Exploring and Encouraging a Healthy Life Marked with Joy

Posts tagged ‘Retirement’

Final Little Hallway Walk and GSU Retirementville

Office 2225B on the second floor of the Newton Building on the campus of Georgia Southern University.  A second home.  For a long time.

But my office is cleared out now, books all boxed and removed.  Quieter than it has been in eons.  Computer-humming quiet.  My office phone suddenly shy, afraid to ring and disturb emptiness.

I’m retiring from full-time college teaching.

This evening, after my last set of finals is turned in, I will walk out my door and down my little hallway for the final time as a professor at GSU.

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The Walk.

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Goodbye, goodbye little hallway!  Goodbye, goodbye GSU!

Hello, hello ….

Walking in Beauty

I spent my undergraduate years basking in the incredible natural and manmade beauty of Berry College  in Rome, Georgia.  I will never forget the JOY of studying on the world’s largest campus, surrounded by sites so breathtaking that occasionally, even as a green freshman, I would stop in my tracks on a journey across campus and stare, openmouthed, at the afternoon light shimmering off of Swan Lake or, on a cold February morning, gaze entranced out my Dana Hall second-floor, frosted dorm window into the ordered courtyard below and smile as deer delicately ate holly leaves and startling red berries in the snow.  I can still hear my young footfalls on the ancient wooden floors of Berry’s gorgeous chapel (modeled after Christ Church in Alexandria Virginia).  And here’s where I ate my meals, the Ford Dining Hall:

What fond and HAPPY Berry memories I have.  Oh my gosh, that place was magical!

So, of course, I never thought that another school could compare with Berry.

But for the past twenty-four years, I have taught English at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro.  When I first arrived, my limited vision focused, uncomfortably, on sand, 100 degree summers and beyond-belief pesky gnats.  (Why is that “g” there?  Why are gnats ANYWHERE?) “Who could live in this desolate place?” I wondered.  But slowly the tall pines and the amazing spring azaleas and (inexplicably) even the hot, humid summers wooed me, and I gradually fell in love.  As I adored beautiful Berry as a student, I came to cherish GSU as a professor.  The school and the land have been so very good to me.

I have watched GSU’s campus grow and develop into an enclave of living beauty.  But far too often, in my busy business of teaching and grading and conferencing, I would forget what thrived outside my office window.  So recently I decided to take a leisurely walk across my campus home.  Come with me.

Let’s begin at the Akins Blvd. entrance off Veterans Parkway:

The RAC (Recreational Activity Center) where I spent many an hour trying to hold back the belly bulge.

Let’s ride over to the two eagle statues.

Now let’s climb a tree.

Look, I’m an Olympic hero.

Did you know that the “S” in GSU also stands for my last name, Saye?

When I sit down and think about it, I realize how much I have loved this school and this beautiful land.

Georgia Southern University has allowed me to enjoy a great career of helping young people progress and mature into their greater lives.  I’ve been involved in a wondrous building process!

I’m so happy that both Berry and Georgia Southern are part of who I am.

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