Friday, September 14, 2007

Being Poor

My school fees this term were $3,601 ... that covers half a year, and includes all the extras. It does not include food, shelter or other living expenses. I got lucky because I could cover $1,051 of it with a scholarship cheque I get automatically for being an MK. However, second term I will not be so lucky. And next year I probably wont, either. So I have begun to worry about money. I decided to write it down so that I can maybe stop having bad dreams and coming back to the thought 50 times during the day. My rent is $280 a month. Records for the summer months were a bit sketchy, because of inconsistent habitation of the house, but during the past 2 weeks, my share of the grocery/household item has been $78. My share of the phone bill was about $15. So lets say that per month, I will spend $160 on food. My share of Rent+food+phone+power($20)+water bill($18)= minimun spendings of $493 a month. Of course, the power bill will skyrocket during the winter, so that figure is hard to calculate exactly. If I multiply $493 (a very conservative estimate) by 8 (September through April) I get $3,977. That is how much it will cost me to live, bare bones (this does not include movie rentals, eating out, developing photos, rat expenses, clothing, etc). Plus, of course, tuition for second term, which will be if not $3,601, at least dangerously close to it. I add the two figures and get $7545. Let's throw in a $1,000 margin there for extra projected power expenses (winter is cold): $8,545. I currently have $11,678 in the bank. I have to buy a plane ticket to Ecuador in May (mental health trip, not optional), so that could take anywhere from $700 to $1,000 "latas": That leaves me with $2,144 to live on come June (optimistically). I hope I will get a summer job. I am, however, not hopeful about being considered for any scholarships for next year. I can't even figure any out. Better people than me have gone through school with no celestial nods from upper management. Even if I get a summer job, it would be unrealistic to assume I would make any more than $1500. That is not enough for next year (not even close). So, options: -Student Loans (I am a bit morally opposed to going into debt, personally... remnants of parental indoctrination, of course. I am a bit spiritually unsettles by it, which comes from the fact it seems a bit unfair to have to pay back more than I used, in a system where education should be free, and it isn't because THEY (the people I am paying) decide it isn't) -Taking a year off (and working at what? Pizza Hut? Maybe I am too proud). -Selling eggs (It's illegal to sell body parts in Canada, but it is possible through American agencies.I think you can get roughly $8,000 from submitting to this highly unpleasant, invasive procedure. They hormone you up so you are on the same cycle as the person you donate to, then pump you full of painful fertility injections that make you produce like 20 eggs in a period when you would usually produce just one. I hate needles and selling stuff to rich California socialites, but I obviously considered this one enough to research it a bit). -Living out of dumpsters and food banks, sleeping in shelters, getting social assistance cheques (good ol' Canada. Good thing most of my books are still in Caracol). Well, this is enough wonderings for today. I have class to get to, and I payed about $50 for the privilege of being there, so I better show up. If I made any miscalculations, or have another option for financing the business of living, do let me know in a comment. I love to hear from y'all.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Cultures at the far edge of the world

Watch this video: (a TED talk) "Do we want to live in a monochromatic world of monotony? Live to see the range of human imagination reduced to a narrow modality of thought, then wake from a dream to have forgotten that there were other possibilities?"- Wade Davis I love the stories of the world. If you do, too, now is the time to learn them. They might not be around in 20 years. Go, learn from a different imagination. The country you are living in is probably stifling a few ancient cultures at the moment that you could learn about and store as a part of yourself, at least for one more generation.