A Work In Progress…

A Work In Progress…

I started working at around the age of fifteen cleaning two hotel swimming pools, sweeping their sidewalks, painting dingy rooms back into shape, and clerking. From there, I moved on to college, over a decade in the media and well over a decade in the oil patch. For the sake of expediency, I’ll leave out several other brief episodes of yet other digressions in my work experience. Now, as of today, I’ve finished up the career I’ve practiced for almost a quarter century: teaching.
Now. Retirement. My last day at school. I was reminiscing with a colleague today about those years in that last career. What I related to her, was that all those years weren’t spent in the same area and I felt lucky for that. The first part spent teaching communications at a school that had a lot of at-risk youth. Young people going through puberty and their middle school years not always under the greatest of conditions. From there, moving to the high school level teaching literature to both regular and pre-ap students. Then…. on to working as a reading specialist with students who just needed a little extra guidance to master the difficulties some have with knitting together diction, syntax and overall comprehension of the written word.
And, finally, spending the past six years working with the gifted and talented. I appreciate my educational time being like a buffet: sampling a bit of this and a bit of that. And, it’s cliché: learning as much from the students as they learned from me. Learning from other colleagues along the way from my first cooperating teacher who told me, “Never leave your drink unattended.” Yet, somewhere back there a cliché was a novel truth. That’s how they get started before we warn fledgling writers not to use them because they are old and dusty. And, as I stated to a neophyte teacher today who has only been at it two years, one learns from their own mistakes, probably learns the most, in fact, from those.
So, now it’s retirement. Probably lots to learn there also, because as I began this reminisce, diatribe, introspection….. I am just a work in progress. Like all the rest of you.

2 thoughts on “A Work In Progress…

  1. I related to this because I had three careers: 15 years in print journalism, 24 in domestic violence social work, 5.5 in Meals on Wheels social work. Plus two years in the Army, 15 months as a house-husband not looking for work, and the rest of any missing time between 21 and retirement just two weeks before turning 70 would likely be "looking for a job" months. I worked in NYC, PA, NJ, NM, HI, OK and TX. Army time was split between NJ, NC, KY and Vietnam (only a month though.) So the varied life hampered my ability to collect a great retirement plan, or become beloved in one community (although 29 years in Lea County made me semi-well-known.) I made lots of mistakes, both in when to change jobs and which ones to abandon, and fell into my last two careers unintentionally. But one could one change that would not also change what we learn, who we bring into the world, and how many we might have helped? I am so lucky in who my children have become, and how wonderful the five granddaughters are, that I'll take that deal rather than have become the managing editor of Time Magazine, one of my early desires. Have you seen a copy of Time lately? It sucks. (Bill Adams)

  2. Five lines up from the bottom, I meant to type "But WHAT could one change that… (not "But one…") I was so excited to be allowed to comment, I just got frazzled. And I didn't find an "edit" or "delete" option here before I hit "publish" yesterday. Now I know where it is.

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