Financial aid was a longer conversation. I learned that I would actually be eligible for financial aid at the level already offered me at any number of credits from a minimum of 6 to as many as 15. With the one class I'm hanging onto weighing in at a hefty 5 credits that means I would only need to tack on a 1 credit course to meet the requirements for federal loan money or financial aid through work study. A quick review of 1 credit courses that I could squeeze into my life includes, "Supervised Activity Programs" from the Physical Education department (basically come up with a personal fitness plan or participatory sport schedule with an instructor and check in every so often to verify that you are sticking to it. I think I could easily do this.) and Medical Terminology as an online course. I think either would be good, I'm going to work out whether I get course credit or not and a greater familiarity with medical jargon will ultimately be helpful (even if the course focuses on human rather than animal medicine), but Medical Terminology has a slight edge for me because my Wife is taking it. Like right now. Literally. I wouldn't even have to buy the book, I could just use Kristin's copy. And based on her description of the course it sounds like something that I could excel at quite easily. I haven't made a decision for sure, but I'm [obviously] leaning towards adding Medical Terminology right now and getting myself some financial aid for the fall.
This reminds me; I need to follow up with the financial aid office and/or my loan consolidation company and see if receiving financial aid as a part time student will make me eligible for loan deferment. How awesome could that be?
Anyway, my business for the day concluded at MCTC I walked home through Loring Park. For a while I have been aware that there is a bench in the Park dedicated to Abdu'l-Bahá, the successor to Bahá'u'lláh, founder of the Baha'i faith of which I am an adherent. Recently I learned through Kristin, who learned through a friend within our local Baha'i community, the approximate location of this bench. Today as I walked home through the park I decided to make a point of attempting to locate the bench. I located it just slightly east and north of the horseshoe courts. The inscription into the metal of the bench read [let's see how accurate my memory is], "Abdu'l-Bahá blessed this location on [date during his visit to Minneapolis] 1912 ". It was a very profound feeling to me to realize not only that the bench was dedicated to Abdu'l-Bahá, but that it was also located upon an exact spot that he had visited AND blessed. I sat on the bench and recited one of a few prayers I have memorized. Then in the shade cast by the bench I did some stretching because my lower back and left hip were bothering me a little. I did feel much better afterwards.
I sat on the bench and read some of Catching Fire, recommended to me by my Sister, for a while until I was interrupted by an Ethiopian tourist who asked me to take a picture of him in front of the Minneapolis skyline as seen from Loring Park. And that interesting and unexpected happening inspired the title, antithetical to the refrain of a song I'm fond of, to this very long blog entry. I returned to reading until I finished the chapter I was on and then headed home.
Almost immediately after arriving at home I received a call from Kristin informing me that her Chemistry Professor [to be my lab instructor this Fall] had granted permission for me to sit in on a lecture presentation. Unfortunately class was moments from beginning and there was no way I could make it today, but if I can take another day or half-day from work in the next week or so I should be afforded another opportunity to sit in.
As it happens it isn't so bad that I couldn't make it to Kristin's chemistry class because while it was going on I received contact from an admissions counselor with Animal Behavior College. Animal Behavior College is a primarily web-based, for-profit institution entirely dedicated to technical programs in the field of animal care. We discussed their veterinary assistant program at some length. It is very clear that the program at ABC will not give me the opportunity to fulfill any of the prerequisite academic work necessary for my admission into vet school. However, it is, so far, the most flexible and lowest tuition program I have encountered for becoming a veterinary assistant or technician to date. If I can't turn up any other vet tech/assistant programs that will enable me to complete coursework applicable to acceptance into a professional program to become a doctor of veterinary medicine I may still consider a technical program as a means of expediting the transition out of my career in customer service and into work in veterinary health while I continue to work towards entering vet school. If that is what lies ahead for me the program from Animal Behavioral College seems, far and away, of the best value I have encountered, thus far, in terms of my needs as a student.