Upon finishing class this morning I came home and logged onto Facebook to see what is going on in everybody’s lives and, like usual, I read about my friends “busy” schedules and how their afternoons are going to be “hell.” As University of Michigan students, we know what it’s like to grind through tough days like these. One student in particular, who was probably even more involved and dedicated to after school activities than the average Wolverine, had his life taken all too soon. That student was Michigan Marching Band member, Patrick Fleming.
When reading more about Fleming online, I came across Dave Brandon’s blog where he talked about the 112 miles he drove each day to and from UM Flint, still making it on time to band practice each day. On the weekends, while most students were pre-gaming and singing “The Victors,” Fleming was on the field, sweating and playing to the beat to get students and the football team pumped up. In addition to being a full-time student and band member, he also supported himself by working full time. His life was unfortunately taken this past Monday in a car accident during his commute to Flint.
“You know the band is a family. Feels like I lost a brother. He was an amazing trumpet player, and a good kid,”
said Jesse Belanger, Michigan Marching Band member.
Are students being forced to do too much as they search for jobs in this tough economy? More clubs are added each year encouraging students to “get involved” in order to get that extra step ahead of the competition. By doing so, they deprive themselves of sleep to make room for they overload of activities. Some students at the University of Michigan even go 3 days without sleep sometimes. This is detrimental to one’s health and learning abilities. I don’t mean t imply Patrick Fleming’s death was related to lack of sleep, but he obviously was a busy student like many of us are. We should consider taking time to stop and enjoy life once in a while because we never know when it might end.
As you continue through your remaining semesters, take a step back every once in a while to evaluate where you stand and make sure you have time to enjoy the experience. And as we go through the rest of the school year, keep Patrick in your thoughts and let his hard work inspire you when you are feeling down. The University and Marching Band lost a great person Monday but his memory will live on. Rest in peace Patrick Fleming.
(Photo courtesy of facebook.com)