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Even on the first day of the fellowship, you're keenly aware that this special gift is a fleeting one. Before long, it will come to an end. And last week it did.
Before it started, I knew it would end. That is the cruel nature of fellowships. As soon as they start, the clock starts ticking. The end is ever-present, always approaching, taunting you from the very beginning.
The last day was a glorious one. A beautiful spring day accompanied me around campus as I took a final set of MIT beauty shots.
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Then I took an audio tour that had been on my to-do list since August and sought out hidden pieces of public art I had thus-far failed to notice. Then it was time for our "graduation" with president Raphael Reif.
The fellows and KSJ staff meet with MIT President Rafael Reif.
Reif was gracious and welcoming. He asked about our views of MIT and the program, offered platitudes about the importance of journalism, and wanted to know about some of the highlights from our year. I don't know how familiar he actually is with the program, though it's difficult for me to imagine it is at the top of his concerns. Whatever the case is, he certainly made it seem like he knew all about it and us. And that is impressive on its own.
Before heading off to a celebratory farewell dinner, we stopped in Killian Court for final photos.
We were one fellow short in our end-of-year group picture, as Caroline Winter was recovering from delivering her first baby, Johannes.
And then dinner. There were toasts. There were gifts. There were hugs and promises to stay in touch. Some had planes to catch in the morning. Others would be lingering around Cambridge for another month. But no matter the plans for the next day, we all knew what we didn't want to believe: the fellowship had come to a close.