Two Years Later...

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Whew! I don't know about you all, but I'm still recovering from 2020, and 2022 is just around the corner. A lot has happened in my life, and I want to take some time to get you caught up to speed.


Education

When I last wrote about pursuing college, I wasn't sure what my degree focus would be or how far I would go. Ultimately, I chose the accounting program at Chemeketa Community College. I started in September of 2019 and finished my associate of applied science in accounting this June. I picked up other certificates in accounting, payroll, and tax preparation along the way by strategically choosing my classes to meet those requirements.

I chose Chemeketa as a default school; it was the closest public school to my home and an easy choice. When I started, I wasn't sure how far I would go, so I chose a program that had a lot of little segments. I could get a 1-year certificate or a 2-year degree. I got both, but it was nice having those milestones along the way so that I didn't feel like I was wasting time and money if I couldn't complete something bigger. 

Because of other life circumstances that I'll go into later, I decided to continue past community college and go to a university. That was a trickier decision. Where would I go? There was no default choice, so I had to do a lot of research, talk to representatives of various schools, apply for scholarships at each school...it was a lot. I applied to three schools, applied for scholarships at those three schools, and was awarded similar scholarships for all three. In the end, I discovered that Eastern Oregon University had the most efficient policy for applying my past credits to gen ed requirements, which would allow me to graduate in another two years, rather than another three or more.

That left another interesting decision to make. Would I attend in person or online? Their whole accounting degree is offered online, so either choice was viable. But with all the online classes I've had to take during the pandemic, I was ready to be around some other humans. So I did what any sophisticated 27-year-old college student would do--I decided to live on-campus in La Grande.


So that's where I am now education-wise. I'm working on my bachelor of science in accounting. I'm debating whether I want to complete an additional focus in managerial accounting or if I want to try to get my master's and go for my CPA, but it'll be a little while yet before I have to make that decision.


Above: Selfie in front of Ackerman Hall, where I have no classes. Left: Bathroom selfie with my EOU swag.

Personal Catastrophes

In what weird universe can I live on-campus in a dorm, even one where I get a whole bedroom to myself? Well, that's another long story.

In addition to the murder hornets, pandemic, and all that jazz from 2020, I also got divorced that year. It was a difficult decision that we arrived at after six months of counseling and trying to make it work. I moved back in with my parents, which was super weird after being gone seven years.

Then in September, the Beechie Creek wildfire came through. We evacuated around 2:30 a.m. after the emergency order blared over our cell phones. I had packed a bag to go camping in a couple of days, so I grabbed that and some of my sentimental stuff. That was a whole big emotional experience, and I'm not going to recount it now. In the end, the house burned down. I spent two weeks couch surfing until my parents found a tiny place to rent in Stayton, then I moved in with my grandma.

The insurance claim process was a veritable nightmare. The sheer quantity of work involved was awful. I have the distinct feeling that the process is designed to be as user-unfriendly as possible to discourage people from filing their whole claim and reduce the amount that the insurance company has to pay. My insurance provider is State Farm, but I'm guessing it's probably similar with most companies. On top of that, my claims agent's office made multiple mistakes, and that was its own emotional roller-coaster.

So between my divorce and losing most of my stuff in a fire, it makes a lot more sense that I'd be able to live in a dorm suite; there wasn't a lot tying me down when I moved to La Grande. My parents are rebuilding, and their house is nearly done now.


Other Stuff

I'm dating again. Here's a picture of my boyfriend and me. We've been dating since summer. Aren't we cute?


I'm also learning to use LinkedIn and trying to revamp this website to better fit with my personal brand now that I'm not trying to write novels. I'll be updating my tagline, paring down social media accounts to things I can actually use, and generally pretending to be a real adult in the name of professionalism. That said, this blog isn't going to be about accounting, at least not anytime soon. It's still a hobby blog, and I'm excited to share some of my recent hobby activities with you guys.

I took a drawing class last term, and that was fun. Here's a picture of my bedroom wall where I stapled a bunch of my projects.

From there I started doing a personal exploration in watercolor. I did a few paintings for Christmas presents including a crab, a skunk, a pterodactyl, a lighthouse landscape, and a mountain landscape. I think the landscapes look best, so enjoy.

I did these with dollar store watercolors since I wasn't sure if I would stick with the medium, but after doing a few, I decided to order a nicer set online. That should be arriving in the next couple of days, and I'm excited about that.

This afternoon I finally get to do some Christmasy stuff with a couple of my siblings and my grandma. My parents are down with covid, so I probably won't get the chance to see them while I'm in town, and that's a bit of a bummer. I should, however, get to see my little brother and get to meet his girlfriend while they're here from Korea, so that's cool.

Eventually I'll write more about the whole house burning down thing, but I think this is more than enough for today. I hope you're all having a good holiday season and that your travels are safe.

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