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friday, april 6, 2001

a couple of days ago i started reevaluating my plans for my education. we are not in a pretty situation over here. financially the only time we're not struggling is when a big check such as my school loans come in. but by then we are so starved for a few luxuries that we spend far too much on the cool stuff we've been wanting forever but don't really need. then there's the neighborhood. it sucks. we are in gangland out here, with a dope shop in almost every house and half a dozen prostitutes on at least one corner in any given day. this is not where i imagined my kids growing up and my oldest is taking it particularly hard that she we will not allow them to associate with the neighborhood kids.

now if i keep to my current schedule it will be 3 years before i graduate and another 2 before i could be anything other than a substitute for the school district. don't get me wrong, substitutes get paid good money. but that isn't as consistent as a full time teacher. so if i keep to my current course, my oldest will never get even a taste of the advantages this would bring to us. i want to be able to make decisions about activities she wants to do without money being the issue. i want to be able to actually have birthday parties for my kids. i want us in a safer neighborhood and to not have to wonder when my income will be too high for me to keep living where i am living. i am tired of beds on the floor, new clothes maybe once a year, and bills being paid 2 or 3 months late as we round robin the payments we can afford. and i am tired of drowning in debt just to make ends meet and to get us a few luxuries sometimes.

when i was growing up i didn't get everything i wanted, but i still got quite a bit. birthdays and christmases were magical. perhaps it is a bit greedy to put the things we received in there as a part of the magic, but that's how kids are. for months before a birthday you hear what they want, what is cool. christmas lists are the norm for youngsters. they enjoy the family thing and dinner and all that, but bring on the presents!! while i don't believe this should be the focus of the holidays, at least i am honest enough to realize that's what kids live for. and mine are no exception. the difference is they are more guaranteed to NOT got much of anything on their lists because of expense.

then there's all the school stuff. everything costs now: band uniforms, instruments, dance costumes and everything else. We can't even buy their school pictures every year because we usually get only two days notice and there's no way to scrounge up the money in that amount of time. i can't afford for them to be responsible for instruments or books. they can't be even try out for cheerleading because the outfits are $200+ and if they made it they'd only have to resign the squad. we're barely paying for jewel's soccer stuff, and had promised to get kitten into a dance class and still haven't lived up to that promise. i hate breaking my kids hearts, and i know money isn't everything, but it would really be nice if money were not the deciding issue in everything they want or want to do.

so i had to do some rethinking. in my psych minor i have one class to retake and then i will have taken everything i could that applies to my son and to the minor. dropping it would remove an entire quarter. as much as i love the topic i have barely scratched the surface of my communications minor. after consideration, and checking with my uni councilor, i have decided to drop both and finish my english major. doing this will have me graduating with my b.a. in a year.


i could start subbing fall 2002. and i could finally be pulling us out of this damn hole that has kept us down for so long.

and just maybe i could finally give my children something they want without worrying about the money. i could give it because i love them and the money is no longer an issue.

and that is a far more valuable goal than more classes that i probably will not need any time soon.

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