Ode to a Scholar
“Why push so hard and demand so much?”
You ask with anger in your eyes
“Because the race is not to the swift,
But to those who keep sight of the prize
I know my high standards upset you
You fear you can't reach the bar
But I fear that you don't understand
Just how talented and special you are
I taught you to believe in yourself
You have gifts and talents to do it all
But you must be committed to your goals
And allow nothing or no one to make you fall
Right now, life is good and quite easy
But harder times are in store
And the only way to get through it
Is to work hard - and then work some more
No one expects you to be perfect
The Lord knows that I was not
Seek not perfection, but excellence
Dig deep and give all you’ve got
This is neither the time to rest on laurels
Nor lose sight of the important goals
When hope seems lost and despair abounds
That is the time to search your soul
I will continue to expect more from you
Even, when all your energy seems spent
To some this will be criticism
I hope you will see the compliment
You will meet some with low expectations
But know that as long as you live
I will expect more from you
Because you have more to give
Spend little time on how others judge you
Their judgment's fleeting and it will pass
You be the judge and your judgment should be
Service to others and this, my child, will last
When success is found and attained
And all your battles have been won
Give praise, give thanks, and give back
And be happy with whom you’ve become
As life goes on, your success will grow
Your list of accolades will surely get higher
However, never get so high that you forget
That "to whom much is given, much is required"
You’re a star and greatness waits you
So shine your light to the very end
I wish you well in all you do
Farewell, my child, my scholar, my friend
Congratulations on behalf of the staff & students
of the Meyerhoff Scholars Program at UMBC
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