“I was always interested in electrical work, but I haven’t had my hands on it since I was in junior high. After I retired in February 2008, I wanted to keep my mind active. I started exploring continuing education classes, and then I thought I might as well take credit classes and get an associate degree. My classes have been really interesting so far.
“It was tough at first; I hadn’t been in school in 35 years, but I think I’m back in the groove now. I’ve gotten a solid understanding of electrical technology, and I may even want to run my own business some day. First of all, though, I want to get a handle on understanding basic wiring and lighting.
“It has been interesting to interact with Tom Hoops and to be able to take advantage of his wealth of knowledge in the field. There’s the academic side of electrical knowledge and theory, and then there’s the practical side of application in the field and he knows both. In my first semester of classes, I feel I’ve just barely scratched the surface of what there is to know.
“The best thing is that I’m getting a very good understanding of the theoretical concepts of electricity so that I’ll know what I’m doing in the field. I’m not just learning how to wire and connect A to B, but I’m getting an understanding of how electricity works. I’m not fooling around with it at home — I’m just at the dangerous part, where I know a little but I also know not to try anything stupid.”
Robert Rodriguez retired in February 2008 from a position as a human resources manager for the Irving facility of McCormick and Co., the international spice company based in Sparks, Md.