Category: The Day Job

Sep 11, 2018
By Michael Rupured

Crotchety in the Classroom

Everyone I know has heard all about the class I’m teaching. My colleagues — most of whom have taught for years — know as much about my class as their own. I’m guessing they find my enthusiasm more amusing than tiresome — for now, anyway. I’m grateful for heir sage advice and helpful suggestions. I glanced over the required text before agreeing to teach the course and used the table of contents to create the syllabus. I never got around to reading the text before school started. The publisher provided presentations for every chapter. Except for the teaching, my work was done. [Pauses until experienced teachers all over the world stop laughing.] Sticking to the script doesn’t work. Many of …

Aug 20, 2018
By Michael Rupured

Teaching without Fear

When I taught class in grad school, I had no idea what the hell I was doing. I outlined the text, read the outline to my students, and lived in fear they’d discover how little I knew. Somehow, I pulled it off. Thirty-plus years of experience has made me a better teacher. The kind of teaching I’ve been doing is different, but teaching is teaching. To prepare for the first* class I’ve taught since grad school, I spent the summer going over the required textbook. Two weeks before school started, I found out the textbook I’d planned the course around was no longer in print. Fortunately, the tables of contents for the 15th and 17th editions are identical. Shew. Switching …

Jul 09, 2018
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on My Staycation

My Staycation

Today I return to work after my longest vacation in more than a decade. Usually, I use a day or two of vacation time around weekends and holidays to keep my work from piling up overmuch while I’m away. This year, that just wasn’t possible. For sixteen glorious days, I didn’t think about work. I did check email and  voicemail occasionally, but received very few messages. The weeks around Independence Day are a good time to take off because things slow to a crawl. What did I do? Exercised. I worked out at my new gym almost every day. The 24/7 access makes a difference. The one time I did run, I was able to workout first — the tendinitis …

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
Comments Off on The Teacher in Me (Part 2)

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 …

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
Comments Off on A Real Time Change

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 …

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