Thursday, October 30, 2008

Family Tree

I love researching the family tree. It's been so much fun. Lately, the Cunningham family joined a website called Geni, where you can put and organize your family tree. We started off small, but we've added on significantly on the Cunningham side and on Mom's side. For example, for the past few months I've been trying to find more information on "Grandpa" Jesse Jenkins but have had little success. I finally found him yesterday, and we discovered that his wife's name was Jane, not Cora, and that Cora Jenkins (Jesse's descendant) married George Large, my great-great grandfather on my Mom's side. I haven't found much on the Large side of the family (though I'll keep looking), but I did trace the Jenkins family back to the eighteen century, where it suddenly ends. My guess is, Thomas Jenkins may have been a slave and was freed during that time, which could be why there are no records of his parents. I also found more on the Pope side of the family and discovered that Thomas Pope moved from England to Plymouth in 1627, seven years after the Pilgrims first arrived there and about ten years before Captain William Cunningham arrived in Virginia. Anyway, Thomas seems to have been a part of the Plymouth colony and bought lots of land from the Indians, land that became a big homestead for the family for years before they began moving west in the nineteenth century. Mom also added on to the family tree, and she informed us that we have Rushmore blood in us, that they were florists (a big comparison to the belligerent Scottish Cunninghams... haha), and that our ancestors once owned the land that Mount Rushmore was built on. I'm still looking for information on the Irish Dawson side of my family, but none of them are listed on Rootweb (though I will still keeping looking). I'm also working on finding members of the Kline, Cline, and Long side of the families, and I hope I can find which generation it was that one of the men married a Cherokee woman. So, I'm having a blast with this project.

I can't think of much else to post, but I will mention a few things. First, Seth and Mandy got their midterm grades for Geneva. Mandy has all A's except for a C in math, and Seth has a mixture of A's and B's with one C. Mom got a 97 on her paper on beer in science class, which she is happy about. I had a debate in class last Thursday whether Jackson was right or wrong in forcing the Cherokees to leave their homes. I never got a chance to speak, and I was sort of chomping at the bit to do so. I'm still waiting for Dr. Rafshoon to give me a grade on my debate paper, and it's unlikely I'll get it this week. I'm nervous about my physical science quiz, because the teacher informed us yesterday that the highest grade in the class was 80 something while the lowest ones were in the teens. I didn't think the quiz was that hard, but now I'm more worried over what I missed. I'm excited about an upcoming music project because I get to write about one of my favorite Irish bands, Clannad (they invented the Enya-esque sound before she used it but put out a much greater variety of music than she does), and I think I'm getting too picky about which three songs I have to use for the paper. The weather down here is cooold! It has suddenly cooled down to the point where you must wear a coat outside. Nights are cold, and days are cold and windy. The weather is too cold for late October, which may mean a colder winter. Maybe we'll get a nice snowstorm this year with actual snow instead of that powdery stuff that you can't make into snowballs.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Funny Incident

I was not present to witness this incident this morning, but I heard about it this afternoon.

On Wednesdays, if Mandy has to babysit for the Young Mother's Bible Study, Mom wakes her up around 7:15 or so, so that Mandy can accompany Mom to school and babysit there. Well, when Mom woke up, she thought the clock said 7:00, so she got up and got ready, not noticing that the coffee pot (which is timed, I believe) had not started. When she went to wake up Mandy, Mandy said, " Mom, why'd you wake me up at 6:15?" Mom denied it was 6:15, but Mandy insisted. Well, Mom figured out that it really was 6:15, so she sent Mandy back to bed to sleep for another hour.

Also, on an unrelated sidenote, I have my college midterm grades. I have all A's! Now if I can keep them up for the rest of the semester....

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Busy Week

It's been a busy two weeks since I last posted. Dad, Seth, and Mandy returned safely from Virginia. There, they helped build a shed (which I hear was greatly admired by Mr. Barringer) and picked apples for apple cider (we have some in our outside fridge). Seth was a bit unlucky in that a two by six fell on his arm while he was helping build, but his arm is fine; he also got stung by a yellow jacket when it crawled up his pants, but he hasn't given him much grief. From what I hear, the boys did pull a prank on Mandy, but I don't know what they did; all I know is that it made her cry. They were happy to be home, and Mom and I were glad as well. For us two, it had been a quiet week, as she had spent her time working on her college projects. We sometimes would watch a "Criminal Minds" episode together, and we enjoyed steak and a movie on Tuesday, but otherwise we did little else besides school. It was very quiet at home, but now it's back to normal.

School has caught our full attention again this week. Mandy wrote a short story for English class about Jesse and Cora Jenkins in an attempt to escape slavery (I believe she based them on our ancestors Jesse Jenkins, who was a Black man who owned about fourteen slaves and married a White woman named Cora). Mom has been busy with her classes as well, and she got a 100 on one of her recent tests. Yesterday, there was nearly a panic attack when she discovered her paper that she had worked so hard on was not what she was supposed to do; but her mycology teacher was merciful and said she would accept the paper. GGC posted the spring 2009 semester schedule, so yesterday Mom and I looked up to see what classes we would be taking. I talked to my faculty advisor Dr. Timpte, and I learned that in the spring I will have completed all my core classes, so I'm really happy about that. In the spring, Mom will be taking a cellular biology class (or something like that), and she's considering a second class. I'll be taking physical science 2, history 2, political science, and psycology, and my schedule is a bit weird and I'm still trying to make sense of it. Midterm have passed for me and Mom, and she has a 98 in one of her classes. I'm not sure about my grades, but I think they could be all A's, though the grades won't be posted until next week.

A few things have happened at GGC. First, I took my first history test and got a 98, and I also took another physical science test and got a 93. I got also got a 100 on a recent music test. History class is getting busy, as I'm currently reading a book on Frederick Douglass (in preparation for a discussion of slavery that's coming up XD), and we have a debate on Andrew Jackson next week in a discussion of whether he was a "pragmatic politician" or a "scheming devil" in dealing with the Cherokee. I got on the "scheming devil" side, which won't be hard to argue, especially since I am of Cherokee descent from that time period... hehe. I also got a project to work on for science class, and my partner Hannah and I are still working on the topic and what to do exactly, especially since the topic and teams are due tomorrow. It's getting busy around here, so posts might become scarce.

On a side note, the weather here is cooling down. It's getting down to the 50's at night and can get to the lower 80's or the higher 70's in the day. The leaves have begun to fall, and our yard and porches are covered with them. There are some beautiful days with absolutely gorgeous blue skies. I love this time of year, but the constant switching from cold to hot is making it difficult to choose what to wear during the day. I am somewhat looking forward to cooler weather so I can wear my cute long-sleeve shirts that I have been wanting to wear.

Well, I gotta go. My stomach is ordering me to get food while the line at the cafe is short, and I still have to finish this reading and get prepared for the debate next week :P

Friday, October 3, 2008

Around Here

I apologize for the scarcity of posts, but I either am too busy or too lazy to do so. And since I have some free time, I will update you all to what is going on the Cunningham household.

Nothing much of great importance has happened of late. Last Sunday, Ainsley was baptized, and there was a family gathering at Uncle Josh's house afterward, where we enjoyed a meal and conversation. I did have my camera, but I gathered few interesting shots. We all did have a good time together, as it's been a while since we last gathered together as a clan.

School has kept our attention fully lately. Seth and Mandy are doing well in their classes, though Mandy is having trouble with math and geography. Seth is doing better in English as well, I believe. Mandy was overjoyed yesterday to discover she made a 100 on her Bible test, something she hasn't gotten since the 6th grade; she's been proud of it ever since. Mom is also doing good in her college classes of mycology (the study of fungi) and ecology. She is sad that her geeky ecology teacher was in a car accident and is most likely out for the rest of the semester. I've been doing fine in school. Yesterday I had my first history test (and I'm anxiously waiting to get a grade for it, but that is unlikely for a few days :P), and on Tuesday I will have my first music test. A few weeks ago, I got a 99 on a Spanish test and a 95 or so on my physical science test. I'm really wanting to get at least a B in physical science so I can finally pass a science class, but with my new teacher that may be tricky. I don't know why they thought to torture the students this way, but my physical science class is divided into two sections: chemistry and physics. My chemistry teacher is Dr. Bell, whom I had for my brief chemistry class last spring, and her part of the class is fairly easy. However, my physics teacher is Dr. La, a man with a strong accent and a completely different way of teaching from Dr. Bell. I am still figuring him out, and I hope that he doesn't get into the math of physics, or I will surely die prematurely. Nothing much has changed at GGC except for the new food court a hundred miles away from Buildings B and C, where the main student body is focused. The new food court is great and has options of three restaurants: Quiznos, Pete's Arena (a pizza place where they make pizza right in front of you), and Marketplace (which a friend of mine described as "cafeteria food"). However, I do wish they'd change the prices of food because now it costs at least $5 a meal at Quiznos or GGCity Cafe (the original, crappy cafe in Building B where few go anymore), which has risen about 50 cents in price since last year, and they still only allow us to put $200 on our cards.

Well, enough of ranting against GGC. I've recently decided that after the spring 2009 semester, I am going to stop going to college for the time being and get a job through a temp agency, as I really need a job and I'd like to get out into the world a little more. I may return to college after a year or two, but I'm considering going back when the school finally gets accredited and maybe if it offers a history major.

Well, it's going to be an interesting next few days. Tomorrow, Mom is taking all of the Geneva students on a field trip to Tellullah Gorge, and tonight a majority of them will be spending the night at our house. We've got a Boston Butt cooking for some delicious carnitas, and the kids are excited because they get to devour Mom's food again, get a field trip, and get to goof at at a bowling alley this afternoon. Well, they should have the right to celebrate because next week Geneva is taking a week-long field trip to Virginia, like they did last year. Dad is one of the chaperones, and everyone is looking forward to riding with "Mr. Cunningham" because of his music selections :). Mandy and Seth are excited about the trip to the sheep farm, and they're sure to bring back great stories like the one about the black sheep, the woodchuck's foot, strip poker, and pranks the boys played on the girls. With Dad, Seth, and Mandy gone, it'll just be me and Mom from Monday until Friday, and Mom certainly needs a break from teaching. She's already said she is going to use the free time to get started on a college project of some sort. It'll definitely be quieter around here while they're gone.

Well, that's about all for now. I've got to give the house a look-over to make sure it's clean and then it'll be time for goofing off after a week of studying and battling a cold.