For Betsy Waterman, retirement has been a time to remain in tune with lifelong passions—and discover new ones.
“One of the most exciting things I have been doing since I retired is playing with a band that performs Celtic music,” said Waterman from her Sandy Creek (N.Y.) home. “Music has been a part of my life since I was a child.”
Waterman began her musical career at age 6 with piano lessons. She later added clarinet, ukulele, guitar, clavietta and keyboards to her repertoire of musical instruments, and has most recently started learning the Celtic lever harp.
She has performed with musical theater groups, choruses and bands over the years. Now she is an integral part of The Tug Hill Players, a six-member band.
“Performing with this group has allowed me to explore a different area of music with some very talented musicians,” she said. “A friend and I do nearly all of the arranging of music for the group. It is very satisfying work, to listen to the intricate sounds of what makes up a song, arrange them for our particular group and then hear it all come alive as we
Waterman retired in 2009 after a 14-year career with SUNY Oswego’s counseling and psychological services department, for which she also served as chair. In addition to her lifelong love of music, she has expanded into other passions as well—skijoring (a sport that includes cross country skis, being pulled by one or more dogs) and nature photography, to name just a few.
“I have had the opportunity to photograph moose, elk, loons, wild horses, eagles and bears,” said Waterman, who enjoys challenging herself with new experiences.
Hard work to achieve success is hardly new for Waterman, who built a career training professionals in the field of school psychology.
“I had the privilege of working with wonderfully talented students,” Waterman said. “I remember one evening in my office several students worked together creating the games that were to be part of an early reading program for students with speech and language problems. There was no academic credit that went with their hard work, but there was a wonderful sense of professional accomplishment.”
The program required practice and progressive learning experiences, Waterman said.
“It was a wonderful thing to see, when the students gave up their focus on grades and strictly knowledge-based learning, and began to take pride in the slow mastery of skills critical to the practice of school psychology.”