As I float into the second half of my sixty-fourth year, I'm finding myself more and more reflective. I guess that's natural. And when I tapped into my LinkedIn account this morning, I discovered a post from Penny Christensen, a LinkedIn contact and "e-Learning Specialist," leading to something called HotLunchTray.
World of Warcraft, I'll bite.
Back when I first joined the Vanderbilt Center for Science Outreach in 2001, hired on one day a week as Teacher-In-Residence, when it was the Office for Science Outreach, I attended a start-of-the-school-year retreat that was held in an office at Vanderbil. That morning, to begin to get to know one another, the small team sat around the table and shared about ourselves. Around that table was Jan Zanetis, Ginny Shepherd, I think Kecia Ray, and half dozen or so other educators who by turns shared about their lives leading up to the day. The date was September 11, 2001.
My ten minutes were hands-down the most convoluted story of the morning, which as you likely have already surmised became much more so as the day wore on. I shared about my first attempt at college in Knoxville, at UT, all the way up to the day. Maybe a list would suffice:
- Dropped out of UT after 4 quarters, having been denied Sophomore entry to a fiction writing class limited to Juniors and Seniors after having created and published a year's worth of the off-campus literary magazine "Druid" (I just discovered this digitized version!)
- Worked in the UT Undergraduate then Main Libraries for 5 years
- Published in small poetry presses
- Left on a Leave of Absence to write on a journey to Alaska
- Played music for income for two weeks for the first time in Bozeman, Montana at the Holiday Inn while the VW camper was having its engine rebuilt
- Played music and worked in book and liquor stores in Anchorage, AK
- Apprenticed in the Alaska Repertory Theater, mainstaged in two runs of the play "Diamond Studs"
That's my Stetson on the left, and that's the northernmost school gym in the USA
- Formed the Last Frontier Band, the official Iditarod Race band for 1979
- Moved to Los Gatos, CA and played music full time, also working in the public library
- Wrote a novelette, "In the Running," never published
- Moved to Nashville and worked as Master Bartender for TGIFridays
- Saw my dad through his death, left as a traveling Master Bartender for Fridays
- Wrote a novel, Lives, and a book of poetry, Speculativity, self-published and available at Lulu.com and Amazon
- Moved to North Miami Beach to tend bar for Fridays
- Sold dedicated word processors to lawyers in Miami
- Became Head Bartender for Williams Island in North Miami Beach, then Manager of the Tennis Club Restaurant
- Married the love of my life, Lee Ann
- Moved to Nashville as General Manager of Slice of Life Restaurant and Bakery
- Second love of my life, Miranda Lee Merrick, born
- Assistant Manager of Ruby Tuesday's in Bellevue, Green Hills, and Rivergate
- Experienced an Interest Inventory weekend in Louisville, where they said, "Duh, you're a teacher."
- Returned to Peabody College at Vanderbilt University and finished out college with a Cum Laude degree in Elementary Education with a second major in English, Creative Writing
- Third love of my life, Colin Stafford Merrick, born
- Student taught at Sylvan Park Elementary (6 blocks from my current school) and Dodson Elementary
- Hired as interim sub for half a year at Dodson, teaching 4th graders
- Hired as 3rd grade teacher at University School of Nashville
- Transitioned to Lower School Technology Coordinator
- Hired as Teacher-in-Residence at Office of Science Outreach
Dig through this blog and you'll find a bunch of stuff, including some awards and other junk, but the main deal is that through teaching, I believe I've done some good in the world. Last evening at our annual Picnic in the Park I grilled, with a student's able assistance, 48 burgers and 30 hot dogs. It's just work, but it's good work. I'll keep plugging away hoping for more. It's for the students.
|Adrienne was really the grillmeister!|
Done. Thanks, Penny! Now back to that Blood Elf.