I started my work there with the now Junior class at the University, so I have seen these young men and women, remarkable young men and women, grow from little high school youngins to these absolutely outstanding group of kids.
Below is the email I wrote to them for Valentine’s Day with some omissions (Just an FYI, JPW stands for Junior Parent’s Weekend, when the junior parents come visit their child on campus and celebrate with mass, dinner, and fellowship all weekend):
I can’t believe how incredibly emotional I am as I write this e-mail. I apologize that I am not sending each of you individual emails; being sick has caused me to have to conserve my energy and take short cuts, sometimes.
I hope second semester is treating you well. I miss you all terribly, but hopefully I will see those of you still at the center For everyone not at ND, I hope your miss us miserably…enough to want to buy me a ticket to visit? 😉
As Valentine’s Day and JPW approaches tomorrow (I show my ND alum spirit by procrastinating…), I reminisce on many fond memories including Michael and I trekking in the snow to hand deliver all the Valentine’s to student ushers (sorry, not happening this year!) as well as many fond memories of JPW.
For those abroad, sorry that you are missing JPW this year, but you can go next year! Free “fancy” food and ice sculptures. I will say, JPW is the time when most kids turn 21 so it’s their awkward first legal drink that they share with their parents…which is amusing to watch.
Since Valentine’s Day is not exactly a celebration of St. Valentine and his feast day anymore, but more about expressing love for others, I just want to say that I love each and everyone of you.
Whether I met you this year, or you have been working with me for the past three years, you are super awesome and I love you. You all helped me to grow as a manager, mentor, and just as a person, in general.
To my ticket office ladies, it’s no lie, I wish I could steal you for my DPAC team…but that would be unfair to the ticket office…but I still think you ladies are awesome. Thank you for the daily procrastination and entertainment you provided whenever I’d come to visit the ticket office.
To all my students – we handpicked each and every one of you…and it has been wonderful. Thank you all for being little rays of sunshine to brighten my work days.
So, the reason why I am getting emotional is JPW marks the start of the end of your time at Notre Dame, in a sense. You’re in the last leg of your junior year and then you will be graduating before you know it. I’ve seen each of you grow from these baby Freshman, with a fresh exciting energy and nervousness that comes with the territory, to the wonderful young men and women whom I am proud to know.
As you approach the weekend, I want you to all be grateful to your parents, if they are coming in, and enjoy yourself. Don’t worry about homework (blasphemy!!!) or other drama, just enjoy this time with you parents because, unless you grow up to leave in your parent’s basement/attic, this will be one of the last times you will be able to spend just with your parents…holidays are crazy, you get married, you only get 2 weeks vacation, you are in a different country…the list of reasons is endless.
Not that I need to tell you all to do this, but be sure to come in with a thankful heart and let your parents know how much you love, care, and appreciate them. Michael’s dad passed away during his senior year at ND, and I can tell you that is one of the hardest things that he and I deal with because we miss him terribly and we feel we never expressed to him how much we are appreciative of all he has done, especially, for me, raising such a wonderful son.
I think it is so appropriate that Valentine’s Day is the start of JPW…make your parents your Valentine this year (No, not in an incestuous or Oedipus complex way) and let them know how you feel (even if you aren’t here for JPW). Ok, enough of my sappy little lecture…I promise!
You are all wonderful young men and women and I am really glad to have known all of you. I hope I can recover sooner rather than later so I can be back at work to spend more time with all of you before you all completely grow up and leave me.
And Remember…It’s always a good time. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnZ4f_E93uw)
Love you guys!
These men and women have truly made a big difference in my life and I hope I have done the same for them.