Sunday, August 20, 2006

Hang 10...

Tide Logo

I was in Prescott last weekend at the Arizona Shakespeare Festival's Saturday matinee performance of Julius Caesar. At first, I have to admit, I was a little dismayed at the venue and the turnout. From the name, I was sort of expecting something like the Stratford Festival in Ontario, so when we joined 30 other fans in the Prescott High School auditorium, I was a little uneasy.
But it turned out to be a really enjoyable afternoon - a Julius Ceasar reinterpreted against a 1930's fascist backdrop. The actors were good, the set was well thought out, and the audience, though small, was very enthusiastic.
A particular line struck me during the performance though. It comes in Act IV, Scene III, when Brutus and Cassius are discussing whether to take the initiative against their enemies or behave more cautiously. Brutus argues that the bold way is the only way:

There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which taken at the flood leads on to fortune;

Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.

On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.

It hit me strongly for two reasons. First, the Downtown Phoenix Campus opened successfully this week, just a year and a half after it was first proposed. The whole project was on an incredibly tight timeline, one that many people thought was completely undoable, even as late as last month. I have to admit that the first time I visited the 411 building -- now University Center -- my first thought was that getting Downtown together could use another 12 months at least.

Glad I kept my big mouth shut on that one! Because by working together, ASU and the City of Pheonix were able to overcome all sorts of adversity and prove the naysayers wrong. They took their sea at full flood and the citizens of Arizona will now ride it on to fortune. The DPC is an excellent example of what the New American University can accomplish.
In OASIS,  ASU again finds itself afloat on a full sea. The hard work has begun in earnest now, the first in a string of deadlines looms in October. For those who haven't done a project like this before -- and even for some who have -- it can seem at times like we're going too fast and that the best plan might be to slow down some, maybe take the pressure off just a little.

But as Brutus and MMC both know, there is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood leads on to fortune. When we ignore that flood, we do it our peril. We increase the chance of failure, of losing all the different kinds of support so critical to success. On such a sea are we now afloat, and we are taking the current now -- when it serves -- and doing whatever it takes to secure our venture.

Meet ya at the OASIS...


Mike Sellberg,  August 24, 2006 at 3:52 AM  

Good to hear the Shakespeare quotes again--your use is always quite relevant.