The Big Business of Student Loans

I read daily about the enormous burden our college graduates bear from the student loans they take out to pay for their education. I see it up close in the struggles my own sons make to repay their college loans. They thought they were bettering their lives, but it also has caused their lives to be worse.

There is a short (less than a year in my sons’ cases) time when student loan payments haven’t started yet. It’s that time when students are expected to be looking for and landing a job. It would be well and good, if the jobs were out there to land, but the jobs many college graduates find are lower in pay than what they expected to make with their college degrees. Still when that six month grace period ends, former students are expected to pay hundreds of dollars monthly to repay all the money universities charge for an education today.

I too carried student loan debt when I graduated from college. It was much more manageable than the amount today’s students face. My payments were reasonable and I was able to find a job in my field (education) within a year of graduation.

I wonder when universities and lenders got the bright idea to jack up the cost of education and lend out such large amounts of money to people barely out of high school? You can’t buy alcohol in this state until you are 21, but you can rack up enormous student debts long before that age.

Interest rates on some of the loans are large enough that if only the minimum payment is made, graduates will not be paying on the principle for a very long time. How frustrating is that?

I read today that many student loan holders have chosen to leave the country and work in other countries where jobs are and student loan payments are not. It reminds me of the guys who fled to Canada during the Vietnam War. It seemed over-whelming then and this seems over-whelming now.

I think student loans should not be such a huge burden. I think it shouldn’t be such a huge racket either. Banks and universities are getting fatter on the backs of those who cannot afford to support them.

It’s a racket. It was and it still is. If you look at a university class schedule, you’ll see Fall Breaks, Winter Breaks, early exams, and even the notion that if a professor is more than 15 minutes late to class, there is no class. You don’t get what you pay for.

I wish I’d gone to law school. If I had a law degree and a legal practice, I would spend my time trying to find a way to help yesterday’s students be out of debt less than 25 years after they graduate. That is no exaggeration. IF you pay your loans on time for years and years and years, after 25 years, the loan will be forgiven. That’s a long time to expect America’s best and brightest to struggle through. There should be more to life than a four year education that saddles you with little to few choices for decades after you get that piece of paper.

Link to Organ Donor Story

Two days ago I wrote about not being an organ donor. After reading the article I am supplying a link for, I am more sure than ever that organ donation is not anything I’ll ever do. This article states “Lung transplants are costly. The estimated charges for an entire episode ranged from $785,000 to about $1 million in 2014,according to research published by the actuarial firm, Milliman.”

And they charge this for something they get for free? And don’t make it available to all?

Every Day

I write every day. What I write varies. It could be letters; it might be a poem, or an article, or a short story. Sometimes it’s a plot or an outline or merely an idea.

People say I’m a prolific writer. I guess I do write a lot. I know I write frequently during the day.

I have trouble designating  a time to write and sitting down and staring at the screen thinking of what to write. I do my best writing when I am motivated.

Many of my best ideas come when I’m walking my dog, or washing dishes. Sometimes sweeping the floor causes me to think of something I’d like to write. I suppose my mind goes into auto pilot, or allows itself to free roam while I’m doing things that don’t require concentration.

I’m also observant. Many times I have pointed out things to others only to have them ask me, “Who cares?” Well, obviously I do.

To describe a scene or a person, you must be able to make minute notes either in a notebook or in your mind as to how that actually looks.

Today is windy, but not as windy as last night. Last night the wind chimes on my porch were going crazy. The sound never stopped! Luckily they are not loud chimes, but when I stepped out front to see how windy it was, they were the first thing I noticed.

I also do not let grammer or sentence structure trip me up when I’m writing. I always proofread. This may come from four years of being paid to proofread at ECU’s News Bureau on campus when I attended ECU. When I think of all the places I’ve worked in my life, that was the best one. I was offered a job there when I graduated, but I had my heart set on teaching and turned it down. I have sometimes regretted that decision.

I allow feelings and emotions to enter into my writing. I could not keep them out, if I tried.

I’ve been told I have a “voice”. I know that’s something writers try to establish. I probably got mine from all the writing I’ve done in my lifetime. Most people can tell I wrote something, if they’re familiar with my style.

All these thoughts were racing around inside my head while I cleaned out an old jewelry box. I suppose some of the contents triggered memories and sentimental thoughts. All I know is I had to stop and do some writing before I could continue.

 

Why I’m Not An Organ Donor

There are people in this world that I would not want to have my organs.

Who decides who receives the donated organs? It’s certainly not the donor’s family.

The donor’s family gets no compensation for the organs. They are asked to donate them (for free) so that the surgeon and medical companies can make money. It would seem that the person who donated the organs should get something. The people who receive the organs don’t get them for free.

Until I can stipulate who can and who cannot have any organs I could donate, I’m taking them with me. I’ve heard all the arguments. I also have seen some people cut me off in traffic, be rude to me in stores, be incompetent in their dealings . . . those same people might be the ones to be “blessed” with my organs. No. Some people can’t have them, so that means nobody can have them. Because I don’t get to decide who can and who can’t.

I could make a list of people in certain occupations who could not get my organs. But when it comes down to it, my wishes would not be honored. So why should theirs?

Writing Course

I’ve taken several writing courses over the years and learned many things. Lately I’ve seen James Patterson’s online writing course advertised.

I think I will sign up for it sometime this month. I started to do it in December, but Christmas spending got in the way and I put if off.

I wonder if other writers have taken the course and what they thought of it? I’ve been published; I’ve won awards. I don’t know how successful I can become. I feel like this course will help me as a writer. I read one writer’s review and she too had been published and she said it helped her.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Truth Versus Appearances

Did you ever go to your enemy for help and guidance because you didn’t realize they were your enemy? Did you watch your life spiral out of control as you followed the advice of someone close to you whom you loved and thought loved you?

How do you tell who’s really your friend and wants to truly help and who is out for anything they can get, even if what they can get is your misery for their entertainment?

Life’s a bitch sometimes and while it makes for delightful reading, it is hell to live through.

Word Count Plus Readability Level

This morning I wrote an outline for a book and plans for writing it and mentioned the intended market. I wanted to see how many words I had written, and since it was written in wordpad, I tried to go to the word count tool online that I usually use to count my wordpad words.

I was surprised to see another word count site pop up, but oh, well, word count is word count, right? So I copied/pasted my written words into the site and was surprised to see that in addition to how many words had been written, it also popped up the readability level.

For someone who does work on Children’s books and the occasional hi-lo book, this was an interesting addition to word count. I’m going to put the word count site link  info here so readers can use it too, if they want to.

wordcounttools.com

This is the information it gave me about my written words:

287 words, 1583 characters. Readability level: 9-10th grade student

Did I Write About Cujo In This Blog?

There are two large Boxers that live next door. I have written about them in one of my blogs. They frighten me. My youngest dog got between me and one of them as it lunged at me one day. The woman who owns it was trying to pull it back and was having a terrible time. My young dog noticed and positioned herself between me and it. I was so frightened that I screamed my oldest son’s name. He doesn’t live here any more. My youngest son does. He heard me scream for his brother and came charging out of the house. He helped me get my young dog and myself in the house safely. The girl with the boxer grinned and seemed amused.

The same girl was down the block yesterday with one (both?) of her dogs. They attacked one of my distant neighbor’s dogs, or maybe both her little dogs? I was inside and heard the screams. I thought a child had been hit by a car. I went out to see and it was bad.

My neighbor with the Boxers haven’t let them out today. I wonder if they still are in her house? It seemed anytime she heard me outside in my yard with my dog – whether it was my old one or my young one – she would rush out with one of her Boxer dogs.

Perhaps she sees now that dogs who lunge at people or other pets are not amusing at all. Perhaps she doesn’t. If her dog lunges at me again, I’ll call the police. I heard my neighbor screaming yesterday that he was calling the “law”. I hope he did. I hope his little dog recovers.