Farewell Address

    Posted on Monday, Dec 03, 2018
    In 1796, George Washington gave a farewell address to the country. Now, 222 years later I am giving my own. While I will not attempt the gravitas of Washington, a recollection of the past semester seems necessary for the future semesters. So, this farewell address of mine recounts the journey of this first semester of graduate school. I feel that it is more of a remembrance address than farewell since I am still in pursuit of my degree. There is a finality in the word farewell and it seems I am just beginning my journey.

    This semester began uncertainty. Classes were marked first by empty chairs and tables, then unknown faces and names, to finally the familiarity of friends.

    In the beginnings of Monday, a niche was found. By Tuesday, the alarms did not feel as early. Campus felt less unchartered and more navigable on Wednesday. Habits developed on Thursday. By Friday a new path was becoming more worn. These five days, iterations on a various theme, brought a repetitious familiarity. I had found the comfortability I was missing when I wrote my first blog. 

    I have read and written notes. I have typed papers of my own and peer reviewed others. I have scoured the thesaurus looking for a better word to use. I have stared at the screen of my computer with various emotions. A great idea: inspired. Tired, but not ready to quit yet: perseverant. 

    There were days that felt right and others where I felt the weight of my career inching to rest on my shoulders. The future was murky. Nonetheless, through times of clarity and doubt I kept at it.  

    As to what next semester holds or the new year has in store, that remains to be determined. But I have both feet on the ground. Another rung on the ladder, another notch on my belt and every other idiom for this situation. I do know that next semester will bring more credit hours and work, but no less of an opportunity for adventure and self-discovery. 

    This valediction I give to you is thank you. Thank you, dear reader, for coming alongside this ride with me. We have walked together in a connected anonymity. An odd, but wonderful thing. Truly, I write for myself, but with you in mind. I am curious to see how my thoughts and words might resonate with you. This final blog of the semester brings silence. The curtain closes on the stage, but do not fear for Act 2 awaits in the wings ready for the center stage. 

    ---
    Kalifa Stringfield
    Kalifa is a masters student in the Biotechnology program in the College of Engineering


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