Connection: Charlotte Rotenberg and  Sam Austin

Connection: Charlotte Rotenberg and Sam Austin

Sam Austin and Charlotte Rotenberg have been best friends since freshman year, but it feels like forever.
Charlotte Rotenberg
Charlotte Rotenberg

As a shy freshman, Charlotte Rotenberg, walked into a freezing Room 111 for American Sign Language (ASL) class. She ended up taking a seat next to Sam Austin — wrapped in a winter coat with his hood up and mask on. All you could see were his eyes and the tufts of his hair peeking out from under his massive jacket. Charlotte laughed at the amusing sight of this stranger, who immediately proved himself to be full of humor and wit. It was then that Charlotte knew Sam would become her best friend.   


“We were at the same table and I just remember him being a really big goofball,” Charlotte said. “He was just always focused on trying to make someone laugh.”


Since meeting their freshman year, the two have been inseparable. They hang out so frequently that they’re almost always found together. When people ask, “Where’s Charlotte,” the answer is “with Sam,” and vice versa.


A lot of her favorite memories with him are intertwined with the language they’re learning together: ASL. 


During their very first ASL final, the project was to sign a story about a deaf tree. The pair had gone outside to record and capture the absurd essence of the story they were assigned to recreate.


“I just remember we had to repeat it so many times, and it was like the exact same story probably 100 times,” Charlotte said. 


When they went outside, the cool spring morning made them chilly, but as they returned to the building they were warm with memories and coated in sweat from the effort they had put into the project.  


A testament to how their friendship brings energy into everything they do. 


Even more than the laughs, what Charlotte values most about their friendship is their continuous empathy towards each other.


“I feel like we can be there for each othereven when times are tough,” Charlotte said. “Even though there are a lot of things that one person has experienced that the other can’t relate to.”


Their relationship reminds her of a movie she loves dearly: “When Harry Met Sally.”


“There’s this scene from ‘When Harry Met Sally’, about how guys cannot be friends with a girl,” Charlotte said. “Don’t get me wrong. I love that movie. But that line is not true. I think our friendship has shown that.” 


The pair continue to take ASL together and are growing as language learners and people. They are currently enrolled in ASL 3, taught in room BLANK, which thankfully has substantially better temperature control and now a lot of memories.

Sam Austin
Sam Austin

When Sam Austin stood in front of a vending machine as Charlotte Rotenberg fished her money back out without an ounce of fear, he knew he had found his a best friend. 


“She just seemed so exciting and fun to be around, and I would never have the guts to do that,” Sam said.


After meeting by chance in ASL, the pair became even closer through Mock Trial. 


Sam has felt that Mock Trial fosters the development of close bonds with teammates and he felt there was where they started to become very close. 


“We were both freshmen and we were both playing witnesses for the first time,” Sam said. “It was really hectic but it was good to have someone else who was going through the same experience as me, who could relate to me. I think that kind of drew us together.”


The two continue to compete in Mock Trial and have been glued together ever since. 


They joined the Ecology Club together and even participated in the annual up north trip this past winter. A cabin trip where they played cards, hiked outside and laughed nonstop. Another extracurricular activity they joined is Forum Council. As they have continued to participate in activities together they have even decided to attempt to run for leadership positions as a pair.


“Charlotte and I have become so close that we’ve actually decided to run for Forum Council co-presidents next year,” Sam said.  


The two are excited to take on yet another challenge the only way they know how: together. 


Evidently so, Charlotte is the person Sam spends the most time with inside and outside of school.


“I just know that Charlotte is that person that I can rely on when I need someone to do something for me, or when I’m having a tough time, or when I just want to talk to somebody that’s who I can go to,” Sam said. 


Being friends with Charlotte has taught Sam how to be a better communicator and has   taught him that it’s the basis of any strong relationship. 


“Communication is really important, even when one of us is upset,” Sam said. “We’re always open to talk about it and try to understand each other’s points of views. I think communication is the key to a friendship.”


Through the ups and downs, Sam knows that the two will stay friends for a long time because he enjoys her presence more than anyone else’s. 

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About the Contributor
Izzie Jacob
Izzie Jacob, Print Editor-in-Chief
Isabella (or Izzie) is a senior at Community and is thrilled to be continuing her journalism career. When she’s not watching Marvel movies or taking 0.5 pictures, she’s usually listening to her playlist, which contains music from M.I.A. to Kendrick Lamar. After school, you can find her objecting in mock trial or drinking a surplus of chai. Her favorite part of journalism is talking about issues that don't get enough attention and advocating for the rights of immigrants and women of color.

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