Hiba Fatima, senior: 11,890 minutes remaining

Josephine Mittelberger, design chief

The days stuck together like pages of a fresh book: slow and exhausting to get through. Hiba Fatima, senior, had always considered herself a “math person,” and found English classes about as enticing as the assigned readings. So, as she clicked onto the zoom link of her English 10 class with Mr. Ben Boruff, she expected nothing more than another class in which you “read this” and “answer that.”

“That class truly activated my critical thinking skills,’” Hiba said. “There was always something philosophical. The impact of that class started branching out into my other classes that I took later on, and then within my own life in terms of how I view my friendships, relationships and myself.”

The moment Hiba began to notice how different Mr. Boruff taught the class was in the middle of “1984.” During a lesson, Mr. Boruff dove into symbolism within the book—how the paperweight symbolizes Winston’s want for the truth paralleled Hiba’s moment in which the book truly came to life. The class emphasized details were not fleeting, but embedded with purpose that was meant to be carefully picked apart. Where previous English classes taught Hiba to senselessly read passages to answer questions, the class gave her a purpose to look for.

“I didn’t really start writing until after that class, so when I did start writing, it was a lot more purposeful,” Hiba said. “A lot of my poetry is really personal to me, and it helps me work through emotions and feelings—crafting words to detail them helps a lot.”