THANK YOU. It’s a simple set of words, a simple sentiment, some would say. We as humans are undoubtedly grateful for all of the intentional and unintentional assistance we have received in our lives, yet we seem not to acknowledge it quite enough. A hurried moment, an absent mind and we seem to have missed our critical opportunity. It is easy to brush it off, to say that someone knows or that we’ll catch them the next time. We never know when our lives will come to a close, however, so I thought it appropriate to memorialize my thanks in some way. Below are acknowledgements to those to whom I owe great gratitude.
I would like to thank:
The anonymous train operators, bus drivers, cooks, waiters, cleaners, help desk employees, and polite persons who have helped me over the years without so much as knowing me.
Dr. Daniel Hale Williams School for the Arts Intermediate School 180 (I.S. 180), for instilling in me a love for learning while making me repeat — and believe — everyday to “never stop trying!”
DeWitt Clinton High School,
- Macy Honors and Gifted Program, for cultivating a program — however imperfect — that allowed its students to defy expectations.
- Shelley Standish & Paula McKinnon, for believing in my potential and guiding me.
- Charles Evans & John Maguire, for grounding my life in the historical tradition and inspiring within me a commitment to the social sciences.
- Penny Trosterman, for teaching me to write (albeit breaking my spirit in the process).
- Andrea Osborn, for reinvigorating my relationship with mathematics and believing in my ability to defy expectations.
- Administrators, for dedicating their lives to the care of students and undertake those actions needed to ensure a safe, inclusive, and engaging environment.
- Elizabeth Tinker, for her motherly warmth.
- Department of English, for nurturing intellectual curiosity and higher order thinking with an unrivaled generosity and kindness.
- Mathew Carl Garrett, for energizing an enthusiasm for literary criticism, theory, and form while advising me quite well.
- Mary Alice Haddad, whose energy, activism, and advice helped drive me even though she was never one of my formal faculty advisors.
Funders of various components of my education and experience, including but not limited to Wesleyan University, the DeWitt Clinton High School Alumni Association, the Rotary Club of New York, the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, and my parents.
Margaret “Peggy” Leggat, for showing me that hunger and inequality that demands action exists within our very own communities.
Cara Zwerling, for her mentorship and idealistic realism.
- for adventures taking us to snowy woods, sunny beaches, and G-train shuffles.
- for laying around late into the night talking about life, love, and Habermas.
- for forcing chuckles when it seemed that last twenty-pager would leave me for dead.
- for defending me vigorously even when I wasn’t sure that I was being attacked.
- for challenging me to be as best a person as one can be.
- for the cupcakes, the sandwiches, the quiches, and the truffle mac-and-cheeses.
- for inspiring me with your generosity, care, and thoughtfulness.
- for believing in me at times more than I believed in myself, and
- for reinforcing my belief in humankind.
- for accepting me for who I am, and
- for continually amazing me for who you are.
My brother, for accompanying me in enjoying the privileges and confronting the challenges that we have been born into.
My father, for laboring sometimes seven nights a week, sacrificing himself to provide for me.
My mother, for showing me that love is limitless.