Your Voice: A Student Publication


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Your Voice: A Student Publication


Your Voice: A Student Publication


The Orchid Killer


Unsurprisingly, albeit unfortunately, the next sentence of my essay will not make me stand out as unique. I am one of the dreadfully large number of people who call themselves an orchid killer. Now I define an “orchid killer” as someone who has a brown thumb only in relation to the orchids you find in the grocery store or Home Depot. I like to think I have a pretty green thumb otherwise. And I don’t mean to imply that I’ve had extensive experience in killing orchids, because in reality, I’ve only had three or four. Come to think of it though, one of the orchids I had flourished for a time, in seventh grade.

My mind likes to go off track from time to time, a diversion my parents used to call “butterflies.” To keep my essay honest and true to me, I’ll bring you along on my butterfly. This story is one of my favorite memories, particularly from my time at Bancroft School (which was the entirety of my schooling career, up until now). In middle school, we had a break in the morning called “munch.” This was a time to buy chips from the student council run canteen, although I still don’t know what the funds went towards, or get an apple with Mrs. Hanssen. Mrs. Hanssen used to be the secretary of the main office, a room just down the hall from my middle school classes. From sixth through eighth grade, my friend group would race to the spinny chair in her office during breaks. At some point I gave up on the race because there were more than seven of us and one chair, although it led me to making one of my closest mentors. I would talk with Mrs. Hanssen every day during the school year, and she became a staple in my life for advice and destressing about middle school tests. 

There was a laminator in front of the window of her office, and behind it was a happy and healthy orchid. Of course, this orchid looked nothing like my struggling plant, and it became a habit to check on it and update her on how many buds it had. I figured out that it was the heat from the laminator that made it boom with flowers, and one day I asked her “Can I bring my orchid in and put it next to yours?”

That was the story of my only successful orchid (and one of the best people I’ve met) and how both the relationship and the orchid began to grow simultaneously. This relationship created a strong bond that still persists to today, even though I’m no longer in middle school seeing her every day. But back to the original line of thought about orchids.

Recently I’ve made a discovery about the Orchidaceae plant. It goes through a resting phase where it’ll lose its flowers. Now if the leaves are yellow and wilted, then it really has run its course through life. Every time I gave up on it because it lost its flowers, I was really just living in a false enigma of wondering what I did wrong this time. Despite that, I did learn something from these orchids about what it means to ask the right questions and inquire about the unknown. But I think more importantly I saw how all it takes is one commonality to make a strong friendship bloom.

Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash

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