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First Time Sick Solo


This weekend I came down with some type of terrible illness. Not sure if it’s the flu or what? Saturday I was totally fine. Sunday I started to feel weak and achy. By Sunday night, I had a fever of 102 and I was burning up (but also freezing cold). I could barely move, my head was pounding, and I was so dizzy and disoriented from the fever that I couldn’t even think coherently. I kept “passing out” (for lack of a better term) on the living room couch while the kids – bless their hearts – did their best to play quietly and entertain themselves.

I went to sleep at the same time as the girls (8pm), but just tossed and turned all night long. By morning, I woke up totally soaked – I’d sweated right through my pajamas.

This is my first time to be sick totally solo. It sucks.

Thankfully, the girls’ dad and I are still working amicably together. I texted him that I wasn’t doing well Sunday afternoon and he offered to help, if needed. By middle-of-the-night when it was clear I was NOT going to be able to just “sleep it off” I texted that things had gotten worse. He replied that he’d come get the girls for a few hours during the day today (until he has to go to work this afternoon). It’s only a few hours reprieve, but that’s better than nothing. Thankful for an amicable co-parenting relationship.

That being said, we’ve also had lots of talks about moving forward with the legal separation. I’m not going to comment on it much more while things are still “ongoing”, but I’ll definitely give answers and explanations once things have been agreed to and become legal. My mom thinks it’s the stress of all this “stuff” that has caused my illness. I don’t know. It’s already flu season so it’s hard to tell if I was exposed to something or if my immune system is down due to stress, etc.

Either way – it’s a pretty crappy way to start the Fall Break week! The girls are off school all week and we’d had all kinds of fun free things planned. We had a playdate today (which I had to cancel), another one tomorrow (that I’m hoping we’ll still be able to make). We have plans to go to the library, the Desert Museum (we have a family membership that was gifted by my mom), parks, etc. The weather has FINALLY started to cool down here, so we’re excited to get outside. You know…when I can actually stand again. Ugh!

Wish me a speedy recovery! Luckily, I’d gone grocery shopping on Saturday before the sickness hit, so I’m stocked up on food. Last night (when I was seriously near-death-status), I just heated up a frozen pizza for the girls for dinner. Tonight, I’m hopeful I can rally enough to throw some stuff in the Crock Pot to make soup or stew for dinner. Being sick is the pits. Being sick as a single parent is even worse. Again – so grateful that the kids’ dad is able to help a bit!

I hope you all have a healthy start to the work week!

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?