This, the first year of my retirement, has been like HISTORY itself, a mixture of continuity and change. Scholarly interests and activities continue without the pressure of deadlines. Reading is more leisurely and varied, reflecting both previous and current interests. Whim, rather than necessity, now determines attendance at lectures, meetings, and organizations. Hiking, golf, and gardening fill some of the hours previously spent sitting. Planning and engaging in travel to exotic landscapes (e.g. Hawaii Volcano National Park - Great Smoky Mountains National Park) have already filled months of this year. Visits to Grand Canyon National Park and other Arizona sites are scheduled.
Sorting books and files reminds me of the varied topics I have addressed in research and teaching, first in the College of General Studies and later in the College of Arts and Sciences. Michigan labor history, the history of education, and women’s history provided the focus of most of my research, and continue to appeal.
After years of teaching the non-western world and other interdisciplinary courses, e.g. Human Society, The American City, The Twentieth Century Experience, and the Status of Women, courses in U.S. women’s history and history methods absorbed most of my time. Having found challenge and satisfaction in the past, I expect much the same in the future.
Volunteering at the new WMU Legacy Collections Center promises to be one such satisfying occupation.