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C'est la Z

After 7 years at Hunter College and 33 in NYC public schools, time for a change.

I've been dropping mentions of this here and there for a while now but I think it's time to come out more formally -

I'm planning on retiring from Hunter at the end of this Spring.

This doesn't mean getting out of the CS or CS Ed game entirely - I could stay on in a part time capacity and, after some decompression I think I still have things to offer but the plan is retire, collect my pension, and then see where I can continue to be contribute to the Ed/CS Ed scene.

Why now? Largely burnout but there are a number of reasons. I'll talk about them below.

I'm also posting this with two other posts.

  1. One talking about what I feel I've accomplished here at Hunter (link).
  2. Another talking about the types of opportunities I think I'll be looking for next (link).

I'd love it if people could read those - particularly the last one.

For the rest of this post, why it's time.

As I said, burnout is at the top of the list. What from? Largely from having too much on my plate. When I started at Hunter, neither of my programs existed. We started undergraduate CS honors (the Daedalus program) the following fall and that grew at a consistent pace until it was a full time job. The CS Ed program took longer to get running since we needed to get the state to create the license and get our programs through governance but once they started, that was another full time job. Add to that the assorted other responsibilities that ended up on my plate and I've been doing two to three full time jobs for the past three or so years - not sustainable. For the burnout, Covid and the state of the world certainly hasn't helped.

What does burnout mean? Well, I'm not enjoying my classes. Sure, there are fun times but I don't get up in the morning looking forward to it and in class, I'm as likely to get annoyed by something as not. Part of this is that I have students who refuse to mask - something I see as a direct sign of disrespect but there's more. All in all, this is a good sign that it's time to get out or at least take a break.

Another factor, and a big one is that I've accomplished everything I've set out to accomplish at Hunter and then some. I'm normally not a "goal guy," I'm more about process and journey but in the case of Hunter, I also had a set of goals and I've gotten there and beyond. There are new challenges at Hunter but not challenges that I'm as excited about. More on this in my accomplishment post.

Finally, I've got health and family reasons. Health isn't anything immediate but I do have indications of heart disease. Combine that with the fact that my mom died when she was 72 and my dad at 44 and well, now that I'm 55, if we can financially handle it, maybe it's time to give more time to myself and my family.

Finally, Devorah's also retiring - she put in the paperwork the other day.

So, that's why.

For those of you who read this blog, I'd love for you to keep your ears open for potential next steps so I'd love for you to read my next post on what I think I've accomplished at Hunter and what I bring to the table and the one after that where I'll muse about what I think I might be able to get excited about and where I think I might be able to contribute.

Links to this post and the other two posts:

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