World Traveler Patricia Cadareanu Settles Down in DarienNEIRAD enilno edition
Not your typical DHS student, junior Particia Cadareanu was born in Rostok, Germany and has lived in Romania, Canada, Seattle, and Darien. Her parents are Romanian and she has a Canadian passport. Both of her parents work as computer engineers and get jobs all over the country which requires them to move around the world.
“I can’t join the Army.” Patricia says with a mixture of regret and relief. She has lived all over the world and hasn’t been in the U.S. long enough to join the military.
She has been a student at eight different schools, including DHS which she started coming to during her freshman year in October of 2007.
“It [Darien] is secluded, and it’s really nice at the same time if that makes any sense.” Patricia says. “But it was a really big culture shock from Seattle… people there are more open.”
Having moved so many times, Patricia’s constant travelling has made its mark on her personality. She realizes that her ability to speak Romanian has little to no value in a secluded suburban town in Connecticut, and her love of the Toronto Maple Leafs doesn’t have much of a place among most Darien students. When Patricia moves, her personality and interests and hobbies aren’t accepted the same way, but in a way this has allowed for a positive change in her life.
“Having been to eight different schools in my 16 years has made me more introverted or reserved, but it’s also made me more receptive to different people and less likely to care about first impressions,” Patricia says. “I make friends pretty easily because of this, but I always try to keep the old ones.”
Patricia's Top 5 Cutest Animals:
- Poofy kittens
- Cotton-eared marmosets
For the time being, it seems Patricia and her family has settled down in Darien. She has a particular passion for set crew at DHS. This is the group that performs the background work for Theatre 308 shows, spending months building all of the props and planning the show while the actors learn their lines. Building sets takes a lot of time and presents many challenges, the main one being the ability to balance school work and set crew. Different sets require different props; “The Curious Savage” required one big set but it still took as much preparation to build as the full set for “Fiddler on the Roof.” It might seem like a drag to build sets, but the fact that different plays have such different sets is also what makes it exciting for Patricia.
“I love everything about it,” Patricia said. “I feel like Theater 308 is my home-away-from-home and I find that a lot of my best friends end up being thespians simply because we all spend so much time together.”
She remembers one time her good theater friend junior Colin Shay said she was like a figment of everybody’s imagination. Many agree Patricia is like a perfect hallucination because she is so unpredictable. For example, if you ask Patricia what is in her backpack right now, there may be seashells, a belt, drill bits, plastic eggs, a postcard of her with greys on Mars (greys are extraterrestrial beings), rubber bands, her secret poetry notebook, and a can of WD-40.
But when Patricia first came to Darien she wasn’t received as well as she is now. There was an awkward period where DHS students had to get used to her because she a new girl who was unlike anyone else in the school.
“I think at first people were not sure how to perceive her,” junior Alex Iqbal says. “She was not accustomed to our ways of dressing, or style of talking.”
But while Patricia was just the new girl, a new face in the school her freshman year, now people have opened up to her and gotten to know her. It’s not that Patricia has changed who she was; it’s that people around her have changed as a result of her bringing a worldview and personality new to people in Darien.
“Patricia is unique because she brings herself to Darien, she is not trying to follow the trends, but is confident with being who she is, a funny, quirky, happy person,” Alex says. “And if you need someone to brighten you day she is there for you.”
Despite the fact that Patricia has found a home in Darien, students at DHS are typically unwilling to step outside their comfort zone to welcome new students in Darien. This could be attributed to the fact that Darien is a pretty secluded town and students often grow up with the friends that they have in high school.
“It’s not that DHS students are not nice, it’s that they are happy with the friends they have.” Alex says. Fortunately, for many DHS students they have one quirky new friend who enlivens the landscape with her unpredictable spirit.
This junior’s maverick presence can best be described by none other than the girl herself. We leave you with a perfect day in the world of Patricia Cadareanu.
Patricia’s Perfect Day: “I’d wake up to birds chirping outside. Miraculously, my room would be clean and I’d climb out of bed and find my room to have the scent of lilac. I would have Cheerios for breakfast, and then I’d go out to get the mail and find a letter from the government saying that they’ve finally shut down the evil corporation that is College Board and that I’ve been awarded 5s on my 4 upcoming AP tests simply because I’m a good human being.
Still in my PJs, I’d then climb on the unicorn waiting in my front yard and he would take me to school where I’d have pretty much a normal day, except without the stress of junior year and standardized tests.”