Thursday, March 25, 2010

What's New?

3 weeks ago I began my new part time job: that of resident manager of the building I live in. I handle rental inquiries and any problems the residents may have. It's a perfect fit as I am planning to return to school this fall.

I wasn't having much luck in finding employment in the PR field so decided to go back to being a student. As a life long learner anyway, this isn't such a stretch. My mom went to university in her thirties so I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, except this apple is 10 years older than the tree was when she went back to school. I'm sure my mom won't like being referred to as a tree so I'll end the analogy.

I've been accepted by a local community college for the business administration program and I have to admit to being rather excited about it. This time around (attending a post secondary institution) I'll have none of that late teenage angst saddling my psyche and interfering with study. I'll not be trying to find myself, as I've done that and think I'm cool. I'll have no peer pressure to sucuumb to as there will be few peers, mostly young adults. In actuality, my peers will be the teachers.

In high school I tutored elementary age children whose first language was not English. They wanted to learn, to do better in school, but not for themselves. They were there because their parents deemed it necessary. That was sometimes hard for them because on those beautiful afternoons they wanted to be outside playing. It was hard on me as well because it was difficult to keep them focused. So I had to invent games that involved physical activity in combination with math and English. 15 years ago I was involved with a non profit literacy agency as a tutor and as a member of the board of directors. I enjoyed tutoring, mostly because my adult students really wanted to be there. They weren't learning because of their parents but because they wanted to improve their lives or their children's lives. I fed off that desire to learn.

There's something intrinsically exciting about learning a new concept or how to solve an algebraic equation (ok, for me it is exciting) or suddenly understanding something which has had you perplexed for a while. (The day I understand the concept of time travel the entire world will know as the biggest light bulb on the planet will be visible above my head.) So I am excited about attending a school where the students are young adults who want to learn something to better their lives or to enable them to become contributing members of society. I will feed off that desire.

My folks and the Wookie are excited for me, too. I'm just waiting for some final paper work to go through before everything is set. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Last week was Brain Awareness Week. Were you aware of that? On the Monday, I was at a local hospital as part of a "brain fair" with other organizations involved in brain health. Of course I was there as a representative of the MS Society, speaking with anyone interested in getting more information. Earlier in the day, the new MEG machine had been unveiled. That's magnetoencephalograph - a machine that can measure the magnetic fields around the brain produced by electrical activity in the brain. It's the only one in Canada and I got to take a peek at it (they were giving tours). It will be used for clinical and experimental applications and when combined with MRI pictures can give an even more accurate image of the brain. It's a very cool machine that doesn't require you to be immobile; you can read, watch videos, move your body (as long as you stay seated with your head hooked up and in the machine), and if you need to scratch your nose, no problem. Halifax is fast becoming what Montreal was in the 40s and 50s when the Montreal Neurological Institute was the brain centre of the world. We have some of the most amazing work going on here these days.

We had several days of spring like weather last week. I saw my first bugs of the season, including a very sleepy wasp that wasn't sure which way was up. An iris bloomed outside the front door which had me in a panic as they don't normally come out til May. I found out later, it's an "early" iris, so not one of the kind that we see around Mother's Day. but still, it was a pleasant addition to the scenery around the building. One of the residents has already begun to dig in her garden, which means that I won't be far behind. And the bike will come out of the bike barn a little more regularly. Sadly, I fell behind in the 52 WBC when I accepted the resident manager job as I had to move across the hall (into the model suite) and all that entailed. I also have had to deal with an aggravated sciatic nerve (I think). Since my diagnosis, about once a year or so I have some left hip pain. It arose when I was walking funny, trying to compensate for leaning when my right side was almost useless. Luckily I've only had a couple of sleepless nights. I was speaking with a friend last night who's currently on disability because of his sciatica.

Anyway, as you can tell, it's been a rather busy month. As I get into a new routine I'll be writing more regularly. There's lots to talk about.



steve said...

Good Luck in school. After I left the old east coast academy, I spent more time in various class rooms than I did at the old academy. Like you, the teachers were my peers. The whole experience helped the career along and gave me quite the impressive diploma collection from some rather prestigious places.

You will find that the young students will be asking you a lot of questions and look at you as a "father" figure. It helps with the assignments. And wow, the old guy, you know the banker - he digs Motorhead...little did the young'uns know that heavy metal has been around for close to 50 years!! I could even drink them under the table at the end of the semester.

You'll do fine, you'll have fun.

Lisa Emrich said...

You have been busy! Looking forward to hearing more about what you've been up to.

Moving into the model unit, huh? Is that a good thing?

Shauna said...

I signed all the paper work and submitted it all on Friday. I should hear in 3 weeks whether or not it's a go....

Moving into the model suite simply meant moving across the hall into a slightly bigger apartment, which is a wonderful thing. Most of the units are of this type as the one I was in was only available on the ends of the building. It's still taking a little getting used to as the noises on this side of the building are a little different.