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To my work parents

May 19, 2013

In Fall 2011, Dole Fellow Susan Bryant’s promo tour made its way to my Journalism 101 classroom, and my life was forever changed. Because of that moment, I found out about this thing called study groups that became part of my weekly routine for the next three semesters. I joined the Student Advisory Board. I volunteered at programs. And then last winter, I applied to be a Fellows and Study Groups Student Coordinator at the Dole Institute because I wanted to be directly involved in the thing that had helped make my time so far at KU so great.

And this past semester, I have been living that dream. And part of that has been having the outgoing study groups coordinators as my mentors and the outgoing Student Advisory Board coordinator as another one of my gurus. Because while I overall applied for the position to work with study groups, it was definitely a bonus to have Kristin and Evan and Lexie as my work parents and to work with them each day and learn from them and chat with them and spend time with them.

They say I’m having abandonment issues, or maybe separation anxiety. Let me just first say that I am very proud of them for graduating from KU and I am excited for them to begin the post-grad life. They each deserve all of the good things that are going to happen for them in their lives. That being said, I am going to miss them. And I am going to have withdrawals, and next year is going to be different. And even though each of them should already know all this, I am blogging about it anyway.

Kristin, Evan, and Lexie, thank you for taking me under your collective wing, adopting me, if you will, and passing along your infinite wisdom. Before getting the job, I enjoyed going to the Dole Institute because you guys made it awesome (and you each let me interview you for various journalism assignments!). And after getting the job, I looked forward to going to work each day and sharing life stories with you guys between cutting fliers and holding microphones. I’ll still look forward to work, of course, but like I said, I’ll have some withdrawals. I can only begin to explain how much the three of you mean to me.

Kristin, even though you introduce me as “Allison, she’s Jewish,” I can allow it because you came to my first Passover Seder. I know you probably think this blog post is melodramatic, but I’m writing it anyway. I’m sure when you gave me my first cup of coffee, you didn’t think it would lead to me talking so much, but thank you. Thank you for putting up with my interrogations and for being my favorite Gentile.

Evan, if I do anything in life during which I have the chance to make a shout out to thank people – or maybe a dedication section in my memoir – I will make a shout out to you (perhaps it’ll go my biological parents, followed by my Dole Institute work parents). Honestly, on my list of life-changing moments, learning about and then attending study groups has to be on there. I’m ready to continue the legacy.

Lexie, even though I didn’t technically shadow you, I feel lucky to be able to consider you one of my work parents this semester too. I have learned many things… many unpublishable things… in our Thursday afternoon shifts together and particularly during this last week (even about Jewish American culture, who knew!). And maybe the most parent-like thing of all, thanks for the protein last week.

It was a heck of a semester, but thank you, guys, for giving me another family I can go to when times get stressful, uncertainty looms, success is within reach or I have a funny story to share. And I want each of you to know that if the situation arose (i.e. we were at the Dole Institute at 9:45 p.m. and heard footsteps), I’d have your back. Because you are my work parents, and I love you guys.


From → Sophomore

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