La Rentrée

an older teacher-librarian
After more than 6 years of retirement, I have returned to work part-time as a teacher-librarian. The community where I live is experiencing an acute teacher shortage. Contractual improvements and high housing costs have created a situation that the school where I once worked could not open its
library. The parents were concerned that their French Immersion students had no home reading programme. Somehow, this felt like a gap that I could fill for a while.
my October travel table
Since I  retired, I have travelled extensively. I'm not really a "tourist" and I have preferred to spend longer periods of time in Paris or in Oaxaca. Since my husband is not as keen to travel abroad, I have spent more time at home recently. We have our little dog to care for and I have taken an interest in developing community gardens in our residential complex.
In the last few years, I have learned a lot about myself. I am independent, enjoying a significant amount of "personal time". While my mother may say that I am "bossy", I consider myself to be self-assured and self-motivated. While I'm polite and collegial, I'm not a "team-player".  Teaching and learning are my avocations. I have not enjoyed any volunteer work that did not reflect those interests.

So, when the opportunity arose, it seemed the "right thing" was to go back to my old school library
and to "try out" this working thing again. My life experiences and my grey hair reflect six years of ageing. Probably, the six years between 59 and 65 are quite transformational. I've tried a lot of different things and I've learned more than in any other 6 years except perhaps from birth to age six.

As I return to work, I don't know how I will adapt to a 9 to 4 schedule for 2-3 days a week. I have already planned a Winter Break getaway and a trip to Oaxaca in the spring. I don't work the days of my book club or my exercise class. I'll still walk dogs with my brother and go to church with my mum. Monsieur and I are going to make Wednesday our "date day." I may get a cleaning lady or simplify my home routines. I've got a great casual work wardrobe courtesy of six years of reading The Vivienne Files.

This week will be my first three day work week. I do wonder what it will bring. Last week, Reverend Maggie, our minister, spoke of liminality and crossing the threshold. I felt that she was speaking to me.

"It's all part of the adventure."- Brother Bob


  1. I think it’s marvellous what you are taking on and your students and their families are so fortunate to have a librarian with such experience ! Good too that it is part time so you can continue to enjoy the things you have grown accustomed to doing.
    By all means get a cleaning person to come in that simple solution will be worth every dollar that you spend and your Wednesday date day is a brilliant idea! My husband and I go to the theatre and dinner before as our routine dates.
    Our cottage has become date weekends for both of us every month! I have s friend joining me after he leaves on Tuesday which should be fun.
    You are looking quite elegant Madame. Your hair style really suits you.

  2. Your cottage must be a lovely getaway in these golden fall days. I'm looking forward to working with teachers and students for a change. But I do value the activities that have come to be a part of my life. I think that if something should go, it is drudgery or any activity that does not delight. I'm off today for two walks while we still have the good weather. We're reading The Cellist of Sarajevo for book club so I'll probably have a reading afternoon. Enjoy the cottage!

  3. This is exciting! I have to agree with L. that the students are lucky to have you there.
    And I'm with you on giving up any activity that doesn't delight -- and on delegating activities someone else can do as well as you (or at least well enough).

  4. I'm enjoying library time with students. I declined substitute teaching this week as I do want to maintain my priorities:family, friends, and fitness.


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