I am 65. I make no bones about it and no apologies for my age. I have earned every one of those years through the toil and dedication of my commitment to educational excellence. It is just that we all live in such a superficial culture anymore where the emphasis is all on what happened 15 minutes ago. Does anyone care that Ebola is still killing people in West Africa? See my point?
My students are always stunned when I say that I have absolutely no desire to be young again. Been there; done that. It was every bit as painful and embarrassing as what you are going through if you are young and you could not pay me enough to go through that again. I like the age that I am. I like what I have learned and done and who I have become. I know what the advertisements say and they all lie. Old is good; old is very satisfying. But it does limit your career options. Many countries will not hire above 65. Some set the limit at 60 and some post it as low as 55. It is their country; they get to do what they like. I may not agree with it, but I have to find a job in an increasingly smaller world.
With that in mind Pam and I went to the ISS Job Fair in San Francisco. We had registered for this job fair back in October, and had built a good part of this present trip around that weekend. As I noted in an earlier post, for us the Lord is always in the details of these things, and it is marvelous how He works out those details for our good. Pam had us booked in at the Holiday Inn at Fisherman’s Wharf, and the location turned out to be ideal, as the job fair was only a short trolley ride away and the area was jammed with restaurants and night life. We went down to the venue and registered as soon as we arrived and steeled ourselves for what I was sure was going to be a chaotic and demoralizing zoo in trying to land a job in a limited market.
Through months of careful planning and screening we had selected several target schools and countries as the focus of our search. One by one the Lord eliminated them until only two remained, both in our target destination of the Caribbean. Amazingly, neither school was at all concerned about my age; amazingly, both of them competed for my services. After a whirlwind two days, I accepted what seemed to be the best offer of the two, a school that offered me a chance to teach English in their International Baccalaureate program at the high school level. I start in August.
To say that I am surprised by this development is understatement. One does not expect to be landing a plum job in an area of interest and expertise at my age as easily as this. I know colleagues half my age who are struggling to find a position nearly as advantageous. Not only did I have two schools competing for my services, but I was treated by the hiring agency, ISS, with the utmost courtesy and consideration. If you are a teacher and you are looking to teach internationally, may I highly recommended this organization. They are true professionals
The long and short of it is that there is going to be another chapter in our lives before retirement. How long this chapter lasts is not ours to know at the moment. We went to Malaysia on the strength of a one year contract. By the time we leave it will be eight years. I will sign on for this position for two years. Perhaps that is all we will get. If so, we will be grateful. Perhaps we will get more. If so, we will be truly old before we retire! All we know for now is that I have a job and we are moving to the Caribbean this summer. You are welcome to come and visit us. If you don’t mind staying with old people.