Continuing from Part II
I settled into the routine of going to work at the bank everyday. There were aspects of the job I really enjoyed. I loved counting the money, the details of executing transactions, the pride in having a balanced drawer everyday. As the summer arrived, I revisited the idea of finding a band job. I was on the lookout, but again there was nothing open within a reasonable driving distance and the impracticability of having two band directors in the family was driven home once more.
As we grappled with this employability conflict and the reality of a teaching salary, we had a fateful conversation in the car on a long trip. What if I quit looking for a band job? What if since Dave was already employed, I use this flexibility to find a career that would pay more than teaching? What if I went to graduate school? When I had more profitable credentials and we were ready to have children, what if Dave quit teaching school and stayed home? What if I was the one who went out and worked? He did most of the cooking anyway. Wouldn't this work out better?
In Dave's second year at the school, I set out to figure out what exactly it was I wanted to do that would meet our requirements. I enrolled in some business classes at the local community college because that's what you do when you don't know what you want to do. I took accounting, economics, and math. I rediscovered my long dormant love of math which had been frustrated out of me by terrible middle school math teachers. After spending a year in the odd world of community college where some of the easiest classes I have ever taken were treated like we were studying string theory, I decided I needed to make a move.
Although I enjoyed the business classes, I couldn't see myself becoming an accountant. I knew any viable career change would probably require graduate school. I started looking through college websites looking at what options were available. I settled on computer science. Why? I don't really know. I knew it was detail-oriented which I liked. I knew there should be plenty of job market growth in the field. And I knew it should pay well. I called the university, inquired, and was assured that I would not have trouble being accepted into the program and even get an assistantship.
Dave and I discussed our options and plans. We decided that if we were ever going to do anything crazy and brash, now was the time before we were laden with responsibilities. In August 2002, we both submitted our resignations and moved to Knoxville with nothing waiting on us there. No employment, no income, no guarantees.
On to the Grand Finale!