Saturday, December 17, 2011

Zooming from the 70s to the 2000s

Yesterday, my daughter asked me if I realized when I started teaching in 1971 that my year of retirement would be somewhere in the 2000s. It took me a few seconds to even wrap my brain around the question!

When I started teaching, I never thought about retirement at all!  In fact, I didn't think too much about retirement until a few years ago.  My husband and I were busy raising our daughters, and we didn't seem to have time for a breath, let alone time for thoughts of retirement planning.  Some of my teaching friends started to retire, and it hit me that I would someday be there!!!

I remember when my dad retired as an accountant for Cincinnati Metro.  Dean and I planned a huge surprise party for him.  My mom was in on the surprise, but what she didn't know was that my brother was flying in from Kansas City for the big event.  I'll always remember my dad's face when he came to our house that Sunday, and we told him guests would soon arrive to celebrate his retirement!  Even more memorable was the look on both of my parents' faces when I said, "And one of the guests has already arrived".  My brother walked in from the kitchen!  My mom gave him a big hug and kiss! I'm pretty sure my dad's jaw dropped! Many of my parents' friends joined us that afternoon, and we had asked each one to write a note to my dad.  The notes ranged from profound to funny to silly.

I still have those notes in a scrapbook we made for my dad.  I think it it time that I read them.  Of course, my dad isn't with me for my retirement, but I bet the sentiments his friends shared will have just as much meaning for me today.  And I humbly say that my dad would be proud that I have taught for 37 years and have earned my retirement.

So back to my daughter's question.  Key futuristic dates I recall as being significant were 1984 (because of the novel) and the year 2000.   (Has it been almost 12 years since we all worried about Y2K?)

I realize that if I  had thought of the end of my career when I started my career, I wouldn't have had much of a career. Teaching has been a journey, as trite as that may sound.   Anyway, what fun is it to read the last chapter of a book before starting it? 

1 comment:

  1. I also remember that surprise party. I remember that I had to be careful to stay away from places Mom and Dad might be between the time I arrived and the party. It was great fun and Dad certainly deserved the party. I often think how unfortunate it was that he was unable to enjoy more than just two years between retirement and his death.

    As we were noting when you were in KC for Meredith and JP's performance in "Our Town," when I retired (the first time) at the end of 2005, it had been 37 years since I was ordained as a Presbyterian minister.

    In 1968, I did think about retirement, but only because some of my colleagues were close to retirement and one of my mentors, Dr. Ben Judd, had retired just a couple years before I was ordained.

    Since I have already served two interim positions, one for a year and another for three years, and continue to be available to serve in such positions and preach as needed around the area, retirement is more a matter of, to quote a colleague: "having all the fun without having to worry about the budget."

    As far as I know Linda, there are no surprise parties planned, but if there is one Donna and I will be there.