Retirement reflections

One of my former bosses retired yesterday. (Well, he sort of retired. He'll be doing consulting work, which means he's not really gone, but now anytime the company asks him to do anything, he can decide to say "no".) Because he was with the company for over 28 years, this was cause for a fair amount of recognition. Dr. F was a respected scientist and public health advocate, not only in our company but with groups we work with. He came here from Romania in the 70's, bringing his young family along and starting a new life. The turnout at the retirement celebration yesterday was huge, including some surprise guests (including former co-workers and all five of Dr. F's grandchildren). Dr. F was my boss for less than two years, but I still worked closely with him for another four, since my leaving his department was only so I could work directly for his boss. As is his nature, Boss decided to pass the microphone to solicit stories and parting messages for Dr. F. Most of the words spoke of Dr. F's mentoring or his contributions to public health programs or other scientific accomplishments. Before I knew it, Boss had handed the mic to me, and I had no grand speech to offer. Instead, I recounted a memory that I only hoped was appropriate for the occaision. As Dr. F's secretary, I was often called upon to help him with many aspects of his computer. He couldn't always open attachments properly, and didn't know the features of many of our software applications. He preferred his paper agenda to the electronic calendar we use company-wide. One day I was passing Dr. F's office and he flagged me down. "Karen," he said with a bit of indignation in his voice, "I need you to look at something on my computer." I entered his office expecting to deal with an attachment to his email, or a template that needed to be filled out in Word or Excel. Instead, the screen was filled with an electronic photo of an adorable two-month old baby dressed as a pepper for Halloween. His voice was a mixture of fury and pride as he exclaimed, "Look at what they did to my granddaughter!" As the party came to a close, some of my co-workers approached to tell me that the story I told, unlike the ones that others shared about the brilliant scientist he was, provided a perfect example of the calibar of man he was.


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Who's Who

    Hubby- aka DH My husband since 1995. He is the head of the band department at a college prep school, and dabbles as a wanna-be pop star.

    The Princess- aka DD. Third grader at the local parochial school. Loves butterlies, sparkly things, the color purple and has recently developed a crush on one of the twins from "The Suite Life of Zach and Cody". Is ready for her teenage years, having already perfected her exasperated sigh and dramatic eye-roll.

    Hoss- aka DS1. Kindergartener and resident spirited child. His aunt likes to call him "the evil genius" because of his penchant for letting a lack of intellectual stimulation lead him into mischief. Likes trucks, sports, building things and burping. His current favorite word is "underwear."

    Lil Joe- aka DS2. Born in 2003. Doesn't say much we can understand, but has mastered the important stuff ("eat!", "Wash hands!", "Want chocolate ones!", "Hockey game!") Likes to push buttons, much to the consternation of whoever is trying to watch a DVD. Firmly refuses to use the potty, despite evidence that he is physically ready to be out of diapers, indicating a level of stubborn that eclipses even that of his parents and siblings.

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