My first attempt at writing this was truly disastrous, so a friend intervened. Here are a few words from her. "Val is WAY more than I can fit in this box. She's quiet and thoughtful at first, but once you take the time to get to know her, you'll be greatly rewarded with one of the funniest and nicest people you'll ever meet. She likes to have a good time, but takes responsibility seriously. She's incredibly loyal, unendingly trustworthy, undeniably rare. She's a 100% midwestern girl with all the positive stereotypes that come with the title. She's calm, doesn't like to be the center of attention, and is genuine. She's far too humble, and is one of the smartest people you'll ever meet (even though she won't admit it or believe it- the fact that she's in a doctoral program isn't enough apparently). She couldn't talk down to a person if she tried. She loves her cat. She loves Notre Dame football, and can explain the rules of the game (even to the straightest of straight girls). She would probably put a girl she loves ahead of everything except for her mom. She's a film and TV buff (seriously- she studies it for a living). She is both calming and fun to be around. She is a romantic. She wants to travel. She's brilliant, sweet, tall, blonde and blue-eyed, and if you don't contact her, then I have to seriously wonder about your judgment. :)"