Thursday, August 31, 2006

Things I didn't need

From my day on Wednesday.

Something I didn't need to see:
Walking to get some lunch, I passed by a storefront where some contractors were working on the interior. One quick glance was all I needed to figure out that the closest contractor was wearing white boxers with red maple leafs (Oh, Canada!). And he was either wearing them backwards or they were ripped along the back seam.

Something I didn't need to find out:
The cost of health insurance, required for international students and their dependents, has skyrocketed. Mine is covered by my funding package, but the cost for my wife and son has increased almost 90%. That's 90% in a single year. The consolation in their thinking is that they will allow me to pay for it in installments instead of all at once. As I explained to the person who was giving me this 'upside,' "Yes, but I still have to pay nearly twice as much as I did last year."

Something I didn't need to feel:
I applied for an extra TA position. It's not through my department, but an affiliated one, and I am definitely qualified. I made sure to apply for the semester I wasn't already working. It would be a nice chunk of change and, given recent expenses we've discovered will be incurring unexpectedly, quite helpful. Yes, it will be a lot of extra work, but my schedule allows it. I found out that I have been offerred the position, but I found out by means of my graduate advisor telling me he doesn't think it's a good idea, it's too many hours for a year (whereas I was looking at is I'll have two equally committed semesters). So now I'm doubting myself and my ability to handle my life, instead of feeling proud that I stood out in a pile of applicants.

On the plus side, I found out one happy thing on Thursday. Our son will be in junior kindergarten next year, and I thought we would have to pay out-of-pocket for public school because we're not Canadian citizens or permanent residents. We've been hoping to keep him at his current preschool for half days (since jk is only half a day itself), but the combined expense would have been too much, even more than any of the private schools around here. But it turns out there's an exemption for children of full-time students at publicly funded colleges and universities. Yeah for something in our budget not skyrocketing!


Lisa b said...

yay indeed on the school for your son.
I have not been impressed at all with the health insurance packages for graduate students and I am not even paying international student fees. To almost double in a year is riduculous.
Lucky you get to pay installments. It is so insensitive for someone working with graduate students to say that.
And take the TA job. I went back to work against advice. If you can do it one term you can do it both. Only you are looking out for yor family and your finances. Don't let your supervisor make you doubt yourself.

Mouse said...

The news about not paying for school helped my mood a lot, because even junior kindergarten would have cost more than I'll be making with the extra TA position. It also means he gets to stay with his friends for another year or two, very important for his sense of routine.

Financially, I'm lucky that my wife has been able to work up here and that we have some savings in place. HOWEVER, we had to cut into our savings more than I wanted last year (moving, visiting family, etc) and would like to build some of it back up. With some of our expenses increasing, this TA job should just about keep us from dipping paying out more than my wife makes. No pressure from the wife, but I don't want school to turn into a money nightmare (as it did when I tried grad school straight out of undergrad).

I'm getting over the 'concern' from the advisor--I'm a big girl and can take care of myself. In fact, I've found that the busier I am, the better organized and productive I am. To a point, but I think I know that point.

Anonymous said...

There is definately a lot to learn about this issue.
I love all of the points you have made.

Feel free to surf to my site ... rheumatoid arthritis pregnancy