Sometime in 2009 or before, I was home alone with my son when my phone rang. We had caller id on a huge globe, and the caller was listed as "Victoria, BC" with a number I didn't recognize. I let the answering machine get the call. The message, from a woman, was "Where are you babe? I miss you. I love you." I thought it was a wrong number as my phone number was unlisted. Except I discovered that hubby had forgotten his personal cell phone, which was ringing with a call from the same number. A minute or two later, I learned he had also left his work cell phone at home when that also rang with the same number.
When he got home from work, feeling betrayed I played the message for him and asked what it was about. He said it was nothing, just some woman he met on IMVU, a game he played. It was just some "internet thing" and didn't mean anything. I was furious, he was dismissing my feelings as inconsequential and irrational. I started looking for ways to leave him. My plan:
1) get a work force certificate or a degree to prove I have an usable skill set
2) stay with hubby and work for a year to clean up my credit
3) move out and file for divorce
In fall of 2009, my older brother paid my tuition and a friend bought the course text so I could start an office technology course and become and admin assistant. That didn't work out too well. Not because I couldn't handle the self-paced work, I completed it in 6 weeks with an A. The problem was with the college IT department and some weird issue with my username being 15 characters due to my 13 character last name and the print spooling software. I could print one assignment, and then I'd have to switch machines to print the next one. So most of the 4 hours I spent in the lab was waiting on computers to boot and log in. The IT department was not interested in fixing the issue since I had a work around, that is switching computers. So I dropped out.
Miserable, stuck at home due to no transportation and no child care for my then young son, I eventually found this site. An infected tooth and high doses of tylenol with codeine reduced my fears enough to try chat. That changed my life. I made friends here who helped me realize I could still fix things in my life. I was determined to complete my plan, and get free.
Originally I was planning on going back for the office technology certificate. Not a glamorous job, or extremely high paying, but it would pay a living wage. But the program had moved campuses, and was being overhauled.
My older brother kept pushing me to do something with my BS in computers, but my skills were out of date. Chatting with AJ, Phantom, and a few other techies had me looking at the community college's computer department. There was a certificate in Cisco networking, 4 courses, about $625 in tuition, over 2 to 4 semesters. A quick check showed a payment program that would work.
My older brother died, which made me more determined to do this. As soon as I could get the money, I bought a scooter for $800 and I started in March of 2015 with 2 courses.
On a whim in Fall of 2015 I applied for a scholarship. I didn't think I'd qualify because I had exhausted my financial aide eligibility getting my bachelors. However, I was awarded a scholarship for spring 2016, enough to go full time, not 2 classes a semester, but 4 or 5. When the application process for scholarships for 2016-2017 opened up, I applied again. Someone must have really wanted to help me. I won another scholarship - from a community college in Illinois. Enough to cover full time tuition for both semesters.
Somewhere during this time I realized that the Cisco certificate and 3 other certificates overlap so much that it's maybe 2-3 courses to get more than one. I made an appointment and talked with the program advisor. She looked at my previous college degree and pointed out that I could transfer that work in and earn a degree instead of a certificate, without having to take any more classes. She also confirmed that I could earn more than one degree or certificate.
So I'm taking my last 3 classes, should graduate in May, with honors. I need to be applying for permanent jobs, internships and an unpaid apprenticeship. I also need to talk to my advisor and apply for my Cisco networking certificate. I have finished the 4 courses, and just need to take the Cisco exam to be a certified CCNA. I can't bring myself to do any of it. I'm scared I guess. Time to divide and conquer again.
So tomorrow I'm going to campus early and talking with the advisor. I'm going to start the process for a certificate and find out how I get an internship. Maybe by blogging here I'll actually do it.