Monday, May 17, 2010

It's official, we're moving to Iowa

I have accepted a position as a journalism faculty member at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. I know this will come as a surprise to many of you; but some of you already knew about it. Crista and Duncan will be moving to Indianola on July 31. I will be following them on Aug. 20 after finishing up work here.

It's been fun being back in the South, but it's not been without its sorrow. As most of you know, we left northeast Missouri to move back here due to my parents being ill. I got to spend one year with my dad before he died; and my mom died one year after that. Then, last year, my dad's brother passed away. Crista lost a beloved great-aunt during that time, and we've had other family upheaval that's, quite frankly, made our four years in Tennessee a bit more sorrowful and much more stressful than we would have liked; but had we not been here, our lives would have been pretty much impossible. I'm very thankful God provided a job for me here that would support my family and allow us to deal with the needs that were put before us.

However, God has now provided another opportunity. It's not near what we consider home, but it's not all that far from where we called home for nearly 10 years, so it's not unfamiliar to us. I'll be teaching journalism and advising student media at a small, private, Christian liberal arts college. It has a strong program and a strong faculty. The entire college has just 1,500 students, so it will be a very intimate atmosphere; one in which I get to know the students well. I'm looking forward to that.

At the same time, I'm saddened at leaving some students behind with whom I've made strong connections, and I regret not being here to see the MTSU Student Media Center through to completion. However, if everything works out, I'll be leading the development of a similar center at Simpson, which excites me as well.

The move comes at a good time and crossroads for us. Duncan has just crossed over into Boy Scouts, so he's at a good point to shift into a new troop. He should earn his black belt in taekwondo on June 25, completing a three-year journey in that sport. That will provide him the opportunity to step back for a while before deciding whether or not to continue in the discipline, and the black belt will afford him multiple opportunities should he decide to pursue it. He's finishing the fifth grade, and though he would have stayed at the same school here, moving to Indianola means he'll be entering middle school with everyone else, so he'll be no different in that everyone will be new to the school in the sixth grade. We will, however, miss the outstanding gifted education he has received at The Discovery School. I'm pretty certain we'll have to work hard as parents to ensure he continues to be challenged. I've seen nothing to indicate Indianola's gifted program is anywhere near as advanced as what he's had here.

Also, Crista's father is retiring this year, so while we'll be living several hundred miles away, it's not as if his work schedule will dictate if, when or for how long they can visit. I know Dad likes to complain about driving anywhere that takes more than an hour, but as parents are alway fond of telling their children, adversity builds character. It's not as if he's going to have to hurry to get anywhere any longer!

We've made a lot of good friends in Tennessee these past four years, and we're going to hate saying goodbye to them. The goodbye to our church family is going to be especially hard, but also the friends we've made through taekwondo and Scouting will be difficult to leave as well. However, life is all about change, and we'll weather this change as we have all the other change in our lives.

Crista and Duncan will moving up the first of August, and I'll follow on Aug. 20, just in time for Duncan's 12th birthday.

And, of course, I'll continue blogging, Facebooking and tweeting, so I'll be in touch.

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