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myTown Calendar

SPOTLIGHT
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It seems the more things change ...

Published on -5/24/2012, 9:47 AM

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Last week was one of big endings. Fort Hays State University graduating a 1,000-plus strong class, which included my wife, who finished her second degree.

We made a big leap of faith when Andrea went back to school full-time, but the payoff is a great education and hopefully a career as a school teacher around the bend.

Then I went to Topeka for my last Kansas Board of Regents meeting as the president of FHSU's faculty senate. It's been a great year and my leadership team has accomplished a lot.

Handing the gavel over to my colleague Emily Breit was a bittersweet day.

Topeka's been the site of a Greek tragedy this session, but a real tragedy followed adjournment when one of the Legislature's good guys, Bob Bethell, died in an accident on his way home.

Finally, a good friend of mine and a real star at FHSU, Avi Kempinski, died suddenly. Losing Avi wasn't just a blow to the university, it was heartbreaking for those of us who call him friend. It seems, sometimes, like everything is coming to an end. And then, in an instant, everything changes.

* * *

Next week I'll be making a trip I never imagined in my wildest dreams -- to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. My wife and I have been trying to adopt a toddler for almost four years now, and this will be the first of two trips over before we get to bring home our little girl. I'm excited, nervous, but happy to be moving toward this next big change in my life.

One of the most important beginnings of my life comes in the wake of a lot of endings.

* * *

I normally talk politics in this space, and sorry for those of you expecting some broadside on the state House or the city commission. But we all have some things in our life that are just bigger than politics. I wanted to share this because the thoughts and prayers of a lot of friends and readers have gotten us here, and this was a great opportunity to share my thanks with you all.

I'll be sharing a bit more about the conclusion of our adoption journey this summer, too. We'll get back to politics in time, but for now expect some different content in this space.

Chapman Rackaway is an associate professor of political science at Fort Hays State University.

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