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Lon’s Blog

Being a pensioner hasn´t worked out well

Rantings Posted on Fri, December 13, 2019 11:53:48

I became a pensioner (65 years of age) in December of 2013, however I was busy working as Principal of an International School at the time so I didn´t stop working.

In the summer of 2014, when I returned from Delhi after having been Principal of Amity Global School for three years, I had intended to retire ”for real” and take it easy.

It was not to be. By August I was teaching at a local High School in Stockholm (Snitz Gymnasium). Teaching is great fun and I love doing it.

In January of 2015 I found myself working as Vice Principal of a Swedish High School (Nyköpings Gymnasium) where I was responsible for one of their vocational programs until the end of March 2016. After that I returned to being a pensioner again, or so I thought!

By August of 2016 I was once again teaching in a local High School in Stockholm (Magelungens Gymnasium). I guess I would still be there today, however the unexpected happened – as it usually does, and I was recruited by a Headhunter in India to return again to that amazing country.

I was tasked with being the Director and Principal of a new International School in Aurangabad as of January 2017. By October I had the new school up and running and could return to my life as a pensioner in Sweden.

A few months later, in January 2018, I found myself teaching at another local High School (Rytmus Musik Gymnasium) as one of their teachers was off having a baby. She was due to return after the summer, so I could go back to being a pensioner.

Surprise! That didn´t happen.

I found myself teaching at another local High School, the school where I still am now (Mimers Gymnasium).

Perhaps I can become a pensioner this coming summer?

In any case, I´ve decided to wake up my blog now. There is so much going on in the world and I need to talk/blog about it.

If you are interested in what I have to say, then welcome back for more.

PS: The blog´s layout is a work in progress, so expect some changes over time.


70 years ago today

History stuff Posted on Fri, June 06, 2014 05:44:05

D-Day, 6 June 1944

During the buildup for the invasion many thousands of Americans invaded England. The British said at the time that there were three problems with having so many Americans in Britain.

The Americans are 1) over paid, 2) over sexed, and 3) over here

In general they were happy to have us on their little island as it signaled the beginning of the end of WWII for the beleaguered British. They had stood alone for far too long against an enemy that occupied most of Europe.

The D-Day attack was close to failure, perhaps too close for comfort. If the German Panzer reserves had been sent to the beachheads the troops landing would have never survived the attempt. Luckily enough for the Allies, only Hitler could give the order to use the Panzer reserves, and nobody wanted to wake him up and ask. Weird, but true.

My father was in the South Pacific at the time. He never spoke of his wartime memories, so I assume that they were painful.

Historical Distortions

History stuff Posted on Thu, June 05, 2014 09:26:09

All history teachers must have long lists of historical distortions on the part of students and fellow staff members, not to mention the “general public”.

As an American I keep hearing Europeans say that there are 52 States in the USA, and I’ve always wondered how they could possibly think so. There are only 50. If you doubt me, just count the stars on the American flag, there is one for every State.

Another (very) popular misconception has been related to the American Civil War. It is common in Europe, and even in parts of the USA, to maintain that the Civil War (1861-65) was fought to bring an end to the evils of slavery.

That slavery was an evil is beyond any doubt, however it was not the reason for the Civil War!

The short version is as follows, according to me at least:

The South was populated by plantation farmers and small farmers. The majority of all farmers had no slaves at all. A small minority of farmers had large farms with imported slave labor. Cotton was the main cash crop. Cotton was produced and shipped by boat to England where it was sold for use in the British textile industry. Money from the sales was used to buy manufactured goods (such as guns, boots, horse saddles, window panes and much else), and these goods were then sent back to the South for sale.

The prices were lower than for similar products produced in the industrialized North, due to economies of scale. A factory in England that makes 5,000 guns a year can price each gun lower than a factory in the North that only makes 100 guns per year.

The North was not suitable for extensive agriculture and was therefore settled by artisans, shopkeepers, and tradesmen of various kinds. Surplus population crossed the mountains and went on into the open plains areas in search of land to cultivate.

The small industrial enterprises in the North were very angry about the “unfair competition” created by the cheap imports from England, and demanded of their elected representatives that import taxes should be imposed so as to bring the price of the imports up to and hopefully above the prices they themselves were asking for their products.

The South found no reason to pay higher prices for industrial products and demanded of their elected representatives that no such import taxes be levied.

The North felt that their “way of life” was threatened by the South and the South felt that their “way of life” was threatened by the North.

In the Constitution of the United States it very clearly says that the participant States have joined freely, implying that they are free to leave whenever they choose.

When South Carolina chose to leave, and together with a total of 13 States chose to create a new country, “The Confederate States of America“, President Lincoln refused to accept it.

Legal historians are in agreement about Lincoln being in breech of the Constitution when he refused to allow the States in question to leave the USA.

In any case, Northern troops were “occupying” part of the State of South Carolina, an island off the coast of Charleston named Fort Sumter.

When the North refused to withdraw their troops the South attacked and threw them out. The Civil War had begun.

On 1 January 1863, after the North had lost numerous battles against the Southern forces, the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Lincoln, freeing all slaves in the States in revolt. States that were not in revolt, such as Maryland, West Virginia and others, were allowed to keep their slaves.

The idea behind the freeing of slaves in the South was to encourage slave revolts behind enemy lines. It didn’t happen.

After the Civil War was over all slaves were freed in the entire USA, which was of course a good thing.

Between 1865 and 1877 the North occupied the South with military force. When they withdrew in 1877 they turned the political power over to the same people that they had fought against during the Civil War.

There is so much more to relate, however I promised the Short Version.

Life is magical

Rantings Posted on Tue, June 03, 2014 04:54:14

As I listen to the ancient Tibetan chant “Om Mani Padme Hum” it occurs to me that so few of us actually enjoy life in a spiritual sense.

The joy of living, experiencing, the joy of discovering the wonder of our potential for change.

Change is good, as is conflict — conflict and change give us new opportunities to reshape our lives and choose a better life for ourselves and for others. Those that do everything to avoid change and conflict are avoiding learning from life!

Randy Travis (Country music star) sings in one of his songs that “it is not what we take with us when we leave that matters, it is what we leave behind”.

We choose to have the life that we lead, although our choices are not always enlightened ones. Happily, if we make bad choices, we can also make better choices.

All too many older people tend to forget the magic of life, the exhilaration of doing something for the first time, the joy of making others happy. They sink down into contemplation of their bad choices, not understanding that they can make better ones! That is tragic.

Making mistakes in life is a good thing, if we learn from them.

As Lord Buddha said:

Learn from the Past
Plan for the Future
Live Now

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