You get used to it, this is what I tell people the most, you get used to it. You get used to slowing down, and the insane prices, and the crappy availability of regular consumer products (last Christmas, there was no milk to be found anywhere in the city for just over a week. There was eggnog though.). You get used to people not answering the phones in the middle of the day and week, you get used to buying everything on line. You also get used to having money, and having parties where everyone you invite shows up. You get used to doing things for your neighbors, and saying hi to strangers on the street. You get used to knowing EVERYONE.
I don't even notice price tags anymore, after three years. My mother says things like, "well, I would just do without rather then pay $10 for a carton of orange juice". But that's not how it works....how long you gonna go without orange juice ma? It's just money. If I wanted, if there was anything I did without, it might be a different story, but I want for nothing, and it's just money. You gotta be kinda zen you know, or you might lose your ever loving mind round here sometimes.
I have a perfect example. I'm starting a new chapter in my life - The Help Becomes a Nurse is what I'm calling it in my head. So classes start next Tuesday, but orientation begins tomorrow. Ask me what time orientation begins. No idea. Where is it? Excellent question, and if you hear the answer please let me know. I just called the one number that is listed for these vital questions, and when I called it, got a recording that states that they are super busy so stop calling. I guess I'll just show up at some point tomorrow then? Uh...
Let me tell you about the application process, it's a study in bureaucratic hell. So you have to get so many forms filled out, and if you've attended a post secondary institution (which I have, 2 different ones to be precise) you have to give your transcripts. You need three reference letters, a criminal record check, Christ I can't even remember what all else. So four months ago, I got all these bits of paper, and it wasn't easy dear readers, as most of the info needed currently resides in various paperwork factories, I mean government buildings, in Newfoundland. Nevertheless! I got everything in on time, and again my mother is a saint for running all over God's creation getting papers for me. I had three killer references - my boss (who wrote the sweetest, kindest reference ever), a good friend who happens to be an instructor at the very college, and a MLA (which is Member of the Legislative Assembly). I'm a good student, so I wasn't too worried about my transcripts. I've never been in trouble (knock wood), so no problem on the record check front. Done and done.
Three weeks after I hand in everything they've asked for, they decide they need to see my highschool grades. Now, I must insert here - I'm 33 years old. I have a degree and a diploma, but they wanted to see what I did 16 years ago. Obviously. So again I send my sainted mother to wait in line for me to get one piece of paper. The college receives said piece of paper, and after a week or two of deliberation, tells me that I have been accepted PROVISIONALLY, as my grade 11 math mark was not up to par. I shit you not. I had to do a math test, and once that was done I would receive the glorious acceptance letter. So I wrote the math test, killed it, and waited with bated breath for my letter. Which after ANOTHER three weeks, did not come. So I truck myself up to the college because I understand now that it's against some unwritten policy for anyone to answer any phone ever, where I am told that I have not been accepted. My acceptance is still pending.
So I think about it for a day. Then I very politely tell one of the registrar people that they have a week to get me a letter, or I'm withdrawing my application. The lady was quite shocked. I believe she is used to people laying themselves prostrate before her, throwing their lives into her hands, and possibly baking her cookies. I've never been very good at being an ass kisser, and as mentioned, I am much older and more experienced then most people who will be entering this program, and my bullshit tolerance barrier has been breached.
They did not call in the week. So I went on vacation assuming that I was not going to school, that my life would stay pretty much as it has been for the last few years. Then while I was in a bar in the middle of the day (what? I was on vacation) I get a call on my blackberry, I have indeed been accepted. Well.
Cut to me three weeks later. I STILL have not received the blessed acceptance letter (the letter that one can go no further as a student, or get financial assistance without). So again I walk myself up to the college, and let the head admissions person know. She says she'll do it when she can, and I counter with - I'm not leaving without it. I'll just sit outside your office then? Ok! I get the letter 30 seconds later. Weird.
Don't get me wrong, I didn't have to provide a parchment rubbing of Egyptian hieroglyphics or promise away my first born. I didn't need to bring in footage from the grassy knoll, or living proof of aliens, so I pretty much got off scot free right? It's done, I'm in, let the games begin.
Next of course, I've got to try and secure funding. If you see a whimpering shell of a woman, rocking and sucking her thumb in a corner, you'll at least know I made it out alive.
'Til next time,