BY SANAN MEHSERDJIAN AND MARAL HINDOYAN
LITTLE ARMENIA—Albert Camus once said, “You cannot create experience. You must undergo it.” As alumni, when we were asked to serve as judges for Rose and Alex Pilibos Middle School’s Armenian History Day, we were able to remember and reflect upon the experiences of our middle school years. It was such a bittersweet moment as we sat on the other side of our familiar Pilibos classroom. This time, we weren’t the nervous students presenting. Instead, we were the experienced, much older, some may say, wiser, judges. Seeing the up and coming generations of Armenian leaders put a unique spin on presenting their Armenian History and Hye Tahd topics allowed us to come full circle. Just a few years ago, we were the passionate, curious, and eager middle-schoolers researching and presenting our projects on Armenian History and Current Events. To see the next generation of Pilibos students doing the same thing but pushing themselves to do one better made us so proud to be a part of Pilibos.
Pilibos really is a school that serves a significant and irreplaceable role in not only shaping hard-working students, but future Armenian leaders. Although we were the judges examining and questioning the students’ work, it was inevitable that at times we would find ourselves, as the student, learning something from each presentation. Aside from the content, each grade of students helped us remember certain aspects of our Armenian culture. The 6th graders reminded us to be passionate and enthusiastic in everything we take on. The 7th graders taught us the importance in keeping an open-mind and the courage of fighting for our own beliefs. Finally, the 8th graders reminded us what it means to be Armenians in the Diaspora, to not only be unified, but use our collective voice to fight for justice and demand recognition.
It was a true honor to be a part of this experience. We thank the teachers, students and Administration for allowing us to remember how Pilibos has played a significant role in nurturing our Armenian spirit.