Perennial in the face of catastrophe

A student has just sent me an email apologizing for missing his assignments this week. “I lost focus on some of my classes,” he explains, addressing me by name.

But he isn’t my student. I’ve been retired for a year. Exegi monumentum aere perennius, sings Horace, confident that genre is forever: “I have built a monument whose bronze is everlasting.” For Horace the genre is the ode. For students it’s the excuse.