Two decades of working for NYSUT members ended today. Actually, there will still be one more blog post from me. I’m finishing up the story of Adam Osterweil, a Springs TA member, that should be ready to publish as many of our members head back to school next week.
Working for NYSUT has meant telling the stories of caring, creative people dedicated to enriching the lives of others. They may be students in pre-K; or adults in rehab centers, like The Resource Center Inc., which provides a wide variety of services in western New York; or in hospitals, caring for the sick.
I have been inspired by the work of teaching assistants, bus drivers and transportation workers, secretaries, cafeteria workers, nurses, custodians, even sign language interpreters. And, of course, teachers — from pre-K through college.
Favored stories were often about NYSUT members traveling to Albany to fight for improved learning in their schools or workplace. Other favorite stories were about survivors in the fight against breast cancer, like this one about BOCES physical therapist Julet Dinan. Here’s a link to another article about the great programs BOCES provides and the fight to keep those schools thriving.
I will miss that part, as much as I will miss working with the best damn union communications department in the country. It’s not just me who thinks so.
As much as I’ll miss my colleagues, I’m looking forward to a new chapter. My immediate concern is that this summer’s weather and critters conspired so that a wide variety of fruits and vegetables are ripening at the same time. I plan my plantings carefully so as to not be overwhelmed with the beans and cucumbers when the tomatoes are ready for salsa, barbecue sauce and ketchup that I can. Karen Ciancetta and Chris Mason, my canning colleagues, coined the phrase “Betsy’s Best” a few years back.
Mother Nature, the chipmunks and the rabbits must all know I have September “off” this year. Everything is coming in, from apples to zucchini, and we have a lot of chutneys, salsas and jams to do.
Of course, I plan to keep advocating for public education and public workers and intend to use NYSUT’s Member Action Center to do that. Here’s an easy link for you to join me in that advocacy.
Steve Nissen, my companion for 28 years and husband for 17, has done a great job of taking care of things when I’ve worked nights or weekends. Often, he’s been my chauffeur and heavy lifter for Strides walks in October, like this one.
Now I get a chance to take more care of him. You’ll probably see me at Strides walks too; now as a participant, not as a reporter or photographer.
Until then, all the best,