A loss in our community: Berenson ‘95 finally passes on from high school

Henry Owens

The Record is saddened to officially announce the passing of our beloved faculty adviser, Mr. David Berenson ‘95, late Thursday evening.

Thursday was a press night like any other. Design Editor John Mauro (12) was eating a huge burrito all alone in the corner. The Features editors were just hanging out despite having finished their work three hours ago — press night is as much of a social life as any of them have. Issues Editor Adam Frommer was, uhhh, doing the job of Issues Editor, whatever that is. Supreme Leader Sarah Sun (12) was busying herself by objecting to all forms of nonsense — she was the only one making the paper happen. 

At 10:01 P.M., Editor-in-Chief Julia Goldberg (12) asked Berenson an innocuous question: “What do you think about making The Record a daily publication?” Immediately, Berenson began to experience shortness of breath and dizziness, but Goldberg continued: “We’ve got this great idea for another cheating expose on Monday, Tuesday we’ll cover drugs, Wednesday we can do a feature on sexting, Thursday we’ll write about freshman bar hopping, and on Friday we can finally do a profile on your brother, Al—” Before she could reach the end of her sentence, Berenson went into cardiac arrest.

Features Editor Henry Owens (12) attempted to perform CPR; however, despite receiving a Red Cross certification from an online course the school made him take, Owens realized he had absolutely no idea what to do, he said. By the time the paramedics arrived, it was too late for Berenson. The prospect of dealing with “those damn Record kids” more frequently during hypothetical daily press nights was just too much for him to handle, and cost him his life. 

Berenson was the quintessential Horace Manner. He graduated in 1995, with high hopes of writing novels and screenplays, before he realized in 2006 that his true dream was to return to the school he left just over a decade before.

Some teachers are intimidating and carry an air of superiority, but what made Berenson special was his relatability. In recounting the weekly schedule of Volume 92, Editor-in-Chief Courtney Kramer ‘95 wrote, “Associate Features Editor David Berenson doesn’t enter the room, doesn’t hand in an article, doesn’t edit anything, and doesn’t lay out a page. Tomorrow, he won’t come to press.” Yes, she literally wrote this. The legacy of Berenson’s work ethic on The Record has since influenced editors of the publication to this day.

As a teacher, Berenson was very popular among students for his witty quips and flexibility with deadlines. He offered inspiring words (that he actually said and one of his students wrote down), including, “Could be worse. You could be dead.” He would also impart nuanced explanations about our criminal legal systems, such as that time he said, “Prosecutors are not supposed to knowingly put innocent people in prison. That’s a big no no.” Most importantly, he believed in the intellectual capabilities of his students, once telling them, “We were going to talk about The Jungle, but you’ve already thought about it enough — I don’t need to hear what you have to say.”

Alex Berenson ‘90, the older brother of the deceased and self proclaimed “Team Reality” member in his coronavirus tweets, expressed his sadness to learn of his brother’s passing. “It was terrible to hear that David died, but I can’t ignore the fact that this death came just days after he received his second dose of the vaccine,” Alex said, while adjusting his tin-foil hat. “Obviously you’re not going to print that I said all this because the truth is being silenced by the media, and The Record is no exception.” 

Though Alex has no medical training, his Bachelor’s degree in history and economics from Yale make him significantly more qualified jthan so-called doctors and epidemiologists, he said. “I wish I could take more time to mourn my brother, but my followers are counting on me to keep them in constant fear of the vaccine.” Alex will not be attending his brother’s funeral because it conflicts with his speaking at the 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference [if only this were an actual joke].

Perhaps the people most affected by Berenson’s passing are the Record editors who would spend eight hours with him on Thursday nights and constantly bombarded him with emails the rest of the time. Talia Winiarsky (12), whom Berenson has described as “threatening,” “weird,” and “not a normal child,” will miss him dearly, she said. 

Berenson was, as you may have guessed, known for his honesty. “He would tell it like it is, and for that, we will always admire him,” said Frommer, whose music taste Berenson hated. “I hope that, whatever the afterlife is like down there, he is listening to the whiny indie music he likes.”

Goldberg, who “unfortunately isn’t legally responsible” for Berenson’s death as the paramedics begrudgingly put it, is concerned for the future of the publication. “I have no idea how we’ll trick any other faculty member into sacrificing so much of their free time for a student newspaper that no one reads,” she said. “Also, it’s sad that he died so young — he didn’t look any older than his late-fifties, early-sixties.”

Berenson is survived by his wife, two Brooklyn hipster kids, and his dog, Mighty. He valued his marriage greatly, telling his G period class, “We did it for the taxes.”