In its prime, Grey’s Anatomy was decent television. And one of the vital parts of the series’ success was its signature closing: the separate story lines finally rising to their respective climaxes while the voice of the title character, Meredith Grey, imparts a few general life lessons we can all take from the episode’s events. That closing is pretty analogous to the standard senior-year reflection, at least in my mind.
But this won’t be one of those.
My intuition tells me that I’ll probably need to be fully entrenched in the next phase of life before I appreciate the true value of my college experience. But one thing I’m certain of now — many people have played defining roles in my life during my time here, and some have even had a significant influence on my character moving forward. So instead of giving a nostalgic rendition of my years at Penn, I’ll take this opportunity to mention a few of them.
For four years now, I’ve tried to start my day off right with a hearty breakfast at 1920 Commons. But without Ms. Anita greeting me with her warm smile as I swiped in, my mornings wouldn’t be complete. (She’s also the first one to let me know she reads these things — that does a little something for me too.)
Then there’s my roommate from freshman year, Bill Gordon. I admire him. He’s a funny guy. He sent out a single college application during his senior year of high school. And that application was to Wharton. Some might say that was a little misguided. I say that’s the epitome of swagger.
Speaking of swagger, I’m sure you’ve heard of Jerome Allen, the head coach of Men’s Basketball at Penn and guest disc jockey at Marbar last Saturday. His skills in the DJ booth aren’t quite on par with his impeccable Italian suit collection yet, but he’s probably fine-tuning them both as I write this. Jokes aside, Allen has a combination of sincerity, enthusiasm and unassuming confidence that has made him an instant role model for me in the eight months I’ve known him, both on and off the court.
I always thought I was pretty passionate about my civil rights and our government. And then I took Political Science professor John DiIulio’s Introduction to American Politics class. He made The Federalist Papers so real, I could almost hear James Madison speaking from the grave. If DiIulio can’t make you want to roll your sleeves up and fight for democracy, you don’t have a pulse. His genuine fervor for his life’s work is contagious and something I hope to emulate in my future field.
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the players I was privileged to have the chance to coach in the West Philadelphia Basketball League. I hope that I was able to give advice or teach them a lesson that will last a lifetime. But whether they were throwing baby powder in the air to imitate Lebron James’ pre-game ritual or trying to hit on my female friends that are ten years their senior, those kids were always a pleasure to be around. They remind me to never take the joy of living each day for granted.
I may have no major nuggets of wisdom to offer my fellow seniors, but those who have impacted us during our time here have already given us more than I could ever share.
Jonathan Wright is a College senior from Memphis, Tenn. He is a member of the men’s junior varsity basketball team. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Wright-ing On The Wall appeared on alternate Mondays. Jonathan plans to attend law school in the fall.Comments powered by Disqus
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