I was finally able to post my 50th anniversary report to Harvard. I thank especially Des who steered me in a productive direction. I had certainly made too big a deal out of it. Perhaps because, as I mentioned in a previous post, the questions included “what do you consider the most important accomplishment of the past fifty years?” When all was said and done, I realized that I don’t look at my life in terms of accomplishments. Instead, I wrote of my marriage, my teaching years, my family and my faith. It has been a rich fifty years, but very little of it had any relationship to my formal education.
My classmates included Al Gore, former U.S. Vice President and other notables. For many years I felt somehow inadequate when I answered the questionnaires every ten years about what I had been doing. I wasn’t racking up prizes and professorships and honors as were many of my former classmates. But at 71, those things really fade in importance for me. I look instead at the people in my life and am grateful that I put my time into relationships, not outside achievements.
(For the curious, the red arm band on the sleeve of my gown was a protest symbol. Harvard had used the Cambridge police force to deal with campus Viet Nam war protestors. At graduation we wore these arm bands to show our solidarity with our fellow students who had been assaulted.)