As The Years Tick By
As the date ticked to Jan. 1, I took a moment to reflect. Now, just a few months away from graduation, reflecting is all I can seem to do.
Before I had even stepped foot on campus at 10600 Preston Rd., my name already had a new addition. I was no longer Parker. Not even Parker Davis. Instead, I was Parker Davis ’19. I was only seven, but I went with it. Whenever I went to a computer on campus, I was always 19davisp. I still am. And when someone here asks me my email, the answer is always the same: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I knew I was going to graduate in 2019. But in 2008, that year felt way more than a decade away. It felt more than a lifetime away from where I was, sitting in Mrs. Rice’s second grade class.
But that number stuck with me as the years and grades ticked by. From the beginning of fifth grade — which I started with Mr. Davies — to the end of eighth — which I left behind in H212 with Mr. Evans — I was always Parker Davis ’19. But in 2015, that year felt more than a decade away, maybe more than that.
In ninth grade, it was all the same. At 8 a.m. on the first day, Mr. Smith’s sheet listed me as Parker Davis ’19. And so will Dr. Balog’s, even as I leave a St. Mark’s class for the final time at 3:05 p.m. May 16.
That number — 19 — has never been just a year. For 11 years, it was a goal. Something to reach for, something to aspire to. But as I stood and watched the clock tick past midnight a month ago, the first breath and heartbeat of 2019 hit me a little bit harder.
Since I joined the brotherhood of the Class of 2019 in March 2008, that year has been a piece of who I am. I’ve read or written it so many times, I’m sure there’s an indent in the shape of a one and another of a nine somewhere in my head. I’ve typed “Parker Davis ’19” so many times I don’t think twice when I have to fix the backwards apostrophe.
And I’ve thought about the number 2019 so many times — when I look at the class flag hanging in my room, see the XIX on our senior shirts and, now every day, when I write the date on countless pieces of notebook paper — I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget it.
I look at my first-grade buddy from the Class of 2030, and I can’t help but think how far away 2030 sounds. But I let myself think that in 2008, and here I am, still unsure how I managed to let the ten greatest years of my life sneak by. The days — eight, ten, maybe fourteen hours spent at 10600 Preston Rd. — were long. But the weeks were short. And the years even shorter than that.
When I leave this school behind, my name will pick up a new number. Wherever I go next, I’ll become Parker Davis ’23. But whenever I return — when I come back home — whether the year is 2030, 2050 or beyond, I’ll go back to the other number. The number that has given me my 93 brothers and led me down the path I’ve taken to today.
Then and forever, I’ll be Parker Davis. From the Class of 2019.