Category: My Life

Nov 05, 2018
By Michael Rupured

Crotchety’s Difficult Exams

The verdict is in. After three tests, even students who are doing well in my class agree: Mr. Rupured’s exams are REALLY hard. Well I’ll be damned. Some would take pride in the reputation. For a different course, I might too, but this class is not supposed to be difficult. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not a bunny either. The content is easy to understand (says the professor), but students have to do the work. The final grade is based on assignments (20%), four exams (50%) a comprehensive final (20%) and attendance (10%). The class (Consumers in Society) is a broad overview of the field of consumer economics. It’s the only 1000-level (freshmen) class our department offers.  The class isn’t …

Oct 08, 2018
By Michael Rupured

Grateful

Floods, fires, tornadoes, terminal illnesses, and other ugly events have recently impacted the lives of more than a few dear friends. My heart goes out to them. Their misfortune reminds me  just how lucky I am. Yeah. I said lucky. So I’m slowly going blind, recently lost someone very close to me, and am dealing with a diabetic chihuahua. There are far worse things. So much good luck has fallen my way I consider my life to be charmed. Sure, I’ve worked hard, but — subject to change without notice — bad luck has mostly passed me by. Any adversity in my life has largely been the result of my bad choices. I hit my low in the early 1980s. After …

Aug 27, 2018
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on My Family Tree

My Family Tree

Several years ago I joined Ancestry.com, and for months clicked on leaves like they were going out of style. My mistake was accepting as gospel every tidbit of information I found. The resulting family tree dates back a thousand years, but is too riddled with errors, duplicates, and other problems to be believed. I learned a lot about my family, but my research raised more questions than it answered. Two branches came to an abrupt end — I never found my mother’s maternal grandfather or my father’s paternal grandfather. Missing two of eight great-grandparents leaves huge bare spots in the tree. In January I sent some spit to Ancestry DNA for analysis. Found out weeks later the sample didn’t work …

Jun 11, 2018
By Michael Rupured
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Pile Shifting

Growing up, I’d come home from school sometimes to find my bed piled high with anything I owned that wasn’t where it was supposed to be. In addition to clutter, the massive mound included the contents of any drawers, closets, or shelves that didn’t measure up to Mom’s very high standards. The experience left a lasting impression. Before I could do anything else, I had to deal with the pile and pass inspection. Everything had to be neatly stored — a place for everything, and everything in its place. To get there, I sorted Mount Clutter into smaller and smaller piles until everything was put up or tossed out. Pile shifting remains my preferred way to deal with clutter. The …

Jun 04, 2018
By Michael Rupured
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My Little Garden

My garden is ready for a long, hot Georgia summer. A ton of rain helped. We’re six inches above normal for this time of year — most of that coming in May. Getting all the new arrivals into the ground early helped too. I’ve gardened for more than thirty years. Space constraints limited options with my first two, leading me to buy a house with a ginormous yard for #3. Over the next ten years, I accumulated more than 600 varieties of ornamental plants. Taking care of the sprawling landscape and spacious house by myself was too much, so in 2012 I downsized. The first year or two, I didn’t do much in the yard beyond mowing. Not having to …

May 28, 2018
By Michael Rupured
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Savoring Solitude

Ten weeks have passed since the unexpected death of my ex and best friend. Our seventeen-year relationship was complicated — especially the last few years. Adjusting to life without him is an ongoing process. How am I doing? Mom says I’m doing great. Arguing with her is pointless, but in this case, I’m inclined to agree with her assessment. Life goes on. Commitments must be honored and stuff that comes up at home and at work has to be dealt with. Letting things pile up just makes for a bigger mess. After wrapping up several projects last week, I’m caught up at the day job for the first time this year. I’m still crazy busy, but the pressure is off — …

May 07, 2018
By Michael Rupured
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The Teacher in Me (Part 2)

The teaching I do through Cooperative Extension is not classroom teaching. Other than other extension educators, I tend to see my students only once. Over the past thirty years, I’ve presented personal finance information to the public and provided training to county-based Cooperative Extension educators, school teachers, and others to provide personal finance education to youth and adult audiences. This past spring semester marked my return to the classroom for the first time since graduate school thirty years ago. I taught Introduction to Family and Consumer Sciences — a one-credit course every student in the college must take to graduate. With guest lecturers for almost every session, I didn’t have teach so much as manage the class. Although I’ve done dozens …

Apr 30, 2018
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on The Teacher in Me (Part 1)

The Teacher in Me (Part 1)

Education was one of many majors I tried on during my ten-year stint as an undergraduate. Thanks to a mountain of credit card and other debt, working full-time (and more) wasn’t optional. I had to change majors because practicums and student-teaching didn’t fit into my schedule. I compared the credits I’d earned to the requirements for every degree offered at the University of Kentucky in search of the shortest route to a degree. The result was to major in Family Studies in the College of Home Economics. My other option — English — seemed unlikely to improve my lot in life. After graduation, I left my middle-management position in the hospitality industry to work as a secretary in the Family …

Apr 09, 2018
By Michael Rupured

Filling the Void

Three weeks ago, my world forever changed when my companion of nearly seventeen years unexpectedly passed away. Grief is no stranger to me. Lots of people who were important to me have died. But this time is different. We’ve lived together for years. The few months he wasn’t living with me, we saw each other just about every day. A month is the longest we’ve ever been apart — and that only happened once. His death leaves a huge empty space in my life. Writing in my journal has eaten up big chunks of my time. Entries since he passed are letters to him about things he was interested in, what I’ve been up to, and how I’m feeling. The letters …

Feb 19, 2018
By Michael Rupured

Just Like That, I’m Old

My sixtieth birthday is two short weeks from today. The Crotchety Old Man moniker I’ve used on my blog for years is no longer ironic. It’s who I am. Ask my neighbors. Say what you want about age being just a number. I’m not buying it. Sixty is old. I’m not complaining. Getting older is a privilege. Aging, however, is a major pain in the ass. I’m lucky. Aside from vision issues, my health problems are trivial. Still, I collect health care providers like they were Matchbox cars. An assortment of physicians and specialists oversees my aging body. Hardly a month passes without at least one medical appointment. Last week, I added a cardiologist to my collection. My regular doctor ordered a stress test to …

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