One chapter ends, and another begins

Posted 2/4/18

Things are winding down at work. I’ve spent the last three years working at Bevill State Community College as a job coach. The work has had its high points and some low ones, too. I will miss the work but, I’ll also miss my office window.

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One chapter ends, and another begins

Posted

Things are winding down at work. I’ve spent the last three years working at Bevill State Community College as a job coach. The work has had its high points and some low ones, too. I will miss the work but, I’ll also miss my office window.

The first office I had at the college was a closet. I’m not kidding — it was an 8-foot by 12-foot space next to the men’s room. When we moved the office desk and a filing cabinet in, I felt a little “sardine’ish.” Is that a word? When someone flushed the toilet, I could hear water rushing through the pipes.

After about six months, the campus dean came to me and asked if I’d like a bigger office. The new digs were three times the size of my closet, and it had a window overlooking the courtyard. I could have hugged his neck.

Jilda gave me a plant that sat in front of the window. It was as happy there as I was.

I'll miss that office window – especially in the spring when the rain dances on the cobblestone in the courtyard. I often stood by the bookshelf to enjoy the view. When I leaned close, I could hear the faint roar of the rain. It sounded like distant applause.

About the time in early spring when the ornamental cherry trees bloom, the drama club begins practice in the courtyard. They build sets and stages. Often the actors paired up before rehearsal started and ran lines. You could see them improve each day. Watching the kids from a distance was a welcome distraction when my eyes felt bloody from looking at the screen of my laptop.

There was only one downside to my office. The summer sun parched the cobblestone. During August, just walking across the courtyard to get my mail felt as if I were walking through a pizza oven. The heat made its way to the window and into my office. The air conditioner made a noble effort to keep my space cool, but Mother Nature got the best of it. Rather than complain, I bought a fan. It moved air around and made it almost comfortable on those hot days.

This past week, I boxed up my books and shredded all the private information that I’d gathered over the last three years. I emptied the desk drawers and made a zillion trips to the dumpster.

When I walked out for the last time, I removed my name tag from the door and paused for one more look around. After saying goodbye, I flipped off the light and clicked the door shut behind me. Heading toward my truck I thought, “This chapter of my life is coming to a close.”

I have an offer for another part-time job with flexibility beginning in March. I’ll take the next few weeks, to adjust my metaphorical sails and get ready for the next chapter. Until then, maybe I’ll go fly fishing because it’s a chapter that needs some work.

Rick Watson is a columnist and author. His latest book, “Life Goes On,” is available on Amazon.com. You can contact him via email at rick@homefolkmedia.com.