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Holy Crap – ANOTHER Raise!?!?!

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Guys. I can’t even. Pinch me, because I don’t even believe it.

I got another raise!!!!

Well…..kinda.

You know how I work 2 jobs (a full-time one + a part-time one)? Well, I just got my contract in from my part-time job and something that has literally NEVER happened before occurred. Without even being notified/informed/asked, one of my classes was large enough that apparently they opened a second section. To be fair, this has happened once before, but I was asked about it ahead of time. I think this time it just slipped past because my boss is on maternity leave so either she approved it knowing I would say yes or someone else may have dropped the ball in asking (at this institution I teach the same 2 classes every semester and they are considered to be “mine” in ownership of intellectual property, materials, etc. So if a class is full, they ask me if they can add students. If there’s enough demand, they ask if I’d be willing to teach another section, etc.). Here’s the thing – I totally wasn’t even expecting it! I was caught completely off guard!

I immediately logged into my instructor dashboard to check the enrollment status and verify whether this could possibly be true. Yep. Section #1 is maxed out (30 students) and Section #2 currently has 20 students (max is 30, but 20 is still in the “safe” range. I only worry about sections being cancelled due to low enrollment if we’re down in the 10 or less number of students).

So here’s the good and the bad.

The good is that even though this is just a second section of one of my existing courses (meaning no additional prep and the courses are merged in the LMS so it’s really, truly like teaching one big class), I get paid like it’s an entirely new course!!! Yep! I was only getting paid for 2 classes previously and now I’m getting paid for 3!! AHHHH!!!

The bad news is that the class is writing intensive. So although there’s no additional prep-work and it’s easy in terms of the day-to-day stuff (e.g., emails, announcements, etc.), it’s going to be SIGNIFICANTLY more time invested in grading. Gah! What am I going to do?! I’m strapped as it is!

Thankfully, at my full-time job I’m only teaching 1 new class this semester (I teach 3 classes total, but 2 of the 3 are repeat courses, which are always easier than teaching a class for the first time). Hopefully given the 2 repeats, it won’t be too much work to keep up with.

So now I’m teaching 3 classes at my full-time + 3 classes at my part-time. 6 classes total in one semester. I know adjuncts who have had to teach more as a way to make ends meet, but for those not familiar with academia, that’s a boat load of classes in a single semester! Thankfully, 5 of the 6 are online classes. Another big sigh of relief, because there wouldn’t physically be enough hours in the day if I were needing to teach in-person, hold in-person office hours, etc.

But this is good news! I now have my contracts for BOTH of my jobs for the 2016-2017 academic year (at least kinda….my part-time job is semester-by-semester but I have a lengthy employment history with them at this point). PLUS, both of my contracts reflect a pay raise!!!

Time to get on with the house hunt! AHHHHH SO EXCITED!!!!!!!


House Hunting….kinda

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Hi from sunny (and HOT) Madison, Wisconsin!!!

I’m here for my work conference and, unfortunately, brought the Tucson heat with me! Just last week the average temperatures were in the mid-80s. I arrived on Tuesday of this week and since I’ve been here it’s been in the high-90s/flirting with 100 degrees F plus muggy. Boo!!! Get it together, Madison! (I kid, I kid – it’s actually quite gorgeous aside from the heat + humidity).

Anyway, that’s neither here nor there. The REAL point of this post is about HOUSE HUNTING!!! AHHHHHHHH!!!!!! The time has finally arrived. It’s FINALLY arrived!!!!

Hubs and I had originally planned to start house hunting in early summer but had to push back the start of house-hunting a bit to finish adding to our house down payment fund. As a reminder, we’re planning to put down 20% so we can avoid any mortgage insurance. To do so, we wanted to save up $10,000 during the first half of this year (one of our 2016 goals, now done – yay!!!); we’ll add to that all the money from my money market account (roughly another $10,000…a little more at this point); and, finally, my mom is gifting us a sum of money that I haven’t disclosed.

We decided to start by shopping mortgage lenders. We’ve hired a realtor and got her recommendation, plus called around to all the local credit unions to ask about mortgage current rates (though none of them keep the loans in-house, they can still offer better deals than most big banks). Note, we haven’t actually hired a lender yet or processed any paperwork. At this point, we’ve just begun the process of shopping different lenders. We’re not letting anyone run our credit, etc., until we’ve decided on a lender, so we’re just comparing generalities (by giving our credit, an estimated loan amount, etc.)

I’m pretty sure we’ve found who we’re going to go with, but I’m still waiting to get my contract for the 2016-2017 academic year so we won’t actually start the paperwork process until I have that in hand to prove my continued income, etc.

Once that occurs, the hunt is ON!!! We’ve already been zeroing in on a couple of neighborhoods/areas that we like and I’m dying to actually get in some houses and look around. Can’t wait!!!

In other news – remember how I mentioned having a friend who lives in Madison (it was one of the reasons I was excited about coming here for my conference)? Well, I totally called it because she had her baby literally in the early morning hours on the day I arrived in town. I’m glad many of you advised me to really make the trip more about WORK than about socialization. I’ve been here 2 full days and have yet to see her. I was going to swing by her house this evening after the conference, but she had just gotten home from the hospital, is nursing a 3rd degree tear (in addition to her infant, har har), and just didn’t feel very well. No hurt feelings – I 100% understand. I should be able to go by tomorrow after the conference. Even if it’s just dropping off dinner and a baby gift, I’ll at least be able to say hi and meet the new baby for a couple minutes. I’m sure other parents can relate to the overwhelming craze that surrounds the first couple of days home from the hospital with one’s first child!!! Just sucks that the timing of the conference worked out like it did because I would’ve loved to spend more time together and take advantage of my kids-free nights! ; )

That being said, I’ve been ultra productive while I’ve been here. In between conference sessions I’ve done tons of grading. In the evenings I’ve been making lessons for my Fall classes, updating syllabi and course calendars, and getting final grades up from my summer classes (ahem, and writing this blog post). I still feel way behind (I think that’s my new normal, which is uncomfortable for someone who is always totally on top of their work), but I’m still treading water and doing better than I have most of the summer so it’s all good.

And, why don’t I just continue (since this post is total stream-of-consciousness at this point anyway. Let’s just go on with it, lol)…. my girls’ first day of preschool was today!!!! It still breaks my heart a little that I wasn’t there, but it’s helped that hubs sent lots of fun pictures of the girls all ready to go and full of smiles in their new classroom. I’m not going to lie though, it hurt when I FaceTimed with them this evening and they asked, “Why didn’t you get us from school, Mom?!” (tear). I’ll be home Friday afternoon in time to pick them up, so that will have to suffice. The GREAT news about the girls starting back to school is that it means I can go back to working full-time (thank god, given that I have both a full-time AND a part-time job. Whew! How have I done it all summer with only part-time care?!). When I return I have exactly 1 week before the Fall semester starts and it is literally jam-packed just about every minute of every day with meetings, To Do’s, workshops, etc. It’s insanity! I’m so very thankful to get some solid dedicated work-time in both this week (at least in the evenings after the conference) and next week (while the kids are in school – YAY!)

Sorry it’s been a hot minute since my last post! I’ll try to be better about it but, you know, life.

What’s one good thing happening in your world right now? When do kids go back to school in your area? Any must-do thing in Madison before I leave? I don’t have much time but could maybe squeeze in a restaurant or something???