Monday, May 11, 2020

Saluting Our Recent Retirees

Usually there is plenty of time to say farewell to retirees. We stop by their office to wish them well. We see them in the hallway and stop and chat. Not so this year. Just as our graduates have missed out on the in-person ceremony, so to did the recent Vol State retirees miss out on the opportunities to share the moment with colleagues. So, please consider taking a moment to do so virtually. We think this poem by Cindy Wyatt, a soon-to-be retiree, captures the moment. We have included a list of the recent retirees below.

Out of Office

The first brand new office I ever had,
in a striking three-story dedicated to light cures –
sweeping walls of glass, bright classrooms –
any sunny day felt like bliss.
Next to my office -- old friends,
each in spaces personalized –
one cluttered desk and floor,
one immaculately dignified,
one a dark caffeinated cave.
We had to clear it out in one day.
When we were done, eight Glad trash bags
slumped heavily down the hall,
full of handouts from twenty years back,
folders named fallacy quiz, Maslow’s Hierarchy,
notebooks from senseless meetings,
a decade of week-at-a-glance spirals, hoarded pads --
and what did we box up to bring home? Books,
cupfuls of pens and pencils (all pets),
one lovely lamp brought long ago
from my mother’s house, and all the bits
of whimsy – a tiny two-wheeler, clay turtles
in a bowl. I manned the chair, rode the keyboard,
put up pictures, watered flowers. Students came in
and smiled.
There I belonged. enjoyed well-being, Maslow’s recipe.
I’ll never leave. I’m already haunting it.
Someone will think it’s theirs, but chance
appearances will give them pause -- a yogurt spoon,
a water bottle, the scent of lemon. I’ll still be there.

-Cynthia Wyatt

Berry Robert Associate Professor
Cliburn Sherry Assistant Dir Financial Aid
Dayton Kay Manager Learning Commons
Espravnik Howard Associate Professor
Hall Mickey Professor
Harlan Carolyn Math Specialist
Weaver Joan Associate Professor
Wyatt Cynthia Associate Professor

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