Professor Sharon

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Cooking as an art.

July 24th, 2014 · Shaker

Today’s Seminar sessions were at the Sabbathday Lake community. I spent most of the afternoon on a wonderful hayride around the village narrated by the gentleman who spent 25 years as the director. The rest of the afternoon I took a bog walk led by Brother Arnold. In the morning Sister Frances gave us a wonderful history with delightful stories, recipes, and cooking suggestions on the use of herbs. Having spent several decades cooking for the community, she had much to say about the connection between cooking, spirituality and life.

(Please note that I am making some basic entires from the hotel with weak connections on an iPad – so come back soon as I plan to repost when I get home and say so much more about these important topics!)Sabbathday Lake Friends

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…there’s hope….

July 23rd, 2014 · Musings, Shaker

This evening opened the 40th Shaker Seminar hosted by Hancock Shaker Village.  it is being held in Portland , Maine with forays planned to the Sabbathday Lake and Alfred communities.  after a lovely dinner, Brother Arnold of the Sabbathday Lake community spoke to us of “And so keep my way ever Holy: An overview of Shakerism in the Eastward.”

He provided a thorough, and very entertaining brief history of the Maine Shakers. Most endearing, and meaningful to me was the way he put the humanness into the people who lived this lifestyle then, and now.

“The human spirit is the human spirit is the human spirit.”

“There’s still breath in the body, and when there is still breath, there is hope.”

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1 – and done

May 31st, 2014 · 100 Days Project, College students, Musings, My Goals, retirement, Work

It may have begun to sink in — this retirement thing — I realized this afternoon that I no longer work for a living!

Commencement was delightful.  The weather was especially beautiful today – always a good thing when you have wool regalia to wear for three hours.  It’s always rewarding to watch students I’ve worked hard with finish their first degree.  I congratulate them all.

Now onto thinking about what I will do…..

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2 and tomorrow

May 30th, 2014 · 100 Days Project, College students, family, Musings, retirement, Teaching & Learning, time, Work

It’s tomorrow.  Commencement, and the date when I am officially retired!

Funny thing is that I still have tasks to accomplish.  Please don’t ask about the paperwork that I think is completed — thank you especially to the hubby who got me through most of it.  I have an Incomplete grade which means there’s a 50 – 80 page final project to be handed in by a student in about two weeks.  She had her second child early this month, and we have the ability to arrange this for students in these situations.  There’s some office cleaning, and laptop downloading and clean-up to do by the end of June.  But I realize that they are not such huge tasks.

I really think it will be the middle of August before I really feel retired.  That mid-August day when I realize I don’t have four or five classes to prep for; no advisees who show up at the last minute to register, or various meetings to get in before the first day of classes.  Hmmm…that is going to feel pretty wonderful.

Yet, I feel nervous about tomorrow in a way I haven’t yet figured out.  I receive an award, and I’m nervous about sitting on the platform with the other VIPs in front of everyone, particularly if the weather is hot, as my regalia is wool!  I have to get up, but all I need to do is say thank you.  Maybe it’s because it’s a spot light moment, and I’ve never felt comfortable about those.  I don’t know.

I am so proud that my daughter, granddaughter and hubby are going to sit through all that to applaud for me.  That’s wonderful.

After a second glass of wine, some chocolate, a nice bath and evening of reading the new book I bought today — I’ll be ready.  So bring on tomorrow!


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3 and celebrations

May 29th, 2014 · 100 Days Project, College students, family, Musings, My Goals, retirement, time, Volunteer, Work

I have learned that retiring is an event surrounded by celebrations!  I have been the recipient of at least three events of others celebrating my retirement, and my life’s work in the last few weeks.  Yesterday, I was one recipient at an event at the college celebrating all of us who are retiring.  I have to admit to being annoyed, over the last month,  when everyone hugged and yelled “Congratulations”!

I can’t really explain how it just seemed not to sit right.  Why were folks so excited?

Yesterday, I figured it out….okay, I know, perhaps you had it figured out at the beginning of the blog.  But, I didn’t.  It’s a goal, a prize, a place that we all dream about.  Even if the dream is not what most think it is, and I certainly don’t intend to get out the old fishing pole (don’t even own one), and sit with a beer and vegetate for years.  I have a long list of house projects, hobby ideas, family times, hanging out with children time, and at least a bazillion books to read.

But I do now understand why so many are happy for me.  I have reached another goal that so many of us work towards.  It’s often hard to remember the goal or even believe in it when you are young.  I’ve certainly been in times in my career where I wondered if I would get that next job, or if it would pay enough, or if it would have insurance, or how I would find child care, or if I would like it as a job.  Those times can weight down the imagining of this time I’ve hit.  I imagined it, and worked hard, really hard, to get here.  Now I’m here.

Just the other morning, I said to my hubby:  I had such a horrid childhood, and there were a few times I didn’t think I’d get to adulthood, no less have this time with a wonderful family, in a wonderful town, with time to decide what to do with.

I also remain who I have always been since I recovered from that childhood: determined to make others’ lives better in even just little ways; and to give to children in some small way.

I have made a difference in my work, and I will continue to make a difference.  I get now that retirement is when I get to make that difference in whatever way I wish to in my own time and way.  Nice, nice.  Congratulations to me!


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