Protocol 36, Teaching and Learning, and Remembering Al Mohilewski…
By Chuck Wiser, “I write the words to share what my eyes see and my heart feels”
I coined the frivolous “Wiser’s Wednesday Wramblings” heading when the editor indulged my desire to add an extra column on the Wednesday of Thanksgiving week. I kinda liked the thought of the title as it seemed to match the typical content of my writings (or writhing’s) so I reused it again last week. I am leaning toward using that as my heading instead of “Word’s From Wiser”. When I use the old(er) title I have to be careful not to reverse the wording such that it comes out as “Wiser Words”. The words used in that order might imply something that is certainly arguable.
In a communication with my editor yesterday I wrote in a statement that I would “stir the flames…” Having done so, I wondered if that was a double metaphor in that I combined the phrases “stir the pot” and “fan the flames”. What is a metaphor you may ask? Well, this answer would likely only be understandable to my former Alfred State students but in my twisted sense of humor I would explain that: A “meta-phor” is “for using” by Facebook as its new name. I apologize for that as Larry the Cable Guy may say.
On to less frivolous items. Today’s offer of “Scanner Talk” kind of ties in with recent County legislator’s discussions on the spread of the Covid virus and its impact on emergency responders. As an aside I would like to thank the Legislators and other County officials for finally speaking out about the seriousness of the problem, and what one would think is the “easy” solution. My scanner chatter is nearly nonstop over the past several weeks reporting a majority of “Protocol 36 responses”. The “Protocol” terminology is kind of like the old CB Radio coding like “10-4 good buddy” or “My 10-20 is right around the block from you”. Protocol 36 is a “code” implying that the emergency responders are going into an “infectious or contagious” environment on the call such as in an epidemic or pandemic. This is kind of a triaging (priority establishing treatment urgency or method) of what is to be expected on the call. One research source merely called it “Flu Like” symptoms.
One day a week or so ago I heard, and noted, what I thought were other codes called out on my scanner. I have heard things mistakenly before, but I thought that two calls were dispatched, one citing Protocol 47 and the other 58. In trying to locate a reference for those I couldn’t find anything. The lists that I have been able to find only go up to Protocol 37. Color me puzzled…or with faulty hearing, unless Allegany County has added some code of their own, which is doubtful.
Let me point out that I am not a medical expert, nor emergency responder, so these definitions or explanations are anecdotal, based on my understanding and basic research of the terminology.
This is a reach out to another “Sun” contributor, this past week, Bob Confer. His topic, that of the intrusion into our lives due to the accessibility afforded by all our high tech “devices,” was one I am sure we have all thought about, good or bad, so was a great article. I won’t say I am a complete exception to his opinion, although when it comes to Warranty expiration, and other scam calls I’m with him 100%. In my former occupation I embraced phone calls and contact regardless of time of day, no matter the reason, and regardless of how many times the same individual might call. In my role as a professor at Alfred State College, I would always give out my phone number, and encourage my students to call me if they had a question about assigned work, or a specific question on the materials we were covering, or anything else that came up. I came close to regretting that on one occasion when I received an anonymous call one night suggesting that I do something with my head that was anatomically (and physically) impossible. I had my suspicions as to who it was, but I never let even that affect my relationship with any of the students.
The reason for my invitation to that access for the students went to my history as to how I was able to achieve my academic background. I can’t really say that advanced education was ever any of my goals, plans or dreams, as I backed into it courtesy of The Air Preheater Company (Apco), and the guys I worked with. The generous educational support program offered by Apco was instrumental. My tuition and books were paid for completely by Apco. My early motivation was thanks to my fellow employees including, but not limited to, former “Wellsvillians” Dave Smith, Dave Jones, Glen Mattison and others, that talked me into signing up for classes by saying they usually stopped at GJ’s (Gentleman Jim’s) in Alfred, for a couple of “cold ones” after class.
Somehow, or “somewhy”, maybe just masculine hormones or whatever, we got competitive “grades wise”. I was always into athletics but by comparison to what I learned I could do with my mind I was never that good. I didn’t realize just how well that I could actually learn until I put my mind to it, and competitively did very well.
But I digress. As a “professional” night school student, I went to college for 8 years, two nights a week. It took 4 years to achieve an Associate’s Degree in Product and Machine Design from Alfred State College (ASC) and then, as long as we were on a roll, we spent 4 more years to achieve a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology through RIT. The RIT classes were taught locally, using Alfred State faculty for every class except one. College Calculus was taught by a truck driver. That’s right! He had a Mathematics degree, but he was working as a truck driver. Man! Did that guy know how to teach! Three semesters of Calculus and it was as entertaining as it was educational. At the sound of the buzzer start your test. “BZZZZZZZZZZ!”
This past weekend, as is happening all too often these days, I attended the “Celebration of Life” activities for a friend, Al Mohilewski, the husband of one of my former Friendship Central School Classmates. Al and Carole’s lives were shattered several years ago by the passing of their son Reed. As an intended tribute to Reed, and as a gift to Al and Carole I commenced writing a commemorative poem, with the hopes that it could be turned into song lyrics as Carole, Al and I had participated in singing Choral music with a couple of local Choral groups, and I thought this would be a fitting gesture. Al had spent a number of years in The Air Force as had their son Reed.
Well, you may know how good intentions sometimes go awry, but the poem got put aside and never got finalized, nor turned into song. When I heard about Al’s passing and read his obituary, I remembered that poem I had started and decided to finish it as a token of my friendship with the family and out of love for my former classmate.
As a side note, and I am sure she would not recall it, Carole is the only one that ever “asked me out” on a date, the occasion being a “Sadie Hawkins Day” dance at our school. We were never romantically inclined, but she has always been in my heart. In memory of Allen N. Mohilewski, Reed N. Mohilewski and my stepbrother Rolly Miles, and all former Air Force members, and for Carole, I give to you these words and a suggestion that if you have dreams and aspirations, reach for them, and “Fly High”. “Remo” Noted on the picture below, was Reed’s nickname.
If dream’s path takes you up the hill, climb high
If pondering life’s wonders, then ask why
To see a rainbows colors, see the sky
When learning how to walk, we fall and cry
Some always wished that they could learn to fly
Above the earth and up into the sky
As older get, we look for goals to reach
We seek careers that differ then for each
Some even feel the need and love to teach
You grew, you flew, out into life so bold
You didn’t hesitate until too old
Your destiny in life you did uphold
You lived a life that took you up so high
And followed paths that beckoned you to fly
Your journey didn’t end with just the sky