||email Dr. SETI ®||
December 2007Dear extended family,
The big news this year is that Erika announced her engagement in August! Before doing so, fiancee Allen sought her father out to ask for her hand. Paul's response: "you're both mature adults, and need not ask permission of me, or anyone else. But if it's my blessing you're seeking, you certainly have that." So, now, we are all planning to converge on San Francisco next July, for as lavish a wedding as this family has seen in quite a while. While her choreography continues to achieve national acclaim, and her performance art to attract rave reviews, it's heartwarming to see so prominent an artist behaving like a giddy adolescent in the presence of her intended. As the couple will be 34 and 41, respectively, and neither has ever been married, the bride's parents are covering the wedding costs. "For this one only," Paul emphasizes. "Next time, you're on your own."
Andrew continues his concert tours around Europe (with Long Lost Relative, Audio Pharmacy, and other groups) and, a couple of months ago, to Israel. His dad attended one of his gigs in Berlin in September, and continues to marvel at the raw energy, creativity, and talent he exudes. Paul and his trusty Ovation guitar laid down four tracks in Andrew's home studio, liked the results, and are booking son and studio to produce their next CD in two months.
Bryn is still a student at Mansfield University, juggling computer science and criminal justice courses, and contemplating a career path that invokes both interests. Meanwhile, he is working in the kitchen at the Olive Garden during holidays and vacations, making just about enough to pay for his auto insurance and petrol.
Aubrey served an enjoyable internship at the Field Museum in Chicago over the summer, before returning to Rochester Institute of Technology to complete his undergraduate coursework during the Fall quarter. He remains at RIT, where he has now started work on an MS in Bioinformatics.
Devin transferred this year from Bloomsburg University to Mansfield; he's still not sure of his major, but will most likely end up teaching. We see him on most holidays, and many weekends (whenever he needs to come over to do laundry).
Curran is in his Junior year at Williamsport Area High School, where (because of his disability) he will be able to remain until he turns 21 (just three years hence -- hard to believe). He is taking a computer maintenance course this year, and though struggling with terminology, seems to have a knack at modifying his operating systems. While Curran remains on the years-long waiting list for a group home placement, his mother continues as his primary caregiver.
Erin started high school this year (also at Williamsport), and achieved perfect attendance for his first marking period - something none of his brothers ever accomplished there. Thus motivated, he is aiming to finish high school with no absences, a lofty but attainable goal. He is also just one Service Hour away from attaining Life rank in Boy Scouts, and has set his sights on making Eagle by age 16.
Muriel continues to serve on the Gifted Advisory Council for the Williamsport Area School District, and to fight with them over reasonable accommodations for Curran. She initiated a Due Process case against the school in the Fall, protesting a reduction in Curran's required physical and occupational therapies -- and the District actually capitulated in mediation hearings. Though successful as an advocate, her career as a substitute teacher is understandably impacted -- she'll likely never teach in this town again! She is still an active Assistant Scoutmaster, getting her teaching fix by serving as a merit badge counselor. Online, Muriel continues to moderate several Special Needs discussion groups, and distinguishes herself as mother to her entire Everquest guild.
After a brief hiatus from his early retirement, Paul completed his year as Visiting Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Lycoming College in June, with distinction (but without receiving an offer of a permanent position). Just as well, as he has now returned to Plan B: traveling. In addition to a month-long Beechcraft trip around the US last summer, a visit to Arecibo Puerto Rico with Muriel in July, and his usual jaunts to Germany, he returned to India (his second lecture tour there) in September, and enjoyed his first ever visit to Russia in October, to participate in celebrations marking the 50th Anniversary of the launch of Sputnik 1. (Muriel gathered from his emails that he drank entirely too much vodka in Moscow, a fact not in dispute.) While there, he was invited to give a paper to the Russian Academy of Sciences. He will be returning to India in February, to serve as keynote speaker at a student engineering conference. Just last month, Paul was named Visiting Professor of Electrical Engineering at the Heidelberg University of Applied Sciences, a title that carries with it no salary, but gives him a base of operations when in Europe (and, hopefully, an affiliation which he can springboard into some grant funding).
May 2008 be the year we finally decide to wage peace, and to elect compassionate and intelligent leadership! Our best wishes to you all,
Copyright © H. Paul Shuch, Ph.D.; Maintained by Microcomm
this page last updated 11 December 2007