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Great expectations

Jess Lee | Thursday, May 14, 2009

Dearly beloved, we have gathered here to say our goodbyes. I, for one, tried to avoid saying goodbye in written word because I know it will be preserved in the archives of the interweb and The Observer paper morgue, and because it means I will be held accountable for my last publishable words here at Notre Dame. Unfortunately, a disgruntled former Viewpoint Editor threatened me with something so horrific that I find myself staring at a word processing program two hours before I can fully enjoy the senior week Cubs game trip at Wrigley field. So, in the interest of protecting my class from having to read an entire page of Black Dog comics in The Observer senior week edition, I’m taking one for the team – you can thank me later.

But first, I’d like to thank all of you. When I arrived here as a freshman, a racial and religious minority, I didn’t have any expectations regarding our class aside from those detailed by the admissions office (80 percent Catholic, 90 percent participated in a varsity sport, 90 percent graduating in the top 10 percent of their class, etc.). Instead, I expected to have a productive four years of study culminating in an acceptance to medical school. Those expectations have been met. Many of you are (or were) in fact, intelligent, athletic and pious, and I am on my way to being a bona fide doc. However, I did not expect to have the privilege of being shaped by such a supportive and impressive community of peers in the past four years. I did not expect to learn so much about myself through the development of relationships I would be lucky to continue later in life.

So thank you, class of 2009, you have made all of the difference since freshman year. You have made life interesting with your collective support against abominations of nature such as quarter dogs, the bun runs and, of course, Stepan Center. You have shown yourselves to be sympathetic through mourning with Virginia Tech, and pursuing causes for the benefit of the world beyond Notre Dame. You have proven yourselves dignified in ushering a period of change in welcoming President Obama despite the chagrin of the Catholic Church and you have become a symbol of bionic strength in the midst of the swine influenza virus.

In parting, thank you for equipping me with the ability to face the real world, with the audacity to believe that I can contribute to its improvement, and with knowledge that I won’t be alone. In the words of my second favorite Tiny Tim, “God bless us – every one!”

Jess Lee is graduating with a degree in biology. She will be attending med school at Indiana University School of Medicine next fall. She is, obviously, a fan of Chipotle. Her column was several hours late and serveral hundred words short. She can be contacted at jlee13@nd.edu

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.