Sunday, July 11, 2010

Tangible Tidbits 2010 #26: Exploring My Financial Options

Hello, everyone! I've been pretty busy this week. I finished the two Totally Twisted Pendants in the kit from Paulette Baron that I mentioned last week. One necklace has already been posted and the second one will be posted tomorrow. I have to admit, I personally prefer the second one. I had some great sea foam luster beads in my stash that perfectly complimented the colors in the pendant. I hope you all like it as much as I do! :)

On Friday, I visited the Unemployment office in East Orange to meet with a counselor. I was advised to do so after the training workshop I had attended there a few weeks ago. The goal is to obtain a Tuition Waiver (I keep thinking Inheritance Tax Waiver because of my prior job at Registrar and Transfer, and even made the mistake of referring to it in my conversation with the counselor! She looked confused and I immediately recognized and corrected my mistake. :o ) to pay for school. She seemed to think it would not be a problem to get the Waiver -- they are offered for people undergoing training for in-demand fields, as an effort to hopefully make the candidates more employable long-term. Although Metalwork & Jewelry classes are not necessarily in that category, I told her about my plans for self-employment, so she seemed to think that would be okay. At the training workshop, the counselor said that graduate applications have to be approved by Trenton. I didn't think to ask about that on Friday, but it will hopefully not be a hindrance. In any case, the sticking point seems to be getting Montclair State to accept it. Apparently, they have declined before. I sent off an email to the Financial Services Department on Friday, since they were closed, and will hopefully get a response this week. If Montclair State agrees -- and since I have already enrolled and have paid part of the semester's tuition, they may not -- I will be taken off the enrollment roster for the class I have scheduled for September and have to reapply for it in August, within 30 days before classes start. Naturally, the school has the opportunity to take paying students over Tuition Waiver students, which is why we get "last pick." However, my class has five openings left out of 13 at the moment, not including me. I doubt I will get shut out of the class in the next four or five weeks. Just in case, though, my fingers are crossed! If the school refuses to change my status, I will pay for this semester out of my pocket and go the Tuition Waiver route for the remaining six classes. I understand that once the school has money in-hand, they may not be so eager to return it. I am being philosophical about this...I can certainly use the extra money that I would have used to pay for school, as times are tight at the moment, but I am willing to pay for school if necessary. Advancing my education is too important to let red tape muck up the works. :\

In addition, I am attending a three-hour Self-Employment Assistance (SEA) workshop tomorrow morning, which I also learned about at the training workshop. I will learn about the program and see if I qualify. I will also find out how it affects my Unemployment benefits, as I do believe it does in some way. They kind of glossed over that part at the previous workshop. If I do qualify, great! If not, c'est la vie. I am exploring every avenue I can to make this transition easier, but I only have control over so much. Particularly when dealing with an academic institution and the State of New Jersey. Don't even get me started on the latter! :p

In other news (pun intended), my second article was accepted by Factoidz this week! I think I previously mentioned wanting to adapt my steampunk oral presentation from last semester. I did that and it is here for anyone who is interested in reading it or missed it on the social media sites. I have now been bumped up to the #2 expert in jewelry-making on Factoidsz! :D The two Focal Piece of the Month stories I have submitted are really the only appropriate ones for Factoidz, so I will have to come up with new topics on a semi-regular basis for future articles. If anyone has suggestions or a particular topic he or she would like to learn more about, please let me know and I will explore it for you! :) I may try to hash out one on public relations for small businesses, as that is my prior experience and not completely unrelated to what I am doing now. ;) As always, I will keep you posted on my progress.

BTW, I did take last Monday (July 5) off. I spent most of the day in bed with the air conditioner running! In case anyone hasn't heard, we had a major heat wave in New Jersey most of last week. It was brutal for a couple of days, but the humidity seems to have dropped off a bit for the weekend. 8)

I saw Toy Story 3 last night at the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) Clearview Cinema. It cost $14.25 for the ticket because they charge an additional $3.50 for "the 3-D experience." Luckily, I had a gift card from a friend, so that didn't hurt my wallet too much. LOL For anyone who hasn't seen it, it was really good! Definitely as entertaining as the first one. The audience was mostly adults, and they laughed out loud quite a bit. If you have any interest, I highly recommend seeing it on the big screen. :)

I've also been watching episodes of the former NBC soap opera Another World this weekend. It's available on Hulu, but only episodes from mid-May 1991 to mid-August 1992 so far. As I was working during that time, I missed many of those episodes. Even knowing what eventually happened to the characters almost a decade later (the show went off the air in 1999) doesn't take away from my enjoyment of watching these older episodes. It's kind of like hanging out with old friends after not seeing them for ages. ;)

That's about it for me...back to Hulu! LOL Have a great week! :)
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