Sunday, September 02, 2012

PhD--not yet

Mike applied, and was accepted, to get a PhD through the Physics department here at the Air Force Academy.  Being accepted means that he would then apply to a school that offered a program he was interested in and then when he was accepted by the school (hopefully) we would move next summer.  He would go to school for three years and then we would have another three year assignment somewhere, followed by a return to the Academy where he would teach again.  We love it here and would love to come back.  A large part of my reason for wanting to come back is that Laila is buried here and I am not looking forward to leaving her and would love to come back here so we can be close to her again.

Mike's first choice was to apply for a degree from the Mechanical Engineering department, where he currently works, but the chances of being chosen are much lower.  The Physics department had 2 slots and only three applicants, while the Mechanical Engineering department had only 1 slot and six applicants.

When Mike told me he was applying for the degree from the Physics department I felt hesitant and found myself praying that he would not get accepted.  I really have no desire to move this coming summer.  We were only in Ohio for two years and now we would only be here for two years.  I like my house, I love the ward, I have such wonderful friends, etc.  Another big part in my hesitancy to move is that Will has gone to three schools in three years and I hate the idea of moving him right before school starts again and having him go to a fourth school.  I just feel like we are all in a good place and I don't want to mess with it.  I feel as though our family has had a lot of disturbances in less than a year and a half and I'm not ready to make us go through more.

When Mike came home and told me he was accepted I started crying.  I really feel so proud of him and wish that I didn't feel so unhappy about a pending move but I couldn't help crying.  We talked about it and he went in and talked to the head of the Physics department.  After explaining that his wife was having a hard time, Mike asked the head of the department if he would give up his spot this year and go next year.  The head of the department told Mike that he couldn't promise him anything but that the things they liked about Mike this year would be the same things they liked about him next year and made Mike feel encouraged that perhaps he could reapply and get accepted again.  Mike told him that he would need to spend the weekend fasting and praying and would get back to them on Monday with his answer.

We both feel that he should decline the PhD for this year.  It makes me uneasy because if he does not get accepted again from either department, our chances of coming back disappear and I'd rather move a year early and come back than stay this next year and not come back at all.  However, we both feel declining is the right thing to do.  I think we both feel like if we are supposed to come back then Heavenly Father will make it possible for Mike to be selected again or, we will see a different path for our family open up--one that doesn't include living in Colorado Springs or near Laila's grave, but one that will be the best for our family.

Sometimes it is hard to make choices when you can't see the outcome ahead but we both hope this is the right choice.  I really hope that next year there will be enough slots for Phd's available for him to get a degree from one of the departments.  It is something he wants a lot and I really want him to be happy.  I know this must not be an easy decision for him and if he were a single man that he would jump at the chance to move on with his education but I am thankful that he listens to me and my feelings and considers the needs of our family right now and hope that the Lord will bless us for making this decision.  And I especially hope that He will bless Mike for making sacrifices for our family.


lrbodine said...

Even though I haven't seen you in months - I am glad you are not moving! I am grateful that Mike was able to receive answers to prayers and I am sure it will work out. I am going up to visit my moms grave in my hometown in a couple of weeks since my dad is moving out of state and I am having a hard time knowing I won't be able to visit her grave very often anymore. So I have a tiny idea of how you feel in that area - even though I know my mom is not in that spot, I still like visiting it.

Frances said...

So back to Ohio?? Or another school?

Frances said...

I guess even if you did eventually come back to Ohio we wouldn't be here:( Sounds like waiting is a good choice though.

Mike and Adrianne said...

Frances, probably not. Being chosen for a PhD from the Academy means he really could go anywhere that accepted him. From what I understand, AFIT doesn't have any PhD programs that Mike is super interested in. He is considering Pittsburg, North Carolina, Tennessee, and maybe Purdure. We looked at Stanford, where they offer the degree he really wants, but decided it is way too expensive for us to live there.

Lokodi said...

So if he applies for the PhD through the mechanical engineering program, when would you find out and would you have to move? Is it the same type of process as the Physics department?


Mike and Adrianne said...

Lindsey, he already applied for the Mechanical Engineering department. There are four people ahead of him for that one slot. Perhaps next year they will get more slots, which is the hope but the PhD through the Mechanical Engineering department isn't an option this year. He will reapply for it next year and hope he gets a slot and if not, he will reapply for the physics department. Either way we will not be moving next year.

Seth and Natalie said...

I feel so at ease knowing that any big decisions on where our family lives is taken care of . (I hope) moving and leaving Laila would be hard, and I'm glad you're so close to the spirit that you know what to do. Making choices is hard!