Thursday, December 31, 2009

Small Update

So my schedule appeared online just before Christmas. Not too bad of a schedule. Wednesdays are light - done by 11am. Thursdays I have a five hour block of nothingness between two classes and Fridays I have to teleport from class to class. The only class that wasn't filled in was that WRIT class that is supposedly mandatory. It just had a TBD/TBA in the time/date/location section. Not a big surprise as they have to read over each one to figure out the stream. I was hoping that at least part of the weekly 3 hours would be slotted into that 5 hour empty block.

I login again today to see if the times have been added for it to find it completely missing from my schedule all together. At this point one of two things have happened: they've screwed up and instead of assigning me to a class they deleted it OR they realized that I'm more than capable of forming complete and coherent sentences and decided I don't need to take the class. We'll see.

Next week I have two different sessions on campus. The first is a returning-to-school-for-old-people session that provides study tips, etc. The second is orientation.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


So I logged into my school account today and lo-and-behold my schedule for next term is in it! Everything is there except for the WRIT class that I had to write the essay on. It's a weird schedule with some ugly gaps. I really hope that my WRIT class finds it way into some of those big gaps so I'm not twiddling my thumbs for 5 hours between classes. I also have to develop the ability to teleport from building to building on Fridays.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A confession

Before I continue on this journey, I must confess that I stole this idea from Jen over at Bachelor of Arg. She started back in the fall. I hope my updates are more frequent than her's. They should be as I'll be full-time and probably have down-time each day up on campus. I'm also thinking that it should be Argh instead of Arg... :-)

A Test? Already?

We rejoin our intrepid hero (that's me!) as he..err...I have completed all the requirements necessary to enter the corridors of higher learning. Let's run down the checklist:
Tuition Paid...check!
Student Card...check!
Test...che - wait. What?!?!

A test. Before I've even started classes. WTF? All students enrolling in my program (as well as a host of others, possibly all programs. Not really sure.) have to take this WRIT test. It's ostensibly a test to determine whether I need to take a basic English class or an advanced English class. Yippee.

So this past Saturday I haul my ass to the college to take this test. We're given 50 minutes to write an essay responding to a paper that we're given. The topic of this paper is a proposal that all first year students take a mandatory alcohol awareness course. This course would need to be completed successfully before the student would be able to begin classes. Our task as testees (heh) was to respond to this assertion by taking a position and backing it up in proper essay form. Needless to say, my argument was against this proposal.

I'm not even sure they really care about my response. I think they're only using it to look for proper essay structure, coherent writing, etc. Either that, or this test is a subversive way of administering a mandatory alcohol awareness program.

So the test is written and NOW I kick back until my orientation the first week of January.

Oh yeah, I just found out that the college instructors may vote to go on strike the 3rd week of January. FML.

Stay tuned - this is bound to get interesting!

Monday, December 14, 2009

The journey begins...

Episode IV - A New Hope

Wait, that's not quite right. I guess this is really Episode 3. I've already taken two runs at University. One immediately after high school and the second one a few years after that. Neither went so well for various reasons.

So this past June I found myself out of work and a stay-at-home dad. Don't get me wrong, being a SAHD is AWESOME! However, it doesn't pay the bills. I decided back in September to go back to school. My previous career was in a call centre and I'm pretty much all call centre-d out. The decision wasn't that easy to make. I'd have to get OSAP (more on that below), get registered, and figure out what the hell to do with the kids. Oh yeah, there was also that whole decision over what program to take. I guess that was probably the first, and most important, thing to do. After that everything will take of itself.

I had it narrowed down to two options. One of the options is something I could do in my sleep but wouldn't, in all likelihood, provide much job satisfaction. The other option is something that I've always been...passionate? No, I think that's too strong of a word...intrigued? Maybe...let's go with it. I've always been intrigued and enjoyed examining. It would require a lot more work on my part though. While the smart money may have been on the cake walk, I pulled the trigger and went for option two. Drafting. Well, Architectural Technology now. The other option was IT but regardless of what they want us to believe it seems the job market is WAY too saturated for IT right now. I have no idea what type of job market I'll be heading into but the way I see it is that it can't be any worse than IT. After I made the decision it kind of struck me why I'd never done this before. Even back in high school I loved my drafting class and on trips to different cities I'd be taking pictures of buildings.

Okay, decision is made. Course is chosen. Now what do I do? Ah yes! Research! Look up what to do next. I head to the college's website and read up on the college and program. I also head to their financial aid section and read up on OSAP. I fill out my application online and send it off. I then need to force some person to head into the dusty archives of my school board so they can track down my transcript from the 80's on exactly how well I did. With that accomplished the only thing to do was sit back and wait to see if I was actually accepted. I joked about getting rejected but in all honesty it would have been pretty humiliating to have gotten in University twice but rejected from College. So I sat. And, as long as you count visiting the College application website twice a day as waiting, waited. Finally the decision is in. Since you're reading this it probably isn't too much of a surprise to you that I got in. It wasn't really too much of a surprise to me either. After all, this is early November at this point and if they still have room in the January start they probably aren't turning someone away that is offering to give them money.

Now the fun begins! OSAP. For those that may read this that aren't from around these parts, OSAP is our provincially funded financial aid for students. Okay, application filled out, again online, and sent off. What the hell did we do before the internet? The system estimates that I'm going to get about $13K to cover school and living expenses. Just need to hand over proof of the kids and proof that I'm living with the baby(s) momma. No sweat. Oh hey, look! An email from OSAP. I'm going to be getting $6000. WTF?!?!?! Breathe. Calmly. Count backwards from ten. Let's figure out what's wrong. Well, first off, they have us as owning 3 cars, not 2. Even though anyone with half a brain can see that mystery car #3 is an error. That probably changes it a bit but no way does a $2000 car make a $7K difference. Maybe it's because they need proof of my offspring before they give child care amounts. No worries, I'm doing that right away anyway. I make the appointment with the College's financial aid people and give them the required proof. Sadly, the option to give them the kids themselves wasn't available. (I kid! Really! Sort of.) I then ask if this is going to change the amount being provided. Nope. It's the car. Well, sort of. It's all three cars. Combined. It appears that they use a different way to value cars than the rest of the world so they bumped up the value of my rides. Apparently this adversely changes the awarded amount dollar-for-dollar! Got the mystery vehicle erased and now have to go and have both vehicles appraised. Not quite as easy as one might think. According to the guy I talked to at the one dealership they only do it for cars that they sell. So two trips to two different dealers to get the vehicles appraised properly. Naturally, one of those dealers was an hour out of town.

Alright, all that's done. New appointment made. Drop off the appraisals. Oh yeah, also drop off the two affidavits we had to have drawn up stating that we really live together. By the end of November we now have all of that taken care of and OSAP is back up to the original $13K they indicated. Final part of the process is paying the tuition for the first term. Did that the end of November as well. Time to kick back and wait until classes start and enjoy the holidays! Right?