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The class of 2002
By Amber Nobe
Cat Tales staff reporter
It's hard to succinctly describe Chance Babcock, to which his friends and teachers at Mount Si High School can attest. But that doesn't stop them from loving his personality and his involvement in school activities.
"He's like nobody I've ever met," said senior Jacob Limestall.
Babcock is gay, and not afraid to admit it. He acts as himself, without worry of what others may think.
"It's almost given me free rein to be more fun," he said. Fun includes wearing a plaid kilt and a black shirt with the word "death" on it to prom this year.
"I can't wear a tux. I am Chance!" he explained.
Homosexuality is often not accepted, especially in a high-school setting, but Babcock says MSHS is different.
"I've never gotten [any negative reaction] for it. Mount Si is more accepting. I think Day of Respect helped with that. I've had fun here because people are more accepting, and if they aren't, they don't vocalize it to my face," he said.
Babcock was actively involved in Day of Respect this year and "had a blast." He has also been involved in Knowledge Bowl, Science Club, International Club and this year's Martin Luther King Jr. assembly, where he spent time with his favorite teachers and subjects.
"I have two, isn't it fabulous?" he said.
Babcock took chemistry and physics just to have Gene Clegg for a teacher, and they've had great times over the past four years.
Clegg recalled the time Babcock wore makeup to a Knowledge Bowl match, which serves as an example of Babcock's personality.
"Chance is open to new ideas and not afraid to be different. He is always positive and never downbeat or negative," Clegg said, adding that Babcock has a wry but fun sense of humor.
Spanish teacher Maria Scott adores Babcock's "wonderful free spirit" and openness to foreign cultures.
Babcock is completing his third year of Spanish, a class that satisfies his thirst for knowledge and love of languages. He also travels with his friends to the International District in Seattle once a month to spend a day hanging out, eating exotic foods and listening to music (He loves Japanese music and the sitar, a stringed instrument from India made of seasoned gourds and teak).
Other favorites of Babcock's include reading, specifically Amy Tan. He enjoys coffeehouses, the movie "Auntie Mame" and writing in his journal every night.
Babcock is also a vegetarian and philosopher.
"I consider myself a religious person. I would say that I'm Wiccan, but I don't practice just that," he said. He is very proud of the fact that he can belly dance, and counts his being part of the yearbook staff as one of his most memorable experiences.
His plans for after graduation include attending Seattle Central Community College for two years and then possibly spending a year studying abroad, perhaps in China or Norway.
He hopes to get a degree for teaching English as a second language and then travel to other countries. Excited as he is to tour the world, he has anxieties about leaving the "happy babble of high school."
For all his involvement and academic success, Babcock is not what you'd consider a normal student.
"I've never really understood the importance of good grades. We shouldn't judge kids on letter grades," he said. He also admits a dread of sports.
But that doesn't keep him from being an exceptional student in the eyes of staff and peers alike.
As Limestall explained, "He's involved in the small things that don't usually get recognized." With his outgoing personality, and willingness to "dispel myths and prejudice," Babcock remains a very special senior.
"He deserves some recognition," Limestall said.
the small things
By Daniel Talevich
Cat Tales news editor
Senior Brendon Haggerty has a strategy that has led to much success at Mount Si High School.
"He doesn't let things get to him," said senior Kit Englund, Haggerty's girlfriend and classmate. "Nothing can bother him too badly."
Haggerty's motto to "not sweat the small things" has helped him greatly through his four years at the high school. With all the activities he has participated in at Mount Si, there are already enough stresses and obstacles to overcome.
He has been a member of the Associated Student Body since sophomore year and has played on the tennis team all four years. He has also been a member of several clubs, including Students Who Love Our Building (SLOB), National Honors Society and Random Acts of Kindness.
In his spare time, Haggerty enjoys skiing, hiking and listening to music. He even plays the violin.
One thing that Haggerty has held onto throughout his life is his Catholic faith. He was confirmed recently.
"I'm thankful to the church community for making Catholicism so great for me," he said.
Another large part of Haggerty's life during high school - and beyond - is his family.
"I'm very fortunate to have a loving family," he said. His younger brother, sister, mother and father have supported him throughout his life.
Haggerty describes his experience at high school as a "blur of fun." Some of his best experiences came through leadership activities such as camps and conferences.
"I think being part of leadership and being sent to camps and conferences totally opened my eyes and let me meet a lot of really cool people. It helped me reassess where I stand on a lot of things," he said.
Haggerty's peers at Mount Si enjoy him for his sense of humor and his ability to listen.
"He has a very good sense of humor," said Englund. "Also, he doesn't make judgments; he will just listen to you."
After graduating, Haggerty plans to attend the University of Washington. He would like to focus on architecture and environmental protection. He looks forward to living in an exciting new environment. However, along with changes comes apprehension.
"I'm going to miss walking down the hall and being able to say 'Hi' to almost everyone I see, and going out to the parking lot and hanging out - that small feeling," he said.
"I'm going to a university where there are 30,000 people and I'm going to be lucky if I see someone I know just walking around."
In high school Haggerty has learned many lessons, some of the most important coming from outside the classroom.
"I've learned that you have to have priorities in life, and that one of those definitely has to be having a lot of fun. But you can still live a life of integrity and be a moral person," he said.
Dunford knows how to make impression
By Anika Engebretsen
Cat Tales editor in chief
Lauren Dunford is living life out loud. From the second she steps in to a room until the minute she leaves, her presence is definitely noticed. Her one-of-a-kind voice and bubbly laughter make life a little easier for this 17-year-old senior.
Balancing school, work and extracurricular activities poses a challenge for many students, but Dunford manages to keep smiling.
She was nominated for this year's third-quarter Rotary Student of the Quarter, is the committee chair of Student Activities for the Associated Student Body, works 20 hours a week at Coffee Too in Preston, was in charge of coordinating Leadership Camp this year and still finds time to make it to church on Sunday.
Dunford is not all work and no play, however. To fill her weekends she said, "I try to think of fun, cheap things to do ... like Theater Sports, a comedy club in Seattle."
She also enjoys comedies like "Night at the Roxbury," "Brian Fellow's Safari Planet" (a "Saturday Night Live" skit) and "Austin Powers" because, she said, "I love to laugh."
On top of being a big fan of comedy, Dunford is known for her own impersonations and also for the Brian Fellow skit she performed at Leadership Camp.
The second of five children, family is important to Dunford.
"My mom has the most impact on my life. She's awesome. She always helps me out and she's a good role model ... She's