Friday, March 25, 2011

Summer Plans

I should be grading right now. Hah. When is that not true?

I have gotten word on my summer course ---- actually, nobody told the postdocs that they had to sign up for the summer classes, so luckily the staff person emailed us all to check. (Why this is our fault that we did not know standard summer class protocol, I don't know, but I digress.) She didn't even give a reason why we should come in, just that we needed to speak with her ASAP.

I was the first person to do so, which means I got to pick which course. I took the same comp class I've been teaching (instead of the second semester research type class) and I also chose the one that is online. I think switching it over to online and a shortened summer schedule will be hell, but, this does allow me the flexibility to do my teaching somewhere else.

So, that means I have a conference right after school ends, and this summer course in the middle of summer, which I could technically teach from anywhere. So what are my summer plans?

No, seriously, I'm asking. You know I always dither about on these types of decisions. I don't ever take anybody's advice, either, but I always somehow feel that I don't know the answer and someone else will be able to give it to me.

Ok then, the parameters:

  • I have summer teaching which I could do anywhere.
  • I have this apartment, with the lease coming up to re-sign for August.
  • I have my two cats, who would need to stay with me or be boarded or cat-sat. (and remember how unhappy and loud they were when I drove cross-country.)
  • I have fall teaching here and presumably I'm not getting a permanent job somewhere else, or else we'd be hearing back from search committees by now.
  • while I love the inside of this apartment and pretty much love the price, I could be much closer to school and the other postdocs. Walking to class and to visit postdocs would be nice.
So I have been toying offhand with the notion of moving over the summer to the edge of the student ghetto by campus. Angry Anarchist Postdoc got a place before moving to the state, meaning AAP is very far away from campus in a big cold corporate apartment complex just like me, only we're on the opposite sides of town. AAP is angry (natch!) about the way the apt complex sometimes doesn't clear the driveway when it snows, and how the snowplows sometimes leave a big wall of snow from the street blocking the apt entrance. AAP has had to cancel class once and walk six or seven blocks to wait to be picked up by a random Italian language prof who lives nearby. AAP is also angry that zie (whoops, was trying to just not use pronouns. so didn't work.) does not live close to any of the bars and that the taxi service is for shit here, meaning that AAP has to be careful when drinking and then driving home. (I have the same problem, but this is much higher on the discomfort scale for angry anarchists.)

Anyway, AAP plans to move someplace smaller and much closer --- like a stone's throw from the local bar we hang out at --- as soon as the grades are in for spring. I hate moving, and would have to break my lease, buuuuuut ---- I do like the idea of interacting more with fellow postdocs and being able to walk to stuff. The inside of my apartment is nice, but being on a frontage road means that there are no sidewalks and nothing nearby to walk to.

I could move closer to school. Or I could put all my stuff in storage and go live with family over summer (saves money on the rent). Or maybe house-sit for my advisor back in GradSchoolLand. Or I could try to sublet this place? Who the hell would live here in the middle of the heat and mosquitoes and blech? Or I could go traveling/visiting cross-country and have a wild road-trip adventure! Which would probably involve having someone cat-sit or boarding the cats ... whoah, I can't imagine that boarding the cats would be financially feasible for more than a couple weeks. Not so sure about flying with two cats, either. Hmm. And leaving them with someone all summer would break my heart! They would hate me and then not remember me when I came back! Or I could keep this place and have a cat sitter watch the cats while I jaunted about for just part of the summer? It's all so confusing.

What do you advise? Help me figure out the summer plans before it's too late and I end up just sitting in here on the couch being unhappy the entire summer! Remember, I hate mosquitoes and humidity, so I think sticking around here all summer could spell my doom.


Belle said...

The good news is that you're there for next year too? I don't mind moving around, so I'd vote for moving closer to campus. Are you thinking of sharing with AAP? If so, then agree to share the deposit and off-load cats there while you travel. The only advantage of roomies, as far as I can tell, is that they are built in crittercare. Unless they aren't, which would reduce any interest I would have for roomies. And any desire of the potential roomies for my own presence. Which is why I live alone and have my own house. Close to campus.

P said...

When we first moved to Crunchyville, we rented a gorgeous and spacious house in the suburbs. It was awesome -- the best place I've ever rented (and I've rented for more than ten years). And the rent was cheap (esp. compared to grad city). Oh man, what a beauty that house was. All the comforts I wanted in a house.

Then, we decided to buy a house. (Not the best move in 2008, but we thought The Crash was over.) Because buying is more expensive, and because we wanted to live closer to Crunchyvill U., we had to downsize. So we did (as you know) and I freaked out at first. (The house was 777 sf -- for three of us). BUT, after a year or so it hit me fairly hard how location truly trumps square footage. Yes, I wanted more space (mainly a third bedroom), but on a day-to-day basis I felt the advantages of living somewhere with high walkability (shops, cafes, bars, parks for the kiddo) and close to work. Even before the addition I knew that we had made the right move. There are simply things I can do now without thinking about it that I couldn't do at the old place. And we're down to one car now. If we were living in the suburb, we wouldn't be able to swing it. At least not with the ease we are now.

So I'm for moving closer to the center of things. You can find a place as cute and sweet as yours now, right? Even if the rent is slightly higher, so what. After a while you probably won't notice the difference because you'll adjust to the new price...that's what happened with me/us.

Can you house-sit or live with your parents for a while to save money and then look for a place from a distance? Or, can you move first, sublet to summer school students, and then skip town for a while with the cats?

Good luck and congrats on the summer class!

heu mihi said...

Road trip to visit blogfriends WOOHOO!!!

Oh, and yes, moving closer to campus is nice. I like it.

Anonymous said...

Heu Mihi said what I was going to say - at the very least, whatever you do this summer, plan for some long weekends (visit me! visit me!), even if you don't end up spending extensive time away.

Also, talk with the management company at your place and see what the penalty actually is for leaving before your year is up. When I moved last May, I still got some of my deposit back, but I had to pay a month's rent penalty (so I guess it came to like 300 bucks that I paid them beyond what I owed for actual rent), which wasn't a big deal since my first mortgage payment wasn't until the following month, but it would have really sucked if I'd have had to pay both for my old place (where I wasn't living) and for my new place (where I was living).

Bardiac said...

I third the blog friend visit idea :)