Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Dear Aunt Bloggy . . .

So I was going to do a Tuesday Twelve, and even had prewritten a few items in my head throughout the day (including a witty-yet-scathing commentary on the state of grammar among undergraduates). But instead I'll conduct a poll. Here's the issue:

Several months ago, I started thinking about my summer plans. And I was thinking that I really ought to do something useful with my summer, like get an internship or study a language that I'll need for my fieldwork. So I applied for some stuff, including a grant for a summer language institute.

I got the grant.

Which is . . . Yay! But also, oh. Because in the time between applying for the grant and getting the grant, I went and bought a condo. Or, more specifically, my parents refinanced their own home to buy a condo that I'll be living in (and paying rent, of course).

So now I'm very conflicted. I didn't think that I had much hope of getting the grant, so I had kind of put the idea out of my head. And I was actually looking forward to a few months of not having such an intensive study schedule. I could maybe start on the pile of books that I want to read about my specific interest areas, while enjoying some downtime to fix up my new place, play with Rowen, get back to running, finish up some of the many works-in-progress that are lurking in my craft piles, maybe even pull out one of the many writing projects that have been gathering dust. I would have to have a job, of course. But I'd have a little more flexibility and free time.

And there's the issue of the condo. The language institute isn't in Madison. So I'd either have to find a way to pay two rents this summer (housing at the institute and rent on the condo) or find someone to rent the condo for the summer. I'm still trying to find a subletter for my current apartment. And I really want to be the one to break in the condo. Because it was a renovated conversion, everything is all shiny and new. I want to get to enjoy the shiny newness---not hand it over to someone else.

Plus, I had applied to study one particular language that my own university doesn't offer. I had also indicated an alternate language on the application. The summer institute isn't offering the language I wanted to study, so the grant is for the alternate language. The alternate language is offered during the academic year at my university (and I actually also got the same grant for the academic year to study that language---so big YAY on that!).

So I could turn down the summer grant and just start my language courses in the fall.

But . . . There's always a "but." I'm afraid that if I turn down the grant for this summer, I might hurt my chances of getting funding from this same source in the future. With funding so scarce, I can't afford to alienate any options. And getting a head start on language study would be useful.

Although it's not my first choice for a language, it is a language that would useful for me to learn. And I am planning to study it in the fall. If I started it over the summer, I could maybe actually gain some proficiency before getting into the field.

Plus, I don't have a job lined up for the summer yet. I have a couple of possibilities that have come up (including possible part-time job helping my advisor finish preparing her book manuscript, which I'd actually really love to do because I'm interested in the topic and I love editing), but nothing is firm. The grant is guaranteed funding for my coursework and living expenses for two months.

So I'm not sure what to do. Any advice?


At 7:20 PM , Blogger Bearette24 said...

Without knowing too much about the situation, I'd say you should take the grant. Which language is it, by the way?

At 4:21 PM , Blogger Tressa said...

Well, I am glad to see that you are struggling to make a decision between two great opportunities! Congrats on the grant. And shiny new appliances...

I'd lean toward the grant, but I am really indecisive and will change my mind in five minutes. I'll mull this over for a bit longer...

Yes, yes, what is the language you'd be studying?

Wow, do I hear you about undergrad writing... I have not only been frustrated and flabbergasted, I've also been genuinely angered by the "papers" I've received. I still get pissed when I think about one of them!

At 10:01 PM , Blogger Liz said...

I would probably take the grant, as long as it won't break you financially. Sounds like a great opportunity.

Which option makes you more excited, assuming that all the details get worked out?


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