Monday, May 6, 2013

Speaking of retirement- 42 years in a plastic bag

I spent this morning going through a bag of files I brought home two years ago.  In one bag I found two half bottles of Pepto Bismol.  Does that speak for job stress or what?  It was a grin to read all the paperwork:  grant rewards, letters of recommendation, old contracts (since I worked for a parochial school, they were a hoot), certificates, workshop agendas, transcripts, and credentials etc.

It's funny - forty two years in a plastic bag.  They were good years and challenging and growth filled years.  I want to try and resurrect some of my memories and chronicle them in these writings.


Received an email from one of my teachers.  (I retired two years ago!).  One of our former students shot and killed himself last week.  He was 21, and left three children.  The reality hit when I read the obituary.  J. was such a smart kid.  He wasn't "bored", he just did not see the value in what was going on in the classroom.  He wouldn't do his work, so I consulted with his grandmother and I allowed him to pass on the basis of his standardized test scores.  The kid scored off the charts.  My hope was  he would find the challenge in high school that he needed.

I recall speaking with him at the last graduation I attended.  He had been booted from his high school and made some choices that earned him more trouble, but it seemed as if he was turning his life around.  It is a tragedy that plays out all over this country.  Don't know what is the answer, and I know that this isn't just another urban problem.