But we were touched not long ago by a contact from a "camp counselor" at a Young Writer's Workshop (YWW) Katie attended at UVA the summer after her sophomore year of high school. This woman wrote:
I only learned of her passing last year, and when I did I turned immediately to these notes—which I hadn't re-read since I wrote them in 2008—for solace. I wasn't at all surprised to find that, though it's been a while, what's written here is exactly how I remember Katie: the young woman I met was a compassionate, funny and mature person that I continued to think of fondly long after the summer was over.Excerpted from those notes:
6/22/08: Katie arrived, and when her parents left, she immediately came out and started chatting with me, nervously and sweetly. She wanted to know what music I was playing, and what kind of music scene Charlottesville had. She established herself immediately as a sweet, curious and intelligent kid.Yep, that's our girl...
6/25/08: Katie has been playing wonderful and diverse music each morning around wake-up time. We had a great chat about music, as a result, and later she showed me a book of poems she’s been reading by an indie musician. She volunteered to let me borrow it. She’s incredibly knowledgeable about music, and loves to talk about it, but she isn’t at all pretentious or snobby. Her sense of humor is wry and mischievous, but she loves to laugh, and there’s an endearing, down-to-earth goofiness about her. I can tell she enjoys conversing with counselors, and that she’s comfortable with us, but that she looks up to us in a sweet way, as well. Thus far, she has been an incredible advocate during suite times; when I’m trying to get everyone to settle down a little bit, she jumps in readily and helps me settle them, without being in the least bit condescending.
6/26/08: Today, Katie helped me “liberate” food from O-Hill for the Iron Chef: O-Hill elective, which she is super excited about taking.* Katie is nothing if not helpful; she was so excited about helping, and got really into it. She also wanted to use her fridge to store things for the elective. Her enthusiasm for the elective was contagious, too; she’s someone who can’t contain her excitement, which I love, because so many people her age are trying to act as if they’ve “seen it all before.”
7/2/08: Tonight, Katie read her piece at the Writer’s Café. Though she hadn’t talked much about being nervous, her legs were shaking visibly. As she read, she gained confidence, and her piece was wonderful, a very personal piece about a friend she’s worried about. Katie is a socially sensitive, good-humored and very down-to-earth woman, and she’s mature beyond her years. She has taken good care of
her roommate and friend, but has also forged her own identity at YWW. She has been a joy, and is someone who I easily would have been friends with in high school, or even now.
* Iron Chef: O-Hill was an elective I ran where students were divided into teams and the teams had to "make" dishes that corresponded to a theme, using dining hall food, plastic silverware, and no heat source. As I recall, Katie totally excelled at this. :)