Passages of Retirement: Personal Histories of Struggle and Success

By Richard S. Prentis | Go to book overview

22
Married Women and
Retirement

Female, 70, married, six children Education: college graduate Job Status: community college professor for 22 years Retirement Income: $17,000 Health: reported good Retirement Category: regular-voluntary, retired for two years

My work was my main interest, but I always had self-doubts. In the teaching racket you always wonder whether you are really teaching them truths, or whether there is something you don't know that you should know. You also wonder whether you are teaching them at the level and at the clarity of expression that you would like.

I enjoyed teaching and the contact with students, but I kept wanting to do research. What with the fifteen hours in the classroom, the five in the office counseling, plus giving essay exams, I was too busy to have the chance to do research.

I had always said I wanted to die in a harness. But I was being balked on this research and so I was looking for a way to do the research before I got too old. And so, in a sense, it was a retirement. As somebody once said, you should not retire from something--you should retire to something. I retired to do research.

When I was 17 1 decided I wanted to be a psychiatrist. I thought I had the ability and could make it, but at the same time I wanted at least four children; I knew that I personally could not combine the two. When I

-99-

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