Did you know what an apotheosis is—some kind of reaction to medication or an arrangement of dividing chromosomes or a honeybee goddess or something, right? Neither did I, until one of those smarty-pants graduating Marlboro students used it in his commencement speech and I had to go look it up. Senior Speaker Evan Lamb said, “Right now, I’m standing at the top of my own personal mountain, and it feels like a tiny apotheosis.” Okay, by that point I had ruled out honeybee goddess, but I still had to look it up: a•poth•e•o•sis (noun): highest level of glory or power, transformation into deity. Pretty awesome, I know, and I had to hand it to Evan: I was a tiny bit jealous of his tiny apotheosis.
Commencement 2013 went off without a hitch, by the way—all the pomp and ritual you’d expect from a venerable institution of higher learning like Marlboro, with no missteps or costume malfunctions, unless you count Kalie Kamara’s New York Yankee’s cap. President Ellen was gracious as ever, and the commencement address from Governor Peter Shumlin encouraged Marlboro graduates to use their skills and imagination to define a carbon-free future. Outgoing Dean of Students Ken Schneck delivered a heart-felt valediction including a poem he wrote in seventh grade.
But our man Evan really stole the show, with his tiny apotheosis, his itty-bit of godly transformation. All his tales of wriggling through crushing caves, and biking over ice and snow, and crashing into the dining hall at full speed, and sweating through the Seminar on Religion, Literature, and Philosophy, and cooking apple pie during a power outage, and getting lost on Town Trail in the middle of the night without a flashlight or a shirt, this is the epic stuff of Marlboro legend. I mean, the Hindu Vedas and the Icelandic sagas and the Australian Dreamtime Stories have got nothing on Evan, and every student in the room was just as captivated as if he was telling tales of Thor laying waste to legions of evil jötnar. Okay, maybe not that captivated, but Evan’s point was well taken—every graduate had their own epic list of Marlboro adventures to take with them. We wish them all well in their future quests, and journeys, and jötnar encounters.