My friends were just as adamant and were determined to give me a celebration. Last night I thought I was going out to dinner with a few friends. For once, I had even made the call and all the arrangements. Imagine my surprise when I got to her house and the people closest to my heart appeared. It didn't even register immediately that they were there for me. I just assumed she invited more to dinner.
The speeches my friends made still have tears running down my eyes. My good friend, J, the one who volunteered her house wrote the following, which I share, not to brag, but to pay tribute to the great friends I made at Packemin HS, people who boost my low self esteem and support me, people I know I will continue my friendship with for many years to come.
Before I start Rita, your husband had nothing to do with this party. He is completely innocent.
You were afraid to have a retirement party because no one would come. Just the opposite everyone who was asked came. You have so many friends who love you as this turnout shows.
Let’s count your successes in life.
l) You are married for over 30 years – to the same guy. In this chaotic world that is a wonderful accomplishment.
2) You have two successful children. I define successful children this way –independent and happy. Both fit these attributes.
3) You were wonderful daughter to your mother and are a fantastic help to your elderly father.
4) You are an unbelievable friend to so many people. If it wasn’t for you, I would not be working at the college. It is a job that keeps my mind going and stops me from spending money due to boredom.
5) You were and are a fantastic teacher, despite what Suit and Mr. AP think..
You often said that you hate children. When you were asked what you were doing on the following day your reply was “Oh the kids are coming to my house to study for the AP exam.” I only wish all teachers hate kids that much.
I’ll never forget one day after the ninth grade regents. A student walked out of the regents exam, grabbed you, picked you up and said “You made me pass” That says a lot.
Retirement is only a beginning of a new life. You love teaching in the college now program and at night at the college. This will continue. You will have more time to travel, visit your children, nag your husband, and travel. You will have more time to go to
buy fake pocketbooks and just walk around the city that you love so much. Everyone here wishes you a wonderful retirement. Manhattan