It has to be one of the strangest feeling I have ever felt. To no longer be part of the system, to no longer have the need to know; to have the answers or to know where to look to find them. I've turned in my keys which means I can no longer access my office or the classroom I spent 11 years building. Leaving aside the usual chaos of trying to work out Medicare I feel primarily like an outcast' someone no longer needed in the big picture of things. Strangely, it's almost like going to prison in a way. I am no longer a player in the process of educating teachers and children.There isn't even someone to replace me that I could pass on my accumulated wisdom. But is it? Things change so fast these days that it sometimes seems like accumulated wisdom is a handicap more than an asset.
I just downloaded my professional life from the past 15 to 30 years onto a $12 Thumb drive!
I have really enjoyed my eleven years at St. Michael's College, a place I always wanted to work at since arriving in Vermont in 1982. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend my children go there if I had it all to do over again or to recommend that my grand-children go there in 16 to 18 years time. I have worked with some incredible colleagues and have learned from some incredible students. The College has supported me when I had medical issues which I truly appreciate My experience has been wonderful and positive with one exception; one particular administrator.
It's hard to believe that a college administrator can be so out of touch with the individual faculty members who work with her. At my recent retirement luncheon where she introduced me it was as if she had no idea who I was and what I had contributed.to the college over the past 11 years. Sure she said some nice things about my work with Maths and English Language learners but she had no idea I had been awarded the Balomenos Award for Math Educator of New England In 2013. She appeared to have no idea that I taught ll the science education courses for elementary ed majors She also didn't mention the annual Concert for St.Patrick that I had organized each year bringing to St.Michael's some of the most famous Irish musicians such as Tommy Sands. Each concert was designed to raise money for a notable organization beginning with the college Katrina fund in 2006. But, in forty-plus years of working in teacher education this is really the only major complaint I have.
If my health were better I would hope to continue to contribute to the improvement of maths, science and engineering education for the teachers and students of Vermont but I am not sure that will happen. I am just so pleased that I was able to influence in a positive way so many teachers and students in terms of their approach to science, engineering and maths; the science of pattern and the art of making sense,