My last day at work

Joined Jul 3, 2002
Hi Friends,
Some of you know that I've been struggling with the decision to leave my job. And keeping all this from my students has been taking even more out of me. So I decided to resign effective at the end of this quarter (I teach at a university). My last class was yesterday, and although I still have the final papers to grade and final grades to calculate, I am done.
After the students left, I became more emotional than I thought I would. Just sitting in the empty classroom knowing that this was the last time touched me deeply. I was flooded by wonderful memories. But I also knew it was time to leave. Fear (about money, the future, etc) isn't enough of a reason to stay.
While going through some old midterms and syllabi (my desk at home is a swamp) I came across a poem I used to teach that I still love. And now I feel more of a kinship with it because it's time for me to move on to the next period of my life. I trust that everything I need is already deep inside, just waiting for the season to turn.

Root Cellar

by Theodore Roethke

Nothing would sleep in that cellar, dank as a ditch,
Bulbs broke out of boxes hunting for chinks in the dark,
Shoots dangled and drooped,
Lolling obscenely from mildewed crates,
Hung down long yellow evil necks, like tropical snakes.
And what a congress of stinks!
Roots ripe as old bait,
Pulpy stems, rank, silo-rich,
Leaf-mold, manure, lime, piled against slippery planks.
Nothing would give up life:
Even the dirt kept breathing a small breath.
Joined Oct 13, 2001
phoebe , I wish you all the happiness and peace in your life ahead . I know that you have touched many lives through your teaching and you should take great joy in that . You have also touched many lives here on cheftalk and I look foreward to your many posts to come . Peace , love and joy to you my friend and may your dough always rise . Doug...................
Joined Aug 4, 2000
Let me warn you that there's nothing like teaching and I'm a former instructor. The corporate world sucks bigtime and I truly yearn to return to the chalkboard. You're gonna' miss teaching; I mean it.
Joined May 26, 2001
Every exit is an entrance to something else. Nothing we experience ever goes to waste. Best of luck in your new life, and remember that the old one will always be a big part of you.
Joined Aug 29, 2000
Phoebe, I have been where you are at this moment. I had a long, usually rewarding teaching career and a hankering to do something else. It took me away from teaching for a time.

My path led back to the classroom, but could just as easily not have. I respect your decision to move on, and the courage it took to do so! Your poem says it all, and reminds me of a quote from (of all things) Jurassic Park: "Life will always find a way." I wish you happiness on your new adventure! Be sure to send us road reports as you travel a new path.
Joined Jul 3, 2002
Thank you all so very much for your kind thoughts and good wishes. You guys are the best! :)

Teaching has been a wonderful experience for me and, at first, I thought I'd finally found IT. I mean I had worked as a receptionist, an ESL teacher, an actor, a dancer, a free-lance reader for literary agencies and production companies, and an office manager for a chiropractic office; wasn't it about time for me to find a professional identity? . . . Guess not. At 52 I've come to realize (accept) that I've always done a lot of things and I probably always will. I brought all those past experiences to teaching (having seen a lot of Vegas lounge as well as mainstage acts as a child helped A LOT with those 300 student lecture classes :D ) and Suzanne is right about nothing going to waste. Sort of like French cooking (at least the type I've seen where every scrap is used for something either now or in the future).

Mezzaluna, I just know you must be a fine teacher. It comes out in every post. And I also know you understand which means a lot to me.

Suzanne, I've gotten the sense that you've gone through some career changes yourself. Thank you for your support and the wisdom in your posts (also for turning me on to Weebl!!!:D --PIE!!!!!!!!).

Mike, Thanks for the good thought. I know you've been facing the decision to emigrate. That's got to be a lot tougher than mine. All the best to you.

Kokopuffs, I know what you mean. But I've had lots of other jobs (and have no intention of going corporate). I do appreciate the warning, but I've been ignoring the signals for too long. It's time.

Doug, I am so touched by your words. You are such a sweet and wonderful man. Thank you so very much my friend. Hope all is well with you too. :)

OK, I'd better get back to the pork roast with jalapenos and apricot preserves I'm trying out. One great thing about all this is I'm going to have the time to actually try out the fabulous recipes I've been reading about!!!:bounce:
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