While we've made some other important decisions since then (cough marriage cough), perhaps nothing is as big as the one we're starting to deal with, and that is what to do for fifth semester. For those who are unfamiliar with the Ross schedule, students are meant to spend sixteen months in Dominica (sounds like a good name for a blog...), four months either in Florida, Michigan, or Dominica, and then another sixteen months doing rotations in a variety of different cities, most likely New York, Chicago, or a few places in California. So for us, we have to soon decide where to spend months 17-20.
Miramar, Florida was always a dark horse for us. Honestly, the only two draws were a higher concentration of Starbucks for Denise, and proximity to the Florida Panthers (plus their four games against the Leafs and six against Winnipeg). Other than that, the rent is astonishingly high (I've heard an average of around 1500 US per month for an apartment), and there doesn't seem to be any academic advantage to going there. We would also probably need to get a car. If anything, the beaches and general infrastructure would likely distract Denise.
Saginaw, Michigan is tempting. Not only because it's mentioned in Simon & Garfunkle's "America", but because it's closer to Canada, it's cold, and it would only be a few hours from Red Wings games. For Denise, there is the ever important proximity of Starbucks, and other deliciousness. The rent is supposed to be much better than in Florida (closer to around 600 US per month). Like in Florida, we'd have to get a car. To be honest, we have no beef with Saginaw, but when we took a step back, Dominica just makes more sense.
|Apparently Canada is now an ocean.|
From an academic perspective, our understanding is that the three locations are pretty much on an even keel, except that in Dominica there are fewer distractions, and the clinical experience is better. In the end, our desire to stay here is based mostly on logistics. We're already here. This may sound like laziness, but I've moved enough times in my life to know that it is stressful, especially internationally, and if it can be avoided it should. Moving from here to Michigan for three months, then to Vancouver for a month, then to God knows where else after that, well it all sounds like a heart attack. If they're all about the same, why not skip a step and avoid the anxiety? Another important aspect is the ability to avoid the US for as along as possible. With respect to my American friends, the longer I can avoid living there, the better. This is partly because dealing with customs, especially as a Canadian spouse who doesn't have any reason to come to the country besides being a husband, is a nightmare. I also only have a right to live in the States for six months in the span of a year, and the longer we can push that back, the more time we can spend together.
|Stop trying to tear us apart, border guy!|
Perhaps the hardest part of all will be deciding what to do with our blog. Do we change it to Twenty Months in Dominica? Four More Months in Dominica? Why am I Still in Dominica?
It's a tough call.
*Disgusting facial hair update: the beard is still going strong (and by strong I mean gross and patchy) and the moustache is coming in nicely (and by nicely I mean gross and pubescent).
|At least it's a patriotic beard.|