Tuesday, July 13, 2010
In which the narrator catches you up on everything so this blog is in the present and can stop being broken into numbered chapters
The funny thing is that several of you are probably thinking that Meagan has been working all these past months at Lowe's. Well, here's the awful part: Shortly after I posted that blog about her interview series and everything (AND, may I add, after she had been given an established starting day), Lowe's decided not to hire Meagan. Everything involving them was a colossal waste of her time. We were a fair bit hacked off. But rather than fuss about it, we looked at our family needs and decided that this could be a blessing in disguise. Sure, we wouldn't make quite as much money, but there were other things Meagan could earn during the summer. Meagan laid out a rather intense curriculum for her few remaining independent study classes and decided to finish her degree before we move. We're proud to say that she will be taking her last three finals next week, finishing all classes she needed for her BA in political science. I'm incredibly proud of her for managing to finish up all of her classes (not to mention doing pretty well in them) while also taking care of Lydia at home. She's done amazing things.
As for me…well, I've been in the Wal-Mart temp program with a great group, but they weren't especially skilled at putting me to use. That is to say, I got a pretty good paycheck for surfing the internet. I was happy to work when it came around, but that wasn't as often as you would think. A few weeks into the position I actually scheduled a meeting with my manager to discuss the matter, and the best way my position was described was "like a service industry employee," who just stands around waiting, getting paid, until there is something for them to do. OK, then! It's given me plenty of time to work on some writing and some administration projects I needed to work on. I got paid to pursue hobbies! Unfortunately, you can only do that stuff for so long in a day, and so my time at my desk got pretty darned boring. I've been grateful for the job, but I'm not going to be very sad to move on.
Speaking of moving on, I don't think we ever actually talked about where we're going for med school. Short story: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), College of Medicine, in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Long story: By the time medical school interviews wound up, I had been accepted to UAMS and Case Western Reserve in Cleveland and I had been wait-listed at Vanderbilt and Wake Forest (I had also been wait-listed at Saint Louis University, but a bad interview experience made us want to avoid that so long as there were other options). We started to examine CWR vs. UAMS (I was personally holding out some hope for Vanderbilt, but alas! They never called me up off the waiting list), and found that both would offer me a pretty great medical school experience and that most of the quality of my education would come down to not where I went, but what I did when I got there. My education is in my hands. As such, we decided to go to UAMS, which offered several distinct advantages, including:
1. It's not in Cleveland!
2. It's significantly closer to both Meagan's family and my own
3. Little Rock has safer housing closer to the school
4. UAMS costs about 1/3 as much as CWR
5. UAMS gave me scholarships; CWR did not
So basically, we found very little reason to pick the stingy, expensive, Cleveland-based school when we had UAMS as an option.
Since deciding to go to UAMS, I have been awarded a 1/4 tuition scholarship for my first year. That's nice. But the most exciting thing at this point is the new house. In our marriage, Meagan and I have lived in three different apartments and one parents' basement. We've never rented a house before, but with child number 2 on the way and a third being likely to show up at some point during school, we thought that getting a three-bedroom house would be our best option. We found one that we were OK with and started putting the paperwork through…until we found a BETTER one. We quickly pulled out of the first deal and signed a contract with the second.
This place is about what you'd expect for people in our position. It's not awesomely nice, but it's well-kept and homey. Three beds, 1.5 baths, a large backyard (in which yardwork is taken care of for us!), and, perhaps my favorite part, it's only two blocks away from campus. I can come home and see my kids during my lunch break! We don't have to use the car! That's pretty great news! That is why I am using so many exclamation points!
Oh, and the monthly rent is under the budget we set, so that is also good times.
But we haven't spent our whole time in Bentonville working and looking forward to leaving. We figured that while we were here, we may as well do some stuff.
Meagan has spent the last few months as a church Activity Days leader for the eight- and nine-year-old girls in the ward, and I was called as the assistant Venture Scout leader (ages 16-17). We have both had great experiences working with the youth of our ward. Along the way, I got to substitute teach the 16-year-old Sunday School and teach a lesson or two to the priests, which was a great part of the calling.
Meagan has been working on building our new baby, and she's entered the uncomfortable stage of the third trimester. We've been blessed to have an incident-free pregnancy. Dang, have we even mentioned that the new baby is a girl? She is. We are pretty sure of this, as the ultrasound tech said that our baby was the easiest gender identification she'd made all week. Apparently we produce exhibitionist fetuses.
Lydia has very much enjoyed the attentions paid by her aunts and grandparents. We think it's going to be a rough transition to suddenly having just Mom and Dad…and THEN having them taken away by the new baby. I sense psychological scarring in the near future!
We have one week left here, and then we're on our way to Little Rock. We're excited, of course, but we have a slight case of the very common pre-moving jitters. A new chapter in our lives! Who knows what it will hold? The best we can do, I suppose, is realize we're in it together, join hands, and boldly move forward. Bentonville, it's been great. We have enjoyed you. But we're out of here.