May 2015 Advocate – The Retirees’ Voice


Rejuvenating the retirees’ chapter through engagement

By John Searle, DART President

JohnSearle-webA group of four of us (Dan Kaplan, John Kirk, John Searle, and Ernie Rodriguez)  sat down over a meal to discuss ways of rejuvenating the local chapter of DART (District Association of Retired Teachers.) A pleasant social occasion by any criteria in the up and coming San Carlos restaurant district. The conversation focused on ways to utilize the talents of retired teachers, and formats that would allow them to express themselves.

One idea was to accept an offer by The Advocate to provide a regular column for the “voice” of the retired teacher. Ernie was good enough to volunteer the first of such articles, featured in the last edition. I think the aim is to provide both stories as to how faculty are using their hard earned retirement, and possibly to inspire others to act out their dreams. So, if any individual is interested in writing such a column, please contact either Dan Kaplan or Eric Brenner.

Other ideas tended to focus on how the expertise of the retired could maybe be used in the classroom. Obviously one such way would be to encourage the institution to provide “exit interviews,” with the individuals being more willing to provide creative criticism knowing their job was not on the line.

Another possibility is the idea of tutoring students on an informal level. Would past faculty want to do this, and is there a present format to enable them to volunteer such activity?
Also at Executive Committee meetings, it has been stated that some faculty review committees have difficulty in raising a quorum of people to serve. The question raised over mealtime was could retired faculty (assuming they might have an interest) serve on such committees, and equally, would they be wanted?

At a more mundane level, the present activity planned is a repeat of last year’s hike/walk/stroll in the Peninsula watershed area; the day would be Saturday, August 1. It was an easy, flat four miles in; a picnic lunch; and four miles out. As last year, interested individuals should contact John Searle ( if they would like to attend the walk. The access to the watershed area was a page one feature in the Saturday, April 18 edition of the San Francisco Chronicle. I would like to think we collectively could put Tom Stienstra’s green page Chronicle articles to shame.

As always, DART would love to hear from you on your suggestions for social activities.