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Posted at 1:25 PM ET, 12/ 6/2010

Jay is NOT retiring

By Jay Mathews

Some readers tell me they have interpreted my planned 2011 move to California, mentioned in the first paragraph of my post just below this one, as a retirement announcement. Not so. I plan to continue the blog with even more energy because of the improvement in the climate, and I plan to continue to write columns for the paper version of the Washington Post, as well as America's Best High Schools, Admissions 101, and other stuff I do. The details haven't been worked out yet but my editors have been encouraging about my plans. I want to do this until I am so out of it I can't find hit the keys on my computer.

By Jay Mathews  | December 6, 2010; 1:25 PM ET
Categories:  Jay on the Web  
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Next: Bad old D.C. school politics threaten progress


"I want to do this until I am so out of it I can't find hit the keys on my computer." ~Jay Mathews

"I can't find hit the keys"? I'm sorry, did I cause you to have a minor stroke again?

I can't believe you actually collect a paycheck from WAPO for this column.

Posted by: lisamc31 | December 6, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Reading your note, Jay, I just had an unusaual episode of sentimental attachment to our entire post-war baby-boom cohort. Could that be yet another age-related infirmity, do you think?

Yesterday, I demonstrated the oxidation of the alkali metals to four classes, one after the other: lithium, then sodium, then potassium. It was exhausting, even just physically setting up the heavy safety shield and keeping the reactants organized and safe. I had to get my beakers clean in-between, so the phenolphthalein didn't turn pink until the reactions began. I had to keep sixteen-year-olds focused on making actual sense of it, writing and balancing the equations as we went along. It was very difficult, but I've never done it better, if I do have to say so myself.

The question of retirement ease vs. the satisfaction of purpose-driven work and/or a paycheck looms large to all of us. Sadly, so do difficult alternatives like stroke, pancreatic cancer, and even pneumonia.

My husband was bemused last night, a little embarrassed, he said, because he had told his students his age. Sixty seven, and they all exclaimed - but no, how can you be that old? We thought you were fifty! Most of the time, he does, too.

He's just ahead our leading edge, one of the comparatively few born during that darkest summer of the war. It's been fun, a lot of the time, and still is, but we're getting serious about our place in the chain of history, aware that we carry the legacy of the twentieth century.

Knowledge is carried in a human life, and I suppose shared knowledge is carried in shared lives. Be well, and keep working hard until its time to move on, everybody.

Posted by: mport84 | December 7, 2010 6:09 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the clarification. I knew of California and your dedication to this work, but not of the POST's dedication to you and it as well. Good.
As to "lisamc31": I have often wondered what fueled the outrage she has directed toward IB over the years. Now I see what it is - pure meanness. She simply is a nasty and mean person. Why else would she question your earning a paycheck for your work? So she disagrees with you - so what? Does this make you evil? Evidently so. Bah, humbug. I guess the Christmas season truly is here. Too bad it's the early Scrooge and not the more enlightened one.
Disgusting; truly disgusting.

Posted by: LoveIB | December 8, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

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