(Keating looks at his roll)
Pitts. An unfortunate name. Stand up, Mister Pitts.
Open your text, Pitts, to page forty and read for us the first stanza of the poem.
Pitts looks through his book. He finds the poem.
To The Virgins to Make Much Of Time?
That’s the one.
Giggles in the class. Pitts reads.
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may
Old time is still a flying
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.
The Latin term for that sentiment is “Carpe Diem.”
Anyone know what that means?
Carpe Diem… seize the day.
Very good, Mr._?
Seize the day while you’re young, see that you make use of your time.
Why does the poet write these lines?
Because he’s in a hurry?
Because we’re food for worms, lads!
Because we’re only going to experience a limited number of springs, summers, and falls. One day, hard as it is to believe, each and every one of us is going to stop breathing, turn cold, and die! Stand up and peruse the faces of the boys who attended this school sixty or seventy years ago. Don’t be timid, go look at them.
The boys get up. Todd, Neil, Knox, Meeks, etc. go over to the class pictures that line the honor room walls.
ANGLES ON VARIOUS PICTURES ON THE WALLS.
Faces of young men stare at us from out of the past.
They’re not that different than any of you, are they? There’s hope in their eyes, just like in yours. They believe themselves destined for wonderful things, just like many of you. Well, where are those smiles now, boys? What of that hope?
THE BOYS are staring at the pictures, sobered by what Keating is saying.
Did most of them not wait until it was too late before making their lives into even one iota of what they were capable?
In chasing the almighty deity of success did they not squander their boyhood dreams?
Most of those gentlemen are fertilizing daffodils!
However, if you get very close, boys, you can hear them whisper.
Go ahead, lean in. hear it?
Carpe Diem, lads. Seize the day. Make your lives extraordinary.