Senior column: Daniel Tobias

Certainly+the+most+distinguished+farewell+addresses%2C+those+of+men+of+brilliance+and+prominence+like+Washington+and+Eisenhower%2C+were+heard+and+widely+praised.+Still%2C+even+they+were+not+truly+listened+to.

Graesen Joyce

Certainly the most distinguished farewell addresses, those of men of brilliance and prominence like Washington and Eisenhower, were heard and widely praised. Still, even they were not truly listened to.

College: University of Minnesota- Twin Cities

Major: Statistics

What is a “senior column” but an unimportant farewell address that few will read and likely no one will internalize? Certainly the most distinguished farewell addresses, those of men of brilliance and prominence like Washington and Eisenhower, were heard and widely praised. Still, even they were not truly listened to. With such remarkable foresight came those presidents’ warnings about political factionalization, or the military industrial complex. Yet all of the profundity of those remarks ironically left us with a country constantly divided along party lines and spending nearly $1 trillion dollars on defense each year. So what hope do I have in writing some closing remarks with any brand of significance? What purpose is there in writing when the message within is bound to go unnoticed?

What purpose is there in writing when the message within is bound to go unnoticed? ”

— Daniel Tobias

Perhaps Lou Gehrig pondered this as he crafted his famous farewell speech, in which he said goodbye to the game of baseball. He might have considered discussing his choices, or maybe speculating on what the uncertain future might bring. Instead, as Gehrig exited this stage of his life, he chose to demonstrate his ultimate satisfaction with how he carried himself. Because of his confidence in the spirit in which he played and lived, he knew he did not need to give any explanations or teach any lessons. Pride overshadowed any regrets. Therefore, Gehrig nobly chose to reflect simply on his gratitude.

The immortal Lou Gehrig realized this kind of reflection is never useless. At the very least, such a reflection serves as a flavor of significance to give an otherwise bland farewell just a taste of importance, if only a personal one. So as I reflect on my time at Kirkwood High School, for the quality of education I received, for my teachers, coaches and good fortune these past four years, I know I am lucky. However, for my friends and family, and especially for the moments when they took a chance on me even when they did not have to, for all-time, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.