Dear Mrs. D,
Wow. I was meaning to write a letter thanking you for your retirement, and the years have flown by. I hope you are happily enjoying your retirement now. Tr brings it up from time to time (I think he has an automatic reminder set to bring it up) and I have always wanted to write it. I still treasure my memories of those growing up. I have since moved to Virginia and California, and am enjoying my life and my career out here, but I still talk with N, A, Th, and I see Trent weekly. I got to see Mrs. W a few years ago. She had lived close to me and we finally met up for drinks over Cinco de Mayo and had a blast discussing life, careers, and relationships. Th and K were getting married that summer. They are close to completing their house now.
Their building plans reminded me of really enjoying building our castles, and the variety of projects we had. I had one where I designed a train that ran on magnets instead of rails so it would be more efficient. It’s been built! I often play board games on Monday nights in a store in San Francisco with Tr. I still like being clever and coming up with a solution before someone else. That’s certainly a part I enjoy about my job as an engineer: I get to put all the pieces together and figure out ways we can get around problems with other products. I’m in sales engineering, and I won a project by putting a slower high-torque screw into a high speed actuator to get a cross between the two that fit the customer’s needs perfectly. Nothing off the shelf that my company or our competitors would work. I always enjoyed playing Stories with Holes, and Seventh Guess. I liked the stumpers that Mrs. E would give us to see how many days it would take us to figure out. I like hearing new riddles now and always smile to myself when it’s one I know the answer to because of working through so many during those years. Oregon Trail has become a joke for some of my friends; apparently the game is not so hard to beat with a modicum of preparation and precaution. We just always brought as many bullets as we could and inevitably died to a broken axle or dysentery. What a fantastic game. Photography was a really neat session where we got to run around and discover what was entertaining and exciting for others. I still have a picture hanging on my door in Cincinnati that N took and developed. He is now getting his doctorate in Art History.
I am now working for X, at one of their companies – X, selling X. I really enjoy it. I’m trying not to work too hard, and juggle a life and a girlfriend. I want to get my MBA maybe this year or next year. I got into every school into which I applied this year, except Berkeley. I’m still waiting to hear back from them for the fall semester. I continue to play soccer on a rec league, and hang out with Trent and his girlfriend on a regular basis. Sunday we had a late brunch, made mimosas, then went to dinner and discussed women’s role in business. We also made it to the Pacific Ocean two blocks from his house and were giddy to have gone West. Our girlfriends were cold and wanted to go back inside.
My friends from those years are still some of my strongest friends. The person I wanted to be then strongly shapes who I try to become now. I try to be mentally challenged, have good friends, and do interesting and important work. I’m still trying to find the balance between being very accomplished at work, and having an important identity and life outside of work. I hear it’s always a balance. But I am having fun figuring it out. Thank you so much for the fun memories and the strong foundation. I feel very lucky in life and realize I have my parents and teachers growing up to thank for it. And you were there for four of my most important years, and getting me moved up in Math. My girlfriend now was two years up in math. I still wonder how she swung that. Thanks again,