Yesterday was the last day of classes here at the university, and today is the first day of finals. Usually there’s a quiet day in between, but not this semester. I guess it was another casualty of Hurricane Ivan.

I recall one particular finals week when I was a college student, back in the late eighties at Indiana University. A group of us were sitting in the lounge of the dormitory; we had eaten breakfast and were waiting to go to our various final exams. A pall of gloom hung over us, a palpable aura of impending disaster.

An older janitor walked through the room, saw our long faces, and without breaking stride, he cracked, “Might as well smile, kids — there ain’t shit you can do about it now.”

What sublime wisdom! I have tried to live my life by that philosophy.

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