Building a better world - Cam's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
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ertyu
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Re: Building a better world - Cam's Journal

Post by ertyu »

sounds to me like with electric, the bottleneck is getting that first job and then it's smooth sailing. i'd definitely move for that for a couple of years. you get it out of the way and then you're set.

ETA i'd almost rather move to a mine than to ontario?? idk why. that might be a me-personality thing.

Cam
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Re: Building a better world - Cam's Journal

Post by Cam »

I think you're right. Just looked on indeed, and southern Ontario is still exploding with apprentice postings. It would be good for me to move out and live on my own for a while I think. I'd only rent a room to keep costs down. Where I live $550 is the going rate for a bed room, but I'm sure better deals could be found by word of mouth. Not sure how it is in southern Ontario. Might be a year of just breaking even but as a future investment it's hard to beat.

Cam
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Re: Building a better world - Cam's Journal

Post by Cam »

Well now I am questioning the trades entirely. Not because I'm struggling to get into an electrical place - I know that is a hurdle I can make it over with effort.

I don't think I told my whole story at the start of this journal. Growing up I didn't get much experience working with my hands. I did a ton of reading, outdoor activities and learning, and I know I had a wonderful childhood. No one in my immediate family does much trades-related work though, so I was never exposed to it much. My mom teaches, and my dad works at a plastics factory. My dad and I would very occasionally take on projects such as fixing a fence or changing the tires on one of the cars.

I took tech class in middle school and didn't mind it. I liked the smell of working with wood. I always excelled more in the classroom though, and I still do.

In high school I didn't take any trades related courses. There we had a construction class as well as some auto shop stuff. I was too busy taking music courses though because I love music. I don't regret taking the courses, because music is still something I do every day on the keyboard.

In a roundabout way, I'm saying that growing up I never really had the opportunity to work with my hands. This is not a complaint, but more of a statement. So for a long time that part of me went completely unexplored.

I went to university and got my bachelor's degree in psychology. For quite a while I thought I might end up doing occupational therapy or speech language pathology, or maybe even some form of counselling. This was because 1) I enjoy working with people and helping them, even if it is draining after a while as I'm fairly introverted. I need to be able to find meaning in my work too...this is something I have just recently discovered.

I started looking at trades stuff when I heard about the shortages of workers, and thinking to myself that if I could get paid to move all day I'd love it (I was correct about that). I was also a little put off by most of the social jobs I was interested in needing at least a Master's degree to get going in, and often the programs were highly competitive to make it into. When I heard what it took to be a good apprentice was showing up on time and staying off my phone, it was flabbergasting to me but quite refreshing after trying to maintain a good average, part time work, and volunteering simultaneously to be a good candidate for master's programs.

Whenever I talked to my parents about potential careers, they both emphasized that I would make a fantastic teacher. They're definitely right. I have a lot more patience than the average person, I have my own insatiable desire to learn that I could pass on to my students, and anytime I've had to teach something to someone I always did a good job and really enjoyed it. I am not just tooting my own horn I promise, I know this because people tell me. I thought it was like that for everyone until I talked to my oldest brother about his brief experiences teaching in university. He was good at it, but he really didn't enjoy it at all. He much preferred thinking and researching to trying to teach.

For some reason I always resisted the idea of becoming a teacher. Part of it would be seeing my mom work just about every weeknight until 7 or 8pm on lesson plans and report cards when the season came. When I worked at the grocery store, I liked that I left my work at work. It's the same in the welding shop now. When the 4pm buzzer goes, everyone is out of there and no more work is done until 7:30 the next morning. It's great for peace of mind.

What I've been finding though is that I really miss helping people directly and have a deep sense of meaning in my work. Back when I thought I was going into occupational therapy, I was volunteering twice weekly at the hospital. I volunteered for the hospital elder life program, which basically had me keeping older folks staying in the hospital sharp mentally and physically. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11129764/ We'd sometimes do exercises to keep muscle atrophy at bay, sometimes we'd play cards, and sometimes we'd just chat. Often times these were people waiting for a spot in a retirement home that was still months away, so they were spending extended periods in the hospital. Sometimes family would come visit and I would leave them all be, but quite a few of the patients had no visitors for various reasons. It was emotionally heavy work at times, but immensely rewarding.

I also worked for a local organization that provides programming for adults with developmental disabilities back when I was a teenager. The folks loved me there, and I loved the work.

I know I could become a fantastic electrician. I could become one of the best welder-fitters at the shop too. My dad has said a few times that I can do just about anything I put my mind to. I know that's an exaggeration because no, I don't think I'd be able to understand my brother's level of math no matter how much effort I put in - he just completed his PhD in pure math or something like that. Now he might become a cyber security analyst (cool!!). But minus the extremes, he is right. My greatest strength is that I'm like a sponge for knowledge. I've learned to enjoy being the dumbest person in the room, because that's when I learn a ton of good stuff pretty quick. It's a wonderful strength to have, but it's also been a struggle because there's no one thing that sticks out to me and screams, "I'm your passion!!". I find a LOT of stuff really interesting. I remember talking to a girl in university who knew she wanted to be a teacher ever since she was a kid. I remember being so jealous of her in that moment, with her certainty about what she wanted to do with her life.

I've been doing trades stuff directly for two years now. I took the electrical pre-apprenticeship program in 2020, then the welding program last year. Now I'm welding full time. I LOVE working and getting my exercise at the same time. As I've said, I've stopped my at home workouts but I am stronger than ever. I love entering the flow state when I'm doing precise work or really focusing on a weld. What is missing though, is that direct contact with people that I love so much. I find machines and metals and mechanical stuff interesting, but what I'm learning is that I don't want to work with them all day every day. I'd much rather the messiness of human interaction.

Teaching in Canada is not like in the US. My mom is very experienced (10+ years teaching) and she earns +$100,000 per year. So not like the US where you see other teachers working two jobs. Another reason I turned away from social careers was the cap in earnings even with experience. Teaching isn't really like the other professions in that regard.

I don't think I'd ever abandon trades stuff entirely, I like it too much. I could easily keep it as a hobby though. Getting the repair cafe started too would be a great outlet fot that.

The final reason for the potential switch is knowing the demand is there. Where I am, if I am capable of teaching and also speaking French, a job is a guarantee. There are lots of teaching college grads each year, but it has been several years now my mom's french school has had several openings going unfilled. They are not senior positions either, just spots for teachers who can speak french.

Soo yeah. A potentially big switch. I will do another post about money this month. I think short version I saved about 50% of my income. More on that later though.

ertyu
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Re: Building a better world - Cam's Journal

Post by ertyu »

Would you have to go back to school to switch to teaching?

zbigi
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Re: Building a better world - Cam's Journal

Post by zbigi »

Did you consider a switch to becoming a "people person" in your existing field - a foreman, a manager, a salesman/client handler?

Cam
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Re: Building a better world - Cam's Journal

Post by Cam »

ertyu wrote:
Mon Oct 03, 2022 6:02 am
Would you have to go back to school to switch to teaching?
Yes it would be two years of teacher's college. The bachelor's degree is all done. If I go the primary/junior option I don't need a teachable subject, but I do need a variety of courses which I did take during my bachelor's. If I decide the high school option social sciences could definitely be my teachable.
zbigi wrote:
Mon Oct 03, 2022 3:21 pm
Did you consider a switch to becoming a "people person" in your existing field - a foreman, a manager, a salesman/client handler?
That is a good thought. The thing with me is that I want my work to be meaningful and involve helping people out in the big picture. That might sound strange or badly worded. Take my welding job. I could become a fantastic welder-fitter there and earn good money, but big picture I am just helping mining companies continue to mine. Not necessarily a bad thing, and I am not knocking the guys who have worked there for years. Someone has got to build that stuff and they do a great job of it. I just think my natural abilities and personality are a better fit for a helping profession, and I feel far more fulfilled at the end of the day if I feel like my work is contributing to a better world, even if it's emotionally draining at times.

I think the challenge for me has been balancing the two sides of my personality. One side that enjoys being alone and working with my hands, and the other really wants to connect with others on a deep level and to do what I can to help them through their troubles.

I used to not pay attention to personality tests, but when I tried out the enneagram types one a couple years ago I really enjoyed it. I got type 9 which is the peacemaker, with type 2 (the helper) and 7 (the enthusiast) tying for 2nd place. I remember reading my type and thinking 'that sounds just like me'. Then I read one of the other types just to make sure it wasn't like a horoscope where the descriptions are so general they'd fit anyone. So I read the type 8 description just for fun and started to laugh. "...typically have problems with their tempers"...I'm more likely to cry than get really angry. "...sometimes becoming confrontational and intimidating" I am far more likely to shy away from conflict than to address it directly. Okay, so not the Barnum effect.

Even if my working life isn't the typical 40 years, I want to really enjoy it and gain fulfillment from it nonetheless. I think a switch into one of the social professions, especially one where my earnings are actually not bad after a while, could be just what I need. I won't stop working with my hands, I simply enjoy it too much. But I think it can be what I do in my spare time instead of a full-time job.

Thanks for the responses folks. I'm going to put an application in for next year's round of teacher's college, as it's only $80 for the application. If I decide this is all crazy and change my mind then I'm not out much. But this has been bouncing around in my head for a while now so I don't think that'll happen.

ertyu
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Re: Building a better world - Cam's Journal

Post by ertyu »

Cam wrote:
Mon Oct 03, 2022 6:55 pm

I think the challenge for me has been balancing the two sides of my personality. One side that enjoys being alone and working with my hands, and the other really wants to connect with others on a deep level and to do what I can to help them through their troubles.
two thoughts:

1. i think you underestimate how much help a good, honest, trustworthy contractor is and how much good they can do in people's lives
2. idk how much deep connection you'll get through teaching; teachers work mostly with groups of students at a time? Idk if you'll get that opportunity for meaningful change, tho that might just be me projecting my experience as a student.

.. how about a school councelor? or college councelor?? that seems both school-affiliated and you work with students one-on-one. a good college / careers councellor can make a huge difference in a person's life. same as a councelor-counselor, with kids who have various sorts of trouble but can't access other help

Cam
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Re: Building a better world - Cam's Journal

Post by Cam »

ertyu wrote:
Mon Oct 03, 2022 7:41 pm

two thoughts:

1. i think you underestimate how much help a good, honest, trustworthy contractor is and how much good they can do in people's lives
2. idk how much deep connection you'll get through teaching; teachers work mostly with groups of students at a time? Idk if you'll get that opportunity for meaningful change, tho that might just be me projecting my experience as a student.

.. how about a school councelor? or college councelor?? that seems both school-affiliated and you work with students one-on-one. a good college / careers councellor can make a huge difference in a person's life. same as a councelor-counselor, with kids who have various sorts of trouble but can't access other help
You're right, I definitely was underestimating how much good they can do.

I think the connections gained with students is directly connected with how much effort the teacher puts in. My mom tells me about some teachers who stick to the curriculum religiously, come in at 8 and leave at 3, and who put very little effort into lesson planning. I'd guess they're there for the paycheck and not much more. My mom has since transferred to a new position that is entirely devoted to teaching kids to read, especially those who were considered unteachable just a couple years ago (e.g. severe dyslexia). Talk about meaningful work! When she was a teacher she'd show up early, and often not leave unti 5:30 or 6 as she'd stay lesson planning for the next day. My whole family knows the kids love her, because every year she'd get a laundry basket's worth of cards and candy and gifts from grateful students and parents.

Thank you for your suggestions :D Maybe a career with more one on one interaction would be best. Man I feel like I'm back in 2nd year university again trying to decide what to do. Either way, I have a bachelor's degree which opens up lots of options for low pay caretaker work. My city has 3 large retirement homes, as well as a hospital for the entire region and a OneKidsPlace. Then other higher paying careers such as occupational therapy or teaching would be another two years of school, which isn't too bad at all. What to do, what to do.

zbigi
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Re: Building a better world - Cam's Journal

Post by zbigi »

Cam wrote:
Tue Oct 04, 2022 7:31 am

My city has 3 large retirement homes, as well as a hospital for the entire region and a OneKidsPlace.
Can you do some tryouts (unpaid internships, volunteering etc.) in some of these places? It's best to verify one's assumption about how much you'd like a given career before investing a lot (i.e. a couple more years of study) into it, if possible.

basuragomi
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Re: Building a better world - Cam's Journal

Post by basuragomi »

You could build up a business as a local handyman. Especially as the great Boomer die-off arrives, increasingly unable people will fight for a reliable contractor or even someone to handle basic chores/maintenance. There is tons of work if you can just show up for it. Might fit with your goals as meshing with rotational mine work.

I'm of the opinion that everything is a lot easier with a lot of money at your back - and serious income from a teaching job is 3-4 years away for you, unless you're willing to move to a remote town that may well be a mine site. The teachers I met in the Arctic were paid well but generally stayed for less than a year because the teaching environment was pretty depressing. I've got a ton of Ontario teacher relatives including some who entered the profession in the last five years so you can PM me with questions.

Cam
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Re: Building a better world - Cam's Journal

Post by Cam »

zbigi wrote:
Tue Oct 04, 2022 7:51 am
Can you do some tryouts (unpaid internships, volunteering etc.) in some of these places? It's best to verify one's assumption about how much you'd like a given career before investing a lot (i.e. a couple more years of study) into it, if possible.
Definitely. I have about a year of experience volunteering with the hospital elder life program I mentioned in my big post. I found it very fulfilling though emotionally draining at times. I have no experience working with kids directly, but my time with family member's kids I always enjoy. I worked with adults with disabilities for about a year combined, with some high school co-op placements and a summer job at the same organization.

So I'd definitely want to trying working or volunteering alongside kids before I commit to a career dedicated to them :D

I know the hospital is always looking for volunteers and that the OneKidsPlace in town would happily take me as a volunteer as well. Being a guy in the helping professions is the complete opposite from a guy entering the trades. Lots of ladies and not so many guys, so they're always happy to have a guy join the team. I could try volunteering at the hospice too. It's where my grandma passed last year and they were so good to her. I'll talk with my parents today and do some more thinking. Took the day off work as I'm pretty sick so I have all day to ponder this.

Cam
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Re: Building a better world - Cam's Journal

Post by Cam »

This weekend I was a jack of all trades! First, I replaced an old sink drain in one of our bathrooms. The drain was clogged up, mostly with soap, hair, and whatever else makes it down the drain. My dad and I joke that we pull out a small, unidentifiable mammal everytime we unclog it. Little gross, but pretty funny. **Edit I also found an old drill bit when I pulled the old drain right out. Who would've thought?? **I unscrewed the top part with my needle nose pliers to make the drain easy to access. Then I went in with a paper clip with a hook bent into one end, and my pliers. I pulled the mammal out. In the process though, I realized how corroded the drain was. A lot of the chrome had worn away, and parts of it were beginning to crack. The old plumber's putty crumbled in my fingers. So off I went to home hardware with the old top piece in hand. The older guy working there recommended replacing the whole assembly when he saw the corrosion. I didn't get the feeling he was trying to upsell me, so I took his advice. They didn't have the old style drain I had, only the lever style plug ones. So I went to home depot, and found an exact replacement for $25 tax included. I picked up some plumbing how to books from the library, and went to the drain replacement pages. I followed the instructions...and success! The sink now drains properly, does not leak, and will last most likely for another 25 years (about as long as the old one). Woo! When I showed my dad the old top piece, he said it was actually supposed to be joined to the rest of the drain and it had corroded away. Basically the large nut was holding the whole thing together...impressive. Good to have a new one in there though! Not sure how much I saved compared to calling a plumber, but I'm guessing it wasn't negligible.

Next up I became an electrician. For the past two years I've had access to 120V 15A circuits only in the garage. I can weld with that, but only thin material and with lots of breaker tripping. This weekend I finally got around to installing a 240V 40A circuit. It all went quite smoothly. I made two mistakes though. First, I brought 8AWG 3 conductor wire when I should have bough 8AWG 2 conductor wire. The 5-50R receptacle I was wiring up only has spots for two hot conductors and a ground conductor, whereas the wire I purchased has two hot conductors, a neutral conductor, and a ground conductor. Well whoopsie doo. I said some curse words pretty loudly when I was looking at the missing space for the neutral. My first thought was that I'd have to rewire the whole circuit with 8/2 and waste a bunch of money. Then I looked online though on some other forums, where I learned I could just put a marrette on the neutral and all would be fine. Phew! So I did that, got the receptacle installed, switched on the breaker, and POW the panel blew out. Just kidding. I tested with my multimeter and all was good. 120V ground to hot #1, 120V ground to hot #2, and 240V from hot #1 to hot #2.

Then I plugged in my cheapo chinese welder, and ran some beads. Wow!! It felt like I was back in welding school. My 1/8" 6011 rods that used to trip the breaker burned right to the end, and ran very smoothly at that. I was welding quarter inch material and getting full penetration. I successfully ran 5/32" 7024 rod at ~175A (welder said 200 but not true) and no breaker trip. Free at last from the tyranny of tripping breakers :lol:

In case someone is reading this is really cringing, not to worry, I will have the installation inspected by the ESA.

Oh, and the other mistake I made was drilling my hole in the top plate of the wall frame too close to the joist. I think holes are supposed to be minimum 1 1/2" from the joist, so any screws used in future construction will not pierce the wiring. Mine is about an inch from the joist. The remedy to that is simple however. I will head to RONA and pick up a pack of nail plates for around $4, and install them beside the wire anywhere it is within 1 1/2" of the joist. I doubt there will be any future construction on the garage, but in case there is it's a good idea. Worse case that will not cut it for the inspector and I'll need to drill a new hole and re route the wiring through it.

The rest of this weekend was spent burning old 6011 rods on my old welding school fitting projects I took home. They were all tacked together, some with perfect gaps, some with horrific gaps. I welded in the flat, horizontal, and vertical position. This installation has opened up many doors for me. I am now confident that I can start doing work for other people, as I can trust that my welders are no longer trying to make do with 120V input power. I still will not do any work that will cause severe injury or death if a weld fails, because I do not want that liability. In terms of small projects though, I am ready to go!!

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Sclass
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Re: Building a better world - Cam's Journal

Post by Sclass »

Wow. I’ve really enjoyed reading this. From what I can gather you’re interested in a lot of things and moving in many directions. There’s nothing wrong with that at your age. It’s part of the journey. Stay curious and keep exploring your interests.

I can recall my first boss telling me how I’d wandered my way through my 20s. He on the other hand knew exactly where he wanted to be at 18 and put himself on a direct course to get there and had arrived without diversion by age 45. I envied him at the time but now I kind of pity him.

Keep exploring and learning. Skills are always a good thing even if they look kind of orthogonal at the time.

Cam
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Re: Building a better world - Cam's Journal

Post by Cam »

Sclass wrote:
Mon Oct 31, 2022 7:35 am
Wow. I’ve really enjoyed reading this. From what I can gather you’re interested in a lot of things and moving in many directions. There’s nothing wrong with that at your age. It’s part of the journey. Stay curious and keep exploring your interests.

I can recall my first boss telling me how I’d wandered my way through my 20s. He on the other hand knew exactly where he wanted to be at 18 and put himself on a direct course to get there and had arrived without diversion by age 45. I envied him at the time but now I kind of pity him.

Keep exploring and learning. Skills are always a good thing even if they look kind of orthogonal at the time.
Hey thanks Sclass I appreciate the encouragement.

I am all over the place, but I like to think there is an overall direction if you zoom out. When I do eventually live somewhere rural on some land knowing metalworking, basic electrical (and now some plumbing) will most definitely help me out.

That's not to say I have this all planned out, lol far from it! My applications to various colleges for September 2023 are all in. I applied to two communicative disorder assistant programs, three occupational therapy assistant programs, and one teaching program at my local university. Depending on which ones I'm acceped to I'll have some decisions to make. Those offers won't be out until February of next year though, so for now I am cruising along learning as much as I can at the metal shop. I'll probably be getting a raise soon as my three month probation is up in early November.

I just purchased a new stick welder as well. Similar to my chinese one in size and weight, but built in Canada and will run any DC electrode including 6010. Dual voltage so it'll run on 120V or 240V. $700, but for good quality and a 3 year warranty it works for me. My cheapo chinese has been an excellent starter machine but I am seeing its limits now. It can't run 6010 electrodes, some brands of 7018 it won't run etc. It also most definitely does not put out 200 amps. The big companies are good that way. If they say a machine can put out 150 or 200 amps, it'll put out what they say. The amazon welders are much more relaxed about power promises. Not a big deal for a hobbyist but if I'm gonna start doing work for people I don't want to worry about my machine acting up or not being able to run a certain electrode. Here is my purchase https://www.amazon.ca/Portable-Inverter ... 893&sr=8-5

Now I have a high quality ESAB wire welder, and in a few days I'll have a high quality stick welder. With those plus my grinders, clamps, fitting table, and squares, I am ready to do some serious metal working :D

Cam
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Re: Building a better world - Cam's Journal

Post by Cam »

Well Jacob I read your post about how to keep a journal on here. I know it wasn't directed at me specifically, but it was a good kick in the butt. I will commit to once a month updates (at beginning of the month) here. Even if I am crazy busy and can only put a few words down, it'll be good to be steady with this.

There is a lot that happened in the past month and a half. I am no longer in the welding shop, and I am going to school next fall.

I mentioned earlier I applied to several programs for next fall, some to become an occupational therapy assistant and some to become a communicative disorders assistant. I was accepted to all of them except one where I needed to complete a placement test as part of my application. After a lot of thinking, I accepted an offer to go to Durham college next fall for their CDA program! It'll be my first time actually leaving town for an extended period. It's a one year program, well three consecutive semesters, and then I am out on the job market. I will need to be open to travelling I think to start off, similar to electrical. As you can see here, there is no shortage of folks looking for CDAs in Ontario. This number increases more of course if I expand it to all of Canada. https://ca.indeed.com/jobs?q=speech+ass ... 3321167825

From what I have seen, the salary ranges from $21 per hour up to $70 per hour for in-home or remote Zoom sessions. Not bad at all! Just like occupational therapy, speech pathology is a field that is exploding in demand currently. In the US, the predicted growth rate is 21% from 2021-2031.https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/spee ... ogists.htm

So in demand, fulfilling work, and well-paying? I'm in! Not to mention this field is the opposite of welding in that I as a guy will be in the minority.

Why did I leave the welding shop? Volunteering and shadowing opportunities. I am waiting on my vulnerable sector check, and when the police get that back to me I will be starting at the local school board working directly with speech pathologists and CDAs. Woohoo! As a result I am back at the grocery store to take advantage of its flexible scheduling. I asked about part time hours at the shop, but it was full time or nothing.

In terms of living in Oshawa, it'll definitely be more expensive than at home. :lol: I'm leaning towards living in residence over renting a room. This is because the average price for a room I'm seeing is ~$750 a month, and that for 12 months is $9000. Residence for the same time period is $9140. In addition, the majority of the rooms available are female only, or indian students only, etc. I saw one posting that was looking for an indian student but only of a particular religious sect. The rental market has to be extremely tight if folks can get away with being that picky. So if I can avoid that stress for an additional $140, I will.

Now for some quick summaries of different areas of my life. I've seen this in other journals and I like how much area you can cover pretty quick.

Health: since I work 8-5 most days I just don't eat until my 1pm lunch. Nice, easy fast. I have an old 1997 CCM cruiser bike I got up and running so I'm riding it to work instead of driving. It will be my winter beater bike as I got it for free from my volunteer repair program I do in the summer. Good for me healthwise, but good for my car too with its wonky engine. The cold starts are no good, so the less I drive it in the cold, the better! When I do need to drive it I'll plug the block heater in a couple hours before to warm things up.

Money: doing well. Even with my welder purchase, my net worth is up $2000 from my last check. Starting this month I am buckling down on saving as much as I can. I technically could stop working today and pay for my entire school year without going into debt, but I'm not going to do that. I'm going to save as much as possible so I don't need to dip into my other funds as much (or at all, if possible). No more tool purchases, and any metalworking in the garage will be with what I already have on hand. This month I'm on track for an 85% savings rate, and that was with some purchases at the start of the month to finish my 240V installation in the garage. Not bad!

Social: Also very good. Keeping in good contact with my close friends through getting together for tea and card games every week. I also to the YMCA 2 or 3 times a month to play basketball with some other friends. As an introvert when I add this to my talking with folks at the grocery store, it is more than enough socialization for me.

Self development: I am honing in on improving my French language abilities. I took a couple self assessments and right now I am a B1 level, or beginner/intermediate in the CEFR levelshttps://www.coe.int/en/web/common-europ ... scriptions. I know with focused practice I can easily get to B2 within 3-4 months, as most of the tenses I already learned in university and I just need to brush up on them. Level B2 is what's required for a lot of bilingual jobs in Canada. For me in speech pathology, the language used would mostly be quite simple when practicing therapy. However when filling out forms and whatnot it would be a little more complex. Either way, I'm on the path to real bilingualism and I am pumped! French has been a fun hobby of mine for several years now, but I figured I might as well buckle down and get serious with it. Long term I'd like to take the DELF and score at least a B2. https://www.delf-dalf.ambafrance-ca.org/delf-all-dalf


So overall, life is going well for me. Family is coming up for the holidays soon, and Christmas is going to be much more focused on time together than gifts which is great for everyone's finances. :D

ertyu
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Re: Building a better world - Cam's Journal

Post by ertyu »

Congrats on your acceptance!

I also think the dorms are a better option, to start with, you make more friends if you're in the dorms. Then move out if you want to - but for 3 semesters shouldn't be an issue. If the rental market is tight, the dorms are also less likely to serve you bullshit like landlords slacking on repairing devices etc. Plus, dorms are usually close to the university which in turn means easier access to the uni gym and less money spent on transportation to and from class.

basuragomi
Posts: 425
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:13 pm

Re: Building a better world - Cam's Journal

Post by basuragomi »

Condolences and good luck on moving to the 'Shwa. The rental situation you're describing has been the same over the whole GTA for the last decade (including the price, $800 for a room). Dorms are a good idea to minimize the risks/bullshit associated with dealing with your own housing, and Oshawa is notoriously, intentionally, poorly designed for pedestrians. Drop me a line if you pass through Toronto, I guess you'll be taking a bus over?

Cam
Posts: 194
Joined: Tue May 25, 2021 8:21 am

Re: Building a better world - Cam's Journal

Post by Cam »

ertyu wrote:
Tue Dec 13, 2022 8:58 am
Congrats on your acceptance!

I also think the dorms are a better option, to start with, you make more friends if you're in the dorms. Then move out if you want to - but for 3 semesters shouldn't be an issue. If the rental market is tight, the dorms are also less likely to serve you bullshit like landlords slacking on repairing devices etc. Plus, dorms are usually close to the university which in turn means easier access to the uni gym and less money spent on transportation to and from class.
Thank you! :) Yes for the very small difference in cost I know I'm gonna save a lot of headaches. I'll love having access to a gym too. Got rid of my membership last year at our local cheap gym, and haven't missed it much. Having all the equipment available is great though and I will take advantage!
basuragomi wrote:
Tue Dec 13, 2022 9:45 am
Condolences and good luck on moving to the 'Shwa. The rental situation you're describing has been the same over the whole GTA for the last decade (including the price, $800 for a room). Dorms are a good idea to minimize the risks/bullshit associated with dealing with your own housing, and Oshawa is notoriously, intentionally, poorly designed for pedestrians. Drop me a line if you pass through Toronto, I guess you'll be taking a bus over?
Crazy crazy. Where I currently am rooms go for $500-$600 a month. And will do! I do still have little Singer (my Mitsubishi Mirage) so I'll be taking it down. Considering it costs me $93 a month to insure it, I think I'll keep it. Could end up changing my mind on that though. Thanks for the headsup about the design of Oshawa, that's good to know. Singer might serve me well down there for when I do need to leave campus for whatever reason.

Cam
Posts: 194
Joined: Tue May 25, 2021 8:21 am

Re: Building a better world - Cam's Journal

Post by Cam »

You folks have inspired me. That's why I love this forum. Just finished reading Digital Minimalism, and now I'm starting Getting Things Done by David Allen. GTD will be a huge change and improvement for me, as my current organization system consists of google keep, google calendar, and pieces of cardboard (when at work with no phone allowed). I have a LOT of goals to attain both big and small, spanning many disciplines. It's exciting, but it's a lot to hold in my head.

Thank you @Axelheyst for the great post about it. I probably will try and fail to implement the system a couple times, but that's all part of habit changes.

In terms of a digital detox, thanks @Lemur for talking about yours. I think it is something I am going to try, but for now I'm doing a half-assed portion of it. Have AIO launcher on my phone now, which is just text and no animations, and I've hidden distracting apps and outright deleted all social media apps. The screen is monochrome now too. My phone is very boring now but that's just how I like it.

Also rebooting my old laptop with Puppy Linux on it to get my free books again. My favourite shadow library's domain was taken down recently by the US government. Thankfully the servers are still online, so I'm just gonna be more of a hacker to get my books now.

Cam
Posts: 194
Joined: Tue May 25, 2021 8:21 am

Re: Building a better world - Cam's Journal

Post by Cam »

So not a 90% savings rate this month, but not bad at all. Put away ~85% of my income making my networth increase by ~$2500.

French: I purchased a preparation book for the DELF B2 level exam. This is the upper intermediate level. Going through the book will help me focus my practice on where it's needed. It feels really cool to be actually going forward with this. I finished the Duolingo course a few years ago out of interest, and last year I started on Lingodeer when I got more serious about actually becoming bilingual. Almost done the intermediate course on there too. What will get my from B1 to B2 is mastering all the tenses. You know in English when I say I would've done that if she could've, but they really shouldn't have. You know, all those funky tenses and lots more.

Health: This is a frustrating one. Still eating very well and exercising regularly, but for months and months now I've had a constant fatigue. I am settling on long covid as the reason after lots of thinking and testing. I know it isn't welding fumes as I haven't welded in over three weeks now. I even tried dropping my sugar intake to 30g a day or less for a couple weeks to see the effect. I dropped 9lbs (I know!) but the fatigue didn't change. This merits its own post as it's a bit of a journey. Long story short though the next step is to get a full checkup with my family doctor.

Money: Full time at the grocery store I'll earn ~$2000 per month, at least until I start volunteering and switch to part time. In the meantime before school I'm going to start liquidating my assets. Makes me feel like a businessman just to type that out. There is a lot of electrical stuff I bought to start as an apprentice that I just don't need as an every day person. I'm keeping a lot of the hand tools that I use on a regular basis. But that brand new tool belt I've worn once to try on? Definitely selling. Or the harness that goes along with it, also brand new. I have a guitar as well that I'm going to sell to my brother (if he wants it) or on Kijiji. Going to sell my fat bike as well to my dad. Just getting rid of stuff that is either really bulky or stuff that I can do just fine without. The listed items will probably bring me about $1300. Not bad for stuff that's just sitting around right now! As for all my metalworking tools? I hope to keep them and transport them for when I do get my own plot of land or house somewhere. It is all in excellent condition. I think in exchange for me storing it in the garage I can give my dad full access to it all. If it is a problem (which I doubt it will be, he has far more tools than I do that go rarely used) I can always sell my stuff and start again when I'm settled. When it's all properly packed up, it actually doesn't take up much space. Fitting table, grinders, welders, black rolling tool box.

Social life: Not bad, but I haven't seen a few close friends in a while. The local YMCA had a 12 day free membership so I took advantage of that and played basketball far more than I usually would! I think for new years there's some bowling planned which should be a good time. Met up with one of my highschool friends for coffee which was great. Gonna meet her to walk our dogs together as they are an excellent match in size and attitude.

New skills: I learned basic mending skills with my grandma! We patched up a welding jacket, and sewed rips in several pairs of work jeans in one night. She said to come back any time for sewing help as she had a great time. I did too, great bonding time :D And now several pairs of black socks have brightly coloured repairs (yellow, blue, green thread etc.), because why not?!

I'm excited for 2023. When my police check finally comes through I can get going on volunteering with speech pathologists and CDAs at my local school board. For now it's full time at the grocery store until then.

Oh and I have half-assed implemented GTD. Carry a dollarama memo pad in my back pocket at all times and have todoist with all my stuff. Feels good to get it out of my head. I just gotta choose a day for my weekly review and stick to it. Tougher than it sounds though as my schedule varies at the grocery store. I'll figure it out though.

Happy New Year!

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