My first year in retirement

Those who know, realize that I retired as a tenured full professor from an Illinois community college effective June 30, 2017. Since it has now been a full year, I thought it might be helpful to provide a bit of a recap on some of my activities. I am just including the highlights. If you would like to discuss any of this in more detail, please contact me.

Since “retiring,” (in no particular order) I have:

  • logged enough airline miles to go around the world twice. That does not count the miles driven (which was also quite significant) as was the miles on trains and other public transport throughout the world.
  • just completed my 40th web competition (as Expert or Chief Expert or other leadership role).
  • traveled on 16 separate trips (including nearly a month in the U.K. and roughly 3+ weeks in the U.A.E.). This included a trip to the tallest building in the world (and the views from the 148th story open air observation deck were impressive).
  • taught faculty in Adobe Spark in many locations (from Houston to New York City and beyond) – I can also say that I have now taught faculty in 4 of the 5 boroughs in New York City.
  • given numerous presentations on web technologies at a number of venues in the U.S. and beyond.
  • spent a lot of time working for Web Professionals as Executive Director.
  • taught a class on insects to students aged 10 – 17 at the Sun Foundation Art and Science in the Woods program (it has been nearly 2 decades since I last did that).
  • taught a class on ES6 as part of Working Connections (yes, 5 days on all the new features).
  • provided a year long series of webinars for faculty on how to use Captivate (including advanced features).
  • updated a book for Adobe (I guess I am now an author). My colleague Kim Cavanaugh asked me to help as he was quite ill. I didn’t realize how ill as he passed away in April. The schedule to update the book was much too aggressive to make all the changes I would have liked to incorporate, but I did learn a lot about the publishing process. If you are curious, this is a link to the book (it should be officially out in August, 2018).
  • much more happened throughout the year, but these were some of the highlights.

Essentially, I learned a lot during my first year of retirement (and grew even busier that I ever expected). The old joke about wondering how I ever found time to work is definitely true for me. Also, many colleagues have informed me that I am “failing miserably” at retirement.

Some of the more obvious insights (and I would be glad to have further discussions off line) include:

  • one must always embrace change. Keep an open mind and be receptive to possibilities.
  • the unexpected happens (be ready). This is especially true about technology and hard drives failing at the worst possible moment and software being upgraded in the middle of doing screen captures for a book.
  • if you don’t know something, ask. I am amazed at the number of total strangers who helped me out throughout the world. I learned so much from them in the process (including picking up fragments of several languages).
  • I continue to be honored and humbled by the numerous positive feedback I continue to receive when I teach web technologies. I have noted there is a great hunger for useful and up to date information especially on web technologies.
  • Personally, I have found it very beneficial to talk with people in person. I know we live in an inter-connected world, but I find the one on on conversations to be most valuable.

Sure, a lot has happened (and I expect even more to happen in the coming year). For anyone who is curious, my calendar is already mostly filled through 2021. Yes, after retirement come the “go-go” years. However, retirement has given me the opportunity to pursue what I want (mostly when I want). It is great to be able to simply decide to go on a short trip. Every day has become an adventure and I look forward to each new one.


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