From GDA to CA, On I Go Sailing to Ithaca

From GDA to CA, On I Go Sailing to Ithaca

On June fourth, 1987 I had the privilege of  addressing my fellow graduates, our families and friends and the the faculty of Governor Dummer Academy (GDA) (The Governors Academy) on the eve of our commencement.

I stood up in front of the group with no notes, speaking from a tired heart and did my best to share what I hoped would be some encouraging and inspiring truths about graduation, the next chapter and about the larger journey.

The truths I attempted to share that evening came from the bumps, lumps and blessings I had experienced  on my then 17 years and 364/365 days on the planet. The truths also came from the books and the poems I read, the conversations with great men and woman I had and the experiences and the consequences of a mischievous young life.

Back in June of this year, I had the privilege of being a guest at a couple very special graduations and listened to  a few adults and a few students deliver some really special talks. As I listened , I found myself thinking occasionally about the speech I had delivered so many Junes ago and wondered how it actually came off, and if it got people to think about their life/journey the way I was during each of these contemporary speeches.

I don’t know? It certainly doesn’t matter much now. As I reflected on my what feels like an ancient talk,  I remembered that I had used a poem in my speech to help make my points. I researched the poem recently to get a better idea of the nature of my message, just because.

Below is a special audible  version of the poem, Ithaca.  The beauty and truth in the poem doesn’t say too much about whether or not I delivered good speech but it I t definitely tells me 25 years later that I was on the right track in my efforts.

I am glad I found the poem, I needed to hear it again. I welcome you to take a listen, perhaps it might remind you of some important things you’ve forgotten as well.

Do good things and do a good job in the things you do.

Friendship, Strength and Honor,

Coach Cris


3 thoughts on “From GDA to CA, On I Go Sailing to Ithaca

  1. Pingback: From GDA to CA, On I Go Sailing to Ithaca | Heath, Fitness |

  2. Mark Dobrosielski


    It’s curious that you & I are so fond of the same poem. For my part, I first heard it when I was in Search & Rescue. We read it to the team before every trip, every deployment. I’ve always loved it and have always taken inspiration from it. It have copies of it in various places, including my office and my karate notebook.

    It’s a pity that the video is no longer available; I’ve never actually heard it performed.

    — Mark

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