It has gotten to be that time of year. The true grind of the semester is upon us. Work is piling up. The weather has become darker, wetter, and colder. And sometimes it seems appealing to huddle in bed rather than tackling the challenge of the rest of the term.
That is why I was pleased to be reminded this week of a simple phrase: “press on”. It is a slogan attributed to Calvin Coolidge, but I will always associate it with a former mentor and colleague: Professor Mike White. Mike was a wonderful physical chemist, and he loved to tackle difficult experiments. When faced with big challenges, his response was always “press on”. Whether it was juggling a multitude of time-consuming tasks, facing daunting problems one at a time, or picking himself up after failure, Mike adopted this same attitude. He faced things head on; and because of it, he made progress each day. I’m sure that he also knew these words from Calvin Coolidge.
Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
So if it seems you have too much to accomplish but too little time to do it, I urge you all to “press on.” If you are facing formidable assignments, I urge you nevertheless to “press on.” Make progress each day. Be persistent. Success comes from grit and determination. Put them to use and “press on.”
- Dr. Vanden Bout
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P.P.S. Don’t hate on Ligase. It's just trying to make ends meet.