May 1st is internationally celebrated as "Labor Day". It's a holiday throughout Europe, Italy included. "Mayday" is also a distress call used especially in aviation to indicate a major malfunction, similar to an S.O.S.. It comes fom the French phrase m'aider and it basically means "help me". Today, May 1, 2008, the day after classes ended here at WPI, I find both of these meanings quite appropriate.
I just met one last time with my valiant collaborators (and Venice alumni), Kyle Miller, Ilan Shomorony and Hamlet Nina, before they all take off for their summer break. They all have nice summer jobs in their respective fieds of study, so they will be working and making a good salary, which will help offset the costs they incurred to go to Venice. All three are great workers and the fruits of their labor as underpaid workstudies are evident in what we have produced so far in preparation for the Venice 2.0 anniversary. Being as passionate as they are about making this anniversary a success, they have all committed to continuing and finishing what they started (wikibook, fundraising, alumni contacts, venice open archive, etc.), even while on break, which speaks volumes about their integrity and committment. Whoever ends up hiring them after they graduate will get extraordinary value from their skills, intelligence and insights. One can only hope that the job they eventually get will inspire in them the same level of passion that they have demostrated to me in the past few months.
I am sure I can count on them to follow through with their committment to finish what they started, nonetheless I can't help but feel a bit distressed by their departure for a well-deserved summer break. Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!