I may be moving to Chicago in the fall.
How's that for abrupt?
Everything's unclear right now. If I get into the Ph.D. program at Utah, I'll be staying. That's two more years of living in Utah, minimum (you do two years of classwork, then a year of studying for exams (which they recommend you stay in town for), then a year or two of dissertation work). The odds of my getting into the program are somewhat slim -- I did the application in a rush, and it's a very competitive program. I should know within a few weeks, I think.
I'm okay with the idea of staying here. Utah makes me uncomfortable in some ways -- sort of itchy under the skin. Too little diversity, too conservative values, all these assumptions everywhere about marriage and kids... But the teaching is wonderful -- it's the best day job I've ever had, even if I do sometimes stay up so late grading that I get four hours of sleep. And my colleagues are good, interesting people. And waking up to the mountains every morning is a boost to my spirit that I could never have anticipated. I'm starting to understand why people here are so wildnerness/environment-focused. Living here is good for me in a lot of ways...I don't think I'd mind staying another year or two.
But it won't be with Kevin.
We'd thought that he'd be mostly around next year -- he has a NSF scholarship for a year of support. He'd planned on spending months elsewhere, but using this as a home base (away for a month, home for a week, repeat). We'd talked about whether it might make more sense for him to give up his apartment and move in with me.
But then last week he got an unofficial offer from U Chicago. Not a tenure-track one -- it's a two-year post-doc. But it's still impressive, and a really good thing for him, and I'm really pleased for him, and of course he's going. So he'll be there by autumn. He'll probably only be there a year, since he'll be applying for tenure-track jobs for the following year, and I bet he'll get one.
And I don't know what I'll be doing if I don't get into the Ph.D. program. There are a lot of appealing options.
a) stay here for a year and keep teaching at a good salary, doing work I love in congenial company (but with no really close friends nearby). I still have a lot to learn about teaching, and this is a nurturing environment for that. It's a good place to write too.
b) apply for jobs elsewhere -- some pay a lot more. It's a bit late for that, but I could probably still do it if I hurried. There's even one in the South Bay, if I haven't missed the deadline. I'm going to be looking into it today, just to see what my options are. I could be near a good friend (in L.A. with Lisette, in New York or Boston, in the Bay Area), which would be a huge plus. But moving is expensive, and especially if I'm planning to apply again to a doctoral programs (a full spread) in the fall, then I'd probably only be in that place for a year.
c) go to Chicago with Kevin. Either live with him or near him, depending on what we decide would work best. Try to find a good job before going -- I really don't want to be doing secretarial work again. At least get a couple of classes of teaching (though if I don't have full teaching, then I wouldn't have medical insurance) and try to spend the extra time writing and working on the magazines, if Kev is willing to help with rent (if necessary). Be around Roshani (who is pregnant and will be delivering in August, I think!!) for the first year of motherhood -- that would be just great. Decide at the end of that year whether to move with Kevin again. Again, moving expenses are a slight negative for this option. A bigger question is whether it'd be a good idea for either/both of us. We're going to talk about that some more.
So. All of these are good, actually. I'm was a little startled when Kevin got the offer -- hadn't thought I'd need to think about some of this for another year. Right now I'm at the information-gathering phase, talking to some schools in Chicago, etc. But all of these plans do sound appealing, in one way or another. It makes decisions a lot easier when all the options are good. :-)