For the last few weeks, I’ve had an intense urge to rent Short Circuit, thanks to all those WALL-E commercials. Ha.
But, on a more serious note, I’ve had a post that I needed to write, and for whatever reason, I kept dragging my feet and putting it off. Seems like I might’ve finally found out the reason today. I’ll get to that later, though. First, let me jump back in time a little bit, roughly 1-2 weeks or so.
I’ve made mention a few times of me going to school, to get some formal education in Accounting. I got accepted into the WIA program, and was supposed to be starting school last Thursday. Classes were going to be Monday through Thursday, 8am to 5pm, for 3 months. The school wasn’t exactly my first choice, but the program paying for me to go needed me to start ASAP, because their fiscal year ends Sept 30th, and they need everyone graduated by then, to account for all the money w/the government. Also, I was a little nervous and worried at first, since I have a vacation planned in August (and one that I am NOT missing). I talked with the school a few times, though, and they assured me that my vacation would be no problem. Since they were working with the WIA by adjusting their class schedule to fit with the required graduation deadline, and rushing to get the students in, they’d be more lenient on some of the attendance requirements, and let me make up hours/missed quizzes/whatever from the 4 days of class I’d miss. So, my worries regarding the trip were soothed, and I was excited (but still nervous) about starting.
They called on Wednesday to let me know that they were having a bit of an issue getting a couple of the other students approved, so they were pushing the start of classes to Monday (today). Okay, no problem. That gave me a little more time to shop for “school clothes” and everything. 😉 Friday comes, and they call again. Class isn’t going to start until Tuesday, because they’re still working with WIA on those other students, and they’d call me again today to keep me in the loop, in case anything changed.
And now, it’s today. They called about 2 hours ago, to give me the latest update. WIA administration apparently kept kicking back the other students they were trying to get approved, and so they weren’t going to be able to get them enrolled in the classes. So instead of a class of 4 people, that left it as a class of 2 people. They can’t start school with just 2 people (I’m not sure if that’s just economic reasons, or if there’s restrictions from the Board of Education coming into play as well), so they had come up with a possible alternate plan. They wanted me to go to school at the Arlington location.
Oops – a quick aside here, because I don’t think I mentioned it before. In addition to paying all my school fees, the WIA was also giving me $30 a week in gas cards (!!!), to cover costs of getting to and from school. Plus, they would keep giving me gas cards the first 4 weeks after graduation, to help my look for work. THEN! They’d give me another 4 weeks of gas cards once I got a job, to help out with transportation costs until I got my first paycheck or two! So, that’s what … a total of @ $630 in gas cards, in addition to the $8,008 they’re paying for school!!! O.O
Okay. So. Now I’ve mentioned the gas cards — when I talked with the school today, and they told me about Arlington, they said the school would give me an additional $30 a week for gas, on top of what the WIA program was already giving me, because I would be driving further for school every day. (The Dallas location is 7.6 miles from my house. The Arlington location is 35.6 miles. In rush hour traffic, both ways.) Then they threw something else at me: the other girl who would’ve been in my class was on the bus route. They were hoping that, if I said yes, I could maybe let her carpool with me to school. They’d give her $30 a week as well, which she could give to me for gas, since she wouldn’t have to pay for bus fares. (I’m not sure what she’d have done the week I’m on vacation) So, in addition to getting a free education, I’ve got people throwing $60 a week in gas cards at me. With gas prices what they are right now… that’d be a nice, big savings to my budget for several months.
From what I’d gathered, the Arlington classes had started on time, so I’d have to start tomorrow, and maybe do a little extra work, to catch up with the class. (The first day or so is computer basics. It wouldn’t be difficult at all for me to catch up. Ha.) So, I told the lady that I’d need a little bit of time to consider this, and I’d call her back this afternoon. I took about an hour, and weighed the pros and cons, researched possible routes to the Arlington school, etc. I’m also not sure that the Arlington school would’ve been as accommodating about my vacation as the Dallas one.
So, in the end, I had to call and say no, I can’t do it. I’d be stuck in traffic forever, getting to and from class; or I’d have to leave at an ungodly hour just to be able to get there and miss morning rush hour traffic. But, I’d be stuck dealing with rush hour in the evenings – no way to avoid that. PLUS, I’d have to go out of my way to pick up this other girl and take her to class, too… Yeah. It just wouldn’t work. The lady did say she’d keep me up-to-date in case anything changed, and they were able to start classes after all (which she doubted), or if they were able to work around the WIA graduation requirements, etc. I’m not expecting anything to happen there. She’s also going to call my WIA counselor, and update her on the situation. I’m going to call her tomorrow, too, since I’m pretty sure they’re going to need me to bring back the gas cards I have now. 😉 Ha. Sigh.
I’ve also been talking with my DARS counselor today, keeping him apprised of the situation. He’d said in the past that if the WIA wasn’t able to pay for my schooling, that DARS most likely would. So, I guess that’s the next step, find out what I can do there. At least with DARS, I’d be able to go to the school I originally wanted to. The only problem there – I wouldn’t be able to start anything during the 2nd summer term, so I won’t be able to start classes until the fall term. I’m not exactly sure how that would work .. esp since my unemployment benefits will run out in the middle of October. Plus, that’s just way too long to wait to go to school before finding a job. I’ll need something sooner. At the very least, I’ll probably go sign up with a temp agency soon, to at least do a few odd jobs between now and my vacation. Then maybe see about a temp-to-hire position after that, if I haven’t landed a job from any of the resumes I’m sending out. What fun.
Long story short – I’m not going to school after all. At least, not yet. Maybe.