Saturday, January 7, 2012


The term of course. Did I get it all prepped? Don't be absurd. I got a good start, and woke this  morning semi-convinced I need to dump a text. It sounded so good, but on closer examination, and lots of conscience-wrestling, I just don't want to use it. What I like about the general approach is largely removed from this 'rethinking' text, which focuses mostly on trying to quantify and render predictive formulae for human action/thinking. And I really don't like that approach, so... first class meeting is Monday afternoon, and I'm probably going to dump it.

I'm dumping textbooks left and right. Going to a completely different approach - and since I don't just try one class at a time, I'm doing all of my classes at once. No textbooks in World History other than selected chapters from an art history text; scholarly articles and primary sources otherwise. Exciting, scary. I'm starting both WH classes with a selection from Gerda Lerner's Creation of Patriarchy. Then I'm going to have them read a section of Tamim Ansary's Destiny Disrupted. And from there we'll hare off into more topical readings. I'm hoping that two such 'radical' refutations of traditional approaches to Western/World models will intrigue them. Counting on it. It could be a lot of fun.

Another new thing: my own personal future. I had a long talk with the TIAA-Cref wealth manager, and he told me all kinds of new things. He told me that I could 'do more.' I had to get him to clarify that, as within the context I was thinking 'cut more, save more' - and he said 'no, do more. If you want to travel more, you can without jeopardizing your retirement. If you want to go to France every year, you can. And it's not going to be a problem. You can retire early if you like.' Now that, my friends, is a mind-blower. I've lived my life, since I left home, with ramen-months more common than anything else. I knew I'd never be able to retire, and had no plans to do so. For the past 35 years, I've pinched pennies, fretted francs, scraped by paycheck to paycheck. A car repair bill, a dental visit, the need for new tires - all have sent me into paroxysm of fear and guilt. He tells me I don't have to do that anymore. Wow. This is new.

I'm not in the market for a new car. I love my little house, and am very happy with it. I don't need or want a new computer. I have more stuff than I need or want. (In fact, yesterday I gave the uni library 50+ books just to get them out of my office; more will go soon.)

One new indulgence is routine manicures. I'm working on once a month - that's a simple pleasure. Every couple of months I'm also going to have a pedi. The dogs get more regular grooming. Vet trips are no longer anxiety inducing. All very new. I've increased all my charity stuff over the past months considerably - I can do more of that. I can get rid of the collection of hole-y and orphan socks. I don't need to keep clothes that are serviceable but rarely worn. It's a whole new approach to day to day life. Not at all sure how to not be poor. Very willing to learn, I assure you. But this is new. I am so not rich, but I am now... secure. And that is very very very new. Thank you Mom.


Ink said...

Yay! I hope you do go to France annually and retire early. That would be fantastic!

And...might I suggest adding a monthly massage (or more often) to your schedule? Worlds of difference re: stress reduction.

Janice said...

Let us know how the text-light course teaching goes. I find that it is a lot of work to get students to read well at the introductory level so whatever you assign has to be well-supported in the classroom as you well know.

Glad to hear that the TIAA-CREP fellow had such a good outlook on your portfolio. Goodness knows I'm figuring i won't retire anytime soon with having to set up security for autistic youngest after we're gone. . . .

Belle said...

Ink, I've never had a real massage. I wouldn't even know how to find a good one.

Janice - they're going to do a lot of reading, but I've put my entire collection of survey texts in the library for their reference. I'm up for any suggestions from your direction too!