Polski3's View from Here

Quote of some personal revelence: "Is a dream a lie, that don't come true, or is it something worse?"

Thursday, March 24, 2005


My teaching day FINALLY ended. I hate days like today, our schools 'field day'. The morning was fine, kids got to rotate through a variety of games, buy snowcones and other junk food sold by student store and a campus club. BUT the afternoon was pure hell. We classroom teachers are expected to entertain these sugarhypered little demons for three hours. They were upset that their teacher did not provide them a class party. No video I had was worthy of their viewing. After two hours and just before screaming and strangling one of them, I finally got them to be quiet enough to ask them if they wanted to go outside with my soccerball. YES ! most of them screamed. Out we went. It was definitely better than what would have happened If we'd stayed in the classroom.

After school, I went out to Costco to get a ham for Easter Dinner and some other misc. groceries for the family. While filling up my car at the gas pump (cheapest gas in town, today was $233.9/gallon), a retired teacher (my h.s. drivers ed. teacher and a former member of our county board of supervisors)
pulled up next to me. "Hey, you knew John K., didn't you," he asked. "yah," I replied. "Did you hear he died yesterday, dropped dead on the way home from a golf match?" No, I hadn't heard. "Shit," I thought, John wasn't that old. He'd just recently retired as a teacher, administrator and coach a couple of years ago. For fun, and because he love golf, he was coaching a local h.s. golf team. According to our local newspaper, he was driving his golf team home from a match when he began to feel sick. He pulled the van over and his kids called 911. John's aorta ruptured. He died.

What is it with many male teachers after they retire? Ken M., taught h.s. chemistry and earth science and was a local uniserve rep. Bob H. retired from teaching junior high, began to have problems then was diagnosed with ALS, and died horribly six months later. Glen A. retired from teaching junior high math and died within two years. Bill S. taught h.s. business education, retired and was soon to die too.

Ken was father to one of my best friends and was like a Dad to many of us. Bob loved chess, models, history, literature, attending Shakespeare plays at the Old Globe Theater in San Diego and a host of other things; a true renaissance man if I ever knew one. He was also a walking partner of mine. He didn't live in a house, he lived in a museum and library. I could go on about these guys. All these guys were active after they retired; sitting around watching TV was not their idea of what to do in retirement. None of them made it to age 65, except John. He was 65. I am of an age when many people I have know a large chunk of my life are dying. I hate the topic of death and do not deal with it well. I tend to get morose and moody. Watching ones relatives, friends and others pass away or die is depressing. I guess it gets worse as one gets older. I wonder about my Aunt Virginia. She was the oldest of her siblings. She's had heart surgery, outlived three husbands and seen all of her younger siblings die. She just keeps going and going and going. She doesn't teach anymore, but she still has her law practice in Chicago. Are males, especially male teachers, just destine to die sooner ? Such is one of lifes questions to begin Spring Break. If I was prone to drinking, I think I'd probably get ripped tonight. But, I don't do that.
Rest in Peace John. And Ken, Bob, Glen, Bill and some others.

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