BY SALLY GRACIE
After 30 years in the classroom, by the time a teacher retires, she has been permanently imprinted with a school calendar. After the three-day Memorial Day holiday, the working teacher begins to look forward to summer break, to three months without lesson plans and students and committee meetings and administrators. Once retired, a teacher will continue to anticipate the freedom that June brings.
As August comes, and schools are about to open, the new retiree may feel anxiety that equals that of his or her former colleagues. This feeling dissipates, but never actually disappears. It’s June and, though I haven’t had the responsibility of the classroom for 15 years, I look forward to the freedom of summer much as I did before I retired.
Once September comes, Jane Orme will find that the school calendar has become part of her psyche, too. The first year is the hardest after retiring; Jane will certainly feel the tug of the classroom towards the end of the summer. That’s natural. You’ll get over it, Jane, though it may take a few years.
Jane is one of the best English teachers I’ve ever watched in action, and I wish her the very best retirement.
On June 8, when I was a little girl, my mother turned sprigs of mock orange and wild pink roses into “tussy mussies,” little bouquets tucked into white paper doilies and tied with a silk ribbon. There was one for each of my little friends who came to play and to eat birthday cake and ice cream. For as long as I lived at home, I had a birthday party. I took for granted that birthdays were special for everyone and that everyone had birthday parties. They aren’t, and they don’t. I was lucky to be spoiled. My friends continue to spoil me.
I’m looking forward to a special weekend with my family. My granddaughter will graduate from Liberty Bell High School on Friday (June 7). I’ll be there at the ceremony along with her parents and her Long Island grandparents, Bert and Ann Freifeld. On Saturday, my friends want to spoil me with a birthday party, and on Sunday, there’s a graduation party for Amaya, who was 4 when I came to Twisp. Pretty amazing.
Just in from the porch, where the cat is on the railing, wishing that she were slimmer and fitter so she could catch the robin she’s been yearning after all day. The scarlet poppies are in bloom, the grass is cut, the garden is edged, and in five days I will have completed seven decades. Pretty amazing.