Last Word

Good Mornings at UD

When I was a student at university back in Germany, a popular radio host used to open his midday show with the words, “Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen; good morning, students!” A humorous line that capitalized on the common conception that college students are those members of society who get up at noon, discuss some hot-button social issues in the afternoon over jasmine tea and then party through the night until a time at which others rise actually to go to work. A caricature, of course, of European students in the 1980s, but one that is still popular.

For the past year, I lived on the UD campus. At 6:30 a.m., I could see the first students go out on a run, in the summer and in the winter, often in groups. By 8 a.m., campus comes to life with students stopping by the chapel, picking up breakfast in the cafeteria and prepping for their classes. At 9 a.m., classrooms are filled, as are libraries and labs, and after that there is an ebb and flow of students on the Mall all day long. Sitting areas outside and inside are never void of students reading, conversing and laughing. In the evenings, lights are on in meeting areas for student life and student club events, the chapel is never without its visitors, and students play or exercise or simply hang out. At night, I was asleep. I assume so were most students, but rumor has it that that was not universally the case.

In any event, student life on campus seems healthy. Students cultivate their intellects, yet not at the expense of their bodies or spirits. They form friendships and seek relationships with their professors. When I greet people on campus, I am able to say “Good morning, ladies and gentlemen; good morning, students!”

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