Literature Computer Programmer
Paul Simon wrote in the last stanza of A Hazy Shade of Winter
Seasons change with the
Weaving time in a tapestry.
Won’t you stop and remember me.
At any convenient time?
Funny how my memory skips
Looking over manuscripts
Of unpublished rhyme.
For nearly 35 years I’ve read the Class Notes section of the alumni magazine, paying particular attention to the class years from 1969 to 1976 to see if anybody I remember from my four years might be mentioned. There are never more than a few items and none that were less than glowing. So here we are 35 years removed from the ‘Tute looking at a web site with a paltry few biographical sketches of class-mates long forgotten. Maybe the web-site will attract a few more writers. I wonder what motivates some to write and others to stay mute – and I think I really know. Almost without exception the writers have achieved lives of distinction, have accomplishments that our Alma Mater likes to hold up as shining examples of what ‘Tute men and women do.
Remember as a freshman, that perhaps mythic story, about sitting in orientation and being told to look left and right and note that one of those people wouldn’t be here at graduation. Well with 804 fellow alumni listed on the class web site – it couldn’t have been accurate. 804 is just over 72% of the reported 1111 freshmen in our class and if we add in the few who must have been missed or perhaps have passed away the percentage gets better. We the class of ’73 did better than the projected 67%. What is true is that more than a few of those 804 must have been near the bottom of the class. In fact simple math says that at least 402 were closer to the bottom than the top.
I will offer a few items from my own biography, and would argue they are probably typical of many more than just the bottom 402. And I would guess that most are reasonably happy and well adjusted. We of the bottom 402 are probably normal, average people working effectively in low to mid management positions and maybe we should say to the rest of our fellow alumni that were ok with that and here’s our story.
May to July 1973 – unemployed
July to December 1973 – Ford Motors (Green Island Radiator Plant) Picking up a radiator every 17 seconds, 10 hours a day, 6 days a week.
December 1973 to present – New York State. Mostly writing computer programs. Rehearsing for retirement in September 2008.
Family: Married August 1972 to Anne Marie Lavigne of Cohoes
2 Children (Christopher 1/2/1975 RIT 1998, and Brian 6/22/1978 – RPI 2000)
Hobbies: Hiking, Canoeing, Running, and Photography
Hiked all 46 of the Adirondack High Peaks in 1995. Hiked the 134 mile Northville to Lake Placid trail in 11 days (July 2001). At age 41 ran a marathon in 2 hours 57 minutes (October 1992). Won the alumni reunion 5k in 1993. Have been co-leader of the Paddle ‘Till Your Arms Fall Off canoe trip for 25 years. Had a one man photo exhibit in December 2007.
And here’s a sample of some unpublished verse that Simon would have me looking over.
“I’m melting, I’m melting!” cried the wicked witch of the west.
She must have been cool
Two parts hydrogen one part oxygen kept at zero degrees Celsius
Now exposed to the sun she was undergoing a phase change – solid to liquid
A puddle – two parts hydrogen one part oxygen – warming up
Soon she would undergo another phase change – liquid to gas
A vapor – two parts hydrogen one part oxygen
She is no more!
My brain is one part carbon two parts oxygen
Super conducting at –78.50 C
Every thought warms it a bit
“I’m sublimating, I’m Sublimating”
Straight from solid to gas – man
No puddles here
Each fart – Pffffffft – there was another thought
Pffffffft – another brain cell sublimated
Pffffffft – my brain is disappearing in rude noises and foul odors
Pffffffft – soon it will be no more
Photo by Anne Marie Koschnick