Just Josh

By Daniel Mezzalingua (Graphic by Sam Goldman)
Spring 2017

Age: 12 years old
Grade: 6
Hobbies: Kendama, instruments
Career ambition: Chemist. “I want to follow in my grandpa’s footsteps.”
If he were an animal he would be: Charizard (A Pokemon)
If he were an (actual) animal, he would be: A wolf
Role Model: Grandfather, Jon Clardy; they share common ground and they are very alike.
Favorite books: “Robinson Crusoe” by Daniel Defoe; “My Side of the Mountain” by Jean Craighead George
Description of himself in one word: Energetic

Josh Clardy walks into the Upper School student lounge with his favorite deck of cards, which he carries everywhere. He holds the golden cards out on the palm of his hand. Seniors huddle around the 4’5” middle schooler, and he is soon surrounded by the towering students.

A senior is instructed to pick a card, any card, from the deck. Josh places the card back in the deck and shuffles. He removes a random card and puts it in the senior’s hand. The students gaze at Josh’s hand hovering over the card as he waves his hand in a circle and snaps. Then Josh tells the upperclassman to flip the card over, and it’s the card that was first selected. The students’ eyes widen as they look at each other; then they laugh.

Josh often lights up the days of students and faculty, especially Upper Schoolers feeling the hectic rush of the day.

“When I was young, I always felt disconnected [from] the older kids, but Josh just thinks of himself as one of them,” said Annie Weiss, a senior at MPH.

Josh, 12, is in sixth grade. This is his first year attending MPH, however, Josh has participated in the MPH summer camp programs since he was 9 years old. He’s an energetic, kind-hearted boy who always looks forward to learning more about people. Josh also enjoys science, performing magic, playing with his kendama and Pokémon cards, and playing instruments during his free time.THE NEWEST JOSH PIECE copy.png

Josh loves magic and practices it for about 10 to 15 minutes a day. He’ll show his tricks to just about anybody, and there are few people he won’t approach. Josh’s favorite part about magic is the reaction he gets from people.

“Making them feel happy makes me feel happy,” he said.

Magic isn’t the only thing Josh likes to share. He also enjoys showing people flips on his kendama and playing melodies on instruments he plays, such as banjo, guitar and drums.

“My favorite part about Josh is how outgoing he is,” said Josh’s 15-year-old sister, Emma. “He will talk to anyone.”

Matt Vural, a chemistry teacher at MPH who has known Josh since he was a baby, agrees.

“He wants to meet people,” Vural said. “He wants to see what makes them tick.”

Vural also admires Josh’s ability to find and learn about new hobbies.

“He’s motivated to pick things up,” Vural said.

Josh loves sharing his interests and always looks to try new things.

“I think what I admire most about Josh is that he is not letting himself be defined by one thing,” said his father, Ben.

Another passion Josh has is science, particularly chemistry. Josh practices his passion with his grandfather Jon Clardy, a biochemist at Harvard Medical School. Clardy supplies his grandson with science equipment and works with him on experiments.

“[His grandfather] does not see it as cute but as a real interest, one that matters and has to be taken seriously,” Ben Clardy said.

Josh visits Vural in his room every day. He examines the lab equipment and asks him questions. Vural appreciates Josh’s determination to ask questions, which most kids his age wouldn’t do.

“It’s unusual,” Vural said. “A lot of kids wouldn’t have that kind of self-confidence.”

The 12-year-old’s love for many hobbies prevents him from being defined by one thing. He sees everyone as kind and is willing to talk with anyone. Josh’s father describes his son in one word.

“We always define Josh as Josh,” Ben Clardy said. “That is who he is. Josh is Josh.”


Name: Josh Clardy

Age: 12

Grade: 6

Hobbies: Kendama, instruments, magic

Favorite Books:Robinson Crusoe” by Daniel Defoe, and “My Side of the Mountain” by Jean Craighead George

Career Ambition: Chemist

Why: “I want to follow in my grandpa’s footsteps.”

Role Model: Grandfather. Jon Clardy

Why: They share common ground, and they are very alike.

Description of Himself in One Word: Energetic

If he were an animal he would be: Charizard (A Pokémon)

Why: “Because he’s a fire-breathing giant with wings.”

If he were an (actual) animal he would be: A wolf

Why: Because of how they run and hunt and how fierce they are.