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This Moment

Warmth and some sunshine have finally come back after this seemingly endless winter and dreary spring. On one of the first warm days, I took a slow walk, and I suddenly realized that a vibrant green was glowing from tree canopies and almost pulsating along the roadsides and deep in the fields. I was glad that I had taken some quiet time and noticed after this busy academic year.

This summer, I hope that all of us will find opportunities to slow down and to notice those small but significant things that we often overlook in our rush to go about our daily lives. And I hope to hear some stories when everyone returns in the fall about instances when they slowed down and really experienced something in a different way.

For the Class of 2014, Commencement will offer many opportunities to notice and rejoice in the moment. And while graduation is at once an ending and a beginning, it is also a point in time to be fully appreciated in and of itself.

I feel as though I have gotten to know the graduating seniors well over these past four years. Many seniors have become friends and colleagues for whom I have a great deal of respect and admiration—people who have worked hard and grown immeasurably, into strong, thoughtful people who we are proud to send out into the world. Some of the most powerful moments of Commencement will come from family, friends, and the Middlebury community wishing success and happiness on the new graduates.

I hope, as the graduates move on with their lives, they will remember and draw strength from those moments when we all were wishing them well on Commencement day—and that they will visit often to keep us up to date about their adventures, challenges, and successes.

In closing I’d like to thank Kyle Finck, Alex Edel, and the editors of the Campus for their extensive and creative help this past year with this blog and for affording me opportunities to interact with students about issues of importance. It was a rewarding collaboration.

Have a wonderful summer, everyone!

7 Responses to “This Moment”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I just failed a class. For the first time ever. I’m only a sophomore (at Middlebury College), but this kills my GPA and any chance of getting a good job. What do I do?

  2. Lori Raphael says:

    Please, please, do not be discouraged. Many, many people have failed a class, myself included. The most important thing that life can teach, I believe, is resilience. You have another chance, many other chances. Ask for help if you need it, and every time that you need it. People want to help you, and this will be true throughout your life. As to not getting a good job- I completely disagree! Being infallible and perfect is not what is needed to do well in a job. Hard work and resilience is.

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