Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ups and Downs and Ups and Downs

What a week (and it's only Monday)!

I feel like I'm still getting my feet wet. Still figuring out where things are, where to shop, how things get done, how to organize our house, how to fit in all the learning time, how Dean's schedule fits in with it all, how to get the purim things done (and I won't mention the other p word!), and how to stay nice and healthy while fighting off viruses our bodies have probably never met before. So many things on my brain that when the title company that is working on behalf of the sale of our house called me to ask some questions, I had to ask her to repeat nearly every question twice before I understood what she was asking. Good grief. And we're talking simple questions, like "What's the name of the company that holds your mortgage?" Ultimately, the answer was, "I don't know." Ha. Since DH handles the day-to-day finances, and I hadn't had the name floated in front of my eyeballs in quite a long time. I'm sure she thought I was a bit goofy. Of course, at the same time, the granola was burning, Avi's diaper was falling off, Amirah whacked Raizel on the back, and Eli was terribly thirsty. Oh, well!

Saturday night we all started a new round of stomach viruses, B"H of the short-lived variety (again). I was first, then papa and Eli on Sunday night. Eli was up six times, poor guy. Now I have a sore throat. Gevalt. Just the price of moving to a new place. I'll probably really be missing that decade+ of teacher immunity (exponential immunity!) I had built up from northwest bugs. B"H these are little illnesses of short duration. Dean gets it the worst really because it always exacerbates his ability to vigilantly do all he can to guard against migraines. But everyone was back to normal-ish today, though Dean and Eli are still a bit wrung out.

The most distressing news was to discover that Dean's job does not actually offer sick leave. A university that does NOT OFFER SICK LEAVE??? In their benefits, they list vacation time and sick leave. They get twelve vacation days plus two floating holidays, their birthday, St. Patricks Day, and the usual holidays. So 16 days + the OHSU holidays. Just a couple of days less than OHSU gave per year. It turns out that the "sick leave benefit" is that, yes, you can take sick leave and it comes out of your vacation leave. What??!?!?!?!?! Yep. I still can't believe there is a university that essentially does NOT offer actual sick leave to their employees. OY. GEVALT. This is something we hadn't really thought to check the particulars on. But hold that thought...

Another difference is that at OHSU, when there was a Jewish holiday coming up, he could always work Sundays to make up the lost time so he rarely had to actually take vacation time for Jewish holidays, which was a LIFESAVER since there can be a dozen or more Jewish days of observance (more accurate than calling it a holiday - it's not just a party at the beach!) that fall on weekdays. So he still got his work done in 40 hours that week, just spread out a little differently. Plus his Sundays tended to be even more productive because there were no interruptions.

SCAD, however, will not permit him to work out an alternate schedule on those weeks. SCAD will also not permit him to take unpaid leave if it causes him to fall behind on his workload. Thus, he will have to work Sundays to make up the time missed for Jewish days of observance anyway; he just won't be paid for it. Grrrrrrr...

So, the essential question we discussed with each other tonight was, "Would we have moved here anyway knowing all of this that we know now (and more besides)?" The answer is definitely yes. Dean really has a knack for this work, and his skills are going to get more and more developed on this job. He has excellent job security, as they keep losing instructional designers, largely due to overworking their employees. So he's just going to have to work like mad, do his best work, and network with other training and instructional design professionals in Savannah so that as other opportunities come available (possibly even at SCAD after a year in this position) he'll be in a good place to nab the next position, BE"H.

And the other reason we're so glad to be here is that we just plain old like it here. We like our house. We like our Jewish community. We like our shul. We are getting to know new friends, and there are so many lovely families. And it's beautiful. Lots of great outings, and so much to explore. It's a good place for us to be. The kinks at SCAD will work themselves out. We'll get more and more familiar with being here. Everything will sink in. Things feel a bit topsy-turvy, but I suppose that's appropriate for the month of Adar! And I look forward to seeing what Hashem has in mind for us with some of these things that are challenging us right now.

So, tricky things yes, but nothing insurmountable, and nothing that takes away from the overall feeling that we are all so happy to be in SAVANNAH! Good night!

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