To my students:
I wish I could tell you how important every thought is, every insight.
I wish I could tell you how important every movement is, every step, every swing, every sketch, every handwritten word.
I wish I could tell you how important this spring of flowers and earth and grass is.
I wish I could tell you how important the fresh morning coolness is, the sun on your face, the tightness in your calves struggling uphill.
I wish I could tell you how necessary is every dollar saved, every detail noted, every friend made.
I wish I could tell you what absolute joy there is in learning new mathematical concepts, connecting mathematical ideas, solving a problem then another problem, thinking clearly, explaining yourself well.
O, I could tell you and you might listen politely. But you are not old. Your past is not larger than any possible future. Your limbs are loose and strong. Your mind focused on the present as it should be.
I wish I could tell you now. I wish you could hear me now. In a few years maybe but you’ll be gone and it will be too late.