pegkerr: (Delia with braid 2015)
Here is a picture of Delia that popped up on her Facebook page (posted here with her permission). My, she looks happy and elegant! I'm delighted to see her looking so well.

Delia with braid from Instagram 9/18/15
pegkerr: (Default)
Memorial Day and Leigh's Graduation May 25, 2015

This is Memorial Day weekend. But more than that, today is the day that my niece, Leigh, graduates from Brown University.

My dad had gone to Brown University himself, and he was a loyal Brown booster. He went to many of the reunions and was a recruiter for Brown. He was absolutely thrilled that my brother Chet and Chet's daughter Leigh also chose to go to Brown. Dad had always told us how excited and proud he would be to be there on the day that his granddaughter graduates.

I know that today will hold some bittersweet moments for Leigh, since Dad didn't live to see this day. But my Mom is there, and I know that all the family who are there with you are so proud of you, as Dad would have been.

In honor of both Dad and of Leigh, to commemorate Memorial Day and Leigh's graduation, I went to Fort Snelling Cemetery to leave flowers for them both. The rose for Leigh is tied with a brown ribbon, as Brown University's colors are crimsom, white and brown.

Congratulations, Leigh! I wanted you to know that I visited your granddaddy today for you and for all the family, to tell him of your proud achievement in graduating from the school he loved so much. Please know that he loved you, and is absolutely there with you in spirit as you take that long walk down the hill to your commencement.

Memorial Day and Leigh's Graduation May 25, 2015

Memorail Day and Leigh's Graduation May 25, 2015

Advent

Dec. 1st, 2014 06:10 pm
pegkerr: (A light in dark places ice candle)
Some things just must continue. Despite the cancer, despite the girls being off at college.

Advent 2014

No matter what.
pegkerr: (Default)
because it's late and I'm exhausted.

Rob is out of the hospital. He finally got out yesterday afternoon.

We learned on Monday that Delia is officially a college student again. Yay! We leave tomorrow night--Rob's brother Phil is coming from Eau Claire to pick us up with Delia's stuff, for complicated reasons, and then we move her into the dorm Thursday morning.

Today, Fiona, Delia and I had one last Afternoon Tea at Cafe Latte to celebrate. Sorry the selfie's blurred.

Triple selfie

Tea Spread

Fiona contemplates tea
pegkerr: (Deal with it and keep walking)
He has developed a fever and is being admitted overnight. As they won't release him until he's been without a fever for 24 hours, we expect him to spend most of the weekend there. My phone is about out of charge, and I have a couple of hours of errands to run, but I will try to do a CaringBridge post tonight. Among other things, I need to set up contingency plans in case Rob is too sick or it's too unsafe for him to make the drive this coming week to take Delia to college.

More later. Just know that he's in the place he needs to be right now.
pegkerr: (Don't let it rankle!)
it may be said.

Delia received an email (on a Sunday) from the Admissions office of her college--the college she was going to move to in a mere week and a half--that said that her transcript showed she was short half a Social Studies credit and therefore would not be allowed to start college. 'Please call tomorrow to discuss.'

Note, they have had her transcript since June. They had accepted our money. They had accepted a scholarship check from our church. We had taken out loans and withdrawn from her college savings accounts. Yet this was the first we'd heard of it. Secondly, Delia needs to have 3.5 credits to graduate from high school, but the college only required 3 credits. And yet SHE GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL. Obviously, something was wrong here.

After severe heart palpitations on several people's parts, Delia called the Admissions office the next day. And called and called and called. Finally someone got back to her to clarify: she was missing four hours on her transcript.

Delia's high school advisor was out of the country until yesterday, but today he and Delia determined that he had accidentally shorted her several hours when finalizing the reports for her transcript. The correction was made, and a new transcript was both emailed to admissions and sent out in the mail. The correction is not considered 'official' until the copy is received in the mail.

Delia then sent a follow up email saying, 'Please let me know when you have received the mailed transcript and I'm a student again.'

Hopefully we will get this confirmation BEFORE WE START DRIVING TO THE COLLEGE.

What an unfortunate introduction to college bureaucracy.
pegkerr: (Default)
Remember this post, when I talked about how our church presents each high school graduate with a hand-knotted fleece blanket in their school colors? A friend from my church sent me a picture from the ceremony:

Delia Blanket Blessing

I am both proud (and a little sad) that this day has arrived. She has worked SO HARD to get through high school, and for a long time, it was a tough, tough slog, but she did it! And now my last little fledgling is about to leave the nest.

Will try to post more pictures later.
pegkerr: (Default)
A post surgical Rob tutors Fiona in math for her Sequences and Series math test today. She was quite worried about it.

Rob Tutors Fiona

In a funk

Jan. 27th, 2014 08:40 pm
pegkerr: (candle)
I've really been in a funk, which is one of the reasons why I've been quiet here.

Rob is done with chemo (yes, I know I need to write something on the CaringBridge account) but he is still mighty tired, and I haven't noticed much in the way of improvement yet. He is starting physical therapy to regain his strength. They told him at his first appointment that it may take months to recover from the fatigue.

Fiona has successfully transferred, to the University of Minnesota, and is taking classes there now. She is living at home, and commuting in with me in the mornings, which is nice. It just takes me about an extra five minutes or so to drop her off. I know she'd rather not live at home, but she has no job (she lost hers, since it was an Augsburg work-study job), and she didn't have time to arrange housing on top of arranging for the transfer. So she's at home for now.

Delia is still mulling college options. She was five for five on acceptances--and then got turned down today by the place she wanted to go to the most, the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. It was also the most reasonably priced, which is going to be a significant factor. The letter said it was because she didn't have credits which we KNOW she had. We are going to try to reverse their decision but, yeah, we don't know if there'll be much hope.

As for me, well, I'm still studying French every day. The last couple of days I've been feeling really lousy, emotionally, but I don't particularly need to go into details. Just a lot of things seem awfully hard right now.

The terrible weather really doesn't help.
pegkerr: (Default)
We had a pleasant holiday with both sides of the family. We ate dinner at Rob's brother's house (several relatives were there from out of town) and then went over to spend several more hours at my sister's house. We caught up with Fiona by Skype. Poor Rob had to go to work at 11:00 p.m. and work until 9:00 a.m. the next day.

I didn't do any Black Friday shopping. I've been troubled with a cold for a week and just didn't feel up to it, although I did go out today because it's supposed to snow and Delia needed snow boots. I went to the Mall of America, which just about killed me, but at least we got the boots.

We had a bat in our bedroom last night. I was quite indignant about this purely as it's December and we're not supposed to be troubled with them if it's not August. Rob got it out of the house.

Delia has been accepted by Coe College in Iowa. We're still waiting to hear back about several others.
pegkerr: (Delia)
Delia's going to be applying to about six colleges or so, and she's heard from the first one: she's been accepted to Wartburg College in Iowa.

I think she's not quite picturing herself going there, but it's a relief and a joy to have that first acceptance. Much, of course, will depend on the financial aid packages offered by the various colleges, too.
pegkerr: (Default)
Finally! Finally! Fiona has received word: she has been ACCEPTED to the University of Lancaster in England for study abroad next fall.

More details to come.
pegkerr: (Default)
Two of them, actually, an academic one for $2,500 and an arts scholarship for $5,000. Fiona's applying to both.

Deadline is April 15.
pegkerr: (Default)
Fiona is applying to study at the University of Lancaster in England! She would be there next autumn. She will, of course, also take some time to do the obligatory running around Europe with a backpack. Among other things, she hopes to get to Florence to visit Mom and Dad's great friend Richard Serrin.

I am so pleased she is going to be doing this. She has been working very hard to get all her ducks in a row, which has made the last several weeks quite stressful. Her passport was renewed this week. She hasn't quite decided which courses to sign up for, but one will be differential equations (Fiona's a math major) and one will be a literature course, including some study of Jane Austen.

I studied at Cambridge University in England when I was in college, so I am feeling a lot of nostalgia. I told her how much I enjoyed my walking tour of the Lake District.

Any of my readers in the UK in that area?
pegkerr: (Default)
Next step: the FAFSA, after the IRS clears their data and it can be downloaded into the FAFSA website, a process that takes about 10 business days, I think.

Calculus

Feb. 6th, 2013 08:43 pm
pegkerr: (Fiona)
I texted Fiona last week one morning to just say, 'just wanted to let you know your Mom loves you.' I immediately got a call, and a sleepy rueful voice on the other end of the line said, "You have no idea how well-timed that text was. I had just woken up and realized I had slept through my calculus class. For the second time this week."

"Oh, no!" I laughed.

She depends on her cell phone to wake her up, but the phone is slowly dying and so the alarm didn't go off. "You'd better go see your calculus teacher and find out what you missed. And grovel, while you're at it."

She groaned. "The worst thing is that we were doing review for the test we have on Monday."

Today, I got a voice mail from Fiona and I called her back. She proudly told me that she got 100.5% on her calculus test. (95% on the test, and ten extra credit points for turning in all her homework.) And on the linear algebra test she took the same day (yes, she is taking TWO math classes), she got 89%. No slouch.

I said I wouldn't advise her to sleep through her calculus classes in the future, although I'm sure the idea was tempting.

Oh, and she found another clock in her apartment that has an alarm on it. She says it is REALLY LOUD. Which is good, because Fiona is not a morning person.

Debt

Nov. 4th, 2012 01:37 pm
pegkerr: (Fiona Debt)
Here is the program guide for the theater performance/Town Hall program that Fiona has been doing this quarter, "Debt." Fiona is right at the top, under the title.


pegkerr: (Now's a chance to show your quality)
Fiona has now declared her major: math, with minors in Spanish and Theater. And speaking of theater, Fiona is in a production this weekend, if there is anyone who is interested in seeing it:

Debt
Developed by Sarah Myers
Site Specific Performances: October 25-November 2 [these are performance scattered around campus, for other students]
Town Hall Meetings: November 1, 2, 3 at 7
November 4 at 3 p.m.


Tjornhom-Nelson Theater, Foss Center

What does debt mean to you?

Debt is an experiment in site-specific performance and public art exploring the topic of student debt in its many forms. A week of short performances throughout the Augsburg College campus lead up to four student-facilitated town hall meetings focused on different facets of debt in an academic setting.

As a Town Hall Nation project, Debt is part of a national engagement initiative inviting arts organizations, colleges, and other community groups to create events that demonstrate, present, or embody an ideal town hall meeting.


Fiona writes:

There is no cost, but if you want you can bring a non-perishable food donation. The seats are first come first served, no reservations. All of the shows are in the Tjornhom-Nelson theatre in the Foss building, the same place they were for Inside Out (the show she was in last year).

All of the shows are different, with totally different leaders and content. I'm probably doing the most on Friday and Saturday but whichever night you go will be an awesome show. So, pretty much whenever works for you.


She called me today, grabbing twenty minutes before a campus performance to check in. She reported that as it's both midterms and tech week, things are pretty crazy for her. She was going to be going non-stop from the point she called me (at about 10:00 a.m.) through class, work, and tech rehearsal, until 11:00 p.m. tonight, with no opportunity to grab a proper meal ("I'll be eating granola bars out of a bag I'm taking with me. And I have a psychology test today and a paper due tomorrow.")
pegkerr: (Glory and Trumpets)
I emailed Fiona's college last night, giving a progress report on the multiple steps that Rob and I had been doing to try to get the documentation they required to process her financial aid, and how we have been thwarted, time and time again. I got this reply back:
It sounds like you are ready to throw in the towel on this process! Thanks for hanging in there. You clearly have demonstrated diligence on working toward getting this resolved, so I have taken a leap of faith and I have made changes to Fiona's FASFA with the data I have gotten from your family thus far. For brevity, stop making changes to her FAFSA. Follow up with me in 30 days to make sure we have the amended info from your family and tax return transcript from Fiona.

Since I made the changes to Fiona's FASFA today, you can consider her aid to be finalized. For record keeping (and future audits) I do need the two documents above. But since I have released Fiona's aid with the forms, I need to trust you will help me resolve this by following up with me in a month. The forms we are waiting on will not result in a change in her aid, they will simply be saved as documentation.
She went on to explain that given the documentation we provided for the Special Circumstances form, we will be getting several additional grants and loans. The e-mail brought tears of relief to my eyes. I have been so frustrated and so worried. But Fiona gets to stay in college for another year, yay!
pegkerr: (Deal with it and keep walking)
Step one, amending the taxes, was done a couple of days ago (much swearing and bile was involved). However, Turbotax helpfully informed us that it takes 8-12 weeks for the IRS to process the amended return. We cannot download our tax information from the IRS through the FAFSA website as Augsburg requires, we presume, until the taxes are processed, and that has to be done before Augsburg will process the Special Circumstances form.

The first tuition payment is due October 1. And if they can't process the Special Circumstances form, we have NO IDEA how much it will be, except that it is clearly more than we can afford. Which is why we were going through the Special Circumstances process in the first place.

Now what?

Rob and Fiona have an appointment with the Financial Aid office tomorrow to find out.

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