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Prometheans Marked By Humility

The 2019 Prometheans were honored at a breakfast on Tuesday morning at San Marino High School. PICTURED ABOVE, left to right, are FRONT ROW: Olivia Cameron, Sean Richardson, Rennie Chen, Elizabeth Castreje, Stacey Lau, Ellie Kanda, Ashley Muranaka-Toolsie, Eleanor Liu, Elizabeth Lee and Kirsten Go. Middle row: Mika Judge, Elizabeth Klusman, Noah Lian, Allison Ye, Aston Yong, Abigail Slimp, Baxton Chen, Jacob Yim and Katherine Choi. TOP ROW: Grant Spitzer, Noelle Guan, Victoria Tse, Patrick McDonald, Brian Wu, Stella Yao, Ben Miller, Chris Wicke, Hanna Von and Catherine Tang. Terry Fouché Photo

“You never mentioned studying for AP tests or the SAT,” said San Marino High School Counselor and Senior Class Advisor Mollie Beckler during the waning moments of Tuesday morning’s Prometheans breakfast. “You talked about time spent together. I want you to remember that.”

Beckler was referring to the annual event that celebrates approximately thirty members of the senior class who are selected for—among other attributes—their character, courage and kindness. As each honoree was called forward, they mentioned their plans for college and were asked to express a special memory they will take with them from their days at SMHS.

Those remembrances were as varied as the voices speaking them, but for some reason, “dissecting” jumped to the top of the list. But there were more, including peer mentoring, serving on Link Crew, “trying to eat as much pizza as possible,” hanging out at IHOP after prom and the thrills of a drumline competition in Dayton, Ohio, of all places.

One can just imagine the kismet if they were hanging out at an IHOP…in Dayton, Ohio.

Former School Board Member Nam Jack, herself the mother of two Prometheans, delivered the keynote address, speaking about the difficulties of being a parent while delivering a “confession” that much of her parenting advice to her children was based on her love of the 22 Avengers movies and 71 episodes of Game of Thrones.

“Part of the journey is the end,” Jack said to a rapt audience in the SMHS cafeteria. “In the beginning of the Avengers: Endgame movie, Tony Stark thinks he is going to die, so he records a message for his wife. He says ‘Mrs. Potts. If you find this recording, don’t feel bad about this. Part of the journey is the end.’”

“For you as students, it is the end of your high school years and the beginning of your college ones where you start your road to independence, learning to rely on oneself, becoming more autonomous and self-reliant, all part of your journey to becoming an adult,” Jack said.

She then reminded attendees that “everyone makes mistakes.”

“In Season 8, Episode 4, a cup of coffee which looked like it was from Starbucks was left on a table next to a female character, Queen Daenerys, for more than 17 million viewers to see,” Jack said, as chuckles of familiarity filled the room. “How could someone make such a mistake when each episode costs approximately $15 million? How do you respond? In the case of HBO, producers of the show, the answer was by acknowledging the mistake and responding with humor. HBO tweeted that the ‘latte that appeared in the episode was a mistake. Daenerys had actually ordered an herbal tea.’”

More than chuckles for that one.

“Everyone makes mistakes,” she continued. “It is how you respond to them that makes a difference. Try to respond with humor, patience and grace. In that way, people will not remember the mistake, they will remember how positively you acted in response.”

Beckler also said that she was struck by the humility of this particular crop of Prometheans, mentioning that she was impressed by the humble responses from students when notified in person that they had received the coveted honor.

“A Promethean is a student who has a positive attitude and is caring,” is what one San Marino High School teacher said when asked to define a Promethean. “In class they help to lead class discussions and are always prepared to learn. Outside of class they help to build school spirit by leading extra-curricular activities. I miss them when they are absent from class.”

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