Money & Careers

Thoughts on Giving Up My Job

Ego-gratification is another aspect of teaching, and I must compensate for its loss.  My “self” is entwined with what I do professionally.  How do I answer my male dinner partner if he asks (which usually he doesn’t) “and what do you do”?  How do I fill in the box for “Profession,” “Title,” or “Position” on a student’s grad school recommendation form, or when signing up for a conference where my occupation appears on the name tag?  I must accept that no longer does “Professor B” mean “me.”

Fortunately, I have confirmation that the years of teaching made a difference.  These note from students in my last classes are what I will reread when I feel sad:

“Dear Ann:

Thank you for a terrific semester at APP!  I am really glad to have gotten a glimpse of the world of preservationists and planners, and I have so much respect for them.  Your floating pool efforts, dedication and humor, and immaculate fashion sense are true inspirations.”

“Just wanted to share the good news and more importantly thank you for your recommendation letter. I will be beginning my master’s degree in Civil Engineering at Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science in the fall. I am thrilled as this was my number one choice. Thank you for not only the letter but for remaining to be one of the most inspiring and meaningful professors I had the pleasure to work with during my undegraduate career.”

And, I must confess, I will thoroughly enjoy my Thursdays, free to write or spend time with a grandchild.


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  • Mickey June 10, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    About retiring! Roz Warren wrote about her friends who are gadding about doing and doing and doing, bucket list?, and she says she’s happy reading and petting the cat. Thank you, Ann, for this lovely piece. Hugs from the Bad Girls of Nicole Hollander.

  • Roz Warren June 10, 2016 at 8:29 am

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I’ve been thinking about when to retire myself, as have many of my friends.