February 20, 2005
February 19, 2005
The problem with college financial aid is that for two families with equal lifetime incomes, the one that consumes the most and saves the least gets the most financial aid.
This is the single greatest problem I noticed when I worked for the university and saw financial aid disbursement. The 25 year olds with three kids by three different fathers were the ones going to school for free. We're rewarding the wrong behavior.
February 18, 2005
But all of this stuff is free, so you can't complain. Often the people who provide these services don't have much job pride or customer-oriented goals either, because what are you gonna do, take your business elsewhere? I live a socialist lifestyle, and it ain't pretty.
February 17, 2005
It's also related to Bill Whittle's social vs. individual responsibility.
When I was a senior in high school, I was trying to decide whether I should go to a public or private school. I really wanted to attend this small private school I had chosen, so my dad decided it was time for a lesson in economics. He knew I wanted to be a teacher, so he made me figure out how much of an average teacher salary would go towards paying off $50,000 in student loans. He asked me if it would be worth going to this school to pay perhaps half of my monthly income towards loans. I agreed that it would not and decided to go to the public school. Only once I had started school did my father say that if I had believed that it would have been worth $50,000 of my own money, he would've helped me go to the private school. But since it wasn't worth my own money, it must not have been that important to me.
That's an awesome lesson that my father taught me, one that I personally think applies to my American worldview. You spend your own money far more frugally than you do your father's, and certainly far more frugally than you do the government's. People are simply more responsible when they have more responsibility to take care of themselves. We saw that with today's link about sharing: you end up with more Hershey Kisses if you're in charge of your own.
The biggest difference between Americans and Europeans is responsibility. In the US you're individually responsible for far more (and not nearly enough, in my opinion) than you are in Europe. I was responsible for paying for my own college, so I chose wisely and finished quickly. In many European countries, you can take as long as you want to get your degree; it's someone else's Hershey Kisses. I wish we were in charge of our own Social Security in the US, because I could do a much better job of managing it than the government can, to where I could pay for both medicine and travel. Me, myself, paying for it, not the government.
When my husband and I met with a financial advisor, he asked us how much money we wanted to set aside for our children's college funds. We slowly looked at each other, looked back at the advisor, and sheepishly asked if "nothing" was an acceptable answer. We both paid for our own college educations -- he through ROTC, I through academic scholarships -- and we expect our children to do the same. I don't plan to pay for my own child's college; there's no way I would want to pay taxes to make it free for everyone. I don't even like thinking about the tax dollars that fund the Pell grant.
PAC's opinion is completely understandable, given his background, but completely incomprehensible given mine. I can respect that he feels that way, but I certainly don't want my government emulating Europe in that manner.
MORE TO GROK:
Response to good to go above.
It started last night with this opinion column on the ROTC ban at Columbia:
Joining the military is flushing your education down the toilet. Why would people come here if they were just going to enter the military upon graduation in the first place? Its like, Well, I just spent four years learning about mankinds accomplishments, but all I really want to do is kill people. Im not really sure how the Core curriculum is going to come in handy when youve been ordered to stack a group of naked Iraqi prisoners in a human pyramid.
I, and I suspect most students on this campus, embrace the civil-military gap that ROTC bemoans. The fact is, I cannot comprehend why anyone would want to be in the military at this juncture in American history. Meanwhile, our campus is one of the few remaining places where as students, we can be free from the ever-increasing lets roll mentality that is becoming so dominant in this nation.
Wow. I am shocked someone would say something so nasty. But we're talkin' college kids here, so I'm not that surprised. What did in fact surprise me -- shock the bejesus out of me, to be frank -- was this email Greyhawk got, shocking because it's from a Department of Defense high school teacher:
I hope that your children's teachers offer you children the type of education where they see what a close-minded, blood-thirsty individual you are. You are the type of person who will fight for freedom, all right, as long as it is for the freedom of white, American males. Hitler loved people like you. Of course, like you, I am strictly judging you by your comments, not by actually knowing anything about you or your motivations. And, of course, like you, I am taking everything you say out of context without knowing anything about you. The difference is is that I am actually literate. In fact, aside from judging you to be a bigot, a sexist, and someone who probably didn't do very well in school at all, I would further judge you to be someone who has a hard time passing a pt test. Why don't you "ping the wife" about this one? She is probably happiest when you are not pinging her at all.
A teacher employed by the US Army wrote that letter to Greyhawk. I will never, never grok this world we live in.
When Liberals Are Honest About The War In Iraq
I like Lileks today too.
Selfishness is bad, right?
February 16, 2005
Realization: And it's hard to stay blue when you've got Taco Bell in your tummy and "MMMBop" is on the radio.
I waited years today . . . one year for every hour,
all day -- though I knew you could not come till night
I waited . . . and nothing else in this God's hell meant anything.
I had everything you love -- shellfish and saltsticks . . . watercress,
black olives. Wine (for the watch I pawned), real cream
for our coffee. Smoked cheese, currants in port, preserved wild cherries.
I bought purple asters from a pushcart florist and placed them where
they would be between us --
imagining your lovely face among them . . .
But you did not come . . . you did not come.
You did not come. And I left the table lit and your glass filled --
and my glass empty . . . and I went into the night, looking for you.
The glittering pile, Manhattan, swarmed like an uncovered dung heap.
Along the waterfront
manlike shapes all shoulders and collar walked stiffly like shadow figures.
Later, the half-moon rose.
Everywhere the windows falling dark.
By St. Mark's church, under the iron fence, a girl was crying. And the old
steeple was mouldy with moonlight, and I was tired . . . and very lonely.
Oh, and Red 6 will be here. It sounded like fun to hang out with Red 6 for a week before my own husband got home, but now that I know there will be three weeks between their arrivals, it doesn't seem that fun anymore. On Monday I felt happy for wives whose husbands come home soon. I don't feel so happy for them today, but I am going to try to work on that. Even though mine will be the only soldier-less house on the block, I still will be waiting for the best soldier in the Army to come home. (Best white soldier, huh Kel?)
So I crawled into bed last night with a bowl of ice cream and finished State of Fear. It was a great book. And today is a new day, and my husband comes home in the middle of March. The old arrival date goes down the memory hole and we start fresh. If Tim could do it, so can I.
February 15, 2005
And I'll have to sew the CCB on for my husband. He always tells me he's going to nominate me for the CWB (the Combat Wifeing Badge).
If someone tried to kill you, you did not have the option of averting your eyes or changing the subject. You were forced to deal with that person's behavior. The experience was, in the end, a loss of certain illusions.
The world was not how you wanted it to be.
The world was how it was.
There were bad people in the world. They had to be stopped.
I never even spoke to him.
I know nothing about this boy. I don't even know if he was French or an exchange student like me. I don't know what classes he was taking or where he lived or what his name was or anything. And by the time I had worked up the courage to even think about talking to him, he was gone. I have no idea what happened to him, but I never saw him again for the remaining six months of my time in France.
When I realized that my friendship with my husband was turning into something more than friendship, I knew I didn't want to make the same mistake twice. So I flat out told him one night, told him that I really liked him and that I was starting to think about him all the time, and asked him how he felt. He was quite taken aback, and that's when he gave his famous "well, I like you, but I'm not going to marry you or anything" line. He wasn't quite sure what to think, but he slept on it (for two weeks!) and finally told me that he wanted to be with me too.
That was five years ago today.
I still wonder about that boy in France. Maybe he was irritating, boring, or rude. Maybe he could've turned out to be a really special guy. I'll never know, but I'm grateful for the lesson he taught me. I wouldn't be with my husband today if I hadn't told him how I felt. I learned that taking a risk can be a beautiful thing.
I'll never forget that giddy moment five years ago, sitting on the floor in my husband's dorm room and deciding that we were going to give us a shot.
Greatest moment of my life.
I miss you, husband.
February 14, 2005
A song for you on this special day...
I was working in the lab late one night
When my eyes beheld an eerie sight
For my monster from his slab began to rise
And suddenly to my surprise
He did the mash
He did the monster mash
The monster mash
It was a graveyard smash
He did the mash
It caught on in a flash
He did the mash
He did the monster mash
I choo-choo-choose you.
Arrogant censorship by David Limbaugh
"Dresden Bombing Is To Be Regretted Enormously" interview with Frederick Taylor
Friday night, 20/20 ran a story about the UN workers who are raping children in the Congo. They have photos of a French man having sex with hundreds of girls. And what is on the main page of the 20/20 website?
Corey f-ing Feldman.
Oh sure, after you click around, you get some fuzzy photos of freaking nothing at all. I'm not saying we should see this monster with a little girl, but surely there's something a little more damning than that purple wallpaper. Surely there's a Defining Photo that should go on the front page of newspapers and magazines.
Heaven forbid that an investigation of 50 aid workers involving hundreds of raped children -- while Kofi himself said that sexual abuse has "haunted peacekeeping operations for decades" -- should be bigger news than Abu Ghraib.
I guess Corey Feldman's more important.
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