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Author Topic: Why this area is pretty much empty....  (Read 157707 times)
nebo113
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« on: March 20, 2012, 9:40:48 PM »

Juvenal has posted recently, mostly to empty air.  Why is this thread so empty?  Here's my best guess:  By the time someone decides to retire, the decision is made and we don't need to discuss it.

Moreover, each of us retires for personal reasons, reasons which we discuss with our colleagues, our partners, our families.

It isn't like seeking advice on managing a classroom or working with obstreperous colleagues. 

Even though many faculty have retired, it's again my guess that most foramites are  a ways away from retirement.  You're putting away $$$ in your 401Ks or TIAA-CREF or whatever, but your focus is on your children, your teaching, and whether to put a bathtub in your house before you sell it (which I absolutely get, and agree on add the tub).

And, honestly, my decision to retire was utterly and completely personal.   I didn't need to bring it up here.  Nor did I need or want to discuss such issues as $$$ or moving or whether or not I would continue as an adjunct.

I was ready to go.  I got my ducks in  a row.  I went.

Damn.  I love retirement.
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« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2012, 11:21:49 PM »

Juvenal has posted recently, mostly to empty air.  Why is this thread so empty?  Here's my best guess:  By the time someone decides to retire, the decision is made and we don't need to discuss it.

Moreover, each of us retires for personal reasons, reasons which we discuss with our colleagues, our partners, our families.

It isn't like seeking advice on managing a classroom or working with obstreperous colleagues. 

The forum was created because someone told the mods that there was a problem with posts about retirement needing to be separated from other posts about leaving academia, and managed to convince them that there was enough interest in the topic that a separate forum would populate itself. Clearly that hasn't happened -- but the point remains that it was created via user request.

Glad you are enjoying retirement! I am envious.

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larryc
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« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2012, 2:29:14 AM »

Juvenal's posts are among the most beautiful and wistful on the forums. I really enjoy reading them but feel like I have nothing to add. Keep posting, Juvenal.
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nebo113
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« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2012, 9:38:22 PM »

Larry, I, too, like Juvenal's posts and wish he would blog.....
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infopri
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« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2012, 10:09:24 PM »

Juvenal's posts are among the most beautiful and wistful on the forums. I really enjoy reading them but feel like I have nothing to add. Keep posting, Juvenal.

+1

My Better Half has just entered phased retirement this year.  What this means, essentially, is that for three years (including this one), he teaches in the fall and is on unpaid leave (with full benefits) in the spring.  At the end of the three years, he'll be fully retired.  He always thought that he'd be one of those people we see shuffling down the hall many long years after they've become emeritus, sharing that tiny office way down the hall in the corner furthest from the dean's office, not quite ready to leave campus forever.  As it turns out, though, he is quite enjoying his newfound freedom from the cares of the academy.  Now I wonder how well he'll adjust to having to go back to full-time duty for the fall semester.

Juvenal, I hope you find your retirement fulfilling, and may this chapter bring you much fulfillment and contentment.  Yes, please keep posting.  There are many of us who would like to continue to hear your voice.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2012, 10:11:04 PM by infopri » Logged

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yellowtractor
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« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2012, 3:08:16 PM »

Actually I think the primary reason this forum sees little traffic is that many of us aren't there yet--indeed, aren't remotely close.  Many of us were drawn to the Fora over the past ten years while we were either on the job market or in the early stages of tenure-track progression.  If the Fora last that long, I expect we will see a gradual increase of posts and postings here, as more of us have appropriate questions or thoughts to add.

Thank you, Juvenal, for pioneering.
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juvenal
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« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2012, 7:58:13 PM »

"Wistful"?  Mercy!

I must have missed (well, no doubt about it) this thread back in March, and clicked on it today only because of the subject, wondering what it might mean.

I will have to say, folks, that the impending prospect of retirement finds me of two minds these days.  By "these days" I mean the time between the end of the spring semester and the beginning of the fall, a kind of short-term retirement, since at a CC, if you don't need the money, there's not much of an academic nature that needs doing, and I've not taught in the summers since 1974.  Some of those early summers indeed were used for accumulating more credits for promotion, but I topped out long ago.

For about two decades I volunteered for some part of the summer--even most of a summer--with an outdoors organization, but declining strength and a catastrophic accident in the last decade make that a thing of the past.

So, what does my "mini-retirement" hold?  I sit, I eat, I read (trash, mostly, although I plow through Nature and Science weekly--I do have some shame), I drink, I let hours seep away at the computer, not least of which is reading the fora, although I contribute but sparsely.  Frankly, I'm bored.

When I mention my doubts about retiring everyone says, "You need to find an interest," or "Now you can travel."  As to travel, I find myself in agreement with Samuel Johnson, who, when told that the Giant's Causeway was worth seeing, said, "Worth seeing, but not worth going to see."  That is, the fuss of travel is hard for me to bear; easier to stay put.  As to "finding an interest," that baffles me--as if you could somehow pick one up at the store.

These days I breakfast at nine, thinking, "This is very nice, a change from the pre-dawn ones of the school year.  When I'm retired I could do this all the time."  By about two p.m. I'm thinking, "Now what?"  I live alone, so there is little of the stimulation/irritation others can provide.  I get that on campus, and then begin to think "wistfully" of chalk.

So, with this, I will be back in the classroom come fall, yet with great uncertainty as to what the next year or two will find me doing.  Aside, of course, from cultivating my angst, but I can't really call that "an interest..."

I suppose I have fewer of what psych-speak calls "inner resources" than I am happy admitting.  But I admit it here. 

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infopri
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« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2012, 11:06:49 PM »

So, what does my "mini-retirement" hold?  I sit, I eat, I read (trash, mostly, although I plow through Nature and Science weekly--I do have some shame), I drink, I let hours seep away at the computer, not least of which is reading the fora, although I contribute but sparsely.  Frankly, I'm bored.

When I mention my doubts about retiring everyone says, "You need to find an interest," or "Now you can travel."  As to travel, I find myself in agreement with Samuel Johnson, who, when told that the Giant's Causeway was worth seeing, said, "Worth seeing, but not worth going to see."  That is, the fuss of travel is hard for me to bear; easier to stay put.  As to "finding an interest," that baffles me--as if you could somehow pick one up at the store.

Juvenal, My Better Half spent most of his life expecting to be bored in retirement, but he just completed the first year of his phased retirement (taught last fall, then had the spring and summer off) and as it turns out he would be perfectly happy never to return to campus.  (Unfortunately, he has to teach again this fall, and fall of 2013 as well.)

At first he just putzed around the house, rode his scooter, surfed the Internet, and generally took it easy.  But then he discovered an interest in drawing, and he's devoted some time to it every day.  I know you can't just go to the store and buy an interest, but if you try things you've never done before, perhaps you'll find that you enjoy something that you didn't expect to enjoy.  I gather you have some physical limitations, so I won't go into the bicycling/canoeing/hiking/etc. possibilities, but that still leaves lots of other activities to explore.  How about being a literacy volunteer (either for kids or for adults)?  Or getting involved in a support program for academically-at-risk youth?  Or, if you feel that you're done with volunteering, how about learning a new language?  I haven't retired yet, but when I'm not teaching (I'm an adjunct, so I don't necessarily work every semester) I've been trying to learn both Spanish and American Sign Language.  Or perhaps you can explore cultural activities in your city/town that you never had time for--theater, symphony, art museums, whatever catches your fancy. 

This isn't an exhaustive list, just an illustrative one to prime the pump.  The only way to "find an interest" is to try new things and see which, if any, stick.  Good luck to you, and I hope you discover something (or even several somethings) that you enjoy!
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polly_mer
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« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2012, 3:17:36 PM »

When I mention my doubts about retiring everyone says, "You need to find an interest," or "Now you can travel."  As to travel, I find myself in agreement with Samuel Johnson, who, when told that the Giant's Causeway was worth seeing, said, "Worth seeing, but not worth going to see."  That is, the fuss of travel is hard for me to bear; easier to stay put.  As to "finding an interest," that baffles me--as if you could somehow pick one up at the store.

I agree with you on the travel and on the difficulty of finding an interest.

What I suggest is that you embrace the boredom for a while.  Just sit in the house and stare at the wall.  After a bit of doing that, you'll think of something to do, even if it's logging onto the internet and doing a search on "how do I find an interest?"

To get you started, http://www.wikihow.com/Find-a-Hobby
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nebo113
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« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2012, 6:20:39 PM »

A round-about response to Juvenal et al.  My mother worked from about the day I was born, and loved having a job; it was integral to her identity. 

My father, my sister, and I loathed having jobs.  They had little to nothing to do with who we are, the opposite of my mother.

Perhaps Juvenal derives a measure of identity from his job that cannot be compensated for through travel or a hobby.

After she retired for the second time, it took my mother a bit of floundering before she found her footing in the psychology of not having a job. 

While I am blissful about not having a job, I would be flippant if (as suggested by the usually insightful polly_mer) I would propose staring at the wall. 

Honestly, Juvenal, I too love reading trash, currently:  LeCarre's Constant Gardner and Lee Smith's On Agate Hill.  OK, I confess, a tad more upscale than usual; after all, we're on the CHE!!
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larryc
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« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2012, 10:38:31 PM »

Juvenal, what do you most enjoy?

(Sorry for the wistful!)
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systeme_d_
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« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2012, 11:04:44 PM »

And one other question, Juvenal, if you wish to entertain it:

Is there a country or a culture or a cause about which you are especially passionate?

I ask that particular question because in retirement, my parents have become activists and fundraisers for the children of Haiti.  They travel there at least once a year, and run a child-sponsoring organization. They were working in Haiti long before the terrible earthquake of 2010, but that disaster caused them to redouble their efforts.

Perhaps there is an analogue to which you'd like to devote your time and talents.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2012, 11:05:09 PM by systeme_d_ » Logged

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