Tomorrow is a very important day in the long process of getting ready for Jim's official retirement day of June 30, 2016. The student movers are coming at 9 am to take the books and files that go into the office he can keep in the Malloy building at Notre Dame. At 1 pm, the IT people will come to take his computer over to that office. At some point, the Wiltfong Moving Company will box up everything else that is left and bring it to our house.
And there is a lot left when you have accumulated books and journals and papers ( and paper clips!) for 25 years and have had three offices to spread it all out in. I would hesitate to call Jim a hoarder but we did throw out 3 1/2 inch floppy discs, purchase records from the 90s, and early drafts of many student dissertations.
Today Jim showed me a paper he found that he had written as a graduate student in 1974 at Harvard--typed on that thin paper we used at that time with comments in the margins--and an A on the cover. Some stuff is worth saving I guess!
Jim assures me that the shelves are emptier than they were and I know that is true. A dozen books will be mailed to Sister Luma in Iraq. Several graduate students have come to his office numerous times and left with bags and boxes full of books. The recyclable bins have been filled weekly and were overflowing today.
What are we going to do with all the stuff that comes home? Boxes will be left in the garage for the Theological Network to pick up and distribute to third world seminaries. Jim hesitatingly told me this morning that he is going to ask Scott and Sons, our remodelers, if they build book shelves because we are going to need more of them in the basement.
Jim is a pretty calm and low-keyed person, but even he woke up at 4:30 this morning pondering the big move.
I am confident Jim can adjust to retirement. He will continue to go into his ND office and finish the major Jubilees commentary he has been working on for six years and he has ideas for other projects. He will teach one seminar in the spring term. He has a few PhD students who are writing dissertations.
I have not regretted retiring. It was time for me to do so and life has been busy and full enough since then. I hope and pray that Jim can feel the same way.