The final issue of Athenaeum for the 2012-2013 academic year reaches stands and mailboxes today and it’s again filled with everything our staff enjoys writing about—noteworthy faculty, student and research news. In this issue, we also focus on the accomplishments of our amazing graduates.
Our cover story reports on six students who are eagerly anticipating their “graduation” into the workforce. Their stories remind me of a recent conversation my husband and I had with our 11-year-old son.
Our son has unequivocally been stricken with a case of spring fever—simple chores are taking much longer to complete and are accompanied by a series of complaints; his motivation (or lack thereof) regarding his schoolwork is waning; his love for playing baseball is being replaced by “vegging out” in front of the television playing video games; and, perhaps it’s puberty that’s taken control, but there are times when he’s just being difficult, irrational, emotional, for no apparent reason.
My husband and I knew that an intervention was required, and we talked with our son about what it means to grow up, be responsible, give 110 percent, and be passionate about something—besides the best weapon to use to battle the Call of Duty zombies. We talked about drive, commitment and hard work—and the results of drive, commitment and hard work.
The student success stories that are featured in Athenaeum are examples of determination, perseverance and tenacity. I told my son about how hard our students work, how brilliant they are, and how throwing in the towel isn’t an option for them. I told him that life is hard, and giving up is easy. But you can’t take the easy way out—that’s not how we were raised and that’s not how we plan to raise him.
I thought about how inspired I am by our graduates, who make me want to learn a little bit more—about everything.
He said that he understood what we were telling him. My husband and I realize that we will probably have this conversation with him at least a dozen more times—and we’re OK with that. It’s the presence of students, teachers, fathers, mothers, siblings, friends—people who inspire us—who prove that these reminders are valuable.
Congratulations and best wishes to our graduates. You’ve worked hard and have earned all of the good things that will undoubtedly come your way.
Enjoy this issue of Athenaeum. To those of you who will remain on campus throughout the summer or will return this fall, Athenaeum will be back for the start of the new academic year filled with a whole new batch of inspirational stories.