[MOVES THE MIC DOWN] Hi, I'm short. [LAUGHTER]
Hello, I'm Grusha. I'm a third-year student at St. Mike's.
I met Shane in my first year—even though we weren't friends yet. I lived in Fisher House (which is one of the residence houses in St. Mike's), and throughout the whole year, I complained that no one from More House would ever talk to us. [LAUGHTER] Because they didn't! They were our brother house and they never came to any events…but then one day—along with Charlie, who was Shane's don—Shane came.
And so Shane and I were talking. He opened up very quickly: he was like, "I'm studying history, and this is why…" and then he would continue on and said, "I'm from the States." And when he found out that I was from the States, he was very excited and started asking me about if I had any conspiracy theories about the government… [LAUGHTER]
And then he found out that I was interested in secret societies and he was telling me about all the things he'd learned about Trinity, and why Trinity was cursed and going and going… [LAUGHTER]
He finally told me, "Grusha, I think my room in More House is haunted. I lock the door, and then it's unlocked when I get back," and all these things… Then he proceeds to show me pictures of this cross he had that was blessed by a priest—I don't know what the exact story was—but he kept it in his room and he was very proud of it.
But that was the only memory I had of him in first year. I never spoke to him again [LAUGHTER] for like seven or eight months until it was second year. Then we kept running each other, so we started to sit next to each other in the Canada Room, every day. So breakfast, lunch, dinner, I saw Shane, so eventually we started talking and becoming friends, and then Jonathan and Anna-Maria also became friends with him.
The most important thing that I admire about Shane was how he was the least apathetic person that I knew. With young people—especially people in college—they don't really care about a lot of things, or they're so immersed with school and their own lives that they don't really bother asking other people what their thoughts are on things. But Shane was very excited and earnest about everything, wanted to speak to people about their opinions, asking a lot of questions about me, my own faith, my own philosophies, wanting to continuously challenge me and ask, "Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?"
But I never got tired of it. Because I never got the sense that he was trying to lord over me but wanted me to think more, and think more deeply about stuff. And he and I really bonded over our love for school, our love for why we were studying what we were studying, and for old-fashioned things.
When he found out that I might become a don, he was like, "Grusha, you gotta make sure that you're theme is classy and old-fashioned." [LAUGHTER] And that's what I did—it's Downton Abbey [INAUDIBLE]. [LAUGHTER]
The last memory I have of Shane was:
It was the last day or the last week of school; it was in the Coop, it was outside. There was this dog, and this dog was only paying attention to Shane and not me and I was so upset with him, because I wanted to pet this dog, but the dog was obsessed with Shane and kept chasing him around. That was a really good memory to have.
Then I spoke to him once or twice over the summer, and he was just telling me how excited he was to go to St. Andrew's. I made him promise to send pictures, and he was like, "I will! Talk to you later." And then…that's the last memory I have of him.
Being back in St. Mike's, being a don here, you miss his presence a lot, especially more than when I was back home over the summer…but the memories we have of him will stay with us forever so…thank you.