It hit me hard this morning that I am actually retiring from my teaching and Distance Learning administrator positions in less than 3 days. I can still remember when I was hired for my first position with a Community College back in 1979. I had recently been discharged from active duty as a military photojournalist and somehow stumbled upon a job opening at Central Carolina Community College in Sanford NC looking for someone with photography skills. I was working in a low pay darkroom job making next to nothing so I submitted an application and remember being surprised when they offered me the position as Audio/Visual Technician 33 years ago. I got my first taste of working in academia back at that small college in Sanford and it was soon after that when I decided to use my G.I. Bill and go back to college and earn my Masters of Fine Arts degree from East Carolina. I realized pretty quickly that I was not going anywhere in the educational system without a masters degree so I only stayed in that first state job 2 years before heading to Greenville and enrolling in graduate school at the School of Art.
I’ve been working for Community Colleges and other state agencies ever since, even while going to Graduate school back in the early 80′s I kept a part-time job working in a media center at Beaufort Community College.
Its been an amazing career journey and consider myself extremely lucky to have had so many exciting opportunities and learning experiences since leaving Long Island for the US Army in the early 70′s. Over the years I’ve meet some wonderful people and made many great friends who have contributed to my growth as an artist, photographer, teacher and eventually administrator for distance learning. Being the Distance Learning Director here at CCC has been a great challenge and incredible learning experience. Education has changed so rapidly over the years. The evolution and growth of distance learning has played a big role in the direction of education and will continue to be a major factor at all levels of teaching and learning.
I actually have no real intentions of retiring from work in general. Pursuing my art, photography, writing and painting are going to be a big part of my next career journey. Also applying everything I’ve learned about distance learning and teaching art and photography in the online environment into the private sector.
Life is as exciting as you want to make it and I don’t look at retirement as an end – I see it as a new beginning and look forward to having more time to pursue those things that truly interest me like my own personal photography, making art and taking what I have learned in the past and applying these varied skill sets to my future.
I am handing over the Distance Learning position at Carteret Community College to Mary Walton who I am sure is going to do a great job moving the college forward in all aspects of distance education. David Hisle will be taking over this blog and I wish them both the best of luck and success.
I want to leave you all with a web site and video that I think offers some valuable insight into the future of education. It can be looked at as scary or a little intimidating for those of us working in the traditional college environment – however I believe we must move forward with our eyes wide open as to the changes coming due to the incredible power of the internet and digital technology. Check out Epic2020 (The Video below is also on the web site)