So Zach and I got back last night from visiting New Hampshire and attending Tuck's Admitted Students Weekend. The trip was exhausting and pretty amazing. The ASW was scheduled for Friday and Saturday, but we figured we'd make the most of the long flight and add a day or two to the trip to try to explore the area a little. And, thankfully, my mom was able to fly here to watch the kiddoes while we were away (so very grateful for her flexible work schedule and cheap flight discoveries!).
We booked a direct flight from SFO to Boston, so on Tuesday afternoon I took the train towards the city to meet up with Zach which meant I could join him for his usual Tuesday night swing dance thing. I think he was glad to finally get to introduce his friends there to his wife, and show that I really do exist. ; ) We spent the night in the city, then flew out Wednesday morning. The flight was long, but even a long, cramped flight feels positively luxurious when you're used to flying with young kids. We arrived in Boston around dinner time, and talked briefly about going into the city to see some sights... and in the end decided on eating at the hotel restaurant and watching Mad Men in our room afterwards. Boring, I know, but again when you're a parent to young kids sometimes just doing nothing feels like a great vacation. It was so nice for us to just get to spend quiet time together, not worrying about when Quinn would wake up or who would get up with them in the morning.
On Thursday we drove to Manchester, NH (about halfway between Boston & Hanover) for a work meeting Zach had set up, then Friday finished our drive in to Hanover to meet up with Terry and Kate (old friends from college, and our hosts for the weekend).
The weather forecast all week long has predicted rain and cold for the weekend (oh, and apparently the last few years it's snowed on ASW). Thankfully, it turned out to be gorgeously sunny and warm all day Friday and most of Saturday, which allowed us to fully appreciate how beautiful the Dartmouth/Tuck campus is. Over those two days we attended several talks and panel discussions, many geared towards the students but also several for "Tuck Partners" (aka TPs, aka spouses & significant others of the students). While listening to the dean give his talk on Friday, about the program and the accomplishments of so many Tuck alumni, I felt a rush of pride for Zach, for getting into this prestigious school (at the same time, I honestly was not very surprised when he got accepted. Perhaps I'm biased, but I kinda think my husband is a badass). We'd both heard a lot about how close-knit the Tuck community is, and after the past weekend I think I believe the hype. The school itself is very small, I think 500 students in all, and Hanover in a tiny town (10,000 people). It seems like a place where collaboration and cooperation are highly valued, and where faculty and staff are very accessible to the students and make them their top priority. I also felt how inclusive the program and community are towards the partners and children of the students, something that I guess is pretty unique among MBA programs.
Everyone we met and talked to, both present and incoming students, were nice, open, and so very excited about being there. I swear, I thought Longhorns had a lot of school spirit but I think the Tuckies might have them beat. I've been feeling very nervous and apprehensive about this move and going back to school-- the cost, the hassle of moving, leaving our current support network, and hearing how busy Zach will be his first year could turn my stomach up in knots. But this weekend helped solidify with me that this was the right decision, and that while it will probably be stressful and intense and very difficult at times, I think the next two years will also be pretty incredibly amazing.
Another thing I realized during ASW is how many opportunities we will have as a family, and how they will be unique to this particular period in time-- I doubt we will ever again live in New England (heh, I say that now, knowing that we can make our plans and then life decides to do what it wants with them so who knows). So I want to sit down and make a Tuck To-Do list, like taking advantage of the (surprisingly many) many local activities for kids, and traveling (Boston, New York, and Montreal are all pretty darn close). Also, TPs can audit almost any class not only at Tuck but all of Dartmouth, for free, something I will definitely be exploring once we've settled in a bit.
Suddenly it feels so close. Depending on housing details (still trying to figure those out, I alternate between feeling extremely annoyed by this and a calm acceptance that things will work out-- thinking of how frustratingly long it took us to find out current home here in Sac, which turned out to be a much better fit than anything else we'd looked at before), we will be moving in just over 2 months. I'm dreading the move itself, but am feeling more and more excited about being there.