It has become something of a ritual: the accounting at the end of the day. How much did you accomplish? Tonight, though, it's hard to concentrate. The past joins the present, and the future, as always, resists understanding.
You began at UCLA in 1959 when men in the freshman class were required to take ROTC classes, and Kerckhoff Hall was the meeting place before there was a newer Student Union and before John Wooden became Coach. (He was always John Wooden, the man.) The old Kerckhoff seemed to breathe antiquity in its walls, but it managed to function quite well. The moving of tables and chairs to make room for students; the walls, which had the same relation to acoustics that the current administration has to common sense; and the warren of hallways - they all made sense. (As the campus today does to current students.)
A Sengalese proverb goes this way: "If you wait for tomorrow, tomorrow comes. If you don't wait for tomorrow, tomorrow comes." So life at UCLA is always changing. And memories are important, although their relevance isn't always obvious. But on this night when your mind wanders, you look at the Internet for photos that record the astounding progress that has occurred at the school you prize among all others.
And you have a bit of luck, finding a site - there must be many others - that is enthralling. There is the aforementioned Kerckhoff Hall, for instance. And there is the first graduation ceremony in 1923; a groundbreaking ceremony in Westwood in 1927; a brief history of the inverted fountain; 2 inches of snow (yes, snow) in front of Royce Hall in 1932; Mardi Gras, held in 1943 (according to the website, Jayne Mansfield crowned Coach as king at an event in the 1960s); an inspiring speech by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. near Janss Steps in 1965; and a great deal more.
It's all good, and as Shakespeare said, "What's past is prologue." Meanwhile, the readers of Bruins Nation share a beacon, a beacon that joins one generation to the next generation, with no end in sight.