When I started this blog, I really didn’t intend it to include so many political posts, otherwise I would have named it something much more accurate and descriptive. But it turns out that politics are what’s been on my mind for the last few months, so here we are. Keeping this in mind, I promised myself that my next post would have absolutely nothing to do with Barack Obama.
But that turned out to be pretty tough, since I’ve spent most of my free time in the last few days either watching The Daily Show or volunteering with The Bus Project or Obama’s Campaign for Change.
So here are the non-Obama things that have happened in my life:
1. The Plastics went to Seattle. For those of you who have not yet been introduced, The Plastics are a group of girls (comprised of Julie, Kara, Jess, and myself) that used to work at The Company. We had so much fun together hating that place that we’ve stayed friends. This last weekend, we went to Seattle. It was AWESOME. I don’t think we stopped talking or laughing for 36 hours straight.
2. Ted Stevens was found guilty. My two favorite things said about Senator Stevens recently were when my mom said, “You know why Alaskans elected Sarah Palin their governor? They’d been dealing with that shyster Ted Stevens for so long that she actually looked good.” And the following quote by Stephen Colbert, “You know what Senator Stevens? If you do end up going to prison, why don’t you try climbing out through the internet. After all, it is just a series of tubes.”
3. Today, I attended the most incredible press conference ever. I don’t even know how much money $100 million is. I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around it all day. Phil and Penny Knight were very gracious and surprisingly didn’t want much personal attention. A rabbi once told me (I’m not making this up. I can’t believe I actually just started a sentence like that) that Jews value philanthropy above almost all other things, but that those who give anonymously are in a class all their own. I’ve thought a lot about this in my current position, and I completely agree – there is a difference in the way I see donors who are very particular about the public praise they receive (and where each penny of their gift goes) and those who are more concerned with the best interests of the institution. The Knights fall in the latter category. They gave their entire gift with just one requirement – that $2 million of it go to the Linda Conant Laboratory Suite, newly named for a personal friend of theirs who lost her battle with breast cancer earlier this year. The other $98 million is to be used however the director of the institute sees fit. Because he, as Mr. Knight told our Development Director, knows better than anyone where it’s needed.
After the incredibly moving speeches by cancer patients past and present (all of whom I know personally through work) and hospital presidents, the entire crowd gave the Knights a standing ovation. Phil and Penny cried through the whole event, and never once made a speech or got on stage. Cupcakes and champagne were served, everyone was given a celebratory button, and then all the foundation employees went back to the office for pizza and more cake, champagne, and applause.
But my favorite part? The president of OHSU wore his best black suit with black Nike shoes.