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« The Inca Trail | Main | Making all teachers online teachers »
Saturday
Nov112006

Life's uncertain; eat dessert first

With luck and planning I’ll retire at 149. Anon.

Greetings from the Minneapolis World Club. Heading out this bright, clear Minnesota morning for Lima, Peru, where I will be working on some technology planning for the Instituto Educacional Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Just from working with the folks there virtually, I can already tell they are a dedicated, professional and exciting group. I'm looking forward to my visit.

But before I go to work, I get to play a little. I am doing a 4 day hike of the Inca Trail with Machu Picchu as my destination. My hiking boots, sleeping bag and Indiana Jones hat are packed. Camera batteries are charged. (I hate checking bags, but this trip I am checking two! - inca.jpgone for hiking and one for  my professional tasks.) I will be  digitally disconnected for at least the 4 days I am on the trail. Might be a new record for days going without checking e-mail  since the stuff was invented.

One of the heroes of my misspent youth was John D. McDonald's detective, Travis McGee. His basic philosophy was to "take his retirement as he could," never expecting to live to a ripe old age where he could take it all at once. I am not making any predictions about my personal longevity, but I always thought his view made sense. With my luck, the mail truck that delivered my first social security check would run me over. And I as I read the daily obits, I find more people who are my age (quite young, actually) who are making headlines there.

This has been a good year for accomplishing things on my "life list." Besides hiking to Machu Picchu, I got to dive the Great Barrier Reef near Cairns, Australia with my son and to bicycle across Ireland with the LWW. And both were just as cool as I expected.

My sense is that a good professional ought to take the time to do some things outside the profession to give him/her a little perspective. We get awfully caught up in networks and staff development and Web 2.0 and such. Standing back now and then is healthy.

Talk to you in a couple weeks. 

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Reader Comments (2)

How do you manage to travel so much and continue to work in K-12 education? Are you retired from that now?
November 17, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRosie
My boss might think I'm retired, but no, I have a 200 day contract with my district which allows me 60 days during the year to speak, consult and travel. I work most of the summer and take the days all year long.

Doug
November 18, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDoug Johnson

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