On Going Emeritus


Diana Slaughter Kotzin (formerly Diana Slaughter-Defoe)

I chose to go emeritus at age 70, the year when I would be required to take a minimum distribution from all of my retirement accounts. Somehow, for me, that seemed to be contradictory...to be continuing to work full-time, and to also be required to take those distributions. People react to such an experience differently, of course. For me, 43 years of post-PhD work, plus 10 years of work towards the PhD, were enough, and I agreed with others who queried me about what my current purposes for continued work happened to be. Old habits die hard, I suppose. When I retired, I entered the wonderful 2-year FIAP Program, supervised by Mrs. Hilary Lopez. At the time, I expected to retire in Philadelphia, to begin to write my Memoir, and to do volunteer work with the new Barnes Foundation (Arts Education program), since I love to collect art (a hobby I developed as an outgrowth of original love of travel), and I knew that humanities programs were being seriously cut back by the School District of Philadelphia. I also expected to continue to attend the wonderful programs that are routinely sponsored by PASEF...though I did inform PASEF members in spring 2012, that for the first few years, I would not be available. So what actually happened?

Well, since most of my relatives and friends live in the Chicagoland area, I had my retirement party in Chicago in June 2012. I had invited a 1962 graduate school classmate, Joseph G. Kotzin, to be my escort to my official retirement party in Chicago. Joe agreed and came to Chicago from Los Angeles where he lived. We continued the contact after that great time in Chicago (He had initiated resumption of contact in 2008 after he read about me in the University of Chicago alumni magazine.). In August 2012, Joe proposed marriage, and I accepted his proposal. He wanted a wedding, so I left Philadelphia in November, 2012 for LA. We were married August 18, 2013 in Santa Monica with considerable pomp and ceremony (i.e., good fun), with me so far living "happily ever after" in LA. My legal name is Diana Slaughter Kotzin, with "Slaughter" being my middle name. And...oh yes, in April 2012, I was elected to the National Academy of Education!

Lesson for potential retirees: Make a Plan A for yourself, one that is consistent with your values and interests, and addressing what you want to do during your earliest retirement years. But...be flexible and open to changing that plan in accordance with new options and possibilities...your Plan A may turn into an even better Plan B.

P.S.: I am still working on my Memoir...but in LA...its warmer here...