COSTA MESA — When Tom Garrison left the Navy, he had to decide between becoming a physician, or a teacher.
After teaching marine science at Orange Coast College over 42 years, Garrison is preparing to end his career right where it started without looking back.
"I never had any regrets because teaching has been so rewarding and so perfect for me," he said.
Garrison, OCC's only faculty member to ever be given the title "distinguished professor," will retire at the end of the month.
The 68-year-old's idea of retirement though isn't what most people would want—he doesn't really plan on changing at all — and don't ask him if he is going to take a vacation.
"Why? For what? This is what I love to do," he said. "For me sitting on a beach recreationally versus sifting sand looking for shells or going shopping, that's not a vacation. That's a pain in the ass."