Discipline is the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior. Yes, discipline is what keeps structure in a person’s life, but discipline isn’t only used in schools–it’s used in everyday life. Parents use discipline towards their children to keep them under control, but as you grow up you need to learn to discipline yourself; that, according to so many of our elders, is one of the main aspects of becoming an adult.
During our recent interview with Mr. Forgette, a retired LFHS Business Education teacher, I kept hearing him explain that structure is what keeps you in line. Mr. Forgette, as many LFHS alumni know, is a man of wonderful stories and a beautiful life. Even though he seems like he would fully enjoy the retired life–and the relaxation that goes along with it–he realized it does get boring if you don’t keep yourself busy. “I still haven’t figured it out yet and it’s been a year.” the wise man said, referencing that he is still working on perfecting his routine.
At times, he feels lost without the structure of getting up at the same time everyday to go do your job, but like all retirees, he has learned to adjust? Mr. Forgette relies on himself to discipline his own life. He tries to wake up early around the same time every day just to get things going and maintain a consistent routine. He struggled at first where to start his day, but as time went on he figured some things out, but, self-admittedly, he has some kinks to iron out. His daily routine consists of waking up around 7 or 8 in the morning. Then, he makes breakfast for his wife that continues to work. After his wife leaves, he feels like he has all the time in the world. “I can do whatever I want, but sometimes it’s hard to come up with things to do.” Mr. Forgette, businessman that he is, always is sure to check the markets and become aware of any important news. Of course, Mr. Forgette is known for his stories and incredibly great humor. As we dined at the wonderful Scooters in Lake Bluff, it felt like both Bogs and I were back in his Consumer Ed. class listening to all the stories that he had to offer. Again, without breaking stride, Mr. Forgette was teaching us about life: what to save, how much, and how to do your taxes efficiently and effectively.
We sat there eating our fries and drinking our sodas while Mr. Forgette told us about his golfing experiences since he’s retired. “While you’re teaching its so hard to go out and golf because of the grading you have to do on the weekends, and obviously I couldn’t just leave school to go play golf. That would maybe get me fired.” He explained to us how he has gotten much better from when he first started, especially since he started golf at a late age. Always humble about his game, Mr. Forgette has dropped significant strokes in his average golf score. He was shooting in the upper 90s, but now he is shooting in the mid 80s. Though his golf game is very interesting, especially with all the stories that went along with it, we had some more series questions for Mr. Forgette.
Would you ever think about going back into teaching?
Mr. Forgette: “Funny you ask that. I was offered a part-time position after I left Lake Forest, but I just felt like I already did everything possible for teaching. Even though it was kind of my calling card, I felt like I tackled everything possible in teaching. I started teaching way back when after college because I didn’t want to go off to the Vietnam War. I was drafted into the war, but I didn’t feel like risking my life, so I went into teaching. I started by just doing it because I needed to get out of the draft, and I actually followed up another three years because I came to realize that I really enjoyed the craft and that young people were vibrant, thoughtful, and intelligent. I got out of teaching, at the time, because the pay was horrible. Eventually, after I went through banking I went back into teaching because I knew it was something I liked to do, but I know for me now that it’s now time to move on.”
What do you miss most about teaching?
Mr. Forgette: “Definitely the interaction with the students. You know when you’re retired, and you hangout with old people, it’s all about politics or serious things. You know, it’s okay to talk about that once in awhile, but every day that gets exhausting. That’s why I really liked walking into class everyday and listening to the kids laugh. There is some statistic that young people, like students, for example, laugh about 100 times a day whereas old people like my retired friends laugh about six times a day. Overall, I’ll miss being with the students and the people that I used to work with, like Mr. Matheson, Mr. LaScala, Ms. Cole, and Mr. Pulio–those people laugh more than anyone.”
“What’s been the hardest thing about retirement.”
Mr.Forgette: “The hardest part about being retired is keeping yourself busy, eating healthy, and trying to stay social. Ever since I’ve retired I’ve been lucky because for the first couple months I was dealing with my daughter’s wedding, so I was fortunate that I had something to do. After the wedding I finally took the time to clean up my house and get rid of the unnecessary things that were sitting in my basement. Besides staying busy, I have had to watch what I eat because I do a lot of sitting around, so eating healthy and trying to exercise and stay in shape is important to me. I read a lot about men’s health in magazines and other types of books about how to eat healthy, which keeps me in the know. I have also realized I need to get out and socialize, so I play a lot of golf with friends, and also am in a poker game with friends every month, which is a lot of fun when I’m winning money. And, of course, I mostly win. It’s very important to be social so you don’t go crazy.”
Mr. Forgette has always been a student favorite at Lake Forest High School and he will continue to be a legend for his incredible stories, outgoing personality, and remarkable ability to teach students about real life. Enjoy the retired life, Mr. Forgette!