Ode to Shamus

Dear Keough family,


This is letter/article serves as a reminder that Shamus will never be forgotten. I hope you enjoy it and get to understand what he meant to the SLA community.


A blue baseball cap with the word “Moose” embroidered on the front, a sweatshirt related to running, baggy grey sweatpants, socks sporting the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese box, gold Crocs and an unmovable grin plastered to his face.

All of these elements of a typical Shamus outfit represent the personality of the charismatic, funny, wonderfully weird, meme god/decorated runner/masterful video editor that the SLA community and beyond has gotten the privilege to spend the last three-and-a-half years with.

First, the hat

Moose, a nickname that his mother gave him as a kid, is a moniker that he takes pride in. When his mother comes in for student-teacher conferences and calls out across the cafeteria “Hey Moose, you ready to go?”, Shamus doesn’t storm over and demand that his mother stop calling him that. He wears it with pride. He even made that his Instagram username for his video game edits page. However, this hat has more than one meaning.

The consistency in this hat’s appearance is astounding and speaks to the loyalty that he showcases day after day. You can always spot Shamus making his friends laugh with corny jokes, an excessive amount of ridiculous memes, and hilarious mid conversation poses emphasized by his party favor-esk sunglasses that often find their way onto his hat.

Second, his sweatshirt

If you didn’t know Shamus is a runner, then you must not know Shamus. He’s participated in several half marathons since 8th grade and is not shy about wearing his medals, and accompanying jacket, in school. The tall and slender senior has a perfect running build and conquers his competition.

His finishing time in the Philadelphia Marathon Race Weekend’s Half Marathon has gone down nearly 35 minutes in total since his 8th-grade year. But running isn’t about killing his competition for Shamus. In a project he did for Ms. Pahomov’s junior English class, he explained that after finishing his first half marathon he was “really happy when I got to be around my parents and my team and just being congratulated by them.” His jacket also represents a lack of care for being the center of attention through his clothing.

The gentle giant wears very similar outfits every not because he doesn’t care about what he’s wearing but because he lets his personality do the talking for him.

Finally, his Mac and Cheese socks and gold Crocs

Such articles of clothing might be deemed weird or unusual if worn by other people. But for Shamus, these are essentials. They exhibit the bubbly, hilarious, quirky, and joyful elements of his personality. Shamus is can frequently be spotted before school outside of Mr. Kamal’s classroom making his friends with some of his cheerful antics. He is seldom seen unhappy, alone or stressed out, even if those around him are.

When one of the fights orchestrated in the short-lived and ill-thought out fight club went too far, Shamus made sure to make sure both parties were ok and could go on being friends. On another occasion, Shamus selflessly sacrificed his position on one of the teams so that he could cheer his friends on during a pre-winter break football game.

As this ode comes to a close, I want you to notice that none of the language describing Shamus was used in the past tense. That’s because the elements of Shamus that all of the people close to him have had the pleasure to experience will never die. His stoic happiness, friendliness to any and everyone, his undying loyalty, and his love of life, among many other things, has taught me and everyone around him how to be a better friend, a better person and a better human being.

Know that Shamus continues to be loved by all of the communities that have been lucky enough to experience all the things he had to offer.

— The SLA Community

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