Two weeks ago, Chris received the best possible news about his career; news that we've been anticipating for six years. Chris has been promoted from assistant to associate professor and granted TENURE!
It feels like we've been talking about tenure for six years, since Chris started his job as a tenure-track professor, and discussing the possible outcomes. It's an understatement to say that it is a huge relief to have the decision behind us and for it to have been the best news. We both took last Wednesday off of work to bask in the awesomeness and go on another day date.
Many people don't realize what a significant achievement that receiving tenure at a university is. I had no idea how the process worked until Chris took his position as a tenure-track professor and explained it to me. Professors typically go up for tenure after they have been at a university for six years. In Chris's case, he submitted his tenure packet last summer, just after Dash was born, and we've been waiting all year for his school and college to evaluate his packet and then for the provost and president of the university to make the final decision.
If Chris has not been granted tenure he would have received a terminal contract and would have had to leave the university at the end of the next academic year. There is no option to be re-evaluated or to be assigned to a different position in the university, such as in administration. You have to leave the university; it's that serious. We both felt confident that he would get tenure but it's such a significant and life-changing decision that you just can't count on it until you hear it directly. When Chris called me to tell me that he had been tenured I was at work. He said, "Well, I'm tenured!" I was so happy I started crying.
With tenure, Chris has a guaranteed job for life. This means incredible stability and peace of mind for our family. I'm bursting with pride at all the hard work that Chris has put in over the years to achieve this, even while being a great husband and amazing father and always making sure that Dashiell and I know we are his priority. A day date to celebrate was certainly in order.
To start our day, Chris actually had a work commitment in the morning so met up at Song Bird Coffee in downtown Phoenix afterwards to plan our day. From there, we had lunch and desert at Pane Bianco (nom nom nom; also the BEST rice pudding) while playing farkel and then went to the Arizona Science Center!
It was our first time to really explore the Science Center and we had so much fun. We learned about constellations in a planetarium show, watched a 3-D printer at work, competed in a tug-of-war (Chris won but only because a kid jumped in to help him!), laid on a bed of nails (it was scary but only slightly uncomfortable!), learned about "forces of nature" which included some very real effects, and chatted for a long time with an amateur radio operator. I purposefully didn't Instagram or Facebook anything and I felt so light not paying attention to my phone.
It was a wonderful feeling to be with Chris and to keep remembering that the tenure decision is done and that the outcome was the best. Also, day dates are my favorite.
Happy tenure, Chris, I'm so proud of you! Let's never talk about tenure again! ;)