What Retirement?

February 18, 2019

Other News

“What will I do?”

After more than 40 years as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist/ Laboratory manager, I decided to retire. It was a wonderful career of hospital lab work and work in a private practice with the Group for Internal Medicine, where I had the privilege of working closely with patients and being a part of their health care team; not to mention the incredible amount of knowledge that the physicians shared with me. That was followed by a stint of managing several laboratories for Sentara Medical Group after the practice joined the group.

For the first three months after I stopped working, I just relaxed. I was unused to not being responsible for something. I caught up with old friends, made a few new ones, and began to have precious time for my children and grandchildren. I was available for them when they needed me to help out. I joined a canasta group and began to volunteer at my synagogue, Beth El. I was able to read tons of books! My husband, Stanley, and I began to travel a little more. (He was still working.) It was a wonderful time, but I did miss my friends at work.

Several years later, I was approached by one of my former graduate school professors at ODU, who asked if I would “like to help out” in the Medical Technology Program. I said, “What kind of help?” She answered, “Why teaching, of course!”

I had never thought about teaching in a classroom. I had taught in the hospital systems, but that was one on one or one on two! Still, I accepted and found myself as an Adjunct Assistant Professor. I have to say that I discovered a newfound respect for teachers and the amazing job that they do, day in and day out. I had to review and relearn so much material in order to teach it, but I loved it! I loved working with my students and cannot even describe the sense of accomplishment that they gave me.

So much for retirement! I taught there for six years and retired again in 2018 to take another “job.”

In April of 2018, I was elected president of my synagogue, Congregation Beth El. It is a different kind of job, but one from which I get so much satisfaction. Having had family there for six generations, I feel that I am able to give back to the community that nurtured me as a child and gave me a sense of who I am as a Jewish woman today.

So, I say, “What Retirement?” I love being active and feeling that I have something to contribute to our greater Jewish community and to Tikun Olam.

By Linda Samuels

Letter to the Editor