Claire Hoffman: Making Thanksgiving Assembly Great Again


photo by CLAIRE HOFFMAN ’18

Claire Hoffman, Reporter

The day: Tuesday, November 21. The setting: Haertter Hall. The vibe: inspirational. Claire Hoffman entered the auditorium at approximately 8:02 am, seemingly overwrought with a panic that would soon reach vomit-inducing levels. This was, of course, to the untrained eye. Beneath those layers of sweat and frantic energy she was calm. She was collected. She was, to put it simply, ready for greatness.

You see, while the average person in Claire’s position would likely be feeling at least a bit nervous, this was not the case for Claire. She hadn’t been worrying about this speech since the minute she discovered her class had chosen her to give it; she hadn’t spent multiple hours staring at a blank document while trying to conjure up literally anything to say, and she certainly hadn’t spent the night before continuously going over the speech in her head rather than sleeping. No, Claire was not susceptible to the ailments and anxiety that plague normal humans. She was stronger.

You may now be wondering, if this is all true, why did Claire begin her speech with the statement, “I am very nervous”? To your simple, un-Claire-like brain, this must seem like a pretty big contradiction. The thing is, it was a lie. Upon initial drafting of her speech, Claire realized that her own unflawed experiences would prove totally unrecognizable to her audience and therefore, she would have to make something up.

I know, I know. This seems crazy. How could that speech, which has been deemed by many to be this century’s answer to MLK’s “I Have a Dream” possibly have been based on falsified events? What you must understand is that Claire is not like other people. Other people have imperfections, and Claire does not. Other people have problems, and Claire does not. Other people have friends, and Claire does not. Claire had no other choice than to fabricate the details of her speech, because the truth is, her own life offered her no lessons to draw from.

That is not to say that Claire should not serve as a model for all humans to emulate, because as we all know, she should. What I am trying to say, however, is that Claire had never undergone an experience that changed her for the better. She never needed to. She never lost perspective; she never got caught up in insignificant issues; she never strayed from perfection. I’m sure that it’s clear to all of you, just from reading this article, what a humble and down-to-earth sense of character Claire has always maintained. So, when the time came to write her speech, Claire knew what she had to do.

Some people are born great. Some people have greatness thrust upon them. Some people just make up a bunch of stuff and hope that nobody knows the difference.