Humans of Granby

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Rachel Abrahamson
GMHS Senior, caregiver at Small World Daycare, member of women’s a cappella singing group, chorus member at the high school and First Church
Age 17
bad about being a high school senior…
These are the good things. I have a strategy for success that has been in place for several years now. I am very familiar with my school, its routines, and how to study in order to get good grades. I know all my teachers well and where to go to get help, even how to write a paper effectively by deciding whether to attack the main idea or set a series of goals. I also have a great group of friends and know who to depend on when the need arises.

Rachel Abrahamson

As for bad things, of course, I will soon be stepping into unknown territory just like other college freshman. I plan on going to Manhattanville College in Purchase, N.Y. Although it will be in a small town like Granby, the ride to New York City will be only 20 minutes long. This will be a wonderful adventure; however, I will be living in a place that is totally new to me. I will face the loss of known structure, be unable to see family members each night, and my current group of friends will be living considerably far away.
On another note, due to very serious back injuries my dad is disabled. I have formed a special bond with my dad and have helped him with daily tasks for a long time. Now it will be my brother’s turn to step up to these responsibilities at home and my leaving will be a big change for all of us.
Tell about a big risk that you have taken…
In elementary school I was very shy. I waited for friends/people to come to me. These days I will reach out to others and am learning to initiate conversation with new people that emerge at school and at work. I feel more confident now and I’m currently helping to run a project called “Pedals for Progress” with the honor society at school. We collect bikes and sewing machines to give to third world countries. Last year the items went to Nicaragua. Lately I have been busy writing newspaper articles, hanging flyers, and talking to people in an effort to get them excited and motivated to participate in the program.
Describe something you wish Granby had…
A stronger sense of community.
I wish a wider variety of people would attend high school events like concerts, plays and musical productions, sports competitions. It would be nice if people that don’t have kids or have kids that have graduated and moved away still came to the shows we put on.

Tim Nolan

Tim Nolan
GMHS Junior, Varsity football player, writer for the Drummer,
Age 17
Tell something good and something bad about being a high school junior…
I think I’ll start with the bad things. This is the year that colleges seem to focus the most on when considering applications. There is more pressure on students this year because they, (the students), have to begin deciding which colleges would be good matches for their abilities and personalities. SAT testing is also an important part of junior year. It is a time to start thinking about what to major in at college and whether or not you want to attend a small school or large university.
I’m interested in broadcast journalism and have a few schools in mind but will need to make visits and consider a lot of factors.
There are also a lot of positives to being a junior at Granby High. I went to St. Mary’s in Simsbury for elementary school so it took me a while to form a close group of friends. Now that I am a junior I have formed a bond with several other students and feel glad about this. One day at a football game not too long ago our coach kept using the phrase, “Who has the stick?” By this he means, “Who will carry the most weight in the next play?” One of the players ran into the woods, found a branch, came back and said, “I have it, coach.” … Fortunately we were winning the game and could afford a little clowning that day.
 I have had the chance now to gain confidence through involvement in different activities. I also like to de-stress by playing pop songs or jazz tunes on the piano. My favorite song to play these days is Apologize by One Republic.
Tell about a big risk you have taken…
Being vocal about my faith; not being afraid to express my Christian attitudes.
Catholic schools in the greater Hartford area have put together rallies with speakers that help empower kids to keep their faith and spirituality. Along with other high school students I have taken my turn speaking before large groups of kids with these messages.
Describe something you wish Granby had…
Chick Fil A. It really has the best tasting chicken that I’ve ever had. I know there is one in Enfield but no other ones any closer.
Emma Smith
Retired Speech/Language Pathologist, painter (acrylics), writer for the Drummer
Age 55+
Tell something good and bad about being an artist…
It requires a great deal of motivation in order for me to begin a new painting. I enjoy so many things in life and am pretty athletic so sitting or standing still for hours to concentrate on a section of a drawing can be tough. Once I choose my subject matter and get the preliminary sketch completed it gets easier. Testing out different colors by blending the paints is the most enjoyable part of the endeavor for me.
I love to travel and taking a number of pictures of the same scene while visiting new places is part of the experience. When I get home and select an unusual or especially breath- taking view and decide to put it on a canvas, the feeling is pure excitement. Once the project is done I like to look back and feel the same joy again from the day I first laid eyes on a specific location. For example, when my husband was on a business trip to Switzerland I went along and photographed a medieval bridge in Baden. A year later, I painted that bridge and every time I look at the painting I can recall the smell of the wood inside it and the sensation of the icy water that flowed underneath the bridge. I can still feel the awe of knowing that it is almost a thousand years old.
Tell about a big risk you have taken…
When I first got married my husband and I decided to have both a romantic honeymoon and an adventure trip that year. We went to Vermont in the fall for five days but also planned a tour out west. The plan was to fly to Las Vegas, board a small plane to fly to an airstrip near the Grand Canyon and then helicopter down into the Canyon. Everything went according to plan and once in the canyon we rafted the lower Colorado River for three and a half days to Lake Mead.
No one told us that there was absolutely no way to contact the outside world from within the canyon and that was probably a good thing. We spent our evenings on the banks of the Colorado River sleeping on cots under the stars. It was beautiful until one evening when one of the women heard a rattling sound under her cot. It was a rattlesnake coiled in his hole in the ground. It was probably baffled as to why there was someone sleeping above him. The group leader remained calm and had her move her cot, but I was terrified. There was no way to kill it and we had no antidote for rattlesnake bites in the rudimentary first aid kit at the front of the boat.
Needless to say, no one was bitten but sleeping in the Canyon was riskier than the hip travel brochures led us to believe.
Describe something you wish Granby had…
I really wish Granby had a tea house. Although we have a Starbucks in the center of town, many people also enjoy experimenting with different varieties of tea. I like going to the Passiflora Tea Shop in New Hartford because it has pastries, lunch items and many tea varieties.
I also think the contemporary tea shop, Culteavo, in Unionville is a great place to visit. There is a wall there with drawers containing so many different kinds of green tea, black tea and oolong. It seems to me someone could put together a shop like this in Granby one of these days.