Riding the Semester's Wave

Eby "studying" with my nephew

For nearly thirty years, my life has been lived on an academic schedule of semesters beginning, grinding through the middle, and ending with the fatigue and relief of finals. Russ and I were undergrads together and we had a favorite table in the library where we studied each morning. It was our spot. Even after our wedding the summer before our senior year, we still walked to the library each morning to work.

We graduated before some of you were born, in the summer of 1985, but Russ went on to earn several more degrees, finally finishing at the age of thirty,with a wife and four children to round out his accomplishments. He became a professor and still the rhythm of semesters shaped our years.

Now we ride this wave with our children, one in medical school, three at the University, and one taking a few classes at the local high school. Even my nephew has joined us in our crazy life and lives on campus only a few miles away. I still get nervous for them, after all these years. Believe it or not, finals can even be hard on Russ who writes the exams and then has to grade them. Engineering exams are not easy to throw together, and they must be changed each time the course is taught.Then, just when the kids breathe a sigh of relief, he brings home piles of exams to grade.

It’s a rhythm we like with many beginnings, middles, and endings. There is hardly time to get stuck in a rut. If it is a rough semester, a boring class, an unfair professor, it will pass in fifteen weeks and then things will be new again.

This Friday a lightness will fill our family, there will be more laughter and more rest. Russ will settle into writing and research mode, and the kids will sleep — a lot. Some of them will grab extra jobs to make money, others will travel to visit family and friends, but all will breathe a little more deeply.

Lisa

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

0 Comments

  1. Jennifer
    December 15, 2010

    Cornell sweatshirt! 🙂
    Zeke ends his semester at Montessori school on Friday. As usual this season is busier than ever for Mark and I. We can't wait till Christmas Day when all the concerts and church services are over so we can relax.
    Love to you all!

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      December 15, 2010

      We love Cornell and have wonderful memories of our years in Ithaca – which include your family!

      Reply
  2. iwillcometoyou
    December 15, 2010

    My husband is also a college professor. We were married after his first year of graduate school (almost 7 years ago) and our lives ever since have run on the semester schedule. There are certainly stressful times (we both hate all of the grading he has to do!!) but overall I love it- there's always a break coming up to look forward to, and the start of every semester is a chance for us to re-evaluate our lives and set new goals.

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      December 15, 2010

      I love it too – so many opportunities to make a fresh start!

      Reply
  3. Laura
    December 15, 2010

    We love that Caleb has joined the "semester wagon" at UI and we especially love that he has your family to be with. Your house, as crazy as it is at times, is a great break from dorm life. I think he his there enough I should be contributing to your food and water bills. We are so EXCITED he will be home tomorrow!

    Reply
  4. Paula
    December 15, 2010

    My niece goes to Cornell. 🙂 Just wanted to comment to tell you that my husband and I are high school sweethearts, got married right after graduation from Purdue in 1986… would have been '85 except we were both co-op students so it took an extra year. So I think we are all about the same age, and it is so nice to hear about other families with kids from college age down to preschool. Oh, and I finally read Deborah Gray's book Attaching in Adoption. Loved it. Lots of good stuff.

    Reply
  5. Jennifer Marquez
    December 23, 2010

    We love Cornell and have wonderful memories of our years in Ithaca – which include your family!

    Reply

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