Tamara Lowenstein - Graduation - June 10, 2020
Ever since I can remember I have danced. Danced to the beat of the washing machine when I was a one-year-old. Danced flamenco in high-heeled shoes up on the stage as a four-year-old. Danced in the shower, hallways, pools, vineyards, restaurants, bar mitzvah parties, airports... the list goes on.
Third grade was when I started dancing my way through Brandeis… literally. At first, believe it or not, I was a shy girl who ate Annie's Bunny crackers as an excuse not to talk. Clearly, that didn't last for long. Very quickly I was swarmed by a welcoming, warm, and lively community. I instantly made many friends and felt like I was part of a family, my class. It seemed permanent and I thought it would last forever.
As the years went by, my family seemed to expand, especially when middle school came around. Many people joined and left our class and I spread my arms in a wide second position in order to embrace them all. By the 7th grade, the thought of graduating started to haunt me. I had become so connected to my community that I couldn't imagine my life without being on campus learning everyday.
I got so wrapped up in thinking about the future that it felt like my time at Brandeis was slipping through my fingers, like I was losing my balance and the barre wasn’t there for me to grab in order to stabilize myself. I was rehearsing for my big dance production, applying to high schools, dealing with an injury and juggling homework all at once. Luckily, my friends, family, and teachers were all there to lift me up when I was down.
That's when I realized something. What am I actually leaving? The answer is nothing. What? A campus? I realized that no matter where I go to high school or in life, the relationships I built throughout my years at Brandeis won’t just disappear.
The reason I love Brandeis so much is because of the people. Those people who allowed me to be my true self, who laughed off my embarrassing mistakes, who encouraged me to use my voice, who comforted me when I cried during Havurah class about the thought of leaving Brandeis. Those people are always going to be there for me even after I graduate. I have to accept the fact that I've completed my education at this special place, but that I will carry all the values and memories on to the next “stage” (pun intended) to continue my dance through life. I will always feel as though this community, my family, will be my supporting cast.