Field of Science

Retirement update

Quite a few people have been asking TPP how his retirement is going.  In answer: It's going well. You see everyone's big worries are money and boredom, having nothing to do and having nothing to do it with. Neither of these is a problem at all. Disciplined saving, investment, and Mrs. Phactor's watchful fiscal eye have paid off. Saw today that 29% of people in the USA have no savings at all, and this is actually impossible for TPP to imagine. Scary. Even as grad students the Phactors had some money socked away. Boredom just isn't an issue. Fortunately a big dividing line between what TPP did for his salary and what he did because he liked doing it never existed. So this was a retirement from being a professor, but not retirement from being a botanist. Why would you retire from botany? The young fellow in the next door office just turned 85 and he now has been an active retired biologist for longer than he was an active professor, a very difficult feat. Without the distractions of teaching, faculty meetings, and the like, he has published more research articles in the retirement portion of his career. So, yes, TPP still has some active research projects. He is helping master naturalists organize some "citizen science" projects. He is an emeritus curator of the university's herbarium. And of course his historic house and expansive gardens all scream for his attentions. Finding things to do is not the problem. TPP doesn't miss the stress of dealing with deadlines and fixed schedules. Going with the flow and not feeling like you're always rushing towards a deadline is quite relaxing.  As Douglas Adams once said, "I love deadlines. I love the whooshing sound they make as the rush by."  So, on the whole, the retirement thing is going quite well. Thank you for asking.

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