Observations and Ramblings from a Cranky Old Guy -By: Jeff Spaulding

Written by on August 8, 2021

From where I sit, many, but not all people feel the COVID crisis appears to be over (depends on who you talk to, me, I got both my shots so I feel fine), and here’s hoping your ongoing summer plans don’t take a “variant” turn and get all screwed up again.
Let’s focus on the positive.

For me, that’s my oldest grandson, Chris, who graduated from Schalmont High School in June.
Come September, Chris becomes a Freshman at Herkimer Community College, where he wants to study Criminal Justice.
Chris and I bond for many reasons, least of which is I myself, also went to college.
That said, the fact that Chris is going to college in 2021 as a Freshman, and I went to Ashland College (now University) in 1974 as a freshman, might be the only thing in common with education in our post high school years.

Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely proud of Chris and wish him nothing but the best, and I for one am glad where he’s choosing a career to be a possible CSI, whereas I chose a career that has made me a college educated POS.

Point Number One, Chris has a silly idea he wants to learn something at college.
While I wanted to learn how many three-hour periods from 6:00 pm Friday night to 8:00 am Monday morning would be needed to do a group bong in order to break the Guinness World Record (while still making the first class on Monday morning).

Chris tentatively plans on rooming with a fellow Schalmont grad, but it could be up to four or five students at once.
This time they have apartment living, and not dorm life. That takes away an advantage one would have on seeing your roommate in the community shower on a Saturday morning puking it up after a hard Friday night.

That takes away from running into the community shower and finding someone’s girlfriend hosing off after a night of passion.
I’m told they have “quiet time” in the apartments, so the students would be able to study and learn their course of choice.
When I went to Ashland, out “quiet time” was limited to the Library, as dorm parties, with all the required sights and smells, ran 24/7.

In 2018, I visited Ashland on the occasion of my 40th Homecoming.
I was shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, at the number of students studying on a SATURDAY MORNING, not to mention there seemed to be NO residual trace of the night before.
They were all smiling, happy, fully functioning.
It was like a college sequel to “The Stepford Wives.”
Back to Herkimer, there is an area where students can get their meals, and delivery service from town exists.
Didn’t see a Student Union.
One needs that to grab a hot coffee and a bagel to suck down before the first boring lecture at 8:00 am.
I also didn’t see a game room, like one at Ashland, where students polished their skills on pool, pinball and Space Invaders, before heading to the local watering hole to take on the Townies.
You may be unfamiliar with the word Townie, they’re the locals who hate the college kids but not enough to take their money on games of skill and alcoholic drinks.
They are also known as “Hill People,” or Circus Carnies.
You could go as far as use the word “Gypsy” as well.
I can’t complain though, at one time, I was married to a Townie Woman.
But, by using the word “was,” my point is made.
Finally, since Herkimer is a Two-Year School, no Greeks.
Note, I am NOT knocking Greeks, just not my thing.
I actually belonged to two fraternities.
The first was Tau Kappa Epsilon, or TKE, billed as the “anti-frat” frat, gave it a show and passed.
I am, however, a proud member of Alpha Psi Omega, the National Theater Honor Society.
My point of all this is to not insult Herkimer, or the current college system, or the students going to not just Herkimer but to fine facilities everywhere.
My point is, truthfully, I’m not sure I could be a student, a REAL student, under these current conditions.
My hat (and love) goes to Chris and all others starting their college career.
And I have made a promise to Chris, who again will be studying Criminal Justice.
With all the alcohol in my system after 65 years, I’m preparing to be his first easy autopsy.
Be hearing you.



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