Every Time We Say Goodbye

by Jeremy Chance

This weekend marked the end of a time of my life filled with countless hours of rehearsals, hundreds of performances, frantically memorizing new music, meeting dozens of amazing people and making lifelong friends.

My time with the Purdue Varsity Glee Club and Purdue Musical Organizations came to an end this weekend with our End of Season concert and commencement ceremonies, and I do have to say it was very bittersweet. This has been one of the most up-and-down years I’ve had in college, with Glee Club, school and other aspects of my life, so for this school year to come to an end, the only word that adequately describes it is bittersweet.

Now, I have always been very honest here on my blog and have always been open with my readers. This post will be no different. I’m going to talk about my experience with the Glee Club this year, but I’m not going to use this space to air all of my beef or anything like that. Despite the fact that this blog is an open and honest forum, I don’t think it would be appropriate to rant, rave and vent about my negative experience this year.

To clarify, that does not mean I had a completely poor experience as a member of the Glee Club this year. Like I said, the year was filled with a lot of ups and downs, though it seemed if there was more down than up.

That’s not what this post is about. This post is about capping off four amazing years with close to 100 Glee Club brothers performing all over the country and the world, culminating in my final End of Season performance.

Any of you have followed my blog and read my posts know that I’ve been unable to perform with the Glee Club this past semester due to my academic status. In that regard, it’s been pretty rough semester. For starters, the performance schedule was comparable to what it used to be back in the day, and I missed that.

The “opportunities” the guys had while I was sitting on the sidelines really made me jealous. I missed out on most of the senior lavalieres. I missed out on the John Deere Headquarters. I missed out on the IU collaboration. I missed a National Anthem at another Pacers game. I missed a lot of amazing performances, and that absolutely killed me. To hear Bill repeatedly say “best show of the year” or “great performance” and knowing I had nothing to do with that really bothered me.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy for the success the guys had this year, but I think I speak for all of the guys who have ever been on academic probation when I say that sitting on the sidelines really sucked.

Each show has significance to it, no matter how big or small, and the probation guys were able to join the rest of the group for the Munster show, which actually for the first time was two shows this year. For me, Munster acts as a home show. The Glee Club hardly performs up in Northwest Indiana very often, so it’s nice to be able to perform for family.

As appears to be the theme of this post, this year’s Munster performance was bittersweet. As it’s always great to perform near home, it made me remember the people who always came to this show who weren’t here. My grandma who passed away two Octobers ago always used to come to the Munster show, as did Papa, who passed away this past November. I know they were both watching from above, with Nana, but events like that always serve as a reminder of the people who are gone.

The Munster shows were pretty solid; it was nice to get back up on stage and perform with the guys again. But End of Season was the show I had really been looking forward to once learning I was on probation. Being able to perform at Munster was a bonus. In the past probation guys weren’t able to perform at these shows. However, End of Season is what I had built my mindset up for: one last show, one more performance with my guys, leaving it all out on the stage.

I have to admit, it was a little harder than I had anticipated. I came in with my less than positive attitude, kind of looking to just get it over with. Then it hit me at some point that it was all about to be over. I wasn’t going to have the opportunity to stand on stage with those group of guys I had grown close with, especially my seniors. I wasn’t going to be able to throw on the tails and feel untouchable because I was performing with the Glee Club. Sure it’s cliche, but you never appreciate what you have until it’s gone, and I’m sure Glee Club will be no different.

As for the show, I really don’t think it could have gone any better. The song selection was surprisingly spot on, with an exception or two. The quality of our singing was top quality. The crowd was great. John and Josh’s lavaliers were moving. The feeling of that performance with those guys at that moment is a feeling I don’t know I can even describe in words, and I fancy myself a pretty decent wordsmith.

For those of you who attended End of Season, I hope you were touched and moved and could feel the passion coming from the stage, and you thoroughly enjoyed the performance.

This past weekend was also filled with five commencement performances. It reminded me of how proud I am to be a Boilermaker alum. I look at my degree, which hangs over my bed, everyday, and it’s an amazing accomplishment. A lot of amazing people graduated this weekend, a lot of people I’ve been privileged to be friends with. I’m very happy for all of those who graduated this weekend, but especially my PMO family. Congratulations!!

Two last quick updates:

All I have going for me right now is my job at the grocery store. My plan was to continue working at the store, move up within the store and eventually work my way up to a store manager position. I planned to work full time over the summer, do this for a while and then eventually look for a job more so related to my studies at Purdue.

However, after only getting 18 hours at the store this week, my search may have to start sooner than later. I’m going to give it a couple of weeks. I know our department hours are down, so I’m not going to jump to hasty conclusions just yet. But, if hours continue to stay under 30, I’m going to either have to start looking for a second job, or look for a career sooner than I planned. I’ll keep you updated.

Lastly, I’m still doing work in the gym. With no school and no Glee Club, work and working out are really I have to focus on right now. My body is starting to feel all the hard work I’ve been doing. I’ve been having some foot/leg issues, and my back is actually kind of sore today. However, I’m 10 pounds away from my initial goal weight of 215 pounds (weight loss of 43 pounds since mid February), so I can’t really complain too much.

Once I get to 215, I will celebrate the achievement of a goal, but I intend to get closer to 200, 205. Once I do reach 215, I will be celebrating with some kind of celebratory meal or something. I asked for suggestions on Twitter and got some good responses: Five Guys, an Italian beef sandwich from AJ’s Burgers and Beef, Chicago-style deep dish pizza, fried chicken. My initial thought was movie theater popcorn. If anyone else has any suggestions, please leave a comment or tweet at me, @Jeremy_Chance.

I’m really excited to be getting close to my goal, but like I’ve said before, I still look in the mirror and am not happy with what I see. I see a lot that’s keeping me motivated.

I was talking to someone about why I’m working out so hard, and I’m actually very surprised with the response I gave. With everything that goes on in our lives, especially in mine, there’s a lot going on that is entirely out of my control at the current moment in time. My body is one of those things that I actually have some control over, and that’s what I’m doing.

Maybe I should post more often…then I wouldn’t have a nearly 1500 word post. Hope you all made it this far!

Thanks for reading, and I hope you all have a wonderful day!