They came in a rush, mostly last week.
- Best of show, E-Town College student art show.
- Distinguished Senior award, 2005 (awarded to 6 graduating seniors).
- Louise Baugher Black Nonfiction Writing Award
- Wenger Award for Excellence in English studies (awarded to 1 graduating senior).
Friends of mine won other awards at Etown at college events.
- The excellent and distinguished Kyle Kopko won an award for being the most active, helpful non-Senate member to take interest in the campus community. Kopko is my closest collaborator at Etown. He is also a great friend. A fellow chair of the Academic Integrity Committee, Kyle is a great student and a dedicated listener. He was a Finnegan scholar in 2004. I am proud to know him. Kyle received a great opportunity to study judicial policy, and perhaps also law, at Ohio State University.
- Benjamin Osterhout won the Omnia award, for being good in all things. He also won the award for being the best Resident Assistant. Finally, Ben was a fellow recipient of the Distinguished Senior award. Ben has been a leader in Elizabethtown's chapter of Students in Free Enterprise, Circle K, and the Hershey Foods Honors Program. He is a multiple-year Ridge Scholar. It took some time and patience to get to know Ben, but I'm glad I did. Ben is the other great friend of my college experience.
I often think of Kyle, Ben, and I as the three musketeers of the Hershey Foods Honors Program.
- Jeremy Ebersole won an award for dedication to responsible, religious life on campus. Jeremy is one of the best people at E-Town. A dedicated student, Jeremy has contributed to the campus in so many ways. He knows how to have fun, but he knows how to be serious. He's never satisfied with believing good dreams but always acts to make a difference. Jeremy is hoping to work in film, where I know he will not only make great art, but will also do great things.
- My friend Valerie Reed, president of the Honors Council, was a co-recipient of the award for best Freshman writing in the 2003/4 academic year.
- My friend Amanda Straw won second place in the non-fiction writing competition.
- Many others friends won awards. I am proud to be listed among such auspicious company.
I have never really won awards, so I didn't know what it would feel like to win a number of top awards at my college.
It doesn't feel any different that before.
When I eat a hot pepper, I chop it up and disperse it in my salad rather than downing it whole with much fanfare. I seek to enjoy the pepper; the recognition matters much less than the experience. I'm glad I didn't seek the honor, but rather decided to live honorably.
I hope I can stay that way. I hope that recognition and respect never become the motivators or goals of any of my actions.
It is sometimes a challenge to remember, amidst the blessings middle class life and the rewards of hard work, that the best of life is not fundamentally comprised of great opportunities, marvelous fun, or even simple pleasures. Rather, the greatest opportunities, most marvelous fun, and deepest pleasures are most fundamentally derived from living the best life. This is the only way to be certainly happy.
I am trying to learn how to truly live for others in Christ. This is the greatest challenge, the most assured outcome, the highest blessing.
For what can be more positively self-aggrandizing than losing one's self in the divine nature?
What is cooler than Christ turning our flawed best into his righteousness?