Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lack of updates, sorry

For the three subscribers to this blog, I apologize for the prolonged absence of updates.  I guess I'm not very good at keeping up on this blog thing.  However, a few updates, in case anyone is seriously missing me.  (Or whatever.)

First and foremost, my best friend, Zane, has started a blog chronicling his life as a trans-man and his transition process.  I've been helping him to get the blog set up, as well as a couple of other internet things that he'll be using to chronicle his journey as time goes on.  His url is TranZcendingTradition.blogspot.com, and I encourage anyone who is interested in learning about transgendered individuals and the hoops they have to jump through to check out his blog.  It's going to be quite the adventure, and the whole internet should feel privileged to be able to share in it with him.  So go and read it, and show him your support!

Next on the list is my continued complaint that our higher education system is broken.  I am 22 years old, and my parents don't pay for me to go to college.  The policy our nation takes on education is that, "The federal government and the schools consider it primarily the family's responsibility to pay for school. They provide financial assistance only when the family is unable to pay."  This would be understandable, even forgivable, if this situation worked for everybody.  However, it seems that for a great many of us who want to go to school and whose parents don't want to help us, this policy leaves us hanging.

The thing that really bothers me is how we classify dependency.  I live on my own.  I barely speak to my father, and my mother lives in Mississippi.  I am dependent on nobody.  And my parents, my father especially, prefer it this way.  My dad would no more pay for me to go to college than he would willingly quit drinking.  And yet, though I am 22, a fully grown fucking adult, the federal government expects my family to put me through school.  I am responsible for myself-- can't I also be responsible for my own education?  

Before 1998, dependency was based on whether or not children were claimed on their parents taxes.  So long as you were claimed on taxes, then your parents were responsible for your education.  Now, we have so many more people going to four year colleges that the government has changed this.  Now, you have to be 24, or married, or have children, or be in the armed forces before you can be considered on your own.  And this has freed the federal government from paying for a lot of schooling, I am sure.  But we're entering an age when a high school education gets you as far as being a high school drop-out would have gotten your parents.  Not having at least an associates degree places you almost instantly behind the counter at McDonald's, or checking groceries at the local Safeway.  A bachelors degree is even a common thing now, and gets you hardly any recognition.  Hell, even having your Master's isn't a guarantee of a good career.  And yet, for people like me whose parents can't or won't help, we are left helpless because the Federal government doesn't want to acknowledge that we are on our own?


This year, my issue is my father's irresponsibility with money.  He bought a 52" flat screen last month, and now he's putting off filing his taxes until April because he realized he'd have to actually pay this year, rather than receiving a refund.  I've had my taxes done since early February, hoping that I would get FAFSA done as well and receive a better financial aid package this year for having everything done early.  However, because my father doesn't understand the concept of being responsible with one's money, I've been fucked out of this, and will probably now be offered only loans.  Thanks Dad.

My Mom, who lives out of state, has agreed to give me her tax information this year so I can complete FAFSA this week.  I don't know if this is strictly allowed, as the government wants you to use the information of the last parent you lived with.  However, I contacted my school, and they could apparently care less which parent is providing information, so long as somebody does.  So I am getting things figured out.

The thing is, though, even though I am getting things figured out, why should I have to put up with all of this stress just because my father is an idiot?  I am on my own.  I am independent in every way except in this.  Why should I have to depend on him for this?

I dunno.  I'm going to go and write a letter to my Senator, or something.  It's time the system was changed for the better.  If kids want to go to college, they shouldn't have to depend on their parents to get them there.

Anyway, that's all the big news right now.  See you when I see you, I guess.

1 comment:

  1. I will join you in writing that letter to our government officials. I, too, filed my own taxes this year, and my parents are no longer claiming me on their taxes, and I am also providing all of my own support. All of a sudden my expected contribution goes up $3,000. And tuition keeps increasing and aid keeps decreasing. Bah, I could rant forever about it. Bleh.