Elvis Has Left the Building
Sat, March 14, 2015 at 10:45AM
TechnoMonk in California, Education, Life, Oregon, Personal Growth, Philosophy, Relocation, Retirement, Work

As I make an attempt to revive my activity here at Musings, after an extended hiatus, I reproduce below an edited version of a Facebook post I wrote in July of 2014.

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I should officially announce to y’all that I have made a major transition in my life. After nineteen consecutive years as a higher education administrator (the last ten as a community college dean), I have moved on.

I am retired and have physically relocated from Larkspur, California, to Eugene, Oregon … the place on earth that feels most like “home.” I arrived back here on July 1 (2014).

In the spirit of full disclosure, this whole retirement gig was not exactly my idea. (What? Me retire?) It was the path I chose to pursue when my position (Dean of Math & Sciences) at the College of Marin was no longer available to me. The official act dealt with the “non-renewal of my annual contract” … an avenue the president went down with three senior administrators this year. So, I signed up for an early-retirement plan, packed up my shit, and blew that pop stand.

As some of you are aware, I found my role as a community college dean a challenging one. When I left the Oregon University System Chancellor’s Office in 2004 (after a totally politically-motivated reorganization that left many of us devastated), I was warned about the hazards of a dean’s job on a community-college campus. As it turns out, the information I had been provided was frighteningly accurate. At three different community colleges, in two states, over ten years, the storyline was a lot the same: petty campus politics; huge amounts of conflict; rampant dysfunction; and an above-average percentage of mean people. These environments had the effect of deflating my spirit and led me to question the decisions I had made along the way to remain an educator. It all seemed so totally contradictory to the life I thought I had signed up for and, over time, I became increastingly jaded.

However, I survived then, and I’m surviving now. The future is looking brighter and brighter every day, even though I’m still viewing the job-loss experience through the lenses of rejection and betrayal.

Have you watched, at all, the Netflix original series, “Orange is the New Black”? In the middle of the second season, one of the female correctional officers (Fisher) is fired. When she discloses this to one of the prisoners (Nichols), the response is, “You’re a decent human being. Getting canned from this soul-sucking pit is the best thing that ever happened to you. Go home, take a hot bath …”

OK. Right now, I’m officially in the “hot bath” stage.

Soundtrack Suggestion 

Somewhere, somehow somebody
Must have kicked you around some

Tell me why you wanna lay there

And revel in your abandon

Listen it don’t make no difference to me baby
Everybody’s had to fight to be free
You see you don’t have to live like a refugee
Now baby you don’t have to live like a refugee

[“Refugee” – Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers]

Article originally appeared on TechnoMonk’s Musings (http://technomonksmusings.com/).
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