By DIANE GASPER-O'BRIEN
LA CROSSE -- A simple act of slipping on a gift from her daughter approximately nine years ago got rid of a lifelong headache -- literally -- for Patricia Petz.
Now, Petz educates adults in much the same way she does in her No. 1 career as an elementary school teacher.
During the week, Petz teaches second-graders at La Crosse Elementary School. Then she takes to the road approximately 40 weeks a year to set up booths at craft shows througghout the state and in several other states as well, selling magnetic jewelry.
Petz now uses the same devotion she has spent teaching youngsters for 34 years in USD 395 in her native Rush County to share the benefits of wearing magnetic jewelry.
Folks also have noticed the same passion from Petz in the classroom. She was nominated for the Kansas Teachers' Hall of Fame in Dodge City, where she will be inducted this summer.
"It's always fun to see new generations of students," she said of her teaching career that has spanned parts of five decades. "I love to follow them and see what professions they go into and hope that I've had some influence on them and the fine person(s) that they've become."
Until her mid 50s, part of Petz's daily routine included taking a lot of medicine for headaches.
Numerous visits to doctors could detect no reason for the headaches. Then a birthday gift from her daughter in 2004 changed her life.
Angie Timson had gone to a magnetic jewelry party and bought a necklace for her mom.
"I put that on and woke up the next morning and didn't have a headache," said Petz, who added, "I've gone from taking 16 Advil a day to four to six Advil a month."
Petz began sharing her story with family and friends, who had watched her suffer from headaches "for as long as I can remember."
"Before I knew it, I was sending in large orders to J&J Jewelry," said Petz, who decided to sell the jewelry "because I love helping people."
"We're all born with magnetism in our bodies, and as we get older, we have a tendency to lose it," said Petz, who added that loss has sped up in recent years with "man's increasing intrusion into the fields of magnetism," with cellphones, computers, satellites and the like.
Because of her busy schedule as a teacher, Petz purchases the jewelry -- handmade by an 80-something woman and her daughter from Norman, Okla. -- rather than make it herself.
Petz carries a full line of magnetic necklaces and wraps for the neck and bracelets for wrists and ankles, as well as rings and watches. Petz has added stainless steel and copper jewelry to her line, from which people can special order for colors and birthstones, etc., by either attending a show or off her website at www.patsmagneticjewelry.com.
"This is perfect because during the week I'm with little kids," she said, "and on the weekends, I'm with adults."
"Keeps me busy," she added with a smile.