Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Bob Lobel: Back to School at Salem State

By Bob Lobel (@boblobel)

I always thought I wanted to go  back to college.

It was for all the wrong reasons which, up until now, seemed to be all the right reasons.

I'll make this simple: Got out of high school in Apple Creek, Ohio and made my college decision because I had visited the campus for some high school competitions, because it was close (within 50 miles) and most importantly, it was cheap (I mean inexpensive to the tune of $150/quarter). There are no zeros missing. 

It was what it was. I had chosen the home of the Golden Flashes, Kent State University. I loved being in college so much, I decided to stay an extra year. Perhaps, it was because I left school before my senior year to join some fraternity brothers in Lake George, NY and learn the fine art of being a busboy for migrating bottle-blonde Florida waitresses.

They were suppose to give us bus kids about 10% of their tips. What a joke! 

Seldom, if ever, did they give us anything close to what they got. So what? The pure education of being out in the real world was worth every cent (Bull ----). So, how did I get from a summer at Lake George to a sports anchor desk in Boston, and now back to school again?

Let me explain the last statement. I'm going to be a lecturer and/or professor of sorts at Salem State. True. I did return to KSU for my bachelor's in education. I always did think it should have been a priority to know why they call it a bachelor's degree, but I no longer care if I die knowing the answer or not. I did go on for a master's degree in education at UVM, continuing my goal of staying as long as I could behind those walls. 

So, part of the UVM experience included being Director of Student Activities and also a live-in residence hall counselor trying to avoid believing I could smell the pot blowing gently down the hall. 

SO… that’s the education preparation. 

I did take about 40 years off to pursue, for lack of a better work, a hobby of sorts. What else can I call it? Now 40 years later the siren of Salem is calling. Maybe, or maybe it’s the Edmond Fitzgerald. 

Whatever it is, it's calling and I am answering the phone. So professor, what are you going to be doing? Well, if I tell you it’s a surprise, it will sound like I don’t know.

It’s a surprise.

But a work in progress, to be sure. I'm heading up there this week to sit in on two classes that deal with sports law and ethics. I like the ethics part because you really can't look that up on a smart phone, and because there is no wrong or right answer. The key to a good grade with professor Lobel is contribution. Simple. 

There are some tough hurdles to jump over. Where is the class room I'm supposed to be in? Do I need to take attendance? Do I really need to go from A-F on the grade thing? 

The one really exciting and great thing about this is that it appears nothing has changed whatsoever since the time when I actually started teaching 4th grade in Rowayton, Connecticut. 

Not for the whole year, but just a few months for the teacher that needed to get away. Before the fourth grade gig, (where exactly are those kids and how old are they today?) I did some substitute teaching in a shop class in Norwalk, CT. 

I can't make this up, but one of the incidents that turned me away from this noble profession is that my very first substitute job was a shop class where a student threatened me with a wrench.  

In a moment of truth can I admit that my lesson that day was finding out what a wrench was. Yup, everything started someplace and, while I'm happy it started there and I'm happy to have taken 40 years of, I'm thrilled to be going back. 

Do not throw a wrench into my plans, or the plans that allowed Salem State to reach out and rescue me… Welcome back, Kotter!

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

If you can dodge a wrench- you can dodge a ball.