小北的不老歌

Concluding Thoughts

At 2:30 p.m. today, half an hour after the exam began, I handed in my scantron and was officially done with the exam (it was a pass/fail class). That also brought an end to the three-year hazing ritual that I began shortly after I started this blog. I still have the big exam at the end of July to look forward to, at the end of which I will hopefully be accepted into the fraternity, but for all intents and purposes I am done with attending classes, going to school, and collecting degrees.

In the coming months I will be moving to Chicago, then New York. I’ll be missing some old friends, catching up with other old friends, and hopefully making new ones. Looking back, law school fundamentally transformed me, as did my decade-long stay in the U.S. Looking forward, I hope that wherever I end up, both in terms of geography and career, I will continue to change for the better, and share the change with others as well.

I had always thought I would close this blog for good upon graduation from law school, because 1) it has served its purpose of recording my journey through the territory that once seemed terrifying and beyond reach, and 2) like the good judge Kozinski once said, “I could say a lot more, but it would probably compromise my chances for elevation.” I might still do that, especially given the crushing hours ahead of me once I start working. But despite the fact that I’ve said a lot over the years, I haven’t revealed the following to many of my readers, and thought it’s probably the best that I publicly acknowledge my gratitude and appreciation on this occasion.

I was able to come to the U.S. for an undergraduate education largely due to the generosity and kindness of two Americans: Dr. Almon and his wife. In addition to paying for all my undergraduate tuition and living expenses, they have guided me through various life challenges and difficulties, and showed me with their own example what it means to be righteous, kind, generous, and helpful to others—the kind that transcends national and ideological boundaries, the kind that does not seek anything in return, only with the hope that I would reciprocate with equal kindness to other people. I sent them the following message a few weeks ago, and I meant every word of it.

It would be an understatement to say that I have always looked up to you as my mentor and role model since when I first came to the U.S. and all the way through college and law school. This is not just because your generosity more than a decade ago made it possible for me to acquire an education that is otherwise entirely beyond my reach, but also because I benefited tremendously from your guidance, encouragement, and kindness over the years-something that I hope I will be able to pass on to others in the years to come. I will be greatly honored if you could attend my graduation ceremony.

Comments (13)

  1. Xinxin

    Congratulations on being done with law school!!

  2. lawrence

    Congratulations on your completion and hats off to the great educator Dr. Almon (can’t remember how, but way before this acknowledgment I figured out it was him…economic intuition maybe)

    Hope to continue admiring your brain flowers, even in another garden!

  3. Xiao

    Congratulations~
    You can’t imagine how much encouragement and enlightening I’ve got from your blog. Though you didn’t pay for my law school tuition, you are the role model there.

    Just went to dinner with my civ pro professor, her TAs last semester and soon-to-be TAs (and I am one of them). It is so nice to be with smart, nice and righteous people. They always make you feel hopeful and think big. I think that’s also the thing I’ve been getting from your blog.

    So congratulations again and ~~welcome to New York city 🙂

  4. littlenorth

    thanks, folks. it’s good to be done finally.

    @lawrence: i wonder if it had anything to do with the personal statement that I sent you ;), and good luck with law school!

    @xiao: thanks for your kind words. and congratulations on being selected as a TA! I hear that you did extremely well at CLS during your first semester—not that I had ever doubted that it would turn out to be the case, but it’s good to see your goal realized. and your article a year and half ago remains one of the most often read in this blog—thanks so much for sharing and helping. keep up the good work, and show our American friends that we Chinese students can compete in their home court just as well. 🙂 See you in NYC!

  5. Xiaoming

    Congratulations on this big milestone in your life. :=)

    Remember me? A future Chinese LLM at UMLS. If the visa interview on May 7 goes well, I will be heading to AA in late June.

    Look forward to meeting you somewhere in Chicago, AA or NY.

    All the best~

  6. Wang Ji

    Thank you xiaobei for passing on kindness and sharing the amazing experience. You blog has been part of my daily reading routine for almost a year. Keep your good work going on evangelizing the beautiful and positive side of the life, even after you stop blogging. You have been an inspiration. Thank you.

  7. ccccccccccc

    我大约一年前开始看小北的不老歌,有一次做题很沮丧,为了了解你是怎么上的michigan的,更是从第一篇开始看起(包括摄影的内容),除了几篇游记以外,基本是逐字逐句地看了你的博客所有内容。今天一定要在这有可能的最后一篇(或者最后几篇之一)里留言下,哈哈。出于跟你一模一样的两个原因(当然是侧重原因2),前一段时间也把自己的博客删了。看你的博客,潜移默化地学到了很多东西,谢谢你的分享,祝一切顺利。

  8. lawrence

    hey I know why now — you have a previous entry called “Wang and Almon”

    anyway it’s exciting to see a hypothesis confirmed — just like the excitement after reading a good suspense novel

    I think writing this blog is your best gift to repay Dr. Almon and his wife’s kindness — you truly lived out their ideal through this.

    Heart-felt thanks, again 🙂 and best of luck to you too (yeah, NYC~)

  9. YY

    Congratulations!!!!

  10. aquariusmoon

    Congrats !!

    Thanks for your generous help and informative advice. Though being 4 years behind, I am starting my venture towards law school this summer (which starts with LSAT, of course) too. As Lawrence said, hope to continue to admire your brain flowers, even in another garden. Thanks for this blog and all you’ve shared with us.

    Whatever it is, let’s work for a better self on our different paths.

    Best ^_^

  11. Sean Ciao

    Cann’t bellieve you’re gonna shut down the blog. I just found your blog two weeks ago and have been reading entries since with excitement as I am also on my way to applying to law schools. I can’t really express my gratitude to you properly. To say you are a role model is not really saying enough.MENTOR might fit the bill. I am worried if this blog is deserted, where can I reach you?

  12. littlenorth

    wow, thanks guys. i am really really grateful for all your kind words. best of luck with all your pursuits, and hopefully our paths will cross one day in the real world too.

  13. chenxchenx

    Congratualations on being done with the school forever! Thank you for this great blog for all the four years (which helps me in making the decision of attending UM), and the Chinese beef noodle during the March Preview Weekend (remember me traveling from Atlanta?)! Wish you all the best in the future!

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