Relocation Rumination

So a few weeks ago I had to change my WordPress password because someone tried logging into my account and changing it for me. Then I forgot it when I was convinced I should take advantage of a couple weeks off school to write more. Then we went back to Indy for a long visit and I wasn’t going to try and make entries from my phone. So here I am, wondering what all those thought-provoking entry titles and sketches were.

I took a summer class with a meager scholarship I received for keeping my GPA above a 3.7. It was intense. Five weeks of meeting for three and a half hours, twice a week. I ended up with an A-, which would have been totally acceptable, but for the B+ I received in my spring quarter editing class. So now I’m teetering on the brink of losing my scholarship money each quarter.

It’s not a guaranteed amount; they base what each student receives on how much the school has to give out, and this is a number I don’t have access to. And every person who meets the criteria is award a percentage of the scholarship money. So one quarter I got a whopping $200, the following over a grand.

If I don’t get it, it isn’t devastating, but it does lower my chances for any further graduate school options. Say I wanted to take advantage of this information I received from IU Bloomington about a PhD in Composition and Culture. Or if I wanted to get my MFA at Butler (or wherever). The PhD I’ve pretty much ruled out. Unless there’s a free ride (which I’m not really in a position to get), it’s not worth the effort even to apply. I won’t even go into all the things I’d have to do just to apply for the program. Ugh.

Those schools have come up because Charlie and I keep tossing around the idea of relocating back to Indianapolis. Neither of us can completely agree on one place or another. I once sat down and made out an entire chart of pros and cons for each city, then gave everything a score of 1-5 (+ for good, – for bad), based on its importance to us. In the end, Chicago won out with a meager two extra points.

The public transportation and world-class city thing is kinda hard to beat. We both do really love it here. Once we got out of that crazy bitch’s apartment when we’d first moved here, things started to run quite smoothly. And now that Bea is just a week away from beginning preschool–we haven’t gotten into the free one yet, so we have to pay, but it has a very good reputation and we’re in a great school district, once she does get into the free local program)–I have a feeling that will greatly influence her level of happiness. Not that I think she’s unhappy here, but there have been a few moments when she’s asked why we can’t live in an apartment in Indianapolis. That broke my heart a little bit.

But then, when one considers the value of quality friends and chosen family, that weighs pretty heavily on my scale, as well. If we were childless, I don’t think moving back would be an option at all. I mean, sure, maybe . . . one day. Eventually we’d talk about it. But the topic came up before we’d even been here a year. Which is funny because I don’t even really feel homesick anymore.

Homesick.

That’s weird to type, because I haven’t really considered Indiana my “home” before. But I realize it’s the truth. I never lived anywhere as long as I lived there, and I never lived in one house as long as we’d been in our last townhouse on the north side.

I am a little wistful about the rent there. We were in a nice part of town, friendly with our neighbors, and although things were tight at times in Indy, I cannot imagine writing a check every month that’s practically half what we pay now. Holy crap, we had cheap rent there.

And that brings us to the money. Jobs? Charlie isn’t pleased with his salary, and it’s really not enough to cover all our bills. My loans help, but they won’t be around forever. Well, technically, they’ll be around forever because I’ll owe so much, but the actual refunds won’t. You know what I mean.
I graduate in less than a year. I can’t expect him to get a different job, especially since he’s been patiently waiting for me to be done with school so that he can go back and get his own second degree. Assuming he can determine what he wants to study and where he wants to go and actually get into a program.

I came to Chicago for a couple of reasons: first, to get my MA, then pursue a financially lucrative position in publishing, and to get away from my completely nutballs parents. But publishing sucks right now.

So I find myself getting ready for a two-year college teaching internship, as well as a paid gig tutoring in the school’s writing center (all of the paychecks from which will go directly to Bea’s preschool). When I’m done with that, I end up with a two-year teaching certificate. And I am well aware that this is not what I came here to do. Especially since I began researching my future teaching options and discovered the abysmal pay adjunct faculty can expect. Because academia sucks right now.

I chew on these things and many other ideas quite frequently. I know it’s only a matter of time before I can’t think about much of anything besides everyone’s schedules and our next trip to Indy probably own’t even be until Thanksgiving–if we can actually make it then–so all of these issues will be merely in the back of my mind.

None of this has to be decided today, of course, but when applying for other programs, or for teaching jobs, or in order to prepare Charlie for graduate school, or to know how much money we need to set aside for a move . . . Well, you do have to prepare a little earlier for some of those things than, like, 60 days before your lease is up.

I just hope the answers come to me easily, and that I don’t feel I’m compromising on behalf of anyone in an effort to make just one of the three of us happy.