By Owen Sherman, ’20. Photo by Shea O’Brien, Photography and Media Director.
“Owen, I’m getting a class fish tomorrow. Want to come?” the text from Dundi Vedantam ‘20 read. I was confused. A fish? This was a sudden move even for Dundi, but I agreed to go with him. It wasn’t until we arrived at Petco in Burlington that we realized that neither of us had thought about the type of fish to get, where to put it, or how we were going to take care of it. Luckily, I had some old fish equipment laying around, and we were not about to abandon the mission just because of logistics issues. I brought the fish home, prepared it a tank, and the next morning Jequarius Vedantam Sherman Vamvas Xu the First officially joined the class of 2020.
For those of you who don’t know him, Jequarius is the 11th grade class pet. He is a red halfmoon male betta fish, and he resides in a small tank on top of the shelves by the door in Mrs. Hashem’s room. He can usually be found hiding in his castle (no, he’s not dead) or floating lazily around his tank. His middle names represent everyone who went to get him, and his last name represents both Mazer Xu ‘20 and Mr. Xu. Dundi chose the name Jequarius, but, when I asked him to reveal its origins, he declined to comment.
Our plan for Jequarius is larger than just having a class pet. We wanted to start a tradition. The class of 2020 will keep Jequarius until we graduate, and then we will hand him off to the incoming seniors, and hopefully this tradition will continue into the future. In the event that anything happens to Jequarius, we plan to get a successor in order to keep the tradition alive.
That won’t happen for a long time though because we make sure to take good care of Jequarius. I feed him every morning, and I change some of his water every couple of weeks. I will take him home with me for this summer, and he will return to his place in Mrs. Hashem’s room in the fall.
Anyone who wants to stop by to see Jequarius is invited to do so (just don’t interrupt a class), and, as a bonus, watching fish is proven to lower stress levels. We reached out to Jequarius for comment, but apparently he is the strong, silent type.