Have I Reached a Troubling Old Age?

How quickly time passes, memories fade, and youth withers. A couple of evenings ago my wife was reading Defending Boyhood by Anthony Esolen when she stumbled upon the lyrics of a song Esolen was mentioning in passing.

"Hey, do you know this song? The words sound familiar... It goes: 'Gaudeamus igitur, Iuvenes dum sumus…"

"Hmm. I'd have to see."

After staring blankly at the words for a couple of minutes, desperately trying to hum various Latin tunes, suddenly the scales fell from our eyes, and we were able to recognize a treasure from our youth. We began to piece the tune together.

"We used to sing that in Latin class at OLSWA! Mr. Zakrzewski taught it to us."

"That's right. I can still see and hear him. He'd be so into it. It was his dream to have the old academic hymn make a glorious comeback. We used to sing that song everywhere. On hikes, in class, anywhere."

And so it is, the great academic song trumpeting all youth to seize the day - carpe diem. It slipped our minds, until now. I guess we're getting old. Alas, we will be sure to teach this to our children.

Gaudeamus igitur
Iuvenes dum sumus.
Post iucundam iuventutem
Post molestam senectutem
Nos habebit humus.
Let us rejoice, therefore,
While we are young.
After a pleasant youth
After a troubling old age
The earth will have us.


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