Message from Karen:

On June 3, 1967, I graduated from Stout State University at 11 a.m. and married Harold Tiffany at 4 p.m. that same afternoon. You might say I hit the trifecta, earning a bachelor’s in the morning and then nabbing a second bachelor and ascending to a master’s level later in the day. The two of us started our teaching careers that fall in New Richmond, WI, where Ruby Reinhardt was on the faculty. I left teaching at the end of 1972. Before leaving, my student Maureen Earley told me, “I wish you would stay, Mrs. Tiffany, and that Mr. Tiffany would leave.”

Our son Brad was born in 1973 and our daughter Jill in 1976. During my 10 or so years as a stay-at-home-mom, I became an avid organic gardener. It’s something I’d like to do again, but the varmints and critters of old—rabbits, raccoons, and crows—have been joined by a horde of turkeys and a small herd of deer, making gardening an impossibility without a high fence, preferably electric, and some sort of netting. So today I’m content to have flowers and enough rhubarb to continue work on perfecting my cake, crunch and pie recipes.

In the mid-1980’s I returned to teaching, first as a substitute, and then as a full-time science and reading instructor until my retirement from the Prescott Middle School in June, 2007. Harold has asked, “What was the bigger deal? Our 40th wedding anniversary? Or your retirement? (Poor guy, he’s still waiting for an answer.)

My only grandchild is 11 and will enter middle school this fall. She comes to our house most days after school, and I spend much time helping her with her homework, especially reading. She had a great teacher in 5th grade and made dramatic strides toward becoming a good student and a good kid. She’s a priority in my life. Can’t you tell?

In my spare time, I try to stay current with all those health and financial issues that confront us as we get older: Social Security, IRA’s, wills, insurance, Medicare, medications, mental and physical health research, and the list goes on.

Much has changed in 40 years. My favorite example is that 230 of us were granted home economics degrees in 1967. Today Stout grants less than 20, and most of those take jobs in private industry. A group of “dinosaurs” are fading into history and—like it or not-- I count myself among them.

Updated July 2008

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