Tuesday, April 22, 2008


One of the regular questions I've gotten about my decision to return to the private sector is why I would leave so much leave time behind. My reply has invariably been that my role at the university did not allow me to take the kind of leave time teaching faculty can take. Summer is a prime example of this issue.

Since Banana started school last year, I've had to think through what she would do for those absurd ten weeks that we still protect from the old harvest-based school schedule. Last year's alternative involved her spending big chunks of time with Banana mére and some healthy chunks of time at my office. This year, I am determined to put her in a summer program of some sort, but even with my slightly elevated income, schedules and cost are going to remain issues.

At this point, my alternatives include the following:
  • Several sessions of camp through the JCC (between $1500 and $2000), the Y (between $1200 and $1600), or a local school (between $1000 and $1600).
  • Various sessions with various camps (see above for cost estimates)
  • Joining with a couple other parents to hire someone to entertain the children at home, parks, museums, and the pool (approx $2,800 broken down between the families)

They're all fine alternatives, but each one comes with certain advantages or disadvantages. And they all jog my money anxieties. Furthermore, I see the pitfalls of each when it comes to scheduling a trip to Maine or Banana's time with her mom.

Why is it that this matter seems far more complicated than it should be? These are the moments I wish someone would just lay it out and make the decision for me. Tell me where to be and when to be there.