Tomorrow is August. In 29 days, I will have 27 new students to teach. The anticipation of going back for the third semester of my young teaching career has been on my mind the last several days.
I have for the third time now, re-worked my syllabus. In the syllabus are some new topics, some new guest speakers, a new playlist for labs, and a different order to the material. I am also starting slower. Determined to get to know the students better, early on. I printed a listing of the students in my class with their photo and information such as their majors and hometowns and have been praying over this new group. They deserve my best and I am determined to give it.
This semester I am also formally doing academic advising for about 50 students. This will be in addition to my student mentoring activities. In fact, I will be participating in training for new academic advisors in just a couple of weeks. The plan is for me to not teach in the Spring, but to focus on academic advising and mentoring. This is in spite of a 4.7 teaching rating, which I think is the rough equivalent to a 4.9 if I were a Uber driver. But mentoring is my passion.
No more sleeping in until 4:45 am on “school” days!
A Boomer In Transition
Whether retired or not, one can waste a lot of time on social media. This is not a big revelation. For me, social media was making me angry and frustrated. Angry at the people who would post political views that they agreed with as if they were ordained by God and then in turn show no tolerance for those who had a different view. Ironically, these in all cases were people who preached a tolerant ideology. Frustrated when friends would try to set them straight backed up by facts, not appreciating that these same people do not care about facts. I decided all of this was getting me down and making me too cynical, so I did a full retreat for several days.
My devotions and quiet time got better.
My attitude healed.
I spent time reading again, for fun.
My workouts got better.
I don’t plan to bury my head in the sand and swear off the positive connectivity that social media can bring, but I will learn to disconnect sooner when I feel the emotions I described above.
A Boomer In Transition
I did not expect to get any promotions in retirement, but for some reason they keep on coming. My latest one involves a new title “Executive In Residence” at the local university where I teach and volunteer. This promotion comes with no pay and no benefits. In fact, my compensation will be held “flat” from my prior title of “volunteer.” The pay is zero. To be fair, I do get paid as an adjunct professor, but this new title is for the volunteer work I do for the University, which takes up about as much time as my teaching.
A couple of positive breakthroughs this week in my Executive In Residence role is more than enough “making a difference” compensation for me. It is fun to be able to add value and to make a difference in retirement without getting paid for it. The only challenge is keeping track of all my different business cards!
A Boomer In Transition/Executive In Residence
Amidst all the trajedy of this week with shootings and violence in our country.
Amidst the death of a young man just a few blocks from our house.
Amidst the growing divisions ideologically, morally, and racially in our country.
Amidst our 43 hour power outage.
I am reminded of simple things. Being able to bond together with neighbors to move a downed tree blocking the road. To be able to offer help and encouragement to neighbors going through medical challenges that don’t go away when the power is out or the country is in a state of unrest. To be able to rely on God for peace and comfort in a world that increasingly seems to offer little of either.
To be able to celebrate my Dad’s birthday just a few days ago, with a simple present like a case of Nut Goodies. To see the new community that my parents have in their new senior development.
i am not trying to be trite, the issues I started with are serious. All I thought about the majority of the past two days are these serious issues, so I choose to end the week on simple things that were good.
A Boomer In Transition and Inherited Nut Goodie Lover
I just completed my second 2300 mile solo road trip in the 18 months since I retired. My “fastest” GPS route said it was 17 hours and 52 minutes, but that is if you stay strapped in the car and make no stops whatsoever for gas, food, exercise and restroom breaks. I did manage to average 41 mpg on this trip so I did not have to stop for too many gas fill-ups. However, I am not sure if I mentioned this before, but I do not have my original bladder (actually it is possible I mentioned this once or twice before). There are two primary factors requiring a non-original bladder(neobladder) to be emptied more frequently than an original bladder: 1) It is a little smaller than the original bladder (possible 75 – 100 cc’s smaller); and 2)In order for it to function properly, massive amounts of water must be consumed (on the order of 90-100 ounces per day minimum).
The GPS does not take these factors into consideration when going on a road trip. Additionally, since I like Rest Areas, and obviously need them, I nary pass one by without stopping. I always like to look at the map and see the “You Are Here” pin to give me comfort that I am in fact somewhere, so this adds a little time to the journey. The GPS also does not take into account creative marketing. Near the exit signs for Lewisburg, West Virginia was a cool sign announcing that in 2011 Lewisburg was awarded “The Coolest Small City in America” distinction. So I exited to see this cool city and followed numerous signs to the Visitor Center. The directions wound me all over the city such that I never really did figure out what was so cool about it. The GPS does not account for this.
The GPS is “smart” now and does account for road construction, accidents, and traffic delays of many types factoring this into the time to destination. However, in nearly every case, the delays were substantially longer than predicted making me wonder if the satellites have never driven before. In any event, I estimate that the total trip is really about 22 hours each way (Minneapolis to Virginia).
I am grateful to be to make the decision to journey at a slower pace.
A Boomer In Transition