Morning Coffee – New Semester Blues Edition

Today marks the beginning of my third “semester” in school. I’m not sure if it’s right to call the term that just passed a real live semester or if the summer counts as one semester or what.

I’m new at this people, gimmie a break.

That said, after spending half a year trying (not as hard as I should, but trying nonetheless) to navigate going to college again after 20 years, from registration to financial aid and everything in between, I’ve found myself lacking, so I’m seeking help…finally.

I can be a pretty stubborn SOB, so when I got my FAFSA back that said I didn’t qualify for anything but loans, I wasn’t surprised. Financially, I did alright last year, even though it was less than previous years. Also, I knew what the cutoff for yearly income was, and that I was likely above it. What I didn’t know was just how badly going to school would diminish my ability to make money to keep going to school.

And that’s where the system is broken folks. I’ve heard countless politician talk about ways to help people like me, who are about half way to a degree, go back to school and get it. But what I haven’t seen is just how that’s supposed to happen when your ability to earn a living is so severely diminished by the act of going to school.

Sure, I can get loans, but who the heck really wants to do that? I’ve seen my friends, who graduated way back when I would have, come out of school and struggle to pay back their loans for years. Why would I want to come out of school in two years that much further down than I’m already going to be?

Then there’s the job market. What will it be like in 2 years? Will I be able to put my degree to good use, or will I be stuck in an economy that’s had one jobless recovery after another for the past 10 years. Right, that track record doesn’t make me feel very confident about loaning my way through school.

So today I’m gonna make a stab at getting some kind of special consideration from the Financial Aid department. I have pursued other kinds of aid, some of which is outside the school arena, but I make just enough to not qualify. Life is hard for those who just barely live on the up side of the poverty level.

If we’re serious about educating our people, we have to do more than what we’re doing, and need to make the system less labyrinth like. If it’s hard for me, imagine what it’s like for 18 year olds who can barely balance a checkbook, much less navigate a ridiculous bureaucracy. Remember, I’m the one that navigates bureaucracies for fun and sport, but this one looks more Brazil like every day.

Sigh, on to the coffee…

Steffens is talking the August Elections over at LWC.

Smart City Memphis tries to answer some questions about consolidation.

The TEP is pushing for a non-discrimination ordinance in the City of Memphis.

Sidney’s talking sweep. It could happen, but see the above link by Steffens…

The Daily News is asking questions about the pension problems in Memphis and Shelby County.

Henri Brooks is looking to undo the deal with Harold Buehler’s development company just weeks after his death.

Ok, have a good day. Hopefully the rain will keep the temperatures down rather than turning the world into virtual equivalent of living inside a re-heated day old cheese danish.




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