The matriculation service, held in the chapel on Tuesday night, was amazing. The president spoke, we sang hymns, heard the choir perform Britten's "Te Deum," and even were treated to a quote by Douglas Adams,
Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
It is a rare mind indeed that can render the hitherto non-existent blindingly obvious. The cry 'I could have thought of that' is a very popular and misleading one, for the fact is that they didn't, and a very significant and revealing fact it is too.
(at this point, the chaplain Clive, noted, "Mind the size of a planet, indeed". I think only one other person got the reference, but we were both trying very hard not to laugh.)
What a way to begin the term! The scripture passages were from I Corinthians 13 and Luke 12.
He said to his disciplies, 'Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.
We also heard choral music of Brahms ("How lovely are thy dwellings") and the hymn "Now Thank We All Our God," which I had previously used as the theme song for my graduation from high school.
To live in this place, study in this place, develop in this place must be among the most awe-inspiring yet strengthening experiences possible.