On the afternoon of my very last exam

16,000 sheets of note
Of statement, prose and quote
Of problems posed, stuffed down my throat.

1,020 books of text
O’er which I pondered and perplexed
Tired, drained, or just plain vexed.

20 years of 3-season blues
Autumn, winter, springtime views
Through classroom windows the world perused;
An idle gaze on days unused.

399 examinations
Stress, study and consternation.
Flashcards, fish and preparation.

Today I’ve sat 400: my very last exam,
and sit and wonder exactly what I am.
No more a student, and yet not more a man.

And though I’ve been deviser
Of 400 separate answer sets
(All more or less correct)
I am no more the wiser,
Nor any greater is my intellect.

They did not teach me how to love
Nor how to live,
How to rise above my petty self,
Nor how to give –
Nor even how to take;
No, not even doing good, for goodness sake.

I leave this final venue as a novice still,
A freshmen only, at the very bottom of my hill.
There are other tests that yet await.
This I know, will be my fate.

And whatever may, upon my final day of Judgement be,
One thing’s sure: the answers won’t be such
As would earn me a degree.