Today, I am wishing a wonderful Centennial Celebration to my beloved alma mater, Rice University. We are a small, strange, and lovely place. I hope we will always fight to keep it that way. We are a small, strange, and lovely group of people; filled with wild, brilliant, silly thoughts.
I had a hard and lesson-filled four years there. I remember the joy of winning the world series, jumping in Gillis's pool (no longer the president's house. They've filled the pool in now) and the more than one occasion I sat locked in my car out in the parking lot, staring up at the stadium and crying. They were an intense four years. Sometimes it just felt good to cry it out. In many ways, I think I made the absolute most of them. In other ways, I wish I'd worked a lot harder.
But out of all my decisions, in my whole life, no decision (or the lead up to it) has had more impact on my life than choosing Rice. It is the fulcrum on which the everything else pivots: my career, my friends, the way I interact with the people I keep in my life.
I haven't always agreed with the direction our current president has taken the school, but I insist that there exists an inherent Rice-ness at the soul of those swampy acres that no ambitious professional academic administrator could squash. Try all you like, but I think you'll never make Rice like Duke or Columbia or Harvard. And I'm glad for that fact. I always think of the West Wing: Let Bartlet Be Bartlet.
Let Rice Be Rice.
I wish I could be there to celebrate homecoming with everyone, but I am sending all my love and thanks to a place I love so dearly. Happy Birthday, Rice. Gurrrrl, you look good for 100. Go Owls.