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ISSUE 121 VOL 10 PUBLISHED 12/7/2007

This week in St. Olaf history

By Mark Forsberg
Staff Writer

Friday, December 7, 2007

In 1992, Pastor Benson wrote a poem capturing the essence of the Christmas season on Manitou Heights. In the poem, he suggested that while tests and papers take a toll on the sanity of students and faculty alike in the last weeks of the semester, it is important not to forget the Christmas season and its true meaning. Benson writes:

'Twas the week before finals on Manitou Heights,
every desk lamp was burning; and had been for nights.
The students were up to their eyebrows in notes,
or off to the library bundled in coats. [...]
So if in this season of papers and tests,
when work just like floodwater rises and crests,
you still sense the presence of myst'ry and awe;
and prompted by visions of what shepherds saw,
you feel a glad heart, don't count it absurd;
instead sing with joy, and trust the glad word
that the Holy One mangered in Bethlehem nights
comes also midst finals on Manitou Heights!

Whether up to their heads in papers and bluebooks or sledding down Old Main hill on a Caf tray, for decades Oles have stressed over finals and can rest assured that it all gets done and the prospect of Christmas is on the horizon.

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