Where do I go from here?

seagull-sitting-in-brush
© 2019 Kirsten Corbett

It’s hard to keep up two blogs. I am spending most of my time on the other one and at the moment I am losing interest a little bit in this one. My life’s not all that interesting at the moment. There is stuff going on but it’s all school-related. My last post here was on my 40th birthday 6 days ago and since then not much has happened. Yesterday was Edward’s birthday. He turned 38. I can’t believe I’m 40 and he’s approaching 40! I don’t feel 40.

We’ll be celebrating his birthday today, as he worked yesterday, by going for a drive somewhere, getting ice cream then coming home and I am making him lasagna, or rather heating up a store-bought one since I have never made one and don’t want my first time to be his birthday supper in case it doesn’t turn outright. So I will buy our favorite Superstore one to heat as well as Ceasar salad and garlic bread, one of his favorite meals. Then we are going to have a movie night on Netflix and/or Amazon Prime. Looking forward to it.

I mentioned above that anything going on right now has to do with school. I am frustrated beyond belief with Athabasca University. I am still waiting for help for 2 of my 3 courses and am now stuck and can’t go on further until they reply. I complained weeks ago to them by email and still have heard nothing back from that either. It’s ridiculous and now I am so behind I doubt I’d catch up.

It’s pushed me to the decision of looking into…well, more than looking into, I started the process already… of changing schools. Before I checked into other schools I called Canada Student Loans and advised them of the situation and they told me it’s not the first complaint they have gotten. I asked about switching schools and was advised I could do it. I just needed to withdraw from Athabasca and apply to the new school. They advised me to double-check with Nova Scotia student loans first to ensure I would not be penalized by them and I did and I won’t as it’s the first time I have withdrawn from a course or program.

So started the search last week (even before my last post) for another program and school. There is nothing in my immediate area so I talked it over with my family and Eddie and after searching I found a place called Academy of Learning in Halifax. They offer a web design diploma program that covers some of what I want and they are in the process of getting a second software and web developer diploma program approved which has most of the rest of what I want to take.

So I reached out to the school and spoke to a woman there who sent me all the info. I explained the situation and she had the school’s director (owner) contact me and we did a zoom meeting and I have to say I was extremely impressed. They have both been incredibly helpful. They have been helping me sort things out and giving me advice and help with Athabasca. Sure it could be because they are a private college and just want the money from me, but honestly, I don’t think so. That’s just not the impression I got. The two of them have gone above and beyond to help me.

I finally found a phone line yesterday that was still working and managed to talk to a person over the phone at the university. I am now awaiting a supposed call back from my program advisor at Athabasca (who I didn’t even know existed because she was supposed to reach out to me within the first week and did not). I say supposed because, well nothing has gone to plan so far with Athabasca. She is supposed to discuss withdrawing from the program with me, knows my intent to withdraw, and that I plan to appeal if they say I am not getting my money back. So who knows where that’ll go.

In the meantime, I looked up reviews on the other school and they seem great. People don’t seem to have an issue getting positions with their diplomas and are satisfied with the school and after all the help and the long conversation with the program director who was awesome I am beyond sure that that’s where I want to go. I will have to spend two days in class in Halifax (2 1/2 hours away) so it means spending a few days in the city and staying somewhere overnight. I am going to ask my Aunt I think. The other 3 days I can work from home which is nice. It’s also nice to have it be a local (well within the province anyways) school. I won’t make that mistake again. So that’s school, in a nutshell, a f’*cking mess at the moment.

On top of that today (well late last night early this morning as it is after midnight) I wrote a sponsored post for Life With Kadie, I spent hours researching it and a few hours writing the post and then submitted it. They came back saying they liked the post but then asked me to not disclose it’s a sponsored post. Which is illegal in North America and probably a lot of other places and also against the influencer network’s policy. So I spent a good hour replying back and forth with the person running the campaign resulting in them asking me to delete the post. Just that nothing else.

I was a bit shocked, but at the same time, I put a lot of work into it. So I replied back asking if I was going to be paid. Their response was yes, even though you can’t follow instructions. Then they marked it to be paid. I didn’t delete the post though. I deleted the shares to social media and I made it back into a draft. Thinking about it I am thinking that because it was not a post that they provided me but one I researched and wrote and that there is nothing in the contract with them saying it’s not my property that I would just re-write parts of it removing them from it completely and post it later down the road. I am assuming it would be considered my property.

Honestly, I don’t really know the answer to that. I am just assuming, which might not be a good idea. I am going to see what I can find online about it and ask in some Facebook influencer and blogging groups and see what people say. I have never run across this before. Then again it’s only my 4th or 5th sponsored post.  Makes me mad. Kind of annoyed now. I probably should go to bed. It’s after 2 a.m. and hubby is snoring on the couch with the cat (who is also snoring).

I’m so over 2020

I know most people are by now, not just me. Things just keep spiraling out of control. I guess I will start with the good news and transition into the bad. We are now on day 16 of no new COVID-19 cases in the province and all cases are resolved, we have no active cases and only 2 people in the hospital recovering. We apparently are doing a good job of social distancing and re-opening the province. The 4 premiers of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI, and Newfoundland have made the decision to open our borders to each other as of July 1st. And all but New Brunswick have no cases and New Brunswick seems to have theirs under control and all cases they do have stem from one careless doctor.

That’s good news in a way because it means we can camp, vacation, etc within the four provinces without having to quarantine for 14 days. We all pretty much have the same rules in place so we can have gatherings of up to 10 people who are friends or family without social distancing but it’s suggested that we stay exclusive and don’t visit anyone outside our groups of 10. We can also have groups of up to 50 if social distancing measures are in place. they suggest that it be outdoors and that we wear non-medical masks but they haven’t made it a requirement. In one way that is good. We are currently in the middle of a heatwave that has been about 5 days so far of 20-30°C weather with the humidex in the mid 30 to mid 40°C.

So it is hot and the next two weeks look like much of the same. Nova Scotia and New Brunswick both have shattered a bunch of high-temperature records over the last few days on a number of days and we are on course I think for the hottest June ever in our history. Thankfully my parents have their pool up. I am not sure if we are even going to get the other one up here because there is an issue with the pump. So we might just use theirs. They are about 15-20 minutes away and the pool is 24ft long by 12ft wide so it’s huge and it’s 52 inches deep and we can go in it whenever even if they are not home.

I feel over the last few days as if I am melting. The humidity is absolutely insane and we get humidity a lot here so I am used to it but this is like days on end of 100% humidity and nights too. On top of all that my parents’ cat Pumpkin went missing on Sunday. They looked for him for all day Sunday and all day Monday and we did when we were over too. On Tuesday night we went looking again and I found him at the side of the road. I don’t know what made me look there cause he never went near the road but I was walking with my brother and he pointed out some rags and I knew instantly that it was him.

I sent my brother to get my dad or husband and Eddie came back and we buried him in the back yard. I had a rough day yesterday and pretty much cried all day over it. He was one of the best cats. Such a sweet little thing. Before anyone says anything about him being outside. He was a stray. He had been outside most of his life when my parents took him (he was given to them to be a barn cat essentially) and he was an outside cat. They always gave him the option of coming in and tried to keep him in but other than cold nights in the winter he just would not stay in. He found ways to get out every time they tried.

Today I am doing a bit better and concentrating on school work (taking a break to write this) and then tonight I am going to write some content maybe for The Great Canadian Housewife if I have the energy as I have neglected that a little as well due to things going on. I am just trying to keep my mind off it. I had a phone appointment with my psychologist yesterday and we talked it over and she said I am dealing well with it and I feel I am, at the moment. Just mostly snuggling with Max and with my hubby when he’s not at work and watching some shows. We watched Unorthodox together over the last 2-3 days and we also watched all of Season’s 3 and 4 of Queer Eye: More than a Makeover as he had not seen those two seasons yet and I want to watch 5 and he had previously watched 1 and 2 with me and wanted to watch 5 as well.

Other then that I got an email yesterday from Athabasca University saying I was overdue on my tuition and that I would be suspended if I did not pay it by this coming Tuesday. The thing is student loans sent them the money directly almost a month ago on May 27th, 2020 and of course, neither Athabasca is not taking calls right now due to COVID-19 and have a wait time of 2-3 weeks on replying to you from pretty much any department (which is ridiculous when you have a question for your academic advisor!) and as far as NSLSC is concerned they sent it and the school got it, so now the school is going to suspend me likely for their own mistake if someone does not read my email in time.

Needless to say, I am not happy. I have tried everything. I have emailed my academic advisor, the student center, the finance department, the BsCIS (Bachelor of Computer and Information Systems) department and so hopefully someone will get it before Tuesday. So in the meantime, I am just continuing with the school as long as I have access and then whenever they do get to it I am going to complain my ass off till they do something about it. I might have to call student loans back and also see if there is some governing body I can call as well. I am sure there is. Just no idea who.

So not impressed with 2020… I’m over it.

Doctors appointments & funny story

We traveled to Halifax today for a doctor’s appointment with our family doctor. Of all days today turned out not to be the best day to be on the roads in Nova Scotia. We had a big storm that came through the province today bringing a mess of weather. When we left it was calling for sustained winds of 80km/hour with gusts exceeding 100km/hour, not all that unusual here as we have been seeing more and more high winds, but they are damaging to trees and power lines and buildings. On top of that, we had everything from torrential downpours, higher than normal tides, flooding, slush, snow, ice pellets, and freezing rain and we got to experience it all while driving.

We left about 10 a.m., our appointments were at 2:30 and 2:45 so we could just go in together like we always do, my husband and I. It took us 4 hours driving the old highway all the way to New Minas, stopping at A&W for lunch and then the new highway the rest of the way. It’s usually a 2 1/2 hour drive but we just wanted to take it really slow and take our time. I actually enjoyed the weather. On the way up it started out windy before we left with some rain, by the time we got on the road it was pouring and as we drove up through the valley it would go from rain to ice pellets to freezing rain and back again. It was slushy and slippery but the car (and myself) handled it well.

No word of a lie by the time we were heading back from the doctor’s office around 4 p.m. it looked like the picture above from Halifax past Windsor and into the valley a ways. I asked Edward to get some pictures but as we were driving and the windows were covered in water and ice and the movement of the car they didn’t turn out. So I am using stock photos to give you an idea. It was so beautiful, even if a little hazardous to be driving in. Honestly though, only once or twice did it go through my mind why the hell are we still driving. There were so many people out on the roads. Surprisingly though everyone was going slow and careful. Nova Scotians are not usually known to slow down for the road conditions, something that annoys me so much.

Speaking of things that annoy me, funny story and maybe TMI but something kind of funny happened when we were in A&W that I feel like sharing. At least it was funny to me, if not somewhat annoying. When we got to A&W it surprisingly empty. I had to use the washroom so we ordered and while Eddie waited for our order I went to use the washroom. So here I am sitting on the toilet doing my business when someone walked in, there were only two stalls and she went into the second one. Almost right away her cell rang and she answered it in the washroom, one of my pet peeves, nothing can be so important that you can’t wait the 3 minutes it takes to use the washroom and call the person back, but no she answered it and started a conversation.

Photo by Fikri Rasyid from Unsplash

By this point, I’m done and struggling with a new roll of toilet paper that did not want to cooperate, you know how it is, it tears in strips and is all uneven and by the time you’re done with the roll it looks like Freddy Krueger got at it, or someones cat, not mine as he doesn’t do that, but someones cat. Anyways, it obviously made a lot of noise on those typical restartaunt and store metal contraptions they call toilet paper holders and I hear her say to the person she is having a conversation with “some people are so rude” and I thought she was talking about something else, maybe someone the other person mentioned.

So I flush the toilet and go to open the stall door and I hear “Do you mind? I’m trying to have a conversation here!” and I was like “Huh? Me” and she’s like “Yeah, you. You’re making a lot of noise and I’m trying to talk to someone.” At this point, I’m thinking WTH? Really is she shaming me because I dared to wipe my ass and flush the toilet in a public bathroom? What else was I supposed to do? Wait quietly in the stall till she finished talking to whoever she was talking to? It wasn’t like she answered quickly and said “I’ll call back”, no she decided to have a whole conversation, so I said very loudly “You’re in a washroom! Do you mind taking your conversation elsewhere? I’m trying to shit here”. I never heard another peep out of her. She never said anything else, but damned if I didn’t take extra-long and make all the noise I could turning on the water, getting soap, washing my hands, turning off the water, getting paper towel (no air dryer or I would have been sure to run that) and opening the washroom door.

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