In a nutshell I resigned from a unicorn job I loved, I am expecting our second child in the spring and we are moving somewhere most likely in the continental United States this June.
The unicorn job: I moved across the country from San Francisco when my partner was stationed to Morgan City Louisiana (google map it) and was lucky enough to find work at an awesome community college and a predominantly undergraduate institution, Nicholls State University. In the four years we have lived here I spent three as a full-time tenure track professor teaching incredible students and working with fantastic faculty. No joke this place is magical, and I wish I could stay and make tenure.
But we also live in the state of Louisiana which is ranked 48th in the nation for spending on education / student and that equates to extremely low pay for educators. For my first child, I could not afford to take maternity leave (essentially unpaid leave and use up any sick leave which was 14 days at the time) so my Dean and I worked out a plan where I could teach online and hybrid courses, basically I didn’t take a leave. I was extremely lucky to have a Dean who worked with me and although it was great financially, I had a difficult time mentally handling designing and administering online courses while also becoming a mom. I also had to wear a very tiny child to lecture on the days I had to come in and pray she wouldn’t cry, fart or have a super loud poop while I lectured on clathrin coated vesicles or transcription factors.
This time around I vowed I would take a real maternity leave but when I did the calculations and tallied up my sick leave it didn’t make sense financially and on top of that I would work up until my due date while managing our household military move which some women might be super woman but I know my limitations.
For the non-military folks out there let’s discuss this move: When we move it is called a PCS move and we get orders about 2-3 months before my partner has to report into his new station of duty. That means we have three months to put our current home on the market, find a home in the next place we move to which remains a mystery until 2-3 months out, purge the house of things we don’t want to take, and make arrangements to get three cats and two kids under two to the next destination. Meanwhile I am supposed to birth our second child in the middle of all this controlled chaos. No one helps you find your new house, and no one helps you sell your current home – but the military will pack everything, and I mean everything up for you.
And thus here I am, January 2019. Nicholls State has been gracious enough to take me on as a visiting scholar so I can finish up some very interesting research (blog on that in the near future) involving an oyster hatchery in Grand Isle and remain a mentor to my junior and senior students who are applying to graduate and professional school.
I am also in the works to create a consulting position with an organization here in Louisiana to evaluate their science communication course, writing up a pedagogy research project up for publications and working as a part time analyst for a science communication company up in DC. So basically still making a buck before this baby arrives and figuring out what to do next.