This series comes to end: An eerie quiet at SUNY Empire State and Medaille Colleges in Brighton

This series comes to end: An eerie quiet at SUNY Empire State and Medaille Colleges in Brighton

SUNY Empire State College in background, March 7th, 2020 from On the Highland Crossing Trail in Brighton after an early March snowfall Photos of campuses by David Kramer 4/28/20

Recently, I’ve made excursions to eight mostly deserted educational campuses: a high school, a two-year college, two four-year colleges, a university, an institute and two multi-site institutions. [SEE SERIES AT END]

Top (l-r): from An eerie quiet at McQuaid Jesuit High School in Brighton; from An eerie quiet at Nazareth College; from An eerie quiet at the University of Rochester; Bottom (l-r): from An eerie quiet at Rochester Institute of Technology, from An eerie quiet at Monroe Community College, from An eerie quiet at St. John Fisher College

Yesterday I visited SUNY Empire State College on 680 Westfall Road in Brighton and Medaille College on 1880 South Winton Road in Brighton. Most everyone knows Monroe Community College has a campus in Brighton; fewer realize that Brighton is home to three colleges.

Of all the campuses, Empire State and Medaille were the most desolate. Combined, I saw zero people and one parked car.

(left) waterfowl and wild turkey of North America warning sign on the path outside Empire State; (right) the Empire State reserved parking lot section. 4/28/20

I’ve had some limited connection with Empire State College and its alumni. In On the Highland Crossing Trail in Brighton after an early March snowfall, the campus is seen at the end of the trek.

SUNY Empire State College, 680 Westfall Road in Brighton

When the campus was in Irondequoit, I interviewed for a position as faculty mentor for an American History course. I like the Empire State model in which students, often an older and returning cohort, collaborate with instructors on an individualized curriculum. I had a strong sense the interviewers enjoy their work. Unfortunately, while I am an Americanist, because my M.A. and Ph.D. are in English, the school ultimately determined I was not eligible for the position.

A few months ago, I inquired about evening opportunities in the college Writing Lab. When returning with a resume, I saw this sign.

I called the 800 number, learning that an electrical issue had crashed all the computers, temporarily closing the campus. Unbeknownst to anyone, of course, was the less than temporary closing awaiting.

As seen, in Talker sweet talks Cheetah Girl. Or was it vice versa., in 2016, I met SUNY Empire State College alum and award winning author and designer Deborah Gregory — the “Cheetah Girl” — at a Writers and Books’ “Writers to Writers Social.” I learned from ESC Associate Director of Alumni and Student Relations Lindsay Valenti that Deborah was an ESC Distinguished Alumni Award Winner; past winners include Kenny Baron, Melba Tolliver and Robert Roach.

At the W & B event, Deborah loaned me her cat hat and one of her cheetah coats.

Two cheetah coats are warmer than one. Writers and Books, April Fool’s Day, 2016. (left) David “Talker” Kramer and Deborah “Cheetah Girl” Gregory [Photo: Mary Brzustowicz]; (right) ESC Associate Director of Alumni and Student Relations Lindsay Valenti [Photo: David Kramer] From Talker sweet talks Cheetah Girl. Or was it vice versa.

The next afternoon, Deborah and I met again at a reading, reception and book signing at the Memorial Art Gallery. I missed the evening Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair Gala Auction. (see Girl, you are WEARING that dress! Inspiring Beauty at the Memorial Art Gallery)

(left) Talker jamming with North East Flow, Memorial Art Gallery, April Fool’s Day, 2016 [Photo: Sandra St. James of St. James Photography]; (right) Cheetah Girl snubbing Talker: What do you mean you only sign for teenage cheetahnistas? [Photo: Sandra St. James of St. James Photography] From Talker sweet talks Cheetah Girl. Or was it vice versa.

Even though I entertained her fanboys and fangirls gathered in the gallery’s lobby patio, at her bookstore signing session, Deborah refused to autograph mine. She said I was not the intended audience, teenage girls. I disagreed. By mentality, I am close enough. Nonetheless, on the down low, Cheetah Girl slipped Talker a love letter.

Deborah Gregory’s love letter  written on Memorial Art Gallery stationary, Valentine’s Day, 2016

I’ve only had one contact with Medaille College. Several years ago, I inquired about teaching postions. I was placed on the instructor list, but so far, nothing has come of it.

Main entrance, Medaille College, 1880 South Winton Road in Brighton

(left) rear entrance, Medaille College; (right) direction sign near the Outer Loop (I-390/590) on South Winton Road in Brighton

The campuses 

An eerie quiet at McQuaid Jesuit High School in Brighton

An eerie quiet at Nazareth College

An Eerie Quiet at Nazareth College, Part Two, by Ian Richard Schaefer

An eerie quiet at the University of Rochester

An eerie quiet at Rochester Institute of Technology

An eerie quiet at Monroe Community College

An eerie quiet at St. John Fisher College

About The Author

dkramer3@naz.edu

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY and Lake Affect Magazine.  My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.

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