I didn't get in to Valdosta. I promised myself that I wasn't going to get bummed out about it. I did anyway. I told myself I would take a long weekend and then jump back on the horse and apply to Alabama. I still haven't. That was...a month ago?
I spent some time looking at jobs again. The goal, after all, is a job. But that just reinforced my suspicion that a job I can get that pays what S makes doesn't exist on this continent.
I took a look at ASU's online programs, and called in to ask some questions about their bachelors in electrical engineering because, hey, why not? Their
sales representative admissions counsellor sounded distinctly skittish about my low undergraduate GPA. If a bachelors degree program is scared of my GPA, what hope do I have getting into any masters program?
So, if I want a job, I need more schooling, and if I can't get into a masters program, it's going to be back for a bachelors, don't know in what yet, depends on what I can get done fast, cheap, and mostly online, and actually leads to a viable career. It will almost certainly require math. That will cost significantly more than I've allocated for a masters, but I can get the lower-division math classes out of the way, online, from CVCC super cheap. So, one thing led to another and I'm starting precalculus in two weeks.
Meanwhile, at the job I have to pay for the job I want, I got a promotion. I'm now a customer service manager, king of the cashiers. It's mostly what I was already doing as a cashier cross-trained in customer service, financial services, and site-to-store, so, 'Would you like to get paid more to keep doing what you're already doing, plus some accounting stuff?' 'Okay.' 90 cents more per hour, on top of the 95-cent raise a month ago when Walmart decided to be less awful. More hours per week, and it will look better on my resume after I leave. With more money coming in, and likely a more expensive educational path, I'm tempted to stay on a few months longer, but I still want to be done with this before Thanksgiving comes around again.
We are now entirely debt-free. On S's income alone we were just breaking even and would have been stuck that way for years, but with my job we were able to pay down her student loan and my car loan aggressively while also saving for my education. We've opened up a few new avenues of saving - travel and the car that will replace the one I just paid off - but now my income isn't divided to any other purpose and my saving toward schooling will only increase.
One thing we'd decided to do as a 'reward' for reaching that goal was buying our first tablet. I got a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 7". I...I don't get it. I'm sure the first generation of tablets firstbooted into a tutorial and made no assumptions that the user was already familiar with tablets. But now everyone else has had a tablet for ten years and I've touched a smartphone once. I can't figure out how to move or configure anything, I can't freaking figure out how to close a program that is running, I've got preloaded Google crapware and duplicate Samsung preloaded crapware that I can't uninstall, it takes me ten minutes to fine the 'Settings' menu. I am the old guy that comes into the library and asks for help and doesn't know what 'right-click' means.