Michael Lerner: Mike and I became friends sometime in junior high. Neither of us remembers exactly when we started hanging out together, but by the time high school came around, we were best friends. At some point we also realized that we basically share a brain -- it might've been the time we both showed up at our sixth hour class, looked at each other and said "what hour is it?" "six...no, fifth. crap!" We definitely knew it wasn't a geography thing when he went to college on the east coast & I went west and we found out at winter break that we took the same math class and made the same stupid mistake on the final. Anyway, we have shared many, many amazing adventures & escapades & life-defining moments over the years (some of which were even legal).
Josh VuraWeis: Josh was my roommate from Sophomore year on at Stanford. After he barely beat out Nathan & me for messiest room in the dorm freshman year, I knew that if we joined forces we would be unstoppable (insert evil laugh here). He was also the only person I knew that was creative enough to find foolproof ways of waking me up on important mornings like finals -- who knew there were so many ways to suspend water. But seriously, Josh always seemed to understand me better than anyone, including myself at times, and has also found many creative ways of saying "what the hell were you thinking?!" over the years, for which I'm eternally grateful.
Nathan Oestreich: Nathan was my freshman year roommate—proof that the housing department doesn’t ALWAYS screw up roommate assignments. Nathan is famous for his fear of mushrooms and his love of sheep. (Have I apologized yet for my mass proliferation of the “sheep joke” story?) Nathan also happens to share a birthday with the flush toilet (according to the poster we got freshman year), so his birthday was always fun for me. ;) Oh, and he’s also my favorite polka partner. But through all the fun and games, being there to watch him find and then marry the love of his life (Hi, Diana!), had more of an impact on me than I’m sure I’ve shared with him… and will probably have even more impact on me on Nov 5 when repayment of all the pranks will surely peak…
Jessen Yu: Jessen lived two rooms down from Nathan and me freshman year. He was Weirdo #1 – though I think I’m the only one who remembers any of the signs of Weirdo-speak. Jessen was the mastermind behind many of our “experiments” on campus, some of which were successful, like the gate-opening extension-cord coil. Others were only successful in the fact that we’re all still alive, like the exploding bubbles and the ax-to-the-two-liter experiment. Jessen and I lived together right after school in the infamous Toscana apts and did much bacheloring—I’m not sure exactly what that means, and it probably doesn’t mean what you think it means, but I can’t really think of a better way to describe our lives at that time. Needless to say, we had fun & learned a lot.
Justin Deng: Justin also lived in our freshman dorm. We bonded during late night physics problem sets, and continued to share many EE classes and many 5 a.m. bikes across campus to turn in homework during our scholastic careers. Justin is famous for playing ultimate, writing scripts to check his fantasy stats, and for being able to ride his bike full-speed into a six-foot tall fence and not really get hurt. Justin also happens to be the only member of “The Drawgroup” whom I’ve never drawn with—though we lived together junior year, and then again in Anne Lane house a couple years after graduation. Justin has challenged me in everything sport and game, and has become one of my most grounded friends.
Jeff Bergan: I didn’t meet Jeff until sophomore year, but that was just a short delay in the grand scheme of becoming one of my best friends along with the rest of “The Drawgroup”. Jeff is famous for his musical abilities, his enduring driving ability, and for “not winning” at any given point in a game. For me, though, Jeff is famous for getting up at 4 a.m. so that I could leave the ER after my car crash and come back to the dorm, and for picking me up after knee surgery, and for really always just being there in general when I needed someone.
As I write all of these short little blurbs about these very important people in my life, it is really dawning on me that I haven’t done enough to thank all of them and let all of them know just how important they are to me. So to all of you: thank you! I’m grateful that you’ve stood by me all these years and I’m very proud that you’ve all agreed to stand by me on this very special day.