But I'm back for now, at least!
School has gone well, and kept me frighteningly busy. I've managed to keep up with my younger classmates, and things look on track for graduation in May.
I hope to get back into the knitting community, though sadly my running has fallen by the wayside. My writing is still going strong, though! The UCLA Extension program has been fantastically fun, and I've met a lot of talented, supportive authors. My writing is still in no shape to be seen publicly, but I'm having fun, and that's the goal at this point.
More updates to follow soon, I hope!
"Many and sharp the num'rous ills
Inwoven with our frame!
More pointed still we make ourselves,
Regret, remorse, and shame!
And man, whose heav'n-erected face
The smiles of love adorn, -
Man's inhumanity to man
Makes countless thousands mourn!
—Robert Burns, “Man Was Made To Mourn: A Dirge” (1784)
After learning that the Clinical Laboratory Sciences school in Hartford that I was to attend this fall was suddenly shut down, I spent the last week and a half frantically calling the directors of other programs and trying to find an opening. The prospects in Connecticut are slim to none, in fact, another Connecticut school will be closing down its CLS program at the end of next year.
There are a couple of programs in Rhode Island. The University of Rhode Island would not be able to accept me until Fall 2012. However, the director of the CLS department at the Community College of Rhode Island was extremely helpful. Their class was full for this enrollment period, but she somehow managed to pull some strings and get me into it on extremely short notice.
So, the upshot is, I will be starting school on Wednesday. Everything was a whirl last Thursday and Friday -- enrolling, buying books, finding money for tuition, getting my student ID.... I'll be part time for now, taking Clinical Immunology and Serology, and Introduction to Clinical Laboratory Sciences. The program Director was very generous and helpful. Now that I'm enrolled, she said I could finish the formal paperwork next week!
I hope some of my past credits will transfer, as I would hate to have to take freshman composition and algebra again. Now, I just need to find out how much of my brain has ossified from being out of school for so long. I'm not even sure that I remember how to study!
All things considered, we came through Irene very well, indeed. Even though Irene was "only" a tropical storm when it hit us, it certainly was impressive enough. The winds began to roll in around 5 on Sunday morning, and as I lay in bed, I could hear the sharp crack of trees breaking in our neighborhood. Those were the highest wind speeds I think I've ever dealt with. It was amazing how far the enormous limbs of our 80+ year old silver maple were swaying. I was certain they would come down, but the grande dame made it through with only some minor branch loss. The house was solid as a rock through the whole thing. It was built in the '50s, and so has made it through its share of storms already.
Monday, we surveyed the damage and cleaned up the yard. Our popcorn patch got flattened. I got to enjoy being slapped in the face with wet cornstalks (and disoriented spiders) as I held them up while the Husband rearranged the mud about the roots to keep them upright. We replanted our uprooted peach tree, and sawed off the broken top of one of our poplars. Otherwise, it was just a case of picking up branches and raking leaves. All in all, we came through it very well, indeed. The children were terribly disappointed when the power came back on. They wanted us to turn the lights off and pretend that we still had no electricity so that we could eat dinner by lamplight!
The start of school has been delayed to next week, as some schools are still without power, and some bus routes are still blocked by trees. I took a drive over to Rhode Island yesterday, and they got hit hard, too.
All's well that ends well, and all that...
Monday I was excited to hear that I had been given an opening in the class I needed for Hartford Hospital's Medical Technology program.
Tuesday I got a call from the school's director, who had just returned from vacation. It seems that he came back to learn that the future of the school is in doubt, and the professors who offered me the opening had no idea of this. The director will be in meetings all week regarding the school's possible closing, and I ought to know by Monday next whether 1) the school will continue to operate and 2) if I will be allowed to attend.
This really stinks. I was counting on this to get a jump start on my next career. And besides, this is one of the last programs of this kind left in the state, and there is a shortage of medical laboratory personnel. So where the hell are we supposed to get trained if this program closes?
The Good news:
- I got one of the three openings in the fall class at Hartford Hospital! Once I pass the class (fingers crossed), then I'll be able to apply for the Medical Laboratory Sciences program itself. That would start in January.
- I've got most of my application for unemployment insurance done. I really dislike dealing with government bureaucracy, but in all fairness, it was pretty painless. Now I have to wait until Wednesday to finish over the phone. Unemployment is so high in this state right now that they allow calls only upon certain days based upon the final digit of our social security numbers.
The Bad news:
- The verdict from the eye doctor: I have early glaucoma in my left eye. I guess it's good that I'm paying to keep the health insurance from my former employer.
- A week ago Saturday, my youngest jumped off the wall in the back yard (that they have been told not to jump off of) and broke her arm. I guess it's really good that I'm paying to keep the health insurance from my former employer. She was really brave about the whole thing, and is coping quite well with her enormous purple cast.