The Berkeley Carroll Blotter

Remembering Aidan Silitch

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Remembering Aidan Silitch

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Over Spring Break, on March 21st, Aidan Silitch ’20 died tragically in a ski mountaineering accident on the North Face of the Aiguille du Tacul in Chamonix, France. We are going to miss him deeply on the Blotter, which he was a member of for three years and the Opinion and Humor Editor of for two years.

We have put all of Aidan’s articles up on our website’s showcase, including one article that we are publishing posthumously. They will be on display for the rest of the school year.

Below, we have put together a collection of remembrances from the Blotter staff of Aidan.

 

Emily L. ’20

Aidan,

Of all the things I remember about you, I remember your ritualistic order of waffles and hot chocolate most clearly. I always thought it was funny how you sprinted to Cousin John’s every day during community time, except on days where you were eating 3 muffins from the cafeteria. That was funny to me too. You had a way of doing things that made the people around you laugh and that is so special. I don’t know why you bought the waffles because you always ended up giving part of it away. I remember sitting in Sterling with you one day and I was hungry so you gave me a chunk of your waffle. Ms. Finigan walked by and we hid the waffles so quickly. We were like ninjas. You left this earth too soon and it makes me sad to think of a Berkeley Carroll without you in it. You were always so generous with your waffles, your time, your self.

Thank you for being in and enriching my life. Rest in peace, my friend.

 

Irene M. ’20

In the year and a half, I spent getting to know Aidan he touched my heart in so many different ways. Although we were never in the same classes, we worked side by side on the Blotter. Every meeting of the Blotter was always so exciting, due in part to Aidan’s exuberant attitude and witty humor. There was never a dull moment in what could have been rather monotonous meetings. He always boldly shared his beliefs, and you can see these traits of Aidan’s exhibited in his pieces for the Blotter. From a humorous Anti-Fall Manifesto–which I strongly agreed with–to a more serious piece on the modern media-political climate, Aidan always managed to produce relevant and engaging pieces. Personally, over my time on the Blotter, Aidan edited quite a few of my pieces, and I am forever in debt for the dedication and effort he put into helping shape my pieces for the better. He will be greatly missed, not just by me, but by the entire Berkeley Carroll community and I can only hope to through my writing continue to preserve his legacy.

 

Asa K. ’22

These are a couple of the funny and nice comments Aidan left me on my first two articles in the blotter.

They don’t really seem like much, but they encouraged me to actually take this seriously and enjoy writing for a newspaper.

  • Break it down like a lysosome and explain to me why I come to this class and I forget how to play an 8th note.  – HA! I love bio humour
  • I mean, the drums are supposed to be easy. For smart people that is. It’s just a little difficult to be stupid sometimes. – Good punchline
  • Favourite – Love the english spelling
  • Hi. – Introduce yourself before you say something. Ex. Hi, my name is Ash Khalid, and I have one question. WHY IS THE SNARE DRUM SO DIFFICULT TO PLAY
  • Very funny Asa! You make a lot of good (and funny points) that even a music novice like me can relate to! While the blotter is about fun and witty writing, you are still creating formal pieces, so try to avoid things like abbreviations or colloquial phrases. Also keep an eye out for repetition. I really enjoyed it! Keep up the great work!
  • most times, I forget we even had a quiz. – perpetual mood
  • but not inspiring enough for me to actually do it, unfortunately. – Love this
  • Ms.Sefchovich won’t assign another chapter in the textbook. – Haha
  • obnoxious version of a toddler. – Ha!
  • Overall, the best advice on anxiety I ever received was, “Why are you so nervous?” Which sounds so unhelpful when other people are asking, but when you actually sit down and take the time in your brain to ask this question to yourself, you’re able to talk yourself down to realizing that what you were so worried about was only based on an assumption of an outcome and not the actual outcome. – Put before your sources and bibliography. Also, you can link certain words to the sites you cited so you don’t need to have this bulky bib. Really good article! Keep up the good work!

Aidan’s presence alone made a difference in the Blotter. And when he isn’t there, it feels really off. Like he should be there talking about some new breakthrough in biology or some local election result. It’s not even as if he was a loud person, he just took up a lot of space in a really good way. But now that he’s gone, I have no clue how anyone could fill it. Aidan being gone for me is the empty feeling of a memory lost. I don’t exactly know what I’m supposed to be missing, but I miss it.

 

Bernie F. ’20

aidan silitch was one of those people i could only call by their full names. i never called him aidan, i called him aidan silitch. it was as if there was too much personality to fit into two syllables. this is the first thing i’ll remember about him.

i will also remember that he was the opinion and humor editor on the blotter. i once asked him if he’d read a satire piece of mine that i thought would be blotter gold; after a brief synopsis of the contents of the article, he told me he’d give it a look, so i shared it with him. he read it, and replied with, and i quote:

“As a student, I thought it was very funny. However, I will say that some of these things might not be super acceptable for a school newspaper.”

and so, when all is said and done, i will forever think of aidan silitch as the one who wouldn’t let me use his section of the school newspaper as a platform to— satirically— encourage my peers to do heroin.

i will remember that aidan silitch was a kind, passionate, lovely person; that he wrote comprehensive quizlets for every quiz in our a&p class, including the final, and was sure to send them around if asked; that he was funny and friendly and engaging and relaxing to be around. i will remember his outstanding warmth and his friendly demeanor that, tacky and contrived as it may be, really did light up every room he went into.

rest easy, aidan silitch.

 

Yazan B. ’22

In the memory of Aidan that comes up when I search my brain, I’m standing outside Ms. Moroney’s office, talking to a friend. I don’t remember who. He comes out of the office, maybe he had some document to get signed. Upon seeing me, he lights up. This was right after our first Blotter meeting, and he was so happy to have another person to say hi to. I waved, and he came over. “Wow, Yazan,” he says. “Talking with your friends instead of writing articles? Shameful.” I had never thought it was possible to hear a smile, but that day, listening to his voice, I was proven wrong.

 

Moya L. ’21

Aidan was an undeniably considerate person. Unfortunately, I only learned about many of his humanitarian acts following his passing, such as his passion for the environment and biology, but many of them didn’t surprise me. His personality was always one of great compassion and tolerance.

On the first day of my freshman year, I sat down at a table with Adian during math class. During one of the ice-breaker activities, we learned that we were both of Irish descent. For the rest of the year, we slowly discovered more about one another. He was a rock-climber extraordinaire, while I, on the other hand, had a fear of heights. Although our differences outweighed our similarities, we found common ground at the Blotter and in Dublin, New Hampshire. We both spent summers near Dublin, and joked about how, inevitably, we would run into each other at Kimball’s Farm, the ice cream place.  

I have yet to come to terms with how sudden and undeserving Aidan’s passing was. Although my personal relationship with him was a passive one, he was an important player in the BC, Blotter, and Dublin communities. His loss is assuredly an unwelcome crossroads for all who knew him, passively or actively.

 

Sara A-M. ’19

More often than not, Aidan was the first person in the classroom on Co-Curricular Day 5s, never without a baked good from Cousin John’s in a white paper bag. He was so dedicated to the newspaper and all of us basked in his contagious enthusiasm. I always looked forward to our conversations because I knew he would either teach me something new or make me laugh. Aidan was hilarious and quick-witted, which shined through in all the articles he wrote. As an editor, he masterfully struck the balance between helping his writers improve through critique and making them feel appreciated and supported.

Aidan was conscientious and open minded. He tried to see things from all perspectives and knew the importance of listening and empathy. But he also spoke up for causes he believed in and was passionate about science, the environment, politics, and making the world a better place. In Biology class, his excitement for learning lit up the room. He had so much knowledge but was always willing to patiently explain concepts to me. When we were partners for a project on Antibiotics, his curiosity inspired me to be more interested in the subject and his amazing sense of humor made the project so much fun. He told me that he was going to Nationals the next week for rock climbing, which I didn’t realize just how big of a deal that was at the time because he was so humble about it.

The last time I saw him was when we ran into each other at the Youth Climate Strike. He had just invited the entire school to join him. He greeted me with the same warm, earnest smile that he gave me whenever we passed each other in the hallway and that he gave to everyone, no matter who they were. Aidan was an integral part of our Blotter community and I am so grateful for all that he contributed, both through his writing and his presence. I feel so lucky that Aidan’s voice can live on through his writing and that he can continue to touch people, make them think, and make them laugh.

 

Ms. Clapps:

I interviewed Aidan for admission to Berkeley Carroll. In my interview notes, I wrote, “I think Aidan would fit really well here.” Indeed, it is hard to imagine a time before Aidan joined our school community, and still hard to believe he’s not here.

Aidan was a part of The Blotter his whole time at BC and so room 144 feels different without him now. I can still picture him casually leaning back in his chair, typing away. I can still feel the push and pull of Aidan’s opinions and his can-do attitude; he felt strongly about school and world events, but he also respected his classmates and peers. Aidan was so well-read and aware, and the Opinion & Humor section became the place where he could express these thoughts and try his hand at satire. He was really funny.

I was thrilled to find out Aidan would be my American Studies student because it felt full circle. I had interviewed Aidan when he was a chipper, upbeat 8th grader; I had worked with him on the newspaper; I looked forward to a full year getting to know this talkative, mature, interesting kid. The time we had with him in our American Studies class was special: his hand was constantly raised to speak (or he was stretching… one or the other!) and he always said an enthusiastic hello and goodbye when he entered and exited the classroom. He asked us if we had a good weekend. He watched history documentaries for fun.

Aidan’s voice was so strong in his writing, so I hear him best when I revisit his Blotter articles and his American Studies writing assignments: excited, knowledgeable, and sarcastic. So full of heart. I will miss his spirit and his kindness. The Blotter has always been a small but mighty team of dedicated students—Aidan’s absence is felt deeply.

 

Julian A. ’20

I first met Aidan during the 8th grade Ice Cream Social. Before the event I remember how excited I was to meet all of the incoming 9th graders. Each incoming student was paired with a current 8th grader, and I had the honor of being paired with Aidan. While I can’t remember the specifics of the event, I distinctly remember how I felt after. I couldn’t believe how even though I had just met Aidan, it felt as if we had known each other for a while, which speaks to his charisma and sense of humor.

Whenever I went on the Blotter to read articles, I would always go to Aidan’s first, and they never failed to amaze and surprise me. For the last edition before spring break, he submitted a satirical rant about Barney’s. I will always remember lines like these: “If you do decide to venture to Barney’s, I  recommend going to the ninth floor, it’s bizarre. While on the ninth floor, I see a nine year old boy dressed head to toe in red Ralph Lauren merchandise. I hear him ask, “Mom, can I get these Yeezy’s?” She responds, “Oui, bien sur!” His writing was vibrant and simply hilarious.

When I go back to read his writing now, I can hear him talking, and recall his keen wit and sarcasm. Aidan’s aura is something that I will always remember, and all of us here on the Blotter will miss him dearly.

 

Ms. Bediako

Aidan crafted witty, insightful pieces of writing, full of personality. We know that; the work here on the Blotter website speaks for itself. I want to build some sort of monument to the intangibles…

…the seriousness and humility with which he regarded his role as an editor. I vaguely recall a time he talked in circles about the syntax of a sentence in an article he was editing, presenting a long list of reasons why some minute change needed to be made–and then suddenly arguing against himself with an equally convincing set of reasons why his own change didn’t make sense. I think he was just amusing himself with the mental exercise of proving both sides of an argument.

…the levity he brought to the space. Yes, the Blotter is a co-curricular with due dates and assignments and focus. Also, it’s fun. He told us what TV shows we should binge; he waxed poetic about thin versus regular Oreos; he teased me about my aversion to camping and anything nature related. He laughed and induced laughter.

…the effortless care. Another teacher once said, “Aidan’s kindness is so earnest that at first you might question it. Can someone actually be that genuinely warm? But yes, Aidan can–he really is that kind.” Whenever I missed a Blotter meeting due to one of my sons being sent home sick from school, he remembered, days later, to ask me how my son was doing. He always said, “Oh, hi, Ms. Bediako, how are you?” with this musicality I hope I’ll never forget. He loaned you what you needed: a pen, a tissue, a listening ear.

A beach cleanup has been arranged, by some members of the Junior class, to honor Aidan’s memory and his commitment to the environment. This event is open to the whole school community and their families, whether you knew Aidan or not. The event is Sunday, May 19th from 10 AM to 12 PM at the Boardwalk at New York Aquarium, Coney Island. Please RSVP here if you would like to attend. 

Aidan’s family has put together a website in his memory, which you can visit here

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