Saturday, February 2, 2008 potentia

Since getting in to Wisconsin, besides updating Avram's email approximately every ten seconds to see if any other schools want to let us in, I've been planning and thinking a lot about Wisconsin. Although we don't know any financial information yet, it helps to know that most public schools don't have financial offers as soon as they have academic ones. Besides, Avram found out that he got in only thirteen days after the application deadline, so we're hoping this means that they really, really want him, and want to give him the best University Fellows scholarship they have.

In order to not over stress about this unchangeable situation, I've been constructively planning as much as I can. (Editorial Avram note: It hasn't been that constructive. She spent the last hour looking at potential furniture in Madison on craigslist, leaving me to be stomped on by our daughter Godzilla).

As a summation of this highly productive time (my editorial note: I was looking on craigslist, but it was to get an idea of how much items went for, so I could see how much money to plan out to need to buy furniture once we arrive there, like a bed or dresser....and because I was sucked in by the Internet waste-your-time virus), I shall list off interesting/useful things I've found out about Madison, moving there, and such.

1. To start off, compliments to Avram, Pegasus Game is here, the store which Pegasaurus Games store of Dork Tower fame is based on (John Kovalic lives in Madison). (ARS.- It'll be nice to be near the major conventions, too. Although we'll be closer if I go to OSU, but Madison is plenty close, and, although I think I like Ohio as a state better, I certainly like Madison as a town better than Columbus, not being real keen on big cities. Why did I apply to UC-Berkeley and Johns Hopkins, which is in Baltimore? The world may never know.)

2. Having read the entire Resident's Handbook, I know now far more than I ever needed to about living in Eagle Heights, the online family housing units (part of me wants to live off campus, but it's just cheaper to live on campus). Such as, Eagle Heights is centered in the middle of a nature reserve, next to Lake Mendota that the city of Wisconsin is built around. Or that musical instruments are only allowed to be played for up to two hours a day in apartments. If our neighbor played the French horn, I can understand this rule, but I do feel sorry for poor flautist majors who must always go to campus.

3. For $20 a year I can rent a 25' by 25' garden plot. (ARS.- I wasn't aware that this cost money, but I still think a garden is a good idea.) Because it's in the nature reserve and next to said lake, the community gardens must all be organic, although they do provide manure for our use (I wonder where they get this from?) (ARS.- The Philosophy Department, perhaps?) These community gardens are the oldest in the Nation, founded in 1962. I really want to do this, although I know that I wasn't as dedicated as I could have been with my last garden. But I suppose gardening is a learning process, not just a pass/fail system. And if I can get the same garden year after year, I want to plant raspberry bushes. Yummy!

4. We can move with ABF upack moving for $627 (terminal to door, so from about an hour and a half away from where Avram's from to our apartment in Madison), or for $490 from terminal to terminal (since there is a terminal in Madison, this could be a good option too; we'd just have to rent a day moving truck once in WI). I really like ABF because the thought of having to drive a moving truck for a fourteen hour trip makes me extremely nervous, and would only save us about $50. Plus then we'd need more drivers to come with us, because we'd still have our car to drive out too. (ARS- Also, as most of my wife's readers know, I don't drive so good, and while I am planning on remedying this, still, best to be on the safe side).

5. The Chicago temple is 2 and a half hours away from Madison. (ARS.- Chicago being are closest temple, in case you were confused as to why this is a relevant point).

6. For only $50 I can buy a couch and a love seat off of craigslist in Madison that has only been gently chewed by dogs. Although they tried to fix this with duct tape, so the couches look like they are candidates for the 'ghetto' (meaning my childhood slang term of white-trash). As well one cushion's cover is almost torn off, but they just tuck it in, and no one can ever tell! (Is this supposed to be a selling point?). It's very entertaining what people think things ought to sell for, like these couches, which I wouldn't even take if they paid me money. It provided a good laugh, though. They included pictures, too, which was the best part. (ARS.- This was pretty funny. I mean truly, these couches had been ripped to shreds, and they were asking for money. The other fun one was where the seller was selling a sofa for price X, and said that he had bought if for price Y, and he had the bills to prove it! So you better believe that his price was fair!)

7. Madison has more restaurants per capita than any other city in the U.S. (ARS.- Not that we ever eat out, but, if the stars align, and our friends, the Reeds, come to Wisconsin as well... well, there will be good eating enjoyed by all.)

8. After much searching, I have concluded that we cannot afford to buy a house there. Sad, but true. Some day.

9. (ARS.- Incidentally, I know it isn't particularly important, but the program there is pretty good, too. Michael Fox is one of the world's experts on Proverbs, and on Egyptian connections in the Hebrew Bible. Cynthia Miller isn't as well known, but does some interesting stuff in Hebrew linguistics. Just an aside for the actual reason we are thinking of moving to Wisconsin.)

10. Using an assumed Fellowship as a basis, I've figured out our monthly budget for living there. It's very complete and detailed, although completely up in the air, since we haven't heard a peep about finances yet. (ARS.- My wife not only counts her chicken before they're hatched, she also collates, tabulates, and stands them all in a row before they're hatched. I just want to make sure that all of our readers know that we're not necessarily going to Wisconsin, and we certainly don't have any financial offers yet.) Also, I've figured out our moving budget, setting up budget, and everything else connected with money that I can think of. Although Avram would need to get a part time job (about 10 hours a week, which is allowed with a fellowship), if he did get full funding we could live quite well without getting student loans. And Avram would finally get an allowance, something he's always wanted since we've been married, so that he can save up and buy role-playing books at his leisure.

Overall, I really like Madison as a place to live. I liked living in Wisconsin before, when I lived in Beaver Dam for boarding school at Wayland Academy. I even liked the winters, although they are long and cold, but they have a lot of snow, which is compensating for me (if it's cold anyway, it ought to at least be pretty). And even just in potentia I like living there again.


  1. I guess you get the counting chickens before they hatch from your mother. I'm doing that right now--loitering in my dream house. It's fully furnished with things I don't own and my grandchildren are so happy there. Don says if the Philosophy Department runs out of manure, you can get some from the Sociology Department. It reminds me of the year I gave our neighbor Karen Jackson a bucket of rabbit droppings for Christmas and she appreciated it. How would that look on a list of Christmas presents. We got a good laugh over your craiglist couches. Too funny.

  2. I'm here to say that in my spare time I enjoy looking at houses, pianos, and other furniture items for sale on craigslist in many areas of the states, for no particular reason.

    And I checked Wisc's academic calendar (I was all very confusing) and it said classes start on Sept. 2nd, which, if you move there, makes summer visiting plans a possibility! Samuel and I really miss you and we hope to see you *sometime* this year, if not this summer....

  3. Thora thora thora! How I miss you pookie! I had to laugh at all of Avrams comments in your post. I have always made fun of you and our parents for the way you plan things out ahead of time when they are still not even a done deal. all in good fun mind you. I can just see you planning this very sort of thing when we were younger, and me sitting there inserting my comments about reality and blah blah blah. Maybe you married Avram because he reminds you of me. You know with all of our simularities and what not. he he. And I think that couch on craigs list was our parents old couch. From the discription it sounds about right. we abused the thing so badly. Any way I love you and I miss you.

  4. Who worried about couches? Nine kids can destroy a HOUSE faster than dogs can chew up a sofa! And if Philosophy and Sociology are both down, you can always depend on the Education Department. Though the product may be too rich for vegetables.

  5. cory and i are having a good laugh about this post. we are related in this aspect thora!!

    Cory has been notified of his tentative offers in alabama, new mexico, and arkansas.

    He has not had interviews yet or anything... but i have already spent hours on line looking at the housing markets, schools, etc in all three locations. I even made cory look at my favorite houses ( there are some huge beautiful ones where your backyard is like a forest!!) he laughs at me for picking out dream houses that would be gone already were we to move there anyways! I also have redone our finances three times based on his pay in those three states. And then looked at houses that would be in the budget, seeing if we could afford a bigger car with each of them since we cant fit three carseats in ours right now....

    I also read the 64 page handbook for entering students into the FAA academy in oaklahoma. I also reasearched housing there too... they have all these furnished apartments for the students to live in while there. Cory again thinks i am crazy to read up on things that are not even relavant yet. but i like to..

    Anyways i just love that you are like me in the plan even when you cant mentality.

    I cant wait to hear when you get more news! until then i have to go and check cory's eamil again to see if he got an interview yet.. :)

    I love you thora!! cant wait to see you again!

  6. I've told Matt he's to investigate our possible schools as thoroughly as you do. His only response after his investigation was that we would need Oxford scarves to protect us from the cold.

  7. Thora, I got a good laugh from this post too, and Avram's comments, esp. about the Philosophy department. Sounds like a great little place to live, esp. with a garden! I'm really looking forward to spring, and planting my dream garden in my head already.

    I, too, am a Craigslist junkie, and have unloaded many a piece of junk on an unsuspecting patron. I figure one man's junk is another man's treasure. Maybe those sellers had emotional investments in their couches. However, when getting rid of my junk, I figure if I wouldn't pay money for it, I don't ask for money. I just gave away a couch and chair that we got as hand-me-downs yesterday. Sorry, sad looking things. The woman loved them though, and I gave her the painting and throw blanket that I had that matched them, so she at least got something good. (And as she pulled away, I secretly cackled "sucker!" in my head.)

  8. Well there is a Museum Position open for a director in West Bend Wisconsin so if everyone ends up there perhaps I shall have to follow.

    Congratulations on getting accepted. However I do hope you get many more offers as well. Perhaps something that will bring you back west again.