A Rite of Passage



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The theme of the quest in which a young protagonist ventures out into the world to pursue his dream through myriad adventures dates back to ancient Mesopotamia. Sometime in the 27th century BC The Epic of Gilgamesh appeared in an oral tradition and was eventually inscribed (in cuneiform) on clay tablets and is believed to be the alpha of this literary genre, a genre that eventually made its way to Phoenicia, Egypt, the Greeks Isles, Rome, and Europe to the West, and as far as the ancient Middle Kingdom to the Far East. Voluminous rich oral and written traditions focusing on this theme have been disseminated from one culture to another and from one generation to the other.

While graduating from high school is a May/June rite of passage for millions of young Americans, August and September are the months associated with yet another post high school coast to coast rite of passage for tens of thousands of college-bound freshmen. For the past 41 years I have witnessed this rite of passage first hand.

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