Greetings from Dan McElroy

Greetings everyone: Here is the latest and greatest from your fellow ‘retiree’ in Cottonwood, CA. I am surrounded by land, lizards, deer, snakes, buzzards and whatever else comes around. Actually, I’m only semi-retired. I started teaching again after a 6-month delay to satisfy the STRS post-retirement waiting period. When I retired in 2015, I started only online so there was no real change for me once Covid-19 moved everything off campus.

But Covid did take its toll. Even though my daughter and I are in the Moderna Covid vaccine test study, we ended up in the 50% group of participants who were given placebo shots at first and everyone in the house ended up with the virus. She lost taste and smell for a short time, but I ended up in the hospital four days on oxygen and Dexamethasone and a diagnosis of COPD and pneumonia. I am now fully vaccinated, so I should be double protected. I don’t expect any long- term problems. Although I feel very fortunate that I have done so well, I feel a personal loss to have attended a recent funeral for a friend whom Covid has taken, and know another who has been in and out of intensive care for the last four months with lungs that have been destroyed.

Being retired, or even semi, has been great. The weight of all the committees, program reviews etc. has lifted. I do as little or as much as I want.

I have been at SJCC long enough to remember the days when one of the management team made an offhand comment about our ability to bargain, or lack thereof. I almost got the impression he felt sorry for us. That all changed when we became AFT-6157. I think it may be difficult to really appreciate what a good working union does until you become a participant. Being part of the union is more than just paying dues.

Although I still enjoy teaching, I look forward to being fully retired one of these days. Until then, happy trails to y’all. Until we meet again.

Dan McElroy