I need to make the most difficult decision I've ever had to make (LONG)

Ugh. This probably falls under the category of “gee, I wish I had YOUR problems,” but here goes.

I am a high school physics teacher. I worked in a school in the Boston area for two years (plus a year of student-teaching), and loved it. It is a wonderful school. I left last year to move to California, primarily because I’d lived here (CA) before and loved it, and also because I was, to a certain extent, running away from a failed romance. I had made the decision to move in October of 2003. At the end of last year, another romantic interest came about (as is always the case…), but I had already decided to move and in fact I had a job lined up in Northern California. However, the two of us kept a relatively serious long-distance relationship going, however, we decided that long distance won’t work any more. She works at my previous school.

After a year of working in Northern CA, I decided I really didn’t like my school. On a whim, I asked some other friends from my previous school (in the science department) if there were any physics openings for this upcoming year. There were not. So, I searched around and found a school in San Diego that sounded interesting. I ended up with a job interview in early June, got the job, and accepted it.

Lo and behold, last week one of the physics teachers quit at the Boston school, and I got two e-mails from friends saying, “Apply for the job! We want you back!” I immediately wrote back that it was too late, because I had already told the other school I’d work there. THEN, I got an e-mail from the SO cheerily asking if I was going to apply…this threw me into a tailspin.

So now I have to decide between two jobs. Both have pros, both have cons. The job in Boston is a much better job from a teaching perspective. The job in San Diego has many problems (big classes, I won’t have a classroom of my own, small budget for materials), however it is a place that needs a good physics teacher. Boston is cold in the winter, San Diego is a weather Garden of Eden. San Diego has much better Navy Reserve opportunities (I’m in the reserves). San Diego is a closer move. San Diego pays more money (~$3000/yr). I already have lots of friends in Boston. Boston has my SO, whom I care for very much. If I go back we will give it a shot together, if I go to San Diego, we’ll be finished from a romantic perspective.

I have to make a decision by tomorrow morning (in other words, I have to call up my former department head in Boston and say that I won’t apply for the job. He’s let me know that if I want it, I’ll get it).



My two cents: Boston.

It has always been my opinion that it is better to be with people you know than with people you don’t.

Good luck, whichever you choose.

Gee, you have an opportunity to go back to a school you love to be near the person you love and your big objection is that it is in a region that actually has four seasons instead of the boring drought that perpetually hangs over the Mexican border?


(Yeah, I wish I had your problems.)


Or if they really need you more in SD, go there for that reason. Is that where you can do the most good? How important could this be from the point of view of your SO - do you think they need you, or that it’d be very important for them? If you choose on the basis of where you’re most needed, you’re not likely to regret that - how often do we regret being generous?

Most people regret chances they didn’t take with love more than chances they didn’t take with jobs. The San Diego school isn’t going anywhere, from the sound of it they’re likely to need another teacher in the near future. It’s too bad if the SD school has to find another teacher but it would be more too bad if you missed out on who you might want to be with forever.

Do you want to someday hear that your SO married someone else and wonder the rest of your life if it could have been you?

Have you signed anything with the San Diego school? If not, do as you please. If you’ve signed a contract, you may not be able to pull out. Some school districts are really tough on this, others not so much. It’s worth calling to find out your options.

You’ve hit the nail on the head. This is pretty important to my SO, but she still has some other baggage she needs to deal with too, and despite the pain of us not being together, it might be easier for her to deal with that without me around.

On the other note: I do think the San Diego school needs me more, but the more I think about it, the more I know I will have a hard time enjoying working there. Not having a classroom is a big deal, but not having proper lab equipment is even bigger. The schedule is strange, too. It’s a “block” schedule where there are four 1.5 hour classes per day (teachers teach for three of them, with one as a prep period). A year is squished into one semeseter. One and a half hours every day is a lot of time per class, if you ask me.

I may regret being generous when I get so burned out that I leave teaching. There may be a job in the next few years in Boston, but I can’t be sure of it.



Which school in San Diego?

I haven’t signed a contract, although I have started the preliminary paperwork, and I did get a physical through the school for their insurance coverage. I have given them my word that I’d work for them, and while I realize that things change, I would feel pretty bad about going back on it (but not too bad, because I didn’t realize how tight the budget was, nor that I’d have to share a desk in a miniscule office with another teacher).


So you’re considering giving up teaching at the school you love, which is conveniently located near the woman you love and a bunch of your friends for… $3,000 more a year and nice weather?


(note: elfbabe is moving to a different country in a couple of months for reasons of Love and may be biased.)

Silenus – drop me a private e-mail and I’ll let you know. I’d rather not say on the board. Cheers.


Well, remember that I moved out to California because I like it here. I had a bad experience with the school in Northern California, and I kind of feel like I haven’t given the state a chance. The schools here are so frickin’ underfunded, though, that it pisses me off. I am kind of looking forward to meeting all the people at the school in San Diego.


It is unclear if the SO you mention in the opening thread is the old SO…or the new SO you said you found? If it’s the old SO…are you sure you’re not setting yourself up for a major fall? - Jinx

  1. My high school had block scheduling. It was developed, AFAIK, in San Diego, and filched by my school in Northern California when some of our administrators went there for a conference and heard about it. Since then, most of the high schools in the surrounding area (Sonoma County) have adopted block scheduling. It took a few weeks for the teachers and students to get used to it (it was implemented when I was a sophomore), but after we did, pretty much everyone agreed that it is a far superior system to 6 90 minute classes. We didn’t do a class in a semester though, we alternated days, so you had each class every other day, for the entire year. Besides the obvious longer classes = more time to discuss concepts, it was good preparation for college. After 100 minute classes in high school, 120 minute classes in college were perfectly fine.

  2. I’d go back to Boston if I were you. Sounds like a better situation for you.

Good luck!

Sorry for the confusion. The new SO is the one I’d be with if I returned. The old SO wasn’t even an SO (just a romantic interest that got too serious when it shouldn’t have), and she is out of the picture entirely.


Since nobody else has come into this thread as a snarky son of a bitch, let me try to fill the void.

I’d say this SO isn’t very S, or your question would answer itself and you’d have already called Boston to inform them that you are coming back.

Maybe SD has single women that will interest you more. Think about it.

No, you’re right. Maybe she isn’t the Right One. I don’t know yet, and neither does she. If I put the relationship aside (which is damn hard to do), I still have a hard time deciding between jobs.


You mentioned that the San Diego job pays more per year. Is the amount significant relative to the different costs of living between Northern CA and Boston? How much significance is it to you personally? Personally, I think it will be difficult to deal with the teaching situation in the San Diego job. There are other good physics teachers out there looking for work. They won’t go long with a vacancy. Think of all the reasons you left Boston to begin with. Are they still factors in your life? Will you be happy staying in Boston, or longing for CA if the relationship doesn’t work out?

Goodness, what is the choice? Being with a woman you care about or taking more money to live a continent away? Go to Boston. But show some independence and become a Yankees fan.

I’m about half with this opinion. The SO probably shouldn’t be the significant variable here, but I differ in thinking that Boston is still the best move based on the employment conditions you’ve mentioned.

On the contrary, I think it would be very easy to regret doing something charitable if that had a negative permanent impact on the quality of your life. It’s a sacrifice I most certainly wouldn’t be able to make. But then, perhaps you’re a better person than I :wink: