RJB (February 11,1937 / Worcester Massachusetts)

Graduation Toast To Philip P. & John J. Bartlett - Given May 22,1988

Gathered here as we are today,
One might think we'd come to pray;
Alas, I fear such isn't the case,
We're gathered instead to try and save face.

But let's cry no more for what you've done,
Many things there are, that you could have become;
A plumber, a fireman, possibly even a bum,
A farmer, a lawyer or a teacher, I s'pose;
Though why you'd want to - heaven knows!

So you've chosen instead to shock us all
By pursuing a line full of mystery and doubt;
A line full of current - tis what it's about;
Of volts and amps and ohms and watts
And which is what,
I've quite forgot.

But you studied the route that electricity takes
When between two poles an arc it makes;
And you can determine from the shape of the arc
If you're observing a sine-wave spark,
Or whether resistance has impeded the flow
Of whatever it is causes current to glow.

While you were mastering Newton's Law,
The rest of us stood by in magnetic awe
As you earned a WPI* engineering degree
Signifying your knowledge of electricity.

So now that you sport the initials 'EE'
I propose a toast first to Philip P.
May you always enjoy good health and happiness too
Tis the wish that we have as we drink to you!

Next to John J. who in a singular way
Has distinguished his name with honors they say.
We drink to your health and happiness too,
May you always succeed in all that you do!

By now you might think that this tale should be ended,
But alas there's among us a guest much offended;
A roommate of Philip and John, making three,
He too did earn an engineering degree.
And distinction too, did he receive
With his major letters 'MFE'.

But due to an oversight, not often seen,
When our local paper reported the same,
The asterisk symbol was left off his name.
So now in partial recompense,
Let's raise our glass in Tom's defense - **
We wish you health and the very best
As we drink to you and the asterisk!

*WPI - Worcester Polytechnic Institute
EE - Electrical Engineering Bachelor's Degree
MFE - Manufacturing Systems Engineering

** - Reference is to Tom Ferraco who earned a Bachelor's
Degree in Manufacturing Systems Engineering with

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