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Ann Cooley’s Letter to Senirs

Dear Class of 2019,

It’s here: graduation!  Some of you are ending high school with your best year yet.  Others have really had to battle and claw your way to the finish.  Either way, you’re here! And I feel so privileged to have had a front-row seat for the journey.

The first time you impressed me was when 60 of you wrote goals for your second semester of freshman year.  I distinctly remember being struck by the character revealed to me by those goals: I want to be a kinder person, I want to work harder and not give-up just because it’s difficult, I want to be a better listener.  Not the goals I was accustomed to reading from freshmen. However, as I watch you now as seniors, it’s obvious those goals were not just words.  I’ve seen you take on hard things, engage in uncomfortable but brave conversations, challenge your own thinking through research and reflection—and by listening to stories that take you outside your own!  

And now you stand on the cusp of “adulthood.” I have no doubt that you will find immense adventure, joy, inspiration, insight, and…yes…even heartbreak in the years ahead.  I also know that even the heartbreak will help you become stronger, kinder, more authentic people because I’ve already seen that demonstrated many times. I’m excited for you and so very proud…because I know that the world needs more people like you.  More honesty. More listening. More perseverance. More beauty. More courage.

You have already brought that to Las Lomas for four years.  I’m grateful for that. And now you get to bring it to the world.  Writer Shauna Niequist claims “that the best thing [we] can offer this world . . . [is] a well-tended spirit, [and] a wise and brave soul.”  I think I agree, and I think you are well on your way.

Love Always, Mrs. Cooley

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City Center Bishop Ranch

You might not know this, but a new mall opened in San Ramon just this past year. Its design is sleek and pristine, spacious enough to provide housing for a variety of attractions. Explore shops such as Athleta (women’s athletic clothing), Candle Delirium (candles), Trader (men’s clothing), West Elm (furnishings), M by Maggie Rizer, and Williams Sonoma (kitchen equipment). There’s also a luxurious gym, Equinox, which features a rooftop pool. If you’d rather enjoy some food, there are quite a few already available, like The Slanted Door (Vietnamese cuisine), Boba Guys (various teas and desserts), and Roam Artisan Burgers (gourmet burgers), but more are to open later in the year.

Shopping at some of the stores at City Center Bishop Ranch can get expensive, however. There’s more to this mall than just shopping, though— the foosball table, mini splash pad, and oversized Jenga can provide hours of fun for free.

Events are held very often; the current ones are brunch every Sunday from 11am to 2pm at THE LOT until May  27th, as well as Taco Tuesdays at the same restaurant from 5pm to 9pm until May 29th, and food trucks will be at the center of the mall on weekends from 11am to 8pm until May 31st.

During my visit, I enjoyed the Strawberry Rice Milk with egg pudding and an ube custard cake from Boba Guys. The Strawberry Rice Milk tasted wonderfully fresh and sweet, a dairy-free drink of rice milk and strawberry puree, and the egg pudding gave it a little extra texture and made it more dessert-like. The ube custard cake was delicious as well; it was about two-thirds the size of a two-bite brownie and an ube purple on the inside.

Be sure to check out the City Center Bishop Mall when you can. It can provide a great opportunity to treat yourself and have some fun.