Raising a Blended Family

Making Lemonade

on August 27, 2011

Well… today I went out and got certified in CPR for the Healthcare Provider. Hey, healthcare provider. That’s about to be me!  It felt good to get this show on the road, and going to this class may also have been the first big stroke of luck we’ve had in awhile.

You see, it turns out the EMT program I am enrolled in will probably be cancelled, due to low enrollment.  We’re still waiting for the final word, but as of Thursday (with two weeks left until class) only a few other students besides myself had signed up because the program is brand new and not well known yet.  The lady told us she’d let us know for sure by labor day weekend… not a lot of time to boost enrollment.  Crap, right?  This class had the perfect schedule, and upon further research, there really weren’t any other programs starting relatively soon that had a schedule I could do- either after work so I could keep my job while getting certified, or in a quick “accelerated” format so I could quit the job but still get trained and get an EMT job relatively quickly, so that the financial impact of me being temporarily out-of-work wouldn’t be so big.  I did find one other class starting mid-September,  a two week blitz class with 12 hours a day every day-  but the course cost a hefty $1500 plus some change AND it was an hour’s drive (one way) south of us AND I would have still had to buy all my coursebooks and everything.  Yikes.  No can do.

However, at my CPR class today, the instructor was asking us all why we were there and what we were hoping to accomplish.  A bunch of people were nurses, some just taking it to be certified for the heck of it, and myself and one other guy were there for Pre-EMT certs (it’s a requirement before you can take an EMT cert course… kinda makes sense that an EMT has to know CPR, right? 😉 ). He asked us where we were signed up and I told him about my situation, and he said he might be able to help me if we spoke after class.   Turns out, he’s an EMT instructor as well and he owns his own ambulance company to boot! I told him my whole situation (difficulties of scheduling a class and PhD and everything) and he informed me (and the other guy too) that he will be holding a three week blitz class starting sometime in september (dates TBA).  He offered for us to join the course and when I asked (wearily) how much it would be, he said that if we both were to keep quiet and not tell the other enrollees, he could cut us a deal since we took his CPR class and give us the course for $450, plus buying our textbooks!!!!  He said he’s done it before for past CPR students and he likes to help out where he can.  I immediately told him SOLD, and we made plans to further be in touch.  $450 is an amazingly good price, and actually cheaper by 50% than the course I’m already in. Plus, since it’s a three week course I’d be certified much faster and be able to get out there and get some experience (oh yeah and have an income).  So it really is a good thing and a great stroke of luck that I just happened to sign up at a CPR class with someone who is also an EMT instructor with an available class openings.

The only remaining concern is- of course- money.  We are used to and budgeted for having two incomes, not just one, and taking this course will probably mean living on only one income for about a month or so.   The nature of the course schedule- every day, 8-12 hour days- won’t leave any room for part-time work on the side, even if I could find it. While a month doesn’t seem like a long time, it’s long enough to cause some slight logistical headaches.  We might cancel our cable for a month. We probably WILL forgo buying our fancy new phones for another month.  We’ll definitely be scraping by for a bit, and I know from past experience (we’ve done this once before, out of necessity) that it will be a very humbling experience.  However- and forgive me if I gush- but this is the part where I have to say how much I love my wife. I love her, I love her, I love her.  Throughout all of these months, my stress and uncertainty has affected not only myself but her as well, and yet she has remained as solid and steady as a rock.  When I called her, excited about this opportunity, yet unsure if, financially, we could do it, she immediately pushed me to go for it.  She told me she’s tired of seeing me be miserable with work and all she wants is my happiness, and that we could get by for a month or so in order for me to take this course on the road to job satisfaction.  She told me, no matter what, we’ll make it work, we always do (and it’s true. We do.).  She’s even already drawn up a revised “draft budget” (we’re big budgeters around here) of a month on just her income to show where we could do it, and volunteered to work some overtime to make sure we’re good to go.  All of this, for my dream.  I love her so much and I couldn’t do this without her support- so Panda, when you read this, thank you, truly, for loving and being there for me.   I love you! 🙂


One response to “Making Lemonade

  1. prettyisa says:

    Yay for under the table emt classes! I sort of hope yours gets cancelled now so you can take the quick one and be through in no time! I think that there is a real difference between being ‘unemployed’ and being a student. People understand taking time off of work to achieve a goal, and you’re so excited that I bet no one will even think twice about you not making any money for that month. And as long as you can swing the finances somehow, it sounds like this is the perfect opportunity–I’m so excited for you!

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