We recently had a visit from Jay Knox, our famous now-retired Brandeis Marin English teacher. Jay began his teaching career with the class that included Rachel Greenblat (our illustrious current 4th Grade teacher, daughter to 1st Grade teacher Angeline Greenblat, and a member of Team Mishpacha). We asked Jay about retirement, and to comment on our newly launched Alumni Family Association.
Jay Knox with Rachel Greenblat on her 8th Grade Graduation day: "I take full credit for Rachel's success!"
What's Up With Jay Knox?
What a wonderful idea to have a Brandeis alumni association and newsletter. I'm looking forward to hearing about what my former students have been doing. Respectable gossip kind of stuff. Strange to think that some of my former Brandeis students are almost 30 years old. What have I been up to since I retired nearly four years ago? Well, I quickly realized that I've been doing the same things I did when I was a teacher -- except for the teaching part. I've been having fun doing what I like to do: reading, walking, watching movies, conducting experiments as a simulation specialist for computational biochemistry at Stanford. You know -- regular stuff.
Actually, something significant did happen to me a year ago: While I was hiking with Pam, my wife, on the Huckleberry trail above Larkspur, I fell off of a cliff, about 25 feet, and broke my neck in two places, my ankle and four ribs. I was in the hospital for 6 days and spent 7 more weeks almost immobile while I recovered. The doctors told me that the consequences of my injuries could have been worse, much worse. During those long weeks with not much to do, I had plenty of time to reflect about lots of stuff, mostly concentrating, of course,on the more meaningful aspects of life as anyone would do under similar circumstances. The bottom line (I'll skip the more maudlin moments) is that I now reflect daily on those Meaningful Aspects. Yep. I'm a lucky guy. We all sometimes need a wake-up call.
On a less-meaningful, but much more fun, note, Pam and I have travelled a bit. We have visited Scandinavia, Sicily and Brussels recently, all places we've had on our wish list for years -- but work kept getting in the way. Traveling down through the fjords in Norway was something I've wanted to do ever since I saw the movie The Vikings when I was 13 years ago. I didn't see Tony Curtis this time, but the trip was magnificent nonetheless. Sicily was sinister and yet so romantic. I couldn't get The Godfather theme music out of my head -- and I tried! It was a wonderful trip, but no one told me about driving in the cities. Traffic lights and stop signs are sorta suggestions. It was like I was driving a bumper car at an amusement park. Our Brussels trip was our favorite -- great food, beautiful scenery -- but recent horrific events there have given us new perspectives on our experiences. I hope we can revisit Brussels soon.
I've subbed at Brandeis a few times. I always have such a good time there. It's like visiting your grandchildren: You can have fun, leave, and let others deal with any issues.
I love knowing that there will always be new books to read, movies to see, and trails to walk. I'll stay away from cliffs.
The Alumni Association is a great idea.