Retirement Dispatches

“Retirement Dispatches” features informal, first-person updates on what retirement life looks like for different folks. Send us a paragraph write-up to share moments, developments, ruminations, or new connections as you tread a new path in your “third stage.”

From Anne Dodd

Anne Wescott Dodd 

A month after I retired in 2009, my husband suffered the first of several strokes. He later spent 2 years in a nursing home before he passed away in 2011. As a result, I had to take over his business for which I was totally unsuited. For 8 years I felt totally incompetent managing and finally selling 13 properties including 5 trashed houses (two of which I rehabbed). 

In the midst of all this stress, and thanks to a friend who retired from The College of New Jersey, I was hired as adjunct faculty in TCNJ global master’s program. I serve as the college supervisor for interns completing a degree and New Jersey secondary teacher certification. Because it’s like my experience with Bates students teachers, I love the interaction and the feeling of being good at something. 

Using email, Skype, and Google Meets, my students complete internships in international schools all over the world. This semester my interns are in China, Singapore, Brazil, Vietnam, and the UAE. These students are smart, motivated, and dedicated. Some gave up very successful careers in other fields because they want to make a difference. The global program does have some on-site classes usually taught by TCNJ regular faculty. However, when no one was willing to go to Egypt in 2013, I did teach a 2-week onsite course in Cairo. 

Although I never wanted to be a teacher but accidentally became one, I find it surprising that this is my 60th year in education. I’m happy to be free from the hassles of rental properties, but I have no plans to stop teaching.

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I include a photo of my class in Cairo—amazing women all!