Major Adjustments

I have studied history through travel.

Yesterday was the first school district Professional Development Day that I have attended in more than six years. During those six years since I was employed as an educator, I have been a learner.
I studied Advanced French at the Sorbonne, Spanish in Mexico and assorted topics with my husband at Ageless Pursuits. I was a pilgrim on the Camino de Santiago de Compostella, I volunteered as a tutor and as a library assistant in Oaxaca, I wrote a blog (on a more regular basis) and I wrote a children's book (unpublished but I could use it as a teaching tool). I won't go on but when I look back, I've certainly progressed in my experiences and in my education.

I have learned about my genealogy.

So, why am I a bit intimidated by some new technology, catch-phrases and acronyms? I overheard some teacher-candidates (used to be student teachers) talking about they considered "old". Okay 40!!! It's funny but probably at age 23 or 24, I would have thought the same. Most of the "ignites" (I had no idea what an ignite was) were about the value of play in learning for children of all ages. Not a new concept..On to the teacher-librarian session (only 2 faces that I recognized) where I was introduced as a "very experienced t-l who had returned to rescue a school library".  I am starting to feel like Methuselah.

But, I took my morning's learning about searchable databases for elementary students and I planned a unit of study in French on media awareness. I learned how to take a screen shot and to Airdrop the material into my colleague's box. I am a "progressing" learner with the technology and I am trying to figure out my relationship with the rest of the staff. Will I go to the Christmas staff party? I'm personally at a very different stage of life from the rest of the staff.

I plan to attend more evening theatre or musical events this year.

Something that I have enjoyed (mea culpa) is the unexpected financial windfall. As a retired woman, I have had a carefully edited wardrobe. I have not bought "dress shoes" for years. My husband does not "dress up" and I gave up my subscriptions to opera and theatre as I was travelling so much. This week, I bought a pair of Beautifeel dress pumps and an indigo lace dress by Gilmour, a Vancouver design company. I shall wear my dress throughout the year. Perhaps, since I will not be travelling (except in school holidays), I shall treat myself to some extra evening outings. I've looked at staying at a downtown hotel for a week-end (by myself) because I am already missing "alone time".

Another confession! I am cranky at home because it seems that I am never in the apartment alone.
I am a morning person so I don't come home at four in the afternoon and start a project. My husband goes out generally in the evening for music but I fall asleep (not my puttering time). As I have been writing, Monsieur keeps speaking to me and I feel mildly irritated. Book club is Monday and I have barely started reading...I am making a giant salad for Lunch Club at work (team-building activity)...
Christmas is coming and my decor is still Thanksgiving...I promised a friend that I would donate some unused toiletries to a transition house so I should curate my bathroom vanity....  These are all activities that take personal attention.  Right now, much of my energy is going to making the adjustment to regular employment.

Yesterday, a few former colleagues (younger) marvelled that I looked healthy and asked if I would continue working. Forever??? Probably not! But it is a journey down a different road.


  1. You'll really enjoy that new dress and suede shoes...I can visualize you at the theatre, Opera and other evenings perfectly attired and savouring cultural and arty events well deserved after your return to the work force. Those younger teachers can learn a lot from should be considered a mentor with all your experience.
    You will adjust your routines as you get into the rhythm of work and time off...the important thing is that you stay healthy and get your rest...did you find someone to come in and help clean?

  2. It is a period of adjustment and I always felt (you probably did too) that the t-l job was the best job in the school. Now that I don't do relief or any resource, it is even better!
    I haven't got a cleaner/helper in yet but I am going to. I still enjoy dusting, polishing and organizing but "deep-cleaning" could be done by another. I was looking at plays in the new year and I'm looking forward to some local "getaways". I'm making a special roasted beet, sweet potato and quinoa salad for Tuesday and will post the recipe if it works.

  3. What a fascinating life you've lived and continue to live! The more you use computers, the more comfortable you'll feel and don't be afraid to ask questions. The younger folks at my work are aghast when they hear I don't have any kind of cell phone or iPhone, ha ha.

    Lovely dress! You should definitely carve out some alone time!

    1. Thanks, Sheila. I received a iPhone for my 65th birthday and I'm learning to use it as a tool more than as a communication device. I really don't need (or want) to be in constant contact with others. I've found that younger people don't mind being asked questions about technology.

  4. What a pretty outfit you have there. You'll get a lot of use out of both of those items if you go out to evening events.
    I'm one of the eldest members of our staff and have to keep learning to keep up. But we all help each other.
    Time alone is very important. Although my husband has a few more years before retiring, we're already discussing how we need to give each other space. We love doing things together, but I, particularly, need solitude from time to time.
    I'll second L's comment about you having a lot to offer the younger staff, if only they would realize it. You have much wisdom.

  5. Thanks, Lorrie. That solitude is important to some of us. I am a reflective person so I do need my space. One of the aspects of the education "business" is that it is reciprocal. I learn almost as much from colleagues and students as I teach. It is that learning that keeps one's teaching "fresh". Today, I'm learning to make a new recipe for a staff lunch. I think that as long as we keep learning new things, we will enjoy this time of life.

  6. I just lost my entire comment (thank you, Internet)... I'll just say that an inability to allow me my (writer/editor) solitude, particularly as I work from home, was part of the significant demise of my last long-term relationship. (I was working all the time to get by; he was a teacher and had TONS of time off, and was chatty and underfoot for much of it.) Love does not conquer all...

    Eh bien, nice to meet you, via Frances' blog. Et si vous avez envie de parler français, vous n'avez que me le dire. Ce serait un véritable plaisir, Mme La-bas.

    D. A.
    (Daily Plate of Crazy)


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