|[INST] Remembering Kendra Chan|
"The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between." - Mozart
There are many generations of students, parents, and alumni who will receive this note... It is always nice to connect with you, I just wish that it was always with happy news.
This has been a somber week for a lot of the Mountain View High School community, particularly alumni and faculty who learned and taught here between 2007 and 2011. By now, you're likely aware of the dive boat fire that happened on Labor Day off the coast of Santa Barbara. If you are subscribed to any local news, you know that two of the victims were Kendra Chan and her father, Scott Chan, a physics teacher at American High School in Fremont.
Kendra was a very active Spartan, sharing her energy between Tennis, Academics (especially science, going on to tackle a career with the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Ventura), and Performing Arts. Kendra played Alto Sax and had all the traits of a typical Mountain View High band student - she was outgoing, friendly, talented, and passionate about her music. What made Kendra unique was her infectious positivity. Her friends will attest to this as reflected in the many social media posts over the past few days and proven in any photo of Kendra - it's impossible to not be smiling around her.
Music Teachers have a quirky habit of referring to music students as 'their kids'. The vast majority of the time they get to work together through all four years of high school, which is nearly a quarter of their lives... This creates strong bonds and even stronger investments in these students as real people, ready to go forward and change the world. Kendra and all of 'my kids' from the Class of 2011 started together at Mountain View in the Fall of 2007 - they take residence in a special place in my heart.
I've missed them all since they graduated. I miss her even more now...
Kendra, I hope you find beautiful music in the silence.
"Where words fail, music speaks." - Hans Christian Andersen
Writing to you all and sharing my thoughts is my therapy. When this isn't enough, I rely on music to help me grieve. For all the former MVHS students who are also struggling with this, I humbly offer you some musical therapy.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to honor Kendra and Scott - all proceeds will be donated to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the California Academy of Science, and the Ocean Conservancy.
"Burn the land and boil the sea, You can't take the sky from me." ~The Ballad of Serenity
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symphony-orch ⇒ Msg 71