Saturday, January 31, 2015

Let's try this whole blog thing again.

My lovely wife has been putting together a personal blog on a weekly basis since we moved to Texas last year.  It seems to me that I might as well try to do the same thing.

I'm going to try to bring everything up to speed since the last time I updated this 3 years ago.  I've cycled through 3 jobs,;surveying across New Mexico and Indiana out of desperation, working as a testing technician at a community college in Tennessee, and now in the Registrar's Office at the community college in Corpus Christi.

Last May, LW managed to achieve what I knew she always could and graduated from her PhD program and immediately started looking for a place to work.  It was touch and go for a while, our income was halved after her fellowship ended, we were living off of my savings and, frankly, a not insignificant amount of kindness from certain places.

LW canvassed most of the country looking for places to work, essentially, it wasn't on the west coast, she applied for it.  We had some good looking potential places to land, a handful in Tennessee, one in Kentucky, Tampa Florida, and Texas.  Well, she ended up getting a few phone interviews at places like Ohio, Florida, Tennessee and Texas.  We were honestly hoping to have something a little closer to home, but it finally came down to two offers she received.  The first was at a small private college in Tennessee, Lane, and the other was Del Mar in Corpus Christi.  Long story short, Texas had a better offer and she moved down in the middle of August.

It wasn't easy on either of us.  She packed up the Saturn with everything she could and the cats and made the two day trip down here.  For two weeks, she had cats, her computer, and a cot.  She didn't have so much as a desk.  I, on the other hand, had the opposite problem.  I had everything we owned and two weeks to pack everything up solo, clean and get down there.  Again, kindness came through.  With no short amount of help from my parents and youngest brother in law, his wife, and oldest brother in law, I got it all together and got down here.  Again, it wasn't fun.

To cut to the quick, inside of a two months of being here, I had managed to snag this job from the jaws of defeat after being passed over for it once.  The work load isn't light but the people that I work with are great.  I don't know that I would call them friends yet, but it's heading that direction.  I'm one of five technicians between two campuses that handle most of the work of outgoing information from the college, student requests for information, graduation planning and the like, and helping the departments build their schedules.

I've come into the school at an exciting time.  About four or five years ago, the whole administrative side of the college was restructured.  My department was halved, a new registrar was brought in, a new dean of outreach and enrollment and by the time I got there, none of the old staff were still around.  We're a whole new department and we've evaluated what we need to make us a better group.

 One of our major obstacles has been the enormous amount of overtime we have had to work at times, but I haven't really minded as long as it hasn't been consecutive Saturdays, which was the case essentially up until last week.

We're hiring three new positions in the next four months, one kind of below my position, two above.  A new piece of software that should help us manage our evaluation of transcripts, a handful of other things like that.  It's all got the potential to be very interesting.  I'd be lying if I said I didn't want one of those higher up jobs, but I know I'm not qualified.  At least not yet.

LW has been teaching her second semester of classes for about three weeks now, and she's already having a much better experience than she did last year.  Her hours let her ride to work with me, and she's scheduled her office hours so she can ride home with me.  It's all worked out rather nicely.

So there, that's my summation of three years in under a page.  We'll see how this works.  I know that there's a lot I can't talk about regarding work with the FERPA regulations as they are, but I will put up what I can when I can.