The Communicator

The Communicator

The Communicator

He’s Not Dianne

My admiration for Kevin Starkey is astronomical even though I was not quick to embrace our relationship.
Ava Griffith

“Has anyone ever told you that you’re kind of stubborn?”

I rolled my eyes with a grin and took my place on the Rogue wooden box beside Kevin Starkey’s chair. Starkey teaches personal fitness, weight training and forum at Community High School. For both of us, this is our second year at CHS.
I was an overly anxious, rather silent freshman when I came to CHS. As a member of the Dudley forum, I had formed a tight bond with Dianne Dudley by the end of my first semester. Throughout my second semester, she became friends with my mom and worked with my family to push me toward emotional, social and academic success. Forum had gone from being constantly overwhelming to the highlight of my week.

With the end of my freshman year approaching, Dianne and I devised a plan for me to take her personal fitness class in the fall. I needed to fulfill that graduation requirement and Dianne would be able to provide me with special training for a running injury that I was recovering from.

In August, I learned that Dianne had been asked to teach exclusively virtual fitness classes and would only be in the CHS building for forum. The unexpected nature of this development was frustrating and I was scared to become more distant from her support.

This meant that I was placed in Kevin’s personal fitness in the fall. I decided to roll with it; I have no regrets.
For the first quarter of personal fitness, I was quiet. My mom would ask me how the class was going on the way home from school and my response was always the same.

“The class is fine. Kevin is OK. He’s not Dianne.”

One day my response was different. I don’t remember exactly what changed. Perhaps it was a newfound acceptance of the class.

Kevin is kind, patient and passionate. Occasionally, I have spent three hours a day sitting on my box next to Kevin. My schedule is often riddled with virtual classes and CRs which can lead to long periods of alone time sitting in the hall. Kevin became my buddy and I got a place to hang out while I worked on my Japanese adjectives.

As Dianne has seen from her personal experience and witnessing my interactions with special visitors, I have been known to form strong bonds with certain teachers throughout my time in AAPS.

I have not identified exactly what draws me to these people but they seem to have one thing in common: they curate an open and respectful, yet silly environment where I do not feel overwhelming social pressure. When my environment is comfortable, I flourish. Whether that means checking David Borgsdorf into a thorn bush or simply participating in a group game in personal fitness, my personality is able to radiate through the layers of anxiety.

“Is it ok if I come for the walk?” I asked Kevin on a warm day this spring. He was taking his sixth block outside to walk in the Arb.

“Yeah, of course.” He said.

“I promise I won’t do anything illegal,” I responded. This made him chuckle.

I want Kevin to understand the impact he has had on my life by being a caring and supportive figure. Yes, I can be rather stubborn, and no, he’s not Dianne, but I have learned to embrace their differences and love them both.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Ivy Miller
Ivy Miller, Journalist
Ivy is a sophomore at CHS who is excited to be joining The Communicator. In her free time, she runs cross country and track for Skyline. Ivy loves walking her cat and her dog and spending time outdoors. She is passionate about wildlife conservation and growing as a writer.

Comments (0)

All The Communicator Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *