May 27, 2008

開始, der Beginn, 시작; 졸업식, comienzo, 開始, 开

I was struck with the word Commencement this weekend. As we head toward our own commencement ceremonies I find myself again thinking of graduation as a beginning; a commencement.

This weekend I watched as 80 medical students at Brown became physicians. My brother was one of the students. He’s completed 4 years of medical school, 2 years of a post-baccalaureate program (to fulfill requirements), 4 years of college, 4 years of high school, 4 years of middle school, and 6 years of primary school. That’s 24 years! There he was, sitting in a pew with a diploma in his hand, at the beginning of his journey. He’ll be a resident for several more years, and he’ll spend the rest of his lifetime continuing to learn about and practice the art and science of medicine.

I was struck by the fact that his graduation isn’t a point of termination- it is a point of launch.

Gould’s class of 2008 is finishing high school this weekend. None of the students is stopping though. I often find myself thinking in images- I don’t know how well this will translate through words, but imagine blocks, like a child’s toys. The blocks represent the intellectual, social, spiritual growth of each student. Through high school they begin to construct a tower. They’re learning factual information, but more importantly they’re learning how to learn. They’re learning to trust their own thoughts while forming opinions. Through the process the block tower is built tall and narrow at times, then it falls. It’s built wide and solid at times. By the time our students walk across the stage at their commencement ceremony, their blocks aren’t stacked tall like a swaying skyscraper- they’re packed close, making a solid base for the next layer of growth. It may sound cliché, but we’re all somewhere in our journey, and Gould’s class of 2008 will be celebrating a solid layer of their tower. Now they’re ready to launch… again.

But first they have a whole lot more school crammed into a week!

Until next week?


ps- the turkeys are doing just fine! Most are trying out their rapidly growing wing feathers!


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