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Browsing posts in: Life Experiences

Meanwhile at work….


…I’m kicking ass and taking names.

Isn’t it so funny how things sometimes work – my life is falling to shit in one area, but at least another area is alive and thriving!

I’m so grateful to have a job where I feel so much personal fulfillment, I’m fairly compensated, I have a flexible schedule, I have great colleagues-turned-friends. I mean, just all around I like what I do, I’m good at it, and it feels meaningful and rewarding.

Good thing I like it so much, because I’ve been doing a lot more of it, too!

I was recently awarded this “Fellowship” thing.

That’s how I describe it to people because it feels so pretentious otherwise, lol.

Long story short, I got a high-ranking administrator to agree to fund a program I’ve designed (and will oversee), and he decided I needed a title to make it official so I’m a “fellow” now. 🙂

The problem is…..I’m not actually going to earn any more money for it. The administrator’s office will be paying for course releases (1 Fall, 1 Spring) so I have time to dedicate to the program, and the office will also pay for the direct costs related to the program as well. But I didn’t actually ask for any additional income for myself. I don’t even know how I’d approach that.

The thing is, I’m still an “early career” faculty member. And I’ve never had a real, true mentor. I mean, I had advisors in graduate school: people who I worked with on research and whatnot. But no one has ever been a more general “career guide” to help me in things like negotiations or making big decisions, etc. I’ve always just flown solo on that (and I feel like I’ve done pretty well, but it’d be nice to have a sounding board or someone with more life and institutional knowledge to help me out sometimes).

Sooooooo, I’ve committed to oversee and run this program for the 2018-2019 academic year. But if the program gets renewed for another year….I want to ask for more money, right? The weird thing is that I don’t think it can be salary. My salary is paid by my home department and this project is for another unit on campus. So my direct boss (my department head) isn’t going to give me a raise for work I’m doing for another unit. I think it’d have to be “supplemental compensation” or something???

Here’s the deal. I don’t even know! And I don’t have anyone to ask.

Right now I’m just crowdsourcing opinions from the BAD community. Anyone with higher ed experience? Maybe doesn’t even have to be higher ed experience. Just some better skill and know-how when it comes to negotiations and such. Is this a “thing” at public universities? And what would I even ask for? I already got course-release time. Would I continue that AND ask for more money? Should I ask my departments’ business manager?? Like, I literally don’t even know where to start. Any advice?

Homecoming – Dresses and Khakis


We are experiencing lots of firsts this fall with our continued public school adventure. And over the next two weeks, both Princess and Gymnast will attend their first Homecoming dances. You probably noticed the ?? in my anticipated spending for this week.

Both of them must purchase their own tickets and if Princess does go to the game, she will purchase her own ticket to that as well. But I committed to purchasing their clothes. For Princess that means a “party” dress and for Gymnast it’s just a pair of khaki shorts or pants.

Shopping Fun

This is a first for us. And Princess and I made a night of the shopping excursion. We, along with a friend who stays with us a lot, took the night and headed over to Kohl’s where she had seen a dress online for right at $40 that she liked. Little did we know that they do not carry these types of dresses in store. Ad frankly, I was hesitant to purchase anything online especially not being sure of sizes.

It was disheartening at first, especially when the salesperson insisted that even department stores do not have “party” dress sections anymore. But we decided to tough it out and headed to the mall. Dillard’s for the save!

The girls spent 2 hours trying on dresses. They tried on everything from long, glittery formal gowns to hobo type flower girl dresses. For my tomboy daughter and me who always chooses comfort over style, it was a new experience. And it was a lot of fun! (And hey, I got over 3,000 steps in just exchanging sizes for them.)

Princess trie on dresses

Princess & friend trying on dresses at Dillards. This is not the dress the got.

It was free, it was fun and I took a ton of pictures. And we laughed ALOT. And did I mention that Princess had insisted that she only wanted a dress as she had every intention of wearing her all white Jordan’s (a gift from her dad this summer) as her shoes. Thankfully, we were able to change her mind on that.)

White and Silver Metallic Jordans

The shoes she planned to wear with her dress. Thankfully we talked her out of it.

She ended up getting a dress she LOVES! And a pair of cream colored Converse shoes with big bow shoes laces to go with it. And what’s even better is that everything was on sale!!! The shoes were 50% off and the dress was 45% off. All in all, we spent right at $100.

Re-wear Dresses?

To be honest, I don’t know if she will re-wear the dress. I remember when I was in high school, we did not re-wear our dresses, but we did swap with friends the next year. But if she does happen to go to any Christmas parties, the style and coloring will work.

But she can definitely re-wear the shoes – over and over. And since her feet are done growing, they will be a good addition to her long term footwear.

Boys are Easier

When I asked Gymnast about his plans, he said “I just want to go to Wal-mart and get a pair of khaki shorts or maybe pants. I really want pants.”

My response, “Done! We will go tomorrow.” I don’t anticipate his pants will cost me more than $20 especially since he can still wear boy sizes.

All in all, I am pleased with their choices and plans. And SO GRATEFUL that I had the resources to be able to have these shopping experiences. I/We do not take them for granted for even one second. They both know that every dance will not be like this, but I’m glad their first school dance will be special.

I know Princess must attend at least one more dance this, the Winter Formal and will require a formal gown for it. It is a requirement of her Anchor Society membership.

Parents of daughters, how did you handle the dress needs of your girls as they were going through high school? And what did you do with the dress(es) afterwards? In VA, there were tons of consignment shops…here, not so much.