Last week was our 23rd CERIAS Symposium. It was a great event, thanks to great speakers and lots of behind-the-scenes work by the wonderful staff. We have developed a history of some outstanding presentations and interactions. Next year we will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the founding of CERIAS (it will be the 24th symposium because we didn't have one the first year). I hope we can continue the streak of great presentations and events, but given the tremendous community we have, I'm sure that will be the case.
During the breaks, I ran into several former students, including one who graduated 28 years ago. I heard wonderful stories about what they've been doing in their lives since then, and how their experience at Purdue with COAST and CERIAS helped set them up for success. That is really gratifying to hear; teachers always like some affirmation that they didn't screw up too badly!
I was going to write up a blog post here about that -- no doubt prompted by my last post about the workshop 22 years ago -- then I vaguely recalled having written something like that a while back. After some looking, I found it in my personal blog (it was before we established this blog): Some Thoughts on Lifetime Achievement. That has mostly aged well, and I could make most of the same general comments today. I continue to be pleased that my former students are happy and productive. And although I am still sure I will be forgotten in 100 years (heck, a lot of people try mightily to forget me today), I am confident that what I helped start as education and awareness in this space will continue to make a difference through the good works of those whose lives we touched here at Purdue.
Also, I'm still not done yet. I have 5 Ph.D. students in various phases of completion plus two books underway with ideas for more, and I hope to get all those things finished before I think seriously about voluntary retirement. However, given the state of reality and current events, voluntary may not be the only route....
I may have to spend more time looking through things I wrote over the last 30 years to see how/if some of my thinking has evolved. This makes two items from the archives I had dimly remembered that seem to be relevant now. But I will note that in 11 years I have never found a use for my AARP card that my AAA membership didn't also provide (e.g., hotel discounts).