I attend a school with a community agreement. One aspect of this agreement is that while enrolled, students will not use alcohol. For me, this has created a holy calendar of sorts. During the term, while taking classes, I abstain. It makes the term different--set apart, if you will.
The day the term ends, I have a glass of wine or a bottle of beer. This year it was beer--Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout to be exact--and a double cheese burger (which goes quite well with room temp stout). This ritual--and it is a ritual--helps me transition from the hectic term into less hectic regular time. It moves me from intense scholarly focus to a broader life focus.
Some balk at the notion of abstaining. This is unfortunate. It is unfortunate because in coming to this school one promises to abstain. Keeping such a promise trains the soul to keep other promises; it helps to develop self-control. It is unfortunate because abstention helps define a glass of Merlot or a bottle of Stout as intentional action rather than escape or habit (attitudes all too common in our culture).
Such fine things as academics and a good stout ought to be given their proper due.
See CC License