Wednesday, June 10, 2009

In Praise of Women - Jun 10

I got the call Thursday morning from the Ministry of Education. I'm going back to school! The tuition and books (over $13,000) and some living expenses is covered. I start on Monday, June the 15th. Later on today I have to do sign some paperwork (again!) and I have orientation at the school on Friday. I would be remiss if I didn't thank a lot of the people who helped me along the way. Most of that help came from women. I owe them all a great deal of praise.

Esther Sekyewa - Case Manager, VPI

This wonderful lady was the first one I met shortly after my layoff. She gave the orientation at VPI and was very polished and smooth. I did not see her again until the new year when she became my case manager. After our initial face to face meeting in January it was decided to do some career counseling before I could make an informed decision. Esther also took the time to check on me by way of e-mail and the occasional phone call. Without her I'd be lost.

Kalisha Merraro - Ontario Works

On a cold day in January, this young woman took the time to put together a resume that I hadn't needed in eleven years. Her patience in putting together a decent resume based on the hodge-podge of information I gave her was nothing short of a miracle. Given my recent security training and a desire to enter the legal field another resume is going to be have to be made from scratch. Thanks to Kalisha, at least now I got a template!

Ly Tran - Employment Counsellor, Humber College

This lovely young woman worked for Humber College and did a great deal of career counseling. If there was one fault I could name was that she was perhaps a bit too young for her position. Nevertheless, her patience (an absolute neccessity when dealing with me!) was her virtue. In the Humber program I learned what I'm good at (mostly everything) and what I'm poor at (manual dexterity). Thank you Ly!

P. Ellen Clarke - Admissions Registrar, Everest College (Brampton Campus)

Although I chose not to go there due to my concerns about the paralegal program, the kindness this wonderful lady showed me sticks in my heart. Now I know that private colleges are run for profit. They're in the business of education and they want to make a buck. So I was under no illusions. A cynic would suggest the sole reason that they're being nice is because they just want your money. Certainly there is a great deal of truth to that assertion. Still, what I liked about Ellen was her genuine warmth and sincerity that she exhibited towards me.

Marcie Bracker - Education Consultant, TriOS College (Mississauga Campus)

Much like Ellen, Marcie was my first point of contact at TriOS college. I met this saint of a woman near the end of January when I was still unsure of my career path. When it became obvious that TriOS was the right choice (due to proximity and length of course) for me, Marcie became even more valuable. Her kindness towards me was only matched by her professionalism towards her job.

Anna Lin (Admissions Advisor) and Ashley (Instructor)- Metro College

I had the pleasure to meet these ladies at Metro College on College Street in Toronto. I decided not to consider this college due to its downtown location. But I do have to say this: It was an ad placed in an employment paper by Metro College that got me started. I can't remember exactly how it all came about. What I do recall is the 'eureka' experience I had when I first saw the ad. 'I'd be good at that!' I remember saying to myself. Thank you for the inspiration!

Vashti - Toronto District School Board

When it became apparent that my Second Career choice was moving to its advanced stages, this woman helped me greatly in the application process. My first attempt left a little to be desired and it was decided that I needed to polish my efforts by re-applying the next day. On her lunch no less, I quickly filled out a second application that was going to be forwarded to the Ministry of Education. For her advice and for taking the time on her lunch break, I owe a debt to this woman I cannot repay.

Paula and Brandy - Star Security

Although these two women play no part in my bid to become a paralegal, it was these women who welcomed me in my first paying job after my layoff. It meant a great deal in getting my confidence back when I got my first paycheck. Thank you ladies!

What About the Guys?

Let it be said that I did receive some manly help. Thank you Tim Bulmer at Herzing College for meeting me and following up. Thank you Paul Crossley at Nighthawk Security. Your experience as a Durham cop was instructive and made quite an impression on the class you taught. Thank you also Ray Clarke and Fred Valley at Commissionaires Great Lakes for your wisdom and superb training.

Regrets? I've Had a Few!

The only darts (no laurels) I have is for those at National Workers. Your money-grabbing antics and the run-around you gave me after I completed your one-day wonder course makes you strictly Mickey Mouse. One lousy lead for $350? I don't think so!

That's it for now. I'll keep providing you with updates as my classes progress. It's a long program - 48 weeks of classes and a four week internship - so it looks like I'm going to be busy. Watch this space for further details in my paralegal quest.

Johnny Cash

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