Ready to Begin Again

Tomorrow, I will join a new section of English 015A students in celebrating the launch of Lector for Spring 2012 (note: I almost wrote 2010 – I’m having trouble catching up with time this year!). I am looking forward to my second semester as the embedded librarian for this group. I’m looking forward to building on the work we did last semester, and to making changes to create as effective a presence as possible. I’m also excited to see what this group of students produces. Their course curriculum asks them to reflect on their own generation and who they are, always connecting their discoveries to what is happening in the culture of their world, their town, their University Community. And their University Community is one that offers much to analyze, digest, and discourse with. Their University Community is coping with the loss of Coach Paterno, a man who lived a legendary life, who provided inspiration and financial support to this University beyond measure, and touched countless lives. A man who also faced what many have characterized as an unjust end to his career, just months before his death.

One of the beauties of life on a university calendar is that, yes, there are endings, but there are also always new beginnings. New students, new semesters, new classes, new activities, new friends, new professors, new dreams. Tomorrow’s launch carries both a great weight, and a great hope. The students who pass through this University today will be forever impacted by the example that Joe Paterno set for us. They will also be impacted by the dedication, inspiration, and compassion of the Penn State faculty and staff, who will always aspire to foster “Success, with Honor.” And, most importantly, they will learn to carry that torch of honor into the world. Many will become inspirational figures in their own right. I am proud to be a small part of that process, and that is what I cling to as I too deal with heavy emotions. Tomorrow’s launch of Lector marks a small new beginning that is symbolic of the great things the people of this University do. I am so pleased to be a part of it.