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.