Thursday, August 20, 2009

More good news from Sterling College

Received the following e-mail today from Pavel Cenkl, Academic Dean:

Dear Tom,

I'm glad that this program sounds like it could be a good fit for you. I think that a different order of course progression would be possible - we actually frame part of the summer semester as an introduction to sustainable agriculture, and the immersive nature of that program would be a very good starting point.

We could arrange for a formal recognition of completion; I certainly recognize the significance of such documentation for future opportunities.

As far as financial aid, I have cc'd both our Director of Financial Aid, Ned Houston, and our Assistant Director, Barb Stuart, and they should be back in touch with you shortly.



This is excellent news: in plain English, it means that I ought to be able to start the program with the Summer Intensive next summer, rather than concluding with it in the summer of 2011. That'll mean, in turn, that I'll finish up 3 months sooner than I otherwise would have, hopefully increasing my ability to find a more-or-less "permanent" place before winter. Furthermore, they're willing to provide some sort of formal documentation of my studies, even though it's not a degree program.

Now, if I can just get some decent financial aid (read: aid that I don't have to pay back), life will move from "very good" to "truly excellent"! The program is a bit pricey; the yearly cost is $30,750 – although if I'm living off campus, as I almost certainly will be, I can peel almost $8,000 off of that (which would then have to go towards rent for my off-campus place), and that's just for Spring and Fall Semesters: the summer intensive in Sustainable Agriculture is an additional $10,000.

I think that for financial reasons, as well as to simplify my life, I'm going to have to sell this place, rather than renting it out, and move myself, C_____, and all my belongings – stuff in the storage unit included – up to Vermont... where, unless for some reason I/we are able to find the perfect place, I'll be renting for the year of my program. Then we can hopefully find the perfect family farm, either in New England or elsewhere, to finally settle and put down roots. I just can't see being stretched between here and there, or leaving half my belongings behind in storage.

So that means the rental place will need to be large enough to house not only myself, C_____, and the stuff from this place (plus anything she brings along), but also the storage unit stuff. That means 3 bedrooms plus, hopefully, a basement – the latter doesn't need to be finished, since its main role is storage, but it does need to be dry. I've seen such places on for $900-950/month in the general area of Sterling College (Craftsbury Common, VT, and its surrounds)... just hope they're still available next spring, when I'll need them!


Lucky Lizard Ranch said...

Congrats Tom!
That is great news!!

Tammy Renee' Cupp said...

I am so happy things are going so well! Thanks for sharing your journey!


peacefulacres said...

Congratulations Tom! That is a great opportunity! I hope you can get the finances you need.

Tom Harbold said...

Thanks, folks! :-) I hope so, too... stay tuned!