This Fall I Am Not Going Back to School

Well, this is weird.  All over people are going back to school.  I even have friends who have been in school for almost a month already.  The University of Denver begins its Autumn Quarter the first Monday after Labor Day.  That would be today – i.e. since 2006, I’ve been back in college today.  But not this year.

Apparently, when you graduate you know longer go to school.  Who knew?  Just kidding – but it really is a strange feeling.  I thought in May/June that graduation would really hit me today.  I’m not sure if it has.  I guess I’ve understood for some time that I would not be returning to DU. Searching for a job for months probably drove that home.

Today does feel strange though.  As I write this, I am on a plane flying to New Orleans.  When I post this I will be in a hotel in Baton Rouge.  Last year at this time I was in classes at the Daniels College of Business or working at the Center for Multicultural Excellence.  I’ve moved on. I’ve grown up.  For the first time since I started school (a.k.a. before I can remember) this fall I do not go to school.

I guess it is time to apply what I’ve been learning all these years.  Maybe it is fitting then that this afternoon, I have a big meeting with a provider.  Maybe it is fitting that I spent Saturday giving advice to Scouts and being told how old I am (more on these last two comments in a later post).

I certainly will not take for granted all that I have learned and experienced throughout my years of education.  I am so fortunate to have had the opportunities I have had.  My time at the University of Denver, specifically, and the people I met there was more than I ever could have asked for.  Hopefully I am working now to be able to give others the same experiences – and I know my education is far from complete.

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Spring Quarter – My Last at DU

It is Spring Quarter and there seems to be excitement in the air.  I can’t really put my finger on it, but there is certainly something different, something exciting about this quarter.  People are generally in a good mood and seem to smile more.  I like that.

My classes this quarter will be a lot of work and each of them involves at least one group project.  I am taking the following classes: Creating Sustainable Enterprises, Strategic Human Resource Management, Competitive Marketing Strategies, and Enterprise Solutions.  I like my professors so far and the content seems like it will be interesting and relevant to me post-graduation.  Enterprise Solutions is a capstone class that is meant to bring together concepts from the entire MBA program and function more as a consulting engagement.  My group will be working with Denver Health.

Working at the Center for Multicultural Excellence this quarter will focus mostly on the 10th Annual Diversity Summit on Inclusive Excellence.  We should have a great program and I am extremely excited about the potential the Summit has.  I will also be doing some wrap-up and evaluation of the Diversity & Unity Retreat and Voices of Discovery, while beginning planning for next year’s Diversity & Unity Retreat.  Of course, there will be our quarterly Dinner and a Movie and work with Joint Council.  Importantly, we will need to be developing some sort of transition/succession plan for after I leave CME.

I am participating in the Daniels College of Business’s Inclusive Excellence Case Competition this quarter with a great team.  We will be working with MolsonCoors to solve a real diversity/inclusion program that their enterprise needs to address.

A big part of the next 10ish weeks will be my job search.  I am constantly looking up companies and jobs and applying for opportunities.  I hope to have something lined up soon.  My goal is to have a job well before the end of the quarter, while making sure that it is a great fit for me and the company.  I am hoping for something that provides continued growth and long-term opportunity.

Then there are the other groups of which I am a part and to which I will continue to contribute.

In the midst of all of this, I hope to make the most of the end of my college experience.  It has been an amazing five years, better than anything I could have ever imagined.  I want to cherish each moment, each experience, every person, all of my friends and make the most of the short time I have remaining.

Here’s to the end of college and setting ourselves up for a successful future!

11:11

It’s 11:11 and it’s time to make a wish.  Here it is: a future of happiness, health, prosperity, love, family, and friendship.

I am in an interesting place in life.  I’ve finished my undergraduate degree at the University of Denver.  Yet, I am still here.  I am here working on a Master of Business Administration degree.  I really enjoy what I am learning.  But it’s different.  Mostly good different, but in some ways, just different in that I miss the way it used to be.  I have to start looking at the rest of life.  Next year no longer implies the classes I will be taking.  Now it means the rest of my life.

My social circles are constantly evolving.  I have recently spent time with both old and new friends in Denver.  I have gotten to know so many people over the past few years that it is sometimes difficult to balance all of my friendship commitments, but I certainly try my best.  I have grown with many great people whose friendship I value strongly and with whom I hope to stay friends for a long time to come.  I have also connected/reconnected with some wonderful people this past year.  I have found people who encourage, challenge, and love me.  I have found people who share and listen and support – relationships in which I certainly reciprocate these activities/feelings.  These are people not only from Denver or the United States, but all over the world.

I also talk with many of my good friends from home (St. Louis) on a regular basis.  People who I grew up with.  People with whom I have relationships and inside jokes that sound outrageous to everyone else.  These are people who I cherish and whose support I have appreciated while not always being physically present.  I am incredibly blessed by the people in my life.

Scouting has been a huge piece of my becoming who I am.  Many of the values and skills I have learned and acquired have been developed through the Scouting program.  My summers at camp led me to some of my best experiences and best friends.  I miss camp.  I miss the experiences, the impact we had, and the friendships we built.  I hope that I can reenergize my involvement with Scouting after graduation that my future children and millions of other youth will have the same amazing experiences that I had.

I work part time on campus and collaborate with students, staff, faculty, and administrators from across campus.  I have been very fortunate in the relationships I have developed over the past five years.  I have learned a lot and grown immensely.  I am understanding the value of individuals and groups and connections between them all.  It has been awkward at times though when I’ve gone out and interacted socially with other students who I have supervised or met staff or faculty “off the clock” – especially when they think I work full time for DU.

My field of diversity/inclusion programming, training, strategy, project management, etc. is incredibly rewarding and at the forefront of social change, while remaining incredibly challenging at times.  I can see the positive impact of my work.  I was once told by a mentor to think about my work, my capabilities, and my opportunities and utilize them in shaping and creating a positive lasting legacy at the university.  I believe that I am being successful at doing that.  Hopefully, others will agree.

In the midst of this I am looking to the future: what are my options for long term employment post-graduation (June 2011)?  I am trying to do everything I can to best utilize all of my resources, network, explore opportunities at every turn.  In this process, I am trying to determine my personal worth (read: what type and quantity of compensation am I seeking) while determining my values and the weight to assign to each of them.  Among the plethora of things I am working to consider are: family, friends from home (St. Louis), friends from Denver, friends from everywhere else, job function, job duties, living location, company culture, long term impact of short term decisions, company/job prestige, opportunities for personal and professional growth, and much more.

I have had conversations recently about how to represent yourself online.  I have professional and personal profiles online, all of which offer accurate depictions of me and my life.  Nevertheless, I am constantly impressed when I find people who can write honestly about their feelings and beliefs without fear of how they might be interpreted or any potential future repercussions.  I’ve tried to be honest in sharing my feelings in this post.  I hope to challenge myself to continue to do so.

So, here’s to the future!  While the future may be uncertain, I can always reflect on where I am, where I came from, where I am going, and the people and experiences that have supported me along the way.  If you are a part of my life, thank you!  I am who I am because of you.  There is so much more to say, but who yet knows what those things will be…

In the meantime, perhaps the following song will offer some insight into this path we call life:

How the time passed away? All the trouble that we gave
And all those days we spent out by the lake
Has it all gone to waste? All the promises we made
One by one they vanish just the same

Of all the things I still remember
Summer’s never looked the same
The years go by and time just seems to fly
But the memories remain

In the middle of September we’d still play out in the rain
Nothing to lose but everything to gain
Reflecting now on how things could’ve been
It was worth it in the end

Now it all seems so clear, there’s nothing left to fear
So we made our way by finding what was real
Now the days are so long that summer’s moving on
We reach for something that’s already gone

Of all the things I still remember
Summer’s never looked the same
The years go by and time just seems to fly
But the memories remain

In the middle of September we’d still play out in the rain
Nothing to lose but everything to gain
Reflecting now on how things could’ve been
It was worth it in the end

We knew we had to leave this town
But we never knew when and we never knew how
We would end up here the way we are
Yeah we knew we had to leave this town
But we never knew when and we never knew how

Of all the things I still remember
Summer’s never looked the same
The years go by and time just seems to fly
But the memories remain

In the middle of September we’d still play out in the rain
Nothing to lose but everything to gain
Reflecting now on how things could’ve been
It was worth it in the end

 

End of Winter Break, Beginning of a New Year

[This post was written while on board a plane from St. Louis to Denver]

I am sitting on a plane again.  This time for domestic travel.  I’m on the way back to Denver from St. Louis for the beginning of Winter Quarter.  I’m also heading back to Denver at the end of my last winter break – and I have to say, I’m not a big fan of that one.  I cannot believe that winter break is over.  Simultaneously, I feel like winter break just began and has been going on for quite some time.  Of course, winter break has been about six weeks long and I have been to the other side of the world and back again – literally.

I have no regrets about this winter break.  While I would have liked to have had more time in St. Louis to spend with people, I had some amazing experiences that I would not have wanted to pass up.  In my time at home, I spent a lot of time with family – something I am very happy about.  As well, I got to catch up with friends all over St. Louis.  I traveled to Israel where I saw new and old sights, reconnected with old friends and made some new ones, and attended an amazing wedding.  I traveled to England where I traveled the country with a friend and saw some of the most amazing (and old) places I have ever been to.  I was able to experience England and what it has to offer.  I spent time looking for and Interviewing for jobs (hopefully with some results soon).  I did a bit of reading and time to reflect and prepare for the new quarter.

The past few weeks have taught my several things.  I can rely on my instincts.  I know more that I realize sometimes.  It can be okay to go with the flow.  While planning is necessary, some adjustments may be necessary.  Change is okay and can be a good thing.  Relationships may change and morph.  We have to be okay with this.  Friends and family are important.  Treat them as such.

I graduate from the University of Denver with a BA and a MBA at the beginning of June.  This June.  With two degrees.  Wow!  I cannot believe that 2011 is here; 2010 just flew by!  The first half of this year will be filled with what promise to be the most difficult classes I have taken in college.  This new challenge should prove to be of benefit to me and I plan to rise to the challenge and exceed all goals and expectations.

This year will also contain a major decision that will likely affect the rest of my life (the next few years, at a minimum): what job to take and what city to live in – the two are linked.  Everything I have done these past 23 years was effectively preparing me for this moment.  This year I will need to make a decision based on my past education and work experiences that will set me up for my future – work, friends, family, etc.  I do not take this situation lightly and I hope to make the right/best decision possible.  I pray that will indeed be the case.

Other than what I have written here, I do not really have any new resolutions for 2011.   I generally have the same goals for each year that will hopefully lead me to being a better person:

  • Try my best to understand people – i.e. increase my empathy and open-mindedness
  • Rely on my values
  • Do my best
  • Learn
  • Talk less about people behind their backs
  • Do what I can to make the world a better place
  • Be the best friend and family member that I can be and trust my friends and family
  • Be happy and healthy

I have no doubt that 2011 will be my best year yet.  They each get better and better.  Every year also seems to go by faster.  I hope that I will be able to create new memories and relationships and value and retain them all.

Happy 2011!

Suicide As A Result of Bullying and Intolerance

Sometimes things happen that are unacceptable.  There has been a string of suicides lately among young gay men.  What is unacceptable is not so much that they killed themselves (note: I am not saying that I support suicide), but rather that they were forced into a situation where the only way they thought they could get out was through suicide.  What is unacceptable is that intolerance and a refusal to understand and to accept creates this kind of situation.

There has been a series of suicides this past month – and their ages are quite simply too young.  No one should be treated this way – ever, for any reason.  That is especially true among 13 year olds, middle school students, high school students, freshmen in college:

Billy Lucas, 15, hung himself after being made fun of by classmates.
Asher Brown, 13, shot himself in the head after being bullied by classmates
Seth Walsh, 13, hung himself because of gay taunts
Tyler Clementi, 18, jumped off a bridge after college roommates posted a video online taken secretly of him in a sexual act

Whether or not you are gay, are an ally, an advocate, or think being gay is “okay”, you have to admit that each of these situations is horrible and that something needs to be changed.

Yet people still do not want to take responsibility.  The Dallas school district involved in Asher Brown’s suicide blames his home life.  Unacceptable.  While it is possible for his situation at home to contribute to his feelings, the situation at school was certainly inextricably involved.

There is a basic human instinct that requires one say “Why is this happening?”  “What can we do to make people feel safe?”  “How are we raising our kids?”  “What allows our children to treat others this way?”  “What kind of examples are we setting?”  We need to make this type of behavior unacceptable – because no one should be treated this way and no one should feel that killing one’s self is the only way out.

People ask “What else was going on that made him want to kill himself?”  As I read in one commentary this week, would you ask they same thing if someone were killed by a drunk driver or by a bullet from a gun?  No.  Yet, it seems not to be enough that these people killed themselves because of intolerance and the way they were treated.  And this double standard is exactly the point, isn’t it?

Ellen Degeneres had a short monologue recently about this “epidemic”.  Listen to what she says.  Ellen sums up the way I feel and the way I hope so many more people feel:

I feel for those who are in similar situations and the families of Billy, Asher, Seth, and Tyler.  I hope we can all change the way we treat each other.

DU News Release: New Dean for Josef Korbel School of International Studies

From the University of Denver:

News Release
For Release: July 1, 2010
Contact: Kim DeVigil
Phone: (303) 871-3172
E-mail: Kim.DeVigil@du.edu

University of Denver names U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Christopher Hill dean of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies

Hill to lead one of the top international studies programs in the world

DENVER–Christopher Hill, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, has been chosen to lead the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies, one of the top international studies schools in the world founded in 1964 by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s father. Hill’s appointment was announced today by DU Chancellor Robert Coombe.

Hill has served as the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq since 2009. He is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with more than 30 years of service whose prior assignment was Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. He has also served as Ambassador to the Republic of Korea.

In April 2009, Foreign Policy magazine released a survey in its March-April issue that ranked the Josef Korbel School’s professional master’s program among the top-20 Ph.D., master’s and undergraduate programs in the world. In the master’s listing, the school tied for 12th with Yale University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of California-San Diego, and it ranked ahead of schools such as Stanford University and the University of Pittsburgh.

“We are delighted that Ambassador Hill will be joining the DU community as the new dean of the Josef Korbel School,” says Chancellor Coombe. “If one considers his tremendous experience and great success as a Foreign Service officer and diplomat, it’s apparent that this is just the sort of career for which we are educating our students at the Korbel School. He’s going to be a great dean.”

In 2005, Hill was selected to lead the U.S. delegation to the Six-Party Talks on the North Korean nuclear issue. Previously, he has served as U.S. Ambassador to Poland (2000-2004), Ambassador to the Republic of Macedonia (1996-1999) and Special Envoy to Kosovo (1998-1999).  He also served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Southeast European Affairs in the National Security Council.

Earlier in his Foreign Service career, Ambassador Hill served tours in Belgrade, Warsaw, Seoul and Tirana, and on the State Department’s Policy Planning staff and in the Department’s Operation Center. While on a fellowship with the American Political Science Association he served as a staff member for Congressman Stephen Solarz working on Eastern European issues. He also served as the State Department’s Senior Country Officer for Poland.

Hill received the State Department’s Distinguished Service Award for his contributions as a member of the U.S. negotiating team in the Bosnia peace settlement and was a recipient of the Robert S. Frasure Award for Peace Negotiations for his work on the Kosovo crisis.  Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Hill served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon.

“I am delighted to be coming to the Korbel School this fall. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime to work with such talented faculty and staff and to do my part in providing the finest education possible for graduate and undergraduate students alike. I also look forward to being a member of the broader University of Denver community, and to contributing in any way I can to the friendly and scholarly atmosphere of this extraordinary center of learning,” Hill says.

Ambassador Hill graduated from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine with a B.A. in Economics.  He received a Master’s degree from the Naval War College in 1994.  He speaks Polish, Serbo-Croatian, and Macedonian. His appointment is effective Sept. 1.

Josef Korbel School of International Studies

The Josef Korbel School of International Studies has offered degree programs in international affairs since its founding in 1964 as the Graduate School of International Studies by the scholar-diplomat Josef Korbel. Korbel is the father of Madeleine Albright, who was the first woman appointed to serve as the U.S. Secretary of State. In its earlier incarnation, the Department of International Relations at the University of Denver had a national reputation thanks to Ben M. Cherrington, a scholar, U.S. State Department diplomat and dynamic educator dedicated to providing his students with a global perspective.

The Graduate School of International Studies was renamed Josef Korbel School of International Studies in 2008. The new name recognizes that Korbel’s life and work serve as the intellectual foundation of the school and that his spirit continues to inspire students and faculty.

The Korbel School has a number of distinguished alumni, including former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey, Jr. and Heraldo Muñoz, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General, United Nations Development Programme and Director for its Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean.


The University of Denver is committed to improving the human condition and engaging students and faculty in tackling the major issues of our day. DU ranks among the top 100 national universities in the U.S. For additional information, go to www.du.edu/newsroom.

Camping in Colorado

Saturday night I went camping with some of my favorite people, Javier Ogaz, Ronnie Salter, and Steve Shannon.  We had originally planned a bigger shindig with more people, but life seems to get in the way of such plans some times.  Nevertheless, we had a fantastic time.  One of the reasons I originally looked at schools in Colorado was so that I could enjoy the outdoors and all that Colorado has to offer.  Unfortunately, I have been way too busy to do this as much as I would like.

In an effort to repeat a similar camping trip at the end of the school year in May 2008, we tried to go to a campsite (that may not have been a real site) off of Guanella Pass above Georgetown, off of I-70.  However, there is construction along the pass and the road seems to barely be in existence at various points.  Close to where the camping area would have been, the road was closed.  We turned around and looked for other options.  We found one near Clear Lake, at about 9,882 feet above sea level.  We walked down a hill from a parking lot and found a small clearing with a previously used fire pit.

We set up our too small tent (it was made for 3 people and we had 4, mostly tall, people), made a fire, cooked hot dogs, and enjoyed ourselves.  We looked around a bit and saw the creek and the lake.  In the morning there were a lot of people fishing.  There was an amazing view of the stars through the trees.  It was a great way to end Senior Year in the mountains.

Camping Near Clear Lake, Colorado - (from left) Ronnie Salter, Javier Ogaz, Steve Shannon, Joel Portman

Clear Lake - off of Guanella Pass, Colorado

The 2010 University of Denver Pioneer Awards

The University of Denver Pioneer Awards Ceremony 2010 was held last night, Tuesday, May 18, 2010.  I was nominated for two awards and was also there to support my friends receiving other awards.

Outstanding Student Awards

Students, advisers, and student organizations are nominated based on their contributions to academic excellence, the campus and university, and community involvement.

18 Seniors were nominated for Outstanding Senior.  A few (3 or 4) were chosen as Distinguished Seniors.  One was chosen as Outstanding Senior.  This year, that person was me.

My certificate reads:

A University is a community of leaders and scholars.
A leader is one that raises the bar for their peers and works to better their institution.

The University of Denver
would like to recognize
Joel Portman
Outstanding Senior Student
2009-2010

This award is present to you in recognition of your excellence in the areas of leadership, scholarship, citizenship, and service to the University of Denver community.

I was not expecting to receive this award.  While I have been active, I did not think that I was as involved this year.  Apparently other people recognize my involvement more significantly than I did.  Either way, I am very appreciative to everyone.

Two years ago, I also received the award for Outstanding Sophomore Student.

Pioneer Awards

The Pioneer Award is the most prestigious award given to a University of Denver student.

From the award ceremony booklet:

The year was 1926 and the Parsons of the Colorado Seminary became the Pioneers of the University of Denver.
That same year the Kynewisbok [University of Denver yearbook, now defunct] began one of the University’s most lasting traditions – the naming of “The Pioneers” – individuals whose dedication to our University and its students is beyond measure.
This year’s Pioneer Award nomination came from all over campus and represent the finest ambassadors of the University of Denver both on campus and in the community.
The 10 students, 1 faculty member, 1 staff member, and 1 student organization selected by the committee were chosen for their exemplary dedication and contributions to, and on behalf of, the University.
While their personal goals and ideals differ, they are bound by their visions of a better DU.  Their work toward a goal does not make them unique, but rather the creativity, passion, and spirit with which they pursue this vision does.  Each of these people and organizations have made a difference.

The 1930 Kynewisbok urged its winners,
“Go forth: great battles are yet to be won.”
We urge the same.
The battles they have fought at DU may seem small in comparison to the battles of life but the fight our Pioneers have given show us what is best in ourselves.

We salute their bold imagination, their fiery determination, their collective sense of compassion, and most of all, their Pioneer spirit.

Twenty-six students were nominated to the Pioneer Award.  Ten received it.  I, along with several of my friends, received the award.

I received a poster/certificate/plaque (it is rather large) that has a picture of former University of Denver Chancellor Henry Buchtel and the recognition text.  Henry Buchtel was Governor of Colorado from 1907-1909 and was Chancellor of the University of Denver 1900-1920.  He moved the University of Denver out of debt and began many lasting traditions.

The text on my award reads:

Pioneer.  One who sets themselves apart.
One who chooses a direction and then blazes a path for others to follow.  A pioneer is an innovator, a person who uses his creative talents and unique perspective to positively impact hiss community.

A University of Denver Pioneer is a scholar, a leader and a person with a compassionate spirit and strong character.

We honor
Joel Portman
for his Pioneer Spirit and commitment
to the University of Denver.

/x/ Chancellor Robert D. Coombe

This was certainly a very nice recognition of my four years of hard work and involvement at the University of Denver.

I am appreciative to have been recognized with these awards for my work at DU – but really it is because of everyone who has been there with me and who has supported me that I have been successful. Additionally, I could not have asked for a better group of people with whom to receive the Pioneer Award.

Joel Portman, Tuyen Trisa Bui, and Javier Ogaz, Pioneer Award Recipients, with Provost Gregg Kvistad

Recent School Newspaper Articles

I’ve been quoted or featured in several University of Denver school newspaper articles over the past few weeks.  Our paper, The Clarion, has gotten a lot better over the years, but their accuracy in reporting and fact checking sometimes still leave a lot to be desired (depending on the article, of course).  Many people at DU think that students do not read The Clarion.  I disagree and believe that more people are aware of what the newspaper writes about than may be recognized.  The paper is published weekly on Tuesdays.

In the May 4 issue, an article was printed about the 9th Annual Diversity Summit on Inclusive Excellence, which I helped plan and organize.  While there are some factual errors and Mia’s last name is misspelled (it is “Elizardi”), the article is pretty good and positive.

In the May 11 issue, I am in the paper twice.  Javi and I had been interviewed to give our opinion of Antoine and Jim, one year after we lost to them in AUSA Elections.  The article was supposed to appear in the May 4 issue, but apparently the newspaper editors thought it would help Jim and Felipe (who we were supporting in the USG Elections) and they did not want to print it.  As such, it got tacked on as an addendum to an article interviewing Antoine and Jim.

Similarly, I have mentioned the letter to the editor that Javi and I had written endorsing Jim and Felipe, that The Clarion would not print.  I was contacted last weekend about editing the letter and having it printed this past week.  At first I was opposed, but then decided to use the opportunity to try to encourage more student activism and to challenge all new USG representatives to actually fulfill the platforms on which they ran. (Crazy idea, right? – and in this picture – which is from when we ran in the 2009 elections – my tie is messed up because of the wind. oy.)

If you are interested in other, older, letters to the editor I have written or articles in which I have been quoted, visit The Clarion‘s website and search for my name.

As Our Lives Change, Come Whatever, We Will Still Be Friends Forever

Graduation is coming up.  For DU, it is Saturday, June 5, 2010.  Because of the Dual Degree program I am in, I am not technically graduating (I’ll stay an undergraduate for the fifth year).  I am walking with my class though.  As the University of Denver Class of 2010 graduates, I will be forced to say goodbye to some of my closest friends and some of the best people I have met in my life.  I certainly hope that some of these people will still be in Denver with me for at least the next year, but whatever happens, things will change.  I can only hope that we will be friends forever.

I have been trying not to think about any of this because it makes me sad.  I watched How I Met Your Mother tonight though, and the whole “Robots versus Wrestlers” episode was basically about friendship, friend groups, and how things change and people move apart.  It made me start thinking again.

Ted shared a poem titled “Friendship” by Ralph Waldo Emerson:

A ruddy drop of manly blood
The surging sea outweighs,
The world uncertain comes and goes,
The lover rooted stays.
I fancied he was fled,
And, after many a year,
Glowed unexhausted kindliness
Like daily sunrise there.
My careful heart was free again, —
O friend, my bosom said,
Through thee alone the sky is arched,
Through thee the rose is red,
All things through thee take nobler form,
And look beyond the earth,
And is the mill-round of our fate
A sun-path in thy worth.
Me too thy nobleness has taught
To master my despair;
The fountains of my hidden life
Are through thy friendship fair.

He concluded by narrating to his future kids as follows:

Kids, I’d love to tell you that over the years we didn’t all drift apart a little at one time or another.  We don’t mean for it to happen.  But it does.  But no matter what, to this day, come hell or high water, we still all get together every year for Robots Versus Wrestlers.”

While he ends on a light note, the purpose of his quote is not missed.  Even if we do move apart, we can still come back together, be with each other, be there for each other, and celebrate each other just as we always have. 🙂

One graduation song always touches my heart – Graduation (Friends Forever) by Vitamin C.  While the song is really about high school, it could also be true to college.  This song always makes me want to cry.

To my good friends: I truly hope that we really will be friends forever!  You mean so much to me!