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You recently retired after 38 years with DODDS. How was that last day?

Like any other day I guess.

For many years you were the visual/performing arts instructional system specialist. Can you decode that?

I coordinated and monitored all the fine-arts programs in DODDS’ 44 Pacific schools. Every school has a program. I was constantly training, doing professional development and standardizing creative-arts programs.

What have you enjoyed most about your job?

Any time you open the creative side of a child you give them the chance to flourish — it’s the heart of education. And DODDS treats visual arts and music and any of the fine arts like any subject.

And schools in the States don’t?

In the States these programs are being cut, especially in the urban areas. When the bucks aren’t there the first thing to go are the arts programs. The sad thing is that many of these artistic programs keep kids in school.

You said you’ve seen it all. Please explain.

As times have changed and societies have changed, I've seen our education and societies evolve culturally. Watching children today, they’re brighter, quicker and have a better handle on information. They have access to the entire world through the Web.

Actually, that’s kind of scary ….

Yes, the Web is a great resource, but it also takes good parenting to keep involved and stay committed to the child’s welfare when you have all that access.

How has DODDS tapped into technology?

The DODEA Blackboard initiative is an electronic educational concept with “learning communities” that can share various media with individuals, schools, districts, areas and the entire worldwide system that is DODEA.

Why is that so wonderful?

It’s revolutionary as far as we’re concerned. DODDS has done things with electronic blackboard that to my knowledge haven’t been replicated in the States. Creativity between the 44 DODDS schools and their students is being shared simultaneously. It’s amazing.

Why did you choose Okinawa as a place to work?

I said I’d try it for a couple years. But living in Asia, you can live here 100 years and not experience everything.

So, it’s a historian’s dream?

Actually, the Far East is the future. So much of the world’s economy generates in the East. People used to say that if the U.S. sneezes, the world gets a cold. I think that’s China now.

You said you plan on brushing up on some pretty heady sonatas and concertos in your retirement.

My plan is to relearn and polish all of the classic piano repertoire that I studied and previously performed. Beethoven’s sonatas, Bach keyboard works — I want to immerse myself again after years of not having the time to do this and see how I develop.

Then what?

My wife has three years left before she retires, but after that we’ll be living in the States. We’re looking at the Carolinas.

Roy HallAge: 67Title: DODDS retireeLocation: Torii Station, Okinawa

Pacific readers: Know someone whose accomplishments, talents, job, hobby, volunteer work, awards or good deeds qualify them for 15 minutes of fame? How about someone whose claim to glory is a bit out of the ordinary — even, dare we say, oddball? Call Paul Newell at Stars and Stripes with the person’s name and contact information at DSN 229-3158 or e-mail him at: newellp@pstripes.osd.mil.

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