I haven’t done a very good job of explaining why we left Houston, so here is the 30 second sound byte version: I loved my job(s) in Houston. Loved them. I worked with awesome staff at both the Elementary school and the private practice. I had the best little kids and really liked going to work. The district I worked for, Houston Independent School District (HISD), is/was MASSIVE. Per the 2009-2010 census there were over 202,000 students in HISD. A large number of students within that 202,000 required speech and language services resulting in the caseloads in Houston getting up above 65. Being responsible for this many students is ridiculous and ultimately leads to crappy quality of treatment and astronomical amounts of paperwork. Very few speech pathologists jump at the opportunity to drown in paperwork and provide crappy therapy to hoards of children, so the district needed a solution. contract speech therapists. I signed on as a contracted therapist that worked for a contracting company instead of directly for the district in August 2010. This meant that while my salary was significantly higher, I had great benefits, 401-K, etc I also was significantly more expendable.
In April, Matt and I had a big talk about what was next for us, and had decided to stay in Houston for one more year and move to California in the Summer of 2012. We found a new apartment, got our dog, and had a plan. Around that same time, HISD did a bunch of reorganizing after looking at the massive budget deficit (side note: there is no income tax in Texas, which causes a myriad of problems that I’d love to get into, but then Matt will remind me that this isn’t a political blog and to cut the sass), and ended up having a plan of their own, which resulted in reorganizing (read: cutting) my job and the jobs of about 110 other contracted speech therapists, occupational therapists, etc. That was enough of a sign for Matt and I, so that is why we packed up our zen-gardened apartment and moved across the country. ROAD TRIP!
To finish up our cross-country trek, 13 months later we decided to stretch out our road trip and see as many people as possible! We stopped in Albuquerque, to stay with Nicole and Dr. Major, my dear friends from Marquette, Phoenix, to stay with my extended family including a stop at this guy’s warehouse, and San Diego to see our good friends Kelly and Cedric (who introduced Matt and I) tie the knot.
Enjoy the condensed slideshow version of Road Trip Adventure Part II!