I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend. (J.R.R.Tolkien, The Two Towers)

When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force.

Marko Kloos "Why the Gun is Civilization"

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Update on being retired

In 2 months I will have been retired for a year. It's what I thought it would be and it's not what I thought . I thought I would miss school, but I rarely ever think about it. I knew I would miss the kids and I do. Funny how the two things seem separate to me. School was work, the kids were fun. That's kind of strange because school is supposed to be for the kids but it isn't. It's for the teachers and administrators. I wonder how many of them know that in the back of their minds but won't admit it and how many of them don't even have a clue!!!

We had a call at the elementary school a couple of weeks ago (I'm an auxiliary police officer...that means I volunteer to do the same as a regular officer but with no pay). They had lost a kid. He was supposed to have stayed for extra help after school but rode the bus home but didn't go home. Anyway as we were in the office trying to get all the facts straight, I was watching the teachers and office personnel and all I could think of was that it looked like you had kicked an ant hill open. Not only them but even the parents who were just picking up their kids seemed harried and in a rush. By the way...we finally found the kid...he got off the bus and went home with his buddy.

I think that's the biggest change I've seen. My life has slowed down to an almost slow motion like quality. No rush, no hurry, no got to get it done, nothing hanging over me any more. The days seem to flow into each other with a dream like motion. Oh there's still things I need to do, like cleaning out the smokehouse...been putting that one off since last summer and it will eventually get done but ONLY when I'm ready to do it. I think what it comes to is that "I" decide when, what, and where and not someone or something else telling me I have to do it now. Little things like doing the dishes or straightening up the house are a pleasure in themselves and not something as before that was done to get it out of the way.

So when someone asks me if I'm enjoying my retirement I just smile at them.



At 1:01 PM, Blogger McWong said...

Very interesting to read your experiences retired after a year. I will be retiring in six months and I am wondering what it is *really* like -- but it's hard to find info on the Web that's not just more stuff about money money money. I appreciate your insights such as "life has slowed down to an almost slow-motion-like quality. No rush, no hurry, no got to get it done, nothing hanging over me any more. The days seem to flow into each other with a dream-like motion...." Very nice!

At 4:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do some students really leave a tremendous impression in your life, as so many e-mails lead us to think?
Did you ever teach a prodigy? What eventually happened to him or her?
What was the most amazing thing about a student that you ever remember?

At 9:12 PM, Blogger H. Stallard said...

When you spend 7+ hours a day for 180 days, it's hard not to leave an impression on someone...student and teacher both. I would hope that there were more positive ones than negative.

I can't speak for other teachers but I always thought of my students as a family. We worked, played, and ate together. For some of them, they spent more time with me during the week than they did with their parents.

I don't believe there is such a thing as a prodigy...every single student I interacted with had something special or unique about them. I’ve tried to keep up with as many of them as I could. Several are dead. One was murdered. Several are in prison and I’ve even taken a couple of them to jail for DUI (driving under the influence). Most have had normal lives…grew up, got married, raised a family, had a career at this or that.

The most amazing thing about my students is that some of them still like me.

Anonymous…I don’t mind answering questions but I really would like to know who I’m talking to.


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