My aforementioned assistantship dilemma has been resolved. Here’s how it all played out…
I currently have a pretty decent gig in a lab that pays a monthly stipend (that-strangely-equals my take home pay from when I worked full time) and tuition. It isn’t super exciting, but hey, it pays the bills and doesn’t require a lot of work on my part. I decided I wanted to branch out and apply for a teaching assistantship for next year, so that I could get at least 1 year of teaching experience. Given the funding situation, the people in the department asked me if I could do a split assistantship where half of it comes from my current gig and half comes from teaching a section of a course. No problem.
Then, I get presented with an opportunity (one might say ‘an offer [I] can’t refuse’) to work with an academic mentoring program where there is A LOT of potential for research, personal growth, curriculum development, and even a dissertation topic. So then, I had a decision to make, and quickly.
Ultimately, after talking it over with a few people, I have decided to take this new opportunity and keep my current gig (officially 10 hours a week for each job). I will then drop the lab gig after next year and split my time between the mentoring program and teaching a section of an undergrad class in my department. Hopefully this will make me a more marketable job candidate (and a better person, to boot).