Get Out There!

You did all the work.
You conquered your fears.
And now look around,
you’ve made it to here.

But where, then, is this “here”?
Oh, it may seem unclear.
Especially after this past
pandemicy year.

You came in with a dream,
or a plan or a scheme.
We saw it, how from the first
In your eyes it did gleam.

Collaboration–our theme.
You were made one of the team.
And at first it was hard.
Not at all what it seemed.

Remote classes to attend.
Ten-page papers to be penned.
Soon the weight of all the work
On you did descend.

But your colleagues became friends
You learned to trust and to depend
on their support for grappling with
what you all had to contend.

Labs, talks, presentations,
quizzes, tests and learning stations
Open ended projects along
with unforeseen vexations.

Building new and strong relations,
conquering all those frustrations,
But what really were the most
important of foundations?

Was there really more besides
the endless slew of curriculum guides?
Can you say that your walks through them
were your most important strides?

Something else? Don’t you agree?
With a closer look it’s there to see:
you picked up a lot of other stuff
while earning this degree.

You very quickly did discern
there’s no one best way that students learn.
No doubt the knowledge of this fact
at first caused you some concern.

You tried and tried your very best.
Endless hours you did invest.
Until you learned that differentiation
was what got the thing addressed.

So learn your learners with style and grace,
creating an open welcoming space.
Differences should not be ironed out
but rather be embraced.

As for winging it? Man, oh man!
A truism? Nothing nothing truer than
that people never plan to fail
but they simply fail to plan.

Planning? By now you’ve done your share
while reading guides, tearing at your hair.
And we bet you also found it’s best
to always have a spare.

From time to time things go awry.
Enough to make you cuss, or cry.
At times like that you’d appreciate
Having a backup in supply.

And while you’re at it, for goodness sake,
go easy; cut yourself a break!
Nobody expects perfection.
It’s okay to make mistakes.

Sometimes the world has you outgunned
We’re all human and you won’t be shunned.
There’s always something in it to learn
even when you feel a little stunned

And now, as you prepare to take your turn
remember there’s still lots to learn.
Who knows what new challenges you’ll face
and other degrees you’ll earn?

The future that you look towards
may have chromebooks, iPads and SMART Boards,
but, toys aside, we know you see
the real and meaningful rewards.

You’ll build bonds that will never sever,
make days better through your endeavours.
And best of all will be those who insist
you were the bestest teacher ever!

And for our part, we, here at MUN
know you, our grads, are second to none.
And we cheer and applaud you now
that your careers have just begun.

And the one thing we say to you fine crowd—
the thing we holler right out loud
is how much faith we have in you
and how you make us proud.

You know your maths, reading, science and arts
Letters, numbers, figures and charts.
And best of all your secret weapons:
your collective brains and hearts.

So go now; give it your best shot.
Apply the things that you’ve been taught.
And remember kindness counts for more
than just an afterthought.

So ring on phones. Knock on doors.
Apply, apply, apply in scores.
There’s jobs out there we guarantee
So go and make them yours.

And when you do keep this in mind:
always remember to be kind
never forgetting how all our lives
are so totally intertwined.

Now your brains and talent you must showcase.
So get out there! Go forge your space!
Go on, get going and make the world
a kinder, smarter, more loving place.

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