education

Need to Scratch

I’ve been thinking a lot about TAK lately. I wasn’t satisfied where I had stopped it last time. I found myself up against a wall; unsure how to move the story forward. My next concern was how I got myself in that hole. This hasn’t ever really happened before. Usually when I hit a wall I just find some way to push through it, even if it seems weird and crummy in the story itself.

But I find I can’t do that with TAK. So the question becomes: where do I go from here?

I’ve figured out where it all went wrong. I had the main characters depart on a job in a small town which lead them to the remaining group of main characters. Only now that it’s been a few months (okay, almost a year) since I wrote that I can see that it was unnatural. I wasn’t truly in the mind of my characters and the story-line suffered for that. Of course, this made me feel like those forty pages I had written since were useless and I rejected doing anything to it.

So it sat.

And sat.

And sat like a fat cat on a chair. (I just wanted to write that)

cat

It’s not on a chair, but you get the idea

Now I can feel that itch in my fingers: the one that wants me to just sit at a desk all day and type frantically. The one that wants to get the story out of my head and into the world.

I have a few issues with that which are making this itch hard to scratch.

Issue 1: I have a Day Job. While this day job has been incredibly sloooooooow lately and I’ve been way up to date on all my work, I’ve been using the time to work on my courses.

Issue 2: I’m a crazy person working full time and taking two classes online. Both of these classes are ridiculously heavy with the classwork. I have weekly discussions, two group assignments, 2 tests and an exam. And that’s just what I remember.

Issue 3: I’m a parent. This means I have limited time and I can’t just lock myself away in my office (which is super cold all.the.time. for some stupid reason) without drowning in guilt.

So these are my issues. I need some tissues. (HA! I’m a bit delirious. I got out of bed earlier than normal today).

Those who write and somehow manage to balance a life, how do you do it? Any tips to spare? I’m usually great at self-motivation but I could use some extra support right now.

glasses

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

Did Someone Order a Headless Chicken?

It’s been far too long since I just wrote a post about myself. I’ve been keeping up with the mindful musings but I haven’t had time to talk about me.

I’m sure you’ve all suspected that TAK has fallen by the wayside again. Indeed, it has. I’ve been quite stuck with it and have been considering rewriting the last few chapters I wrote previously as they just weren’t inspiring me.

Well, on to the life update!

I currently have two jobs. I’m a casual Crisis Counsellor at the women’s shelter where I live. Since I have personal experience with domestic abuse on various levels and I have this desire to help others I wanted to get out there and do more. Also, my husband is in his last year of school and after the debacle with him working last year it was agreed that I would be the one to have a second job.

The busy-ness doesn’t stop there! I have two freelance clients I do odd work for now and then for pocket change. It’s not much, but $20 here and there does add up and can make quite a dent on the credit card.

I am also taking two courses through Memorial University this term. Looking at the weight of the courses I should have only signed up for one but it’s too late now. I’ll work my hardest to get good grades to hopefully increase the chances of getting into my MEd program.

And then there’s the children, Spawn and Hatchling. Spawn has definitely had some behaviour issues that were really excessive in the last few years. It got bad enough in the last six months that I took him for an intake session for behaviour. Now I’m waiting to get a full assessment so I can hopefully figure out how to help him. While we wait, we’re actively going to the Y twice a week. Spawn is involved in 2 programs and I work out on the machines while he participates. I’ve realized, too late, that I have forgotten my iPod at home, however, so  I’m a tad upset about it.

It’s been a bit hard, emotionally, as well. It was my grandmother’s birthday at the beginning of the month and I’ve been getting actively harassed by losers who won’t leave me alone. It seems that ignoring them won’t work and I’d rather not engage their destructive behaviour.

Open to thoughts on that. What have you done to banish ne’er dowells back into the darkness?

nope

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 5 comments

A Day in the Life

It’s been one of those days where I can’t wait for it to be over, and yet I feel like there isn’t enough time left in the day.

Some news, since I’ve been absent, is that I have a second job! This is on top of the free-lance writing I do, which has gotten me another client. I also work in a casual capacity as a Crisis Counsellor at my local women’s shelter. It’s been a learning experience, that’s for sure, but I’ve been able to use past experience when working with our clients.

Between the, four, jobs I have I am also starting two classes this term. These are prerequisite courses for the Masters in Education in Counselling Psychology that I hope to get into when I’m done. I have 5 courses in total so after these 2 I’ll have 3 left. It doesn’t look like I have any exams, yet, so that makes me happy.

The husband is starting his final year of college this fall as well. Our eldest is going to be in grade 1 and our youngest will be 3. It’s a bit crazy at my place right now.

Because it’s crazy, and I honestly have no other excuse, I haven’t touched TAK in months. When I get home from one of my jobs all I want to do is lay on the couch and veg. I don’t want to sit at a desk or with my tablet on my lap and attempt to flesh out more of TAK. It’s a horrible feeling; knowing that there’s this story inside that I can’t do anything about.

Also, not that you can tell, but I’m having a massive issue typing today. I have hit the backspace key so many times! What the hell! I’ve trimmed my nails so that’s not the issue. But honestly, it’s getting irritating.

Things are going well, otherwise. I took my eldest to see the Weird Al concert when it came through my province this summer. My husband took a few days off work and we made a family trip out of it. We went to a children’s museum and the zoo. Went to the park. My in-laws came out on the second day and we all went to the zoo together. It was fun! My eldest had HUGE attitude issues, though. But we’re also working on that.

He’s all registered for 2 programs at the local YMCA that will hopefully help with all the energy he’s got. He’s exhausting. But cute. I think I’ll keep him.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments
Am I Crazy? Maybe…

Am I Crazy? Maybe…

Keeping on with the happiness train I thought I’d talk about some good things that have happened recently.

The Husband landed a summer job that lets him work regular full time hours, Monday to Friday, at almost the same pay I’m getting! This is a huge weight off our shoulders. We can squirrel away money into our savings for when he goes back to full time school in the Fall and for other projects.

Like my next tattoo!

I go for my tattoo consultation on the 29th of June. Super excited for it! It’s just to talk about the idea and placement and such. I’ll also be putting down a deposit and making the appointment for the actual tattoo to happen.

Another great thing is I decided The Husband isn’t allowed to work when he’s in school this next year. Why is that good news, you ask? Because he’s been out of the school-game for so long it was really hard for him to be a student and work part time.

So I’m going to.

I’ve already applied to two jobs and I’m about to submit my application for a third. These are on-call, casual jobs (mostly) that would keep me employed and bring in some extra money without him having to worry about it.

This does mean that I’ll have less time to write TAK but, to be honest, I haven’t touched it in like a month anyway. Things were pretty crazy at my Day Job but it’s toning down again.

Another awesome thing is I submitted my registration request for 2 courses I need to take for the Masters program I want to get into! Once processed, this will cover 2/5 courses I need to take to be eligible for the Masters in Education in Counselling Psychology. That makes me pretty damn happy.

You might be saying: Now Sarah, taking two courses in the Fall, working three jobs (I have a side freelancing job which is good, but unreliable) and being a parent all at the same time? Are you crazy?

The simple answer?

crazy life

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

Another Day Among the Living

I’ve been a bit radio-silent the past week. A lot of that is because I was away for work with limited access to my tablet/writing. I haven’t touched TAK in like, 2 weeks, and I’m feeling a bit frustrated.

Everything around me seems to be in chaos. There’s a lot of uneasiness going on in my house while my husband prepares for job interviews and such for the summer. He still has a year left in his college program, but he was given the chance to work for a company in the summer that would potentially hire him when he’s done his program. There’s a lot of unease about this because it’s just a 3 month position. This means in the fall he would once again be unemployed.

Honestly, I’m fine with it.

I would rather be the one to take up a second job than to have him work and go to school. It’s been difficult for him and the boys are in this stage where they love dad the most (kids, amiright?) so with his unpredictable schedule there has been a lot of backlash at home. Especially with our eldest.

Will it mean I’m tired, working two jobs? Well, yeah, probably. I’ve done it before so I’m not concerned. No matter what I’ve done, be it school or volunteering,  I have always done so while working full time in the day.

My time to focus on my needs, educational and recreational, without working will come eventually.

In the meantime, the rest of life is going well. I’m heading up the Rock and Mineral show with a friend of mine tonight. Then we’re going to go out for dinner and maybe some ice cream.

Work is a bit quiet at the time but it will surely pick up as things get moving. I need to get in touch with an academic advisor at the university that accepted me so I can make sure my plan is realistic.

For now, I’ll just focus on what’s happening at this moment instead of stressing about the future.

stress free

 

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 2 comments

I DID IT!

If you remember, I had talked about applying to university to pick up some prerequisites for a Masters in Education that I wanted to complete.

It took forever, cost a pretty penny trying to get all my transcripts organized, then I had to wait for a paper letter to arrive in the mail before I knew if I was accepted or not. I had been checking on the online application system to see if they had made a decision. Do you know what agony is? Agony is waiting to receive a letter in the mail when you know a decision has been made. Agony is knowing that even if you call they won’t tell you.

But it was worth it.

I have been accepted! I can start classes in Fall 2016! There are 5 courses I need to be able to get into the Masters program. That’s not bad at all!

It feels pretty good to know that I’m that much closer. I mean, I know it’s just undergraduate level at this time and I did apply as undeclared status, but I still like it.

What does this mean?

Imma get SMRT!

Funny Smart

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 3 comments

There's a Reason My Eyes are Green

You’ve heard the phrase “My eyes are green with envy” before, right?

It seems I’ve got a bad case of the envy bug. I don’t like it, but when I get stuck in ruts it comes out more than I’d like it to.

I overheard a coworker talk about her recent house-hunting trip as she’s moving up north with her boyfriend. Apparently while she was up there she was essentially offered a job as the guidance counselor of the school there. This turns me green with envy as that has been my dream job (aside from being a writer, of course) for a long period of time. I am super happy for her and hope she goes for it if she wants it. I have nothing against her as a person, it’s the situation I’m jealous of.

For me to do that job in the current area I live in I need to have a Bachelor’s of Education and a Master’s of Education. I’ve already priced it out (because I’m crazy prepared, okay?) and that would cost me around $15,000 for the entire go ’round. This coworker of mine has experience working in the local women’s shelter and also possess a diploma in Applied Counselling. It still makes me jealous because it seems like far less education and, for lack of a better term, red tape for her to do the job I’d love to do.

So it gets me a bit green. And blue. There has been A LOT of crap going on at the homestead lately. My husband is gearing up for college in the Fall and we’re going to have to put out around $5,000 in the next few months due to an issue in our house that needs to get repaired sooner, rather than later.

Maybe it’s because I’m an education geek and would spend all day at school if I could. I’m not good with research and thesis’s but I love learning. Sounds a bit silly, doesn’t it?

I have finished teaching ESL for the foreseeable future which means I have extra time. I’ve been doing some freelancing on the side so I will be able to bring in some extra cash. I’m hoping that I can get started on this next project I’ve been hired for as soon as possible as it’s pretty decent pay.

Until then, I will have to make due with what I have, which isn’t really bad at all, and try to work on my next book. That might keep me happy for some time so we’ll see how that goes.

Thanks for putting up with my whining 🙂 You know you love it 😉

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

Life Challenges and Personality Complexes

Normally my child wakes me up shortly after 7 am and after I force-cuddle him for an hour we get up and go about our day. Tuesdays mean there is a playgroup at my MFRC (Military Family Resource Centre) first thing in the morning but unfortunately my child has decided Tuesday is the perfect day to sleep in forever and be a grumpy-guss.

It sucks because my husband is gone this week for work and I was looking forward to some adult contact. I do have something planned for tomorrow so that WILL happen come hell or high water.

Because he’s gone I have extra time to work on my writing. Right now I’m rereading TAK so that I can get back into my groove. It’s good because I can do some light editing while I do it.

I’d read it on my tablet during the day but I STILL don’t have a charger for my tablet. At this rate I’m going to have to ask for it for Christmas.

Which brings me to my personality complex.

I’m very much the kind of person where I feel like I must be able to do everything myself or else I am a poor excuse for human.

Examples:

When my husband is gone I NEVER ask for help. I don’t ask for breaks, help cleaning my house or making meals. It’s easier to be like that now because I don’t have any friends here in my new place. And my in-laws are an hour away so asking them for anything is out of the question.

My mother-in-law recently asked me what I wanted for my birthday. I told her gift cards from Amazon are fine. Are there other things I want? Of course. But they are expensive things and I’ll be damned before I ask for them as a gift. If I can’t afford them, I won’t own them.

I also have this complex where I MUST be able to do everything on my own. This means going to school, raising my children, working and maintaining my house. I don’t like asking for help. If I can’t handle my child during an appointment, I must be a bad mother. If I can’t work and raise my children and look after my husband I must be a bad wife.

Such stupid complexes.

But that’s the way I work. Speaking of which, I should help my son with this level of Angry Birds before he breaks the iPad.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

Yay…..

Today’s post will be a rant. There are no questions about that.

The provincial government has cut back the funding to public post-secondary institutions, such as the one I currently work for, by 7.3%.

The University of Alberta has had to cut $24 million dollars worth of stuff. Stuff can include staff, programming, faculty, supplies. All kinds of stuff.

My school has cut $4 million dollars. To do this, we have cut various administrative staff, an entire faculty, brought out an early retirement incentive, and shuffled staff around.

One of those staff members was my supervisor. They have taken her away from my area and we have been left without a leader.

There’s not much else I can or should say on the matter, but I will say this:

Cut-backs to education: secondary, elementary or post-secondary are so not cool. How can we expect people to succeed and meet the raising demands of the work force if we can’t educate our children? How can we expect our youth of today to be the successful and productive adults of tomorrow if we can’t even provide them with basic education? How many students are not able to get a proper education due to poor facilities, overburdened teachers, outdated materials? Unfortunately this happens at all levels of education.

And man.

IT’S NOT COOL.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments