Higher Education


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Whew! I survived.

This week I attended the final class for the second course in the Spring 2018 semester at our local college.

In addition to obtaining my final grade from the instructor, I enjoyed conversations with classmates and a potluck supper abundant with food from different cultures. I was stuffed! It was interesting to learn more about the backgrounds of my classmates plus hear what they planned for the next steps in their education journey.

Aside from the stinky summer humidity, the stress from too many obligations and frustrating rush hour bus commutes, I enjoyed this back-to-school experience.

I enjoy acquiring knowledge and meeting new people. I was proud that I kept on the path for my five-year plan. 

The occasional smell of nicotine and pot smoke reminded me of high school. One floundering, talkative classmate claimed that his Cannabis use was for medicinal purposes. Okay… who am I to judge? The times they are a changing… 

My clear-minded final grades for the two courses are 91.5% and 89%. Not bad, eh? I look forward to taking just one course in the next semester. I think it’s all I can handle right now.

Thanks for dropping by.


Looking for some light humour? Visit Pampered Cats and Other Household Gods.


What was I thinking?!


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On New Year’s Day, I made a list of goals and priorities.

This has become an annual event along with reviewing accomplishments from the previous year.

Some 2018 items were general categories like health, relationships, career and financial well-being. Some items were specific like getting my drivers license.

Just before the Lunar New Year I caught the flu; I lost a week of work, socializing and getting out for provisions. My youngest adult child dropped off necessities from the grocery store. My closest friend brought me lozenges and herbal tea.

I had time to rest, wallow in self-pity, watch trashy Netflix shows and reflect.

Black cat in front of TV

Cat on Lap watching trashy Netflix shows with me

I used some of the recent recommendations from the Year of the Dog Feng Shui workshop to rearrange my living space, to revisit my personal space and time. According to our instructor, this coming year would be a good one for career and education.

black cat in front of documents and tablet

Cat on lap helping with Lunar New Year cleanse preparations

It could have been the haze of the flu lifting but I had a vision of where I would like to be in five years, let alone one. I revisited and embraced information about an early love, the love of libraries. I registered for a college program as a part-time student.

Coming out from under the winter funk, I felt motivated to move my body more and soon put some goals into action. I pushed myself to the end of April, as I studied for the written test for the drivers license.

Black cat in front of screens

Cat on Lap helping me study for the written test

I passed the test and earned my G1. Yippee!

In early May, I started attending night classes for two courses in a college program. By late June I was wondering “What was I thinking?!”. The stress of work demands and school assignments was starting to peak.

I felt a great relief by last weekend after delivering a successful presentation in one class and completing the midterm exam in another.

Now enjoying a wisely planned vacation week, I can relax and muster up enough energy to get me through the next six weeks of school (plus that work thing and weekend volunteer shifts…)

I am continuing with my morning walks because my physical and spiritual health are important to me.

I am planning to take driving lessons this fall and winter so I can pass the road test by next spring. I look forward to being independently mobile for future travel.

I think I’ll only take one night class this fall though!

We’re half-way through the year. Whew!

Thanks for stopping by. If you like the black cat’s appearances, you can see more of him and the Fat Tabby at this blogIf you like my writing style, you might enjoy reading my novel from 2011.

What’s your opinion of setting annual goals? Lifelong learning?



How far would your generosity go?


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I used to purchase sheets of OC Transpo bus tickets to help my offspring get around town if they didn’t have a loaded or valid bus pass.

I would also carry extras with me as a backup plan if my PrestoCard balance ran out or to help out if a bus buddy forgot their pass.

Soon that will no longer be an option.

OCTranspoTicketsGoodUntilApril302018 - Edited (1)

Ottawa’s public transportation service will not accept paper tickets after April 30th. Commuters will have to have a Presto Card handy and loaded or carry $3.50 in exact change.

Coins350BusFareApr2018 - Edited

So, you could offer to pay for a fellow OC Transpo commuter who has forgotten their pass or doesn’t have the $3.50. You could offer them your backup stash of coin or indicate to the driver you wish to pay for another’s fare with your PrestoCard.

Presto Card pic from Prestocard.ca site

Presto Card pic from Prestocard.ca site https://www.prestocard.ca/en/

The latter will cost you 5 cents less but require social interaction with two people instead of one and delay others getting on the bus…

I suppose I will use the PrestoCard payment method for a friend instead of offering cash. It’s a matter of me remembering to load enough on my card.  

On a related note, I wish PrestoCard would send an email or text to notify you when your balance gets to a day’s value or less. 

Gone are the days of the paper passes 😦 and Federal tax credits for using public transportation.

I find this ticket-less system counter-productive and risky:

  1. Low income riders have to jump through hoops to prove their financial status in order to qualify for a Community Discount pass.
  2. Social service agencies can no longer provide bus tickets to their clients so they can get to appointments or related events.
  3. Buses may be carrying more coin as alternate payment rather than paper tickets. This could make for theft opportunities or cause more fuel usage due to extra weight.


Are you an Ottawa public transportation user? How are you adapting to these changes? What’s your opinion on this new system plus the city’s attempt to prepare commuters for the late and over-budget Light Rail Transit system?