"I have always found it very easy to be happy, since I have always held my happiness absolutely independent of things."
...but I am not dead certain, this pretty Saturday morning. I just finished spending much of the morning working on the upcoming calendar for my classes, trying to get the next couple of weeks planned, you know, ducks in a row. What has happened with the new internet technology is that I find I have to spend large amounts of time on internet communication. On the one hand, I am one of the most willing users of edline and gradebook. I like the whole computer communication stuff. On the other hand, I don't like the time loss connected with it. I don't think it is healthy for students going to college to be freed from the personal task of taking down this information and working with it. We are sort of pablumizing education with all of this, as much as I like it. And the infantilizing of teenagers in high school is an exploding phenomenon. (Not to mention the infantilizing of teachers!!) Once again, I am glad that I had my career just in time to get away from what is happening in the near future. I have been very successful in treating the students as competent young adults, and they have always risen to my expectation. Even students with actual deficiencies will absolutely shine, if you don't make their deficiencies the center of your claim on their abilities.
All of this is rolling around in my mind, as I am constantly thinking about the mechanics of retirement. I am very happy with my classes this year, and MMW has me slotted into a perfect schedule, I have to admit. My classes are too large, which undercuts my part time status. The result is that I teach one fewer class but have the same number of students as last year. Part time is, of course, a large deduction in my salary! So the basics of my day are pretty good. On the other hand, there are aspects at work that I am not willing to live with in the long run. Since I don't have a long run in the future anyway, I needn't have to accept things I don't like! I should be able to disappear pretty peacefully, as a result, and I intend to. So I have the interesting dilemma of letting people I care about know that retirement is in my mind even as I plan to leave like an Arab in the night, when the time comes. Either this year, or next.