After four decades (1963-2003) I retired as Daisy Parker Flory Professor Emeritus and have enjoyed part-time work the past ten years (2003-2013), teaching "Banned Books in America" occasionally and teaching at the London Study Center every other summer with this year as my final time. Enjoyable as it is, fifty years is now enough. I am active on campus in the Association of Retired Faculty and in the Friends of the University Libraries, the latter having honored me by establishing the Fred L. Standley Award for Academic Librarian of the Year which is presented annually. I have also been active in the profession having completed four years as Historian for the College English Association. Additionally, my wife Jayne (who continues as Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor and Director of the Music Therapy Program) and I have remained inveterate travelers. On a personal note I am working leisurely on a Memoir focusing primarily on fifty years at FSU. And, I read poetry daily.
When I retired a few years ago, Wendy Bishop
urged me to write a mystery novel. I’m not a mystery fan but I thought
it would be an interesting retirement project, although I had planned
to write a novel based on my grandmother’s 1892 diary. After reading
hundreds of mysteries and guidebooks, I finished Shakespeare's
which I filed away as a successful attempt to write a mystery, but I
wasn’t interested in pursuing that genre further. I’m now writing a
female Bildungsroman, the genre of my previous scholarship, set in
Venice, the city Hans and I love and visit every year. After I finish
it, I’m determined to return to my original plan of writing about my
I am now living in Vermont most of the year, although returning to Florida for some weeks during mud season up north. I sometimes teach American Studies at Smith College and I continue to write a book on the slow delivery of democracy in America, Secret Histories. Harvard published my anthology of American Jim Crow plays the spring of 2010. My FSU email (firstname.lastname@example.org) still reaches me and I am always eager to hear from former students.
A year ago, when I
retired, I resolved to give myself a year to breathe and watch the
light change. Though that may sound a little torpid, the practice of
that resolution included travel to Alaska and Hawaii, working out at
the Y with a personal trainer, building a web site, and seeing a new
novel, Assisted Living, through publication with
Spinsters Ink. I still have a few graduate students finishing up their
degrees. For them I hold sporadic office hours at the Black Dog Caf. I
recently began writing my seventh novel, Anna Howe.
You can find me at sheilaortiztaylor.com
Dr. Bruce Bickley, Griffith T. Pugh Professor of English, Emeritus, officially retired in 2004 but continues to teach on a part-time basis. He teaches a course in line editing fall, spring, and summer for English's Graduate Certificate in Publishing and Editing. He also teaches literature and writing courses for undergraduate majors when the department needs a little extra help. Additionally, he regularly teaches six-week literature courses for The Academy, a program for senior citizens (and avid readers!) sponsored by the FSU Pepper Center.
Karen will work for Academic and Professional Program Services until her full retirement in three years. In the meantime, she and Bruce are enjoying following their four children's careers and are taking time for travel and home renovation projects.
Bruce can be reached at email@example.com
I tend to be a solitary person, so it's fine for me to be more so now. I finally feel myself to be a guest more than a host [in my life]…and it's much more pleasant than I expected. After thirty-five years of teaching, I was surprised to find I don't miss it. I'm enjoying the solitude and the extra time more than I thought I would. The first thing I do when I wake up is run. I go to the gym. I play golf. I eat what I want, watch CNN-I have no trouble filling the time on any given day! I enjoy the routine, although I've taken a trip already-to Rio de Janeiro with my son, which was interesting. It wasn't as glamorous as I'd imagined.
Retirement is not any less arduous than teaching, but it is more focused. It's been good to find out that I was not lying all those years: when I'm not teaching, I do write more. My eighth novel, Devil's Play, will be out from Harcourt fall of 2008. My play Parts of Speech has been in development in Orlando, first with the Women Playwright's Initiative, and since then with the troupe that read it for them. I have completed a memoir of my son Tim, and it is out in the world looking for a home. Next project, in my mind and for one reason and another on hold for ten years now, is a musical adaptation of Barry Unsworth's novel Morality Play. Peter and I are in the process of moving (bit by bit) to a home in the Wisconsin woods. At least, we'll try it. The poor housing market may have a silver lining for us: we're not selling our house in Tallahassee yet. Who knows if we'll be back?