Senior column: It's been a joy
Published: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - 3:41pm
ON MY FIRST day at Uni, I walked into subbie science and sat at a table in the middle of the room. I unknowingly sat at the same table as Sarah Sutter and Sarah Heffley. Ms. Morris muttered something about the office putting three Sarah's in the same section, and I volunteered to go by Sarah Joy so we wouldn't be as confused.
Ever since I've been Sarah Joy to many people at Uni.
Of course, I also answer to Sarah Yockey, Yock, Yockinator or just plain Sarah. If you say Yockey, I'll turn my head but you may be talking to my brother.
As I've been thinking about this senior column and graduation and leaving Uni, I've been thinking a lot about a poem I wrote my sophomore year about legacy. Warning: the poem is completely unedited from its time of writing so I encourage you to think about the idea more than the "elegant" poetry...
Leaving a Legacy
What stays behind when we leave a place?
No body remains, our seats are now free,
Our books are sold, the yearbook shows our face,
And in our hands is a hard earned degree.
In ten more years what tangible remains
to mark our passing through? A handprint made
upon the wall, the trophy that contains
our sweat and bears our names – begun to fade.
O what can leave a lasting legacy?
A quick and gentle smile by all adored,
An aura of happiness, a tendency
To find or give without considering reward.
By those who follow, do not be deemed a bust,
“The one who left only stuff to dust.”
Okay, so maybe I shouldn't try to sell a book of my poetry. But I think you get the gist. These last few days of school as I wander the halls aimlessly during my free period, I've been wondering what the real legacy of these last five years has been. What legacy am I leaving at Uni and what legacy has Uni left with me?
Uni has given more than I could ever imagine. At the time I applied, I knew almost nothing about the school except that it was more than an hour away from my house. After I read the entire archives of the Online Gargoyle, I had a better idea of what Uni was like but I still didn't know if it was right for me or not.
Now, I can't imagine doing high school any other way. I'm sure I could have been home schooled or gone to another school, but I don't have any regrets about coming to Uni. It has been the perfect place for me.
Uni fit all my academic needs and all my social needs. I found people here who didn't care if I wasn't up on teen culture or if I wore the right clothes. They just wanted to talk about actual things in the world beyond the latest music star. Thank goodness I wasn't the only one who didn't watch "American Idol."
And when I came back to Uni after a sabbatical my freshman year, I joined the swim team and found another special group of people. I'll never forget those early morning practices and the way the swim team taught me to relax, be a little silly and dance in the morning.
So what mark has Uni made on me? It taught me about assignment notebooks, databases, friendship, and dancing. Not bad for five years!
So what about me? What will Uni remember of me?
Physically, I'm leaving almost nothing. A CD of our oral history project. My contrails outline. A handprint. My brother.
What I hope is that Uni remembers me as Sarah Joy. I hope that Uni remembers joy defining who I was and how I experienced my years here.
I hope Uni remembers me living by a note that I've had posted by my desk since my subbie year reminding me of the words of Abraham Lincoln, "He has the right to criticize who has the heart to help."
I hope Uni forgets all the times I complained about the homework and fitness. I hope it forgets the days when I was in a funk.
But I guess I have no control over what Uni remembers and forgets, and someday soon I'll just be my handprint on the wall and nothing more.
So while Uni remembers who I am, I want to say to the people, the building and the atmosphere: "Thank you, it's been a joy."