03 March 2008

What I Want: Part One

The problem is that in fact this decision is not just about what I want, but about what will be best for all four of us.

The other problem is that the list of Things Which Must Be Given Careful Consideration seems to grow longer every day.

Also this is a long term decision, one that will affect our lives well into the future, beyond anything I have dared to imagine so far.

I hope that you will all bear with me over the next couple of weeks as I hash out the pros and cons of Ohio, Missouri and Nebraska with you. I would be most appreciative of any suggestions, comments or questions that might help me/us figure this out. For each thing that I weigh and balance, I am sure I must be forgetting six others.

I've been dragging my feet, not wanting to write about all of this Decision Making Stuff because I still haven't heard from Nebraska yet - I might be accepted, I might not; they might offer me money, they might not.

Here's why that might be important: Both Ohio and Missouri required that I apply to the Master's program, but Nebraska allowed me to apply directly for to the PhD. If I'm moving my whole family halfway across the country, a PhD sounds like a better reason than an MA, especially since it's eventually what I want.

But of course that's not the only Thing That Matters.

There are...
  • the public schools
  • cost of living
  • availability of housing
  • jobs for Steve
  • other opportunities for Steve
  • strength of the program academically
  • strength of the program artistically
    • (each of which includes its own subset of Things That Matter)
  • general atmosphere
  • compatibility between my writing and the writing of the professors in the department
  • graduation requirements
  • financial aid packages
  • assistantship terms (teaching, tutoring, etc.)
I know there are more, but the girls are arguing upstairs and I can't hear myself think. I need to go through each of these things and figure out what each of them means. Until I hear from Nebraska, it feels like I might have to do it all over again, but I'm done waiting.

Let's get this thing started.


Mamma said...

Schools, community and cost of living. They'd all be on the top of my list too.

Hang in there. I can't imagine what a tough decision this is.

jennifer said...

This is all so stressful. I like your idea of a hashing out all the pros and cons. Seeing it all visually might help.

moosh in indy. said...

Oh dear, being a grownup blows.
I vote for Nebraska, seems like a better deal long run with the PhD. Want me to pray about it for you? I'll let you know what I come up with.

Jennifer said...

I am so jealous that you have gotten decisions already! I don't wanna wait anymore!

Cathy said...

Eek. I'd be stressed too.

However -- given your penchant for research, I have no doubt your pros and cons list will be extensive and well thought out.

And of course we'll be happy to weigh in! I can help other people make decisions. I just can't make my own...

andi said...

That's a lot to consider. The PhD. does sound promising. I can't wait to find out what you decide.