Spring semester, I again submitted a request to teach an elective studio in creativity and it was again refused, which made me angry as I had been promised that studio before I left for my sabbatical. The chairperson reneged on her promise so I did the next best thing and integrated creative development into my regular studios as best I could along with doing the projects dictated by the syllabus and this seemed to work.
I didn’t teach meditation or anything like that, but just the basic premise of not paying attention to those critics, especially the inner one which is the worst of all. It was interesting to see what began to happen. These kids caught on quickly, let go, and started having fun with design. They became more confident and. Consequently, their projects became more daring and much better.
I was finding the way the Department of Art and Design as well as the University as a whole becoming a place I didn’t want to be anymore. I loved teaching and the students but university and faculty politics were becoming more weird. My wife’s work was changing as well and we were finding there was increased stress in our lives neither of us wanted. It was getting to the point that, more and more over the last few years, we were both dreading going back to work after our breaks. We decided we needed to retire as soon as we could afford it for both our well being and our health.
In the meantime, I was still journaling and writing poetry. Also, I bega0 doing experimental typographic creations using my own writings. I too was having fun and playing with design. With the help of the computer, I was creating some design I never would have tried before.
In the summer of 1988, I decided to go to lutherie school. I had played guitar since my twenties and with my woodworking skills from when I worked as a carpenter, I decided to learn guitar building and repair. I found a place up in Big Rapids, Michigan that offered a two month course in early summer that would work into my schedule. After two months of eight hour days, five days plus a half day on Saturday, I had built both an electric and an acoustic guitar. The school was awesome and I loved it. I had another new skill set.
In 2000, our financial advisor advised us that we could retire and emaintaining basically the same revenue source that we had working full time. As scary as it was, in May, 2001, we decided to take early retirement. In retrospect, I missed the University sometimes and wish I had stayed on for a few more years, but my life has done nothing but gotten better ever since.
We moved to Durango, Colorado that same August.