DEAR SARA

Dear Sara,

When sitting down to write you this letter, I had this whole vision of what I was going to talk about, points I was going to make, anecdotes I was going to tell, but really, the thing I’m stuck on is the fact that I don’t know if you believe in leprechauns or not.

I get that your school mascot is not technically a leprechaun but I feel like there’s enough overlap between ‘fighting Irish’ and ‘leprechaun’ for it to be a natural jump. Does Notre Dame have an official stance on the existence of leprechauns? What percentage of the student body even thinks about leprechauns? Personally, I feel that this is an issue not enough people are discussing so I thought I’d get the opinion of someone who is on the front lines.

I like how concise your university email address is. When I applied for A&M, they took the username from my application and turned it into my university email so, for the entirety of my college career, I was strapped with 23 characters of ridiculousness. If I’d known this at the time, I wouldn’t have included every initial in my name and also my date of birth and I think my social security number and childhood pet may have been in there too. After four years of having to write out the university’s longest email on every application and registration form, I don’t think I’ll ever take for granted the satisfyingly straightforward first initial-last name combination.

Did you know that, when I was eighteen, before I ever created that godawfully long username, I wanted to skip college in favor of becoming a paramedic? I like to think that I’m good in a crisis and therefore figured that should translate into a career. But my parents said that if I wanted to become a paramedic, I’d take the classes at community college and live at home and more than I wanted to be a first responder, I wanted to leave home so I begrudgingly applied to two colleges and chose the one that I’d used a slightly longer username for. And now, here I am, a college grad whose most pressing crisis this past weekend was when someone stepped on a bumblebee on the dock and got the stinger stuck in her heel.  

“Last time I saw you, we almost died together. It was an experience I will cherish forever, although I would be just as well to not repeat it.” is how I’d like most people to describe their time with me. Rachel and Jenna went with me to buy a table top off of Craigslist last weekend and we drove past Spout’s Run and the storm drain we almost drowned in during that flash flood. Rachel said, “It was fun and terrifying and I never want to do it again.” And I said, “It was fun and terrifying and I would probably do it again.”

In middle school, I read this book series about this girl who was physically incapable of feeling fear. I think the Chinese stole her adrenal gland, or maybe she was genetically engineered not to feel it, I don’t know the whole series was really terrible. I think the only reason I even remember it is because I was so puzzled by the logistics of the premise. I literally could not tell the difference between her lack of adrenaline and just really poor judgement. Like fear is supposed to keep you from petting a bear but, also, so does critical thinking skills. I think maybe it was because in my limited middle school experience, I hadn’t felt much fear and just couldn’t relate but even now I still feel kind of skeptical about the whole thing.

All this to say that no one has stolen my adrenal gland, I still have it, I’m just really bad at making decisions and that I cherish almost dying with you and I’d probably repeat it.

No, wait, maybe the premise was that she couldn’t feel pain.

Regardless, I remain,

Your beloved shift lead,

Madelyne

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