A Road Trip to Java and Retiring Again

Tomorrow I head off with 21 seventh-graders and two other teachers to spend a week in Java. We’re on a study trip where we will be working with students from a junior high school in Malang, Java. I’ve taken many students out on a number of trips – to Bali, to Australia, to Thailand, to Sumbawa and Lombok, and to the foothills of the Himalayas. The trips have always been interesting and exhausting. I have never taken a group of Indonesian students out before so it will be interesting to see how well behaved they are compared to other students that I’ve been out with, and it will be interesting to see how much discipline the teachers will insist on.

This past week has been rather eventful in a quiet sort of way. I finally decided that I can’t come back to work here for another year. It’s just to long to be away from my family. I could use the money, but there’s more to having a family than just providing for them financially, and with the kids getting older, I need to be around to help out with keeping some order in the family as the kids need to do their homework, get to school, get back from school and get driven around to various events and appointments.

It seems kind of fitting to retire now anyway as I’ll be 60 in a few months. Big events for me seem to come in 10s. At 30, I moved to Berkeley after 30 years in Chicago; at 40 I moved to New Guinea; at 50 I moved to Pakistan, and at 60 I’ll go back to retire for the third time. Third time is the charm. At least I hope so.

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~ by drbrucepk on February 28, 2009.

3 Responses to “A Road Trip to Java and Retiring Again”

  1. Congratulations on making the decision. Being so far from my family is by far the hardest part of teaching overseas. I miss the rich complexities, the layering of love that happens when you are in close proximity to those you love.

  2. Just dropping by.Btw, you website have great content!

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  3. Thanks Susan. Yes, you’re right, it is the hardest part. I’m really looking forward to being back with the family again.

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