As most of you know â€“ and word has been getting out â€“ I have decided not to take the news director job next semester. I have officially been accepted to the School of Education at Southern Connecticut State University. I am going to be an early childhood teacher mommy and daddy, and everyone!!
Of course with something as huge of a success as this comes with sacrifices. That is why we have these wordsÂ PASTÂ andÂ FUTURE.
Yesterday was the last day of finals and marked the end of the spring 2016 semester. There is a buzz on campus I have felt for the first time in years â€“ a buzz that has me, like other students, glad they are part of this university. This is a interesting buzz that feeds school spirit and one that makes just being on the grounds feel like home. It takes a very enormous effort to put together all the various events that take place and even the efforts that tend to go unacknowledged.
So let me take a moment to thank a few people who have made this campus something for me to look forward to as opposed to being a drag!
I could not have asked for nice people. Steve was from Ireland who came to America by himself and has an interesting story, aside from being in the exercise science program. Steve is a business major and MJ is a nursing major. While I will be rooming with MJ in the fall, I have to say goodbye to the other two. It was really nice to personally been able to get to know you both and you guys have a lot of successes in the days ahead. Having to know each of you and cross paths in our lives is something that I will always cherish forever.
It is going to be difficult to not see you each day since you are graduating. I always tell the story to everyone about how you were my first ever friend when I came to campus. We met in one of the music practice rooms where I believe that you told me about the radio station and the opportunities it gave you. Low and behold two weeks later, my radio show debuted â€“ and a semester after that, I became the news director. We worked together for two consecutive years and it has not only been incredible, rather very humbling that I learned from you. We shared lots of successes together developing the radio station and our friendship blossomed. All the trips to Webster Bank to see hockey games, and your incredible insight into music makes you someone that I look up to. I am really going to miss seeing you each day; however I know the best is yet to come. Thank you for not only being a good colleague, but thank you for an incredible friendship that will last forever and for simply â€¦ being my best friend. In the words of Frank Sinatra: â€œThe best is yet to come â€¦â€Â Glad we can continue living the dream!!
I am thankful that I chose to get involved with college radio. It was one of the best decisions I made and it led me to minor in Journalism. The opportunities the station gave me are endless. From the governor, to hosting state-wide political election nights with Dan, to interviewing the President of the university, and for helping to grow WSIN as the news director taught me so much about the profession and what to expect. It created my interest in broadcast radio and administration. I have to thank Liz, Dan, Crystal, Danielle, Jeremy and Eric for their support in helping me get solid news on the air â€“ which is something that we have not had in a while (from what I remember). I am glad to have left my mark on the station, and I have a heavy heart that I am not working for the station anymore due to other opportunities, obligations and academic obligations. So, good luck next year guys and I will be coming to visit on and off. I know the station is in good hands and I wish you all the best in everything. It was memorable the past two years with everyone.
â€¦ and those are a few of my â€œthank youâ€ bits. Now in other news â€¦
With that said, it is tough having to say goodbye to my radio station family. However, I look to the positives of what I have contributed to college radio. I have, again, left my mark in a positive way and God has a plan for me. He is the one that tells me what is going to happen when and what my destiny is. He is calling on me to leave the station to pursue other opportunities, and with that â€“ I have accepted his decision. I was fortunate enough to have completed two years for college radio. I get to move on to 24/7 student teaching!!
I will miss it but will visit â€¦ and revisit stuff? (that was a hint folks).
Now that was the past.
And now on to the future â€”- and I want to focus on commencement. The role of someone like me and a group of people (such as our university band) is multifaceted when it comes to â€œgame day.â€ Preparation is pretty nuts frankly as we know we will be performing in front of over 9,000 people at the Webster Bank Arena. This event, like last year, is the ultimate final event of the college band year. The graduatesÂ WANTÂ to be wowed (and in all humility I can say without any hesitation that â€œwowedâ€ they will be on May 20). The band will have a shortened rehearsal at the ungodly hour of 8 AM in order to rehearse with the other hired members at 8:30 AM. Then we take a quick breakfast backstage followed by the performance inside the arena.
â€¦ coffee â€¦ snacks â€¦ LOTS AND LOTS of coffee and snacks will beÂ required folks!!
With all the insanity of the year ending, there are a few moments â€“ albeit moments â€“ that are brief and what I cherish each year after spring semester finals are over at graduation:
- seeing and meeting former graduates from years past come back to support the new graduates
- seeing their families (so many tuba mutes! â€“Â er, I mean, children!!);
- watching the â€œold timersâ€ mingle with the â€œbaby bandâ€
- smiling, laughing andÂ knowingwhat it is like to play music for a special group of graduates that captures my youth and continue to make those memories of entertaining people helping them to realize that I have been there for them the entire time â€“ when they enter and when they leave to begin the new chapter of their life.
Most of all â€¦ IÂ LOVEÂ the stories! Each and every one of them begins withÂ â€œRemember when â€¦â€
Next Friday will be my second graduation for campus. I look forward to many, many more in the future including mine in two years. I know â€œthe world did not begin with meâ€ and that there were years and years of graduations that occurred long before I ever set foot on this campus. It is thoseÂ stories I long to hear each year â€“ the ones that happened prior to now. It is thoseÂ stories I want everyone and myself to hear too (albeit with an understanding that the world was very different back then). I want to remember and hear all the stores of my radio years, and years with the graduates that I have known and taught. And the reason is so very simple:
You need to know where you came from in order to know where you are going.
Congratulations graduates Â â€” I will miss you however I will see you later. Goodbye WSIN Radio â€“ I will be back. Hello teaching profession: The no-nonsense guy is coming to make a difference!
Folks, as always: we have to reflect on our past to look to our future.