December 2004

While celebrating Thanksgiving a couple of weeks ago we took the time to reflect on another year that has flown by. We hope this beginning of the holiday season finds you in good health and that you will take the time to share with those you love.

One of the high points of the senior Stephensons this year was our trip to Arkansas during the summer in search of a “lost” family cemetery. We spent a week near the small town of Augusta and with the help of some terrific people we met at church we were able to locate the cemetery, long hidden in a bamboo thicket in the middle of what is now a national wild-life refuge. We also spent hours in the old courthouse copying records pertaining to Jenk’s father’s family who lived in Arkansas before moving to Texas. During that trip we also had the opportunity to visit with many members of the larger Stephenson clan in different parts of Texas. It was a wonderful month!

We returned home in time to help Marc move home for a while. After a year of working in a genetics laboratory Marc decided that he really wanted to teach! After signing up for some courses and spending hours visiting various science classrooms he had the incredible opportunity to be hired through a special induction program – at Saugus High School! So there are now three Stephensons in one school – something that has never happened before in this district as far as anyone knows. Although incredibly busy with teaching and going to school himself, he is enjoying this new adventure. He seems to have found his “niche”.

Beth is in her third year as a Cognitive Science major at UCLA. (Read this as a cross between psychology and artificial intelligence of computers…I think.) She moved home for the summer to return to work at the bookstore, and then moved into an apartment a block from the campus with 3 friends in the fall. (UCLA only provides dorm space for two years due to overcrowding.) She is also working at the athletic club a few hours a week and is once again section leader in the marching band. Thanks to tickets she got for us (and with Marc’s season tickets) we spend many Saturdays this fall at the Rose Bowl watching UCLA have a better season – finally! She will be leaving in a few days for the Las Vegas Bowl.

Two weeks ago Patty flew to Boston to do research on a Chinese exchange program that our district is trying to start. Amazingly enough schools in the Boston area are the leaders in such exchanges! There will be a presentation to the school board in a few weeks, and then she may be off to China for a week in the spring…

As we celebrate the arrival of this most joyous time of the year we wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a new year of joy and good health.