Monday, November 20, 2023

It's Real


It is more than the cusp of the holiday season.  This is also the week when you realize that things are real.

When you are younger, it is the week the newness of the school year really wears off.  The long slog to summer is underway.  It's real.  Summer is a long way away.

That feeling is intensified after graduation.  Some college friends are home for the first time since August.  I went to a local college, so it was a temporary good bye to some friends who lived in the dorms.  Of course, I was helping run the college radio station, so I was still on campus during the holidays.  The silence of the campus was eerie, and oddly satisfying at the same time.

When you start working, and enter adulthood, thoughts turn to Christmas shopping, when you will be working, when you won't.  As I've stated here in the past, I was born without the holiday gene.  While the holidays were overwhelming and depressing, I managed to muddle through.

Beyond that, this is the time of life when you realize many things have changed, and they will never be the same.  Never.  Never ever.

There should be an extra day off during the holiday season to de-stress and do absolutely nothing.  I guess that's why we have January.

And speaking of the holidays, I'm getting tired of government and business types telling us how great things are.  The "good times" proclamations come at the same time every social service agency says requests for assistance are at all time highs, and the need for donations is greater than ever.

Yes, it's real.

And before I go,  and speaking of "real," I have to note the recent passing of Dr. John R. Zaums.  He taught religion at Marywood College/University for 39 years.  Dr. Zaums handled the "intro" course, the one every freshman had to take, and I was in his classroom every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday morning for my first semester, way back in 1979.  The name of the course was "Modern Beliefs and Unbeliefs."  Catchy!  I'd like to meet the individual who came up with that.  I'll be honest.  I thought Dr. Zaums with a fine chap and he was well liked by my classmates, but I can't list him among my favorites.  I think it was the subject matter more than the instructor.  A course on religion just wasn't my thing, and there would be two more religion classes before I was handed my Marywood degree.  It's on me.  My grade:  C+ and I was happy to escape with that.  I will say I admired Zaums' passion, and his enthusiasm.  I never saw him mail it in.   Zaums  made the material relatable to young people, and he made quite the impression.   "Intro" courses were your introduction to college life, and they were hugely important-- dry, but vital.   Dr. Zaums touched thousands of lives during his career.   As I said, Zaums taught the intro course, so the path to a degree went through his classroom.  I can't stress that enough.  He was there every day, and education was his joy, not a job.  Dr. John R. Zaums was 81.