Switching Gears – Slowly

imgresI am in an on going weird state of change. I know there are people who jump into retirement and off they go playing golf, going to lunch with friends, going shopping. It is so cool to watch but watch is what I am doing. It just is not me. I have never been much for play, I guess. Fun, yes but playing I don’t do well and shopping well never mind don’t get me started. (just glad I can get my jeans on line)

So here I am year three of this new life and I feel like I want to go back to college to learn a new career. I refuse to pay the current cost of “real” college so I am slowly reading, researching and learning on my own. Don’t get me wrong – I do have lunch with friends – I had a great one yesterday out at the local Arboretum. First day of classes for students and we, retired teachers were walking the woods! Yes!

But really I am deep into reading about plants at the moment. My current read imgres-1is Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses and Dear Friend and Gardener – Letters on Life and Gardening. Next on the line up is Walking Seasonal Roads by Mary Hood and Gaia’s Garden.

Can you see the theme?  I am somewhere in between the science of plants, and the cultural and philosophical thinking around nature. If you are old like me think Anne Dillard’ s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, or Barbara Kingsolver’s books where she mixes her understanding of science, nature and our everyday lives into realistic fiction.

All of this plus time in my garden is leading to …  I am not sure – writing I think. I think it connects into my middle grade novel which is currently hiding in the deep dark corners of my computer since I am stuck.

“I think” is my current line when ask what are you doing. I think I am …

I am thinking, I am changing, I am moving from teacher to learner. I am sorting out life like a 20 year old who does not move quite as sprightly but hopefully has a bit of hind-sight to help me along.

My mix of reading has been

  • H for Hawk
  • re read of Pilgrim at Tinker’s Creek
  • The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate and The Curious World of Caplurnia Tate  ( Children’s)
  • Navigating Early
  • Nest
  • Flight Behavior
  • Wild

If you are a nature nut – what books would you recommend I put on my personal class list – fiction, non- fiction?   Southern writers, Northern hikers, children’s books?  Help me out folks – I am creating my own class and I have no idea where it is taking me but I am having fun along the way.

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About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, help in schools and write. Life is good!
This entry was posted in Reflection, Teaching and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Switching Gears – Slowly

  1. Dana Murphy says:

    Wow, Joanne, you really are the exemplar of a lifelong learner! I love your line about “creating my own class!” You definitely are!

  2. Linda Baie says:

    I wrote about my new retirement, too, today, Joanne. I wish I’d known about your love for nature. In my book sale I just sold, then donated a part of my huge collection of nature writing. I love reading them, and H Is For Hawk is on my TBR list. How wonderful that you’ve set your own goals for learning. I suggest that you look online at Orion magazine, with scads of award winning nature books, old and new. Let me know if you’d like more titles. Here are two favorites: The Zookeeper’s Wife and The Outermost House.

  3. bevbaird says:

    I am entering my third year of retirement and I too look for ways to learn, to keep growing. Haven’t read H is for Hawk yet. Your study looks to be fascinating. I hope to get back to more writing and creating art. Reading tho is a must. Enjoy!

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