Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Week 25 - Day 3

New Years Eve. Still on vacation. May you all have a Happy New Years.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Week 24 - Day 3

Xmas Eve today.

I hope you all have a Very Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year.

I am on vacation this week and next week.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Week 23 - Day 5

School is over for the semester. I am on my last Friday off. Next year - starting January 5th - all classes will be held 5 half-days a week instead of 4 half-days.

Yesterday I did the exam for the MS office Word. I did pretty well. But the quizzes during the classes were not so good. My scores varied from 40 to 70% and one 90% score. I am now waiting for my final results of both MS Word and Business Practices.

Today is Friday December 19th. It is not yet officially winter. But right now there is a HOWLING snow storm outside the window, stretching from Minnesota (thats north of Chicago) to New Jersey (just before you get to NYC) according the US TV channels.

Schools in Toronto are still on - mainly because today is the LAST day of school for the kids for this year. They too return to school on January 5th. But there are numerous schools around the GTA that have closed for the day.

I hope everyone who reads this has a very merry Xmas and a happy new year.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Week 23 - Day 1

The second week of Applications - MS Word.

Everyone around me has a cough, a cold or is sneezing. Both my husband and son are sneezing, as is the Word instructor and BOTH students sitting on either side of me.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that my healthy eating will prevent me from succumbing.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Week 22 - Day 3

Well I have now had 3 days of Microsoft Applications - specifically Word. This is the basics/intermediate class. I did do a computer applications basic class back in July when I first started at Trios. However the instructor for that class has now transferred to a new Trios campus that opened up in Oshawa this year.

The new instructor for Applications is teaching Applications at two levels - intermediate and advanced. Applications includes Excel, Outlook, Powerpoint and Word. He also teaches Business Communications and Access.

So far there have been no assignments for WORD. He just gives us quizzes every day for the previous days lesson.

I am in a large class. In this class there are students from the paralegal program, the social work program, the medical program and the payroll program. There are probably also students from the police foundations and computer programs as well. So far I know of only myself and D from Switzerland who are doing Business Administration in this class.

I have 2 weeks of Word - this week and next week. Then 2 weeks off for Xmas. In January I go back for 5 more weeks to do Excel for 2 weeks and then one week each of Outlook, Powerpoint and Business Communications.

In February I will start a morning schedule, and I will have 4 months back with S doing 2 week blocks of Bookkeeping, Simply Accounting, Accounting Fundamnentals, Quickbooks, and then 4 weeks each of Advanced Accouting and ACCPCC.

Then in June I go back to the Applications Instructor for advanced Applications - Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, and finally ACCESS. I am due to graduate in August.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Week 21 - Day 6

Saturday today. Thursday was the last day. We did our presentation and the exam. Now I am waiting for result. I dont think I did too well on the exam. I didnt have time to do much study because I had to work on the project.

The other girl showed up on Thursday - the last day of class. All I said to her when she left was good luck. She said thank you.

Next week I will start a new class - Microsoft Applications - Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook and also Business Communications. Our instructors name is Jose (hoe-say) - and yes he is spanish. We have a huge big fat book produced by Microsoft about the Applications. It has over 900 pages.

Now the trouble is that most students have Office 2007 on their home computers as do I. So we have to save our homework as 2003 on the memory sticks if they are to work on the PCs at school. So why is Trios College still teaching Office 2003?

Two reasons.
One is that Trios still uses old computers with Windows XP and Office 2003 on them. Some of these computers are being changed for new ones over the Xmas holiday period. The rest will be upgraded next year.

And two is that most businesses have licences for Office 2003 and they often cant afford to upgrade until the license expires. Some have 5 years licenses and others have 10 year licences.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Week 21 Day 3

Well its been a quiet week. The girl from Trinidad was away all last week after the blowup, and so far I have only seen her once this week. On Monday she showed up to class saying something about having a really bad cold. S was not in class on monday, (due to family arrangements and the funeral) so this girl left the classroom within an hour. As did the rest of the class except me and my team. We still had a Business plan to finish. It must be done and presented to the class tomorrow - Thursday. The final exam is also tomorrow as well.

After tomorrow, this girl will have finished school, and I dont need to see her ever again - unless we happen to apply for the same job at the same time and be given interviews on the same day. Since she already has a job, this should not be a problem.

I also wonder how she will get on in the business world if she ever has a fight with someone else. I mean we are all entitled to our opinions. But to be told that we are wrong, without an explanation, is just not right. Usually we are told that we are wrong, because our opinions clashes with their opinion and they have no understanding of why they support their opinion. The most common reason is that they grew up being told that the specific view is what they must accept, without being given any proof or support for that view. So will she go out of her way to avoid her fellow workmates so she doesnt have to work with them, or will she quit?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Week 20 - Day 4

This week has been a very tough week. We are still doing Business practices - mostly involving Economics and Entrepreneurship and Business plans. As a project we are busy creating business plans which are due next week.

On Monday (4 days ago) our instructor (S) came to school looking very unhappy. It turns out that her husbands nephew was shot and killed in Chicago over the weekend.

Now when I first came into the class the morning students already knew about this, but the afternoon students did not. So when I came in, the students were telling S to go home. She said, I cant. I have to be here. I have to teach. I (stupidly enough) spoke up and said, yes S has to teach. The morning student (who happened to be the women from Trinidad who attacked me a few weeks ago) rounded on me and said how dare you say that. You think that she should stay where when someone in her family has been killed? Now how would I know that? Thats the first I had heard the news.

So S stayed and we continued the class. But an hour later while S was speaking, I was listening and this Trinidad woman spoke up and said something that I couldnt hear. I also could not hear S because this woman was talking too loud.

And I snapped. I turned around to her and my brain said Be quiet. But apparently my mouth said Shut up. I do not remember saying shut up. Anyway she stood up and she started anohter tirade against me. She called me rude, and lazy and disrespectful, and she wasnt going to listen to me anymore. Then she started on S calling S rude names as well. And the language. Every third world was a foul word.

S said I'm not going to deal with this, so she took us to to the directors office. Once there she went inside to explain the situation to the director while we stayed outside. This woman was walking around, angry and agitated, berating me for being a cry baby (and yes I was in tears). She even called me TRAILER TRASH.

My daughter is 29 years aold and she does not behave so rudely like you did, and why are you crying. How old are you? Why are you crying? Trailer trash. You are nothing but trailer trash. I've been here for 30 years and I have never been treated so disrepectfully.

While we waited, she got tired of waiting and stalked off down the hall to the classroom muttering I'm not going to wait. S can come and get me.

Eventually S opened the door for me to enter. I said she's gone back to the classroom and S had to go out and drag her back.

We were in the office for maybe 20 minutes while she kept going on and on about how rudde I was, how I never say hello and goodbye and how when I get to the classroom the first thing I do is get on the computer. And how I dressed so unprofessionally and how I had no respect and how I was just so rude. Yes I know she cant hear me and thats why I talk loud. She can hear me when she chooses to, and when she doesnt. (which is true).

The director said to her that I can choose to not socialise if I dont want to, but to me he said you must socialise. Now that is a contradiction. I detest doing small talk just because its socially required. I'm also not very good at it.

She said she would try and cope with me since she only has 2 weeks to go until she graduates. After a while she said, I've had enough of this, and she stood up and left the office.

I got my own talking to for another 20 minutes and was told that I cannot go around saying shut up. I also did need to be more confident and make more effort to be more friendly. Oh and and wear business clothes. He said, I dont like wearing ties but when I put it on, I feel more confident. When you wear busines clothes you feel more confident.

Well other people may feel more confident but I dont. I prefer to wear loose comfortable cotton clothing. Being forced to wear dresses, and skirts and scratchy linen and ugly blouses makes me physically very uncomfortable and no confident. I do wear pantsuits and T-shirts when I am working.

I am also losing weight and I do not want to be spending money on clothes now that will not fit me in 6 months time. It is a waste of money.

The other students all wear jeans. What is wrong with me wearing pants and a t-shirt?? After the meeting as we walked back to the classroom, I apologised to S for making her day even worse.

Well the upshot is that this women has not been in class for the last 3 days (tuesday through thursday). Its no skin off my nose if she chooses to fail the class. She has been to ONE morning class out of the three days. She went home at the end of that class claiming a huge headache.

But what really bugs me is being told I dont have to be sociable if I dont want to and then be told in the very next breath that I must be sociable. I can be very social in a one-on-one basis. I have no problems with that. But due to the nature of my disability, I cannot handle a group discussion with everyone chatting at the same time. When I am listening to someone in class, I expect everyone else to be courteous enough to not interupt so that everyone can hear the speaker.

The funeral of the nephew was today. S chose to not go - partly because the funeral was a small private one. But she is going to Chicago to spend a few days with the family next week. At least that is the plan. So we students get to finish our projects, do the study and the last chapter of the book on our own and be ready for the final exam on Thursday next week. She will be back on Thursday. And we have to present our business plans to the class before the exam.

LIke I said, its been a tough week.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Week 19 - Day 3

It snowed today in Toronto. The first proper snowfall that has actually settled on the ground. Today (IMO) is the first day of winter.

This class has a lot of home work every day and one huge big project due at the end of the class. The class mostly covers Economics, How to Start up a Business and Business Plans.

The big project is to create a product or a service and then create a business plan for that product or service. The class of seven are doing this in two teams.

Oh yes, and the school put a Xmas tree up in the student lounge today, complete with flashing lights and everything. Considering the high number of students at the campus who are not from Western background, I would think this would be a bit risky, I wonder if anyone is going to actually complain about the Xmas tree showing a bias towards Christianity - which it does.

The only thing that bothers me about the tree is when I have to wrote Xmas out the "proper" way. XMAS is much shorter and it has less religious overtones. But that's enough about religion. Xmas is a tradition and we have to keep our traditions.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Week 18 - Day 1

To day is the first say of Canadian Business Practices class. We will learn about the economy, supply & demand and various other things one needs to know about the business environment.

The book covers the Business Environment. It also covers HR and Marketing and Financial Accounting. But we will not be doing those chapters. Because we have already done HR and Marketing and I will be doing Accounting next year.

About my marks in the Marketing class. I discovered that one girl failed - she sat the exam the day after we did because she was not present. She also missed most of the assignments and quite a few of the classes. She will have to redo this course next year. And yes we do get marked for attendence.

Another girl got 97% as a final mark. She is estatic as it is her best mark, and she will be completing her course work next month. Business Practices is her last class. The young man from Switzerland got 90%. Which he is pleased with.

As for the girl from Trinidad. I dont know what her score was. I certainly was not going to ask her. BUT she did get a job today. She went to a job interview today at 11am. By the time she showed up for class at 1 pm, she had a job offer in her email box. She was estatic. She says she will be an inventory control person for an IT company. Now she has to make arrangements to finish her last class (Busines Practices) and start a new job.

I would like to be an inventory control person as well. I think I would do well in that type of position. This job usually involves shipping, customs and brokerage. It often involves forklift driving as well. I dont know if I want to get a fork lift license. Surely there must some inventory jobs out there that do NOT require using a fork lift.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Week 17 Day 5

We did the marketing exam yesterday and today the final grades are up. The fastest marking I have seen yet. I guess the teacher wants to make up for the very slow time she took getting the HR results up. That took a whole month. But she was in a lot of pain. However she now has a pain patch that she wears and she is doing much better. BUT still she cannot take any time off to get the surgery she so desperately needs. Unless she can find qualified people to teach all her courses.

S does all the Accounting (basic and advanced), Bookkeeping, QuickBooks and Simply Accounting courses as well as Marketing, Business Law, Human Resources and Business Practices. How many people do you know, who have experience in all those areas AND can teach all those courses?

My final grade for Marketing is 92 percent. I am actually very pleased with that. So far my entire course average is 90.5%. If I can get more final grades in the 80s and 90s (to make up for the poor 76% I got in HR) then I might be able to graduate with Honours.

Trios College has a rule that says if you get an overall average grade in the 90s for your entire course, you graduate with Honours. If you get an overall average grade in the 80s for the entire course, then you graduate with Distinction.

I want to graduate with Honours. It looks better on the Diploma and on the Resume.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Week 17 Day 2

This is the last week of the Marketing class. The exam will be on Thursday. Next week we start Canadian Business Practices for 4 weeks.

But I want to tell you about what happened to me last week.

As you all know, Canada is very diverse - very multi-cultural. In my class there are students from Brazil, New Zealand, Canada, Bangladesh, Switzerland, China, India and Trinidad/Tobago. When I first met the girl from Trinidad, I made a comment that my sister in law is also from Trinidad and Tobago but she is Indian. This girl was black. I did not mean it as an insult, I was just making an observation. I had not known that Trinidad had people of African origin as well as those of Indian origin.

That was 3 months ago when we started the Human Resources class. All through HR, Business law and Marketing she has been loud and petty towards me, telling me I am wrong and not accepting that I am entitled to my opinions. No, she has to be right and I have to agree with her. It got to the point where I just ignored her.

Because I have a hearing problem, ignoring someone is very easy for me to do. I can read a book and tune out everything else around me.

So one day last week, the teacher took the day off to attend a funeral. She didnt tell us she was going, in fact she had mentioned the day before that she was NOT going to attend. She left a cryptic message with one of the students that we were to answer the questions at the end of chapter 9 in a group. I decided that I didnt need to be part of their group because this other girl would be telling me I was wrong when I know that I am usually right. So I read my text book and ignored the group. I didnt listen to them, and I heard noone calling my name.

The following day when the teacher came back, we went through the answers, and when they all got one answer wrong, and mine was right, this Trinidad girl lost her temper and went into a tirade. In front of the teacher. She called me a liar, a hypocrite and a racist.

She claims they tried to get my attention the day before, to ask me what I thought, and I just ignored her. She thinks I ignored her because she is black. NOT TRUE. I ignored her because I didnt hear her. And she made no attempt to get my attention by any other means except for calling my name. She made no attempt to touch my arm or to stand in my field of vision to get my attention. Which any intelligent person SHOULD have thought to do.

No she assumed that I deliberately ignored her only because she was black. I would have ignored anyone calling my name no matter if they were red or yellow, black and white, (Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world - so says the old religious song). I tried to tell her I was deaf - LIAR she screamed back.

I was shaking and crying by the time she sat down. The teacher did nothing. She said to me later it was better if this girl got her anger out. I too was glad that at least the anger was out. Anyway I told the teacher that I did have hearing problems and I did not ignore her because she was black. I ignored her because I did not hear her and she did not try to get my attention. The techer promised to talk to her to explain.

Now I just ignore her and she ignores me. All I can do is to study harder and get batter marks than her in the next 2 classes - Marketing and Business Practices. I want to tell her to not be so defensive about her race - but I cant. I dont want to set off another explosion. But she is DEFENSIVE.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Week 16 - Day 3

For the last 2 years Trios college in Toronto has been running a 4 day program. The Ministry of Education for Ontario province requires full time students to be doing 20 hours per week. 5 hours a day times 4 days a week is 20 hours. BUT if you miss one day you are out of compliance and you cannot make it up. The spare friday used to be saved for the MCAT tests (medical tests similar to SAT and LCAT-the lawyer tests).

Yesterday it was announced that Trios College (Toronto campus) will go back to a 5 day week starting in the first week of January. The MCAT tests will be moved to the weekend. So that means I will lose my day off and my 3 day weekends. I used to do al my laundry on fridays, and the shopping as well. So from January I will have to do the laundry in the half days when I am not studying.

Under the new schedule, Trios will keep the 5 hours a day schedule, which means that classes will be for 4 hours and then one hour lab for students to use the computers for homework or study. And this is for 5 day - making 25 hours a week. So if you miss one day you don't get out of compliance. If you miss two days then you do. So far I have not missed ANY days.

Right now my schedule calls for half days in the afternoon, so I have my mornings free to relax or do homework. Next year (in February) my schedule will change to mornings (ugh - and in the middle of winter too) so I will have to be up a half hour earlier, take a shower and get dressed, get my son up, dresed and fed and get him to daycare by 7.30AM, and then rush for a bus and hope I get to school by 8AM.

Trios works on 3 shifts. 8 am to 1 pm, 1pm to 6pm and 6pm to 11 pm.

I am NOT looking forward to these schedule changes.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Week 15 - Day 6

Saturday today.
We had a mid term (or mid class) test on Thursday. I think I did well and was out of the room in 25 minutes.

I have one advantage over the other students in my class, in that I read fast, english is my first language, (not my second or third language) and I have a good memory.

The weather is turning cold now, and the first snow is predicted to show up next week. but it wont settle until the ground gets cold.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Week 15 - Day 2

Marketing class. Monday (yesterday) the teacher drops in for 5 minutes to tell us that she has to go to the doctors again (more pain around her back) and we have to make up a survey for the marketing research section of the book. The subject is the contents of sugars and fats in Mcdonalds food. Then she left to go to the doctors.

Now I have spent about 15 months working as a survey interviewer during my early years here in Canada. So I have experience in knowing what sort of questions to ask. We were in teams of 4 and I appointed myself the secretary. I had to, because none of the 3 members of my team are native English speakers. One is from Bangladesh, one french speaking from Switzerland and one portugese speaking from Brazil.

Anyway I typed the questions while we discussed what we wanted. While I allowed age and gender questions to be on the survey, I refused to allow the income demographic to be on the survey, because income has no direct bearing on the sugar and fat content of McDonalds food. Most people buy Mcdonalds food because it is cheap.

I was rather proud of the finished survey. We asked for age and gender, and then how often the person visit McDonalds, what their top 5 meal choices are and why they liked those choices (price, healthy, tasty or other).

Then we got into details. Do you think the following items have too much sugar - yes or no, followed by a LONG list of Mcdonalds food items. Next was Do you think the following items have too much fat - yes or no, followed by a shorter list of Mcdonalds food items.

Next we asked if they could rate (from 1 to 5) the same items on the list for too much or too little sugar and then the same items for too much or too little fat. And lastly we asked for any comments or suggestions they may have to help reduce the sugar and fat content of McDonalds items.

Now I know sort of what goes into a survey. I think I would rather like to do a lot more of that too. Took us just under 2 hours to complete, and that was the end of the class.

The teacher was back in the class today, so we covered both chapters - the marketing research and the market demand chapters.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Week 14 - Day 2

The HR grade finally showed up. I got 76%. I could have done better. But I didnt study as much as I should have for those exams. That's where I let myself down.

Now compare that with the 86% I officially received for Business Law. Thats because I studied. So now you know the difference between when I study and when I dont study.

There is one new girl in the marketing class - which makes 9 students squashed into one small room with just 13 desks. Definitely feels very crowded to me.

Remember that new Video Gaming course I mentioned yesterday. Well there was a logistics problem and while the school has got the new room and the new desks, the chairs have not been delivered yet. So there is now a MAJOR shortage of chairs in all the other classrooms, just so the new students can have comfortable seating and a good first impression.

This Video Gaming Course lasts 18 months, not including the internship which is another 4 months. You gotta really love video games to want to get into this career.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Week 14 - Day 1

Trios College in Toronto has opened TWO new classrooms. And there were lots of new students wandering around the corridors today. At least 40, maybe more. I was told that these classes are for the brand new Video Gaming Course that started today.

I got my Business Law final grade today - It is not official yet, But verbally I was told that it was 86% and that I had the highest grade in the class. That class was only 5 students.

My new class (Marketing) has 3 new students (total of 8 in the class) and the small room now seems crowded.

My Human Resources grade is still not available. It is supposed to be available today. The class ended a month ago.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Week 13 - Day 4

It's Thursday today and usually I would be in class right now. But not this week. My final exam for Business Law was done yesterday, and now I have 5 days off. Thursday through Monday inclusive. I think I did pretty well on the exam. I was pleased with what I did.

Why Monday you ask? Because in Canada, the second Monday of October is always Canada's Thanksgiving Day.

My new class will be Marketing. I already have the text book. Next week the class will run from Tuesday through Friday so Day 1 next week will be Tuesday and Day 4 next week will be Friday. The following week we should be back to the normal Monday to Thursday schedule.

Still no grade for the HR class and I finished that a month ago. So now I am expecting both HR and Business Law results to show up - hopefully before I graduate. LOL

Monday, October 6, 2008

Week 13 - Day 1

Continuing with Business Law.

Property, Personal and Intellectual law today - Monday
Banking, Financial & Debtors/Creditors law tomorrow.
Final Exam on Wednesday.

Next week Marketing.

Still waiting for the Human Resources Final Grades to be posted.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Week 12 - Day 3

The Instructor had 2 days vacation this week. So we got one lecture on Workplace Law on Monday and will have the second one on Thursday. Yesterday and Today I have been at home. Has not been much fun because it rained for most of the day yesterday, and it is raining again today as well. I hate the rain. Next week we will finish the Business Law book and do the final exam.

Then after that I will have MARKETING. I am looking forward to Marketing, since a fair amount of my career so far been has in market research. Not that I like doing surveys. I don't. But I am interested in who and why they do surveys and what they do with the information afterwards. I also don't like sales.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Week 11 - Day 4

We finished Contract and Tort Law last week. Had a midterm exam on Tuesday this week. I got 80%, which is not too bad, but I could have done more study.

This week we are learning How to set up a business and what sort of business to start. One usually has to decide if the new business will be a sole proprietor, a partnership or a corporation.

Next week we will do Workplace Law (more HR which we have already done). The following week we do Property Law, Banking, Finance & Debtor-Creditor law and the final exam.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Week 10 - Day 1

And 21 years later we have another Black Monday.

Reminiscent of the Black Monday of 1987 when billions of dollars were wiped off the stocks of a huge number of companies around the world but mostly in USA. The same thing has happened today.

Two financial companies have gone under. Lehmen Brothers declared bankruptcy and Merril Lynch was sold at a fire sale price to the Bank of America. Now I realise this is not a financial blog, but I like to take note of the major happenings that may or may not affect me next year when I have to start looking for a job. This crash may affect me.

Anyway we are now doing 4 weeks of Business Law. It's all rather interesting actually. But there is so many new words (jargon) to learn. I have to know what Vicarious liability is, as opposed to Intentional liability, and so on and so forth.

Today we did the Law of Torts, and tomorrow we will start on Contract Law.

I have always been interested in the law. I grew up reading Perry Mason and I love John Grisham's legal novels. I did think seriously about becoming a paralegal, but a couple of years ago Ontario regulated the paralegal industry and I decided that perhaps I did not want to work in a regulated industry. So far Ontario is the only Canadian province that has regulated its paralegals.

I already know too much about law. I spent almost six years learning the details of Canadian Immigration law while I was fighting to be processed in a timely manner. I even had to threaten to serve the Immigration department with a Writ of Mandamus.

This is an order that forces the department that has been served to explain why they are so slow in processing the file and requiring them to finish processing it within a specified time period. I never got my explanation, but I was landed as a Permanent Resident within 4 months of that letter. So knowing how the law works, and knowing that it does work, can work in your favour, when you use it properly.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Week 9 - Day 4

I was back in school this week, but the whole week was all mixed up. The HR teacher has a bad back and she was trying to arrange to have 4 weeks off for bed rest - something her doctor had demanded that she do. She found a teacher for her Business Law class. Since the school was unable to find anyone to cover her 4 week ACCPCC class, she has ended up staying at school, but just doing half days (the ACCPACC class) and doing other things in the afternoon, since she has made arrangements for the Business LAW class already.

Anyway because of these changes and also due to the week off we had last week, the teacher went on vacation to Florida and did not get back until Monday this week. So we had a Business Law class instead. She also had a specialist appointment on Tuesday so she called the business law teacher and arranged for him to teach us both Monday and Tuesday. The HR teacher came back on Wednesday and Thursday for the last 2 days. That gave me one extra day to finish my essay. BUT I still couldnt study for the exam on Thursday.

This morning (Thursday) I had to take my son to the pediatrician to get him looked at. We will get a proper assessment later on when an appointment can be made, so thats good. BUT this meant I could not study and he missed 2 hours of school. The appointment was at 9am, and I was able to drop him back at school at 11am. Then I went to school. I had 2 hours to read 5 chapters and hope something stayed in my brain. Now all I can do is wait until the grades have been done.

Next week the class will continue with Canadian Business Law. That is also for four weeks.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Week 8 - Day 3

There are no classes this week. We students have this week off school. Partly because it is the first week back at school for kids, and most of the sudents here are parents with kids. And secondly, the teachers need a break, because their last break was back in March around Easter.

Private career colleges do not have a fall term, a winter term and a spring term. They are teaching ALL YEAR ROUND, even during the summer. After all I started this Diploma course in the middle of July - the height of summer. There is usually a 2 week break at Xmas. As well as short breaks at Easter and the end of the summer holidays.

The school is still open but just no classes. For those people who need to use the school computers, they can do that. Next week is the last week of HR. The last exam is on Wednesday 10th. I have an 8 page essay to write for HR, which is due next Tuesday 9th. I havent even started it yet.

Right now I am reminiscing over Helene Hanff and rereading Q's Legacy. I will start the essay tomorrow, I promise.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Week 7 - Day 2

Another exam today. Chapters 6 through 10 of the Human Resources textbook. I didnt do very well in this exam. This exam is worth 20% of the final grade.

The reason I did not do as well as I would have liked was because I spent most of yesterday and today running around getting documentation from a government dept in order to get a grant that comes with the student loan. Today it was all done and fixed up and hopefully the grant will be processed quickly.

I couldnt do much study on the weekend because I spent both days at the Buskerfest.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Week 6 Day 4

The HR Manager, from the publishing company I was wanting to speak to for my report, has had to back out. Because its summer her vacations are interfering with our attempts to get together. She had a vacation last week and has another one next week. Which means she has a lot of meetings to catch up on after both vacations. So my interview is a no-go. But I'm not worried.

Fortunately I started making notes and getting organised for the essay as well. My essay topic is The difficulties and problems that Female CEO's and Women in Management need to overcome to do their jobs properly. My first thought was Carly Fiorina. So right now I am reading her biography.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Week 6 Day 2

Well I was told I made 94% in the Career Management Class, so that's good.

BUT I had a test today on Human Resources. Unfortunately, I procrastinated too long (reading too much I think), and did not do much study. The test is worth 15% towards the final grade. If I get anything below 85% on my final grade for this class, then I'll know I flunked the first test.

On the plus side, I have been in touch with an HR manager at a local book publisher in town. I know I mentioned that I wanted to interview an HR manager because the report was shorter. Well I will still want to do that, but since I cannot get an interview until the first week of September (she is very busy) - that will only give me 5 days to write the report before I have to hand it in.

So I am also writing a longer essay on the difficulties and problems that Female CEO's and Women in Management need to overcome to do their jobs properly. I am using Carly Fiorina as my example. A woman who reached the top as CEO and Chairwoman of Hewlett Packard Inc. Five years later she was unceremoniously dumped (fired) by an all male executive and board.

I am currently reading Carly's biography, Tough Choices, which I picked up from the library today.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Week 6 Day 1

Gosh, Is it 6 weeks already?

DH (dear husband) was ill last week so I spent all my spare time getting drugs and medicines for him, as well as doing the shopping since he was unable to do so. On top of that I also have to look after our 6 year old son and keep up with the cooking, the dishes and the laundry. Thankfully DH is now recovering so I can concentrate on Human Resources. We have a test tomorrow and I still need to re-read the first 5 chapters of the HR textbook.

And of course I was following the Olympics as well. Mostly trying to watch the Gymnastics, but the CBC tends to be biased and only showed the Chinese and the Americans, plus the one Canadian gymnast who completed in the All Around final. She ended up 16th.

I was also wanting to see my favourite German Gymnast perform, and so far I have not seen her in action at all. Oksana Chusovitina is actually from Uzbekistan, but switched to Germany after her son became ill with Leukemia in 2001. He was treated with chemotherapy and is now a very healthy 9 year old.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Week 5 Day 1

Today I started a five week unit on Human Resources Management. There are only 5 students in this class, so that's good. I'm not sure how much we will be able to do or really learn in this course, because S, the teacher, is having a lot of back pain and is unable to get any surgery appointment date earlier than Sept 12th. We are supposed to read the text book, chapter by chapter, and then discuss in class. If she's not up to teaching, we may just read the chapter and do the questions.

We also have a case study to do. A choice of doing research or doing an interview. Normally I would choose the research study in a second, but this time I am leaning towards doing the interview. For this, I need to interview a senior HR person in a company and get their view on qualifications and skills, processes of hiring, canadian law and so on. And then write a report and compare what they said with what the book says.

The other case study assignment we can do is to choose a topic (from a list of topics) to research and then write the report. Tbis report must be 8 to 10 pages. The interview assignment needs to be only 4 to 5 pages.

Yes this will mean less typing for me but thats not why I chose it. I really want to know what the real situation is out there in the world of Human Resources. That's why I chose the interview.

So first I have to create a list of good questions to ask. And then I need to arrange an interview.

So far from what I have read, I think I will enjoy this class very much. In fact I plan to enjoy all the classes - HR, Business Ethics, Business Law and Marketing.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Week 4 Day 3

I finally received my grades for the Computer class. I got 100% in the Word and Excel section, and 95% in the Powerpoint and Outlook section. This is a great start to the year.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Week 4 - Day 2

This week is Career Management week during which time we will learn about how to do effective job searching, how to make better resumes, how to write cover letters and apply for jobs, and how to deal with job interviews. This is a course required by the provincial government. All students are required to do it. Fortunately it's only 4 days. This class was supposed to have 22 students, but the first day had only 14.

Monday was a holiday, so Tuesday was Day 1 and today is Day 2. Today we will learn about resumes. I cant wait to change my resume around and add all the new courses I will be doing for this diploma.

There is a woman in this class named Sylvia, who is also doing the Honours Business Administration course, but she is 8 months ahead of me. Right now she is doing the Advanced Accounting (as well as the career management course again because she missed it the first time around).

After Accounting Sylvia will do ACCPCC and Access (Database) and a few other things and then she will graduate in November. This Administration course does not have any internship. A number of the other specialist courses at Trios do have required internships (or co-ops as they are called here).

Anyway, Sylvia was telling me that the HR, Marketing, Business Law and Canadian Business Practice classes were all excellent and relatively easy. But then she did do HR for over 20 years as a career. I have not done any HR and only a small amount of Marketing.

Interestingly enough, S the teacher is from Iran and she is a General Accountant. She is currently working towards her CPA certification. S teaches all the Quickbooks, Bookkeeping, ACCPCC and Accounting classes in the mornings as well as the HR, Marketing, Business Law and Canadian Business Practice in the afternoons.

Sylvia went to say that she found Bookkeeping, Quickbooks and Accounting Fundamentals much harder. So many details and processes to learn. I hope I will have a slight advantage. I did do some bookkeeping in high school (we're talking 30 years ago here). I remember learning bookkeeping to the trial balance stage. After I left School, I spent one year in a job where I did all the costing and had to account for every single penny. And lastly my father was an accountant. He is now retired. So I already have some experience and exposure. Hopefully I won't find it too hard.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Week 3 - Day 3 - Powerpoint & Outlook

Powerpoint was a lot of fun.
Outlook was boring.
I already know how to use it.
BUT Omar has to teach it.

And to make things worse, I spilled a paper cup of water over my desk. Fortunately I was already packing up and all my books and papers were in my bag. Most of the water flew off the desk and onto the chair next to mine (that was not being used) so the seat got soaked.

But Omar said Dont worry about that, it will be dry by morning. Just dont touch any wires or you will get a shock. Also luckily no water got into any of the keyboards. I only had to mop up my desk, the seat of the chair next to me and the floor.

I was also lucky that I had 4 cloths in my bag (faceclothes actually) for wiping my face in this sweltering heat and humidity that Toronto is currently under. So I used those to mop up the water. Otherwise I would have had to go all the way to the washroom for handfuls of toilet paper, because I was told that the school does not have any paper towels.

Christina has been absent all this week. There is a rumour she may have been involved in a accident. Which makes for a very quiet class.

Alisha's computer skills are improving. I heard her teaching the two fellows next to her, how to do power point today.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Week 2 - Day 4 History of Computers

We were doing Microsoft Word and Excel this week. The new girl Christina was walking in and out of class all the time, which was very annoying. Alisha also kept complaining that she didnt understand the work. Apparently she knows nothing about computers. She even called herself "computer stupid".

I do not see how anyone can go through 10 or 12 years of school and still not know anything about computers in this day and age. My 6 year old son has been using computers since he was 2 or 3 years old. He uses the 2 computers we have at home and the 2 old computers they have at daycare.

I have been using computers since 1982 when my dad first brought home an Atari. I can still remember having to hook up the Atari to our old black and white TV, and using large 5 inch floppy disks or audio tapes to upload games and programs. This was BEFORE the smaller 3.5 inch floppy disks. Most kids these days have no idea of the history of computers. And I can still remember when the old back and white TV blew its picture tube, because it could not handle all the graphics from the games. So Dad had to go out and buy a new colour TV.

Bolderdash was my favourite game. The operating dystem was DOS. RAM was only 64 KB in size. Very small. I even did a computer course where I learnt to write BASIC and COBOL programs on DOS.

When I finally left home in 1987, I couldn't afford to buy a computer. But I did manage to get one in 1992. By now the RAM was up to 64 MB and the strategy game Civilisation was the rage. I LOVED playing Civilisation. The Operating system was still DOS.

In 1995 Microsoft released a new operating system - Windows 95. (yes I know there was Windows 3 before this, but I regard that as more of a test run). Then in 1998 I was finally able to rent another computer. This one had Windows 98 and I think the RAM was still 64 MB but the hard drive had 2 GB. This is when I really learn about computers. This is what I used for that part time Computer Technology course I mentioned earlier. This is what I used to finally get on the internet. By now I was playing Civilisation 2.

Now ten years later, we have 2 computers at home. One has Windows XP and the other has VISTA. RAM is now 1GB and the hard drive on both PC's are over 200 GB. I have played Civilisation Alpha Centauri. Now I am attempting to play CivCity Rome.

I apologise for the brief history lesson, but most of kids do not really know the history of computers.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Week 2 - Day 1

Back at school for another new week. This week we are doing Microsoft Word and Excel. Next week we will be doing Outlook and Powerpoint.

Another new student started today. D is doing Honours Business Administration - the same course that I am doing. Which means he has the same schedule as me. D is from Switzerland, and is here on a study permit. He speaks fluent French and German, some Italian, and passable English. At least his English will improve while he is here for the next 13 months. He started late today because his study permit was delayed a bit while being processed.

Now about our home work. We were given a list of Word and Excel projects we have to complete between now and next Monday. We can either do these projects at school or we can do them at home, and bring them to school on a disk (floppy disk or a memory stick). The schools are still using Word 2003. But Omar (the instructor) says I can use Word 2007 because thats what we have on our PC at home.

One of the girls (Alisha) started panicking. She was saying I dont know how to save to a floppy disk, I dont know how to save to the P drive (the instructors drive on the school network where we must all save our work). Each student has their own folder.

Alisha had the nerve to tell Omar that he was very rude and unfair because he just sprung this on us without telling us how to do it. Well, actually he did tell us how to do it. Last week in the lecture on computer peripherals. Alisha happened to be away that day.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Day 4

Thursday - the First Exam. All classes are held from Monday to Thursdays with Fridays free. The exam for Computer Fundamentals was 60 questions, mostly taken straight from the text book. The exam was open book, and I was finished in 20 minutes. So I spent the another 20 minutes going over my answers making sure they were correct. I was waiting for someone else to be the first one to get up and hand in their papers. I was second, following closely behind the first person.
Next week we will be doing intermediate Microsoft Word and Excel. The following week I will be doing intermediate Outlook and Power Point. I will be doing all these subjects at an advanced level further along in the course.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Day 3

Well today was an interesting day. There are now 11 students in the class, and 8 of them are doing the Community service worker course. The other two being the medical transcriptionist and of course, there's me doing Business Administration. Some of these 8 students are close to the end of their course, and others have just started.

The new student (Christina) who started today, is a loud attention seeking type of girl. She says she forgot that class started this week and that it was in the afternoon. Now how ditzy is that? Apparently like the others, she too is doing the Community services worker program. She dresses like a street girl - very short dress, large dangling earrings, loud hand bag and very high heels. She talks loud and thinks she knows everything. She kept harping on about cookies and how cookies were bad for the computer and how she tried to delete cookies every day, but she still keeps getting viruses and pop-ups. She says she has a antivirus program, but she doesnt do anything with it. The teacher figured out from the pop-ups that she must have spyware and malware problems but her computer does not have any anti-spyware software loaded. Now I have to put up with her for the next two weeks for the remainder of the Computer Fundamentals class. she says she works at Tim Hortons.

Yesterday we did Windows - the Windows operating system. The school computers all use Windows XP. We were shown in minute detail how to open windows, how to use it, and how to close it. I sat back and listened, not taking any notes and tried not to yawn. I have been using Windows for the last 10 years. I dont think I need to be told how to use it. BUT I will read the book just to make sure I regurgitate all the correct answers for the exam tomorrow.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Day 1

Today I started my new Business Administration Course at TRIOS with a Computer Fundamentals class. Remember, I mentioned earlier that I had started a computer technology program that I did not complete. well this class was almost identical to that Computer Basics class - only this is much more updated. I did the first course 10 years ago when Windows 98 and Netscape were all the rage.

So todays lesson covered the first two chapters in the text book. Very basic stuff - parts of the computer, the CPU motherboard and the peripheral devices.

The entire class is just 3 weeks long, and we will be learning the basics of Word and Excel. And then I will be doing those plus Powerpoint and Access in much more detail further along in the program.

Since enrollments are on a rolling basis, anyone can start at any time (more or less) In my Computer class there were 10 students. Half of them were doing Community Services Worker Diploma, two were doing the Medical Transcription Diploma and I didnt get the last two guys details. I think I am the only one currently doing Business Administration.

The next classes after Computer Fundamentals will be Human Resources, Business Law, Marketing and Canadian Business Practises. I am really looking forwards to those.

Historia is going back to school

Hi there. Today is Monday 14th July, 2008 and in a few hours I will re-enter the classroom to start a Diploma in Business Administration course. I am what they call a mature student - ie I have been out of school for more than 2 years. Actually I have been out of school for 25 years!!! I went to college 3 times in the first 5 years out of school. Over the years I have started many correspondence courses to better myself - and never finished any of them.

I have learned that I get distracted easily when studying at home. I find that I do much better if I am required to go to class to learn and study. And I also did a part time computer technology course for 2 years which (once again) I did not finish. But I had a good excuse for that. I got married and moved to Canada.

I have been in Canada for over 7 years and am struggling to find a good long term job with no college qualifications. My resume lists 7 jobs in 5 years. Then I spent half of 2007 on medical leave for surgery and have struggled to get back into the workforce for the first half of 2008. I did have one job for 2 months, but that did not work out. I was working from home, logging into their company computer, and being distracted by the home environment. I cannot work from home.

Then in late June I went on an interview for a job I really wanted. I passed the first interview and was called back for a second interview. I did well on the second interview but had to admit to not have any job experience for a couple of essentials skills they required. I said I knew how to scan documents - on my flatbed scanner at home but not with huge business machines. And when they asked if I was familiar with MS Access I had to say no. I do know Excel but not Access. I think those answers are why I lost that job.

I was told on Monday last week (7th July) that I was not successful. That was my turning point. I decided that I must get myself a qualification to get any decent jobs. Otherwise I will be doing crappy jobs (such as survey interviewing or call centre CSR) for the rest of my life. I do not want to be doing that.

So I emailed Trios College that same Monday. I got a call from one of their educational counsellors the next day and was invited to go and have an interview with them. I did their entrance exams, (and passed with very good scores) and was enrolled to do the Honours Busines Administration. The timing was perfect as there was a new Business Admin class starting the very next week. I went back on Wednesday with all the financial info required to apply for a student loan. Took all the signed papers back to Trios on Thursday and they said, Thats everything done, see you next Monday. Which is today.

I have been very resistant to applying for a student loan up until now because of all the horror stories I have read about repaying the loans after one graduates. But I just do not have the money to pay for classes - either part time or full time. While I do have a higher goal (there is another certificate I want to do part time, but that needs a good job to pay for it) it will have to wait until I finish this Diploma and get a good job so I can start saving for the certificate course and paying back my student loan.

Trios is a career college that does Business Administration courses taking anywhere from 4 months to one year. George Brown College (which is only a few blocks from my home) takes 3 years to do a diploma on Business Administration. I do not have 3 years to spare.

This blog will be about my 52 weeks as a student from July 14, 2008 until graduation in August 2009. Bon voyage.