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This week marks one year since I left Arlington, Texas, and my teaching position to return to Raytown, Missouri, to care for my elderly, homebound mother. It has been one of the best of my 50 years thus far and I consider the others to have been great.
This time together has given us an opportunity to get to know each other again. We have had a chance to banish some misconceptions and fill in gaps in our knowledge about each other and about 'the family'. It has been filled with learning and opportunity for each of us.
Mother is more active now. She doesn't need to be tethered to her oxygen condenser full time. She has regained some weight. She has been able to remain in her home of 40 years for another year and some of the strain of living as a senior citizen has been removed.
The week also marks one year since I connected my computer to the cyber frontier with a modem. My life has changed dramatically. I have gone from a fifteen year active 'stand alone' computer user to an avid 'online' explorer. I have worked my way through the use of Bulletin Boards (Metropolis, One Crossroads Place, TENET, and others), local and national Internet providers (Prodigy, Grapevine, and OCP) and a great part of the Internet (Telnet, FTP, Gopher, IRC, E-mail, Usenet, and the WWW). It has been an education that could not be planned or bought through any college or university.
With so many benefits, there is no reason not to continue in this mode for another year or two, or three. . . On May 1st I wrote to my school district to resign in order to continue care for my Mother.
I do love teaching and the Internet is the largest possible classroom of ACTIVE LEARNERS in the world.
My volunteer efforts have lead to an offer from Rotary to teach in Buenos Aires, Argentina between June 8th and July 3rd http://www.RITE-Teacher.com/. My sister will come from Colorado to take care of Mother while I take this opportunity.
If all goes as I expect, I will file my next column from that country. No matter where I am now - I have the feeling that everything/everyone is at my finger tips - through the magic of cyberspace. It is a very powerful and comforting feeling to "be connected."
Next month a tribute to Dr. Wolf of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, for his efforts at promoting the study of foreign languages.
Copyright May 1996 William R. Eubank
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William R. Eubank
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