If You’re Lucky Enough To be Different, Never Change

By Charlotte Lee

Tatiana Edmiston shines in everything she does. A seventh-grader at Lakewood Montessori, Tatiana is coming into her own with a little help from her friends and family. Her activities include everything from playing the violin to doing backflips at gymnastics. There is no doubt she is impressive on paper, but in person you realize she is truly effervescent. Tatiana comes from a unique family with two moms and one sister. She and her sister Torrey are both adopted from Guatemala. Anyone who knows Tatiana knows that she, like myself, absolutely loves Taylor Swift. In a lot of ways, Tatiana reminds me of myself at her age, except she’s much less awkward. She values friendship, loves her family, has so many interests and is passionate about them all. She’s confident, serious when she needs to be, but silly and fun whenever possible. She is honestly fantastic.

Being pre-med, I took this class to take a break from studying conformations of hexane, to learn how to do something new (photography? why not!) and to get out into the Durham community. It turns out that the best part of this class was getting to know Tatiana and her family. I loved how Tatiana would introduce me to her friends: “This is Charlotte, my personal photographer!” And that I was. I would photograph Tatiana at school, in her strings class, at home, at gymnastics, and even at her birthday party. I realize that there is so much value in meeting people and talking to people, all kinds of people, who can teach you and learn from you. Sometimes it’s easy to get stuck in the Duke bubble and become obsessed with grades and extracurriculars and be absolutely consumed with stress. But this class reminded me that there’s a world out there, a world of wonderful people like Tatiana and her family. I am so glad I got to meet them.