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Uprooted partners

This is an eleventh-hour Valentine to the husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, children and others who adjust their plans so we may fulfill ours. This is a shout-out to my beloved.

Education has its share of drawbacks. But educators are blessed with a profession that they can fulfill in any community; rural, urban, low-income or affluent, there is a place for you to give back to the world with your skill and knowledge.

Alas, the same is not quite true for someone who is, say, a doctoral student studying civil conflict in the former Soviet Union. Moving to a town along the Mexico border, three hours from the nearest metropolitan city, is not exactly the most pragmatic of career moves.

As I enthusiastically move from one under-resourced rural community to another for my work, it's sometimes easy for me to overlook the fact that while the sunny Rio Grande Valley is a hotbed for education reform, it is not quite the same for my boyfriend's work. Coming down to the Valley with a Masters degree and years of international consulting experience, only to be offered a tick above minimum wage for doing tax preparation, is not something he anticipated. Yet he changed his plans, paused his work, and adjusted his hourly wage demands to be with me, albeit for only a few short months.

As I close this Valentine's Day, I am left to ponder: How do I strike a balance between pursuing my professional passions and uprooting my partner?

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