By Jethro Swain
You may have seen him strolling the halls with his blue headphones on, listening to music he made himself; one of two new students to the class of 2017 this year is the New Jersey man, Robert “Bobby” Cottingham.
Bobby was born and raised in New Jersey, “the best state in the world” as he calls it. He actually has already graduated from his prep school in New York and has his diploma, as well as admittance to the University of New York.
“Its a lot less preppy than my old school, we would get shot if we called our teachers by their first names,” said Bobby about OES. Bobby can earn an extra diploma here, and will once he finishes his classes, but Bobby is here for OES’ strong fencing program.
“My dream is to make it to the olympics,” he said, “But my current goal is to turn up and do well in college.”
On Wednesday, March 8, Bobby started his day by rolling out of bed in the dorms, after dreaming lucidly about a Childish Gambino and Frank Ocean collaborative album, at about 7:50, giving him a little less than 10 minutes to get to class. “I had stats first, I came on time,” he proudly said.
Next Bobby had Postcolonial Literature, or Postcolonial LIT as he told me, where he was working on his project of making pita bread for a variety of purposes. It was at this point in the day that Bobby then told me about his music taste. “Life of Pablo is one of my favorite albums,” he said, followed by, “All I do 24/7 is listen to Lovely Day by Bill Walters, write that down right now, ‘All I do 24/7 is listen to Lovely Day by Bill Walters,’” so I wrote it down.
Next, Bobby was called out in gathering by Robin and Kara for not having his service project proposal turned in, and then was further called out by Corbet who said, “I’m not sure Bobby heard that announcement because he was on his phone the whole time.” In response to being exposed, Bobby said to me, “You gotta be relaxed about most things in life,” so I’m guessing Bobby was not too concerned about his status on his Service Learning project. However, the following day Bobby was actually the first of the group to turn in his proposal. “Service is in my everyday vocabulary,” he said.
Next Bobby had free block where he played chess with Simon and David L. “I got destroyed,” he said. Maybe David and Simon are surprisingly good at chess, but I would take that to mean that Bobby is not a good chess player. “After that I talked to my momma for an hour and a half,” he said, “But then I got called down for the fire drill.”
After the fire drill he decided to have some lunch. “The chicken parm was delicious, everything the cafeteria makes is delicious,” which is a belief contrary to what most dorm students feel as I’ve observed. “After lunch it was a relaxed day, I had that class I can never remember the name of, uhhhhh, oh Current Topics in Biology there it is, with Rob, and then Modern India and China which is fantastic.”
After school Bobby went to New Seasons “with some of the boys” and got some mac and cheese and ingredients for his pita bread. Afterwards he “went to fencing, you know put in that work, I grinded. Then I went to some study hall.” Those parts of Bobby’s day are normal, but then Bobby got to work on his pita bread.
“From 8:30-11 I was working on making pita bread in the project room. It’s going to be delicious. I then went to bed early so that I could get up at 5:30 the next morning to keep making my pita bread.” If Bobby is as devoted to fencing as he is to his Pita bread, he might just make the Olympics.
Now that you know the rigor of Bobby’s daily life, you can imagine how much will it must take to go through school as a technical fourth semester senior, because I’m only a second semester senior and I’m #1 most wanted on the attendance list right now, so I value Bobby’s ability to work an extra year at school and at fencing, all the way across the country.
“Gang gang gang” -Bobby Cottingham
A photo of Bobby and his pita bread off of Simon’s snapchat story.