top of page

Keeping the Faith: The 5 Year Anniversary

Before I had Faith’s Takes, I had Nightingale’s, The Spectator. Today, while I rarely diminish the pristine reputation of The Nightingale-Bamford School, I wasn’t always so above it all. So, while you sit back, relax, and read Keeping the Faith by 17-year-old Faith Duggan, please enjoy a special talk back with the author in honor of this 5 year anniversary.  

***


Keeping the Faith article

There are very few amazing things out there that I couldn’t complain about. It’s a gift. Hawai’i is too expensive, Black Panther is too violent, sunrises are too bring. I am a naturally a complainer. In fact, I have multiple gold medals in complaining from both the Summer and Winter Olympics. 


However, there is one perfect thing out there that is undeniably amazing. Someone who is so incredible and extraordinary that I couldn’t complain about if I tried: Faith Odette Duggan.


As part of the Nightingale community, you luckily benefit from her charismatic ways Over the past 13 years, Faith has ensured that our community continues to update its concussion policy after a horrible instance on the court. She has used wit and honesty to help faculty members see the errors of their ways. For instance, one teacher is mulling over the option to give only a project in next year’s course instead of both an exam and a project. 


Since the admirable faith is sadly leaving the Blue doors behind, I sat down with her to hear her words of wisdom.


“Let’s be honest, Nightingale isn’t perfect; she needs a lot of work inside and out. For example, the old bathrooms need a makeover. But I believe that my being a student, a role model, a friend, and maybe even an enemy has made Nghtingale a better place. As I walk down the hall every morning singing and dancing, I am bringing the light into NIghtingale. I am making a community better. Wow. I am really amazing So be more like me and it should work out for you.”


Although Faith is now one of the best gems Nightingale has “created,” she started off as a piece of coal. It took years of being the teacher’s pet, having no friends, and wanting to live in other universes to mold her into the biggest, shiniest diamond the world has ever seen. 


Yet even in a school filled with people, she felt more alone than ever throughout her years at Nightingale. Luckily for Faith, she found her passion, her equivalent to the english department and books: TV. As she compared herself to characters like Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory, uncovering humor and sarcasm to her teacher’s and parents’ chagrin, it was all for the improvement of the Nightingale community. By herself, she climbed the gym rope of life to complete the most difficult obstacle of all: Middle and Upper School.


Faith gives credit where credit is due, sadly for Nightingale. Although she loves her teachers and peers now more than ever, after 13 years, school is the equivalent of getting blood drawn. 


If you don’t see her around the school house it’s because she flies the coop whenever possible, which forces her to break bonds and work hard to keep friendships alive. She does this so she won’t lose the spark that makes Faith Faith. The Years of isolation should have stopped her from transforming into her whole self, but she did it anyway. 

George Michael once said, “I got to have Faith, Faith, Faith,” and we are lucky enough to have Faith, Faith, Faith.  She just wishes the Nightingale community had found the pearl in the oyster sooner. She can’t wait to come back and prove to Nightingale that she has become a success on her own. 


Her goal is to be amazing, and she is succeeding and helping the community become better. In the end, this will only help the world. I am a gold medalist complainer, and I couldn’t complain about Faith Odette Duggan if I tried. Believe me: I have tried.


cover of the Spectator

***

Keeping up with Faith talk back with the Author:


Interviewer: It’s been five years since you wrote Keeping the Faith. Why did you write it? 


Author: I think that this was the only way to get closure from Nightingale. I often say that Nightingale is a cult, and once you are in you are IN. Nightingale used to say, “Once a Nightingale girl, always a Nightingale girl.” And while I don’t know their gender-inclusive statement, the sentiment is that they made me. My success is their success. And I wanted to have in print, in their own paper, that my success is in spite of them not because of them.


Interviewer: The last time you read this was 5 years ago, what’s going through your mind right now? 


Author: Two big things keep coming to mind. Most prominently, the grammar. In my old age, I have become a grammar snob. So while I may not know how to use grammar when I am writing it, reading it years later I am yelling, Why did I use so many colons? Why did I not use the ever-beloved Oxford comma? Mr. Loughery taught me better. 

The other big thing is how right I was. I went to Nightingale in a pre-George Floyd era. I can’t even imagine how a post-Black Lives Matter era would have changed my experience. Back in my day, if I had told any of my white teachers that I was getting bullied for being Black, they would have laughed me out of the building. And I had no filter at NBS, so I probably did say it, and quickly fled to my grandmother's. And I remember telling my history teacher that the Block Project final was racist as it only focused on Carnegie Hall and Yorkville because we were focused on the Nightingale community. The implication here is that the Nightingale community doesn't extend outside of the Upper East Side. During the pandemic, this teacher emailed my sister to tell me that I was right, it was racist. And they were going to change the assignment. This showed me that some aspects of the BLM movement worked; white people took off their rose-colored glasses and believed people of color. But, I also believe many people stayed ignorant and would never see how right I was, even if I expressed it incorrectly as I was a child. 


I know I am rambling, but I would like to add one thing. I would want to elevate some of my metaphors, similies, and complaints. For instance, instead of Hawai’i being too expensive, I’d like to say Hawai’i is too colonialistic for me to enjoy now. Or how Black Panther upholds the Black/White paradigm. 


Interviewer: How did this article come to fruition?


Author: That’s a great question. And I don’t remember the specifics. But, the editor-in-chief, Bryley Williams got me to write a movie review for the Spectator. And that somehow spiraled into an article about me, myself, and I. Considering some of what I said about NBS, it is quite the feat that Bryley got it into the school newspaper. 


Faith and Bryley at Senior retreat
Faith and Bryley at Senior retreat

Interviewer: Do you have any memories of the writing process?


Author: I have one singular memory. In the article, I wrote, “Although she loves her teachers and peers now more than ever, after 13 years, school is the equivalent of getting blood drawn.” I originally said something like Although she loves her teachers and peers now more than ever, after 13 years, her relationship with Nightingale is comparable to Stockholm Syndrome. Not sure if that was the exact wording but it was something like that. While I wish it made it in Google’s definition of Stockholm Syndrome is “feelings of trust or affection felt in many cases of kidnapping or hostage-taking by a victim toward a captor.” While it’s the truth, it’s not the best way to describe a student’s relationship with the school in the school paper. 


Interviewer: Wow, that’s a lot to unpack. How do you feel about your 5th-year reunion coming up?


Author: AHHHHHHHHHHHHH. No, but in all honesty, I have been dreading this for five years. On one hand, I want to go and do as promised, come back as a straight A’s dean-list student with a bachelor's and a master’s degree. But I just got an honors award, and the ceremony is on the same day as my reunion. So I have to choose between getting an award and going to my reunion, getting the gossip, and being the amazing me that I am (while exposing myself to the traumatic hellscape I somehow escaped). So yeah, it's complicated. Do I go to my reunion?


Interviewer: What a good question to end with. Faith, thank you so much for joining us today. 


Author: Thank you so much for having me. 


Interviewer: And to our audience, make sure to like, subscribe, and comment if Faith should go to her 5th year reunion or award ceremony. 



Faith at HS graduation
High School Graduation

24 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments

Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page