Archive for March, 2015

GPAs

March 19, 2015

I just want to record this for family history.

I rec’d my Bachelor of Arts in 1997, with a 3.42 GPA. That was with failing one class, the semester before I got married. I never know what to say when they say on those applications, when did you start and finish this degree? I started in Fall 1971 and finished in May 1997.

Rec’d my Masters in Dec.2000 on a terrible Winter’s day. My husband came on crutches, and our youngest son. Everyone else must have been out of town or something. I don’t know why no one else came. I had a 4.0 GPA.

My PhD ceremony was December 2008, after I secured my first full time teaching job in South Carolina. That Fall I started the job, came back and defended my dissertation, and graduated in December on the coldest freaking day of the year. It was some degrees below zero. My kids all came and my husband sat out, because I only got 4 tickets for family. They were screaming while walking in between buildings on the way from the parking garage to the auditorium, due to the temp. I had a 3.95 GPA.

All my degrees were sociology, but the Bachelors was a “Bachelor of Arts” with a minor in Women’s Studies, the Masters was a
“Master of Science” (Social science I guess), and the PhD was a “Doctor of Philosophy”.

Advertisements

Money

March 15, 2015

I want to talk about money again.

Thinking a lot about this right now. Life in America. It is getting harder, and it’s going to get worse before it gets better. People live to pay their bills. Older people chastise the young and tell them they scrimped and saved through their life, and managed their money better than the young do now. But it’s harder now. It is next to impossible to make it on one income, young adults are moving back in w/ their parents and relatives and friends are living together to be able to make it. Jobs don’t last a lifetime and benefit packages are diminishing. Insurance costs more & pays less of the bills. As you get older, you can’t avoid medical bills.

My husband and I recently celebrated 43 yrs. of marriage. We got married as teenagers. We seem to have done exceptionally bad at this money game. Just now, in our early 60s, we are managing to save and pay off debt. But how long can this last? One thing I’ve learned in life, there is nothing permanent and you can count on change.

We have worked all our married life, and lived through many crises. My husband has attained and lost many positions, many lost due to economic trends and not his own faults. For example, downsizing of middle management positions in the 80s. Moving to South Carolina where there is a lack of industry and being denied jobs due to being a northerner, and told as much. Then losing a job due to changes in the company and their doing away with remote, online positions. It has been a struggle.

Additionally, we had 4 children and I stayed home during that time. There is no way anyone else was going to see my kids through their first few years. I stayed home with them. Friends chastised us for having 4 kids while living in poverty. Well, that’s life. We chose it, and we were happy as well.

But now, at this age, when life is all of a sudden slowing down and the end seems nearer than it appears… it makes you realize, time is not eternally given, and we are running out of time. How much can we accomplish in another 20 years?

My goal has been for some time, to get out of debt. I now earn more than I ever have in my life, and more than twice what I earned when I left Purdue Libraries. This is now a race to the finish. And if either of us gets sick anytime soon, the end will not be pretty. I really hope that we are given enough time to pay off most of our debt and leave this world not owing people. All of this takes a great deal of patient perseverance, determination, prayer and detachment. It also allows us no luxuries. Is it right to have to deny oneself any & all luxuries at this age, when we have put in our time for many long years, at many different jobs? I don’t know but that is where we are.

I think it is hard for the world to realize, Americans are struggling like everyone else. Those at the top with a lot of money are the very few. They are more and more out of touch with what most of the rest of the world are experiencing and feeling. We are the 99 percent. My husband and I have reached somewhat of a plateau, where we are not struggling quite as much just to keep the bank balance above 0. Yet, that is a recent occurrence, and we now struggle to pay off our debt while not incurring any more.

Something like 2.5 BILLION people in the world struggle to have a good supply of clean water every day. There are 7 billion on the planet. It is hard to fathom just how much inequality there still is in this “global world”.

Baha’u’llah said, “Tell the rich of the midnight sighing of the poor. The poor on earth are my trust, Guard ye my trust.”

and

O Son of Spirit!

The best beloved of all things in My sight is justice. Turn not away therefrom if thou desirest Me, and neglect it not that I may confide in thee. By its aid thou shalt see with thine own eyes, and not the eyes of others, and shalt know of thine own knowledge and not through the knowledge of thy neighbor. Ponder this in thine heart, how it behoveth thee to be.

Verily justice is My gift to thee, and a sign of My loving-kindness. Set it then before thine eyes.

— Baha’u’llah, The Hidden Words.

Song from the South

March 7, 2015

The Bahai’s in the South have their own songs. Most of them come out of gospel and church backgrounds. Here is one I want to remember:

Baha’u’llah, I am your child,

and I know, You came for me,

I’m down here working in the vineyard

we are working for Unity,

O my Lord, I believe,

I know my Jesus, He died for me,

and with the coming of Baha’u’llah

all mankind will be set free.