Thursday, December 15, 2011

University of Utah or Duke?

This is more for journaling purposes, but you're welcome to peer into and respond to my musings:
So we were going off of incomplete info earlier, if you saw the FB/G+ posts.  It turns out that the U of U is also 2 years, not 3, so it doesn't make a big difference with finishing time to go to the U of U or Duke.  That cuts out one of the largest advantages Duke had over the U. 
The quick back story:  I'm applying for a Nursing Informatics Master's program.  So far, I've applied for the U of U and Duke, just because their deadlines came first.  Duke accepted me this week.  They also had 2 scholarships for full-tuition + stipend, which I applied for, and was one person away from getting.  If one of the other two drop out, I get it -- but honestly -- why would they do that?  I wouldn't.  As for the U of U, their applications aren't even due until January 15th, so I need to respond to Duke long before the U even looks at my application.  The U of U is $20K.  Duke is $50K, minus a $10K scholarship they're offering = $40K.
Duke Pros
U of U Pros
[A big pro for Duke] Duke is guaranteed acceptance -- I already know I'm in, whereas I don't have any guarantee from the U about that yet (although we think we have a decent shot at it).  If I say 'No' to Duke, and the U says 'No' to me, then I'm paying lots of money and wasting lots of time for a not-as-notable-as-it-could-have-been-for-the-buck school.

Duke is apparently a whole lot more "prestigious" than I was aware of when I applied, which may have some benefit in getting a job?  Maybe?  Although I'm not sure it's $20,000 worth of benefit...  Then again, I'm the one who had to look up Duke when I applied to see if it was a respectable, well-known, established school.  That shows you what I know about it.  Will I be able to get a job with the U of U?  Oh yeah.  Will there be any reasonable advantage Duke has over the U there?  I doubt it.

Duke starts in January (done a little sooner)

[A big pro for U of U] $20,000 less than Duke.  Duke is $40K.  The U of U is half the price.  I could buy 2 good cars with that money.  Or lots of skittles.

I imagine that the U already has connections with local companies/sites and might be able to better organize and place "internship" type opportunities, although I doubt Duke would have much problem with getting placements in places.

If I plan on the U, and one of the 2 people that got the Duke scholarships drops out (which won't happen), then I get the scholarship and can go back to Duke and not pay for it!.

I already know that I like the U of U.

Katie and I have been trying to weigh the pros and cons of each.  It boils down to this:  It definitely makes the most logical sense to hold out for the U of U.  My biggest fear, of course, is that if they say 'no,' we get to delay school for that much more and probably pay lots of cash for school that I could have been putting toward Duke. 

And we've got a few days left to decide. 

Someone tell me what to do.  Thanks.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


On Thanksgiving Day at Aunt Annie's

We've all been wearing holes in a some items lately:

Lindy - holes in her gums... 2 new teeth!

They're more pronounced now... you can just barely see them in the picture.

...and holes in the carpet.

Brett - holes in socks... Brett has a sock philosophy which I like. "Buy all the same socks, don't worry about matching them after they're washed... just grab 2 in the morning, and you're good to go." This has worked well, but all the socks that he bought at the beginning of this regime several years ago, have finally decided to disintegrate. At approximately the same time, all of Brett's socks started getting holes in them, one after another. Time for new socks.

[There may or may not have been
some hole exaggeration in this picture]

Katie - holes in hair elastics, I've broken a handful of these in the last month... obese hair strikes again! Time for severe punishment on the offending hairs.

Add to this a major hole in our savings account as we prep to buy a home and for Brett to start grad school and I'd say we're pretty holey people saying "Happy Holeydays!"

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Katie says she hates money. I was wanting more of it. Hm...

[If you haven't joined already, you should]

I applied to 2 Nursing Informatics programs today -- the U of U and Duke. Feeling good about it, but still a little anxious.  I of course just want to know right *NOW*.  Now we just wait (and apply for a few more in the meantime, just in case).  I am very excited for the program though and the jobs out there.  

Katie and I were talking, and beings that a majority of the Nursing Informatics programs out there are distance-education, that gives us the freedom to stay living here, or wherever we want.  The U of U isn't online, but hey ... we live here, so it works too.  So . . . we're now officially open to the possibility of moving into a more permanent living situation!

I knew I wasn't going to make as much as I could be making while working at a hospital, but I'm also very glad for the ICU experience, and I love my job. Because of the opportunities my job gives me, I wouldn't change anything I've done.  I'm very glad to be where I am.  

Still, part of the opportunity cost there is the income.  We rattled through our budget and monthly income vs. outputs.  Of course, I wish it looked prettier, but it is what it is.  Sure, we can probably make some lifestyle adjustments and get a few more bucks, but that won't double our income.  I also don't want to buy a house based on what we *could* make after I graduate.  That sounds like not-smart.

So our million dollar house and yacht are out.  Sorry folks.  In the meantime, we'll look for something more conservative, but still try to stick 'round here.  We've got our money stats all laid out on a neat little spreadsheet, but still, we don't know what we can reasonably afford.

We need a financial counselor -- you know -- one that we don't have to pay.  

And a flying pig. (Hey, bacon flies right?)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It's been a good week!

Despite my being stressed over "The Child," this past week was really quite enjoyable. Brett was able to be home several mornings to watch the kiddo while I went to do a few errands and other fun things just for me. He's the best husband/dad ever (I know, I'm biased).

Waaaay back in July, Brett found a coupon on KSL for a massage at a chiropractic office up in Salt Lake for a pretty awesome deal. It was around our anniversary, and I hinted that I've always kinda wanted to get a professional massage, but thought it might be too "weird." But he bought it for me anyway. I finally redeemed it last Tuesday. Indeed it was a little "weird," but after chatting with my massage therapist for a bit, and relaxing on a toasty heated bed with fresh-from-the-dryer warm sheets, it was actually very nice. My neck hurt pretty badly during the massage, but it was my back afterwards that ended up completely sore from being worked on. That I became sore afterwards just helped solidify in my mind that the massage actually was doing something, working all those knots out!
This is not my bag of stuff, but you get the idea...
Then on Wednesday I had the chance to hop over to a "Busy Bag" exchange that my friend, Kristin another former teacher at Fort Herriman Middle, set up. I made 27 sets of 2 different activities and then got 25 additional activities from other people. I didn't know anyone else but Kristin, but it was still fun to get out and see her and her baby boy for a minute and then get a bunch of fun activities. I'm excited for when Lindy is big enough to actually use them.

This was back in high school... my hair is not that cute, and I'm not that skinny at the moment.
Thursday night I auditioned for the Timpanogos Symphony Orchestra, a local orchestra that's getting some very nice reviews. I contacted the conductor a few weeks ago, just wondering if they happened to have any French horn openings, which they happened to have. They have 4 horns, but one can't come every other week because of work, and they want to have 5 just to alternate parts here and there. So I practiced pretty hard for 2 weeks. My face is still out of shape (I last played the tenor horn for UPB 2 years ago, and haven't played the French horn seriously for a few years before that), and my fingers were slow and confused (tenor horn and French horn have different fingerings). But I picked some songs that I remembered and got them sounding passable. The slow song was sounding pretty good at home, but the fast one was needing work right up until the audition. But lo and behold, auditions always go the exact opposite of what you expect. The adrenaline apparently helped me on the fast one, which I thought sounded better than any time I had practiced it. But my nervous lip did not help the long soft notes on the other song sound very good, and it made me hit all sorts of other notes while slurring... oh well... apparently it was good enough! I got in! I'll start going to rehearsals in December for their concert in February. I'm excited to be playing again, and with such a great sounding group (although I admit it will not be as fun as playing with Sonja, Dave, or my high school pals Sylvia, Wendy, Ryan, Holly, Andrea, Jared, Jason, Brendi, etc.).

Friday I got to go out to lunch with another teacher friend, Amy which was fun as usual. I miss teaching. There's something I miss about hanging out at school with my buddies, molding young minds (I'm a biologist, so take that how you want to), and learning something new about how to teach or about science. I'm glad that we were able to get together.

On Saturday, my Mom watched Lindy while Brett and I went to the temple. We haven't been much since she's been born, so it was a welcome reprieve.

Sunday was Stake Conference which means one less hour at church! Don't get me wrong, I love church, but it's nice to have a little break once in a while, especially when you're trying to get a baby to nap at the right times.

My brother is the cool one... Molar Man!
Then Monday we went up to the special bakery store that we go to in order to get the best "dipping chocolate" that my family uses for our homemade candies at this "most wonderful time of the year." And then came home via the "Dontist" - my brother Don is our dentist... and we came away without any cavities! He works at a technically "pediatric" dentist office, but makes exceptions for family :) Even Lindy had a good time, and got a cool infant toothbrush thing (maybe it will be an incentive for her to actually pop out some teeth).

And during all this busyness, Lindy learned how to roll from front to back - something we've been working on for a month or so now - yay!!! (Sorry the movie is so grainy... apparently I don't know how to export clips.)