I‘m writing to you from a coffee shop in Dublin, at the Undergraduate Awards Global Summit, where I am amongst undergraduate award winners from around the world, including Maryam — the best and the brightest – which is to say ALL of you in SASAH. Which is to say I’m partly writing this to encourage all of you, especially those of you in Years Three and Four, to submit to the Undergraduate Awards for next year’s competition.
I am, as you can well imagine and as I’m sure many of you are, still reeling from Tuesday evening’s results. As you know, I have a tendency toward the dramatic, but I don’t use the word “reeling” lightly here, although I do warn myself about a tendency to overuse such words.
What I want to share with you is this clip from Rachel Maddow, from a few weeks back, ruminating on former Supreme Court judge David Souter’s remarks from a few years ago. They resonate for me in terms of us just having taught Gladiator to my Monday evening leadership class (we’re going on to look at Ayn Rand’s Anthem, also dangerously prescient – I sent them this message as well).
And yes, I’m listening to a little more Barbra than I usually do because the beauty I hear in her voice is consoling. But I’m also listening to Radiohead’s Amnesiac, because pretty much anything they do is, to my mind, apocalyptically prescient.
Have a great weekend. Listen to some music. Dance. And if you’re so inclined (and of legal age), as I am this evening, hoist a pint, as I will in your honour. Or better yet, take a sip and write a poem, whatever form a poem takes for you. We need poets.
And to all Year Fours: have a great class this afternoon. I wish I could be there this week with you and Paul. He’s dealing with the loss of Leonard Cohen, one of Canada’s artistic giants, whose last CD, just released, now reads as an elegy.
Cheers to all of you this Remembrance Day, and see many of you on Sunday for Fall Preview.
P.S. Here are the final lines from Percy Shelley’s Prometheus Unbound: