Portraits by Chattman Photography
Interviews by Jennifer Sutton

A stuffed animal. A necklace. A Bible. A pair of Crocs. These are objects that a few NMH students cherish enough to bring with them from home — things that calm them, make them happy, help them face the day.
We invited NMH’s student leaders to answer the question: What’s your object?

Here are some of their answers. 

 

Blue swishes his mouth to mimic the rubber face in his left hand.

Blue Smith ’21  Mill Valley, California

I got this squishy head in Japan when I was visiting my roommate. I like how absurd it is. I bought another one for my grandfather; he used to be a filmmaker and a painter, and I look up to him a lot. I like that we’re connected through our squishy heads.

 

Olisa holds his open black bible as he looks off to the right.

Olisa Tasie-Amadi ’20  Port Harcourt, Nigeria

I got this Bible when I was younger, but back then, I never really read it. Even though I have a Bible app on my phone now, I still keep this Bible because the physical object feels more sacred to me than an app. My religion is what I fall back on. It’s always been there.

 

Alex is lying down hugging his pillow

Alex Litovchenko ’21  Moscow, Russia

My grandmother bought me this ordinary sleeping pillow. Three days after she gave it to me, she ended up in the hospital, and she died two months later, from cancer. This pillow has been with me ever since. It reminds me of her, and it fits with one of my mantras — to see the extraordinary in ordinary things.

 

Yudai has hands in his crocs, and is framing his happy face with them.

Yudai Higuchi ’21  Yokohama, Japan

At NMH, when I’d walk around in Crocs freshman year, everyone would be like, “Oh, I like your Crocs” or “Oh, you have Crocs, ha ha.” So I felt like Crocs became part of my identity. 

 

Annika punches her fists towards us, each with a ring. Large single gem stones on each band.

Annika Voorheis ’20  Sunderland, Massachusetts

I wear these rings every day. One of them my grandma gave me, and the other one was my mom’s. I don’t plan on ever taking them off. Except maybe to pass them on.

 

Daniella grins as she stretches out large strands of red putty

Daniella Weldon ’20  Melrose, Massachusetts

This is my slime. I get distracted easily, and having something in my hand to move around and play with helps me stay focused in class. I have a few containers of it on hand: One is always in my backpack, and one is always in my desk drawer. 

 

Kelly smiles as she strums her uke

Kelly Cao ’20  Hong Kong

I used to play the ukulele for my family a lot, and I would sing with my grandma. I taught my roommate how to play and now, when we’re both stressed out or even when we’re just in our room together, we have jam sessions. I have my ukulele, and she has a guitar. It can get kind of loud. 

 

Marcus wearing a white T-shirt looking pensive with white earbuds in his ear

Marcus Kinney ’20  Saudi Arabia and Lake Bluff, Illinois

I really like listening to music if I’m walking alone. It kind of feels like I’m in a movie, and whatever I’m listening to is the soundtrack. At the moment, I’m really into Tom Petty. And Kanye West. I listen to podcasts, too. 

 

Alex is looking back over his shoulder as he crouches down on his skateboard

Alex Poplawski ’21  Sarasota, Florida

I’ve been boarding my entire life — skateboarding, longboarding, surfing, wakeboarding, snowboarding. I ​just ​enjoy moving with different objects under my feet. Going fast and doing tricks is exhilarating. It’s like you’re in a different world. 

 

Stella adjusts her thin black-rim glasses. She is looking down.

Stella Park ’20
Seoul, South Korea, and Pomfret, Connecticut

I have worn glasses since I was around 6. I feel more secure when I’m wearing them. I feel more prepared. 

 

Celes drags a soft white terrycloth bear by her side.

Celes Moon ’21
Seoul, South Korea, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

This teddy bear has been with me for the past 16 years, which is how old I am. When I’m stressed out, my bear is the first thing I hug. I talk to my bear, too, like it’s my diary. I’ll say, “How was your day? My day wasn’t great.” But I also go to my bear when I’m happy. Right before I go to sleep, I’ll give it a tight squeeze.

 

Charlie smiles as he holds a large pink polka-dotted ribbon tied in a bow.

Charlie McLaughlin ’20
Anchorage, Alaska

This bow used to be my little sister’s. She came with my mom to drop me off at NMH when I was a freshman, and she left it by mistake. I put it in my desk drawer and it’s stayed there ever since. It’s a reminder that I love my family and I miss them. I’m one of 10 kids, and when a family has so many siblings, it’s hard to keep up with all of them.

 

Grier clasps an opened letter to her chest

Grier Calagione ’20
Lewes, Delaware

In my first week at NMH, my grandfather got in a bicycling accident, and he died the next day. The day after that, I went to my mailbox, and there was this letter from him. It talks about how proud he is of me. It’s a little motivation that I read whenever I start to doubt my schoolwork.

 

Jack is wearing jade green swimming goggles

Jack Brazer ’20
Peterborough, New Hampshire

Swimming is a major part of my life, and I’ve had these practice goggles for about two years, which is an insane amount of time. They’ve become a part of who I am in practice. My favorite stroke is definitely freestyle. The 50 free. Also, the 100 breaststroke. I can’t really choose between them.

 

Mia holds up her wrist, covered with 6 colorful bracelets

Mia Bacon ’20  Florence, Massachusetts

In the summer, I work at a sleepaway camp. This year, I worked with 12-year-olds, and they made me these really cool friendship bracelets. Wearing them reminds me of my leadership abilities. But mostly, it was just a fun bonding activity. Whenever there was a thunderstorm, we would sit around a table and make bracelets.

 

Hayden wears two thin gold chains, one with heart-shape pendant, the other a small round bead.

Hadyn Phillips ’21  Tokyo, Japan 

One of these necklaces used to be my mom’s, and the other has my initials engraved on it. My older sister Kenzie has one with her initials, too. We both got them for our 13th birthdays. At first, I refused to wear mine because I didn’t want to be girlie and I didn’t want to copy Kenzie. But now I wear them all the time. 

 

Smiling Natalie holding up a shiny bright penny

Natalie Foster ’20  Northfield, Massachusetts 

One time, when I was 12, I was going to a dance competition. I got out of the car and looked down and there was a heads-up penny on the sidewalk. My mom said, “Pick it up, it’s good luck!” So I did — and my group ended up winning the competition! ​Before that, we had never won anything. Ever since then, when I find heads-up pennies on the sidewalk, I pick them up and carry them with me. 

 

Dillon points to the word KIND on the T-shirt he's wearing

Dillon Stone ’21
Arlington, Virginia

My mom gave me this T-shirt. It’s a reminder to stay positive, to try and influence the people around me in a positive way. 

 

Chloe shows off her red sweatshirt with Georgia written on the front

Chloe Key ’21
Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, and Ellijay, Georgia 

My grandma gave this sweatshirt to me. It used to be hers. My parents live in Saudi Arabia, so my grandma’s house in Georgia is where I go during breaks, and she has been both my teacher and my biggest inspiration in life. 

 

Garrett covers right eye with colorful electronics board

Garrett Weil ’20
Chesterfield, New Hampshire 

This is my Tinylab development environment. It’s kind of like a Swiss Army knife of electronics. If I have an idea in between classes, I can type up some code and get the Tinylab running in five minutes and get something really cool done. 

 

Eliza holding doll high above her head

Eliza Atwood ’20 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

I’ve had this baby doll since I was maybe 2 years old. Its name is Caki. When I got to NMH, it was an immediate icebreaker with my roommate, and now, everyone who comes into our room, they know Caki. Some people think Caki is a boy. Some people think it’s a girl. I don’t really know. 

 

Sage sits holding small stuffed doggie

Sage Michel ’20
Winter Park, Colorado

Dottie is a boy, and I carry him with me everywhere. One of my dogs ripped Dottie’s head off once, and his nose another time, and I cried so hard. But my mom colored in Dottie’s nose with a Sharpie. That was a good bonding moment.