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What Would People Think?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

One of the Happiest Nights of My Life

There are few days I can point to and say, "I was truly joyful on that day." Don't get me wrong, I've got plenty of happy memories. But the only day that sticks out is the day Christy said "yes."

And then there's tonight.

Tonight, at a graduation party for Duke law students, I was awarded the Justin Miller Award for Integrity. I had no idea this was coming.

The award winners are nominated by their fellow students and then chosen by the faculty. I had nominated 2 of my friends for the Leadership award - David Jetter (the single most organized person I have EVER met) and Ian Millhiser (who requires neither food nor oxygen because he eats and breathes politics) - and I knew my friend Chris Kocher had nominated me for the Integrity award. So I knew I had a chance. But I thought they would have told me if I had won. After all, there was no guarantee otherwise that I would even attend the event. I know people who didn't. Well, I guess they are risk-takers.

Chris was called up and he gave an eloquent and flattering speech. I only realized he was talking about me when he mentioned the person he was praising is a member of the Duke Law Democrats and the Christian Legal Society. That kinda narrows it down. (Erin, after all, is still a 2L.) When he mentioned air guitar, that clinched it.

Then he said my name and time sort of stood still. Then people started clapping. Then I started going up front to accept the award. Then came the standing ovation. I went up and hugged Chris and Dean Jill Miller and accepted the award (a crystal plaque with my name and a crystal gavel with my initials). No acceptance speech, thank God. I jumped (literally jumped) off the stage, went back to my seat, and applauded the other award winners. (Including, incidentally, Chris - winner of the Justin Miller Award for Citizenship.)

All night people were coming up to me and shaking my hand or hugging me and telling me how much I deserve the award. It's like my every fantasy of acceptance since I was the middle school punching-bag has come true! I have not been this high on Cloud 9 since....well, since Christy said she would marry me.

Caveats: My ego is easily swollen. I can't let this go to my head. It is my firm belief that any goodness in me comes from God, whose love is infinitely greater than mine. Furthermore, I can't expect universal praise for everything I do, nor should I seek it. My passions don't always invite admiration.

But.......................damn, it feels good to be liked.


  • Reading the description of the award, and being entirely unbiased (naturally), it's hard for me to imagine anyone who deserves it more. Congratulations!

    But now, to deflate the ego a little bit. Um... let's see... nope, I got nothing. Enjoy yourself, you earned it.

    By Blogger Mike, at 5/10/2006 11:54 PM  

  • Not just liked, Ben. Loved. Respected. I know you don't want this to go to your head, but know that I stood grinning ear to ear waiting for you to come up to accept your award. You (and Christy) were among the first I met at Duke, and I am so proud to have gotten to know you and I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this recognition.

    Thanks for being here. Seriously. And at the risk of sounding like some cheesy little sister, thanks for living an example of the kind of person we should all strive to be.

    Finally, thanks for dancing to 80's butt-metal with me. :)

    By Anonymous Amy, at 5/11/2006 12:13 AM  

  • Not that I know anyone else in your class, but I'm sure no one deserves it more. Congratulations!

    By Anonymous Jacob, at 5/11/2006 12:50 AM  

  • Will Christy be jealous of Justin Miller?

    By Blogger Barzelay, at 5/11/2006 5:36 AM  

  • *pretend there is some sort of thumbs up smilie here and clappin smilie*


    By Anonymous Aaron, at 5/11/2006 9:32 AM  

  • Not to totally drag the subject away from the focus of this post, but what exactly is "butt-metal"?

    By Blogger Mike, at 5/11/2006 9:36 AM  

  • Congratulations... given that when I think of you, "integrity" is one of the first things I think of, it seems to fit.

    Most excellent.

    (raises glass) To Ben. Goshdarnit.

    By Blogger Jeff, at 5/11/2006 10:33 AM  

  • Ben, CONGRATULATIONS!! Like the others have said, you're such a deserving recipient. Man, now I really wish we would've gone to see it. Big ups!!

    By Anonymous Erin, at 5/11/2006 10:34 AM  

  • Congrats!

    By Blogger Leah, at 5/11/2006 10:52 AM  

  • big ups to the CLS / Duke Law Dems combo also ;)

    By Anonymous Erin, at 5/11/2006 12:03 PM  

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