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Mendy Smith

Concerto Journey - 2nd Chapter, Page 4

January 29, 2009 at 8:19 AM

Today has been a whirl-wind of activity.  I started off the morning by going into the office and packed up my personal belongings so that I was prepared for my lay-off.  In honor of this event, I wore a sweat-shirt my sister got me for X-mas...  an alto clef  " ||3 !".  HR and my boss got the joke and meaning.  Violas rule and I'm going back to school!

After several phone calls I discovered that I would not be eligible for unemployment insurance if I attended courses at a college unless I qualified for a few specific re-training programs.  Those programs are meant for short-term re-training or finishing a degree if there are 48 or fewer credits remaining for specific job classes in my region and other factors.  However, this "rule" does not apply for online/web-based courses.  I discovered that Oregon State Univ. has quite an extensive on-line curriculum.  So, I will be able to get some of my core classes needed for a 2nd degree taken care of before my unemployment insurance runs out (different degree programs requires different core classes, and some that I had before may just not transfer after 20 years...).  If the benefits are extended, I may be able to meet that 48 credit rule....

I spent what remained of my day practicing, which was surprisingly about the same amount of time I had available to me before I was laid off. 

After a busy day of researching means and ways I can accomplish my goals within all the rules and regs, as well as applying for a dozen jobs, I headed off to quartet practice.  Needless to say, they were stunned that I was so "chipper" about being laid off.  I'm still a bit stunned myself.  This time around is quite different.  I prepared financially for this over two years ago and now have a life outside of work in music that is making a huge difference in my outlook on life.  There is something definitely to be said about making music an integral part of your life no matter your profession.

After rehearsal I received an e-mail from my viola instructor.  He is willing and able to carve out extra time in his schedule to help me prepare for my scholarship audition.  Yes, this will cost me a bit more $$$, but it is a matter of getting that scholarship I'm going to desperately need.  It is an investment in my own future.  So for the next month, my viola practice will be taking on an entirely new meaning and intensity.

This will be quire interesting to say the least.


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