Friday, April 30, 2010

University of Dundee

Mike received notification this morning that his application to the University of Dundee was "unsuccessful."  We're actually quite relieved because our hearts are now set on Puerto Rico.  If he had been accepted to Dundee we would've had to make a very difficult decision.  Luckily, our decision, thus far, is being made for us. 

Mike is waiting for one more school to respond, the Edinburgh College of Arts, before we can move full steam ahead towards Puerto Rico.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Giant Thank You!!!

For the last year our best friends, Luis & Alysha, have been managing our townhome in Salt Lake.  Whenever we expected a vacation renter Luis & Alysha would prepare the home for occupancy and be on call in case anything was needed by the renter.  Recently we found out that they were going above and beyond, leaving a bowl of fruit for the renters and a basket of granola bars and snacks for their convenience.
Upon checkout Luis & Alysha would confirm there was no damage or property missing and ready the property for new renters.  They also handled cable installation and a myriad of other details that property management requires.

Recently, in conjunction with other preparations for our move to Scotland or Puerto Rico, we decided to sell our townhome.  Luis was going to sell it for us but he's been busy with his own life.  So, we decided to get a realtor and Luis & Alysha were on hand to interview possible realtors in our absence.  Unfortunately, having only bought the place in Feb 2007, plus with the economic downturn, our property has not appreciated enough to cover both realtor commissions as well as remaining balance on our mortgage.  Thus, we determined hiring a full time property manager, rather than remaining as a vacation rental, would be the next best solution.

Luis & Alysha promptly began interviewing property managers for us.  We found one we liked and signed up with them.  They determined our place would rent faster, with longer leases, if it was unfurnished so Luis & Alysha jumped into action, renting a truck and packing up our place so it would photograph vacant and lease quickly.  They did this all after just returning from a vacation.

We're not sure what we did to deserve such amazing friends but without Luis & Alysha we would be lost.  We have developed a dependency on them that transcends property management.  After all, it is Luis that we are leaning on most heavily in relation to our move to Puerto Rico.  He has family there and has traveled there and is already making inquiries on our behalf.

We hope we have an opportunity to thank Luis & Alysha for all their help in a way that shows how much we appreciate everything they've done for us.  They are amazing people and fantastic friends and we are lucky to have them in our lives.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Puerto Rico

As of this past weekend, we've decided to begin working under the assumption that Mike will not be accepted into any Scotland schools for fall 2010.  He's planning on requesting post-mortems from the schools to determine what he needs to do to strengthen his application for next time but, in order to stay sane, we're moving on.

Mike's plan is to gain another 10-15 college credits during summer quarter, which should satisfy the entry requirements for the MFA program at the University of Edinburgh.  Afterwards, and instead of waiting around for another year here in Seattle, we've decided to move to Puerto Rico where we hope to enjoy some Caribbean weather for a few months before Mike starts school in fall 2011.

Mike plans to apply to the same schools in Scotland for fall 2011.  He's also going to apply at other schools in the UK and Europe and, as a last resort, he'll apply at any schools in the States that have programs that interest him (this will probably include Providence, NYC, Chicago, and Washington DC).

We plan on living in Puerto Rico for less than a year (September 2010 through July/August 2011) but expect it to provide us with some much needed heat and sun.  We also hope to become skilled in Spanish and Mike hopes to learn to surf.

There is still some hope of being accepted into a program in Scotland for fall 2010 but we're actually pretty excited about our Puerto Rico idea.  Perhaps it's because we're finally in control of our future again, or perhaps it's due to the novelty of a different future than what we've been expecting for the last two years, or perhaps it's because we'll be living on an island paradise in the Caribbean?  Regardless, we're no longer treading water but actually moving forward with our lives.  It's both liberating and thrilling to finally have a concrete plan and if this one fails we have no one to blame but ourselves.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Glasgow School of Art

Mike received notification this morning that he was not accepted into the Glasgow School of Art.  This would not be surprising, since we knew how competitive it was going to be, except for the fact that he received notification two weeks ago that he had made it to the final round and was being invited for a phone interview.  This bit of news increased our expectations, allowing us to believe that he actually had a pretty good chance of being accepted.  His interview was a week ago and Mike ended it feeling pretty good about his performance.  Unfortunately, for whatever reason, Mike did not make final cut and we will not be moving to Glasgow this year.

Our hopes for relocating to Scotland this year are now in the hands of only two schools: Edinburgh College of Art and University of Dundee.  Both schools would be amazing opportunities for Mike.  Our fingers are crossed.
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