Retirement Announcement





April 1, 2019 

My Dear Friends: 

An important announcement:  

I have decided to retire from my career in International Travel. 

I have traveled to more than seventy sovereign countries on five continents.  Alas, I have never visited Madagascar or the Maldives or Micronesia. I plan to donate my Frequent Flier Miles to the Travelers Aid Society.

Please do not be alarmed.  For a man of my age, I am in satisfactory health, thank Heavens. 

To replace my addiction to international travel, I will resurrect my love for Teaching and Education.

I am pleased to announce the formation of "Universidad Completada."

Universidad Completada or "Completed University" will enroll adult students of diverse backgrounds and ethnicity who did not complete an undergraduate or graduate degree and who wish to earn additional college credits to be eligible for the awarding of a Completed Bachelor's Degree or Completed Master’s Degree. 

The new credits will be added to the total earned in the past regardless of the subject areas. (NB: Community College courses may be eligible for credit and will be evaluated on a case by case basis.)

Classes will begin on September 1, 2019. 

Universidad Completada will offer three-credit courses in these subject areas: 

American History and Myth

Ethics and Immigration 

Mass Media and Fake News 

Natural Science and Hoax 

Particle Physics and Pilates 

Transcendental Meditation and Twitter

Political Science and Propaganda 

Landscape Photography and Photo Shop 

Creative Writing and Emojis 

The courses will be “balanced” and give equal weight to research and reportage in the respective fields. 

As enrollment grows, additional curricula will be considered. 

Instructors have already been interviewed.  They are specialists in a variety of disciplines.  Many of them speak several languages.  They all speak colloquial English in generally comprehensible styles - British, American, Irish, Scottish and Australian.  

Courses may be completed On Line or here in Bangkok in a residential setting.  I have signed a lease-option on a small apartment building that will contain classrooms, a computer center, dormitory, dining room, and kitchen.  A multi-lingual Karaoke system will be available on weekend evenings.  

My friend PhonTok MakMak has agreed to take the position as head chef.  She knows the Thai cuisine quite well, although she'll have to go easy on the chili peppers.  She has offered to experiment with Sri Lanka, North India, Pakistan and Bangladesh recipes.  Her daughter AroiAroi MakMak will provide Uganda and Queensland fare. 

Interested students will complete an application form.  An essay is required on this critical question: "Why on earth, at this point in my busy life, do I feel the need to increase my stress and go back to school?"  The examiners will be impressed with sincerity, motivation and creativity.  "Grammarly" can be detected and will invalidate the application.

Tuition will be based on ability to pay.  Notarized Tax Returns from 2017 and 2018 must be submitted with the application form.  Back-up documentation for medical and charitable deductions is also essential. 

All successful students will be required to come to Bangkok for Graduation exercises and to receive their signed and authenticated degree certificate.  I have contracted with a printer in the Khao San Road backpacker area.  They specialize in hand-crafted, unique documents.  (BTW, if you also need to replace a Driver’s License or Birth Certificate, they can be of service.) 

I anticipate that Elizabeth DeVos at the US Department of Education will approve this chartered capitalist scheme and will recognize the validity of the Completed Degree. Betsy is a proud graduate of Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Calvin College is of course named for John Calvin, one of America’s most progressive thinkers and clerics.

Please feel free to contact me to request an application form.  

As per my announcement, I am tethered in Thailand. 

Most sincerely, 

Jan Polatschek, Dean and Decider 

Almost forgot:  Everyone agrees that Traveling is the best Educator.  

With this in mind, Universidad Completada students will be granted three credits for each country they visit while they are matriculated.  They will be required to spend at least 24 hours in the country and to master the following basic phrases in the local language: …  “hello” … “thank you” … “the food is delicious” ... and ... “where is the bathroom” …

Six credits will be earned if the Dean is invited to accompany the student.  Expenses to be shared.  

If the Dean is invited as a travel companion with Business Class airfare and Hotels paid by the student, twelve credits will be awarded. 

Madagascar?  Mozambique? Mali? Mauritania? Mauritius? The Maldives? Micronesia? 

Manitoba, Minnesota and Mississippi are also eligible but will earn only ten credits.





April 3, 2019

Cloudy, Possible Thunderstorms in Afternoon

Hello again,

I just received the most thoughtful and kind response to the Retirement Announcement I mailed earlier this week:

"Every traveler needs an oasis sometime."   A special "Thank you" to my dear cousin.

And a sincere "Thank you" to all of you who have remained my loyal friends.  Thank you for your responses.

I thought you might like to see the many responses I have received to date.

If you like, please read the Retirement Announcement again. Pay attention to the bits and pieces, the details of the letter as they attempt to explain my mission and the scope of my endeavor. 

At the end of the Announcement I have posted all the responses.  I know you will enjoy reading them. 

Thank you again,




Mazel Tov!!!! You should have done this years ago.

CONGRATULATIONS.  This is big news.  I also am retiring but since I will sorely miss teaching, I will keep my hand in by teaching an annual seminar or so.

It sounds like you are making many very life changing decisions at this time and I am happy and excited for you and wish you much success with your new endeavors.

Congratulations.  Wishing you all you wish for.

 A great move and you have my full support.

All the best in your future undertakings.

Wow....sounds great.  

Congratulations on your retirement

 Hi Jan: I just read your “retirement” email.” All I can say is “WOW! Sounds like you may be working harder than ever. Doubt you'll have time to be bored with all the special activities planned. 

Dean Jan---wow!   Good luck--you will need it.

Is this serious?

HUH?!?!  Are you alright?!  What have you been drinking???!!!  Your caring and now worried friend

Trying to figure out if you are for real or not, or what part of your email is for real and what is not.

Landscape Photography and Photo Shop…. I already have my degree, but can I audit the above coarse? (Not a misspelling --- I have laryngitis.)  My landscapes all come out looking funny.

This is awesome, you are not teasing before April first I hope ☺️.  I’ll follow up on your curriculum with most interest! 

Your Retirement Announcement Letter is an April Fool joke, isn't it???

Dear Jan, 

           Wow, what great news and such a good idea; ever the philanthropist. 

           Who would have thought that I would have, at my late stage in life, the opportunity to complete my studies and be able to complete the modules in indolence and faineance, which has dogged me my whole life?

           It is worth noting that they were subjects in which I excelled when I was younger, but I never really grasped the importance of studying the fine details of the disciplines. A lapse which has troubled me my whole life. Here at last, Thanks Khun Jan, I now have an opportunity to complete these. All in a visionary and relaxed Soi 1 (or soi 1a) way.

          As I have noticed, there are many suitable candidates with the potential to be adequate tutors around the Soi, but I am hoping that you will have the fore sight to be able to engage K. Pasdetyme Sloelee to be lead mentor. I am sure that in between the occasional motorsci calls he can make an amazing contribution.

          If I might just offer a word of advice, though. We are living in a changed world, one where we have to be all inclusive and not exclusive. I see that although you have engaged the engaging K.PhunTuk AroiAroi as the head chef, great as she is, I think that one should think of the international ambitions of the endeavour and cater towards more (all?) potential candidates.

It would be good to see someone on the staff who is a specialist in Inuit fish stripping cuisine, or someone who has mastered the yaks milk tea specialty.     I am excited.   K. Jerry

I almost want to be paid to enroll! I think I'll leave for Madagascar the day after tomorrow but only if I can connect directly from there to McMurdo Sound (I think that's in Antarctica). What is the website for "Universidad Completada?

This is the most elaborate April Fools announcement that I have encountered. It’s a pleasant read, but slowly gives itself away.

You almost had me. Well done.

 A good April’s Fools story!!

 Ha! All fools Day?

Today is April 1st which is JOKE DAY!!  I would say a good try, but…!  :-)

If their parents pay you $5M, can you promise they'll get admitted to UC?  Just askin' 

And a Happy April Fools to you!!

Happy Aprils Fool Day 

You are so bad Jan. I am going to get you!

Fooled me until you got to DeVos.  As Rick Steves says “keep on traveling”

Thanks for this 4-1-19 update. You had me going for a bit. Mississippi is a beautiful place.

You made me laugh

Brilliant. Another Modest Proposal!

And April Fool’s day to you too! Still waiting for your Trump Administration appointment?

Great have a happy fool’s day. But you should really teach in the future 

Happy April Fool's Day from one fool to another.

That one is worth a BIG thumbs up!

Very funny





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