Three-Week News Recap / Grab Bag

Wow, things got really crazy really quickly! This post has actually been a long time coming, however it was delayed since I made the decision a couple of weeks ago to switch our main computer from Windows 2000 to Windows XP. After fighting XP for a week and a half, Tabitha and I realized it just wasn’t working out for us. Kunshin is now back on Win2k and running reliably again, with the exception of a nasty problem with the modem, which causes the system to freeze two minutes after being disconnected from the internet. The only way to recover from it is to restart the machine, which is becoming a big pain, to say the least. I hope I can correct this problem soon without being forced to purchase new hardware.

June 1st was the first day of my summer Humanities class. All I know to say is, “Wow, this is going to be a ride.” That’s not meant to be negative, either. The professor who is teaching the class is thoroughly engrossed in philosophy — the science that focuses not on finding the answers, but asking the questions. Instead of standing in front and “spoon feeding” the knowledge to his students, he facilitates in-class discussion by having us all arrange our desks in a circle and discover our own interpretations of selected literary works. This has led to some very interesting class discussions and in my opinion provides much more insight into the human condition than what I’ve gained from my previous Humanities classes.

Speaking of matters related to Murray State, I received my financial aid award letter in the mail a few days ago. I qualified for the Pell Grant and the Cap Grant, which together will pay for my next two semesters of classes with a generous amount left over to help cover books and other expenses incurred during my time in school. I don’t know why I was so afraid that I wouldn’t receive aid, but knowing that I will have my tuition fully paid for has certainly brightened my spirits this week.

Tabitha’s dad and aunt came down for a visit last weekend and brought with them a new (to us) dresser for Kristopher’s room. Kristopher’s dresser situation has actually been an arduous saga over the past year. Up until last week, we had been using a pressboard dresser that Tabitha bought for herself when she was still living in the dormitory at Murray State. She gave it up for use in Kristopher’s room where it remained until he became mobile, and started making a game of opening all the drawers he could reach and pulling out all the folded clothes within. After a few nights of refolding clothes and an unsuccessful attempt at implementing some sort of locking mechanism, we decided we’d had enough and relocated his dresser into his closet. Since closet space in our home is a valuable commodity, we knew this solution wouldn’t fly for long. Fortunately Tabitha’s dad decided to give us two twin-size beds (one of which Kristopher sleeps in, detailed in the previous post) and the matching dresser. The new dresser is made of much heavier wood, so the drawers require more effort to open. This is a good thing, because it discourages mischievous little hands from getting into places they shouldn’t be.

They also took us to dinner at the locally renown Patti’s restaurant. Since they had never been there before, and neither Tabitha nor I had been there with the exception of two Captain D’s Christmas gatherings, it was a new experience for us all, which turned out to be quite pleasant. It’s much different without the frigid weather.

On a more solemn note, my grandmother passed away around 11:45am on June 3rd, 2004 due to complications arisen from kidney failure. She had just celebrated her 86th birthday last month. She lived a long, full, Christian life that touched all those who knew her. She raised six children and was heavily involved in raising most of her grandchildren and even great-grandchildren.

Now that she’s no longer with us, I regret not spending more time with my grandmother these last few years. I know it’s cliché to say so, but the passing of a loved one certainly helps bring into focus the fact that our time on this earth is limited, and that we should value every second of it. It’s so easy to get caught up in the busyness of life that we forget about the things that really matter, and take for granted all the blessings and miracles that are bestowed upon us daily.

I’ve made it my personal goal to better appreciate the things I have. It’s been a struggle thus far — I’ve never been any good at it. But I’m trying, nonetheless. Now more than ever I know that nothing in this world should ever be taken for granted.