Category: The Day Job

May 07, 2018
By Michael Rupured

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

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 …

Mar 12, 2018
By Michael Rupured
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Time Warp

The older I get, the faster time seems to pass. I can’t believe it’s nearly the middle of March. What happened to winter? The last month of the year always goes by fast. This December went by at a record-setting pace. On top of the usual end-of-year and holiday rush, preparing to teach a class for the first time in thirty years kept me uber busy. January usually feels like the longest of the twelve months. Not this year. The flu kept me in bed for most of the month. Sickest I’ve been in more than twenty years. Classes continued, deadlines passed, and work piled up. My inbox filled up with hundreds of email messages, and all I could do was …

Jan 01, 2018
By Michael Rupured

Back to Class

A teaching degree wasn’t an option for me in college. The major was available, but a mountain of credit card debt prevented me from taking off work for student teaching. No big deal. There were plenty of attractive majors in the sea. Ten years later, I graduated with a B.S. in Family Studies. How I ended up in this major and why it took so damn long is a story for another day. Though what I’d be when I grew up remained a mystery, I had a degree, and after 22 years in school, zero interest in graduate school. No degree was required for my first post-college position. Accepting the job as a secretary in the department from which I’d …

Dec 20, 2016
By Michael Rupured

A Christmas Letter

Dear Friends, Holiday greetings from the Deep South. This year, I’m not sending any cards. My declining vision is such that hand-writing notes and addressing envelopes is too difficult. Yeah, I could print labels and mail form letters, but that’s about as personal as those stupid holiday email messages with dancing elves or some such. May as well write a holiday blog post. Regarding my vision (since I brought it up), I’m legally blind in one eye with 20/60 to 20/80 vision in the other. The retina specialist has given up on my bad (right) eye, but I get injections in the other one every four weeks to keep it from getting any worse. I see well enough to do most of what …

Nov 02, 2015
By Michael Rupured
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A Real Time Change

Over the weekend we switched back to Standard Time. Few things mess with my head more than a time change. Frankly, setting the clock up or back does little more than piss me off.  Everyone talks about gaining or losing an hour. Whatever. In the end, we still have just twenty-four hours in a day. No matter how you cut it,twenty-four hours just isn’t enough time for everything I want to do. Forget shifting things around an hour. I’m ready for a time change I can believe in — one that magically results in a few extra hours every day. Not having to work would help. Don’t get me wrong — I’m grateful for a job I still love. But if I had enough …

Jun 29, 2015
By Michael Rupured
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Road Trips

Ten Extra Pounds, Part 4 Gaining weight two weeks in a row had me concerned. Exercising only on weekends wasn’t offsetting the damage. Try as I might, however, I couldn’t get back to my normal routine. I had to go to district meetings in each quadrant of the state. The coordinators in each district put me on the program right before or after the noon hour. I go along for lunch to network and catch up on all the real news. I drove 200 miles (one way) to Tifton and, two days later, over to nearby Watkinsville. Driving makes me hungry. In both towns I ate chips and salsa like I’d never seen food before. In Watkinsville, a plate of …

Jun 22, 2015
By Michael Rupured
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Working It

Ten Extra Pounds, Part 3 A six-mile run and a generous reward system caused me to gain a few pounds. No reason for concern. Nine times out of ten, I lose weight the week after a bad weigh in. Persistence is the key to success. Getting back on track became my top priority. The universe, however, conspired against me. Back-to-back buffets at the office got my week off to a bad start. There’s always too much food. I do what I can to make sure nothing goes to waste. A caterer prepared trays of sandwiches, chips, brownies, and chocolate chip cookies for our faculty retreat. The hummusy-tasting pimiento cheese sandwiches were a tad dry. The chips were easier to resist …

May 25, 2015
By Michael Rupured
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Where There’s a Will…

Do you have a will? A lot of people avoid estate planning — as if not talking about death will somehow keep it from happening. Wrong! Moreover, the worst thing you can do to your heirs is die without an estate plan. In recent posts I’ve mentioned my plans to retire in the next five to seven years. I’ll get a small pension from a previous employer plus Social Security. The bulk of my retirement income, however, will come from the money I’ve saved (including the match from my employer). At this stage of the game, the balance in my retirement accounts is significant.   God willing, my life force and my account balance will zero out at the same time. If I die before the …

May 18, 2015
By Michael Rupured
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A Taste of Retirement

Submission deadlines make me nervous. Working without an outline and only vague ideas about where the story might go means I could hit a wall at any time. Prompted by a May 1 deadline for Whippersnapper, I took a week off from the day job in mid-April for a taste of what life will be like after I retire. I finished the first draft Tuesday evening. Wednesday and Thursday I worked on revisions. Friday and Saturday I wrote the dreaded synopsis the publisher requests with every submission. Vision issues keep me from writing for more than a few hours in one sitting, so I had time to do other things. The weather sucked. Aside from a few sunny hours on a couple of days, rain made doing much of anything outside difficult. …

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