Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Picture May be Worth a Thousand Words, But a Missive is Worth $10,000

There have been many, many times in the past when I chided myself for not selecting a college major that would net me more income.  An English degree makes me an excellent communicator, but it doesn't really pay more than a few bills.

Today, however, I am feeling a bit vindicated, not to mention considerably heavier in the wallet.

My daughter, newly accepted university freshman that she is, was required to fill out a "housing exception" application in order to commute to school from home rather than live on campus with the other 5,000 freshmen.  Now mind you, campus is a mere 25 miles across town from here, and there are free student shuttles that can take her from the branch campus near us to the main campus cross town.  Still, they like to keep all of their newbies on campus in order to "encourage their freshmen to stay in school and complete their degrees," so I guess I can understand it.  Somewhat.

Still, understanding it and being able to afford it are two entirely different animals, so we promptly filled out the exception form asking for "permission" for her to continue living at home (what's wrong with this picture???).  As one of her parents, I was required to write a letter, explaining why it would be "academically advantageous" for her to live at home rather than on campus.


Yeah, whatever.  I can bullshit with the best of them, so I penned an eloquent missive, explaining how my daughter would suffer undue stress living on campus knowing her parents COULD NOT AFFORD the $10K it cost to have her live there rather than here in her room with her books, her television, her family, a full cupboard and refrigerator, etc., etc.

Fast forward to today, when we received, after four weeks, the answer for which we have been waiting.  "Dear student: This letter is in response to your request for exception from the University Housing campus living expectation for the 2014-2015 academic year. You have been approved for an exception from the on-campus living expectation.  Please be advised that in order to maintain your approved status for exception, you must maintain the circumstances under which you were approved."

Maintain living at home?  Yeah, I don't think that's an issue for at least the coming year or two.  No worries.  I don't think my baby girl wants to give up the cushy life she's living just yet.

The moral of this story is stay in school boys and girls, and learn to write well.  It might not earn you the big paychecks, but it might just save you some money when you least expect it.

Later daze.......

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Nine Years the Conqueror

Nine years I've travelled this road.

In these nine years, I've cheered on one child as he earned three black belts in a martial arts discipline.

I've had another child earn her high school diploma with honors.

I've made countless trips to the hospital emergency room in the wee hours of the morning and endured an extended in-patient stay during a Christmas holiday break.

I've driven thousands of school carpools, chaperoned seemingly endless trips with the band, hauled musical instruments across football fields throughout the state, cheered at dozens of high school football games in the searing desert heat; attended parent-teacher conferences, band parent meetings, martial arts practices, and choir concerts.

I've trudged across soft sandy beaches, carrying bulky beach chairs and umbrellas in order to enjoy hours of relaxation seaside.

I've sung at weddings, funerals, weekly church services, and anniversary celebrations.

I've made small hikes alongs canyons and streams, stood at the top of a 9,000 foot vista, washed mountains of laundry, carried years of groceries, vacuumed floors, moved furniture, and hosted parties.

I cook, I clean, I drive, I shop, I sing, I volunteer.  I am mom, wife, friend, and sister.

I am the face of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension nine years later.

I am the Conqueror.