Author Topic: Time to move on  (Read 653 times)

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Offline waltertore

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Time to move on
« on: October 14, 2014, 06:45:03 PM »
Hi All:  Many here know about the program I run for disabled high school students.  I have been doing this for 20 years as a special education teacher and 2 years as a teachers assistant(which motivated me to go to college).  It has been a very exciting journey and also one full of continual battles to keep it going.  This school year, in the past 7 weeks, we have already been forced to change on the fly 2 times which meant I have had to hustle up new clients, create new recipes, and teach new routines to my students (which is harder than most would realize).  I have been considering leaving teaching for several  years and going off on my own and continuing working with the disabled with a pizzeria.   This week I decided it is time to leave teaching. I will finish out this school year and then we plan on moving to Reno, NV, and opening a pizzeria.

I am currently introducing myself/my plan to the NV agencies that serve the developmentally delayed population.  I am open to almost anything as long as it includes employing people with disabilities in my shop.  A local here that is from NYC wants to finance me to open here in Granville OH but I told  him our area will not support my way of doing pizza.  That was sure nice of him and gave me great hope that this will all work out.  I have a backer that will give me as much as I need to get a shop going with plenty of cushion to allow it to catch on.  He is a lifelong friend and a big supporter of my way of working with disabled people. Judy and I have several good friends in Reno and both of us like it there.  She is from the Bay Area and wants to get back out west.  We both will miss this area for so many good things but will not miss the long icy winters.  Reno is rapidly getting more hip with lots of CA residents moving there to retire and it feels like now is the time to get in on the ground floor so to speak. 

We plan on  getting out there late next summer.  Believe it or not my biggest concern is my stack of blodgett 1000's.  I never have had an oven crated and shipped cross country.  The stones are my biggest worry because they are no longer made and next to impossible to find.  Other than that all is exciting about the move with our other worldly things.  I am sad to leave teaching but it continues to get harder and harder to do what I do.  My program has reached its peak at the beginning of this school year and is already in decline due to new educational laws.  The writing is and has been on the wall for many years that I either keep fighting myself to exhaustion to keep it going or move on.  Judy and I want to make this move before we get too old and these battles are too much for us. She is 62 and I am 58. Neither of us are afraid of hard work but are wore out fighting the public school system to keep the program alive. 

Our shop will be a small one with seating for 10-20, serve 1 size pizza, a few topping choices, no delivery, no soda fountain (bottled artisan sodas/italian sodas/water), an espresso machine, and a set # of dough balls per day.  It is time to create my own universe and finish my life working with disabled people without the ever ongoing stuff that derails my program working within the public schools.  In 20 years my program has been derailed, canceled, modified, over 50 times, and each time I have fought to keep it running at peak performance.  The best (worse) example is 1 week after I won the most prestigious educational award in Northern CA my principal came in with an armload of books, dropped them on a workbench, and told me to get rid of the food stuff and start teaching the books immediately.  The publicy we got from winning the award made the adminstration worried I was violating rules and felt it best to shut me down than continue. 

My days of fighting are done and I look forward to working my tail off with my own shop.  Currently I have placed 5 of my 12 students in jobs and historically 100% of my students never have found work. So I feel the program was a success but the time has come to move it to a greener pasture.  I am open to any help with opening a shop from people with experience in this field.  I have worked in the bakery/pizza field for most of my life and know how to run the shop, make the products, order, run the books, but have not worked on the renting/owning side.  We are meeting with our lawyer to find out how to set up the business.   Thanks everyone for all the support I get here.  Walter


Offline csafranek

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Re: Time to move on
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2014, 07:32:13 PM »
Best wishes and God bless. I am excited for you and you journey.

Chad

Offline halfprice

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Re: Time to move on
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2014, 07:36:51 PM »
I wish you all the luck.

Jerry

Offline Qarl

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Re: Time to move on
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2014, 08:28:54 PM »
Good luck to you. Thank you for helping those in need and for giving those that many cast aside, a chance... a glimmer of hope...  and the skills for society to be proud of.  The world needs more individuals like you.

I wish you well in your next endeavor.

Offline waltertore

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Re: Time to move on
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2014, 08:33:40 PM »
Thanks everyone!  I will continue to hire people with disabilities to do prep/cleanup/dishes and once they get it down will bring in other disabled people to train under them. Once they are up to speed I will find them jobs like I do my students now.  So the cause continues with less kaos :)  Walter

Offline PizzaJerk

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Re: Time to move on
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2014, 11:15:39 PM »
Walter, I wish you the best of luck with your decision. I agree that there is a time when you just know it's at and end and time to move on. I am in that boat as I have worked at the same pizzeria for nearly 17 years and have been in a stalemate for 5 of them. I am 29 and ready to be on my own.

God bless,
Anthony
May I glorify the Lord in all that I do.

Offline waltertore

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Re: Time to move on
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2014, 06:31:22 AM »
Walter, I wish you the best of luck with your decision. I agree that there is a time when you just know it's at and end and time to move on. I am in that boat as I have worked at the same pizzeria for nearly 17 years and have been in a stalemate for 5 of them. I am 29 and ready to be on my own.

God bless,
Anthony

Thanks Anthony :)  I have been feeling this urge for a good 2 years.  On paper I have the dream gig- 60k a year, work 185 days a year, great medical benefits, retirement, a beautiful brand new kitchen, could go belly up with the bakery but not lose my job as teacher, and work out my days until retirement and pull close to 4k a month in retirement at 65.  I have made some deep connections here that could greatly help me to continue my dream in central OH but my heart is saying Reno where I have no connections cause/work wise. For many my decision to leave this is confusing but I have always lived my life from my heart and each time I have moved on it only has gotten better than I ever imagined.  I was quite well know with my music and walked away from that after 20 years to go to college in my mid 30's.  I never did a day of homework or read a book during my public school days.  I  daydreamed, drew in my notebooks, wrote poetry, all day.  So when I hit college I was ill prepared and had to take a year of remedial english and math courses for no credit to get my skills up to snuff to pass college classes.  I also learned while in college I am borderline learning disabled in math and language.  I could have been declared learning disabled but decided to not and go ahead without the supports and modifications one gets.   That confirmed a lot for me because math and writing words (you will notice I always edit my posts because they look perfect when I type them and reread but once they print and I reread I see lots of mistakes) pronouncing words has always bee very difficult for me. I can see big words in my head, write them, but can not pronounce them.  This has terrified me when in company of educated people and I am just learning to relax and accept my glitch with this.  Any kind of abstract math - geomotry/algebra scrambles my brain like a tornado is inside it.  I had to have a tutor for 4 hours a day to help me get a 70 in college algebra (a must pass to get a teaching credential), my only non A grade in college.  Anyway, approx 20 moves and 3 countries later, we are again pulling out of security for the unknown.  This will be the first time we up and moved to unknown lands with no connections with more than a thousand dollars in our pockets.  As my wife once shared with me in one of my darker moments of indecision 30 odd years ago - life is a daring adventure or nothing at all - Helen Keller wrote that and she is as big an inspiration to me as it gets.  Follow your heart and you will always be guided the right way.  Many times I felt it was guiding me wrong because things got dark and very scary but in retrospect I saw those things needed to happen to get me to wherever I was at any given point in my journey.  Walter
« Last Edit: October 15, 2014, 06:37:58 AM by waltertore »

Offline wheelman

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Re: Time to move on
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2014, 08:37:20 AM »
best luck and all the success to you Walter!  You and your ovens will be a big hit in Reno.
bill

Offline norma427

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Re: Time to move on
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2014, 09:02:43 AM »
Walter,

Very interesting story about your journey up until now.  I wish you and Judy the best of success on your new adventure.   :chef: :pizza: :pizza:

Norma
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Offline PizzaJerk

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Re: Time to move on
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2014, 09:59:09 AM »
Will your retirement be compromised if you leave teaching early? Or would you just not earn as much when retirement comes?
May I glorify the Lord in all that I do.


Offline waltertore

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Re: Time to move on
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2014, 12:36:33 PM »
Will your retirement be compromised if you leave teaching early? Or would you just not earn as much when retirement comes?

Thanks everyone.  I have worked in the private sector in many dough based operations as well as managing/booking/owning my own recording for my band for 20 years.  All of those jobs were not near as hard as what I do now so I figure it will be a nice way to end my life.   

Yes my retirement will be hit.  If I go out this year I will get about 50% of what I would get if I stick here 9 more years and collect at age 65.  That is ok with me because most of our life has been hand to mouth and we live simple.  So any kind of money for not working is more than I ever thought possible.  Social Security money I have earned will be basically nothing because teachers are allowed to collect a fraction of what they have earned in social security benefits if they take teacher retirement.  Walter
« Last Edit: October 15, 2014, 06:13:50 PM by waltertore »

Online bigMoose

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Re: Time to move on
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2014, 07:45:35 PM »
In another thread Norma said to you: "I think you will enjoy it when you get to open your own pizza business."

I think so too!  Retire from this primary job while you and Judy are young enough, and healthy enough to put the energy into starting the next phase of your journey.  Then when you are 65 it is all up and running on it's own, and you can be the "elder statesman" making video's and teaching us "young guys" how to make a proper NY pie!

Perhaps those blodgett 1000 stones should get their own crate for the travel west.  A crate that puts them on edge vertically to keep stress off the span of the stone.  The crate should have a substantial spine that the stones rest upon, I would think with perhaps 1 inch of dense foam between the 8 stones and a sheath of 1/2 inch plywood all around.

Offline waltertore

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Re: Time to move on
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2014, 08:13:58 PM »
Thanks Dave!  I need to hire you to crate them up for me. Yes the stones need their own crates.  I am also thinking of putting them in the back of our mini van and driving them out myself but we will have my instruments in the van and it will be pretty crowded with basic day to day stuff and other small sentimental valuables we don't want to put in the moving truck.  There are 4 stones total and 1 is cracked and that cracked one worries me as to how it can be packed.  I am ignorant to all this so it worries me and also knowing they are just about impossible to find makes it worse. If I could just buy new ones I wouldn't worry at all about them.  They must weigh at least 100 lbs each.  It is a job getting them out because the stones are wider than the oven door.  It makes me more nervous thinking about this than moving to relocating to a new town stone cold in the sense of work/housing :o  I have no idea where to find someone that can crate the ovens and stones up. 
« Last Edit: October 15, 2014, 08:18:02 PM by waltertore »

Online bigMoose

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Re: Time to move on
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2014, 08:28:59 PM »
Walter, I would not ship them "flat."  Look at a glass truck that delivers large commercial window glass, or a marble truck that delivers the marble veneer for buildings.  Those thin, non ductile materials are shipped on "edge" and leaning, with the flat side against a near vertical support.  Just some things to keep in mind.

Removal of the stones, well you know musical instruments, and know how to go slow and careful.  You also treasure your fingers for playing and opening dough... so I am sure you will be careful!!  ;D

Online jvp123

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Re: Time to move on
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2014, 08:58:39 PM »
Good Luck Walter!
Jeff

Offline waltertore

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Re: Time to move on
« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2014, 08:59:23 PM »
Walter, I would not ship them "flat."  Look at a glass truck that delivers large commercial window glass, or a marble truck that delivers the marble veneer for buildings.  Those thin, non ductile materials are shipped on "edge" and leaning, with the flat side against a near vertical support.  Just some things to keep in mind.

Removal of the stones, well you know musical instruments, and know how to go slow and careful.  You also treasure your fingers for playing and opening dough... so I am sure you will be careful!!  ;D

Thanks Dave for all that insight.  I will make sure they are stacked vertically and will question the crating company, once I find one, about how they will crate the stones and oven.  I hate it that I have to let go of control with the ovens/stones but they are about 1,000 pounds each and I ain't quite as strong as I use to be :-D  Walter

Offline Mrdennycrane

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Re: Time to move on
« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2014, 12:17:16 AM »
Best of luck Walter, you seem like a stand up guy and it sucks the BS people go through just to do good things in this world. No doubt in my mind you'll succeed with your shop and whatever else is to come.

Offline caymus

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Re: Time to move on
« Reply #17 on: October 16, 2014, 04:30:44 AM »
Thanks Dave for all that insight.  I will make sure they are stacked vertically and will question the crating company, once I find one, about how they will crate the stones and oven.  I hate it that I have to let go of control with the ovens/stones but they are about 1,000 pounds each and I ain't quite as strong as I use to be :-D  Walter

This may be similar to how pool table slate is moved.  They worry about the slate cracking (horizontal) plus end chipping (vertical supported).  It has been decades but I remember a local Billiards Store using a special crate for the 3 pieces of slate.  Maybe a local Billiards store has a crate “laying” around?

Offline waltertore

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Re: Time to move on
« Reply #18 on: Yesterday at 04:18:31 PM »
This may be similar to how pool table slate is moved.  They worry about the slate cracking (horizontal) plus end chipping (vertical supported).  It has been decades but I remember a local Billiards Store using a special crate for the 3 pieces of slate.  Maybe a local Billiards store has a crate “laying” around?

thanks caymus:  Price is not an issue with getting the stones moved right.  I wonder if just put them in our mini van and we drove them out with some foam under and inbetween the stones?  Walter


 

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