Humans of AMHS: Claire Swendsen

Humans of AMHS aims to showcase the individual stories within the Mitty community. Featured here is Claire Swendsen, a member of the class of 2021.


My parents and all my family members, they always talk about memories. I come from a super big family, so we just talk about memories they have with their other siblings. I think it’s really important––especially since I’m going off to college next year––to make those memories now so that I have them for the future. But it’s hard when one of my siblings is in college and the other two are in middle school. Especially since I have a lot of extracurriculars, I am never really around to be with them before or after school. 

My family is also competitive by nature. We all play a bunch of sports, and we love to play games and connect in that kind of way. Whether it’s playing soccer with each other or even a board game like Monopoly, it’s always cutthroat. But after a few months of quarantine, we couldn’t bear to look at the Monopoly board game one more time. We’d utilized all of the games we had, and they weren’t fun anymore. We needed something new, and that something began when we started hiding a Hulk figurine in each other’s rooms. Eventually, it turned into putting the Hulk under other people’s pillows. We claimed that whoever had it that night would have bad luck. That eventually spiraled into whoever had it under their pillow would have to do the dishes the next night, just to up the stakes. The game might seem childish, but it’s extremely competitive. My younger brother and I have made a secret alliance while my older brother and sister are playing alone—however, I suspect they are actually working together.

Claire and her siblings wear matching glasses as they enjoy their time together at Disneyworld.

Regardless of any tensions created by the game, it has managed to create the memories I had been missing. We take it seriously, but beneath the surface, it is really about our commitment to having fun with each other. It is about trying to create a close relationship with my siblings and connect with them in a way we never did before. With the impending separation that will result from my departure to college next year, this game helped create the familiarity and closeness within my family that I will always cherish.