Friday, December 17, 2021

And, in Some Personal News


This is the time of year that you are likely to see posts on Twitter which begin, “and, in some personal news…”

Since I follow such interesting people their personal news tends to be pretty interesting as well.

And, in some personal news, today is my last day at X because:

  • I’m going on sabbatical in Greece.
  • I’ve been appointed as the Chief of staff for Y.
  • I’ll be writing for the New York Times.
  • I’ll be finishing my novel.
  • I’m running for public office.
It’s almost always something impressive and fascinating. Of course, every so often these announcements are spoofed by some wag who tells us that “in some personal news, I’m going down to Subway for a footlong tuna sub,” but those are the exceptions rather than the rule.

So, inspired by all these end of year tweets, here goes:

And, in some personal news, as of December 1st I am retired. That first Social Security payment slid into my bank account and I’ve been pondering the significance of my decision ever since. 

It had never been been my intention to retire early but my metabolism/immune system had other plans. I once wrote:

Early childhood education is a career marked by being sick most of the time and working anyway as long as you are able and not contagious, punctuated occasionally by becoming so ill you can’t move or end up in the hospital. It is not for the weak.

I taught in one way or another for about thirty years. And I always managed to bounce back, until February of 2020. It took over a year, four doctors - - and I can’t even name all the different medications and medical tests - - to get me back on my feet. Returning to a classroom of young children would be hazardous to my health. The onslaught of COVID-19 made it even more complicated.

I spent some months looking at ads for different kinds of jobs. I came away thinking that the average job was made up solely of qualifications I do not have. If only I were prepared to handle a multi-line phone system, were knowledgeable in multiple office software programs, a whiz at typing, fluent in Spanish, able to lift fifty pounds, could work standing for hours at a time, and able to operate a wide variety of office machinery.

Oh, and a PhD wouldn’t hurt, either.

No, I do not want to work in a “fast-paced environment.”  I am probably not a “rock star.”


My experience and qualifications run long and deep in the field of early childhood education, and, now that I think about it, that has been my fast-paced environment. That is where I have been a rock star.

Yesterday a former co-worker came to my house and kindly picked up boxes and boxes of art supplies and curriculum materials that I am donating to the school. It gave me a sense of closure that simply seeing that Social Security payment couldn’t provide. Someone else will be caring for the littles.

And I will be figuring out my next adventures.

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