I'm Off to College

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Discus: Parents Forum: 2004 Archive - Part 2: I'm Off to College
By Tsdad (Tsdad) on Sunday, September 19, 2004 - 06:40 pm: Edit

Or, why should my son have all the fun?

I have always wanted to work at a college. I spent years in grad school with the idea of becoming an academician. In my position in the Federal government I worked with numerous colleges and visited many. The fun I had in helping my son with his college applications and visiting colleges with him, the discussions on CC, and the current political climate in DC led me to begin applying for college jobs.

Well, it happened. I am retiring from the Office for Civil Rights, US Department of Education, to become an administrator at the University of Wisconsin - Madison in a related field. My wife and I visited Madison several weeks ago and I rented an apartment on a bus route, faculty and staff get free bus passes, within walking distance of a large shopping center, in the west end of town, a block off University Ave, which runs all the way through Madison.

This is my last week as a Fed and I'll start in Madison in October. My spouse is staying in the DC Metro area since sheís not yet eligible for retirement. Thatís the downside and a pretty major one at that. So beginning in several weeks Iíll be living in flyover country with a wife on the east coast and a son on the west coast.

By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Sunday, September 19, 2004 - 06:50 pm: Edit

You have gotten what sounds like an ideal job in an ideal city. I'm dying to hear how you did it. I hope you'll post about your experiences.

Congratulations! Enjoy!

S was in their Engineering Summer Program last summer, and I was very, very impressed by their diversity efforts.

By Tsdad (Tsdad) on Sunday, September 19, 2004 - 07:20 pm: Edit

I saw the job announced in the Chronicle of Higher Education. It was exactly what I wanted since it was an assistant directorship. At my age I didn't want to be the boss although it turns out I'll be supervising three people.G-d, I suppose I'll have to hold meetings. Ugh.

I guess you know that the student union backs up to one of the lakes. When we were there, people were on the decks behind the union cooking out and drinking beer and listening to music and watching the boats on the water. Pretty idyllic.

By Achat (Achat) on Sunday, September 19, 2004 - 07:49 pm: Edit

Congratulations, tsdad! It takes some courage to make such major changes in life and you did it. That is great! I am sure it will work out very well for you and your family. Madison sounds idyllic too. I'd love to be on a college campus as well...and Madison is a great town.

Now you can give us your insider's perspective on colleges and what goes on there..

By Alongfortheride (Alongfortheride) on Sunday, September 19, 2004 - 07:54 pm: Edit

Tsdad, awesome!

By Digmedia (Digmedia) on Sunday, September 19, 2004 - 08:04 pm: Edit

You know that this does NOT mean that you can't continue giving some input to CC. Good luck.


By Marite (Marite) on Sunday, September 19, 2004 - 08:07 pm: Edit


I knew it was in the cards, and I'm really glad that it has become a reality. Madison is a wonderful city (though cold! Brr.... I've visited a couple of times and was struck by how beautiful its setting is and how friendly everyone I met. I also had a couple of great meals. It's in the American heartland but also very cosmopolitan. Congrats! The students will either keep you young or give you more grey hair.

By Clipper (Clipper) on Sunday, September 19, 2004 - 08:11 pm: Edit

Hey congrats! Sounds like a wonderful opportunity.

My H and I will be moving to DC this spring - military move. There were pros and cons of moving but we are used to it. The kids are all gone now so it's no big deal for them. I am sure your son will adjust to where ever you guys are living. We have moved so many times that my kids come back from college to a new town. They get used to it but the only drawback is that they don't have any old friends to hang out with. Doesn't sound like that will be a problem if your wife is still in DC though.

Good luck with your new job.

By Barrons (Barrons) on Sunday, September 19, 2004 - 08:43 pm: Edit

Check out the new Overture Performing Arts Center downtown. Also for good food try L'toile, Tornados, and a Friday fish fry at Quivey's Grove.

Congrats--I am jealous.
For winter sanity try some cross-country skiing and UW basketball/hockey. Find a favorite bar and coffee shop.

By Carolyn (Carolyn) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 01:21 am: Edit

Tsdad, Congratulations! I knew you were thinking of this move, but thought you would be heading to California. Guess Wisconsin's not a bad stop along the way. I just finished reading Po Bronson's book What Should I do With The Rest of My Life? about people who've made major changes with their lives to follow their hearts--you might find it interesting reading! Good luck - hope you will stay on the board. I would miss you if you don't!

By Thedad (Thedad) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 02:03 am: Edit

Congrats, Tsad. An extreme lifestyle change that sounds like a lot of fun.

By Poetsheart (Poetsheart) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 02:31 am: Edit

How very exciting! Congratulations, Tsdad. Your little family will indeed be spread out in the extreme---LOL! I'm sure you'll find a way to make it all work out fine, though. Once you get to be our age, major career shifts are not so prevalent (at least, not those of the desired sort), so you must be feeling invigorated, and excited. I'm happy for you!

By Tsdad (Tsdad) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 08:10 am: Edit

Thank you all.

When they asked me why I wanted the job, I told them it was because it sounded like fun. The real reason was I wanted to be close to a Land's End outlet (actually "inlet") store.

Anxiety is beginning to set in. It's not easy to separate yourself from a person you have been with for over 30 years. Does anyone remember the brown paper bag scene in the Burt Reynolds/Jill Clayburgh/Candice Bergen movie "Starting Over"? If so, you know what I mean about anxiety.

By Marite (Marite) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 08:37 am: Edit


I know an academic couple that have had a commuting marriage for over 30 years, commuting between MA and Ohio. It's hard, but I hope you and your spouse find a way to make it work.

By Kissy (Kissy) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 10:28 am: Edit

Tsdad- Congratulations! Sounds like a wonderful opportunity amidst challenging but workable circumstances. Madison is a great town and Big 10 athletics are awesome!

By Demingy (Demingy) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 12:46 pm: Edit

Congratulations, Tsdad! That sounds really exciting. Please keep us up to date on how everything goes.

By April_Mom04 (April_Mom04) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 12:46 pm: Edit


Wow! It's great to hear about someone making a significant life change, in such a positive direction.

The anxiety will pass once you actually start the job, and find that you really love it! Trust your initial instincts that this is the right thing to do. Don't think of it as a separation, but as an opportunity for personal growth that will benefit both of you.

Good luck!

By Momoffour (Momoffour) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 12:52 pm: Edit

Sounds wonderful. I applaud you for taking the risk.

By Lamom (Lamom) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 08:23 pm: Edit

Congrats. Wow, I've always dreamed of going to a Lands End outlet. Hope you get to see your wife often.

By Mom2003 (Mom2003) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 06:43 am: Edit

Bon Voyage. Madison will be quite a change after Washington DC. But it is such a wonderful campus, you are going to have a great time (although time a trip back to DC in February ... it is going to be cold!)

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