A thank you letter to my future alma mater; always in my heart

Image by Anna DeSmet

As I look into the remainder of my senior year, I feel a sense of overwhelming loss. This year, there will be no graduation; there will be no last day of classes, no senior social and no sense of celebration. Lewis & Clark is a vibrant community filled with caring and kind people, and I am incredibly sad that for my last few months here, I will remain at a distance. Despite that, however, I am incredibly grateful to be at a school like this one during a crisis.

Through the past week of transitioning to online classes, LC has demonstrated its compassion. It was there in the email I received from a certain computer science professor, assuring his students that although we would be a safe distance away, LC would continue to deliver small classes and available faculty. It was there when I picked up the phone at the IT Service Desk to help very stressed, frustrated people, and they took the time to thank me for the work I was doing. It was there in the emotional support offered by friends, co-workers and fellow students. This has been and will continue to be a difficult time for everyone, but I am so grateful to be a part of a community that is so caring and supportive.

In better times, I loved this school. Now, I find myself simultaneously grieving and grateful to have been a part of it. I will miss this beautiful campus, with its Dutch cobblestones and its trees that drip icy rain down the back of your shirt. I will miss thesometimes incredibly intimate and always interesting discussions in my English classes. I will miss late nights in the library fueled by coffee and stress and the silent knowledge that my classmates are suffering too. I will miss the Dovecote in the morning and the smell of flowers in the spring and the satisfaction of finally driving home after a long, long day.

LC is doing the right thing by transitioning to online classes, and I am glad that the administration is taking deliberate and conscious steps to keep its students, staff and faculty safe. I see schools throughout the country shuttering their doors and forcing their students out, and it makes me proud to be a part of a community that realizes that not everyone can or should leave.

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