Did you read my email?!?

I know I am probably guilty of this too, but something that just really irks me is when you email someone and they reply with some stupid answer that doesn’t even address your question.

For instance: earlier this week I received an email from the school I was planning on enrolling at for a library science degree. I was a bit surprised since I had made the decision to defer my enrollment and thought I was set for a year. This particular email was about the financial aid form I submitted. Apparently, I had not indicated enough credits per term to be considered for financial aid. The email requested I complete a new form, which was attached to the email, and send it in at my earliest convenience. Okay, I thought, no big deal. I will just complete a new form and send it back in.

I put it off for a bit while I did other internet things: reading other emails, browsing through my FaceBook news feed, catching up on my favorite blogs. Then I went back to the email and took a look at the form. The form states:

To be considered a full-time student you must be enrolled for at least 12 credits (undergraduate students) or 9 credits (graduate students). To be eligible for federal loan funds, you must be enrolled at least half-time. Students enrolled less than half-time are not eligible for most federal funds.

How do you interpret this? The way I interpreted it was that I had to be enrolled for at least 9 credit hours for the school year to be considered full-time and that would be more than what was needed to be eligible for federal funds since it was full-time which is more than half-time. This may be totally off, but I read it several times last night and each time came to that same conclusion. There are 4 terms in the school year, so on the original financial aid form I submitted, I wrote I was planning to take 3 credits per term for a total of 12 credits for the year thinking I would be exceeding the requirements stated on the form.

I still planned to get a new form completed and mailed in, but I was now confused since the email from a guy who’s signature says he is the Assistant Director for the Student Resource Center/Financial Aid stated that I needed to be enrolled for at least 4.5 credits per term to be considered for federal funds. I decided to reply to the email  to see if I could get clarification on the issue. Here’s my email:

On the financial aid form, it states that to receive aid a graduate student must be enrolled at least half-time and that to be considered full-time, graduate students must take 9 credits. Is this 9 credits per quarter or 9 credits total? I was reading that I would need to be enrolled in 9 credits total, and the 3 credits per term would fulfill this requirement since there are 4 terms and I would then be taking a total of 12 credits. Your email and the actual form seem to say two different things to me.

I am also deferring my enrollment. How does this affect the need to redo this form? Thank you for your assistance.

And here is the reply I received today (again from the Assistant Director for the Student Resource Center/Financial Aid):

Thank you for your e-mail.  Under federal guidelines, a student must be enrolled at least half-time per term in order to receive federal aid for that term. If you are planning to defer your enrollment, then you will want to fill out the revised form indicating the number of credits for each term that you plan to be enrolled.  Once we have received your revised form, we will be able to process your financial aid based upon your specifications.  Please feel free to contact the Financial Aid Office if you have any questions!

Well, Mr. Assistant Director of Financial Aid, I did ask you a  question and you kind of just glossed over the entire thing even though it was the bulk of my email to you. Yes, I understand that there appear to be Federal guidelines in place dictating how many credit hours I need to take, but why does your financial aid form seem to contradict this? If it doesn’t contradict the Federal guidelines and I am confusing things, why did you not explain things for me?

It is probably a lost cause to again email Mr. Assistant Director of Financial Aid again, so I guess I will place a call to a person and actually speak to someone. The entire thing is most likely a lost cause since it is very unlikely I will qualify for any financial aid no matter how many credits I am taking.


10-year anniversary

Yesterday was my 10th wedding anniversary. Ten years might seem a long time to be married when you’re only 30 years old, but it hasn’t felt all that long at all. And most of it has been very, very good. M. and I met over a thousand miles and the internet back in 1997. If you’re a newer reader to my blog and haven’t had a chance to prowl through the archives, you can find our story here. And last year I wrote a post about our being married 9 years, complete with photos and a slideshow. Check that out here.

So, last week I made these big plans for our special day. M. had taken the day off and I had my last day of work before the new job starts, so we had no obligations other than to celebrate. I scheduled us fusion massages and made reservations at a fusion restaurant a friend recommended. I decided on Monday (another day off for both of us) that we needed to get more painting on the yard shed we’ve had for months now and not managed to finish. I dug out my old clothes, my paint brushes, paint, a ladder and went to work. I ended up getting the shed close to done after 3 hours of work, but then ran out of masking tape to tape off the detail work around the trim.  I went back inside and cleaned up. Later that day my back was feeling pretty hot. I checked it out and found I had severely burnt my entire upper back and shoulders. When I prepared to go outside and paint sunscreen didn’t even enter my mind, so I had no protection at all. And while it doesn’t hurt too much, it itches like crazy and getting it rubbed and deep massaged didn’t seem like a good plan. I moved the massage to next Saturday. The shed is still not finished and I have a crispy critter living on my back.

Some time ago one of M.’s crowned teeth decided to fall out of his mouth. It left behind a bit of tooth in the decrepit hole. On Wednesday he had the remaining bit of tooth cut out. Now the decrepit hole is a bleeding mass of ouch and M. has to be very cautious when he eats so not to jab food into the hole causing even more pain. So I moved our fusion restaurant meal to next Saturday. It was looking like we’d have no special plans the day of our milestone anniversary.

The day of arrived and we took a trip to the library to see if any new movies were on the shelf. We ended up walking away with an armful of movies we wanted to see. We then went to the zoo and spent some time walking and enjoying the animals – most of which cooperated and were more active than I had ever seen them. We then had a buy one get one free lunch at our favorite Mexican place – soft food all around, burritos and soft tacos. Back at home we took a nice nap and then watched three of the movies we picked up: Revolutionary Road (neither of us particularly liked this one, although I enjoyed all the 50’s fashion and decor), Bride Wars (a nice change after Rev. Rd., although a bit silly), and Gran Torino (the best of the three). Today we will be watching The Reader (hopefully better than the book), and probably some others, but that is the last 3-day rental we have. We ordered some pizza for dinner and had a nice time, just being together and doing things we enjoy.

Tomorrow I drive up to our state capital to begin a 9-week long training for my new job. The first full week is in the capital (about 3 hours away from home), and the remaining 8 weeks will fluctuate between the capital and my home county. I hate not knowing when I’ll be at the capital and when I will be home. I also made the decision to defer my enrollment into library school. I heard back from my adviser and the Dean’s Fellowship I was awarded can be deferred as well. I will decide later if I want to go for the Master of Library Science since it will not be beneficial in any way to the job I am starting on Monday.

Still no decision…

I am still toying with the idea of doing work full-time and school full-time. When I tried to contact the advisor the university assigned me, I got a message she is out until the 6th, so no help there yet. I sent her an email so we’ll see how quickly after her return she gets around to answering those.

My last day volunteering at the library, at least for now, was Friday. I met a new staff member there who had just graduated from the university I’ve been accepted to. I told him my story and impending dilemma. He gave me his card and said to email him if I need help in selecting courses to make the dual full-times doable. People have been so encouraging and supportive.

I am hoping to have a final decision by the end of this week before I begin my intense training for the new job.

Sad email :(

I just had to notify the library I can no longer volunteer, well, at least not until I’ve completed the training for my new job and I’m a bit more settled into the position. I have to go out of town for 6 weeks for my training, but can be home on the weekends which means I will want to spend all that time at home.

It made me sad to email and say this Friday will be the last day I volunteer. 😦

Maybe that is a sign I should try to do school and work…

When too many good things happen at once

Getting laid off last October was bad. The feelings of hopelessness when perusing job postings was worse. Then it was updating the resume and preparing all the paperwork that goes into applying for a job once a semi-appropriate one was located. The ensuing onslaught of rejection letters without the benefit of an interview was horrible. Actually having interviews and then not hearing anything or getting that “we went with another candidate who better met our needs” really stunk. I went through this for about 8 months. I know many people are dealing with similar situations and have been for longer periods of time, but for me, this was a first and it seemed really, really bad. I had worked at least part-time pretty much since I was 16 and never had a problem finding something. Now I had two degrees, one a master’s, and there was nothing.

Last Friday I finally had an interview and a job offer all in the same day! It was one of the first jobs I had applied for after being laid off: Family Case Manager for the state’s Department of Children Services. I was friends with someone in the department and figured I had an “in.” But last October when I applied, there were no openings. I was pre-screened for the position via phone and then told my application would be kept on file. Then there was silence until last week.

At the time I interviewed I knew it was for a full-time position and that I had been accepted to a graduate program to get my master’s of library science degree. I wasn’t sure what to do if I received a job offer since it didn’t seem possible to do both full-time job and full-time school. (I know, people do it, but this was about me, and for me, it didn’t seem possible.) I decided I would do the interview and go from there. Heck, I am horrible at interviews and I was warned beforehand that this was one of those “tell me a time when…” interviews that I am particularly horrible at. I figured I wouldn’t even get an offer. But it’s a decent paying job (more than I’ve ever made before) for the state, and I had been so excited about applying for it way back when, so I had to at least give it a try. You know the aftermath.

I had made the decision on my drive home from the interview that if I happened to be offered this job, I would take it. I would defer my enrollment into graduate school and if I ended up wanting to pursue that degree at a later time, I still could. And that was that.

Yesterday I got my official acceptance letter from the graduate school I applied to. I had previously only been notified of my acceptance via email. With my acceptance letter I also received a letter saying I’ve been awarded a Dean’s Fellowship. As long as I am enrolled full-time, I receive $250 per credit hour taken towards my tuition. This is so exciting because I’ve never been awarded any kind of financial aid for school other than Stafford loans and I am already paying back the ones from my bachelor and previous master programs. I also looked through the paperwork a little more closely, and even if I defer my enrollment, I still have to pay the enrollment fee, which I thought was deferred as well.

So now I have to make the decision of whether or not to try to go to school while doing this full time job. And it would have to be full-time school to take advantage of the Dean’s Fellowship. Just when I thought I had everything figured out.

Side note: I made a romper! Picture posted on my art page.