Cliveden Chew Haas
Forty years. Good grief! Seems like just yesterday I was sitting in Mr. Bates' Trig class, wrestling with trig functions, and now I teach them to high school students who seem awfully, awfully young. Remember Mr. Iverson's chemistry class? He'd get a real laugh out of watching me explain quantum mechanics and electron configuration. And Mrs. Robertson? I once gave a presentation on how bad a novel Moby Dick was in her eleventh-grade honors English. (She said I hadn't demonstrated my point thoroughly enough and only gave me a B, but I was irritated enough at the book that I just didn't care.) I still don't like Melville much, but now I have a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature–perfect type-casting for someone with her nose constantly in a book!
So much has happened along the way from Then to Now. Guy and I married in 1972, after my graduation from Occidental College. Our daughter Ealasaid was born in 1978. I collected that M.A. from Claremont University in 1976. My working life has included thirteen years as Registrar/Corporate Secretary for the Society for Creative Anachronism (an international medieval recreation group), nine years teaching all high school academic subjects in the local jail (that sharpened up my skills!), and now eight years establishing and running Success! Learning Center, a non-profit tutoring center that works mainly with students in grades four through twelve. I've also taught advanced ESL and business writing at our local Adult Education for many more years than I care to count.
The home menagerie includes three horses, two dogs, and a cat, so you know I still love animals even if I never did become a veterinarian. My Arabian Sev and I put in many thousands of miles conditioning and participating in Competitive Trail Riding over the years and thousands of hours more working in dressage. We also managed some medieval tournaments, a parade or two, and lots and lots of family rides with my sister Marsden and Ealasaid on her various ponies. Now Sev is blind, retired, and looking forward to his 33rd birthday. Ealasaid's last (and largest) pony, a sweet Connemara named Shane, is still going strong as he approaches birthday number 34, and still helping me introduce youngsters to riding. Together we teach four or five lessons every week.
Last Thanksgiving Durango, a young black Arabian gelding, joined our family, and I started the long process of breaking in a new horse. Thanks heavens we have a top-notch trainer. The worst part is definitely getting back into shape myself after ten years on the ground!!! However, we're persevering, though Durango is certainly making progress a lot faster than I am. Look for us out on the trails and back in competition sometime next year!
We've lived in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1978, having come up here for Guy's job (computers, of course!). We've been in the same house in Milpitas for about 25 years now–a far cry from life growing up with my parents, who moved 27 times in 25 years. I don't spend summers on my Dad's geology projects any more, but we've enjoyed camping and traveling all these years. Guess that's one reason I spent ten years leading county-wide High Adventure Girl Scout camping trips–up and down California and even some neighboring states. Organizing 30 people on a five-day camping trip takes some planning, but gosh, it was also a lot of fun. Met an awful lot of nice, nice people along the way. I'm not a Scout leader any more, but Guy and I celebrated our 30th anniversary by buying a trailer, so now we can camp all through the year in high style. Love that heater, microwave, and stove when the weather gets bad! Yee-haw!
Hope to see y'all at the 40th reunion. And, do join our chat list. Surely there are a few more horse people, dog people, camping people, readers, and teachers in our class. So, what have YOU been up to???