Reflections: Rambling on

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By Thomas W. Ivines

Someone told me as a writer you are best to write about what you know best. If you adlib, the readers will know you're a phony. That kind of narrows things down for me, because as a writer what I know best is limited - limited, that is, to education and aviation. Most of my years have been spent in that area of expertise.

Oh, I have done a lot of things in my lifetime other than education and aviation. I guess you could say I'm somewhat experienced in raising children. I've had four children, but so has everyone else, so who wants to know about rearing children? Boring.

I spent a great deal of time fishing. It was one of my favorite pastimes other than metal detecting. I enterprised on that "metal detecting" and wrote a column for a treasure hunting magazine for many years.

The one thing I have not done is write about education. I spent twenty-seven years in education as a high school teacher. I'm an expert on teaching - at least my teacher's certification said I was. I was also an expert on teenagers. I mean, how could anyone teach in a classroom of at least thirty teenagers, seven periods a day, five days a week for twenty seven years and not learn something about them?

I guess I never wrote about teaching, education, or teenagers because I was too tired. My children and the teenagers wore me out. At the end of the day, and after grading papers nearly every evening, I had no more strength to do anything else. I wrote about other subjects on the weekends. I mean who wanted to write about kids and work on the weekends?

One other subject I never wrote about in earnest was flying. I did a few here-and-there articles for a few magazines but never pursued a real column in a flying magazine. I don't why. I just never did. What I did was write a newspaper column about everything under the sun.

Writing human interest articles for newspapers for over thirty years made more sense. I could write about anything and everything I wanted and still do. That's why I'm writing about writing now, because I can.

A new age is coming for me - an age of retirement, and I have always imagined using my free time to write about what I really want to write about. But now that the time is coming near I do not honestly know what I will write about. Will it be about education? Will it be about treasure hunting? Or will it be about aviation? It's anyone's guess. More than likely I will simply keep rambling on about nothing - just like in this column. I will probably just do more of the same, though; once in a while I will mention the things I have done.

Blab at you again next week.