Daily Archives: October 2, 2022

no news

A good friend of mine , Joe , sent me an email yesterday . It was a newsletter from the college where he got his master’s degree . ” Scroll down ,” he wrote ; so I did . I expected to see , maybe , an article about Joe or at least a picture of him , maybe in the background . Incidental . Who knows, I thought , maybe a short article about him : Graduate Makes Good . But I didn’t see anything .

I was reading the L.A.Times today . There were at least a couple of long articles about people complaining about their prospects for retirement . Not that they shouldn’t . It’s just that to me that’s not news .So you’re not saving enough to outdo rising inflation or rising prices on just about everything ? Sorry , but I don’t want to spend my retirement time expecting news but instead reading about your particular idiosyncratic retirement concerns . But good luck anyway !

My friend Bill , the surveyor , is 77 years old and still working and not because he has to . He was telling me that he didn’t have much work last week and he’s a little concerned about it . He’s worried that the whole economy is going into a slump and he won’t have much work in the coming year. I suggested that he quit working . Just an idea . He has enough money . He agreed that yes he has enough money . Always saved more that he made each month , he said . Likes to dabble in the stock market ; owns a lot of stocks. I pointed out to him that he does not live extravagantly . So what’s the problem !

I think I’ll be seeing a follow-up article about Bill in the L.A Times , about how this guy named Bill is worried about the future of the economy and wonders if he has enough money set aside to withstand retirement . I won’t read it , though , even if it’s about someone I know . It’s not news .

Ain’t a newspaper ‘sposed to have news ? Not enough reporters these days , I think , to go out and report , so we get these unwieldy expatiations about what so-and-so thinks about this -or-that . No one has to go too far from their phone or laptop to come up with this sort of “news”. We’ll all recycle information from the internet and be satisfied . So , by the way , what do you think about this or that ?

So I gave up the newspaper for the moment and scrolled down the newsletter sent to me by my friend Joe . I still expected to see something about him in there . Maybe at least a short article along the lines of ” Graduate Makes Good ” , or at least a photo with his image incidentally in the background . Something .

Instead I noticed a short obituary of a man who had been a student of mine in the 1970s . He had been Joe’s student too . Way back when . He passed away recently .

That’s news .

I remembered the boy , back when he was a fifth grader . Joe taught him in the 6th grade . Joe taught his older sister , too , and I had one of his younger brothers a couple of years later . I remember his parents , too . Nice people . They respected me and liked me , too , I think . I couldn’t say that of many parents of my students in later years .

Joe , who remembers the former student well too said , ” I don’t know these people ,” since our memories relate to people , places , times , and events that happened almost fifty years ago ; but we exchanged fond memories over the phone about what happened with those people so long ago .

As an old retired teacher , I revel in the knowledge that one of my students made it , made a good life for himself , and finally cashed out with dignity albeit somewhat early . What I know I know from the brief obituary that Joe passed along to me . I hope that all of my former students make it through life with respect , love , and purpose , and I always like to hear about it when that happens . Of course , as Joe says , ” I don’t know these people .”

What’s that old saying ? No news is good news ? Give me some good news . How about that !


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