After 40 years of teaching, I was in such a rut that after retiring in 1997, I continued to go to the library, do research, and check out books. I taught classes at Illinois State’s Academy for Seniors, lectured at the University’s Mornings with the Professors program, and spoke about American humor on the luncheon circuit.
Eleven years ago, ISU alum Ed Pyne, publisher of The Normalite, asked me to contribute a weekly column. I discovered that I liked writing more than speaking. I didn’t have to shave or put on a clean shirt.
After retirement someone asked if I missed teaching. I was noncommittal, so he volunteered that one thing I didn’t miss was grading those papers every week.
For my last six years at Illinois State, I was privileged to teach composition to Presidential Scholars. I encouraged them to be imaginative and challenged them to be excellent. Their writing was so good I couldn’t wait for the next batch of themes to come in. Grading those student papers is what I missed the most.
I can be reached at email@example.com or 601 Lutz Road #3112, Bloomington, IL 61704.