On Graduation Day, Seniors Take Time to Feel Like Kindergartners Again

Jenny Anderson:

When Nitya Rajendran started kindergarten, she didn’t talk until November. “She’d point and wave,” said her teacher, Rick Parbst. This year she was the lead in Trinity School’s spring musical and decided to translate parts of “The Iliad” from ancient Greek. She’s headed to Georgetown University in September.
In fourth grade, Cody Cowan’s class was studying ancient Egypt, and he was asked to develop an irrigation system. He was fine with the engineering, but didn’t know how to draw people and animals. “By the time I turned around, he had four girls doing his drawings,” recalled his teacher from that year, Mary Lemons. This summer, Mr. Cowan will intern on Representative Carolyn B. Maloney’s re-election campaign, and he plans to study international relations in the fall.
At Trinity, one of Manhattan’s oldest independent schools, a roomful of graduating seniors and their childhood teachers unearthed these pieces of the past at the annual survivors breakfast, a rite of passage for seniors who received all 13 years of their formal education at Trinity. Over coffee and bagels and chocolate Jell-O pudding doused with crushed Oreos and gummy worms (a class of 2010 culinary tradition), the students reconnected with teachers and dished about who, at age 5 , ate Play-Doh, sang well and cried whenever his mom left the room.