Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Why I'm Quitting My Job

1.  I feel like it!  I'm doing this all on intuition and from a place of pure joy.


2.  One day I will die.  I intend to live the life I want to live.  Fully.

3.  Funny how I never thought I'd leave when I was digging my job, which I am for the most part.  I love my students.  I like the vibrancy of the campus.  I enjoy the classes I teach.  It just feels like time.  And how fabulous to be leaving not out of rejecting the old but through embracing the new!

4.  Maybe it feels like time because I have been in academia for 46 years doing thus in this order: Preschool, elementary, middle school, high school, B.A., teaching credential, student teacher, high school teacher, learning center tutor and administrator, M.A., Teaching Assistant, Lecturer in English and Education, student teaching mentor, English teacher in Japan, instructor at two community colleges, Ph.D., educational researcher, Assistant Professor in Education, MFA in creative writing, lecturer of English and Creative Writing.  It's been a beautiful ride.

What retirement can look like...when you're on Jam Cruise.

5.  Technically, I'm retiring.  I became eligible when I hit 50 last November.  Although I've never made much money as a teacher, I've had excellent medical benefits that will continue on in retirement. I can make money doing other things without losing those benefits.

6.  Of course I'm not retiring in the classic sense.  I'm moving onto the next part of the journey.  By opening up the space and time, all other kinds of fabulous possibilities will flow my way.  I'm already exploring some ideas--such as creating yoga and writing retreats in Maui and Santa Cruz.

Going with the flow...and enjoying anticipating what'll come 'round the next bend.

7.   I want to read every winner and finalist of the National Book Award, the Pulitzer, the Orange Prize, and the Nobel Prize. I've always read a lot, and most of my life I've read with this in mind:  how will we discuss this book in class?  It will be quite the experiment to read extensively without that disposition constantly churning in the back of my mind.

8.  I want to write.  I want to finish a book I've been working on for a while, and begin several others.  I want to expand this blog, my website, and my "Ask Dr. Kate" column.

Getting crazy with friends on the streets of New Orleans during winter break this year.
9.  I want to travel any time of the year.  I haven't gone on a long trip in fall or spring my whole life!  I want to continue to explore new places with Dave.  He'll take pictures, and I'll write.  We started journeying together more than three years ago--and in our new life configuration, the world is the limit. 

10.  But first, as soon as I've turned in the last grades of the semester--and perhaps ever--I'm going to open myself up to deep listening.  I'll put my ear to the shell of the world, to drink in the new, sweet sounds.  Sounds of being.  Sounds of possibility.

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