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A Tribute

April 2, 1994 –

February 14, 2013

Eitan Story

Eitan Samuel Stern-Robbins

Yayyyy Eitan!!!

Going into sixth grade I actually didn’t really know Eitan that well. We had barely any classes together, but in 6th grade we were in the same math group for almost every project and it was a blast. I remember in Mrs. Kateman’s class she would have us come up with a name for each of our math groups and in our group, Eitan, me, and Noam Newberger, we were the “Bootiful Boys”; it was Eitan’s ideas. Eitan was always trying to be funny and express enthusiasm so we first called ourselves Beautiful Boys, but Eitan had the idea of making a little twist to make it even funnier and called us the “Bootiful Boys.”

In another math group I was in with Eitan and Jake Gusman, a funny moment happened, thanks to Eitan of course, that for many years to come Eitan and I would reflect back on for old times. The three of us were trying to figure out a math problem and it was quite difficult. We tried all these different methods and we just couldn’t figure it out. Then finally, somehow, I found the right kind of formula to get the right answer. I yelled out to Eitan and Jake while they were trying to figure it out, “Guys, guys, I got it!” At first they didn’t believe me because we thought we had it so many other times and Mrs. Kateman would point out our mistake, but this time we were finally right. Eitan was so thrilled and happy that he threw his hands up in the air and said, “Yayyyy Jonah!!!” He said it in such a funny way that everyone in the classroom turned around and laughed.

It had happened again when Mrs. Kateman was testing us on exponents. She was calling on each person to test us in front of the class. At this time, I didn’t really understand how exponents worked; I found them confusing so when Mrs. Katmen called on me and everyone in the class turned and looked at me I didn’t know what to say and became nervous. I just went “Um…well you see…um…” and I kept talking like that for a few more seconds and I just finished with “yeah…” There was silence and people were staring at me puzzled. I was so embarrassed and Eitan was sitting across the room and he saw that I was feeling embarrassed and wanted to break the tension, so he just threw his hands up in the air and said, “Yayyy Jonah!!” Everyone laughed and it cheered me up because it felt as if people were laughing with me, not at me. Eitan was always looking out for his friends.

Eitan also cheered me up another time, perhaps even unintentionally, when I walked into math class late. It had already been a long morning and I was not in the mood for school. It seemed as if things were going to get worse when I walked into math class and Mrs. Kateman was in the middle of her lecture and everyone turned and looked at me with blank faces, but when Eitan saw me he rose from his chair a little with a big smile on his face as I approached the seat next to him and said softly, “Yayyy Jonah!” It made me laugh a little and did cheer me up. Eitan just knew how to make people laugh and cheer them up. I’m really going to miss hearing him say “Yayyy Jonah!!!” No one could say it in the funny way he could.

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It means so much to learn about who Eitan was in the world. Please email Lisë your story – can be for my eyes only, or to publish here, just let me know.

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