Sunday, November 19, 2017

Years of My Life

A Journey from 1944 to … Now

2002–2003 School Year
Western Reserve Academy

A part-time year—and I was glad:
Full-time had been too much for me.
I didn’t need more time to see.
I loved the classes that I had.

I taught just juniors from then on—
“A single prep” (as teachers say):
Just one class to prepare each day.
When I looked up—each day was gone.

Among the texts we read each year
Was Hamlet—you have heard of it!
I learned to love it (oh, the wit!)—
And hope I taught kids not to fear

The language of that wordy Bard,
Who dazzles every time I read
Or see his plays. Are we agreed
That, sure, his language can be “hard,”

But benefits flow from the work
That you must do to read his verse
(Like pulling gold coins from a purse!)—
Though he still made some go berserk?

The writing of America
Composed the rest of English III—
And that was so all right with me:
My favorite writers—lovely, huh?

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Years of My Life

A Journey from 1944 to … Now

2001–2002 School Year
Western Reserve Academy

Back at Reserve—oh, there I was
Where I had been those years ago.*
And I enjoyed it—all because
The kids were great—my life, aglow.

I taught some seniors—juniors too.
And I was busy, dawn to dawn.
And so it was that weeks just flew—
And soon that school year just was gone.

I knew right then that I could not
Teach full-time—oh, no, not again.
I hardly knew what I had taught—
I slept so rarely—now and then.

And so … part-time it had to be
From that year forth. So them I told.
Their  “Yes” came with alacrity.
And I was happy (getting old!).

*1979-81.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Years of My Life

A Journey from 1944 to … Now

School Year 2000–2001
Retired … but Then …

Another year rolled up to me—
And said, “Just take a look and see—
You’ll be surprised—I guarantee!”

And he was right, that prescient guy—
The life I’d led? Somewhat buh-bye:
Another sort of life was nigh.

A friend at the Academy*
Said there was work (and not for free!),
And I? Not one to disagree.

That fall I once again put on
My “Teacher Clothes”; yes, I would don
The outfits from a life long gone.**

Yes, to Reserve I went to teach—
Can I still do it? In my reach?
Or should I just head to the beach?

But I returned to classroom tasks—
And loved it all (in case one asks)—
Put on again the many masks

All teachers find that they must wear—
In Kindergarten—anywhere!
You mustn’t go to class, well, bare!

*Tom Davis, Eng. Dept. Chair at Western Reserve Academy
**Not.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Years of My Life

A Journey from 1944 to … Now

1999–2000 School Year
Retired!

Oh, yes, this is the year that our family grew—
For our son found Melissa—and knew what to do!
So they married in August—a wonderful day
And flew off then to Paris—a honeymoon stay.

So the next step, we knew, would be grandchildren—wow!
Oh, I never had thought I’d arrive there somehow.
But both Steve and Melissa—in graduate school.
Yes, in nursing and law—oh, their plates were so full.

And dear Mary and I (yes, that’s Shelley, recall?)—
We remained intertwined for the thrill of it all.
And dear Joyce was still teaching—the height of her art.
And I dreaded each second that we were apart.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Years of My Life

A Journey from 1944 to … Now

1998—99 School Year
Retired!

This year brought more of what I loved—
Those reading/writing things.
And travel! I was here and there—
Such pleasure travel brings!

I spent a month in Europe (most
Of April ’99)
Just chasing Mary Shelley’s life—
And watching funds decline!

From England down to Italy—
To Switzerland—and more.
I spent some time in Wales, as well—
Was thrilled down to the core.

Then I came home and studied, and
Began to sort it out—
For that was my main goal, you see—
To figure Mary out.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Years of My Life

A Journey from 1944 to … Now

1997–98 School Year
Retired

I publish one more London book—
A bio (YA type).
But London now was out of date*
And Mary Shelley, ripe.

I soon was purely so obsessed
With Mary and her friends—
I thought: There’s so much I must do—
Her story never ends!**

I worked on Mary every day—
Including Christmas, Yo—
I still had energy to burn—
It couldn’t ever go?!

And we were back in Hudson—
In the house where we still live.
I kept a journal***—time flowed through
As if I were a sieve.

*London was fruit out of date for me—not for the world; I’d spent 10 years with him and his story.
**Proof for this? I’m still working on her!
***Still keeping it, every (damn) day.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Years of My Life

A Journey from 1944 to … Now

1996–97 School Year
Harmon Middle School

The end arrived—and I retired
In January of the year—
Some thirty years since I’d been hired.
My youth would never reappear.

But Mary Shelley, by that time,
Had moved into my writing mind,
And I felt in my writing prime—
So I pursued—what would I find?

I spent most hours every day
At work on Mary Shelley’s tale—
I found I was so pleased that way—
And stayed away from county jail!

I also taught a college class
For Hiram—Weekend College course.
And I enjoyed it (all would pass!)—
But soon I left—with no remorse.

I wanted much more time to read—
To travel, research, and to write.
For now these things fulfilled a need—
And I worked hard to do it right.

And then Joyce found another place—
A place in Hudson she adored.
And so we bought it—now our base—
Our happiness just swelled and soared.