Snow still not ready to retire even after two retirements

By: 
George Browning

Eastern High School English teacher, Michael Snow has only been retired for a little over a month and is already looking for another job.
One of the reasons for that pursuit is because, like the words to an old George Jones song, “He don’t need no rockin’ chair” just yet, anyway.
“I am just not ready to sit back and relax,” he said. “I want to stay active and I think I still have a lot of energy and things I can offer students,” he said.  
Snow said he has looked at a few openings at area school corporations and could even possibly substitute teach or do home-bound instruction for East Washington.
“I am just trying to see what is still out there,” he said. “I want to do something where I stay pretty active in the profession.”
Retirement is nothing new for Snow. He retired in 2002 after 20 years, from the Navy, where he spent three years on active duty and 17 years in the reserves.  
Snow was at Eastern for 28 years, where he taught mostly English, but also some elective classes like creative writing and literature. He also taught an alternative school class and has taught 15 home-bound students.
He can also add to his resume, 20 years of teaching summer school.
“It’s all been enjoyable,” he said. “I always try to be active and do whatever I can to help out.”
Snow grew up in Anderson, where unemployment in 1980, when he graduated high school, was around 22 percent.
“There were no jobs and I couldn’t afford college so I decided to join the Navy,” he said. “I really enjoyed that whole experience.”
Snow’s job in the Navy was a land-based Ocean Systems Technician Analyst.
“My job was to look at the acoustic information coming in and look for Russian submarines,” he said. “I have great memories of my time in the service and made a lot of great friends along the way, many of whom I still keep in touch with.”
The trip from the Navy, in 1980, to the classroom at Eastern was made possible thanks to affordable higher education, Snow said.
“I looked into the College of the Redwoods in Eureka, California and found out I could afford it,” he said. “God put me in a great place where I could afford school, where three years earlier, I couldn’t.”
In 1983, Snow paid $10 a quarter for the first year. In 1984, there was a tuition hike of $100 a quarter.
“I was able to get my associate degree for $130,” he said.
Snow said he loved writing when he was in school and that’s why he decided to pursue English. At that time he thought his career path would involve writing, and not teaching.  
Snow changed courses in 1986 when he moved back to Indiana and enrolled at Ball State University where he thought he wanted to pursue a degree in elementary education.
It didn’t take long for him to realize that wasn’t what he wanted to do for the rest of his life and so he returned school, seeking an English degree.
He graduated from Ball State in 1992 and ended up being hired at Eastern fresh out of college.
Now, nearly three decades and more than 3,000 students later, he doesn’t have any regrets about that decision. In fact, outside of standardized testing, he said he has enjoyed just about every part of the education process.
What he enjoyed most, however, were the relationships. Snow said he really bonded with a number of students over the years and one in particular stands out.
He said a middle school student who was battling cancer required home-bound instruction. That led to great relationships with the student and her family.
“Trinity Goodson had cancer in the seventh grade and I was her home-bound teacher,” he said. “I really enjoyed it. Sometimes she would be at Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville and I’d go down there, and her mom was determined not to let her fall behind. We would study right there in the hospital.
“I was able to be there when she had her stem cell transplant. Sometimes I’d be at the hospital until 9:30 p.m.”
Snow was also passionate about teaching, especially when he was able to connect students’ passions to his.
“I always enjoyed teaching ‘Of Mice and Men’,” he said. “I turned it into a reader’s theater and I played the part of Lenny and that was fun. It was more than just a reading assignment for the kids, it turned into more of a play and a lot of them enjoyed that.”
Outside of working somewhere for the next few years, Snow isn’t sure what the future will hold.
As a die-hard Cubs fan, he is hoping baseball returns soon and there has been discussion with Jenni, his wife of 33 years, about possibly relocating to South Carolina.
That decision is still up the air. Until the time to make it comes, rest assured Snow will be doing something, it just won’t be sitting in a rockin’ chair.

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