Tuesday, January 31, 2006

a gift from a school board

At first we thought it might be a yoyo.
Then i unrolled the "rope" part, and saw this alligator clip thingy on the end.
the rope part is bendable and pretty solid.
It does attach to stuff with the handy alligator clip...

Not sure what it is...
Jeremy just laughs.
Nobody else who got one of these knows what it's for either.

Monday, January 30, 2006

"J is for ... BUS!"

wow. Kindergarten kids are SO cute.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

notes from another sunday night

well yet another weekend has passed by without any major excitement... It's amazing how easy it is for me to find other things to do rather than work on my resume, cover letter, portfolio, and school assignments. I busied myself cleaning the apartment (which still is cluttered and messy, but that's nothing new), went on several grocery missions and managed to make a hell of a yummy dinner - honey garlic baby back rrriiiiibs. mmmmm
So I now sit on my bed when I should be getting ready to sleep, trying to type out notes for another group work, open book quiz that my university apparently believes is a useful way to test a person's knowledge. how boring. funny though - haven't bought the textbook yet - i have several like this one and just couldn't bring myself to spend another $100 on something that would benefit this school.
seriously check this out:

tuition: $5400
books & expenses (gas, supplies, etc): $2000
laptop: $2000
rent for 8 months: $5200
applications to school boards on applytoteach.ca: $10.65 PER board = about $150
union fee (OTF): $237
certification fee: $300
police check (which I have already done once this year and came out fine): $27
graduation fee: $45
overall cost of getting a teaching certificate from an Ontario university: about $15,000

realizing that you still haven't added in the cost of groceries to this bill: priceless
well this might not be priceless to anybody reading this - but i'm sure the look on my face as I added up this total tonight would have been.

This week my financial situation eased up a little and I was approved for an upgrade on my line of credit. Unfortunately the price of this means that my father is now a cosigner. I understand that the bank doesn't want to give a non-working student (abeit with great credit) a $30,000 educational line of credit. I'm just glad to get it. This means that I can finish school without worrying about running out of money. Problem is, this also means that I will be even MORE in debt later. Paying for two people to live is starting to really get pricey...

Now I realize that I sound very bitter right now - which really isn't the case. I came into this situation, quit my job, left my friends, and moved to a city I didn't like and didn't know very well in order to get this certificate and hopefully a job someday. I can deal with the ridiculous costs and the loneliness, but some nights it just gets to you. Usually Sundays for some reason. Maybe it's the knowledge that yet another week has passed by, and I still have no clue where I'll be six months from now. I haven't taken too much time to analyze it.

Tomorrow I get to meet my new class for Placement #3 - once again out in the freakin county - a place called Amherstburg. Looks like a pretty little town, and this time I get to be with the youngest of them all: Junior Kindergarten. Should be a very interesting time...
I know this will be a fun placement, but I'm also concerned about managing a class of 4 year olds when I've become so accustomed to 8 year olds. That age difference is startling. I can't believe how quickly people develop from helpless little ones who need instruction and assistance to even tie shoelaces, into thoughtful, insightful and independent kids.
ah well, i'm sure i'll have a lot of cute stories about the things the kids have to say - that's one of the best parts of the job.

g'night world - happy sunday.

Friday, January 27, 2006

He can still be my nephew even if we're not related...

Okay, so I keep forgetting to put up new pics of my "nephew"... He's growing like crazy and looks like he's almost a year old. Only 4 months though. Hard to believe really. I was so involved in this pregnancy from the very beginning that it was love at first sight when he was born.
I makes me kinda sad sometimes that I'm not as able to be around Gordie (the other adorable little man) enough to develop the same bond (although it was definitely a second case of love at first sight). I hope that as he grows up i'll be able to be a part of his life. His mother was such an important part of mine. When I think about it, I guess it's true that we watched each other grow up. Sometimes from a distance, but we were always in some kind of touch. Due to all of the trouble even finding time to sleep, I haven't had much opportunity to talk with Kim since Gordie showed was born. This of course was expected, since I remember how tired Ledawit was.
I miss my friends, I miss my town, and i'm sad that I might never get to call it my town again. The distance between London and Windsor seems even farther tonight.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

no wonder i love hockey...

winning 7-4 at home

Sakic finally finds the back of the net and passes Guy Lafleur on the all-time scoring list

Colorado finally starts to look like their old selves

a fight at the end of the game where everybody blows off steam... INCLUDING the goalies!! That's right, apparently Sauve felt left out when everybody was fighting in front of Abeischer, so he charged up the ice and laid a few on his rival goalie! Haven't seen a good goalie fight in ages, and it's even funnier because it was my team!

oh hockey :)

Monday, January 23, 2006

Sudbury pics

I've been inspired to post the most recent pictures I've taken, of winter scenes at our cottage outside of Sudbury. Meant to put these up with the Christmas pics, but never got around to it...


lots of random thoughts tonight...

Well it looks like the biiiiig election in Canada is going to give us another minority government, but this type the Conservative party get to be in charge. I have been looking at this whole thing sort of half-heartedly, since I don't really trust any of the politicians that hang out in Ottawa. Unfortunately, it seems that the guy who will be our new PM is the kind of person who thinks its okay to send Canadian troops to fight the US war in Iraq. It's so ironic that almost every Canadian is totally against this war, but they still vote for this guy...
It's funny that Ontario still voted for the Liberals, with an almost 2 to 1 ratio against the Conservatives. I guess our memories of Mike Haris and Brian Mulroney are still strong here. This election was definitely won in the west of our country - once again I shake my head.

I wonder what effect this is going to have on our education system. None of the issues that are most important to me, and many other students really weren't covered much - what's going to happen with EI? Post-secondary costs, OSAP, money money money money

Either way, I'll still be in crazy debt at the end of this school year and will still have to fight against many other people to get a job somewhere.

Today was Career Day at the U, a day that everybody in our faculty of education has been looking forward to. The day started early - 8:30am, but really didn't get moving until around and hour later. After listening to a few presentations, and chatting with board reps for a few hours, several things became clear to me:
1. I REALLY should have kept up my french
2. music might be my foot in the door - apparently everybody wants music teachers now
3. Applying for work starts immediately (like by end of January)
4. the University of Windsor is not very organized. (Jamming 16 school boards displays with 3 representatives each, and about 400 teacher candidates into a SMALL conference room just doesn't work. Not telling the students that they are NOT expected to provide resumes and cover letters on Career Day would also have been nice. I could go on, but I'm very frustrated with the lack of information and detail provided to us for this day, which caused a lot of undue stress)
5. While I don't want to live in Toronto, the boards from that region treat teachers much better than any others, and really appear to be recruiting, not just providing information.
6. the Thames valley board didn't give a damn about who wanted to apply with them

It's sad really. I wanted to move back to London, and have always maintained that this would be my plan, and now I'm faced with the very real possibility that I might never get to live there again. Which means of course, that I have to find another community to connect to, meet more new friends and leave behind the ones from London who are so important to me. I know I'll keep in touch with the ones who I'm closest to, but I'm getting very tired of moving away from places. I love to meet new people, but at this stage in life, it's getting less exciting to constantly be on the move. A transient life isn't something for me - I want a community that I'll stay in.

ah well, lots of change as usual - getting used to that - but some of it is good, and I guess I'll go to bed thankful for that.

Here's a pic of one of the good things... fancy lunch in Little Italy with some of my friends in the P/J program.

Friday, January 13, 2006

notes from frustration

I am SO frustrated!!! Having not had any time in the last two weeks to write anything in this blog - i now can't remember all of the things I had to say! Call it frustration or sleeplessness or stress - I don't know what it is... School is still going well, but things are so crazy that I feel like I'm playing catch-up all the time.
I've decided that as far as money goes, I'm just going to have to let it go if I get the extra money promised (verbally) by the bank. I've been worrying about money pretty much nonstop for the last 4 months, since my credit line has been supporting two people and covering all of my school expenses too. Jeremy has been trying to find work in this city since we moved here and has been completely unsuccessful so far. He applied to EI awhile ago - about 3 months - and is still waiting for that too. This whole business with EI has been driving me completely crazy, since I have paid into this insurance as an automatic deduction from my wages - and apparently it's almost impossible to break through the ridiculous red tape required to get it. After waiting all of this time for a response, and calling the local MP's office for assistance in getting some answers, Jeremy was told a few days ago that they "are missing information". WOW. Honestly, I dont see how it's possible that in a country like Canada that people can go 3 months missing information about somebody needing financial assistance without actually calling them! He was equally shocked, but instead of getting angry (like I did), he called his former employer again and asked them to once again send the apparently missing information. At this point, he is still waiting for confirmation that this has been recieved, and after calling the MP today, was told to please call Monday for further information.
At least they're trying to help him - or seem to be anyway - I really don't understand how something like this can happen. And apparently, after talking to a few others, this is not an unusual situation.
The worst part is that apparently he can still be denied EI because he didn't apply within 10 days of becoming unemployed. Funny that somebody who was sure he would get a job and didn't need to rely on the government for financial assistance is being punished for his initiative.
Makes you wonder what's the point of paying into this at all...
And so we wait until Monday - him for news about EI, and me for news about how much money the bank is going to add to my almost exhausted credit line.

In the meantime, I will convince myself that all of this debt is going to be an investment in myself and the wonderful future I will have as a teacher... gonna take some convincing though.