Wiser’s Wramblings-Never Too Late To Change Your Mind

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By Chuck Wiser, I write the words to share what my eyes see and my heart feels

My Wrambling’s were slowed but not thrown completely off the tracks by a myriad of recent activities. I think my car mileage took a significant upswing over the past couple of weeks. My weekly schedule is very active anyway given my “living the dream” of singing in multiple venues but increased significantly given holiday preparations and some online purchase adventures that popped up.

Most choral groups need singers to fill their ranks, and finding them is getting more difficult which, many organizations have experienced over the past few years. Little did they know when they opened the door to me by advertising that “You don’t have to be a professional to join our group, all you need is a love of singing.” I sure leaped (or leapt) at that open invitation. I don’t hear voices talking to me in my idle moments, I hear tunes and song lyrics, even in my dreams at times. You don’t have to be a professional, you don’t even have to be any good at singing. Mondays are for singing with the Maple City Barbershop Chorus, Tuesday is the Genesee Valley Chorus and Wednesday is practice for the Grace United Church Choir and Praise singers. Sunday is for singing the music practiced on Wednesday. Any alone time in the car or in any room other than where my wife is, is where I do my “learning of the music. You might say that I am borderline fanatical about singing. I have mentioned previously in my “writing world” that I passed on the opportunity for organized singing both in high school, and during the 24 years that I taught at Alfred State College (ASC). I guess I need to qualify that a little in that I did sing a few times while at Alfred State.

I don’t recall the dynamics of the chicken and egg chronology but John Buckwalter, Bob Rees, Bill Laubert and I were formed into a quartet and were featured several times singing the National Anthem for campus ceremonial things. During Tom Golisano’s reign as a Sabre’s owner, Tom, being an Alum of ASC, invited the quartet to sing the American and Canadian National Anthems. We did, and the emotion we evoked in our singing spurred the Sabres to an 8 – 0 shut out of the Atlanta Thrashers hockey team if my memory is correct. Pretty awesome feeling singing at “center ice.” The only honor greater, was having sung The Lord’s Prayer at my daughter’s wedding.

Career choices are a fickle entity. Many people know exactly what they want to do, be, or become very early in life. Others may not have any real idea of what they want to do, and may stumble from job to job, doing just what happens to come along. Then again there are many that choose a certain path but somewhere along the line, for whatever reason, change their plans, often, drastically. I never dreamed of ending up as a “College Professor”. I didn’t really choose that, I backed into it, having been given the opportunity to find other gainful employment when my former 16-year industrial career fizzled. Another category of career change individuals has earned my compliments and highest regard when they embarked on one career choice, realized that it wasn’t quite the right fit, and “changed horses in the middle of the stream”, as the saying goes. One such person, whom I will not name as I haven’t cleared it with her, started out in my college “Design/Drafting” curriculum but decided that she was better suited to the “artistic” creation of Pottery goods. She is now renowned as a local artisan with her Pottery works. Many other students started out with the intent to be in “ mechanical engineering” but followed a different set of tracks toward the more “manufacturing” related aspect of engineering.

A primary object of my writing today is a former student, Kristopher (Kris) Green, most recently featured in the local press, for his appointment to the Educational Foundation of Alfred State College.  I had recently lost track of  Kris but our paths had crossed a couple of times since his having been a student of mine at ASC, where he received his  first academic Associates (AAS) degree. I have often run across former students and am always amazed at their talent and growth regardless of which set of tracks they followed. Kris is one such example, and has emerged, actually having followed multiple paths, and having crossed paths with me in a couple of different ways, only the first of which as it relates to his first career choice. Unknown to me at the time, Kris had opted out of that early career choice and joined the Air Force. Kris, and our son Shawn, became fellow Air Force airmen stationed at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey. I don’t recall the details of how Kris and Shawn met or were able to compare notes, but Shawn learned that Kris was a former student of mine. I had the opportunity to re-acquaint with him when we attended the “Pinning” Ceremony when they both were promoted to the Senior Non-Commissioned officers ranks as Master Sergeants. Kris continued his Air Force career until 2017, where during his career he earned an Associates degree in Human Resources from the Community College of The Air Force. He also earned the Air Force Achievement Medal, a Meritorious Service Medal, The Bronze Star and the Air Force Commendation Medal. His further academic achievements included: a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Thomas Edison University and a Master’s Degree in Human Resources from Stony Brook University. Kris is currently the Human Resources Director at Jones Memorial Hospital.

Wrambling Cleaning: Just cleaning up my note reminders to myself from previous uncovered items. (Begging forgiveness in advance for any repeats from earlier posts 😉

  • Have you ever thought finger nail clipper designs should have a wider range of sizes?
  • Sock Sizes: If you wear a size 13 or 14 shoe (as I and two grandsons do) Standard available sock sizes may be way too small, or way too large. Same thing goes for waist sizes and inseam lengths on men’s trousers.
  • Gotta love those million dollar public school expenditures which are said to not be added to your taxes…unless you count taxes “other than” school budget that is.
  •  Does anyone else besides us re-use paper plates? Even when wiped off with a damp dishcloth they are still re-useable.
  • We have noticed a repeating pattern of nocturnal activity between or around the storage units across Rte. 31 from us. Not much sense in calling to report something based solely on suspicion and SP certainly are not going to hang out there.
  • It’s amazing that people’s memories are so “short” that they can’t remember from one year to the next that roads get slippery when it’s snowing.
  • Looks like the Balmy early November temperatures have left us, probably for months.
  • There seems to be an unusual level of car/deer accidents. It’s Amazing part deux. Deer will cross the roads, night or day, especially when on the prowl during “rut” season.
  • I have availed myself of the lower gas prices at the “Reservation” and do so unashamedly. However, as has happened recently, when their “per gallon” gas price is less than 10¢ cheaper than other fully taxed outlets, there’s a “rip off” going on.
  • Were you aware that there was a “Sleep Act” law against loud mufflers? State law enacted Oct. 21st in NY. It covers a range of issues, primarily directed at modifications to “stock” mufflers etc. Modifications can result in fines. Sound levels and distances are regulated.

Reminds me of a humorous (to me) line I used to tell. Use “Diesel” in a sentence. “I have new loud mufflers. Diesel rattle the windows.”

On that note I will sign off and replay a poem from a previous year that I overlooked when sharing my thoughts on Veteran’s Day.  Next week I will do a Thanksgiving special including some music.

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