Dear English Majors,

Steady on, dear students! One last surge of work at the end of a weary semester apart from one another, and then we can turn our attention to the more serious business of waiting for Christmas,and then the even more serious business of the Christmas feast.

Work hard, wait hard, feast.

We are all walking into the barren uncertainty of January together, but we can't control what will happen next semester any more than we can control the winter. And we are not the first to wait in gloom. If we have learned anything this semester, I hope we have learned how to love a little better, to find ways to shine in the darkness. Whatever next semester brings, as we read, write, and reflect together, I know you will shine.

Until then, I leave you with a few poor verses gleaned from the last hours of a dying year.

Autumn's End

We have passed the harvest time now,
and the flames that fell from black branches
leave no spark in mud.
There will be no more flames in black branches
when the breath of winter will not blow.

Daniel Gibbons
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Associate Professor of English