No, no, no — not retirement from running, or from kayaking and other river adventures. I mean retirement from work, in a day or two.
Came about fairly suddenly — I entered DROP (Deferred Retirement Option Plan, Florida’s version of what’s sometimes called “Phased Retirement”) April 1st, as soon as I was eligible. Plan was to stay in DROP ’til April 2014, when Pam’s eligible to retire.
But then came teaching two sections of Technical Communication in the 2nd summer semester, July 2-August 15. And, though most of my students are a delight, there’s always one or two (or three or four) who belong to The Entitled. Entitled to a passing grade (uh, if you’re one of The Entitled, you should get an “A” or a “B+”, right?). And, given my contacts with The Entitled, who are becoming much more numerous among the student population, I began to get jaded-squared, to feel that, well: “Another summer at Perry’s? I can’t.” (Kudos to whoever can identify the movie that quote is from, and double-kudos if you include the character & actor.)
Connection is, I just can’t anymore — 26 years of doing more or less the same job, 275 classes, 3,000 students, 15,000 papers and essay exams, and I just can’t, anymore.
So what will I do with my life and time? Maybe more blog posts; and more kayaking.
More volunteering in the community — cooking lunch at St. Francis House, the local homeless shelter, has been a longtime avocation of mine, which I’ve not done for a few years due to a change in the shape of my job. I stopped teaching half of my classes on the Internet, half live, and that kept me busier on campus during the middle of the day. (Brief explanation: teach 2 of 4 classes on the Internet doesn’t mean that it takes less TIME, just that I could no longer time-shift and keep my middays free, making up for it late in the afternoon or in the evening. Sometimes late in the evening.)
So, here goes. Maybe I can make a trip to St. Simon’s Island and to other beautiful places near and far. Friends, wish me luck.