Thursday, 23 September 2010

So far, so good

So I've started the new job and I like it.  They have a really good way of working in that you change tasks every hour.  This means you can't get bored, I loved the tills and clearing the changing room rails.  It gave me plenty of time to look around the store and decide what I wanted to spend my discount on!

Tomorrow is the last day of my other job.  There has been lots of 'office politics' stuff that has amazed me, but I am still gutted about leaving.  Just sad that this last experience has had a blip on my memories of the job as a whole.

I'm sure tomorrow will be full of hugs and tears and I'm not looking forward to it at all.  The girls and I are going on a 'leaving do' though.  We are going to see a production of Rocky Horror.  I've heard loads of good stuff about it.  I've even brought a new dress to go - although I might change my mind yet and dress up!

Uni starts on Monday with Freshers Week.  I'm not sure what is really going to happen with that.  I have got my timetable though and it tells me that I am starting with Ceramics and Glass - I can't wait to dive in there!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

A breakthrough

It's official - my job is actually going, no well it may still go part time or there may be hope yet it's going.  Which has kind of made me a little sad. I know I'm going back to Uni and i shouldn't really care, but I do.  The scheme I work for is a really worthwhile one and I would hate to think of it going down the drain - especially when it affects so many children in such a positive way.

Last Thursday I made the decision that apparently a job wasn't going to drop in my lap and I needed to go out and find one (who knew...).  So I took some CV's with me to work and on my lunch hour put on my best smile and went around the stores in my local town basically asking if anyone was taking on staff.  There were a couple of  'sure we will be taking on Christmas staff, leave your CV and we will get back to you' lines, but then I went into a clothes store and asked the assistant if they were taking on staff.  She directed me to the store manager, who said yes actually we are taking on, do you have a CV?  I handed over my ready prepared CV and explained how I was starting Uni and would really like a part time job thankyouplease.  She said 'mmmm are you available tomorrow for interview?' I jumped up and down and hugged her said yes I would be available.  We arranged a time and the butterflies started in!

You've got to understand - it has been (literally) years since I last had a job in any kind of retail sector and I have never had a job in the clothing sector - I've worked in bars, supermarkets and a stationery store, but never clothing.  There were loads of doubts flying around my head, would I fit in, would I be the oldest there (I'm not the crypt keeper or anything but still.....

I arrived the next day wondering what would befall me.  Would my outfit be trendy enough?  Would the person interviewing me be younger than me.....I was met by a nice lady who was in the same age bracket as me (relief!) who then told me I was going to play personal shopper for a celebrity, I had a mythological £100 to spend on an outfit for them for the night and off I went.  Can I just say there is a kind of freedom in shopping with money that a) isn't yours b) you have no responsibility for and c) don't have to pay back.  I whizzed around and found the perfect ensemble.  Followed the lady to the back of the store for the remainder of my interview, where the usual questions were asked, shook hands and told they would be in touch.  Cue more butter butterflies!

I was languishing on the sofa the next day, when the phone rang and it was nana calling  the store calling to offer me the job!  I was so excited!  OK it is minimum wage, I didn't cure world hunger or anything, but still in the course of 3 days I had landed myself a fab job with a (very) decent discount!

The big break through is I feel like now I can get excited about going to Uni.  My money worries are far less, I have another job to go to and I'm doing what I want to do YAY ME!  So to celebrate I went out and brought myself not 1 but 2 folders!  Will the excitement never end!

What can I say my life is like rollercoaster of discovery ;o)

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Nothing to Report ...

So nothing really has happened this last week to report on.

I haven't had second thoughts and I am still set on going to Uni.  I can't wait to get in the studio's to have a play around.  I'm just really excited at learning some new skills and techniques.

I still haven't sorted out a part time job, but I am kinda stuck with that until I get my timetable which I won't get until the beginning of September.  Until then I'm keeping my eyes out for a job that might be suitable.  As long as they will be flexible with the work hours then I would be able to apply  now, but I haven't seen anything as yet.  The only job I am truly dreading doing is stocking shelves.  I quite like retail work, I love being on the tills and the customer interaction, but I hate stocking shelves!  But you got to do what you got to do.

I need to over to the Uni finance office this week and make sure that I have applied for everything that I am supposed to.  I know I was shocked the last time that I spoke to them to find out that I could claim a discount on my council tax, because if you read the 'if I should claim' page on the local council website it all but tells you, you aren't eligable.

I find this pretty typical when it comes to benefits of any kind though.  If you ask what you are able to claim you are told nothing, if you ask if you are able to claim benefit X then they tell you yes.  It's a sorry state of affairs really.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Where I'm up to

So I've had notice of finance, and an official letter that says I have definately got an unconditional place on the course.

I had a bit of a set back last week when I found out that once I have been in post for 4 years or more then apparently it's law that they have to make a permanent full time employee, so this changes everything.  Do I still leave work to go back to Uni or do I stay in post?

I've always said that I wanted to go back to Uni, and arty crafty stuff is my thing, but I would be giving up a good job with good money to go there.  If I go back to Uni I will have all my funding, so that wouldn't be an issue, but I would still need to find a job that has me earning £6k for me to break even on what I take home now - is that even possible?  I don't even know what part time jobs are like?  Do students do anything but bar work?

I'm scared that I am going to put a big strain on my relationship with DH, because of the lack of money.  We have only just managed to get on our feet with the house, so would I be putting it all in jeopardy just to satisfy my job urges?

One thing is for sure and that is I don't want to get another administrative job.  I have been there, done that and have the notepads to prove it.  I've got the qualifications, so short of doing a degree in some kind of administrative services ( DO.NOT.WANT.) there isn't much more that I can do.

I have the full support of my family and DH, which is more than what some people have.  I also have some fab friends who are cheering me on, but still am I doing the right thing going back.

In my heart of hearts I know it is what I want to do and speaking to others who have been in the same situation I am going to be in a constant cycle of  these thoughts for some time yet, but I am told that once I get to do jelly shots the meaning will all be clear!

So after pondering and going around in circles for a while I've decided that I can make this work.  I can always get some kind of job, and if nothing else I've still got Whimsies to work on. 

The up and down of it is after a minor detour I'm back on track and excited to be there, so if you are around me and hear me uhming and ahing over going, just set me back on the track - 48 days and I will officially be a student.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Let's Start at the Beginning....

**side note** just because the blog is called diary of a mature student don't be thinking that I'm all old and wrinkly, in fact I'm not even 30 yet. Apparently everyone over the age of 21 is called mature students - I just thought I would clarify that.

So shall we start at the recent beginning or beginning beginning?

Do you want to hear about what a naughty, prococious child I am was?

I think we will go with the shorthand version - afterall I don't want to scare you too much.

As a small child I had a creative instinct.  I liked to make things up, I had lots and lots of imagination.  There are plenty of tales I could tell (the time I married Alvin Stardust, the time I had tea with Jesus in the clouds, my imaginery cat....).  I would share my 'imagination' whenever I was able and with whoever would listen.  I liked to collect pens and paper, I liked to copy people and do what they were doing (pretending to read the paper/cook/breast feed my baby doll/iron/hoover).  My mum liked to knit, so I wanted to have a go, my nana liked to cook, so I wanted to join in....

Then I went to school and expanded my disruptiveness creativity.  They had paints and glitter and glue and prettty paper and they made stuff.  Stuff that made you run out to find your mum with your chest puffed out with pride (providing I hadn't gone too far and the teacher was coming out to find mum too).

And thus life continued with my knitting/crocheting/spinning/tatting/sewing/embroidering/drawing/painting/cooking/making jewelry/playing with fimo.  Then I made too much 'stuff' so I put it up for sale, people brought stuff and my chest puffed.  Then if I felt like it I made more, if not I left it alone.

Then news came that the funding *may* be running out on my job...

*crickets chiruping*

*general silence*

*wild west blowy things go past*

*dust bunnies gathered*

*blink, blink*


So after the general shock wore off, I cried, paniced, buried my head in the sand then dusted myself off and thought 'well shoot.  Now what am I going to do' And then the naughty school girl kicked in...

'But I donwanna get a job'  Ok fine girly Sarah, so what do you want to do?  'Skool' Don't be silly you can't go back to school.  'SKOOL'  She said, Ok maybe some kind of business course said I.  'SKKKKOOOOOLLLLLLLL' she said and threw the mother of all temper tantrums, well there is a good art course said grown up me. 'sk sk sk skool' girly Sarah hicoughed through a red face full of dried tears and snot?  Yes said the grown up, Skool!

So I applied to go on the arts course and for the finance side of things.  I kept telling myself that if the finance didn't pan out I wouldn't be able to go.  Then I received a call asking me to go for an interview.  I had to build a portfolio, start a sketch book, make up some samples.  This was all nerve racking and I nearly gave it all up there and then.

I had been playing around with the idea of a circus themed something, so I went with that.  I photographed everything that I had made recently, put it in the folder along with some drawings and inspirations and went from there.

The tutor who interviewed me seemed impressed, I was embarrased thinking that she would think my stuff was stupid.  I was expecting the well it's all very good, but why don't you try some GCSE's, but she said well I'm happy to offer you a place...


I'm happy to offer you a place!  You will start in September will that be ok?  *blink blink* Erm, yes, YES of course it will!

I floated out of the class room with the overwhelming feeling that I was good enough.  That I did have some kind of talent.  I was on cloud 9, but I still didn't think I would be going because well I hadn't heard off the finance people....yet......