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Drexel Students Are Jealous Of Our Tents

Apparently we've got a lot to learn before we can claim to understand the Drexel psyche.  We thought we had a pretty peaceful co-existence with our neighbors to the north.  Sure, we might have turned our noses up at them because we have a higher average SAT score, but we never would have guessed that so much arbitrary resentment lingered among the Drexel student body.  Until an e-mail landed in our inbox that, well ... basically aims to comfort Drexel students who are feeling sad that we have tents and they don't.  Really.  The provost sent it out.  You'll just have to read it to believe it, because we have nothing else to add.


Maybe you've noticed the tents erected on the green west of 33rd Street along Chestnut? Yes, it's time for Penn seniors to graduate. I know many of you find this disconcerting, what with five weeks to go before this Drexel quarter ends. And to make matters worse, the weather is gorgeous - and promises to be so all week. Envy is seeping in; I can feel it. Resentment. The desire to be finished with papers, exams, labs, reports, stress, pressure, demands, and deadlines. Did I leave anything out? While last term may have represented the nadir of energy, this term breeds frustration. The end is in sight; well, almost in sight - or obscured by so many assignments that you despair of ever seeing summer, a beach, a lake, or a hammock (though today I spotted students sunbathing on the Quad).

I know how difficult it is to see those tents and all that they represent. But take heart. Where were those Penn students back in September, over Labor Day weekend? In school already. They were three weeks into their fall term before you guys even hit campus. And for those returning to us next fall, September, to paraphrase T.S. Eliot, is the most glorious of months. (By the way, Eliot said that "April is the cruelest month," but he didn't have to deal with those tents in May).

You will survive exams, reports, papers, and senior projects: you are Drexel students and you always find a way. You will not only survive but prevail, displaying the intellect and imagination that brought you this far; astounding your professors with your ability to learn, synthesize, and innovate. You always amaze me, and I've been at this for a few years. So take heart, study hard, and trust to the good will and understanding of your professors. And if any of them are lamenting being here while others are preparing to take off for summers of research and relaxation, feel free to share this missive with them. Remind them that Drexel is on its own calendar, and like a Drexel education and Drexel students, our culture is about being innovative, determined, and able to deal with whatever life hands us. Even persisting into June. Even those tents.

All the best for a glorious spring.

Dr. G