The Quiet September

*****A word caution to all my teaching friends – don’t hate me.*****

So a bit of an update on me and my first September without teaching.

I must admit it has been the most relaxing September I’ve ever had in my 56 years of existence.  The most stressful thing I’ve had to endure was an MRI and that even came back with good news!!

The first few days of September saw me longing for a new class of kids and the day to day contact with my friends at Beulah Elementary,  I missed the excitement of that first day of school with new haircuts, outfits and smiles.  As the days passed it got better but I don’t believe I’ll ever not miss it.  My school friends have stayed in contact and kept me informed.  I have coffee with my kindergarten teacher friend, Burns, and talk with my former team mate and friend Steven from time to time. We also plan rides together.

The part time job I have with Capital One has turned out very well.  Working at home has been an adjustment.  The 1PM to 8PM schedule four days a week is weird.  I have yet to get into a good workout/eating schedule and put on a few pounds but even that has gotten better and the weight is slowly coming off.

The job itself is enjoyable and I work with some very interesting and funny people.  We get together in group chats and support each other and share interesting customer interactions.  Talking with customers is actually a lot of fun.  People are so different and mostly kind.  You would think it would be nothing but a lot of disgruntled people but nothing could be further from the truth.  I work almost exclusively with customers who are eligible for upgrades to their account, so I have to admit I get the happiest of customers – usually.

My friend and guidance counselor at Beulah, Patti, got a bunch of us together for dinner at Joe’s Inn one night.  My son, Andy was visiting us fresh from moving back to Baltimore from Hawaii with his wife Renee.  Lynn and I took him and our other son, Jack, with us to the dinner.  It was great seeing everyone and I had so much fun listening to how their year began and all the fun stories.  I must it, though, it confirmed my decision to retire (no haters, please).

Andy’s visit was awesome!!  He seemed to really enjoy taking the time off from being a Chinese Linguist in the Air Force.  What he REALLY seemed to enjoy, though, was being away from his home which was trashed and set on fire (probably) by tenants during the three years he was in Hawaii.  His poor wife, Renee, was left there handling the details.  Andy and Lynn powered though watching the Ken Burn’s documentary on the Roosevelts – all 14 hours of it.  I couldn’t hang because I had to work one night and I’m not the history buff their are.

If you’re a teacher friend you will want to stop reading RIGHT NOW!!!!  I don’t miss the stress of teaching.  I don’t miss the test anxiety, the unrealistic expectations, the belief that everyone except the teacher is an expert on teaching and all the other bull-doo-doo that I can’t repeat here.  What little work I do is not really stressful and when I finish my shift I just log off and don’t think about it at all until the next shift.

Oh how I love the quiet!!  I always had a pretty quiet and serene classroom but even so a school can be a quite noisy place.  The quietness of my life is delicious!

I do miss the people.  In teaching it is a self-selecting group of people who are for the most part – kind, caring, giving and genuine.  This can never be truer than my last school – Beulah.  It was so inspirational being around those humans so naturally I do feel that void.

On days I have to work at 1PM, I enjoy sleeping late.  I was never one to do that but I have to admit it is quite nice.  Our mornings are filled with Lynn and I getting up around 8 or so.  We have a leisurely breakfast, read the newspapers and do crosswords.  We’ll eventually get dressed and watch a bit of news than go off to find a great donut, geocache or work around the house until lunch.  Lunch is usually us reading and talking while finishing some puzzles. Lunches without 150-200 kids screaming at each other is a bit more pleasurable.  After lunch, it’s off to work from 1-8PM with an hour break from 4-5PM. Dinner is at 8PM which is taking some getting use to.

Yoder’s Donut Time!!!!!

The only thing I want to change is adding more of an exercise routine into these “work” days.  It might require less sleeping late but I think it’s really necessary.  We also want to do more things during these mornings rather than be so static.

I have Thursday, Friday and Sundays completely off and we use those days to do things like bike riding, day trips, more geocaching, movies and all the kinds of stuff people usually do on weekends.

People are telling me I should write a book but I’m not sure what to write about or if I would be any good.  I’ve been thinking about it more and more, though.

Jack is doing well in this new job in Chesterfield through a contractor. He works in the several middle schools with the Chromebooks.  He’s been living at home since he graduated with a degree in computer science in May and is trying to save up some cash to move out soon.

Nichole and Patti outside “Hoe’s Inn”

Catherine is also at home with us and is a behavioral counselor working with autistic kids.  I don’t know how she does it.  I thought I had patience.  She also is considering moving out (maybe with Jack) and has some leads on other opportunities.

So that’s my first month of semi-retirement so far.   It’s been awesome!!  I am a VERY lucky man.

Thanks be to God and peace to you all,

Will

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