A CTYer is, in short, a person who goes to or went to CTY.
Technically, the word CTYer stands for "Center for Talented Youther," which makes no sense. This is a moot point, as the word CTYer is much more convenient than the phrase "CTY attendee" and not as administrative as the phrase "CTY student."
CTYers have a student hierarchy. The hierarchy of students at CTY is also a hierarchy of age; more importantly, it is determined by the number of years a student has left, and the number of years s/he has been at CTY. Some controversy exists about whether the 2nd-6th grade JHU CTY programs should be factored in when determining years of attendance, but this is somewhat artificial - there is no way to establish a claim to the higher titles without having attended the early programs. The more experienced students, specifically those that are accustomed to tradition, often gain the most esteem and respect; however, newcomers that gain the "CTY spirit" are also beloved. All levels of the hierarchy of students have names.
- 1 Names Based on Number of Years of Attendance
- 1.1 Squirrel/Sperm
- 1.2 Flying Squirrel
- 1.3 Site Hopper
- 1.4 Session Swinger
- 1.5 One Hit Wonder
- 1.6 Two-year Tragedy
- 1.7 Four-year Fulfillment
- 1.8 Five-year Freak
- 1.9 Six-year Psycho
- 1.10 Seven-year Satan
- 1.11 Eight-year Archangel
- 1.12 Nine-year Nightmare
- 1.13 Ten-year Titans
- 1.14 Eleven-year Somethings (Elephants?)
- 1.15 Twelve-year Tyrant
- 2 Names Based on Number of Years Remaining
- 3 Neverwas
- 4 Forevermore
Names Based on Number of Years of Attendance
A squirrel is someone who is in their first year at CTY. Squirrels often come without any knowledge of tradition. The younger squirrels are usually more accepting of CTY customs, and are often taken under the wing of an older student (see "Squirrel Parent" below). However, some of the older squirrels who are used to non-CTY (and sometimes anti-difference) behaviors at their schools ignore tradition, or even try to ruin it for the returners.
Squirrels who like the site usually return; those who don't either switch sites or fail to come back. Some squirrels only came to CTY to take a single course, like Math Sequence or a science course, for the purpose of excelling in or skipping courses at school.
The term "squirrel" is predominantly used at Lancaster, whereas at Carlisle, the term "sperm" was used with the same meaning (recently, squirrel has become the more popular term at Carlise as well). Pre-1990, the term "rookie" was used as well. At Easton the term "n00b" or "n00bie" is sometimes used for first-years, in addition to "squirrel."
The term "squirrel" originated, supposedly, when a first year was attacked by a squirrel. It has also been said that first-year students are called squirrels because if you try to talk to them on the first day, they scamper away...like squirrels. Ahaha... funny? They also think we're nuts at first...
At LMU, whenever an actual squirrel (the one with long bushy tails, not the CTYers) is sighted by someone on campus, someone screams "SQUIRREL!" and points and everyone scrambles to get a look at it. Whether this is related to the fact that first-years are referred to as squirrels is unknown. Also, a certain RA wore green socks that were patterned with what were initially thought to be squirrels, but were later confirmed to be beavers. This was a disappointment, as the green background with many squirrels would have fit the "traffic light" theme, even though it was a second session.
The CTY administration does not approve of either of these terms.
A squirrel parent is an older student (usually a nomore or a onemore, although twomores are not unheard of) who "adopts" a first year and teaches them the ways of CTY. Squirrel parents obviously have an odd sort of parental relationship with their squirrels. Squirrels can occasionally have more than one parent, if two prospective parents make an agreement of joint custody, or through a CTY marriage.
A flying squirrel is a squirrel who is new to a site, but has done CTY before. Flying squirrels usually have some inkling regarding traditions; however, each site and session varies in their annual activities. Flying squirrels are most vulnerable at Lancaster and Carlisle, two of the most tradition-heavy sites. However, at less tradition-steeped sites like LMU (Los Angeles), squirrels can pass down tradition information. For instance, in 06.2 a student who had attended 05.1 at Lancaster brought Bizarre Love Triangle & Bathrobe Day to LMU.
A site hopper is someone who rarely stays at the same site more than once.
A session swinger is one who has changed sessions and as a result, may have squirrel/flying squirrel-like behaviors.
One Hit Wonder
Someone who is simultaneously a squirrel and a nomore/nevermore is called a One Hit Wonder. One Hit Wonders who really enjoy their first, and only, CTY experience are highly affected by CTY Withdrawal. The term itself is relatively ironic, as only having one year is very, very sad, not a "Wonder." One Hit Wonders are also called "One-year Wonders" and "One Shots."
One Hit Wonders are also sometimes (albeit rarely) called "One-year Tragedies;" this, however, is less alliterative.
A second-year student who is a nomore/nevermore receives this title; a tragic title indeed. These students who have only had two years of CTY and then must leave are also affected by CTY Withdrawal. Many Two-year Tragedies have made tearful speeches at Passionfruit.
A Four year fulfillment is someone who has attended the normal amount of CTY years, from post seventh grade at age thirteen, through post sophomore year at age sixteen. These are, by far, the most common type of CTYer. The Four Year Fail/Fulfillment has typically spent no years at fetus CTY or baby CTY. This name "Four-year Fail" is given because they are just one year short of being Five-year Freaks. The term Four Year Fail is not used often because it is the average number of years for a normal CTYer. People who have four years are usually just referred to as "normal" or "boring".
A Five-year Freak is someone who receives the glorious rays of Lady Luck and, through a combination of optimal birthdate, grade (sometimes grade skippage), and parents or other CTY informants, is able to attend CTY for five entire years. They come to CTY at age 12, immediately after the 7th grade (and thus must have been pushed up a grade by a bit in most school systems), and stay until their nomore/nevermore years at age 16. These students are able to enjoy every moment of their CTY experiences. Some notable past cases were B-B Stern and Cat Kruchten, both of whom actually attended each session at LAN between 96.1 and 00.2, and Dan Fu who attended each session at LAN between 12.1 and 16.2. Cat, in actuality, was eligible to attend yet another year, but was unable to do so.
Six- and seven-year students, for the most part, have also attended Baby CTY. A Psycho can be created either through a variety of ways:
- two years at Baby CTY and four years at normal;
- one year at Baby and a reign of Five-year Freakishness at normal CTY; or
- six years of normal CTY, which would indicate starting CTY at 11 years of age, which would require one or two years of grade skippage.
The last method is rather rare. In fact, since normal CTY (an oxymoron?) has changed its eligibility requirements regarding the minimum age for a student, it requires that one's parents talk to JHU to see if their eleven-year-old can go to "normal" CTY. Most eleven-year-olds that have completed seventh grade are allowed in, however Charlotte Murphy was allowed in at age eleven after only completing sixth grade because of her high test score on SCAT.
Six-year Psychos are also known as "Six-year Satan Spawn", "Six-year Satans" or "Six-year Saints."
Satans have spent the most time possible at normal CTY. Pretty much all Satans (not that there are many) have done two years of Baby CTY, and all five possible years of normal CTY. Most Satans have a strong grasp on tradition. The term "Seven-year Satan" has no relation to the position of Satan at Lancaster Session 2.
Some regard Seven-year Satans to be people who entered the 8th grade at age ten. There have been a few possible candidates for this particular distinction.
Archangels have usually spent half their years at normal CTY, two in baby, and two in fetus.
Nine-years, who have attended CTY from the 2nd-4th grade program all the way though the standard nevermore year, for a total of nine years, are quite rare. So rare, in fact, that there may not be an agreed-upon title for them. The title "Nine-year Nightmare" has been used to describe such insanely lucky CTYers before.
A suggested alternative is 'Nine-year Nemo'.
Ten-years are extremely rare. They are generally a result of attending CTY from the 2nd grade program at Hopkins through the final year of normal CTY. At least two Titans are known.
Eleven-year Somethings (Elephants?)
Eleven-years could theoretically attend CTY from 2nd grade in the Baby CTY program through 12th grade in the new Civic Leadership and/or Global Issues in the 21st Century programs. Or, they could attend 2nd-6th grade, plus be Five-Year Freaks. As they are extremely rare, there is no agreed-upon title for them.
The introduction of an "older students" CTY allows CTYers to attend CTY through age 18, allowing for the theoretical possibility for a student to have attended a CTY program for twelve straight summers. No existing Tyrants are known.
Names Based on Number of Years Remaining
A twomore (or "tumor") is someone with two years remaining before the age limit. Twomores are usually 14, though some with poorly placed birthdays are 13. At Lancaster, a twomore (who will return as a onemore) receives the Caution Tape Cape; this was the only item passed down to a twomore until Passionfruit 07.2. Max Wang then hung up his camera and passed the new position of "Documentator" on to Daniel Tracht. Coconuts is also passed to a tumor.
There are also threemores and fourmores, but numbers greater than two are rarely used in reference to years remaining.
A onemore is someone with one year remaining before the age limit. Onemores are usually 15, and sometimes 14. Most positions are handed down to onemores by nomores/nevermores, such as that of the Emperor of Passionfruit. Onemores are the most common age for squirrel parents.
At most sites, a nevermore is someone who has reached the age of 16, and thus is not eligible for another year at CTY. A nomore, on the other hand, is someone who will not return for reasons independent of age, such as parents, vacations, other programs, financial issues, etc.
At Lancaster and Carlisle, a nevermore is someone who cannot return due to other reasons, whereas a nomore is someone who has reached the age limit.
Some people (usually not the nomores or nevermores) use the terms nomore and nevermore interchangeably. Nevermore seems more sensible, however, because it relates to forevermore.
Nomores and nevermores are usually the most respected in the CTY community. The most knowledgeable about tradition, the friendliest, the most well-known, the most satanical, etc. are the ones who hold the important positions. At Lancaster Session 2, where there are the most positions, many nomores have something to make their last year a bit more special.
At Lancaster, nomores and nevermores lead the Time Warp and Tunak Tunak Tun. They also participate in Rocky and make the inner circle of American Pie. They lead the Afterdance.
Specifically at Bristol (RWU) the RAs take the time to recognize the nevermores that they felt were the student leaders in the camp. These two students (one male, one female) are then given their black lanyards ahead of the other nevermores and give a speech similar to one they would give at the Passionfruit. Other privileges include leading the first lines of American Pie, first meal at final dinner and a secret meeting with RAs to discuss traditions about coming back as RAs and what they must do as the student leaders.
A maybemore is someone who may or may not return to CTY, but is not sure. While the most recent term to come into use, it is now firmly in the lexicon.
A neverwas is an individual who never attended CTY as a student, but belatedly learned of the program and fell in love with the culture and traditions. It is recommended that neverwas students become RAs and TAs once they can.
A forevermore is someone who has left CTY. In some people's minds, a forevermore is someone who leaves CTY at 16, then comes back as an RA, TA, or even Instructor. Everyone who has become ineligible for CTY is a forevermore, because nobody can ever really leave. CTY isn't just a smattering of geniuses or a blissful community; it's the part of life that makes the whole thing worth living. To all the forevermores out there: you still have a place in all of our hearts. You are CTY, and CTY will always be yours.
"Forever young, I want to be forever young..."
Remember: Don't Panic.