Our school board and federation offer retirement workshops so that teachers are prepared for what lies ahead when the time comes. At one time, these board workshops were mandatory, if you can imagine. I’m not aware of any that were offered this year. Possibly this was due to teacher action to protest the provincial government’s undemocratic attitude of legislating away our right to negotiate a contract with our employers. It’s also possible I just didn’t see any postings there may have been. So I am plunging into retirement unprepared, I guess, although I think I’m doing O.K. Time will tell. Of course, I won’t be tripping around the world to archaeological digs all the time and while there is quite a bit to consider about going to diverse digs, the planning won’t take up all of my spare time.
Last summer, I was looking around the internet for inexpensive chess sets to add to what we had at school for my chess club and started getting interested in all the different kinds of sets that were available, the Lewis set, Egyptian sets, variations on the popular Staunton set, and so forth. I remembered many years ago, I had bought a set of chess moulds that came with all the materials you needed to make a set. It had been Staunton and I loved the set I made (which I gave away as a present) and now have no idea whatever became of the moulds. I started looking around online and found the Lewis set. Since then, I have collected 3 sets of moulds, Lewis, Camelot, and Egyptian, and have a set of Celtic board moulds. I have also bought 2 plain bisque Duncan sets which I am filling and hand painting. I’m thinking there may be a market in the Ottawa area but it certainly is a lot of fun making them.
I used the Egyptian set at school with the grade 5 students who were all studying ancient civilizations and they also used the plain pieces from the Celtic board set to make a matching board. This Tuesday is our annual Art in Bloom display for Education Week where we invite families to come and see the art our students have created throughout the year. I have brought the board pieces home to mount on wood and add trim around the edges. When I take it back on Monday, students will paint the wood trim to match the metallic blue border of the board and then put a layer of triple coat finish on the whole thing as well as on each of the men. They will be dry and ready to go into the gym for the Tue. set-up. We’re going to put it on a riser with a little rope border around so people will look and not touch. I’ll add a picture here when it is all done. I may take one of my sets in to show as well, or possibly the Tic Tac Toe game I’ve adapted using the Lewis wardens and the celtic cross board pieces. We’ll see. It depends on how much time I have after mounting the students’ pieces into a board.
So I think I’m going to have full days in my retirement between my digs, my chess sets, volunteering in the school library, and, of course, my budgie (Budge) who is pretty precocious and entertaining. On the road to retirement!
My first set and board.