Merry Christmas 2022!

Started by Cato, December 24, 2022, 04:58:55 AM

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Cato

Greetings to all!

Some of you may recall that I tried to retire in 2021 from my Latin teaching position at a Catholic grade school here in Ohio: I first started teaching in 1965, when I was given a Religion class for Primary students who, for whatever reason, could not attend our parish Catholic school.

After teaching Latin, Ancient Greek, German, and History (mainly Ancient, Medieval, and Modern European History, although I did have an American History course now and then), I finished my career back in a grade school for c. 15 years, which went by very quickly!

However, my replacement, who seemed competent, resigned on December 10th last year for reasons of mental illness! So 2022 began with me back in the classroom and trying to salvage what the poor lady had nearly destroyed, i.e. my Latin Program developed over those 15 years!  Mrs. Cato and I were living 120 miles away near her childhood hometown in northwest Ohio.  So I had to rent an apartment near my school for 6 months (that experience is a novel in itself, but... ;D  )

Finding another replacement was well nigh impossible!  My principal and I listed the position throughout the country and I spent time writing to c. 50 universities which may have had a graduate looking to start a teaching career.

Nothing!  My principal began searching for a Spanish teacher with the idea that they would be easier to find: Latin would therefore die.

But no: he could not find a Spanish teacher either!

On graduation night, May 31st, I went back to the apartment after the ceremony and thought that I would give it one last shot.  Usually I would have been talking to Mrs. Cato for 3 hours, but that night she was busy with her friend from high school.  So I spent the time writing to about 20 universities west of the Mississippi with (seemingly) large Classics Departments, where a future Latin teacher might be lurking.

I had confined my letters to universities east of the Mississippi simply because it seemed unlikely that anyone would move a long distance to Ohio to replace me.

I did not think much would result, but the next day two people - from Ohio! - contacted my principal.  A young woman with a Ph.D. in Classics who has been teaching online courses part-time for an Ohio university enthusiastically wanted to apply for the position: her professor for the Ph.D. at the University of Iowa saw my email and contacted her.

Anyway, on June 3rd I interviewed the young woman, who was very bright and very much wanted to teach in a classroom with students, as opposed to dealing with cheating college "stoonts" online!  😇

She was hired officially later in June!

And on that point, consider the hand of Divinity in the story: if I had not felt depressed on graduation night, and if I had been talking to Mrs. Cato that night (as I wrote above, she was busy with her friend, otherwise we usually were on the phone for the entire evening), and if I had not decided to use that time to write to universities west of the Mississippi in a truly desperate quest for a successor (I even wrote to Stanford), and if a professor at the University of Iowa had not seen my random e-mail about my program's possible demise, and if he had not stayed in contact with the young "on-line" professor at the university here in Ohio, she would not have taken over the program!  😇

That is quite a number of twisty-turny coincidences which all needed to fall into place at the right time!

So, this event is the second biggest piece of news for this year and the second-best Christmas present!

The best event and the best Christmas present is a simpler story, yet much more complex and important!  8)

On December 6th my son and his wife became parents to a baby boy, making Mrs. Cato and me grandparents for the first time!

Baby Edward (the name is found among our ancestors on both sides of the family) seems to be a fairly distinguished soul already!  He seemed to have been wrapped in a toga in one picture!

Unfortunately, they live a thousand + miles away in the swamp state of Florida.  But we will be visiting them several times a year despite the distance, the insects, and the alligators!

Retirement has curiously not given me much time at all for GMG, but I do appreciate your comments to anything I might offer: my tastes are rather eclectic, but probably most every member here would say that!  ;D

So, I hope to visit more often!

Merry Christmas!

Cato

"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Florestan

Quote from: Cato on December 24, 2022, 04:58:55 AMOn December 6th my son and his wife became parents to a baby boy, making Mrs. Cato and me grandparents for the first time!

Heartily congratulations to you and them! May he live a long, healthy and fulfilling life!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
"Art is no excuse for boring people." - Jules Renard

"Melody is the essence of music." - Mozart

USMC1960s

What a chain of events, Cato. Congratulations and it sounds like you can use a holiday rest!

Lisztianwagner

That's wonderful, congratulations, and Merry Christmas to you too! :)
"Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire." - Gustav Mahler

k a rl h e nn i ng

Quote from: Cato on December 24, 2022, 04:58:55 AMAnd on that point, consider the hand of Divinity in the story: if I had not felt depressed on graduation night, and if I had been talking to Mrs. Cato that night (as I wrote above, she was busy with her friend, otherwise we usually were on the phone for the entire evening), and if I had not decided to use that time to write to universities west of the Mississippi in a truly desperate quest for a successor (I even wrote to Stanford), and if a professor at the University of Iowa had not seen my random e-mail about my program's possible demise, and if he had not stayed in contact with the young "on-line" professor at the university here in Ohio, she would not have taken over the program!  😇
Love this story, and it's so Christmasy!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Cato

Quote from: Florestan on December 24, 2022, 06:37:53 AMHeartily congratulations to you and them! May he live a long, healthy and fulfilling life!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Many thanks!

You should know that I have sent you a regular e-mail because your GMG In-Box is full...or so claimed the robot!  ;) 
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Cato

Quote from: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 24, 2022, 08:11:53 AMLove this story, and it's so Christmasy!


Yes, it is "Christmasy" ! 

And I just noticed something!  What happened to my Angelic Emoticon?  ???    That was very useful and my favorite!


Anyway...

Many thanks to all above for the very nice replies!  Happy Listening!

Let me recommend two of my favorite cantatas:



and

"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

premont

Thanks for this lovely story, Cato, and its point, which is that most of our lives are governed by chance, just like our existence in general.
And Merry Christmas to you too
γνῶθι σεαυτόν

vandermolen

Quote from: Cato on December 24, 2022, 04:58:55 AMGreetings to all!

Some of you may recall that I tried to retire in 2021 from my Latin teaching position at a Catholic grade school here in Ohio: I first started teaching in 1965, when I was given a Religion class for Primary students who, for whatever reason, could not attend our parish Catholic school.

After teaching Latin, Ancient Greek, German, and History (mainly Ancient, Medieval, and Modern European History, although I did have an American History course now and then), I finished my career back in a grade school for c. 15 years, which went by very quickly!

However, my replacement, who seemed competent, resigned on December 10th last year for reasons of mental illness! So 2022 began with me back in the classroom and trying to salvage what the poor lady had nearly destroyed, i.e. my Latin Program developed over those 15 years!  Mrs. Cato and I were living 120 miles away near her childhood hometown in northwest Ohio.  So I had to rent an apartment near my school for 6 months (that experience is a novel in itself, but... ;D  )

Finding another replacement was well nigh impossible!  My principal and I listed the position throughout the country and I spent time writing to c. 50 universities which may have had a graduate looking to start a teaching career.

Nothing!  My principal began searching for a Spanish teacher with the idea that they would be easier to find: Latin would therefore die.

But no: he could not find a Spanish teacher either!

On graduation night, May 31st, I went back to the apartment after the ceremony and thought that I would give it one last shot.  Usually I would have been talking to Mrs. Cato for 3 hours, but that night she was busy with her friend from high school.  So I spent the time writing to about 20 universities west of the Mississippi with (seemingly) large Classics Departments, where a future Latin teacher might be lurking.

I had confined my letters to universities east of the Mississippi simply because it seemed unlikely that anyone would move a long distance to Ohio to replace me.

I did not think much would result, but the next day two people - from Ohio! - contacted my principal.  A young woman with a Ph.D. in Classics who has been teaching online courses part-time for an Ohio university enthusiastically wanted to apply for the position: her professor for the Ph.D. at the University of Iowa saw my email and contacted her.

Anyway, on June 3rd I interviewed the young woman, who was very bright and very much wanted to teach in a classroom with students, as opposed to dealing with cheating college "stoonts" online!  😇

She was hired officially later in June!

And on that point, consider the hand of Divinity in the story: if I had not felt depressed on graduation night, and if I had been talking to Mrs. Cato that night (as I wrote above, she was busy with her friend, otherwise we usually were on the phone for the entire evening), and if I had not decided to use that time to write to universities west of the Mississippi in a truly desperate quest for a successor (I even wrote to Stanford), and if a professor at the University of Iowa had not seen my random e-mail about my program's possible demise, and if he had not stayed in contact with the young "on-line" professor at the university here in Ohio, she would not have taken over the program!  😇

That is quite a number of twisty-turny coincidences which all needed to fall into place at the right time!

So, this event is the second biggest piece of news for this year and the second-best Christmas present!

The best event and the best Christmas present is a simpler story, yet much more complex and important!  8)

On December 6th my son and his wife became parents to a baby boy, making Mrs. Cato and me grandparents for the first time!

Baby Edward (the name is found among our ancestors on both sides of the family) seems to be a fairly distinguished soul already!  He seemed to have been wrapped in a toga in one picture!

Unfortunately, they live a thousand + miles away in the swamp state of Florida.  But we will be visiting them several times a year despite the distance, the insects, and the alligators!

Retirement has curiously not given me much time at all for GMG, but I do appreciate your comments to anything I might offer: my tastes are rather eclectic, but probably most every member here would say that!  ;D

So, I hope to visit more often!

Merry Christmas!

Cato


Congratulations Leo on both counts.
 :)
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).