Sunday, September 12, 2010

Between Brock and a Hard Place

I do not know for sure just how many of you read me. Further, if you do meander through my crazy haze (and I THANK you for it), I don't know how long you've been at it.

So - those of you who have, do know that I am a single mother with two children. You also know that one of my children suffers with anxiety and child psychosis NOS. You also may know, that I am (and have been for the last seven years) a university student. Last year I almost lost the opportunity to be awarded my teaching degree due to Thing One's hospitalization, but I pulled the rabbit from the leg trap and will receive my B.ed in October.

Also? I just began my Masters of Education. The problem is: I don't know how long I'll be able to attend classes.

Last spring, I had a major malfunction with my crappy car. As in, the wheels fell off. Literally. Balljoint malfunction, drive axle snapped and wheels? Fell off. While I was driving it. The day AFTER I transported my children two hours on the most dangerous highway in Ontario. For those of you who remember, said car has let me down in the past, namely when the transmission died at 120kms/hr on the 403. In the rain. At night. My children and I got soaked waiting for a friend and a tow truck to rescue us off the embankment at the side of the highway. Obviously, this car was a death trap.

And so? I got a loan. And got a new car.

Now OSAP says I shouldn't have a reliable car, and its a $16000.00 asset. WHA??!

Where I grew up - basic accounting goes something like this: asset-liability= value. Apparently not in the province of Ontario. Here, asset - liability = asset anyhow and by the way, if you sell it to PAY the LOAN, then you're also considered to have $16000.00 in your proverbial pocket. Which also? Disqualifies you from getting an educational loan. Further, Brock University wants their tuition yesterday, but I'm eight weeks out from a review of said asset decision.

I? Am between a Brock and a HARD PLACE.

Further, OSAP loans fund our living expenses, and I'm not seeing any of that money either (and for the record, it's been denied). So, I've applied for some retail jobs at the mall because there is no work for teachers to pay the bills. Which? I'm totally fine with.

But - I can't afford my $3300.00 tuition bill. If I drop out of school then my loans come due at Christmas time (ho, ho, ho), to the tune of $700.00 per month. For the rest of my life. If I get a student line of credit at the bank, I need a cosigner (which I don't have), and if I DO get it, that screws me for any funding in the future, while obligating me to pay interest from the first dollar spent.

And even worse? Is the attitude of people around me who behave as if earning your Masters degree in Education is equivalent to a pedicure: nice, but an unnecessary luxury. They turn their eyes away from the fact that only 15% of the population is smart enough to DO this program, and that I beat out THOUSANDS of people for this seat. Just this past Friday, a government employee offered her opinion to me: "Well, its not going to do anything for you anyway. Might as well get a job at Community Living". First? Since when did a teaching degree qualify me as a Social Worker. My answer?

"Well (insert asshat employee name here), I don't believe in quitting. When the going gets tough I certainly do not throw in the towel. So, if you don't mind, I'm going to continue to try to find a way to make this happen."

Why are people allowed to throw their misguided opinions around?

For now, I am attending night classes for as long as the university will allow me. Which won't be too long, considering they'd like their tuition paid. Here's hoping the tuition fairies leave it under my pillow while I sleep.

I'm desperately trying to achieve my career (one I've worked SEVEN years towards), and yet not one ounce of encouragement from anyone. Tough luck Charlie, you're on your own.

Yes. Suppose I am.

If any of you come across someone in this situation? Please encourage them. Encourage them for having the moxie to get off their butts and the system and do something with their lives. Give them a pat on the back for bucking down, raising their kids, working their magic and earning their career, one loaned dollar at a time. And if you can help it, throw five bucks in their general direction. They could use it.

Whatever you do, DO NOT offer your crappy opinion that they should walk away from years of hard work and self improvement. Do not, like some, feel the hard bitterness in their gullet for not achieving the same goal, and in turn deny someone else from getting it.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Gray Around the Edges

I feel a bit lost today. A little wrapped up in what could be's and forgetting the hard realities of the struggle...

How many times can you reach inside the basket when all you've ever found is emptiness?
Faith is just that, faith. It doesn't guarantee you'll be ok, it only guarantees that you have the ability to hope beyond any real proof that you will be.

Doesn't it?

Looking for solid ground.

Today's soundtrack....

Monday, September 6, 2010

The fall comes rolling in....

It's only labour day, but its crisp outside like fall. The warmth of the summer sun has faded away and a gray chill has settled over the beautiful Niagara sky. It is coming.

Thing One and Thing Two have fallen asleep, wrapped in blankets on the couch. Meatball, their newly rescued kitten is napping between them. It's only early afternoon, but the chill makes us want to curl into ourselves and dream through the world. I'm the only one awake, contemplating the difficult summer and the fall coming ahead. I've got the windows open, and although I keep blowing away the chill from my fingertips, I enjoy it.

I feel strangely nostalgic today. I cannot quite put my finger on it, but after spending the weekend away in London, the house seems changed. Or I do. Or we do. Somewhere, something has turned a corner and I didn't see it pass me by. I follow in its wake, eyes closed in my faith of the world's currents... moving in the coming fall wind.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Yesterday's Soul Mates

It's funny how things happen. Things that seem totally random, yet bring on their tails exact pieces you are missing. Fragments of what you are, forgotten and tossed into the winds. They make places of their own, embedding in the memories of those standing next to you at ground zero.

Fate plays silly games with my strings. Meeting for Sunday coffee clutches, those ladies grin and smile while they jostle what is me, fraying ties and bending lines that should always be straight. Spilling droplets from their saucers that scald yesterdays and burn holes that become tomorrow's windows and doorways.

Just when I've been the most lost, something found me. An old piece of my soul reached out and touched me from the deepest memory and brought with it a sense of completeness. Something that I had lost so very long ago, that I thought had blown on the winds of life's change. I learned, it isn't gone. It's been here, all along.... waiting.

Just when you think your path is true north, these things sneak up behind you and sweep you off your proverbial feet, hold you close - whisper their quests to find you again. On their breath you can taste the promises, in their arms feel the pieces coming back together, restoring souls in their rightful places.

And when that happens... you cannot help but wish for a few more minutes in those arms.

Can you?