If you are here, you probably know what this is about.

grand rapids

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This blog’s name comes from the fact that we’re going to be living in Grand Rapids, Michigan and that Felix is growing. We hope we’re not. We’d like to stay the same size, or maybe even shrink a bit.

I (C) got a job teaching in the Visual Studies program in the Art Department at Grand Valley State University. After the very long and sometimes discouraging job search, one of my professors suggested that I apply for this job. I had gotten my hopes up about two jobs for which I was a finalist (at Univ. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Georgia College and State Univ.), so I was determined to not set myself up for disappointment again. Both B and I felt pretty discouraged. When I went up to Grand Rapids for the interview, it seemed like a really great place. The department has some very cool things going on and the program I will be teaching in is really pedagogically progressive. And, after living in central Illinois, Michigan looked like the Garden of Eden. It’s beautiful, very green, rolling hills, and cooler than here. Here’s a picture of the city.

Here\'s the city

So, I got the job, which is a Visiting Professorship, renewable for up to three years. They foresee it becoming a tenure-track position, but haven’t secured the funding for that yet. I’ll be teaching Time Studio (time-based art, like video and sound), Interactive Studio (interactive art, like internet art, art using physical computing, maybe interactive performance), and Creative Problem Solving, which “focuses on understanding and making meaning in images and objects in a contemporary context. This will require investigating the contemporary practice of art and design, study in how images and objects work, and the development of basic studio processes and experimentation.” I think all of them will be really good classes to teach. In the fall, I’ll be teaching one section of Time Studio and two sections of Creative Problem Solving. In the spring, it will be one section of Interactive Studio and two of Creative Problem Solving.

The three of us took a trip up to GR early this week. We were terrified of traveling with Felix because he had been crying a lot for many weeks. But he was an angel. He didn’t cry once the whole drive up there, was so good while we were there, and was great on the drive back. Here’s a picture of him and me on the drive back.

The real reason we went up there was to find a place to live. On our first night there, we drove around town and looked at a bunch of the houses that we were scheduled to see the next day. We saw some really scary places in bad neighborhoods. I felt really bad for people who have to live in those neighborhoods because of economic or family situations. We were pretty discouraged, but did see a few places that looked livable. The next day, we saw those places with the landlords, as well as a few others. We saw a duplex in a really nice, quiet neighborhood that we really wanted. The rental agent said that the owner was really selective and that they had already turned down three people who had turned in applications to live there. I had never thought that we might be turned down by a landlord, but this made us a bit nervous. It was a big relief to find out that we were approved and we’re really excited about the place and especially the neighborhood.

The exterior is pretty plain, but the picture shows the big window in the living room. And the bathroom will be our nicest bathroom ever. Those that have been to our house in Urbana will understand us being excited about the bathroom. (We have bad green linoleum and very ugly brush-patterned pink tiles, with a falling-apart shower surround.) These are small things to get excited about, but we are
excited nonetheless. And the street will be the quietest street we’ve ever lived on.

So, this is the life we’ll move to in a few weeks. Next post will be about Felix and our club foot experience.


Written by rapidgrowth

8 July, 2008 at 3:49 am

Posted in AllOfUs

2 Responses

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  1. I am so happy for you guys–Felix looks darling. I would like to say that Jens was the worst baby ever, and look at him now–totally good and cute, except when he is being a destructive whirlwind. But at least he is smart, even if he ruins stuff a lot. Also, we had to deal with a club foot, too 🙂 The casting really stunk. But now his foot is mostly normal. Good luck on the move!


    23 July, 2008 at 5:55 pm

  2. Your blog is nice! Thanks to Alissa for sharing the URL. Your duplex looks like a safe, comfortable place to be. Isn’t it amazing how having a baby makes home so much more important? The bathroom looks extremely civilized; you will appreciate it for a long time to come, until you get used to it. Your job sounds perfect, too. I am really, really happy for you all; I know what a relief this is.

    As we were discussing over the weekend, no one can really prepare you for parenthood, because it’s different for everyone. It is hard; I remember when Jessie was about one, a colleague of Don’s excitedly announced the impending birth of their first child. My first impulse was to send a sympathy card (-; But parenthood changes you in ways you could never change on your own, and the joy is so much greater than the pain. Even Alison, during a 4-puke week will attest to that. Keep up the good work!

    Jenny Thomas

    23 July, 2008 at 9:47 pm

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