Friday, May 7, 2010

Here's to real life

Here's to my students, leaving their undergraduate careers behind and heading off to work (some of them) or further schooling (most of them).

Here's to the summer of optional reading, travel, and relaxation they have planned.

Here's to the theses they defended today, the product of at least a year of work, encapsulated into twenty minutes of talk.

Here's to the best of those theses, the ones that exemplified the Honors College ideal of citizen-scholarship in astounding ways.

Here's to the student who combined a recreational passion with a tireless research imperative to produce a complete plan -- conceptual, financial, and geographical -- for a disc golf course in one of the most imperiled corners of campus green space, a plan that could create the infrastructure and community demand needed to preserve that natural area from development.

Here's to the student whose ambition to be an educator, along with her desire to help her little brother remember a grandfather, led her to study the literature on children's experience of grief and produce an innovative book that combines storytelling about memorializing a loved one with hands-on activities to do just that.

Here's to the gravity created by their concrete contributions to the communities that lent them their passion, and the life orbits that will be changed because of what they created.

Here's to the scholarly quest for answers, the imperative to change the world for the better, and these young men and women who brought them together. For real.

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