Saturday, April 25, 2015

Oh, the Options You'll Have!

I mentioned in my last post that I gave the induction speech for Pi Mu Epsilon, the math honor society, recently at Potsdam. My albeit short talk concluded with a poem I titled "Oh, the Options You'll Have!" A total and complete knock off of Dr. Seuss's book by a very similar title.

In case you're wondering, here's how it went...

Today is your day!
You’re now in Pi Mu Epsilon,
what a great thing to say.

You’ve done the hard work 
and rocked all your classes.
I can’t say I’m surprised
with the students Potsdam amasses.
Each one of them talented and capable of more.
I’d love to see what you choose; what your life has in store.

You might not know now, and that’s quite okay,
to decide what you’ll do, you have some leeway.
With the knowledge that you have and time yet to spare,
let’s talk about options the world has out there.

Of course, you may know
and have it all figured out.
But maybe, just listen
for an alternate route.

The options are endless!
I must confess.

With Potsdam behind you,
and its miracle quite famed,
trust in your background.
Don’t be ashamed.

You’re already ahead.
Don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just plug right along,
math will carry you through.

the options you’ll have!

If you look closely,
in most every field
there’s a bit of math
waiting to be revealed.

So look deep down and tell me what you see.
Where do you want to go with your mathematics degree?
No matter what you’ll be one of the best.
And maybe, just maybe, you’ll top all the rest.

So what do you see 
for your mathematics degree?

To be like Drinfeld
and win the Fields Medal?
Or do engineering,
creating a bike pedal.

You could work for Legoland
as one of their designers.
Maybe in logistics
scheduling big cargo liners.

Forbes’ top three jobs
are all based in mathematics.
Lucky for you
there’s no need for acrobatics.

You could be just like me
and work in finance.
Be like JP Morgan and
give business a chance.

What about sports? ESPN needs statisticians.
And NASA needs analysts for their space missions.
You could be a teacher, to big kids or to small.
A 3D printing manager? One ring to rule them all?

And yes! You can work in music! Imagine that feat.
As a music data journalist you might hear a sick beat.
At Spotify you might predict the next song.
Good luck stopping yourself from humming right along.

What about cryptology?
Breaking tough codes?
There’s civil engineering,
designing systems of roads.

You could be a lawyer;
that jump is quite logical.
The next Lewis Carroll
writing about the anthropomorphical.

Then there’s the trusted,
the tried, and the true.
A college professor
and more school to pass through.
But please don’t forget, there’s fun to be done!
There are adventures to have and hearts to be won.

Enjoy your life
and take your time.
Admire those great
and beautiful mountains you’ll climb.

You might get mixed up
and lost along the way.
Just step with great care
and you’ll make it back okay.

Because with Potsdam behind you
of course you’ll succeed!
98 and 3⁄4 percent guaranteed.

So congratulations!
Today is your day.
Your mountain is waiting
get on your way.

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