North Dakota

As you can see from the title, the state of North Dakota has suddenly been swept into our lives. Sim accepted a position in North Dakota with Western Petroleum Inc., which provides a variety of fuels, oils, and lubricants. I have an idea about the new position but not anything definitive, so details will follow.

Sim arrived in Ray, ND today and will begin work tomorrow. The drive is about 14 hours long, so he’ll likely fly home periodically to visit, rather than taking a train or bus (since the routes are limited and take a long time). The distance will be difficult, but we’ve worked too hard for too many years not to take advantage of this opportunity. Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, like many places in the U.S., have few opportunities for college graduates seeking professional positions that will allow them a decent salary and a chance to gain experience. So for now Sim is going to give it a trial run.

My plans to teach during the 6-week summer term in Washington remain the same. I need to visit my mom this summer anyway, and I really want/need to keep building my work experience. Plus I love WWU and Bellingham 🙂 So the plan is to visit Sim for a week in June and leave the dogs with him, then drive to Washington to work and stay with family. I would then drive back to visit Sim for a couple weeks in August and take the dogs back with me to Iowa for the fall semester. Our plans to visit Tokyo this spring also remain the same, but we’re going to wait to book the trip in case the timing is not realistic for Sim.

Already I miss Sim but am trying to be positive. The fact of the matter is that many, if not most, couples deal with distance while one or both are earning a graduate degree. It’s almost a prerequisite to admission to a PhD program.

Admissions committee: Do you have a long distance relationship that will make your education even MORE painful to survive?

Applicant: Yes. I am a glutton for punishment and misery.

Admissions committee: Good, that will make you stronger. Or contribute to an ulcer, high blood pressure, anxiety, and severe depression. But those symptoms are already commensurate with graduate school, so what’s the difference?


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