April 2, 2017

2 04 2017

What a beautiful morning! The sun is bright; everything sparkles. I suppose I can appreciate it because I know the snow won’t last. Temperatures are expected to be consistently above freezing all week, and rain is predicted. Mud season again. This does not thrill me, but it is the transition to spring.

I would appear to have an infected tooth. It isn’t painful, but I know one of my molars is cracked, and I woke up this morning with a small blister on the roof of my mouth right next to the tooth. I wonder if I am covered by Medicaid for dental work. I hope so. I’ll have to look into it. I really don’t need more debt. But this needs to be addressed. Just dosing it with brandy won’t cut it.

This whole experience has made me acutely aware of the issues facing people of limited income. What a terrible struggle it must be for those even worse off than I am! Even working full time, with wages what they are, everything is so expensive. And as you fall behind, it gets worse. Every dime I have is going into paying off mortgage, car loan, heat and utilities. There isn’t enough to cover groceries or anything else. So, credit card. That means interest. Money lost. How many others in this country are fighting the same losing battle?

Never mind, we are gradually bringing in more money to the household. I will be picking up more hours, and the boys will, too. Most of my boys’ friends went off to college after high school. My boys went to work. I was talking with my older son Max about this. His father has offered to help with college, but Max wants no part of it. He’ll save up and take classes as he can afford to, and as he decides what sort of classes he wants to take. He has started in at Market Basket, working the front as all new employees do. But he has asked for more hours and to be trained for other jobs. He’s smart, detail-oriented, takes pride in his work. If he decides he wants to stick with it, he’ll be trained for a career, make good money, have health insurance and a retirement plan, with opportunities for advancement. All without a college degree. In other words, without the crippling debt that his friends will graduate with.

Alec is working with dogs at PetAgree, a place I worked at years ago. It’s a good outfit run by a wonderful woman who has a reputation for working miracles in training dogs. Alec likes working with animals, and he has started learning how to train them from someone who is an expert. He, too, is paving the way to learn a marketable skill doing something he enjoys. He, too, if he decides to stick with it, will eventually be able to carve out a career without the burden of college debt.

When you consider how many college graduates, including those with advanced degrees, cannot get hired in their chosen field, and wind up taking low-end jobs with lousy wages because it’s the only thing they can find, maybe what my boys are doing is actually to their advantage. I suggested that it might be wise, if the boys do decide to save up and take some classes, to choose practical life skills, like computer trouble-shooting and maintenance, or electrical wiring. They can save money if they learn how to do basic home repair, how to fix things themselves, instead of hiring someone to do it.

This is a period of uncertainty and difficult changes, not just for me personally but for the country as a whole. What we used to be able to count on isn’t there anymore. No one knows what is going to happen, and that causes a lot of fear. Some days fear and pessimism make it difficult to get out of bed. Well, hell, the water is cold and dark, but there’s nothing for it but to keep swimming.

And to appreciate these beautiful, sparkling mornings, knowing that spring will come.

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2 responses

8 04 2017
heretherebespiders

I’ve done a heck of a lot of things without a degree. I did try, and took 6 classes and had a 4.8 (damn algebra) toward a zoology degree as I have always wanted to work with big cats. Instead, I went bankrupt and the only thing NOT forgiven were the student loans! Of course the next year I was offered grants but by then, it was too late as I had no more credit to live off of for any emergencies.
Definitely better to be a jack of all trades in this day, I think. So many people can’t do simple tasks, or even consider trying to.

9 04 2017
justinegraykin

Probably good luck on your part, since you’d have had a tough time finding work. Not many big cats left. Just little ones, taking over the planet.

The cynic in me suspects that the college racket is yet another way of establishing a class divide in this country. By making it so unaffordable, only the elite have the privilege of attending and us working class must stay in our place. Debt has always been the way upper classes keep control over lower.

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