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    17th May 2006

    The work is all in now. There are no more papers and no more exams for me as an undergraduate student. I’m pretty sure I passed all my classes and have completed all of Calvin College’s requirements for the bachelor of arts degree.

    It’s kind of a bizarre feeling. I’m not sure if I should feel overjoyed or a bit sad.

    I’ve always thought that graduation ceremonies are sort of anti-climactic. I turned in an excellent exegetical paper on Revelation 19 last week in which I was able to show some of the things that I learned as a student here; or studying and writing exams that demonstrate what I have learned this semester. These were more climactic than graduation.

    Or on Sunday, I played at LOFT for the last time. It was an wonderful service – God blessed his people. I hope that I have opportunity in the future to play with musicians of the caliber that I was playing with on Sunday night. This was more climactic than graduation.

    And last Thursday, we had the Classics Department picnic. Each semester the professors have all the classics students over to one of their houses. It has always been one of my favorite events of each semester. This time, there were some recognition of graduating seniors, of whom I am one and the few others are all outstanding students and good people (I’m making a value judgment in using the word “good” – and it is a deserved one). Even this little picnic was more climactic for me than graduation.

    I had been itching to make a little speech for a while – maybe part of me is missing being a senior on an athletic team – and I wrote a little thing for the Classics picnic. I read a lot of Greek poetry this semester and so I tried at first to write it in rhymed meter, than I settled on rhymed and 10 syllables per line, but then even a few of the lines weren’t only 10 syllables.

    Dear friends, dear fam’ly, gathered together,
    here’s the end of another semester.
    Some will return here and others will stay,
    some of us will travel far far away.
    I won’t be back save be some arrangement,
    I fail my cross-cultural engagement.
    Seems like just yesterday I came to this school –
    dorm room in disarray, a freshman, a fool –
    and poof! just like that, four years have gone by,
    I tried not to blink, now I’ll try not to cry.
    Soon a day I never thought I would see,
    some of us here will get college degrees.
    Then the real world, which some find exciting –
    but finding a job I find quite frightning.
    So, if you please, then do me the favor:
    Tell what to do with my classics major.
    I’d rather not talk ’bout my Greek degree;
    I know what they’ll say: “It’s all Greek to me!”
    I’ll tell you a few things I learned in class:
    First you have to go if you want to pass.
    Second, help often comes from a stranger,
    and if you stayed up too late, stay away from this danger:
    The soothing sound of Doctor Bratt’s lecture
    in Classical Art and Architecture.
    I’ve learned that there’s nothing more scandalous
    than the tale of Gyges and Candaules;
    how triremes gave Athens democracy
    when they let the slaves at the oars go free!
    So if in your labors you grow jealous of peers,
    remember, “You’re a better person having studied Greek and Latin all these years!”
    Thanks to professors and classmates and friends,
    and thanks to our God that school years have ends!

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    Copyright 2005 by Daryl Holmlund - All rights reserved.