I have housing! HALLELUJAH!

Pardon me while I jump up and down shouting in glee.

Some background: about two and a half months ago, my academic supervisor accepted a job offer at another university, Princeton to be specific. As part of the offer his current graduate students, myself included, got to go with him to finish up our degrees. The good news: it’s Princeton, an incredibly distinguished university with an equally distinguished math department. The bad news: accepting this offer meant transferring to another school and moving across the continent in a few short months. In particular, it meant finding an apartment for myself and my wife.

I hate apartment-hunting. But I can recognize Hobson’s choice when I see it, so last week I flew out to New Jersey to spend two and a half frantic days searching for a place. One of the things I did was put my name on the waiting list for the various married student apartments on-campus, but I thought that would be a futile gesture. After all, Princeton University has a bit of a housing shortage and most of the applicants got on the list in January, or in some cases in November of last year. Nevertheless, the nice people there told me to call back Monday just to double-check. I smiled and nodded, then went back outside to continue the desperate search for off-campus housing in the most expensive housing market I’ve ever had to live in.

I eventually did find something: a nice condo for rent in Lawrenceville, about three or four miles south of Princeton, just within my price range. Since I don’t own a car being that far from campus was a little problematic, but given the abysmal luck I’d had finding anything closer I decided I could grin and bear it. I put in an application to rent the condo.

But today, just to make the gesture, I called the housing office. I got in. I actually got an apartment on-campus. I think I nearly exploded from shock and relief.

The real estate agent who showed me the condo was very understanding and even congratulatory, which says a lot. I’m thinking of sending her a thank-you gift anyway. I’m definitely sending a thank-you gift to the people at the campus housing office. Right after I get down from my current state of euphoria, which should only take a few days.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I need to perform a few backflips, possibly while shouting “Yabba Dabba Doo” at passers-by.

Before I congrat you on the housing how about if I congratulate you on the change of universities. I am sure you have not thought about how good Princeton will look on your resume ;). Is your wife excited about the move? Are the two of you looking forward to decorating the dorm in “college student poor deco” style?

So how long before you get the degree?

His wife certainly is. I can think of nothing finer at the moment than quitting my job and moving to the other coast. To be an hour’s train ride from some of the largest publishing houses in the world. Sigh.

As for decorating, we both outgrew that style many years ago. We’ve moved up slightly to “not-quite-poverty-line with good taste deco”.

Two more years. Then I’m freeeeeee…