How Running a Marathon is (sort of) Like Attending Simmons GSLIS

I want to make the Boston Marathon relevant to GSLIS. I really do. “Library school is like a marathon.” “The last two weeks of the semester are the final sprint to complete a marathon.” “The Boston Marathon is awesome, and so is GSLIS.” As much as I enjoy figurative language, those statements just don’t quite get it done.

I couldn’t watch the Boston Marathon last year, but two years ago it was one of the most inspiring things I have ever witnessed. Despite being a certified stoic, at one point I found myself holding back tears. The combination of beautiful weather, everyone’s positive energy, and the camaraderie among the runners and spectators created an experience that I will not soon forget. There is something overpowering about watching 27,000 people meander 26.2 miles from Framingham to Downtown Boston. A marathon is hardly about winning in the traditional sense. Everyone out there, whether on the course or alongside it, wants every single marathoner to succeed. In a marathon, to succeed is to finish and to finish is to win.

Having completed two marathons (neither being Boston) and almost one semester at GSLIS, I decided to ditch the figurative language and just stick with the facts. So, for the sake of relevancy, here are some ways that running a marathon is (sort of) like attending Simmons GSLIS:

People say it’s crazy to run a marathon. People say it’s crazy to go to library school.

You learn a lot about yourself in the process.

It’s a good idea to stay on course.

You can finish at your own pace.

Everyone who is either involved or on the sidelines wants to see you succeed.

Help, support, and advice come from unexpected people along the way.

It’s not always fun, but it is rewarding.

There are no shortcuts.

To succeed is to finish and to finish is to win.

Boston | Events | Libraries


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