Sunday, June 22, 2008

Our story, part 5: to the gorges and beyond

Fast forward: after living together for 5 years in Boston, both of us were feeling ready for a change. Both Tim and I were doing reasonably well in the Boston area, but that translates to a lot of driving... for us, 100,000+ miles on a shared car over 3 years. 

1: A car just like our noble little Saturn, but their hubcaps look a whole lot better. source
2: the Storrow 500 in Boston... an all-too-familiar sight. source

There's a very long story related to Tim's doctorate of musical arts from Yale, but suffice it to say that the process was frustrating and difficult. Because he was ABD but couldn't formally call himself that (part of said long story), he had a hard time even getting interviews for academic jobs. Finally, in fall 2006, he went to give his final recital and oral exams. He immediately found out he had passed and was told he'd receive his degree at commencement in May. YAY!

That smile says, "Finally!!!"

Over the winter, he started the process of applying for a few more percussion faculty jobs that had opened up around the country (there are only 2 or 3 a year, in a good year). One of these jobs was at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY (an Ivy League school, which was ideal for a smarty pants wanting to work with other smarty pantses). He was one of three candidates invited to interview on campus... but unfortunately, he felt like he completely bombed the interview and lecture-recital. In fact, he was so depressed about it that he took a detour to Cooperstown on the drive back to Boston.

We both tried to forget about it (yeah right), but the next month was complete hell knowing that he might hear any day. He thought he had no chance but was still clinging to one little bit of hope. In April, I went to Amsterdam for a performance competition. An unfortunate turn of events led to my getting the flu and lying in bed the whole trip, waiting for him to Skype me. But one day, I was so bored that I couldn't wait for him to get home. I called his cell phone from Skype (terrible connection) when I knew he'd be driving home from work.

Once... no answer.
Twice... no answer.


Third time... "Wendy??"

me: "Hey man!"
him: "grblehasfkjds Ithaca?"
me: "........... huh?"
him: "pifenermkweq Ithaca???"
me (increasingly nervous and excited): "WHAT?"
him: "Do you want to move to Ithaca?"
[much screaming and crying]

Obviously, he'd been offered the job, and of course, I *did* want to move to Ithaca! It didn't take us long to decide on the next step - in the summer of 2007, we said goodbye to Jamaica Plain and Boston, heading to the gorges of Ithaca.

Have you had to make a big move for your partner's job, or did you opt for long-distance when something came up? Was the decision a no-brainer, or did you agonize over it?

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