Sunday, January 31, 2010

A little frustration

I have now jumped all the hoops necessary to apply for graduate studies at the University of Alberta except paying the registration fee. It's not that I haven't tried to pay the registration fee. It's just that I can't figure out how to pay it. I e-mailed my contact in the grad studies office and she sent me a link - but the link just states that you must pay before your application will be considered. But nowhere can I find anything that says "input your credit card number here" or anything like that. I guess I'll e-mail her again tomorrow and try again. You think they'd make it easy to give them money!

Snow Day

It's taken a week, but I finally have my van shovelled out and drivable. The first step was to get it shovelled out. There was so much snow, and it had hardened to concrete so that I couldn't shovel it out. It would have taken too much out of my arm, and I have had enough trouble with my elbow going out of joint that I wasn't going to risk it.

Then, once my van was shovelled out - I had a flat. I finally got it pumped up enough that Saturday morning I was able to go and get it fixed. I had a nail in it.

That meant that I was finally able to get my banking done. Some of the banking I've needed to do for over two weeks, but I had to get to the bank while it was open to deal with a real live teller and I was away last weekend. It feels good to get some of the "must do's" done.

I had a piano recital Friday. I did ok, I think. This past week at school has been exam week. I got the exam made up for my class and marked. I still don't have final marks calculated for that class, but I'm confident I'll get it done. I don't have much more to go on that. I also got the second semester planned out (roughly). I'm teaching Grade 9 English (still) as well as Christian Ethics 9 (for the first time). Tomorrow's the first day of classes for the second semester.

Bram turns 16 on Tuesday. He and Rose and Lloyd are in Florida for 10 days. (Must be nice, eh?) What a rough way to celebrate your birthday.

It has also warmed up a bit. I just don't function as well at -25 or colder as I do at slightly warmer temperatures. I makes me wonder how I managed in Yellowknife as long as I did. I guess you do what you have to. However I find it really hard to do much more than go to work and come home when the weather's colder. I'm very thankful for the warmth - it's a balmy -15 this evening.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A weekend to remember!

I took Western's Bible Quiz team to Russell, Manitoba this past weekend for a tournament. It was a hectic weekend. We left Friday immediately after school, arriving in Russell around 6:30 pm. After registration and the official welcome, the tournament began. We quizzed until 10 pm, then met our billets. The boys were billetted north of town about a half hour away, while the girls and I were billetted east of town, about half an hour away.

Saturday things started bright and early at about 8:30 am - which meant that we had to leave our billets before 8 am and were up much earlier than that. We quizzed until 3 pm, then got organized to pick up supper and take buses out to Asessippi to ski. We skied until after 8 pm, then bussed back to Russell for a worship service. Things finally wrapped up at around 10:30 or 11 pm.

Although I had the van for the girls, my billet met us at the church. It had been snowing steadily all day and he wanted to make sure that I could follow him out to the farm. Visibility was poor, but I didn't have to worry, because he told me to just follow his truck out of the parking lot. So I did.

Unfortunately, another truck pulled out in front of me and I followed that truck! It wasn't going in the right direction, but by the time we figured that out, we were several miles in the wrong direction and had totally lost our host. I am thankful for the power of prayer and that my memory of driving out there the previous night held. Although there was lots of snow (no wind, thankfully), and it was pitch black out, I was able to find my way back to their farm - where we got stuck in the yard.

Sunday morning our host pulled both our van and his wife's car out with the tractor (we were both stuck in the yard) and we went to service. I had thought to leave earlier because the snow was still fairly heavy and the wind was picking up, but eventually we decided to spend the night in Russell and return to Regina Monday. The good people at Russell found us new billets in town and we were able to relax and catch up on our sleep.

We finally left Monday around 10:30 am. We travelled with two vehicles from the Milestone quiz team in convoy. The roads weren't bad at all - there was blowing snow across the highway between Ft. Qu'appelle and Regina, but it's a rare day when there isn't blowing snow for that stretch. We did see two vehicles in the ditch, but it was a totally uneventful trip. We arrived back at the school at about 2:30 pm.

There was sure a lot of snow in Regina! I still haven't got my van shovelled out, so I missed my piano lessons this morning. I'm very thankful that we had such a good tournament and that all the news was good news.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


I went curling with the Grade 10's today. I think the last time I went curling was when I lived in Maidstone - 22 years ago! I also think I'm going to be very sore tomorrow. God bless Ibuprofin.


The depression seems to have lifted. Where before I was able to only do the bare essentials I can now return to normal routines. I was up before 6:30 this morning instead of laying in bed until nearly 8. I've started cleaning up my apartment, doing laundry and other essential chores - and I've started sleeping again at night. (That's a big one!)

What's made the difference? I been needing to participate in a mediated conversation with my husband. I was first approached about this back this fall and said I could n't until I had arranged regular counselling for myself. That took quite a bit longer than I had anticipated, however counselling finally began in January. That's when the depression hit. However, I finally said that I couldn't do it - not at this time anyway. That's when the depression started to lift.

So it seems to me that I'm not really dealing with depression but with fear. As I know from Romans 8:15, "For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship." I know that I will have to deal with this - this is why I'm going to counselling, one baby step at a time.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Joys of Paperwork

OK, my grad studies application is nearly complete. I still have to get the letters of reference written and sent(I've requested them), do up a CV and a 500 word paper explaining why I want to apply, but I think I have all of the transcripts ordered (and I've seen copies of most of them so that I can fill out the info I need to). It's amazing the sheer volume of paperwork required. Hopefully I'll get through the rest of it this evening or tomorrow, so that I can give them the $100 application fee.

One of the challenges is that some of my transcripts are in the name Marilyn Orr, some are May Thiessen, and some are Marilyn Thiessen. So I guess I also have to fill out an official name change form as well.

The whole process actually is much easier than I thought it would be. I remember applying to go to the U of S (back in '82) and the difficulties just getting transcripts. Now all of that can be ordered (and paid for) online and sent out the same day.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


I've been having a lot of trouble with procrastination lately. Things not getting done because I just don't have the oomph to do more than just get through the day. So I've been trying to set myself artificial deadlines and do other things in order to get things done. Today was the day that I had to fill out my application for grad studies at the U of A; I'm wanting to take an M.Ed. in Elementary Education (School libraries). This is the work-around for getting an MLIS, seeing as I can't seem to do that through distance education in Canada and I can do this program through distance ed.

However, the computer's not cooperating. I fill out a section (which can only be done on-line), press save, and everything disappears into the ether - never to be seen again. There are 8 or 9 sections to do, and I've only managed the first two before I started having trouble. I guess this means I'll have to try again tomorrow.

Friday, January 8, 2010

One step forward... two steps back

Although I had been doing very well for quite some time, I'm back to just coping. School is going well, but I seem to be doing just my absolute "have to's" and struggling to do anything else. I'm back to having regular counselling, which should help. I had my first session this afternoon. He's encouraged me to consider some aspects of my past relationship with Lloyd in a different light (was there emotional abuse?) and to pray on that.

In the meantime, the sun still shines - even when it's -35 out. The piano lessons are going well (I think). My elbow's been giving me much less trouble since Bram showed me that karate punch (thank's Bram!).

Sunday, January 3, 2010

In the Lord's care

I put Bram on the plane this morning for Yellowknife. I always find it so difficult - a bit like taking off a bandaid. Just do it quickly and get it over with. I continue to trust in the Lord that he will look after my kids and keep them in his care.

We (Bram and I) went to Eyebrow Friday, returning home Saturday. It was good to see Lloyd's parents and his brother and wife there. Lloyd's parents are getting older and frailer. Maybe too frail to be living alone. However, just like my children, I have to trust them to be in God's hands and in his care.

I took all the decorations off the tree. It's ready to take down now. My living room and kitchen are much messier than I like them to be. I need to tidy up and put things away. Then I need to clean up the spare room where Bram was staying. Wash the sheets and have them ready for company again. I'm very fortunate that I have a spare room. (To be honest, my room could also use some tidying). That would be the whole apartment then that needs to be tidied up. Better get to it instead of just talking about it.

My brother Walter's mother-in-law died this past week. Her funeral will be on Monday in Saskatoon. I would like to be there for the funeral. She was a really sweet lady and I was privileged to get to know her as she generally came out to our family gatherings over past Christmases. However, it's really hard to get time off as a teacher. Subs are very hard to find. So I'll just keep Walter, Faye and her family in my prayers instead.