We interrupt the debriefing of the New Central Europe voyage for a brief trip down memory lane: I just realized that today is the 28th anniversary of my undergraduate graduation from Georgetown University. I don't remember too much about it, because everyone was packing Champagne, lots of Champagne, but I somehow remember the date. I also recall and will bring to everyone's attention the Pound poem that the GU President, Fr. Tim Healy, S.J., quoted in his valedictory to the class of l979:
"O God, O Venus, O Mercury, patron of thieves,
Give me in due time, I beseech you, a little tobacco-shop
With the little bright boxes
piled up neatly on the shelves
And the loose fragrant cavendish
and the shag
and the bright Virginia
loose under the bright glass cases,
And a pair of scales not too greasy
And the whores dropping in for a word or two in passing,
for a flip word, and to tidy their hair a bit.
O God, O Venus, patron of thieves,
Lend me a little tobacco-shop
Or install me in any profession
Save this damn'd profession of writing,
where one needs one's brains all of the time."
Fr. Healy closed by hoping that our years at Georgetown, "like Pound's 'damn'd profession of writing,' had so changed us that we would need our brains and know how to use them for all the rest of the time God had given us." I don't know whether I was changed to that extent, but I do know that nothing since has been as exacting, as difficult or downright Darwinian as that school by the Potomac. Georgetown did not kill me, so it must have made me a lot stronger.
What did your undergraduate experience do for/to you?