"What's Done Cannot Be Undone" (Macbeth, V, i)
That's it. Over. A 40 year teaching career in public schools in New Jersey has come to an end. I'm adding the two years I worked as a substitute teacher while I was still in college. Enough, I think. I can no longer work in the public schools once I draw on my pension. I could teach in a private school or do consulting work, however. I could also teach night school at my former school because that's under a different system. If I miss the classroom, I might consider that option.
Meantime, my signout was rather uneventful. I saw a few of my teacher friends and associates, took my famous teaching chair out of my room along with my little refrigerator, and talked a bit to the Principal about my classroom. He has not decided how to use it yet, but he too feels protective about my wonderful neighbor teacher in the other room adjoining mine....well mine no longer.
My good furniture will probably be bequeathed to my replacement which is good as I left all kinds of pens, staplers, supplies in my desk--all if which he can use. I also told my principal I would be really interested in meeting my replacement. Gee, I might even be able to help him out a bit here and there. Got my paycheck, and my sick pay reimbursement--a nice hefty sum to use to supplement my retirement checks for a while--and headed across the school parking lot for the last time as an employee. Saw my good friend, one of the cosmetology teachers on the way out and she suggested I could come back in to be her model to demo techniques to her classes. Facials, hair cuts, make up, stuff like that--should be fun!!
Working in a vocational/technical school has been a valuable experience, and I mean that in a monetary way. The various shops around the school have always been keen to test their skills by completing projects for teachers, and when payment is required, it is minimal. My car has been lovingly cared for in the auto shop, I have had metal items welding in the welding shop, things printed up in graphic arts, clothes cleaned in the dry cleaning shop, many things built in the carpentry shops, my horse trailer painted in the auto body shop (no longer open), my barn plans designed and blueprinted in the drafting shop, my hair permed and cut in the cosmetology shop, and my tummy filled more than once in one of the culinary arts shops. As a retiree, I will still be able to call upon those experts to help me if need be. As always, I will pay for materials and supplies, but labor costs are nil. It's a great bunch of people to know, I have been very lucky to have spent so much time getting to know them.
As I've already said here, retirement won't really "hit" me until September when the new school year starts and I do not have to go anymore. So for now, I just have to practice saying "retired" until I actually get to practice doing it.
Addendum: The sun was in and out all day. I got really hot, so after I fed the Boys, I decided I might as well go over to the pool for a swim. I ate some dinner and went out. By the time I got to the pool, a big bank of dark clouds had rolled in from the west. Within five minutes, the lifeguards were closing the water so I got back into the car and headed home as the winds picked up and....the rain began. Thunder and lightning for sure, so I closed off the pasture and lured the Boys into the barn with some snacks.
Did I mention it's raining?? Again??? *sigh*