Beginnings and Ends

Unexpected (Western Cape, South Africa) © Natalia Martinez

Another September? Where is this year going?

Having spent this recent Labor Day in Boston (where I went to college), I was reminded of just how great each Fall used to feel and I yearned to start a new academic semester feeling as optimistic and energize as I did back then. It’s somehow also disconcerting that “back then” is really not that long ago, but somehow feels like a much more distant memory. Why is that?

Feeling inspired to relive and remember some of my favorite collegiate moments, I ended up thinking about graduation day and what a truly odd affair that was. Regardless of the successes and failures along the way or the hopes and anxieties about the future, it felt as if that day was perfectly pinched in between an uncertain beginning and an all-too-certain end. I’ve rarely had an experience more suited to the adjective “bittersweet.”

So, in no particular order of importance, here are a couple of Commencement addresses that I have read and found moving recently. If you have any other suggestions, please send them along!


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