How I happened to be included illustrates that retiring puts one out of sight and out of mind. In any event, I ran into another faculty member in a store. She assumed I'd been invited and mentioned she'd see me at the party on Thursday. The resulting conversation resulted in the invite.
Wendy Shupp, one of the faculty members who provided my orientation by fire--don't judge harshly because that's how it was back then--was the guest of honor. She taught at Broward College for 33 years, taught nursing a total of 45 years, has been a nurse for 50 years, and rose to the rank of Senior Professor. That's huge in terms of knowledge, skill, and experience. It is also huge in terms of departmental history, legacy, and continuity.
Not only did Wendy participate in my orientation, she helped orient me to my role as full-time faculty when I moved into that position. I could always rely on her to review an exam, help with a disciplinary issue, explain a policy, or offer sage advice about committee responsibilities or accreditation.
I'm delighted to welcome Wendy into the ranks of retired nursing faculty. Knowing her plans—hopefully she'll sign on and provide that information—I suspect she'll provide her own orientation by fire to retirement.
To me it means that yet another link is severed and another punctuation mark is added to the you-can-never-go-back mantra. Things change. That's good. Things change. That's sad. (Don't interpret this as my saying I miss my teaching responsibilities. I don't—well maybe 1 % of the time. I miss people, and I miss payday, but I enjoy this phase of my life.)