Two Groton students have been recognized by the New York Times for their exceptional writing.
Colin Kim’s review of Little Island
, a new park in the Hudson River west of New York City, was among the winners in the Times
’ annual Student Review Contest. Of nearly 4,000 contestants who took up the challenge to "play critic," Colin was among nine winners; there also were fifteen runners-up and twenty-five honorable mentions.
Anjanette Lin ’25 was a runner-up in the Times
’ third annual Personal Narrative Essay Contest for Students, for her essay, “Orange Nikes.”
Of more than 11,000 entries, there were eight winners, sixteen runners-up, and twenty-four honorable mentions.
Both contests were open to students all over the globe between the ages of eleven and nineteen. The Times reported that winners of the review competition “were chosen for their clever use of language, insightful perspectives and engaging commentary.” Colin’s essay, “A Little Island With a Not-So-Little Ego,” skewers the city’s effort to insert a green gathering place into the Hudson River.
“Parks are for families, for experiencing the peace and cohesion that our planet organically gifts us, values that are nowhere to be seen within the bulky belly of Little Island,” he wrote, later lamenting that “in the colorful district dubbed the ‘Playground,’ no swings, seesaws nor jungle gyms are in sight, and no dogs skip around the designer furniture.”
Anjanette’s essay examines the impact of an unexpected friendly greeting, and the difference between being shy and being introverted. “The rest of humanity and I had agreed to ignore each other long before I was born,” she wrote. “Rarely did I look people in the eye and smile, seldomly did I introduce myself, and constantly did I stare at the blur of shoes as the vociferous stampede of students impeded on my quiet bubble.”
Then a girl—referred to only by her orange Nikes—greeted Anjanette by name: “Somehow, she found me. Throwing off my invisibility cloak, nudging me from my haven, and acknowledging me; she saw me.” That simple, unexpected greeting was a pivotal moment for Anjanette. As she wrote, “I don’t look at shoes anymore. How could I, when there is a world of people to see?”
Colin said his interest in architecture led him to critique a place. “It was artificial,” he said of Little Island. “It just felt weird to me that they were putting an artificial structure covering view of the water.”
Anjanette looked within as she wrote about the power of that unexpected hello. “It was the nicest feeling to know that someone knows you,” she said. “From then on, I started greeting people in the hall, letting them know, ‘I know you’re there. I’m here too.’”
Her essay, “Orange Nikes,” dispels stereotypes about introverts. “I still think I’m an introvert,” said Anjanette, “but there’s no kind of shyness to it.”
Congratulations to Colin and Anjanette, and to the teachers who guide and inspire them.