DALLAS TWP. — The Blues’ll do. But zombies as the topic of a commencement address, not a chance.
Yet poet Timothy Seibles was dead on when he delivered his “Zombie Blues Villanelle” to the 319 soon-to-be graduates of Misericordia University during the school’s 3rd annual Winter Commencement on Saturday.
The poem dealt with obliviousness, either self-imposed or technologically induced, and how it dulls the senses and disconnects one from the living world.
“You can fly through your days until time is a smear, maybe blaze up the bong or blog out a blog. There’ll be days when it feels like there’s nothing to fear but you could be a zombie that’s already here,” said Seibles, reading from his poem.
An English and creative writing professor at Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Va., Seibles received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the school and reminded the students awaiting to receive their degrees that they need to have fun and relief from the day-to-day pressures of work, school and life. “But we should not make a lifestyle of distraction, of not paying attention to ourselves and the larger world,” he said.
Already the students have shown a desire to learn and “live the larger lives” by enrolling and studying at the school, he said. Still there is more to come, but it will take some effort, he said, adding “Stay awake, my friends. Don’t go zombie on me. Don’t get bodysnatched. Love yourselves, love each other and love the world as best as you can in all you do.’
Seibles wouldn’t have to worry about Ozcan Dalgic, who earned a doctorate in the school’s inaugural class of entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy program.
Dalgic’s story stood out among the students.
The 33-year-old Dalgic, the youngest of nine children, came to the school by way of New Jersey and his homeland Turkey where he received a degree in exercise science from Marmara University in Istanbul. Before coming to the United States in 2005 he served in the Turkish Army. It took a few years to learn English and earn a second degree in biology from Mercer County Community College. He enrolled in Misericordia’s Physical Therapy program as a graduate student in 2011.
“This is my dream,” Dalgic said.
Within five years, he wants to open his own practice, but first has to pass his board exam. “Day and night I’m going to study,” he said. Upon passing them he will search for a job and residency program, he said.
His six sisters and two brothers all have degrees and have supported him in his studies.
“My family was the biggest help,” he said. Dalgic also thanked his teachers and classmates for their assistance.
Student speaker Victoria Mihal of Wyoming added to the thanks, saying their encouragement and moral support made her achievements possible.
A Summa Cum Laude student earning a Bachelor of Science degree in health care management, Mihal looked forward to the future. In the spring semester she will start the graduate phase in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program.
“Life begins at the end of our comfort zones where we confront our fears and take the bull by its horns,” she said. “Misericordia has taught us to be leaders by revealing to us our true potential and what we can actually do for the world around us.”