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Life change leads to success

PORTSMOUTH — Rick Arthur, of Wheelersburg, wasn’t sure what he was going to do after losing his job as a steel worker for 24 years after his plant was closed.

He became a dislocated worker.

Community Action offered to help and he took tests to see what he might be able to do.

After the test, he was told that he should become a social worker or a teacher.

“I laughed,” Arthur said. “I was in my 40s and I’d never been to college. Three years later, I had my degree.”

He attended Shawnee State University and credits the Trio Center at SSU as a big help to him with tutoring and counseling.

“It was like my home in the school,” Arthur said. “I finally got my degree and started teaching at Grant Middle School.”

He now teaches at Portsmouth Junior High School as an intervention specialist.

His first teaching job was at the Scioto County Juvenile Detention Center in Portsmouth.

One day in his Portsmouth Junior High class, Arthur was teaching the students how to brainstorm when he said he had a “wow” moment.

“This whole book was brainstormed in front of the kids by no pre-thought in about 10 minutes,” he said. “I told the kids that I’m going to write this book. This is a great story.”

Each chapter he wrote, he would read it to his students.

The book, “Aristotle Owl and the Beckoning Bottoms,” is for anyone 13 and older. It is adventure, fantasy and some sci-fi.

“I have five or six more books in my head,” Arthur said. “I plan to write these stories the rest of my life.”

Arthur will be at Shawnee State University at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Advanced Technology Center, Room 134 to tell his story about his mid-life career change with the help of his SSU education and answer questions.

He also will have his book available for purchase at the event.