There is No Separation — in Work or Play
In the spring of 1983, my final semester of attending Nazareth College of Rochester, New York (my hometown), “Every Breath You Take” by The Police, the legendary rock band, was a hit on the airwaves. Of course, the “airwaves,” at the time, meant just listening to the radio and watching MTV. There were no smartphones, iPads, or even the internet. And desktop computers were just barely introduced to the mainstream, which today, enjoys streaming videos, movies, music, and TV shows on a whole other level. But in 1983, any song by “The Police” helped to define the era, as music and pop culture in general usually does so for any time period. “Pop-culture” is really the “culture” of the moment. In looking back…way back…to Ancient Egypt, the Pyramids may be viewed as a “pop-culture” development of the day.
That might be a stretch in time. But you get the idea, and ideas are always a good thing.
Certainly, many wonderful ideas sprang into mind during my years at Nazareth, which remain some of the happiest of my life. The education I received, the friends I made, the wisdom I gained from the enormously gifted teachers, professors, and instructors; all of them, inspirational, and immeasurable with experiences that I still call upon to this day to guide me.
One such experience, in particular, stands out.
I recall working full-time, directing a play at the Nazareth Arts Center, and going to school full-time. Into that mix, I somehow found time for social gatherings. But I was burning myself out, trying to please everyone, and doing too much. I was confused, scattered, and scared. I remember walking the campus like a zombie.
Until one day, I was approached by Professor Joe Baranowski, a lovely man who ran the Theatre Arts program with Dr. James J. Kolb, another terrific and talented human being.
“Joe,” as he so graciously allowed his students to call him, noticed me walking, as if in a daze, from the Arts Center to the Shults Center. He stopped me and said, “Herbie? Are you okay? You haven’t been your usual jovial self, lately. What’s going on?”
A few minutes later, we found ourselves at the Shults Center, on one of the cushioned seats near the main entryway, and I poured out my heart.