Tag Archives: retirement parties

As the day wanes…

…so do I.

The invitation arrived a couple of weeks ago. It verified news I had heard a week earlier. A long-time teacher friend had retired and there would be a party to celebrate the occasion. I had been a bit surprised to hear of the retirement, months after one would normally announce their retirement, only a week before a new school year began. Those in education know this is a bad time to announce one’s leaving as it makes the principal scramble to find a replacement and usually means the class will start with a substitute teacher. Actually, this is how I got my job at the inner city high school, but being credentialed in the subject, I was allowed to keep the position. Most teacher candidates, though, have already found a job and are settled in by the start of school.

So, the invitation comes, for a party that will be held late in September, late in the evening, on the other side of the valley, at a residence of people I don’t know. I laid it aside, contemplating the whole situation, but especially vexed by the date and time. As I stated at the beginning, I don’t do well late in the day, and especially after sunset. My extrovert personality only works until about 4 p.m., going off the clock when my introvert self shows up. And I use the term show up lightly. The introvert sort of sidles in, preferring no one see her, and if no one says anything to her, she sits mute and still. Certainly not a party personality.

This has been slowly coming on over the years. I used to have no problem going out at 8 p.m. and having a good time until midnight. Now, by 8 p.m. I am done for the day and heading for bed with my book. A couple of months ago we attended a backyard dinner at a friend’s house only a few blocks away. Although pleasant enough as I came onto the scene, I didn’t talk much, didn’t mingle, and by 8 o’clock I had slid down into my chair, ready to head home, which fortunately was only 5 minutes away. It just felt so wrong, though, because that behavior annoys my extrovert personality that shows up every the morning. That persona comes in the door talking, finding friends to greet and new people to meet. I offer to help with the food or service. I talk with different groups, moving around as the mood strikes. I don’t get stuck in one place. The extrovert doesn’t slink down in her chair, trying to disappear, hoping no one says a word to her.

The quandary is what to do with the invitation. In early morning, when I am typing this, I am gung-ho to go to this event, find out why the retiree made her decision so late in the summer (I just know there must be a good reason), chat with people I may not have seen in awhile or even met, eat some delicious food at a venue I’ve never been…then by late afternoon I know this will not happen. Ms Extrovert, who would do all those things, will have checked out hours before the party is scheduled to begin. Ms Introvert will sidle in and will be a party-poop.

Just a few useful things

Everyone who has left the department in which I have taught all these many years was given a gift  by those of us who remained.  When the department was large (8 teachers and a secretary), we could afford grand gestures, but as we have lost staffing, our numbers have dwindled, and in August, when the new school year begins, the department will have 3 teachers and one secretary.

The faculty club insisted on presenting me with a plaque at our end-of-the year luncheon, even though I put up quite a fight against it.  Knowing that the remaining staff would plan for a department gift, I tried to kibosh it early on.  The apartment is tiny; I’m ridding the house of every superfluous item I can find; I have no room for any extra stuff; the remaining teachers did not need to spend their money.  My department mates knew how I felt about these things, but they insisted we go out to dinner, which was fine with me. There, in the middle of the table, was a wire basket cart like I had been wanting.  They had heard me–I only wanted useful things.

Hauling bags from the car to the elevator

A former student had sent a package that contained three wall hooks.  I put those to good use in the tiny apartment:

See the cart? It's ready to go

When we go to the Safeway, only a few blocks away, we just take a couple of bags and head out:

Terry is headed for Safeway

But when we want to go to Whole Foods, eight blocks away, we can use the cart:

it will hold about $100 worth of groceries

The cart also does laundry duty as we don’t have our own washer and dryer in the tiny apartment but rather a large laundry room in the building’s basement.

Three more weeks

I just read another blog where the writer wrote of students’ last day and turning in keys.  Those were the days–when school ended by Memorial Day.  Haven’t had a year like that for awhile now.  We still have three more weeks of school, two with seniors.  I have to remember, at this time, our three week Christmas vacation, the whole week at Thanksgiving, and an extra day after Easter.  

Since others are done, and starting summer vacation, I am getting very antsy for my time to come.  We still have lots to do, though, so I am not bemoaning the extra time too much.  I have to pass out yearbooks, celebrate the Academy graduation, attend a few retirement celebrations for those who don’t plan to return after summer break, make it to big graduation, and then get grades done for the underclassmen.  The sophomores have two BIG projects to finish.  The last 13 days will certainly be busy ones.