Finding my legacy
Kevin Noonan | Friday, May 16, 2014
Notre Dame loves to talk about legacy, and it’s got me wondering what mine might be, if I were to have one here.
If left to my own choice, it would be obvious — one of the least successful student body president candidates in the history of Notre Dame, student government, democracy and perhaps human history. After four years, I still stand by the key planks of my platform; hangover hours in the dining hall, a student parking lot this side of the Mississippi River and, of course, a giant magical dome to protect us from the weather. I don’t know why these didn’t catch on.
Maybe it could be my work at The Observer, as a part of team of superbly talented journalists, photographers, graphic designers and generally intelligent people that did their jobs excellently while I fumbled around writing thousands of words on Parish Hilton’s newest single.
Hopefully it’s not just my class work. My almost comical list of academic underachievements is epitomized in the first final I ever took at Notre Dame, for Microeconomics with Professor David Ruccio. I got a solid 50 percent. F. Failure. If I took that test today I would probably still fail it, but the hour or so I spent chatting with Professor Ruccio on just about everything imaginable except for how poorly I’d done, was my first experience with just how amazing the people of Notre Dame can be when you take the time to pick their brains.
I guess Zahm would have to be in there. People that say the dorm pride here gets a little out of hand considering how it’s a totally randomized system, and they probably have a point and I know that I’ve done some things I regret because of the idea of dorm loyalty, but I can also say that I’ve met some of the best friends I’ll ever have in my life through that dorm system, and so I’m grateful for it, flaws and all.
I guess it could be a million things, hopefully some of them good, but the more important thing that I realize is how lucky I am to have had the opportunity to take part in any of this. From high school teachers that wouldn’t let me settle for a B- in English or a just-good-enough story in journalism, to advisors and professors at Notre Dame who helped me through frantic late night emails with whatever crisis of conscience I was having at that moment, to classmates who put up with me despite my tendency to land my foot in my mouth every once in a while, I’ve been extraordinarily privileged to get this far.
But most of all, I want to thank my parents and my family for supporting me at every turn, no matter how ridiculous and always having faith in me. No matter what legacy I create for myself as I go forward in the world, I only hope it makes you proud, because that’s good enough for me.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.