Column in Graduation Issue of The Stanford Daily, 2002
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I wrote a poem today. Two years ago, at a dorm boat dance, as I was standing on deck while going under the Golden Gate Bridge, I couldnít but notice the majesty, the fortitude and eloquence of this most famous San Francisco monument, even as I was hearing the hip hop rhythms from the deck below. I was mesmerized by the moment, and I told myself that I would write a poem about it when I got home. Well, two years later, I finally found the time to do it.

††††††††††† That kind of sums up how I feel sometimes about my experiences Iíve had at Stanford. Thereís been so much to do, and so little time to do it. There are, admittedly, several uniquely Stanford experiences that I have missed out on in my years here, mostly because I was too busy. Iíve (gasp!!!) never gone fountain hopping or steam-tunneling. I havenít had the chance to take Sleep and Dreams. And Iíve never lived in a Row house or studied abroad.

††††††††††† What in the world was I doing instead? Well, there were the evenings working on problem sets until the wee hours of the morning. There were the all-nighters that Iíve pulled getting some lab project finished. I will always remember walking into Packard seeing the brilliant sun about to set on a beautiful day, and walking back out into the cold, quiet and dark night way past midnight.

††††††††††† But as I was finishing up the poem today, I thought about it some more, and realized how precious my time at Stanford has been. Some say that as one ages, life becomes a series of snapshots. Well, all in all, my snapshots here have actually been pretty good.

††††††††††† I can still vividly recall stumbling across the Lagunita lawn during freshman orientation and getting welcomed by yelling, excited resident assistants. Remember the first Flicks you went to, with the Band and the paper fights? How about the time you rode your bike across the Main Quad on your way to class, seeing the beauty of MemChu and remarking silently what a beautiful sunny day it was? Anyone remember spending their twenty-first birthday with close friends?

††††††††††† For another thing, other people hold their dances at hotel ballrooms. We held our senior formal among the fish, at Monterey Bay Aquarium.

††††††††††† Yes, I will miss this place when I leave, even the long nights doing work. Forming bonds with the people youíre working with in lab and on problem sets, learning about how computers really tick on the inside, taking pride in finishing a project and showing it to other people, these things I will miss long after I leave.

††††††††††† And, Iíll always reminisce upon the extracurricular activities that I involved myself with and the great people who I met and worked with. Iíve produced dorm yearbooks and organized dorm budgets, edited a newspaper and helped organize BASES E-Challenge, the premier business plan competition in the United States.

††††††††††† Thatís what life at Stanford was all about. Thatís why I had to wait until today to write my poem. I was too busy until now, but busy in a good way. And, indeed, I did finally find the time to get the poem finished, putting that snapshot of the Golden Gate Bridge thatís been indelibly etched in my mind into words. Regrets? Whatís there to regret? Itís definitely been time well spent.

††††††††††† Jeffrey Tam is an electrical engineering major, and will be working in San Francisco after he graduates. He was an Innovation editor during Volume 219 and 220a. If you want to read some really bad poetry, e-mail Jeffrey at jtclick@hotmail.com.