Sunday, August 14, 2011

Changes. All Good...

Well, time has gotten away from me AGAIN! The first news to share is that the Lord has spared my dear mother-in-love Darl to us, for a time yet. She rallied from her very-near-death state. At first, she was strong enough to leave her bed for periods of time, and sit in her recliner. A few days later I got a call saying she had walked to the kitchen, and was complaining that things were out of order. (Her exact words: "Get this [stuff!!!!!] out of here!!" ....tho' she used a more *colorful* word...)

She has recovered enough that my sister-in-law Winnie has returned to work. I understand that this is common with COPD--a huge downturn followed by a period of recovery--but I know that Queen Darl is still quite ready to make her journey Home. I am delighted beyond measure, however, that we have her for a little while yet.

Other breaking news is that, after a season of 37 years, I am going to school!

I may have blogged here before that, because of the economy, Charming was out of work for eight months in 2009/10. When he went back to work, it was with a $20K pay cut. You can understand that things have been a tad bleak on the financial front. I have been looking for a job since 2009, and have only gotten one interview! Let me put that in perspective. When Charming got this job, his was one of 130 resumes submitted. Out of that, they gave seven interviews. I think I am always in the "stack" of 130 resumes! (always a bridesmaid, never a bride...)

I'm sure that the reason I'm never at the top of the pile, is that I have been out of the workforce since I was pregnant with Alvin Fernald, who will be seventeen in a couple of months. And, my last computer class was WordPerfect 2.1...

So, I have taken Find-Your-Skills classes and resume-building classes, and interview classes, and umpteen Microsoft Office classses, and so I'm much more marketable than I was. But still not getting any bites. So last fall, when we were talking about filling out FAFSA's for Blackeyed Susan, I decided to fill one out, as well, knowing that you get bunches more financial aid if there are two of you in the family going to school. I said to the fam, "I'm going to apply for school, but: if I get a job in the meantime, I'll drop school--Money has to come first.

I considered going back for the degree I started in 1973--medical technology (that's a lab tech for any of you who aren't medical geeks). But the only things that would transfer would be my gen eds--all of my major work would be too old. So, it would definitely take me four years to finish. I'll be 56 in a couple of weeks--hmmm, I'd be 60 when I finished, and probably with school loans to pay back--who wants to work till they are 70 just to pay back loans? That's...Stupid.

So that left me with our state-wide Community College, which has the lowest tuition in the state--$3000 per year. A good beginning. I wanted to take Medical Lab Tech, natch--but it isn't offered at our local campus. I could move in with Queen Darl, cause it is offered in her town, but then I'd have to live away from Charming for two years...I guess not. Then I saw Surgical Tech--Cool!! Also only at Queen Darl's town. I landed on a Certificate in Medical Coding. Hey!! I've done this in real life! In fact, these are the jobs (medical billing) that I have applied for for two years. The applications always ask, "do you have a certificate?" The certificate is for, like, 27 hours of credit, which sounds like two semesters, but I have to take Medical Terminology as a prerequisite of Basic Coding, which is a prerequisite of Advanced Coding, so it looks like a three-semester dealie.

Forget-me-not, who has a degree in psychology, wanted to go back to be a nurse. So she has signed up at the same college. She has to take Anatomy and Physiology I and II before she can get into the two-year nursing program, so she's up for a three year hitch. Blackeyed Susan, who loathes anything academic, and was feeling like college was a prison sentence, landed on Massage Therapy. Now, she could get an associates degree, OR a certificate, which means very little academic work. (you know what she chose...) Hers will be a three-semester dealie, as well.

Well, Susan has a job to supplement her financial aid, but I do not, so it came down to I-can-go only if the aid pays for all of it. Period. So we have waited to hear until this week.

drum roll please...I'm going! Both Susan and I have enough in Pell grants to cover tuition *and* books!!

Now this is the fun part. Forget-me-not and I are taking the same A&P I class on Tuesday nights. She and Susan are taking two online classes together. Susan and I are taking the same Medical Terminology class (tho' not at the same time), and since mine is on Monday morning and hers on Thursday, we're going to try to share a book. Also, since both Forget-me-not and Susan have to take A&P I and II, but Susan will take hers a semester behind FMN, they can share books! And, if Susan wants to keep her A&P books, I'll already have number I, so she'll only have to buy number II.

The rest of my schedule, besides A&P and Medical terminology, is an online Psych 101 class, and this lovely thing called Administrative I. It is a medical office procedures class, things like dealing with patients, confidentiality, scheduling, etc. Since I have Run a medical office before, I'm hoping it will be an easy A.

I'm a tad apprehensive--it has been awhile since I've had college homework. And this online class thing--weird, right? But I took the placement tests: 99 in writing, 99 in reading, 86 in algebra (then there was the 32 in college algebra, but we won't talk about that, especially because my certificate does not require math!).

I. Still. Got. It. Thank you, homeschooling.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Barbie Heart! You will do just fine. When I went back to college at age 52, (after 24 years), I was skeptical. So I took night classes with all the other 40- and 50-something adults. We didn't have online classes, which would have been so very cool! Think of the gas money you're saving and like me in my home-based business, you can do it in your jammies!

Love, hugs and you go girl!
Pinky Marie