Monday, October 31, 2005

Guilt, anyone?

A friend of mine posted a recent blog about ; how busy his life is.; I can certainly relate.

One thing I can’t relate to is that he has a "special needs" child; he’s got cystic fibrosis. To be honest though, I hate the term "special needs." I’ve got four "normal" children and each one of them has special needs unique to them. Those needs just don’t tend to migrate to the medical extremes that my friend’s kid does.
Which, of course, makes me feel guilty when I complain to him about my life.

In spite of my shortcomings with understanding everything that goes on with his youngest son, this bit from his post was telling:

And overall, in spite of the fact that it’s filled to the brim, I’m constantly feeling like I’m not giving enough. I don’t work with Jacob on his therapies enough. I don’t get things done at my job enough. I don’t get to spend time with Jodi enough. I don’t sing or write enough. I don’t go out with the missionaries enough. It’s just not enough.

That’s how I feel, sometimes. I’m complaining a bit here, but I work 40+ hours a week at a job it takes me over an hour to drive to. That’s two hours a day, lost in traffic. I’m a student as well, putting in nine credit hours a week (which translates to 20+ hours a week if you include homework and study). I’m also a private music teacher. I’ve only got two students right now, but that sucks about 3 or four hours a week if you count prep time, as well. I’ve also got a wife and four kids to deal with. Each of them needs my time. Our church recommends “dating” our spouses. My wife and I barely find time (or money) to sit in front of the TV together for a short video, let alone go out on a date every week. Now I’ve got the director of a local community orchestra asking me to come and perform the trumpet solo for the yearly Messiah production. I’m a decent trumpet player and I like supporting the arts in the community.

Somewhere in all of that time I’m supposed to find time to pursue stress-relieving hobbies and self-development, and keep up on the bills that four growing children, and insane gas prices, create. And when any of that falls by the way side, I feel guilty for not doing what I should.

My choices these days seem less about what I want to do, as much as what I want to feel guilty about this week.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Utah College Enrollment Down Overall

This KSL article talks about how only three Utah colleges/universities are up in enrollment, and six others have declined. I’m not surprised, overall. I am surprised that the University of Utah made the list of those growing, but that’s just my own bias talking. I’m not personally (morally or politically) excited about that school, even though I graduated from it.

Phil Alletto, student services vice president at Dixie State College, says in the article that in an improving economy, "schooling takes a back seat to work." I’m not sure I understand that. I’m not sure the economy is all that improved, locally. That may be just my own personal situation, though. I went back to school recently because I lost my career (most of the work left Utah for overseas destinations) and a third of my income. Maybe I’m just weird, though. Certainly a sampling of one Utahn’s life isn’t enough to declare a trend. Wouldn’t more people have to quit school, though, in a bad economy than a good one? I mean, school’s expensive, and student grants and loans only go so far. Then again, I’ve never claimed to be an economist.

The folks from USU and the University of Utah have more to say on the matter, though. If you’re interested in the fallout of socio-economic trends on such things you may want to check it out.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Can we finally let go of this, then?

It turns out that the 10th US Circuit Court of appeals has lain to rest the ACLU’s continuous desire to slam Salt Lake City, the LDS Church, and the sale of a portion of Main Street to make the Main Street Plaza. What I think is so funny about this case is that the ACLU can’t seem to find a target. Former Mayor Dee Dee Coridini signed the deal, and yet according to this KSL article, they were going after current SLC Mayor, Rocky Anderson. I don’t think he had much to do with it; he just tried to clean up the pile of manure that was left to him. I guess if they couldn’t get their way going after one person they decided to try someone else. Who’s next? Governor Huntsman?

The ACLU could still appeal this case, and others could bring more (we live in such a litigious society it’s ridiculous), but this ruling is definitely a sign that we won’t have to be bothered with this bit of legal wrestling motivated by blatant religious bigotry for much longer.