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I received a nice Thank You card from the Kindergarten teacher I have been volunteering with over the past couple months, which I posted below. School is now over, and I am awaiting for summer school to start, so I can volunteer with them. Summer school is only in the mornings, and only for one month of summer.

Sharla and Krista were supposed to be coming to visit me this week, which I was really looking forward to, guess they do not read my blog! The day that they were supposed to leave to drive down here, I received an email from Sharla saying that they got tickets to Hawaii instead and would not be coming.

I received my coursework in the mail for my Geography class, and have already started on it. I will be learning about Heartland and Hinterlands of Canada. I find correspondence work quite difficult, because there is no one to chat with about the course. I was assigned a tutor that can help with questions, but I find it quite helpful to have discussions about the course material. I feel discussions add to my further understanding about the subject and clarifies any small questions I had.

I got a bike over the weekend, a picture of a similar one below, though mine is light blue. It is called a DiamondBack and Century'06 is the model.

I road it home from the bike shop, about 5 miles. I was told by the salesperson that the frame on road bikes absorb a lot of the shock of the bumps in the road, however I found on my ride home that my arms were bouncing and itchy because of all the vibrations. I am not sure if it is something that I will just get used to?! or if I should exchange it for another bike with shocks in the front fork.

P.S. To my non techy savy friend; when reading my blog please feel free to leave comments. You just need to click on the title of the post, and scroll down and enter your information to submit a comment.

It has now been a little more than a month since our "big day" in Victoria. Things are starting to get back to "normal" for us (whatever "normal" means, someone once told me normal was only a setting on a washing machine). Lloyd continues to work long hours on Flock. Due to this, we still have not managed to get away for a weekend for a semi-honeymoon. Ever weekend we've tried, a techy event in the Bay Area comes up that Lloyd initially wants to attend, which we do not end up doing because of the demands of work at Flock (picture of some of the Flock team below).

Since the middle of April I have been volunteering at a local Elementary school in Mountain View with a kindergarten class. The year is coming to an end, and I only have one day left with the class. It has been very enjoyable. I have about 60 hours of volunteering now. I heard through the school grapevine that there is summer school that happens in the district. I got in touch with the principal at the school that will be administering the summer school, and I am meeting with her on June 21st to find out what role I can play as a volunteer. Summer school is only in the mornings, from 8am-noon and from June 25-July 26th. Since I now have experience with younger children, I would like to get some experience volunteering with children a little older, grades 3 through 5. I will find out in a couple weeks how I can help.

My friend Sharla and my ex-roommate Krista, are said to be taking a road trip down to San Francisco to arrive early next week. I don't believe they have much time off work, and will most likely only be staying a night or so, while taking 3 days either side for travel. It will be nice to get together with my girlfriends from home as I have not made a 'best' bud here yet and miss my girlfriends back home a lot.

I told many people a few weeks ago that since I am a non-resident of the USA I will not be admitted to the teaching credential program at San Francisco State University. Ultimately I would like to be teaching in Canada, therefore Canada would be the best place to get take the PDP (post degree program) in Elementary Education. So we have decided that once we return to Canada I will do just that.

I am looking into applying to Simon Fraser University and the University of Victoria. Both schools have different pre-requisites to get in to their programs. SFU I still need: 1 lab science, 1 Canadian history, 1 Canadian geography, and 1 math for teachers. At UVIC I still need: 2 lab sciences, and 2 Canadian studies. I have lately been going back and forth with advisors from both school in order to determine what will transfer to what University so I can take a minimum number of courses. I have thus far determined they will both accept Geography 200 (Regional Geography of Canada), taken by correspondence from Thompson River University. I have just registered in that course, and I am just waiting to receive the course materials to start on it.

There are slight problems with getting the other courses, because Math for Teachers that SFU requires is not at all offered by correspondence. UVic does have a course that transfers to SFU for Math for Teachers, though UVic will not grant me credit for it as I already have two 100 level courses in Math. SFU has just informed me however, that if I show a passing grade in the subject even though no credit was granted, they will accept that. Lab sciences are a little tricky as well, UVic requires to have lab time, so taking a science that I attend labs weekly by correspondence is very difficult.

I was going to try and take these courses at a local college in California, but I cannot find anything that will transfer to "Math for Teachers" and getting transcripts evaluated from the USA is tricky, time consuming and expensive, not to mention the cost of taking courses in the USA as a non-resident. Most schools in the USA I have to be a full time student, registered in a full time program, with a F-1 student visa, so taking the 3 or 4 courses does not qualify.

To try to resolve some of these problems I have re-registered as a student at UVic and late-registered at SFU to take these remaining courses this fall. UVic I have already found out that I can register for courses at the beginning of July, I expect not to hear from SFU for another few weeks due to the tardiness of my application. So there is a possibility that I will be back in Victoria or Vancouver this September through December to complete this coursework. I will keep you posted though.

In the mean time I will take my one correspondence course, and volunteer in the mornings for summer school for elementary children.

My Grandfather, William Doskotch (picture below), is turning 80 next Tuesday, June 13th. To celebrate my family will be getting together the July long weekend. Lloyd and I have already got plane tickets up for the event, and will be staying for about a week in Victoria, Lloyd working remotely while we are there.

We have received our photographer's photos from our wedding, and are trying to get a few of them printed soon to send out in Thank You cards. For anyone else that took photos at our wedding, we would love to see them! Having troubles finding my favourite one of Lloyd and I from what the photographer took. Please send them to us, or tell us where you have posted them online. Using Flickr.com is a great way of sharing your photos with friends and family (hint, hint!). And FYI, if you get the Times Colonist, apparently my Mom put something in the classifieds about us on Sunday (June 4th), though I have not seen it yet.

Today is my 27th birthday.

Flowers from my parents and brothers for my birthday:

Looking back on my 27th year (or being 26th years) many things happened! My life has really done a 180 degree turn!

I started my 27th year living in Vancouver, BC. In July I moved out from living with a roommate and moved in by myself into a one bedroom apartment on Balsam and 3rd street. My Mom came to Vancouver and helped me re-paint the apartment that the previous tenants neglected to do. Thank you so much to Mom for helping out, it was a much larger job than expected.

The second weekend in July, I went to a BBQ at my good friends place, Ali and Bernie’s… where I met again Lloyd Budd… and we all know where that ended up! 😉

At the beginning of August I took a three week holiday from my vindictive boss’s and went to the Bowron Lakes with my Dad, brother Landon, and some family friends. It was a beautiful trip… the whole 7 days that we were there, it rained only for about an hour, which is almost unheard of in that area you can get freak snowstorms in the summer. I then spent a week visiting Sharla in Prince George, and Cheri in Quesnel.

I returned to Victoria to spend some time with Lloyd and to find out that he received an offer from Flock Inc. who wanted him to start right away. He gave his notice at Mercurial and started working remotely on the Flock project right away.

September my good friends Nadia and Andrew tied the knot. I was so happy to be included in their special day.

Lloyd accepted the position at Flock Inc, in California! I had very mixed feelings about him accepting the position, especially since not even a year previous I had moved back to BC, from Calgary, AB in order to be close to my family and friends.  I was not looking forward to the possibility of moving away from everyone again. I agreed it was an opportunity not to be passed by. The original plan was for Lloyd to alternate months in Canada and California for the first 6 months, while I transitioned to move down with him. After the first month we decided that long distance was too difficult, and even though I would miss my family and friend immensely, my heart ached to be with Lloyd more, so we planned for me to join him November 1st.

We announced our engagement to our family and friends near the end of October. Many were shocked that we got engaged so quickly, little did they know we were actually secretly engaged for a while before that even!

Entry into the United States proved difficult for me, and I was denied the first time I tried to enter. A week later I got into the USA, and have travelled back and forth with Lloyd since such time. Every time I now enter the USA they ask if I have ever been denied entry? Apparently it is to remain on my “record” for sometime.

November and December were some tough times for me, I moved to California to be with Lloyd, which was proving to be difficult with him working 16+ hours a day and commuting to Palo Alto, leaving me behind in San Francisco by myself, no friends or family around, and no job to identify with and little to do.

January and February I took some silversmith classes which I thoroughly enjoyed. I decided however that silversmithing will remain a hobby of mine for now, instead of going professional.

The commute and the many hours apart was becoming difficult and frustrating, so we made the decision to move closer to Lloyd’s work. Flock moved from Palo Alto to Mountain View for the beginning of March, and we moved from San Francisco to Mountain View that same month. Lloyd can now walk to work, it is only 6 blocks! He now comes home for dinner and we are spending a little more time together than we were, and living in a much nicer place, and I enjoy the community down in Mountain View quite a bit. All round it was a good move.

April I spent preparing for our wedding, and applying for teaching. Recently discovered that due to our visa being temporary, and being an International student I am not illegible to apply for the program and San Francisco State University.

Taken after my bridal shower in April in Victoria, BC:

We got married May 7th, which a community of people, in particular my parents Donna and Bart made possible. It was truly beautiful, I am lucky to have such a wonderful network of friends and family willing to help up to make the day what it was… thank you again to ALL those who helped.

In short in my 27th year:

  • I met my future husband again, and got married!
  • I quit my Human Resources job at Ernst and Young and moved to San Francisco with my fiance without a job or any prospects!
  • Picked up and left my life in Canada, to follow future husband, so he might be able to realize some of his dreams and aspirations in Open Source community.
  • Went from Human Resources work, to thinking of being a silversmith, to applying to be an Elementary school teacher!

What will my 28th year hold, I am not sure yet. Not being eligible for a teaching credential in California, I am planning on taking the 4 courses I am missing (take a couple and Foothills College in California and transfer them, the two Canadian studies courses I will take by correspondence) to get into either the University of Victoria or the Simon Fraser University teaching program for when we return to Canada… which I am hoping for sooner than later as I continue to miss my friends and family, and Lloyd is hoping for the later rather than sooner! Other than that, I will play it by ear and see what my 28th year has in store for me!

We are now back in Victoria BC, to be wed this weekend!  Sunday May 7th!  Wow the time has flown by.  There are still lots of little things to do before the wedding.  The countdown continues.  My parents have done a lovely job of getting their yard ready for our ceremony.  My Mom and I continue to run around getting things done for the wedding each day.  Lloyd is in Victoria as well, though not working on our wedding, working on Flock as usual.

After picture of my parents yard… taken Thursday May 4th….

 

You may see why I was concerned if this was the before photo…

Below is a photo of myself at my bridal shower…

Prior to coming back to Victoria to get married I had decided to go back to school to be a teacher!  I did a few courses in Jewelry Making at Revere Academy in January and February, which I enjoyed very much.  Two conclusions came from that… 1) I want a "job" that has a lot of interaction with others, being a jeweler would not be a profession that has that.  Much of the time a jeweler is working in their studio alone. 2) Becoming a jeweler in California would be next to impossible.  The time of the unpaid apprenticeship is gone, and in order to get experience now a days, you are hired into a jewelry shop as a junior and work your way up.  Since I cannot get a job without a SSN, and getting a VISA for such a position would be very difficult as the jewelry profession is not on the wanted list by the USA government for position you can get a VISA for.  I have always enjoyed children, my Mom is a middle school teacher, my Dad a professor at the University of Victoria, my Aunt a Vice Principal and my late Grandmother a high school English teacher, it seemed only natural that I would be drawn to the profession as well.

I have already gone through a long and extensive process in order to apply to San Francisco State University in California.  One of the tasks was to get my transcripts evaluated by an accredited agency, so SFSU could read them and understand what the equivalency of my degree and grade point was.  Because I was coming to Canada to wed, I left my Canadian transcripts with the agency (ERES) and they promised to courier to official documents directly to SFSU to meet the deadline.  After paying another $145, on top of the $300 evaluation fee… I received an email this morning from ERES indicating they "forgot" to do my GPA conversion!!!  I will never deal with such an unprofessional agency again.  Out of due deligence I called SFSU last week (prior to the deadline) to ensure that they received what they needed, having not heard back from them, I continue to leave several messages.  Now I have to find out if they will even accept my application because of the missing GPA piece that ERES agency nicely "forgot" to include!

I started looking into taking my teaching credential in Canada.  I looked into UBC today to find out that their deadline for September addimissions has been extended to May 26th!  I could still apply…. HOWEVER…. in B.C. is appears that you have to have your undergrad degree in Science or the Arts… whereas I have a Bachelor of Business.  I have left a message with a UBC advisor to confirm this of course.