Thursday, September 20, 2007

...Make Your Lives Extraordinary

"In life, you [gotta] carpe diem that shit. You sleep, you're dead."
-Duke Senior Bill Gerrish ('05) on why he wakes up early to tailgate.

by Robert Herrick

GATHER ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old time is still a-flying :
And this same flower that smiles to-day
To-morrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he's a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting.

That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer ;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may go marry :
For having lost but once your prime
You may for ever tarry.
I don't think I need to explain too much of this post are explain what I want you to get out of it or what it means to me- it's quite obvious and quite brilliant and so beautiful. I will say though that though I don't really like Robin Williams this is one of those roles you can't help but love. From Dead Poet's Society:

"Oh Captain, My Captain" who knows where
that comes from?

Not a clue? It's from a poem by Walt
Whitman about Mr. Abraham Lincoln. Now in
this class you can call me Mr. Keating. Or,
if you're slightly more daring, Oh Captain,
My Captain.

Now let me dispel a few rumors so they
don't fester into facts. Yes, I too
attended Hell-ton and survived. And no,
at that time I was not the mental giant
you see before you. I was the intellectual
equivalent of a ninety-eight pound
weakling. I would go to the beach and
people would kick copies of Byron in my

Now, Mr… Pitts. That's a rather
unfortunate name. Mr. Pitts, where are

Mr. Pitts, would you open your hymnal to page 542 and read the first
stanza of the poem you find there?

"To the virgins, to make much of time"?

Yes, that's the one. Somewhat appropriate,
isn't it.

"Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, old
time is still a flying, and this same
flower that smiles today, tomorrow will
be dying."

Thank you Mr. Pitts. "Gather ye rosebuds
while ye may." The Latin term for that
sentiment is Carpe Diem. Now who knows
what that means?

Carpe Diem. That's "seize the day."

Very good, Mr.-


Meeks. Another unusual name. Seize the
day. Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.
Why does the writer use these lines?

Because he's in a hurry.

No, ding!

Thank you for playing anyway. Because we
are food for worms lads. Because, believe
it or not, each and every one of us in
this room is one day going to stop
breathing, turn cold, and die.

Keating turns towards the trophy cases, filled with trophies, footballs,
and team pictures.

Now I would like you to step forward over
here and peruse some of the faces from
the past. You've walked past them many
times. I don't think you've really looked
at them.

The students slowly gather round the cases and Keating moves behind them.

They're not that different from you, are
they? Same haircuts. Full of hormones,
just like you. Invincible, just like you
feel. The world is their oyster. They
believe they're destined for great things,
just like many of you. Their eyes are full
of hope, just like you. Did they wait until
it was too late to make from their lives
even one iota of what they were capable?
Because you see gentlemen, these boys are
now fertilizing daffodils. But if you listen
real close, you can hear them whisper their
legacy to you. Go on, lean in.

(whispering in a gruff voice)

Hear it?
(whispering again)
Carpe. Carpe Diem. Seize the day boys,
make your lives extraordinary.

The boys stare at the faces in the cabinet in silence.

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