My son got me a very cool telescope with smartphone adapter (for Christmas) so I can begin my lifelong dream of astrophotography. Lots to learn, but I have a couple good friends who are pretty well-versed in this hobby who have been helping me out. When I have this comfortably set in my brain... I will eventually gift myself with a leveled up model (although this one really is great) along with a nice DSLR to take even better photos of space. It's something I plan to do for myself with my VA stipend for going to school. My tuition will already be covered- this stipend I can spend on whatever I want. First goal is being debt free... then I will treat myself :)
If I could have anything for Christmas- what would it be? Well, nothing money could buy. So I will just let my Christmas wish be to remain focused, motivated, and keep my eyes on the prize.
The school thing- I feel like I am dreaming here. The program I am in is specifically for disabled vets (this is not the G.I. Bill). You have to get into a degree program (or even a vocational/technical school) that will allow you to work in a field suited for your specific disabilities. It also has to be on a list of schools approved by the VA. For me? Something I can do at home, something that won't have me tied to a phone or at my desk for 8 consecutive clocked hours (or more). I have to tap into my creative side and be able to do it as I can deal with it.
I journaled about my fiasco in trying to get my VA counselor to even contact me once he was assigned. I filled out the application, was supposed to have a counselor assigned to me in 1 week, had to wait 2... then when I was given his info, a few more weeks passed with him not contacting me and me being unable to contact him. I'd already done all the paperwork with the school to begin classes on November 27, and the deadline passed without me having my tuition figured out. FAFSA was a hard no because I am not going to get underneath those loans at this age. Many veterans are getting their school loans wiped away right now- but in 3 years... that may not be true anymore.
I contacted the supervisor for my counselor telling them I really needed to get this rolling. Finally, the counselor called me and we had the dreaded interview where I had to convince him of my issues in conjunction with this dream- proving to him I deserved it. I had to talk about my challenges (luckily all being treated by the VA- so obviously not tall tales), and how *this* degree would allow me to live my full potential with the best ease as possible for me. I also had to take an assessment test that would determine if my goals lined up with what I actually had a knack for. Luckily for me- my results couldn't have come back more perfect: creative, artist, investigative (you do need to investigate to write about certain things with authenticity). And with that- he gave me the green light and approved my package.
This Bachelor's program is only 3 years. Although we have some holiday time off, it's all year-around school. One class at a time, only 4 weeks each (which means a lot in short time). I wouldn't have it any other way! I only have to focus on ONE subject and not have my attention divided during each term. I'm going to try my very best to ace each class. How often do students get to be in full-time school and not have their attention divided between other classes? When it’s completed, I *will* fly to Los Angeles to graduate in person.
The Los Angeles Film School oftentimes has amazing people in the industry come by to give speeches and Q&A’s with the students. For this reason I am jealous I won’t be a campus student… not because I have ever been starstruck- but that it’s the chance to ask experts what you’d love to know from their perspective. I’m assuming as a student they would be live-streamed to us and maybe they would even take questions from those of us in online programs. There are so many people who come by, their YouTube channel is chock-full of the panels they’ve had. I snatched a short video of one after the panel where a few gave tips.
Not sure I have ever been this excited to begin an adventure. I feel it in my bones that I will love it (stay tuned as the months and few years go by if I start bitching, heh).... but one of the wonderful things about this, is it is going to give me something great to look forward to every day while I am still waiting for my VA case to be settled.
I had 4 weeks of material to absorb before classes start on January 8. I was so excited that I did it all in one night, hehe... it was just orientation stuff- but for me it wasn't "work", this was all stuff I was really excited to learn and get pumped about.
Yesterday I was bitching about speech to text and autocorrect in a journal entry here- saying I’m so hasty to post that I don’t check. Later I came back and read that entry… There were *two* stupid autocorrects in it. I just deleted it last night after reading it. 🤦🏻♀️
Here’s a cut and paste of what I just posted on Facebook 😁
For the last couple of months I’ve been working my butt off on an idea. Something I’ve wanted to do my entire life. If someone were to ask me “What would you be if you could be anything?“… My answer every time would be a ***screenwriter***.
I found a school that I wanted to attend – they have an online program, and the professors are people who are working writers in Hollywood right now… Working for companies, like HBO, Disney, DC, the Cartoon Network, the list goes on… So I would not only be learning this trade, but making connections.
Today I finally had an interview with the VA and my educational benefits for this have been approved! I was able to convince them that this is the life for me and that I deserve to have my tuition fully covered. Today is a most EXCELLENT day! 🎬✍️
*The Los Angeles Film School*
I don't often like talking about my goals and dreams- because when they don't work out, you still keep getting a lot of "How's that going?" from people and it sucks to continually respond with how it didn't come to fruition. Not only that- sometimes I don't even compete projects I begin due to anxieties or or factors.
However... I will state- after one hell of a time trying to get with my assigned VA counselor (weeks of no response- no answers to my texts, voicemails, emails)- I reached out to higher echelons for his supervisor to get in touch with him to answer me. I have now filled out all the paperwork, took an assessment, and have a video appointment with him Tuesday morning to determine if I will get these VA educational benefits for disabled veterans. For many reasons I may not- could be beyond my met requirements. The budgets could only be accepting people with higher disability ratings... other reasons...
BUT... I am crossing my fingers and toes I will get this opportunity, and after that hurdle- I will be able to stick with it through all the daily stressors I have. This is something that could possibly make all of that easier to bear.
I've been enrolled with 4 different universities- I only finished one program: Theological Education, 6 years pf schooling with that. This one, I hope I can do it and also make it the second one I complete.
I will be crestfallen if it's not something I can't make happen, and that starts with the VA giving me a green light.
I am ready for next week to be over already. Stitches out of my head on Monday (biopsy, nothing serous I am sure), this video appointment Tuesday, then final post-op on Wednesday from a big surgery I had in October.