We’ll Never Relive the Best Days of Our Lives

Consider this an elongated version of a Yearbook quote; that’s the best way I can describe it.

There’s something about why high school memories stick around with so many people: for most of the time we wish we could just finish and get out, but once we do, something makes us want to come back.

Back in 9th grade, I remember reading about how Quentin Tarantino dropped out at the age of 15 and still managed to be one of the greatest screenwriters of all time. I was fixated with the idea of leaving, and judging on how high school had progressed so far, I thought its corridors, classes, and even people, were going to be nothing but a burden on my life.

One afternoon almost 2 years later, in the middle of a critical meeting with Bill and Corey regarding my excessively poor work ethic in the IA over the first months, I mentioned this fact. Then, one of them then replied half jokingly: “Yes, but remember that Tarantino did not have the Innovation Academy.”


I cannot say I had a single easy moment since then. But then again, I can’t really think of one that was pretentious or irrelevant. The IA is the quickest balance of a school education with glimpses of the real world. The real world is a frightening, cruel, but exciting place. People suffer, fight, and work unbelievably hard to succeed in it, but they also have fun and cooperate together to do “cool work”.

The IA class of 2016.

Bill, Corey, Joe, I have no way of thanking you guys for taking the initiative of creating such a great culture. My time in the Innovation Academy has made me realise the true value of friendship and trust inside of a group of people, and how the purest form of motivation requires you to belong somewhere. Once you feel that, you will never want to let your peers down.

IA at Prom Previos

And speaking of peers, there’s something about the IA that resonates far beyond the classroom. Everything we do has created a sense of unity that transcends just our grade levels. Things like iWeek gives us a chance to cooperate and work with a different group of people who we wouldn’t normally pair up with. Everywhere we go, us Innovators tend to connect regardless of the circumstances. We’re all united.

In the final IA unit, one of the challenges we faced was to do something that would help us live life to the fullest. For that, I decided to play two songs at this year’s Tri-M: Motion Picture Soundtrack by Radiohead and Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd.

Wish You Were Here- Pink Floyd, Covered by Simon Yriberry and I

Wish You Were Here is my favorite song of all time. Playing it in front of an audience, regardless of the mistakes and inconsistencies, was amazing. Simon’s hypnotising voice and the euphoric guitar solo made me forget the regret, and instead I focused on the bliss of the moment; I lived it to the fullest.

And finally, I have to talk about 18 (1/2), what I think of as the greatest thing I’ve done so far in life.

18 (1/2): A Manifesto

Making this film brought back something that I thought had been lost: passion. Every moment when making this film required me to be at my fullest, and it paid off unbelievably well. It had been almost three years since I enjoyed filmmaking this much. I know I might have said that I’m done with cinema, but the experience of making a film like this might make me reconsider it. Maybe this is the style and the subject matter that I really like doing, and for that I should attempt to do other similar works.

After giving much thought to this, I’ve concluded that there’s no better way of ending this blog than with a bunch of pictures showing parts of my journey through high school. This is not meant to undervalue the power of words, but at times photos can be just as effective.

I’m well aware that a bunch of these photos are on Facebook, but I think that compiling them gives a very nice feel to it, especially after all of this time. Photos go in chronological order, from 9th to 12th grade. Thank you to every single person that’s been with me through the good, the bad, and the ugly; I’ll do my best to include photos of you guys over here (and if not please forgive me).

“Remember how far you’ve come, because I don’t think you do.”