come to realize that the last couple of years have left me with a few things I'd like to say, and a few people I'd like to thank. So, at the risk of sounding completely corny, here they are, in no particular order:

The one I've known the longest. Thanks for letting me come over to your house just about every "B" day to hang out. You've been a great friend, always putting up with my technical questions and [almost complete] idiocy. Your honest generosity has truly been a blessing in my life. From being willing to download some special encoder, to diagnosing my worst computer screw-ups (I didn't crash it, I promise!), to simply being an easy person to talk to (of course, there are notable exceptions); you've been far too nice!

And to think, my first memory of you is that weird little blond kid that knew what capillary action meant.

Anyway, I'd like to thank you for putting up with me for the last five years. I realize there were times when you probably felt like ripping my head off (that coaxial cable incident was not my fault), and sometimes it seemed I didn't learn from my mistakes (for the record, you've never worn flying pizza sauce by my hand); but hey, what can I say but sorry, right? I would tell you that your future is full of promise, but you already knew that, as you have undoubtably been told by every schmuck who can't figure out for themselves what the heck favicon.ico actually does. Thanks for listening when I wanted to rant about the evils of popular culture, and I appreciate the fact that when our conversations steered toward matters of faith, you would [for the most part] take the time to speak what's really on your mind and not just what I would want to hear. I truly respect that.
First Bank of Matt is open for business!
Look honey, we won't starve after all! The first bank of Matt is open!

As well, I would like to stop and thank you for all the free food over the years. I don't know what it is, but Cheetos just taste so much better when someone else has paid for 'em. And while I didn't borrow as much money from you as I probably could have (how much does Branden owe you again?), I still borrowed far too much; yet, you've never demanded re-payment. Once again, thank you.

Still, I find it a bit ironic that you would be absent the day the school gives you the perfect attendance award.

Ah, good ol' Branden. I don't think I ever really took the time to formally thank you for teaching me HTML. You see, HTML not only made it easier to BS through my Senior "Project," but it has opened up a whole career field for me. Branden, your and Matt's patience has truly given me a marketable skill that I am very grateful for. The check's in the mail, my friend.

Milk, it does a body good?
What farm does your milk come from, Branden?
You know Branden, I still have no idea how I met you. I know it had something to do with hanging around with Matt. But, for some reason, I can't seem to be able to sort my high school past into "Pre-Branden" and Post-Branden" epochs. Lord help me, my years at Westmont have merged together into one big blob of memories. Okay, that sounded really weird, but I don't care! I don't understand why I feel as though I've known you my entire school career... but what can I do? Through these last 3 1/2 years, I've enjoyed your enormous wit and wonderful cynicism, as well as found myself laughing with you more times than I'd like to admit.

Thanks to the happy coincidence of being stuck in the same Drafting class as your little brother, I can now claim to know W2News.com's premier wire service provider a little better. To show my confidence in my little informant, let me quote him: "Who? Branden? All he ever does is sleep, eat, and play on his computer. Oh, by the way, thought you should know, I need to have a reason to bathe."

While I realize that we'll probably have completely different classes in college (graphic artists and computer scientists don't always mix), I'm sure I'll be seeing you around. And if not, well, I know your e-mail address so I won't let you simply walk into anonimity.

However, I don't think I'll ever understand how one man could need so many MP3's.

Though The Grand and Glorious Republic of Nickoslavia may be a bit strapped for cash right now, when the Smiley Face of Wisdom and all your nation's other amazing innovations go public, you're sure to make millions. Either that, or you could just sue Kentucky Fried Chicken for using your name in all their commercials.

Seriously, however, I will miss you Nick. The fact that you're going to college on the other side of the United States is a bit unnerving to this [purebred] Californian from Montana, but I'm sure you'll survive the little excursion. After all, you've been just about all over the world anyway. Have fun in RIT, and when you finally become one of those scientist guys whose beards can reach the floor, remember to send me a picture.

For the life of me, I can't fathom the reason that Westmont high school seems to have it in for you when it comes to yearbooks; don't worry, when the cops come looking for a Nick "Sandera," I'll be sure to send 'em in your general direction.

Thanks for being the only person in JROTC who wasn't likely to kill everything in sight. Having you in Mr. Sweeney's US History class was one of my junior year's only redeeming values. I will truly miss all those pointless conversations and political/religious/anything debates we've had throughout our stint at Westmont. Whenever I hear news of a new political despot wrenching control of one of those "loser countries" filled with "the little brown people of the world," I'll be sure to smile and think of my favorite Dutch "immigrant."
"Trees," says Mr. Sweeney
What was the cause of the Revolutionary War again?

I didn't know you all that well, but anyone who can survive all those years of school with Nick, Branden, and Matt without killing someone deserves a thanks.

The same kind of applies to you, I suppose. I only met you once, during Branden's birthday party, but you seemed to "have your head on straight" (it's in quotes because I've seen how you drive). I'd like to thank you for giving me a site to parody, as well as just making life hard for Branden in general, which is something we can all enjoy.

It's good to have met you, as your the only one to date who regularly uses the Submit-o-Matic for its intended purpose. Computer Applications would have been a heck of a lot harder to stomach had I not had someone to talk with about old British humor and the latest in Team Fortress 2 info.

Also, whenever you think about the "Brain Clark" incident, let me assure you that the worst is almost over. The senior year, though littered with deadlines and that infamous Project, whisks past much faster than you're probably thinking. Keep your nose clean and watch out for those little white boxes.

To all the girls I've loved before:
Get a life.

Alright, that one was a joke. And a bad one at that, but let me keep going here:

My stay at Westmont has been better for knowing you. There's not many others I can say the same about. Hopefully we can all collectively forget that evil that was Ms. Anderson and her teddy bears of death. After all, she couldn't possibly still have that toilet paper stuck up there... could she?

Kathy, Jennifer, and Marion:
Thanks for smiling, thanks for laughing, thanks for being. And Jennifer, from now on, I promise to show up in English more often... oops.

Chris and Sahmy:
I'm sorry I won't be able to say goodbye to you guys. And yes it is Dave. Uh, I mean it's Dale. Yeah, that's it, Dale.

Nick (Wester):
I hate you too. Just kidding.

Nathapong Rattanacornpunt:
Thanks for having such a long name. How small was the font on your diploma?

Mandy (Sorry, Amanda):
What happened to Max again?

Darwin's Black Box was "black" indeed.

Mr. Van Benthuyson:
Thanks for signing all over your picture and rendering it practically unseeable. Man it bugs me when people do that.

All those jerks in Drafting class:
I'll get you back for this. Especially that Muslim guy.

The Westmont Staff and Faculty:
Thanks for providing this site with the vast majority of its content. Without you, why, there probably wouldn't be a W2News.com. And I can't imagine a world like that.

And finally, Jesus Christ:
Without whom I would have never made it through high school (or anything else, for that matter).

Well, I guess that's it. If I forgot anyone, I'm sorry. It was probably just a mistake, or I really hated you; either way.

Harley on 6/15/00.


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