Thoughts on genre, language, grammar, and other
rhetorical and linguistic norms
rhetorical and linguistic norms
I am retiring today.
Today is the day I stop working for my employer.
Do those statements say the same thing?
I hadn’t noticed any difference until I told someone I was retiring and they responded with “Oh July 31 is your last day of working for KU.”
There is a difference.
I could go on working for others, I may continue consulting, I could continue writing and publishing. I’m just not working for my current employer anymore.
That’s the big decision with retirement. Are you going to continue doing work-like things, or are you going to shift gears more drastically? Are you going to stop working for your employer, or are you going to stop working?
I know of one professor who “retired” a few years ago and has been busy writing textbooks and working with publishers and visiting colleges to give lectures and workshops. She is reportedly happy.
I know of another professor who “retired” around the same time to a horse ranch in Montana. Not a bit of academic work since. She is reportedly happy.
Friends sent me a greeting card that said,
“Know the secret to having a happy retirement?”
Inside: “Don’t go to work anymore.”
So I won’t go to work anymore. But am I going to work anymore?
What I won’t do anymore (genre-style):
Scholarly articles (except proofing two that are in the process of being published)
Conference talks (unless the postponed one from pandemic 2020 repeats in 2021, which I doubt right now, end of July 2020)
Curriculum design (except for consulting seminars and webinars)
Lesson plans (except for plans for consulting seminars and webinars)
Letters of recommendation (except for former students)
Meetings with graduate students (except former ones who want advice over coffee or a drink)
OK, wait, that list isn’t going as planned. Let me try again…
What I definitely won’t do anymore (genre-style):
Teaching observation reports
Teaching advisor meetings
Student progress reports
Department committee meetings
Committee election ballots
Daily course schedules
Feedback on student drafts
Blackboard course sites
Promotion and tenure votes
Faculty application files
Annual merit portfolio
What I definitely will do from now on (genre-style):
TBD To Be Determined
It’s not that I have no idea what I’ll do. It’s that I have so many choices in this new freedom.
The genres I’ll choose to do from now on are less well-known since I haven’t spent the last 35 (38 total) years writing them, reading them, creating them, joining them, participating in them.
What I probably won’t do (genre-style):
As you can see, retirement and pandemic have collided in my timing (and that of many others). That timing makes this retirement even more unknown than usual, I suspect.
As you can see, pandemic or not, I am retiring, not just no longer working for my employer.
I’m not going to work anymore, and I’m not going to work anymore
Even if I write, teach a seminar or workshop, or meet with a former student, I intend to do nothing that I would see as work. I plan to try new things, return to old favorites, let myself play and explore.
I can make that choice, putting me in a very privileged position.
I am also in a very privileged position because I had a job that I loved for 35 years, working with good colleagues and wonderful students, and doing good work. The list of what I will miss would be a long one.
So as of August 1, 2020, I am retired.
I’ll let you know in a year what retirement becomes for me, genre-style