Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

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Advice for the Class of 2005

On the Road to Success

by members of the Writers House community,

for communers in the graduating class of 2005

April 30, 2005





On the road to success, one thing is certain: there is never a crowd on the extra mile.1


Take your time.2


My brother reminded me of a quote by Dorothy Parker on her honeymoon, when she was
being bothered by her publishers for not meeting deadlines. She sent a short note saying
"Too fucking busy, and vice versa." I wish seniors luck in doing the same.3


Take your time.


The mass of men serve the state thus, not as men mainly, but as machines, with their bodies. They are the standing army, and the militia, jailers, constables, posse comitatus, etc. In most cases there is no free exercise whatever of the judgment or of the moral sense; but they put themselves on a level with wood and earth and stones; and wooden men can perhaps be manufactured that will serve the purpose as well....Why is [the government] not more apt to anticipate and provide for reform? Why does it not cherish its wise minority?...Why does it always crucify Christ, and excommunicate Copernicus and Luther, and pronounce Washington and Franklin rebels?4


Take your time.


One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.5


Take your time.


To live outside the law you must be honest.6


Take your time.


Learn to waste time in order to take care of yourself and those you love. It's counterintuitive to all F & M teaches us, but, if we think of it as healthy "time management," we should be able to justify it. Our students are smart enough to figure out the career stuff, which (by the way) isn't as important as it's cracked-up to be.7


Take your time.


Write the book you’ve always wanted to read but doesn’t exist.8


Take your time.


Don’t worry about offending anyone.9


Take your time.


Follow your bliss.10


Take your time.


One thing is needful.—To ‘give style’ to one’s character – a great and rare art! It is practiced by those who survey all the strengths and weaknesses of their nature and then fit them into an artistic plan until every one of them appears as art and reason and even weaknesses delight the eye.11


Take your time.


Always dance to your own drum, and always write to your own rhythm.12


Take your time.


Let your voice betray you.13


Take your time.


Write as if you are dancing on embers.14


Take your time.


Success has ruin’d many a Man.15


Take your time.


If we have retained an element of dream in our memories, if we have gone beyond merely assembling exact recollections, bit by bit the house that was lost in the mists of time will appear from out of the shadow. We do nothing to reorganize it; with intimacy it recovers its entity, in the mellowness and imprecision of the inner life... as though something fluid had collected our memories and we ourselves were dissolved in this fluid of the past.16


Take your time.


Advice is hokey.17



1Sarah Whitman ‘08

  2Joanna Goodman

3Keegan O’Brien ‘06

4Robert Battistini, with Henry David Thoreau

5Genevieve Abravanel, with Virginia Woolf

6Jacob Kerner ‘06

7Tamara Goeglein

8Nicholas Montemarano

9Time Schwab ‘08

10Judith Mueller, with Joseph Campbell

11Friedrich Nietzche

12Danielle Milano ‘06

  13Kerry Sherin Wright

14Margarita Delcheva

15Benjamin Franklin

16Nathaniel Smith, with Rainer Maria Rilke

17Chris Jacques, with C.H.M. Jacques