(Clockwise from top left) Senior newspaper staff members Zachary Howard, Aman Hashim and Francesca Vaneri catch up via Zoom on their Pace experience and what they will miss most when they graduate. Photo: Aman Hashim

Knightly News: Let’s get right to it. How are you all doing? What has life entailed for y’all these past few weeks, being physically out of school?

Aman Hashim: I am doing pretty well. It’s kind of sad and relaxing at the same time. I wake up late and classes are short but I would much rather be at school seeing everyone.

Francesca Vaneri: It is definitely not how I expected the end of our senior year to go, but I am fine.

Zachary Howard: I’m bored.

KN: How does it feel to be leaving Pace?

AH: I don’t know. I guess for me, I am really sad and I don’t want to leave, but this time had to come. I do plan on coming back to visit frequently, however. 

ZH: I am going to miss the people here but all good things must come to an end. 

FV: I would say it’s definitely very sad to leave, especially because our last few months got cut out but I know I am excited for the next stage of my life. 

KN: Yeah, I understand. Why did you join the Knightly News staff? 

AH: I had not really considered it, but I know that Howie’s parents were making him apply, so I decided to tag along. The reason I stayed was because I really wanted to get a leadership position, which thankfully I was able to get. It looked good on my resume but it is also a very chill class and I became a better writer.

ZH:  Haha, well for me, my parents told me that because my grades were not where I wanted them to be, I needed to do something else. At first, I was kind of unsure, but it really worked out.

FV: (Laughs) I kind of realized that I hated debate half way through my junior year, so one day I stopped Ms. Wilson in the hallway and asked if I could join newspaper because I have always loved writing. Also, knowing Aman and Howie were on the staff kind of sealed the deal for me.

ZH: Yeah, sure Fran.

KN: What is your favorite memory from being at Pace? It can be anything from your first day to senior year.

AH: Oh, I am going to pass this one along to someone else.

KN: We can always come back to it if this question requires more thinking. Just keep it in your mind for the next few minutes.

FV: Let’s do that!

KN: OK, new question. What are you going to miss most about Pace?

FV: Definitely, the people. My friends, teachers, classmates and peers made this special.

AH: I am going to miss my friends, but just feeling comfortable walking through the halls and knowing everyone around you. Just knowing the names of kids who are younger or older than me is pretty cool. Also, having smaller classes helped me to form bonds with the specific subjects and teachers which I liked. 

ZH: That sums it up beautifully for me.

KN: Who is your favorite teacher in the Upper School and why?

AH: Mine would definitely be Mr. Ewing, who I had for Honors Biology in 11th grade. I liked him just because he was really nice, and he understands the Pace culture because he went here. He was really able to understand what we are going through as students. 

ZH: I liked Mr. Ewing and Mr. Hornor.

KN: Can you tell me why?

ZH: They are two teachers who made classes entertaining. I remember that just because I felt like I wasn’t just always being given information. They were funny and made class interesting.

FV: For me, it would be Mr. Player because he cared a lot about the subject of English and was really passionate about each book. He made the text come alive.

KN: Tough question here, take your time. What is your most embarrassing moment at Pace?

AH: I will come back if I can think of something better, but I would say rapping at Freestyle Friday my junior year was a little embarrassing. But, it was also kind of cool. 

KN: What about you Howie?

ZH: I don’t usually get embarrassed.

AH: What about when you lost the state championship in baseball?

ZH: No, not that. Well, I get kind of embarrassed in English class this year because I feel dumb sometimes when I talk. Everyone is so smart.

KN: Well, I am sorry about that. If you could give one another a superlative, what would it be?

FV: I would give Aman and Howie most likely to be a secret couple. They banter all class long, and I am just a third wheel off to the side. 

ZH: I would give most likely to succeed for all of us.

AH: Nice one, Howie. I would give myself most likely to be mad about not getting a superlative. 

KN: Besides the things you’ve already said, what is your least favorite part about each other?

AH: Fran never answers her texts and never shows up to Student Council meetings.

FV: Aw, Aman, does it make you sad that I don’t answer your texts right away? I guess I will just start texting you all the time now. 

AH: No, please! For Howie, he is overly dramatic sometimes.

FV: My least favorite thing is that they mock me a lot for missing class even when I have health issues. They will never let me live it down. That is what I hate the most.

ZH: For Fran, the fact that she is never in class. For Aman, he has one of the bigger egos that I have ever seen.

KN: What’s the best article you’ve written? It can be anything from a Pace news article to an April Fool’s edition one.

FV: I might say my April Fool’s article that said Pace will require school uniforms. The only problem was I turned it in late, so it didn’t make it to print. However, I was really proud of it. It was definitely some of my best work. 

AH: I can’t really remember. Hmm, I would say this one called All About Doc. It was about Dr. DuPree, and I did so much research, and it took so much time, but it never got published. Other than that, I would say the review of “I Love You, Now Die,” the documentary. I had a lot of passion about that and wrote my heart out. 

ZH: It should have won a GSPA (Georgia Scholastic Press Association) award. You were definitely robbed. For me, I liked the letter that I wrote about senior year being cut down and what COVID-19 has done to seniors. You know it was a good article when Fran texted me that she had really low expectations for it, and it exceeded her expectations. 

FV: That is true. 

KN: Are you guys going to pursue newspaper or journalism in college?

AH: I would think about joining the school newspaper in some way. 

KN: Who do you think is going to have the best time in college? Who is going to thrive the most?

AH: Well, Fran will do the best in her classes because she is the smartest. 

FV: I think we are all going to have a good time. 

ZH: I really do not know, to be honest.

KN: Do you have any advice for the new year’s newspaper staff?

AH: Honestly, get everything in on deadlines so Ms. Wilson doesn’t get mad at you. 

ZH: You have to make sure that you have a good time, because there is a lot of downtime so it is fun to make friends with your classmates. 

FV: I would say show up to class and respect the deadlines. 

ZH: That is funny because you are supposed to abide by your advice.

FV: No, the advice is from what I have learned. I think you should use the class as an opportunity to write about what you care about. You have the opportunity to shed light on things you find important, so you should use it.

AH: OK, I just thought of something for best memory. Let’s go back to that question. I would say Spirit Week is awesome. It is unique to Pace, and I loved the night practices because our grade was really able to bond. 

FV: I don’t think I have one specific memory, but looking back I think that I took a lot of things for granted. My favorite moments were lacrosse practices or free time in the Commons. I will remember just being with my friends.

ZH: My favorite memory is playing in the state championship last year with the baseball team.

KN: Well, thank you for the great advice and memories. We’re done here. Thank you for talking with us!

FV and ZH: Thank you!

AH: That was fun.

Get the discussion going! Leave a comment or reply below.