Final Goodbyes

Yesterday, as the week drew to a close, along with the month of May itself, I found myself in a visitor’s office in the School of Physics & Astronomy at Cardiff University, nursing a hangover, and finishing off a few final matters arising from my time as a member of staff here. I took part in a couple of viva voce examinations for 4th year project students. Now the reports are written up, marks agreed, and paperwork handed in. When I’ve handed in my keys and ID card that will be that. I’ll be back at the University of Sussex next week, having fulfilled my obligations (as best I could) to the students whose interest in their projects outweighed the virtually complete absence of their supervisor for half the year.

The project assessments and the examination period in general at Cardiff  now being over, it’s time for final-year undergraduate students to think about packing up their things and heading out into the big wide world, to return only briefly in July (perhaps) for their graduation ceremony. It seems that no sooner do students’ faces become familiar than they disappear, most of them never to be seen again, and sometimes without so much as a word of goodbye…

I don’t really know why but this reminded me of Brutus’ famous goodbye to Cassius on the plains of Philippi  in Scene V of Julius Caesar:

And whether we shall meet again I know not.
Therefore our everlasting farewell take:
For ever, and for ever, farewell, Cassius!
If we do meet again, why, we shall smile;
If not, why then, this parting was well made.

3 Responses to “Final Goodbyes”

  1. “The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
    Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
    Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
    Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.”

    —Omar Khayyam

  2. And another from the bard: “Parting is such sweet sorrow … “

  3. telescoper Says:

    Here are are another three quatrains from the Rubaiyat..

    22

    For some we loved, the loveliest and the best
    That from his Vintage rolling Time hath pressed,
    Have drunk their Cup a Round or two before,
    And one by one crept silently to rest.

    23

    And we, that now make merry in the Room
    They left, and Summer dresses in new bloom,
    Ourselves must we beneath the Couch of Earth
    Descend–ourselves to make a Couch–for whom?

    24

    Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend,
    Before we too into the Dust descend;
    Dust into Dust, and under Dust to lie,
    Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, and–sans End! –

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