Sunday, May 27, 2007

28 years on

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?

2 comments:

german said...

well i am not sure, i have two undergrad experiences. my first one i suppose would be that not everything seems as it is until it is done and complete. somethings still occur in back door deals but less beauracy. things can get done in a day. the second one was more enjoyable maybe because i was now old. the technology had changed which i was not aware would happen in 14yrs but it did. tehnology actually is easier to get a handle on now than then and beauracy seems to have taken a simple task from being done in a day to it might take a week and a committee to peer review something. things do seem to more accessible and patience seems to be better. if in error you actually could be innoscent instead of the old backdoor days and hung out to dry with no ecourse for a fair hearing.
then i retreated away from the great world of knowledge and history no new books or magazines. i use to purchase them and not read them. now i purchase tham and actually read them from cover to cover and really enjoy them. maybe that is a sign of a return in the future. Reading a good one now called the lions of july. quite interesting the lack of leadership and misunderstanding prior to 8/1/14. so i suppose that would mean the first time doors were closed and the second time doors are wide open with unknown potentials including friendships and acquantences of fellow students and professors. things are looking up and seize your part of the world.
sorry the musing was so long but it is a hard question to answe briefly

LaPopessa said...

Mostly I just remember thinking - Oh My God, now what? I did not relish leaving the well-loved cocoon of academia for the great unknown of the real world :).