Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The power of ONE word

Many many years ago in a galaxy far far away there was a high school. In that high school there was a teacher, an English teacher actually. On that teacher's desk was a poster I vaguely remember. Something about how one word could spark a million or something like that. I began thinking about that poster recently after a conversation I had with my Bishop turned into an event that will forever alter my circumstance.

Allow me to explain...

Two weeks ago I was meeting with my Bishop to plead for financial assistance, sadly something I have to do more often than I would like given current my current economic status, and we were talking about what could be done to change my circumstance. The financial dependence I still have on Ex Knight is infuriating most of the time but ESPECIALLY when he fails to pay the amount of support he is supposed to pay and my children suffer as a result.

"Go get a job!" you say right?!?!? Easier said that done when you have no verifiable work experience and no education and are trying to find employment in an economy such as ours....anyway back to the story.

So the Bishop and I are sitting in his office and he counsels me to pursue education. I explain that I've tried but I can't find an accredited program in the field I want with an online option at a price I can reasonably afford to pay back anywhere. The Bishop then says he KNOWS they are out there and I need to keep looking for "regionally accredited online degree programs". That one word - regionally - has made all the difference.

Once I began searching for REGIONALLY accredited on-line degree programs I found the perfect fit. I was so impressed by what I saw (and remember I don't impress easily when it comes to colleges) on their website I clicked on the chat to speak to a live person. Soon I was asking that live person more questions than they could answer and I was transferred to the man who would later become my admissions counselor. Super K is what we'll call him, because I think he is just that...super!!

Super K and I spoke on the 8th of this month and he encouraged me to prepare for a January entrance. I was hoping I might be able to attend in April but that January entrance was sitting in the back of my mind eating away at me. The sooner I go to school, the sooner I can get a credential, the sooner I get that credential, the more employable I am, the more employable I am, the sooner I can eliminate any degree of financial dependence on Ex Knight.

Super K sends me an invitation to the school's placement test...they call it an assessment but REALLY we all know it's a test and the application and I drag my heels a lil about getting it done. Finally I go ahead and take the TEST (Super K you guys really need to call it what it is...a TEST) and Super K calls me with my results. Being somewhat of a brainiac, I'm sure I've done ok, but it IS a test and I've been out school a long time so my skills are a lil rusty. Super K informs me I have knocked it out of the park, scoring in the top 10% of test takers and when I come to school in January (he was bent on the January date for some reasons...Super K do you get a bonus or something for having a certain amount of students enrolled for Winter quarter?!?!?) I can go straight into my degree program! WUHOWWW!!!! I was THRILLED.

Now the only obstacle was finding the monies to go. I immediately began praying that if attending this school at this time was what Heavenly Father wanted for me and mine, the obstacles would be removed and asked a few people I know to be vigilant prayer people to do the same. I am here to tell you God answers prayers because one by one the obstacles came tumbling down and I will be attending school, as Super K pushed for, in January! I still can hardly believe it!

The program I found has the same accreditation as one of the big state schools where I live, the cost of tuition includes books and software, I can test out of classes, (which I will TOTALLY be doing for College Algebra and a few others), my current tuition rate stays locked if I take 4 classes a quarter, and whether I take 16 credits a quarter or 24, I'll only pay for 16! It's almost too good to be true isn't it?!?!? I thought so too, but found another student in an online program at the school who says no, it's not...it is indeed THIS good!

I'm THRILLED!!!! I cannot wait. Just ask Super K, he'll tell you how I've been a pain in his neck! So, here's the plan...test out of 7 credits, two quarters of 5 classes, two quarters of 6 classes and then throw a big ole party to celebrate the achievement of my Associate's Degree. That leaves just 88 more credits for my Bachelor's Degree...another 2 quarters of 5 classes and 2 of 6 and then an even bigger party as I celebrate having earned my Bachelor's Degree. The only regret I've ever lost sleep over finally resolved!

All this, because of the power of ONE word...regionally. I am so grateful to the inspired counsel from a loving Bishop, Super K for believing in me enough to push me for a much earlier entrance, and most importantly, for my Heavenly Father who cleared the obstacles out of the way to make this long time dream a reality!

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