Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Epilogue (I think)

So, some time has gone by, a semester is winding down, things appear to be getting back to normal? We'll see. So as to keep this from becoming a diary entry, I will try to stick to the hard facts.

I am almost definitely not going back to China this summer. Firstly, there is no money to do this. Second, I realized I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to do this, which is silly and was making me incredibly anxious. So I'm going to look for opportunities in Toronto for the summer, including internships and volunteer spots, and use the Crocs store as a financial back up. After this semester, I only have one more to go. I could do it in the summer, but I am way more likely to find full-time employment or an internship now than in September. I also realized that I have been living like a nomad for almost a year and would be REALLY happy to just stay in one spot that feels like mine for a little while. Then I will graduate in December, and figure out what to do after that. I am really ready to be done school at this point, regardless of what happens afterwards.

With the school, things are weird. I haven't really had a follow up meeting since I dropped the co-op, which I think was supposed to happen. We have had large forum type meetings, including one that the Dean attended. This defies all logic, but the Dean is the first U of T admin type to say that they did not handle the situation right, that things were done wrong, and that measures are being taken to correct them. It blew my mind. In a good way. Yesterday we met with him to discuss the matter further, particularly the issue of compensation for the crazy amount of co-op fees we paid for almost no job experience. He says he is going to do his best to compensate us financially, whether it be through tuition credits or bursaries. We are completely satisfied with this...U of T is rather stingy with their finances...so this is a big deal.

I'm still coping with a lot of emotional baggage from the whole thing, but it's getting better. In April I am planning on heading to the US to visit my Tibetan boss man and a couple of my friends from Xining, which I am really looking forward to. And my classmates will start to come home in the next few weeks! I can't even express how excited I am to see them, honestly.

Okay, just a quick update for everyone, and probably the end of this blog with this title. It was fun while it lasted! Thanks for reading and caring!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I dropped the co-op part of my degree and am going back to school this semester. I am registered in mostly anthro courses which I need to fill out my anthropology major. My IDS specialist has been essentially taken care of. I was waiting to find out if there was any chance of me getting another job outside of Canada and it sounded like there wasn't, and that's not what I signed up for. In addition, once you have completed 8 months of co-op, you MUST write a thesis...like, a post-grad style thesis. If I am not tied to this thesis for the next year and a half, my options for leaving Canada again this year basically increase by 20 times. In addition to this, there is a course I have signed up for that allows me to get a credit for doing volunteer work one day a week and then writing a paper to be marked by the 'supervisor', who is this really cool woman that does a tonne of development work (among other cool things). Thus, I am still going to be getting experience working with a development organization in Canada, and writing a research paper about it, WHILE going to school. From what Hridi and I can tell, this is winning. We are still going to pursue an admission that the school was in the wrong for ever sending us on these placements in the first place, but that may take some time. What's most important for my mental well being right now is having at least a short-term plan, something to keep myself busy and my small shred of hope that I might get back to China as soon as the summer. Future possibilities of course need to be investigated further, once I'm not scrambling to get my late (EXTREMELY LATE) OSAP application in, registering for courses, meeting with various admin types and finding a place to live (THE WORST...I hate looking for apartments).

Quick update: I have discovered that nobody 'asked for or needed an intern' in Xining. Thus, from the information I have, I wasn't working for an organization OR a person. That's just messed up. I feel like I owe it to future IDS generations to make sure nobody ever gets sent out into a situation that craptastic ever again. Students aren't guinea pigs...not after thousands of dollars in co-op fees. Due diligence, transparency, and an apology would be nice. We'll see what happens.

So yeah, back to normal except everything is different! Thanks for being the best support team anyone could have ever ever asked for!!!!