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  • Elijah Ricks

January March

This was the first week back to school for the kids, so it was a bit of a drag for all of us trying to get back into the routine. Kira and I took the mornings in shifts, one of us sleeping in while the other got the kids off to school. We still seem to have lingering symptoms from the illnesses from the break. Hakan had it the worst, but all of his tests came back negative, and he's fine now. Merritt finished up his meds for his double ear infection, and of course he's back to his usual self. Kira's had some headaches and throat soreness, and I've been dealing with an uncomfortable throat and stuffy nose, though I'm almost recovered now.

With the kids at school, I tried to get caught up before my semester begins, and Kira has been busy with her church calling and keeping Merritt occupied. I had an eye appointment on Tuesday, and then made a run to Valparaiso for a few errands. It was difficult with my dilated eyes, but I survived.

My Wednesday was very frustrating. As I was working on things for the semester, I got a concerning email from an office at the university about a research project I've been supervising with a student. She is in the Honors Program, and we had just submitted the research proposal, and it needs to be approved by the university before we can move forward. I've never had an issue with proposals until this one, and the wording of the email was very troubling, but they wouldn't give me any details about what the problem was. I then received an email from the student, in a panic about the situation. I told her I didn't have any more information, and then things began coming clear. She asked if she should try to get an updated letter from the place she wanted to do the research (a hospital), because the original person who had agreed to let her do the project had retired. I said that would be a good idea, and then a few hours later, she asked to call me on the phone. She was sobbing, in crisis, refusing to tell me what was wrong. I offered a guess that she had never actually received approval for doing the study at the hospital, but instead had lied to me, the university, and even fabricated a letter of approval to make it appear from the hospital. I dealt with that crisis, remaining calm and solution-focused. I then immediately emailed the research approval board to withdraw the proposal, assured them I would appear the next day to answer any questions, and then told the Honors Program people what was going on.

So I had to go into campus on Thursday to provide emails and testimony demonstrating that the student had lied several times, and even fabricated the letter. I was glad to see that no one was accusing me of having been complicit in the deception, although I wish that the student had actually appeared at the meeting to take ownership of her actions.

In any case, she has withdrawn from the Honors Program and I will not work with her anymore. I am doing my best to not be angry at her, after the hours of work I put into the project that I will now never be compensated for, but I am very disappointed and shocked at this bizarre behavior.

Kira had a busy Wednesday, also, as she has volunteered to do some of the heavy lifting with the talent show for Carver's school. She left a little after lunch, and worked there until about 4, then worked more from home on checking lyrics to songs, and that sort of thing.

Saturday, Hannah and I made our way to the city to participate in the March for Life in Chicago. We'd never gone to one before, but it's something about which we are both quite passionate, so when I saw the details over Twitter, I thought it might be a good experience.

There was a winter storm warning, so we went with some trepidation, not knowing what to expect. We took the train in, so that our day was mostly dictated by when trains were available. We ate some lunch and then made our way over to the rally, where we met some nice people from all over the Midwest. More and more people arrived and then we listened to a few speakers from various walks of life. I especially enjoyed hearing from a woman whose son almost became a statistic, but who is now 18 months old. There was also a woman who met her biological mother 10 years ago, where she learned that she was supposed to have been aborted, but instead the doctor could only get her twin sister. That was very impactful.

We then marched for maybe 20 minutes down Michigan Avenue and checked out some of the displays in the hotel where the convention was held. We met some more nice people and then hung out and got some hot chocolate while waiting for our return train.

There was some decent snow back in Indiana, though not enough to sled, and not enough to cancel church, much to the kids' dismay. Kira also had her hopes up that there'd be some weather issue, because she's been asked to speak in church next week, and hoped that it could be postponed.

It's sure to be another busy week with my last few days to prepare for the semester, and as winter tries to get going.

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