Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Short timer

Twenty one days to go before I start full time rangering again at Antietam. It almost feels like it did way back in the black and white days when I was in the Navy, waiting for my orders to come to send me to a new ship or station. 21 days and a wake-up!

(top: cartoon of me on Guam 1972, bottom: countdown to civilian life May of 1974)

On May 28th I'll report back to the park on a five day a week basis through the end of October and it'll really be good to get back into the daily rhythm of the place, to be able to talk with members of other divisions and see what projects they're working on, not to mention being able to meet with visitors every day and lead tours again.

And for as much as I'm looking forward to returning to the battlefield, I must say that substitute teaching this year was both satisfying and fun, and no one was more surprised about that than I was. Its nice to know that as the rangering season comes to a close in October I'll probably be looking forward to getting back to the classrooms of Washington County. This year I've really gotten to know and actually become a part of the fourth grade, second grade, and pre K teaching teams at good old Rhino virus elementary. What a dedicated and delightful bunch of teachers it has been my pleasure to work with this fall, winter, and spring. I've also been privileged to watch the growth and development of several hundred kids that have passed through my sphere of responsibility for days or weeks over this school year. It is really a delight to compare a classroom of 2nd graders I had last week to that same group on my first visit with them back in November. Kids can mature pretty quickly under the guidance of really good teachers, and I work with some of the best.

Now this best-of-both-worlds will continue as I hang up the necktie and teacher badge for five months and don the Gray and Green of the Park Service and go to work with some of the best Rangers in the service.

My instincts were good, this mid-life career change was one of the most life-affirming things I've ever done.

Come celebrate with me,

just north of Sharpsburg.

Mannie (Twenty one and a wake-up!)


Anonymous said...

I am glad to hear that folks like you (esp. with such as DIVERSE background) are able to teach in our public school system. The students will certainly be influenced by you in many ways.

from Point of Rocks MD

Anonymous said...

I went from short timer to unemployed-having retired from my government job about a month ago. Now it is full time work at my palatial estate and part time riding my recently acquired horse. Some day we would like to bring them(Lauren has two) to the Park..that would be a real gas! Gotta get a trailer first. Glad tt see you will be back on the job.

Jim Tuk
in northwestern Orleans County, NY

mannie said...


Happy retirement! (and trailer shopping)

See you at the park.